<Continue reading the journal? Y/N>
We were exhausted as we entered Redstone. This was no poxy town but a fully fledged city. We were assailed by urchins as we walked bedraggled along the streets of the poorer outlying areas. Stoic took it upon himself to grab a bolder member of the group that had tried to pickpocket him. He hoisted him into the air and brought him round into the middle of our group. Lorric, ever the diplomat asked the child where was good inn to stay at. Quite afraid the child told us that the Elvish Slipper was the closest, nicest place where we could lay our weary heads. This elicited a small curt snigger from Beour who later regaled us that an Elvish Slipper was Ériu slang for fanny, I added it to my mental dictionary of bawdy sayings. Lorric gave the lad a piece of silver and we let him go.
Arriving at the Elvish Slipper we could see it was lavishly adorned in a typical Elven style, a mixture of solid building techniques but with the look of nature itself captured within not only the carved facade but the shape used in the construction of the building. Stretching onto the street was a small seating area for patrons of the inn that was covered in grape vines, unfortunately this wasn’t wine season so the branches were bare, despite this the effect was still impressive.
We entered looking rather conspicuous in our armour and being road weary in complexion. The rest of the clientele were a mixture of different races, all soft spoken and could probably best be described as Coxalsters. I joyously rolled up to the bar to ask the elven barman for some grog to help us wind down from the harrowing journey we had just been through. He turned his nose up slightly, dusted off the sleeve of his slightly worn looking yet fashionable second hand jerkin and produced a drinks menu that he assured us would “be to our tastes”. I love messing around with guys like this so ordered the most difficult drink on the menu to make, a Dragonteenie. Whilst I messed with the guy other members of our group were more productive. Jigoku wasted no time in zoning in on a couple of chatty ladies who were very impressed with Flava Dave and after Jigoku showed them Dave’s party trick they were more than willing to furnish him with some snippets of what had been happening in town.
"Oh well there was that dragon! Great huge thing it was, flew right over the city heading West! No one’s seen one on this continent for a hundred years!"
"Yeah we saw that sucka when we was playing polo with Lord Haversham yesterday."
"Oh you know THE Lord Haversham!?"
"uhh, yeah, sure we do, he wasnt to good at polo though, brought a horse into the pool the fool!"
"Oh you must introduce us!"
"Ah, yeah we can get to that so uh he came from the East huh? You know anything about what’s goin on that way?"
"Oh you don’t want to be heading out that way, that’s where that AWFUL Dragonborn doctor came from."
"A Dragonborn doc eh? What’s his deal?"
"Oh you dont want to hear about that uncouth-"
"Well yano, brothas gotta look out for one another, n we Dragonborn are more about dealing punishment than taking it away so ahm curious ladies."
"Well, this doctor keeps coming into town, he was ranting and raving about pox or some such plague but he was chased away."
"Huh, a doctor warnin people about plague? Why’d they wanna chase him out? Sounds like he wants to help."
"Oh well, the thing is that where ever this doctor appears the plague soon follows! So people believe that he is CAUSING the plague!"
Lorric interrupted the conversation at this point to let Jigoku know we had secured a room so the Dragonborn thanked he ladies and took his leave of them. We all headed up to the “Principle Suite” only to find that it was set up in a Czechy style, there was no bed but the middle of the floor comprised what could only be described as a shag pit. Still wary about Susan we moved a cupboard in front of the window and me and Crumplebum II slept next to the door. All this was in vein though as we had a very restful undisturbed sleep. We all awoke the next day feeling refreshed, all that is except Lorric and Beour who it seemed the journey had taken more of a toll on than the rest of us and continued to sleep. We left them a note and gave the inn keep another days rent to let them sleep it off and the rest of us decided to take in the sights of Redstone.
Now Redstone is famous as a city of Corellon, in fact this city contained the Gardens of Corellon, considered to be the centre of all arts for the continent. We decided to split up for the day and go about some errands. I decided I was going to pantomime surviving the dragon attack on our caravan a few days before and see if I could get some kind of compensation. Stoic decided to check out the Temple of the Raven Queen (obviously). Jigoku wanted to check on any streetfighting action and Vanya wanted to go shopping. We decided to reconvene at the Sunset Gate to Corellion’s gardens at, well at sunset. We all set off on our separate ways.
It was during our walk towards the Redstone caravan company that I furnished Crumplebum II with my expert knowledge of THE GRIFT. We grabbed some dirt and ash and smeared it on ourselves, it was important to look the part, but not long after this I spotted a huge library that doubled as a temple to Ioun. I looked at Crumplebum II then looked at the temple, well, it wouldn’t hurt to have a quick peek in this library.
So it was looking dirty and worse for wear we entered into the immaculate bibliotheque of Ioun. Presiding over the silent readers was a very VERY old dwarf lady with a stern look on her face. She seemed very unimpressed with our appearance, but when I asked her about Dutchess Ariana and the necropolis we were heading to her countenance softened. She led us through to the Ancient History section of the library, a quiet area full of dusty tomes. Without a moment of hesitation she withdrew from one of the shelves a book entitled “The Complete History of the Raven Shores Vol 5” She took it over to a reading lectern and opened it up. The book appeared to be in ancient high script, a fact she acknowledged when she asked
"I don’t presume you read ancient high script?"
"Van hont den reuger ayr" which could very well have meant- "But of course milady" in high script, the fact is no one would know since it’s a dead language that no one has spoken for a good few hundred years but she seemed suitably impressed.
She produced a pair of felt gloves made for handling delicate texts and antiquities. She produced another pair to give to me yet I deftly produced my own antiquity grabbers, made of smooth and soft baby seal skin. I omitted to tell her I had killed the little beast myself by drop kicking it in a reaver sport known as far flung furlong, the aim of which was to kick progressively heavier objects further than your opponent. As soon as the gloves were donned I had her enthralled in my learned barbarian charms and she began to guide my gaze to the relevant passages in the book.
Through over descriptive language and bad poetry the book told a tale of the sister of the king of the time, the Dutchess Ariana. That kings bloodline was now gone thanks to the Raventowers who killed off the monarchy in a coup 9000 years ago. Their legacy however lived on through the ages due to the actions of the aforementioned Dutchess. Ariana was a sorceress who had discovered a way to prevent death yet not aging. To complete her immortality she sought out the Ungdom dan Fonten, the fabled fountain that promised to freeze a person’s aging process until they died.
At this point I muttered a quiet curse for myself and made a mental note to apologise for clouting Beour around her head and to ask her more about the vision she had the other day…
She sent out many parties of famous explorers until one headed by the great Evyn Tier, the famed explorer of the shadowlands , apparently found it. Ariana moved her capital city to the location of the fountain where the people prospered in a frozen state of immortality. She decreed that non should sire children, this was the price for their immortality. That immortality was put to the test however when the Dragonborn of Arcosia descended upon the city sealing them in. The use of the word sealing was ambiguous in the translation however as the actual word itself had many different implications. Adorning the next few pages were graphic etchings of the city being attacked by Dragonborn. There was something about them that was niggling at my mind and after staring at them for I while I realised that in the background of all the images was the same oddly shaped mountain. not only that but I recognised it! I rattled my brain and realised that it was the same mountain that was on the map we had procured from the Raven hag in the shit hole town we had come from, the very thing that had started the quest! I tried to ask the dwarf woman about the map but she was clueless, Loric still held it in his pack and without the map my questioning was fruitless! It was then I remembered Crumplebum II had the curious ability to capture people’s likenesses on paper, maybe, just maybe, he could do the same for the map! I handed him a piece of parchment and a quill and asked him to replicate the map from memory. He stared at the parchment for a long while quietly and intently. Suddenly he burst into a flurry of movement, the quill lancing quickly across the parchment, his eidetic memory working in overdrive. Sweat was pouring down his head as he handed the image over, it was exactly the same as Lorric’s map. I patted the panting creature on the head and handed the map to the dwarven lady. Impressed she looked over the map and identified the curious rocky outcrops at the top of the Bay of Teeth to be the selfsame ones in the etchings which placed our objective at the top left of the map. She then went on to mention that the southern section of the map was a very dangerous swamplands and that in the middle of them was the symbol of the ancient Dragonborn city of Mornokesh. This city was once a hub of technology and filled with the finest artificers in the land, there was also a rumour that the city itself could fly but that its location had been lost to time. This could be due she said to the fact that the swamplands on the map where a notorious Sahuagin spawning ground and that those that entered it didn’t live to tell their tale.
Noticing the lengthening shadows coming from the window of the temple I realised it was about time to meet with the others. I thanked the old dwarf and Crumplebum II and we made our way to the Sunset Gate.
Arriving at the gate I was greeted by my three companions. Vanaya’s shopping trip had turned into a thieving trip where she had “procured” several high powered healing potions and had learnt how to open the puzzle box she found on the road.
Jigoku was looking all kinds of messed up enquiring on how he came to be in such a way he told us this-
<Affixed to the journal is a scroll written in what can only be described as a far “funkier” penmanship. Read the scroll? Y/N>
Aight, so Grognak axed yours truly, Jigoku Jones, punchomancer extraordinaire, to fill in some gaps in what went down after we done arrived at Redstone.
The posse split off, some of ‘em went one way, some th’ other, lookin’ for shoes or some shit, but Jigoku Jones struck out lookin’ for the only bargain worth huntin’: buy one asswhuppin’, get one free. Town like Redstone, wasn’t hard t’find what I wuz lookin’ for, a big ole round fightin’ pit in a courtyard off th’ main drag. I found the cat runnin’ the show and put my name on th’ card, then I found a literal cat. Well, a Shifter, anywayz. Called herself Lyra, some kinda bard, and brother, she could work them lute-strings. She wuz cool, an’ she busted out some entrance music. I guess the locals didn’t know too much about glam, but they got the idea, an’ all kindsa improvised signs started showin’ up in th’ crowd while I headed to th’ ring. “Dragon-born 2 kick ass” “Jigoku Jonesin’ for a beatdown” “Jack ‘em Up J.J” You git the idea. I’m sayin’: kind’ve a big deal. Anyway, Jigoku Jones’ rep musta preceded him, cause I got put up against the local champeen, a big shirtless mother, with a silvery beard an’ a big ole coif o’ hair t’match. I din’t catch his name. Jaws Lucas? I ‘unno.
Suddenly, someone rang a cowbell and it was on like Abaddon. Jaws come out swingin’, but I got th’ drop, literally, sweepin’ that fool’s leg, followin’ up with a sweet elbow drop. He got me back though, man. Smacked me square inna snout with a punch like openin’ a magic golden box o’ pain, with ghosts flyin’ out an’ shit. We went back an’ forth, round an’ round, an’ it took my patented Twin Thunders technique ripplin’ his big ole keg-belly t’ kick it up a notch. Lucas got this big ole staff handed him, which is cool I guess, you wan’ play like that. I responded by pullin’ my nunchaku, bustin’ a few moves for the crowd (who wuz goin’ wild at this point, Jones works a crowd, nahmean?). But I guess swagga can only carry you so far, cause that Lucas brought that stick down with three damn fine hits, right in the moneymaker, and it wuz lights out for Missus Jones’ favourite hatchlin’. (I think that’s all Lucas had left, though. If he’d gone for three more hits, they probably woulda been really shitty an’ ruined those first three retroactively. Just sayin’.)
Next thing I remember, I’m comin’ to in some temple with that Lyra girl nearby. She tell me Lucas brought me here, paid for my care, an’ she stuck around for some reason. I guess maybe she got a thing for scaled meat? Ain’t no nevermind, but Jones don’t like no hairs in his throat, feel me? Anyways, she invited me an’ th’ crew to a show tonight. S’ gonna be good, I’m told there’s an open mic. An’ if there ain’t, best believe Jigoku Jones gon’ open that shit up his own self.
<The regular journal continues>
Stoik looked at me impassively as I asked what he’d been up to. There was an awkward silence for a few moments until Vanaya piped up and asked what we wanted to do this night. Jigoku suggested we head to the Crooked Slipper where the bard Lyra he had become acquainted with was playing. After I stopped sniggering I informed the group that cooked slipper was Stoney Shores slang for fanny and we headed to see Lyra’s set.
Upon arriving at the Crooked Slipper we could see it was a very busy night. Knowing how to deal with crowds of Coxalsters I readied myself to wade through them when Jigoku grabbed me.
"Man why you always gotta step like that? The aint doin no harm, just be polite and keep a gods damned lid on the violence. We here because Lyra invited us and she’s a cool chick, don’t go bein that guy!"
Realising I don’t need to be a jerk ALL of the time I dialled down the aggression and we made our way inside. The tavern was a mixture of pub and theatre with a fairly large stage at one end and balconies overlooking the lower floor. It was packed to the gills with the movers and shakers of the city, it seemed obvious that this was the place to be tonight. Jigoku waved to a half-cat woman that was talking to a table of very important looking people. She flashed him a smile and made her excuses to the group and came over to see us. This cat-woman was Lyra the bard and most of the people in the bar had come to see her perform tonight. She introduced herself and enquired about me, it seems that my reputation had proceeded me yet rather than getting stabbed for it I was being flattered by the charming cat-woman. She had written a ballad about me refusing to burn the library of Iss, where I had killed a number of the more spirited members of my crew in single combat to prove my point. She motioned for us to sit down at a table with a fine vantage point of the stage and ordered us grog and food on her tab. She told us she had to go get ready but that she would talk to us after the show and to just order what we wanted.
Now, I don’t like to think of myself as a pessimist. But. If an attractive cat-lady has welcomed in a group of dirty strangers and begun feeding us then it sets my reaver senses a-tingling. I watched her leave into the back stage area but could just make out that she had gone to speak to someone. I honed in on her and watched her mouth, though I am by no means a master I aimed to see if I could read her lips. This is what I gleaned from the conversation-
"-someone needs to let the general know this is happening.
"-a huge embarrassment if it’s not stopped!"
She then patted someone I couldn’t see. She smiled amiably.
"If you go after the doctor I’ll kill you, now don’t come to me with this again."
Alarm bells were ringing all right. I glanced around the room and noticed a table of city watch near us. If they were planted there to catch us then they were doing a good job of blending in, they were well into their cups and laughing heartily. The only odd thing about them was that there dressed in full armour amidst them was an old man, far too aged to be in the watch. I looked at the food and tasted it. It seemed to be ok. Jigoku by this point had noticed that I was being edgy, Stoic deigned to turn his head to me and Vanaya had, rather ungraciously, tucked into the food and helped herself to the grog. I filled them all in on what I had noticed. Vanaya opted to do a bit of recon for us and took Crumplebum II and disappeared into the crowd. She came back moments later with a drawing done by Crumplebum II of a half elf. He had unfashionable hair and no identifying features whatsoever, his eyebrows were slightly odd but really the absence of character was unnerving.
"This is the guy she was talking to!"
"This guy" said Jigoku "Is either so plain cause he inconsequential or cause he some big time bad ass."
Jigoku suggested we play along and try to get Lyra drunk after the show. She seemed a canny one but if we could get her guard down we might be able to get the information we needed out of her. There was little we could do until Lyra joined us later and having scoped out the tavern and seeing nothing untoward we all settled in to having a good time as Lyra’s set began. It was nice to let our guard down slightly, though Vanaya seemed to let hers down a little too much as she downed her sixth tankard.
It was easy to see why Lyra packed this place out. She sang and played wonderfully and included a composition of her own dedicated to and starring a certain handsome raider captain. The room was lively and we all got up to dance. Stoic stood up from his seat and knocked into a young pretty woman who began to flirt with him. I watched as Stoick stood there impassively and , almost imperceptibly I saw the tiniest hint of a smile flashed at the woman, she flushed bright red and passed out into her friend’s arms. I don’t know how the guy does it!
After her set was finished Lyra came down to sit with us. She was in high spirits and we complimented her on her stellar performance. I wasted no time in ordering her a drink and Vanaya, now hideously drunk, took to touching Lyra’s face ever so tenderly and reaffirming how good a friend she was. Jigoku decided now was a great time to rush on stage and demand that most noble of Dragonborn past times, karaoke. He hollared his way through a famous song by the goliath group the rolling rocks. Following his heroic lead I got on stage after him and led the bar in the bawdy sea shanty “Even a Reaver needs Comfey Slippers” Upon my return to the table another round of booze had been ordered. As soon as it turned up Stoic grabbed a flagon of mead and wordlessly slammed it three times onto the table and angled the drink towards Lyra.
"So it’s a drinking contest you want eh big guy? Very well! But we’ll need something more substantial for this!"
She called a bar mate over and ordered a Duellist’s Special. Soon two giant tankards appeared at the table filled to the brim with strong smelling ale. The drink looked ridiculous in Lyra’s hands and indeed she needed both hands to lift it. Stoic grabbed the tankard in one large hand making it look fairly normal in his grip. I brought my hand above my head, nodded to the pair of them and brought it down hard onto the table. The bar erupted into cheers as they chugged the heady brew. Amazingly Lyra, belying her small stature, beat Stoic hands down. The both looked at each other and nodded acknowledging each other’s prowess and constitution as they appeared to be unaffected by the ale.
The crowd hollered “LYRA! LYRA!”
Suddenly one of the large tankards was dropped in front of me and looking across the table I could see that Jigoku had ordered us a special. Never being one to shy away from drink I smiled and nodded to the Dragonborn. We both gripped the tankard by the handle and raised them to our lips. Lyra sprung up and slammed her hand into the middle of the table with a huge smile on her face and we were off! We chugged and chugged the cold and refreshing ale gliding down our throats, we slammed our tankards down at the same moment and glared at one another. The bar fell silent and the patrons looked on. We stood up and fist bumped across the table before flashing each other the Rat Bastards hand sign and the bar once again exploded into cheers.
At this point Vanaya in a drunken stupor challenged Lyra to a drinking contest. Bemused by this blitzed broad challenging her Lyra accepted and easily trounced our resident piss-artist. As they slammed down their tankards Vanaya looked at us and said
"Avenge meeeee" before passing out.
Her heroic suicide attack was not in vain as when we looked at Lyra she seemed well on her way out and wobbled in her chair. It was late and she was adamant after we were kicked out of the bar that we needed to get noodles from a place she knew nearby. Walking through the streets Jigoku began to quiz Lyra on the doctor that he had heard of earlier, the same doctor we suspected she was talking about to the mysterious half elf. She told us that the doctor was a winged white Dragonborn, something of a rarity in this world. After procuring the noodles, which were served in either a giant half oyster shell or conch we found a secluded area of the garden district to sit down.
Lyra chose a spot next to a fountain upon which we propped Vanaya who despite being mostly unconscious had managed to eat all her noodles without spilling a drop. Once settled Lyra continued.
He was in love with a Dragonborn woman who became a cleric of Senine. Not wanting to be parted from her he became a messenger for the order and the two travelled around aiding the sick and injured. During one excursion to a port on the Eastern coast known as Brightcove they discovered that an outbreak of the accursed Red Flux had occurred. Sadly his partner succumbed to the disease. Crushed by the loss of his love he became a doctor and travelled around trying to contain the Flux. He believed that proper irrigation of slum areas would help stem the tide of the plague, he believed this so fervently that on a royal visit to an Eastern town he tried to force an audience with the king himself. This earned him a trip to the dungeons and the choice of death or to join the army and upon choosing to serve in the armed forces he was excommunicated from the Senine order. Now old and broken, he wanders the fringes of Redstone trying to convince the nobility that their city is in danger unless something is done. He had recently been kicked out of the city for rabblerousing again, this was what the ladies from earlier on were talking about.
At this point Vanaya blearily unfolded the image of the half elf and looked at me. Taking the prompt I turned to Lyra.
"Oh uh do you know Dangerous Dave?"
"I’m sorry, who"
"Dangerous Dave, he’s uh, this half-elf guy, quite non descript, has slightly off eyebrows. Sound familiar?"
"Well it’s just that I thought I saw you talking to a half-elf guy, you know, before you went on stage."
"No, I wasnt." She didn’t say this in a curt way, there was no malice in her tone or any hint of anything other than genuine confusion. But looking in her eyes I knew, I knew that she would give us nothing about this man, and that to push her would risk this new friend we had gained.
Jigoku stepped forward at this point and decided upon a bold tactic, pure honesty.
"Look Lyra, we like you, we think you cool. You like us right? And you wouldn’t wanna see anything bad happen to us yeah?"
"Of course not! You guys are great!"
"Well, we headin out East, we got some mad killers on our back and a dragon went and torched the caravan we were on heading this way. Our luck aint great, and anything you can tell us would help a lot."
"You’re heading out to Ariana’s Necropolis aren’t you? You’re the ones with then map!"
"Woah woah woah!" I interjected in at this point. "How do you know we have a map there?"
"Well a little bird told me a bunch of adventurers were heading out East with a map to an undead citadel and they were also hitching a ride on a caravan heading here."
"What the, who have you been talking to."
"Well I’ll tell you that and this too. A dragon didn’t attack your caravan, it was none other than the man I spoke to that burnt it to the ground. I believe he introduced himself to you as Longsword Harry."
Suddenly it clicked. The drugged water from the caravan’s stores must have been Harry!
"But that would mean the dragon was just a coincidence?"
"Yeah, mad isn’t it?"
"Hey is that Longsword mofo still kickin around town? My foot would like to have a word with his ass."
"Sorry but he’s already headed out, he does a circuit between Redstone and the Western towns preying on caravans. He’ll be back here eventually but I don’t know when."
"I’m afraid I haven’t been out East so don’t know what’s out there." she continued "But I can tell you this. That dragon came from the East, it flew right over city. If you’re smart you’ll be prepared for anything heading out there."
Jigoku had obviously taken a shine to Lyra for he turned to her and said “Come with us, you’d be a great ally and would get a fair share of the loot we grab.”
"Ha! I’m afraid cats and swamps don’t mix!"
Something clicked in my brain, I felt myself slowly reach for my axe.
"We never said there was a swamp out that way…"
The rest of the party turned to look at her. She looked momentarily shocked at being caught out but her face softened and she flashed us a smile.
"Ah, you caught me out. I know that map you carry very well. You see the longtooth you spoke to about it is my brother! He’s only really useful for tracing over maps but he does have the uncanny ability of knowing exact distances in any type of cartography."
We relaxed visibly, the tension draining out of the air. We apologised for suspecting her and offered to walk her back to her apartment that wasn’t too far away. She told us that we should head to The Broken Arms for the night, they were close by and reasonably priced, it would save us the long walk back to the Elven Slipper. We thanked Lyra, and I feel I speak for all of the party when I say we were a little sad to see her go and hoped that it wouldn’t be too long until our paths crossed once again.
We followed Lyra’s directions to the Broken Arms. We were all looking forward to a nice night’s rest when Stoic stopped dead in his tracks. Looking down an alley way he uttered one word.
Looking down the alleyway we saw a cloaked figure looming over the still body of a young woman. In the low light of the street lanterns we saw a flash of long teeth.
Jigoku sprung into action launching himself at the creature. He was a blur of strikes, each one perfectly on target except they hit upon nothing. The creature grabbed Jigoku by his gi and slammed him bodily into the wall of the building nearest them. I ordered Crumlebum II to execute a manoeuvre I had talked through with him during our caravan journey which I had affectionately called “Jack in the Grog” He ran up my back and tucked himself safely away in my armour. Stoic thundered forward and brought his warpick about to strike the creature’s head. The monster jumped vertically and landed on the balcony above that overlooked the alleyway, it seemed he was intent on making his escape! It was then that from out of nowhere two arrows thudded into its chest. The vampyre hissed in pain and looking back I could see Vanaya despite being paralytic had managed to loosen an attack at the beast. She swayed from side to side and hiccupped. Whilst the creature reeled in pain I took my opportunity and called to the others-
"The beams! Hit the support beams!"
In unison we thundered our weapons against the wooden support struts for the balcony causing it to cave in on itself. The vampyre howled as it collapsed through to the alley below. It tried to be graceful and suave about it but as it landed daintily on its feet a large chunk of wooden beam poked it in its arse. It howled and Jigoku sniggered. Suddenly its ire was upon him and using some imperceptible deviant power it got into Jigoku’s mind. He suddenly rounded on Stoic and started raining down his furious blows upon his comrade.
The creature opened its jaw wide, far too wide than it should have been able to and loosened a barbed whip like tongue at the unconscious young woman and began to drink her life blood. I barrelled forward and cleft the beast’s tongue. It howled and rounded on me. We began to trade blows but try as I might I couldn’t land a single hit. I was becoming tired with the effort of defending with my shield the myriad of blows that flew at me. I looked back desperately at Vanaya yet she had managed to spill her arrows all over the floor and kept falling over as she tried to pick them up.
Jigoku continued his furious assault against Stoic who was weathering the storm of violence. Suddenly Stoic flexed and brought his tower shield around in a defiant ark that slammed Jigoku backwards. Stunned Jigoku looked up in time to catch Stoic’s mighty gaze. Whatever hold the vampyre had on him was dissolved by that dark glare and in a fit of panic Jigoku began to flee.
Whilst this occurred the monster struck home a blow with its icy talons which pierced my armour and hooked into my flesh. It let out a triumphant noise until I clasped it’s wrist and forced the hand further against my body.
"Now then dickhead!"
Erupting from the back of my armour, through my fur collar wielding his mace came Crumplebum II. He brought the mace down thunderously onto the top of the creatures head causing it to stagger back. I threw my shield to the ground and gripping The Breadmaker with both hands I hefted it above my head and brought it down with all my might into the creature’s collar bone. There was a satisfying crunch as the axe bit deep and stuck fast halfway into the beast’s torso. As I prepared to heave the creature into the wall with my bone-stuck axe there was a give in the resistance and before my eyes the beast turned to smoke and appeared on top of the roof. It began to look at both myself and Stoic with the same gaze it had shot at Jigoku but we were ready, steeling our minds we repelled the psychic attack and I had a little gaze I’d like to give this pale twat. Stoic seemed to read my mind and he took a knee so I could climb onto his shoulders and he raised me up so I could see just over the edge of the roof top.
Now in the sea there isn’t always an axe or harpoon to hand, and unlike on land you have little chance of running from a foe and surviving. It was these factors that led me to create a look so terrifying that it would stop a kraken in its tracks. I call it Tiamat’s Gaze. It was this soul shattering look that had stopped creatures as big as this city itself that I affixed on this wretched abomination. It crumbled beneath my gaze, soiled itself and, turning to vapour, vanished with a look of terror on its face.
Exahusted and bloodied we collapsed into the ally, my ultimate bluff had thankfully paid off Sheepishly Jigoku came around the corner and apologised profusely for “Givin us a whoopin” We told him it was fine and Stoic attended to the young woman on the floor. She was thankfully alive and after retrieving Vanaya from the floor, who had by this point fallen asleep, we escorted the girl back home before making our way to The Broken Arms and a well deserved rest.
<To be continued…>