Gerz threw open the door of what appeared to be the only tavern in town. The bard sitting in the corner stopped playing his lyre long enough to study him. He grimaced before returning to his song.
The mail shirt beneath Gerz’s tunic clattered as he sat down at the empty table nearest the musician. He tossed a copper at the musician’s feet and nodded.
A wench, her eyes plastered to the ground, broke away from the trio of women across the room. “What to drink?” she asked Gerz’s boots.
“Dark brew,” he said, peering into her steely irises. The words came out just above a grunt, level and hard. He laid two silver coins down on the table.
The wench left without picking them up, hustling toward a tapped barrel near the other women. She set a foaming tankard down on the table and swiped up the silver.
“Thank you,” Gerz said as the wench spun around to leave.
She turned, looking him in the face this time. “You’re welcome,” she said, barely loud enough for Gerz to hear.
“Maiden,” said Gerz, his tone relaxed. “Would you per chance know of anyone in this town in need of a swordsman?”
“I’m afraid I do not, but I will ask the local patrons if you are in need of work.”
“That would be much appreciated. I’ll be staying at The Flapping Pelican down the lane for a few days. If you hear of anything, ask after Gerz.”
“I will,” she replied, a smile beginning at the corner of her lips.Gerz felt the tension in the room lessen. The bard, who must have paused in his playing, strummed a major chord.