Quintar grins at Jack as if he has told a great joke and is trying not to laugh out loud.
“My business in Granite Ford is my own sir.” Jack retorts. “Do you have food and a place where a traveler can rest in safety for the night? If not I shall wish you a good day and move along” Jack says haughtily.
“And what would you do young sir, camp along the road? In this weather? Ha!!” the fat man barks a laughs. “There’s not another inn on the Kings Road until you get to the Boars Tooth at the Dweesle River ferry crossing. That’s a days travel on foot from here. This snow storm is getting worse and it’s almost dark, If you try to camp in the open in these parts your throat’ll be cut and your purse gone before you have a chance to roll into your blankets. If not that, then you would be a frozen slab of wolf chow by morning.”
The fat man laughs again, it is a high almost womanly laugh and his whole body jiggles so much that Jack thinks that he might fall over.
It is hard for Jack to believe that this is the dreaded Quintar Rogan. The man who, legend has it, almost single handedly defeated the usurper, Galidon the Dark; stopped the rebellion and saved the kingdom for old King, Grogan. Of course that was many years ago and the old king died only a year after the final battle for his kingdom.
His son, Ernest the Weak, ascended to the throne but was overthrown after a year in a bloodless coup by his cousin Ferdinand, The Horny, with support of the Generals and Ernest, himself (Ernest never wanted to be king in the first place).
Ferdinand was a disappointing ruler. His main interest being, bedding as many of the women of the court as he possibly could corner. His reign was cut short however when his Queen Isadora found him shagging her hand maiden in her tower bedroom. In a screaming fit she pushed the king out of a tower window.
The queen was named temporary regent by the Council of Nobles. As it turned out, they considered pushing Ole Ferdy from the window was a public service and deserved a reward. Regent Isadora ruled for ten years before succumbing to an unknown ailment and mysteriously passing away during the night. Queen Isadora, The Crude, (as she was known) had a son supposedly sired on her by King Ferdinand but that was never verified.
Even so, her son, Vernon of Newcastle, was invested as king without complaint from the people or the gentry. Vernon proved to be a capable king and was respected if not loved by his people. His reign, so far has been prosperous for some and not so for others, hence the robbers and cut throats that one can encounter on the Kings Highway….
“Oh no young sir” The fat man continues, bringing Jack back from his ruminations. “You have no place to go on to so you might as well relax and spend a safe night here with us at the Kings Cudgel.”
With a jolt Jack remembered where he had heard of the “Kings Cudgel”. It was the name given to the hero, Quintar Rogan.