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N. Senada
May 17, 2011


In with a flash please.

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N. Senada
May 17, 2011


The Cost of Good Ale - 1439 Words
The guild accountants take issue with some of your party's more questionable expenses


Otto Crot stood in front of the Chatty Heron, a barnacle-encrusted ship and most recent arrival in the port city of Novon. In his hand was a contract to slay a necromancer that had established a base of operations nearby. His first real mission, his chance to prove himself. The wooden pier creaked under the weight of Otto’s gilded armor and his fine red cape billowed with the ocean’s breeze. Etched in the armor was the sigil of the Adventurer’s Guild – two swords crossed. Otto’s thin frame and small muscles did not fill out the armor and he occasionally had difficulty walking in it. Now was one of those occasions. The armor clanked awkwardly as he approached a man wearing a simple leather jerkin with a small lute strapped on his back. The man was unloading barrels off of the Chatty Heron and placing them beside an already huge pile of barrels.

“Sir, I am Officer-in-Training Crot with the Adventurer’s Guild. There are two agents of the Guild aboard your vessel. As a member of the Guild, I command you to enter the vessel and retrieve them for me.”

The stranger smiled warmly at Otto, “I’m afraid I can’t do that for you, Officer-in-Training Crot.”

The confidence Otto had summoned disappeared. He said, “What, what do you mean? You have to help me.”

“It’s the gods’ truth, I simply cannot do as you ask,” the stranger said as he grabbed another barrel and rolled it onto the pier.

“You better have a good reason!”

A third individual, covered in a dark brown robe, stumbled towards Otto and the stranger. Otto gagged at the smell of liquor which wafted from this new nuisance.

“Mel, why’s this boy bothering us?” said the drunk.

“Boy? I’ll have you know I’m an Officer-in-Training with the Adventurer’s Guild!”

“You got to be kidding me, this is the officer?” asked the robed stranger.

“No, I believe it. Amor’s still shiny and everything,” said Mel who continued to unload barrels.

“I’ve had enough of this. I’ll go get them myself and you can expect I’ll see your captain punish you for your infractions.”

“You’re not going to find them in there,” Mel said with his ever-present smile.

Exasperated, Otto turned to look at both of them and at last noticed the frayed and mostly covered insignia of the Guild stitched on both strangers’ garb.

“You’re agents Colly and Brook?” Otto asked.

“I prefer Mel myself,” said agent Colly, “and he prefers Donny. At your service, officer.” Mel overly bowed. Donny hiccupped.

“Look at the condition of your sigils,” said Otto, “which is to say nothing of your disgusting clothes. And what are you doing with those barrels?”

“It’s ale,” said Donny.

“More specifically, it’s our ale.”

Otto’s mouth involuntarily opened. “You bought two dozen barrels of ale?”

“Two-dozen and one,” said Mel, “But we only have twenty left now.”

Otto’s voice cracked. “Why?”

“Idiots at the alehouse,” complained Donny, “I wrote two-dot-five, two-and-a-half barrels. Just wanted to make sure we had enough for the trip out here. It’s a long boat ride.”

“I think you might be misremembering, friend, just how much you had to drink before filling out that paperwork.” Mel laughed

Donny shook his hand in the air dismissively.

“What are you going to do with all of it?” asked Otto.

“Drink it.”

“As a long-term plan, that’ll work. In the short-term, I suggest we trade a few with an alehouse. We need to store these somewhere and we could probably get a room for a couple of these.”

“Well, that couple is coming out of your half of the barrels.”

“Wait,” said Otto, “Why are you going to just give some of the ale away. The alehouses have to accommodate us.”

“I bet we get a nicer room my way.”

Otto was beginning to really hate that smile.

- - - - -

Inside The Mermaid’s Shell, the tavern closest to the docks, Otto sat with his arms crossed while looking out the window of his spacious, rented room.

Donny pulled out a few copper coins from his bag. “Anybody else want a mug of ale?”

“You have 18 barrels that you haven’t touched yet and you’re going to buy some ale?” asked a confused Otto.

“Maybe theirs tastes better,” said Donny before leaving the room.

“I cannot believe you two. You’re disgraces to the Guild! At least that mage has an excuse of being drunk all the time. What’s yours?”

“First, I think Donny is an Illusionist, not a mage. Second, if they thought we were so awful, I doubt they’d keep giving us contracts. And as long as they’re paying us, I know I’ll keep working. Gods know we need gold now more than ever.”

“What do you mean?”

“That ale. Not like we had the money to pay for all that upfront. Had to put it on our Guild account.”

“What?! You can’t do that! That’s misuse of Guild funds!”

“Well, we did. And I know those bean-counters are going to send a couple of Guild members our way if we don’t pony up the money they’re asking for.”

“Why even bother paying for it? You can just take whatever you want.”

“I don’t know if we see eye-to-eye on that.”

“As your commanding officer, I demand you report yourself to the headquarters immediately and turn yourself in.”

“That isn’t happening, officer.”

Donny entered the room then with an already half-empty mug. “Theirs is not better,” he said frowning.

- - - - -

Standing on top of the necromancer’s recently built tower, Otto reflected on the various tomes he studied in preparation for his paladin exams. He knew that the black candles the necromancer lit were critical to his dark resurrections and that, in order to weaken the fiend, the candles must be extinguished all at the same time. Mel remarked that they happened to have an ample supply of liquid available to them. Donny asserted that Mel had a certain supply of liquid that was distinct from Donny’s supply. After much cajoling on Mel’s part (and promises of rare liquors from exotic lands in future excursions), Donny begrudgingly accepted the plan and donated all but one of his barrels to the team. Otto looked down from the tower at the mindless undead villagers wandering below. Their existence made him feel sick. What a perversion, he thought.

The next afternoon, the trio exited the necromancer’s tower. Ale covered each of them from head to toe. Mel and Otto displayed triumphant smiles. Donny sucked on his robe, drawing what ale he could from it. The again-dead residents lied around the tower. Otto kneeled before one and began removing items from it.

“Kid, leave the bodies alone,” said Mel. Otto looked up and noticed, for the first time, that Mel wasn’t smiling.

“How else can we pay off the debt? This stuff is ours by right. Guild policies clearly state-“

“Open your eyes, Otto,” said Mel who was looking towards the city.

Otto followed Mel’s line of sight to see the scrutinizing eyes of dozens of villagers slowly approaching. An unseen lump climbed into Otto’s throat.

“Ladies and gentleman; please be aware that we have subdued the threat. And as, uh, as is stipulated by the contract your lord made with the Guild, we are claiming property that is within our, within our right to, to.” His words faltered. Otto felt their eyes staring into his heart, reaching into him to see something. Otto cleared his throat and then felt Mel grab his arm from behind.

“Let’s go.”

As they walked away, Otto turned back to see the villagers gather around their families and friends. He heard hushed prayers.

- - - - -
In their rented room, Mel and Donny looked over a pile of contracts they could potentially take. Otto sat in the corner, watching them.

“I’m betting we could take on a dragon if we had to,” said Mel, “It would be enough gold to settle up our debt.”

Donny sipped at his drink. “I don’t like those chances. Better to keep taking on the manageable stuff and hope the accountants don’t catch on to what we did.”

Otto, who had been quiet since the night before, said “I know where they keep the account records at headquarters, you know. If we get the right supplies, and with the right illusions, we could probably get in there. Fix some things.”

Mel, with his lips widening to a smile, said, “I don’t think the Guild would look too kindly upon someone doing something like that.”

“Augh, the Guild can burn in the lava rivers of the fire plains!”

“Yeah,” said Otto, "What Donny said."

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Djeser posted:

I'll brawl the gently caress out of you.

I'd brawl as well.

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Brawling with a

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Mercedes posted:




MOTHERFLIPPING NINJAS!!!!!!!



Story incoming

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


In the Heat of the Moment – 1255 words

“I have come to kill you,” said Junko. He stood defiantly with his hands on his blade’s hilt. His knuckles were ashen-white, his mouth a thin line. His chin wavered.

Osamu, master of the Iron Demons, rested on his knees. “You are angry Junko. Your anger will not help you,” he said. Oil lamps from the ceiling with soft flames barely illuminated Junko and Osamu. The flame reflected dully in the suits of armor which lined the wall of the room. Shadows reached past the wooden beams of the ceiling. The dry bamboo walls reminded Junko of bars of a cage.

Osamu placed his hands on the mat in front of him and leaned down. With his head against the mat, Osamu began praying. Junko breathed sharply and stepped back, his hands never leaving the hilt. Junko glanced between the suits of armor surrounding him and Osamu lying on the mat.

“What is the meaning of this? Stand and face me!” Junko said.

“We must recognize the spirits that surround us,” said Osamu, “especially when we may soon be joining them.”

Junko’s mouth opened, a question hid behind his lips. He did not understand Osamu’s humility. Where was the prideful master that had laughed down Junko’s sensei? The wrathful fiend who set fire to the peasant’s farmlands? The monster who slaughtered Junko’s clan?

“You prostrate yourself as if a monk. I know your true self, demon master,” Junko said.

Osamu arose from the mat. With one hand on a knee, he pushed himself up. He reached for the oil lantern holding the flame. “You believe me some terrible being. But we are warriors,” said Osamu. He blew out the light. In the darkness, Junko pulled out his blade. He heard iron scratch against iron and felt eyes searching for him.

Osamu drew his own blade.
“You come to my house and announce your desires. Does this bring you some pleasure? Did you expect to see me fear you?”

Hearing only a whisper, Junko felt sharp metal bite at his left forearm. He resisted the urge to bring his right hand off his blade, to clutch the wound. Warm crimson trickled between the raised hairs on his arm.

“When we ride against another, we do not do so pettily. Our blades are tools, our goals impassionate. We spill no blood lest others force us to.”

Another whisper, Junko raised his hilt with sword pointing down. Metal struck against metal. Junko’s hands vibrated, his grip was too tight. He barely loosened it and tried to remember to breathe.

“I know why you come here. You think it is me and my men that came for your clan.”

Junko felt air catch in his throat.

“You are wrong to think so, whelp.” No, Junko thought, who if not the Iron Demons? Another whisper and Junko’s blade flung from his hands as metal struck metal. A brief spark shot from the blade as it hit the stone floor. The suits of armor had moved, they now stood with weapons ready. In a moment, darkness returned to the room.

Junko heard the sound of iron rubbing against iron. He knew then why the suits were there. They held the Iron Demons, warriors who would ensure Junko would not see the light again. Junko reached into his robes, searching for some of his tools. Junko pulled out a small, black ball and waited.

Another whisper. Junko did not think, he only reacted. He slammed his hand, palm open, towards the sound. The ball exploded, gunpowder created a flash of heat and light. Junko’s hand stung badly.

“Awah!” Osamu grunted with pain and surprise. The calmness he projected disappeared. In its place was indignant anger. “You think your tricks will help you? Did they help your clan?”

Junko leaped towards the voice, hitting Osamu with the full weight of his body. Pushing Osamu to the ground, Junko jumped as high as he could. Osamu’s ribs cracked as Junko’s feet pushed against him. With his unburnt hand, Junko reached for the wooden scaffolding. His hand found architecture and he remembered to breathe.

“Grab him! He must not escape! No one challenges us and lives!” Osamu yelled. Junko heard the iron suits clanking clumsily. Junko raised his other arm and swung it around the wooden beam. His muscles tensed and blood poured from his wounds. He lifted his legs as swords cut only air underneath him.

Junko retrieved another bomb and threw it to the ground. The flash blinded the Iron Demons and they stumbled backwards. Junko paid little attention to them. Only one thought dominated his mind: escape. His looked to the path he took in, but too many of the Demons blocked the way. A sword cut into the beam beside Junko and he jumped back instinctively. He hit the chain holding the oil lantern. Junko’s eyes widened as a desperate thought entered his mind.

Grabbing the chain, Junko drew the lantern towards himself. Holding the lamp, Junko crawled silently towards a wall. Be calm, he thought, breathe. He then launched the lamp towards the wall.

“He’s on the eastern wall,” shouted Osamu, “Grab him, fools!” Junko heard the Demons rushing towards him and retrieved his final bomb. He threw it.

The Demons found themselves caught in an inferno. A huge flame erupted and crept across the dry bamboo walls. The explosion jettisoned oil on the Demons and they found themselves engulfed. Junko shut his eyes and thought of his sensei. He opened his eyes, looked towards the wall, and jumped from the beam towards the flaming bamboo.

The wall splintered then shattered against Junko’s weight. Flames licked at his clothes as he fell to the soft ground outside. His pupils shrunk against the sunlight. He lifted himself up and ran. A glance backwards revealed flames consuming the Iron Demon’s dojo. He heard men screaming as their armor became scorching ovens. Flames flew from one of their masks, a man transformed into a hellish dragon. Ancestors be praised, Junko thought, I am alive.

- - -

Junko, his left arm in a sling and left hand covered in bandages, sipped at his tea. He had run a day and night to escape the Iron Demons’ lands. Despite the calm breeze, tranquil pond, and beautiful hostess, Junko felt tense. The sun hung hot in the sky above the teahouse. Junko closed his eyes and breathed deeply.

It was foolish, he thought, to pursue the Iron Demons himself. It was foolish to go alone. It was foolish to leave his two surviving clan-brothers behind. I am a fool, he thought, but I am alive. He closed his eyes and thought of his clan, of his sensei. He wondered if his clan-brothers had discovered the true villains. The only honorable course of action left was to find his clan-brothers and join them in finding vengeance. Or, Junko thought, seek their forgiveness for abandoning them.

Junko opened his eyes and saw a man with burnt skin and boils across his face walk towards him. The stranger brandished a sword, slashing at the tables and chairs in his way.
“I have come to kill you,” said Onryo, the last of the Iron Demons. His eyes were wide with rage and his breath came in short, sharp bursts.

Junko stood up and let his sling fall to the ground. “You are angry,” said Junko. He stepped back and closed his eyes. His thoughts turned to his fallen clan. He opened his eyes and unsheathed his blade.

“This will not help you.”

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


In

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Eternal shame is me, I can't get my story in by the deadline.

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


In with a

N. Senada
May 17, 2011



GREED
Diamonds in the rain on my windshield



All That Glitters – 1187 words

Ollie, the newest stevedore to the Portsmouth docks, swung his car door open as the last drops of an early morning rain fell. Greg, Ollie’s senior and self-appointed mentor, followed. It was a grey, grey day.

“No work yesterday, no work today,” said Ollie with a huff. He pulled off his leather gloves and threw them into his tan sedan.

“Yeah,” replied Greg, “You know, I’ve got some stuff you could do for a few bucks.”

“Nah, Greg,” said Ollie, raising his hands in polite protest, “I don’t want to get involved with that stuff.”

“It’s how all the kids get through the first year or so,” assured Greg, “Once you get some seniority, your card will come up more. Until then, come help me. I’ve got a guy coming later today. Stick around and I’ll see you’re paid good for some easy work.”

Ollie found it difficult to tell Greg no. “I should go take care of some stuff around the house anyways. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Whatever you say, kid.”

-----

Ollie merged onto the one highway that connected the docks to the rest of the city. The road rested above drainage ditches meant to keep the rainwaters off the road. They worked but the deep ditches, even in the slightest rain, always turned into a gulch of mud.

The highway was poorly maintained. The huge trucks most dockworkers drove handled them well enough, but Ollie didn’t drive a truck. This morning, Ollie hit the biggest pothole on the road with his tiny, tan sedan.

The bump threw Ollie. His seatbelt snapped and pulled him back to the leather seat but not before he hit his head hard against the top. He slammed onto the brakes. The seatbelt again caught too late and Ollie hit the steering wheel. He let out a gasp of air and tried to blink the blur out of his vision. His head ached.

He stopped the car, got out, and saw the ruined tire lying against the pavement. He kicked it and cursed himself for not having a spare. He called for a tow to a buddy’s auto shop and sat down next to the truck. He looked into the muddy ditch below.

He saw some tread marks in the mud. What was a car doing down there, Ollie wondered. Curiosity got the better of him and he carefully walked into the ditch. A slow but steady stream of muddy water ran past his ankles.

In the tall grass and deep mud, Ollie followed the marks to a black sedan. Mud had sucked in the rear side. The front tires had lifted off the ground and spun slowly in the air. The trunk was barely open and Ollie lifted it. Inside was a crate slowly filling with mud. Ollie opened the crate and saw a pile of glittering glass. No, wait, diamonds? All the air left Ollie’s lungs.

The tow truck arrived. Ollie breathed heavily at his sedan’s open trunk. Mud had caked his arms and legs. The driver attached the tow cable to the front of the sedan.

“You fall or something?”

Through shallow breaths, Ollie answered, “Yeah, had a little spill.” He slammed the trunk down.

-----

Ollie and the driver said nothing on the ride to the auto shop. And the only words Ollie said to his mechanic were: “New tire,” “that’s fine,” “yeah,” and “thanks”. And, as the mechanic replaced the tire, Ollie only stared at the trunk while he waited. He didn’t overhear the news anchor on the television in the lobby telling the public to be on the lookout for two suspicious individuals who may be seeking aid after a car wreck. These individuals were presumed armed and dangerous by the police, warned the anchor.

Ollie went home and cleaned himself up. Every few minutes he would look out the window of his studio apartment and at his car. He bit at his fingernails and tasted the mud that was still under them. He paced, his mind running with thoughts. I have a box of diamonds. Who buys diamonds? Jewel store probably wouldn’t buy from me. Pawn shop? Don’t you have to give them identification though?

Ollie realized he was out of his depth. He needed somebody experienced with this kind of stuff. He took out his phone and called Greg.

“Hi.”
“Hi, kid, what’s up?”
“I found something today.”
A beat, then, “What kind of something?”
“Something worth a lot. I think I can sell it but I can’t, I can’t-”
Greg interrupted, “Okay, kid. Just sit still, you at home?”
“Yeah, Greg, yeah.”
“Alright, just wait there, I’ll come for you at seven. Be ready at seven. You understand?”
“At seven, yeah.”

Greg hung up his phone and laid it on the table next to three pistols. He looked at the two bandaged up guys sitting across from him.

“I got a good feeling I know what happened to the merchandise,” said Greg, “I’ll bring it back to the docks and settle up with the boss. Just lie low here.” He picked up one of the guns. What a shame, he thought. Greg really had liked Ollie.

-----

At six fifty, rain had returned to Portsmouth. At six fifty-nine, Greg pulled up to Ollie’s apartment. At seven, Ollie opened the door to see Greg walking towards him. Together they lifted the crate from Ollie’s sedan’s trunk into the back of Greg’s truck. Neither of them noticed the unmarked cop car sitting in a nearby alley.

Driving towards the docks, Greg offered platitudes to an inattentive Ollie: “Money isn’t everything. Why don’t you just let me take care of this and I’ll get you a cut later.” The offer was undermined by a police siren. Red-and-blue lights cut through the rain.

Ollie couldn’t quite hear the curse Greg shouted as he swerved involuntarily. The truck slammed into a water-filled pothole. The truck threw Greg into his door; Ollie hit the roof of the car. Ollie’s vision blurred for the second time that day. From Greg’s coat, a gun fell out and tumbled around the cab. The gun went off beside Ollie’s head and deafened him. Greg got the shorter end of the stick as the bullet ricocheted into his head. The truck flipped.

The truck launched the crate upwards. It fell back down and smashed into the police car. First the windshield cracked into a malicious web before shattering altogether. The officer driving pulled the emergency brake as fragments lacerated his eyes. The car skidded in the rain, eventually stopping beside the overturned truck

Ollie, dazed and deafened, crawled onto the road from the truck. The diamonds, his mind screamed, get the diamonds! On his hands and knees, Ollie inched towards the cop car. Rain and blood mixed in the street. Ollie could make out something reflecting the red-and-blue lights. He reached out with his hand, grabbing for what he felt was his. He indiscriminately collected anything that glittered. His hands bled as he shoved both broken glass and jewels into his pockets. He was oblivious to the police sirens and lights in the distance.

N. Senada
May 17, 2011




Sincerely, thanks.

N. Senada fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2015 around 22:31

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N. Senada
May 17, 2011


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