The Whisperer in Darkness
According to the Boss, Komodo has recently been sighted in the poor district. The Brotherhood leader had thought these sightings were fanciful rumours, but the serious look on Grimlock’s face tells him all he needs to know. To ensure that information on the rage drake’s whereabouts can be gathered without needing to part with bribes, Wistark suggests dressing up as members of the Riffs – the gang that presently controls most of the slums. There is no uniform as such, as gang members are marked by distinctive vertical scars on the right sides of their faces. With a little help from Gravilla’s vanity case (carried around on her person at all times) the Capital Punishers soon look the part.
A kindly Brotherhood stooge leads the scarred group through the sewers to the poor district. Wistark, Gravilla and Norman climb up into the light, leaving Grimlock behind where he can’t cause trouble. In the conversations that follow the Riff scars seem to do the trick – the slumdwellers respond quickly and honestly, revealing that a “dragon thing” was seen the night before on the north side of the district. Wistark sends Norman to Grimlock with this information, requesting that the violent reptile remain in the sewers on his route north, and also asking Norman to accompany him. Norman is a bit indignant at being given a babysitting job, but complies nevertheless.
Wistark and Gravilla head north through the slums as Norman and Grimlock do the same underground. Wistark questions a few more passersby and the route is altered slightly to the northwest (Grimlock is again updated). Gravilla has an idea and wanders away from Wistark into the market where she buys several pounds of meat. She puts it in a bag, slings it over her shoulder and walks to a quieter part of the slums. The meat is emptied onto the floor to lure Komodo in very Godzilla-ish fashion. She probably even uncovers the nearest manholes.
Meanwhile, Wistark heads northwest, followed by Norman and Grimlock beneath the ground. The trio are close to the edge of the district when they hear a scream. Grimlock bursts out of the nearest manhole (well, squeezes) and runs off towards the sound at full speed. Wistark and Norman follow, running down streets that they soon begin to recognise. Grimlock remains ahead of them, charging at full speed, barrelling over any unfortunate locals, and is first to arrive on the scene. It is Komodo! Grimlock is pleased. Wistark and Norman arrive and see the rest of the situation – Komodo is eating Ratback.
Ratback screams in terror and pain as Komodo takes another large bite out of him, unable to escape due to his incredible bulk (which presses against both sides of his alleyway home). A fair amount of the obese man’s ample supply of blood is covering Komodo’s snout or has leaked into the dust on the street. Wistark demands that Grimlock call Komodo off, adding that eating people is ‘not on’. Though originally intending to allow Komodo to finish his meal, Grimlock relents to the wizard and pulls the rage drake away from its flabby prey. Norman steps in and does the best he can to heal the gaping bite wounds in Ratback’s side, stemming the flow of blood and doing a bit of disinfecting.
Though this prevents Ratback from dying in the next few minutes his situation remains pretty urgent. Grimlock hops onto his reptilian mount, pleased at being reunited, just as Komodo smells something in the air and runs off to the east. Wistark and Norman chase as best they can, leaving Ratback coldly behind to live or die as fate dictates. Somehow, Grimlock and Komodo manage to reach their destination without being spotted or killing anyone. A pile of meat litters the ground, so Komodo launches himself at it. Grimlock dismounts and joins in with equal gusto, equally uninterested in why it is there. Gravilla emerges from a hiding place and rejoices at the success of her plan.
The reunited group head back to the Brotherhood base with Grimlock’s untrained, man-eating pet.
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