A Chant of Dark and Light

Nowhere Man

We load up the bottles (and a few neat little gemstones from their hoard) and back to Crux. It goes without a hassle, for once.

Thing is, we find all these slaves that the Khaasta have been keeping at the back of their compound. Ooo, but those guys are in a bad way and it takes a bit of doing to get them out of there and back to Crux.

When we get to Crux (fortunately not too far from the other Naphraks place) the locals take a bit of persuading to take in the bedraggled slaves and help them out, but the head of the woodcutters’ guild seems to sway things toward that. She seems a nice sort.

We rest up and go looking for these Ratatosk sorts – big squirrels basically – as the woodcutter woman reckons they’ve been out of sorts lately. While we are there in their tree-hole some of the guys go a bit odd and tell us that they start seeing things. But we agree to help out their boss, called Glittereye, by checking out this weird place on the tree with him.

While we’re headed there we meet this modron fella. What a strange thing he is, like some sort of machine built on logic and strict orders and so on. He’s way out of place in this kip. Still, he tags along with us. Wonder if he’ll come in useful?

When we get to the odd place it looks all rippled as if something really bad has happened here. It’s at that point that Polly asks him a simple question and he lunges at her. Something’s sure got to the poor cutter’s head as he doesn’t seem in control of himself at this point. Too bad…

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Shame some o’ the bottles got smashed in the liberation o’ cutters mojo’s, but so it goes. The lizzies got a bit antsy and restive when we was fixin’ to head out, but then we found out the poor berks they was keepin’ as slaves! Pikin’ slavery, I ‘ates it; freedom is yer only thing you got and when some piker takes that away from yer then you got less’n a dretch has; so, we pulls em out, all 50 o’ em. I was just itchin’ to lay down some suppressive fire like (pun intended) if they was tryin’ anythin’, but they takes a big check on bein’ berks and back off. Anyways, we gets the slaves (all fella’s of different stripes and races stinkin’ to the upper planes an all lookin’ pretty damned wretched) back to Crux, where the so called nice guys in charge o’ the burg was almost on the verge o’ sayin’ “pike off” politely, but they came round, and they had some nice folks showin, some good spirit in donatin, togs n’ clogs for the nekkid wee mites. Used a handy Prestididgy spell to try and clean em up, (slow goin I tells ya) and with Lofgren bein, able to feed em with his Gond foodstall concession the next day, looks good for these poor berks.

We then gets asked to investigate the pennin’ o’ one o’ the squirrel fellas, so we goes off to have a word wi’ their chief Glittereye, meetin’ two o’ his cutters on the way. The tree slipped Lofgren and me wi’ a mickey o’ mind bendin’ sap when we was crawlin’ through a tunnel, and I got off m’ face like I was back in the lower wards gettin’ wenched by a succubus; right good it were too, but not very profeshnul like. We meets Glittereye an he’s sayin’ some bad business is hurtin’ the tree an’ his folks, an’ threatenin’ the whole shrub in the longer term too; now I likes this big tree/shrub an I ‘ates t’ see a place gettin’ screwed by some bad business, so we all tags along wi’ the squirrel chief an his boys to have a looky looky at the problem. We picks up a modron (a MODRON!) long ways from his gaff, an’ he starts taggin’ along askin’ fer orders and how t’ get back to Mechnus. Him an’ Lofgren an Lef are all gettin’ along jus’ fine like, jus’ as well as those Modrons give me the wiggins.

We gets t’ this place that looks like the wierdo hammers been hittin’ on it a whiles, an we sees Glittereye gettin’ a bit freaky, likely this place is doin’ summat to ‘is noggin, an then he lunges at me wi’ bad intent! I ain’t gonna kill a berk who’s gotten gotched by diablical mindy control stuff if I c’n help it, but that don’t mean I can’t do some fisticuffs an’ pummel some sense back inta ‘im; I sees Lef’s “cosh n carry” method about t’ make an appearance again…

Nowhere Man
 

Collected all the bottles we could, now just to return them to their rightful owners. But just as we are about to leave, I get curious about a large fence. I thought it was for defence, but on investigation it is where they are keeping slaves! These lizard folk are scum! So we free the slaves and take them back to the village.

Fortunately, the people from the village are well-intentioned, and readily help clean and feed the slaves, and provide somewhere for them to stay. Very kind of them, and restores my faith in human nature.

While we are waiting a few days for the slaves to recover from their ordeal, we hear about the squirrel-folk having problems. So we go to meet their leader who shows us where some strange stuff has been happening. Then the squirrel goes nuts and lunges at Polly. Don’t want to kill the funny furry rodent, so it’s out with the tried and trusty cosh…

Nowhere Man
 

A modron… what a marvellous piece of engineering. Surely, if not the work of Gond then at least influenced by him.

And further wonder, as Gond heals and feeds the multitude, concerned with neither race or social standing. Soon more must turn to the ways of Gond….?

Nowhere Man
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