Posted with permission.
The fire crackled in the hearth, the noise circling its way under the laughter and conversation. The sandy-haired man in the corner slammed his mug down on the table, amber lager frothing over the rim.
“I’m telling you,” he said indignantly, “it’s cats!”
“Ain’t no cats in that part of town,” said the burly bearded man sitting across from him.
“No, I promise. They was squalkin and honkin round abouts the infirmary!”
“That’s impossible,” said the healer’s assistant from over her bowl of stew. “We would never let cats in the infirmary. The stench alone would…”
The sandy man slammed his hand on the table. “Believe me or not, it’s what it is! There’s cats in the infirmary”
He tossed a few riln on the table and stumbled from the room, out into the dusty summer evening air. Trudging home, he passed by the infirmary and heard it again. The squawking and honking was unmistakable, He thought about going into the infirmary and having it out, but it was getting late, and he never much liked conflict. And at any rate, he was tired enough to sleep through the racket.
“Damn cats,” he muttered.
“Alright,” said Zeldryn. He grinned over at Rakar, sitting next to him on the couch in their living room. “From the top!”
The two raised their gleaming brass natural trumpets and began to play.
Zeldryn: Welcome to this week’s episode of Rum Mates. You know, we love to have a good time, and we’re so thankful that you spend time with us.
Zeldryn: Today’s episode deals with some tough subject matter. We recommend our younger viewers get a parent or guardian, in case they have any questions. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
The two pause for a moment, smiling beatifically at the viewer.
Rakar: Hey Roomy?
Zeldryn: Yeah buddy?
Rakar: Today I kill nine goats. I smash one so hard, he esploded everywhere. Is goat in walls!
Zeldryn looks at Rakar, glances back at the viewer, and sighs.
The end credits roll.
His gaze fell to the pan sitting upon the window's base. Within it, baked in all of it's sugar-dusted, bluberry-stuffed, walnut-laced, golden-brown glory was, quite possibly, the best damned pie he'd ever fashioned in his life. He'd spent the whole of the morning sorting out suitable berries, preparing the crust, shelling nuts, and repeatedly fighting off the advances of his wayward hunger. But now, it was nearing the inevitable, glorious moment he'd been preparing for. He was going to eat it.
And it was going to be goooooood.
Zeldryn froze. His eyes narrowed, and he spun on his heels. His eyes darted to the bedroom door-- the hallway. Behind the trunk, under the table, outside of the window. All seemed peaceful. Undisturbed. Furrowing his brow, he glanced toward his pie, then toward the bedroom door, still closed, and down the hallway. He'd just.. Check quickly. Very quickly.
With a last thought, he plucked up the pie pan, put it on the table, and scampered down his hallway. Scanning his lounge upon arrival, he assured himself that it had to have been the wind, or some sort of trick of his mind. Or maybe it was his stomach growling. With a last glance behind the bar, and under his couch, he quickly scampered back toward the kitchen.
On the table, there was the pan. But no pie. Zeldryn's blood froze. His tongue dropped out of his mouth and into his gut. He sprinted toward the table-- only to realize that, defying all logic, there was no pie. An absence of pie. Not a crumb. Not a berry. Not a shell of a nut. No sugar, no filling, no nothing. Lifting his brows, the locksmith let out a quiet, but forceful exhalation of breath. He sure didn't get it. But he wasn't about to take this sitting down. He was Zeldryn Havarrian. ZELDRYN. HAVARRIAN. And he was going to eat that damned pie.
Zeldryn felt like his head had been used as an anvil for the better part of a week.
Rakar was seated on the ottoman, shoulders bunched, model ship in hand, concernedly staring at Zeldryn from his chosen perch.
Rakar held up an oblong, dented pan. It seemed more bent, folded strip of iron than anything.
"Yuh. You bake pie." Zeldryn nodded slowly.
"...Uhhuh." Zeldryn mutterd, waving a hand, as if to signal for Rakar to continue.
" I feed pie."
Zeldryn tapped a fingertip to his face, unintentionally smearing a sugary slurry of walnut and blueberry goop on his finger. With a sigh, he pops it into his mouth.
Rakar stares, clearly anticipatory.
Rakar nods, beaming happily.
The two men worked in companionable quiet, their movements measured and methodical. Zeldryn polished the items in the case, turning each statue and dagger over lovingly in his scarred fingers. Rakar took the musty nesting pelts out of the wagon in the basement and left them to hang on a clothesline over the street. Stores of cheese, meat, and fresh produce were unpacked and placed just so. The empty casks were sent rolling through the door and, after a bit of haggling, Rakar returned with one under each arm, whistling to himself. The weapons were shined, the leathers repaired, and the mountain of boxes re-shuffled in order to afford maximum stability.
“Rakar,” called Zeldryn.
The trapdoor lifted and the large shaggy head popped up. “Yuh?”
“It’s time to dust the rafters.”
“Nuh.” The shaggy head shook.
“Oh, come on! I’ve been practicin’! I can totally catch it this time.”
Rakar glowered from under his craggy brow and rumbled into the lounge. He looked from Zeldryn to the rafters above and then back at Zeldryn.
“Trust me,” said Zeldryn, throwing his arms wide. “Everything’s going to be fine!”
The healer’s assistant looked up as the summer sun pouring through the open infirmary door was blocked out by a lopsided shadow. The shadow resolved itself into an enormous red-bearded man, carrying a smaller man in his arms. The smaller man was tossed into an open bed, and the healer’s assistant gasped to see the enormous wound on the man’s scalp, blood dribbling down the man’s face. His shoulder appeared to be out of place as well, as if he had slammed into some hard object at extreme speed.
“Glurrrhg,” said the man in the bed.
“Here,” said the bearded man, dropping several small white objects onto the table next to the bed. “I bring teeth.” He paused, rocking from foot to foot, before hopefully adding “you fix?”
It was a peaceful, sunny day in the Shadgard plains, and the air was heavy with the fragrance of pine and wildflowers. The bison were grazing in the meadow, the birds were singing in the trees, and Zeldryn Havarrian, sparkling in electrum and sapphire, twisted his expression into a concentrated scowl as he faced away from his adversaries.
With a single, rapid exhalation, the locksmith spun on the heels of his chocolate wingtips, splayed his fingers across the handle of his revolver, and in one smoothe fluidic movement, drew, levelled, and fired.
The bison lifted their heads and bolted. The birds took flight and abandoned their nests. The shots echoed through the plains like rolling thunder, and Zeldryn ceased his turn as the chamber clicked empty. His concentration evaporated into a mirthful, satisfied smirk as he gazed upon the carnage, and he sarcastically blew upon the revolver's barrel before turning to his companion.
"See what I mean?" He asked, spinning his pistol with a flourish.
"Yuh." Rakar agreed, bobbing his head politely.
"Was quick." At that, Zeldryn offered a sagely nod.
Before the duo, previously perched upon a small outcropping of rock, were the battered remains of their adversaries. The assassin was split in two, a golden shot caving through his abdomen. The sorcerer's head was missing, having faced a similar fate. The canim managed to keep itself mostly in tact, but the shot was wedged into it's oaken neck. Aranas, of course, took the remaining barrage of three, leaving it a splintered, ravaged mess of willow shrapnel.
"I try?" Rakar queried.
For such a large man, he looked awfully sheepish about it-- all huddled up in the shoulders and grinning like he'd just been caught with his hands in the cookie jar. With a face like that, how could anyone say no? Cracking a grin of his own, Zeldryn spun his revolver into the opposite hand and cleanly deposited it in his holster. Rakar frowned.
"Nono!" Zeldryn quickly interrupted. Then, with a dip of his hand under his right shoulder, he pulled a second pistol-- bronze barrel gleaming in the light of the sun.
"This one's already loaded. Easier for you to try!" At that, he twisted it around in his fingers, offering it up to his sizeable companion handle-first.
At that, Rakar beamed. Clutching the offered weapon eagerly, the first thing he inspected was the barrel-- with which he squinted an eye and peered down it's length from the muzzle. Zeldryn was quick to reach forward, spin it around in his hands, and point it down-range toward what remained of the figurines.
"It's easy," The locksmith began, intentionally fighting with the man's titanicly powerful grip in an attempt to line his fingers more properly.
"Point-- squeeze the trigger-- boom."
"Stooop!" Rakr retorted, pulling back and waving the gun rapidly.
"What? I'm just trying to--"
Zeldryn's eyes narrowed in understanding, then. Here was Rakar-- big, strong, mighty Rakar-- known for bein' the man when it comes to fightin', not knowin' how to use a weapon. If nothing else, he had no intentions of putting him on the spot. Really-- he was just happy that someone was curious enough to give the thing a whirl. Shadgardians and flintlocks went together like flapjacks and maple syrup.
"Gotcha'. Gotcha'. In that case--" Zeldryn began, casually removing his powderhorn and pulling a handful of golden shot from the pockets of his trousers.
"When ya' need to reload it-- ya' pour the powder in here," He continued, showing Rakar the proper technique.
"And then put the shots in behind it, here." He pulled out his unloaded pistol, loading it and showing his companion step by step, just to be sure. Rakar nodded slowly at each step, appearing visibly flustered.
"I'm stoppin'! I'm stoppin'!" Zeldryn shouted in reply, chuckling mirthfully as he holstered his now reloaded revolver.
"Okay, look. I'm goin' to have a few drinks at the Hanged Man. Ya' have yer' fun, alright? I won't bother none. I get it. It's yer' first time and all that. Ya' have yer' pendant if ya' need me, if ya' have any questions, or anythin'. Ask, i'll come runnin'. Sound fine?"
"Yuh!" Rakar agreed, bobbing his head enthusiastically. He squinted down at the pistol, still shining in his hands.
With that, Zeldryn snickered, nodded, and strode back toward the canyon, venom on his mind.
Mr. William Finn was in the process of reassembling a militiaman's musket as the door to his shop burst open with a thunderous bang. He let out a yelp, dropped the rifle's stock, grasped at his trusty flintlock below his counter, and paused as his gaze refocused on the intruder.
He was a big, hulking man, sweating bullets, clad only in a loincloth, a pair of white boots, and a massive wolf-fur mantle wrapped about his muscular shoulders. Despite his size, and in pointed contrast to the manner in which he opened the door-- the man appeared visibly terrified. Having only paused to glance frantically about the inside of the shop, the loincloth-clad intruder bolted up to the counter, slapped down a misshapen mess of nacir and bronze, and stared deeply into Finn's eyes-- his own full of unfiltered, desperate pleading.
"Uuuh... How may I--" Finn began.
"Fix!" The interloper interrupted hastily. His voice-- much in contrast to his imposing appearance-- was child-like. Desperate. Horrified, even.
"I don't und--"
"PLEASE!" The man begged, waving his hands down at the mass of misshapen bronze.
Upon closer inspection-- it appeared, at least, to be some sort of revolver. The barrel was bent near completely inward to face against the chamber, and the chamber itself was battered and jammed-- that said nothing of the smaller parts on the inside. Without attempting to do such, Mr. Finn let out a low, appreciative whistle. That wasn't the sort of damage one saw every day.
"Please?! Was accident!"
"I'm.. Uh.. i'm not sure I can--" Finn began
"PLEASE!" The man repeated. His eyes were big, and glassy, and tears were brimming at their edges. Finn was stunned-- he'd never seen anything like it in his life. This man had clearly had some love for this piece, at least. So, against his better judgement, he gave it a closer appraisal. As he reached for his tools, he tilted his wary gaze up to meet the intruder's once again as he worked.
"So what exactly.... Uh. What kinda' accident does all this, now?" At that, the big man blushed as red as a tomato.
The forest was still. The wind didn't rustle a single blade of grass. The clouds were spiraling in the sky, and Rakar was perched in the shadow of a massive pine, staring pointedly at a woodpecker as it repeatedly jabbed at the bark of the conifers.
Rakar spun to confront the sound, only to see a bulky, fifteen point stag munching on an ember berry bush. He grinned, reached for his glaive, and prepared to let out a mighty shout-- then hesitated as he remembered.
"Just point, and squeeze the trigger." Zeldryn drawled happily.
With the speed of a charging bison, Rakar pulled the revolver free of it's holster on his belt, snapping it's strap and sending the holster fluttering noisily to the ground. The stag near-instantaneously picked it's head up from the bush, turned toward the sound, and it's eyes pointedly met those of Rakar.
"I see you." It's eyes somberly stated.
At that, Rakar flared his nostrils. In his panic, he squeezed-- but nothing happened. He squeezed again-- Where was the bang? Why did he hear cracking? He squeezed the handle over and over, and the stag, slowly peeking through the shadows, stared at him with apathetic indifference.
"You're not sneaky at all. Even goat is sneakier than you are, stupid Rakar. You're dumb." It's eyes seemed to say.
At that, his blood boiled. Without a second thought, in his panic and haste to prove the deer wrong, he let out a blood-piercing roar. The stag, in it's surprise, moved to bolt, but slipped on it's hooves, planting it's rear firmly in the dirt. As it stumbled, Rakar, driven purely by instinct and a lust to prove himself mighty, pumped his arm backward, and threw the pistol forward with all of his rage-born strength.
"So," Rakar said as he finished his tale, eyes frantic.
I pray Aphraen, my soul to keep,
And should I die before I wake,
Then Verungnr best move his tentacles over, cuz I’ll show ‘im what revenge looks like.”
Zeldryn was curled up as snug as a bug in a rug. Assuming that bug was a tense, stressed, drunken mess of a man, and rug was a large cozy bed with, at last count, eleven weapons hidden within its heaped pillows. Zeldryn took one last swig from his mug – water, not ale, since he was getting older you know – and tapped the handle of his favorite flintlock, tucked away under his pillow. It had been a good day, and now it was time for Zeldryn Havarrian, terror of the open road, inventor of the Shadgard Shuffle, to go night-night. He rolled over to blow out the candle.
The candle, it seemed, had different plans. Zeldryn’s eyes gaped as the flame leaped a full foot higher, the edges of the flame flashing an angry brutal crimson.
Zeldryn flinched, his mind racing. Rogue elemancers? Gas pocket from the nearby mine? One of those damned Utasa toys?
It hit like an uppercut. His eyes watered. He hacked and coughed. His face streamed, his underarms broke out in a flop sweat, and he genuinely, earnestly, profoundly wondered whether he was being killed.
He rolled off the side of the bed, catching himself with his face – attaboy, old friend – and crawled his way to the trapdoor. He knocked weakly, calling “Buddy, are you in there?”
There was no answer. Panicking, Zeldryn wrestled the trapdoor open, falling half-through as he did. He hung looking down at the basement, his bare torso cold against the ladder.
In the middle of the nest of furs in the wagon, laid Rakar. The huge man was curled up in knees to chest, rocking softly.
“Rakar, are you alright?”
And, like an avalanche dampened by the falling snow, like the roar of the memory of a long-feared beast, Zeldryn’s ears told him that his roommate was most definitely not alright. And immediately after, his nose seconded and caried the motion.
“Oy, whatchya playing at,” he wheezed down at the man.
“Didn’t do nuffin,” the mountain of furs called back, his voice whisper-weak.
Zeldryn’s blood began to boil. “We had a deal,” he yelled, spittle dripping down to the planks below. “You could live here, if you didn’t…”
“It isn’t Rakar’s fault,” the man yelled back, his baritone far louder.
“Well, what did you eat,” Zeldryn howled back. “So I don’t join you!”
Rakar muttered something, and Zeldryn cocked his head. In doing so, Zeldryn lost his grip on the edge of the trapdoor and, limbs flailing, dropped to land next to the wagon. He shook his head, spat blood, thanked his old friend the face, and hissed “what did you eat, Rakar, you have to tell me.”
“Everything,” Rakar wheezed.
“You… you ate everything in the house?” Rakar glared and shook his ponderous head. “Then wha-“
“You stop,” Rakar roared, “treating Rakar like animal. I cook. I clean. I hunt. And when I need make waste, I go to Corvus mote, like gentleman.”
“Then,” Zeldryn intoned, “what did you eat?”
“Is your fault,” Rakar said grumpily, heaving himself from the wagon. “I tell you, no buy, no keep, need go away, but you, had to be smartest shiny man, had to know best.”
Zeldryn pushed himself to his feet and padded after Rakar. They climbed up the ladder, Zeldryn praying to every God the whole while, and emerged into the kitchen. Zeldryn glanced around to see that one of the frying pans had been obviously used recently, as it sat, half-dented, in the clean dishes pile.
“I won’t be mad,” he said, trotting at Rakar’s heels. “Just tell me.”
Rakar stumped out the door, wincing with every step. Zeldryn grabbed a silk-lined cloak and wrapped it around his slender frame, following his friend out into the Shadgard night. “Just,” he wheezed, trying to catch up, “tell me what happened.”
Rakar turned fiercely to face him, his hulking frame backlit by the lamps outside the stable. “Goat,” he snarled.
Even the horses stopped their worrying within. Rakar clenched for a moment, and Zeldryn clearly heard two large forms drop within the gated paddock.
“Roomy kept goat meat in house. I said no, but you kept. I try help,” this punctuated with a fierce finger jab, “help protect Roomy from Goat. So Rakar did the mighty thing.”
Zeldryn’s jaw hit his collar bones. “Buddy,” he whispered, “I just bought 40 flanks of goat. I… was going to bring them to the bond fire this weekend.”
Rakar’s belly gurgled.
“You… ate…… ten goats?”
“What are you going to do now.”
Rakar huffed, turned, and began to run, his long legs eating the earth. Zeldryn’s nose made him intimately aware that directly following at this point was less desirable than a Harbinger at a hoedown, so he threw himself up the ladder to the canyon wall and ran through the tunnel, trying not to jostle the militiamen at their post. Looking down, he saw Rakar loping through the canyon.
“Where are you going,” Zeldryn called, his voice echoing long against the red rock.
“To corvus,” Rakar called back, “like gentleman.”
I hope this letter finds you in the best of health. As I have discussed with you on previous occasions, I have been planning for some time to take a recess from my studies in order to focus on my personal and mental health. I do plan to return at some point, but for now I set my sights out west. Perhaps Nelra could make use of a learned mind and a willing set of hands.
I have left many of my belongings in my adopted home of Shadgard. They are in the care of Master Zeldryn Havarrian, a local with a demonstrated ability to collect, and protect, rare artifacts. I will bring my books with me on my journey, both in order to learn and in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of those who would make mischief or worse. Master Havarrian has promised to keep my belongings with the utmost care. I’m sure everything will be fine.
Please pass my best regards to the rest of the staff, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
* * * * *
The sandy-haired man finished his dipper of water, letting part of it dribble down his chin. The summer’s heat had been fierce, and the combination of sweat and grime that coated his body put him in powerful mind of a trip to the bathhouse. It was Lordsday, and he was eager to get to the Hearth and Home for the usual night of cards and half-priced juniper cider. Not his favorite mind – he much preferred a dark ale – but cheap is cheap, and if he was ever going to afford to move to a nicer part of town, he had to pinch the riln.
As he neared his home, pickaxe thrown over one shoulder, he spotted a large crowd of folk around the neighbor’s home. Gods, he thought to himself, what are those idiots doing now? Between the parties, the odd folk coming and going, and the occasional smell, he really couldn’t move out fast enough. The crowd was growing though, and he spotted several constables huddled the outskirts, whispering feverishly.
“What’s the matter,” he asked as he trotted up.
Please don’t let it be too bad.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen,” howled a stocky fellow wearing a pinched pink fedora. “That one fathead’s really asking for it now!”
The sandy-haired man stood on tip-toe to see over the group.
“Oooooh, mountain father’s bathwater,” he whispered.
The tall bearded man stood in front of the open door to the house on the corner, roaring with laughter. His glittering crown was askew, and he was naked from the waste up, displaying rippling muscles and tattoos. In his enormous hands was a long staff of some light brown wood. And coming out of that staff was a long tinge of deep orange fire.
“Yuh,” called the tall man, “I make fire! Is boomstick!”
The boomstick kicked and another tongue of fire flared off into the late afternoon sky.
“Ooooo,” said the man in the pink fedora, “aaaaah.”
The healer’s assistant dropped her head into her hands.
“Sir,” called a constable. “Put down the elemental staff.”
“Bwuh,” asked the bearded man, , guffawing as he shot another blast of fire skyward.
“You are holding an elemental staff,” called the constable. “You are scaring all of these people. By the power vested in me by the t-“
“You want vest,” called the man. “I make vest. Is good vest. No goat.”
The sandy-haired man saw a glimmer of sapphire slinking along the side of the house on the corner.
“We have been patient,” called the constable, “with all of your antics. The dead bison in the commons…”
“Gift for Markum!”
“The time you won a bar fight by using the actual bar…”
“I am mighty, and I pay Eldridge back!”
“You no mention bath day!” The boomstick kicked in the man’s hands, and a blast of fire the size of a mule blasted off into the air.
“How can I not mention bath day? Dyrmundur is still having nightmares.”
“I said no mention!”
“It took five hydromancers to get you clean.”
“Was trick! Said was cookies. Cookie lie!”
“Point is, as soon as Sheriff Cotton tracks down Arnsteinn, they’re going to put out a warrant for your arrest. Unless you drop the elemental staff, now!”
“Never change,” called the man in the fedora. “Fight the power, fathead!”
A short scuffle ended with the stout man being dragged away by two constables. “Remember my name! Sing my songs! Tell Flapjacks Daddy’s comin back!”
The bearded man stood deep in thought, idly blasting small tongues of flame.
There was a sudden *thud* and the man dropped to a boneless heap, the alder staff rolling to one side. Behind him, striking what the sandy-haired man knew to be an intentional pose, was the owner of the house on the corner.
The gathered watchers applauded. The slender man beamed and preened, blowing kisses and bowing exaggeratedly. The sun glittered on his electrum-encased fingers and off his white teeth.
“We warned you about this,” called someone in the crowd. “You bring in savages, someone’s going to get hurt.”
The man bent down and retrieved the staff. “Anyone what got damage, you come and I’ll pay. Including o’ course, a sizeable donation to the town.”
“You can’t just buy your way out of this,” called the sandy-haired man. “Y’all’ve been causing unrest in this town for years. I still swear I saw you get a wagon through your door.”
“And I,” called the sapphire-bedecked man “think you aughta get your eyes checked.”
“It’s enough,” added the Constable, “for this town to deal with the horrors on the open road, but putting folk at threat in their own city is too much.”
“Bath day only happened once. Now I tell him I saw a big boar whenever I know it’s about to rain.”
“See it doesn’t happen again,” said the Constable, as the group dissipated.
“We,” muttered Zeldryn, heaving Rakar over his shoulder and nudging the fire staff into his house, “are going to have a lot of fun with this. I wonder how it mixes with gunpowder.”
* * * * *
Good day, Student,
I am glad to hear that you have finally taken the break that you so deserve. We all must realize the needs of our bodies and mind.
Thank you also for letting me know about the disposition of your equipment. I have, unfortunately, received an alarming missive from Shadgard. Please report to my office upon your return to the university for a conversation .
*Cartoon drawings appear, showing a variety of scenes in bold, colorful strokes. Zeldryn preens, flashing a rude hand gesture with an outlandishly large jewel on his finger. Rakar runs from an enormous goat, its eyes glowing crimson. The Healer’s assistant franticly flips through a book. Text appears underneath the drawings.*
MURKY’S RUM: OUR SECRET INGREDIENT IS LOVE. HOT, SALTY, ARTERIAL LOVE.
THE HAIBAN BENCH RESTORATION SOCIETY: IT HELD YOU UP, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.
*The cartoon images continue to scroll past. Rakar spins Zeldryn around on his shoulders while Zeldryn unloads a gleaming revolver at a mass of enemies. The demon goat runs the other way, being chased by a laughing Rakar. The sandy-haired man cries into his beer. The text continues.*
CARROW’S PREVIOUSLY OWNED GOODS: PLEASE STOP SELLING ME SOCKS, I HATE THEM AND THEY SMELL.
SHADGARD SECURITY SERVICES: WILL WHOEVER VANDALIZED THE BAKERY PLEASE REPORT TO THE OFFICE IN THE SOUTH SIDE OF TOWN? WE ARE SO TAKEN WITH YOUR ARTWORK THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU A PRIZE.
*The images show Zeldryn perched on a teetering mountain of boxes. A shirtless Rakar lies curled up in a nest of furs in a wagon. A Shadgardi Sheriff tips his hat.*
PUNCHY’S PUNCHING CLUB: BETTER TO DUST YOUR KNUCKLES THAN TO KNUCKLE YOUR DUST.
TIVNON’S GENERAL STORE: WOW, GOLLY JEE, I SHOULD REALLY GET BETTER LOCKS. MY OH MY, THAT OLD LEWS REALLY IS A GOOD LOOKING FELLOW. HE’S NOT EVEN THAT OLD AT ALL – GOLLY WILLICKERS HE’S SPRY.
*The cartoon images show the house on the corner, a roaring hearth, a keg of ale, and resolve on Zeldryn and Rakar, arm and arm, grinning widely at the viewer.*