Fires burned everywhere in the Cinder Block. Red and orange tongues of flame danced on sconces, braziers, even some of the exquisite collection of liquors and ales seemed to simmer with a low yellow radiance. Music danced on of the many patron’s shoulders causing them to move and sway rhythmically with the song while hired servants tended their beverage or pipe smoke necessities. Large squat candles burned slowly at every table where raucous party-goers toasted, wagered, and played at games of chance in Durg’s honor. At one of these tables sat Spade and Farley who spoke conspiratorially where only they themselves could hear each other amidst the party tumult.
“Manowar?” asked Farley incredulously. His tone was one of sincere outrage.
“That is what they are calling themselves they have a reputation in certain circles with a pretty fantastic past as a matter of fact.” Spade agreed, now amused at Farley’s strange offense of this group of adventurers and their moniker. What is it to Farley if they called themselves Manowar, Triforce, or Three’s Company? All Spade knew were rumors though they indeed were latecomers to the Neutral Grounds Tournament.
Nonplused Farley continued, “They should call themselves ‘MENowar’ or ‘Men of War’ not Manowar that sounds stupid.” Spitting as he talked Farley refreshed his parchment with a long drought of Pilini’s best Dwarven ale then wiped the froth from his mouth.
“They once numbered four,” Spade began, “proclaimed as Kings of Metal and War where they come from. They would sing boisterously while in combat chanting war psalms charging into battle working as a team to glorious victory.” Spade said as he drowned a grin under a furious gulp of ale followed by a rich deep belch.
“Well they seem to have taken to Durg.” Farley said motioning to the group in question as they toasted Durg the Destroyer, Durg the Furious, or Durg the Dracarian for the umpteenth time.
Spade watched as Farley unconsciously clenched and unclenched his hands.
“It is said that the time before Stormhaven they fought for a King Randor who was corrupted by a magical ring that seduced him into creating six summoning circles from the blood of neighboring kings from which the ring could summon its minions. When Manowar discovered the nefarious plot they turned on their king, each landing simultaneous killing strikes unknowing of the dominating ring’s power over King Randor. It was his blood that either anointed their weapons or cursed them.” Spade was delighted with Farley's response. They ordered another round.
“Sooo wh-what happened to the fourrrrrth MAN of war?” Farley slurred curious now that there was a story and another round.
Spade gave Farley a look of earnest gravity, “The ring had to have a new owner.”