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    “Depends! How drunk are you?” one of the pair spurted, a disheveled man sporting a beard that had not seen a barbers trim in perhaps ever chuckled out. Rosy cheeked and caught in a never-ending grin, the man landed a hefty slap to his partner’s chest beside him. The slap set off a dusty cloud of dirt from the others cloak, nearly knocking him backwards to his ass. Would the other man not have had his arm set across the firsts shoulder, it would have been inevitable, “My friend here is a bit sauced himself!”

    “Bah, you can never be too stupid drunk to play cards! Right?” Horian yet again slammed a palm to the table loudly in self-agreement, “Aye! Wench get my friend’s ‘ere something to drink!” He boomed off handedly towards the little mouse of a woman lingering by the bar. Nearly jumping out of her skin, the waitress scurried behind the bar, making quite the racket, as bottles and jars clinked in protest to her frantic hands. Passing a belch under the guise of a sigh Horian grinned, “Names Horian, and this here is me own slice of Hell!” He cast an open hand around the tavern, in gesture.

    “Gegash, and this is…uh,” The bearded drunk responded, while pointing a large finger towards his partner. A moment passed as if the overly oiled gears of Gegash’s brain churned to a stop, leaving him dumbfounded and in a constant rut of his last word, “Uh…Rowe?” His statement came out more as a question then anything else, aided by the furrowing of thick brown bushes that where his eyebrows.

    “What?” the smaller cloaked male burped up, bleary eyes looking to Gegash’s finger. A filthy cloth was wrapped about his face, tucked into his wrapped garment. An equally dingy hood that was pulled over his head, only allowed the glassy distant eyes of Rowe to be seen.

    “What?” Gegash returned, completely at a loss as to why Rowe just questioned him. Darius glanced up from the shuffled cards, settled in his hand. These two were three inches from unconscious, which was a good thing. A bit of conscience rose in Darius, wondering exactly how the two men would feel in the morning, poor and stinking of cheap ale, his own pocket fat with their coin. The empathy was quickly squashed down away to a small point, easily forgotten.

    “Sit then. Darius deal the damn cards!” belted Horian’s voice, as he turned himself to settle chapped elbows on the table, hands pressing across his face. The frail waitress meekly approached with a platter topped with several steins of warm ale, distributing them across the table. Darius held up a hand, dismissing the woman’s attempt to set one in front of him. Grabbing a chair and flopping himself into it heavily with a grunt, Gegash gratefully accepting the offered stein, while Rowe wobbled a bit and took to his own chair. In a rather awkward manner and nearly missing the worn seat completely, Rowe spastically grabbed the table’s edge setting everything atop it to rattle violently. Easing into the chair, he seemed to struggle in positioning himself to face the rest of the players, staying at a rather uncomfortable looking slouch.

The End

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