It’s come to my attention in the recent days that rumors have been circulating about potentially questionable sources reporting on spies in Nirath, and these rumors have caused the immediate closure of all the taverns in Nirath. Not assuming anything, I decided to set out and seek the real story behind the tavern closures in Nirath. What better place to start than an audience with the King of Nirath, Dragor himself? I sent a runner to humbly request an audience with the King at his earliest convenience. I wasn’t disappointed when Dragor arrived.

I could hear the loud laughter he brought with him as he passed through the hall. Almost as soon as I heard the laughter, he was already knocking on the door, and walking briskly into the office. Before I could even greet him, his jovial voice was already filling the room:

“Good evening to you, Mr.Wilshire!” Dragor said with a cheeky smile on his face.

“I wonder if you’ve seen this? Hilarious!” he said laughing, and then he pulled a small tabloid out of his pocket, passing it across my desk.

“29% it claims, might as well tax the good people their first-borns!” Seating himself, Dragor shook his head in amusement, and took a moment to consider his next words.

“Ah, the good people, you tell it to their face, and they don’t believe you. But they will gladly believe something written to them by such suspicious sources.” His eyes hardly touched the tabloid before meeting mine with an inquisitive gaze.

“Now, why in the name of all that is holy, would we close all the taverns across the kingdom? That is just beyond stupidity, even if they were infested by, as they claim, spies. But after all I can understand the desire of fantasy writers, they need something enticing to keep food on their plates.”

The King paused with a deep sigh, “As it is, we did close a certain establishment, which is known for hosting diplomats and important visitors to the capital of the Kingdom, but that is only for a short time. With Nirath expanding and progressing faster than ever, our establishments need to reflect that to the world, and so we are re-branding this establishment, improving it and expanding it, to host more visitors and give them a better experience appropriate to their ranks and stature in our capital city. Not to worry, the ‘Drunken Phoenix’ will open its door once again shortly, and all our honored guests can look forward to it!”

Just as quickly and cheerfully as he entered, Dragor began to stand, and said, “With that being said, I thank you for hosting me, it is always a pleasure to visit your establishment, Mr. Wilshire!”  With that, and without letting me get a word in edgewise, he left my office in true kingly fashion.

Dragor is an old friend of mine, and yet it never ceases to amaze me the way he carries himself, ready to answer any question, and even the next ones, somehow, before they even come off my lips. I knew the tabloid article he referred to was filled with questionable assumptions at best. I had seen the old tavern he mentioned; it was a crowded and confusing establishment, to say the least. I am glad to hear they are improving such a cornerstone for visitors and diplomats alike. Needless to say after listening to him chatter away, I find myself yearning for the Dark Ales from Nirath, and look forward to my next journey there to try the new and improved “Drunken Phoenix” for myself. Spies or not, I am happy to see a place for a community to blossom.

Until next time,

Be Bold, Be Known.
Bradford J. Wilshire