The figure eyed Olav, looking sinister but unintentionally. In his face Olav could see what resembled a smile. Had his face not been all but bones and black teeth he would have believed it.
"Ah" Said the figure, "Olav is it not?" Olav raised an eyebrow and nodded. "Welcome to Barkbane! Have you met the mayor yet?" The figure cackled.
Olav's face remained in it's usual bored posture, obviously not amused by the sinister man's little joke. "Yes, I have, he offered me tea and cake, it was good." Olav said with a dry reply. "Do you know where I could find a person with sense in this place?"
The figure cackled again, only more loud this time. "You're in the underworld! The dead left their sense in the world of the living." He pointed his boney finger at Olav's face. "You good friend, are dead. And I'm here to get you across." Olav gasped, his eyes turned big and his big moustache almost looked to twirl on it's own."Dead. I am dead?" The figure nodded, "dead as my leg, it's been asleep for ages now, I should stop putting myself into awkward positions."
He lost attention and dozed off, giggling to himself and poking his boney, half rotten leg. Olav cleared his throat. "Ah yes, Olav, Olav...Olav! Yes yes, pleased to meet you, my name is Bob."
"Hop on board, we have a far way to go." He looked past Olav to see if anyone else would be joining the trip. "Quickly now, we don't have all day...Actually we do but that's not the point. Come on now, up the boat."
Olav hopped on board, his great weight made the boat sink a little lower into the water. He took a seat in front of Bob. More closely now Olav could see the horrible shape Bob was in. His face had torn pieces of skin hanging from it, on the left half an eye and the other one hanging by a thread. His lips were completely rotten away and his teeth were showing. Between the teeth Olav could see some remnants of an orange. The rest of his body seemed skeletal, his hands were bones and on his feet he wore pink fuffy sandals, boney toes sticking out. "What are you looking at" Bob asked. "You've been staring at me for hours now, what's wrong? Never seen a talking dead man before?"
Bob eyed the oars and the boat began moving again. "Aleeoop! Off we go then."
It took a while before Olav dared to ask anything, he was thinking about how he could be dead. What had happened, where he was going. So he asked the one question that had been troubling him for a while now. "Aren't you cold in that robe?" Bob shook his head. "Do me a favor and slap yourself" he replied. "Why?" Olav asked. "You want to know why I'm not cold? Slap yourself in the face". And so he did, as hard as Olav could he hit himself with a swift stroke of the back of his hand. "Ouch!" he had broken the skin, blood came pouring out. "Oops...uhm, well, nevermind me." Bob said, eyeing away to the water as to hide his guilt. "I don't think you're dead." Olav replied with anger while keeping the wound closed with his hand. "Do I look dead?!" Bob shook his head, "No I guess not, I was wondering why you looked so fat and alive." Olav raised his other hand in the air and made a fist, "Big boned! I'm big boned!" Bob nodded, "Yes well big boned or not we'll have to discuss this matter with the Council of Elders once we get ashore."