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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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381426 No. 381426 ID: 448d82

...
The winds blew and in doing so blew dead leaves, into the grey skies and into the craggy face of Rarothuan. It shook his long brown hair which was dirty due to travel, it rattled against his battered armour. He trudged through the mud and swirling leaves. He took no notice of the weather, he was a man who had endured true hardship, he had almost starved in deserts of snow and had battled against winds that threw men like wayward leaves. He had fought for his very breath in mountain peaks.

To Rarothuan, a bit of mud and wind was nothing, though it was getting boring stomping through mud in full plate armour. It was going to be a nightmare cleaning the armour. Rarothuan was sure he looked like a bandit knight, he was correct, though partly this was due to his harsh face, an aged craggy thing with a short beard and flinty eyes, which seemed to hold no mercy in them. A large and intimidating figure covered head to foot in steel, with a cloak red as murder and dark as night didn’t make him look friendly either. Strapped to his back was large sword, an honour blade, a Díolgarde the second favourite weapon of a true knight of the Titianian Kingdoms. Lances being the most favoured.

Given his largeness and coarseness you could be forgiven for not realising he was half-elven.
He was on his way to Datór the capital of the Kingdom of Graundul. There were many kingdoms in the massive mountain range, Titan’s Belt. They were referred to as the Titainian Kingdoms! Rarothuan had heard of a gruesome ogre that had been terrorizing some the farms of Graundul. Bául they had called it, the Basher. It had been a heated battle but now the ogre’s head was in a bag at Rarothuan’s back.

Rarothuan almost let out a sigh of relief when he saw the city gates of Datór. It was late so the gates were closed, so as the creatures of the night would not find easy entry to the city.

“Ho the Gate!” Rarothuan shouted in his hoarse crackling voice.
“I see you, be ye friend or foe?” A voice shouted down from the wall.
“A friend my good fellow, a knight of the kingdoms, tired after a long journey”
“You look a bit shabby for a Consul knight, you have any proof?”
“I have the medallion, but I think this will convince you more of my good intentions” Rarothuan said, pulling the ogre head out of its bag. He held the grotesque thing by what, for an ogre passed as hair.
“Bául!” The gateman said, like he was uttering a black swear.

“Aye, and he put up quite the fight, howling and gnashing his teeth, throwing trees at me and such, his breath was the deadliest weapon though!”
“Ha! Few things worse than an ogre’s breath, true as the mountains! It’s no wonder that you look the way you do, mores the wonder you don’t look worse!”
“That proof enough for you?” Rarothuan asked.
“Sorry for doubting you Sir Knight, but vile beings often take the form of people”
“That’s fine good man, I’d like do the same if I were you, true as the mountains” Rarothuan replied.
“Right, Kueth! Open the gates a bit; we have an ogre slayer to let in!” The gateman shouted.

The gates creaked and groan then with a clunking and clanking sound they slowly opened just enough for one man to get through. Raothuan quickly went in and behind him the gates clanked and clunked their way closed.

Datór was a not the largest of cities, some of the streets were wide, some were narrow, some were cobbled some were paved. The houses and buildings huddled together as if fearing the skies. Not one building was made of wood or was thatched, but stone and slate, granite, obsidian and all kinds of other things born of the mountains were there but not wood. In the centre of the city was of course the castle.

A baroque, gothic thing it was, tall and imposing, with many towers lined with murder holes. There was even a few floating towers, most likely the towers of mages. Splendid bridges connected the towers. The style of the castle and the patterns on the bricks showed the castle to be from the Darleonian period, it was a castle from the times of the great paladin king Darleon. Perhaps it had even stood siege against the cold ones or the darker Chlan that followed.

Rarothuan was not thinking of the castle or ancient history however, he had two objectives, get rid of the ogre head, and find an inn with a bath. Ogres simply put smells very bad, very, very bad. Orge blood is of course putrid, and even slightly corrosive, and when dry is a bit like stone. Rarothuan wanted to cleanse himself of the vile stench as soon as possible. It was possible his armour and cloak were not recoverable, though the armour had much better chances than the cloak did.

The barracks of the guard of this division of city was where Rarothuan needed to go to. There he could get rid of pestilential head, the thing was heavy too, and Rarothuan was sure the tusks had dented his armour while he had been travelling
>>
No. 381432 ID: c0e69a

Off to the barracks to claim your reward!
>>
No. 381434 ID: 46c430

Hmm... Now -this- looks interesting.

Aye, to the barracks with ye, quick as ye please! High time for some relaxation.
>>
No. 381441 ID: 448d82

>>381432
>>381434
Rarothuan clattered towards the barracks, leaving bits of mud, flakes of dried ogre blood and more than a few leaves.

Rarothuan hammered on the door of the barracks with his gauntlet. The guards were slow in responding and when a young orange haired recruit opened the door quickly he almost got a face full of Rarothuan’s plated fist.
“What do you want?” the boy said condescendingly, obviously the child thought a uniform, spear and mail made him important.
Rarothuan was in no mood for this sort of thing, so he just pulled the ogre head out and shoved it in the young soldier’s face.
There was a wail from the boy and then he stumbled back and retched. Rarothuan felt slightly bad, but he really wanted free from the head, he had no time for silly games.

“Where is your Captain, soldier?” Rarothuan said in a commanding tone.
To the boy’s credit he got up and saluted, being only a bit wobbly on the legs.
“O-Out on rounds, Sir! Captain Fruadyr hates paperwork, Sir”
Rarothuan smiled, and clapped the boy on the shoulder with a soiled gauntlet.
“Good lad, I’ll be sure to put in a good word for you...”
Rarothuan looked down at ground.
“Best you clean that up before somebody comes”
The lad gave a weak smile and Rarothuan clattered away.

Captain Fruadyr was currently enjoying himself in a tavern, telling fake stories to barmaids and sweet-talking drinks from the innkeeper, his men were enjoying themselves, except for Hualdr, she was drowning her sorrows, sorrows mainly being the nature of their Captain. Another guard a young woman hovered by Hualde for protection, as did some of the smarter barmaids. Fruadyr had learnt the hard way not to mess with Hualde, as the scar on his right cheek testified. Fruadyr used the scar in his tall tales of course. Hualde wondered how heroic people would think him if they knew the scar was from a woman he’d tried to put his moves on.

As Fruadyr laughed and roared, and as Hualde sulked and glowered, neither of them expected the door to be kicked in, and a blood caked armoured man to burst in carrying an ogre head and with a black chicken on his head. However, just because a person doesn’t think of a thing doesn’t mean it won’t happen. As Yvafferas the Unorthodox once said, “Stuff happens”.

Fruadyr was becoming too familiar with one of the bar maids (she was having none of it) and Hualde was fingering the hilt of her dagger, wondering if anybody would really miss Fruadyr. Then the door was kicked in wards, a large armour clad figure, with blood caked on, burst into the tavern. The air blew a few leaves around him, flinty eyes glared from long dark brown hair. In one hand the head of an ogre was held. He looked like some sort of dark knight, ready to sunder any who got in his way. There was however a black chicken on his head, clucking (don’t ask).

Rarothuan gave a stare that would curdle milk and make grown men fear for their lives. None dared laugh at the chicken knight. It had been more troublesome to find Fruadyr than Rarothuan had thought; he was at the end of his patience. He hadn’t bathed in days, his armour was most likely ruined and to top it all, he was sure the chicken was about to lay an egg.
>>
No. 381443 ID: c4a1fc

Notice the Captain harassing women. Slay him by hurling the egg through his eye and into the brain. You can't be having with people in command harassing helpless women- you're a knight, after all. Defending people form ogres- real and metaphorical- is what you do.
>>
No. 381444 ID: 46c430

With the expression and voice (but not the eyes) of seemingly complete calm, in a deathly quiet voice, ask where you can find Captain Fruadyr.
>>
No. 381453 ID: 448d82

>>381443
No true knight would waste an egg in such a way, it would be an insult to the chicken that laid it!

>>381444
Rarothuan asked a simple question, in a calm and even voice. Somehow that just made it more terrifying, even with the chicken.
“Where, is Captain Fruadyr?”

Fruadyr practically yelped, he looked about, his men had backed away from him and were pretending they didn’t know him.
“Who wants to know?” Fruadyr predictably replied.
“Rarothuan Yiokel, Consul Knight of the kingdoms” Rarothuan said coldly.
The colour drained from Fruadyr’s face, he staggered up right, now sober and Knelt.
“I-I I’m sorry Noble Consul! I am Captain Fruadyr of the second west division! Your Valiance!”

Hualde smirked, she found this situation amusing, It was wonderful seeing Fruadyr squirm like the rodent he was. Rarothuan slammed the ogre head on the table Fruadyr was at. Fruadyr let out a little whimper.
“Your Ogre problem is dealt with, the farms should be safer, go to your barracks and write up the relevant paperwork for the proclaimation, take the head with you, stick it on the city gates or something” Rarothuan commanded.

Fruadyr grabbed the head and began to make his way out.
“Oh, make sure you don’t try to claim you slew the ogre, I am in possession of the horns and that would be proof enough to condemn you if do anything... unwise” Rarothuan warned.
Hualde almost laughed, Rarothuan had seen straight through Fruadyr.

Fruadyr left, lugging the head behind him, the patrol guards stayed behind, Hualde would lead the patrol now. Hualde got up and clapped Rarothuan on the back. Hualde brushed her fiery hair from her face, a face which had seen battle and felt it’s steel on flesh, there was a horizontal scar across the bridge of her nose a fairly clean, not scabby, had probably been a fatal wound healed by a healer. It wasn’t a gaunt face and it was female, but it was a hard face, the face of a warrioress.

“You handled that wastrel well Sir Knight” Hualde praised.
Rarothuan grunted, and then a thought came to him.
“Ah, would you perhaps know of an inn where a man could bathe himself?” Rarothuan asked.
“You’re in luck, your Valiance! My sister just happens to run a splendid inn, it’s not far from here, and my sister almost insists that her guests cleanse themselves!”
Rarothuan visibly sighed.
“The Brave Goat is the name of it, bit of a story behind that; you can ask my sister if you want, I’ll be there later you can tell me a few tales. Just tell her Hualde sent you” Hualde grinned.

She turn to her squad “Right you miserable malcontents! Now the Captain is gone, we’ll do what we were supposed to do, PATROLING!!!”
Hualde hustled, shouted and kicked her squad out the door of the inn. She winked at Rarothuan as she herself exited.
The chicken on Rarothuan’s head clucked.

“Uh, Sir Knight there is a chicken on your head” One of the barmaids blurted out; in spite of the others trying to shush her up.
“I know, I even had to pay for it, couldn’t get it to move” Rarothuan said darkly as he left the tavern.
>>
No. 381540 ID: c0e69a

Go to The Brave Goat, cleanse yourself, and try to salvage your armor and cloak.

What items do you have besides your armor and weapons?
>>
No. 381579 ID: 448d82

>>381540

The Brave Goat was fairly large, there was a wooden goat coming out from the front, with the letters ‘The Brave Goat’ above it. The Goat seemed oddly heroic looking, there appeared to be cowering beasts carved under its hooves.

Rarothuan stomped in, there had been a healthy buzz of conversation which had died an abrupt and sudden death at the entrance of Rarothuan’s intimidating presence.
A chill silence dominated the room, the large fire place crackled merrily unaware of the heavy atmosphere.

Then the chicken on Rarothuan’s head clucked.

Every person in the room stared at the black chicken for a few moments, then the general murmur of conversation resumed. Rarothuan clanked over to the bar counter. He wouldn’t have recognised Hualde’s sister if it wasn’t for the fiery hair. Hualde’s sister was delicate, to the point of fragile looking. Her hair was very long, tumbling down to her waist. She was quite elegant almost elven, very different from her sister who was hard, sturdy and athletic. The eyes, shimmering jade were the same, with that same glint Hualde’s had.
Rarothuan cleared his throat. Hualde’s sister had been watching him all the time.
“Can I help you Sir Knight?” Hualde’ Sister said, her voice was interestingly enough, quite rough.
“Ah, yes I was told you have facilities for bathing here, a fine lady named Hualde told me to go here.”
The flame haired maiden laughed a strange whooping kind of laugh it was too.
“Ah, forgive me, it’s just my sister would be in stitches hearing somebody call her a lady, now I am called Ruanrih, I believe I can put you up for the night, provide you with a bath and even have somebody scour your armour!”

Rarothuan let out a sigh of exhaustion and happiness, even scouring armour...
“If somebody had told me on my initiation day that I would one day feel such pleasure at the thought of a bath and somebody scouring my armour, I’d have called him a fool.”
Ruanrih broke into another whooping laugh.
Rarothuan was almost caught in her laughter himself.
“So then, when might I expect the bath?” he inquired.

Ruanrih smiled a lopsided grin.
“In a few moments, I acquired a failed apprentice not long ago, he at least learnt to boil water before his master decided he didn’t reach the mark, he may be able to do something about your armour too. Liagg is his name.”
“Wonderful! How much for the bath, a meal and the night?”
“I’ll give you the bath and meal for free, but the night that’ll be a ward and twenty tokens, not that a knight has to pay...”
Rarothuan grunted “I can certainly afford to pay, there’s little point in a knight hoarding wealth”

Ruanrih whooped a bit and coin exchanged hands.
“I thought you’d feel that way, I’ll call Liagg now”
Ruanrih stomped down some stairs behind the counter.
“Liagg! Wake up, Wake up Liagg Rimeblood!”
There was a thumping sound then moaning.
“Ah, Ruanrih, ye harpy! Can’t a man goit some roist aboiut ere?” The rippling frosty voice of Liagg complained. He had a remarkably odd accent.

“Not when there’s work to be done, now shift your tail and get moving, what’ll people think of your kind if you laze about all the time!” Ruanrih snapped.
“The kind card eh?” There was the sort of silence in which a person is given a hard stare. “A’right , A’right , Oi’m shifting”
The clicking of claws on wood sounded.

What Rarothuan saw first was the head, skin the colour of the sea hair like thin seaweed, eyes like a dead fish, twisted horns on the sides of the head, gills on the neck and aura-shards of ice floating over the brow. Shark like teeth glinted beneath a sour expression, and scales were on thin cheek bones.
A Tainted, a cross breed of the races, Rarothuan was sure there was merian blood, and certainly ice touched heritage. There was possibly Seehi, lizard-human blood but that didn’t explain the horns.
Tainted were a reviled kind, hated and feared by many unfortunately some Tainted deserve their reputation, abusing the gifts of their birth. Some people even believe Tainted to be an embodiment of evil, a kind of Chlan Fiarn. With everyone calling you a monster, it was easy to be one.

Rarothuan had a fairly enlightened view of Tainted, though he was cautious around them, this however was pragmatic more than anything else, it’s best to be careful around strong beings and Tainted easily can end up powerful. Rarothuan was in reality a bit baffled by people who bothered Tainted. It was as silly as poking a bear with a stick he thought.

Liagg came to the counter, a scaly tail swished behind him. His hands were webbed and clawed. None of the guest scowled at him, evidently Ruanrih chose her guests carefully.
“A’right then Sirrah, iffa yould jus falloiw me then...”
At seeing Rarothuan, Liagg’s face went pale (impressive feat for somebody with pale blue skin).

“Are you alright?” Rarothuan asked. He wondered why Liagg had such a reaction.
Liagg seemed to shake himself, a kind of 'no mate he couldn’t know'.
“Yah, jus a boit dased fram wakin!” he blatantly lied.
Rarothuan smiled, most people, nevermind tainted would be scared by a grim – looking knight in full armour.
“So then, you’ll be heating water for me, I am grateful”
Liagg gave a toothy grin.
“Yah, S’right, jus falloiw me!”

The bath was an impressive thing, with lots of pipes and stone sculptures. It was a large square with steps all around the edges, deep enough to drown a man. Liagg turned some of the taps on then poured some spicy bath liquids from Erimael in the south. Liagg held out a webbed hand and his aura-shards collected to form a wand which Liagg dipped in the water, the wand glowed and the water bubbled from heat.

“A’right, jus ‘and oiver yer armoiur an’ Oi’ll see wot Oi can dio wit it” Liagg informed Rarothuan.
There was squelching sounds as Rarothuan removed his armour; mud, leaves and ogre blood flakes fell in heaps around him. Liagg picked up an encrusted gauntlet.
“Coir, this is pretty nasty, Caunt garuntee Oi’ll be able ta doi anyting, Oi’ll take it away then” Liagg said gathering Rarothuan’s mail under suit in his arms.

The black chicken fluttered off Rarothuan’s head, clucking indignantly at the noise the removal of armour had caused. There was an egg in Rarothuan’s hair.
“Thank you, I can always deal with it myself, as it is I need a new helm, an ogre ate my last one”
“An Oigre! Yur foirtunate yoiu didn’t loise yoiur head! Oi’ll get you some of my cloithes, I can cloise up the tail hoile foir yoiu. Weel Oim off”
“Ah! A moment, could you take this egg?”

Liagg left with the armour, an egg and a slightly puzzled expression on his face.

Rarothuan let himself into the water slowly; he let the spicy liquid seep into his skin. Closing his eyes he felt his weariness fade; the brutal fight he had with the ogre seemed distant now. Losing his horse and equipment didn’t seem so bad now, the infernal chicken didn’t even seem too bad now.
>>
No. 381602 ID: c8a6d1

Gah! Watch your back, Liagg now has a deadly weapon. There's no reason to suspect that he'd backegg us, but a true knight must remain ever vigilant. You don't want to be the knight that slew a mighty orc and was then slain by an egg thrown at your back, do you?
>>
No. 381669 ID: b6edd6

We might eventually have to think of a name for the chicken.
>>
No. 381908 ID: 448d82

>>381602
>>381669

He stayed in the water until his fingers and toes went wrinkly by that stage the water was lukewarm. Rarothuan wondered idly what would become of the egg... his stomach rumbled, he took that as a que to exit the bath.

He dried himself and the chicken (which had, half-way through Rarothuan’s bath fallen in and made quite a commotion). He was taking a bit of a shine to it, he half considered naming it, but emergency food shouldn't have a name.

He pulled on the clothes that Liagg had surreptitiously placed at some point or another, a blue shirt and brown pants, both of which fitted quite well. Liagg had also managed to get a pair of black boots, not that Liagg could even wear boots with his clawed feet. The chicken returned to his head before he could stop it. At least it didn’t go to the toilet on his head, it was pretty smart, well smart for a chicken at any rate.

He combed out his beard, put his sword belt on (sword included) and went back downstairs.
He was greeted by Ruanrih’s whooping laugh.
“My, you do clean up well don’t you, a real nobleman! Handsome, very manly”
“And here I thought they made me a Consul so as they wouldn’t see my ugly mug much” Rarothuan joked.
“Nah, they sent you off so as their hideous mugs wouldn’t look so ugly!”
Ruanrih and Rarothuan both laughed.

“Well that’s enough of that, have yourself a seat by the fire, my cook is doing up a treasure chest pie for you. I heard Bául was killed by a Knight, and from Liagg’s muttering about dried ogre blood I’m guessing you’re the Knight, I think you deserve a couple of free pints of ale”
“Dwarven?” Rarothuan asked.
“Deephold no less, brewed by Stonecallers, has to be stored in a golden cask, I’ve only a small one, given to my sister by a dwarf she did a favour for, bit of a story that”
“Speaking of stories your sister said that there was a story behind the name of your Inn...”

Ruanrih whooped.
“My sister always tries to push the telling of that tale onto me, she’s got the way of it better though, I’ll badger her about it when she gets back” Ruanrih said mischievously.
Ruanrih went into the cellar to retrieve a pint of Stonecaller Monk Ale.
Rarothuan took in the merry warmth of the fire and the gentle murmur of conversation.

Something however caught his attention.

“Have you heard... they said... a dragon in Datór”
“Impossible...”
“Too large... Scaly...”
“It’s said... human form...”
“Could be anyone...”

That was worrying, dragons were usually bad news and relations between the Titanian Kingdoms and dragons were bad. Many Dragons liked the idea of a kingdom to do mining for them. Rarothuan was sure it would be wise to investigate the matter.

Ruanrih plonked the ale in front of Rarothuan, the tankard was goldlined on the inside, the outside being dull so as not to attract attention. The Ale itself looked exactly like molten gold. Rarothuan gulped a mouthful. It bubbled festively down his throat and put a fire in his heart, it tasted glorious, like liquid victory. Rarothuan was transported to the world of darkness and earth, he felt the age of the land and for a moment completely understood the dwarven people, felt the weight of Deephold’s history.

A tear escaped from his eye.
“More than amazing, isn’t it, I’ve been told that a whole cask sends people of the race of men into a several year coma, what you’ve got there is the stuff watered down for Nighom consumption, we can’t handle the stuff straight”

“Been so long since I’ve tasted that, those stonecallers really put their whole heart into this ale...”
“You’ve had it before!?!” Ruanrih whooped.
“A Dwarven ambassador brought some as a gift once, I tell you, the Deephold Dwarves got some extremely favourable treaties that day!”
“I don’t doubt it”

Ruanrih did her whooping laugh and Rarothuan laughed too.
“Well, now tell me, have you heard any rumours about a dragon in Datór?”
“Serious matters now eh? Well I’ve heard a few; it is part of the job of an innkeeper to collect rumours”
“Any of them true? Is there a dragon in Datór?”
“Well... There’s nothing clear, usual claims of people they don’t like being dragons, but... there’s two things, some gang has suddenly appeared and they are stealing all kinds of valuables, and there’s been a couple of odd deaths, nothing that couldn’t be explained away but... this feels like a rumour that started somewhere true.”

An obvious thieving gang in Datór was a serious problem, dragon or no. Rarothuan grimaced, perhaps it was time to contact the lords and ladies, that thievery guild didn’t like rampant theft. Well that business could wait until later. For now he had a tankard of very fine ale to empty, and a pie to come. Rarothuan noticed the chicken putting its head inquisitively near his ale, he moved it, the chicken clucked indignantly.

“Ah, what’s the name of the gang?” Rarothuan asked, remembering that.
“The Firetakers, they have no symbol, but they have a propensity for arson”
“What do they burn?”
“Stone, people are pretty sure they have a sorcerer with them, a flame caller.”
“That’s bad”
“Very”

A grim silence came over the two people. The chicken squawked breaking the oppressive atmosphere. Both Rarothuan and Ruanrih couldn’t help but laugh.
“Well you black hen” Rarothuan addressed the chicken “It seems you are useful afterall!”
Ruanrih whooped a bit at that comment, then wheezing she caught her breath.
“Hoo... Well I’m going to check up on the cook, when I come back I want to hear how a ogre-slaying knight ended up with a comedic chicken!” Ruanrih said, as she pranced in the direction of the kitchens.
“It’s not a terribly interesting story!” Rarothuan protested.
“I don’t care! I’m sure it really is interesting”

Rarothuan shook his head and went back to drinking his ale. A thought occurred to him, dwarves being dwarves, would they quaff this ale? He wasn’t about to, it was too good to waste. He leaned back and relaxed, he was beginning to feel the effects of his journey and the bashing he had recieved from Bául. It was beginning to look like he would need to stay in Datór a few days, get come supplies and a new warhorse, he didn’t like that thought, he’d have to go to the castle for that. Perhaps he could help the ruffian gang problem... then there was the rumor.

A Dragon in Datór...

There was an ominous feel to it, a dragon in human form in our midst.

Rarothuan thought of Liagg, if things got bad, a mob would naturally come, with the way Liagg looked people would easily claim he was the dragon. Well such a thing wouldn’t happen on his watch. Dispersing mobs was not an uncommon activity for Consul Knights.

Rarothuan’s thoughts drifted as he drank the ale, he thought about his encounters with dwarves, the times that he was underground...

“Hey! Your Valiance!” a voice slightly cracked form barking orders greeted.
Rarothuan started, and almost fell from his seat, the chicken clutched gamely onto Rarothuan’s head with her feet. Hualde grabbed his arm and stabilised him.

“Deep in thought?” Hualde stated.
Rarothuan nodded.
“Well how do you like my sister’s inn?”
“Very good, this ale is spectacular and Liagg heated the water of the bath perfectly”
“Ah that ale, hmm my sister clearly favours you, careful you don’t make her admirers jealous, though she wouldn’t have them, she is still waiting for one adventurer to come back...”

Hualde stopped abruptly, she slapped her forehead.
“What am I doing telling you this? Gossiping, please forgive me!” Hualde apologised.
Rarothuan smiled. “Not to worry, people’s tongues just loosen when they are around me, It’s an invaluable asset to a Consul Knight”
“Well I must leave then, before my tongue betrays me again!” Hualde joked, “Though I shall leave you, I need to bathe and change into more suitable clothing! I’ll be back soon”

Rarothuan waved as she rushed off.
He had barely finished waving when a steaming plate was set before him.
“One treasure chest pie! Made with your own egg no less!” Ruanrih stated proudly.

Treasure chest pie was a favourite among adventurers in the Titan’s Belt Mountains; there were few things more invigorating after a journey, raid or fight. The “pie” was always in the shape of a chest. Inside a there would be a kind of stew or really whatever was handy or looked good at the time, these are referred to as the gold, the lesser treasures. The main thing however was a battered/spice-caked stuffed egg. The nature of the egg could change but there would always be an egg.

Rarothuan then thanked Ruanrih and began to eat the pie with knife and fork, he eat very formally being of noble upbringing, though if he we as out in the mountains he would not have such decorum. He saved the egg for last, as was his wont to do. Bar fights over the “best” way to eat a treasure chest pie were common enough.

Rarothuan leaned back in his chair extremely satisfied. Hualde descended from the stairs, wearing soft black boots and a ruffled sleeved shirt. She looked quite impressive. She went over to Liagg (Who was at that time behind the counter) and entered into his embrace and kissed him forcefully.
“Husband” She said.
“Wife” Liagg replied.

Rarothuan was needless to say a little surprised but the union of a tainted and a human didn’t bother him, much. He looked around the room, there was not a wince or a scowl in the room, most were minding their own business, though there was one or two looking at the couple and smiling, how oddly tolerant.

Ruanrih thumped down at a chair at Rarothaun’s table.
“My sister used to be an adventurer, that’s how she met Liagg, though I’ve never gotten the specifics from her or him” Ruanrih said, sensing Rarothuan was vaguely interested.
Hualde and Liagg went arm in arm towards Rarothuan.
“Well, you’ve already met my husband Liagg and my sister Ruanrih, now that we are assembled you can tell us why you have a chicken attached to your head and your fight against Bául!” Hualde said sitting down.

The black chicken clucked at being mentioned.

“What about your other guests?”
Ruanrih waved a dismissive hand. “They can take care of themselves, I don’t let troublesome types in here and besides my regulars would deal with anybody messing with my place, and they adore me you see, Tell us the story behind the chicken I am dying of curiosity here” She explained.

“Well perhaps Hualde could tell me the story behind the name of this place?”
Ruanrih shook her head “Chicken first, goat later!” she demanded.
“Wait a minute! How did I end up having to tell the goat story!?” Hualde protested.
“Shush! Rarothuan is going to tell us how he ended up with the chicken!”

Rarothuan sighed, but with the good treatment he had received from Hualde, Liagg and Ruanrih, it was only right to tell them some stories.
“Well I was trying to find Captain Fruadyr, he was in none of the places he was supposed to be, and I was lugging around this huge ogre head, so walking through a market I bumped off some man’s chicken cages. The cages broke and this” he said pointing at his head, “Black Chicken Fluttered onto my head. His other Chickens were caught easily enough but... The black hen refused to leave my head. The man was very displeased, as the black one was his prize hen, he had been hoping to get a tidy sum for it, but she pecked at anyone who tried to remove her, now I wanted to get a move on, i had been travelling for days and I stank of ogre blood, Ah that’s the strange thing, to the other chickens I smelt like an ogre so they kept away, but Blacky here wasn’t fazed at all!

So the man saw I wanted to leave, poor man thought I was going to go off with his prize hen, seeing as how Consul Knights don’t have to pay for anything and knights in general have a bad habit of taking what they want. Of course I wasn’t going to steal a man’s chicken, so I offered to buy it...
So, get this, the man started to haggle, I didn’t have the time for this so I gave him some coins and went off, It must have been three times the worth of the chicken that I gave to him.

After that I ducked into an alley and tried to get rid of the chicken, for my troubles a group of cutthroats tried to kill me, they were more than a little sorry when they discovered I was carrying an ogre head which I beat them with. After that a pack of dogs decided that they would like some chicken, so I had to push my way past a large number of dogs, it was a small mercy they were frightened of the head.

After that was a trial of cats, then after that there was some sort of ... thing from the sewers, I guess this chicken must be really tasty or something” Rarothuan regaled.

The hen clucked indignantly.

Liagg and Hualde laughed, and Ruanrih whooped, and after a moment, Rarothuan laughed, it all seemed ridiculous now. They settled down.
“Weel, a proize hen foir sure!” Liagg stated.
Ruanrih’s whooping started up again.
“Right then...” Hualde began.
“Woooaaahhahahahahahaahhah!”
“As soon as...”
“Woooahahahahaha Woop, Woohaha!”
“My sister is done...”
“Woahappapapapaphhhahahaa!”
“I can tell you the story behind the name of this inn.
“WoahahahapapajaHAHAHaHAHA!!!!*Cough!*”

Ruanrih spluttered a bit, tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, she then regained her composure, she blushed a bit.
“Ah... sorry Sister, do go on”
“Ahem” Hualde coughed.

“Right, so This Inn was not always called the Brave Goat, It has however been in the Kankard family for many years and once upon a time this inn was called the Cobbled Stone. Now about this time, my ancestors were keeping a goat. This goat, by all accounts was an odd one, she would drink beer and ale and supposedly her milk was great for lessening the sting of hangovers.

It was during the Rule of the great king Darleon, when the Chlan Hordes were ravaging the lands and this city was under siege, so any way a Chlan Fiarn slipped in, and it was hungry for flesh, it felt the presence of people in the Cobbled Stone, the goat was in her cups at the time and all the patrons of the inn knew better than to disturb her. There was a great wailing from everyone when the Chlan came, a fear went into their hearts, and those that could fight were made cowards by it’s power.

The Goat however, looked up from her cups and gave the Chlan a foul look, as only a goat separated from it’s drink can. The Chlan made as if to move but the goat, rushed off and rammed the beast, then she trampled and butted the Chlan to death, it was a fierce battle, but to the amazement of everyone, the goat won and went back to her cups. News of the goat spread far, and there was much congratulations, about a year later she died of liver failure and that’s the story!” Hualde told.

Rarothuan could hardly believe it, he hadn’t quite expected a tale like that, his jaw was almost hanging open.
“Is that story true?”
“As true as the mountains!” Ruanrih solemnly stated.
“Amazing, truly amazing”

Ruanrih smiled mischievously. “Well, it’s your turn again Sir Rarothuan!”
“Yas, Yoiu muast tell hiow yoiu kilt Bául!” Liagg added.
Rarothuan laughed, “Very well, you shall get your tale!”

“Right, so I was in the area of Graundul, when I heard talk of something terrorizing the farmlands, after a bit of questioning, I found out about Bául. I decided to hunt him down, thus granting the farms respite. After much searching and doing seemingly pointless tasks for people, I found where Bául was, His lair was deep within a rock bog, Yalduan’s End it was called, near a small mining village called Coppertown. Must be thousands of places in Kigan called that

So I went on my horse into the bog, rock bogs not being as bad as other bogs it was safe enough to go on horse. A couple of rock-worms thought I would make a nice meal, I took them out as they burst through the sinking shale, my warhorse even mashed one to pieces. Nasty things rock-worms, you know they chew rock to keep their teeth and mouth parts sharp, hard to believe they were once earth-worms.

There wasn’t much else that happened, a lot of things stayed out of my way after the rock-worms. Bául’s lair was a vile thing, a dank cave stinking of rotten flesh; there were the remains of all kinds of creatures decorating the ground about the cave entrance. An Ogre will eat anything it can kill. Thankfully it was still day, which mean I had the advantage, ogres have problems seeing during the day, weaker physically too. I just needed to lure it from its cave, to fight an ogre in such a dark place would be suicide.
I decided to sing the ogre hunting song, it’s annoying to most living beings, but it is particularly insulting and infuriating to ogre-kin. It’s a pretty catchy tune. So there I was...”

“Ah, You were about to skip singing the song!” Hualde protested.
“Very bold of you, sing for us Sir Knight!” Ruanrih scolded.
Liagg chuckled, “Yoiuld best sing foir tham, thay won’t take noi foir an answer”
Rarothuan threw his arms up in mock despair, “What has the Kingdoms come to? A knight singing for his supper? Well you call for a song, a song you will have.”

Rarothuan’s voice was a strong rich vibrating bass, just the kind of singing voice dwarven maids would fall for. Sharp like a sword, steady as a statue and loud as a battle, his voice was.

“I’ve heard tell of dangers, shapes in the night
I’ve heard tell of sightings of Ogres!
Ogres!
Big Stupid Ogres, Nothing stupider in Kigan!
I’ve heard they eat anything that moves!
So let’s roll some boulders down, and they can choke!

A hunting we will go, A hunting we will go, A hunting ogres we will go!

Well let’s all get together and hunt some ogres!
Grab your torches, grab some pitch forks!
Put on a helmet, so you don’t catch their folly!
So let’s hunt some ogres
Don’t ya know this is the ogre hunting song!
So let’s hunt some ogres

A hunting we will go, A hunting we will go, A hunting ogres we will go!

An Ogre is strong, An ogre is fierce!
Not that it matters, if we trap it in a pit!
HA! Smart beats strong!
Strong is not strong if Strength can’t be used!
So let’s dig a bit and drop the old beast down!

A hunting we will go, A hunting we will go, A hunting ogres we will go!”

Rarothuan stopped there, which was reasonable considering the ogre hunting song was near endless, and in Rarothaun’s case he knew about twenty verses, and could make up some on the spot. All the other verses Rarothuan knew were kind of unpleasant, the ogre hunting song was perfect for sending most semi-rational beings into maddened rage.

“How many verses did you have to sing?” Ruanrih asked.
“Only five” Rarothuan answered. “Unfortunately I wasn’t quite prepared for how angry Bául got. He charged straight out of his cave, without even a club, that didn’t stop him from hitting me and my horse up into the air. I hit against a nearby tree, my armour kept me relatively uninjured. My horse was not so fortunate; he was dashed upon some rocks, died instantly. I should have been more careful, singing the song out in the open was insane. I looked up and before me was Bául, who grabbed me and thrust me towards his mouth, he nearly bit my head off, but I pulled away just as his teeth clashed, my helmet was ripped from my head though, my ears rung and my vision blurred.

My legs were free, even though Bául was holding me, so I kicked him in the windpipe. He gasped and dropped me, I dizzily got to my feet, I was nearly crushed by Bául as he staggered about. I took the opportunity to hamstring one of his legs, I didn’t get to do the other because of a swiftly approaching fist, which I neatly dodged. Unfortunately this left me open to being kicked sky ward.

I rolled as I hit the ground, it was a mercy I hit a boggy part rather than a rocky part. I thought that things would be a bit easier now that Bául’s movement was limited; in my experience of fighting ogres that is usually the case. That being said, I had only fought ogres twice, once with some other knights and another time I trapped one with the aid of some villagers. I thought I was doing pretty well for my first head on ogre fight. Then he ripped a tree up and threw it at me. I scrambled out of the way, the tree smashing right behind me.

There were quite a few trees near Bául, well, there were, until he pulled them out and threw them at me. I did manage to get close to Bául again but this was not the best situation. He swung a fist at me and I jumped out of the way, and dug my sword into his forearm. He swung me about, trying to dislodge me, I fended off his other hand with my dagger. Finally my chance came, his arm was over his head so I dropped down on to his back.

He was furious, he couldn’t reach me with his arms you see! So I climbed up to his head, plunging my sword in to help. I gripped on to his neck with my legs and raised my sword to strike the point his head and neck connected. It sunk in but, not deep enough, and his arms flung me off, reaching his head was well within his arms reach. So there I was weapon-less.

Bául wasn’t paying any attention to me flailing about trying to get the sword out of his neck. I was afraid I would have to use my Díolgarde’s power...”

Liagg interrupted “Wait, hoiw dois a tha poiwer toi tell truth froim lies help?”
Rarothuan smiled. “A Consul Knight’s Díolgarde has two powers, it does grant the bearer the power to tell lie from truth but there is another power. This power is bound to the knight’s spirit and is not to be used lightly...

So I was afraid I’d have to use that power, however I noticed that I was near the grizzly remains of my ill-fortuned steed. The horse was well past helping me, but one of my lances was intact. Bául was still focused on getting my sword out of his neck. I grabbed the lance and snuck up to him hoping I wouldn’t be noticed. I should have known better. Bául noticed me nearly instantly and charged at me, I only just escaped being crushed as it was I was sent flying again. I had begun to notice a pattern, I wound the ogre I get flung, I don’t wound the ogre, I get flung.
I rolled out of the way just as Bául came charging back. It was clear what I needed to do. I scrambled up and forced my lance into the earth. Sure enough Bául came charging along, I braced myself. He kept going you know even with the lance stuck deep in his chest. He fell to his knees and I let go of the lance. I went behind him, held my hands together and smashed the sword in his neck. Bául’s head was severed from its body; I cleaned my sword, recovered what I could from the remains of my horse and supplies, picked up the head and went on my way.

Awed Silence is what follows Rarothuan's tale. Liagg proclaimed Rarothuan a fine hero, and Ruanrih poured him more Ale, and gave a round of free drinks to all. They swapped many stories that night. One of the patrons of the inn pulled out and played a lute and soon the whole inn was dancing. Rarothuan was thoroughly drained once he finally went to the room prepared for him.

He slept like what Bául had thrown at him, a log.
Rarothuan woke to the smell of toast and bacon...
He dressed and ate the breakfast, there was a long day ahead of him.


>A number of options are now open, and a number of problems have arisen.
>Wat do?
>>
No. 381955 ID: 1854db

Wow that's a lot of text.

Investigate the Firetakers. Using the thieves' guild against them is a good idea.
>>
No. 381959 ID: b6edd6

Yes, a gang that can set stone on fire sounds like bad news when the entire town is stone. They have also been concretely doing things, so they are much less of a nebulous threat than the maybe-dragon.
>>
No. 381962 ID: c4a1fc

Also, visit a farm. Keep in mind the easiest way to reach the chicken coop in a hurry. In dire circumstances, you can rush there and pelt your foes with a fusillade of the lethal little things. Firetakers sound much worse than a possible dragon, even if the thread's name is Dragon in Dator.
>>
No. 382114 ID: f6bf3b

>>381959
>They have also been concretely doing things
>concretely

I see what you did there.
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