Five strings began to vibrate beneath a set of loving fingers. The vibrations carried themselves about the bar bringing silence to those who heard it. A hush of reverence overcame the crowd as the most hallowed of hallowed traditions was heralded. The song of the ages.
The drinking song was one that had been born out of tales of old that had all been strung together. In fact it held one of the greatest and most in depth catalogs of the history of Lochnor. They first began singing the song when The Bar was opened during the world wide prohibition of alcohol. Unfortunately for the people of Lochnor the guards were actually able to take down almost every other speakeasy and hidden bar joint in the land. But the bartenders of old who recognized the need to spill ones heart out over a stiff drink was as old as the earth itself and would likely last even longer than that, banded together to create The Bar. It was a safe haven for everyone regardless of what everyone else thought of them and it existed in every country and every city in the world. Some say that it even has parts in the realm across the ocean but no one knows if that's really true.
The song was created by its founders to depict the war that brought about the prohibition and the subsequent creation of The Bar. The verses of the song were numerous being that the object of the game was to sing all the way to the end of the song as accurately as anyone could say in the drunken haze because everyone participating would have another round before continuing on. Then whoever was leading the song would start the next verse unless they were no longer capable of standing much less singing, in which case someone who had been singing along accurately would continue the song until there was no one there to finish it.
Needless to say there was rarely a full song sung any given night, but whenever someone got through the last verse and had another round they had the option of adding a new verse and as time went by more and more verses built up and those who were able to stand up to the test of endurance are those with great deeds worth singing about or they at least knew of deeds worth a rhyme or two. Some of the verses were tried and true and sometimes they switched places depending on their importance or how much the people enjoyed them but everyone remembered the proper and original version. The bartenders who were the very best at their trade were the ones who officially kept track but many say that the spirit of the bar had taken on the role of a demi-god and it looked over its own history and the only way to add a new verse is to sing it from the beginning and in the exact order it was written. They say that those who are worthy of a verse will know by the help of the spirit of The Bar. Thus they would know the importance of the song and what their role in it would be.
Tonight was no different than any other night for the Catherbury twins, Elkahn played the score while Calahan made another run for a new verse. He'd yet to achieve it but he'd come very close from what anyone could reckon, after all the Bartenders never said anything other than no you didn't make it. Calahan was in classic form and barreling through as fast as he could in the hopes that it would help him achieve what he viewed as his entitlement for being him. They were currently in a very upbeat accounting of Tanya Trewitt the truculent tramp and how she taught Terry Timmerson the way to talk to terribly tough transvestites toting tons of tawdry tupperware. Then they'd be into a slow cry-in-your-ale verse about Leering Larry the lecherous lump of Lochnor and how he looked for love leaving no village or town or even pasture unmolested.
Calahan had been dancing up a storm as he related the tales. He now jumped onto an empty chair and then a table and as he was finishing up his round after Larry's litany of lust he whipped up into the chorus he noticed that there was a group of fellows playing poker. Playing poker in the middle of what would surely be his time to succeed at adding a verse. So as the tale of Handy Hubert's uprising against Villianous Victor the dastardly despot of Diaspra, Calahan hopped and skipped (though in his state of inebriation it was more like a hip and a skop) over to their table where the fellows were ignoring him in order to show their cards and rake in quite a large pot. And he began an jig upon the table sending the gold and silver flying every which way. The players screamed in outrage as they scrambled to get what belonged to them as well as whatever didn't. Calahan didn't care he even managed to kick several pieces straight into the hands of the bartenders for a tip. Some of the players tried to trip him off the table but they simply got their hands trampled along with the coins.
Calahan was about to be done with the card players having rid them of their entire pot, when he noticed a chap with his legs propped up on a table and a hat pulled low over his eyes so he could sleep. Someone was sleeping during the song. The song. Playing cards was one thing as far as Calahan was concerned. At least they were trying to make an honest bit of money.... Well a bit of money anyway.
But sleeping? No that was inexcusable. In an instant Calahan had maneuvered to the table and kicked the strangers legs off the table. A snort of surprise would have pleased Calahan to no end, but all he got was the strangers legs kicking the table out from under him.
Calahan fell to the ground face first. He rolled over deftly to get up and retaliate but his drink and merriment had softened his abilities and he was left on the ground looking as the stranger stood with his face still hidden to leave. As the stranger turned the torchlight seemed to glint off the man's medallion to show a dazzlingly bright pheonix. By the time Calahan had recovered and managed to stand there was a new song leader and the stranger was nowhere to be found.