Weekdays, from 08:25 a.m. to 15:01 p.m., we adhere to a strict regimen. Everything in our lives controlled. But then something like the murder of Jason Blossom happens, and you realize there is no such thing as control. There is only chaos. Nevertheless, some of us strive to impose and maintain order in what is, fundamentally, an orderless world. A fact which would very soon be confirmed. In ways none of us could have foreseen.
— Hey, Meghan? I thought that I have been clear about the number of buttons that can be unbuttoned on a shirt.
— You were serious about that?
— It's winter. Can we put Dancer and Prancer back in their stable? Are you body-shaming her right now?
— Some people here might find your outfit offensive.
— Well, some people might find your outfit offensive. And really confusing.
— Oh, I thought it was clear. This is a multi-denominational holiday sweater. It has Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Buddhist day of enlightenment, and Boxing Day on it. Everyone's included!
— Is everyone included? What about, um, what about something for the Satanists?
Never one to turn his back on a fight, Rigwarl was known for battling the biggest, meanest scrappers he could get his hands on. Christened Bristleback by the drunken crowds, he waded into backroom brawls in every road tavern between Slom and Elze, until his exploits finally caught the eye of a barkeep in need of an enforcer. For a bit of brew, Bristleback was hired to collect tabs, keep the peace, and break the occasional leg or two (or five, in the case of one unfortunate web-hund). After indulging in a night of merriment during which bodily harm was meted out in equal parts upon both delinquent patrons and his own liver, Bristleback finally met his match. "Your tusks offend me, sir," he was heard to drunkenly slur to one particularly large fellow from the northern wastes whose bill had come due. What followed was a fight for the ages. A dozen fighters jumped in. No stool was left unbroken, and in the end, the impossible happened: the tab went unpaid. Over the weeks that followed, Bristleback's wounds healed, and his quills grew back; but an enforcer's honor can be a prickly thing. He paid the tab from his own coin, vowing to track down this northerner and extract redemption. And then he did something he'd never done before: he actually trained, and in so doing made a startling discovery about himself. A smile peeled back from his teeth as he flexed his quills. Turning his back to a fight might be just the thing.