The Bazaar and Karowyn’s
Hello again, Bluto here. As Roggan was on a spiritual high for most of the adventures in Llorn, and doesn’t remember things properly, I will have to act as his mouthpiece again. But that’s ok, ‘cause I know you guys prefer my writing to his anyway.
As CrIsis left the Rock Gardens of Duke VasPasseon’s palace on the hill, they were rushed onward by a gruff guard. Their attempts to ask him kindly for directions to Karowyn’s money exchange and bank were met with sharp tongue that Roggan surely didn’t appreciate.
“You see that over there?” the guard pointed to the bay. “It’s not in there. See that over there?” He jabbed a gauntleted finger toward the ocean on the other side of Llorn as the bay. “It’s not out there. You see that up there?” He pointed up the hill to the palace. “It’s not in there. So, it’s probably out there.” And he gestured toward all of Llorn. “Now, move along so that people can exit the gardens.”
CrIsis did move along, and on their way down the hill toward the city proper, they passed something called a ‘restaurant.’ It’s where you can just go to eat, and the cooks really do well with the food. Not for the first time I wished I had a stomach, though no one wants to clean a rock that has never been potty-trained, and I wouldn’t trust Roggan to care to. The food that they ate was probably divine!
The waiter, when he was bringing around the final bill, had in his hands a copy of the Third Book of Crisis. Roggan, having seen people ask the other members of CrIsis for their autographs, became overexcited. He ripped the book from the waiter’s hands, smashed his hand into some leftover food, and placed his handprint on a mostly-blank page in the back. The rest signed it in more normal ways.
They then asked for directions to Karowyn’s, and received directions to the Bazaar. It was a very crowded place, and Roggan’s altered state made him want to feel everyone. He closed his eyes, lifted his face to the skies, and started walking through the crowded streets with out-stretched arms. Unfortunately for Roggan, but fortunately for the rest of CrIsis, Cava stepped in and stopped him from scaring the masses.
As he was leaning down to talk into the Trog’s ear, a head shorter than him, he felt the lightning quick fingers of a street thief violate his jacket’s pocket. With reflexes to match the thief’s nimble fingers, he snatched the woman’s wrist. She started screaming out for the guards, “THIS MAN IS ATTACKING ME!”
In Roggan’s altered state, he thought Cava and this woman were dancing. Not wanting to let the moment go to waste, he grabbed ahold of the stranger, and started to swing her around; her legs flying through the air, all the while screaming for guards. Even though his judgement was off, he still had the sense to keep the rogue’s hands out of his backpack, no matter how persistent she was. Finally the guards made their way through the crowd to the group, though they had no trouble when they got within the ring the crowd had made. “What is happening here?” One of them demanded.
“This man and lizard attacked me!” The woman, if she doesn’t make a living with thievery should take up acting, because her tears appeared almost real. The guards looked at Cava, then at Roggan, and were about to say something when Roggan tried to explain everything to them. Unfortunately, Llorn is in the Eastern Territory, and there is hardly anyone that speaks Dwarven there – Roggan’s native language and the language he regularly speaks, regardless of location. After a couple of minutes of confused looks from the guards, and an ‘Ahem’ from Cava, Roggan remembered he can’t speak Dwarven with everyone. He used his Skills in charm and impression, and mimed to the guards the situation. To everyone’s surprise, the guards understood, and took the thief away. We would later find that due to that one thief’s capture, the guard was able to take down the entire Thieves’ Guild in Llorn, thereby making Roggan a local Folk Hero. All hail Roggan, unwitting destroyer of scum and thievery! Hip Hip!
CrIsis was escorted by guard to Karowyn’s Merchanthouse. On their way there, Roggan saw Gavin’s drunkenness, and decided to help. With his carved Goblet, he served the changeling a cupful of water. The magical properties cured his drunkenness, but to Roggan’s disappointment (and misunderstanding of the goblet) Gavin didn’t understand a word Roggan jabbered in his earthen tongue.
Cava did his best to explain to Roggan in ‘Roggan terms’ what Karowyns does. Roggan became extremely excited, because in his current ‘ecstatic’ state of mind, all he heard was ‘Gemfriend daycare,’ and ‘make new Gemfriends.’ So, if anyone asks him what Karowyn’s is, he’ll explain that it’s some kind of weird gem breeding facility. He deposited everything he had, because ‘you can never have too many rockfriends.’
While rummaging through his bags, he saw the Wizard Jars he and CrIsis recovered from the Stone Tower. ‘Roggan want to go to Alkymas! Need to sell Wizzy jars!’ I sincerely hope he doesn’t become addicted to making gold. As CrIsis finished their business, they saw that one of the tellers had brought out a stack of the Books of CrIsis. They signed them, and were recompensed in a discounted service charge, and a map of Llorn.
Their work done, they went back into the streets. Gavin and Tyvernos both left, with work to do elsewhere – Tyvernos went to apologize to Terramore for CrIsis not meeting up with him at noon and was sidetracked on his way back in the RedLight District. (If Roggan asks you what that is, please don’t tell him, thank you). Gavin went to wallow in his self-pity, and successfully escaped our notice when Tyvernos left. Roggan grabbed ahold of Overkill’s cloak, wanting to see the colors up close and feel the fabric, and they were off to Venner’s alchemist shop. Overkill was choked from time to time, as Roggan – who still had a grip on his cloak – had become enthralled with the flavor of buildings and would stop longer at some than others. Surprisingly few citizens had a problem with his long, translucent tongue exploring their walls, windows, and doors. As long as he didn’t taste their wares, there was no issue in their minds. He decided to taste every building in Llorn, but when they got to Venner’s place, he completely forgot his endeavor.
Roggan let Overkill’s cloak fall from his hands as he, the dwarf, and the ranger walked into the Alchemist’s shop. He was mesmerized by the amazing (at least in his endorphin-addled mind) colors around him. He looked from jar to jar, hypnotized by the dragons’ livers, rat feces, phoenix tail feathers, snapping beetle pheromone glands, and the lollipop stand (for children).
While he walked around the shop, waiting for an attendant to come from the back, he pulled out his stone staff and cradled it in his arms. He started to idly lick the stone haft, and the Alchemist, Venner himself, walked through a curtain in the back. ‘Ah, adventurers! How may I help you?’ he asked in a friendly, salesman’s voice.
‘We are here to buy and sell. Do you know of Greminor?’ Cava asked, just as frendily. Venner glared at the sound of the name, and stalked off without a word. He poked his head through a curtain, and then continued off into the dark recesses of a hallway in the back. An apprentice came out, chipper as anything, and after a startled look at Roggan’s ‘stone lollipop,’ asked us what he could do for the group. Cava asked what Venner had against Greminor, and asked if we could sell some wizard jars. The attendant apologized for the gruffness, but professional rivalry, you understand. He wouldn’t be able to buy any of the jars, as it was Venner that was in charge of new acquisitions. The problem was that Cava had offended him, and he wouldn’t help him.
So, Cava went outside to wait while Overkill and Roggan tried their hands at negotiating sales. While they were waiting to be attended, Roggan saw Overkill’s beard, as if for the first time – silver, white and a few specks of red. He couldn’t stop looking at it, and grabbed for it. Overkill was distracted, watching what was going on with the alchemist and his apprentice, so he didn’t notice that Roggan turned patches of his beard to Fool’s Gold, as if Overkill had beads and bangles woven into it.
The Apprentice brought his master out, and Roggan rushed for him. He stuck out his stone staff, and asked, ‘What this do?’ It has been quite a while since he got his staff, and every opportunity he has had to find out what it does he has forgotten to ask. Not this time. I guess it just took a garden full of earth magic and an endorphin induced high to jog his brain.
‘Oh, I haven’t seen one of these in… must be two hundred and fifty years. These used to be all over, but since the wars, and the Duke’s war on magic… Ironic, the duke’s position, seeing as what he has in his garden and the Grand Canal and… Ahem.’ The alchemist got lost in his thoughts and almost forgot why he was gazing upon such a fine specimen of a Staff of Stonelight. ‘So, ah, you’ll be wanting to know what it does, then. This one is rather powerful.’ He gazed into the amber at the top. ‘Hmm… The first spell you can activate is a Globe of True Sunlight. This is much more powerful than a Globe of Daylight, mind. How many times have you cast it?’ His trained eyes roved the contours and faint runes near the top of the haft. He continued talking as his study moved down the length of it. ‘No matter, after you use it ten times you’ll be able to make stones fly out of it and attack your foes.’
His eyes stopped on a group of runes near where he started. He glanced around the shop, saw another customer waiting, and called for his apprentice to come back. He motioned for Roggan and Overkill to accompany him to a back room. When the door was shut, he continued, ‘Then, you’ll be able to turn stone to flesh upon touch.’ His eyes reached the end of the larger runes, ‘And eventually you’ll be able to create a protected area for you and your allies.’
Roggan grabbed his stone staff, and said, ‘Roggan love Roggan stone staff!’ He started to cradle it, and became unresponsive. Overkill spoke up, and started into talking about the wizard jars. Unfortunately for him, he made the mistake of mentioning Greminor, too. He was expulsed, and the only thing that saved Roggan from being kicked out, and thereby losing the group their chance at selling their wares, was a quick, ‘Roggan heard of Greminor, but Venner greatest alchemist in the world that Roggan know.’
Roggan put his stone staff in its cradle, and pulled out the wizard jars he had in his pack. He had taken Tyvernos’ jars, and Cava’s when he was kicked out. Overkill had left his jars with Roggan as well. Roggan started to hand Venner jar after jar of strange and valuable things. Roggan’s jars were some of the least valuable, and he took away fifty-one thousand gold by himself. He convinced Venner to allow his friends to come back, and by the time the alchemist had assessed the value of the jars, and had paid the adventurers for them, a drunken Gavin and exhausted Tyvernos showed up. As a parting gift, Roggan gave one of his wooden elemental symbols to Venner, turned temporarily into fool’s gold. Don’t blame him; he does it out of ignorance, not malice. The sun had set while they were talking with Venner, and Roggan had to activate the Globe of True Sunlight as they left the shop in the now-empty Bazaar
The Duke’s Son
As the group made their weary way to Nicole, Cava noticed a commotion on our boat. The startled CrIsis ran to the elevator, and waited impatiently for it to get to the bottom. Figures clad in red, and a flailing grey mass could be seen in the distance, as well as the faint cries of Terramore barely audible over the distant sounds of battle. Cava activated his flight ring, and picked Roggan up. The poor Trog was out of his mind with worry, I don’t think he even noticed he was flying over the docks. All he could say was ‘Gina Stop! Listen to Gleby!’
The golem quieted down, to Terramore’s relief. ‘Terramore Gleba, you are under arrest. Whose… uh… is this?’ A man robed in a Llornian uniform demanded from his horseback. ‘You, Lizard, it must be yours as it obeyed that… gibberish. You and your friends are under arrest, too.’ The officer motioned for a few of the guards still standing to put us in manacles. There were several guards on the ground, three of whom were motionless. Roggan started to plea for his fellows, but having just yelled at Gina in elemental, it all came out in an earthy rumble to the ears of the guards.
Cava spoke over Roggan, and said, ‘We have healers among us. Please, let us attend to your wounded and see if we cannot bring back those taken by our Golem’s over zealotry.’ The officer allowed for Tyvernos to approach the three dead, and after working his magic, two of them opened their eyes.
Tyvernos explained to Roggan that these guards do not understand Elemental. He spoke to him on his level in such a way that Roggan’s mind was opened to languages, and spoke in perfect Elven to the captain of the guard, ’Hail and well met, honorable captain! I am Roggan, the Earth Warlock, and these are my friends and travel companions. We are members of the illustrious CrIsis, and are on a quest to save all of Palladium. If you keep us in these manacles, we will not be able to go, and our plans will be thwarted. Please good sirs, let us free. If you do not recognize my name, it is I that helped the Llornian guard capture that fell cutpurse not ten hours past. It would be a crime against the publick as well, were I to be detained."
‘Ah yes. Roggan. Thank you for your help, we have been looking for you. Thanks to you, we were able to take down the Theives’ Guild (see? told ya). Your name will be proclaimed through the city, though that might be bad for you and your group, as there are quite a few disgruntled theives afoot. Release them, men. THURGOOD!‘ The captain yelled for Thurgood, who came out of the shadows, staring down his hook nose, with his cheecks pinched up the sides of it in a sneer. He would have a different expression if he had seen the pictures Roggan drew of him. And CrIsis would be in manacles. We explained to Gina she needs to give the guards access to the boat. She seemed to understand, but there’s always a chance golems and elementals interpret instructions in a diametrically oposing ways to the intentions.As we came upon Lord Amhar, son of Duke VasPasseon’s house, Roggan whispered to me, ‘Bluto! Roggan not see colors anymore. Colors go away. And Roggan pants not feel the same.’ To which I would have told him that he’s just ‘come down’ and there was nothing to worry about. The mansion had three storeys, and had a grand staircase in the foyer. We walked through the grand doors, and saw twelve men on horseback through a door off the marbled hall. We were brought before them.
The eldest among them clopped forward and said, ‘Thank you, Sir Thurgood. You are… excused.’ Thurgood’s sneer curdled momentarily, and he stormed back into the foyer, with escorts. The kindly look on the old officer’s face contrasted with his tone as he spat, ‘CrIsis! You are USURPERS, and CHALLENGERS to all Thrones! Cava especially, you are known to us. You are enemies of all those that rule the peoples of the Eastern Kingdom and Palladium.’
Bolstered by the Old Man’s speech, the youngest of them trotted forward, dressed as a Llornian Lancer. Glaring down at the footed accused, he whispered venomously, ‘You insulted me; you insulted all of the leaders of eastern territory. I know not what magicks you gave my father, but I will not pray to any of them! Your silver tongues will not affect me. I am stronger than he and demand recompense! All of you must kneel before me and apologize profusely for insulting my honor and name. I am Amhar, son of the Duke of Llorn.’
The five adventurers met his demands with a silence. Gavin reminded everyone telepathically to ‘Mind your place when royalty is present.’ From my vantage point in Roggan’s pack, I saw Overkill’s face match his famous name.
Cava was the first one to speak up, ‘My Lord, I assure –‘
‘My Lord who?’ Amhar demanded.
Irritation flashed through Cava’s expression, and lingered in his tone, ‘My Lord Amhar. I assure you that my words were not meant towards you. They were directed to others. I-‘
‘So you agree with me, that Wolfen should be killed, they are heathen beasts, and are nothing like the noble Human race.’ Amhar interrupted.
‘I did not say that.’
‘So you do not agree with me, and you were insulting everyone in that pointless summit. Just another of ‘Bishop’ Rose’s lackeys. That woman is too soft to lead, and no doubt sent you to overthrow the great dutchy of Llorn! Thurgood informed me of your enchantment of my father, that you did not apologize at all. He witnessed the fruits of your underhanded dealings –‘
Roggan indignantly spoke up, proclaimed that Thurgood is lying, for we did nothing of the sort, and that he personally apologized to the Duke on behalf of CrIsis, as far as he has right to. ‘Roggan like Dookie.’ Cava asked of his proof, and Amhar admitted that Thurgood didn’t claim to have been in the chambers, and that he merely saw us after our meeting, and assumed it must have been magic. Cava told him that he was thereby claiming false witness, speaking of things he had no proof on, and we should be released.
Amhar called for Thurgood to be brought forward, and he entered, almost sheepishly. Cava confronted our accuser, and the sniveling rat bolted. Sir Lugard, the old officer, apologized to CrIsis on behalf of Amhar, and called for horsemen to be sent after Thurgood. Two broke off from the group, and the rest dismounted. ‘Wait here, we’ll return shortly.’ He told us on his way out the door, and up the grand stair. The rest followed suit, even Amhar, who strode past us without as much as a glance.
An almost interminable time later, Sir Luggard came back down the stairs and met a group at the doors. He returned to the room with Thurgood, escorted by two knights and… ‘DOOKIE!’ Roggan called, waiving energetically. After no response was given, he said again, ‘HI, DOOKIE!’
‘Muzzle your lizard.’ He told the leader, Cava, who is such in not just title. ‘You, Gavin of CrIsis, are under arrest. For murdering innocent guards of Llorn. The words that CrIsis says are untrue. You are ALL under arrest for enchanting the Duke.’ Guards surrounded the emmisaries of the gods, and I am surprised that they weren’t running for the hills. Troglodytes are very gentle and loving creatures, and aren’t very scary – that is until they are angry. There are few natural creatures that are scarier than an angry, attacking Trog. Gavin disappeared, and Roggan, oblivious to the world, started to channel the elemental flows of earth, and cried to Apis in Elemental, ‘Cow Lady, give Roggan strength! Roggan stop bad men. Em Eloi a Vidaeterna!’
The Duke was focused on Cava, though, and . He started to lay into him for not knowing where Gavin went, and for being the fiend he ‘had to be.’ Apis touched Roggan’s heart, and instead of sinking half of Llorn into a burning chasm of molten lava, he exploded in Elven at VonPasseon, ‘NO. DOOKIE. STOP. Dookie listen to Roggan. CrIsis not hate Dookie, not want to hurt Dookie. Crisis love Dookie, Roggan love Dookie. Roggan want to help Dookie do great things, like dookie already do. Crisis ask for forgiveness, and appologize. CrIsis do what CrIsis say, and write apology, Roggan write apology after Roggan leave rock heaven!!! Dookie do what Dookie say, and Let – CrIsis – Leave!’
Taken aback by the outburst from the usually gentle creature, the Duke proclaimed that it was acceptable, that CrIsis leaves the town as soon as their affairs were over, and that if they did not leave willingly, they would be expulsed by force. What he didn’t say at the time was that the exit taxes wouldn’t be waived. CrIsis paid their fees, and were about to set off, when the little Psy-Mage showed up. He had waited till we had left, and it was just the Duke, Luggard, and Amhar. He confronted the duke about the temple of Ra, and brokered a deal for him to allow its production.
We did not breathe freely till after leaving the bay, but no sooner had we exited the waters of Llorn that Tyrone lamented his situation! He has lost money in the services of CrIsis, and time. With the weight of Gina, he hasn’t been able to load his boat with trade goods to offset it. Unfortunately, Roggan was oblivious to all of this.
On the open waters, a Riverboat isn’t the vessel you want. Due to its lightweight design, the rougher waters of the ocean knocked Cava overboard, and he would have drown had Overkill not jumped in to the rescue. The group set up camp at the mouth of the next river, and on Roggan’s watch, his ‘Vision’ identified Fenrir demon wolves stalking toward the camp. This realization snapped Roggan out of the funk he was in, and realized he had seen the same lupine faces stalking along the shore after them since Llorn. As soon as they realized they had been spotted they fled, but CrIsis wouldn’t be caught unprepared again. They knew they were hunted.
3 days passed without major incident along the river, and Nicole arrived in the city of Wisdom. ‘That name… It seems familiar. It is important, it means something.’ Overkill mused as we rounded a bend in the river. Tyvernos, Cava, Gavin and Overkill stewed over it, until almost in unison they blirted ’ELANU!’ Overkill fished the Wanderer’s Ring from his pocket, and Gavin pulled a copy of the letter from his bag. ‘We must go to the Tri-Arcanum Magic Guild.’
Due to exorbitant fees to dock in Wisdom, and to have a Golem, the group decided to moor downstream a mile, and leave a sign for unwary travelers to ‘Beware of Golem!’ We did not want a repeat of Llorn.
The adventurers ask around Wisdom for directions to the Guild, and are met with incredulity. ‘How do you not know? Oh, you’re from out-of-town.’ After a few partially helpful citizens, we were able to piece together a map, and made our way to the tower of the ‘Weavers,’ the part of the guild we assumed Elanu used to belong to. The gamble paid off, as we were ushered into the upper floors upon saying ‘Elanu.’ We were lead into the largest library Roggan had ever laid eyes on. He whispered to me about ‘Mountains of Books.’ And ‘Wakiw would like this place.’ The elderly librarian behind a mountain of books was harder to convince than those downstairs. Luckily we had the Ring. Overkill activated it, and a perfect image of the Starmage appeared. We will have to see what our acquaintance of Elanu does for the plight of CrIsis in this town of scholars and sorcerers…
>>As scrawled by Roggan on Corg 31st in the year 111.<<
Colorful ‘Holi’ Crowd from Jeff McGrath.
Antique Jars from chrisantiquebottles.blogspot.com
Volcano Pic from Skarphedinn Thrainsson
“no one wants to clean a rock that has never been potty-trained, and I wouldn’t trust Roggan to care to.” I almost woke my wife laughing on that one… Great work!
“RedLight District. (If Roggan asks you what that is, please don’t tell him, thank you)”
So many juicy bits in this- that is one hell of a rock that Roggan has!