"Ah, 'tis a story you'd be wantin' then? Hehehe, I'd be tempted ta tell ya how we got Nulgir there free of a lynch mob, or how we proved that a Norscan head is harder than an Ogre's blow. But I think I'd rather draw a discreet veil o'er them things. So instead, I'll tell you o' the ale that never was."
He took a small sip of his wine, to follow the meat he'd already put away.
"It was a simple enough thing at first. I'd been asked to go and pick up a keg o' Zhufbar Ale for the guy that ran the inn I was staying at, back at that time. Didn't sound like a problem so I said yes and went to pick it up. Now, what he'd neglected ta tell me was that there was only one keg of ale, and two innkeepers both wantin' it. Now, when I got therte, there was the halfling what was sellin' it talkin' to this big guy. And I mean big. A good hand taller than me, and at least a hand wider too. An just as I got there, the halfling was talkin' like this was his last keg o' Zhufbar ale, and there was another customer wantin' it too.
Sounded like a good time ta introduce meself, so I did, and mentioned that I'd been sent to pick up a keg o' Zhufbar ale. Well this big guy, name o' Knorr, he turns around and he was dam..., ah, darn near chewin' his moustache. Easterner for sure, but he looked solid. Now, he looked me up and down an' said somethin' along the lines of 'go away pipsqueak'. I'll not repeat the exact lines, not in polite company."
Thorvald nods to the th'lady and the Theologian, and takes another sip.
"Well, as you can guess, me an' Knorr we starts circlin' each other, and next thing you know we's poundin' on each other, and when that didn't have much effect, we started tryin' ta throw each other. We stopped for a breather, I pulled off me shirt an' so did he, and there we was, topless, facin' off. Now he managed ta rush me, and had to move fast or he woulda slammed me ta th' ground. By now there was a crowd o' people watching, an' from what i heard they was drinkin' and placin' bets on who was gonna win. I was faster, he was stronger. I managed to get a good one on 'im when I used his breeches as leverage, and picked him up and slammed him down. Thought I'd won then, with him lyin' on his back after hittin' with a sound like a giant hammering, aye, an' the dam.. uh, darn ground shook too. Next thing ya know, he's up again, and goes and tries the same thing ta me. And did it too, more's the pity. Next thing I knew I was shakin' me head, and opened me eyes just in time to see him comin' down in a big splash kinda move. Don't mind tellin' ya, I wouldn't want to be a pool o' water if that guy was gonna try and make a big splash! Rolled aside just in time, and he darn near ruptures himself hittin' the wood floor. We was both a bit winded after that one, an' it was about that time we both realized that we was surrounded by a crowd. I nodded ta him, he nodded ta me, and we looked around. Musta been a good twenny people or so there, all of 'em with mugs or drinkin' horns in their hands. Well, we looked at each other, an' decided that we weren't there as unpaid ennertainment, like, so we decided ta split the keg."
He takes another sip of wine, and the goblet is empty.
"That's when we realize that the halfling ain't there no more. So we goes ta the keg, an' realize that the runty li'l bug... um, the little runt has gone and sold all the Zhufbar ale ta the crowd what's been watchin' us, so there's none left for Knorr or me. An' worse, he'd gone and taken bets on which one of us would win the fight, then decamped while they was all watching us, taking the coin with him."
"An' that's the story o' the ale that never was."