For today, we have prepared another short story. Once again, it is set before the arrival of the Hero. “Ugo and the Stars” takes place in the House of Stars, which you will be able to picture since yesterday, and will give you a better insight in both the building and the NPCs’ everyday life.
Ugo and the Stars
“Been a long time, long-finger!” Bertha laughed at him before giving him a warm hug. “How’s life? Who did you get your money from this time?” The matron didn’t think much of discretion when talking to her customers, and Ugo was one of her favorites.
“Oh, Bertha! No, I just came from Cape Dun. Had a message to pass on to Marik.”
“Cape Dun? You sure took your time! The girls and I were worried sick. A lad like you doesn’t belong in the wild. What if a boar attacked you? We couldn’t survive without your gold.” The woman giggled like a young maiden why she produced two goblets from under the bar.
Oddly enough, the thief had rarely even entered the house.
Bertha was a kind soul. This lady could be as scratchy as a troll’s pelt or as soft as that of an Ice Wolf, but she always managed to soften his villain’s soul.
Ugo refused the heavy Archoloss drop she offered him.
“Well, Bertha, I took my time in Cape Dun with good reason. And believe me, it wasn’t about the forest or the sea. People like me are townspeople through and through, no matter what happens. I pilfered the store of that bitchy old warrior called Urkrass. And guess what I found.” With this, Ugo grinned and produced his own bottle of wine.
Bertha’s eyes shone in the candlelight as she looked at the label. Her voice shook: “A genuine Khoriner! Wine from their monastery of Innos. I haven’t seen a drop like that in ages.”
The signature scrawled on the bottle confirmed it’s origin: “Master Gorax”.
“How much?” In an instant, the wine expert had transformed back into a rough businesswoman.
“Oh, my dear Bertha. You’ll have to admit that this bottle is invaluable, really. But let’s just say I’ll let you have it if you let me in free of charge the next two times.”
“Ugo, you horny weasel!”, the matron exclaimed. “There’s no way I’ll let you swindle me! Here’s an offer: you’ll only pay half the next two times. ”
“Deal!”, Ugo replied at once. Haggling with Bertha was pointless; he had already asked for more than the bottle was worth. This was a deal he could be more than happy with. “Always a pleasure doing business with you. But not today, the trip was more than exhausting.”
“Nonsense!” Bertha clapped her fleshy hands. “There’s no better way to relax than in a girl’s arms.”
On Bertha’s sign, a girl had joined them, giving the mercenary a warm and irresistible smile. “Hello there, Ugo.”
The thief suppressed a grin. Bertha sure knew her customers and never hesitated to use her knowledge. She would have been hard-pressed to miss his fancy for redheads. And these hips! No, he definitely could not say No to Magdalena. He sighed, opened his moneybag and paid Bertha, who grinned at him contently. Then he let Magdalena take his hand and lead him upstairs.