Crocodile Tears

Day 2

Witches and Peasants

As dawn breaks on the misty swamp, the smell of burnt hydra drifts over the woods. Both Malak and Maverick notice that they are starving and thirsty.John is only slightly hungry and thirsty. (Because he ate goblin and drank blood the other day)

When Malak awakes he checks the sky to see is the moon and the sun are out simultaneously. (If they are he prays.) Malak takes a long hard look at the sky, but the sun and moon are not both out. It is about 7 Am.

Malak does a search check to reclaim arrows. He only manages to reclaim 1. He drinks 1 serving out of his canteen.

As soon as no part of the circle of the sun is touching the horizon, Malak hunts for R.O.U.S. using his bow. The sun slowly passes over the horizon, and the hunt is on.

Maverick awakens to find a funny feeling in her stomach she has not felt in wat seems like an eternity, hunger. with no belongings and no weapons and apparently hardly a speck of magic—for now—she gets up to wonder around the camp and forigde for fruit and nuts and anything laying around. as she is picking up an apple she hears a snap in the woods and goes to investigate.

Maverick wanders over to the place she hears the snap to discover the boat boy sprawled out on the ground, a bottle of whiskey next to him. Slowly his eyes flicker open, he turns on his side and vomits.

“Oi! Whaer yam awy?”

Disgusted, Maverick retreats back to the camp site. As she enters, she smells the unimaginably delicious aroma of eggs. She sees Corporal Zmire hunched over a frying pan with a stick in his hand.

“Oh, um…. Joan. Good to see you, sit down and eat.” Zmire says waving his stick. “I never got to thank you for saving my life. The boy told me about it. This morning, I was thinking about how you don’t have any weapons on you for protection. Then I remembered how John rooted around in the swamp for darkwood, so I asked the big reptile to do the same for me. The only problem was, he was still asleep. I went looking on my own, and managed to find these,” The corporal says pointing to the eggs.

“And this.” The Corporal presents Maverick with a long, ebony darkwood staff that has been intricately carved and adorned with several painstaking carvings. (Darkwood staff is a double weapon. Each side deals 1 damage, but two separate attacks can be made at once and can each target two separate enemies within proximity to each other. The staff is made of darkwood, and gets +1 to hit). “I know you’re a spell caster, and I hear that darkwood can hold enchantments very easily.”

Meanwhile, Malak shifts throughout the swamp, his keen ears peeled for the sound of prey. He hears something struggling in the water, and ducks behind a tree with his bow drawn. He peers out from behind a tree to see two goblins hitting each-other with sticks.

Malak lets loose a darkwood arrow at one of the two fighting goblins. The goblin he has aimed at ducks to avoid a blow from the other goblin, and the arrow splunks into the head other. The goblin is killed instantly. The remaining goblin looks around with a startled reaction, and then gets a look at Malak. He stares at Malak for a moment, then continues beating the dead goblin with his stick. He screams triumphantly in goblinoid, then uses a sharp rock to cut off one of the fingers of his opponent. He skips away happily, waving the finger in the air.

Malak almost unbelieving the events that preceeded his kill, scratched the back of his neck, and shrugs. He attempts to reclaim the darkwood arrow. Throwing the dead goblin over his shoulder he starts to return back to camp.

Malak manages to recover the arrow.

As Malak carries the bleeding corpse back to camp, he notices truly how much darkwood is scattered all around him in the wet ground of the swamp. He sloshes around in the ankle high water and manages to to gather as much as his arms can carry (About enough for 10 arrows) and a multitude of sharp rocks.

He returns to the campsite to see maverick and Zmire eating eggs. Maverick has a new staff. Malak puts the materials to make the arrows in his carrying bag.

He lays the dead goblin down on the ground near the fire. “Want some meat?” He asks the two of them collectively. “I know John’ll want some. Mind cooking it up Zmire?” He asks.“I’m going to check out the church. Hopefully the goblin’ll be ready by the time I get back.”

Zmire looks at the goblin with some disgust.

“Eh, what the hell, I’ve eaten worse. Alright. We’ve got to make this quick though. Now that we’re on track, I don’t want to fall behind again. Could I borrow your Kikuri?” The Corpral asks.

“Yea alright,” Malak says dropping the knife on the ground close by Zmire.

John wakes up, after having a great dream about nerfs, to the smell of cooking goblin. He is excited by this and returns to the camp of his commrads. He greets them and asks Maverick if she could do him a good deed and pull a stick out of his mouth. (the one that the goblin stuck in.) He says “Me want sickle back. Creatures lurk in swamp. But after smelly lady pull stick out.”

“You’re sickle and hat should be in the boat. Say, has anyone seen the boat boy? He should be packing the tents up.” The corporal says digging the hunting knife into the goblin’s flesh. “Could you find him for me John?”

“why do i have a feeling that u are going to bite me?” she says looking at the lizard boy. “fine, i dont care. sure ill pull the stick out come here.” maverick says reaching her arm out. she winces as she reaches in to pull out the stick. “i hope this counts as a good deed” maverick chuckles to herself.

“Maverick after your finished with John, do you wanna come with me, I need someone for close combat in case i find something and without my knife I could get in a sticky position, besides churches appear to be your thing…”

As Maverick Yanks the stick out of John’s mouth, the seal on the back of her hands fades just a slight bit more.

“Yay! Good job! Just thirteen more to go!” The Cherub gushes.

Maverick raises one eyebrow and replies with “sure, i havent been inside an Earthly church in….i don’t know how long.” she reaches for her staff, simple and silver. “ready when u are.”

“Me find alcohal boy” John does a spot check and smell check for the boat boy.

John sees the boat relatively easily. He sniffs the air, and the smell of whiskey and vomit lead him to a collection of bushes. The boat boy is face down in a pile of mud. He lifts his head and holds his ears as he hears John coming.

“Wadiya wont, und dya moind wallkin’ quieta, me ead’s ’illen me…” He moans.

“You lazy drunk man. Clean camp or no more nerf juice for you.”

“UP UORS, SKALLY!” the boat boy growls.

John does a grapple check on the boat boy. The boat boy doesn’t put up a struggle, but vomits all over john.

“Me bite off neck for being usless. Or me cut it or me break face. Either way drunk man die unless he get sober.” John slowly sinks his teeth into the boys throat only breaking the skin waiting for a response. Before he can respond, John smells roasted goblin wafting over the bog. It’s coming from the camp.

As he returns to camp, he notices the Corporal has finished butchering the goblin, and is now frying it in a pan.

“Hey john, heads up.” he says tossing john some meat.

John catches the meat in mid-air and hisses in delight. He then helps the corporal depitch the tents and decides to go to the church.

In the meantime Malak and Maverick go to the small church. The inside of the church is dark, but broken windows and holes lead enough light for Malak to see perfectly. Maverick bumps into a few ruined pews, then her eyes manage to adjust. The ground is littered with coins, brass holy symbols, dusty cups, and bones. On closer inspection, they are revealed to be goblin bones. As Malak and Maverick look around, they notice rustling sounds coming from the back of the alter, where a small door is located.

Maverick looks down and notices a good sized brass cross on the ground. she strikes the end against a nearby pew, sharpening off the end. she hands it to Malak. “here, just in case. come on lets check it out.” Maverick whispers a silent prayer for her and Malak and proceeds forward with stealth.
Malak nodds towards Maverick, to thank her for the knife.

move silently check. and listen check
Maverick stops to genuflect before the alter and mutters something inaudibly. she rises and continues to silently as possible creep up the steps and move past the alter. she tries to peer around the door of the sacristry.
Malak and Maverick open the door and enter the back room. They peer around to see the room is relatively devoid of life. Just as they turn around, about to leave, they see a very haggard looking woman standing at the door. Her hair is wild and frizzy. She wears rags and ratty sandals. Her skin is very dark, almost black. In one hand, she holds a painted goblin skull, emblazoned with a Spear, Heart and Skull holy symbol (mark of Bogza, the loa). In the other she carries the bleeding heart of a crocodile.

“Welcome to my home, children….. What can Ezra do for you?”

Maverick raises her staff in anger of what witchcraft has been used here, rethinks it and lowers it. “That’s a good question…..uhh Ezra….what CAN you do for us?” Maverick says eyeing the old hag unsuringly. she tightens her grip on her staff, just in case. “i smell the devil afoot,” Maverick whispers quietly to Malak.

“Oh, no devil here my dear. De locals call me da bog witch. I am but a humble voodoo priestess. I can smell that you have been touched by the Loa. Do you know what dis symbol is?” she says pointing to the mark on the goblin skull. “Dis is da mark of the loa of fate. I make my living by fortune telling for da lizza folk near here. I may be able to cast enchantments for you, if you like? May I see yo hand?” She says pointing at Maverick.

“You know, she doesn’t seem evil… I know that loa in voodoo tradition means “saint”…" the cherub remarks.

“Da little one floatin’ by ya is right” Ezra nods.

YOU CAN SEE MY FAT MINI ANGEL?!?!?!?!!” Maverick cries out in surprise. “listen, im sure ur a nice lady and all but im not so sure i want ur voodoo mixing in with my ummm not voodoo..” Maverick stutters unsure of how to respond to the crazy devil lady.

DIE VOODOO DEVIL!!!!!” Malak screams, charging her with the knife he has

“NO! MALAK STOP! HAULT! AUUGH!!” Maverick screams trying dive for him to get a hold of him! “YOU CAN’T DESTROY LIFE IN GOD’S HOUSE EVEN VOODOO DEVIL LADIES!!!!!” She tries and fails to tackle Malak to the ground. “SEE WAT SHE WAAANTS YOU NEANDERTHALL!! My cherub says she may not be all bad. so for God’s sake don’t kill her till we know her purpose! she poses no immediate threat!” she argues.

Ezra quickly tosses her skull and heart into the air, and grabs Malak’s wrist. She bends it back until he drops the knife. She catches the skull in her free hand, then catches the heart in the scull.

“Oh child, you of all people should know is not ’bout how you worship god, is how you complete his plan. You have devoted yourself to his good, while I have devoted myself to his neutral ground. I am neither good, or evil as all non-bokors should.” she says calmly to Maverick.

She turns her attention to Malak. She smashes the heart inside the scull against Malak’s open hand. Her eyes flash blue for a moment, then she shakes her head.

“you be carryin’ a load of baggage boy.”

Maverick frowns. “What do you want Ezra? i do not trust u, neither do i find u to be completely evil. and please, put him down, he knows not what he does.” Maverick still stands as if on guard, in a defensive position.

Malak screams in anger. “GRAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IM DOING! GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME SCUM!!!!!” Malak continues to scream with the same intensity only now it’s in elvish. He begins to flail on the ground.

Maverick places her hands on her temples in frustration. “Malak, please settle down, there is no need to get so worked up,” Maverick sighs. “Please, forgive my comrade, he has….issues.”
Maverick speaks in tongue to Ezra “Is there something i can help u with?” Maverick hisses, “seeing as we are both workers of the Lord,” Maverick says turning her eyes to the sky then suspiciously toward Ezra.
“Very well” Ezra says dropping Malak’s wrist, but retaining the scull. “And Dat’s it exactly. God is da creator of everyting, yes? He not just make good tings, he make bad tings too. Dat’s why he have loa. He make good loa, de, saints as you call them, and he make da bad loa, de devil, as you keep callin’ me.” Ezra laughs. “Is also not about what you can do for me, but what Ezra can do for you. You have a mission, no? Maybe Ezra can lighten you burden, child.” She then turns to Malak.

“Dat mask is mighty important. May I see it?”

Malak screams “NEVER!” he scrambles away from both of them, on the floor “LIES, YOU VOODOO! LIES, MAVERICK SHE’S LYING SHE’LL KILL YOU AND YOUR FAT MINI WHATEVER!!!!!!!!”

He starts grabbing at anything he can and attempting to throw it at Ezra missing horribly

Ezra shakes her head.

“Tell me boy, is Ezra an orc?”

Malak, still shaking with both obvious fear and rage, stops throwing things and ponders this new thought. “No…No… you’re not an orc, I can see that… but your voodoo, and can’t be trusted…. but you’re a human…. a creepy human at it yes, but a human, not an orc…. but a voodoo…. and a voodoo can’t be trusted… but she’s a human, and they’re untrustworthy sometimes, but she’s an odd human… and odd humans aren’t normally like that… but she’s a voodoo…”

Malak backs away as far as he can, into a corner still on the floor, continuing to babble…… now in elvish….

after a little more of this, Malak bursts out “HOW CAN I TRUST YOU!!!! YOUR PLAYING MIND TRICKS ON ME!!!!!”

Suddenly John bursts into the church hollering “MISS EZRA! YOU THERE? Me want you to enchant weapons before me go.”

“Miss Ezra, u can help me by allowing me to help you. you see, i cannot get my magic back until I have done, now, 13 good deeds. Also, if u could help us with some epic weaponry? Though I’m not sure my moon worshipping friend here will accept it, I shall.” Maverick says in tongue.

She looks at Malak who sits screaming on the floor and is disgusted. “For God sakes get up and quit screwing around, u r entirely overreacting.” Maverick hisses at Malak. She hears the creak of the door behind her and the call of a faint, scaley and familiar voice. “Oh no….” Maverick sighs.

As john bursts through the door, Ezra stares at him quizzically.

“Aaaah. Ezra remembers you. You da lizza folk who’s parents took you to me to be named… How you been John?” Ezra smiles. “You remember my price for enchantments john, meat fo magic. As fo you child, let me see you hand.” She says gesturing to Maverick.

She looks cautiously at Malak and wiggles her fingers neverously. John seems to know her well enuff to trust. Then again john was a lunatic…. despite her distrust she reaches her had out and places it lightly on Ezra’s palm.

Malak, entirely in disbelief, stares at his comrades…

DAMN IT WOMAN IF YOU KNEW” he yells at Maverick

“John you’ve dealt with this Voodoo and haven’t been killed by her!?!?!?!”

Malak stands and with a new firmness in his voice. “I don’t know what type of Voodoo woman you are, but you are clearly not the Voodoo I know…..must be a vigilante or something…. a witch i can respect, but clearly not a Voodoo witch. I know not why you call yourself Voodoo… you are… a nature mystic. You call Voodoo for what’s not Voodoo, the violent blood thirsty monsters they are…. You…. are peaceful…. I will make this an exception…. BUT ONLY THIS!!! I still don’t trust you!!”

He brushes the dirt off of him and stands, still not quite comfortable with the situation he is in. However, he has regained his sense of logic and is no longer hysterical.

“If you want to see the mask, I shall not remove it from my face with my comrades around me. You have seen my past….. you know its importance to me….”

“Thank you for your kindness,” Maverick smiles. She kisses the hags had in respect. “I shall remember your words.” she looks toward Malak and shakes her head, “Im sorry for your treatment by my comrade here, please show him the good that is God.” Mavericks eyes the mask, marvels at it for a few and looks away. “We’ll see if we have any goblin meat left to share with you. What say u Lizardman?”

leave Malak asks “Hey John can you bring me some food too…”, now that Malak’s anger has left he had noticed his hunger.

John tries to regurgitate whatever undigested food was in his belly for the hag. “hold on john find you good meat.” John continues to hack.

“Why do you have such prejudices? You’re friend has more reason to fear me then you do. You don’t believe in all of dis, ‘Supa-stion’. I’m glad though, sanity has returned to you frightened head, boy.” Ezra says reaching out for the mask. She now mutters in a varied combination of Infernal and celestial. The eyes of the skull begin to glow red. Ezra slowly starts shivering, shaking, then finally convulsing until she is forced to let go of the mask. The skull explodes.

“Dat ting is da face of evil!” Ezra hisses. “Is da head of de most vile loa to ever touch our world! Dat is one of de parts of De Eye.”

The cherub’s mouth drops.

“You mean Thurazg the Nihilist?! I thought those artifacts were taken to the celestial planes and burned!”

“No, de eye will not rest quietly. De eye is eternal. If true evil does exist, de eye is it.”

“Thats why that mask is so important! If the other Elemental artifacts are gathered, you might be able to reconstruct Thurazg. We should put that mask in a bag and bury it!” The cherub squealed. “Maverick, that mask is known as the Face of Thurazg, one of six Elemental artifacts, originally belonging to a very powerful Demigod known as Thurazg the Nihilist. He was said to be so insane, even Satan wouldn’t work with him! The only time heaven and hell have ever called a truce was when Thurazg tried to collapse reality. He was said to be so powerful, the only way the cosmic forces could subdue him was to hold him down and literally cut him up into pieces.”

Maverick becomes enraged at this news and flies over to Malak gripping her hand and his throat and with surprising strength, lifts him from the ground. Her eyes burn red “HOW DO YOU HAVE THAT?!” Maverick spit out at Malak. She shakes him and throws him to the ground “ANSWER ME!” she screams. She begins to hiss wildly in tongues under her breath.

Malak knocked to his feet, quickly returns to anger. “BULLSHIT!!!! HOW DARE YOU INSULT MY HERITAGE.” Malak punches Maverick in the face.

Maverick steps back a few feet but remains balanced. Her hand begins to glow and she begins to reach through his chest when she stops and backs up realizing what she has almost done. She clenches her teeth, “WHERE did u get the FUCKING MASK?!” Maverick demands.

WHY THE FUCK DO YOU GIVE A SHIT! " Malak yells straight back her. “YOU DAMN CRAZED FANATIC. You know NOTHING of this mask, You know NOTHING of ME AND MY HISTORY! You’re so DAMN ready to obey your FUCKING GOD that you’d eat SHIT straight from his hand in the name of ‘GOOD’!!! You claim to be a servant of GOOD BUT YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A FUCKING HYPOCRITE!! SOME FUCKING SENILE OLD HAG tells you some stupid shit and you’re ready to KILL. YOU BASE NOTHING OFF OF YOUR OWN FUCKING KNOWLEDGE LITTLE GIRL!!!! WHEN YOUR GOD IS DONE WITH YOU, HE’LL THROW YOU AWAY LIKE THE RAGDOLL YOU ARE!! I SHALL NOT STAND FOR YOU SLANDERING THIS MASK!!!!”

“Ezra, your words bring shame and slander to a peaceful people! Bearers of this mask have done wondrously good deeds! This mask has been worn by those who slay Troll and Orc, worshippers of Thurazg the Nihilist! This mask has brought peace! I have only seen and heard of this mask destroy evil, never bringing about evil”

Maverick frowns distastefully, “So quick to believe your written histories Malak? That mask is pure evil, used to kill two birds with one stone. Your hatred of my God brings all this anger and spite down upon me, not your love for your mask. Who gave it to u?”

Malak speaks calmly “you have it wrong Maverick…. I don’t even believe in your god. I have no care of your god, nor of any god. I don’t believe in Thurazg the Nihilist, or even Ehlonna of the elves, or any other god. There is no god. I worship the sun, the bringer of life. I worship the moon the bringer of light to those in darkness. These are concrete things, they provide magic and have given to me more than any false god has, Maverick. I dislike your actions, your blind faith, Maverick. I cannot believe you work for good, I have observed too many humans do evil in the name of your god, because of their blind faith. Even now, I have seen you do hardly any good. Your first actions in this world were even evil, you killed immediately. I do not believe you to be a force of good Maverick. You are nothing but a force with a belief. I will not believe you work for good until I see it. How can you deem me under an evil influence, I even saved your life with my only healing kit. You’d never have survived the Hydra w/o that health pack You have no proof of the vile-ness of this mask. My history has been told to me by people I knew, people who lived very long, people who died defending that history. People who have witnessed the deeds of the bearer of this mask. Although those people were not perfect, they were for the most part peaceful. I will not have you slander this mask, their emblem. It insults their memory. I reclaimed this mask. I prevented its fall into the hands of evil. I bear this mask, to honor my fallen ancestors and decimate all voodoo, orcish, and troll evil that slaughtered them. And I shall never relinquish it.”

“There is no point to argue with you Malak. u are stuck in your blind ways, but u cannot call my ways blind for I have seen the Lord for that is where I came down from Heaven. I left this Earth in far worse condition than I have returned and my human vengefulness has shown through, something I would have never have thought of as an angel. This Earth mocks me with its limitations, with its cruelties. I care not if you believe me. But I suggest we argue no more. I will no more believe your mask to be good than you to believe it evil. For now we are bound by a mission and must work as a team. I therefore surrender my differences to work in companionship to u in kindness if u so choose. Here, as a promise take this,” Maverick says. She flexes her fingers a few times and closes her palm tightly and small rays of light shine in between her fingers. She opens her palm to reveal a small shinning object on a strong silver chain. “its a star, it will provide u with some limited magic use so long as u wear it. take it, the chain is indestructible. This is a sign of honor and respect among my people. We call it the Star of David.” Maverick holds out the chain to Malak and smiles.

Ezra takes a long hard look at Malak.

“You might be filled wit anger, but I tink you heart is in da right place. You do honor you ancestor’s memory when you save you little sister back then. Ezra do someting for you, but not too much. It might draw attention of de followers of de eye.” She says cryptically.

Ezra runs to a corner of the room and rummages around in a large pile of junk. She brings out a crocodile tooth on a hemp string. She pricks her finger on it, and begins chanting in celestial. Maverick understands what she says as “I call upon the sky serpent, benevolent life bringer”. She then switches to abyssal. The chanting sounds like nails on a chalk board, awful hissing and clicking of cockroach mandibles. Only Maverick is disturbed by the abyssal chant. As Ezra is nearing the end of her chant, she touches the crocodile tooth to the mask. There is a blinding flash. The mask is now on fire. Heatless continual flames spurt from all corners of the mask. (The Face of Thurazg has been partially activated. Your cosmic chances of hitting have increased. Malak can also use burning palms 2 per day.)
Ezra has vanished. Only Maverick thinks she hears Ezra’s voice say
“The next time you see de big man upstairs, tell him Ezra says hello.” her voice trails off with an erie laugh.
Maverick also notices that a small silver ring has been placed in her hand. (Maverick has found a life saving ring. Up to 4 times per day, she can use the ring to give back 1 HP to any person. This effect also stabilizes bleeding or unconscious characters.)

Malak confused at first takes the chain and puts it around his neck.. “Uh…thanks…”

He then come across a revelation “Oh…no….” He moans and then mutters under his breath “That explains everything….. the delusions….the magic rot…. the hallucinations…..”

He then looks up at Maverick. “You poor thing. You’re lucky you retained your spell casting ability…. Yea… no more arguing it’s pointless and Its not bringing us closer to our goal, just don’t try for this mask, and I won’t stand for you using any more Blagor in our travels together.”

( Malak now believes that Maverick was once a spell caster who became addicted to Blagor, a hallucinogenic drug that causes intense psychedelic experiences but intense brain damage. He believes her previous brain damage has caused her to believe all of these things she keeps saying about being from heaven in such. He’s absolutely wrong, but this seems more likely to him then the truth of what she’s saying)

Malak wonders where John is with a bit of meat for him.

She smile a bit at Malak, “ok, tis fine with me.” then she looks around “where IS the liitle crocodile?? JOHNN! WHERE ARE YOUU” she calls out. She slips the ring on her finger and it magically bonds to her skin. It’s a tingly sensation.

Malak a little confused at the sudden disappearance of Ezra before he has the opportunity to thank her for enchanting his mask. But decides not to question it. “Quick for an old lady…”

Malak picks up the cross dagger and puts it in his bag. He exits the church to finally get some food.

Maverick smiles up towards the ceiling and genuflects once more at the altar before leave. she looks over at Malak at his comment “she’s older than u may think,” Maverick whispers, as if afraid of being overheard by church mice.

After eating and packing up camp, the boat finally drifts out of the swamp and into the dock of a large city. It is 12:00 pm. The outer city is littered with dirty little houses and taverns with hungry disheveled looking little people. Beyond these houses, lie enormous factories with huge smokestacks that belch thick, greasy, black clouds into the air. After those, at the heart of the city lies an enormous shimmering palace made of mithral, platinum, an hundreds of different kinds of jewels. The palace is suspended on stilts made of gold, and extremely well dressed people come up and down from the palace on and adamantine elevator that is powered by hundreds of poor people with ropes. As the boat approaches the city a large lock comes into view. The boat slowly drifts in and stops.

“Welcome to Saint Loula. This is our second check point. The boat is going to be sent through the city while we stay the night here. I’m staying at a military hotel in the middle ring. You’re welcome to join me if you want, or you can find a discount hotel in the outer ring. Either way, it’s your call. Take your time and stock up on supplies. Have a look around, but meet me at the lock on the other side of the city tomorrow at 9 o’clock. Well, have fun.” Zmire says standing and stretching. As the corporal is about to get out of the boat, he stops half way. “I almost forgot to give you back you’re knife.”He says throwing the kukuri at Malak’s feet. “Thanks by the way”. He then takes off at a trot into the city.

“Fuck no! me stay in city, me die from smell. But me need food. Kill goblins and help friends I might.” John sticks with Malak.

Craft check for creation of darkwood arrows, on the boat ride to Loula City. Success. Malak manages to make 10 Dark wood arrows.

“Where ever we stay we need to lay low, let’s have a little look around shall we?” Maverick suggests.

Yes, but first we need money to stay some place. All I have is this broken cross to sell" Malak responds.

John, you find anything worth selling while you were routing around the swamp?

John search check for money and or valuable things in the surrounding area. “me find shiny things soon.” If no valuables are found search check for big game.

John can spot no valuables (This is the dirty poor people side of town), and John can spot no game (Only smelly people).

Suddenly a small orphan girl with bloody hands and no fingers walks up to Maverick.

“Escuse me lady, can you give me food. I is hungry. I ate all my fingers, now I got nothing left.”

“Dhes people poorer than us.” John cries a small tear because it reminds him of his childhood. “Well ten we best live as they do….. ROAR YEAH RAISE SOME FUCKING HELL.”

“Whoah! John!!! we want to keep a low profile we, don’t want to call attention to ourselves, we’re on a covert mission! The last thing we want to do is make a commotion! here let’s see if we can move towards the center of town, there may be more valuable things laying around there” says Malak.

“Wait guys, the little girl!!” Maverick cries out. She bends down to the little girl and asks her name. Maverick thinks as to wat she can do for food. she sighs and looks at the other two. “Come on guys, for goodness sake she ate her fingers! we gotta have something….”

“I’m sorry don’t think I have anything…. I was so hungery after this morning, I ate my whole share and the goblin didn’t give us much meat. If she wants to follow us maybe we can afford to get her some food, but i’m not a fan of adopting every orphan Maverick.”

Malak looks at the little girl….. “Alright I’ll let her follow us,only cuz she reminds me of Kaylee… but don’t heal her fingers til she has a full belly so she doesn’t eat them again.”
“Malak, we can’t have her following us around. a small girl with bloody fingers? Too much attention. still, i cnt just leave her here….” Maverick mumbles as she thinks. “watch her Malak, i want no funny business.” Maverick instructs. she kneels beside Malak and begins to pray in tongues as she pulls stands of hair from her head “Dear Lord in Heaven i ask that u turn this hair into enough spaghetti to feed, not or my companions, but this small starving girl so that she may not starve and have to eat her toes next. In Your name, Amen.” she stares at the hairs cupped in her hands waiting for the Lord’s mighty power to do as she has so prayed.
“Be ready to get outa here John,” Malak says

“Yous people is stuiped. Smelly man wheres stuiped mask. Smelly woman makes magic and me proud lizard folk. HOW WE NOT BRING ATTENTION. SIGH WE SHOULD WERE SIGN ‘SAYING LOOK AT US!’”
As Maverick Prays, the hair in her hand slowly metamorphoses into a hand full of luke-warm cooked noodles. The little girl stares wide eyed at Maverick. She manages to eat out of Maverick’s hand (Like a pigeon), rapidly devouring the food at an alarming rate (Not eating any parts of Mavericks hands, however).

THANKS LADY, YOU AN ANGEL!” The little girl cries out.

Suddenly one of the other poor people starts screaming at the top of his lungs.

HOLY CRAP, THAT WOMAN CAN MAKE FOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!! GET HER!" An enormous mob of starving peasants stampedes towards the group. A grotesque procession of maimed starving less fortunate rumbles after Maverick screaming, shrieking and wailing “Give Us FOOOOOOOOOD!”

The seal on the back of Maverick’s hand fades slightly.

John quickly reacting to this situation grabs the little girl throws her on his shoulders and runs as fast as he can screaming “BLAAAAAAAAAA! HUMAN STAMPIED!”

“Wait, John!!! damn it, he coulda just jumped into the water!!!!” Malak yells, chasing after John. “Keep up, Maverick, they’re after YOU!!!”

Maverick picks up speed and catches up with her comrades huffing in tongues as she goes along. “Malak, we gotta hide!!!!”

Spot check for a hiding place, while running from the crowd. Malak spots a run-down tavern 20 ft away.

Malak yells “This way!!!!” He dashes towards the Tavern that he saw before, grabbing Maverick and John by the arms and pulls them inside. slamming the door behind him.
The mob rampages past the tavern as Malak yanks his companions into the seedy building. The starving peasants seem to lose interest in Maverick after her vanishing act. Suddenly, a hairy man with a bottle in his hand grabs Maverick by the collar and screams
“I’M IN THE DREAM WORLD!!! I’M IN THE DREAM WORLD!!!! I’M IN THE DREAM WORLD!!!”

John exclaims “YEAH! HES IN THE DREAM WORLD! WERE IN THE DREAM WORLD! WHOOT!”

As the dream world man screams and shakes Maverick, a short blond elf enters the bar.

Normus wanders into the tavern, and spots one of his peasant underlings screaming and shaking a girl with funny colored eyes. He is clearly high on pox.

Normus grabs the peasant underling and shouts, “Get off her, you beast! That’s not how you do it. You have to undress her first.”

The Man continues to shout, “I’M IN THE DREAM WORLD!”

John drops the little girl and tackles normus and shouts "YOU no touch her! unless you have goblin.
John quickly grabs Normus, and slams him against the wall. John hisses and spits in normus’s eye.
Maverick slams her staff against the dream world man, stabbing it full force into his chest. “John, DUCK DOWN!!” Maverick yells as she begins to swing her staff toward the pervert pox man’s face. “I can take care of myself,” Maverick hisses in tongues.
Normus submits to the grapple. "Please don’t hurt me! I don’t wanna die. I surrender!” He begs
Maverick stops mid swing and looks at the man cowering at the lizard boy’s hands. she huffs out, “how pathetic,”. she turns to Malak, “hey Malak, where’s the kid?”
Suddenly, A mob of peasants runs into the Bar screaming bloody murder. Instead of harassing maverick, however, they instead haphazardly jam themselves into random crevices in and throughout the bar. In the chaos, one man screams

EVERYBODY HIDE!!! THE ROYAL GUARD IS COMING!!!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Shit, guys we need to get outta here. I’m beginning to think the military base would have been better than this nonsense.” Maverick says. She does a spot check for alternate exits.

Just then, a man in a red and yellow uniform bursts through the front door. Everyone screams, and runs behind Malak, John, Maverick, Normus, and the little girl. The little girl runs behind Maverick.

ALL EXITS ARE BLOCKED.

Malak, his back facing the door when the man bursts into the tavern, looks at Maverick and winks. Looks at Normus and whispers in elven.

He turns around towards the man “Hello there good sir, I do believe I have come to the wrong place for a drink, I am new in town and suddenly all of these peasants came rushing in…. I am sure you’ll understand if I take a step outside.”

Maverick catches on and raps her arm around Malak’s as if it were her husband or suitor. She smiles benevolently at the red and yellow man with natural charm. “He’s not very good with directions,” Maverick smiles coyly.

“Hmmm…. Well, I can easily see that you are nobility sir, But why would you have that. She doesn’t even look middle class. And why is that ragamuffin child hanging on to her? No self-respecting Noble would dress their child as such.” The man says

“Ahh… well, we all have our indulgences….the wife would never think here you know. As for the raggamuffin, probably her daughter….” Malak states in an air of confession. (Bluff check) “Now if you’ll excuse me I’d like to go about my business” he smiles at the man.

“Ahhhhhhh, I see.” Says the guard nodding his head with a malicious grin. “Very good sir. Then you won’t mind if I take it back to the palace. If you do, take it up with the other nobles. We need an Oracle.”
John just walks out of the front door ignoring the possible danger.
Malak smiles… “Ahh well, there are more where she came from…” He walks past the guard and exits the tavern.
Mavericks eyes flash hypnotically. “Sir, i am no oracle of any such kind. But if there is something i can do, ya know let this slide by?” she raises we eyebrows and smiles. Maverick glares vilely at Malak as he walks out the door.

“I am am aware, who the oracle is sir,” Normus says as he points at the child. “T’is she.” (bluff check) “Please do not hurt us, sir. We would very much like her to be decapitated.”

Mavericks eyes stop on red and fade to blue, she does not like the idea of giving up a small girl to be decapitated for a witch hunt. She strokes the little girls neck and inaudibly whispers in tongues “Lord in Heaven, please no matter what keep this child of yours from being decapitated or maimed or tortured in any way. Keep her safe. In Your Name, Amen.” she makes a cross on the back of her neck and hopes for the best.

“Yes, please take her as the oracle. We are loyal citizens and don’t want to interfere in any of your processes. Please don’t hurt me!” Normus says.

Normus touches the girl’s breasts. “Ah, they are supple. She would be a fine specimen indeed.”

The guard glares at John as he exits, and bows to Malak.

He then turns to Maverick.

“I can’t use her, she’s too young; won’t fall right. You look like you got the magic rot, you’ll fall good. You’re coming with me back to the imperial palace. And you, the sniveling coward in the corner, don’t tell me how to do my job. You’re that loser whose family married into royalty, right? You got a problem; take it up with your middle-class whore sisters.” The Guard growls.

As Malak and John exit the run down tavern, they see hundreds of peasants screaming and running franticly as a handful of guards run them through the streets. There is a dark alley that is perfect for an ambush right next to the bar.

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