Repost: A Dwarf Named Clunk
(( Anna asked about personal NPCs. Clunk was one that a few different people I hung out with talked about and wrote about, and once in a while he makes an appearance in offhand chatter. If you hear Ovistine talking about some godawful brew that shouldn't really exist, like blindweed-and-spinach lager, you can rest assured that it comes from Clunk Brewery… ))
A Dwarf Named Clunk
The thing about Ovistine's grandmum is that she means well. Ovistine keeps that in mind while twisting a napkin in her hands under the table.
"…an' I thought, well! Wha' this town really needs is a brewery!"
"It didn't have one before?" Ovistine asks, puzzled.
"Oh, it had eight! Bu' none o' them made ginger-pressed beer."
"Or–" and the dwarf Ovistine is, due to all lack of reason and a desire not to hurt her grandmum's feelings, out on a blind date with, leans forward, "chocolate stout."
Uther's beard, the man's insane. "That's… very nice," Ovistine says weakly.
"Aye, 'tis! Th' ladies love th' stuff. Cannae keep 'em off me when I'm givin' it out f'r free."
Ovistine shudders and tries to pretend it's a shiver, instead — Kharanos is cold this time of year — but that's a mistake. Clunk raises an eyebrow and leans forward even further. "Y'cold, lass?"
"Er, no! No!" Ovistine wishes briefly she'd studied the holy arts a little more at the Cathedral; she could 'warm herself up' by calling down a bolt of holy fire, and if it just happened to land on Clunk, and… no, no, horrible idea. Then he'd remember she's a priest and he'd call out for healing, and that's just asking for trouble. "So, um… chocolate stout and ginger-pressed beer. What else does your brewery make?"
Clunk strokes a hand over his beard — Ovistine tries not to notice the wake of hopping fleas that are disturbed by the motion — and gives her a sly look. "Well, tell ye wha', lassie. Seems as I could gi' ye a tour o' th' place. Right nae, if ye're done eatin'."
Ovistine looks at her barely-touched cold leg of mutton. She's seen too many sheep that really turned out to be trolls to be all that interested in such foods, but of course Clunk had ordered for her ("it'll keep meat on yer bones, lass! Or other places!") and after watching the fleas in Clunk's beard for a few seconds, she hadn't been very hungry anyway. "I, ah…"
Clunk puts a hand on her arm, and Ovistine represses the urge to smite him. "It's not a long ride frae here," he whispers. "Bet tha' ram o' yers could get us there in no time flat."
The buzzbox in Ovistine's small pouch starts chirping, and Ovistine jumps half a foot. She leans over and digs through her pack, grabbing up the buzzbox gratefully and holding it to her ear.
"What's that? Oh, my! No!" She glances at Clunk. "One of the buildings in Stratholme's caught fire again, and undead are just spewing out of it. I really have to go." She's already extricating herself from the table, digging further into her pouch for a few silvers, which she tosses onto the table before hurrying towards the door.
Pack stashed at her waist again, Ovistine whistles for Wilhelm, who comes up with a rumbling bleat. Ovistine tips the stable master and hoists herself up on Wilhelm's back, patting him on the side of the neck. "Mutton, he orders!" she whispers. "Dinna fash, Wilhelm, I'd never eat you."
"Wait!" Clunk's hurrying out of the inn, nearly tumbling down the stairs in his haste to get to her. "When c'n I see y' again, lass?"
"Um… well…" Ovistine holds Wilhelm's reins hard as he rears up; he snorts at Clunk, and Clunk backs off a step. "Well, if the Horde ever invade Kharanos…" That's not quite right; even Clunk probably knows that a lass who's taken this long to reach Private in the army doesn't respond to every incidence of Horde attack. "That is, if you're ever stranded in Caer Darrow…" Agh! Don't give him ideas! "Tell you what: call me da and he'll tell you how to get in touch with me." And I'll warn Da to threaten his beard if he ever calls me again.
Clunk yells something as Ovistine takes off, but thankfully Ovistine's almost too far away to hear him. There might have been something about sending a cask of beef-fat lager to her da when he comes calling, but she hopes not.
Then again. If Geoffar Lighthammer gets a cask of beef-fat lager, he'll know full well what to do to Clunk without Ovistine having to tell him. (She can picture it so easily: "Ye mixed wha' wi' which?! Wha' are ye, a trogg or sommat?! Ge' out o' here, an' take yer demon-spawned brew wi' ye! No daughter o' mine's going t' date a dwarf wi' such bad taste in spirits! An' get some flea powder f'r yer beard, when ye go!")
The buzzbox chirps again. "Did someone say something about undead in Stratholme?" asks one voice, while another answers it with, "Aren't there always undead in Stratholme these days?"
"Sorry about that," Ovistine says into the buzzbox. "Needed an excuse in a hurry, and it was the first one I could lay hands on!"
"What's next," someone asks, "'oh, no, there are trolls in Zul'Gurub'?"
"Ooh, that's a good one," Ovistine says, grinning. "I'll keep that one in mind." She pauses. "By the way, if your grandmum ever tries to set you up on a date with a dwarf named Clunk, you might want to have some Thorium Grenades handy. If you catch her in the stun, you can get a pretty fair head start before she wakes up…"