Run, run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch him, he’s the Gingerbread Man. The elusive Gingerbread gets away from the Ugly Sweater Guy but the party goes on. And for our favorite Fable heroes, the party continues as well. It’s the holiday season in Franklin, and all of our heroes have come home to visit and spend the holidays together. In the Barkeep’s tavern, our heroes sit around sharing a drink and recount stories and adventures from days past. Fable Adventurer, let us drop in and listen to their jolly meeting…
“So thar we were, me and the kid were, surrounded by hundreds of cannibals,” starts Captain Crimson, “and they were intent on dragging us to the spit.”
“Yeah and they were none too happy that you had whittled off pieces of their idol either,” interjects the Hero, walking up behind the Captain and slapping him on the back, “This guy, comes ashore chasing after a large golden idol. It’s just sitting in the sand all by itself. Maybe the phrase “The phrase ‘Too good to be true’ would have been applicable. Surely, the ‘legendary’ Captain Crimson didn’t commit such an obvious blunder,” continues the Hero, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“If I remember correctly, I did come up with a plan to get us out of it. I don’t remember you coming up with too many bright ideas. In fact, if my memory serves me well, I’d say you weren’t in too great of shape to do much of anything. I also seem to remember saving your life a time or two,” muses Captain Crimson.
“It’s true, it’s true. I haven’t partied as hard as we did on that voyage since and for good reason too,” laughs the Hero. “And you did get us out, for which I am grateful.”
The surrounding crowd laughs, cheers, and claps at the entertaining story. Meanwhile, the Barkeep pours the Distiller a drink from a jug under the bar. The Distiller takes a drink and coughs, laughing.
“You’re getting better, but it’s not my bourbon yet,” exclaims the Distiller.
“Nor will it ever be,” laughs the Barkeep, ”It hurt my soul to see all those barrels of bourbon that went overboard when we navigated the waters of the Baguay to Whitepond.”
“The bourbon we lost that day was but a drop in the bucket to what I’ve distilled over my lifetime,” says the Distiller with a toothy grin, “and although it is good to the last drop, the taste of adventure was infinitely sweeter than any libations I could concoct.”
“I’ll drink to that!” says the Scribe as he saunters over. He slaps the back of the Distiller.
“That was the greatest adventure I’ve ever gone on. About that time, the Gunslinger was kicking me out of the Orchestershire University window,” exclaimed the Scribe.
The Distiller, the Scribe, and the Barkeep lean over their mugs, sharing a chuckle.
Suddenly, a loud shout fills the room.
“THE BOOGEYMAN???” exclaims the Gunslinger, “You expect me to believe you tangled with the actual Boogeyman?”
The Gunslinger, the Hero, and the Marksman are sitting around a poker table, a bottle of whiskey sits between them. The Hero has found a pair of fair maidens, one sitting on each knee. A tall, amazonian barmaid stands behind the Marksman rubbing his shoulders as he lounges in his chair.
“Yes, the actual Boogeyman. You know that my hunting portfolio is… well… diverse,” laughs the Marksman, not delving into the story further.
The two maidens on the Hero’s lap giggle and whisper to each other. The Hero, also intrigued by the Marksman’s admission, instigates the Marksman further, “Well you can’t admit you hunted one of the most vile and evil entities in creation and not tell us the tale.”
“Well, there’s not much to tell,” begins the Marksman modestly. “There was this monster terrorizing a town, they wanted him gone, so they called me. I pretended to be a sleeping child and baited the fiendish monstrosity into my trap. I hit him point-blank with my crossbow and then got him again from a distance. Things got a little hairy when I lost track of him in the woods, however, he was weakened by the blessed arrows I had hit him with. He still tried to get the drop on me in the woods but I was able to land a blow with my seax knife and that did him in. He still got away though…” The Marksman trails off.
“There’s no shame in that, Marksman,” says the Gunslinger. “I was hunting some nasty killer out West sometime in the future. He was practicing black magic and some people had gone missing. He garnered quite a bounty so I took off after him. I’d ridden the dusty trail all day with no luck. I stopped by a nearby town to rest for the night and I met a toymaker. He was a kind old man and he made a nice, a real nice, cowboy doll for my son. That was until it tried to kill me in my sleep.”
The maidens gasp, taken aback by the notion of an animated killer doll. The Gunslinger continues. “I knocked the doll off of me and it retreated to the wizard’s lair. There I was attacked by a throng of evil dolls controlled by the insidious man. I eventually spotted him and fired a shot clear through his chest. The hole leaked sand as he fell to the floor. I checked the body and got the local sheriff. We examined the body and I got paid and the coroner went to recover the body, but the body was gone. A .45 to the chest typically takes care of anyone I’m facing.”
“While those are some pretty interesting duels,” interjects the Hero winking at the fair maidens, “close is for horseshoes and fireball spells. I was jumped by a psychotic farmer after he offered me to spend the night in his barn. During our skirmish, the barn caught on fire and we dueled in the rafters. I got the better of him though stabbing him in the eye. He fell into the raging flames below. And that’s how you finish a fight,” finishes the Hero triumphantly, sitting back in his chair with a satisfied smirk on his face.
“Why did you spend the night in the barn of a psychotic farmer again?” asks the Marksman as the whole table bursts into laughter.
“Well… well… that’s not how it happened,” stammers the Hero.
“Don’t worry, Hero,” laughs the Gunslinger, “we’re just givin’ you a hard time. Now this farmer, was he wearing a scarecrow mask?”
“In fact he was, how did you know that?” asks the Hero incredulously.
“Oh no reason,” says the time-traveling Gunslinger trying to stifle a chuckle, “No worries, all right?”
The table bursts into laughter once again, everyone that is, except for the Hero, worrying at the prospect of being told not to worry by a time-traveling bounty hunter.
At the front of the hall, the Inventor calls for everyone’s attention using a strange horn. The handle is a metallic cylinder with a silver, steel-mesh orb on top. The Inventor’s voice is amplified throughout the hall.
“Attention everyone, thank you for coming to this party. It’s great seeing everyone again. And thank you, Barkeep for hosting,” begins the Inventor.
The Barkeep nods his approval and the Inventor continues, “And now for a word, the Wizard.”
The Wizard walks up and shakes the Inventor’s hand, taking the strange speaking implement.
“It’s been a wonderful year. I am so glad to have met and gotten to know each of you. We’ve been on some amazing adventures. And if my experience, along with my conversations with the Gunslinger, are of any indication, we have many, many, many, more adventures to go. So cheers my Fable Friends.”
Narrated by Brandon Warner