GM: The man grunts in pain as the dwarf’s fist smashes into his groin, twice. He whimpers a bit, then says-
‘’Please, no more! I truly do not know the name of the man who hired us. He said we should bring the girl to him, at the Goats, this very night. Paid us coin up front for her, and promised more when the job was done.’’
When asked for a description of the blue cloaked man, he repeats what he said earlier, with some added detail-
‘’Big fellow, blue cloak, black beard…eyes were green, I think…had a ring on his left hand, silver with an emerald..please, I don’t know anything else, I swear!’’
The man looks toward Bennedict with stark fear written over his features.
‘’Oh yes! I’ll tell the others we should get a different line of work, just as you say. This business is too dangerous. We won’t trouble the lady again, I promise.’’
Bennedict: “Now, now, gentlemen. This is beginning to feel a touch too much like vigilante justice, which I’m fairly certain the local law frowns upon. Either we escort this gentleman to a local law office and turn him over to the gendarme, or we let him go. He obviously knows little more than what he’s telling us.”
Bennedict continues to frown in disaproval, considering routes to get away from this strangely violent duo.
GM: The door to the tavern across the street [from whence our hero Cirdan entered the scene] swings open, spilling warm light out across the cobblestones. A small crowd is beginning to gather just inside the doorway, peering out with curious faces.
Norzak: “Awright then” Norzak sighs “Yer right. Let’s take this mangy rat to a guard station n be done with the sorry sap.”
Leon: " I believe this poor soul should not trouble you any further mademoiselle, he should be disappearing right now from your sight. "
Léon drops the thug to the ground and replaces his hat, hiding his face in the shadows of the alley.
" It is time for me to leave. Feel free to escort this fellow, gentlemen. I’d rather stay far from guard stations and from those spectators.
The large caliban executes a graceful salute and starts walking toward a darker alley, brushing off dust off his outfit at the same time.
Norzak: “Hey! Wait a tick. WHatsay we go to this Goat Inn n have us some fun? T’aint no fun drinking by meself anyways.” Looking at Bennedict “Wanna take this thug to the guard post? Like that fella there, I might not be welcome. We kin meet up at the Goat Inn after. Whatta ya say, man?”
GM: Evangeline , still grasping Sir Cirdan’s arm, speaks to the group.
‘’Gentlemen, allow me to invite you all, on my father’s behalf, to call at our home tomorrow evening. I’m sure he’ll be delighted to meet my rescuers and thank each of you in person.’’
Bennedict: Bennedict grasps the man by the arm, pulling him as roughly to his feet as he can, saying “Certainly, herr dwarf. And if you are going to the Sign of the Goat perhaps I shall see you there later as well.”
He turns to respond to the lady’s statement. “That would be wonderful, madame. Where would your father’s home be located?”
GM: Evangeline replies to Bennedict’s question :
‘’It stands at the west end of the Street of the Clothiers. The house is tall, with a red tile roof. ’’
Leon: Léon removes his hat, bows gracefully and says " Your invitation is an honor and I will gladly be there if your father isn’t bothered by my kind."
He then lowers his voice to a whisper " I believe it is time for an ale. We can’t miss the opportunity to learn about this blue cloaked crook…oui? "
Raising an eyebrow towards Bennedict, Léon says “Would you need a hand to escort this thug closer to a guard station..monsieur..?”
Norzak: “He kin take the dimwitted doornail there. A few pints with me name on em await me at the Goat! I hope ya kin drink, boy-o cuz I got me a thirst!” Rubbing his hefty abdomen which has probably seen a few tankards of ale in its time. “Yeah we’ll see ya later at the Goat, bub. And even the cretin arrives a little worse for the wear, I’m sure after ye explain to them what happened, he might be weven worse for the wear after they get through with ‘im. Kidnappin a noble’s daughter of all the harebrained schemes!! WHen they was givin’ out brains ye got rocks eh boy?” he adresses the thug.
“BAH! Off with him then, I heard the ale call me name!!” Looking to Léon he grins. “Cmon then, let’s go get a tankard ‘n’ find this blue caped goon who’s soon gonna wish he t’aint never been born!” Norzak guffaws good heartedly as he and Léon head for the Goat.
Cirdan: Cirdan listens with mild interest, then addresses Evangeline.
“Mylady, if it is your wish, I will escort you home.”
GM: Evangeline nods and says,
‘’Yes, thank you Sir Cirdan.’’
Then the pair of them walk off into the night, Evangeline still holding Cirdan’s arm.
As for the battered and bruised woman-snatcher, he gives Norzak, Leon, and Bennedict no trouble whatever. The guard post is less than an hour’s walk away. At no point does the man even look like he’s thinking about running away or fighting back. When you turn him over to the gendarmes, the poor fellow looks a little less frightened, but obviously still very unhappy.
The green jacketed gendarmes at the station [a stoutly built house of stone , standing on a street corner, with narrow windows and a heavy brass-banded oak door] is happy enough to take your word the man is a miscreant of some sort and has him hauled into the rear of the building.
The gendarme officer on duty [a distinguished looking fellow with a neatly trimmed goatee and mustasche] speaks with Bennedict, ignoring Norzak and Leon.
‘’Thank you for helping us out. There are too many of these scum running loose. Don’t worry about it- the civic courts know how to handle his kind.’’
Bennedict: “Very good, very good.” Bennedict murmurs, somewhat uncomfortable himself to be this close to the law. “One point of interest however, before I go. I noticed someone in the scuffle dropping this, and I am not certain if it is pertinent to the incident or not.” Bennedict fishes around in his bag, feeling for one of the dark stones he discovered at the scene of the attack, and handing it to the gendarme. “Do you have any idea what this is?”
GM: The officer takes the rock. He examines it closely for a moment, then hands it back to Ben.
‘’Just a rock, I suppose. Doesn’t look valuable to me. You might as well keep it. Maybe it’s someone’s lucky stone, eh?’’
-at the Sign of the Two Goats….
The Goats stands along the Drover’s Way, in the west end of town. The pub is a two storey rectangular building fronting the street, with a rubble filled lot behind it. One gets the impression the original structure was much larger and more impressive, but centuries of neglect and abandonment have taken their toll on the former glory of the place [indeed, much of the city of Pont-a-Museau seems like this, as if the busy activity of the inhabitants is only postponing a final collapse into ruin]. The facade of the pub is decorated with mismatched bits of sculpted stone, marble gargoyles and smiling girls, all worn and weathered by centuries of rain and wind. Glowing lanterns hang just outside the doorway. Above the door to the left, hangs a handpainted wooden sign. Two goats are depicted thereon, butting heads. Candleight from within shines through the green tinted glass windowpanes. Music and laughter can be heard- someone is playing a fiddle, and the guests sound as if they are having a good time.
[inside the Goats]
The interior is one large room, with a back doorway leading to what is presumably the kitchen[ a serving girl is coming out with a plate of fried fish and earth apples]. A long bar stands against the back wall. Behind it hang racks of wine bottles, kegs of ale and small beer, and rows of wooden mugs sitting on shelves. Tables and chairs are scattered about the room. About half are occupied. The crowd looks pretty low class, dressed as common laborers. A few are better dressed. Most of the folk seem to be in good spirits. The west end[ to the left as you enter] of the room is dominated by a big brick fireplace, but only a small fire is burning in it [it is summer , after all- so it’s warm enough outside]. Seated near the fire, an old man is playing the fiddle.
Norzak: Norzak walks into the Inn. Slowing at the door he spies the interior, and liking the looks of the fireplace, he walked over and sat at a chair, with his back to the wall, giving him a good view of the interior of the Inn.
Soon as a host approached he says “I’ll have a pint an keep em coming. Better be better n tha last place I had an ale” and slides a few coins across the table to the waitress. He looks around the Inn for a blue cloaked man.
GM: The serving girl seems repelled by Norzak- although whether due to his race or simply his poor hygiene, it’s hard to tell. She hangs back a bit, not coming too close to him as he orders his drinks. Taking the coins , she quickly fetches Norzak a pint of ale. The stuff’s a tad weak by Dwarvish standards, naturally, but it’s pretty good for these parts.
As Norzak looks about, he spots a blue cloak hanging on an empty chair near the bar.
Leon: Léon waits a few minutes outside..Still wondering what he is really doing there.
Now let’s hope I do not make a bad impression.
As he enters the Inn, the caliban tries his best not to attract too much attention. He chooses a seat near the fireplace where he can watch the fiddler and look at who’s inside the Goats.
Sitting on his undersized chair, Léon raises his hat to the serving girl.
GM: The serving girl looks at Leon, blinks, then nods and speaks:
‘’Allo, m’siuer. What will it be for you tonight’’. She has a pronounced Richemuloise accent, quite different from the way folks in Dementlieu speak the language.
She seems like she’s just a little bit frightened of Leon, but is taking it rather well. She’s not shaking, just a little pale.
You’ll notice that Norzak is sitting near to the fire. Seeing him in better lighting , he looks like he needs a bath [smells like it, too].
An old fiddler is seated near the fire, as well. He has now stopped playing and set down his fiddle. A serving boy brings him a glass of wine and some food [cold ham, sliced thin and glazed with honey- also some kind of whitish cheese and black bread].
The other patrons [the place is about half full, you’d say] are studiously ignoring the two non-humans in their midst [Leon and Norzak] and amusing themselves by drinking, playing cards or dice, and telling jokes and stories. Most are dressed in the garb of common laborers and tradesmen, with a few well dressed [but not too flashy] fellows mixed in. Several women are present. Many of these women are busy flirting with the better dressed patrons or else trying to wheedle free drinks from the obese man tending bar.
Leon will also notice an empty chair at the bar with a blue cloak hanging from it.
Bennedict: Bennedict is still turning the dark stone over in his hands, thoughtfully, as he passes through the door of the tavern. Looking around, he spies the dwarf and caliban, sees the blue cloak, and sees that the dwarf and the calliban see the blue cloak.
Deciding that disgression is often the better part of valor, he finds a table and sits down, trying to avoid calling any attention to himself until he knows what’s going down at the bar.
GM: A few minutes after Bennedict enters the tavern, a man comes in from outside and walks over to the bar. Big fellow, and well dressed, too. He’s a bit unsteady- tipsy, perhaps? He orders a cup of wine and downs it in one long gulp, the wine dripping into his bushy black beard and onto his tunic. He then sits down in the chair with the blue cloak hanging from the back. He removes his belt and hangs it over his knees. Hanging from it is a long poignard in a leather sheath.
He’s talking with the bartender, but the noise of the tavern makes it hard to catch what he’s saying from where you all are seated. Perhaps if you strain your ears……
Cirdan: The door swings open, and Cirdan enters the scene again…
He walks straight to where Bennedict and the others sit.
“Sirs and ogre, I come from escorting lady Evangeline to her home.
Tomorrow, Monsieur Sancerre will receive me for an audience where we
will discuss the circumstances of this kidnapping matter. It is my perception,
Sirs, that you share my interest in this affair, and thus I hereby ask you to assist me tomorrow.”
Norzak: Norzak eyes Cirdan in complete astonishment. He looks first to Bennedict then to Léon then back to Bennedict and scowls. Shaking his head, he looks Cirdan straight in the eye. “Ok, thanks for sharing that with everyone else in here as well, elf.” “I can’t believe he said that, in here, in front of alla these people. Like the blue cloak won’t know who we are now? Bah!” Norzak mumbles to himself. He looks to the others, ignoring Cirdan “Well it looks like we won’t be able ta do much tanight asides drink a few pints a course.” Looking to Cirdan he says “Make sure those people in the far back heard ya too, ya dolt!” He downs his tankard and gets the attention of the waitress, pointing to the tankard. “I hope she ain’t so daft she won’t get me meaning.”
Leon: Léon takes a look at the bar to make sure Cirdan’s speech didn’t reach the wrong ears. He then procedes to remove his hat, gently placing it on the table in front of him.
Completly ignoring Cirdan, Léon shouts “MADEMOISELLE, a pint of ale!”
Bennedict: Bennedict watches the man at the bar carefully, watching for a reaction to the noise. For a moment he wonders if the dwarf had bothered considering that a deep, roaring, angry dwarven voice carries through a crowd much better than the voice of an elf who is merely making conversation.
“Did you learn anything else of note?” he asks Cirdan. “It strikes me as odd that this man would wish to carry on with this, unless of course he was concerned that the threat against his daughter had not truly passed. Unless of course he’s trying to get some measure of revenge, which doesn’t sound like an entirely pleasant option either.”
Bennedict’s voice trails off and he stares down at the table, wishing he had a drink and enough sense to go home instead of continuing to dig into whatever was going on here.
GM: The serving wench comes out from behind the bar, a tall mug in either hand. She lifts them up and looks at Leon, then at Norzak.
’’I’m coming m’siuers. Here are your drinks.’’
She hurries up and sets the drinks down at their respective tables, first Norzak, then Leon is served.
The blue cloaked man seems to have heard neither Cirdan nor Norzak, but the bartender may have- because he’s staring at Norzak. He whispers something to your suspect, who quickly gets to his feet, grabs his things, and hops over the bar! He’s making for the door to the kitchen!
Cirdan: Cirdan will not hesistate and get after the man in the blue cloak… Running and tumbling over tables and chairs, he’ll try to draw his sword!
Norzak: Norzak doesn’t miss a beat and leaving a few coins, he grabs his pint and begins to run after the blue cloaked man. Never one to waste a semi decent pint, he downs it as he runs after the man. When he can get a good bead on the man he will toss the mug at the blue cloak, going for the head.
GM: The blue cloaked man is opening the dooor to the kitchen with at least two of the party in hot pursuit!
Norzak: Norzak drops the mug and belches rather loudly. Concetrating he points at the blue cloak and utters a few words of power and a ray leaves his fingertips, heading for the blue cloaked man.
Bennedict: It looks like the drink will have to wait. Bennedict thinks as the blue cloaked man sprints for the exit. Seeing that he had no real chance to catch him and not sure that he could do anything to the large fellow if he did, he began to incant the words to the ancient Ezran prayer of blessing, feeling the words of power burn in his blood to guide the hands of his allies.
GM: A thin ray of sickly green light darts from Norzak’s fingertips and strikes the fleeing man in between the shoudlerblades. He slumps forward against the open door, seemingly exhuasted. His breath comes in gasps. He turns and leans against the door jamb, fumbling to draw his poignard and holding it out to defend himself.
Sir Cirdan comes thundering across the room, hopping up onto a table and running down it’s length to execute a flying leap over the bar! He pulls his sword free of the scabbard in mid air. Hitting the floor,he lands a savage blow on the blue cloaked man, striking him in the chest so forcefully with the sword that the man is flung sideways , away from the kitchen door and halfway over the bar.
The blue cloaked man pushes himself up from the bar, leaving a pool of dark blood on the wooden counter-top to match the crimson stain on the front of his slashed tunic. He grimaces in pain, then makes a clumsy stab at Sir Cirdan, one the knight sidesteps by a handspan’s space.
As the fight continues, all of you suddenly feel as if something or someone is watching over you, even helping you!
Cirdan: “Dwarf! Can you make him sleep?”
Cirdan doesn’t want to kill his opponent – obviously, this peasant may be able to give some information.
However, he isn’t going to risk anything either. If noone of the others reacts, he is going to strike again, not caring at all what damage he causes…
Norzak: Looking at Cirdan, Norzak shook his head no. Putting away his crossbow, he removes his short sword and rushes after the man. “Don’ ya go too far ya filthy kidnapper!” Norzak yells out to the man. “Ya kinna go peacefully or tha hard way, ‘is up ta you, mack. I don’ usally give a choice, but I’m guessin’ them guards ‘ll wanna have you in their fancy lil’ jail ‘n’ take care of you their own way. If ‘twas fer me, I’d slit yer throat ‘n’ feed ya ta the sewer rats.” As soon as he can reach the man he’ll give him a choice “You gonna run or do it the easy way. Imma itchin fer the hard way meself, but tha elf here” he points his thumb over his shoulder at Cirdan, “prefers ya not be harmed. Take it or leave it.” Norzak keeps five feet from the man, waiting to see what he’ll say or do. If he tries anything funny, he’ll try knock him out.
GM: The man, his face drawn and pale, looks from Cirdan to Norzak, then back to Cirdan.
‘’Hold! It is enough- I yield!’’
He reverses his poignard and extends the pommel toward Sir Cirdan.
Norzak: “Now yer talking, bub. Hey why don’ we take this mutt to tha guards. I bet they be really happy ta see the filthy dag. Then I kin get to me serious drinkin the tavern outta business!” NOrzak grins as he sheathes his short sword and removes a dagger from a boot. “Hey” he looks meaningfully at Cirdan “Ya ming if he loses an ear? Hmm mebbe a finger or even better, I kin cut out his tongue.Hmmm?” He looks at at the blue cloak with an evil grin, spitting on the ground then licking his dagger. “There, now it’s clean. C’mon elf, lemme take an ear at least!”
Bennedict: Bennedict glares at the dwarf, wondering just when exactly that one had drug himself out of a nearby storm drain. “Perhaps it would be best if we adjourned from this location, and perhaps got away from prying ears, before continuing this.” Bennedict turns to look at the bar’s customer base, who are no doubt staring in befuddlement at the odd melee that sprang up in their bar a moment earlier. “If nothing else so we can let these people get back to enjoying their drinks.”
With that he turns to the barkeep, fishes around in one of his pockets, drops some coins on the bar, says “A round for the house, on me,” and turns to walk out the front door.
GM: The crowd in the Goats is indeed unsettled. The sudden outbreak of violence seems to have caught most of the patrons by surprise, and rections are mixed. Some men have drawn daggers and are warily staring at your little party, in a none-too friendly manner. Others have moved their chairs to the far corners of the room and are studiously avoiding making eye contact with any of you. Two men at a table near the bar are loudly discussing the realative merits of calling the gendrames.
All this changes when Benedict’s stack of coins clanks onto the bartop and the bartender announces, with a nervous stammer:
‘’Uhhh…drinks for whole …uh…house …on the gentlemen ’ere. ’’
The mood immediately shifts. Daggers are returned to sheathes. Men and women jostle each other in an effort to get to the bar before the free drinks run out. No one makes any attempt to stop any of the party from leaving, or to aid the blue-cloaked man.
Cirdan: Cirdan signals the cloaked man to drop the dagger on the ground.
“Might I have the pleasure of your name?”
GM: The man drops his long dagger to the floor . He steadies himself by gripping the bar with his right arm and manages to regain his composure. An ugly sneer creeps over his features.
‘’My name? I’m Pierre Renault, and you are making a big mistake, foreigner! I have friends. You will regret this.’’
Cirdan: Cirdan moves closer, his blade now touching the throat of the man, and visibly cutting him.
“Friends? – Then tell me their address, so I can send them your remains.
Talk, master Renault, talk, or will run you through with my sword, I swear.
One more word I am not pleased with, and I’ll end this conversation the way the dwarf would. – Think twice before you answer.”
And all this coming from an elf with a viking helm on his head.
GM: Renault stands stock still, seized with terror as Sir Cirdan presses the naked steel against his throat. A thin stream of blood begins to trickle down his neck. Bullets of sweat stand out on his pallid brow. His lips move wordlessly, as if he’s trying to speak but cannot get the words out.
Finally, he manages to say, in a small and frightened voice,
‘’I…. yes…no trouble at all monsieur. I’ll tell you whatever you wish to know. Please don’t kill me.’’
Cirdan: Cirdan grins like a hungry wolf, waving the others near,
he looks for a free table in a dark corner of the tavern.
If there’s one, he’ll guide Mr Renault there at the tip of his blade and order him to sit down, the hands pressed on the table board.
He’ll let the others ask their questions first, since he realizes he has come a bit late to the scene…
Norzak: Norzak spits on the ground. “Let’s follow Bennedict outta here. Too many people seen us ‘ere ’n’ I think we should go somewhere quiet to get some information from this scumbag, elf.” Looking to Renault, Norzak says. “Yer coming with us bub. Try anything ‘n’ I’ll cut ya a new smile. And do introduce yer friends to us, mebbe they’ll have as much luck as you and your dimbulbed associates have had this evening, eh?I hope they got more sense ‘n’ you do. C’mon.. let’s get outta here.”
Calling after Bennedict “Hey, wait up! I am presuming ya got a place we kin go talk ta this loser?” He asks.
B: Bennedict nods.
“Yes, herr dwarf. I know of a place nearby that is well suited to clandestine discussions of an ill nature.” In his memory, the archivist returns fondly to a meeting in a nearby abandoned tower long ago with a certain female client who had been very, VERY grateful for the return of her great grandfather’s original writings. His mind had been occupied with physical pursuits at the time, but his recollection of the building was of it being mostly inhabited by those who don’t care particularly what anyone around them is doing, and that it featured a fine place on the roof for a lookout should one be required. “It should suit our purposes nicely.” Bennedict reaches for the door to the Sign of the Goat, opening it and gesturing for the prisoner to step through.
G: M. Renault stands up, a bit unsteadily, and moves towards Bennedict. He holds his open plams out at his side.
‘’Alright, I’ll go with you. ’’
Perhaps twenty minutes walk through the moonlit streets and you arrive at Ben’s chosen spot. It’s a tall tower, perhaps seven storeys, standing in one corner of a cobble strewn vacant lot, near the intersection of two streets. In the moonlight, the pale stone takes on an yellowish-white coloration, rather like old bones. You can see that the tower has a massive wooden double door at the base, hanging just slightly ajar. Narrow windows with closed shutters are spotted along it’s height. One great window, like the unblinking eye of some awful giant, stares out at the street corner, its pane of greenish glass reflecting moonbeams in such a way as to suggest movement. No lights shine from within the tower and the area about it is quite still and empty.
C: Cirdan has been happy with just walking along the others,
still visibly proud of his heroic deed in hacking down a man with a dagger…
At the house, he doesn’t try to hide his disgust. “Your place, Sir ogre?”