by Chris Knoepfle
A hulking half-orc, fresh, agitated, and heavily armored, well
greased, twiddle taps the pommel of the great sword seated across his
lap with an ‘as you like it’ scowl as his business partner, an
electric-eyed Lloyodo boy of House Oyan, settles into negotiations. The
young man is sporting the usual western boots and t-shirt of that
prestige and the tungsten skull cap of his trade as he conducts the
business of the day with potential patrons in the smoky candle light of
the most important one’s office.
“Witches Court rules, sirs, and no welching,” says the wiry
“Don't take me the wrong way, monk,” he starts off again on the man
on the left, a thickly muscled Grup mercenary of House Gldarr, wrapped
in the bright azure vest suited to his faux-bewildered patron.
His sunbaked face aglow with gritty intensity, piercing intellect,
and insane talent, the boy adds, “I could drink a case of your
Turning to the man on the right, a well-dressed, near
sunburned-to-black Barl of House Ocercan, identified as commissioner by
his starched civic overcoat pomp with the gold emblems of his station,
which he wears over narrow ‘drainpipe’ trousers and a button up jersey
with insane floral patterns - the regal office platinum signet emblazed
even in the smoky candlelight at the table; now the kid chides,
“Politician, you call quips the more powerful and then assign euphemism
to wisdom. I’m just not that thirsty.”
Then, the hurried Adept, the skull cap atop hell set and determined
face, makes short work of any question as to his profession; he kicks
back from the cluttered office table in a flourish of well-tended sable
– He wears this color top to bottom and for all occasions. Even as he
does, he gutturals in uncanny baritone reverse from the back of his
throat, so that his otherwise trivial incantation should take effect
inside of his mouth. When he speaks next, he mouths great bursts of
light in sprays blasting outward and thick so as to engulf the two
potential patrons with each articulated syllable.
“Gent-le-men; i-llum-i-nate-ed ones;” he says in deliberate slow
Turoc draw cadence and drone slur monosyllabic voice beam to his now
clearly annoyed potential patrons.
“I am Ta-e-les, re-trie-ver of Do-cus’ Skull, and I am at your
ser-vice, if my serv-ice can be of use in your cur-rent sit-u-a-tion.
Might-y War-ri-or Tal-un here is uh well known to me and a might-y
war-ri-or. I trust his judg-ment in a-ss-oci-a-tes for sure-ly a group
he is a part of has al-read-y found some suc-cess. Let me then join in
as well, and let us to get right what-ever ter-ri-ble wrong has
oc-cur-red. A-hem, and uh how much a-gain does the job pay?”
Clap shut and cheeks internally aglow, Taels pauses for the reply:
impatient, fidgeting, thumb twiddling.
“Freaking brat lunatic,” snaps the man on the right, responding in
blind agitation as no eyes present have yet adjusted yet to the new
“Young master mage, we already reached terms,” comes a more patient
measured answer from the man on the left, still blinking.
“As I said before, you will be paid 200gp to reach Gane and assemble
a team. And another 200gp on return with evidence of cult expansion in
Suddenly satisfied Taels the Adept assays them coldly, then with
fixed eyes and blank smile,
“Aye, two acknowledgements, sirs. That makes an Adventurer’s
© 2018 Chris Knoepfle
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