I found this writing prompt on Reddit, and just barely refrained from reading what others had created. I wanted to get mine out before I read anything else so it wouldn’t influence me. The prompt is: After fulfilling your lifelong dream of opening your own bar, you notice that the clientele are very… quest-oriented. Considering the direction the originator is clearly steering the writer in though, I expect all the stories to be in a similar vein. Especially if the writer is also a gamer.
On that note, my story contains many known references and tropes that gamers will understand and relate to (especially RPGs like Skyrim and WoW), but everyone else might be a bit confused as to the adventurers reasons for doing what they are doing.
I hope it is at least entertaining for everyone!
Writing Prompt: After fulfilling your lifelong dream of opening your own bar, you notice that the clientele are very… quest-oriented.
“Ah, would you look at that?” Stepping back, I stopped buffing the oak slab that made up the countertop of the bar and admired the shiny smoothness. This was the life. Simple. No complications.
Rodrick, the boy I had hired to clean and do odds and ends, stopped sweeping the already spotless floor to admire the shine. “Aye mistress. Looks great!”
Just then the door to my brand new inn opened and in stepped… oh no.
I groaned to myself. Adventurers were usually easy to spot. This one was obviously a new one. His armor was horribly mismatched with a leather helm, a studded chest piece, iron gauntlets, and fur… yes, fur boots. Strangely the weapon, a two-handed sword – possibly enchanted if the slightly blue sheen was real – poking out from over one shoulder, looked pretty decent.
He was extremely nosy as adventurers tended to be. He rudely rummaged in some barrels that were, thankfully, empty at the moment. However, when he started rifling through a side table under the front window, I cleared my throat loudly. “Hello there. Care for a drink?”
Crossing over to the bar, the man placed both of his gauntleted hands on my newly shined bar and immediately scuffed it. “Show me your wares.”
Rude. Seeing as he was a paying customer though, I handed him a menu and decided to be nice. “Thirsty? Hungry? Or both?”
“Ugh! No armor?”
“Oh, um… no… this is just a tavern.”
“No… still just a tavern.”
“No magical items?”
“Look, what part of this is just a tavern don’t you understand?”
The adventurer sighed, clearly disappointed. “Fine. Show me what you do have.”
Ignoring his poor attitude, I proudly showed him my stock of local ales, a few meads, and my collection of imported wine. Just in case he was hungry I also showed him a sampler of the various meats and cheeses I kept stocked for hungry patrons.
Before buying a single thing, he threw a handful of wheat that looked like he had picked quite some time ago on to the counter. “What will you give me for that?”
I looked at the wilted wheat. Why would I want that? I don’t make the brews here. However, I knew I could grind it into a pitiful handful of flour for some bread. And besides, though rude beyond belief, the guy could obviously use the money. “I’ll give you one septim.”
He frowned but palmed the gold piece I laid down. He then bought – and immediately drank – all the wine I had in stock. Slumping drunkenly on one of the stools, he swayed instantly with obvious dizziness.
“So… why do ya call thish place tha Icy Sphear… er Spear?”
“Oh, well that’s actually a really interesting story… and… you’re not listening at all, are you?” The fool was actually trying to creep behind the counter to rummage through my things again! And not doing a very good job of it as drunk as he was.
An adventure and a sneak thief. I decided a practical lesson would convey my tale better than small talk.
I’d been doing the spell for so long that I barely had to think about it anymore. Using a small amount of concentration, I raised my hands, enjoying the look of delight on Rodrick’s face when they glowed blue and cackled with energy. Flicking my right hand, I shot a very large spear of ice at the would-be adventure who now had his filthy hands in my strongbox.
The spear slammed into his shoulder and immediately iced over his whole arm freezing it solid. The sound of crackling ice creeping across his chest brought back fond memories of my own adventuring days. Falling back with a harsh cry, the man stumbled towards the front door while Rodrick swiped at him with his broom. The magical shard of ice stuck out comically from his shoulder as he made his drunken escape.
Laughing, I bent to pick up some items that had fallen off the counter. Rodrick helped pick up a couple empty bottles. “Will he be okay?”
“Aye. The spell wears off after a couple minutes, but he may be a bit lethargic for a while a longer.”
I had just finished repolishing the counter, when another adventurer walked in. I sighed. Most of these morons wouldn’t know steel from iron, and came into my tavern wanting anything but food and drink! At least this one was already wearing a full suit of matching armor.
Clanking up to the bar, he placed two septims on the bar. “Is there any work to be found around here?”
“There’s a rumor of a bandit hideout to the west that might need clearing out. I would talk to the Jarl first.”
“Show me your wares.” So much for small talk. I showed him the same selection I had shown the adventurer before him, minus the wine.
He bought me out of my best mead, and same as the idiot before him, proceeded to down them all right there. “Any otter roo… roomers?”
I looked at him doubtfully, but answered anyway. “There’s talk of a dragon harassing travelers on North Wind Peak. But you should talk to the Jarl first.”
Swaying precariously on his stool, he reached out to right himself with one hand, missed completely and swiped uselessly a couple times at thin air. “Any otha roomas?”
“Um… no. As I said, you should seek out the Jarl first.”
“Alr… Alri… okay then.” And then drunk off his ass, he bought every wheel of cheese I had in stock. Why anyone would need twelve wheels of cheese is beyond me, but he shoved them all into a bag of holding at his waist and then stumbled out the door.
I shook my head in bemusement and turned to an equally amused Rodrick. “Fancy growing up to be an adventurer Rod?”
“No ma’am, er, mistress. That lot is full of themselves. I fancy owning my own inn one day.”
I nodded and briefly let a bit of magic glaze my hands.
Just then the doors swung open and ruddy dwarf in full plate armor strutted in. “Hey! Anyone here looking to brawl?”
Adventuring was all well and good, but sometimes the simple life was more fulfilling… and just as interesting.
I hope you enjoyed this short story! Please feel free to leave comments below. I do welcome constructive criticism in the comments, but please give me more than, “I didn’t like it”. Don’t be afraid to tell me it sucked, but tell me why you think it sucked! And, of course, if you did like it, I would like to know that too.
And if you liked this writing prompt, and feel inspired to write a short story of your own, please feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to highlight your story in a post of it’s own!
Please don’t mind the mess.
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