Sunday, August 17, 2014

Has It Really Been Almost A Year? Bad GM!

I guess I have been recalcitrant in posting to this blog and I promise to try and do better. (But we all knows how that goes.) so here we learn about the latest installment for the characters with Hans, Dayne, Haslo, Testello, Braum, Kareem, Urist, Mort and his pet Orc George, and the mule Stiyr. Big Nate is but a distant memory in the Bay of Osimos feeding the crabs. We'll learn more as we blog along. For now ....


Hans and Haslo sit by the fire, half-full tankards of ale in front of them. They discussed the current state of the river and whether the lower of  the leveling will be good for shipping and the bargemen on the river and thus their shipping business from Roel to points served by their ships. Urist half-listens and flips through the pages of his dog-eared ledger book, comparing names to balances and who might be coming up for payments soon to RUNT, calculating who owes what, how far they live from Earlgard and whether he could take a quick side trip for a collection or two. 

Kareen nods in the corner, a tankard clutched in her hands, drifting in and out of drunken slumber, running half-asleep through the incantations to keep her glass full. Gort sits next to her, watching out for her, growling if anyone gets too near to her, and fascinated as he watched the level of her wine wax and wain to the timing of her voice. Gort had a poor grasp of the workings of clerical magic.He feels an attraction  to her but hasn't decided yet if it is a filial love or something else. But regardless, he won't let anyone get close to her, especially if she is in her current condition of incapacitation. The other men of the inn have already learned that lesson, one nursing a painful slice across the ribs courtesy of Hans' saber, nobody even realizing that a fight had even started. Hans nursed his disappointment since everyone had immediately backed down and the competition was apparently fourth rate regardless.

The other bounder, a sour looking thug with a reddish short beard and a somewhat crooked jaw, although it wasn't crooked long ago and if Kareen wasn't sleeping, she would be looking to apply some of her healing arts to him. But for now now, he lay head down, feet up and in a pile in the corner, courtesy of Gort's right fist applied as the bounder had reached to glad-hand the drunken cleric and didn't see the mule driver in the half-light of the inn. One guesses, when he regains consciousness, that he will be more aware the next time.

Hans tensed as he saw the sell sword enter the pool of light at the entrance to the inn and he slowly lowered his chair onto all four legs and poised himself lightly on the balls of his feet, his right hand quietly encircling the hilt of the Drow saber that rested across his lap. He was thinking of rising when Haslo extended his arm, his left hand pressing against Hans' chest and he said in a low voice, "Wait. Let's see what he has to say."

The sell sword glanced at the huddle of men nursing the wounded man who was struggling to have the slice on his ribs sewn back together. The injured man looked up at the stranger startled and pointed at the corner where Haslo and Hans sat, their backs against the wall, a table between them and the floor of the inn. The stranger's gaze was drawn by a movement in the opposite corner where the other bounder lay crumpled, inverted on his head and shoulders with legs and left boot thrust into the air. He had apparently become separated from his right boot at some point in his flight to the corner and it lay neatly planted alongside his right ear, holding his off-red jerkin off the floor out of the fluids and the sawdust that had pooled there. He moaned, on the edge of consciousness, then slipped back toward the Land of Nod.

"Where is the Cur of the House of Gundrun? I hear he is here," taunted the stranger. He half-drew his fencing saber and flexed it against the scabbard allowing it to spring back into place with the loud ping of an accomplished blade-smith. 

Haslo pressed against Hans and said "Let me serve as your second against this challenge," and he stood, purposely screeching the table forward. The stranger jumped back with a start and his head snapped toward Haslo, his legs prancing into a fighting stance belatedly. Haslo grinned when he saw this and almost felt sorry for the stranger. But just almost.

"M'Lord Hansbrecht Gudrun of Earlgard is presently otherwise engaged but..." he paused for a moment, chuckling, for he could feel the energy behind him building and he almost pitied this fool for picking the fight and wondered offhanded who the idiot was who had hired this wretch for the job. Oh well,  Haslo thought, maybe Hans wouldn't kill him. Haslo could see outside the man had brought with him a second and a couple of thirds. These had been intercepted by Braum and Testello who were discussing the advantages of staying out on the street and their likelihood of surviving the night.

"I think that I can state with little conflict..." Haslo turned and snapped his fingers at Urist the Dwarf and made a motion for his ledger book. Urist looked up for a moment, then what Haslo was doing sunk in and he hopped off the stool he sat upon and presented the book with a flourish, saying under his breath through gritted teeth but with a very visible smile, "I hate when you do this to me."

Haslo made a show of flipping through the pages, squinting at the chicken scratchings of Urist, deciding he would never be able to decipher them, and putting his finger on one of the columns, he proffered the page to Urist, who looked at the page with a well-faked learned acumen, shrugged his shoulders, and said "Very well. But she won't be happy to cancel." and Haslo turned to the stranger and said "Fine. Tomorrow. At Noon. In the courtyard of the Temple of Adaell. We as the Challengee will bring the wine. You as the Challenger can bring the bread and cheese. The weapons will be sabers. Bring three men to confirm the time of the day so that we can say YOU didn't Goblin out in fear and M'Lord will meet you there. Be sure your friends bring a wagon."

The stranger look at Haslo, slightly confused, a look of not understanding upon his face. "A wagon?" said the stranger.

Haslo had turned to give Urist his ledger back. He turned back to the stranger and said, "But of course. You don't want your friends to have to carry you home." A wan smile spread over Haslo's faced that he turned and shared with Hans.

Near the stranger, a tall thin man dressed mostly in black came through the doorway, sidestepping the sell sword standing there confused. It was Dayne and he pulled his tall Pilgrim hat off. As he shrugged off his cloak, he looked about at everyone standing around and said, "What? Did I miss something?"

1 comment:

  1. I admit I didn't read this all, but I love GURPS! :P