Greyhawk : Arcanum Noir

Prelude - Dargeth's Story

Meetings, Brawlings, and an Unfortunate Fire.

This was a part of the character Dargeth’s background, and earned him a skully for the excellent write-up!

Dar spat blood and watched the world spin.

“Damn, that tusked bastard is strong.” He aimed a vigorous kick at a chair, sending it tumbling into the midsection of a grinning half-orc. Catching his breath for a moment, he exchanged a glance with Benzen who was flushed with excitement or liquor. Most likely both. His companion was laying into a priestess and her burly guardian, alternating punches between them in a dizzying blur. He wasn’t even sure how they had gotten involved in the room-clearing brawl.

Dargeth took stock of his remaining opponents. The little thief that had tried to pick his pocket was out cold under a pile of broken furniture, scattered playing cards, and a handful of well-worn copper coins. The woodsman that she had spent the better part of the evening bickering with was unsuccessfully trying to avoid a torrent of crockery. The source of that mayhem was a peculiar-looking dwarf, perched unsteadily on the bar and throwing everything that he could get his hands on.

At first glance, Kim looked like every other dwarf that Dar had ever seen. He was chest high and seemed to be built out of solid stone. But, he never did understand why his beard was always done up in ribbons and scented with some kind of wildflower. Like many things in life, he was probably better off not knowing.

Still — odd or not — the stout cleric was invaluable in a pinch. He also seemed to be getting the best of the unfortunate ranger, who was starting to wobble from all of the solid blows to his head.

“Step back, I’ll show these louts,” snapped a shrill voice. “NO Radeg—” began another, but it was too late. A scrawny boy, stepped away from a group of similarly robed young men and into the fray. He extended a hand towards the tangle of Benzen and bruised and bloodied bar patrons. Ben’s instincts kicked in instantly and he dragged everyone down into a pile as a gout of flame shot over their heads.

The bar wasn’t so lucky. Spilled liquor burst into flame and roared down the length of the polished wooden beam, sending Kim diving to safety and destroying a few more tables. “Shit.” The fire continued to spread and the fool wizard still looked like he was going to try for another shot.

He aimed a cheap shot at the half-orc who was still circling him, breaking his knee. “Sorry tusky, but we’re out of time to play. You can pay me back some other time.” Not breaking stride, he continued towards the lad before he managed to kill someone. He drew forth his longsword, the steel blade softly singing underneath the din of the battle and planted the hilt firmly into the back of the magician’s skull. He crumpled instantly.

Dar grabbed him by the hair and started dragging him towards the door. “Time to go, lads. Fun’s over when the fire starts. And someone grab that fool thief before she burns to death. She owes us one and she can’t pay us back like that.”

Everyone ran, crawled, or was dragged from the burning tavern and sprinted off into the night with alarms already sounding.

Hours pass quickly.

A squad of guards glared at group of adventurers cornered in an alley. “Starting trouble in our town, eh? Your about to find out what a bad idea that is,” their leader sneered from behind ten men with crossbows. Loaded crossbows. With what looked to be razor sharp bolts.

Dar raised an eyebrow at Kim, “are you quite certain the Gods like us? You know, at all?” He stood tall and frowned at the guards, but kept his hands carefully away from his body.

Then he heard soft chanting and an almost unearthly voice from above whispered, “sleep now…” Nearly every guard slumped to the ground. The swaggering leader turned pale as the party rushed forward and delivered a brief but highly uncomfortable beating, rendering the last three men unconscious as well.

Dargeth grinned up into the moonlight at the slender elf. “I don’t believe we’ve met, but I must say I’m glad to do so!” She tossed a rope down to them and the group made their exit over the city wall and off into the wilderness.

As Dar drifted off the sleep that night, his aching muscles aggravated by the stony ground, he pondered some of the choices he had made in life. “Yes,” he thought, “this is still better than working in father’s store.” He stole a swig from Benzen’s flask and gratefully slipped into oblivion.



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