It was another humid morning in the Whiskey Troll Tavern and it was late morning by the time Phenox and Cantra came rolling in looking for their hill-giant companion, Nezor. They found him at his usual table, the wall behind decorated with the trophies from last night’s fight with the Black Hoods along with what appeared as a pair of new recruits, a pair of very young men, accoutered in the standard equipment of the city guard: quilted azure gambesons, a dagger, a pike, and a wood longshield painted with blue and yellow vertical stripes.
Nezor introduced the young guards as Derig (an Ivoran youth from a prominent Northside family) and Oxwulf (a Westlander from an immigrant family). They were his “men” and with them he was going to clean up “this whiskey town”! Sent by Lt. Krolin both boys had been officially put in the giant’s charge.
A pair of hunters stinking like the marsh pushed past the stunned pair of killers carrying a butchered pygmy-deer. Shaken from the stupor of ill-surprise the grim-warrior and deathgrin rolled their eyes as they sat down. They wanted to talk business, something about a mage; the giant was again not paying particularly close attention to them as he kept turning to his “men” to throw what he thought were clever bits of wisdom their way about the harshness of the streets and the worthlessness of the criminal element.
The trio could overhear two well-dressed Southlanders discussing something about a deal to sell a dozen gladiators being “off” and now they had to deal with Corvo-Doom. His name was mentioned with a palpable level of distaste.
Suddenly all of the tavern patrons stood up and began to hurriedly file out into the streets and slithering through the entrance-way with the trio in their sights were 5 Scael-Nagas armored in scale-mail marked with the coiled serpent and dagger symbol. Another flopped out of the shadows apparently running into a table fumbling his crossbow the poisoned bolt thudding into the table just in front of Cantra. The fight was on.
Nezor stood up and kept the young guards behind him ordering them to guard his flanks. Phenox leapt headfirst into battle behind a storm of scimitar strokes. Cantra knocked away another bolt with her brand new buckler and ducked into the shadows. Phenox dropped one of the assassins and when 3 others converged on him waving their naginatas, Nezor swept them away with a single deadly swing of his great club ‘dog-smasher’. Another nailed the giant with a lucky thrust of his naginata.
It was then Cantra shouted out a warning, “There’s THREE crossbows over there!” Then the twang of the bowstrings signaled the flight of the poisoned quarrels one aimed at each of the ‘goodfellows’. Phenox was struck but the poison didn’t stop him, the giant was mostly unaffected but Cantra froze in place paralyzed by the exotic toxin. Seeing this Nezor flattened the last Naga within his reach and intended to move to her aid.
Phenox moved in her direction as well but was caught up in a fight with another assassin as was Nezor who easily squashed his enemy. Another Scael slithered from the shadows near Cantra’s paralyzed particolored form as he pulled his naginata off his back. Grinning the creature put the blade of his weapon on her throat and slid it in nice and slow then twisted before ripping it back out. She collapsed and died on the dirty floor of the Whiskey Troll Tavern in a pool of her own blood.
Nezor roared and finished Cantra’s killer in a single blow. Phenox finished his foe. After finding that they had “won” the fight the pair stood over the corpse of their dear departed companion. Phenox went through her gear and checked for valuables.
Nezor: “She’s gonna get a heroes’ burial, nah expense sparred!”
Phenox (a large amount of gems and coins in his hands): “Um. Okay?”
Three days later Phenox and Nezor were sitting at their table in the Troll, their mug and bucket of whiskey untouched before them. The hill-giant had been carving something into the mutilated tabletop with his dagger for the past few hours or so. Cantra’s funeral had been two days ago in the age-old cemetery that bordered the city along the swamp just outside of the old battlements.
A fair portion of the graveyard was partially submerged under green swamp-water the ground studded with whitened grave-stones and stone tombs of varying sizes and degrees of decoration. They had hired professional mourners and had a procession of flowers that had moved along the streets from the charnel house to the cemetery. The money that Phenox and Nezor had found on Cantra’s body had also paid for a small stone tomb. On the front of the mausoleum was an image of her grinning hastily carved and painted with bright colors.
Nezor punched the table and went on a tirade about the hoods that they were “gonna pay for what they did!” Confused, Phenox simply let him go on until the giant just suddenly stood up and stormed off. The grim-warrior looked at what the giant had carved expertly into the booze-soaked wood of the heavy oak table: an image of Cantra grinning and balancing on the blade of her bowie-knife with a flute in her hands which she appeared to preparing to play.
Phenox had neglected to clue in the giant as to exactly what had actually happened. It was the Coiled Snake & Dagger, Xuun’s premiere assassin’s guild, which had killed her because she had foiled their attempt on Corvo-Doom as well as adding insult to injury by working freelance right under their noses. The final straw was when she had taken an extremely high bounty on the head of a Creschan merchant, a mission on which Phenox had accompanied her returning bloodied but victorious during Nezor’s celebration of his signing with the city guard. But Phenox had a plan, he had the information on the last bounty she had taken up and the grim-warrior would need the giant’s might.
To Be Continued…