Not With a Bang, I: Its Own Reward





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  1. #1

    Not With a Bang, I: Its Own Reward

    The OOC thread is here.
    The Rogues' Gallery thread is here.


    "This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but with a whimper."

    --T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

    ------------

    The Hog's Back Inn was the center of commerce in Alten's Rock. There were other, smaller pubs scattered around the town--some of them in much seedier areas--but the Hog's Back was smack in the center, right on the town square, and it was large enough that town meetings were held there. Business--both on and under the table--was transacted there, the local constabulary found their drinks there, and anyone with a mind to carouse, eat, play cards, or simply sit by the fire and listen to stories, was welcome at the Hog's Back.

    Unless, of course, they were the sort that Kelta had a problem with. Kelta, whose husband had passed away seven years earlier, had always been a hard woman, and the fact that she had continued to run the Hog's Back--and at a higher profit margin than her husband ever had--created a certain respect for her in the community. If you wanted to patronize the Hog's Back, you didn't cross Kelta.

    When the stranger walked in, she eyed him warily. His dark cloak was muddied with the stains of travel, making it seem darker than it was. He carried no weapons, which made Kelta wonder what he was using for protection on the trails. A mage of some sort? Perhaps, but he had no spell components, no holy symbol. Just the dark cloak. He walked towards her, which was easy enough: it was midday, and the real crowds would not come in until dusk.

    "What can I do for you, stranger? A pint of ale, or perhaps a bowl of stew?" She continued to watch him; something irrational but nevertheless obviously there made her senses tingle.

    "Some stew might well go me good, madam. I've had a long journey. No ale, though, but if you've tea, I'll take that."

    Kelta stepped into the kitchen for a moment, the man's presence still bothering her as he sat down at the bar. She ladeled out a bowl of stew and put a kettle of water on the fire, then exited and set the bowl in front of the man. "Here you are. Best stew in twenty miles."

    She saw an oddly-shaped smile. "It always is, isn't it?"

    "What?"

    "No matter," the man said, absent-mindedly picking up his spoon and tasting the stew. "I was also hoping I could leave an announcement with you. Something that could be posted in a noticeable location. I'm looking to hire some people, but I can't wait around here all day; I'm certain you understand."

    Kelta nodded. "It'll cost you, but I can post your announcement on the message board over there."

    The man took another bite of stew, then withdrew from his pocket a scroll and a small sack. Opening the sack, he poured ten platinum pieces onto the bar. "I assume this will be enough."

    Kelta tried not to let her eyes grow wide, but it was a nearly involuntary reaction--and she suspected she would not be bargaining upward anyway. She dropped one of the coins onto the bar, listening for the satisfying ring of platinum, then scooped the coins into her purse. "I'll make certain everyone sees it."

    "Thank you. I'll return in three days." And with that, the man rose, leaving much of his stew behind. Kelta realized he had never had his tea.

    "What an odd person," she said to no one in particular. She opened the scroll and read:

    ADVENTURE IS ITS OWN REWARD
    and if you believe that, I have a staff of the magi to sell you.

    Seeking adventurers to retrieve a gem of sentimental value stolen by thieves last month. I've traced the gem to a hideout in this area but have other matters to attend to. Will pay 1500 gp for its safe return. Meet Melian here on 3 Matess at midday.
    Feeling the platinum at her side, Kelta posted it directly on the board near the entrance. Surely few people would miss it.
    Last edited by LazarusLong42; Friday, 5th December, 2003 at 12:04 AM.

 

  • #2
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    Arkan Far Traveler

    A young woman enters the Hog's back Inn. She wears a weatherbeaten green cloak, and carries a long bow and long sword. Her thick silver hair falls around her dirty face, and her wide, almond shaped eyes scan the room. Noticing the posting on the bulletin board, she walks to it and reads. Raising her slanted eyebrows, she smiles.

    OOC: How long it is til 3 Matess?

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    Baril Kibizin

    As usual, Baril was in a good mood, humming a old gypsy song, adding some cheerful tunes with his pan pipe here and there. The trip from Colinna had been mainly uneventful, save the constant pranks by Tuli, but luckily Brevin had been there to share some of the 'punishment'.

    Suddenly the bard stopped to point at the looming outskirts of the town ahead with a theatrical pose. "Behold, my friends! Alten's Rock, every merchant's paradise, a true gem among all towns. It's been a while since my last visit - I hope I'm not going to be disapponted this time, either." Baril grinned and continued walking before either one of his companions could react, saying: "The road has been long. What do you say, let's find a nice inn to wash away the strain of travel? Trust me, I know the best place in town. Now, what was it? Oh, yes... The Hog's Back Inn."

    OoC: Manzanita, it's three days.
    Last edited by Zerth; Thursday, 31st July, 2003 at 11:33 PM.

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    Grunlor, wearing a simple but neat travelling outfit, walks into the Hog's Back and nods formally at Kelta standing behind the bar. He moves to a small table towards the back of the common room and sits down with his back to the wall behind him. After a few moments Kelta brings over a bowl of stew and a tankard of ale. Grunlor hardly looks up, his attention focused on the book in front of him (as usual). By the time he looks up, the stew has gotten cool but Grunlor hardly notices. He glances around the room and notices a woman he hasn't seen before reading a posting by the door.
    Hmmm.... Wonder what that'll be saying. Seems to have some people interested. I'll go take a look as soon as I finish this stew....
    Grunlor ate a bit, drank a bit, then became engrossed in his book again, forgetting (for the moment) about the sign by the door.

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    "Knowing you, your idea of the best place in town is someplace where you can drown yourself in ale and sleep it off in your bar-stool." Tuli retorted cheerfully, ribbing her long time friend. She followed him on her pony, her eyes darting all around the town, trying to take in absolutely everything from the rooftops to the the buildings to the people moving about the town, her curiosity took in everyone and everything.

    Her eyes even assessed the opportunity to investigate the passerbys' purses and possessions, not that she was actively looking for anything, it was just a habit. Se booted her pony forward toward the Inn which she had vague memories of from her childhood before she moved to Colinna. "If its what I am thinking of it wont be too bad Brevi."

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    Brevin followed Baril and Tuli into town, with a slight shake of his head and a wry smile at Baril's antics upon arrival. The town didn't look like much, but having spent pretty much his entire life in Colinna made anything smaller look not so impressive.

    Brevin trotted forward to keep up with Tuli on her pony. "I just hope this inn is clean and has a comfortable bed. Maybe I'm spoiled, Litsi help me, but I'm used to certain luxuries in life," Brevin said with a chuckle.

    Outward appearances aside, Brevin looked warily around the town. He wore his chainmail and his shield was slung over his right shoulder. His heavy mace hung at his side, painfully banging into his shin every so often. He stuck close to Tuli, his over-protective instinct kicking in.

  • #7

    Bellows Axegrinder

    Grinder accepted his pay, a meager twenty silver coins, from the barge's captain. "Shiny coins! Shiny coins!" squaked Trinket, the raven perched on his shoulder.

    "Thank you, captain," Grinder said as he pocketed the coins deep within his cloak. "May the river continue to bring you favorable business." They shook hands and Grinder tipped the brim of his hat to the rest of the barge's crew as he walked away down the pier. Weaving between crates and sacks, he made his way into Alten's Rock.

    Striding through the streets of the town, Grinder studied the buildings and the people. Alten's Rock represented the furthest he had ever traveled from his birthhome. Everything about it was smaller than Collina, but it was still a respectable city and bustled with activity. Now I just have to figure out how a wizard starts a proper adventuring career, he thought to himself.

    "Look for food," Trinket said and leapt into the air. Through their empathic link, Grinder urged the familiar to stay out of trouble. He wondered what odd trinket the raven would bring back to him. Often, Grinder teasingly accused Trinket of being one of the most obsessive thieves in the land...given the bird's inclination to collect small, shiny objects.

    Grinder called to a young man who was crossing his path and inquired about the best place in town to get a good drink, a hot meal, and inquire about business in the city. "Ah, that's easy," the young man replied. "You'll want to go to the Hog's Back Inn. Just keep on this road until you reach the town square. You can't miss it." With quarterstaff in hand and a spring in his step, Grinder set off in search of the inn.

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    In trouble already

    "AHHHHHH, how could I lose me own bruther. What kind of dwarf am I." Nojin smashes the mug of ale, still half full, over his helmeted skull and lets out another mighty bellow. The patrons of the Hog's Back look on with much concern at the surrly dwarf, as he orders anoter ale and glass. "Ye, best not give me any lip about it either lass because Im not near drunk and believe me a drunk dwarf is a lot safer then a sober one that wants to be so just keep um comming"

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    at the town square

    "Hey! That'd been an insult, if I didn't know where it's coming from", Baril snapped back at Tuli, trying hard to hold back a laugh. "And after all, someone of us has an artist's image to uphold. You know me, never could go anywhere without being noticed." At this point he couldn't hold back the laughter anymore.

    "Don't worry, Brevin. I'm sure you can find everything you wished for at Hog's Back. Just don't go pesterin' the innkeeper, she's a tough cookie."

    The cheerful group crossed the town square. "Here we are, at last", Baril said pointing at the entrance. What's going on here? People flocking at the door so that even a goblin couldn't fit in.

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    Tuli doesn't even bother to fight back the giggle that Baril's annoucement brings forth. As much as she was found of her 'cousin', she couldn't help but laugh at him sometimes. Must be from being a gypsy. she reflected merrily, her eyes alighting on the crowd by the Inn's entrance. The corner of her mouth perked up into its almost perpetual smile, and she slides nimbly off of Frolic's back handing Brevin the reigns. "You'll take care of her while I investigate wont you?" she asks disappearing from into the crowd even before ananswer could be thought of, let alone given.

    Tuli makes her way through the crowd, letting her eyes wander over the possesions of the crowd as she made her way deeper still. She pushed her delicate fingers deeply into her pockets to resist the temptations so close at hand, even so, she does keep her eye out for anything of high value that wouldn't be difficult to 'borrow' from its owner.

    (OOC: If she sees a likely prospect that isn't paying attention and who has easily accessible valuables Tuli will try to pick pocket the item. If nothing is found, or if she gets away with her larceny, continue on, if not, ignore the rest of my post.)

    Eventually the diminuitive girl makes her way through the crowd and actually enters the building, trusting in Brevin to take care of her pony, thats what family is for after all, isn't it? she comments to herself. She reads the posting excitedly, surely an adventure such as that and with such a reward could be exciting, and with Baril and Brevi, it should be lots of fun. I must tell them both about this. she thinks to herself as she takes a seat near to the Morose dwarf.

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