The Alraeican Tavern - Part X
Rapierian was getting grumpy.
Here, he had gone and done a nice thing for Wizard (shortening future haircuts) and now the old man was trying to bang his head into the floor.
His cloak was probably getting dirty from the mess on the floor too.
The two collided with a pack of zombies which promptly fell over on them.
Seeing his chance, Rapierian carefully crawled out of the tangled mess, stood up, and dusted himself off.
Observing that Wizard had gotten caught in the middle of the pile and had not yet fought his way out, the necromancer laughed and sat down to watch.
Agitated by the rising din around him, the comatose Shanadar was roused from his slumbering. In his drowsy stupor, he failed to notice the increasingly-obvious undead menace around him, and immediately turned to the usual suspect, or, rather, where he expected the usual suspect to be. Ironically enough, he was not disappointed.
Rapierian was hassling Wizard, as he was prone to do. Not wanting to see his friend to be further antagonized, Shanadar made his way over, still tired and oblivious to "minor details" like rogue zombies in the establishment, to give the necromancer a piece of his mind.
"Rapierian," he said groggily, "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't smash your brains out? Hmm?"
Rapierian looked away from watching Wizard's plight long enough to glance at Shanadar before returning his attention to the scene before him.
"Oh, I can think of several good reasons. First, you really shouldn't exert yourself too much. I mean, at your age, you know. Second, that would be poor manners—oh, and the zombie behind you is about to do the same thing to you that you just threatened to do to me, by the way."
Shanadar blinked at that last bit, waking up a little bit more.
"What are you—" he started to say just as a zombie went flying through the air in front of him.
"You really should lie down again, you know," Rapierian said solemnly. "You're really seeing things, if you think that this tavern is full of zombies. Plus, it'd get you out of the way of that rather irate undead creature behind you."
By this time, the battle had been going on for some time. The Cytherans were gaining an advantage over the zombies, however, and were getting quite close to defeating them.
Indeed, after Shanadar awoke, the tide took a definite turn in the Cytherian's favor, as many of the zombies who had animated due to his loud snoring returned to their eternal rest.
By the time the last zombies were defeated, another blizzard had started outside.
Wizard stood in the doorway for a second before returning to the bar. "It seems Cythera is reluctant to let go of winter this year. I for one welcome spring," he said to the ghost-frog bartender.
"Anyone up for a game of darts?" Silverfish shouted out to the patrons staring out the window at the falling snow, "I have ten Oboloi here that say I'll beat you!"
Radik jumped up with a start, as if he just remembered something important. "A round of drinks for everyone, On me!"
(Meant to do this on the 11th, but I forgot >.>)
Yomu, being a secret master dartsman, jumped up at the chance for a game. "10 oboloi?" Yomu taunted to Silverfish, "Your on!" Yomu pickd up the red and slightly worn darts. The smooth metal tip, the unquie feathers, he missed this. He took a deep breather and lined himself up with the dart board. "You're gonna lose!" Silverfish snorted, "And then I'll be 10 oboloi richer!" Yomu hoped this wasn't to be, since the mark hunting racket had hit a dry spot and he was currently washing dishes in exchange for lodgeing. "Steady, steady." he told him self, glaring at the bullseye. After one final deep breath he focused with all his might, pulled back his hand and-"A round of drinks for everyone, On me!" took him by surprise! He stumbled and when he went to check where his dart had landed, he found it stuck in the thick hide of a patrons boot.
Blunk "Bullseye!" Silver exclaimed, "I win, I win!". A bout of depression washed over Yomu as he turned to Silverfish, "I don't suppose you have any dishes than need washing?"
Silver toasted Radik enthusiastically, tossed his empty cup to Yomu, & quickly began to re-absorb the filament he had used to guide his dart.
The stranger watched from his renewed vantage point at the bar, a trifle upset that he didn't get to play a part in Silver's joke, especially after he surreptitiously slipped 5 Oboloi into Yomu's pocket.
Rapierian stopped reading for a moment and glanced around the tavern. Momentarily surprised at its emptiness, he shrugged and returned his attention to his book.
Silverfish got bored & decided to attempt to have a conversation with the stranger. After a few minutes the conversation ended & Silver withdrew onto the rafters. A few minutes later the semblance of goat horns appeared in a natural looking relation to Rapierian's head. And then they started producing the theme music of Tavara's Stronghold.
This is the lead-in to the TS. I realize it is somewhat abrupt and my apologies for that.
At that moment, the door opened and Selax entered the room.
Closing the door behind him, the elemental paused for a moment and looked around. Spotting Wizard, he made his way over to him and sat across the table from him.
For a moment, the two conversed in low tones.
"What?" Wizard asked, raising his voice slightly in surprise. "That is unusual. How long has this been
Before Selax could reply, Yomu, curious and eager to forget his dart game, broke in, "How long has what been occurring and what is unusual?"
Selax glanced at him for a moment.
"It seems that recently, near the mountains some distance south of here, near Kosha, the citizenry have been finding mutilated animals—both predator and prey animals. The displays are described as gruesome and they are becoming quite disturbing—and somewhat worrying—to the local citizenry."
"Could it be harpies?" someone asked.
"No, harpies have been found among the slain. Indeed, so have several other dangerous predators, such as polyps."
"Really? Killing harpies and polyps?" Radik mused. "Certainly doesn't sound like any predator I've ever heard of in those areas."
"No, it doesn't," Wizard agreed. "It also does not sound like some sort of roving band of ruffians. I think that someone might want to look at this. It sounds as if something strange is going on."
"Agreed," Selax stated.
"Any volunteers?" Wizard asked the onlookers.
A few people quickly stepped forward.
After a bit more elaboration from Selax as to the area of the strange occurrences, a small group was assembled and set out toward the site of the strange mystery...
"A Quest! A Quest!" Squealed Silverfish as he resorbed the 'horns' by Rapierian's head, and dove into the midst of the gathering party of adventurers.
Yomu grunted, it was not an ordinary mark. "No reward? No contact?", Yomu pondered to himself, "Strange indeed."
He left Selax and Wizard's side and took a seat at a corner table. He turn and noticed a plump rat resting against a lamppost just out a nearby window, "Maybe I should sit this one out." He looked at the rat for a few until in his surprise, the rat looked at him. They stared at each other for a little while. Yomu heard others gearing up to go, still Yomu and the rat's eyes met. More time went by and many adventurers were leaving, Yomu still was alone in his corner seat, staring at an overweight rat laying against a lamppost.
Yomu shot up, "Nooo!"
Katerei last edited by
In the shadows near the back of the Tavern, a silent figure sat clasping a pewter mug. She wore a cloak with the hood lowered, and long, blue hair spilled over her shoulders down to her waist. Although the mug was filled with water, she didn't drink from it, just sat with her hands wrapped tightly around it as if afraid it would run away.
Katerei gave a shuddering sigh, oblivious to the tavern around her. The patrons went on with their business, ignoring the woman who rarely talked and never smiled. She had spent much of the last couple weeks here, always sitting alone at the same table. Mostly she was there during the day when it was calmer, but occasionally she stayed late into the night, just watching the patrons dismally. At the moment though, she was wrapped up in her own thoughts, somewhere between asleep and awake.
The disastrous wedding at Pnyx, and the events after it, weighed heavily on her mind. Katerei's insides twisted into a knot as she recalled them, unable to stop images surfacing in her memory. She tried to spend as much time around people as she could to provide a distraction, and keep her psyche grounded, but that wasn't always possible. At night she lay in bed awake, staring into the darkness, replaying things over and over in her mind.
Katerei didn't realize that she was falling asleep until her head collided with the table and the pewter mug fell over, spilling water into her lap. She cursed and waved a hand over her sopping dress to absorb the water back into the air. However, it had startled her enough to make her aware of her surroundings, just in time to overhear a voice say "It also does not sound like some sort of roving band of ruffians. I think that someone might want to look at this."
Looking around in surprise, Katerei realized it was Wizard speaking, and Selax was seated next to him. When Wizard asked, "Any volunteers?" Katerei's thought started racing.
It sounds like a quest. That means the patrons will be leaving... and... there'll be hardly anyone left here. Which defeats the purpose of me being here. Katerei's brow furrowed. Maybe it would do me some good to get out and see some action. At the very least it'll distract me for a little while.
Barely processing what she was agreeing to, she stepped forward along with the other volunteers.
While Wizard and Selax were organizing the group of volunteers together, Radik slipped away from the group and conversed with the bar tender. Shortly after a quick, slightly heated discussion, Radik put some oboloi on the bar and the bar tender handed over a bag with several bottles. He nodded, grabbed the bag, and walked back over to Wizard and sat down. Right, now where did I put my drink...
Loathe as he was to leave his city again so soon, Shanadar knew that he needed to keep a close eye on Rapierian (and possibly that guy from the past who hitch-hiked with them to the present). He'd probably be asked to investigate this matter anyway, seeing as how it was disturbing the citizenry.
Mumbling a few choice curse words, he followed the party out the door.
At first, the strange man had considered joining the adventurers, but when he saw that Rapierian intended to participate, he drifted back to his stool & pulled out a stack of paper, which he stared at for a long time.
bump A man closed the door gently behind himself. The strange man looked up from his papers, wondering if the adventurers had returned already...
OoC: I feel like the Tavern would have a hard time staying untouched by the current TS BiC: