Approaching the and arriving in the city had been smooth sailing, routing operation. The relative open-mindedness of the people, the comforting fact that one could still stock up on supplies even relatively late in the evening and the huge availability of choices in terms of taverns to have a night's stay in were all things Týfurkh could appreciate, but that small part inside him just had felt it to be a bit too close to the brink of utter boredom. Of course people had turned their heads as they saw him striding through the narrow streets, guiding his horse Jafnir
behind him, but that was nothing he wasn't completely used to.
The place that had become his ultimate choice was in a somewhat delapidated state. Small, narrow and cramped in between other buildings of greater size it really was a very far cry from a beautiful sight, but it had been dirt cheap and the local he had questioned had told him that The Rusting Nail
actually was better inside than it looked outside. After a short squeezing action through the doorframe, Týfurkh had found out that this, in fact, was true. Not too many spots where beer had once been littered on the wooden floorboards months or even years ago, no rainwater dripping down from the ceiling and enough candles to keep everything illuminated sufficiently. A massive increase in ventilation would have served the place well though, but Týfurkh had not mentioned this to the man behind the counter once he had shoved his enormous self through the small crowd of patrons.
The fellow had identified himself as Bob, a freshman who, according to a regular visitor of this place, had started working there just on that day and had never been seen before. Instincts had told Týfurkh to double-check any food Bob would provide him with -- one could never know with inexperienced people. Surprisingly though the first chunk of roasted beef had turned out to be of such a superior taste and tenderness that Týfurkh had decided to eat a double portion. The second one however had turned out to have the consistency of rugged leather. No, the thing actually had been
leather. A piece of parchment, to be precise. And the words written on it had still been in such a good shape that Týfurkh's eyes had found no difficulty catching them before his mind cold have ordered his mouth to complain about the meal.
I have to apologize for the inconvenience, but you are one of the more elusive persons to catch up to. I am Bob and I have an important message for you: Beneath its cold and calm surface this city is on the brink of collapse without knowing. Do have a good night's sleep and give yourself as much rest as possible, but do not entrust yourself to anyone for he or she most likely will either be a member of a cult that is trying to take over the city by the power of a distortion or one of its victims. I can give you instructions about how to protect yourself from insight, but I can't protect you from any more physical side effects a mass outbreak of madness will have. Consider yourself being in danger, be prepared for having to make a rapid retreat.
Yet there is hope. Once things break loose you should head to another place in town immediately. There is a bunch of people you should become friends with not only to improve everybody's chances of survival including your own, but also in order to try and save the city of at least a smaller, remaining part of it.
I know you're a good man, right ? Don't disappoint me, don't disappoint yourself. Sorry for the interruption, but I'd highly appreciate if you wouldn't tell anybody about this. I will serve you another, true piece of meat within minutes.
To say that Týfurkh had found this to be disturbing would have been a massive understatement, but even strange messages should be taken into consideration sometimes. He had had a gut feeling of this being serious, so he had decided to rent a room on the first floor only -- a place where on could jump from if necessary.
The next morning, the sun had barely risen over the horizon and started to send its red rays into the small chamber, Týfurkh woke up. He had kept the window open in order to allow some fresh air in, but now people were really overdoing it with their chimney fires... Or were they ? He raised himself to his full height and didn't even to fully turn towards the window in order to notice there was more to it: Fire! Not one house was burning, but half the street already. And even if one put one's standards as low as 'people frantically running around and crying for water and other help' there weren't any efforts about extinguishing the mess to be seen, only... carnage. A lot of carnage, including guts slashed open and bodies lying on other bodies already.
Týfurkh strapped on his shoulder plates, reached for his crossbow and jumped. He had slept in as much armor as he could possibly do while sleeping at all, so not much time was wasted. The impact he made on the ground was a very tremendous one, but his kneeds and thighs could take the strain. He had to get to his other place Bob had mentioned, but should he ride ? No... while faster, he would also have to avoid any obstalces that could be overcome on one's own feet otherwise. So, though very reluctantly, he freed Jafnir from the stable and allowed his animal companion to roam freely, to try and save itself.
Then he started running. It didn't seem as if the raging madness had spared anyone at this point, a few of them even tried to choose him as their next victim but failed. Týfurkh tried to make this quick, pushing himself closer to his limits as he was running, jumping and evading people and burning debris alike. Then he saw something... A... staircase ? A construct that obviously shouldn't be here. It appeared as if another, more and more ruined tavern was nearby and he tried to catch a glimpse at Chres' face. Bob had written down a visual description of whom to look for and this appeared to be a somewhat precise match. Týfurkh set up a message, one that by the power of his magic was neither disturbed by his heavy breathing nor shouted in order to get through. A very efficient, very narrow channel throug which his words were focused in order to reach the other man's ears alone:"Wait for me!"