[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XII - Through The Looking Glass Once Again

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 20:51:52 BST 2007

> [Alex]
> For the most part, Alexise quiet for the ride to the town. While in Texas it
> is much warmer, her home is not unlike this one. Her family are generally
> simple folk. She just loved exploring and becoming a Coalition Ranger
>  seemed to be the way to do it. She reflects a bit on Phaeton's final words.
> She knows little about demons.
> [Alex]


> > [GM]
> > A tall, thick-limbed Wolfen walks out of the door with a number of other
> > men.  They carry long baskets lined with hay.  The Wolfen walks up to
> > the company.  "I am the Warden.  If you could surrender your weapons,
> > then you can enter the Mayor's House.  As to your dead, do you wish for
> > us to make some preparations?"
> > [/GM]

> [Talas]
> Talas steps forward and begins to deposit his weapons into the baskets.
> When it comes time to remove the 300 pound ammo drum from his back
> Talas pretends to struggle with its weight. He then removes his armour
> as well, revealing the bright red robe that he's wearing under it. Talas then
> turns toward the Mayor bows and says "Your Grace, I am Talas Leaf-Blade
> a Demon Queller. It is an honor to make your acquaintance. You honor us
> with your hospitality."
> Talas then straightens up and stands aside to make way for the others.
> [/Talas]

The Wolfen looks to his helpers, and two of them stoop, and with some
difficulty, lift up Talas's ammo drum.  Both the Mayor and Major Pournelle
can barely conceal their admiration and jealousy at a single individual
owning and being able to wield such a weapon.

The mayor returns Talas's bow.  "Welcome, Talas Leaf-Blade.  I trust you
have not found too many demons to quell."

> [Lady Frost]
> "Sorry, I really can't put down my weapons, they're sort of attached.  But
> I guess I can do this."
> There is a slight shimmering as the ice fades away from Frost, a sight once
> again unfamiliar to a few of the group, leaving behind a rather attractive looking
> human.
> [/Amanda Connors]

The mayor and a number of the men can't help but look surprised.  In a world
full of strange things, this seems to be something quite out of the ordinary

> [Amanda Connors]
> "Not that this is much better since I'm still probably stronger than anyone
> you know....."
> Her sentence is cut short as the past few days of activity catch up to her
> in rapid fashion.  She sways a bit as exhaustion makes her lose her balance,
> only managing to steady herself by grabbing Talas' shoulder.
> "Woah, still not used to staying iced this long.  Hi. You don't mind giving me
> a hand, do you Talas?"
> [/Amanda Connors]

> [Talas]
> "Of course not Lady Amanda." Talas then hooks his arm under Amanda's
> arm so that she can but her weight on him and brace herself against him.
> [/Talas]

> [Ted]
> Warily, the lizard man places his rifle in the basket. He still carries Osiris's
> sword, too, which he places beside his own weapon while making a mental
> note to get it back to the old cyber-knight as soon as possible.
> That done, he nods to the mayor and waits to follow the others inside.
> [/Ted]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos hands over his weapons without much hesitation. "Now, we can act
> like civilized men."
> [/Carlos]

The mayor nods.  "We do try our best, though we live in a land of dangers,
and civilization is hard enough to maintain."

Bongo hands over his own weapons and bows.  "Bongo Jones at your service."

> [Alex]
> When they reach the mayor's house, the scarlet haired scout hands her
> weapons to the Wolfen although she thinks he is a Dog Boy. It is
> humorous that even though she is the scout, she seems to carry more
> weaponry than anyone else (two rifles and a pistol). She doesn't see any
> need to ask any questions about his heritage. She asks, "I don't
> suppose you have the equipment to recharge some energy clips or if there
> is an armorer in town for later." She sees no way of fighting these
> people and needs at least an evening of rest. She is also thinking that
> if she is going to survive with this group, she is going to need some
> help. She has heard of techno-wizards enchanting armor.
> [/Alex]

"We have one shop that offers recharges." the Mayor says.  "His price is
high, unfortunately.  He also does some armor repair, though his skill and
tools are limited."

> [Alex]
> She grabs her backpack and heads inside once the others are ready as
> well. She then asks the host, "I don't really have any clothing which
> would fit any social setting. Do you have something I might borrow?"
> [/Alex]

"For the beautiful women," the Mayor says, "I'm sure we can find suitable
clothing."  He looks upon Amanda and Alex with not a little admiration,
and for a moment seems dumbstruck.

Coming out of it, he looks to the others, "Of course, we can also see what
we can find for your brave companions!"  His face turns bright red and he
turns away quickly.

The Mayor's House is clearly very old, very probably pre-Rifts.  The floors
are polished wood, and though rich in color, betray many repairs of the
years.  A wide stair case leads up to the next floor, while the main hallway
continues on either side, with numerous doors.

The Mayor turns to the company.  "I'm afraid you've all caught me during
the busy part of my day.  I'll leave you in the company of the Warden.  He'll
lead you to your rooms."  The Mayor then turns to Major Pournelle.  "Major,
come with me."  The Major takes one look at the company and then follows
the Mayor into one of the rooms.

The Warden eyes them up.  "Well, I suppose it's the South Wing for you.
Follow me."  The Warden leads the company down the main hall and past
the staircase, making a left turn.  They pass a large arch carved out of wood.
Beyond is another hallway filled with windows that let in the winter sun.  On
one side can be seen a small snow-covered courtyard, and on the other is
a hillside that leads down to a harbor.  The city wall extends around the
harbor, and a great gate, now open, leads to the wide river beyond.
Several boats are moored in the harbor, most appear to be fishing vessels
and many don't appear to be motorized.  There are a couple of larger
trading ships flying strange flags that no one in the company recognizes.

The south wing is clearly a new addition,  not nearly so well-decorated but
still soundly built.  There is a small sitting area with a large
fireplace in the
middle of it.  There are several doors around the sitting room.

"The Cyberknight has been taken to the infirmary." the Warden says.  "The
Doctor has been called in.  Once you are settled in, you may see him if
you like."

The Warden opens a number of the doors, revealing tasteful if not
extravagant bedrooms.  Still, the very thought of sleeping on beds fills
the company with unbounded joy.  "You are all invited to dinner, so
I suggest you bathe.  If you need clothes, they will be fetched for you.
I will send Azama to tend to your needs."  He then bows, "Now, I will
beg your leave and return to my duties."

As he walks back down the hallway, an old woman in billowing robes,
with her long grey hair in many braids, passes him.  She eyes the
company up, and it seems to each that her eyes penetrate a little
further than merely the skin.

Then she claps her hands.  "Come come now!  To your rooms, and
get cleaned up.  You all smell as ripe as a fox five days hung.  His
Lordship says to treat you well, for you came guarding a Cyberknight.
I hear tell that the King himself has heard of your arrival by now, and
is sending one of his sons.  For myself, I have seen omens..."  Her
voice trails off.

Each of the company are lead to a different room.  Each room has a
double bed with fresh white sheets, a writing desk, chair and a dresser.
Each room has a small bathroom with a toilet, sink and small bathtub.
Oddly enough each bathtub is already filled with steaming water.  She
leaves each member of the company to their privacy, though she can
be heard moving about the rooms and singing to herself.

The baths are heaven.  It seems that the days melt away as everyone
soaks in such luxury.  Some almost half-expect this to be a dream or
a trick, only to end with some horrible attack or another, but nothing
comes of it.

When they return to their rooms, they found clothes waiting for them,
and all fit well.  For Talas a new red robe awaits, while for Alex and
Amanda there are long flowing white dresses.  Bongo, Ted and
Carlos find handsome silk shirts and comfortable lined pants.

In the common room a blazing fire has been lit and two jugs of
sparkling wine along with some bread, cheese and fruit have been
set.  The old lady is nowhere to be found, though somewhere off
in the distance her singing can be heard.

The wine tastes of apricots and goes down smoothly, easing
everyone's mood and taking away some of the trauma of the
last few days.  Outside the sun is hovering low over the hills,
and fills the lands around with a peaceful glow.  Even if it is
only a moment's tranquility, it is much more than than anyone
has had for what seems an eternity.  Some feel an overwhelming
urge to sleep, and the comfortable chairs afford a good place to
catch a few winks.  Even the strongest-willed soon find themselves
in a warm, dreamless slumber, their burdens and sorrows
disappearing for a spell.

When everyone awakens, the sun has long gone and only the
faintest glow can be seen from the hills.  Major Pournelle walks
into the room, dressed in fine clothes much like those given to
the men in the company.  "I trust you have all slept well." he says.
"Azama told me that you were all very tired, and to leave you until
the banquet is ready."  He looks upon Amanda and Alex, and his
breath is taken away.  "You are so transformed that I could not swear
an oath that you were members of that ragtag company that appeared
on our doorstep today."

He leads the company down the hallway and across to another, wider
one decorated with a number of statues.  Amanda recognizes some
as clearly being artwork from her time.  Bongo seems to be in heaven,
and can barely contain the urge to stay and look at these ancient

Two wide oaken doors are flung open at the end to reveal a good-sized
banquet room.  There are about two dozen people there, with the Mayor
at the head.  Beside him on the right is a rather beautiful woman in her
late teens or early twenties, and on his right is a fine-featured, handsome
man perhaps twenty five years old.  The Mayor beckons the company to
sit down in an empty set of seats next to the man.

The man stands up as he sees Alex and Amanda.  The Mayor seems
amused.  "May introduce Prince Clarence, youngest son of our August
King, David the Second."  He then turns towards the young woman to
his right.  "This is my niece, the Lady Louissa, my heir."  The rest
are introduced; most are local landholders and merchants.  Three of
them are Wolfen.  One of them, an aging man named Bruth, wears a
long black cloak with images of moons and stars embroidered on it.
Throughout the meal, he spends a great deal of time looking the
company, and particularly Ted, over.

The meal is spectacular.  There is roast deer and lamb, potatoes,
sauces, gravies, vegetables (some quite exotic) and plenty of wine
and ale.  Before long, all the guests are quite animated.

The Prince turns to the company.  "I am told that you made your
way through a doorway after being attacked by Coalition Borgs.  If
I may, could I ask where it was you were and what sort of door
it was that you passed through?"

The strange man Bruth, though several chairs down, leans forward,
clearly quite keen for the answer.

Aaron Clausen   mightymartianca at gmail.com

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