Author Topic: Once Home  (Read 1999 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2009, 05:51:59 PM »
Only at that moment did Laren feel particularly strong feelings of homesickness. He'd convinced himself that it wasn't such a loss that he couldn't go back to his home town for good. That single self-preserving belief was complete shattered when he stepped through the doorway and into the merriment of his past.

Laren stood watching again for the first time what he loved so much about home. As much as he'd come to like Threshold over the last (what, couple of weeks?!?) he admitted to himself that Kurr would always be home. Laren made a promise to himself that he'd one day walk these streets unafraid again. One way or another, Laren would see the end of Crimon's reign over the shadows of Kurr. He owed that much to his father.

Laren scoffed at himself and said under his breath "Hell, you owe that to yourself!"

Laren had decided on his way that he needed a disguise to avoid trouble, but he'd just changed his mind. He still needed a disguise, only now it was to help him get closer to the trouble he'd wanted to avoid. This was where he belonged, and he would never feel unwelcomed again.

The now-bald halfling drew a confident breath, and felt his nervous energy fade. He was not foolish enough to believe he could trust everyone in the room, but he also knew the nature of a barroom full of roudy gnomes and dwarfs. They were all too busy enjoying themselves to really notice just another halfling.

Gibble was busy trying to sand the spots off of a plate with his rag, his customary smirk changed only slightly by the look of irritated scrubbing. Laren squared his shoulders and strolled up to bar and sat in front of the preoccupied Gibble, wearing a similar smirk of his own.

=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2009, 07:11:56 PM »
Gibble sighed at the tenacious bit of food that simply would not come off the plate. Figuring he’d try again later, he set the plate down on the bar and glanced up to survey the tavern. Gibble saw Laren out of the corner of his eye and for a brief moment had a thoughtful look on his face.

“And what will you be having for breakfast this morning?” he said with slight squint in his eyes. “We have ale, eggs, ale, roasted ham, ale, fire toasted bread, ale, and umm….ale!”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2009, 07:13:39 PM »
Laren's grin grew broader. "You know me so well. The sun is at it's pinnacle somewhere!"
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2009, 09:30:23 AM »
Gibble chuckled, “You sound like that crazy Oddball Oscar. He says stuff like that. So what’ll it be? Ale with a side of ale? It’s never too early for that in my opinion. You do strike me as familiar though…what’s your name friend?”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2009, 04:06:17 PM »
Laren was surprised to find that Gibble actually didn't recognize him. This should be easier than I thought! he thought.

"Well master Gibble, it was not very long ago that someone very close to me was also someone very close to you," he said cryptically.

Laren knew there was a back room in this bar where his father used to talk with Gibble and other folks Laren never met. Alton once told Laren it was the only room for miles around where you could speak your mind and not be over-heard. Until now, that was something Laren could not appreciate.

"Before preceeding with names, might I request a brief chat in your office?" Laren asked, making sure to make obvious his hawk ring.
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2009, 07:37:45 PM »
Gibble raised his eyebrow slightly upon seeing the ring. “I don’t see that as being too much of a problem. Give Winnie a minute to come tend the bar.”
Moments later Winnie came to bar. She had a sour look on her face and whispered harshly, “Gibble, I’m telling you now…if that crusty old toad, Jarro, pinches my hiney again you’ll be short one customer!”

Gibble winked at Laren, “And what if it was this guy here that did it?”

Winnie eyed Laren and a wry smile wrinkled her right cheek. “Well, I was only referring to the old man…certainly not this fine fellow.”

“I thought as much” Gibble replied. “Listen, He and I have some business to discuss. Watch the bar if you could.” As Gibble spoke he pointed casually to two indistinct patrons quietly eating breakfast. Had it not been for Laren’s skill in cant he might not have caught it.

“I’ll distract them…” Winnie said confidently. Without hesitation Winnie glided up to the two customers and quickly got their attention. Winnie had charm, wit, and was beautiful by any standard. She was almost never seen without a kerchief over her hair while she worked the tavern. When she wanted more tips, the kerchief would come off and in came the money.

Gibble watched the whole scene. As they became fully engrossed in Winnie’s enchantment, Gibble nodded to Laren.

The two proceeded to the rooms behind the bar. They proceeded through the kitchen to a storeroom that contained stairs. Down the stairs they went and through a curtain. The room beyond the curtain was low lit and had some amazing tapestries on the wall. In the middle of the room was a table and several plush chairs.

“Please, have a seat Laren. It brings my heart great comfort to see that you’re still alive. Would you like a drink?”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2009, 09:37:52 AM »
Laren couldn't remember the last time he'd passed up a free drink, but decided it would be better for him to stay sharp.

"Actually, I'll have to pass. But thanks all the same," Laren said graciously. "I don't imagine I'd have to tell you how important it is that I stay unrecognized around here."

Laren didn't wait for an answer. "How strong is Crimson's hold on this city right now?"
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 06:56:42 PM »
Gibble was impressed with Laren’s forwardness…it reminded him of Alton. “That’s a good question.” Gibble stated. “Crimson was a Hawk once. Some might have swung her way…but I would say that most of our brothers and sisters have remained loyal…so that’s good news." Gibble tried to remain upbeat. “I’ll tell you what though, after Copper was shivved and left at the front door, most of the folks in this bar are scared to death of her.” (refer to Threshold Game Log Episode 5: A Passing, Page 6, Post 6). Gibble looked to the ground in a silent mourning of his dear friend.

“What we are aware of is some strange underground war going on between what we assume is Crimson’s bunch and these strange dragonmen. Both have been found on the streets dead.” Gibble offered. For one of the first times in his life he was at a loss for information. Typically, Gibble was one of the most reliable sources of information by those that knew him to be. If there was dirty dish in the city to be known, Gibble was the guy that knew it.

“Not sure if it’s a turf war or what…but it’s pretty vicious I can tell you that! The Master Hawk figures it’s best to let them kill each other off before we get involved…if we even get involved with that.”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2009, 06:51:41 PM »
Laren was more than a little surprised to find that the dragon men had been in the actual town. This was disturbing to him.

As for Crimson, Laren remembered his father saying that intimidation had nothing to do with brawn or even brains. It was all attitude.

"Yeah," Laren nodded absorbing the information. "So I thought I'd pick your brain about some disguise items... You'd mentioned Odball Oscar... Has he been around these parts lately?"
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2009, 07:16:10 PM »
Gibble thought for a moment. He actually hadn’t seen the bizarre little fellow for some time now. It hadn’t struck Gibble until the moment of thought was on him. “Actually, I haven’t. Typically he roams around the docks looking for a free fish, which he usually gets, mind you.”

“You thinking Ol Oddball is who you want to look like?”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2009, 08:53:34 PM »
"Well," Laren said, squinting one eye and making a face like he could smell something funny. "I'm kinda thinkin: no one bothers him, and looking like me probably isn't the best idea."

Laren thought for a moment, and showed a little more of his hand. "I'm going to need to know who and where my friends are here. I've been gone a long time, and I know how things change."
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2009, 07:56:58 PM »
Gibble raised his eyebrow knowingly, “Aye, things are not as they were when your father was around. Makin’ no mistake, Lar…Oscar. The Hawk Ring is still in control. Crimson is a passing season- nothing more.”

The bartender thought again and casually bit his lip as he spoke, “Still, she’s not to be underestimated, passing season or not. I wish I had some knowing of the dragon men though…they’re just…unexpected.”

Gibble went to the back of the room and looked behind one of the many tapestries in the room. He was always cautious about having conversations in his room even though it was almost always secure. He pressed his foot up against the wall checking the stability of the boards. After his examination he knocked on the wall at first with two quick raps shortly followed by another.

About half a minute later it was answered with one knock then two quick ones.

Satisfied, Gibble turned to face Laren. “On the side of the tavern is a bread vendor. Gretta is one of us and by gum she makes some great bread! Aside from selling her bread she also keeps watch over the unknown exit if you catch my meaning.”

The sly halfling could never let his eyes or his instinct be dismissed. Caution was the better part survival when it came to some of his “patrons”. “It would be too suspicious if I was to get back to the bar and you weren’t with me. So, it might do us well if you were to go get some toasted bread with honeybutter.” Gibble winked at Laren with a nod.
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2009, 06:49:14 PM »
Laren nodded his agreement. "You're probably right," he said. "I have to go gather some disguise pieces as well."

"You know," he said frowning. "I think since coming I've gathered more questions, rather than answers."

Laren ran a hand over his now smooth head. "Just how much do we know about these dragonmen anyway?"
=]V[=

Offline Wildfire

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2288
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2009, 07:58:48 PM »
Gibble thought for a moment as he poured over his knowledge of the scaled enigmas. Gibble recalled his history, “Back at the beginning of the Valley years, during the Shadow Wars, The Shadow Riders had legions of dragon men at their beck and call. All were twisted likenesses of the five major Paladine dragon children. Some priests say it was Takhisis’s way of mocking Paladine.” Gibble had heard from his ancestors who were alive at the time that these “draconians”, as they were known as, were no myth. They were quite real and, some say, currently haunt the Tortured Lands. Gibble continued, “I’m not sure if these dragonmen as the same as the ones from the Shadow War or if they are different. I can send out word to the Master Hawk for better information, he was alive during the war, I’m sure he would know better.”

Gibble wished he could be of more help. In an effort to be he offered, “If these dragon men are standing toe to claw as it were, with Crimson’s bunch in opposition, they are skilled.” As Gibble issued his word of caution he remembered one key piece of information, “They are also organized as each body has been found with the same symbol…one I’ve not seen before. It looks somewhat like three hooked fingers sticking up. Perhaps Master Hawk would understand what it is. If already knows, he’s not said anything.”
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Griznuq

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Once Home
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2009, 09:39:56 PM »
Laren could feel his face flush as the reality of his situation began to boil his blood. This once jovial prankster had worn a scowl more often in the last couple months than he had in his entire life. Patience had never been something the gods blessed him with, and he was also never much of a strategist. He wasn't sure what infuriated him more about the situation, the fact that everything he wanted seemed so complicated and so out of reach, or the realization that he wasn't equipped to deal with it alone, and would have to ask companions for help. What if they were to say no?

He wanted nothing less than to slip a dull knife between the blades of Crimson's bony shoulders. He longed to hear the muffled grinding of metal on bone and to help her perfumed lifeless body find it's way to the floor in an unceremonious heap where he'd leave her to stew and rot in her own blood.

His fingers ached as he clenched the the back of the chair that stood in front of him. He realized he was breathing heavily, and the corner of his mouth twitched in a sinister sneer. He was almost horrified at the rage that he had churning inside. Nervously he flickered a sidelong glance at Gibble.  

"Perhaps it's time I bought some bread," he said somberly, his voice smoldering like the embers of a quenched fire. Smoothing over the indentations he'd left on the plush back of the chair, he added "Maybe that pint would do me some good too..."
=]V[=