"May I travel with you, Sir Barfinnious?"
"I need to leave the village anyway and I...I was not born to be a cook. I was born to be a Paladin. May I be your squire?"
"Hmmm. I'm usually a solo act. But yes, I've not had an accomplice, er, squire in amny trine. Shake on it."
Hup is a Podling cook who dreams of being a Paladin. When the chivalrous bard Barfinnious comes to Hup's village with tales of former glory, Hup leaves his small town to follow him. But the longer they travel, the more Hup begins to doubt that Barfinnious is truly who he says he is.
In Sami Thicket, home of the Spriton Clan, a Gelfling bard named Barfinnious entertains the crowd with a story of how thirty trine ago he rescued a princess of the Vapra Clan from a nest of Silk Spitters during the Arathim Wars. Among the crowd is skekShod, the Skeksis Treasurer, who is there to collect a tithe. SkekShod complains that the soup that he been prepared for him by the Podling cook, Hup, is inedible and demands that it be made again. The manger promises that it will be done and orders Hup back into the kitchen.
Barfinnious continues with his story, stating that he killed all of the Arathim and saved the princess, who was in love with him. Hup is captivated by the story, but skekShod complains that the second bowl of soup is even worse than the first. The manager apologizes, assuring him that Hup's soup is renowned in Sami Thicket but may not be to his taste. SkekShod doubts this and insults Hup's intelligence. Sick of enduring skekShod's scorn, Hup loses his temper and strikes the Skeksis across the face with his spoon, gaining the respect of Barfinnous but the anger of everyone else. The manager throws Hup out and fires him, advising him to leave the village for his own safety.
The distraught Hup is approached by Barfinnious, who commends him for his swordsmanship. He helps Hup to his feet and offers to buy him a drink, and they set off together. Hup leads Barfinnious to a Podling wayhouse, where Hup goes in to find them a seat while Barfinnious takes a decorative garden stone from near the doorstep. Once inside, Barfinnious offers to buy a round for the house, offering a bag of jewels as payment.
In Sami Thicket, the Gelfling discover that their tithe offerings have gone missing and realize that they have been robbed. In the wayhouse, Barfinnious and the Podlings drink and celebrate. Hup asks the now intoxicated Barfinnious if the story he told at the tithing ceremony is true and Barfinnious admits that he embellished it. In reality, he entered the nest with several companions, all of whom were killed, and he did not rescue the princess. He says their names at night as a way to honor them.
In Sami Thicket, the Gelfling conclude that Barfinnious was the one who robbed them. In the wayhouse, Barfinnious tells Hup that being a Paladin is not about being a hero, but living to remember so that the stories of the fallen can be told. Hup asks to accompany him as his squire so that he too may become a Paladin, which Barfinnious accepts. The bartender approaches them and demands payment. Barfinnious presents that stone he stole from outside the wayhouse, claimimng that it was traded to him by nomads from the Dousan Clan who found it on the very edges of the Crystal Desert, but the bartender is not fooled.
The Spriton Gelfling arrive outside the wayhouse and demand that Barfinnous come out and return the stolen money or they will come in and take it in flesh. Upon hearing this, the bartender stikes Barfinnious across the mouth with a bottle. As the Gelfling enter, Hup attacks the bartender, knocking him back with his spoon. Hup and Barfinnious get up onto the bar and escape by swinging from some ceiling fixtures. Once they leave the wayhouse, they run on to their next adventure.
In order of appearance:
|skekShod the Treasurer|