The Whisperer in Darkness

Mission Two

Ankylobrawlrus

Date of Contract 18.01.373
Place of Contract The Stronghold of Carvahall
Current Time Midnight
On hand Cdr Greil, DC Skullfucker, Tarkus the Swift
Client Ilikan y’Meavoi f’Thotham
Client occupation Tavern proprietor
Mission Parameters * Objective: Break up a pub brawl
Up front Null
On completion 300ip (100 pess each)

Mission Profile

After two days of relaxation in Carvahall, the client appeared at our current residence (Pan’s house) several hours after dark. He had intentionally sought us out and, looking extremely flustered, begged us to put an end to a fight that had broken out at his tavern, the Piss Hole very close by (note: no, seriously, that is genuinely its name).

He offered 150ip for this task and also a week’s worth of free drinks. Since immediate action was required, I did not have the time to track down Euven and Gravilla (at leisure somewhere in the city) or to discuss exactly what I was getting us into, so I considered 150ip insufficient and demanded 300ip instead.

Such was his hurry, the client readily agreed, though he withdrew the offer of free drinks. (note: why was he willing to pay so much when local law enforcement would be required to provide assistance for free? Our proximity? His desperation for haste? Perhaps a low opinion of Carvahall’s soldiers?). We readied our equipment (with the exception of Tarkus, who was adamant that he would not need his axe) and set forth without delay.

Mission Details

It was only a short walk to the Piss Hole, 2-3 minutes at most. We approached from behind (for practical reasons rather than tactical ones), arriving nearby just in time to witness a goliath get flung through the air and broken by some great impact. The client fled towards us at an ungainly, off-balance sprint, screaming, “Something has been summoned!”

Encounter: Ankylobrawlrus

Once it was clear that the situation was resolved, I left the others, crept over to the Piss Hole and peered through one of its windows. The place was chaos, filled with goliaths engaged in a bloody, all-on-all fistfight. Two goliaths had their weapons drawn, each wielding a six foot greatsword, and were engaged in a furious duel. The rest seemed less concentrated, attacking each other at random and some even appearing to enjoy doing so. One was standing on the bar throwing bottles, another had just thrown himself off a table, and another still was swinging from a chandelier.

I was suddenly passed by the soldiers and Tarkus, pressing on towards the Piss Hole without delay. I retraced my steps and helped Grimlock find his axe in the dark (it turned out to be embedded shaft-first in the muddy debris from the rocks that the jigsaw smashed earlier) then the pair of us ran to the tavern’s entrance and almost collided with Tarkus, who was evicted from the premise at some speed at that very moment.

Entering together, we set about calming the place down. Unfortunately our arrival was deemed to be the entry of new participants, for one mad-looking brawler broke away from the mob and charged at Grimlock. A second later, the one on the chandelier swung off and followed suit. Skullfucker ducked nimbly, spun around on the ground and tripped both aggressors with his legs. Sheltering behind him and Tarkus, I was able to cast a spell of sleep across the room that dropped most of them and slowed the rest. The brawl stopped briefly as the remaining combatants gazed at their snoring opponents with confused expressions, then they met each others’ eyes and resumed with new partners.

Suddenly an earth-shattering roar boomed out from behind the bar. A gout of blood sprayed up the wall and a large object hurtled towards me, landing like a boulder at my feet. It was a goliath’s head, staring up at me with lifeless eyes. Seeing this, the Piss Hole clientele immediately evacuated from every exit, leaving us alone with the winner of the greatsword duel – an 8ft tall, blood-drenched goliath. Unlike any other goliath I have ever seen, he sported a full head of matted hair and a broad, black beard that tumbled down about a foot across his chest. He snarled, vaulted the bar and sprinted at us with his greatsword clutched tightly in one fist.

I knocked him back against the bar with a wave of thunder and told him to stop immediately, reassuring the bloody patron that we meant him no harm. He made to charge again, but was charged in turn by Tarkus, who made to cut off one of his legs but only cut it very deeply instead. The murderer reacted immediately, manouvering his sword so that Tarkus’ momentum would carry him straight onto it.

Tarkus attempted to batter the sword out of the way but only managed to relocate which part of his body was injured… to a more vital one. He crashed into some tables, jumped up and turned around in one motion, then took a staggeringly hard elbow to the head as he rose. He dropped like a sack of bricks and lay like one dead as Grimlock, still injured from his battle with the summon monsters, charged into combat in his place.

I did my best to help from the sidelines, splattering our opponent with a slick of agonising, corrosive ooze, but our enemy was fresh, and his vigour only seemed to grow with time. He cut through Grimlock’s guard with his relentless force and scored a painful wound on the dragonborn’s side. The murderer turned to me and shouted, “LET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!”

Grimlock now flagging, possibly even on his legs legs, looked at me beseechingly, but I was loath to let a violent swordsman roam free. Yet there was no help coming – the soldiers lay unconscious by the tavern door. Stalling for time, I demanded to know the murderer’s name, but he did not reply. He knew that it was he who held the power in this situation. We could not best him in our current state. I had no choice but to relent, and he sprinted past us both, his final word of “Thanks!” like a dagger between my ribs.

Mission Outcome

I memorised the murderer’s appearance as best as I was able, fixing it in my mind until I could relay it to the city soldiers. I also interviewed the brawlers I had put to sleep, learning that the bar fight was the result of the Piss Hole clientele simply watching the duel between the murderer and his victim, and disagreeing on who to support.

The victim was a local by the name of Novak, a tailor of heavy duty clothing. The brawlers described him as a “normal, typical, stand-up guy” and seemed genuinely surprised by news of his death. I asked them to give their names to my client, which they did before they left. After accepting payment from the client (Tarkus’ share slightly reduced after he stole and consumed a large pile of sandwiches), we went back to base for stitches and sleep.

Final Note. Tarkus saw a doctor the next morning and paid 30ip for the treatment of injuries he sustained during this contract. Perhaps now is the time to re-negotiate mercenary pay rates. A share of the pay needs to go directly into funding the Greil Mercenaries so that we have money set aside for equipment, medical treatment, advertising, bills, inns, bribes (if necessary) and other group costs.

Comments

Wistark

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