"Well isn't this an attractive prospect?" I muttered as, at last, we reached the village of Trynne.
Sarin sighed and looked at the village, her nose wrinkling slightly at the smell rising from the open gutters at the side of the roads. I clamped a hand over my nose as we walked, the stink was absolutely vile. Didn't these people have any concept of hygiene? Or, for that matter, a sense of smell?
The local inn was situated near the edge of the town off a small side track, meaning it was not as close to the foul-smelling gutters as it could have been. However, it was not the most inviting of places. Some would have said it was "authentic" or "had character". I personally thought it looked like a bunch of pigsties stacked on top of one another by a drunk giant. The timbers were scratched and old, the doorframe was lopsided and the edges of the thatched roof were coming apart. Over the door hung a mouldy sign, the inn's name just visible in chipped black lettering.
"The Hairy Boar." Pleasant name for a pleasant place.
Elorie looked critically at the inn for a few moments, probably wondering if this was such a good idea after all. However, at that moment a large woman flung the door open and beckoned madly to us.
"C'min!" she bawled, voice thick with a drunken slurr. "C'min milords an' ladiz an' make yeselves at 'ome!"
Somewhat taken aback, Sarin lead the way through the door, squeezing past the wench's ample busom into the gloom beyond. Elorie followed her, Jared walking doggedly at her heels, and Larn and I bringing up the rear. Blinking as my eyes adjusted to the half-light, I looked around the inn. From the moment I got used to the gloom, I was already contemplating sleeping outside.
The place was absolutely filthy. Mould clung to the walls, dust sat in thick layers over every available surface and even the floor was covered in something sticky and brown. I didn't dare look down for fear I would vomit.
"Perhaps we should have carried on." whispered Elorie, but the wench had already slammed the door behind us and tottered over to where we stood like nervous sheep in the middle of the room.
"Wot can I get ya?" she asked, leaning on one of the dozen or so rickety tables dotted around the room. "Ale? Wine? A spot o' mead for the gen'lemen?"
"We're all fine for now thank you, kind lady." said Jared, eyeing the wench worriedly as she leered at him. Several of her front teeth were missing, and those that remained were stained a disgusting shade of brown. She nodded and wobbled off, knocking into the occasional table as she made her way back to the bar.
"Pick a room upstairs." she called over her shoulder. "Them's all free so far. Reck'n there ought'a be some more people arrivin' tonite, so get one while ye can!"
"O-kay..." I said, hand still clamped over my nose. "Let's go. I bon't think I can stanb another minute bown here."
My companions nodded in agreement and we moved swiftly across the room and up a set of rickety stairs to the landing above. We chose a room close to the stairwell and pulled open the door, eager to escape the stench of the main bar room. However, as Sarin pulled open the door, we were greeted with a sight that nearly sent me reeling backwards in disgust. Feeling sick, I grabbed hold of the banister, eyes swimming.
"Oh no." I groaned. "Please tell me we don't have to sleep in that."