Knight of the Dragon War
Vince Valentino sat at a bar. It seemed the norm, in this virtual world, to sit in a bar while waiting for random rumors to pop in regarding the next quest. He had heard that his daughter was in the process of creating a guild for sidequests, but he reasoned that the guild would pretty much just be another bar, but with a more easy and simple way of finding quests rather than hearing rumors.
This bar had a very unusual design. Rather than being built in a square, it was fashioned more like a starburst... it had literally dozens of little niche corners in every direction. The reason was pretty laughable, really... when Vince scanned the room, he noted that every single outer corner of the starburst had some sort of dark-hooded loner seated in a chair by himself or herself. Such a common trope for adventurers that they had to build a bar specifically to allow for more than four of them.
Chuckling to himself, he decided he wouldn't stick around in some weird establishment like this for long. Picking up his staff-like spear, he made for the exit. Some things were just so childish, in these online games.
Sabuit walked through the streets of Port Victory, her ancestral town on the shores of the Sea of Shadows in the Underdark. At the port, huge wooden ships for both trade and war were floating at anchor or docked to the wharves and jetties that stretched out into the harbour - she could see the majestic carrack Pugnacious and her attending ships at anchor, her crew busily working scrubbing the decks and ensuring that the shipboard armament was ready and secure. The port was buzzing with activity - people rushing around, people swearing, sailors laughing and joking and drinking, and gambling... Human sailors trying to attract the attention of a soiled dove or two, dwarven sailors busying themselves with their rum and ale... Sabuit's heels clacked against the paved surface of the road as she walked towards the 'rich district' of Port Victory. She could hear the sounds of the sea lapping at the shore from time to time, but it was mostly drowned out by the hubbub of activity on a daily basis in Port Victory. However, when people caught sight of Lady Sabuit, they were silent - to a commoner in the streets of a Silverwater city, a woman of Lady Sabuit's position and power was worthy of both awe and respect. She cared little for the business of the working and middle classes in the city anyway - she would only listen if there was a serious problem. Otherwise, she took a laissez-faire attitude; there was no point becoming embroiled in the schemings of the poorer population. Besides, she had enough trouble keeping the upper-classes of Port Victory quiet, she hardly needed the problems of the less well-off on her plate too. She nodded to the gate guard, who bowed and allowed her access into the rich district of Port Victory. Here, the environment was comparatively cleaner - the roads were maintained better, the sanitation systems (such as the sewer networks) were completely hidden from view and there were particularly opulent establishments to serve the exotic tastes of Port Victory's fortunate... including, of course, herself. Sabuit frequented a very reputable 'coaching house' named the Spider's Fang - she caught sight of the conspicuous sign of a white fang with a drop of green liquid at the end of it on the steel sign - above and below the picture was 'The Spider's Fang' written in Undercommon. She walked through the door into the tavern area, where she saw a 'friend' of hers, the human Sergeant-at-arms Sigurd Isaksson. She walked over to the bar and sat down beside him.
"Greetings, Master Isaksson... What brings you in here?"
Sigurd sighed. "Just catching up on the latest gossip in the upper circles of society, mistress."
"Yes... well, perhaps you should... keep your ears open for any... seditious remarks. If there are any plots within the establishment, Sigurd, I want to know about them. Understand me?"
Sigurd nodded wearily. "Yes, mistress."
"Good boy... Barman!" The barkeep, a middle-aged dwarf whose hair and beard were beginning to grey, walked stiffly over. "Aye, mi'lady? What can I get ye?"
Sabuit checked her purse - 250 gold coins, enough for a drink, a meal and perhaps a visit to the backrooms if she felt like a bit of gambling. "I'll have a glass of Chateau Blanc wine, if you will."
"One glass o' wine, comin' up, mi'lady. 'Aven't seen you abou' in a while... Wha' brings ye back 'ere?"
Sabuit looked over at where a group of noblewomen were busily talking and gossiping about the latest news. "What I do in my life is of no concern of yours, master dwarf. Let's keep it that way, shall we?"
"O' course, mi'lady. Here's ye wine."
"Still 35 gold pieces, Hamran?"
"Aye, mi'lady, it still be 35 gold for a glass of Shatto Blank... Or however ye say it." This brought a smile to Sabuit's face - it amused her listening to the dwarf attempt to pronounce the name of the wine. It was why she bought it, truth be told. Sure, it was good wine, too, but it was amusing for her to listen to the dwarf struggle. She handed over 35 gold pieces and took the wine from the barkeep. She surveyed the tavern - nothing really of interest, it had to be said. She called Hamran over again. "Is it possible to obtain a... Coin still?"
"Aye, mi'lady. Coins are now 20 gold pieces - they've gone down a couple, thanks to the increase in business. We don't need to charge so much to get more profit, ye ken?"
"Makes financial sense. By the way, Hamran, when are we going to... receive payment for that loan that we lent you?"
Hamran's face fell. "The loan... ah, yes, well..."
"You don't have the money?"
Sabuit shrugged. "Consider it cancelled."
Hamran's face lit up with joy. "Are ye serious, mi'lady?!"
"Yes... now keep it down. We hardly need the 10,000 gold pieces anyway, we're bringing in that much wealth. But Hamran... this may be the last 'favour' I do for you."
"O-o' course, mi'lady... I thank ye for yer kindness."
Sabuit smiled and took a sip of the wine.
Anarion exited the treeline into some hills as the sun sank below the horizon, planting his staff in the ground he moved off and gathered some fallen sticks from the trees. Returning he placed them in a group on the ground a lit them with a thought, as he put small bits of meat onto sticks and put them over the fire. As he was doing this a crow landed on the top of the staff and watched him with a slightly bored expression More rabbit again tonight? Or did you going to try and get something bigger?
Anarion looked at the crow as his thoughts were broken into, setting the meat down Yes it is more rabbit Nolondil, and if you are going to complain you are free to go back to whatever tavern you were scavenging outside of
You looked through my eyes again didn't you?
Anarion chuckled slightly Didn't need to, you still have some grease on you beak. So how far is the town from here?
Nolondil ruffled his feathers I do not, I made sure to wash before I came back! The town, if you can call it that lies a few miles over these hills, we should arrive tomorrow, if we don't run into a band of roaming orcs that is
Anarion pulled a piece of meat out of the flames and tossed it to Nolondil who caught it and began to tear into it That's good we need to find a couple of new jobs, and something to eat that's not Rabbit he thought to the crow as he began to bite into his own share of the meat.
The mace hit the Orc with a solid thunk, who gave a grunt before dying, disappearing into bits of blue flakes. She turned, bringing the mace around just in time to parry another Orc berserker's lance, then riposte straight into his stomach. Barely having the time to blink, a grey flash hit her upside the jaw, her vision flashing from the impact of the hammer. The Orc berserker who had swung the hammer looked horrified as she merely staggered back from the force of the blow, then recovered quickly.
It was quite a while before she stood alone on the field. Another orc ambush. A good thing it was scaled for a soloer on this mission run. A few more minutes and she would be teleported to a town and congratulated my a bot.
Right on cue, a circle of light surrounded her.
She reappreared in town, in front of the quest giver. After some generic spiel about her being a hero and all, he gave her a bag of coins and an enchanted knife. Hardly of any use to her.
Siel Entharthi sighed and opened the interface, storing the gold and item into her inventory. She was still short a few hundred gold for new armor, a full plate she had been eyeing. It would have been easier to get more gold if she had a party or a guild, but an incompetent cleric is hardly needed by anyone. She had activated her Spell Convertion ability and tried to heal one of her party member once. Problem was, evil aligned clerics casts Inflict Injury with converted spells. The rest didn't take it too well either, and they were ravaged by monsters they were supposed to fight. Suffice to say she was the only one left alive. Whether pure dumb luck or skill she didn't really know.
She shook her head. It was not good to live in the past. "Alright!! Time to do this!!" Grinning widely, the girl set down the street, looking for a quest to solo.
As he made his way down the street, Vince noted an excited-looking cleric of some sort wandering around with a rather heavy load. "Such a bulky pack for a girl," he said to himself, noting on second glance that she had horns in her head. Some sort of demonkin or Tiefling, most likely.. the type that tended towards evil adventurers. He was of a mind to kill her on the spot, but there was no guarantee she truly was evil, as he didn't have the means of detecting such.
Regardless, Vince himself set out upon facing the most hideous opponent he had ever matched.... the dreaded Mime. A nasty creature, with a painted face and protected by an invisible wall that, fortunately, also boxed him in, Vince realized he stood little chance of actual victory... but victory was not his objective, in this case.
"It... was hideous," said a crying woman. "Painted white face... bloody red lips.. mocking gestures made in complete science. Such a foul creature should not exist!"
"There there," said a man, obviously her husband, "It's gone now. We are safe."
"A thousand pardons," said Vince, stepping towards the two. "But can you tell me where the creature went? I intend to hunt it down, you see."
"An adventure!" said the woman as she brightened up. "It was not far outside town! I'll tell you where I saw it, and perhaps you can find it yourself."
"Many thanks," said Vince, listening to the woman as she described the location of the Dreaded Mime.
"You know for a girl you fight rather well!!" an orc said as he swung his sword and it clashed with a loud clang against a shield.
Natasha was merely playing with this orc who decided to insult her and try to touch her in the tavern. "And you hardly fight competently." She said with half smirk as the Orc grew angry over the crowds sudden laughter. The orc swung more violently, more viciously, as the clang of steel meeting steel could be heard as Natasha seemed to block every shot with ease. "Come now i thought we were fighting." Natasha said with a chuckle, "After all our bet is that if you beat me i give myself to you right? Well doesn't seem to look like you want it.. maybe i should feel insulted." Natasha joked as the orc swung more and more violently.
Natasha blocked each attack again with ease as she finally brought up her spear blocking a sword slash. She smiled as the orc used his strength to try and move her spear. "Poor sad orc." Natasha said, "You were out of your league from the start. The bet was that if i won i got to choose your fate for the authorities right?" Natasha said with a smirk as the orcs eyes grew big as he realized how much trouble he was in.
Natasha twirled her spear as it caught the sword sending the sword flying off to the side, she then quickly straightened it so that it was facing the Orc who was now trembling. The orc ran as fast as he could splitting the crowd. "Well i was gonna let you live, but a bet is a bet." Natasha said with a smirk as she unlatched something from her gauntlet. She balanced herself and threw her spear as it made contact going right through the orc. People who had no idea what was going on screamed, especially when the chain that was attached to the spear started to be pulled back to natasha.
Natasha pulled bit by bit the dead orc who was face down on the ground, although there was panic she laughed, "Next time the fool won't touch me ." She said aloud to a few who had witnessed the whole thing.
Vince made his way out towards where the Dreaded Mime had been spotted. He spotted someone running in terror. "Ah.." he said, looking at the direction from which the terrified man was running. "Must be this way, then."
Sure enough, not far ahead, was a hideous creature, a painted white face, red lips, and... a ponytail? "A female Dreaded Mime, then..." he said. "Foul creature, prepare to be defeated."
The Dreaded Mime cocked her head to the side, and pantomimed laughter, before shaking her head. Using her finger silently, she gestured for Vince to approach.
"I shall not fall to your plot so easily," said the blue mage, brandishing his spear. "Nay, instead I will smite you with magic from here. Taste blue magic, foul minion!"
He cast the only blue magic spell he knew at the mime.
She looked... different. Her cheeks flushed, she began to pantomime a flirty giggle. Then, she gestured at Vince, miming the exact same spell.
Vince felt the spell hit. It was... yes, quite relaxing. Suddenly, she no longer looked so vicious. Those lucious red lips, the pale white skin... so beautiful. Vince slowly approached the beautiful mime, relaxing his spear, as she did the same. As he got closer, he noticed her invisible shield was down.
With a quick motion, he thrust the spear through her throat. The mime gave a surprised look, before falling over, dead.
"Pathetic woman..." he said, "You could never compare to Violet. Just like that succubus couldn't. I'm done here, I got what I came for." He had learned the Mime's blue magic ability.
Looting what few valuables the corpse had, he turned and headed back to town.
Another two people walked into the Spider's Fang - a Drow dressed in long, flowing robes, and a surface elf in leathers and camouflage befitting the forests of the surface lands... Normally, the surface elf would receive a chorus of hisses and would probably be attacked if it weren't for who she was... It was another of Sabuit's retinue, only this time she really was a friend of the Marchioness of the Westlands - Sigurd was merely an acquaintance she'd picked up on the surface in the city of Achaia. He'd offered his services as captain of troops and also as a bodyguard - she'd arranged to train him in the art of espionage, which he discovered a disturbing innate ability for subterfuge. Sabuit wanted to know things that only spies could know - plots, treachery and, of course, criminal rings.
The surface elf walked over to where Sabuit was sitting at the bar and ordered a pint of ale, whilst against the window looking out over the harbour and the Bay of Brigands, a musical band from the surface struck up a tune - Sabuit recognised it as 'The City of Seven Hills', a Roman tune that was usually set to lyrics as well, but she preferred the 'instrumental' version of it, which the band was playing. Sabuit took a drink of her wine.
"Are you not going to say anything, my dear Marianna?"
The surface elf cast a sidewards glance at Sabuit. "I think it's generally more appropriate for the senior in society to address the junior, is it not? And tell those musicians to shut up with that Roman tune, the very sound of Latin music angers me!"
Sabuit couldn't argue with that logic, nor with Marianna's anti-Roman feelings. She looked over at the musicians and raised a hand. "Something else, if you will." The leader of the musicians nodded and struck up another tune. "Better, Marianna?"
"Yes. Better. The last thing I can do with is some infernal Roman music when I'm trying to have a drink. How are you, then, young miss Sabuit?"
Sabuit shrugged and took a sip of her wine. "I'm doing as well as I could be, nothing special. Yourself?"
"Not much with me, either. You interested in a bit of gambling? I can get us both a Coin, if you want. Hamran!" Marianna called over the barman, who raised an eyebrow. "Two Coins for the back."
"40 gold, lass."
Marianna fished out 40 gold pieces from her own purse and handed them over to the dwarf, who put them away in the strongbox. "Ye ken where to go, lass?"
"Yes, Hamran, we know where to go... Sabi?" Marianna got up, and looked at Sabi as if to ask if she would follow. Sabi nodded and followed Marianna to the stairs that led into the backroom of the Spider's Fang...
The backrooms of the Spider's Fang were lavishly decorated, with frescos, thick rugs and carpets and decorative glassware on adamantium shelves on the walls. Nobles were lounging on sofas, smoking pipes, drinking alcohol, one or two smoking opium in their pipes instead of the usual tobacco... There were tables for gambling, there were tables for board games, some tables for exchanging money... Hamran certainly ran a very sophisticated establishment... Perhaps he was lying when he said he didn't have the money. Sabuit shrugged. If he did have the money, then it didn't matter if he didn't pay it - he could use it to further improve the Spider's Fang instead of paying off some debt that didn't really matter anyway. Sabuit looked over to where a spider was sleeping - evidently a familiar of some sort. "Iraqlae?" The spider perked up at the sound of its name, and scuttled over to Sabuit. "Heh... I knew it. Where's Kyrranwyn, then?" The spider pointed with a leg over to where Kyrranwyn was playing cards with some acquaintances of hers. Sabuit smiled. "Interesting... Would she mind if I joined in the game?" The spider shook its little head and pointed over to the game.
"I'll be with Kyrranwyn; you go enjoy yourself, Marianna." Sabuit watched the surface elf walk over to a group of males and began to engage one in conversation. Sabuit smiled and walked over to where Kyrranwyn was playing cards with some friends of hers. She walked up behind Kyrranwyn and took a look at her cards.
"Nice hand, K."
Kyrranwyn looked behind her. "I thought I heard you. Care to join in?"
"Deal me in next hand. What's the game?"
"Two-card poker, of course..."
Elisheer was crouching on a rooftop, his target subtly pick-pocketing people. His client, whom Elisheer assumed was pick-pocketed by this guy, was a wealthy man and offered to pay him fairly handsomely if he could bring him the corpse. He agreed, but it would certainly look a bit strange carrying a man on your shoulders with an arrow sticking out of his back.
Humans and their strange requests, he thought rolling his eyes. Once his target's back was turned he knocked an arrow on his bow and shot his target, hitting him between the shoulder blades. With a whelp of pain, he fell to his knees trying to grab and pull out the arrow before he succumbed to the pain and fell. As Elisheer walked towards the body, his bow hidden underneath his cloak, he could see and hear the screams of women and the men trying to get them out of the scene. He briskly grabbed and pulled him over his shoulder and walked towards his client.
"Here's your theif," he said, throwing down the corpse on the client's feet. With a sick smile the client tossed Elisheer a bag of coins and dragged the body inside, closing the door behind him. He turned and walked out of the estate and towards an inn. He's been tracking that fellow for the past few days and has had few meals to eat and he could feel his stomach taking it's revenge on him.
"The town is up ahead, men," said the caravan master as the group came out of the forest that they had traveled in for over three days. It was a small caravan consisting of two wagons and five pack horses, guarded by seven armed men, four of them on horseback. One of the caravan guards traveling on foot was a half Orc by the name of Bryan Oaken. He joined the caravan five days ago, when he met them on the road south of the forest they just came out of. He had joined them because traveling through a forest is always safer in a group rather then alone. Now that they were closing in on the small town, Bryan felt that he could rid on ahead as he was no longer forced to travel with the caravan. Not that there was anything wrong with the group, but they would only stay in the town for the night, resupply and then head off for the next destination, being a large city which was not Bryan's destination.
He said his farewells and wished them well on their journey and ran for the town. He would most likely stay there for a day or two, then head off north where his destination was.