Across the Four Great Islands (Fantasy RP) *Now Recruiting Again*

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Galath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

"You're weak and soft, that is why you drink. Don't ever think it has to do with anything else." Dalji said with disgust. "You insult the memory of those that have died. You insult the life you still have with your whining and your drunkenness." Dalji spat on the ground as the man breathed on him and then went on to cry to himself. This man thought he had seen horrors he knew nothing of the subject. Dalji was a Caultic Gnome, his land was harsh and those that were lucky died only gruesomely. This man disgusted him to his very core. He would have killed him here were he stood if he didn't need information.

"Rumors, drunkard. Obviously you don't know where they are. I need to only know where they might have been or might have been heard to have been. A thought even a fool like you would understand the concept." His man was as soft of mind as he was of spirit. Someone (I need a description of Olm) entered the Bounty Office and Dalji scowled at him from the corner of his burned eye. "If it is rumors of the Black Dusk you seek then you have come at the right time. We only need this poor excuse of a man to talk."

TAG: Tiki

Description of Olm: Olm is a wood elf, standing at 5 feet and 4 inches (Appr. 162 cm). His hair is black, going down to his ear-line, and green eyes. His skin is a light wooden brown, with no facial har. He wears a white shirt with wide-rim short sleeves, and a lined olive green robe bottom. He wields a wooden staff that is carved to look as if it were two large vines wrapped together. The two "vines" converge at the top into a flower bud.

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

Olm walked in slowly, being careful to step over the broken glass. "Yes... he appears to be traumatized. I don't know if you'll be getting anything out of him." Olm turned to face the gnome. "My name is Olm. I was in the Arena waiting room when it was attacked. I suspect that it was attacked by the Black Dusk, but I'm not sure."

Olm began to walk around the room, examining the cluttered desk and billboards. "They used warden-like magic to send clones through the shadows." he continued, picking up things off the desk, and looking under and around them. Without noticing, Olm stepped on a piece of glass. He yelped out in pain, picking up a small piece of dry glass. He threw it into the empty trash can.

The yelp alerted an animal in the nearby room that proceeded to growl and bark. Olm opened the door that revealed a large black dog. It shook with fear and anger with its tail between its legs. This room has been tampered with... Olm discovered.

TAG: Sai

alath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

Dalji slowly took out his hand crossbow. His fingered inched towards the trigger as he approached the now comatose man. Dalji could end the man's suffering here and be done with him. Dalji hated him, hated the sight of him, and he hated the fact that the man reminded him of himself. Dalji had never found himself weeping in a corner like this man, but it sickened him by how weak he was. This drunk was a pale reflection of what Dalji had been. It seemed so long ago now.

"I should kill you, but you aren't worth it." Dalji said quietly to himself. His eyes darted over to the wood elf as he yelped out in pain. He had been talking before, but Dalji hadn't been paying much attention. "Step lightly, Elf." Something the wood elf had said had caught Dally's interest though. He had mentioned an attack on the arena. That seemed like a good lead. Dalji turned to Olm and noticed a dog growling in the corner. "Tell me of this Attack... Leave the dog alone, his master probably beat him." Dalji should have killed the drunk.

TAG: Tiki

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

"Right... the attack..." Olm said distantly. Olm turned to say something about the place, but he could see the gnome wasn't interested.

"The attack happened suddenly. I wasn't in the Waiting Room at the time the attack started. I was at the Knight's Court Inn, getting some money for food. When I got out, there was a huge crowd huddled around the back entrance to the Arena, leading up to the Waiting Room. That door is usually used for people to run out scared before they fight or to deliver a fighter's equipment if an armor or weapon repair was finished. I finally got through the mob, and I saw four men completely covered in black clothing with goggles and daggers. Whenever any of us hit one of them, they burst into smoke, and then another one came out of a shadowy corner. Because of the setting sun, there was plenty of shadow to go around." Olm explained.

"I eventually figured out that they were only clones, and that there was really only one assailant after us. Before any of us hit him, he simply replaced himself with a clone, and sunk back into a shadow. I simply got rid of all of the shadows, so he had nowhere to run." Olm paused for a second, and frowned. "I was sure I heard him cry out when we killed him, but then... the body just... disappeared. All that was left was the mask and goggles."

Olm pulled out the mask from a small herb pouch at his side. He held it out for Dalji to see.

TAG: Sai

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Lucien Z'rai'thai

When the fighting had broken out, Lucien had had no part in it. So be it, if the lot of them wanted to risk their lives over nothing, they should feel free to do so. When the smoke bomb went off, he simply coiled on the ground so he could breathe. His reward for avoiding the combat was to be covered by a heavy layer of rubble when the bomb went off, and to be rendered unconscious. A few mere minutes later, when he awoke bruised and battered, he was angry at... Well, whoever had set off the explosion, he hadn't been watching. His muscles strained against the weight, and he rose majestically from the ashes and stone blanketing him, slithering out. Raz'nak was having a temper tantrum... So much the better, it would give the Serpenti the chance to escape unnoticed, lick his wounds (metaphorically, anyways), and have time to investigate all in one.

Freeing himself entirely, he left the ruins behind him and emerged into the main plaza, trying futilely to pass it off as if he hadn't been anywhere near the Inn, and searching about for anyone who could give him answers along the lines of who had left the ruins before he had.

TAG: Tikishades

Galath Town Square

IC: Cameron Moltise

"Hey! Hey! Look at that thing!" Topis announced to Cameron telepathically.

"That is known as a Serpenti: A race of snake-like humanoids native to the southern and southwest forests of Sylmora. There are three known spe-" Capeer began, showing his extensive knowledge.

It was cut off by Malis, being his usual angry self. "Shut your trap, Capire. No one wants to hear it!"

Cameron's own Fragment, Bugia, began to show it's own 'knowledge' as he called it. "Yeah, those snake men are dangerous! They say they prowl the night in search of blood, like a vampire. But they poison you first, so you can't even move, or scream!"

Cameron was too tired to even prove himself wrong. His patience was wearing thin. There was a reason why a psychic didn't split his mind more than once. If it weren't for the fact that the Fragments were the only things to lead him to finding the others, he'd have smashed them himself immediately.

Cameron eyed the snake suspiciously as it quickly slithered through the crowd. According to his telepathic powers, the Serpenti had urgency on the mind, a need to escape from something. From what, he wasn't sure. But it was an interesting feeling, for he felt the same need to escape from the same place right underneath his feet...

TAG: Tirin

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

"Interesting." Dalji said as he looked over the items. He had a skilled eye for cloth,
fabrics, and the like, but he wasn't sure what he knew about masks. He just tried to take in it's details, so that the next time he saw it he would recognize it. Maybe there was some detail on it that the elf had missed.

Without looking up Dalji addressed Olm, "Speak your mind elf. You seem like you have something to say, perhaps something about this bounty office."

TAG: Tiki

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

Olm nodded, walking across the wooden floorboards to the area he had cut his foot. He crouched down, looking at the boards themselves. "I stepped on a broken piece of bottle here. One would think the guy just threw another bottle. But the liquid didn't warp the wood anywhere around the glass, unlike the new stain has begun to." Olm pointed to the area where Orthik had recently thrown. The whiskey had already began to become absorbed into the wood. "The rest of the bottle is missing, too. The trash can is empty."

Olm stood and moved toward the billboard. "Many of these wanted posters are old, and some even duplicates. The way he keeps his workplace, so unorganized..." Olm noted.

"Maybe I'm simply paranoid. Just call it an elf's intuition." Olm shook his head. "Something just doesn't feel right about all of th-" Olm was interrupted by a loud snore by the drunk man by the doorway. Not exactly what Olm had expected to get, but he at least found another person who might know something.

Olm moved toward the dog, who began to whine. He kneeled, held out a hand to the dog to sniff, and smiled. "So tell me, little guy, what's the matter? What are you doing here?" Olm said to the dog. He turned to the gnome, and chuckled. "I suppose I should ask you the same question."

TAG: Sai

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

"Phff, little guy. You're not exactly tall yourself." Dalji said angrily. Dalji voice normally sounds somewhat angry, but anyone with ears that could hear would notice that Dalji didn't take kindly to the remark of his height. It was in fact the most common and least creative way that the tall races tried to establish what they probably considered superiority. Dalji finger his cross bow, he was still deciding if he should shoot the elf.

"So, what does the bottle have to do with anything elf? He was a drunk man that spilled his liquor. I'd say the reason the glass that in your foot didn't spill because it was empty. The missing pieces, may have been the drunks poor attempt to clean up after himself." Dalji said side stepping the elf's question. It was none of the elf's business as to why he was here. Dalji also didn't like the comparison of him and the dog. The elf's attempt at humor was lacking.

"Find some sort of water elf. So, we can wake up the Drunk. Unless you intend to rob the place. Then just kill him and take what you want." The elf smelled of thief by the way he was interested in all these details. Then again Dalji had told him to speak his mind. The only thing Dalji wanted to know was where he could find the members of Black Dusk. Argh, there has to be some clue as where these Black Dusk are hiding. I have half the mind to find the first Red Dawn member and asking to join up, at least they would know something more useful."

TAG: Tiki

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

Olm chuckled at the gnome's comments. "First off, I'm not a thief. It's an elf thing. I notice things like this. As for the bottle, I raise the point because it was out of the ordinary. Interesting that he decides to clean up that bottle and take out the trash without concern of any of the other trash lying around. Then again, he's a drunk, so I guess that explains that." Olm shrugged. Olm started to look for a bucket to fill with water when Orthik began to wake suddenly.

"No... They'll kill you, boy!" Orthik screamed, launching up to grab Dalji by the shoulders. "They're no good! Run away from 'em! They'll kill you!" Orthik screamed. The dog began to whine, crawling backward into a corner. Olm went over to comfort it, his fingers running through its fur. The fingers hit a sore spot and the dog yelped out. Olm moved his hand back out of the way, trying to find the wound.

TAG: SaiFai

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Tronfros Gronintur

Tronfros took Raz'nak's wishes to heart and scrambled up the side of the ditch, struggling to keep his heavy form from sinking into the dirt. About halfway up the slope he stopped, drew his staff back out, and jabbed it into the ground again. The Guardian Totem's effect again permeated the area, but this time only affecting himself, the bat, and Crimson. For the moment Raz'nak was an enemy, and he couldn't honestly say he was unhappy about that. It would be nice to pound some sense into the diminutive skeletal.

He turned and looked back down to where Raz'nak was still thrashing about and cursing, bracing his hooves into the mud to gain a better foothold. Once he was steady, he cast Breath of the Mountains again, this time in a concentrated blast straight at the raging corpse.

TAG: Tiki, Debatra, Tirin

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Crimson

The breath swept over him, and he could barely feel it. But he did. Debatra's magic was given unto Crimson, and somehow, that magic started Crimson's blood flow. This magic was unlike any other kind Crimson had used, but still foreign. It was pure. It took the form of Crimson's blood, and moved itself, as if it were sentient; it didn't want Crimson to die. The Breath of the Mountains would have killed him, but it had no effect on him. It simply breezed over him, as if a shield had been placed over him. Crimson could not explain it.

***
IC: Raz'nak

Raz'nak didn't take the spell as well. The frost doused his fiery rage. But it was of no use. The spell turned to cannon fodder as Raz'nak absorbed the energy, refueling his rage. He then began to claw his way up onto the iced soil. The pressure put down on the ice caused the loosened sediment to slide again. Raz'nak was sent underground once more. Tronfros also slipped into the sinking, leaving him upside down lying on his back and neck. This isn't working... I need to get off of this damn slope.

TAG: Debatra, Yorgmiester

********************
Galath Entrance

IC: Malto

"What? What do you mean we're stuck outside?" Malta demanded, an unusual way for Malto to talk.

"Sorry, sir. No one is allowed in or out." the guard said flatly. "This town has been attacked recently, so we need to make sure that they don't escape out the gate doors, or that we let more of them in."

"I need to get in there! I can help!" Malto pleaded.

"Sorry, sir. It's out of our hands." The guard shrugged, a slight smirk forming on his face.

TAG: Fatscalyman

********************
Galath Town Square

Lucien flicked his tongue, recognizing a familiar scent. It smelled of flowers and arbor. It was someone from the Arena, he could tell. It came from the northeast, down the road from the ruins of the inn. A trail leads from near his location to the building.

TAG: Tirin

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Tronfros Gronintur

His spell didn't have the desired effect. Instead, Raz'nak had just... absorbed it, and now Tronfros was lying upside down on his back, half buried in dirt. He struggled for a moment to right himself, but his efforts only served to slide him farther down the slope. Craning his neck, he spied his staff leaning haphazardly out of the mud a short distance to his right, still glowing blue and granting him extra strength. It was just out of reach.

Planting both 'heels' into the slope above him, and digging his left hand down into the mud, he tried stretching his right arm out to gab it, but it was too far, and the movement made him begin to slip. Tronfros hurriedly dug both hands in to stop himself, breathing hard for a moment. Then an idea came to him; if he could flip himself over and to his right fast enough, he would definitely be able to grab the staff with his left hand. The problem was that in his precarious position, any amount of movement could cause him to slide down the side of the gully, and right to Raz'nak. He'd have to be fast.

With a grunt he pulled his legs out from under the mud, then, after a brief pause, he planted his right forearm firmly in the dirt and hurled himself over, reaching out for his staff with his left hand. He used his right arm as a pivot, causing his bottom half to continue on even when his top half had stopped, effectively turning himself right side up again. His hand landed in the dirt a few inches from the staff, as a cascade of pebbles, roots, and chunks of dirt slid around him. Digging both feet into the mud below him, he leapt forward with one final grunt and grabbed hold of his staff.

Tronfros held on as the dirt slid away around him, and the staff leaned precariously downward, but eventually it stopped, and everything was still once more. Then he began his climb. The spells obviously had little effect on Raz'nak, and Tronfros' heavy form couldn't operate well in this muck, so his best course of action was to get out of this hole. He made steady progress up the side of the gully, using his staff, looking back every now and then to check on the skeletal.

TAG: Tiki, Debatra, Tirin

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Raz'nak

This opponent was too easy. A giant moving through the ground was as easy a target as any to find. If Raz'nak had been in the right mindset, he would have noticed this. He also might have made note of the tunnel that had been dug beneath him as he planted his feet down on it. Raz'nak's mind was filled with only rage. Wrath. Blind fury.

Raz'nak shot another bolt of acid above him, and then began clawing his way upward. If Raz'nak had it right, he should dig up right in front of Tronfros.

Tronfros struggled up the side of the mudslide, careful to not have to meet Raz'nak unexpectantly. Turning back around however, he could see the bony fingers of Raz'nak wrapped around his staff, and a skull raise to meet Tronfros eye to eye. "Evening." Raz'nak grinned.

TAG: Yorgmiester, Debatra

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

Tronfros had learned to contain his surprise, through many years of practice. Had he not, the sight of Raz'nak's head bursting through the dirt in front of him may have sent him hurtling backwards down the side of the gully. As it was, he simply yanked the staff up out of the ground, then started stabbing it downward on his enemies skull repeatedly, ramming the skeletal back into the ground. After an added stomp for good measure, he doubled his pace up the slope, breathing hard, continually scanning the ground around him. Raz'nak probably wouldn't spend any time with greetings if he popped up again.

Tag: Tiki, Debatra

Galath Town Square

IC: Lucien Z'rai'thai

Curious about the trail, and in a good mood at the thought that he would soon be meeting up with somebody from the arena who was (almost certainly) less infuriating than Raz'nak, and headed on his all-the-merrier way. When he reached the building, he turned the doorknob and pushed in without a second thought, not bothering with the human niceties of knocking. If it was locked, he would do so. If not, obviously the inhabitants were comfortable with the entry of whoever felt like opening the door. It was only in doing so that he gave the building a quick analysis of exits, materials, and the like. There could be a trap waiting inside as easily as an assortment of allies.

Tag: Tiki

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Raz'nak

Raz'nak's body collapsed onto the tunnel floor into a heap, and only his body hit the floor. His head, however, remained detached in the soft loam soil. He wasn't dead, persay; a skeletal is magically held together. But without a body that's attached to him, Raz'nak was all but defenseless. And without the constant magic flowing through him to keep his body together, he was no stronger than a staff gem. A talking staff gem, that is, and Raz'nak insisted on making the difference clear.

"What... what the hell happened? How dare you crush my neck! I'll grind you into shavings! I'll cook you in an oven and eat out of your skull! I'll make you eat your own intestines! Ahh, damn! What the hell am I supposed to do now?!" Raz'nak's skull chattered, shaking his head upward so as not to muffle his voice.

Raz'nak, now without (arguably) his Wrath moving through his body, he could finally think clearly. Reaching out, he began to whisper to the dead. Only the voice of the Bartender responded. "Crimson... he's not dead, is he?" Raz'nak said aloud for Tronfros and Debatra to hear. "Then... what happened to him?" Raz'nak asked, his head struggling to turn to see Tronfros and Debatra.

***
IC: Crimson

He could hear the clunk! of wood against a skull multiple times, followed by a faint dropping of bones against each other. He could hear now. He could even feel the blood flowing through him, awakening his body. If Crimson wanted, he could even try stand. But Crimson was smart enough to know that it could be dangerous if he was badly wounded. His head was woozy, and he couldn't think very much without a headache. He decided to rest.

TAG: Debatra, Yorgmiester

********************
Result of Lucien's Area Analysis: The building had two windows with closed wooden shutters. The wooden door opened easily with an twist-knob that was painted to look brass; the many scratches in paint revealing it to be made of iron. Inside, the gnome from the Inn, the elf druid from the Arena who had fought Capricorn, and a man who's eyes are swollen on the floor grabbing the gnome by the shoulders. The room has a messy desk, a broken bottle of whiskey in one corner, a bulletin board, and two doorways on the opposite wall. The doorway on the right was open to reveal the elf comforting a dog who was shivering in the corner.

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

The front door swung open to reveal the armed serpent from the tournament. If Olm recalled, his name was Lucien. "Another one?" Olm whispered to himself. The serpent's eyes darted across the room, taking in as much as possible in as little bit of time. Olm stood up, wincing as he put his wounded food down on the floor. "You're a competitor in the tournament, right? You fought that human with the chain? Saved his life? What are you doing here?" Olm queried.

TAG: Sai, Tirin

*********************
Galath Town Square

IC: Cameron Moltise

The clock tower stabbed into the sky in its golden glory, like a scepter for the gods. It read 9:49, eleven minutes before curfew. When the bells rang through the city, all of its inhabitants knew it was time to retire for the day, whether they be citizens or from foreign lands. Right on cue, the bell would ring through the town, and everyone but the guards would drop whatever they were doing and head home or to an inn. It was an eerie thing, how it all happened in such unison, and he wasn't the only one who thought so. Many people don't ever take notice, but some have, and they claim it is a magical enforcement conspiracy; a way that the guards can find someone that wasn't around before. If they weren't in bed, then they were somewhere that was protected against magic, like a certain crime organization that couldn't be found using magic.

Anyone who would try to investigate would have to be near the tower, and would therefore be affected by the spell. Cameron, however, had the upper hand. Mind-affecting spells that would "influence" him were something of a specialty to Cameron. They'd be hardset to influence an influencer.

TAG: Everyone

Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Tronros Gronintur

Tronfros stopped as he heard Raz'nak shouting, turning his head slowly to look back down the slope. The skeletal hadn't come after him? Strange. He also seemed confused and frustrated about something, the first part of which Tronfros had failed to hear. It was clear, however, that Raz'nak was incapacitated somehow. Better take advantage of it.

He turned and trudged slowly back the way he had come, being careful not to lose his footing and go sliding down into the gully. As he neared the spot Raz'nak had appeared, he saw the corpse's head sticking out of the ground, screaming bloody murder.

"Crimson... he's not dead, is he? Then... what happened to him?" the head asked, wobbling this way and that, trying to see something above the lump of dirt it was sitting in. As the skull rolled a little farther, it revealed where the vertebrae wold usually connect, and suddenly Raz'nak's situation dawned on him.

Tronfros' deep, throaty laugh shook the gully. This was one of the funniest things he had ever witnessed. Chuckling and wiping tears form his eyes, he bent down and picked up the skull, holding it upside-down in the palm of his hand. He gazed over the furious little skull in his hand, as if surveying a fine trophy. "No, Crimson is not dead. At least I hope not. He couldn't hold his liquor, and passed out, then got blown half to hell, then buried. But I think he'll be fine." He looked down to the bottom of the gully, where Crimson's legs were sticking out of the ground, and thankfully, moving around slightly.

"I think we'll go help him out." he said, promptly depositing the skull in one of his pouches, then ambling down the side of the gully toward Crimson.

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Lucien Z'rai'thai

"Yes, yes, yes, and I'm leaving the scene of the destruction of the Knight's Court Inn to leave the fools to fight their battles. Hopefully Raz'nak will lose his 'life', and I won't have to deal with competing against that abominable imitation of any god-created organism." Was Lucien's disgusted reply as he slithered into the office, coiling himself up in the corner. "For lack of a better place to do so, and being too lazy to run around this city in an attempt to find someplace else, I'll be staying here for the night. Just go about your... Whatever it is you're doing, I don't care. I want some rest that doesn't involve being crushed under large amounts of dirt, stone, and the like." He said condescendingly, his eyes squinting to be barely visible, his only way to block out the sense of sight, and listened carefully for a few minutes. If what he heard was, in fact, important, he wouldn't bother with sleep.

TAG: Tikishades, Sai

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

Dalji more or less ignored the snake-man. He recognized him from the Inn which he had destroyed, but as long as he didn't want to fight then Dalji wouldn't bother with killing him. Everyone always thought they could take advantage of the Caultic Gnomes, those days have pasted and Dalji was taking no quarter and he would ask for none."So, what now elf? We have no information, but names, a useless drunk, and his broken bottles."

TAG: Tikishades, Tirin

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

"Well, maybe we can try gathering information from the guards." Olm suggested. "We obviously don't have any other leads, and waiting around would be counter-productive. I guess we have no choice."

Olm sighed, then beginning to yawn. "I think I share a notion with the snake. I'm worn out. My magical energy is depleted. I think it'd be best if we simply got some sleep. I feel bad for those at the Inn, since I'm supposed to give them a place to rest." Olm scratched his head, then remembered.

Olm walked toward the wall and knocked on it. From the wall appeared Olm's Treewarden, standing tall and silent. "Take this money," Olm ordered, holding out a small sack of coins, "and give half of it to a minotaur by the name of Tronfros Gronintur. Give the other half to a man named Terath. If you can do this, you are dismissed." Olm told it, not expecting a reply. The wooden figure took the money and took off through the doorways, making sure the move around the gnome and drunk man.

Olm took his staff and hobbled over to the drunk man. "Here, this will help you sleep." Olm said, pointing his staff at the man. The "flower bud" bloomed, releasing a pollen. Orthik sniffed once, and fell over, asleep. His limbs spread apart precarelessly, and began to breathe gently.

Olm then began to sit and think. He leaned against the wall, crossing his arms and looking down at the floor. There's something that we're missing. Something important that we aren't seeing. I just can't put my finger on it yet. There isn't anywhere in town that could successfully hide the Black Dusk, but it can't be outside the town either. The town is heavily guarded, so even if they can move through the shadows, they'd only have access to connecting shadows. That only goes so far... Well, we need extra hands, apparently.

"If we want any kind of support from the guards," Olm said finally, "I think the best idea would be to try and gain an audience with the king. We'll get at least forced respect from the guards. We should go and apply for it now before we sleep, so it has time to g-"

Olm's voice was interrupted by the loud gonging of the bell. It gonged 10 times. Olm stopped in mid-sentence, then moved toward the dog and began to lay down to rest. Lucien also decided to go to sleep, and so did Dalji, who moved toward a clean corner of the room and rested his head. Slumber came to them quickly, and for them, the night was over.

TAG: Tirin, Sai

********************
Ruins of the Knight's Court Inn

IC: Raz'nak

It was Raz'nak's turn to laugh. "Crimson? Couldn't hold his alcohol?" Raz'nak cackled some more. "Crimson can't get drunk! It's improbable! Something must have caused him to pass out." Raz'nak concluded with a smirk. The minotaur rudely stuffed him in a pouch, as if he were some ornament or common trinket. Gutsy. "I don't think I've ever introduced myself, minotaur. My name is Raz'nak, Necromancer. I'd bow and shake your hand, but I have no body. And I assume you wouldn't want me shaking your hand." Tronfros mentioned helping out Crimson, which relaxed Raz'nak.

A treewarden appeared to Debatra and Tronfros suddenly. He stood tall holding a small sack. It jingled to reveal it held coins. Just as soon as he had appeared, he left, dropping the bag of gold on the ground. He jumped into the nearest tree and was not seen again that night.

Soon after, the day came to a close, as the bell rang ten times. Tronfros and Debatra, if they did nothing else within the few minutes after the treewarden left, picked up Crimson gently, and walked toward the Speared-Grape Inn to spend the night.

TAG: Yorgmiester, Debatra

Speared Grape Inn

IC: Tronfros Gronintur

Tronfros ducked under the low doorway of the inn, bending over almost double to fit through, then straitened and lumbered over to a nearby table, passing the innkeeper on the way and tossing him several coins out of the bag. "Room for three, for the night." He then deposited Crimson in one of the four chairs surrounding the table, kicking his own out of the way and simply crouching down on his haunches. He rummaged around in one of his pouches while Debatra took a seat, and upon finding what he was looking for, drew out the same stone vial he had used on the elf earlier that day.

"Open wide..." tilting the dwarfs head back, Tronfros poured a small amount of the liquid down his throat, then sat back and waited. In a few seconds Crimson came sputtering to life, coughing and holding his chest. The minotaur watched him for a few moments, amused, then reached forward and slapped the table twice to get his attention. "Welcome back, oh mighty drunkard. How was your nap? You're just in time for another round of beer, provided you don't have any plans for the next few days." He let out a thundering chuckle, then reached into the pouch containing his little skeletal friend. "But first, I believe this item belongs to you." With that he drew Raz'nak out of the bag and set him down with a 'thunk' in the middle of the table.

TAG: Tiki, Debatra

Speared-Grape Inn

IC: Crimson

Crimson was awoken abruptly. "Ah, he's back." Raz'nak said, pleased. Crimson wasn't as happy. The blood was circulating . The poison was still in his system. His stomach churned. Crimson ran quickly to the washroom and threw up. It burned his throat, but the poison was finally out of his system. He was feeling woozy, but a bit better anyway. Crimson wiped the blood from his mouth and returned to the table.

Raz'nak was beyond surprised. "So you WERE drunk! Crimson, you're slipping up!" he barked.

"Raz'nak, I had it under control, I just-" Crimson tried to explain.

"You just forgot! What did you tell me? 'You have become your biggest threat. You must never lose control. You must mantain focus at all times. If you fail, you will die.' What happened to that?" Raz'nak continued. Raz'nak was infuriated. The man who had put him in this position had been so careless; it was an insult to Raz'nak.

This was too much for Crimson. "How dare you talk to me this way, Raz'nak! You certainly remember my lessons, but you obviously haven't learned them! Look at you!" Crimson grabbed Raz'nak's skull, holding it up to his. "You've lost your body, no doubt to your recklessness."

"This situation is because of your stupid shenanigans, Crimson!" Raz'nak defended, leaning in to Crimson.

Crimson was about to respond, but something about Raz'nak shocked him. "This situation?" Crimson repeated, emphasising the S's. "Raz'nak, you've lost your lisp..." Crimson gasped.

Raz'nak shrugged. "I guess I have. So?" Raz'nak turned his head toward the table, and answered Tronfros. "Actually, in about two days, we'll be needing to attend the tournament. Until then, I think we're free. It's not like we need to practice or anything." Raz'nak cackled.

In reality, Raz'nak was worried, and Crimson knew it. Without his normal body intact, Raz'nak would have a problem. And Lucien would without a doubt be practicing. It couldn't be helped. Hopefully, Raz'nak can win his next battle with only his spellcasting, and without his other ability...

TAG: Yorgmiester, Debatra

***
IC: Narrator

Debatra wasn't listening. He was finally able to sit and read his book. Raz'nak also found interest in it, and decided to plop next to the book and read as well.

The sound of the bell tower rung through the city. Ten rings. Automatically, almost forcefully, the group retired to their rooms.

TAG: Debatra

Speared Grape Inn

IC: Tronfros Gronintur

Tronfros blinked as the sun rose just high enough to shine over the windowsill and into their small room. The warm sunlight felt good on his fur, so he rolled over and dozed for another half hour before finally pushing himself up and looking around.

He was laying on the floor in one corner of the room, his bed pushed aside and leaned against the wall to make room for him. The other half of the room was occupied by Crimson and the bat, who's name he had yet to learn. Raz'nak had fallen off his perch in the windowsill and apparently rolled into the far corner, where a cobweb and several dust balls kept him company.

Tronfros grunted and heaved himself up, causing the floorboards to creak loudly in all directions. His head rammed solidly into the ceiling above him, with a resounding "thomp" that elicited some muffled, angry yelling from the room above them. After rubbing his head for a moment and silently cursing his forgetfulness, he turned toward the window, making sure to keep his head down.

The view from their room was just a side street, so there wasn't much going on, but from what he could tell, the human's day had just started and everyone was leaving their homes to go about the day's business. A street vendor had just begun setting up his cart across the way, a group of children were running by, laughing and pushing each other around, a few old ladies stood outside their homes sweeping the front porch. A young boy with a large bag full of paper ran by, yelling the latest happenings at the top of his lungs, giving out pamphlets to whoever was willing to pay a few coins.

Tronfros sighed. He didn't have much of an idea what he should be doing, at least right now. His goal, in coming here, was to learn more about humans, and magic if he could get the chance, but sitting around staring at the little fleshy pink things didn't seem like a very good way to do it. The arena matches would come soon enough, and they would give him something to study, but until then he really didn't know what to do. What he needed were some histories, some stories, about the humans. One of the best ways to learn about a culture was through the stories they told.

He turned to the others, who were still asleep, or at least still had their eyes shut. "Wake up, little sluggards. I'm going down to find some "break fast" as you people call it. Then one of you will tell me where I can find some human stories."

TAG: Tiki, Debatra

Speared Grape Inn

IC: Raz'nak

The little skull was roused from his sleep by the loud 'thump' the minotaur had caused when he slammed against the ceiling. "Ehhhugh" Raz'nak mumbled, moving his mouth around to wake up. The skittering of a spider through his mouth caused him a bit of panic. Raz'nak tried to spit the thing out of his mouth, but without a tongue or even a throat to blow wind through, Raz'nak rolled around making an odd noise through his mouth.

"Wake up, little sluggards." the minotaur bellowed. "I'm going down to find some 'break fast' as you people call it. Then one of you will tell me where I can find some human stories."

Raz'nak rolled over to face the minotaur with a slightly confused face. "Human stories?" Raz'nak chuckled a bit. "That's a broad topic. What kind? Ones where humans are pricks, ones where the pricks call fellow pricks pricks, or ones where they pretend they aren't pricks?" Raz'nak cackled at his own joke. "How's about helping me find my body? I'm finding it hard to get around without one."

TAG: Yorgmiester, Debatra

Speared Grape Inn

IC: Tronfros Gronintur

Tronfros looked down at the little skull quizzically, then stooped and picked him up. "Alright, we will find your body. But first, tell me, what is a 'prick'?" The minotaur had a fair grasp of the human language, up to a point, but many slang words and insults made no sense to him.

TAG: Tiki, Debatra

Speared Grape Inn - Lobby
IC: Debatra Fallin

Hearing this, Debatra looks up from his book. "I suppose it depends on whether you mean the literal sense or the insult?"

TAG: Tiki, Yorg

Speared Grape Inn
IC: Tronfros Gronintur

The minotaur glanced sidelong at Debatra. "I assume the insult. That seems to be what humans do most, after all." He turned back to Raz'nak. "Tell me what it means as we walk." Tronfros then picked up his staff, which had been laying nearby, and opened the door, ducking under the doorway and out into the hall. All the ceilings were low in this place. As Raz'nak explained with great sarcasm and wit the meaning of the human 'prick', the bulky minotaur made his way down the stairs and into the main room.

TAG: Tiki, Debatra

Galath Entrance

IC: Jeistan D'Terehei

Having followed Malto, Jeistan was bewildered as they were denied entrance to the city. Quite frustrated, he thought for a short moment and then began his response.

"We are gladiators, fighters in the tournament. What would those running the tournament think if we were denied entrance to the city?"

Jeistan flashed him a confident wolf-smile.

"I don't think they'd be too happy if the two of us weren't ready for the upcoming match, would they?"

TAG: Tiki

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

Dalji didn't feel tired, he was angry, that lack of leads and his failure to do what he had set out for was boiling his blood. Even in his anger though he could not deny his body the rest it needed even if his mind tried to keep him awake. He collapsed somewhat more forcefully then was healthy, but his low stature made it so he risked little injury from such a fall. His head rested on the ground in the corner of the room. The fact that he must have stumbled over here were the last thoughts he had before sleep claimed him. Dalji had gone days without sleep, he always did, dreams were of no comfort to him...

Dalji looked at his hands and they were unburned. He felt his face and it was smooth like the days of his boyhood. He stood in his old home. He felt young and that the world was a safe place for him. There was so much hope, so much life to be had. He would leave his home and never serve for his homeland like his father did. Giants were just a myth to scare children, and he knew his father's tales of hunting them were lies to cover a boring life as a traveling merchant. Why else would he no so much about treasure and foreign lands?

The Gnomes did not leave the tunnels and homes they had built over generations. This was their land, the surface could not hold such dangers as the elders spoke about. Dalji's older brother was sure of this. Denni had always been fast for a Gnome, when he was Dalji's age he had traveled to the surface many times. Dalji gazed up at the sky for the first time, he didn't want to remember the rest. Fire burst around his feet and his brother's too.

Dalji woke up breathing like he had tunneled a mile. The dream changed, but the ending was the same he woke up burned like always and his brother had been dead for years. Sleep was no comfort to him. Something else irked Dalji that he hadn't considered properly before. The inn had been extremely volatile. It had exploded instead of just cracking the floor like he had hoped. He had just counted his blessing at the time, but it was strange. "WHy was the entire inn leveled?" He thought. He tried to remember the type of explosion that had occurred, surely their was some clue. Dalji would spend a good amount of time mauling it over before rising to leave.

Dalji turned to Olm, "You, elf. Wake? I think we should talk to the guards at some point, but I'd like to visit that Arena you mentioned. If the Black Dusk, or whoever was their, made such a ruckus then there should be some trail of witnesses or otherwise that the left behind. Show me the way if you still want to be par of the search."

TAG: Tirin, Tiki

Galath Clock Tower - Bell Room

IC: Cameron Moltise

The deafening ring of morning bells shook Cameron from his sleep. He was lying directly beneath it as the morning rings pierced his ears like daggers. The Fragments screamed in protest, but listening to them was the farthest thing from his mind. He had fallen under the trance of the Clock Tower. He couldn't overcome it. How was he supposed to find the other psychics if he couldn't even resist magic that wished to mimic his own abilities? Suddenly, that wasn't important enough. Cameron wasn't going to give up.

If Cameron was in his right mind, he would have thought twice before crawling to the edge of the Bell Room and pushing himself out. He wouldn't have plummeted down three stories onto the Galath Library roof and broken his spine. He wouldn't have bounced off toward the Speared Grape Inn and landed with his head bashed into a window. He would have been fine, if he had been in his right mind.

TAG: Everyone

********************
Galath Bounty Office

IC: Olm

The elf awoke quickly. Taking the gnome's words in slowly, he finally nodded. The druid took in a large breath of air, then yawned as he stretched. "I guess we can check it out..." the elf sighed tiredly, slowly getting up. "I don't know how much we're going to find though... I think I kind of screwed it up with that fire, but we can try."

TAG: SaiFai, Tirin

********************
Speared Grape Inn - Rented Room

IC: Narrator

Debatra was suddenly startled with the sound of breaking glass, causing the book to jump in his hands. An envelope slides out from one of the pages, landing in Debatra's lap.

TAG: Debatra

********************
Speared Grape Inn - Lobby

IC: Raz'nak

"...but now it's just a general word for self-centered humans who act for their own benefit." Raz'nak finished, pleased with himself. The sound of glass being shattered echoed through the staircase. Tronfros hurried down the rest of the stairs and broke through part of the doorframe. His hooves caused glass to shake against each other. The clatter announced his presence to the room.

Everyone in the inn's lobby (the war troll, the guard, and the turron) had their eyes on the bartender. The short, burly human was carrying the body of a shaved-headed man through the broken window in front of the store onto a nearby table. The man appeared to be passed out. The bartender confirmed this after a violent shaking and face slapping.

TAG: Yorgmiester, Debatra

Speared Grape Inn - Lobby
IC: Debatra Fallin

Debatra looks at the new envelope in his lap. Another one? When will it end? He casts Identify on the envelope.

Hmm. Just to be safe... As he thinks this, Debatra holds the book upside-down by either side of it's cover and gives it a few shakes.

TAG: Tiki, Speared Grape Inn - Lobby

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Dalji the Giant-Killer

"Let's move out." The large races seemed to be lazy and soft. Dalji didn't blame them they lived in such soft country he didn't expect much from anyone who lived in such comfort. Dalji walked out of the Bounty Office and waited for the elf to lead the way.

TAG: Tirin, Tiki

Speared Grape Inn

IC: Tronfros Gronintur

"Hmph." Tronfros grunted as Raz'nak finished explaining the word. "In my land, we have a word for weaklings and cowards. Basik." The skull looked at him quizzically. "Basik are small, fleshy creatures, similar to rats or other small rodents. They are speedy, but incredibly stupid, and when cornered, they all dart off in different directions, abandoning their fellow basik. They often run straight off cliffs, or into rivers, or into cracks in the rock that are too small for them. The most common method for hunting basik is to scare them off and then have the children go and collect their dead bodies." Raz'nak burst into laughter, obviously amused by the striking resemblance between Tronfros' basik and the ever-stupid, ever-cowardly humans.

Tronfros was about to continue, when a loud crash was heard from downstairs. He hurried the rest of the way down, emerging in the main room with a good deal of noise. A few people looked at him, but then turned back to the unconscious man laying on the table, who had apparently just come through the window.

He rumbled some archaic curse and pounded up to the table, shoving the bartender out of the way. Then he raised his massive hand, and brought it down with a hearty SMACK right next the the comatose man's head.

TAG: Tiki, maybe Debatra?

Galath Bounty Office

IC: Lucien Z'rai'thai

Lucien released a soft, hissing sigh, annoyed that he had fallen asleep at what seemed to be the drop of a hat - not that it mattered in particular, he hadn't been doing anything, and wasn't the type to think of what might have occurred if he had been doing something important. When he heard the gnome mention the Arena, though, he headed out of the bounty office with the words "Find me later, I'll do what I can to help you out with you terrorism investigation. Right now, I'm busy", intent on getting set up for his match with Raz'nak, if the idiot hadn't gotten himself killed (re-killed?) yet. Whether or not they followed him was of no consequence, while they were going to the same place they had entirely different objectives.

TAG: Tiki, Sai

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