Monthly Archives: July 2011

Inside The Crossed Swords

“Ye hair-brained, rabbit-eared, nit-ninny! ” Feldard turned to look to his companion. “Which of ye did that?” the dwarf asked stalking back to where the others were. “What do ye think ye were doing? I had the situation under control. Damn it all! Now who’s gonna tell us where the mage be now?”

It was only then that the dwarf noticed the shouts from others on the dock. “Dammit it all. It’s time fer us to be leaving and quick, before news of this reaches the law. And I’m not leaving without my axe. Hurry now!” The dwarf set off at a run back through the streets towards where the arms were being kept, hoping to keep ahead of the rumour.

Stephan was stunned at the collapse of the stevedores. And equally startled by Feldard’s outburst.

“It wasn’t me!”, he responded to the dwarf’s search for the perpetrator.

He too wanted his weapon back and started to follow Feldard. But being too curious, and pressed for time, he ran at the door of the boarded up building. With adrenalin coursing through his veins, he kicked hard on the door. He just had to have at least one look inside this box…

Ludo stood back in the shadows – he was surprised as everyone to see the stevedores fall into a restful slumber. Remembering the words of the clergy about magic being banned within the walls, he was worried. Still he mused it most likely saved the men froma beating by Feldard.

Staying in the shadows he scanned the crowd for anyone or anything suspicious – he had a feeling that Golthar was close. He would catch up with Feldard and the team later.

Hasan charged after Stephan. They were too close to their quarry to tarry. “Come Miklos, the trap is sprung, but it will not hold for long. The Son of Night awaits.”

Miklos walked lightly through the slumbering dockworkers. “Well cast,” he blurted after the elf, as he watched the slender form slip through into the darkened building’s maw. The mage passed through the doorway more slowly, but he turned back to hurry Maruc and, finally, the dwarf, along in their pursuit.

Hearing Stephan’s grunt of pain, as the human slammed into boards much too strong, the dwarf turned about and grimaced. This was not going to go well. “Bah, you all are daft and so am I. Again now.. together!” and the dwarf charged the door alongside Stephen.

Stephan shook off the jarring pain and embarrassment from the stubborn door and joined the more stubborn dwarf in a combined assault on the boards.

With a crack that was all too loud, the boards shutting the door broke asunder and the door beyond fell flat into a dusty chambre.

“I must have weakened the defenses with by first blow,” Stephan offered as a way of soothing his warrior’s pride. They looked on into the old house, but saw naught but a cloud of dust. Soon it would settle and allow some sort of discernment of the interior.

Ludo pondered the situation … wasn’t he the rogue in the group? Using magic within the confines of the town, assault, breaking and entering, if the guards arrive this will go very badly. He decided to stay in the shadows to keep watch.

About a dozen other stevedores started to gather about the exterior of the inn. They started to tend to their fellow dock workers, trying to roust them back awake, calling out to the town guard as they did so.

Inside the Crossed Swords, it was dark, dusty and cobweb-covered. The group had busted into the main bar area. A nauseating stench pervaded the place. Broken tables, chairs and benches littered the interior.

There were 2 doors in the dimly lit establishment, one on the northern wall and another to the east, behind the bar.

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Breakin’ The Law

Ludo stopped working – this would take some time. He heard some voices shouting from the front of the Inn. Hasan and Stephen should be ok, he thought, still it wouldn’t hurt to check up on them. He slipped back into the shadows, and clambered over a wall which separated the Inn’s backyard to a neighboring building. Drawing a dagger and staying in the shadows he made his way back to the street and came up behind a group of men that seemed to be surrounding Feldard. Oh my goodness this is dangerous he thought, the poor fools, don’t they realize that Feldard doesn’t like being threatened.

At the stevedores’ movements to surround him, Feldard took a solid stance. “I have no quarrel with you and your men. Think before you act rashly.” The dwarfs arms crossed as he spoke. “I seek a man in yellow robes. Have you seen the man or not?”

Stephan maneuvered to give Feldard some space should that ax–or whatever weapon he could muster–come out. He also practiced his battle breathing to ready his nerves and sinew for a fight. This had a calming effect on him–banishing any inkling of panic and providing clarity in an otherwise chaotic melee.

Stephan leveled his eyes with one of the bruter-looking stevedores. He could feels his confidence welling and expected that the man could see it in his eyes. ‘These pathetic dock workers don’t know what a real fight is. Or what I can do with a blade in my hands.’, he thought to himself.

His gaze fixed on another of the stevedores. This time, the subject of his stare was clearly shaky. The youngish man could not lock eyes with Stephan and shot nervous glances to his mates.

But Stephan kept a battle eye on Feldard so that if things got rowdy, the two would be well positioned to back each other up.

The stevedores were unarmed, for the most part. A couple of them carried knives, but they were more suited to cutting rope than to battle.

“They have surrounded Feldard,” hissed Miklos.

“We need to wait,” said Maruc, calmly. But the cleric’s pale face fell as he saw Hasan’s eyes close, hands beginning to shape confident glyphs in the space surrounding the elf. With a final, soft utterance — “Ichasa” — the elf released the gathered forces toward the group surrounding Feldard. Miklos clucked, as he saw he saw all of the men crumple.

Others working along the wharf began to notice the commotion. A crowd would be gathering soon, and when the stevedores woke up, they would no doubt want to report the flagrant breaking of town law to the authorities.

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What’s Your Business Here?!

Feldard grumped at the sight of the place, mumbling to himself about the ‘seedy area’ and ‘getting jumped for the few coin in your pouch’.

The dwarf noticed the stevedores and headed that way. Stephan watched Ludo disappear and felt a bit of consternation and not being able to back him up should the rogue run into trouble. He caught up the Feldard’s decisive gait to the stevedores.

One took notice of the dwarf and his companions, and immediately pointed them out to the others. They quickly abandoned their work and started to move towards Feldard, spreading out. Some looked at him, and others looked back towards the Crossed Swords, craning their necks to see what the others were up to.

The dwarf nodding in greeting to the one that looked to be in charge. “Afternoon. Any chance you or one of your men might have seen a fellow in yellow robes recently?”

“What’s your business here, dwarf?” he asked. He was aggressive in tone, but made no threatening movements and was unarmed.

Stephan smiled trying to not alarm the loaders and match Feldard’s seemingly cordial mood. He was, nonetheless, on edge, watching the surroundings.

Others in the group fanned out and walked around Feldard toward the building. “You over there,” they shouted. “What are you doing back there?”

Hasan held back, with Maruc and Miklos, the threesome watching from the nearby corner. Hasan explained, gesturing wildly, “Watch them, Maruc, and tell me what is happening. But maybe we can show less than our full strength.” The cleric nodded, and swung his arms in a huge arc to the east, nearly knocking a shambing drunk to his feet. He carefully sent the man on his way with Halav’s sincerest blessings, as Miklos observed, “once more, with gusto, master dramatist!”

As Ludo slipped around the back of the Inn he noticed the forlorn state in which the building was in. He felt in his bones that Golthar was not here. He quietly approached the back of the building and peeked into the courtyard beyond, it was empty with no sign of any recent activity. He heard the sound of the stevedores shouting at his friends. The windows were thoroughly boarded shut. The wood was strong and unweathered, and the nails were unrusted, in contrast to the rest of the building.

Pulling out a small crowbar, he started to work on loosening the boards. This would take some time.

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The Crossed Swords Inn

Ludo gasped, “Golthar… it has to be him.” Turning to Hasan, he whispered, “This fortune teller is good.”

Feldard’s first thought was that this whole fortune-telling was a set-up. He also had noted that no one had come to claim the wreckage. His mind told him that the information being given was leading to a trap.. but then again.. if the party knew it was a trap.. they could go there and turn it about on Golthar. “Anyone seen this sign with the crossed swords?… A weaponsmith perhaps?”

Stephan wiped his brow. Mafka seemed a bit drained from the reading. He felt that way too.

“Thank you, ‘mum,” he stammered. “You’re giving me and my mates a good fright. Do you know this place…this sign of two crossed swords?”

“Nay, I be afraid ‘ave not,” replied the gypsy.

“He can’t expect us to find him so quickly,” argued Hasan. “this good fortune is surely one we should honor. Come now, let us make haste to the river!”. The elf began to move quickly through the crowds, making his way to the main street that led from the river to the central plaza.

Ludo decided to follow Hasan – he wasn’t all together sure it was a good idea to confront Golthar in his lair – but it shouldn’t hurt to go and have a look. If they were lucky they might be able to see Golthar and confront him while his defenses were down. Golthar was a mage – and magic was banned within the town walls.

Stephan hesitated as Hasan and the others started off. Turning to Mafka, “Thank you, madame. You have helped us a great deal.” He quickly helped the old woman gather her things.

“And you, son, had the eye and strength to keep these old bones around yet another day! It is you who deserve the thanks. I hope my sight for you can help you in some way. Tahyarrho.” And with that she started down that street at a pace Stephan thought not possible for her old knees.

Quickly, he turned just in time to see his mates disappear around a corner. He gave chase.

After asking a few townsfolk, eventually they became informed that the sign in the gypsy’s vision belonged to an abandoned inn on the wharfside of Fogor Isle.

Hasan led the group across one of the two stone bridges that crossed into Fogor Isle, which was the town’s main port and warehousing district. The streets and alleyways of the isle were dark and dingy. The group passed by a number of inns, shady storefronts and hard-looking folk. As they approached the deserted Crossed Swords Tavern, a group of twelve stevedores was offloading a boat nearby.

The painted sign of two crossed broadswords hung crookedly from a rotten support. All the windows were boarded up on the outside.

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