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Role Play => Ongoing RPs => Topic started by: Tyler294 on Dec 19 2018, 07:05 AM

Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 19 2018, 07:05 AM
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ebk0w0s159dbhl5/CrossRoads.png?dl=1)


(http://rpgrating.com/ratings/323.png) (http://www.rpgrating.com)


Genre = Fantasy
Setting = Crossroads Universe
RP Type = Action/Comedy/Drama/Horror (basically everything)
How to join = Invite Only
Participants: Dead Jim, JA-394, Rattler, Tyler294





~Index~


Part 1
The first part
(Pages 1-?)


Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 19 2018, 01:44 PM
City of Arcus Tuar…

Dusk...

The bright white disk of the sun was half-way down the horizon, and the city was already winding-down from another bustling day. Merchants were closing up shop, smiths were dousing their forges and the bakers had already gone home hours ago. Most honest folk were on their way home, the streets soon to give way to the less-than-reputable sorts that roamed at night.

"See, I told you the road signs were right. We made it just in time." the young man stated in satisfaction, gesturing at the city before him.

There was no response, for it appeared he had been talking to nothing but the thin air to his right.

"You really think all the inns will be booked up?" the lad's smile dropped from his face.

He quickly glanced around, finding an inn just a short ways ahead, with a tavern in the lower level but two stories of rooms above that. It wasn't the prettiest looking structure, but it would suffice. It was probably reasonably affordable too.

"Well, let's give it a try." Karl Saxon shrugged, heading over to the building and pushing the door open.

The blond-haired, blue-eyed, peasant-clothed teenager found himself in a cheery, if not somewhat smoking setting. A massive fireplace was roaring off to one side, while a band of mistrals was playing a lively tune in another corner. The place was packed, with virtually every table filled with people from all walks of life. Though, the people seated directly at the bar, where the innkeeper was posted, looked like some rather rough customers.

"Oh boy..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 19 2018, 02:58 PM

By past the city was the provincial capital of the region. The streets were deserted of both honest and dishonest folk by virtue of a strict curfew put in place by the soldiers of the Empire of Mozack.


While the Emperor held court far away in Mozack City to be kept apprised of matters, he was not a particularly militant man. Born and raised to ascend to the throne, he had been nourished by luxury all of his life while the well-paid mercenaries of his father took control. He had no idea how to lead an army, or of the necessities war planning requires.


Which brings us back to the provincial capital. Far away from his gaze, and a decent spot away from his territory, two particular Lords - and their squire - had been taking great liberties over his orders.


The Empire was multicultural. The Empire, unlike many nations that preceded it, was tolerant. Lord Kras, effectively known as the 'Puppetmaster', was not. And neither was his right hand, Lord Fe.


***


"Get these prisoners out of the carts! Move it!" ordered the Imperial Captain in control of the caravan.


The Imperial soldiers rode their horses, several toting carts with a man or two inside.


They had stopped in town square, the beating heart of the provincial capital.


Waiting for them was a simple block of wood.


The Imperial next to it, however, the men in the carts had much reason to fear.


He was the headsman.


Folks stared out the windows of their lodges and homes in disbelief as one by one, the former governor, his wife, his aging parents, and his 11-year old son were thrown into a line before the block.


A carriage pulled up a moment later, and out stepped a man in stark contrast to the dark steel suits of the soldiers around him. He was wearing iron, and he did not have a helmet.


This was the Squire - the personal servant of Lords Kras and Fe. He was little more than a yes-man after years of belittling, beatings, and torture to force him into line. No one knew his true name, and no one was brave enough to seek out Lord Fe to ask.


"Step to the block when I call your name," the Squire said in a monotone, dispassionate voice, pulling a parchment from his pouch.


"Iston Vanbrick."


The disgraced former governor proudly stepped up to the block and lay himself down.


"What say yourself, Iston? You are charged with treason," said the Squire.


Iston merely closed his eyes and accepted his fate.


"Very well. Headsman?"


The headsman stepped up, looked down at Iston with contempt, and took a mighty swing, separating head from body.


The now deceased Iston Vanbrick's foot twitched a few times before he was kicked off the block, revealing the pool of blood and his head laying on the street.


His wife put her hands over her mouth and fell to her knees, sobbing.


Their son just stared at their father's corpse, not sure if this was a dream, a horrible nightmare, or reality.


"Honey, tell me. Did they do it? Did they actually do it?" his father, who was blind, attempted to grab his wife's hand.


"They did it," she said in between gags.


The Imperial soldiers seemed unmoved.


"Leanna Vanbrick."


"MAMA!"


Leanna could not muster the strength to stand, so two Imperials did it for her, dragging her over to the block and throwing her down.


"And what do you say?" asked the Squire.


"I hope you all die a miserable, slow, agonizing -"


"Headsman?"


Leanna was then sent to join her husband in eternity.


At this point, the child began vomiting and did not hear when the Squire called the name "Stu."


"Stu is not present?" the Squire said again, though he knew full well who he was.


He looked over each of the three remaining family members.


"I'll assume one of you is lying to me. Kill them all."



Stu was shot in the head by an archer immediately, and the two grandparents were run through while holding hands by a pair of knights.


***


Meanwhile at the bar, a man wearing farmer's attire walked in followed by a lady who was also wearing farmer's attire. The first had brown hair with a scrappy beard and goatee and glazed brown eyes, while the second was a redhead with pigtails and bright yellow eyes.


The guy also looked much older than she did.


"I don't know nothing about technology, I'm just a simple farmer!" he said to her in a droning voice as the two of them approached the bar, seeming to be regulars.


"That's why I'm here," said the redhead in a young, vibrant tone.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 19 2018, 03:28 PM
"What?" Karl looked to his right, "No, I'm not going to go up and ask her what a technology is."

He paused and thought about that a moment.

"Uh, hey miss, what's a technology?" he abruptly changed his mind and approached the redheaded woman.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 23 2018, 05:15 PM
"A technology is the way of the future. It's what our great grandkids are gonna be doin'!" the redhead said excitedly.

"Does it look like a farm?" the farmer next to her asked pointedly.

"What do I look like, some kind of science person?"

"Well I don't know, I'm just a simple farmer!"



"My name is Nora, by the way, I don't think we've been introduced," the redhead said to Karl.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 23 2018, 06:23 PM
Karl smiled and looked like he was about to respond, only to glance to his side as though someone there was talking to him, and prompting him to give a "just a minute" motion to the thin air.

"Sorry... uh... Karl... my name is Karl. Nice to meet you Nora." he clumsily introduced himself, "I'm new in this town, just got here today."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 23 2018, 06:31 PM
The simple farmer swayed over to glance at the thin air next to Karl.

"What was ya hushing?"

"Quiet, Vance. He's got an imaginary friend," Nora shooshed him.

"An imagery who-what? There ain't nobody there!" Vance exclaimed.

Nora facepalmed.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 23 2018, 06:33 PM
"I don't have an imaginary friend." Karl replied indignantly, "It's my sister's ghost that only I can see."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 23 2018, 06:36 PM
Nora didn't quite know how to respond to that.

"Ghosts are too spooky for me. Farmin' is where it's at!" Vance however latched onto (And changed) the subject immediately.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 23 2018, 06:47 PM
"My grandparents are farmers." Karl noted, "It's a good living, I guess, but not very exciting."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 23 2018, 06:51 PM
"Not very excite-wha…"

Karl could almost see the cogs slowly turning in Vance's head.

"But you get to live on a farm, run a farm, own a... a farm..."

"It's real fun. Trust me," Nora pulled the most fictitious look she could muster.

"Yeah! That's more - wait, you're lying to me! You..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 23 2018, 07:14 PM
"I wouldn't know, I only ever got to work on a farm. Not a lot of interesting conversation partners there." Karl stated glumly.

"..."

"I said "not a lot", not none at all!" Karl told the thin air to his right.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 23 2018, 08:01 PM
"He just gets sentimental about farms," Nora nodded, "It's all he has now."

"Nothing better to have!" Vance cheerfully added.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 24 2018, 07:01 AM
"Really? I always thought it was better to have friendship... at least, that's the books mom used to read me said." Karl rubbed his chin.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 24 2018, 09:06 AM
"But friends are... are hard to find when they discover you feeling down..." Vance looked at the floor.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 24 2018, 07:57 PM
"I can be your friend!" Karl responded enthusiastically, "You guys wanna be my friends?"

"..."

"Our friends?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 26 2018, 01:33 PM
"I reckon that'd be dandy," Vance perked up.

"That might be the most country thing I've ever heard you say," Nora, who seemed a little uneasy, said to that, then looked at Karl, "Sure."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 27 2018, 05:55 AM
"Really?" Karl actually seemed surprised, though definitely elated, "That's wonderful!"

He reached down and checked the coin pouch on his belt, but was disappointed with what he found.

"I'd buy us all drinks or something, since I think that's what friends do... but I only have enough for room and board tonight. So... uh, does water sound good to anyone?" he asked nervously.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 29 2018, 04:38 PM
"As long as it isn't caffeinated," Nora accepted the offer.

"Now you hold it right there you. This new friend of mine and or ours is... … when buying a lady a drink, what is the first rule of buying a lady a drink, Nora?"

Nora's expression shifted into one of moderate annoyance.

"Thank the person and or object..." she muttered.

"That's a right! You thank the person and or the object of affection that is buying you the -"

"I keep telling you objects are not sentient, don't have money, and therefore can't purchase drinks..." Nora interrupted Vance's droning.

"Wha- objects are no- wha did I tell you 'bout using that there technology speak with me in front of another person?!"

Nearby patrons were starting to snicker.

"Riiiight... I've got some money on me, too. I'll buy 'simple farmer' over there an alcohol of some sort, you provide the water and we hope it gets him. Deal?" Nora reached into her pockets for a few coins as well.

"Are you tryin' to enlist my friend to help you orchestrate my suicide?" Vance pointed a finger at her.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Dec 29 2018, 07:50 PM
"Please don't do that," a young woman, probably in her late teens, whispered as she passed by while sweeping the floor. "Suicide can be so messy, and usually sweeping makes it worse..."

She had long blonde hair that was partially braided back, though the majority of it was draped over her shoulders. It appeared that there were some blue strands among the blonde, though it seemed to be natural.  "My name's Ada, by the way," she said as she extended her hand to no one in particular.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Dec 30 2018, 08:37 AM
"Another one on the ante-Vance-suicide-train!" Vance reached out and gave Ada a strong handshake, then his eyes glazed over, "What's a train... does it work on a farm?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Dec 30 2018, 09:00 AM
"Maybe it's like a technology?" Karl wondered, "Oh, right."

He shook Ada's hand once she had finished shaking Vance's.

"I'm Karl, nice to meet you."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 05 2019, 08:39 PM
"Nice to meet you too." Ada smiled, but then pointed back to Vance, "I don't understand him. I hope that's okay."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 08 2019, 10:47 AM
Vance looked confused.

"Wha- but understandin' is the first part of... somethin'..." he gave up midway through his sentence.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 08 2019, 11:02 AM
"But, he's a simple farmer. I thought simple things were easy to understand." Karl shrugged, "Oh, by the way..."

He looked back at Vance and Nora, who seemed to have known each-other before entering the inn.

"Are you two related or something?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 09 2019, 05:29 PM
"He's my adopted FATHER," Nora answered quickly.

"She keeps tellin' me she only gets the one. I keep tellin' her to explore her options!"

"I don't want a sugar daddy, Vance..."

The cogs in Vance's head began turning again.

"Is a... a sugar daddy a plant? That we don't have?"

Nora sighed.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 09 2019, 05:46 PM
"Whatever it is, it sounds fattening..." Karl remarked.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 14 2019, 07:21 PM
"This is great!" Ada said as she  leaned against her broom, "Usually my friends are very strange; this will be a nice change of pace!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 15 2019, 08:53 AM
"What have I gotten myself into?" Nora thought to herself.

"I thought strange was just another way o' counting..." Vance seemed confused.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 15 2019, 09:51 AM
Karl was beginning to wonder about Vance just a tiny bit, but then, he had so little interaction with other people, maybe he understood the word wrong himself. In any case though, he definitely needed to get a room before they were all taken.

"Miss Ada, do you think I could reserve one of the room upstairs for the night?" he inquired, seeing as the innkeeper seemed momentarily preoccupied.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 15 2019, 03:23 PM
"I'm sure you could, I think that's what they're here for," Ada answered.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 15 2019, 03:53 PM
"They? Don't you work here?" Karl wondered.

"ADA!!! What have I told you about sweeping my floors?!" The innkeeper suddenly bellowed, "I pay Felix good money to handle that job!"

He pointed at a fellow who was sitting on a stool in the corner, sleeping.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 19 2019, 01:45 PM
She looked at Felix, then back at the innkeeper.

"How do you know I'm not Felix?" She asked as she raised an eyebrow.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 19 2019, 04:21 PM
"Because you are sweeping the floor! I hired Felix to take care of the floors because I knew that lazy bum wouldn't do a thing! Dirty floors build character! And I want my inn to have character!" the innkeeper ranted.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 19 2019, 04:49 PM
"...But I'm not sweeping right now, so that makes me Felix!" Ada declared after a moments thought.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 19 2019, 04:51 PM
"But if you are Felix, then who is that?" Vance pointed to the man in the corner.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 19 2019, 06:00 PM
The innkeeper was about to scream something else at Ada, but then realized he had no argument.

"So uh, now that we have your attention." Karl spoke-up innocently, "Can we rent a room!"

The innkeeper grumbled, grabbed a key, then tossed it to Ada.

"Okay Felix, show them to their room." he commanded her sarcastically.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 20 2019, 09:27 AM
"Oh boy, he's lost it now," Ada whispered to the others as she cautiously stepped away, "I don't know why, but I think he thinks I'm Felix!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 20 2019, 10:04 AM
"You really think so?" Karl asked her back.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 22 2019, 09:33 AM
“Yes, but the upside is, I have a job now!” she said as she led the group to the stairs.

“I think the rooms are that way,” she said as she pointed up the steps.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 22 2019, 11:12 AM
"Let's go then." Karl followed, though he seemed to glance around as if looking for something.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 22 2019, 11:37 AM
"Why are we suddenly sleeping here for the night?" Nora whispered to Vance.

"We're wha-"

The cogs stopped turning.

"Are we back at the farm already?" he started catching up with the others, drawing a facepalm.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 22 2019, 12:51 PM
"Oh, are you guys staying here too?" Karl asked Nora and Vance.

Ada may notice she was only given the key to one room...
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 23 2019, 06:54 PM
"No," Nora answered quickly, "We live right down the street..."

"We live on a farm, Nora, not a street," Vance corrected her.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 23 2019, 07:05 PM
"So... I'm staying with you guys then?" Ada asked, looking rather confused.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 23 2019, 07:11 PM
"What?" Now Nora looked confused, feeling like she was surrounded by idiots.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 23 2019, 07:17 PM
"Huh?" Karl also seemed confused, wondering if he was this socially inept that he didn't understand how housing worked in the rest of the world, "Is that customary?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 23 2019, 07:24 PM
"Wha-" Vance looked as confused as ever.

Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 23 2019, 07:26 PM
"...It's been fun, but I have a job now, and I don't want to lose it, so bye!" Ada said quickly as she skipped over to the bar with her broom...

"Sorry," she said as ran back and handed Karl the key, "I think you wanted that for... something." She then skipped back the exact way she had 20 seconds earlier.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 23 2019, 07:28 PM
"Um..." Karl looked at the key, at the departing Ada, then at Vance and Nora, then back at the key, "So, see you two tomorrow maybe?"

He then got an idea.

"Hey, you guys are locals, maybe you can give me a tour of town!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 23 2019, 07:32 PM
"Sure," said Nora.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 23 2019, 07:34 PM
"Great! Meet you downstairs in the morning then?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Jan 23 2019, 07:49 PM
"We'll be here?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on 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.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on 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.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 25 2019, 05:31 PM
"Ouch..." Evelyn replied before closing the door. She then went to go clean herself up a bit.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 25 2019, 07:15 PM
"Fine by me," Evelyn replied. "Been a while since I had company."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on 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?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 26 2019, 09:09 PM
"Ouch..." Evelyn trailed off in thought.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 26 2019, 09:13 PM
"So yeah, I'd be happy to get out of town for a while..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on 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."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on 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."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 28 2019, 09:09 PM
"Yea... good times," Evelyn Replied with a smile.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on 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..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on 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?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 11:52 AM
"I honestly feel like I lost a lot of brain cells during my brief time on the Force." June grumbled, "You know the thing about guard duty... It's incredibly boring..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 03:27 PM
"Oh I know that," Evelyn replied. "Had a few escort jobs. The ones that didn't have anything happen were very boring."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 07:10 PM
June shifted her mouth side-to-side a moment, then stood up.

"Why don't we go now? I need to get out and do something."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 07:27 PM
"I'll get my gear," Evelyn said.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 07:31 PM
Before they knew it, the two ladies were descending the staircase to the ground floor of the bar, all decked-out and badass with their armor and weapons. But as they reached the middle level, an absent-minded teenage boy in a blue peasant tunic, who definitely wasn't looking where he was going, bumped into Evelyn and sent all three of them crashing down the stairs the rest of the way.

"Evy... you're... so... heavy..." June gasped from the bottom of the pile-up at the foot of the stairs.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 07:33 PM
Evelyn just groaned in response.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 07:39 PM
"Oh, oh, I'm so sorry..." Karl offered a hand to help the top person (Evelyn) up, "Please forgive me si-- m... ma'am?"

The peasant boy looked completely thrown for a loop when he saw Evy's face and realized she was a woman. Also that June was a woman too.

"Wait, there's... lady warriors...?" he looked really confused.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 07:58 PM
Evelyn accepted the offer.
"Yea... there are," she replied. "Something wrong?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 08:05 PM
"I've just, never seen female warriors before." Karl replied.

He then randomly turned to his left and spoke to... the wall?

"What? No! Just shush for a moment, I got this."

He then looked back at Evelyn.

"Sorry, my sister was bugging me about something."

"I'm... okay..." June wheezed from the floor.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 08:07 PM
Evelyn raised an eyebrow at the apparent one sided conversation before helping June up off the ground.

"Well... we exist," she replied. "Hell... I heard stories about some tribe somewhere where all their warriors are women."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 08:16 PM
"Really? Weird... Huh, the world is full of surprises." Karl smiled in fascination at this revelation.

"..."

"Oh, right! Sorry! Karl Saxon's my name, nice to meet you both!" he added after a moment of awkward hesitation.

Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 08:20 PM
"Evelyn Kyrielight," she replied. "I'm an adventurer."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 29 2019, 08:24 PM
"June Hagan, and I do the same thing she does. Or I will be doing... or I used to, and will be doing it again... I mean, just forget it..." June sighed.

"Wow! So what sort of adventures do you two go on?" Karl wondered.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 29 2019, 08:37 PM
"Whatever the local guard feels they can't, or don't want to, do. And usually get decent pay for it."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 30 2019, 07:36 AM
"You get paid!" A voice suddenly said from right below June, where Ada had out of nowhere appeared scrubbing the floors with a brush and bucket.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 30 2019, 07:40 AM
"GEEYAAH!" June yelped, jumping in surprise, then stumbling to try not to step on Ada, but accidentally stepping in the bucket instead.

"Oh, good morning Ada." Karl waved at the girl on the floor.

"Good and morning do not belong in the same sentence today..." June groaned.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Jan 30 2019, 04:35 PM
"Yea... looks that way."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 31 2019, 02:24 PM
"Hi Karl!" Ada waved with a sudsy hand as she looked up, "You grew! And you have girlfriends! Wow, you've been busy..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 31 2019, 02:40 PM
"Uh..." Karl's face turned red.

"I'm nobody's girlfriend, sister." June glared at the teenager on the floor.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 31 2019, 02:42 PM
"Well I'm nobody's sister, girlfriend!" Ada replied, before pausing and thinking for a long moment.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Feb 01 2019, 12:40 AM
"And I am here for the food," Evelyn spoke up.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 01 2019, 07:25 AM
"Speaking of which, I'm starving." June remarked.

"You don't suppose this place serves breakfast, do you?" Karl wondered.

"AAAAADDDAAAAA!!" the innkeeper suddenly bellowed.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Feb 01 2019, 01:39 PM
“Uh-oh... he must have just realized that I’m not Felix!” Ada said as she scrambled to her feet. “He’s a hard one to keep fooled!”

She then began sneaking back into the main room, hiding behind her bucket.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Feb 01 2019, 10:04 PM
"It does... and in my experience that innkeeper is not one you want to anger," Evelyn said. "Heard a story about busting through a wall once..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 02 2019, 02:37 PM
"It's too early to be drinking your soul away, Vance," Nora chided her adopted father from the other side of the room, oblivious to everything going on around her.

"But I gottsa drink to get a pain in my belly so I can get rid of thish pain in my TOE!" Vance counter-scolded, ordering a third one.

"That's not how drinking works..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 05 2019, 09:39 AM
June looked at the wall and rapped her knuckles against it a moment to test how solid it was.

"Remind me not to put that story to the test."

"Oh hey, there's my friends! We should go sit with them." Karl spotted Vance and Nora and headed to their table, "Good morning, guys!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Feb 05 2019, 02:30 PM
Evelyn just shrugged.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 06 2019, 07:58 AM
"Morning," Nora greeted.

Vance just stared at his empty bottle, wondering why it wasn't full.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 06 2019, 08:45 AM
"You guys getting breakfast? I think that's what we're gonna do. Uh..." Karl looked back at June and Evelyn, "Right...?"

"I guess." June shrugged, "Are you buying, kid?"

"Erm..." Karl blinked nervously and checked his pockets, trying to find any money he had left.

He found four copper coins.

"Uh, how much you suppose this will buy?" he looked across everyone.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 06 2019, 08:58 AM
"Itsh'll buy ah... A-uh... Farm-brew?" Vance slurred.

Nora had her head in her hands by now.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 06 2019, 10:31 AM
"Isn't it a little early to be drinking?" June raised an eyebrow and scowled at the simple farmer.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Feb 07 2019, 02:54 PM
Just then Ada popped up from behind the bar, "I saw a horse outside have a drink more than an hour ago, so I think it's okay."

She then ducked back down.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 13 2019, 05:50 AM
"Ugh... whatever." June rolled her eyes.

"Oh, darn it, I forgot to make introductions!" Karl realized, "Uh, Vance, Nora, this is Evelyn and June. Everyln and June, this is Vance and Nora."

"Hi..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 13 2019, 09:03 AM
"Hi," Nora greeted half-heartedly.

"Yoush judge me drink?" Vance looked at the completely wrong person he thought had judged him for drinking, "I have ya no I gotta three beer beltsh in..."

He was delivered yet another alcoholic beverage and forgot all about the Taken rant he was going on in favor of wolfing it down.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Feb 14 2019, 09:58 PM
Evelyn just gave a casual nod in response.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 15 2019, 06:10 AM
Breakfast wasn't the most exciting meal that morning, in fact, Karl had to take a small lone from Vance and Nora to pay for his, and June insisted the little silver she had left was reserved for buying arrows in the market later, so she had to promise to pay Evy back later.

Afterward, the two parties wound up going the same way into town, though June and Evelyn were going to stay in the market while the others moved on. So after awkward goodbyes, the first party continued deeper into town, while the second remained in the market.

"So, do you guys sell your produce at the market?" Karl asked as Nora, and the no-doubt wobbly Vance, led him out of the market area.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 15 2019, 09:26 AM
"Yeah," Nora, who was bracing Vance, replied.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 15 2019, 09:37 AM
"What do you guys farm, exactly?" Karl continued to question, though he was genuinely curious, coming from a farming background himself.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 15 2019, 09:51 AM
"MEAT."

Vance pointed at a nearby meat stand.

The meat stand guy, a weird fishy-looking man, glared at Vance.

"TOUGH Meat!" he snapped.

"Easy, Farmer Fran. Vance is drunk again," Nora calmed him.

"Eh..." the fishman retreated to his stand.

"We farm wheat, seeds, chickens, cows -"

As Nora was giving Karl the rundown on boring farmlife, a starving man stole a hunk from the fishman's stand, right underneath his nose and ran for it.

"SO, YOU THINK YOU'RE TOUGH MEAT?" Farmer Fran grabbed a butcher knife and ran after him, "HA. PART OF ME WAS HOPING SOMEONE WOULD TRY AND ROB THIS STAND!"

The two quickly disappeared into the crowd.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 15 2019, 09:55 AM
Karl watched them go, already finding this town far more entertaining than his home village. Then he got back to questioning Nora about farm stuff.

"So both crops and livestock? Nice. Do you have any farmhands, or is it just you two?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 15 2019, 10:03 AM
"Mostly just us two. There's a guy named Mason that helps, but he's ill right now."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 15 2019, 11:05 AM
Karl was about to respond, but then he turned to his left and looked at something there, though there wasn't really anything of note in that direction.

"Why would I do that? I didn't leave home just to do the same type of boring work here!" he told the thin air.

He paused a moment, as if listening to someone responding to him.

"We've been over this. We left home because everyone there thinks I'm a crazy freak who talks to himself!"

He paused again.

"Well... yes, but that doesn't mean I should go back into farming!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 19 2019, 09:25 AM
Nora patiently waited for Karl to finish talking to whom she thought to be his sister, that she still wasn't sure existed.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 19 2019, 09:53 AM
Karl paused and looked back at Nora for a moment.

"..."

"..."

"..."

"You wouldn't happen to need another farmhand, would you?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Feb 19 2019, 10:09 AM
Nora thought about it.

"We actually do. Mason has been ill for awhile and I'm not sure if -"

"Hey."

Nora turned to Vance, who was holding a baby white pig.

"I am ALPHA FARMER."

"..."

"..."

"That's albino."

"Yoush just gel-us."

"Right... anyway," Nora went back to Karl, "Mason has been ill for awhile, and with Vance's drinking problem -"

"Idonthaveaproblem YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU haveaprob-"

"Shoosh. We're basically down to just me, and him when he's not stoned."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 19 2019, 10:18 AM
"Well, I could use a job until I get on my feet here." Karl replied, "If you'll have me."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Feb 20 2019, 05:53 AM
“Yay!” Ada cheered as she jumped out from behind one of the market stands, “I’ve always wanted to work on a farm! When do we start?”
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 01 2019, 12:26 PM
"..."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 01 2019, 07:49 PM
Evening...

While Karl (and Ada?) was being shown around the town, and eventually his new workplace, and while Evelyn and June were buying supplies for future adventuring, other preparations were being made elsewhere in the city. By nightfall, those preparations were being put in motion...

It was past midnight when those who dwelled at the bottom the lake realized their sacred temple had been infiltrated, but by then it was already too late. When they arrived in the antechamber, which had been built to be dry and airtight, so as to preserve the idol from the erosion across the ages, they found not their idol, but an empty pedestal. And beyond that, a magical door formed on the far wall; a portal to another place much different from this undersea sanctuary, but one of which they knew well.

On the other side of the door stood a hooded man, smiling arrogantly as he gazed through the aperture at the furious dwellers. Perched in one of his hands sat the idol, in the other hand was held his wand, and behind him lie the city of the surface; Arcus Tuar. But they had only a glimpse, before a wave of the wand sealed the magical door, returning the stone wall to its natural state.

There was only one way now to recover their most revered treasure. If the man sought asylum with the surface folk above, then the dwellers would summon their legions and rise to the surface for the first time in generations. Once there, they would tear the city and its people apart, brick by brick and bone by bone if they had to, until this thief was found, and that which he had stolen was returned to its rightful place in the depths...
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 01 2019, 07:59 PM
Dawn...

Karl arose that morning to a orange-red glow filtering through the window of his room. Stretching his arms, he approached the window and drew aside the curtains, expecting to be greeted by the multi-colored sunrise of a new day. Instead, he was greeted by the blazing horizon of a city on fire.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 01 2019, 08:28 PM
...and by Ada, who popped into view on the other side of the window.

"Morning Karl!" Her muffled voice said as she waved, "If we hurry, we can get jobs with the fire brigade!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 01 2019, 09:18 PM
"How did you get up there?" Karl asked, wondering how she reached the second-story window, "Never mind! We have to warn everyone before the fire reaches the inn!"

He quickly threw on his tunic and belt and headed out into the hallway, beginning to knock on doors to wake people up. If the approaching sound of battle was not already enough to get them up, that is.

Once he reached the ground floor, he found at least a few other people were awake. A couple men were actually just on their way out the door, evidently intending to flee. Another was at the window, watching outside. In the corner, a scraggly old man was drinking and moaning.

"They didn't believe me... oh, the fools! I knew they'd come one day! I knew the dwellers in the deep would return to DOOM us all!"

"The dwellers in the deep?" Karl asked, looking at the man.

"Aye... the things that live at the bottom of the lake! I've warned people for years of their existence, but nobody listens to me! HA! Now we all will die, but it won't be my fault! HAHAHA!"

Karl was going to respond, but he then looked to his left, as though someone there was addressing him.

"You won't die, but I will!" he told the wall.

"Eh?" the old man blinked in confusion.

Karl was still looking at the wall.

"Well no, I'm not worried about burning to death... I mean, I suppose I could die of smoke inhalation..."

"Son, who are ya talking to...?" the old man questioned.

Karl turned to respond to the old geezer, but whatever invisible entity he was talking to apparently still had his attention, as he turned right back toward them.

"What? No, this man is not our father!"

"Uhhhh... and they called me senile..." the old man looked at his drink, set it on the table, then stood up and stumbled toward the door.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 04 2019, 12:18 PM
Evelyn came down the stairs.

"What the hell is going on?" she asked as she reached the ground floor.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 04 2019, 12:40 PM
June also came down the stairs, barefoot and missing her jacket, and also looking like she literally just woke up.

"What she said!"

"The apocalypse is upon us!" the old man cried from the door, before slamming it shut behind him.

"I guess... something is invading the city from the lake?" Karl responded.

"Well, they ain't takin' my inn alive!" the Innkeeper roared from behind the counter.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 04 2019, 02:16 PM
"Don't worry, I don't think they can kill an inn!" Ada told the innkeeper as she skipped down the stairs and into the main room. "By the way, sorry about the window.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 05 2019, 06:16 AM
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY WINDOW, GIRL!?" the Innkeeper exploded.

"How the heck would something be invading from the lake, of all places?" June questioned.

"Oh my gods! They're coming!" one of the tavern occupants, who was watching out the window, exclaimed.

Karl rushed to window to get a look outside.

A small horde of squat humanoids were lumbering down the street, killing any stray citizens that got in their way, and setting fire to buildings as they went. The beings seemed to be some sort of grotesque fish-frog-man hybrid, with bent legs, fleshy skin, bulging eyes and large, flabby mouths. They only wore small amounts of armor over parts of their chest and arms, but were otherwise unclothed. Most were carrying weapons of simple design, some of which looked like harpoons, fish hooks, cleavers or clubs.

"I had to ask..." June sighed as she peaked out the window and saw the approaching mass.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 05 2019, 05:02 PM
"Would now be a bad time to repair the window? Or should I wait till later?" Ada asked as she joined them in looking at the fishy people.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 06 2019, 03:10 PM
"Later," Evelyn replied as she put a hand on the hilt of her sword. "Unless you enjoy being attacked with deadly weapons in your back while fixing something that will most likely be immediately broken again by your dead body."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 06 2019, 04:32 PM
"...you know that doesn't sound too bad." Ada thought, "Have you tried it?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 07 2019, 05:35 AM
"We don't have time for this, we need to get out of here!" June urged.

"And leave the inn to be destroyed? No, I think we should stand and fight them off, at least until everyone in the neighborhood can escape to safety." Karl suggested.

"Do you even know how to fight, kid?" June narrowed her eyes at him.

"I taught myself a few things while I was working on the farm back home." Karl offered.

June facepalmed.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 07 2019, 11:49 AM
"This isn't fending off a fox from the henhouse kid!" Evelyn snapped. "These things are not here to raid your chickens. They are here to kill people!"

She tightened her grip on the hilt of her sword.

"Those things will not hesitate to eviscerate you on the spot. This is not a game. People will die. Do you really want to join those that already have?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 07 2019, 01:22 PM
"Stop calling me kid! You two are not that much older than me!" Karl protested.

"Whatever, kid! We need to go..." June rushed to the door and threw it open.

To reveal a horde of about two dozen fishmen standing outside. This prompted June to promptly slam the door shut again.

"...out the back door!"

"Hate to break it to you, lass, but I don't have a back door." the innkeeper declared ominously.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 07 2019, 01:40 PM
"This keeps up you're about to," Evelyn said as she drew her sword.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 07 2019, 01:44 PM
Just then, a torch smashed through the window and landed in the middle of the room. Then another did... and so did several more.

"And this is why back doors are mandated in building codes!" June yelped, trying to stomp out one of the torches before it could set the floor on fire.

But just then, all the torches (and June's foot) were suddenly coated in a layer of ice, originating from Karl's hands. The young man looked around the room nervously, as though he had done something wrong, and expected people to disapprove of his sudden use of magic.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 07 2019, 02:15 PM
Ada popped over and started to mop up the ice.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 07 2019, 08:22 PM
"Nice save," Evelyn said as she took up a defensive position.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 08 2019, 05:47 AM
June glared Karl a moment, seeing as her foot was now stuck and very, very cold.

"Sorry, I don't have that precise of control yet." Karl sheepishly apologized.

"Eh... it's fine." June muttered tugging a few time to bust her foot free, "Can you do that around the rest of the building? Coat it in ice, I mean? They can't set it on fire then."

Karl seemed a bit surprised that nobody was calling him a freak or sorcerer-scum or something like that, but it was a pleasant form of surprise. However, the request felt a little beyond him.

"If it were colder out, I could probably do it... but right now... Well, maybe, but it'd be draining and would take a while."

"We'll cover you, just do it!" June snapped.

Karl nodded and headed to the window, putting a hand on one of the unbroken parts. The window began to frost over, said frost going outside and spreading across the exterior of the building. Karl had to close his eyes and concentrate, as he was having to spread his power over a much larger surface area than he was used to, but it was at least protecting the building from being directly set on fire.

But the fishmen realized what was happening, and decided they were going to storm the building and kill everyone personally. As a result, there was soon pounding on the door as they tried to break it down.

"They're trying to break in!" the innkeeper roared.

"Quick, barricade the door!" June urged, running over to a closed wine barrel and dropping it to its side in order to roll it over to the door.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 11 2019, 11:33 AM
There was a thud inside the barrel and the top came rolling off, then Nora crawled out, looking slightly dazed.

"Do ya mind?" she glanced up at June from the floor.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 11 2019, 11:35 AM
June glared down at the woman the floor incredulously.

"What the... what the hell were you doing in there?!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 11 2019, 11:43 AM
Nora rolled her sleeve just a little bit to reveal a sharpened kitchen knife fashioned to her wristband. There was a bit of blood stained on it from previous use.

"What do ya think?" she asked.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 11 2019, 11:48 AM
June scrunched her lower lip and nodded.

"I approve."

Just then, the door was kicked open...
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 11 2019, 03:10 PM
Evelyn raised her shield and prepared for a fight.
"Anyone who isn't good in a fight get behind me," she said.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 12 2019, 10:56 AM
June promptly drew an arrow and fired it into the mass of creatures flowing in through the doorway, sticking one of them in the upper chest, just below the throat. But there were almost two dozen of them trying to make it inside.

"Karl, get the hell away from the window!"

"But you told me--"

"Change of plans! Get behind us!" June snapped.

"You'll never take mah inn alive!" the innkeeper roared, as several of the fishmen flanked around June and Evelyn and headed toward the bar.

A series of satisfying "clangs" were heard, as the innkeeper began to fight off the fishmen with nothing more than a frying pan. They didn't stand a chance...
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 12 2019, 12:00 PM
Nora had been approached by two of the fishmen, one of which proceeded to yank her off the floor. Her knife was put to good use here as she sliced clean through its hand, causing it to yelp and drop her (And part of said extremity) just as a right hook came for its face. With the knife firmly entrenched in her wristband, the fishman had just enough time to look at her with contempt before half of its face was carved clean off and it fell over backwards.

The second fishman lunged at her with a torch, but her reflexes were quick enough to allow her to dodge. Planting the knife in the second fishman's ear, she had to duck another panic-swing of the torch and then rip and tear down its face and to its neck, which finally killed it.

Meanwhile another fishman opened the closet, and had its face caved in by a liquor bottle.

"Ya think ya better than ALCOHOL? I think ALCOHOL make ya DED!" a drunken Vance held up the stem of the bottle he'd just smashed.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 12 2019, 12:15 PM
“Huh,” Ada said as she leaned against her mop handle, “Good thing all the rooms cleared out, this is a really big group of customers.”
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 12 2019, 01:32 PM
One of the Dwellers managed to slip past everyone and approach Ada, who was standing behind everyone. Karl quickly stepped between them both, but quickly he realized he had no weapon.

"Uh... boy, I didn't think this one through..." he gulped.

The fishman sneered and raised his weapon, a crude piece of metal shaped like an oversized fishhook, and began to slash it at Karl. The first swing missed as Karl tried to back away, but wound up stumbling and falling over, then he quickly rolled aside as the Dweller swung again at the place he had just occupied on the floor.

"Oh wait... I could just use my magic..." the youth realized as he finally got back to his feet.

He quickly fabricated a crude approximation of a sword and shield (modeled after Everyn's, since she was the closest reference), made from ice, and adopted what he thought was a ready position.

"Alright, come at me!" he nervously taunted.

The Dweller obliged, charging him and sweeping his fishhook at him. Karl tried to block with his ice shield, but the force of impact shattered it. Luckily, the attempted block redirected the hook away enough that it only caused a shallow laceration across his unprotected arm.

"Ow!" he yelped, backing away again.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 13 2019, 01:02 PM
That Dweller instantly met Evelyn's blade, showing that she was an experienced adventurer. The look on her face was serious as she focused on holding off the enemy forces. She didn't spare any words that weren't necessary as she coordinated with June.

At one point she actually put her sword back in its scabbard and focused before a spear made of light formed in her hand and she threw it at one of the larger Dwellers, impailing it and throwing it off its feet. A moment later her sword was back in her hand, slashing at any Dweller that got too close.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 13 2019, 04:22 PM
"Thanks." Karl said to Evelyn in embarrassment.

Meanwhile, June hadn't been able to get that many arrows out before she had to switch to her sword. While more than capable with both weapons, her cross training meant she was elite in neither of them. Still, she could hold her own, and the simple fishmen and their simple weapons proved little threat individually.

The problem was there were many, many individuals. Everlyn veering off to save Karl briefly left a hole in their defensive line, allowing a few to move in behind them. There were a couple patrons left in the bar who also tried to help, but one got a harpoon in the gut for his efforts, and the other was retreating to the bar.

However, the flow of new Dwellers had stopped, and it appeared that only those already in the inn were currently a threat.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 20 2019, 12:06 PM
Nora had been handling herself just fine, until a slightly bigger and tougher Dweller came at her and simply didn't care that it had been stabbed in the cheek with a wrist-mounted knife. The Dweller landed a hit on her with the hilt of its weapon.

Vance meanwhile had pulled up a board from the floor with a nail in it and had rushed over to fight the big Dweller.

"Yoo leave the tech-thingy alone ya springy-"

He thwacked the Dweller with the floorboard in the... arm. The Dweller dropped his weapon and grabbed Vance and Nora and one-arm Charger'd each of them.

This prompted the emergence of another feminine figure who had been fighting in the background until now.

With a fairly muscular build and rather tall for a woman, about 5'11-6'0, someone like her wouldn't normally stand out too much except for her clothes, which were decidedly out-of-place here and belonging to a fancier location no doubt. But her defining feature that set her apart from everyone in the tavern was her solid blue eyes. (Oh no)

The woman made quick work of the large Dweller, pulling a barstool out of nowhere and smashing it upon its head while it was still smashing father and daughter.

The Dweller dropped the twosome and staggered, shaking its head and reached for her, but received a second bash to the skull for its efforts, this time from the legs of the stool which managed to incapacitate it.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 20 2019, 02:03 PM
"Girls around here are crazy." a wide-eyed Karl uttered under his breath, after witnesses the arrival of the latest entry into the female cast.

He was torn from his thoughts a second later, as a bunch of bottles in the shelves behind him abruptly shattered, thanks to a magical explosion. The remaining Dwellers parted, allowing one carrying a staff, a spellcaster of some sort, to have a free life-of-fire on the defenders.

"They have a mage!" June exclaimed, trying to reach for her bow again, but being forced to abort the attempt due to another melee attack from her left.

The Dweller Shaman didn't follow-up immediately, instead charging up a more powerful attack, which he would have fired right into the midst of the defenders. But just before he launched it, his head was suddenly severed from his neck from behind, by a katana-wielding man in a guard captain's uniform. Behind him at the door was a small group of men from the city guardforce.

"If the gods had wanted you to live, they would not have created ME!" the captain growled at the fishman corpse.

"Oh great..." June recognized her old boss.

"ATTAAAAHAACK!" the captain then promptly cut-down the remaining Dwellers in rapid succession.

"Hey... did you notice the captain has a curved sword?" one of the guards in the background remarked.

"Huh... Curved sword..." a second guard nodded in amazement.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 20 2019, 02:57 PM
"And THAT's wat ye get fer touchin THAT!" Vance was pummeling the downed large Dweller with his floorboard, occasionally gesturing to himself with his free hand.

The blue-eyed woman casually sidestepped away from Vance, but was more interested in the fallen mage.

"A mage..." her voice had a slight echo to it as she glanced down at said mage.

Not really caring if she got her hands dirty or not, she started ruffling through the things it was carrying, looking for who knows what.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 20 2019, 05:27 PM
Evelyn maintained an alert posture as she made sure all the Dwellers were no longer a threat.

After being satisfied, she slung her shield across her back and started examining the bodies of their fallen enemies, mostly out of habit to check for anything of interest or value, but also because she was unfamiliar with these creatures.

"Aquatic, bipedal..." she said to herself as she examined one of them. "What would cause them to attack though?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 21 2019, 12:05 PM
"That's a very good question, missy, one I don't have the answer to!" the captain snapped, "However..."

He trailed-off upon seeing June.

"...Hi..."

The captain just sneered at her, before continuing.

"However, someone, somewhere must know, because yesterday, an anonymous tip was sent to the mayor's office, warning of an impending attack and providing the address to some sort of secret weapon. Of course, nobody saw fit to take it seriously until just now, after the location of this supposed secret weapon has already been overrun by the enemy!"

"So, what is the secret weapon?" Karl asked.

"Nobody knows, otherwise it wouldn't be a secret, son!" the captain snapped, "Now then, I need every able-bodied man, woman and child to arm themselves and follow me! We are launching a recovery operation behind enemy territory to acquire this weapon, whatever it may be!"

"Uh, you saying you want literally every able-bodied person along for this mission?" June inquired, thinking maybe she'd get lucky and the captain wouldn't want her going with.

"Good point, the innkeeper can stay." the captain nodded, "The rest of ya, get ready to move out!"

"I have a bad feeling about this." Karl remarked.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 21 2019, 03:30 PM
"Sorry Mr. The Innkeeper, but it looks like I'm quiting." Ada said as she dropped her mop and ran up to Karl, "We got a job! We got a job!
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 21 2019, 03:59 PM
"I quit on life..." Nora, between grimaces and back spasms, grumbled from the floor.

"Yu cain't quit on yer live! You gotsta live for ever!" Vance finally stopped pummeling the Dweller and started scolding.

"Oooh for the love of the gods shut up..." Nora was holding her head now.

The blue-eyed woman, returning dissatisfied from the Shaman, saw Nora, one of the few if not the only person on the ground still in salvageable condition and approached.

"Need a hand?" she offered.

"Please..." Nora instinctively held up her left, as her right had the wrist blade still unsheathed.

To her surprise, she was pulled to her feet swiftly. Not so much to her surprise, she found herself all kinds of woozy and dazed and was stumbling around.

"Thanks," Nora shakily said in gratitude.

"You're welcome," the woman replied with a smile before approaching the Innkeeper.

"Here's next month's rent by the way," she gave him some coin, "Way early, but I'm leaving so you can use it."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 21 2019, 05:57 PM
"I know this is probably going to be a pointless question," Evelyn said a she stood up and slid her sword into her scabbard. "But shouldn't we focus more on defense until the people are safe, then start pushing the enemy back?

I mean... it would make sense to have someplace to return this weapon to... right? What's the point if we get it and there's nowhere to bring it because the enemy's already taken the town and killed everyone?"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 22 2019, 02:21 PM
"Excellent! I can use this to fix the upstairs window!" the innkeeper beamed.

Meanwhile...

"Are you questioning my orders, maggot!?" the captain got into Evelyn's face, "Our duty is to recover the weapon A! S! A! P! So unless you wanna try to infiltrate the town after it's been overrun and fortified by fifty-thousand frogmen, I suggest you follow my orders!"

"Better idea would be to just get out while the getting's good." June whispered to Evie.

"I have a question!" Karl raised his hand.

The captain scowled and turned toward the ice mage.

"Class is dismissed, boy! Now grab a weapon and get ready to move out!" the captain barked, "I expect you all outside in sixty seconds! Fifty-nine! Fifty-eight! Fifty-seven!"

He marched out the door, still counting down each individual second, and waited there for everyone to grab whatever needed to be grabbed and get outside.

Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 22 2019, 03:01 PM
"What was your question?" Nora asked Karl pointedly as she tried (And failed) to drag Vance off of the floor while the blue-eyed woman simply started searching more of the bodies.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 22 2019, 07:37 PM
"he tries to rope me into that insane plan, I'm charging him triple my usual rate," Evelyn said as she went back to examining the bodies herself, moving from looting anything useful or valuable to working out potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 22 2019, 07:58 PM
"I was going to ask what sort of weapon he recommended for a beginner." Karl shrugged in response to Nora.

"We should escape out the back door." June suggested to Evie.

"There is no back door, remember!" the innkeeper reminded her.

"Right... damn it." June grumbled, before turning back toward Evelyn, "Okay, let's compromise and charge him quadruple your usual rate."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Rattler on Mar 22 2019, 08:30 PM
"Heh... I kinda like that idea," Evelyn replied with a smirk.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 22 2019, 11:00 PM
"Yeah well it can't be hard to beat a barstool at least," Nora joked to Karl.

"I heard that," the blue-eyed woman echoed from across the room.

"And?" Nora craned her neck to look at her, just now noting the fullness of her eyes.

"... You right," she got a shrug and another kooky smile in response.
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 22 2019, 11:06 PM
"Maybe she can teach me how to wield a barstool?" Karl wondered aloud, before looking at the blue-eyed girl, "Oh, what's your name by the way? I'm Karl."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: JA-394 on Mar 23 2019, 11:31 AM
"Angel. Angel Grace," was the response, "AKA barstool ordinaire."
Title: Crossroads
Post by: Tyler294 on Mar 23 2019, 04:36 PM
"Nice to meet you!" Karl replied.

Part of why he left home was to meet girls. He just didn't imagine he'd meet five of them within two days of arriving in the city!

"TEN SECONDS!" the captain roared outside.

"Oh, we should probably get out there." Karl sighed, "You don't suppose you could teach me in the ways of the barstool, could ya?"

He went to grab one of said seating items, but the innkeeper would have none of that.

"Oi! Go get your own barstool, boy!"
Title: Crossroads
Post by: DeadJim on Mar 24 2019, 01:37 PM
"Coming new-awesome-employer-boss-man!" Ada sang as she skipped out the door.