Mists Over the Musarde

Mists Over the Musarde

Chapter 1 Part 1

GM: It is a late summer’s night in the city of Pont-a-Museau. The warm breeze is heavy with the fragrance of night-blooming lilies that grow wild along the banks of the Musarde. The moon is new, but no clouds dim the stars. Most of the city is empty, with silent streets and darkened houses. Here and there from doorways and windows spring up little wells of light. A tavern stands open to receive revellers. A woman lights a candle to guide her lover to her chamber. A nightwatchman paces his rounds, lantern in one hand and the other hand resting on his sword’s hilt.

In one of the town’s many half empty neighborhoods a young woman flees down a narrow street, her hair and dress streaming wildly behind her. Three men , all hooded and cloaked despite the summer warmth, are pursuing her on foot. They are gaining on her with every stride. Soon they will overtake her, unless fortune intervenes on her behalf.

Norzak: What a strange city. Rumors of this n that n bogeymen. And not a soul at night. What kind of city is that, I ask meself. Hey what’s this? Norzak asks himself as he spies the scene developping before him. “T’aint right that. Not a care fer a ‘uman but three on one ain’t right!”

Rushing to intercept the three chasers, the surly dwarf yells out “Hey ya mangy ragamuffins, pick on someone yer own size!” He yells out. He begins casting a spell at the first thug.

GM: One of the pursuing men peels off and turns to face the dwarf. He squints at Norzak’s odd appearance and wrinkles his nose when the stench hits him.

’’’’None of your affair, half-man. Get lost, before I gut you like a fish!’’

The thug draws a poignard from his belt and brandishes it at Norzak.

Leon: The sound of a cane and of heavy steps on the pavement are soon heard echoing in the silent night.

A broad and tall silhouette emerges from the end of the narrow street.

“I see that gentlemen take many forms, monsieur dwarf. As for you cowards, you should flee before you regret this faux pas.”

The cavernous voice and the sheer silhouette of this elegantly dressed stranger are quite unsettling.

Cirdan: “Be careful what you boast around, criminal.”

The door of the nearby tavern opens and another figure steps on the dark street, sword in hand. A tall, beardless human, with a bizarre horned helmet on his head.

“You thugs just serve to beat the weak and the helpless… Or other thugs. If you cannot leave those people unharmed, come and try me. Try a knight!”

GM: The cloaked thug looks about himself, his jerky motions suggesting alarm.
He suddenly turns and takes to his heels [not in the direction of his peers, either, but down a side alley].

From up the main street, the young woman can be heard screaming. The two thugs have caught her and have wrestled her to the ground! One of them looks to be trying to fit something over her head- a sack or a mask of some kind, perhaps?

[This is only about twenty yards away from where you all are standing].

Cirdan: Cirdan will attack the two thugs that are kidnapping the woman, without any further hesistation.

Bennedict: The bell on the shop door jingles lightly as Bennedict steps out into the night, his walking cane tapping lightly on the cobblestone as he steps away from “Carson’s Curios.” He hears the sign on the door flip from “open” to “closed” as he turns down a side street, walking with a bit of undue haste once he leaves the storefront. The search for a manuscript of Edgar Crouseau’s seminal masterpiece, “The Devil and HIs Apprentice,” had been a long, arduous, and in the end profitable one. He is looking forward to a night of relaxation, giving his eyes the night off from squinting at old, faded text by candle light and perhaps enjoying a warm bath. And, of course, making arrangements to ensure he was out of town before Carson realized that the document was a forgery.

Gehrman smiles under his grey mustache. “If the old man ever does figure it out,” he mumbles under his breath, feeling the heavy weight of the coins in his pocket.

Suddenly he rounds a corner, coming face to face with what appears to be a mugging in progress. Two men hold a woman to the cobblestone, while a third squares off against a trio of odd looking sorts twenty feet away, with Bennedict stuck more or less in the middle.

“Oh bother,” Bennedict says with a hint of irritation, pushing his glasses further up onto his nose. He turns and steps back towards the alley, waiting for the situation to resolve itself so he can be on his way.

Leon: Léon grinds his teeth and starts running towards the two assailants.

A deep groan resonates in the alley has he is approaching towards the man holding the mask. His cane firmly in hand pointing towards the thug he has the intention to correct.

“En garde!”

GM: The ruffian fleeing down the alley suddenly stumbles and falls motionless, slumping against the side of a building. He appears to be unconsious, although he neither hit his head nor was he attacked in any visible manner.

The two thugs accosting the young woman drop her rudely to the cobbles and make ready to defend themselves. The one on the right has a long clasp knife and the his companion on the left has a wooden club.

Cirdan attacks the club wielder. His longsword whistles through the air and catches the club-man across the chest. He shrieks in pain and counterattacks,wildly swinging his club at Cirdan’s head. BANG! Cirdan feels his ears ring as the blow connects with his helmet, but isn’t harmed.

The other thug slashes at Leon with his clasp-knife , but Leon is easily able to sidestep the arcing blade and counterattack with a punch. A mighty left hook sends the goon head over heels and leaves him sprawled in the street, groaning and dazed.

Norzak: Norzak appreciates his spell and mutters “serves ya right, ya durned thug!” AS he says so he spies the situation. Who is all these folks? Well them thugs ain’t got long. N where is the police around here. Sure are scarcer n an elf in a dwarf mine..

Norzak gets to one, knee and cocks his crossbow. Pointing it at the club weilder, he takes aim, but holds his actionm to see what will become of the altercation.

Bennedict: Casitng about in all directions, Bennedict is unable to spy a law enforcement official to come break up the ruckus. Of course, they’re always around when you don’t want them he thinks, ruefully, to himself. Just then, he noticed one of the ruffians attacking the women drop something off to one side. Eyeing both groups of combatants with suspicion, he edged towards the dropped item, his curiosity piqued. He kept the words to the Ezran prayer of sanctuary on the tip of his tongue, however, in case anyone got any funny ideas about dragging him into the scrum.

Leon: Léon flexes his muscles and looks menacingly at the club wielding thug while keeping an eye on the one laying on the ground.

“A gentleman should escort this lady elsewhere. It is still time to run, human. "

GM: The club weilding ruffian drops his weapon and flees headlong into the night, leaving a spotty trail of blood on the cobbles as he goes.

Leon is able to easily pin the other fellow before he can regain his senses.

The young woman gets to her feet and takes a moment to compose herself. Once she’s got her breathing under control, she speaks:

‘’Thank you, brave heroes, for rescuing me! ’’

Bennedict recovers the dropped object. It turns out to be a velvet pouch with something heavy inside.

On the ground nearby lies a mask with breathing holes made from a heavy cloth sack, a short length of cord, and a gray kerchief.

Bennedict: Bennedict watches as the third ruffian attacking the woman flees into the night, glad that the exchange is over but suddenly concerned that now he’s the only one left. He shoves the velvet pouch into his pack for examination later and steps forward cautiously, looking back and forth between the standing combatants and the now upright woman.

“Anyone care to elaborate on what just transpired?” he asks, an eyebrow arched inquisitively.

Norzak: Norzak surveyed the scene once more.Secure in the knowledge no more thugs were there, he put away his crossbow. He eyed each rescuer up and down, taking their measure.Now that’s an odd looking fella for sure. Thenthe question was asked. Spitting on the ground and eyeing Bennedict as well as the others suspiciously, he asks. “Who’s doin tha asking?Ya don’t look like no POLICEta me, bub.”

Norzak crosses his arms over his chest.

Bennedict: “You are no gendarme yourself, herr dwarf,” Bennedict crossly returned, “And I am simply a passerby who happened to stumble upon you and your confederates fighting with those other men.”

Leon: " I believe this ruffian I am holding on the pavement ought to answer your interrogations, monsieur. This mask they were carrying seems to indicate a darker intention than the mere robbery of this demoiselle’s purse.

It is a gentleman’s duty to intervene in this kind of situation, oui? Is my hat still in place?"

Léon lets out a sinister laugh.

Léon removes the hood of the thug and tries to strengthen his grip.

Norzak: Norzak approaches the thug even as he speaks with Bennedict.“I am no police either, I just ’appened to come along and the three maroons were accostin this here lady.” Now as he removes his short sword and tests its sharpness he speaks with the thug. “We can do this the easy way, ‘n you answer these folk, or we can do it my way, ’n you’ll learn how sharp a dwarf smithy hones a blade. I hope for yer sake yer feelin nigh talkative.”

GM: The man tries to break free when his hood is pulled back- but he isn’t strong enough to escape. After struggling for a moment, he relents.

He doesn’t looks familiar to any of you. He’s maybe thirty years old, with lank brown hair and a lazy left eye, and a prominent scar on his right cheek Looks unsavory- typical riverfront scum. More muscle than brains, from the look of him.

‘’You lot had better let me loose, if you know what’s good for you! My friends will be looking for me.’’

The bravo looks a bit shaken at Norzak’s words.

‘’Errr.. maybe we can talk. How about you let me up?’’

Meanwhile , the young woman seems to have latched onto Cirdan. She is gazing at him with frank admiration.

‘’Noble sir, would you escort me to my father’s house? I’m certain he’ll want to meet my rescuers.’’

[You are all able to get a better look at the young woman now that the fighting is over. She’s just over five feet tall, a redhead, and quite good-looking. Her black dress is nicely made, if a bit torn and soiled.]

Cirdan: After having his opponent flee, Cirdan takes a moment to clean his weapon from the thug’s blood, while the others are still fighting. “Aah… Victorious again.”

As the young woman addresses him, he turns around and bows.

“It was an honour to serve you, mylady. I will escort you to your father’s home, but know that I expect no reward. To protect the innocent is my holy oath.”

GM: The young lady smiles at Cirdan’s gallant words.

‘’I am Evangeline Sancerre- what is your name, good sir knight?’’

Bennedict: Bennedict’s lips twist into a frown of irritation. He glares down at the man lying under the large caliban’s boot.

“Perhaps you should give an accounting for your actions, if you wish to be allowed to stand. The dwarf seems itching for the chance to inflict unpleasantness on you, so perhaps you should consider loosening your toungue.”

With that, he stoops to pick up the discarded mask from the ground, holding by finger tips to keep any filth from getting onto his clothing, but examining it with a critical eye all the same.

GM: The man pinned by Leon responds to Bennedict:

‘’ Fair enough- I’ll tell you what you want to know and you let me go free. Deal?’’

Norzak: “Awright sounds good to me. But if I get the feelin’ yer pulling my beard, Imma cut ya a new smile right on yer throat, ya mangy rat.”

Cirdan: “Mylady, know that I am noble Cirdan Carnesir from Nechuvar Springs in beautiful Darkon, knight apprentice of the Eternal Order.”

Cirdan will offer his arm to the lady.

“Let’s leave this gory scene quickly. These men might find more pleasure in the bloodwork than our kind would do.”

With Evangeline holding his arm, Cirdan will approach the others,
take out his purse, count a coin for each man, and hand them to Bennedict.

“Thank you for your effort, good man. Distribute those among your companions.
- No, don’t thank me for my generosity, I know that this is likely to be a fortune for your kind.
Please, compliment this miscreant to the next police officer’s station.”

Leon: Léon snarls

" I see that the lady isn’t bothered by the presence of this rascal. Be quick with the interrogation gentlemen, I do not wish to stain my boots."

Still holding the thug, the mighty caliban’s eyes light up with anger.

" As for you, monsieur Carnesir, I will NOT tolerate this kind of arrogance. This insult would merit you my glove on the cheek if my hands were not busy dealing with your dirty work."

Bennedict: Bennedict continues holding the mask at arm’s length between thumb and forefinger. Examining it with a critical eye, he tries to determine what its purpose might have been. It certainly did not appear to be like anything he had seen a man on the street wearing previously.

“Perhaps you might put forth a bit more information, friend,” he offered to the man on the ground, “These fellows don’t seem inclined to let you live, let alone set you free. You’ll have to provide some accounting for your actions if you want to be done any favors.”

As he speaks, he slips the mademoiselle’s money into a back pocket. With any luck the brutes would never notice that he had neglected to provide them with their share of the reward.

Norzak: Norzak spits on the ground in front of him, in Cirdan’s direction. “I din’t ask fer none a yer coin, and if I really needed it that bad, I’d rather take it from ya when yer not lookin’. I Kinna gather me own at that, thanks. I did this deed on’y ta help tha missus as it is the right thing ta do, bub. Keep yer coin.” Norzak says as he eyes the thug now.

Caressing his short sword, as if testing its sharpness, he eyes the thug. “Now Imma thinkin ya know more n ya sayin. So bafore I decide to test how sharp this here dwarvish blade is, ya best git spewin else not only you’ll have a new smile but a few less digits too!” Norzal laughs good heartedly at his own humor, but the look in his eyes tells the real tale. He is dead serious.

Cirdan: Cirdan raises an eyebrow. "Well, you are some ill-mannered people! – I was far from insulting you. It seemed just that you looked like people who could use a coin or two and I meant to be gentle. "

Addressing Leon in particular: “- Now, you SIR ogre, we can settle our impending affairs as soon as I have escorted this lady home. You can be sure that I wouldn’t have accepted your help in this fight, had I known what you are.”

And to Evangeline, with lower voice. “I apologize to mylady that she has to watch such an abomination walk among us men, as if he was an equal.”

Norzak: Norzak sighs. As much as he’s like for both of these people to fight, maybe it would be a better idea to go somewhere quiet after they take care of this thug.

“He aint lookin’ like no Ogre ta me, ya pointy eared fancy talker. We just saved this here ma’am. Why don’t we just get the information we can from this” he points his short sword at the thug “dimbulb. Then, Oh yeah, I guess we should be helpin this here human female to her home. Then go get better acquainted at some pub? Nothing better ‘n’ a keg and a ton ‘o’ pints to solve any differences. We did do purty good together. I ain’t no martyr meself but I think maybe we kinna get ta talkin with a few pints in us. Whatta ya say?”

He looks pointedly at Cirdan then Leon. “C’mon fellas. Why fight? Get this dame home then have a pint on me. Whattas ya say?”

GM: Evangeline seems a bit taken back by the conversation between her rescuers.

‘’Oh yes, please don’t fight, noble sirs. It would be a pity to see you come to blows with one another. ’’

She pulls a little closer to Cirdan and says,

’’I’m sure you must be mistaken about him- he is no ogre. He is merely different in appearance from you or I. Surely that is not a reason to be unkind to him.’’

Leon: " A fine idea my dwarven friend. Enough blood was spilled in this alley already."

Léon looks at the trail of blood left by the thug and then turns his head towards Norzak with a grin.

" Muhahahaha I will gladly take this pint dwarf. Let me get some words of this fellow. "

The sinister laugh resonates in the narrow street. Monsieur Delamarre then procedes to grab the throat of the remaining ruffian.

" It is now time to talk monsieur, we don’t have all night. What kind of coward would try to kidnap women? What are you getting from this? S’il vous plaît, tell me before I am forced to rough you up."

Norzak: " ‘N’ cut ya up good n feed ya ta the pidgeons, mack. Answer the fella else i chops off a one a ya finegrs" Norzak grins evilly at that prospect and simply points his sword at the man menacingly, eyes as hard as the stone he mines.

Cirdan: “As you say, mylady, it won’t happen anymore.”

As Leon goes on to torture the thug, Cirdan takes out a silk handkerchief, and puts it over his nose, mumbling somewhat like: “Effective, but so disgusting…”

GM: Before Leon hurts him much, the thug begins talking:

‘’We were hired to take her by a man at the Sign of the Two Goats- he wore a blue cloak- I swear I don’t know his name. Big fellow, with a black beard. He paid us coin, promised more when we brought her to him at the Goats. That’s all I know! ’’

While Leon interrogates the criminal, Evangeline gives Cirdan the directions to her father’s house.

Bennedict: Kidnapping for hire? Bennedict thinks. I knew this place was rough, but that’s a little extreme even for me. Maybe I should have stayed in Port-a-Lucine.

“Well, I appreciate the candor, but I have a feeling that won’t convince these gentlemen to release you.” Bennedict holds up the mask, which he recognizes as an implement useful to kidnappers which blinds and disorients the target while providing them with an airway. “This is somewhat more sophisticated an implement than your typical mugger or street thug has available. This makes me think you and your friends are perhaps a bit more experienced with this kidnapping for hire business than I’m entirely comfortable with.”

GM: The man goes deathly pale as Bennedict speaks. After a drawn out silence , he confesses:

’’We’ve done this sort of work before. Girl catches a rich fellow’s eye, he hires us to take her. It’s just business- we don’t take any liberties, if you know what I mean. ’’

Bennedict: Bennedict sighs, dropping the mask back to the street. That’s what I was afraid of. It’s idiots like this that give honest crooks a bad name. This fool will be lucky if the elf doesn’t finish him off right here for attacking women.

“That is truly revolting, sir. I think perhaps you should consider a new line of work, for your longevity’s sake if nothing else. Would you consider it likely, then, that your compatriots or another group hired by this gentleman will make another attempt on the mademoiselle?”

Leon: " I believe a lesson should be taught to this blue cloaked sire. What was his name again mon ami? "

Léon snarls, revealing his wicked and strangely white dentures to the intimidated thug.

It is not time to let your temper take over.. It isn’t the time to attract attention on you, imbécile. Who are you to correct anyone?

-But this slime does deserve a lesson..

Alright.. Just a quick one to the kidney to soften him in up.

Alright.. Just a quick one to the kidney to soften him in up.Norzak: “Ya ain’t any smarter n a door nail, fool.” Norzak approaches the thug and stands right in front of him. Eyeing him with disgust, he spits in his face, then with his free hand just punches the thug in the crotch twice. Standing back. “Ya better choose a different career, cuz ya give types like meself a bad name, ya dimwit. My short sword” he sheathes it at this point, disgusted with the thug “well ya don’t even deserve ta breath the air I does. Do what ya want with this loser, Imma thinking this blue cloaked fella needs his face rearranged. Kidnapping, Bah! Who wants to go to this Goat Inn place? Mebbe this turd can really describe the blue cloak so we know who to look for.”

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