Sorry for the Intrusion

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Look, I’m sorry, but you try to be polite when you travel everywhere with a lumbering oaf who insists on asking every question and reacting to every surprise with his hammer rather than his words.

Yes, Thurmok, I’m talking about you. Again. Now, stay quiet and put the hammer down.

We’ve been thrown out of more taverns—even towns—than I’d prefer to recount. His recklessness and general barbarity are a burden to everyone crossing his—


Well, he’s my friend. You stick by your mates, regardless of their temperament. He’s always got my back in a scuffle and most of those taverns were bad joints to spend time in, anyway. Unsavory. And one backwater town’s the same as any other. Would have liked to stay in Deadfall a bit longer, but even so, eventually the smell of rotting wood and fungus gets to you in spite of how good the mead is. And the mead is very good. Don’t let anyone tell you that sludge from the Cauldron of the—

Hey! I said I was sorry. No need to get prickly. Do you have a spell to turn back time? An artifact, perhaps, to bend the will of the universe and undo what has been done? Neither do I. If I did, I would certainly go back a bit and try that again, and at least warn you to duck. Sometimes you can’t move the bull but you can certainly get out of its way, you know what I mean? No? A charging bull? It’s big? Maybe a ship. A large ship, slow to turn? Does that make more— Right. The apology. Where was I? Let me make it more formal.


I apologize—sincerely apologize—for my friend shattering your body with his hammer. No one should be accosted in such a manner in their own home, especially at so late an hour. It was extremely rude of us to come knocking on your door just as you were sitting down to your evening tea, and completely inexcusable to assault your person without so much as a “hello and well-met”. I do hope you’ll accept our attempts at atonement and reparation, that we might proceed with the business at hand.

Is that sufficient? Yes? Good. Great. It appears all your parts are back in alignment and and we can direct our attention to the reason of our visit. We seek a particular book, a rare book of exceedingly peculiar provenance. The pleasant sphinx just up the road on the large sycamore tree—after much puzzling and problem-solving that did not involve a hammer, for once—told us you could point us in the right—

What’s that? Your front teeth? I…I mean…are you sure they were… Of course. Yes. Far be it from me to argue. I didn’t get a good look before the hammer came down. Would it be alright if you and I continued our discussion while my associate looks for them? Would that be acceptable? Excellent.

Thurmok, if you would be so kind as to cast about for our host’s front teeth, while we attend to business? Thank you. It’s the least you can do for causing this delay in the first pla—

Yes, I know it’s unusual for animated skeletons to answer the doors of cottages, but it is what it is and we’re his guests. Try to be pol—

What? Oh, I’m dreadfully sorry. Again. Without the…surface…you’re sort of… I mean to say, it’s a challenge to… Yes. You’re right. I should have asked. I should not have assumed.

We’re her guests, Thurmok, so please be polite.

And while you’re at it, maybe put on some tea?

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