Nash Nighthammer stood in the middle of the street. The small town he was passing through had two inns. He had traveled far this day and his mighty warhammer was starting to get a bit heavy on his shoulders. The sun was fading and he had a rumbling in his stomach. Clouds were gathering and he knew it would rain tonight. He needed a place to sleep for the night but he also had an itch for adventure. Inns were a perfect place to discover new friends, encounter old men with older maps and a flirty barmaid or two.
On the left, the Frothy Mug looked busy and bustling. The stable beside it was so full that some of the horses were outside. Singing could be heard from the open windows and the smell of good beer wafted through the air.
On the right, the Three Bards looked deserted and abandoned. The paint on the sign was new but the stable beside it was as empty as Nash’s stomach. A lonely wisp of smoke came from the chimney and no sounds of merriment came from the windows.
Nash Nighthammer was many things. He was a fearsome warrior. He was a brave hero. To many farmers he was a source of great concern when it came to their daughters. One thing most people didn’t know about Nash was at heart he was as curious as a cat. It wasn’t a hard choice for him at all.
He walked into deserted inn. He expected the place to be dark but lanterns were lit all around the spacious common room. It was also remarkably clean as if someone had spent all day tidying the empty area.
“Hail!” a voice called from behind a bar. A large woman was furiously rubbing away at a stain. The vigor of her actions made her ample chest quake within her bodice. Her faint blonde hair was pinned back behind her head but a wisp had escaped her ponytail and fell across her cheek like a sparkle of sunlight.
“Hail, innkeeper!” Nash said. “I am Nash Nighthammer, and I seek lodgings for the night and I wasn’t sure if the place was closed.”
The large woman stopped her battle with the stain. “The same Nash Nighthammer who was at the battle of Northern Pass?”
“Yes,” Nash said. He found her voice to be soothing and lyrical.
“The same Nash Nighthammer who killed the Snow Beast this year?”
“I brought his head in, yes,” Nash said.
“The same Nash Nighthammer from the song, “Lock Your Daughter Behind a Strong Door?”
“Well, yes,” Nash admitted. The hard warrior’s face turned a deep red.
“Thank the Gods!” the woman said. “My name is Rhian. Me and my two partners run this inn but ever since we opened, we have been plagued with a dreadful monster.”
Nash smiled. A dread monster would make an excellent end to this day. Looking at Rhian’s ample womanhood, he also had a reward in mind that would suit him quite well. He sat at the bar and rested his warhammer. “Tell me more.”
“We bought this inn from an old man,” Rhian said. “He sold it to us for only two gold pieces. At the time, we thought he was just happy to be rid of the place. He left town and we never saw him again.”
“Never buy from an old man who leaves town,” Nash said.
“I know!” Rhian said. “That is what Dylie said! That first night we discovered why he sold it for so cheap. Up from the cellar came a horrible snake. It broke down our cellar door and crawled into guest rooms. It ate a plump merchant, his servant and a whore he had rented for the night. Me and my partners watched in horror as the bloated snake crawled back into the cellar and down a dark hole.”
“That would be bad for business,” Nash said.
“Damn right!” a voice said behind him.
“This is one of my partners,” Rhian said. “Nash Nighthammer, meet Lita, the finest lute player I have ever met.”
Nash turned to face the bard. Lita was tall with long wild blonde hair. Where Rhian was plump from the joys of live, Lita was hard and firm from the toils of adventure. She had the sharp eyes of a woman who has had great adventures and lived to sing about them. Her handshake was firm and Nash had no doubt that the woman had already tried to kill the snake.
“Hail, Lita,” Nash said. He had a sudden image of this woman riding his cock like he was a stallion.
“Hail, Nash,” Lita said. “I hope Rhian made it clear how fierce this snake was. He had black scales as hard as chainmail. Fangs the size of daggers broke my sword in two. I tried to sing a Death Song at it but the cursed heart of the monster was able to resist my magic.”
Nash nodded. “I am sure if it could be killed by song magic, the two of you would be able to slay it.”
A hard slap fell on his back. “This one recognizes talent!” Rhian said.
“Someone should have told me we had a customer!” This came from a woman coming down the stairs. She had short black hair that framed a pixyish face. Her entire body was small and she barely came up to Nash’s chest. She didn’t walk down the stairs as much as she floated. Nash knew at once that she was a dancer of great skill.
“This must be Dylie,” Nash said. “Hail, I am Nash Nighthammer.”
Dylie smiled as she heard his name. “The same Nash Nighthammer who fucked the Giantess of Jakan.”
Nash winced. “I merely soothed her so she wouldn’t harm the farmers in the area.”
Dylie laughed. “I am sure,” she winked.
“Nash has come to help defeat the snake in our cellar,” Rhian said. “We haven’t discussed his payment yet.”
“A warm bed and a hot plate of food will be payment enough,” Nash said. “I am happy to help.”
“Rhian makes the best stew in the land,” Dylie said. “As for the warm bed, you can have your choice of beds.”
Nash wasn’t sure if Dylie was being as a flirty as she sounded with that last bit. Knowing bards though, it would be a sure thing.
“It is a deal,” he said carefully. “I shall eat and then I shall stand vigil in the cellar. First though, I would like to wash. All I need is a warm bucket of water and some soap.”
“I shall warm it up for you now,” Rhian said. “Why don’t one of you show him to his room?”
“I shall,” Dylie said quickly.
“It is your turn to bring in the firewood,” Lita said. “I shall take him to his room.”
The small bard sighed. “You are right,” she said. She turned to Nash. “Did you know that I was so skilled with the flute that I once charmed an entire army of goblins?”
“Really? I think I had heard of that,” Nash said.
“Maybe later I can show you my flute playing,” Dylie said.
Nash nodded. Yes, this bard was definitely flirting. As she danced out of the room, he imagined exactly the kind of flute playing she had in mind.
“Follow me,” Lita said.
Nash pushed the thought of the impish bard aside as he followed Lita up the stairs. The woman had a scar on her shoulder from a knife. The way she carried her hips told him that she had carried a sword for many years. As for her bottom, all he learned from watching it was how nice it would be to grab with both of his hands.
Lita opened the first door beside the stairs. Together they walked into a spacious room with a large bed. A small table was to the side as well as a large chamber pot. It had all the comforts of home.
Nash set his warhammer down and sat on the bed. Lita picked up his warhammer and gave it a test swing. To his surprise, she barely struggled with the weight.
“This is truly a mighty weapon,” Lita said. She set it back down. “It must be exhausting to wield it in battle. How do you not get tired?”
“A lot of practice,” Nash said. “In the heat of battle, one does what one has to.”
Lita nodded. “It is the same in love making, isn’t it? One does what one has to do. Even if it takes hours and hours.”
Nash tried to casually move his arm over his loincloth to hide the rapidly rising cloth.
“That is true as well.”
“Hours and hours,” Lita said. She looked at him with the hunger of a wolf. “I shall leave you to rest before your duties tonight.”
When the door closed, Nash leaned back against the bed. He thought about Lita’s strength and power. He thought about Dylie and her skills at dancing and playing the flute. He thought about Rhian and her abundant beauty.
A knock came from the door. Before he could answer, Rhian was already entering with a large bucket of water. Her face was flushed from carrying the bucket up the stairs. Nash had a feeling he would see that same flush if they were to fuck.
“Here you go,” Rhian said. “I must admit, I thought only bards bathed on a regular basis. Most warriors think of it as unhealthy.”
“I have been instructed on the virtues of bathing by many wise women,” Nash said.
Rhian smirked. “I bet they did.” She looked over his muscular body, his long black hair and his broad shoulders.
“Would you like some assistance bathing?”
“Nay,” Nash said. “I am still learning and I must keep at it so I can learn how to do it properly. I thank you though.”
“Oh well, perhaps it is for the best,” Rhian said. “You haven’t earned your reward yet,” she laughed.
Nash laughed with her but after she left, he wasn’t laughing any more. As a hero of a hundred adventures, he was used to rewards of a carnal nature. He just wasn’t used to having such a bounty to choose from. It was a vexing problem indeed.
“Look on the bright side,” he said to himself. “This fucking snake might kill me and save me the trouble of choosing.”
To be concluded