A Friend in Need

Book 1-4: Toblen's Toast

Delivered the evening after the defeat of the Bloodcoats

My friends and neighbors, you know what kind of man I am. You know I don’t use fancy words or care much about fancy clothes. I’m a plain kinda fellow, and my inn here is a plain kinda inn. As long as we got good beer to serve, a hearth to keep us warm, and the fixins for a decent stew, then as far as I’m concerned, things here are just about perfect.

Problem is, we had those things and we were a long way away from perfect. Those red-cloaked ruffians had us all livin’ scared every day, like we were chickens livin’ in a fox den. Always felt like I was just countin’ the days ‘til I said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing or looked at one of ’em in the wrong way, and then I’d end up just like poor old Thel, stabbed dead in the street with my wife and kid lookin’ on. So I kept my head down and said life was good ‘cause I had good beer and a warm hearth and some stew. That’s what we all did, ’cause we were scared.

Tonight, I wanna raise a glass to a group of men who didn’t give in to that fear. These strangers – Lanster, Unther, Kheth, Aldan, and Ryu – they didn’t know us and had no reason to care about what was happenin’ here in Three Stones. But they saw that those Bloodcoats were the wrong kinda people, evil kinda people, and they said ‘No’ to that. When they stood up for our dear Elsa, and the Bloodcoats came after ‘em, I was still lettin’ my fear overcome my reason. I was gonna throw those boys out on the street because I didn’t want the trouble! I sure am glad they’re braver men than me…

To hear the tale, you’d think it was one of the stories Tril tells our little Pip when the fire burns down low. Five brave souls march into a dark cave in the forest, outwit the guardian monster, cut down goblins and bugbears and brigands, and capture the evil wizard Glass Staff in his lair. If they hadn’t marched the Glass Staff through the square in chains, I probably still wouldn’t believe it! But they did. And all of a sudden, knowing that the Bloodcoats are well and truly gone from our town, I feel like the sun just broke through the clouds for the first time.

So raise your cups, my friends and neighbors! Here’s to the boys from Leilon! We salute your bravery and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for reminding us that the perfect life is one where we live free from fear!

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