Bloodstone Falls

byxbee

Explorer
Chapter 6

“But a Horse is a Horse, of course…”

The dwarf whistled his surprise as the Silver Griffon moved cautiously but with great authority toward Durnae, sword drawn.

“Whoa! Horse theft!! Boy, you sure are in lots o’ trouble. You’re not from around here are ya’?” said the surprised dwarf. "Even the stupidest Damaran knows not to steal a man's horse! Hell, you'd be better off stealing a man's wife!"

The guard approached with great care. “I don’t want any trouble here. Let’s take it nice and easy and nobody gets hurt” he said, adding emphasis with a tiny wave of his sword.

The sword wave worked, and Durnae made his decision. This man could kill him easily. Durnae gritted his teeth. The energy in his arms needed release. Already little bolts of blue fire were dancing between his fingers. “Sir Griffon, I must warn you to take a quick step back and give me but a moment and I will go with you peacefully,” he said, holding up his hands for the guard to see.

The Griffon had fought spell casters before, and he knew enough of their talents to be wary. The energy dancing on this kid’s arms was reason enough to pause. Seeing the look of desperation in the thief’s eyes, he took a single step back. “Aye. Release your sorcery and disarm yourself.”

Durnae turned to the makeshift hearth, and placed his hands on the ash covered stone. A flash of energy lit up the room, casting strange shadows among the beams above. Durnae felt the surge of magical force pulse through him and into the stone, a quick powerful release. He was sweating from the concentration it had taken to keep the spell in for so long.

“Well S&#t,” said the dwarf, up until this moment an amazed bystander, “I ain’t seen me a sorcerer in years. What an interesting night this turned out to be!"

“Ok son. Let’s get you ready to ride. I’m afraid I’m going to have to bind and gag you. It’s standard procedure for sorcerers.” He tossed some ropes to Durnae. “Tie yourself as best you can. I'll tighten the ropes in a moment. You make one false move and I’ll snap your hands and cut out your tongue, understand? I got no time for that magical s@#t.”

“I understand” said Durnae with as much resignation as his voice could register. He wouldn’t make it back to Valls, that was for sure. Speck was in Valls, as was the law and an angry horse trader. No, his only chance at escape lay in the next hour. He tried to think of a way he could outwit the Griffon while he tied the ropes loosely around his wrists, waiting for an opportunity.

“It sure is a long ride back to Valls” suggested the dwarf helpfully “and cold and windy too. Hell, I wouldn’t be caught out there right now, the wind’s kickin up a storm no doubt.” Sinking his knife into a slab of mutton and potato, the dwarf began to chew noisily. “If it were up to me, I’d stay the night and start fresh in the morning. The boy isn’t going anywhere if you lock up the horses and the brakk.”

“I don’t take advice from civilians, dwarf, especially about my work. We head out tonight, just as soon as my horse gets some rest. You have one last hour of freedom, son, I suggest you spend it wisely,” said the Griffon as he took up position near the door, hand on his hilt. Both Durnae and the dwarf could see, however, the hunger in the guard’s eyes as he eyed the juices dripping from the roast over the fire.

The dwarf continued smoothly, “Suit yourself, but this mutton is mighty tender. And the ale is Chultan Stout. You ever had a mug of Jungle Ale, Sir Griffon? It’s the strongest I’ve come across. And to think it’s made by humans. Normally they know nothing of ales and meads, but somebody down there in those steamy jungles found a way to make a fine, dark ale. My insides squeal in protest every time I chug one down, but it’s a damn fine experience.” The dwarf took a sloshing, noisy gulp.

“How about one for the road, Sir?” The dwarf poured a frosty mug for the guard and set it next to a plate of steaming mutton, freshly sliced from the roast.

The overpowering combination of meat and ale was too much for the Griffon to bear. “I guess it couldn’t hurt to have a single mug,” he said with guilt in his eyes.

“The two of you stay there and don’t make any sudden moves. It’ll be a long ride for both of you if you try anything.”

“And dwarf, let me see your papers”

“Gladly, there all right here,” said the dwarf, fumbling in his pack. He found some papers and set them down next to the ale. “A Rover’s Charter from Bloodstone Pass, signed by Meldane Forsythe himself. Yup, it’s my job to roam these plains, looking for deposits of Bloodstone. It’s all there in the papers” he said with a nod.

“Well you better be legitimate, or I’ll have to ask you to come to Valls, too” the guard said, as he grabbed his mutton, ale and papers, and retreated to the doorway.

“Mirny, eh? Got a last name, Mirny?” said the guard as he glanced at the papers.

“Naah. Not in my clan’s custom”

“Eh? Strange, every dwarf I ever met had lots of clan names and words tacked on to the end of their title, like Axebreaker and Hammergiant, and stuff like that. But you’re just Mirny, hmm?” the guard said.

A severe gust of wind blasted through the open doorway just then, sending a shower of dust and ice through the small room. It grew suddenly frigid in the shack as the warmth of the fire evaporated. A quiet silence followed the wind as it howled off.

All three of them ate quietly for a while. Durnae was tired from a hard journey, pushing his steed into the fierce wind. The Griffon, he could tell, was fatigued as well. Maybe if he stalled, thought Durnae, the fatigue will be too much to bear? Maybe he could sneak off during the night. It was worth a try…

“Will I get a chance to plead my case, Sir Griffon? I am unfamiliar with the laws of this land, but in Impiltur I would get a chance to tell things the way I see it,” Durnae said, trying to sound innocent, “I’m fleeing for my life from a man in Valls.”

“I don’t care about your stories, boy. I’m just doin my job, see. Captain told me to track down a youngish boy on a black Narfellian colt, and that’s you. Easy to follow, really, the horse’s hooves aren’t even shoed, boy, and they leave a huge track in the sand that way. You’re damn lucky you didn’t break the horses legs, the penalty for that is more sev…”

“GO TO HELL YOU FILTHY HORSE F@*&#ER!”

The dwarf began shouting with no warning, surprising everyone in the room. He tossed his remaining dinner at the guard, leapt on the table, and drew his axe.

“I’LL PUT AN AXE THROUGH YOUR SKULL, YOU KOBOLD LOVING &*^% $@#$%ER!”
 
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Lela

First Post
Wow.

First of all, well written. I could really see those blue sparks jumping off Durnae's fingers. Really nice imagrey.

Surprise move by the dwarf! That took me off guard by itself. Would those papers be forged? Just out of curriosity.

Looking forward to more byxbee. Don't let me down.
 


byxbee

Explorer
UV23 and Lela, your words are too kind. Muchos Gracias

Chapter 7
“Fly by night, away from here… Change my life, again”



“YOU’RE MAKING A STUPID F$(KIN MISTAKE, DWARF” said Griffon, sword quickly at his side.

“AND DON’T YOU EVEN FLINCH, BOY, OR I’LL SLICE YOUR ARMS OFF!”

Durnae disobeyed without hesitation and dove for cover behind the table, trying desperately to release the ropes that secured his wrists. The ropes seemed tighter than they had been before, and the knot was one he hadn't tied. Could it be that these ropes tied themselves? Maybe that was why the Griffon hadn't checked them to make sure they were tight.

Durnae continued to struggle while keeping one eye on the brawl that was developing in front of him.

The dwarf was chanting a war hymn, a baritone rumble from the back of his throat. But it was like no war chant Durnae had ever heard. It was more of a contented humming, much like the cooks used to do as they prepared the meals back on Fairwater Homestead. It seemed odd for a warrior in extreme peril to be purring like a pleased cat.

The Griffon advanced slowly, shield and sword readied. With a quick snap of his neck he closed the visor on his helmet.

CLANG! Sword and axe collided, sparks and twisted shards of metal flying as the two combatants brought their strength to bear. The dwarf was off the table now, ducking and weaving under the heavy swings of the Griffon. Blows were parried, grunts exchanged, and armor creased. The room was suddenly warm, as if the anger of the fighters was heating the very air.

A well aimed overhand chop by Griffon caught Mirny unprotected, cutting deeply into his shoulder. Blood soaked through his cloak quickly, spreading down the dwarf’s armored chest.

“OK M#*$ER F#@@$R, Now you’re gonna feel it!” shouted Mirny, pain in his voice but a crazed sneer on his face.

As the Griffon took a step back to prepare for the dwarf’s fury, Durnae struck. Hands still tied behind his back, he kicked a wobbly chair into the Griffon’s path, causing him to stumble briefly.
He crawled quickly under the table to avoid any immediate counterstrike.

The Griffon’s stumble was just enough of an opportunity for Mirny to strike, and he landed a minor blow to the warrior’s shoulder with the flat of his axe. In fact, it was hardly more than a tap.

Durnae, trying unsuccessfully to loosen his bonds and with ropes chaffing his wrists, regained his feet on the opposite side of the table.

He stood just in time to see Mirny stepping backwards, grinning. “That should just about do it," he said, grinning at the huge man in front of him. He laid down his axe on the table.

The Griffon, unsure of this new development, took one step forward with sword raised to strike the unprotected dwarf. He opened his mouth to speak and paused. A strange look came into his eyes, a look that slowly blossomed into a grimace of fear.

He stumbled suddenly backwards into the wall, face twisted in agony.

“Huuuunnnnnnn, Huuuuuunnnnn” he gasped with great effort, as if his chest were constricting.

He made one last feeble swing at the dwarf, who sidestepped easily, and then his eyes rolled downward and his eyelids fluttered. He fell to the ground in a mass of jingling chain mail and flopping limbs.

With the Patrolman laying prone, twitching spasmodically but quietly, Mirny had turned his attention to carefully replacing the cork on the small keg of ale that had been disturbed in the fight. “Well don’t just stand there staring, youngster. Let’s get you out of them ropes.”

“But. How. What” Durnae said, unable to find the words to describe what he had just seen.

“I’m going to need you to remain very calm right now, boy. You get too excited, you end up looking like our friend over there, understand?” said the suddenly calm dwarf.

“You both ate the same mutton, all right… and it had a little bit of Mirny’s Special Seasoning on it, if you catch my drift. You just take it very slow for a few hours, and you’ll be just fine.” The dwarf moved behind Durnae and began to slice through the ropes with a sharp knife.

“Damn ropes, seem to resist the blade. Hold still while I try the other knife,” he grumbled, picking up his axe. He could see the concern in Durnae’s eyes.

“Don’t you worry bout a thing, it should pass from your system by morning. Just don’t get all rambunctious, or, well…” he said with a nod in the direction of the fallen Guardsman.

“Oh Gods” said Durnae, obviously shaken “what have you done? You’ve killed a Griffon.”

“Now stop right there, boy. Weren’t you listenin? Don’t get yourself all worked up over this,” said Mirny as he sliced through the ropes, “cuz he ain’t exactly dead. He’s just resting, and likely will be for a few days. When he wakes up and finds his horse gone, he’ll have a long walk to go with his aching head and wheezy lungs.”

The dwarf looked at Durnae’s naïve, childlike face and laughed. It was a cruel, harsh laugh. “Grab your sword, boy, we’ll need it where we’re going.”

Durnae gathered his sword and began to think that he had made a really big mistake coming to Damara.
 

Lela

First Post
Now, that is a nice posion. As long as you remain calm you can easily eat exactly what they eat. Especally, great to use against a barbarian, but it'll work well on anyone. I like it.

What, exactly, would you say the 3E rules would be?
 

byxbee

Explorer
not really sure how that would translate. The campaign this is based off of was played in the days when 2e was new!

Since it doesn't actually take effect until the ingester gets excited, i would say it has an easy DC to detect if you know the taste, so you can go about getting it cured before it kicks in.

If it kicks in, DC 22? Fail unconscious, save for some damage? Secondary save is the same. That way it has two shots at knocking you out.



edited for clarity
 
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byxbee

Explorer
Lela said:
I like it--may even use it against some players. Hmmm, think of the possibilities (insert evil DM laugh).

"Your dinner with Velazia, delegate from Borakka, is wonderfully prepared and full of flavor, though the seasoned potato stew was a bit salty"

You could conceivable poison lots of people with this, and some of them wouldn't be affected for hours!
 

Broccli_Head

Explorer
Being a DM in the Forgotten Realms myself , I am naturally drawn to another story set in Faerun.

Like the beginning...miss the halfling...like the dwarf. What is he? Dwarven barbarian?

I almost thought that the High guardsman was a PC.

can't wait until next time!
 

Lela

First Post
byxbee said:


"Your dinner with Velazia, delegate from Borakka, is wonderfully prepared and full of flavor, though the seasoned potato stew was a bit salty"

You could conceivable poison lots of people with this, and some of them wouldn't be affected for hours!

Hmmm, me like! "Salty." I'm thinking just about the only one able to remain perfectly calm in a fight would be a Monk (of at least 5th level). Even the Paladin's adrenalin would be going strong, and a Barbarian would be right out of the picture. Fun.
 

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