Author Topic: Crossroads  (Read 2610 times)

Offline JA-394

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Crossroads
Posted Jan 23 2019, 07:32 PM
"Sure," said Nora.

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 23 2019, 07:34 PM
"Great! Meet you downstairs in the morning then?"

Offline JA-394

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Posted Jan 23 2019, 07:49 PM
"We'll be here?"

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 23 2019, 07:51 PM
"Great! See you guys then!" Karl smiled, then looked at his key to see which room it was too, then headed there.

Once inside, he sat on the bed and relaxed, glancing over at a little chair in the corner of the room.

"I think we're off to a good start, sister." he said to the thin air, "Maybe this town won't be so bad after all."

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 24 2019, 08:37 AM
City of Arcus Tuar…

Twilight…

A lone man traversed the shadowed streets of the ancient settlement, passing through the throngs of people who paid no mind to a simple-looking traveler in a hooded cloak. Deep into the interior of the city he went, the humble outer reaches of the circularly-designed town giving way to the affluent mid-rings. But even these soon transitioned to the archaic inner-ring, which straddled the shores of the deep, round lake in the very center of the city. The lake was not large in terms of surface area, but everyone knew that it was immeasurably deep. As a result of this near-infinite reservoir of fresh water, the city had been built to completely surround the lake, growing outward in rings, much like a tree trunk might, and developing canals and aqueducts to bring the water to the further reaches of the urban sprawl.

Naturally, the innermost rings of the city were the oldest, with ancient buildings that dated back hundreds of years, and with residents whose family histories traced back to the first human settlers of the region. Some of these neighborhoods were well-kept, with wealthy owners and lovely homes that possessed all the class and character one would expect from such historic architecture. But other places had fallen into decay, with the worst of them being located on the lake’s dreaded East Shore. And of these decadent ghettos, the most prominent was the infamous Dagger’s Lagoon, a small community surrounding an elongated, putrid pool of greenish water, which was just barely connected to the greater lake. The neighborhood had been walled-off for as long as anyone could remember, with only a small gate to allow merchant access to the greater city. For so many years had Dagger’s Lagoon been in isolation, that no one really knew whether the stockade surrounding it had been erected to keep people out… or keep people in.

Even so, this was the hooded man’s destination, and the mute watchman admitted him without much more than a grunt. Only the young folk, or what passed for young folk in this place, were out in the streets at this time of day, but they did not accost the man, nor did he speak to any of them. There was no reason to. This was not the first time he’d visited their enclave.

The man soon arrived at a decrepit mansion, a once proud building that might have been suitable for a wealthy merchant or even a low-ranking noble when it was first built, but now was a rotting husk of its former self. Undaunted, the man stepped up to the door. Only three times did he knock, but a croaking voice from within indicated he may enter. The interior of the mansion held a foul, fishy odor, but that hardly concerned the hooded man; he had smelled far worse. Stepping through the entry and into the parlor, he found the source of the voice that had spoke to him a moment before. It was a slimy-looking thing, part-man, part-frog, part-fish, reclined in a large bath basin that permitted the creature to submerge its entire body in water, though right now its grotesque head was being held just above the surface.

“I see your metamorphosis had begun to accelerate, Sarnogg.” the man spoke, pulling back his hood to reveal a bald head and intense eyes.

“Yes.” the creature gurgled in acknowledgement, “Soon, I will join the others in the deep.”

“Far be it from me to keep you.” the man responded, “Do you have what I requested?”

“Of course…” Sarnogg nodded, raising a slimy, webbed hand and pointing toward a table across the room, “On the end table. I would fetch it for you, but I cannot leave the water during this stage of my transition.”

The man promptly crossed the room and snatched up the object, an old piece of folded cloth. He opened it briefly, revealing some ancient inscriptions dyed into the fabric, then promptly closed it again in satisfaction.

“What of my end of the bargain?” the fishman inquired, “You promised me the oil.”

“I did promise that, didn’t I?” the man nodded, unveiling a tiny, glass vial of some sort of liquid substance.

“Agghh… good. Hand it here.” Sarnogg smiled, sharp teeth gleaming from his fish-like mouth.

The bald man placed the little bottle in the amphibious creature’s webbed hand. Sarnogg clumsily removed the cork, then allowed a single drop to come forth from the vial and into his bathwater.

“You do not know how much less painful this makes the change. I will earn many favors from the other transitionals for a drop of this.” Sarnogg remarked with a smug grin, “But, I’m curious, what use is that old rag to you?”

“It’s a portion of a map.” the man answered, as he placed the cloth in a pocket within his cloak.

“A map? A map to what?” Sarnogg pressed.

“The Temple of Rey’yel.”

The fishman’s smile immediately vanished from his hideous face, his saucer-like eyes widening in horror and rage.

“How do you know of the Temple of Rey’yel?!” he bellowed.

“I know many of your people’s secrets, my friend.” the bald man answered calmly, “And that includes their weaknesses.”

At that moment, Sarnogg felt something solid touching against his skin within the bathwater. Looking down, he found what appeared to be chunks of salt crystal floating about. And they were multiplying.

“Wait… that wasn’t… that wasn’t the oil!” he hissed, “You lying bastard!”

“You see Sarnogg, you aren’t the first to betray your people to me... only the last.” the bald man continued, “Once I have the idol, I will have no further business with your kind.”

“No!” Sarnogg snarled, trying to climb out of the water, but being unable to as more and more of the water was transmuted into salt, which began sapping the moisture from his slimy skin, “If you take the idol, the deep dwellers will rise from the depths to recover it, and they will raze this city to the ground to find you!”

“I look forward to it, in fact.” the bald man’s smile only grew wider, “Shame you won’t be there to see it. Farewell, Sarnogg. Enjoy your end of the bargain.”

"Arrrghh... curse.. you..."

With that, the cloaked man raised his hood and departed from that worm-eaten mansion, leaving the creature to weakly howl and screech and curse in pain as it was slowly drained alive in a basin of pure salt.

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 24 2019, 08:27 PM
City of Arcus Tuar...

Dawn…

“HHHAAAAAGGGGAAAAAANNNN!!!”

The young city guard found herself jolted away by the bellowing of her district captain, his gruff, furious voice being the last thing she wanted to hear in the morning, but unfortunately today it was the first thing she heard in the morning. Immediately she jumped to her feet, quickly wiping a bit of drool from the side of her mouth, but also accidentally letting her spear fall to the ground with a clatter.

“Sir!” she yelped, giving him a lopsided salute.

It was then that she realized half the guard force was there with the captain, all staring at her with judgemental expressions.

“Uh… hey guys?”

“Tell me, Miss Hagan, did you enjoy your beauty rest?” the captain inquired, his voice dripping in sarcasm.

“Umm… well, not really. I literally just dozed off, so I can’t say I really got any good rest from it.” the young woman nervously replied, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly.

“Oh really? Then I suppose that all happened within the last five minutes?” the captain pointed at something behind her.

She turned around, finding that the door she’d been assigned to guard during the night was wide-open. The storeroom beyond the door, which had been filled with food, supplies and valuables, was completely empty, with only a couple empty barrels and some dusty shelves left to indicate that anything had ever been there in the first place.

“Oh…”

“It’s bad enough that you can’t stay awake on the job, it's even worse that you let the Marquis' entire shipment get stolen, but on top of all that... Lying to me? You young whippersnappers ain’t got a shred of dignity, much less work ethic, much less discipline!” the captain ranted.

“Um, I’m sorry, sir?”

“Sorry!? Nooooo, sorry only cuts it in namby-pamby land, maggot! I know what you’ve been up to, Miss Hagan! Out adventuring during your off-duty time, getting all tuckered out so that when you come on duty, then falling asleep while on the job!”

“Oh, so you understand th-- GACK!”

The captain promptly grabbed her by the collar and pulled her up to his face, enough that she winced at his acrid breath that smelled of corn pipe smoke.

“Understand? Suuuure… You know, back in my day, we had a little tradition in Guard Force boot camp for adventurers like you!” the captain grinned, dropping her to the ground.

He turned around and snatched a bow from one of the other guards, then an arrow from their quiver, which he promptly notched and began to pull back.

“We called it… AN ARROW IN THE KNEE!”

“NO! NOT THE KNEES!” the woman begged, quickly trying to hide them so the captain couldn’t shoot them.

“Mehehehehe. It’s okay, missy, you don’t need to take the arrow in the knee.” the captain relented after a moment, putting down the bow and arrow and crouching down next to her, “But, you also don’t need that badge anymore.”

He grabbed and tore the guard badge from her leather guard tabard, then stood up and motioned two of the other guardsmen who were standing nearby.

“Take her back to the station and recover anything she possesses that is property of the Guard Force, then kick her back onto the street. As for me, I’ve got a little message to send over to the merchant guild.” the captain stated, then looked back at the woman on the ground, “Good luck finding a real job again anytime soon, adventurer.”

***

The inn, third level…

Evelyn Kyrielight was greeted that morning with a knock at her door, and a familiar face standing just outside her room.

« Last Edit: Jan 24 2019, 08:32 PM by Tyler294 »

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 10:56 AM
The door opened just enough to reveal a tired, messy haired young woman with red hair. Her features indicated some northern heritage as well.

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 01:45 PM
"Hey Evy... Uh, is too early in the morning to announce that I've been sacked again?" the ex-guardwoman inquired.

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 02:52 PM
For a moment Evelyn just stood there before letting her in.
"No... just had a long night," she explained.

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 05:01 PM
"I guess I had too short of one." June Hagan sighed, stepping in and dropping a sack of stuff on the floor just inside the door, "Did I mention they kicked me out just before my pay came through? Which also means my landlord kicked me out..."

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 05:31 PM
"Ouch..." Evelyn replied before closing the door. She then went to go clean herself up a bit.

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 05:33 PM
"So uh, is it okay if I stay here for a little while? I'm fine with sleeping on the floor."

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 25 2019, 07:15 PM
"Fine by me," Evelyn replied. "Been a while since I had company."

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 26 2019, 08:06 AM
"Oh, good. Thanks." June found the nearest place to sit down and relax, "So uh, do you have any jobs planned? I kind of really need the money now."

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 26 2019, 01:53 PM
"Not yet," Evelyn replied as she came back, her hair now tied back in a ponytail. "So... what did you do this time?"

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

Online Tyler294

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Posted Jan 26 2019, 06:34 PM
"Well, I got assigned to guard a storehouse overnight... and well, you know the thing about guard duty... and I guess I kind of... fell asleep..." June replied, "And uh... well... I guess someone broke in while I was dozing and stole a bunch of stuff that apparently belonged the Marquis..."

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 26 2019, 09:09 PM
"Ouch..." Evelyn trailed off in thought.

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

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Posted Jan 26 2019, 09:13 PM
"So yeah, I'd be happy to get out of town for a while..."

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 27 2019, 11:05 PM
"Well..." Evelyn finally said. "I don't have anything lined up right now... but you might get a shot at redemption if a job comes up because of this theft. Until then... we just be ready."

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

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Posted Jan 28 2019, 06:40 AM
"Good with me." June shrugged.

She pulled out one of her knives and started sharpening it as she sat.

"So, what have you bee up to lately?"

Offline Rattler

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Posted Jan 28 2019, 03:09 PM
"Oh not much," Evelyn replied as she leaned against the wall. "Had a job to deal with some bandits. What was not shared was how big the group was... and that they were working under orders from some mysterious benefactor. No idea who though. Managed to subdue a few, kill a few others... job done. Got paid. Come back and rest because it hurt like hell."

 --
That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

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Posted Jan 28 2019, 03:28 PM
"You probably could've used a hand out there, it sounds like." June remarked, "We always did work better together."

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Posted Jan 28 2019, 09:09 PM
"Yea... good times," Evelyn Replied with a smile.

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That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman

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Posted Jan 29 2019, 08:22 AM
June pulled the cover off her arrow quiver, finding she only had two shafts left.

"Would you be up for a visit to the market today? I seem to be... undersupplied..."

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Posted Jan 29 2019, 11:26 AM
"Was planning on going there anyways," Evelyn replied. "Besides taverns, markets are pretty good for hearing things."

She then gave her old friend a sideways smile.
"Or did guard duty make you forget that?"

 --
That little mutant Stromboli snuck up on me! GAH... functified again! -Dr. Peter Venkman