CHAPTER 1 – Under the new Moon, Wisps of a forgotten campfire
By John Crockett & Jacob Fenwick
We live in a world of words, Sweet and warm revealed to be doing nothing but covering their sour taste of the service provided. A feeling not felt much by the common folk of this time but this world is about to awaken their senses to this putrid world's stench. Ah yes not just the sell swords and hedge wizards making easy sparkly silver Titans sweeping the small dredges of evil from the common folks viewing displeasure but actual heroes of old that only earn only the finest golden dragons as a minimum for their great deeds shall return, these sell swords parading around as ‘Heroes’ do not yet know that attacking a infestations lower life forms means the strongest have their time to prepare the final strike..Soon we will see the battle of the new guard toppling the old under the banner of hope and change...let us see what becomes of the False Heroes.
We start our adventure where all great tales are started...at a tavern, specifically the Coal and Cauldron, South of the border to the Seven Sands in a tiny forest with hundred feet tall oaks surrounding a rather plain but homely feeling establishment. Adorned with wax candles lighting the walls creating a certain ambiance like that of fireflies...OH and the skulls of creatures from far and wide...been a while since I’ve seen one of them...OH anyway! This place is a fine example of everything that will be this world's downfall everywhere you look. Brutish Bladed Orcs swinging that sword around like it was their new pet bear cub moments before they start crying asking why it has fallen asleep...still compared to the Gnomish ways my analogy is more peaceful.. Still they dance and sing the shanties of their last voyage with the voice of an old smoking sailor smacking their hands and feet in drunken tones kicking at the Gnomes trying to join in the festivities. The musky smell of Ale and Ember root filling the war hardened walls more than the older Orc owner standing a clear foot above all others ... Oh..I do believe our pieces are making their first plays.
The bar’s quiet ambience was quickly interrupted by the great old Elven wood door being shot off its hinges with a thunderous boom towards a table at the closest wall. Facing the barrage of shards of splinting oak javelins now gaining velocity like a bullet. The male patrons' eyes filled with fear and the women's creaking quivers trying to release a single sound seemingly in unison at the carnage they were sure was to unfold.Time itself seems to slow to a crawl, the patrons eyes in unison widen, In this time the hooded one sitting at the table that the onslaught was hurdling towards stood from his chair and shrank as his feet clapped the cobblestone, lowered his hood as he turned quick revealing his demonic red skin and a eye that resembled a searing ember being stoked fiercely reaches for his side and in one motionless blur a explosion of smoke and cindering splinters fly into the ceiling leaving a new skylight showing the new moon’s first crescent as the smoke and shockwave spreads through the establishment sending everyone to their rears. The smoke started to disperse and we see from it the hooded figures arm extended holding a weathered and steaming one handed leather grip forge hammer, black to the sight and obviously heavy to the touch shown by it being dropped a mear two feet from the extended hand and creating a secondary shockwave that blew off his hood and cape fully showing us a Demon, skin a pure blood red with shades of black and grey with horns of pure ebony black and eyes black as the as the abyss where his ancestors emerged from but only standing around three feet tall. A long flowing braided beard and hair of the Dwarves, his armor left much to be desired for, only sporting a leather vest with no sleeves and a pair of leather jerkin to match, his cape being removed revealed a identical war hammer sitting on his hip and a short blade on his back, no scabbard and serrated from what looks to be multiple fights, as the smoke clears the demon looked far from pleased gripped his war hammer back from the floor and turns to stare at the hole where the great elven door once stood.
He saw the outline of a person, blinded by the lifted debris momentarily but then seeing a tall elf stumbling through the smoke and falling on his face and laughing like a madman while picking himself up, not a Elf but a half-mix, a creature that is off two species that never usually interbreed but we see quickly that this one was the most common off all, A Orc and a Wood Elf, this man looked almost like a perfect Elf that could even pass for a Lunar or even High Elf. His only Orcish trait being his lower jaw and fangs with his ashy grey skin complexion, he wore robes of shining gold with ancient runes seemingly stitched into them with a coat of pure red dragon scales.
No one wished to look at the half-mix and not for reasons of hatred towards what he was but for his eyes looked like that of someone psychopathic with his right eye having a pupil of shining gold with a deep forest green and his left a pupil as grey as the eyes of ancient necromancer that has lost his will to twist the world any longer with the rest being a bright violet purple cloudy mixture. The half mix seemed to notice the fear around him but paid it no trouble and walked towards the bar, the dwarf was infuriated by this arrogant fool completely ignoring him, thinking he was better than him and making him ready to fight...as the the second hammer came from his hip, its bright bronze grip was blurring with the demon's hand only to be stopped. Eyes widening he turned swiftly only to now realise what this pale faced creature that stopped his swing was, a Azamaar, a fallen angel, unique even for this oddity of a universe. Still cladded in holy robes of worn white, stained by the seasons with holes and stitches lining along the many crests embroidered such as the three headed dragon of petrolic colors, three phases of the moon above each head, a race that usually stay to themselves or try to force their own gods onto you but the dwarf could tell from the shine behind his unkempt hair of apple green pulsating from his eye that he was not amused, realising his situation the demon went to grab his composure and swing the hammer still in his hand.
‘’I do not appreciate violence like this...Yoru is always watching and weeping for you, a lonely lost child of the moon’’
The Azamaar spoke with such calmness and soft tone, The demon froze as his words struggled to come out in coherent sentences and the tension in the bar raised even again as the vomit in the patrons guts started to swirl and rise. Well all except one that is.
‘’BAR KEEP! BRIN MEH YA FLASHAST BOTTLE YA GOT AHAHAA’’
The half mix from earlier had seemingly found his way to the bar after starting all the tension and played oblivious to it all
‘’Best bottle? That be Sand Storm it will leave ya neck scratching’’
‘’Ha! I LIKE THA SOOND OF THA, GRAB MEH!’’
The bar man seemingly followed the young half-mixes idea and tried to cut the tensions but only made it rise, the dwarf now walking directly towards the bar with fire and venom in his eyes,
The barman, unsure of the situation, walked away to the other side of the bar after delivering the order. The demon finally standing looking up at the half mix grunts and snarls at him
‘’Oi….You blind AND deaf or do you just have a death wish?’’
Jumping onto the bar over the drunkard and landing in front of the half-mix so he can no longer ignore him, he reaches for the coats scruff but finds a bottle in his hands unknown in the milliseconds that had past where it came from, obviously confused the dwarf stares with his face warped at the half-mix who only sits there and smiles at him and extends his left arm out
‘’Names Willabaar D. Price’’
His speech seemed to be completely coherent again as if a switch went inside him making the dwarf squint and leave his mouth gape.
‘’Fourth crowned prince of the forgotten kingdom of Recocto, I’ve shared a drink for you and the fallen angel’’
The dwarf turned to see the ragged man that stowed his rage was still there behind now realising what this pale faced preacher was, a Azamaar, Still cladded in holy robes of worn white stained by the seasons with holes and stitches lining along the many crests embroidered such as the three headed dragon of petrolic colors with three phases of the moon above each head, Willabaar slides him the third bottle but the soft speaker uses his reserves to push it straight into the Half-mixes hand with a soft glow of white.
‘’Thank you for the offer your grace but-’’
‘’None of this your grace nonsense it is Willabaar got it?’’
The Azamaar seemed cold in the face but confused in his voice
‘’My name is Kyuuwin Kurama, I am a ward of the great moon goddess Yoru and I am pleased to meet you both’’
he bows with perfect precision to them as the two men still standing look confusingly at each other before erupting with laughter, the dwarf wipes a tear from his eyes from the laughter
‘’The full name? Mountain Bee but just call me Bee’’
Willabaar let out a crooked half smile
‘’Well then Kyu and Bee-’’
‘’It’s actually Kyuuwi-’’
‘’But Kyu is snappier it will be more helpful’’
The two brutes continue to drink with the Azamaar as a whole day passes. We see them drinking, gambling, arm wrestling and breaking property until the full crescent of the new moon's second night has almost left also. The compressed anxiety of the crowd turned into a free flowing feeling of jubilation with Ember root smoke spreading through the room and the free flowing liquids of Sandstrom and Sovereign Seeker, Root Rot and Accursed Mango poured through the night.
As the new night grows old & gives birth to the dawn, we see all the patrons now smiling & snoring like a group of newborns in the chapel & all we see left still awake are the three men who instigated this entire event. All seemingly staring coldly towards each other as if they were rival gang leaders both thinking they'd received the short end of the deal until a thunderous laugh snapping the sleeping patrons up like a Meerkat on guard duty & letting out skills like that of a kit.
A slurring Willabaar shouts through the laughter as he puts his beer soaked arm around Kyu’s neck
‘’Uhmm..y-YES erm.. Lord Willabaar?’’
The half-mixes face changed quicker than a storm appearing over the Sulfur Storm volcano lands & now looking as dangerous as the storm would appear to its inhabitants.
“Kyu...do NOT call me lord...I am just Willabaar…”
The Half-mixes face seemingly giving away the faintest looks of sadness as he looked up smiling
‘’Enough about me though, what about you two?’’
The faces of the other two men now changed to at the speed of a hunting Cockatrice with them both trying to obviously hide the despair in their eyes until Mountain finally speaks, still slurring heavily and wobbling from both sides of the stool.
‘’Huh?...I’m just a man with a good swinging arm’’
The demonic dwarf paused to finish his bottle in front of him
‘’I was part of a pretty strong group, not many members but all good at what they said’’
His face changing from happy remembrance to that of mortal disdain
‘’Then i had a problem with one of them, been here the week since trying to pick up a contract with someone an-’’
‘’And find meaning in what you do correct?’’
Kyu said making the dwarves eyes dilate as if his first love appeared before him with the angel picking up two of the candles closest to them,, Kyu continued after this with his usual soft voice
‘’Without reason...Your sight will truly be blinded’’
Blowing out the shorter closer to the end candle and let the fresh candle burn.
The table once again grew cold and quiet for a short time as Mountain’s face slumped down towards the cobblestone getting ever closer as Willabaar finishes the last off his drink, wipes his mouth clean with his arm and stands abruptly, The other two raise their eyes together to meet the now imposing man, he opens his mouth and lets out a inherently evil screech of a laugh
‘’You really don’t know what you want yet?! For Daedalus sake you look like your in your mid fifties Bee and you ain’t no elf ahahaha!’’
Willabaar kept up his chaotic cackle as he fell to his knees and began to hold his sides, Mountain looked angrier than he had so far and got up as quick as his little legs would let him on to the table
‘’BIG TALK FROM SO WEIRD LITTLE FUCKERS WHO PROLLY CAN’T SWING NO BLADE, WHAT IN THE HELLS IS YOUR STORY!?’’
Kyu responds quick as the wind with his juice close to mouth
‘’Only once I can call you friend will you be told mine’’
Proceeding to sip his red shaded drink, Mountain obviously angry grits his fangs and turns to Willabaar
‘’I’m a prince you idiot ahahaha I told ya mine’’
Bee looked defeated as he slumped back to his seat, as he does a young fresh faced Human waiter comes over smile stretching from cheek to cheek and carrying a tray with three bottles of Sand storm over to the table
‘’On the house guys! Hope yo-’’
Bee snapped the tray from his hands with the force of a shark's jaw without spilling a single drop of Sandstrom
‘’Keep walking boy, we don’t plan on actin chummy with ya...Go on SCRAM!’’
The young man seemingly looking more happy than when he approached him cocked his head to the right with his left eye winching to almost a wink
‘’Oh course sir! Please dOOoo call if you need absolutely anything’’
He left, making the atmosphere around the table like a haze of anger and jealousy getting thicker while leaving a mustier feeling the more seconds went by. The table seemingly goes back to ridiculing Mountain as we hear Willabaar’s evil cackle echo through the establishment. From the bar we see the old battle scarred Orcish bartender standing with a faint smile looking at the table remembering his old days with his party, Looking out towards the front windows with a smile and starting to feel a little jealous of them, wishing he never opened the bar until suddenly he feels his leg snap in three different places, his eyes widen at the intense pain surging through his spine, he tries to release the anguish through any means he opens his mouth widen as only a faint whisper is released and then before he could do anything a black tendril of smoke and ooze enters his mouth and pierces through the back off his neck with his last thoughts looking at the table of fresh faced adventurers as they became no more than black blurs in his fading vision he sees the half-mixes eyes meet his as Willabaar closes his eye and finishes his bottle his sense of rejuvenated belief leaves the old orc we see one tear of blood and one actual tear stream down his cheeks to meet at his mouth contorting to make a sneer as his body sinks down below the bar becoming dark and blending with the dark oak bar table.
The human slowly crawled back up from below the bar, licking his lips and surveying the bar looking at the faces of the patrons left still standing, seeing the group still sitting on their table laughing loud enough to be heard from outside, A group of Orcs slowly waking up by where once the door was, shouting towards the man,
‘’OI BUS BOY! BRING US SOME BLANKETS AND STOKE THE FIRE WON’T YA?’’
The human face contorted to a smile once more and walked swiftly towards the group. His eyes slightly shining in what looks like the pale shine of the entering moon
‘’Oh of cOurse good sirs, allow me to make your insides warmer than the lowest pits of he-’’
His voice cracking with ecstasy and euphoria as time stands to a still,
his eyes try to turn to the rest of the establishment only moving his Iris enough to see a pair green and purple circles blending and blurring close until a elven oak staff whips into existence seemingly out of nowhere in the bandage wrapped left hand rising in a crescent to connect cleanly with the human’s jaw. As it cracks we see his bottom half move faster than his body towards the wall. The human flew through the cobbled wood with great impact, sending splinters and smoke again rising to the hole in the roof and waking all remaining patrons, staring like cattle we see Willabaar standing by the hole with a old dark elven oak staff with Orcish writings down it’s one side and elven the other, the half-mixes face now twisted and wrinkled in what looked like pure rage, gripping his weapon vigorously to the point we hear the creaks and cracks of wood being forced, In the time it takes Willabaar to blink we see a flurry of giant black tendrils rush into the bar, whizzing past Willabaar’s still unmoving face the tendrils stretch missing the main table as the dwarf and azamaar do nothing but slightly move their respective chairs as they go, slamming into walls, patrons getting holes bigger than Gnomes stolen from them by the tendrils pacey attack, those who try to run find themselves caught and torn piece to piece as the crimson shower coats the still screaming remaining, trying to find a shred of a chance to escape.
As the other two join Willabaar at the doorway looking ready for what is to come as the screeches of pain, the smell of fresh blood coating the walls and the feeling of dread befalls the patrons it seems to not affect our three men at the doorway as they smile in unison and prepare to venture out and kill this abomination that was laying waste to everyone around them, all three drew their respective weapons, Kyuuwin pulled a forged crescent dagger curved at both white splattered blade along with a coal black hilted end, Mountain putting his two hammers back at his hips revealing the dull shine of the serrated blade almost as tall as the wielder and Willabaar pulls his Elvish oak back to his stance position as the three in unison reveal a subtle smirk and look forward to the abyss that waited for them.
Abominations usually derive from some misguided ambition to reclaim what people see as naturally theirs or something that has been stricken from them either just or not. People act upon ambition and greed since the start of the first era that turns them into everything they always desired in their wildest dreams or make them live through their worst nightmares for eternity in a now shattered mind devoid of all you once were. Our establishment...Formally known as the Coal and Cauldron suppose i should say now is a prime example of this such theory, all proclaiming their rights as heroes and warriors of this time running, screaming and praying for just one more day to be dregs of a incompetent system suckling the teat of society like the pariah as they show what they think deep inside, not even false but completely incompetent adventurers that do not deserve the title as grandiose as Hero and this will not change in the majority over one generation but there will be a select few that might rise to the top of horrid puke that normally takes the title...these three here tonight showed me the mentally cold focus that all great powers of the times had obtained through their trails at some point in the younger years, be that for justice or chaos we will soon see as we learn more about the ones who just earn the title of more than a False Hero.