Darkon had no nose. He had carelessly mislaid it in a fight with some trolls after the summer equinox. The younger trolls had found it funny that Darkon's nose had come off in the exchange of blows." For a whole season the younger trolls would joke,
"The human had no nose!"
“How did he smell?" one would ask in mock horror.
"Horrible" was the chorused reply as the group would roll helplessly around the Matriarch’s kitchen.
Of course Darkon wasn't aware of any of this as he sat patiently in the tavern of the Grapes End. He had really had enough of trolls and wasn’t intending to ever visit them again in waking life and would thus never find out he had been the subject of the Troll’s best-selling Yule present that year, a human doll with a detachable nose that cried until it was soothed.
Darkon stared into his ale cup. His erstwhile employer was a mysterious fat man swathed in almost as many scarves as Darkon and he was late. Darkon scanned the crowded tavern anxiously. The jolly crowd in the tavern sang and drank the night away occasionally casting glances at Darkon as he shifted his weight from one buttock to the other to stop pins and needles developing in his feet.
Finally, the door opened allowing more raucous laughter to drift in from Dead Joes' Cosmic Eatery + Barber shop that was opposite the front door, and in walked the large Fat man. He was predictably swathed in cloaks and scarves and hats and as a final precaution he had a pair of those new-fangled tinted Venetian smoked glass speck-ta-cles that hid his usually vibrant red eyes.
"A bottle of your best dead grape, Innkeep".
He sat heavily opposite Darkon and eyed him. Neither of the two men involved in this brinkmanship noticed the locals nudging each other and laying wagers as to what would happen next.
The large Fat man was in deep conversation with Darkon when he seemed to be suddenly aware of the pregnant silence in the tavern. He looked round suspiciously and the tavern customers, rather unconvincingly, resumed trying to mind their own business.
"So, 50 silver pieces for the job +50 when we give you the package?"
"Correct" said the fat man handing over a bag.
Darkon took a coin out and bit it. He wasn't actually sure that this was necessary but Thantos had always done it when making deals in taverns before he fell off the Bridge of Lost Hope and missed hitting the river. Darkon always thought Thantos had been unlucky that night. What were the odds of landing on the only spike in 100 metres? 1000 to 1? 2083 to 1? Whatever it was it had been unfortunate for Thanatos and quite good for Darken.
As Darken ruminated on his luck or Thantos' misfortune, he suddenly remembered to bring his attention back to the Fat Man. Yes, don't go near the golden cup and avoid the stepping stones of doom by the Forgetful River.
Ok back within a moon that was it. Darken thought if there was anything else he had missed he could bluff it out.
They shook hands both taking care to apply just the right pressure to convey strength, decisiveness and hidden power and the both men left the tavern quickly, but obviously since they were being furtive, not together. The Fat Man stepped into to a dark alley where he metamorphosed into a tall slim woman. Darkon, who left after an appropriate wait to allow his new employer to make his escape, slid from shadow to shadow all the way to his lodgings to meet his travelling companions, Graphen, Egil and Stove