Jump to content


Ember's Tale 77: Entertainment


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 20 July 2007 - 07:35 PM

Chapter 77: Entertainment


Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.

Twenty thousand gold.

That was how much Gaelan Bayle, Yoshimo's contact, wanted in payment for his organization to help locate and rescue Imoen. Crossing the Cowled Wizards was not done lightly, he'd told them, and the fee was not negotiable.

"Are you sure there is nobody else we can turn to?" she asked Yoshimo, who was sitting across the table from her and thoughtfully stirring his own bowl of stew.

"Gaelan's people were the best choice," he replied. "Any other group I know of would be less able to handle such matters, and they would demand an even higher price for their services."

"I understand," Ember muttered. Unable to stand the sight of her stew any longer, she glanced around the common room of the Copper Coronet. The cheapest inn in the city was, if possible, even seedier than she'd imagined; the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, and every surface was covered in grime. Most of the clientele were coarse men, as run down as the inn, who were busying themselves with getting drunk and having loud arguments with each other, but she also saw at least one group of what looked like adventurers, as well as a few men dressed in fancier stuff who were sipping wine with a disdainful air.

Then, she saw Minsc. The giant ranger had gone to ask the surly bartender for some nuts for Boo, but now he was arguing with some of the rowdier looking men. "It think Minsc is in trouble," she told Yoshimo, and started to get up from the table.

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.

"Minsc is a force of righteousness, and so is Boo!" Ember heard the large ranger proclaim.

The man in chainmail smiled. "Perchance I have found worthy companions, then. There is foul play afoot, and I seek to expose it. Will you join me in this task?"

"Minsc is always ready to show Evil the light of Justice! But we should ask little Ember first."

"I see. Where might we find this Ember?"

"Right behind you," Ember said with a grin.

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."

"I am Ember, and this is Yoshimo," she said, gesturing at the Kara-Turan. "Thank you for helping Minsc."

"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.

Ember smiled. "Now, on to business. You spoke of foul play?"

"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption, but I have reason to believe that its depravity goes beyond that which is readily apparent. Rumour has it that vile and illegal practices take place in the back rooms, for the entertainment of the weak-spirited. Observe how they guard that door." He gestured towards a side door; two heavily armoured guards were posted in front of it.

"I see," Ember said. "Maybe that's why there are so many wealthy people here, too."

"An astute observation, my lady!"

"What practices in particular have you heard of?" Yoshimo asked.

"The ugliest rumour is that they have a fighting pit in the bowels of the inn," Anomen said. "Moreover, I have overheard conversations that imply that the combatants are less than willing participants."

Ember frowned. "Slaves, you mean."

"Aye."

"A dishonourable practice," Yoshimo muttered.

"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."

Ember looked at her friends, then at the young Helmite. "Where do we start?" she asked.

---

For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.

The drunks were proven right only a short while later when the small group talked to the innkeeper. Lehtinan was a large man with sallow skin and a voice that sounded like wet gravel, and he grumbled about strangers when they first approached him. However, once Ember mentioned taking their large amount of coin elsewhere, he perked up and offered to fulfil their every need, be it drink, rest, or other sorts of entertainment.

"What other sorts of entertainment?" Ember asked.

"Ohh..." Lehtinan made a sound deep in his throat, "...one is always able to provide the small pleasures of life. Things like companionship, perhaps, or gambling on battles, and other things. There is more to my little place than meets the eye."

"Of course there is," Yoshimo said pleasantly. "Isn't there always?"

A brief discussion and fifty gold pieces later, Ember held in her hand a brass token that would provide access to the back rooms for herself, Yoshimo, and their two bodyguards in the form of Minsc and Anomen. The four of them headed to the guarded door, and Ember handed the token to one of the guards.

"New patrons, eh?" the guard asked. Yoshimo nodded.

"You're welcome to enjoy the exclusive entertainments offered by the Copper Coronet," the guard said. "Feel free to look around. If you seek company, Madame Nin and the courtesans are upstairs and to the left. To the right are the challenge pits... watch and gamble, as you wish."

"Thank you," Ember said, and led the three men down the hallway to the right. She was glad it didn't take too much acting skill to pretend to be a customer; even though all she really had to do was keep a straight face and pretend to be wealthy, the whole charade was a bit unnerving. Imoen's so much better at this stuff. If only she were here... Ember sighed quietly. Looking at her comrades, she was a little relieved to see the young Helmite looked at least as uncomfortable than she felt. Minsc, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease with his role; he'd become used to playing the part of a guard during their time in Baldur's Gate, and, as always, he took the disguise very seriously.

At the end of the hallway, a man dressed in dark velvet welcomed the group to the pit. He showed them to the viewing area, and asked if they wished to place a bet at this time. Yoshimo declined, saying he wished to get a feel for the place first, and the man left them.

"You're good at this!" Ember muttered to Yoshimo as they made their way to a vacant cushioned bench.

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."

Ember seated herself, and Yoshimo followed suit. Minsc and Anomen remained standing behind the bench, like any good guards. Several men sat on the other benches, talking loudly about the upcoming match and which fighters they hoped to see. Serving girls flitted in and out, bringing roast meat and goblets of chilled wine to the spectators; Ember noted that the food was of a much higher quality than the stuff that was served in the common room.

Looking ahead, they had a perfect view of a large, circular pit. Its walls were completely smooth and too high to climb, and its floor was covered with a generous layer of bloodstained sand. Two doors with no handles on the pit side blended almost seamlessly into the walls. No escape once you're inside. A chill ran down Ember's spine, making the hairs at the back of her neck stand on end.

"I hope there isn't another raid," a pale man dressed in yellow silk moaned.

"Don't worry," a purple-clad man beside him said. "The last one was barely a tenday ago, and you know Lehtinan takes care of everything!"

"'Tis true enough, but they are such a bother! Last time, my wife almost found out what I was up to!"

The man in purple nodded somberly. "Nasty business, that," he said, and beckoned to a serving girl to bring them more wine.

"He must be bribing the troops from the garrison," Anomen muttered. "'Tis despicable!"

"If I may have your attention once again, gentlefolk of Athkatla!" The man in dark velvet was now standing on a small podium to the front and left of the spectators. "Lehtinan is proud to provide for your amusement once again! Bring your attention to the pit as we see two combatants fighting for their very lives! I trust all bets have been placed!"

The crowd cheered. A hard knot formed in Ember's belly.

"Very well! BEGIN!"

One of the doors in the pit opened, and a dwarf dressed only in a loincloth and holding a wooden club was shoved through it. He stumbled and almost fell, but caught himself and stared up at the spectator stand.

"I will not fight!" the dwarf cried. " How can you suffer this to continue?! How can you --"

"You will fight because you are a slave and you have been told to fight!" the man in dark velvet interrupted. "Refuse and be devoured for the amusement of our guests!"

"We cannot sit idly and allow this to happen!" Anomen hissed.

"Justice is cried for here!" Minsc added.

Ember nodded. "We've seen more than enough." She got to her feet and moved to the back of the room, towards the exit. Other spectators hurled indignant protests at her and her companions as they obstructed the view of the poor soul in the pit with their passing; a young, drunk couple took the opportunity to secure the now vacant bench for themselves.

As Ember reached for the door, the man in dark velvet gestured to someone on the far side of the pit. The second door opened, and a large leopard entered.

The dwarf raised his club.

The leopard lunged.

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.

Ember stared at the fresh bloodstains in the pit with a mixture of revulsion and fascination. "Let's go," she growled.

Minsc shoved open the double doors of the viewing area and lead the small group out of the room. There was a fairly nondescript door near where they'd entered the back rooms; they headed straight for it. Behind it lay a corridor with a few side rooms; a dizzying stench came from behind the beaded curtain that hung across a doorway. "Lotus chamber," Yoshimo said as they passed it.

A solid wooden door blocked the end of the corridor. Anomen yanked it open, revealing a large room that smelled a bit like a stable, only worse. Several dark cells with thick metal bars lined the far wall.

A guard ran up to them. "What are you doing down here?!" he bellowed, his hand on the hilt of his sword. "This is a restricted area!"

Glancing over the guard's shoulder, Ember saw a shaggy face with sunken eyes behind the bars of one of the cells. A smaller and far younger face peered out from another cell. By the gods, there are children here too!

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.

#2 Guest_Ananke_*

Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:26 PM

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."

"I am Ember, and this is Yoshimo," she said, gesturing at the Kara-Turan. "Thank you for helping Minsc."

"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.


Hmm. After loving your Yoshimo, I must now bow to your skill in writing Anomen. He's absolutely perfect. :lol:

#3 Guest_Futurist_*

Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:51 AM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.

Twenty thousand gold.

That was how much Gaelan Bayle, Yoshimo's contact, wanted in payment for his organization to help locate and rescue Imoen. Crossing the Cowled Wizards was not done lightly, he'd told them, and the fee was not negotiable.


I guess I would be down too if I had to collect that amount since it would not be easy in a semi-medival world.

"I understand," Ember muttered. Unable to stand the sight of her stew any longer, she glanced around the common room of the Copper Coronet. The cheapest inn in the city was, if possible, even seedier than she'd imagined; the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, and every surface was covered in grime. Most of the clientele were coarse men, as run down as the inn, who were busying themselves with getting drunk and having loud arguments with each other, but she also saw at least one group of what looked like adventurers, as well as a few men dressed in fancier stuff who were sipping wine with a disdainful air.


It is such a charming place!


"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Sigh.... Ano...

I agree that you do write him well.

For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.


It is always a marvel hw quickly you can make friends :lol:





At the end of the hallway, a man dressed in dark velvet welcomed the group to the pit. He showed them to the viewing area, and asked if they wished to place a bet at this time. Yoshimo declined, saying he wished to get a feel for the place first, and the man left them.

"You're good at this!" Ember muttered to Yoshimo as they made their way to a vacant cushioned bench.

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


Well, he is a rogue after all!

Glancing over the guard's shoulder, Ember saw a shaggy face with sunken eyes behind the bars of one of the cells. A smaller and far younger face peered out from another cell. By the gods, there are children here too!

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


I guess he got to face the consequences instead!

#4 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 22 July 2007 - 11:07 AM

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."

"I am Ember, and this is Yoshimo," she said, gesturing at the Kara-Turan. "Thank you for helping Minsc."

"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.


Hmm. After loving your Yoshimo, I must now bow to your skill in writing Anomen. He's absolutely perfect. :)


I hope I can live up to that with both of them :lol:

#5 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 22 July 2007 - 11:12 AM


Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.

Twenty thousand gold.

That was how much Gaelan Bayle, Yoshimo's contact, wanted in payment for his organization to help locate and rescue Imoen. Crossing the Cowled Wizards was not done lightly, he'd told them, and the fee was not negotiable.


I guess I would be down too if I had to collect that amount since it would not be easy in a semi-medival world.


I considered delving into that, and might still do so later; she knows she can do it, as the group ended BG1 with all the gear they wanted and 120 000 gold, but she also knows you need money (gear) to make money, and that it'll take time.


"I understand," Ember muttered. Unable to stand the sight of her stew any longer, she glanced around the common room of the Copper Coronet. The cheapest inn in the city was, if possible, even seedier than she'd imagined; the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, and every surface was covered in grime. Most of the clientele were coarse men, as run down as the inn, who were busying themselves with getting drunk and having loud arguments with each other, but she also saw at least one group of what looked like adventurers, as well as a few men dressed in fancier stuff who were sipping wine with a disdainful air.


It is such a charming place!


Yes, lovely, isn't it?


"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Sigh.... Ano...


You got a problem with him? :)

I agree that you do write him well.


Thanks :D


For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.


It is always a marvel hw quickly you can make friends :lol:


Yoshimo: Indeed it is! *throws sad looks at empty coin purse, steals a fuller one from a nearby drunk noble*


At the end of the hallway, a man dressed in dark velvet welcomed the group to the pit. He showed them to the viewing area, and asked if they wished to place a bet at this time. Yoshimo declined, saying he wished to get a feel for the place first, and the man left them.

"You're good at this!" Ember muttered to Yoshimo as they made their way to a vacant cushioned bench.

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


Well, he is a rogue after all!


I figure that as a bounty hunter, he must have quite a bit of experience with deception. Also, he's the only one in the group who can be expected to have any acting talent; Ember can act her way out of a paper bag, but only barely ;)


Glancing over the guard's shoulder, Ember saw a shaggy face with sunken eyes behind the bars of one of the cells. A smaller and far younger face peered out from another cell. By the gods, there are children here too!

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


I guess he got to face the consequences instead!


So to speak ;)

#6 Guest_Theodur_*

Posted 22 July 2007 - 01:38 PM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.


Twenty thousand gold.


It may sound much, but you may find money flows in much faster than you had expectedÖ

"Gaelan's people were the best choice," he replied. "Any other group I know of would be less able to handle such matters, and they would demand an even higher price for their services."


*cough* Bodhi is always eager to provide her aid for a smaller fee. :twisted:

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Hello, Anomen! :wink:

"I see. Where might we find this Ember?"


"Right behind you," Ember said with a grin.


Nice entrance. :wink:

"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption


Awwwww! :D For some odd reason I just love when he says that. :oops:

"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."


Itís also a good idea to shout about such intentions while inside said establishment. :D

The drunks were proven right only a short while later when the small group talked to the innkeeper. Lehtinan was a large man with sallow skin and a voice that sounded like wet gravel, and he grumbled about strangers when they first approached him.


Always thought that was a weird attitude to have for an innkeeper.

At the end of the hallway, a man dressed in dark velvet welcomed the group to the pit. He showed them to the viewing area, and asked if they wished to place a bet at this time. Yoshimo declined, saying he wished to get a feel for the place first, and the man left them.


"You're good at this!" Ember muttered to Yoshimo as they made their way to a vacant cushioned bench.


I imagine he might have been here as a paying customer.

"Don't worry," a purple-clad man beside him said. "The last one was barely a tenday ago, and you know Lehtinan takes care of everything!"


"'Tis true enough, but they are such a bother! Last time, my wife almost found out what I was up to!"


Iím sure heís into it partly for the cheap thrill, too.

"You will fight because you are a slave and you have been told to fight!" the man in dark velvet interrupted. "Refuse and be devoured for the amusement of our guests!"


"We cannot sit idly and allow this to happen!" Anomen hissed.


Iím sure it has happened here hundreds and hundreds times before this. The thought makes you feel very uneasy, doesnít it?

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


That was sort of one-sided, but I suppose they are here to watch murder, not a fair fight.

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.


With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


I believe that was a very appropriate response.

#7 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 22 July 2007 - 09:15 PM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.

Twenty thousand gold.


It may sound much, but you may find money flows in much faster than you had expectedÖ


Yes, once you have the equipment that'll allow you to make it.


"Gaelan's people were the best choice," he replied. "Any other group I know of would be less able to handle such matters, and they would demand an even higher price for their services."


*cough* Bodhi is always eager to provide her aid for a smaller fee. :twisted:


That is true :wink:


"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Hello, Anomen! :wink:


Anomen: Well met! Speak then! Is your heart filled with courage or be it steeped in cowardice?

(Knightly types never know how to introduce themselves, do they? :P )


"I see. Where might we find this Ember?"

"Right behind you," Ember said with a grin.


Nice entrance. :)


Ember: *bows*


"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption


Awwwww! :) For some odd reason I just love when he says that. :oops:


Me too. Even though I rewrote his corniest introduction lines, I had to work that one in somehow :D


"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."


Itís also a good idea to shout about such intentions while inside said establishment. :)


It's okay, a cry isn't necessarily as loud as a shout, and it was noisy enough that nobody heard.


The drunks were proven right only a short while later when the small group talked to the innkeeper. Lehtinan was a large man with sallow skin and a voice that sounded like wet gravel, and he grumbled about strangers when they first approached him.


Always thought that was a weird attitude to have for an innkeeper.


A stranger is only a stranger until you know how much money he has.

At the end of the hallway, a man dressed in dark velvet welcomed the group to the pit. He showed them to the viewing area, and asked if they wished to place a bet at this time. Yoshimo declined, saying he wished to get a feel for the place first, and the man left them.

"You're good at this!" Ember muttered to Yoshimo as they made their way to a vacant cushioned bench.


I imagine he might have been here as a paying customer.


Well, yes, but not for the back room. (It might work for some Yoshimos, but not for mine. He'd more than likely heard talk of it, of course.)

"Don't worry," a purple-clad man beside him said. "The last one was barely a tenday ago, and you know Lehtinan takes care of everything!"

"'Tis true enough, but they are such a bother! Last time, my wife almost found out what I was up to!"


Iím sure heís into it partly for the cheap thrill, too.


Half the fun is getting away with it.


"You will fight because you are a slave and you have been told to fight!" the man in dark velvet interrupted. "Refuse and be devoured for the amusement of our guests!"

"We cannot sit idly and allow this to happen!" Anomen hissed.


Iím sure it has happened here hundreds and hundreds times before this. The thought makes you feel very uneasy, doesnít it?


Oh man, that always gets me worked up, when I hear of some horrible practice and know that it happens all the time and keeps happening :D


Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


That was sort of one-sided, but I suppose they are here to watch murder, not a fair fight.


Bread and circus.


"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


I believe that was a very appropriate response.


Well, there's not much else you can say to a guy like that if you're a decent human being who knows how to use a large stick...

#8 Guest_AlphaMonkey_*

Posted 23 July 2007 - 05:05 AM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.


That's the low blood sugar talking. Eat. :twisted:

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Ah, Anomen. So young. So naive. :wink:

Enara: (Shrugs) "I think he's cute."

"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."

Ember looked at her friends, then at the young Helmite. "Where do we start?" she asked.


Raven: "So, what're we thinking? Composition E charge to blow the door?"

Harlequin: "Follow it up with a couple of flashbangs, then a standard sweep and clear maneuver?"

Squire: "And I've been told -I- lack subtlety." (Chuckles)

Raven: "There's a time for subtlety, Anomen, and a time for gratuitous use of high explosives."

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


He's got +20 ranks in "Bluff: Sling bullsh@t." :oops:

Glancing over the guard's shoulder, Ember saw a shaggy face with sunken eyes behind the bars of one of the cells. A smaller and far younger face peered out from another cell. By the gods, there are children here too!

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Raven: "Man. Girl has STYLE."

Harlequin: "Seriously. We should get her a flamethrower. I get the feeling she'd make good use of it."

#9 Guest_Tenfoot_*

Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:19 PM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.

Twenty thousand gold.


Now that's a good opening. Nothing quite grabs the attention like large piles of gold, huh? :twisted:

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Now that seems a far more natural introduction than the old announcement of righteousness. It keeps the pace of the chapter moving as well, from musing to discovery to action.

Looking at her comrades, she was a little relieved to see the young Helmite looked at least as uncomfortable than she felt. Minsc, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease with his role; he'd become used to playing the part of a guard during their time in Baldur's Gate, and, as always, he took the disguise very seriously.


I quite like this little summation of their experiences. And Minsc's role and attitudes seem well-thought-out. :wink:

As Ember reached for the door, the man in dark velvet gestured to someone on the far side of the pit. The second door opened, and a large leopard entered.

The dwarf raised his club.

The leopard lunged.

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


I love the staccato pattern of writing here, and the sort of psuedo-alliterative effect of the speed of the description matching the speed of the dwarf's death. It's a good technique.

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Yes! Woo! :wink: I mean, uh, cool. Cool ending. :oops:

#10 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 23 July 2007 - 04:44 PM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.


That's the low blood sugar talking. Eat. :oops:


...and before you know it, it'd be the indigestion and the food poisoning talking :twisted:

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Ah, Anomen. So young. So naive. :P


That's him!

Enara: (Shrugs) "I think he's cute."


Did you ever see the portrait they originally made for him? :D

"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."

Ember looked at her friends, then at the young Helmite. "Where do we start?" she asked.


Raven: "So, what're we thinking? Composition E charge to blow the door?"

Harlequin: "Follow it up with a couple of flashbangs, then a standard sweep and clear maneuver?"

Squire: "And I've been told -I- lack subtlety." (Chuckles)

Raven: "There's a time for subtlety, Anomen, and a time for gratuitous use of high explosives."


:wink:

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


He's got +20 ranks in "Bluff: Sling bullsh@t." :wink:


Yoshimo: :)


"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Raven: "Man. Girl has STYLE."


Ember: Thank you!

Harlequin: "Seriously. We should get her a flamethrower. I get the feeling she'd make good use of it."


Yeah, I think she would too, although with a name like that she does feel a bit sheepish about her fire inclinations, small though they may be :D

#11 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 23 July 2007 - 04:55 PM

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.

Twenty thousand gold.


Now that's a good opening. Nothing quite grabs the attention like large piles of gold, huh? :twisted:


How about a larger pile of diamonds?

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Now that seems a far more natural introduction than the old announcement of righteousness. It keeps the pace of the chapter moving as well, from musing to discovery to action.


Thank you :wink: And I am all about introducing people sensibly. (There is, of course, a bit of the righteousness speech, but at least it's not coming out of nowhere!)

Looking at her comrades, she was a little relieved to see the young Helmite looked at least as uncomfortable than she felt. Minsc, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease with his role; he'd become used to playing the part of a guard during their time in Baldur's Gate, and, as always, he took the disguise very seriously.


I quite like this little summation of their experiences. And Minsc's role and attitudes seem well-thought-out. :wink:


Minsc seems to me the type of guy who will fulfill his instructions perfectly once he understands them. And playing a guard for his witches isn't that much different from what he usually does, except that he has to be quieter and stiffer :D

As Ember reached for the door, the man in dark velvet gestured to someone on the far side of the pit. The second door opened, and a large leopard entered.

The dwarf raised his club.

The leopard lunged.

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


I love the staccato pattern of writing here, and the sort of psuedo-alliterative effect of the speed of the description matching the speed of the dwarf's death. It's a good technique.


A technique that was purely accidental, I assure you :D (I work on the 'I like how it sounds like this' principle, and wouldn't know a literary technique if it batted me on the nose)

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Yes! Woo! :P I mean, uh, cool. Cool ending. :oops:


Thanks!

#12 Guest_Keldan_*

Posted 24 July 2007 - 03:54 AM

Then, she saw Minsc. The giant ranger had gone to ask the surly bartender for some nuts for Boo, but now he was arguing with some of the rowdier looking men. "It think Minsc is in trouble," she told Yoshimo, and started to get up from the table.


Ruh-roh!

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Yay for Ano coming to the rescue! :oops:

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."


Heya, Ano. What's goin' down in Groovetown? :wink:

"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.


Ooh, nice Ano-writing there.

"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption, but I have reason to believe that its depravity goes beyond that which is readily apparent. Rumour has it that vile and illegal practices take place in the back rooms, for the entertainment of the weak-spirited. Observe how they guard yonder door." He gestured towards a side door; two heavily armoured guards were posted in front of it.


And a real reason for him to be there!

For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.


Ah, drunks. They're pretty useful, sometimes.

"Thank you," Ember said, and led the three men down the hallway to the right. She was glad it didn't take too much acting skill to pretend to be a customer; even though all she really had to do was keep a straight face and pretend to be wealthy, the whole charade was a bit unnerving. Imoen's so much better at this stuff. If only she were here... Ember sighed quietly. Looking at her comrades, she was a little relieved to see the young Helmite looked at least as uncomfortable than she felt. Minsc, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease with his role; he'd become used to playing the part of a guard during their time in Baldur's Gate, and, as always, he took the disguise very seriously.


It's not much different from everyday life for him, really.

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


A thief has to be a smooth-talker as well, after all. :wink:

"I will not fight!" the dwarf cried. " How can you suffer this to continue?! How can you --"


I always hated this scene. :twisted:

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


Poor dwarf. Won't even get to take a dirt-nap...

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Woohoo! :D

#13 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:45 AM

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Yay for Ano coming to the rescue! :)


It doesn't make sense for him to just stand around and admire the scenery, you know?

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."


Heya, Ano. What's goin' down in Groovetown? :)


Anomen: pardon? *confused look*

"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.


Ooh, nice Ano-writing there.


Thanks :wink:

"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption, but I have reason to believe that its depravity goes beyond that which is readily apparent. Rumour has it that vile and illegal practices take place in the back rooms, for the entertainment of the weak-spirited. Observe how they guard yonder door." He gestured towards a side door; two heavily armoured guards were posted in front of it.


And a real reason for him to be there!


I'm a stickler for those :oops:

For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.


Ah, drunks. They're pretty useful, sometimes.


Oh yes. Sometimes.

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


A thief has to be a smooth-talker as well, after all. :)


I figure that since Yoshimo is a skilled bounty hunter, he'll know subterfuge.

"I will not fight!" the dwarf cried. " How can you suffer this to continue?! How can you --"


I always hated this scene. :D


You know, I don't think I ever saw it until a few months ago :D I'd usually always find the hookers, then go straight ahead in the tunnel and find the slavers; it's only recently that I've taken a right turn and seen the fight :P

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


Poor dwarf. Won't even get to take a dirt-nap...


Well, at least he won't notice the difference :wink:

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Woohoo! :)


:twisted:

#14 Guest_CrazeeFfan_*

Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:01 AM

I've written this comment Goodness knows how many times, each time it getting shorter and shorter, so I'm sorry this ended up so pathetic. See, there's an evil Internet Imp living inside my computer that wants to cause as much mischief as possible - whenever I try to go on the internet, he severs the link. Oh yes, he's quite the sneaky little bugger, and I plan to crush him at the nearest opportunity.

Anomen = Perfect. You've got his voice down pat - I can actually hear him saying all the stuff in his game voice.

Once again, I love Minsc actually having a major role. You're fleshing him out wonderfully.

The way you're getting rid of all these small, non-keep-related plots is good. It means she can concentrate on making the big money later on - will she be getting Merella's cabin anytime soon?

I'm looking forwards to Ember whuping the Beast Keeper, or whatever he was. I doubt Ember will appreciate the animals being controlled by that sick bastard.

Again, sorry that was so pathetic. And so late. Me and Internet Imp have some issues to iron out... Where did I put my bat?

#15 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:57 PM

I've written this comment Goodness knows how many times, each time it getting shorter and shorter, so I'm sorry this ended up so pathetic. See, there's an evil Internet Imp living inside my computer that wants to cause as much mischief as possible - whenever I try to go on the internet, he severs the link. Oh yes, he's quite the sneaky little bugger, and I plan to crush him at the nearest opportunity.


I hate when computers do that. That's why I usually copy lengthy comments with ctrl-C before I post them.

Anomen = Perfect. You've got his voice down pat - I can actually hear him saying all the stuff in his game voice.


Thank you :twisted:

Once again, I love Minsc actually having a major role. You're fleshing him out wonderfully.


He's earned it, and I should have done it sooner.

The way you're getting rid of all these small, non-keep-related plots is good. It means she can concentrate on making the big money later on - will she be getting Merella's cabin anytime soon?


Nope, never.

(Not all nature inclined PCs have to be rangers, after all. As a fighter turned druid, Ember gets to choose between the company of a nagging aunt, and a cave in a swamp.)

#16 Guest_VigaHrolf_*

Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:25 PM

Chapter 77: Entertainment


Maximus: "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!?"

Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.


Well... its stoo. :twisted: It's not supposed to look edible.

Twenty thousand gold.


That's a few pretties, yes.

That was how much Gaelan Bayle, Yoshimo's contact, wanted in payment for his organization to help locate and rescue Imoen. Crossing the Cowled Wizards was not done lightly, he'd told them, and the fee was not negotiable.

"Are you sure there is nobody else we can turn to?" she asked Yoshimo, who was sitting across the table from her and thoughtfully stirring his own bowl of stew.

"Gaelan's people were the best choice," he replied. "Any other group I know of would be less able to handle such matters, and they would demand an even higher price for their services."


Sometimes you have to pay a premium for premium services. Even if it's being sold by a seeming nitwit like Gaelen.

"I understand," Ember muttered. Unable to stand the sight of her stew any longer, she glanced around the common room of the Copper Coronet. The cheapest inn in the city was, if possible, even seedier than she'd imagined; the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, and every surface was covered in grime. Most of the clientele were coarse men, as run down as the inn, who were busying themselves with getting drunk and having loud arguments with each other, but she also saw at least one group of what looked like adventurers, as well as a few men dressed in fancier stuff who were sipping wine with a disdainful air.


Ahh.. the Coronet. A fine establishment like the Mos Eisley Cantina and others of its ilk across the realm of fiction. :shock:

Then, she saw Minsc. The giant ranger had gone to ask the surly bartender for some nuts for Boo, but now he was arguing with some of the rowdier looking men. "It think Minsc is in trouble," she told Yoshimo, and started to get up from the table.

"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Anomen. Man has a way with subtlety. :shock:

"Minsc is a force of righteousness, and so is Boo!" Ember heard the large ranger proclaim.

The man in chainmail smiled. "Perchance I have found worthy companions, then. There is foul play afoot, and I seek to expose it. Will you join me in this task?"

"Minsc is always ready to show Evil the light of Justice! But we should ask little Ember first."


I love Minsc. He's just the awesome. :shock:

"I see. Where might we find this Ember?"

"Right behind you," Ember said with a grin.

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."


Hehe. :evil:

"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.


Gallantry. So much fun!

"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption, but I have reason to believe that its depravity goes beyond that which is readily apparent. Rumour has it that vile and illegal practices take place in the back rooms, for the entertainment of the weak-spirited. Observe how they guard yonder door." He gestured towards a side door; two heavily armoured guards were posted in front of it.

"I see," Ember said. "Maybe that's why there are so many wealthy people here, too."

"An astute observation, my lady!"

"What practices in particular have you heard of?" Yoshimo asked.

"The ugliest rumour is that they have a fighting pit in the bowels of the inn," Anomen said. "Moreover, I have overheard conversations that imply that the combatants are less than willing participants."

Ember frowned. "Slaves, you mean."

"Aye."


Your Anomen's got a bit more archaic speech pattern than I pegged him for, but it still works because it's just archaic, not faux purple prose archaic.

"A dishonourable practice," Yoshimo muttered.

"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."


Bran: "The forest... pretty much anywhere smells better than the Coronet."

Aleria: "Although the smell went from epicly bad to just horrid after Hendak took over. But to truly rid the place of the smell would probably involve cleansing divine fire and a few exorcisms."

For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.


Yoshimo certainly has the skill for it. He's got friends everywhere. :lol:

The drunks were proven right only a short while later when the small group talked to the innkeeper. Lehtinan was a large man with sallow skin and a voice that sounded like wet gravel, and he grumbled about strangers when they first approached him. However, once Ember mentioned taking their large amount of coin elsewhere, he perked up and offered to fulfil their every need, be it drink, rest, or other sorts of entertainment.


Ahh... great description of Lehtinan.

"Of course there is," Yoshimo said pleasantly. "Isn't there always?"


Ahh. Irony.

"You're welcome to enjoy the exclusive entertainments offered by the Copper Coronet," the guard said. "Feel free to look around. If you seek company, Madame Nin and the courtesans are upstairs and to the left. To the right are the challenge pits... watch and gamble, as you wish."


I always go up there just to watch the fight between the two women over Rumar. Why?

I'm not sure, but it is funny.

"Thank you," Ember said, and led the three men down the hallway to the right. She was glad it didn't take too much acting skill to pretend to be a customer; even though all she really had to do was keep a straight face and pretend to be wealthy, the whole charade was a bit unnerving. Imoen's so much better at this stuff. If only she were here... Ember sighed quietly. Looking at her comrades, she was a little relieved to see the young Helmite looked at least as uncomfortable than she felt. Minsc, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease with his role; he'd become used to playing the part of a guard during their time in Baldur's Gate, and, as always, he took the disguise very seriously.


And few are going to question a serious looking guard of the size of Minsc. :lol:

"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


*chuckles* That's Yoshi. :lol:

Looking ahead, they had a perfect view of a large, circular pit. Its walls were completely smooth and too high to climb, and its floor was covered with a generous layer of bloodstained sand. Two doors with no handles on the pit side blended almost seamlessly into the walls. No escape once you're inside. A chill ran down Ember's spine, making the hairs at the back of her neck stand on end.


Welcome to the Pit!

"'Tis true enough, but they are such a bother! Last time, my wife almost found out what I was up to!"

The man in purple nodded somberly. "Nasty business, that," he said, and beckoned to a serving girl to bring them more wine.


Ahh.. the arrogance of the aristocracy

"I will not fight!" the dwarf cried. " How can you suffer this to continue?! How can you --"

"You will fight because you are a slave and you have been told to fight!" the man in dark velvet interrupted. "Refuse and be devoured for the amusement of our guests!"

"We cannot sit idly and allow this to happen!" Anomen hissed.

"Justice is cried for here!" Minsc added.

Ember nodded. "We've seen more than enough." She got to her feet and moved to the back of the room, towards the exit. Other spectators hurled indignant protests at her and her companions as they obstructed the view of the poor soul in the pit with their passing; a young, drunk couple took the opportunity to secure the now vacant bench for themselves.


You always wish there was something... anything you can do for that poor dwarf. Bastards.

As Ember reached for the door, the man in dark velvet gestured to someone on the far side of the pit. The second door opened, and a large leopard entered.

The dwarf raised his club.

The leopard lunged.

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


*sniffs*

A solid wooden door blocked the end of the corridor. Anomen yanked it open, revealing a large room that smelled a bit like a stable, only worse. Several dark cells with thick metal bars lined the far wall.

A guard ran up to them. "What are you doing down here?!" he bellowed, his hand on the hilt of his sword. "This is a restricted area!"

Glancing over the guard's shoulder, Ember saw a shaggy face with sunken eyes behind the bars of one of the cells. A smaller and far younger face peered out from another cell. By the gods, there are children here too!

"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Oh. We're going to have a throwdown... and you son, are in deep trouble.

Great chapter Cel. Love the story.

VH

#17 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 31 July 2007 - 12:03 PM

Chapter 77: Entertainment


Maximus: "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!?"


This chapter in a nutshell.


Ember stared glumly at the bowl of stew in front of her. It was full of hard lumps that floated in a thin broth. Looking at it made her feel it was just as well that she didn't feel like eating.


Well... its stoo. :lol: It's not supposed to look edible.


I've had some very nice looking stews in my time. Then again, most of my cooking is not exactly visually appealing :shock:


Twenty thousand gold.


That's a few pretties, yes.


Fourty diamonds, iirc.


"Gaelan's people were the best choice," he replied. "Any other group I know of would be less able to handle such matters, and they would demand an even higher price for their services."


Sometimes you have to pay a premium for premium services. Even if it's being sold by a seeming nitwit like Gaelen.


That's a keyword about Gaelan: 'seeming nitwit'.


"I understand," Ember muttered. Unable to stand the sight of her stew any longer, she glanced around the common room of the Copper Coronet. The cheapest inn in the city was, if possible, even seedier than she'd imagined; the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, and every surface was covered in grime. Most of the clientele were coarse men, as run down as the inn, who were busying themselves with getting drunk and having loud arguments with each other, but she also saw at least one group of what looked like adventurers, as well as a few men dressed in fancier stuff who were sipping wine with a disdainful air.


Ahh.. the Coronet. A fine establishment like the Mos Eisley Cantina and others of its ilk across the realm of fiction. :lol:


You know, I never made that comparison before, but oh does it fit!


"So it seems... no, wait, I believe reinforcements have arrived," Yoshimo said. A brownhaired young man in chainmail had taken up position beside Minsc, and was gesturing at the thugs with a warhammer. They immediately backed away, and by the time Ember and Yoshimo reached Minsc, he was deep in a conversation with the man in chainmail.


Anomen. Man has a way with subtlety. :lol:


Who needs subtlety when they have a warhammer?


"Minsc is a force of righteousness, and so is Boo!" Ember heard the large ranger proclaim.

The man in chainmail smiled. "Perchance I have found worthy companions, then. There is foul play afoot, and I seek to expose it. Will you join me in this task?"

"Minsc is always ready to show Evil the light of Justice! But we should ask little Ember first."


I love Minsc. He's just the awesome. :)


That he is :P


"I see. Where might we find this Ember?"

"Right behind you," Ember said with a grin.

Startled, the man in chainmail turned to face her. After a brief moment, he bowed deeply. "Greetings, fair lady! I am Anomen Delryn, warrior priest of Helm."


Hehe. :D


After all, years of training must have taught him to introduce himself properly :shock:


"Ah, 'twas nothing," the cleric scoffed. "Those foul drunkards were easily dissuaded once they were not confronting a lone target." He paused, as if reconsidering his response. "Of course, your gratitude is most appreciated," he added with a polite bow.


Gallantry. So much fun!


:shock:


"Indeed I did, my lady. This inn is a cesspool of corruption, but I have reason to believe that its depravity goes beyond that which is readily apparent. Rumour has it that vile and illegal practices take place in the back rooms, for the entertainment of the weak-spirited. Observe how they guard yonder door." He gestured towards a side door; two heavily armoured guards were posted in front of it.

"I see," Ember said. "Maybe that's why there are so many wealthy people here, too."

"An astute observation, my lady!"

"What practices in particular have you heard of?" Yoshimo asked.

"The ugliest rumour is that they have a fighting pit in the bowels of the inn," Anomen said. "Moreover, I have overheard conversations that imply that the combatants are less than willing participants."

Ember frowned. "Slaves, you mean."

"Aye."


Your Anomen's got a bit more archaic speech pattern than I pegged him for, but it still works because it's just archaic, not faux purple prose archaic.


Thanks; I'm very glad it didn't take a turn for purple :evil: I think that 'yonder' might have been a bit overkill, though, so I might replace it with a plain old 'that'.


"Nobody should be treated like that! We must find them and free them and let them smell the fresh air of freedom!" Minsc cried. "Even if it smells nicer in the forest than here in the city."


Bran: "The forest... pretty much anywhere smells better than the Coronet."

Aleria: "Although the smell went from epicly bad to just horrid after Hendak took over. But to truly rid the place of the smell would probably involve cleansing divine fire and a few exorcisms."


Nuke Athkatla from orbit. (It's the only way to be sure)


For the cost of a few pints of thin ale, a pair of drunks proclaimed Yoshimo their new best friend. They presumed anyone with Yoshimo's wealth was there for the special entertainment, and when Yoshimo knew nothing about that, they were more than happy to tell him to ask Lehtinan, the innkeeper. It didn't matter that he wasn't the nobbly type, they said, for Lehtinan would serve anyone who had coin a'plenty.


Yoshimo certainly has the skill for it. He's got friends everywhere. :D


And why wouldn't he? :lol:


The drunks were proven right only a short while later when the small group talked to the innkeeper. Lehtinan was a large man with sallow skin and a voice that sounded like wet gravel, and he grumbled about strangers when they first approached him. However, once Ember mentioned taking their large amount of coin elsewhere, he perked up and offered to fulfil their every need, be it drink, rest, or other sorts of entertainment.


Ahh... great description of Lehtinan.


Thanks :lol:


"Of course there is," Yoshimo said pleasantly. "Isn't there always?"


Ahh. Irony.


Yoshimo: *tries to look innocently uncomprehending*


"You're welcome to enjoy the exclusive entertainments offered by the Copper Coronet," the guard said. "Feel free to look around. If you seek company, Madame Nin and the courtesans are upstairs and to the left. To the right are the challenge pits... watch and gamble, as you wish."


I always go up there just to watch the fight between the two women over Rumar. Why?

I'm not sure, but it is funny.


Oh yes. I do the same, and talk with the slaves.


"Thank you," Ember said, and led the three men down the hallway to the right. She was glad it didn't take too much acting skill to pretend to be a customer; even though all she really had to do was keep a straight face and pretend to be wealthy, the whole charade was a bit unnerving. Imoen's so much better at this stuff. If only she were here... Ember sighed quietly. Looking at her comrades, she was a little relieved to see the young Helmite looked at least as uncomfortable than she felt. Minsc, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease with his role; he'd become used to playing the part of a guard during their time in Baldur's Gate, and, as always, he took the disguise very seriously.


And few are going to question a serious looking guard of the size of Minsc. :D


Exactly!


"It is merely one of my many talents," Yoshimo replied with a grin and a wink before making an exaggerated bow, gesturing at the bench. "After you, my lady."


*chuckles* That's Yoshi. :D


Yoshimo: Yoshimo, please.


Looking ahead, they had a perfect view of a large, circular pit. Its walls were completely smooth and too high to climb, and its floor was covered with a generous layer of bloodstained sand. Two doors with no handles on the pit side blended almost seamlessly into the walls. No escape once you're inside. A chill ran down Ember's spine, making the hairs at the back of her neck stand on end.


Welcome to the Pit!


:lol:


"'Tis true enough, but they are such a bother! Last time, my wife almost found out what I was up to!"

The man in purple nodded somberly. "Nasty business, that," he said, and beckoned to a serving girl to bring them more wine.


Ahh.. the arrogance of the aristocracy


I just love how utterly... callous most of the nobility and many of the commoners in Athkatla are.


Ember nodded. "We've seen more than enough." She got to her feet and moved to the back of the room, towards the exit. Other spectators hurled indignant protests at her and her companions as they obstructed the view of the poor soul in the pit with their passing; a young, drunk couple took the opportunity to secure the now vacant bench for themselves.


You always wish there was something... anything you can do for that poor dwarf. Bastards.


Oh yeah. Once I decided to incorporate that fight, there's not a chance that my party would stand around to observe any more before acting.


As Ember reached for the door, the man in dark velvet gestured to someone on the far side of the pit. The second door opened, and a large leopard entered.

The dwarf raised his club.

The leopard lunged.

Loud cheers went up from most of the spectators as the leopard dragged its prey out through the second door.


*sniffs*


:twisted:


"Leave immediately or face the consequences!" the guard said menacingly.

With one swift movement, Ember raised her staff and smashed it into the guard's face.


Oh. We're going to have a throwdown... and you son, are in deep trouble.

Great chapter Cel. Love the story.


Thanks!

#18 Guest_VigaHrolf_*

Posted 01 August 2007 - 08:21 PM

Nuke Athkatla from orbit. (It's the only way to be sure)


Ahhh... another Aliens fan. :twisted:

Go Ripley!

#19 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:21 AM


Nuke Athkatla from orbit. (It's the only way to be sure)


Ahhh... another Aliens fan. :shock:


As long as you specify Aliens, yes :shock:

Go Ripley!


:twisted:




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Skin Designed By Evanescence at IBSkin.com