Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago
Zeroth Post
Raw
Zeroth






Dear Madam,

It is of the utmost importance that your respond to this letter promptly. Perhaps you have heard of the strange happenings in Forsaken. If not, I am sure you can find a vague overview in the newspaper. At any rate, I am writing to you because I am interested in hiring someone of your abilities, and I am willing to pay you very well if you are interested.

I am putting together a group of creatures with various talents to investigate and get to the bottom of the mysteries of our fair town, and you would split the reward money equally between yourselves (assuming, of course, you survive this endeavor). I am also willing to pay you $500 up front for all your troubles. There is a meeting taking place on the 6th of September at the Caraway Inn in Forsaken. Should you be interested, the meeting will be in room 310. If you are not, then please dispose of this letter as soon as is convinent.
Your Obed servt.
-A.G.


Exactly one week ago, Cinder Nordes had received a letter which contained the above message, and it was this letter that brought her to the cesspool of society that was Forsaken, and had her now looking for the Caraway Inn. It was a suspicious letter, to be sure, but she'd received even shadier letters before. Besides, money was money. She didn't really care what her prospective patron had in store for them, so long as she got paid by the end of it and everyone went their merry way.

It had only taken her two days to get to Forsaken. Having a dragon as a traveling companion was a tremendous advantage when it came to transportation, but Ulleiss had given her quite a fight about wanting to decline this job. He said he had a bad feeling about it, and that he wanted to just ignore the letter. But $30,000 was no job to turn away from just because they had a bad feeling about it. The duo had discussed it, and in the end, they ended up agreeing that the sheer amount of money was worth the risk.

So here they were in Forsaken, making their way towards the designated meeting place and hoping no one was going to try and shoot them. The Caraway Inn stood on the far east side of the town, silhouetted against the sun that was slowly creeping over the distant mountains. It wasn't a particularly nice building, but it was in decent enough condition, and one of the more reputable places in Forsaken. A perfect place for one to meet a conspicuous group of fellow greedy bastards. It was also quite clean, which she appreciated. When Cinder entered the Inn, she simply told the man behind the bar what room she was going to, and was handed a key. Without any further questions, Cinder went up the stairs to the room.

It was empty when she arrived, but no doubt either their patron or her fellow party members would be joining them soon, so the woman simply sat in a chair by the window. She could see who was coming and going, and there was also a clear line of sight to the door. It was defendable if someone tried to come in shooting. Paranoid? Cinder? Never.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Crayt
Raw

Crayt

Member Seen 4 mos ago

“... anyway, so I looked the bear straight in the eyes and I told him: ‘Hey bear, if you don’t get your fat ass walking straight outta here, you’re gonna get the business end of my spear right up your keister!’ And I swear on my ma, I watch as this grizzled old monster turns around and runs off. I’m not lying to you, friend, I wouldn’t swear on my ma for a lie like that. That’s just wrong!”
The otter stood on a table across from a drunk gentleman who was staring at him dumbfounded, while the otter held his little arms up at his sides. He was dressed in his usual dark leathers, hood pulled back but his backpack still tied tightly to his figure. He wasn’t entirely sure whether the man was still reeling in shock at a talking otter or if it was the story of when he saved a diminutive old lady from the savagery of a brown bear.

He’d been staying at an inn deep in the bowels of Forsaken for two days already. As accurate as the rumours were about the town, nothing ever quite compared to reality and Soot was determined to know the locale before he agreed to any assignments. It had been maybe a little over a week since a friend of a friend of an associate had sent a message down the line with a job offer, and the otter was certainly a little bit desperate for work these days. And he doubted that his pursuers would be eager to follow him to the mesa of the worst scum this side of the world.

The gentleman - a human, decidedly somewhere past his forties - raised his glass of beer at Soot as he somehow managed to utter:
“Sho yoush shayin’ tha’... yoush shayin’ a big ol’ brown beah wash shcared of uh… of uh dumb weazel? You know wha’ I think? I think yoush full o’ shit.”
The otter gave the man an indignant look. He wasn’t wrong, but it was still a little insulting to him that this drunkard would dare insinuate it. Before the otter could retort, he noted a peculiar individual entering the inn, one of the half-human half-genie folk you rarely saw in most parts. The figure approached the barman and was shortly handed something, without payment nor extensive discussion, before heading upstairs. A familiar exchange - the very same sort of exchange the otter had with the same barman. The otter turned to his fellow patron, considered what to say before deciding to say nothing. The man would probably disregard the whole event as delusions once he woke up in the morning. Soot hopped down from the table and scampered off towards the stairs, racing upstairs on all fours.

The otter slowly approached the door, looking up and down the hall in case anyone was lying in wait. It seemed clear, aside from someone drunkenly leaning up against a door further down. He stopped in front of the door, looking it up and down, before locking his gaze on the doorknob. The otter stood up and sighed internally. He reached out with both paws and started fiddling with it discreetly, which soon turned into loud scratching while he quietly muttered cuss words and insults at everyone in the world with regular hands.

He waited for someone to open the door...
3x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Lazo
Raw
Avatar of Lazo

Lazo Lazy

Member Seen 13 days ago

When Faint first read the letter that had appeared at her room’s doorstep, she had had to suppress her first instinct to gather the few belongings she had with her and leave the town.

Faint had arrived at the town of Forsaken less than a week ago, the last in a series of towns and cities she had passed in her bid to put as much distance between herself and the life she had known until then. The difference between this town and the previous ones was that this was the farthest she could head west without delving completely into the wilderness. When she realized she had been singled out, her first thought was that someone who knew her previous occupation had managed to track her down.

Another moment’s consideration, however, made that seem unlikely. If the pursuers she feared did appear, she very much doubted they would introduce themselves with a job offer. Before the letter had arrived, she had indeed been asking about the kind of employment that could be found in Forsaken. This, paired with the fact that she had first arrived at the town with her weapons at her belt, and that she regularly kept tabs on the bounties posted in the town’s newsletters, may have given someone certain ideas about her.

She was still worried. Even if someone had taken her for a bounty hunter or mercenary, it made little sense for her to be sought out when she had no reputation to speak of in these parts. Meeting the so called “A.G.” and asking directly seemed like the surest way to dispel her suspicions. In the best case, they would simply turn out to be the owner of a silk farm dissatisfied with the progress made by the authorities in solving the string of bizarre crimes outlined in the papers. Glancing down at her dwindling coin purse, she reflected that there were more practical matters to consider, too.

Faint looked back to the newspaper in her hands, her breathing relaxed, her focus on the sounds and conversations that surrounded her. Largely by virtue of the boisterous otter traipsing over a nearby table, her gaze kept flitting to towards its occupants as she idly listened to their conversation.

The place where she was staying was at the opposite end of Forsaken, but ever since receiving the letter, she had made excuses to visit the east part of town. However, with only two days before the meeting date, and reluctant as she was to directly approach the innkeep with her questions, she had learned nothing of use. This was the first time she had dared to enter the building. She had walked into Caraway Inn early in the morning, at that time before sunrise when the only ones awake were those races most active in the night, or those who sleep had trouble finding. Given the sheer diversity of the inhabitants of Forsaken, she was glad to find several tables already occupied. No one looked at her askance as she quietly took a seat and resolved to keep watch for anyone who appeared to be at the inn for the sake of the meeting described in the letter. The waiters ignored her, and she made no move to call their attention.

She blinked as she caught the sound of the inn’s door, and glanced towards the bar just as a Genasi woman approached the barkeep. She tuned out the surrounding noise, listening to the brief exchange with sharpened senses. A moment later, something was given to the woman, and she walked away towards the stairs.

It was likely not the one who had called them there. The woman’s clothes looked fit for travel, and the air about her was not what she expected from the sender of the contract letter. One of us talented creatures, then.

Faint paused for a moment, seeing if any others had chosen to wait as she had, to ensure that this was not a trap meant only for her. She was rewarded by the sight of the otter clambering off the table to follow after the woman.

It seemed it was her turn. Faint had dressed simply for the occasion, leaving her cloak and her more obvious weapons in her room. She had quickly come to realize that the pair of long knives would draw even more attention in this town than a six-shooter. She always kept multiple blades concealed on her person, however, even without counting the single survival knife she had left visibly strapped to her thigh as a kind of warning, so she did not feel defenseless in case of foul play. She nodded quietly to herself and rose, folding the newspaper and stuffing it inside her vest before climbing the stairs herself, footfalls eerily silent.

She had to pause at the sight that waited for her at the top. Right in front of room 310, the otter from before was adorably scratching at the doorknob, growing more visibly frustrated with every second. She covered her mouth to keep too wide a smile from spreading over her lips as she approached.

Faint coughed conspicuously as she approached, giving the otter a kind smile from her vantage point. “Do you need some help?”

She didn’t wait for an answer before she knocked on the door, announcing their presence. She paused for a moment, glancing down at the otter, then opened the door. To her disappointment, only the Genasi woman waited inside, sitting by a window.

Faint hesitated for a moment before walking into the room. “Good morning,” she said, deeply aware that her accent made it obvious that she was new to the frontier. She produced an envelope from one of her pockets. “I don’t suppose either of you sent this.”
1x Like Like
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Yankee
Raw
Avatar of Yankee

Yankee Eternally Tired

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

"Hey, letter."

Flicker was barely through the door when his landlord and loathed neighbor spoke up from her big cozy rocking chair in the living room. She pointed to the little table by the door where a letter was laying. Mialee was an older Wood Elf, and when Flick first rented the upstairs room in her home he'd thought they might get along... and they did for a little while. Turns out when the only thing two people had in common were both things they hated it made for surprisingly fun conversation. However it could only last so long and frankly, she was a huge jerk just like nearly every other Elf he'd met. That, and...

"It's been opened," Flick observed with annoyance as he picked up the opened envelope with the mystery letter inside, "ugh, and chewed on!"

"Yup. Innil likes to teeth."

The Genasi let out a loud, irritated sigh but the Elven matriarch ignored him. Just before taking the contents of the envelope out, Flick cast a suspicious look at the woman and jabbed a finger in her direction. "There better not be anythin' missin' from this."

"If there was anything in it worth stealing I wouldn't have told you about it in the first place."

Good gracious she was annoying, and her little changeling baby too. No wonder her husband was out all day. Eager to leave her presence, Flick stuffed the letter into his vest before climbing the stairs up to his room. The home was in the Southern part of the city, but not too far from it's center. The rent was cheap because no one wanted to to deal with the landlord. Most of the time Flick could tolerate her and Innil, who lived in the room directly across from his, but he wasn't exactly in the mood today. He was tired, having just returned from a totally unsuccessful job. Four days he was out in the frontier with a group of would-be heroes, trying to claim the mayor's reward, and not one lead. Good, he'd thought at the time, I don't want to have to deal with some deranged outlaws. However, the lack of any clues meant his clients felt he had "failed" them and didn't want to have to pay. Naturally, this lead to an argument, which then led to a fight, which lead to Flicker currently nursing his jaw as he played with his key ring until he found the one for his room. Once inside, he threw his bag onto the desk and himself into the bed. After a few minutes of laying face down in the blanket, the young man picked himself up and withdrew the letter.

'Dear Sir, It is of the utmost importance that your respond to this letter promptly. Perhaps you have heard of the strange happenings...'

"Great," Flick said to himself with a roll of his eyes. Another fruitless job offer! His curiosity was the only thing that prevented him from crumpling the letter right then, and as he got to the end of it his eyes were again lit up with opportunity, forgetting his earlier fatigue. He couldn't pass up a job that paid in advance, could he?

"Ol' Flick is gettin' some recognition, huh? About time." He hummed in approval and got up to wash and change. The Carraway Inn wasn't one of his usual stomping grounds, but he knew exactly where it was. As soon as he deemed himself good enough looking to go out, he did.

In the end, the Genasi went with something that he thought might make him look a little more rugged. After all, if he was being hired for his abilities, if he showed up in all his fanciest clothes the mystery benefactor might reconsider. With his long hair tied up, Flick arrived at the inn and went right through the front doors. There didn't seem to be anything out of place about it - there were patrons drinking, talking and arguing, women in bright revealing clothes milling about, a bartender who gave the Genasi a once over before nodding to him. Flick nodded back, he looked a little familiar but the man's name escaped him for now. Oh well, his goal was upstairs - after he got his advanced payment he'd come back down, order a drink and get the man's name.

He climbed the second set of stairs today, greeting a couple that were on their way down. On the third floor there was hardly a soul to be seen. Now the room number... Flick quickly referenced the letter again. 310. He moved down the hall and was surprised to find the door open and two people already inside.

Is that an otter?

Scratch that, three people. Flick slowly leaned back out of the doorway to double check the room number. Yup, this was the place. He glanced over the other occupants again. Otter, human, and another Genasi - interesting.

"Right," he chuckled, "well, to be honest none of you really look like an A.G."
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Redthorn Anvil
Raw
Avatar of Redthorn Anvil

Redthorn Anvil The Listener's Speaker

Member Seen 2 mos ago

The dry sound of thread being pulled through cured skin was almost hypnotic. Graves had been doing this long enough that by now his hands were on auto-pilot, and his mind often wandered to other things. Despite his other more unique abilities, traditional taxidermy remained his top business practice. Likely it was the price point. Being the only necromancer around for miles had it's advantages in a city where such things weren't necessarily shied away from.

Presently he heard the bell on the front entrance ringing as someone entered. The goliath would come get him if he was needed.
He heard a voice speaking hesitantly to the thrall, but was unable to hear what was being said. After a minute or so, the bell rung again, signifying the visitor's departure, and the large skeleton came shambling into Graves' office.

Graves put down the pelt he was working on and turned around to see a letter in his thrall's bony fingers, outstretched for him to take.
"Somethin' for me, eh? 'Nother special request?"
Of course, the skeleton couldn't answer him. Not having any vocal chords did that to people.
"Let's see here..."

Graves' eyes scanned through the letter, one hand stroking his chin.
"This be rather outta the ordinary, don't it? I dunno any "A.G.". D'you?"
The goliath shook it's skull slowly.
"Dunno how you still think with no brains in that head o' yours, but it's no business o' mine."
He considered the letter.
"It pays a pretty penny, for sure, but what use does an A.G. have for a taxidermist?"
The goliath stared at him.
"No need to be insultin'. But you're right, he probably don't need a taxidermist. Hmm. Shady as hell, but maybe worth at least lookin' into. Watch the shop, I'm gonna go see what's this all about. Likely some hoax, I reckon."

The Caraway Inn was in fact not too far away from Graves' Taxidermy and Services, a short enough distance that it was no bother for him to simply walk. Not that he had a choice. He wasn't sure he wanted to pay for a horse, and horse corpses not picked at by vultures were hard to come by. Though if this letter proved to be a serious venture, he might have to spring for one anyway. Just as he was heading out into the street, he heard a familiar rattling and clattering behind him.
"Thought I told you to stay at the shop... Yeah well... never mind then."
He could command the thrall to do many tasks, but for some reason he refused to stay put when he was going out somewhere. He didn't think it had anything to do with the necromancy - every animal he brought back always seemed to retain free will - but the goliath was the only sentient creature he'd ever brought back. He certainly did act differently, but was that because he wasn't sentient any more? Or perhaps he still was? Graves just hoped that the goliath wouldn't someday stab him in the neck in his sleep. He certainly displayed at least a little bit of intelligence - and they say anger is the basest feeling of all.

He was accustomed to the inevitable pause as the two of them entered the Caraway Inn. People generally weren't accustomed to a large skeleton waltzing into an Inn - but fortunately the patrons were quick to resume their activities, and Graves approached the bartender, who didn't seem at all phased, but appeared to be sizing him up.
"You one of them?"
Graves paused, confused.
"One of who?"
The bartender snorted, evidently amused.
"You're looking for room 310. Should be unlocked already."
The goliath had already started upstairs, so Graves followed, still a little bewildered. When the pair reached the room in question, there seemed to be a a bit of a traffic jam. A genasi, a human, and an otter, to be precise.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Bork Lazer
Raw
Avatar of Bork Lazer

Bork Lazer Chomping Time

Member Online

“ ARCHIBALD!” A pimple-faced gnome looked up from the pan he was holding, ashen-faced as a kobold about the height of his shoulders barked at him. “ PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CAVE SQUID! IF IT’S OVERCOOKED, I’LL MAKE YOUR SKIN INTO CRACKLING, IS THAT CLEAR?“

“Y-yes, Lak Lok, sir!,”he stammered out. Lak Lok strutted through the bowels of the busy kitchen, acting as if he was three times taller than he actually was. These amateurs had the gall to call themselves chefs. He scoffed at the thought. There was no vigor, no passion, no drive in any of their movements. Gold was their dream. The kobold signed in disappointment. 3 months and still there were no signs of Garrakg’s blessings as the year’s end approached.

Fall had come in all its glory to the Continent, its dry gales roaring in and replacing the fleeting remains of summer’s end. It was said that every season brought new hopes and challenges. For Lak Lok, it was mostly the latter that concerned him. Such as the horde of starving, hungry adventurers knocking on the front door of every eatery, tavern, inn and amateur market stall in Nowyre. Nowyre Crossroads was both the best and worst place that you could decide to build your business in, especially an inn. Located in the central mountain ranges, it was one of the central hubs for trade, travel and traveling to trade.

Right now, orders in the Burgundy Inn were piling up like a dragon’s horde. In the kitchen, a hot fog suffused the very air, thick with scents of gingerflower, roasted cuts of meat and bubbling stew. Plates of food came out and empty ones came back in a monotonous cycle. Lak Lok walked over towards a cauldron where a half-elf was pouring in slime soup stock over the roaring fires. Producing a wooden spoon from his belt, his face morphed into disgust as he tasted a sample.

“ Needs more mimic salt, Ollo. Stoke the fires too-”” The double doors to the busy kitchen swiveled open as a bony looking lizardfolk came into the room. A satchel swelling at the seams with letters was slung around his shoulders.

“ Excuse me, is there a Mister Lak Lok. There’s a letter for - “ The kobold jumped up and snatched it from his hands before ushering the courier out in a hurry. Cutting it open with one single stroke of his knife, he began to read through it whilst commenting on the cooking of every chef in the kitchen.

“ Let’s see what we have here….Is that smoke I smell from your hydra flanks, Donovan? “Hire someone of your abilities - too much honey on that candied apple, Vyx.....reward money to be split…..don’t add too much pickled bark on that salad…..upfront payment of 500 dollars…...”

Lak Lok stopped walking and then read that part aloud again.

“ 500 dollars?!”




The only positive thing that Lak Lok had to say about the Caraway inn was that he’d seen worse before. That was nothing to say about the food. He ordered the Sellsword’s Sunrise and received a platter of mediocrity. He was very nearly tempted to execute the chef for his heretical cooking. The raven eggs were sub-par, watery yolks combining with half-boiled whites to make a disaster. The cold cut owlbear was stringy and the stale mulberry gravy hadn’t complimented the harsh, gamey taste that the species was known for. The toast was better left unmentioned.

At least the aardvark cheese was good.

After eating what could possibly be called breakfast in Garrakg’s eye and washing it down with cold acorn coffee, he followed the instructions of the letter, walking down the hallways and aisles of the inn and checking every number.

“ 287…..295…..300…Oof!”

In the midst of his searching, he hadn’t managed to notice the giant goliath blocking the doorway. He stood back up, patting off the dust, before shoving himself through the open space between the goliath’s legs.

“ Garrakg save my strength today….” he grumbled. Looking around the room, the current occupants consisted of an otter, a Genasi and some hooded human.

“ If any one of you is this….” He paused. “ ...A.G, make sure that you choose an establishment with better food next time. This piddle is not fit for a cleric of Garrakg.”
1x Like Like 2x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Admiral Moskau
Raw
Avatar of Admiral Moskau

Admiral Moskau An Admiral of the Binary Seas

Member Seen 9 mos ago



Valanthe Vanatar







"Either charge me or let me go. You've wasted enough of my time, Sheriff," Valanthe Vanatar commanded from the jail cell bed on which she reclined. She had held court in the humble two roomed building that served as the Lanner County jail for the better part of a day and a half. She had received three full meals, consisting of food of such deplorable quality that she had begun to suspect that the Sheriff and his deputy were trying to poison her. Sloppy gruel, nominally oats, sprinkled with a depressing quantity mutton fat and sad looking vegetables that looked to have withered some months earlier were not food fit for a commoner, much less a proud moon elf of a noble house. Where was the fine cheese and wine? Where was the creativity? And most alarmingly why had they not found her a proper chef?

The Sheriff and his deputy were not fools, but they were not conversationalists. She had found the Sheriff handsome enough for a human. The deputy less so, he was far too dull and plain. Val rarely found herself drawn to Halfings, but she did not discriminate. Handsome was handsome, even if they were half your height. Imprisoned, unjustly, always unjustly, she longed for a glass of wine, a dance, and a pretty face to look at. A plain jail cell was no place for a master wizard.

In short, locked behind steel bars as she was, Val was languishing and boredom threatened to overwhelm her at any moment.

Noting the lack of response from the Sheriff, Val tossed the empty metal cup that she had been given against the bars of the jail cell, "Sheriff! Hey! I'm talking to you."

The loud, annoying clank of the metal up as it rattled against the metal bars pleased the wizard. There was no way that the Sheriff could continue to read his newspaper with the racket she had managed.

"I know. Miss Valleau. I'm ignoring you."

Val rolled her eyes. He thought he knew. He believed he had caught her. He had no idea. She'd given him a false name. She'd given them all a false name. She'd been a new person since the day she rode into Forsaken in a comfortable carriage. And her reputation had yet to catch up with her. Forsaken was too remote. It was too filthy. In a city where everyone was trying to hide away from someone or some thing, perhaps a devil or two, a name cleverly adopted on the spot did not stand out.

"Don't make me turn this decrepit building into a heap of rubble with my magic. I'll do it. Just watch me," Val declared sending a spark of magic from a hand.

"You wouldn't," the Sheriff replied finally turning his head towards Val. She could see the hint of doubt and the faint lines of concern that creased his brow. Everyone knew that the boundless power of a wizard was only matched by their anger and vindictiveness at even the smallest perceived slight. It was a reputation Val strove to cultivate. Turning a man into a rabbit for spitting in your direction was a phenomenal way to make a point about the proper respect owed that was owed a wizard.

"I would. I've had my rest and now I'm bored. It's time for you to let me out."

"I arrested you for disturbing the peace when the hotel owner asked you to leave on account of your unsettled tab and your argument with Mr. Redeker over his missing diamond. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Judge. If she wants to charge you, then I'm afraid that you're going to have to stay with us for just a tad bit longer."

"Alleged disappearance of Mr. Redeker's diamond. You didn't find a diamond on my person did you?"

"No, Ma'am, we did not," the Sheriff agreed with a tired sigh.

"And you searched all of my luggage."

"We searched your bag, yes."

"And when you spoke to the charming hotel staff this morning, did one of them perhaps have some information to share about the unfortunate events of last night?"

Pulling slowly on the cigarillo that smoldered between his weathered lips, the Sheriff frowned, "The bartender of the establishment said that Mr. Redeker had been following you around all evening. She said that he was acting most improperly for a gentleman of his age and stature. But I know Mr. Redeker, he's much to old to be chasing a skirt around the ballroom—"

"Sheriff," Val interrupted, summoning all of the offense that she could muster into her expression. "In your place I would be most careful about what accusations I leveled at a wizard. I would be very careful to suggest that an honorable woman was remiss to react with righteous anger when faced with yet another vulgar upstart merchant. I would hate for there to be any misunderstandings."

The Sheriff harrumphed, "And the unpaid tab?"

"Well now, my dear Sheriff, how do you expect me to pay my bill when I am locked behind these stifling bars?"

"But my case..the charges," the Sheriff muttered.

"It would appear that your case lacks much in the way of evidence, Sheriff. One might even say it appears the accusations against be are false."

"You would say that."

"Oh, I'm sure others would agree."

"They might."

"Wonderful, so you will release me at once then?"

"After you threatened to blow up this building with magic?"

"I merely reminded you of the consequences of detaining me past my patience."

"You wizards, you're all the same," the Sheriff grumbled as he finally moved. Putting his boots down from the table, he rose to his feet, and opened the door to the prison cell with obvious irritation.

"Oh, almost forgot. I got a letter for you," he added handing Val a letter.

"I'm a powerful wizard. Of course I received a letter. I'm very important," Val replied cheerfully, practically tearing the envelope from his hands.

"Sure. Whatever you say," the Sheriff said handing Val the letter. "We didn't open it. The seal is still there as you can plainly see."

"I should hope not. Reading a wizard's personal correspondence is a grave offense and I would have had no choice but to be very offended."

Unfolding the letter, Val skimmed the writing with a growing smile. She didn't concern herself with the task. Five hundred dollars upfront was five hundred dollars. Her funds were running a bit low as it was and it would be some days before she could fence Mr. Redeker's prized diamond. He was an awful, filthy dwarf and it didn't bother Val in the least that she had robbed him of a small fortune. Ignorance demanded swift retribution. There could be no mercy when faced with stupidity. Moon elves were never to be compared to the Drow. Least of all by some drunken beard-goblin. Thirty thousand dollars, even split between a party was even more enticing. There were plenty of ways to make thirty thousand dollars disappear if she just had enough time. Val would run a new racket, she'd plan a new scam. She'd be a hero and then she'd be rich. Again.

Offering her most magnanimous smile, Val turned towards the Sheriff,"Sheriff, you wouldn't happen to know where the Caraway Inn is would you?"

"Caraway Inn? Of course I know it. This town isn't big enough to forget an inn."

"Great, directions please."

"Make a right once you're out the door and head down Duran Street. Then make a left past the Singing Orc Tavern. Can't miss it after that."

"Wonderful," Val said gather her possessions from the Sheriff's table. "Thank you for your hospitality, rustic as it was."

"Get out," the Sheriff hissed.




Stepping into the Caraway Inn, Val walked to the with all the poise and grace that an upbringing as Elven noble had afforded her. The inn, if it could be called that was a disappointment. She had hoped that someone like A. G., someone with the resources to offer five hundred dollars upfront for a fool's errand would also have had the foresight and more importantly the refinement to schedule a meeting in a proper establishment.

Still, all was not lost. Money was close and she didn't have to sit down. Smiling gently at the barkeep, Val offered a most noble courtesy and channeled her best traveling-noblewoman-looking-for-romantic-encounter-with-a-simple-farmhand cadence, "Good sir, I have come to call upon my good friend, A. G., however it's been some time since we last met, but they say that the heart remains fondest when—"

"Look, I don't care. If you're looking for A. G., go to Room 301. Door's open and your friends, if you'd call that lot friends, just got here."

Friends? Val thought with a sudden shiver of excitement, noting the carefully contained concern on the barkeepers features. The endeavor was rapidly becoming all the more interesting. The moon elf began to suspect that she'd have fun.

With a final polite nod and a coin, Val turned and headed up the stairs. She reached room 301 just as what sounded to her delicate ears like a Kobold finished a serious sounding rant about the quality of food and the respect owed a cleric of some deity she had never heard of. She suppressed a small shudder, she had no problems with Kobolds. They were a fascinating and ingenious people, but she had suffered far too many long winded lectures on the nature of sin, her sins in particular at the hands of countless excited clerics. She had no patience for theoretical lectures. Her education had been finished decades earlier. She would not go back.

With a measured breath, Val adopted a new persona, gliding into the room with the gentle steps of a kind-hearted noblewoman. When she spoke it was with a soft, rolling accent as she lifted her dress off the floor to courtesy, "H- Hello. I think perhaps, that we might share a new friend. I believe we all here for the same noble goal, yes?"

She smiled at the perfection of her own hesitation. She was enjoying this role already.



1x Like Like 1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Bartimaeus
Raw
Avatar of Bartimaeus

Bartimaeus Existential Depravity

Member Seen 9 days ago

Nemorad


Chnk.. Chnk.. Chnk..

A rather tall, wide-shouldered individual rounded the stables at a stroll's pace, his right arm elevated to rest his on the withers of the Appaloosa walking at his side, a decently light saddle sat unaffixed upon its back; the rings and buckles clinking as they moved. The two walked a few more steps as they came to approach the wayside. The Appaloosa was a tall black, with a rear overlay spotting pattern of white, which saturated it up to its hips - as well as making it look like it wore black-speckled socks on each leg. Its mane was black and short, as well as its tail. Its rider gave it a pat on the neck, signaling the majestic animal to stop, as he began to rock the saddle into the right position.

It wasn't long that the two'd been in town - their first morning, actually. The days before arriving they'd rode the countryside at a leisurely pace, though there was a slight air of excitement about the rider. He was fresh to the county, having been on the move for quite a time as he traveled across the West, and had visited just a couple of towns in the county before this one. This one seemed to be one of those towns that was more out of the way - but it had a decent population. And so far, the inhabitants had been more receptive of him than some of the other towns he'd come across - they actually let him buy a room. Not that he really needed a room, but he was once told it is the correct thing to do. Y'know, instead of just standing outside in the middle of the night and waiting 'til morning.

Oddly enough though, as he was leaving his room at one of the smaller inns in town, he'd found a letter slipped under the door addressed to him, a one 'Mister Nemorad'. He'd never received a letter in his life. Hence, you might not be surprised to find that he tore it just a little bit as he tried to carefully open it with his thick wooden digits. Was still legible though, and it inquired of his assistance - something that was not difficult to elicit from him. He soon sought to read said newspaper that the letter had suggested, and was saddened by the unfortunate events that apparently had been plaguing the town.

So of course, he decided it was the best decision to try and help out. Regardless of any financial compensation.

Nemorad finished cinching the rear strap of the saddle, patting the horse on the flanks as he stood straight again to approach its front side, setting his right hand on its withers once more, and beginning to lead it down the street. He'd inquired to the innkeeper before he'd left of the location of Caraway Inn - earning a conflicted look from them, as he'd just done business with their inn - but he received directions nonetheless. And that's where he'd now be headed.



After a while of trotting along, the Appaloosa's soft clopping brought it to the Caraway Inn, alongside its rider. Nemorad led the animal to a nearby patch of grass, before turning away from his companion and walking towards the doors to the inn. To any bystanders it would seem like an ignorant thing, to leave one's horse unattended and untethered - but the Warforged had found that it was a helpless measure with his horse. On more than one occasion the Stallion had chewed right through any leads tied to it - but it never wandered too far from where'd it'd been left. And it wasn't very friendly with people - only its rider, which it recognized easily - so leading it away was a dicey endeavor.

One of Nemorad's rough hands pushed open the door to the inn as he stepped inside, scanning the occupants of the establishment. He received a few looks himself - it could be assumed that Warforged were of a rarer breed than even the dwellers of Forsaken were used to. And even then, one with beast fur upon its shoulders, half a set of horns, and a shining gold star on its peck would be even more bizarre. He turned his gaze to the counter, spotting the innkeep and approaching.

He was just about to speak when the barman eyed him and gave him a nod towards the stairs. "Room 310."

Satisfied with the answer, Nemorad gave an eager 'thumbs up' to the barman and smiled under his faceplate. He then turned to the stairs, and ascended them, a few of the wooden steps emitting a slight creaking as he did so. Soon enough, he reached the second floor and was glad to see that the rooms were clearly labeled. Keeping his head cocked, he glanced up at the number above each room as he passed - eventually coming upon a room with its door open - and apparently quite occupied already. Room 310.

He tentatively coaxed his large stature into the doorway - before promptly realizing that smacking one's horn into the top of the frame was not the most successful way of doing so. He always forgot to make extra clearance. He stooped lower, and stepped in before rising up to his normal height again. If he could make such minute facial expressions(and wasn't wearing a faceplate), one would say he was somewhat embarrassed by his less-than-elegant entrance into the small room with several other people.

"Greetings.." he said to nobody in particular - his voice gravelly yet pronounced, its travel seemingly unaffected by his faceplate - as he scanned those who had arrived before him.
1x Like Like
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Shiva
Raw
GM
Avatar of Shiva

Shiva Friendly Neighborhood Voice Actor

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago




Disclaimer: I did get permission to use Moskau Spieluhr's character.

The arrival of a woman and an otter interrupted Cinder's stalking people watching endeavor. As they entered (a male fire genasi hot on their heels), Cinder waited for all of them to get their bearings in the room, and then she stood up. They all looked about as clueless as she felt, so it was starting to look more and more likely that the letter was legitimate. That brought a smile to Cinder's face. If they pulled this off, it was going to be a massive payday for her. Not to mention, if there were a few "tragic" losses on the way, her payday would be even bigger, so either they all came back alive, or she got more money. It was a win win!

Cinder didn't get much of a chance to answer any statement said before others started to pile in the room, namely another human, followed by what looked like a giant skeleton. Was that a goliath? So they had necromancers, great. There was barely time to process that information before a gold colored kobold dodged it's way between the skeleton's legs, making for the sixth person (does a skeleton count as a person?) in the room. Calling this a group of "creatures" was a very delicate way of putting it, Cinder thought. This looked much more like a band of misfits. For the sake of the gods, there were two fire genasi, which stereotypically don't fit in anywhere, a necromancer (dressed rather predictably in mostly black), and evidently a talking otter. To speak nothing of the kobold. The human woman seemed to be relatively normal, so there was that at least.

Cinder was beginning to wonder just how much more ridiculous the situation could get when a familiar, timid voice sounded from the door.

"H- Hello. I think perhaps, that we might share a new friend. I believe we all here for the same noble goal, yes?"

No. No no no no, no. No. If the gods had any mercy in their souls, they wouldn't let it be so. It was just someone who sounded like her, hopefully. Unfortunately for Cinder, when she looked at the new arrival it was discovered to be none other than Valanthe Vanatar- The bane of her existence. Her fake meekness was enough to make the genasi snort in laughter in spite of herself. Their eyes met, and in a split second Val's face changed from a shy smile to what looked like genuine tears of happiness. She flung herself towards Cinder, who backed away but hit a wall before she could escape.

"Cinder! Oh, I'm so glad to see you!" The moon elf woman said, letting out a weary, ragged sob as she buried her face against Cinder's shoulder. The genasi was holding her arms stiffly at her sides, physically cringing at the touch. Shifting to a whisper, Valanthe spoke carefully, "Cinder, I swear to the gods, if you ruin this for me, if you rat me out, I'm going to bury you in your own nightmares."

"Don't threaten me with a good time, Val," Cinder replied, her eyes flickering a little as her temper started creeping up. Her hair as well started to smell distinctly of smoke, and try as she might to stop it, it was starting to catch fire. Valanthe pulled away before it all caught flame. This left Cinder to stand there, still in her awkward, cringing position, shooting daggers at Valanthe, who was somehow maintaining her meek, plastic persona.

Around the time all of this happened, an old man had crept into the room, pipe in hand as he stood behind a warforged that had evidently entered at some point while Cinder was distracted. Damn. She was losing her edge. He puffed on his pipe for a moment, observing the misfits in the room around him, and then came further in to make his presence known to anyone who hadn't already noticed him. He wore a clean gray pinstriped suit, with a matching vest and gold pocket watch hanging down at his side, and large spectacles that made his gray eyes seem too large for his face.

"It seems everyone is here," he said, his voice gruff and a little strained as he sat down on the bed with a huff. "I'm glad to see none of you turned down my offer."

"I'm assuming you're 'A.G.' then?" Cinder asked.

The old man nodded. "Abraham Garrick, at your service. Now I'm sure you all have some questions, and I'll be happy to answer them, but first let me tell you exactly why it is I brought you here. Yes, I want you to stop the crimes that have been going on; I'm very concerned with what has been going on. But more than that, I have a specific person I'd like you to find..."

He paused, looking down to fish in his pocket for some sort of object, and emerged with a picture of an elegant looking woman, perhaps in her late forties or early fifties.

"You see, my wife went missing a few weeks ago. I'm sure it's connected to all that's been going on, since the lawmen can't find anything. They've tried, bless 'em, but there's not so much as a footprint for them to follow. My wife isn't the first person to go missing like this, and she's not the last either. There are a bunch of families in this town that are suffering from loved ones bein' taken. I want you all to put a stop to it, and if possible bring back the folks that have gone missing."
3x Like Like
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Crayt
Raw

Crayt

Member Seen 4 mos ago

Disclaimer: I got permission to use A.G. from Shiva.

“Yeah, thanks.”
The otter said nothing more in turn as the woman offered him assistance getting into the room. At first he assumed she was just a friendly patron, but as she walked into the room ahead of him, it was only obvious she was here for the very same job offer he was. He then simply waddled into the room on his hind paws, intending to seem as intimidating as his stature and appearance would allow. Which was not at all.

There wasn’t much time for Soot to assess first impressions of the woman who’d helped him nor the half-genie who was already inside, since as soon as they’d stepped inside, another individual followed. The otter gave the newcomer a once-over, coming to the conclusion that they were yet another of the half-genie folk. He fell to his front paws and scurried past the woman who’d let him in, nearer to the female half-genie.

It wasn’t long before more people started waltzing their way in. The otter let out a quiet but exasperated sigh before nimbly hopping onto the now unoccupied chair and proceeding onto the little table set next to it. He stood back up onto his hind paws and looked across the room, giving everyone a thorough evaluating look. But when the demure elven lady found their way into the room, Soot found himself suddenly a little hesitant. He was used to the ruffians, the cold-hearted ones, the capable and cocky sort of folk. Her demeanour didn’t quite fit the bill of his sort of crew.

The otter then watched the proceeding scene between the elven woman and the half-genie unfold with a skeptic expression on his face - or, as skeptic as an otter can look. Squinted eyes, scrunchy face, tight-lipped maw - so to speak. They seemed friendly. Friends had each other’s backs. And Soot suspected that these two might have the bright idea to screw everyone else over to split the reward. He hung his head lower, raised a paw to stroke his chin and hummed quietly to himself.

While in the midst of musing over how to solve this particular issue, the words of an older gentleman made him snap out of it and resume looking over the people in the room. There were two newcomers, namely the older gentleman, and a rather large and imposing warforged. Soot didn’t have much experience with their sort, mostly having seen them positioned as guards for the powerful and wealthy. But the otter smiled, now feeling quite a lot more confident in their ability to survive just about anything.

Soot listened attentively as the gentleman spoke, immediately curious as to why the wife had been kidnapped. He supposed that they’d have to go around and question other victims’ families to surmise a possible motive, provided there was one. Soot was entirely comfortable with the idea, keenly aware of his own people skills - no one would say no to speaking to an otter. He smiled to himself, again. Once the man finished speaking, the otter raised a paw and extended his body to stand on his toes as to ask a question:
“Hey, pal, over here. Question: what’s with all the people? Yeah, sure, getting a band together just to make sure you’ve got everything covered is the smart move and all but… You’ve covered all the bases and then some.”
Even with this many people taking on the job, the take would likely be more than enough - provided no one was trying to screw the others. But that was something Soot couldn’t rely on. Free agent work like this drew all sorts of unreliable folk in, and Soot was intent on sussing the worst ones out and finding a way to get rid of them.

The old man turned his head to listen to the otter as he spoke, waiting respectfully for him to finish talking before answering his question. His expression seemed to turn a little sour, even pained, as the otter talked.
"It's more for your own protection, to be quite honest. Buncha folks around these parts have been picking off other groups that have gone looking for the criminals, tryin to make sure no one else gets to the money before they do. I figure if y'all have a nice sized group, you're less likely to be in danger from vultures like that. Plus, it's a pretty good ride to where the clues, few as they may be, end. It's probably about fifteen miles west of here. Y'all don't need to be riding through the wilderness in small groups. That's just asking for someone to die."
The otter nodded at the man, understanding the unfortunate predicament that they’d be in if they accepted the job. He put his paw back down and fell back on his heels. Convincing the gentleman to let some of them go was clearly not an option, but Soot had worked with less ideal circumstances. He then looked about the room, waiting for the rest of the meeting to proceed.
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Lazo
Raw
Avatar of Lazo

Lazo Lazy

Member Seen 13 days ago

Faint felt a soft brush against her leg as the otter slid past her. She stretched her fingers, as if to catch a passing feel of its fur, before she caught herself and pulled her hand back.

Unfortunately, there was little chance to share information with the other two people in the room before the floodgates opened. Barely a moment had passed since they had moved into the room before a new arrival interrupted them, followed by another, then yet another, each stranger than the last, with nary a chance to acknowledge one before the next made their entrance.

Faint found herself gravitating towards a corner of the room as the place grew crowded, and she quickly began to feel silly for thinking herself well-armed for the occasion when among the new arrivals there appeared a man with greying hair trailed by a skeletal giant, soon to be followed by a horned, metallic giant. Fortunately, as the regard of each of the new faces fell over the other occupants, they merely afforded her a moment’s attention before dismissing her and studying their more abnormal companions. Which suited her just fine.

Suppressing a self-deriding smile, she noted that her confidence in her ability to defend herself shrunk the more convinced she grew that that she would not need to.

Until finally, one last person joined them. At the scent of smoke, Faint glanced away from the demure elven lady and the victim of her surprise tackle. A bespectacled, sharply dressed man looking rather advanced in his years puffed from his pipe, studying the bizarre congregation from the entrance. After a moment, the old gentleman made his way towards the bed, announcing what she had already guessed.

Here stood the man who had singled her out, and who was willing to pay a collective four grand for this band of strangers to listen to him. As it stood, the old gentleman wasted no time getting to the point.

Faint grimaced at the picture the man produced from his pocket. Not simply the matter of lost earnings I imagined, then. The request had quickly taken a more personal cast. To herself, she noted that people had not only gone missing from the town. If the papers were to be believed, a number of corpses had been discovered as well. Were those unrelated incidents, or were those the corpses of the missing? Had she missed that information in the newspaper, or would they have to reach out to the authorities, or the affected families, to confirm that?

How long ago did he say she went missing? Several weeks? If her premonition was correct, she did not like Abraham’s odds of being reunited with his spouse. Dimly, she wondered if there was a deeper meaning to the presence of a necromancer in their midst.

With some consternation, she realized she had already begun to think of ways to approach the problem. This is wrong, she thought, I should not be here. She had not exactly been trained to make people reappear. Yet at the same time, she could not help but feel a certain longing for the idea.

Faint shook her head sharply. Before she even considered riding out to see the clues the old gentleman mentioned, she needed to know more about this man, and the reason why he had chosen to invite her.

As the otter stepped back, giving the others a chance to make their questions, Faint pushed away from the wall, drawing attention to herself. “My apologies if this seems rude,” she hesitated for a moment as their regard fell on her, but she soldiered on, “but who are you, exactly? I don’t imagine many would be willing or able to offer upfront payment like this.”

Their patron turned to look at her, nodding in understanding. He puffed on his pipe before answering. “As I said, my name is Abraham Garrick, and I'm a... realtor, of sorts. You see sometimes people come to Forsaken looking for a place to hide from certain people. This doesn't always work out as they'd hope, so when they find themselves on the run again, I'm the person they call. I help them to find a more permanent state of residence, one that they won't easily be tracked to. This business turned out to pay quite well, and I've been doing it for somewhere around thirty years.”

Faint blinked, trying not to let the surprise show in her face. “I see.” Depending on the situation, she might have business with this man completely unrelated to the current mystery.

Though, considering her own financial straits, she could not imagine how lucrative such a career could be. Unless that by a ‘more permanent state of residence’, he means the clutches of whoever was hunting them in the first place. That said, running a scam that dangerous for as long as he suggested would have been suicidal, if not impossible.

Though she could sense the other occupants waiting for their own questions, she couldn’t help but to probe further. “What makes you believe that we could do better than the authorities, or one of those other groups you mentioned? At the very least I don’t recall having a reputation.”

"Young lady," he started, seeming almost affronted by the question, but just as quickly, he seemed to deflate. Dourly, he continued, "Frankly, I'm desperate, and you're all the best I could find. Each of you has a certain set of skills that I believe could come in handy on this sort of mission. You have the fighters, people who can protect you all, someone to provide food, a guide, people who can track, and people who can get information out of people. If the other groups could do better, they would have by now, and I'm sick and tired of waiting for someone else to do something. I'm too old to go out there myself, or I would, so y'all are the best I can do."

Though she wondered which of those categories she was meant to fit into, the man’s demeanor did not seem like an act of any kind. Faint found herself looking away from the old Abraham. She guiltily reminded herself that the man had approached them for the sake of his missing wife. She could imagine how helpless he might feel.

“I can understand that. I’m sorry,” she said, stepping back to the wall to let another take the interrogator’s role.
1x Like Like
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Yankee
Raw
Avatar of Yankee

Yankee Eternally Tired

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

As more and more people filed into the modest room, Flick narrowed his eyes and the (some would say rarely used) gears started turning his brain. Eight of them - or maybe nine? Maybe the man with the hulking skeleton would try and claim his giant "friend" as needing of an equal share? Even if he didn't, eight ways to split a reward was a lot... but five hundred upfront was still mighty tempting. Actually, what would stop him from taking the five hundred and running? What was stopping any of them? With any luck some might drop out of this unfortunate quest, and if things went South then he'd just bail himself.

Flick was in the middle of peering up at the recently arrived Warforged, lightly but brazenly knocking on their metallic carapace, when two of the ladies in the room made a bit of a spectacle that masked "A.G.'s" arrival.

Abraham Garrick, Flcik let the name roll around in his head for a bit as he explained the situation. As the Genasi had thought, a fruitless endeavor. The chances of finding someone that had disappeared around here were slim. As for the man's name, he couldn't say if he was familiar - maybe heard in passing, but Flick had been trying to stay away from the lawless side of Forsaken for a while.

Now, Flicker had a few words for the man, and he'd crossed his arms and listened while some of the others questioned Mr. Garrick. The poor man seemed genuine - a man with money to spare but no one to share it with since the alleged disappearance of his wife. Real pity, especially since no on seemed to bring up the obvious... so Flick chimed in.

"You do know we won't find your wife, right?" He shrugged his shoulders a bit, his gaze sliding from the man's face off to the floor around him. "I mean, not to be the bearer of bad news but - if it's been weeks, we might be able to find her remains for you, but the chances of her still bein' alive are... uh, poor."

Miracles did happen, or so they say, but Flick found it really, really unlikely.

"I'm sure these folks are just as happy to take your money as I am, but I've been out there a few times - outlook is not good, Sir. If you're still willin' to bet on us though, then by all means."

The older man sighed. He seemed to be a little agitated at the question, but Flick didn't know if it was from the question itself or the reminder that his wife probably wasn't alive. Naturally, he assumed the later.

"Yes, I'm aware she's probably no longer with us. However I did specify that I wanted y'all to stop the people doing this as well. Yes, I do want you to find my wife, but I also want these crimes to stop. Period. Regardless of whether she's found or not," Abraham reminded them.

"Fair enough," Flick finished. So an old-timer with a lot of money and a want for justice. A spark returned to the male Genasi's eyes after the man's reply and he turned to the group at large.

"By the way, anyone else here know each other? We got those star-crossed lovers over there," he gestured to the Elf and other Genasi, his tone sarcastic but he did assume they were exes of some sort. One happy to be around the other, while said other looked like she was going to explode? Either one of the gals was an accomplished actor or they had some sort of messy break-up, and the female Genasi was taking it much harder than the Elf. "A bad prior relationship miiiight get in the way of things, don't you think?"
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Redthorn Anvil
Raw
Avatar of Redthorn Anvil

Redthorn Anvil The Listener's Speaker

Member Seen 2 mos ago

Disclaimer: I got permission to use A.G. from Shiva.

Graves listened and observed silently from where he and his thrall stood near the door. There were certainly a variety of characters present, which instantly allayed his skepticism about the letter he received. Clearly this was a serious endeavor - and whatever they'd find, this... Mister Garrick clearly believed that his services would prove beneficial in some way. He still wished the Goliath would at least watch the shop while he was gone... but it seemed there was no way of convincing it. He still wasn't really sure how the Goliath could even make decisions at all - but it unnerved him slightly. Still, it had never given him trouble before.

The shadowy woman, he noticed, seemed to become increasingly more reserved as others joined the group. A timid sort, she seemed to him. The male Genasi struck him as a selfish sort, judging by his line of questioning - but many men were, so he spared the man little thought.

As for the two other ladies... something about both of them made his eyes narrow. There was something going on there, and it made him wary.

Mister Garrick struck him as a reasonable man who had sincere intentions, and Graves would be sorry indeed if any of these here would take advantage of the man's situation. It wasn't his job to protect their employer's interests, but if anyone here attempted to undermine the goal of this job, he would certainly intervene.

After a pause, he addressed Mister Garrick in a soft voice.
"N'truth, I just came t'see what this whole business was about. First I thought it was some... joke - but seein' it's not..."
There was a rattle as the Goliath shifted its feet.
"Sincerest respects to your wife, sir - but reckoning since you inquired after me... What exactly did you expect us to do if we found her and she were... sleeping?"

"I don't want you to reanimate her, if that's what you're asking. I'm worried that there might be some necromancer nonsense involved in this, what with the undead abominations there have been popping up. I figured a necromancer would be the best person to spot that kinda stuff and deal with it should the need arise."

"'Course..." Graves nodded slowly. A perfectly reasonable response - though he wasn't very confident that he'd be able to necessarily deal with any undead that they came across. He only knew how to bring them back - not destroy them.
Though perhaps this would be a good opportunity to find out. If the Goliath ever suddenly decided to turn on him...
He knew shooting at them didn't work - they're not really alive, so they have no life to lose.

The skeletal Goliath clicked its teeth absently.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Bork Lazer
Raw
Avatar of Bork Lazer

Bork Lazer Chomping Time

Member Online

It was a complete smorgasbord of individuals from all over the continent, tall figures overshadowing Lak Lok’s diminutive kobold size with the exception of the otter. Lak Lok inwardly cursed whatever gods were responsible for making a small percentage of races on the continent vertically challenged. He nearly scraped his head against the bony pelvis of the goliath, moving through the crowded room and making sure that he didn’t get stamped on in the process.

His scaled skin began to feel stiff as he approached the genasi, the air around her warm and dry as bone. The large cauldron roped on his back jangled back and forth as he maneuvered and slipped in between the legs of people, trying to find a space where he could rest and sit down. All of these different ingredients together would make a unique recipe indeed….or a complete disaster. Who was he to question Garakkg’s methods?
He couldn’t help but notice that the moon elf and the fire demon were cuddling together like long lost lovers. It was hard to see the genasi’s expression from his height but it looked as if she was glowing red by the cheeks in embarrassment. Ah, the wonders of inter species relationships. He held his tongue at asking whether or not he could have officiate their wedding under Garrakg’s domain.

Temple first, Lak Lok. Temple first.

An odd aroma of burning pipeweed was coursing through the air, though. Lak Lok’s tongue flickered out, tasting the smoky fumes of burnt fruit and smooth notes. He slowly turned around to see an old man walk into the room, pipe in hand. This must be the so called A.G. Vein pulsing in his head, Lak Lok’s hand wavered towards his paring knife, pausing as the old man began to recount his story. Lak Lok's raging temper at the geezer's chosen venue simmered down to a partial boil when he heard about his dead wife.

So, it did have something to do with all the missing people in Forsaken. Even though Nowyre Crossroads was miles away from Forsaken, it had still affected the operations of the Burgundy. Lak Lok's vein pulsed as he remembered the frustration he had when he received news of his new centaur sous chef having been found missing in his homestead. Whoever was responsible would pay for that.

Finally fed up with being one of the shortest of the group, he crawled on top of a chair to make himself more visible to his client. Standing on top of the seat, wavering slightly as the chair struggled to hold his weight, he spoke.

“ In spite of your startling lack of culinary expertise and the horrendous quality of this establishment menu…” Lak Lok took a deep breath, controlling himself from pulling his steak knife out and gutting Abraham Garrick to death. “....Garrakg has pointed me to you, Mr Garrick. I shall see to it that I shall exact Garrakg’s vengeance on the scum who did this to your betrothed and sentence them to the bowels of the deep fryer. You have my word. ”

1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Bartimaeus
Raw
Avatar of Bartimaeus

Bartimaeus Existential Depravity

Member Seen 9 days ago

Nemorad


The horned Warforged watched from his space near the door as the motley group of individuals all seemed to be sizing each other up - likely not having expected such a turnout for a task requiring a manner of ‘specific skills’. He held his hands awkwardly as he watched some skeptical glances pass over him, pausing, before moving on. Fortunately though, it seemed not all was as tense as he had feared, as two of the individuals met each other with a hug. He watched in admiration as the two reunited in a heart-warming embrace - Nemorad moving one of his hands to cup over the other absent-mindedly as he did so.

However, his swooning over the display of affection would not last long as another, final individual entered the room -- an older gentleman. He made himself known before resting upon the bed, then introducing himself. Nemorad listened intently to the man’s further explanations of the going-ons of the area, producing some much needed information at the behest of the others present. Meanwhile, his eyes clocked in on the photo. The man’s wife was seemingly on the older side - wrinkled features, graying blonde hair -- and brown eyes. In the image, she wore a beautiful dress that looked rather expensive. He memorized the photo, before looking back at Abraham. Nemorad could only imagine the desperate desire he had to find his wife.

He tuned back into the voices of the others present, listening to their questions and the answers in turn. Though, one individual in particular took him aback - Flick’s insistence on the group’s inability to find the man’s wife saddened him. He wanted to interrupt - to insist that they would find the woman - but he tended to his manners and waited. The negativity of the comment just crawled under his skin, making him feel even worse for Abraham.

The crawling feeling was, however, seeming to subside somewhat as the other members of the group began promising their participation in the quest. It made him joyful - naively, some might say - that these people would show this old man some kindness by helping him. Surely it wasn’t the money they were in for. Not at all.

The Warforged squared his chest and looked at Abraham as he became ready to speak up after the others. “We shall find your wife, Mr. Garrick. You have my promise as well - her kidnappers will face justice.”
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Shiva
Raw
GM
Avatar of Shiva

Shiva Friendly Neighborhood Voice Actor

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago




Cinder had been quietly standing in the corner, having shaken off the initial dread shock of seeing the horrid moon elf, and was listening to the others' questions. So far everything she'd wanted to ask had been answered. In spite of herself, Cinder felt a small pang of sympathy for the old man. He seemed very lonely, and obviously worried for his wife. He must love her very much to spend so much money searching for her. He seemed like a genuinely good, caring, generous person, and that was something that was incredibly rare these days. The gods knew Cinder wasn't one of those people. However, she could still appreciate them when she saw them.

There was still smoke rising from her hair as she quietly fumed in her little corner, arms crossed, face fixed in a perpetual scowl as she tried to calm her temper down so she could actually pay attention to what was being said. Then the other genasi made some comment about "star-crossed lovers," and her hair immediately became engulfed in flame.

"I would rather be forever trapped in the eighth hell as Mephistopheles' personal punching bag," she growled, her teeth clenched as she turned her perpetual scowl to the other genasi. "And it only gets in the way of things if you're not a professional. Long as I get paid, I don't care who I have to work with."

And it was true. Valanthe had been #1 on Cinder's hitlist for a long time now, but no matter how hard she tried, the genasi could never actually pin anything on her. It was infuriating, and it got in the way of her getting paid. There was nothing Cinder hated more than people getting in the way of her payday. Not to mention that moon elves in general were just snobby, arrogant, self-righteous pricks, and their arrogance was enough to make Cinder want to puke. Still, as previously said, there was nothing she hated more than people getting in the way of her payday, so she could endure it for this one job. Just one more job, and she would never have to work again. Besides, maybe she could manage to pin a crime on Valanthe in the process, and then it would be a win/win!

"Speaking of pay, I have with me a little gift for each of you as an upfront payment, as promised," The old man cut in, evidently wanting to end the current line of conversation. He produced from his inner pocket a very large wad of cash, which he then started counting and distributing to each one of the adventurers in turn. As promised, Cinder received $500.

"Use it however you see fit, be it for food, board, supplies for the quest, or whatever else you might need it for. Should you succeed on your task, y'all will get a reward that makes this look like pocket change."

"Are we done here, then?" She asked, looking at Abraham again.

He shrugged, then stood up, grunting a bit as he leaned heavily on his cane. "Unless anyone has any more questions, then yes. Should you need to contact me for any reason, you can send a telegram to the Garrick estate. I'll get it."

"In that case," the genasi started, already walking out of the door. "I'm going to get a drink."

The tavern down below might not have the best liquor ever, but Cinder was more than willing to bet there would be something decent enough for her. It was probably going to be her last opportunity to get an actual meal and drink for a while, so she was definitely going to take advantage of it while she could. The gods only knew what crazy backwoods cabin they'd get sent to on this rescue mission, and whatever "food" Abraham had been talking about being provided, Cinder had her doubts as to the quality of it. After all, even if they somehow got a chuckwagon, it was still going to be a limited menu. Eager to actually eat something relatively decent (and for a drink to take her edge off), she stomped her way down the stairs.

1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Crayt
Raw

Crayt

Member Seen 4 mos ago

The otter graciously accepted his share of the upfront payment and pocketed it in the proportionally larger pocket within the leather vest. He took a moment to adjust the vest and backpack as he watched the proceeding interaction between the female half-genie and the gentleman, before the half-genie took her leave.

Without paying much attention to who stayed and who left, Soot hopped down from his perch and quickly slunk his way over to the man on all fours, before standing up and posing a question:
“How’s the mayor of your, errrr… fine town handling the situation? Your bureaucratic people types? The guards? Just out of curiosity, you know.”
He gave the man a sly smile, masking his suspicion of the particular branches of the government behind a guise of simple inquisitiveness. Abraham's face contorted into what may have been an attempt at a smile, but looked more like a grimace as he responded:
"They're... doing their best. I'm not one to speak ill of those in authority. However, the Sheriff doesn't have enough manpower, and there's just not a lot of evidence for him to go off of anyway. Mostly they're just trying to keep the remaining people safe as opposed to searching for those that have gone missing, which I can understand, but just sitting here twiddlin' our thumbs and toes ain't gonna get nothin solved."
The otter nodded in an expression of feigned agreement, raised a paw to stroke his chin and pondered on the old man’s answer. He certainly had no ground to stand on in judging a man for trusting their government, but was simultaneously probably the best person in the room to tell just to what lengths governmental folks were willing to go to stay in power. The otter hummed before resuming his questioning:
“I don’t suppose you know if the sheriff, the mayor or anyone like that would be open to discussing with our kind?”
"I don't, to be honest. You could always give it a try, though."
The gentleman responded with a shrug. The otter nodded once more before giving the man a brief thanks and scampering out the doorway, down the hallway and down the stairs.

He stopped on the final step and considered his options. Something gave Soot the impression that he wouldn’t be leading the investigation on this one, no one seemed particularly like the following type and a few seemed like they’d be even more inclined to lead than him. So Soot figured that he would resign to more of an advisory role, hoping that whoever took charge would be willing to hear him out. The otter hopped down the last step, stood up on his hind legs and started slowly sauntering into the bar.

During the short stroll, he considered where to start and how to approach that start. The mayor would likely be one of the more clued-in figures within the town, but was also in such a position of power that they’d be less inclined to speak candidly about the issues plaguing the town. Whoever was in charge of the law was a good bet for an initial line of inquiries, but such an encounter could also easily go sideways. This town was full of vagabonds and scum, and many saw no distinction between such individuals and mercenaries - an apt title for what this motley crew was at the moment. They might as well end up being arrested or hunted down if someone continued their chatterbox ways in front of the sheriff. The otter sighed and stood near the bar, continuing to ponder an appropriate next move on his lonesome...
Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Lazo
Raw
Avatar of Lazo

Lazo Lazy

Member Seen 13 days ago

Faint winced when the male genasi gave voice to the thoughts she had kept to herself. Gods, man! Have some tact!

To the question posed to the group, she simply droned, “Perfect strangers.” She would have left had that not been the case.

Her thoughts returned to the previous topic as the next person stepped forward. It had to be said, even the necromancer, who should have been the most interested in discussing the topic of the victim’s death, showed a modicum in delicacy in approaching the subject.

Thankfully, the rest of the group did not seem keen to dwell on the subject. In fact, the diminutive kobold and towering Warforged were so quick to pledge their service it made Faint feel the slightest twinge of unease. She had to suppress a light shudder at the metal giant’s proclamation that they would bring the perpetrators to ‘justice’, and she realized the being carried what passed for a badge of office for authorities around these parts.

It took her a moment to remind herself she had committed no crimes in this land.

What about her, then? Was she ready to offer her help to this stranger, now that she was fairly certain this was largely a chance meeting? Perhaps in another time, she would have agreed right then and there. Now, however, the thought of simply agreeing, no matter how noble the cause, scared her. How was that any different than how she had lived her life until then, doing as she was told again and again, as if tossed by the waves?

A favor of this magnitude was too much for her at that point. A transaction, however, was easy to understand. As the female genasi brought up the matter of payment, and Abraham produced the notes, Faint only balked at the amount offered so casually for a moment before quickly taking her share.

My hiring fee, she told herself. As a mercenary, she supposed, or a detective. It was somewhat disheartening that her best assets for such an occupation would be the same skillset she had learned for her previous one.

She shook her head slowly. If she had been ready to discard that side of hers so readily she would already have found a place at a bar or diner, or perhaps even a hospital. But she had waited until someone had reached out for her instead. She did not want to think about what that attachment meant. ”It’s a first step for myself either way,” she muttered in a low voice.

The first genasi in the room stepped out soon after taking her payment. The otter, however, took the chance to ask about the state of affairs with the town’s authorities. Faint didn’t like Abraham’s answers. Undermanned and stuck. In the meantime, the bounty would be giving rise to multiple motley crews of hooligans — much like this one — interested only in the money and likely to cause trouble of their own. It seemed to her like the stability of Forsaken was poised to deteriorate rapidly.

So distracted was she by her brooding, she barely noticed when the otter excused himself and stepped out. A moment later, realizing that something was off, she pushed herself out of her corner, blinking at the otter and genasi’s exit. They did not seem like they intended to walk out of the job, but those lines of questioning had seemed lacking.

“W-wait, aren’t we forgetting something?” It seemed bizarre to her that they would agree to find the man’s wife, then fail to ask for any details surrounding the wife’s disappearance.

Perhaps now that they had been given their upfront payment, the matter of solving the criminal mystery as a whole, the one worth a bounty of $30000 weighed more heavily on their minds than the man’s initial request. After all, he had never promised payment upon completion of that task.

Are they putting the cart before the horse on purpose? she wondered.

Pulling herself together, Faint turned to Abraham. “Mr. Garrick, I imagine you already went through this with the guard, but do you mind if I ask some questions about Mrs. Garrick’s disappearance?”

The old man nodded. “Of course not. What do you want to know?”

Faint had been half expecting to be rebuffed, but now that she’d been given room to talk, she realized she’d never imagined she would be on this side of such an interview. A part of her couldn’t help but feel like a sham leading the gentleman on even as she gave him a thankful smile.

“Thank you. Let’s start with the last time you saw Mrs. Garrick. Could you tell me when and where that was?”

"It was exactly three weeks ago. We had our normal morning routine, ate breakfast together, and then I went to work. When I came back, she was gone. There were signs of struggle inside the house, and that's it. There were no strange tracks outside, no blood, nothing."

Faint blinked. “She was taken from your home?” The wheels started turning in her mind. That was not what she had expected given her initial impression of this case. She imagined victims would have been picked out randomly from the streets, but that didn’t seem to be the case here. “At what time did you return? Do you have any servants, or relatives living with you that might have seen her after you left?”

"I returned at my usual time, around four or five in the afternoon. We do have a few servants, but they didn't see anything. The maid heard some banging, but when she went to check it out there was no one there. She assumed someone dropped a few things and didn't think any more of it."

And, being the maid, she likely immediately cleaned up any evidence. She resisted the urge to groan. As if following a three week old trail wasn’t difficult enough.

It seemed all too possible that Mrs. Garrick had been targeted. Money could be a motive, given the old gentleman’s apparent wealth, but there was something missing from that interpretation. “Given that you haven’t mentioned it already, I assume you haven’t received any ransom notice,” Faint noted.

"No, I have not," He confirmed.

“Is that servant still working for you?”

“Yes, she is. Been working for our family for several decades, and feels terrible, poor thing. She keeps blaming herself, but it's not her fault."

“It isn’t,” Faint agreed, though in the back of her mind she tagged an I hope to the end of that thought. She paused to organize her the information she had been given, dimly noting how tenuous all the leads the conversation had revealed thus far had been. Though, she admitted, she supposed that if the case was clear-cut, no one would have approached them.

“Did you notice anything odd before the disappearance?” Faint chanced. “Perhaps a stranger loitering around the estate? Maybe your wife mentioned something, or she behaved oddly at some point? Please try to remember. The smallest detail could be a vital clue.”

He shook his head. “No, there was nothing out of the ordinary. I mean, we were all worried about the disappearances around town, so all of us were a little on edge, but besides that everything was normal."

Faint sighed, a bit of her frustration seeping through. She bit her nail. She thought there might have been something there, but... the way he makes it seem is almost as if she got magicked away. “That’s not much to go on,” she admitted. “Has it been like this for all the missing? Taken from their home with barely a trail to follow?”

"Yes, it has. I believe I already mentioned a little something about that, but all of the cases are like this.” Faint couldn’t tell if the hint of vexation she caught was aimed at her or at the situation in general. “People plucked from their homes, on the street, at work, really anywhere. No so much as a footprint, and no witness."

Faint frowned, “What about the supposed clues to the west, then? Where do those come in?”

"There were a couple of very vague clues leading out into the wilderness. Some pieces of fabric, dropped items that were identified as belonging to some of those who went missing, and small things like that. Not a lot, but enough to spark some suspicion."

She was about to ask for more details, perhaps going as far as to ask if any of the discovered items had belonged to his wife, but stopped herself. Something told her she bad pursued the topic far enough in front of the husband. She would be better served by looking into those herself. Regarding the search, there was still one matter she wanted to address before she was satisfied with this interview. “Can I see that photo again, please?”

"Sure," He replied, holding out the photo. The woman in the frame had graying blonde hair, a beautiful, expensive looking dress, and was smiling brightly towards the camera. Or, Faint amended a moment later, at something beyond it. When Abraham spoke again, he seemed to have been transported to somewhere else. “This was supposed to be a serious photograph, you know. It was our 35th wedding anniversary, and we were commemorating the event. I tripped and fell into a water trough a few seconds before the photograph got snapped, and it came out with her smiling."

“She looks gorgeous,” Faint said, a touch hesitantly. She’d had to force herself not to say ‘looked’. Fortunately, the wistful look on the old man’s face told her he had not caught her reservation. Emboldened, she asked, “Could I hold onto it for the investigation?”

Abraham started briefly at the question, as if waking from a reverie. He looked at the picture briefly, a touch possessively, Faint thought, before a brief smile crossed his features. He handed it to her. “You can take the picture... But please make sure to bring it back to me, if at all possible.”

“Thank you,” she said, taking the photo and studying it more closely. There was something truly radiant in the woman’s smile, but even then, Faint couldn’t pick out anything that might make her the target of a kidnapper. A thought suddenly occurred to her as she studied the picture. “I just realized,” Faint noted, guiltily. “I never asked her name.”

The old man nodded, taking a deep breath. She could tell from the creak of the floorboards that he was putting more of his weight over his cane. “Her name was Sarah. Sarah Merian Garrick."

Faint’s eyes snapped up from the photo and onto the man’s tired face. The ‘was’ in his answer broke her heart.

She averted her gaze, speaking tightly past her constricted throat. “If at all possible, Mr. Garrick, I’ll bring back more than a picture.” She paused to slide the photo into one of her pockets. The act helped her find her center again and she sighed, loosening some of her tension. “In any case, thank you for answering my questions. I might stop by your estate later to speak with your maid, and to look for clues where the disappearance took place, but for now I need a moment to digest all this.”

Glancing aside at some movement, she was startled to find that other members of the party still remained in the room. She tried to hide a light flush of embarrassment as she took a step away from Abraham. “Sorry to keep you waiting. I’m going to look for the others. They should hear some of this if they’re going to try to untangle this mess.”

Her piece said, she inclined her head lightly in a perfunctory bow, and stepped out. As it turned out, once she had glided down the stairs only took a single to locate both the genasi and the otter. Not particularly inconspicuous costumers, these.

She took a moment to consider these two, then, remembering how the little otter had been gleefully talking the ear off a random patron before he had gone upstairs, decided he was the more approachable of the two. Not to mention softer-looking one.

She pulled out the chair next to him and sat, signaling to the person manning the bar. She chanced a glance at the Genasi, trying to make eye contact, but after a moment she turned to the otter in its quiet pondering.

“You left before we could ask anything about the wife’s disappearance,” she noted. It sounded even more chiding than she had meant, and she grimaced. “Sorry, don’t mean anything by it.” Her eyes trailed over the otter’s glossy fur, and a part of her wondered if it was supposed to look like that even while dry. She stopped herself from reaching out to feel it. Instead, she asked, “What do you think about this? Ever seen anything like it?”
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Yankee
Raw
Avatar of Yankee

Yankee Eternally Tired

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

Wow. This group was certainly something. From their smallest kobold member to the largest warforged - or, maybe that skeleton - they were all certainly... a powder keg. Yep. Though Flick had been wrong before, in fact just seconds ago if the female Genasi's reaction was anything to go by. He raised his hands in front of himself, pairing an awkward grin with his placating gesture. Thankfully the topic of their promised payment came up. Flick took the stack offered to him with a small word of thanks to the old man. He waved the papers lightly in front of him for a few moments before stashing them away on the inside of his coat. Flick glanced at all of the room's occupants again - most of them seemed all right. He knew you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, a gnoll by it's spots or what have you, but as far as first impressions went, not the worst. A nice, thoughtful powder keg.

As soon as hot-headed genasi was out the door Flick let out a low whistle. To no one in particular he commented, "touchy one, huh?"

He stuck around to listen to the last few comments, even wanted to make a few himself, when the quiet girl pipped up. Forgetting something indeed - Garrick had tasked them with ending this whole nightmare, but there was still his specific request for closure, and two of their group seemed to have forgotten all about it. Well, made his life easier if someone else was doing the asking. Flicker leaned against the wall with his hands shoved into his pockets, paying close attention to everything their surprisingly generous benefactor was saying. Unfortunately it wasn't anything he hadn't heard before. Sure, this particular tale was new to him, but there had been more than enough rumors and stories floating around Forsaken about the same thing happening to a lot of other people. Was it sad, tragic even? Of course, but as far as Flick was concerned there was nothing he could do about it other than get the hell out of town. Still, he'd be lying if he said he didn't want to at least try and help at all.

Flick nodded to the girl as she hurried out of the room before standing up straight and regarding the rest of the group. "Well, you guys heard everthin' right? Take it or leave it.

Sir," the genasi motioned toward Garrick, giving the man what he hoped was a friendly gesture of goodbye. He really hoped he hadn't gotten on Abraham's bad side, but it wouldn't be the first time. "Thanks for the opportunity."

Without further ado Flicker sauntered out, finding his way downstairs to the bar area where the other three already were. So at the very least these ones were in for the job. Flick had the same idea as the human girl and gravitated toward her and the otter. Best to let the other genasi cool down a bit, or at the very least let someone else handle her.

On his way over Flick intercepted the wait staff, plucking two drinks from her hands. "A few more over there, please." With no shame or pretense, the young man slid himself into an empty seat at the table and handed off the orders to his would-be companions.

"It's been goin' on for a while," the genasi started, taking it upon himself to answer the girl's question, "I take it you haven't been in Forsaken long if you hadn't heard a similar story by now. Like Mr. Garrick said, law don't really have any leads so no one can do anythin' about it." He paused. "Unless our little rag-tag comes upon a miracle. Assumin' everyone's still in."

He leaned back in his seat, glancing over again at the other genasi before he turned back and offered the others a smile. Whether they found it charming or not was their business, not his. "Name's Flick by the way. Ignatius."
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Redthorn Anvil
Raw
Avatar of Redthorn Anvil

Redthorn Anvil The Listener's Speaker

Member Seen 2 mos ago

So many questions, too few answers. Graves thought the old man was looking tired as he was handed a bill, same as everyone else, but he didn't stuff it away immediately as a few of the others had, considering all that had transpired thus far.

He considered a few options of his own on how to proceed.

Quietly, he left the room.
"So, there be no witnesses, and little evidence other than a trinket or two and 'course, missin' persons."
The Goliath rattled his teeth.
"The ol' man's likely said all he can, what with all those questions thrown at him. And them officers aren't ones to chat too much about legal business. And there's other hunting parties out there lookin' for the bounty."
Silence.
"Best to stay outta their business. Not real interested in tangling with them. If they want the money, they can bleed each other over it. Our concern is the ol' man's wife. We find her, we find the others. Right?"
Nothing.
"S'what I thought."

The odd pair headed downstairs and saw three of the group sitting at table together. The quiet girl, the otter, and one of the genasi. The quiet girl was telling them about the questions she'd posed to their employer.
Uninvited, he sat with them also, listening quietly. The Goliath stood looming nearby.

After the girl had finished speaking, the genasi spoke up, and introduced himself as Flick Ignatius.

"You all say there's no witnesses. Living ones maybe... Have you thought about asking someone who's dead?"
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Bork Lazer
Raw
Avatar of Bork Lazer

Bork Lazer Chomping Time

Member Online

Questions, questions, questions. All Lak Lok wanted to know was when they would begin hunting for these so called murderers. When the round of questions had finished, the kobold chef's frustration was silenced by the large amount of money in Garrick's hands. It was possibly more money than he had handled in his entire life. He knew that Garrakg's code Lak Lok swiped it and simply stared at it, not saying a single word. The most he’d ever received on a good moon was 50 dollars. Despite the Restauranteer’s Guild attempts to regulate minimum wages across the Continent, his past employers were more concerned about profit over assuring the livelihood of their chefs. This was at least an entire year’s worth of savings.

As far as he was concerned, each dollar was a brick in the foundations of Garrakg’s temple. Lak Lok slowly, with reverence, counted each dollar to make sure the amount was correct and that their employer hadn’t lied to him. He then turned towards the geriatric man and came down on one knee.

“ Thank you, Mr Garrick.” Lak Lok prostrated his tiny 3 foot tall body down under his employer’s shadow. “ As Garrakg would say, a meal is to be shared and savored by everyone as well as yourself. Please, have one of these sacred talismans as a token of good faith.”

Out from the bottom of his apron, Lak Lok took out a jingling crude effigy of Garrakg, carved out of bone, and strewn together with cheesecloth. It was heavily scented with the pungent aroma of cave garlic and forest cloves. To Lak Lok's lizard palette, it was quite an exquisite smell but for the uninitiated senses of a human, it was downright nauseating. Mr Garrick's face was of a sickly pallor as he tried to back away from the kobold cleric.

“ It’s really not necessary - “

Lak Lok shoved it forcefully into his hand before he could reject his gift. The rest of the room was beginning to empty out, most of them forming into a small retinue as the Genasi retired down to the small bar in the establishment. Should he follow them? Lak Lok's grumbling stomach made the decision for him. Even if the Caraway Inn's menu was less than desirable, the only other noteworthy establishment in town was a root bread bakery. Lak Lok sighed and trailed the crowd of adventurers down towards the ground floor of the inn. He scrambled up top one of the stools, next to the left of the Genasi. It took a long while for the waiter to notice his flailing hand in the air. Lak Lok made a note that his future restaurant would have stools with longer chair legs to accommodate for the more vertically challenged races of the Continent.

" Order, sir?" The half-elf waiter asked, taking out a rod of charcoal stuck behind his ear to write down the order.

“ Bring me one of your baked hydra necks. Medium rare. And a glass of spring water, if you would be so kind.”

No one could mess up a good hydra when done well. One did have to be careful about hydra rearing, though. Too many heads and the heart wouldn’t be able to pump blood to sustain all of them. The half-elf waiter nodded.

" Anything else?"

“ Oh, there is one more thing......” Suddenly, Lak Lok grabbed the collar of the waiter with strength that one wouldn’t know the straw-thin skeleton of Kobolds would possess. “ If I find a single burnt scale on my baked hydra, I will force feed your entrails to you. Do we have an understanding?” The waiter was quick to nod. “ Good, now leave.”

The waiter stumbled off, wildly trying to get away from the psychotic killer kobold. Whilst waiting for his order, Lak Lok tried to break the awkwardness with some small talk. He coughed out loud to attract the attention of the female Genasi and spoke slowly. There was a boiling question in him about the Genasi that needed to be addressed.

“ Excuse me, I don’t mean to pry upon your private affairs but I happened to spot you and that Moon elf having quite an amiable conversation together." Lak Lok paused for a moment before continuing on. " Are you and that moon elf fiances by any chance? If so, please know that I am available to officiate your wedding as a chosen cleric of Garrakg.”

Ah, his spring water had arrived. He then slowly took a sip of his spring water, letting the fizzy bubbles dance around in his mouth, whilst waiting for the Genasi's reaction.

" There's no charge, if that's what you're worried about," he added.
↑ Top
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet