Part One - The Spotted Dragon

Mythictom's WB FMAG Game
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mythictom
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Part One - The Spotted Dragon

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The Spotted Dragon is an inn nestled in the far northwestern corner of the Portside district of Mirabilis. It has been your home for the past week. This is a relatively quiet corner of the city, rundown, and increasingly underpopulated as inhabitants either move closer to the docks (for business) or to the outskirts of the city (for a fresh start).

You arrived at this inn mostly because the recent influx of ships from abroad has crowded the more popular establishments frequented by seamen and travelers from foreign lands. The Spotted Dragon is comfortable, though, and affordable. The nightlife is dominated by locals instead of carousing bruisers (and boozers). Daytime at the inn is quiet, since most of the locals have jobs and businesses to attend. Sadly, this has also made your search for casual work frustrating, so you have your names registered at several more busy establishments closer to the action.

OOC: If you want to roleplay introductions and NPC interaction, go right ahead. I will be giving you each some rumors soon, as well as jumpstarting the story soon!

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jcftao
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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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Miles is getting worried. He's been to many of the busier pubs looking for work. Nothing yet.
Life in the army was painfully dull, long periods of inaction followed by a few moments of danger.
At least in the army, there was always someone to tell you where to go and what to do next.

This life of adventure isn't as grand as he thought it might be. Maybe today will be different.

Miles orders a cup of watered wine and a hunk of bread with butter. He makes note of his remaining coins and scans the room for
new patrons.

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mythictom
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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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Roger, the innkeepers' 10-year-old son, brings Miles his food and drink.

"Hi, Miles!" He says cheerfully. "Still no luck finding work?"

The dark-haired boy looks to make sure his parents are busy in the back and then sits down close to Miles.

"You know that big hill that casts a shadow over the neighborhood in the afternoon? We call it the Old Blight. Most everyone says it's cursed, so no one goes there. Like a hundred years ago, a wizard built a castle there. Dug down into the hill lookin' for buried treasure. Then the castle blew up and rained stones down on the whole neighborhood! Ask anyone!" He says excitedly.

"Well, anyway, there's still ruins up there," he says with a hushed whisper. "And some new magic guy built a tower up there too. But there's a rumor some treasure hunters went up there a year or so before he showed up. They were never seen again!"

At that point, the innkeeper - Barnabas - comes out from the kitchen with a jar of pickled eggs and Roger scampers off.

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jcftao
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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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"Barnabas, what do you know about that hill called Old Blight? Do you think there's anything worth digging for up there?"

"Any of the locals that you know happened to work up there or perhaps knows the layout?"

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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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Barnabas, a husky, middle-aged man with graying hair, looks at Miles, smirks, and then laughs.

"Is that what my boy was whispering to you?" the plump man says with a chuckle.

"The Old Blight's mostly an eyesore. Casting its shadow on us, many of the old-timers have a superstitious fear of it. At the bottom of the hill is an old cemetary. The Mission Church keeps promising to clean it up, but they never get around to it. At the top are the ruins of an old castle. Some years back, a wizard showed up, claiming to own a deed to it. The local council didn't fight it, so he started building a tower. I think he got two whole floors!" Barnabas laughs.

"There was something weird about the man though -- other than supplies, he used almost no local labor to build that thing. And none of that lot he hired on came down off the hill. They were a mighty unfriendly lot."

Barnabas takes a breath, then says, "My boy probably told you about the treasure under the hill. Or maybe the missing group of treasure hunters? Yeah, he loves that story. Here's the thing -- kids are always going missing around here when they come of age. They either move out of the neighborhood, or sign on with a passing ship, or join a caravan up north or out to the borderlands. Usually, the family gets a letter, or even a visit, within the year. But hidden tunnels full of gold and gems?". Barnabas cocks head. "Maybe. But that wizard up there probably has a claim on it."

Barnabas then looks Miles in the eye. "You know who might know something...that fellow Alphonse who is staying here! His magic teacher supposedly once studied the ruins for the Duke. Well, the King, back when he was a duke. The old geezer passed away recently, but young Alphonse might have a tale or two."

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badams30
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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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Alphonse - Young Wizard

It's been another boring morning wandering the old part of the city, lingering near his deceased mentor's former home, sighing heavily at the thought of all the memories there, and the recent loss of the old man who treated him more like a son than his own father. Shaking off the cloud of depression, Alphonse nods and says to himself "Well, no place better than the Dragon. I think it's time for a cold ale and a bite to eat. Maybe things will look up with a full belly."

He makes his way to the Spotted Dragon, the only oasis of calm and relative security for him these past few weeks. He pulls his hood a bit farther over his head and enters the inn, giving a brief nod at the innkeeper who is tending to guests. Alphonse scans the crowd half-heartedly, and then he finds a small table or seat at the bar where he can observe the comings and goings. He leans his weathered staff against his chair and with a friendly wave says "Mr. Barnabas, an ale and something good to eat, when you have a moment, sir."

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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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Miles moves over to sit down across from Alphonse, "You look like you've lost your best friend..."

"I'm Miles, frequent lodger of the Spotted Dragon. Been here a few days longer than I care to."

"Barnabas, get me another ale and one for this fellow here."

"So, I hear tell that there's treasure buried up in Old Blight? I'm planning to have a look at it today...just scout it out a bit. If something promising turns up then I'll come back with some other fellows and some digging tools. So, how about it? You want to take a look or sit here all day sloshing drinks with the old pensioners?"

Miles puts on his best grin...the best one that a 9 charisma can offer!

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mythictom
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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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As an aside, we will make this lunch time. So, noonish. There are maybe a dozen patrons (about one-third occupancy), all having a quick lunch before returning to business.

Let's say, in addition to the two of you, there is a table with four tradesmen (maybe carpenters?), two tables with two men at each, a male-female couple cooing at each other while sharing a roast pigeon, and two lone men sitting at the bar, one of whom seems to be having a "liquid lunch" of beer (he's on number three now).

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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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While Miles struggles to communicate with Alphonse, the tavern door flings open! In bursts a tan-skinned halfling with sandy blond hair.

"Hey, Barney!" he yells to Barnabas as he climbs up on a stool at the bar. "Get me a beer...NOW!"

"Having a bad day, Freddy?" Barnabas asks as he slides a full, frothy mug in front of the exasperated hobbit.

"It's them damn, creepy kids again!" Freddy says before he downs half the mug. "My dumb bunny sister didn't show up at the bakery this morning, so I've been running the deliveries. So, I find myself over by Elbereth Alley, and, as usual, I can't help but look down at the old mansion at the end. And those kids were there again! They're always there!" he says before downing the rest of his beer.

"Another," Freddy says, handing his mug back to Barnabas as he continues. "And I locked eyes with the girl. With her big, sad eyes. Chill runs down my spine every time!" the halfling says as he downs another half a mug. "And then, for the rest of the morning, I go into a place to drop off a delivery, and there they are! That girl with the big, sad, staring eyes and her creepy brother. And they're not pickpockets cuz they's never close. But I go in, they ain't there. I come out, there they are!" he finishes off the second beer, and gestures for a third.

"Happens ta others too," the short man says with a slight slur. "Nobody knows 'em, but they gits all over the 'hood. They only follow me for a day, but ...damn! Freak me out!" he growls as he swigs from beer number three.

"Cut me off'ter diss one, Barn," the halfling slurs, "or ah'll end up like Old Feeney."

"What happened to Feeney?" Barnabas asks solemnly.

"You ain't heard? Last Saturday, he was out drinkin'...said he dropped his lucky pipe down the sewers. Dumbass crawled down to look for it! They found him floating in the harbor the next morning!" the halfling laughs. "Sez no idea 'ow 'ee got dare."

"How the Hell did he get from the sewers to the bay?" Barnabas asks.

The halfling shrugs. "Hey, deez beerz iz hittin' me. Della make any pork pies taday?"

"I'll get you one, mate. And some coffee from the islands," the taverner says to his friend's delight.

With that, Barnabas swoops into the kitchen while his halfling friend puts his head on the bar and begins to snore softly.

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Re: The Spotted Dragon

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Alphonse - Wizard

Alphonse pauses for a moment as he takes in the new arrival. He starts to weigh the options of talking to strangers, but something makes him feel at ease with this fella. Maybe this is the opportunity he's been looking for. So he nods and smiles and extends his hand for a shake.

"Hello, Miles. I'm Alphonse. Nice to meet you. I did lose my best friend, actually he was my mentor. Been slogging it out here trying to figure out my next move, was getting pretty bored, glad you came along. I'm pretty much alone here." Alphonse glances about then scoots his chair a little closer to Miles and says quietly:

"I know a little about Blight. My mentor used to talk about it often, It was always on his mind. I guess at one time he wanted to claim that hill and build a tower there. About 5 or so years back he surveyed the area, found that the only things intact there were the ground floors and gatehouse towers, oh, and a sentry tower foundation too, a little further inside the complex." Alphonse glances about nervously to make sure no one is eavesdropping and then he says just above a whisper "He told me he found a secret staircase leading down to some tunnels. Said there were full of vermin. I didn't get the impression that he ever explored them though. But what really got his goat was some man, apparently a wizard, produced a deed and claimed the hill. He always insisted the deed was a fake, but he got that hill anyway and started doing who knows what up there. Zargo. He said his name was Zargo. He never told me anything about the man, but he told me many, many times to stay away from him. Said he was very dangerous. That's pretty much what I know. I did hear from a fruit seller the other day that the magic user on the hill was looking for an apprentice, but he didn't have any details, and couldn't even tell me the guy's name, so I don't know how much I believe that."

Alphonse stares at Miles for a few seconds, letting his words sink in and then he says "The old man was adamant that there was treasure under that hill. He was fixated with that place. He'd probably tell me to forget about it, but I'll bet it'd sooth his soul to know what's going on there, and to prove what he said was true. I'll go up there with you! we'll see what's' afoot, maybe we can find that secret staircase, although it's probably not so secret anymore. Say, do you have any other colleagues with you? Could be dangerous up there. I'm not too handy with a sword, magic's my thing, but I'd be lying if I claimed to be skilled. Just wanting to be honest with you. My skills are limited, but I have some knowledge. And to be honest, I'm sick of sitting around here. So count me in."

Alhonse wracks his brain, trying to remember if his mentor had jotted anything about specifics of Blight or the staircase in his memoirs....

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