This poem was inspired and sponsored by the_vulture. It touches on fond memories of gritty low fantasy stories, and roleplaying games at low level. (One of my best-ever campaigns had everyone at first level for almost the entire time.) And just because you've changed life roles doesn't mean that you're out of the picture...
(You can read about Dron's neighbor, Brilla the Baker, in "Half-Baked Ideas.")
Dron retired from the army
with a bad limp and a bag of gold.
He missed the adventure, though,
and the everyday challenge of survival.
He bought a tavern
in a quiet little crossroad hamlet,
hung his axe over the mantelpiece,
and prepared to settle down.
At the end of the first week,
there was a brawl.
Two dwarves and four elves had it out.
Dron tossed them into the street.
At the end of the second week,
there was a fire. Apprentice wizard. Too much ale.
Dron put him out
and then extinguished the flames.
Not long after that,
bandits tried to raid the bar.
Dron's axe had a new nick in the shaft
when he hung it back over the hearth.
Then came the adventuring party
whose cleric had somehow gotten kidnapped,
and would anyone possibly have heard any gossip?
Oh please. Barkeeper.
At the end of the month, Dron smiled.
How could he ever have forgotten where the action happened?
Perhaps retirement wouldn't be unbearably boring after all.
Humming, the barkeeper polished his glassware. And then his axe.