[Taocow PBEM] Chapter IX - The King Of The River

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 20:51:31 GMT 2007

OOC1: Hope everyone had a good Christmas, and I hope the New Year
brings good fortune, and a Glitter Boy in every garage.

OOC2: Haven't heard from everyone, but I'll assume everyone joins Max
in the kitchen of the inn.

> > [Osiris]
> > Osiris stands up.  "I know we were all looking forward to one last
> > night in bed, but I agree with Lady Sialillion.  We'd best leave as
> > soon as possible.  One thing remains.  Max, though he is clearly
> > grieving, had something to tell us, and I think we'd best hear it as
> > soon as possible."
> > [/Osiris]

> > [GM]
> > Max stands up and wipes the tears out of his eyes.  "Yes, I'd best
> > tell you, but not here.  We can step into the kitchen for a bit of
> > privacy."
> > [/GM]

> [Ted]
> Solemnly, Ted follows the others into the kitchen where he takes a defensive
> position against the exit while their host spills the beans.
> [/Ted]

> [Sia]
> Sialillion nods and heads into the kitchen.
> [/Sia]

> [Talas]
> Before following the others back inside to here what Max has to say, Talas takes
> a moment to center him self. Demons are what they are. But mortals who work
> for or even worship them. That was something that was utterly intolerable. And
> was an even greater evil in Talas's mind.
> [/Talas]

> [Carlos]
> After Ted takes up his position, Carlos will take up a similar defensive position
> [/Carlos]

> [Alister]
> Alister takes up whatever relaxed/comfortable position is available, seemingly
> unconcerned with whatever trouble may arise
> [/Alister]

[Amanda Connors]
Amanda clenches and unclenches her fist, her jaw firm, betraying great
anger.  She silently follows the others inside.
[/Amanda Connors]

Bongo sighs and follows the others inside.

Max takes a moment to compose himself, wiping the tears from my eyes.
"She was my best friend's daughter." he says softly.  "After Arty died
I took her in.  She was just a girl, nine years old.  Arty would never
forgive me for this.  I know I won't."

He turns to the company.  "I told you all I had a thing or two to talk
to you about, and well, I'll say my piece and then be about my
business, as you will be yours."

"The first strange thing happened about two weeks ago, a few days
after Christmas." Max says.  "It was a quiet night, just a couple of
Dwarfs on their way to one of their mining colonies up north, and a
few regulars without families who make this their home during this
time.  In walks two men, a short fellow with thick red hair and a red
handlebar moustache, at least half-orc or I never saw one before in my
life, and a tall man, and I mean tall, seven feet at least; pale-skin,
wide dark sunglasses even though it was seven o'clock in the evening
and as dark as a cave outside.  I'll tell you right now they gave me
the shivers, and I've seen plenty of dark and deadly things in my

"The tall man never said a word, but you could feel his eyes piercing
right into you.  The little man says to me 'We need to contact some
friends that will be coming here in a week or two.'  The way he said
'friends' was chilling, like he meant 'enemies' or perhaps 'prey', but
it wasn't unusual that my inn serves as a message delivery service, so
I agreed.  'What sorts of people should I expect?' I asked."

"'There'll be a whole company of 'em.  Two pretty women, one with hair
as red as mine, a mutant dog, a lizard man, and an Elf dressed in red.
 When they come, send a message to 22-B Warden's Street.'"

"The fellow hands me two hundred credits like he was throwing apple
cores to a swine.  'There's five hundred more where that came from if
you do it quiet-like.  It's private business and the Doctor and I
don't want it getting around.'"

"'I'm not a bounty hunter.' I said firmly.  'You call these people
friends, but it sounds more like you're setting them up.  I'll give
the message, but you'll find Maxwell Sigurd Stein on you like a ton of
bricks if you cause any trouble.  I've got big friends, and even
bigger arms, and I'm not afraid to use them.'"

"The little orc-fellow seemed taken aback by this, and vowed it was a
business dealing and nothing more.  The pale-skinned giant started to
laugh the most awful laugh, like it was coming from a tomb.  They both
turned and left, and I haven't seen them since."

"Now some of you look like you're what this creature described.  But
then again, there's Lady Sialillion here, and she's well-known around
these parts, and then there's the mercenary, the Cyberknight and that
bald mage fellow, none of which were described.  I'll leave it with
you people to know who he is.  I never delivered their message, and
when they come back, they can have their money."

"Hmmm..." Osiris says.  "These people only knew those that entered Old
Chicago through that dimensional door.  I never did, I stayed on the
other side when you guys fled Ireland for Old Chicago.  Carlos joined
us later, and so did my good friend Alister here.  But a seven foot
tall pale fellow sounds very familiar to me..."

"That was the first incident." Max says.  "The second came last night.
 Those two hooded men who I'll wager are the murderers appeared.  Dear
dear Lissa met them, and she hadn't been right since then.  When I
came in, I pushed her aside and demanded to know their business with
her.  One of the fellows answered 'You haven't forgotten your deal,
have you?'"

"'What deal's that, stranger?'  I replied.  'If you want to talk to
me, you talk to me.  You leave my staff alone.  Now be gone.'"

"'Remember you're agreement, old man.' the other said.  'He's
watching, and you'll pay dearly if you don't deliver the message.'"

"I confess I had some inkling as to what they were talking about, and
when I saw you folks come walking in with Major Pournelle and Lady
Sia, and some of you looked just like that short orc-man described, I
felt a great terror, but none of these visitors look like friends of
good people, and I won't sell anyone out for a few hundred credits.
But look at what it has cost me.  I've paid dearly alright, so what I
demand from you is justice.  Lissa died because of me, and because of
you people."

Aaron Clausen   mightymartianca at gmail.com

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