Kôštē, cleric (NPC)
Villûdē, guide (NPC)
They went back to Mīstássun. On the way, they ran into three men with spears. One of them, who wore stud piercings in his ears, yelled at them to stop. “Doncha know about the toll?"
Caleb said, “There never has been a toll before."
The man with the stud earrings said, “We are collecting tolls in the name of the Queen!"
Caleb asked, “Where are your papers of commission?"
“Papers? We don’t need no steenkin’ papers!"
And then the fight started. The goons yelled, “Make it easy on yourselves!” as they came near.
Caleb said, “We are … on our pockets!"
Kim said, “In your wet dreams!"
The heroic murderhoboes had a field day on the not-so-heroic murderhoboes. Mayhem took out two, and Ash took out one. Kim broke her sword trying to stop one from hitting Caleb. They looted the bodies, and Kôštē bound their wounds.
On the bodies, they found 3 gold pieces, 140 silver pennies, and 147 copper farthings, as well as a bit of amber. More interesting though less lucrative were papers saying that the three men were members of the Reapers mercenary outfit: Permónos, who wore the stud earrings, Prēssīvós, a buck-toothed man, and Dībrátor, who had a hook for a hand. Kim knew the Reapers were mercenary band that camped outside of town and whose leader hung out at the Scarlet Harlot tavern.
Once in town, they sold the bit of amber, and Kim bought a new sword. They spent the next week training and hanging around the bars, keeping their ears open. They heard tales of a dragon living in an odd church in the Eldalîvā Woods in the west, and about the Armor of the Ape in an old tower in the Dumenrôn Swamp to the south. Caleb pored over old books, and found that the dragon Hiszgorr the Poisonous lived in the north of the woods, and tales an odd beast with a flailed tail roamed near a tower in the swamp. Not wanting to fight a dragon, they chose the swamp, though this time wanting to keep away from the ibathene.
Caleb found that no one knew anything about his doppelgänger. Not only that, nobody remembered anything about his doppelgänger, or that he had ever been there.
They made sure to tell the powers that be about the Reapers’ strike. Nabbrášus the mine owner shrugged her shoulders. The Town Watchman at the courthouse said that since the strike happened outside the town walls, there was nothing he could do. The man at the castle with the County took the papers, and thanked them for letting the County know.
Before leaving, they went to see Villûdē at the Wild Cats tavern. She wasn’t having a good night, trying to have the crowd give her money for her tales of the swamp, but they wouldn’t hear of it. “If you saw the ibathene, why are you still alive!” Dodging rotten tomatoes, they went up to Villûdē, and asked her if she wanted to guide them again. Wiping a tomato from her arm, she agreed.
Villûdē had not only heard of the beast with the flail tail, but had seen it, and said it was the santer. She didn’t know about the tower, but said the santer was in the eastern swamp, north of the ibathene and south of the nagas’ island. Caleb, however, thought it best to go at the swamp from the east, taking the road most of the way. Also, he thought it wise to meet the lord of Vēristés Castle, on the eastern road. Friends couldn’t hurt.
|Because everybody needs a little ELP.|
As the night fell, they made it to Vēristés Castle. There, nine guards told the
m to hand over their weapons and come inside. After some dithering, they handed over their weapons. “Down with the Queen! Down with Ažbrátōr! Down with Nemmagós!” they shouted to the puzzled gang, and led it inside.
Inside, Lord Kaggrétōr, a man with sharp looks and light brown hair, made them all shout “Down with Ažbrátōr! Down with Nemmagós!” before signing a badly-written screed against the Queen. Most signed with an X, Kim with a squiggle, and Caleb signed, “Praidīvós of Mīstássun.” Kaggrétōr then asked them why the Queen hated him, why she tried to take away his castle, and, if they ever saw Count Gostálios, if they could put in a good word for him so the two could meet to talk.
With that, he threw them out, and tossed their weapons at them. They made camp, not having bought the parts for a raft from the castle.
|As the manticore came in, with Chris's head in the way.|
After asking for world details, which brought out the note I had with my original rolls for the world four years ago with the idea that the local tree was a “palm” and the local game was a “reindeer,” Chris (Caleb/Mayhem) thought it a good idea to meet with the nobility, and saw Vēristés Castle near the swamp. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I’m always happy to play a loopy NPC.
We somewhat formalized the idea that there were main characters—Caleb and Kim—and more muscle ones—Mayhem and Ash. Mostly, that’s how things have been playing, as when they parley, they use the smarter characters for obvious reasons.