Morning in the cavernous taproom of the Whiskey Troll tavern and Nezor wiping the sleep from his eyes picked over the cold leftovers from the previous night’s repast, a large number of swamp-constrictor steaks. After breakfast he hit the streets in search of an armorer and a herald. His friends had dropped off his pay last night, 10 gold talons, and went about their business afterwards. The “goodfellows” were to reconvene in the Whiskey Troll later that night.
It didn’t take long to locate the services he required in the city bazaar. He put in the order with the armorer for a suit of polished plate-mail which would take a surprisingly short time to be ready, 1 week. He also found a herald who quickly drew up a heraldic device for him: a white eagle’s claw on a round purple field with the motto “the Great Liberator” beneath in Hyvalian characters but the giant being illiterate took the herald’s word at what it actually read. When the armor was ready the herald was to enamel the device over the breastplate.
While wandering the impossibly crowded bazaar marveling at its smells and sights of strange animals, vast arrays of brightly colored fruits and pungent vegetables, and the shear variation of people and dress Nezor noticed a tight group of dusky Creschan sailors fresh and salty from the docks escorting a fat and apparently very rich merchant judging by his rich attire, also Creschan, by way of the bazaar to the “better” end of town and one of the nicer inns found there, most probably the Golden Moon Inn. He also noticed what appeared to be a very poor local following close behind them whom struck him as somewhat suspicious. What he didn’t realize is that it was Cantra in disguise.
The giant continued on his way deciding to patrol the streets as a sort of vigilante until he ran into some of the city guard. He tried to join in on their patrol but was denied so he got directions to the city guard headquarters for the Southside. He couldn’t find anyone but a clerk there and was thus directed to the North Gate instead. It wasn’t long before he found himself there under the auspices of one Captain Vorbaer signing up for the city guard. Apparently they saw recruiting one of the few, possibly currently only, hill-giant in town a major asset plus there was a definite lack of guards in the sector of the city around the Whiskey Troll for some reason which the captain seemed reluctant to elaborate on.
Nezor would get paid 15 silver pieces at the finish of each seven-day and it was his duty when he heard the guard bell being rung, to make haste to the Southside headquarters. For the now he was to keep a light patrol around the Whiskey Troll. Captain Vorbaer gave him what was essentially an old city flag clumsily stitched into a makeshift Acton bearing the arms of Xuun: A bold orange phoenix with a green man-faced serpent in its beak and talons while above a golden chalice radiated golden sun rays flanked by a white bladed broad-sword pointing upward on the left and a white-bladed black hafted scythe at the right with the motto “the path is clear” in Hyvalian characters along the bottom. Tears of happiness filled the giant’s eyes as he strode to immediately take up his duty. He would in time have to report to training sometime soon under his commanding officer named Krolin.
Of course, on his way back to the tavern he managed to gather up around 15 other city guards and even a few well-meaning street thugs into a vigilante mob which stomped through the streets and alleys of the Southside rousting beggars, pimps, and pickpockets eventually landing on the Whiskey Troll at the end of the night. He bought them all the whiskey and ale they could drink and the place was alive with a riot of drunken guardsmen around Nezor’s table, the candles had never burned brighter. Later in the night his companions, Phenox the grim-warrior and Cantra the deathgrin, stumbled in on the scene.
Cantra was in her “noble lady” disguise which was mostly torn away and she was obviously badly beaten up and sporting many savage sword wounds. She quickly buzzed through the clatter of guards and behind the bar where she predictably disappeared. She had been carrying a bag that may have been bleeding but he hadn’t got a good look at it. Phenox limped over to the drunkenly singing hill-giant. He was holding a rag saturated with his own blood tightly to his side, his armor was in shreds and he dripped a crimson trail on the floor behind him. Overjoyed to see him Nezor slapped the grim-warrior on the back causing him to have to recover himself from the friendly blow.
Nezor: “Hey! Wh’as happenend ta yoo!”
Phenox: “Nuthin’, nuthin’ I’ll be fine.”
Phenox waved away the giant’s concerns and dragged himself to a nearby seat. Nezor shrugged it off and went back to celebrating his new office in life.
Come morning the sudden blare of a bugle rudely awoke Nezor and the rest of the guards passed out on the benches and strewn about the filthy floor of the tavern. The giant shot straight up suddenly wide awake, the harsh light of morning searing his bloodshot eyes and when he caught a glimpse of a superior officer in the city guard before him, immediately stood at attention.
The man was in gleaming full-plate armor studded with diamonds and his azure & gold striped cape billowing, in Nezor’s mind anyway, behind him. The officer introduced himself as Lieutenant Krolin. He first scolded the drunken guards quickly dismissing them for the day as well as fining all of them for drunkenness and then escorted Nezor to the Southside headquarters to be cleaned up and assigned his gear. Lt. Krolin would be Nezor’s commanding officer and when he heard the guard bell ring he was now supposed to beat it to the Southgate.
Krolin gave the giant a quick verbal tour of the city while they walked to the station; his attendants were leading his horse behind them with the bugler and a handful of elite guards also in polished plate armor. The important points were that there was a Brighthouse church in the Southside, that faith having certain dominance in this part of the city. The Hyvalian faith dominated the north. Apparently there were frequent riots between the different parishioners from time to time. The Southside was also the poor side of town consisting of a large conglomeration of slums and shanties as well as densely packed apartment buildings, several old Hyvalian built estates, and several abandoned buildings and a few ruins. The only other places of note in the southern part of the city were the City Guard Headquarters (for the Southside) and the Whiskey Troll Tavern.
As the giant and his commander were about half way to the station Phenox passed by and halted for a brief moment at the sight. He decided to inquire of the giant as to what was going on.
Nezor: “Join’n da guards!”
Phenox (flabbergasted): “Wait, what, WHY!”
Nezor (looking to the sky, his chest inflating): “I have ta. For my sense o’ duty, the strong blood in mah’ah veins, and da need ta’ stomp out CRIME!”
Phenox just rolled his eyes and walked away. The lieutenant seemed genuinely impressed. They continued on. After a short while and seemingly out of nowhere the conversation turned and Lt. Krolin spat out his utter hatred of Corvo-Doom and pretty much all slavers. The giant mentioned that “he really didn’t seem that bad o’ a guy” but otherwise Nezor kept quiet on the subject of the master-slaver fortunately it was just before they entered the courtyard of guard H.Q.
Lt. Krolin took a certain pride in the appearance of his men and had a barber shave Nezor and even set up a bath for him, in the courtyard. He was given a clean and newly tailored cloak bearing Xuun’s colors, azure & gold vertical stripes, and a pike crafted from a flag-pole. After the giant was equipped and cleaned Krolin gave him his orders. He was to maintain a patrol that included the Whiskey Troll Tavern and the immediate surrounding area and after a 7-day he was to report for training. Nezor saluted him and strode off back to the tavern his ego vastly inflated. When he got to the Troll he burst in his chest puffed out and declared, “I am the guard responsible for this place and all Black-Hoods are sentenced to death on sight! I am the law!” The regulars applauded and a random slurring voice exclaimed, “buy that lawman a drink!”
A week later the three ‘goodfellows’ were once again sitting around a table in the Whiskey Troll trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Cantra had spent all of her money on leasing a two-story villa in the Southside complete with serving staff, the only downside according to Phenox was that the place was probably haunted. The grim-warrior himself was claiming indigence though he was sporting a pair of spiffy crocodile hide boots and some new armor. Nezor was due to report for training on the morrow. He was wearing his new suit of armor, he had the crocodile head refurbished to use as the helmet and hide gorget of his new suit. He was quite proud of his brand new armor often stopping to burnish it a little with a dirty rag. Along with his guardsman cloak he felt like a real hero.
Just when the trio thought they would again split up and call it a night in stomped a group of 7 black hooded thugs led by 2 others in leather hoods and scale-mail shirts followed by a hill-giant with a spiked great club also in scale-mail. One of the leathern hooded thugs was seemingly about to declare something when without prompting Nezor was up like shot charging at the hill-giant waving his club which whipped the pipe-smoke-ocean of the tavern into a candlelit cyclone.
Nezor: “DIE, HOODS DIE!!!”
To Be Continued…