Friday, March 23, 2012

The dugout

How in hell did I get here thought Thorth as he stood in the dark damp room.  His clothes soaked from running in the pouring rain and still no warmth in sight as the woman began lighting a fire.  The cold made him feel miserable.  His beard dripping.  His boots soaked.  He couldn't guess what made him protect this woman in such a way.  He couldn't leave her to those thugs, but on the other hand she had magic and did quite well.  Maybe he shouldn't have gotten involved in the bar fight. She might have gotten away safely and he wouldn't be involved in all this.  He wouldn't be wet either.

"So don't you have a spell to start that fire faster?", asked Thorth with a bit of a grumbling tone.

"Mhhhmphh", replied Mashnauh, "I'm freezing just as much as you are.".  What a grumpy old fart this is, she thought wondering at how she'd gotten involved with him.  Why did she have to get so trigger happy with her spells back at the bar.  If only she'd kept her cool.

"So this is your home?  How long have you been living here?", asked Thorth while eyeing the place.  Clearly some type of catacomb or storage far below the city streets.  They'd arrived there through the sewers and underground river.  Made him wonder what this woman was doing and how she knew this city's underground so well.

"A few months.", replied Mashnauh.

"A few months, hmmm", he said looking around.  Sure didn't look like she's been here just a few months.   Way to much stuff and well settled for just a few months.  "So I take it you're not from here, are you?"

"No, I'm from the steppes to the south.  That's were I was born and grew there with my family."

"What brings you to the city?"

"I'm looking for something that was taken from me."

"Must be a very valuable something to be this far north.", said Thorth as he approached the fire which was picking up now.

"Yes, I'm looking for my sister. She was taken by a slaver an evil mage actually.  A tattoo mage who's used his magic on her to take  her from us."

"A tattoo mage?", asked Thorth.

"Yes.  A very powerful type of talismanic magic.  Tattoo mages turn their bodies into walking scrolls and magic items.  Each tattoo has a spell power.  This mage has used some of the most powerful type of tattoo to entrap my sisters soul in his skin and make her his slave.  To the point she'd kill me if I tried to save her.", said Mashnuah breaking into tears.  "I need to find the magic to stop the spell before I can recover her.  She she", said Mashnuah between sobs, "she won't come with me willingly."

"Now now there I'm sure things will turn out right and good fortune will shine on your path.", replied Thorth stretching his hands uncertain how to comfort her.  Grumbling softly he brought his hands back to his sides.

"Oh no I know I won't.  I blew it tonight I should have kept my cool, but those guys grrrrrrr.  Oh I should have waited.  Now I don't know if he'll want to meet with me again.", she said breaking into tears.

"A contact I had. A smuggler actually.  He was going to help me infiltrate the city and contact me there with someone to help me find my sister.  But now he's gone and I have no way to get there."

Thorth began to feel it again.  That sense that he was about to help her in something he was going to regret later.  Why did a grumpy old fart like him have a soft spot for this woman he'd just met.

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