The local tavern at the small town Oakvale is busy, rather busy as it tends to be. Small groups of patrons at some of the tables is the fullest that the establishment tends to get. Even though The Dented Flagon only sees so much business, it does make a good amount of coin. The only reason the tavern sees such a profit is because the majority of those that come to the tavern are mainly interested in drinking ale, though this is not a bad thing.
Sitting in a chair that is situated in the back corner of the building is a man who appears to be in his mid-forties. With his head being shaven the only indication of his hair color is his scruffy beard, which has hints of grey in the red coloring. He has a bit of a gut on him, a result of both his age and how much ale he drinks throughout the day. Sir Olric feels as though he has earned this lifestyle, his days as a knight behind him since he has retired. Now he manages this tavern, turning a good profit so that he can provide for both his wife and daughter.
Bringing his flagon up to his lips, he tips his head back to take a big swig before placing it back on the table that is beside him. There isn't much he can do, besides sit back and watch. The two barmaids who are working are taking orders just fine. The only times he needs to get up are if he needs to relieve himself or if some drunk fool tries to start some trouble. Sir Olric may be retired, but he can still knock a few heads should the need arise.
His attention is turned away from everyone who is seated, talking, and otherwise enjoying themselves when he sees the tavern door open up and an armored figure begins to enter. Normally this isn't unusual, a knight entering the tavern, but it is how they are entering which has really grabbed the retired knight's attention. They are crouched and have their body turned as though the entryway is too small for them to just walk through. The sound of the armor's metal clanging had caused everyone to turn and look at the armor-clad figure. The sight of them entering was odd enough, but when this knight tries to stand up it is revealed that the ceiling is too low for them. Looking to be over eight feet tall, since that is how high the tavern's ceiling is, this has to be the tallest man that anyone here has ever seen, though Sir Olric has met someone who is much, much taller.
Closely following behind this knight is a man who is only as tall their hips, giving everyone a better idea of just how massive the new arrival is. From the way that he is dressed Sir Olric can surmise that he must be a squire. Given from his build, or rather a lack of one, he guesses that he must have recently started.
This pair makes their way over go an empty table, one that is far from everyone else. Sir Olric watches them, both intrigued and curious. The knight sits on the bench, the wood creaking as it is doing its best to hold the large amount of weight, while his companion sits across from him. The knight removes his helmet, and everyone is stunned by what is revealed. With long, red hair and blue eyes, it is revealed that this knight is a woman.
"Charles," the knight says as she grabs the attention of her companion, "Please tell me that we at least have enough for me to order a barrel of Ale."
Charles pulls out a small book, one that he has been using to keep track of their finances. Everything that they either earn or spend is written down in it, as well as any future expenses that will be needed "Well, Maxine," Charles replies, "Things are a bit tight since we haven't been able to find any jobs or bounties." Maxine bangs her fist on the table out of annoyance since this isn't what she wants to hear. She doesn't blame Charles for telling her this since this is why he keeps track of their coin. "We do have enough for you to order a drink." Upon hearing this, Maxine leans back slightly, the bench creaking as her weight is being shifted, a slight smile on her face since she does not have to forego getting her drink.
A barmaid Approaches Sir Olric, looking quite nervous. "Sir Olric, I am sorry to say this but, I don't want to serve her. She frightens me."
Sir Olric looks over at the large, armored woman before turning his attention back to the barmaid who is standing close to him. "Can't blame you. With her size, she is pretty intimidating, plus with that temper she displayed." Taking another drink from his flagon, he gets up from his seat. "But, I have dealt with a woman who is far larger than she is."
Sir Olric starts to head over towards the large woman and her companion, limping from an injury his knee has sustained. The pain has gotten worse, and there have been a couple of times his knee jas given out. A couple more years and he may need a cane to help him walk.
The retired knight's approach does not go unnoticed by either Maxine or Charles. "You don't look like a barmaid to me," Maxine comments.
"Thank you," Sir Olric says with a smile, "I suppose if I did look like one I would be one funny-looking man. Ha!" He takes a quick drink from his flagon before turning his attention back to the pair. "But seriously; I own this tavern and the barmaid has said that she is a bit intimidated by you."
"And you aren't?"
"Let's just say that you are the second tallest woman I have ever seen."
"Second tallest?" Charles asks unable to believe the claim that Sir Olric has just made.
"Aye, you heard me right. If you were to meet my future daughter-in-law, you would probably be saying the same thing."
Charles thinks for a moment in what Sir Olric is telling him. Does he know of someone even taller than Maxine? He highly doubts that this man has met Maxine's family. Besides, he has referred to this mystery woman as his future daughter-in-law. "Do you happen to know a knight by the name of Sir Gabriel?"
"Aye, he's my son."
"Then I would have to assume that you are Sir Olric?"
"That depends," Sir Olric replies with a raised eyebrow, "Do I owe you coin or do you owe me coin?"
"N-no," Charles stammers, "It isn't that…"
Sir Olric bust out laughing. "Take it, easy lad, I'm only joking. Of course, I am SirOlrmeeteic. Now," he sits down at the table next to Charles as he continues, "How do you two know Gabriel and Ashley?"
"We worked together to bring a bounty in," Maxine answers. She can still remember the noble knight when she first met him, not to mention Ashley. Before meeting the large maiden, she had believed that only her mother and sisters could reach such sizes, except her family could easily exceed her stature.
"I just realized something," Sir Olric says, "You two know who I am, but I have no idea who you are."
"I am Maxine Martel," the large woman says introducing herself. "Daughter of Sir Tucker Martel. With me is my companion Charles."
Sir Olric raises his eyebrow again. "Just Maxine Martel? Not Dame Maxine Martel?"
Maxine lowers her head slightly as if she is ashamed. "Just Maxine Martel. I have yet to be knighted by a lord. Most lords don't like the idea of knighting a woman, which makes my ambition of being knighted like my father that much more difficult."
"Well, don't give up," Sir Olric says to encourage the aspiring woman, "If you keep at it, I am sure you will earn the right to be called Dame Maxine, I bet there is some lord out there who isn't foolish and will be impressed by some deed you perform and knight you." He takes his flagon to his lips once again, tipping it all the way pack as he drinks the last of his ale. "If you ask me, there are too few dames in my opinion. Women have a different way of thinking than men do, and that is useful. Men like me tend to be foolish from time to time," he runs his hand across his bald scalp, "Case in point."
"So you have to keep your head shaved because you lost a bet?" Maxine asks. She can't imagine what must have been at stake for anyone to agree to such foolish terms.
"No, no. Just the one time," Sir Olric explains. "Truth be told, the wife loves it so much that I make sure that the top of my head is nice and smooth." He goes to take another drink, only stopping when he remembers that his flagon is empty. "Now, I imagine that you two came here for some good food and drink. What'll it be?
"Three pot pies and a barrel of ale," Maxine states.
"That's it?" Sir Olric asks, "Surely a woman of your stature has an appetite to match."
"Normally I would order a lot more, but Charles here has looked over how much coin we have to spend and we don't have that much."
"Don't you worry about your coin. Order whatever you want, as much as you want. You know Gabriel and Ashley and worked with them, I won't charge you a single gold coin for whatever you order."
Seeing the smile that is starting to form on Maxine's face, Charles begins to question Sir Olric's decision. "Are you sure about that? I mean, you are aware of how much she could eat in a single sitting. Such a decision could really hurt your profit margin."
"Don't you worry about my profit. You have to remember, I once fed Ashley free of charge. She makes Maxine here like an infant in comparison." Maxine can't help but clench her fists at this remark. The fact that she is unable to grow, like her mother and sisters, has always been something that bothered her. Being made to feel small by comparing her to someone larger than her is a shot at her pride. All she can do is take a deep breath as Sir Olric continues talking then order as much as she can. "So my profits will be fine."
"I believe what Charles is referring to is how ale I can drink, not how much I can eat. I have a real taste for it and am capable of drinking much more than any man before I even get tipsy. I can drink you out of business."
"Good," Sir Olric responds with a smile. "If that is the case then I will be sure to tell my wife that is why the tavern went under. That way anything else I tell her won't seem as bad." He lets out a hearty laugh, finding what he just said to be quite funny. "Bring this fine, aspiring knight some ale, by the gallon! No need to mind your P's and Q's for her! She is a drinker."
Maxine, who can't help but smile at the prospect of drinking as much as she wants, and she doesn't have to pay for any of it. A small part of her is thinking of forgetting about how he compared her to Ashley's size.
"Now that we got the drinks settled," Sir Olric says as he turns to face the giantess once again, "what will you have to eat?"
"I think I will start with four pot pies, for now, no onions," Maxine makes sure that she places a lot of emphasis on that last part, "after that, I want as many apple pies as you can bring me."
"You are in luck there, I always keep a healthy supply of apples in stock for whenever Gabriel and Ashley's travels bring them back. What about you, Charles?"
"Oh, just a slab of beef with some vegetables will be fine for me."
"A slab of beef? That's it?" Sir Olric slaps Charles on the back, almost causing the poor man to fall out of his seat. If Maxine were to do this with that kind of force, his face would have slammed right into the table. "How about a nice steak instead?"
"That is generous but…"
"Don't you worry about it," Sir Olric interrupts, "the meat is good. Killed and butchered the cow myself." Before Charles can try to object again, Sir Olric gets up and begins to make his way back to the kitchen. Maxine and Charles can both see the limp that he has, a clear indication of the injury that Sir Gabriel had told them about.
After a short while, Sir Olric returns to sit with the pair as their food and drink are brought out. Maxine can't help but grab her ale and start to down it. It may not be the best ale she has ever had, but it is still enjoyable. Both Maxine and Sir Olric swapping stories as Charles is eating his meal. The steak is on the large side and he highly doubts he will be able to finish it. More than likely Maxine will polish off anything he is unable to finish.
"Wait, so your entire family is tall?" Sir Olric asks. Maxine has just finished telling him all about her mother and sisters, how they are all taller than any man and are capable of growing to massive sizes.
"Just my mother and sisters," Maxine clarifies."
"And here I thought that Ashley was a unique woman. Goes to show that I am not as well-traveled as I believed myself to be."
"Hey, Knight of the Ale!" someone shouts from their table, "Looks like there is finally someone who can outdrink you!" Light laughter can be heard filling the tavern at this remark.
Maxine is about ready to get up, feeling that Sir Olric was just insulted. He may spend most of his time drinking, but he is still a knight and feels that he still deserves respect. She only stops when the retired knight responds, "Now that sounds like a challenge!"
Maxine looks at Olric, not knowing just how serious he is being about this. "You do know that it is a challenge that you will lose, right?"
"I have taken on challenges that were a lot more foolish." With that, Sir Olric stands up, propping his foot on his seat. "Attention everyone! A pissing contest is about to begin! Watch as both Maxine and I try to outdrink each other! Afterward, you can follow me home for some more entertainment as my wife lets me have it for getting completely drunk!"
Several cheers can be heard in the tavern, along with some chatter as bets are being made amongst one another. While some do believe that Sir Olric will be able to outdrink the statuesque woman, the majority do believe that she will drink the Knight of the Ale under the table.
Maxine empties the barrel which her ale us in, chugging the contents in a matter what f minutes. Almost slamming the now empty barrel onto the table, Maxine looks at the knight who foolishly started this one-sided contest. "Guess I will have to carry you home tonight."
Drinks are brought out quickly so the two can begin. With how much Maxine is drinking each round compared to Sir Olric, many think that she will be the first to be getting tipsy. But as the drinks keep coming, it is evident that the alcohol is having no effect on her body. Sir Olric is starting to show signs of the large amount of alcohol he has consumed. Spilling his drinks and his speech becoming slurred, he almost falls out of his seat at one point.
"Had enough yet?" Maxine asks, her speech unaffected by the amount of alcohol she has had in such a short amount of time.
Sir Olric gives an answer, or what most believe to be an answer, his speech completely incoherent now. Placing his flagon down at the table's edge, it falls to the floor, followed by the drunk night.
Looking at the passed out night, Maxine can't help but smile at her easy victory. "Lightweight."