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Stormbringer episode 20

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 5 months ago

The interior of the inn was unlike any we had seen. The floor was covered in a strange artificial fur and the walls were coated with coloured paper. At the bar were several of the men dressed in the dark trousers and jackets we had seen on others. The pieces of material around the neck were worn somewhat looser here. Also in the inn were several women wearing very little material, and what material they did wear was loose and diaphanous. Surge, Ashraful, Amra and Shurly ordered drinks while Vermius adjusted his ponytail and approached one of the women.

 

Seated at the bar Surge, Ashraful, Amra and Shurly noticed a man enter the bar. The man smelt foul and was dressed in clothes which resembled our own shabby attire more than it did the complex dressings of the locals. Some of the companions noted that he had a sword concealed beneath his cloak. The man approached the bar and spoke quietly to the bar-keep. The bar-keep looked up in confusion and asked the man if he spoke Engrish. The man muttered in frustration and started to stalk out. As he went by Ashraful whispered something to him in high speak and the man paused momentarily, but then carried on outside. Surge watched through a window as the man entered a dead-end alley and did not return.

 

Meanwhile in another corner of the inn Vermius suddenly found himself at the end of a proposition which sent him running blushing to the bar in search of a strong drink. A shandy was promptly served. Amra, overhearing the proposition, decided to make a proposition of his own when a large smelly brute of a man who claimed to have already “paid for the lady’s time” intervened. Amra took exception and the oaf swung at Amra. The blow was artfully dodged and Amra's counterswing connected with the man's eye socket, smashing bones and drawing blood. An all-in brawl threatened to break out when the bar-keep drew a large bugle from under his counter. The sight of this bugle saw everyone else sit down quickly and quietly. We assumed that use of the bugle would summon the authorities and smiled peaceably at everyone and sat down too.

 

As the threat of the brawl diminished a woman appeared at the top of stairs which led from the bar. Although middle-aged, this woman remained beautiful and Ashraful immediately felt his heart leap as her eyes clasped upon him. The woman turned her gaze from him quickly and berated the woman at the centre of Amra’s intentions for causing trouble. She then approached and said she had been waiting for us to arrive. She told the bar-keep that everything we required should be provided free of charge. Turning back to us she told us that when we had filled our bellies we should come upstairs to talk further.

 

After a decent pause for refreshment we headed upstairs. Here the woman revealed that the owner of the blade had disappeared. She revealed to us strange dreams she had had which prophesised our coming. She also told Ashraful somewhat cryptically that their two hearts were fated to be kept unfairly apart. Having never met her before, Ashraful was a little taken aback, but showed no sign of disagreeing.

 

We were told to travel to the south coast of Albion, to a place called Whitedover. Here we were to seek out a man by the name of Siphyr who could help us. We were told to spend the night in the inn and to depart as soon as is possible. It seems the “pulses” we had witnessed earlier are a new phenomenon and our quest might have some relation to their appearance.

 

Before heading to bed we decided to see what had become of the smelly man we had seen earlier. We went outside and crossed to the alley Surge had seen him enter. As we approached the alley, the man stepped from the shadows. Vermius put up his hands in a gesture of peace and tried to calm the man by speaking in high speak, but he got no response other than a sly grin. The man drew his sword and stepped towards us. He shouted a command in a language none of us recognised and his sword gave off a series of great flashes. We heard screams and yells around us, but could see nothing for several minutes but a searing white light. When our vision cleared the man had gone and armed officials had arrived to ask us awkward questions.

 

We thought it best to leave early the next day. As we departed on horses provided by the woman at the inn she warned us that the countryside was a dangerous and wild place. Her warning swiftly found support in the number of heavily armoured guards we witnessed guarding wagons on the roads outside the city.

 

Several miles down the path to Whitedover we were brought to a halt by the sight of men hiding in the bushes. As we slowed we saw one of them raise a bugle like the one we had seen in the arms of the bar-keep. He did something with it and the bugle spat smoke and flames and made a noise like thunder. Something whistled by Ashraful’s ear and the bugler’s companions charged us waving axes and knives. Amra chased after the bugler as the rest of us dealt with the other thieves. We made short work of them with our swords and Vermius stripped one and took his armour as the rest fled. Amra tackled the bugler, who made for a rude and arrogant criminal. We smashed his instrument and left him to clean up the bodies of his companions.

 

We spend the night at a tavern and learnt a little about Whitedover and Siphyr from another traveller. We were told that the city is by the sea and that Siphyr is a scholar who lives in a tower some distance from the city walls.

 

We arrived in the city the next day and immediately set out for Siphyr’s tower. We were somewhat alarmed to find on arrival that the door had been broken down. We stepped cautiously inside and could smell death before we found it. A body lay inside the door covered in pages torn from the many books which littered the floor. We explored the tower and found a second body upstairs. We also found a red bauble of some kind in a closed chamber. A voice spoke to us as we approached this bauble pleading for help. It promised us assistance if we complied and begged us to break the bauble open. We did so and a horse-like figure briefly appeared before evaporating into mist. Before it departed this creature opened a hidden panel in the floor and told us that what we sought was contained within.

 

We looked in the hole behind the panel and found a book of notes. A quick skim told us a little more about the blade we sought and the man who made it. It also told us that the demon hearts within us would eventually overpower our mortal bodies and would open a portal that would allow the demons themselves to return and destroy the worlds of man.

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