This is the 1st sneak peek into the story world that we are exploring . We hope you enjoy and please leave feedback in comments.
The morning was chill and bright. Syd woke up before the scruffy rooster had crowed his wake up call in the early morning light. But that was not untypical. Syd was a light sleeper and was happy to be an early bird.
He grabbed his discarded clothes from the night before, rough but practical, and headed downstairs to the main bar. The smell of old ale and sweat hit him like a hammer as he entered. Most would say it was unpleasant but he has grown used to it now, almost enjoying it as it felt familiar.
Cordelia was already behind the counter heating the oven to bake some pies for the early customers. Sometimes Syd wondered if his sister slept at all. They had been running the bar together since their parents had died a few years ago and it had been far more difficult than he had ever anticipated. He had to make sure they had enough sales and provisions to keep the business afloat. At times, it felt like too much responsibility.
However this didn’t seem to faze Cordelia, as she always seemed to hum and sing to herself while she worked. She had an air about her that brought calm to all and she was good with people. Even though the bar was known as a rough place at times with less than credible folk, everyone seemed to warm to Cordelia and any fights that broke out soon stopped when she was present.
This place had been the refuge for all races. The kingdom of Salaboa was a mix of everything – from common humans to ancient clans of elves and dwarfs. However it was also home to some more unusual races, like ogres, ratmen and even the odd werefolk. But in this world everyone was supposed to stay with their own kind, but Syd’s parents had wanted the bar to be a safe haven where everyone was treated equally. Here, in the edge of their village, folks came from all the corners of the kingdom to make business, meet secret lovers and talk whatever matters they felt like. Syd kept his mouth shut to all things he overheard in the bar and poured ale with a crooked smile on his freckled face as he continued his parents’ beloved work.
A heavy set of footsteps outside broke his thoughts and made him smile. There was only one that could make such noise, so Syd went out to greet him. The sunlight was soon blocked out by the immense shape of the creature before him. Syd had to crane his neck to look upon the familiar face of their bouncer, an ogre with a wide, almost unnerving smile. To most Grond was a terrifying creature but was actually quite soft amongst his kind, smaller than most ogres too. Grond stepped past Syd, clapping him on the back and nearly knocking him flat as he made his way inside.
Syd picked himself up and saw Grond take his usual perch at the bar licking his lips. Cordelia was almost done with the baking and the first set of pies were already in the oven. The warm smell of onions and beef started to already hide the vapid characteristic odor of the bar. Grond proceeded to grab a sturdy stool at the counter and Syd knew Cordelia would give him a taste from the first set out of the oven. The two never had a chat. Grond hardly spoke at all and Cordelia was a silent type too, but somehow those two were always in sync and seemed to understand each other from a single gesture. Syd felt comfortable around them, safe. This was his family now.
Syd closed his eyes and absorbed the sounds in the distance, the village starting to wake up, the seagulls squawking as they flew over the shore in search for food and the clanging from old Sven the blacksmith as he crafted the finest weapons and armour. A rusty creak from above drew Syd’s attention. An old tatty, weatherworn sign dangled and moved in the slight breeze, an image of a tentacle in flames proudly stood out along with some chipped text. Syd chuckled to himself thinking they always needed to get that sign fixed, maybe he would visit Sven to get him to have a look at it. With this in mind he headed towards the forge with a spring in his step, leaving the door behind him unlocked. The Burning Squid would soon be open for business.