“You must stay with me. I haven’t had a friend in millenia!” the floating jester cried out manically, “I need a friend!” The jester’s face turned from the white smiling face to show his depressed black frown. Tears rolled down his cheek.
“Hey Gendy, we have this girl you’ve fucked a few times here. She’s unconscious. We don’t want her. Why not offer her up?” Morgrim asked through his cursed helm. It had no orifice for his sight or breath to escape. Yet others could hear him as if he wore nothing. He looked towards Gendy, only seeing the sound waves his heart produced as they crashed into solid objects and bounced around. At the suggestion Gendy immediately knew how they were to escape the claustrophobic room. There was something about being in a twenty square foot room with no exits and the Avatar of the God of Death and Trickery that made even Gendy sweat a little.
“Hey, Mr. Avatar sir. How about we take that little item sitting underneath your floating ass and we’ll give you a friend to keep forever hm? This gorgeous sleeping dame is yours to keep if you only give us that little stone and let us go.” Gendy said with the most gusto he could muster to persuade an immortal. Gendy felt the tension of his companions lower as the face of the jester slowly turned back to the white smile.
“I don’t know how I feel about this.” Theren whispered to Gendy as they waited for the Avatar to respond. Even though Theren was devoted to war, conflict, and victory, the idea of giving an unconcious half elven woman to the floating maniac didn’t sit right with him.
“Shut your mouth cleric. We have no room for morals in this small prison.” Varis snapped quietly. He hated the metallic box they were in. Every inch of the fashioned room ate at his hatred for distorting the precious metals of the ground.
“I agree with Theren. Gendy we shouldn’t give away life so easily.” Java, the groups most unreliable healer, questioned the motives coming to light when their death was on the table. Java was an Agent of Olladra, the goddess of healing and luck. Still he did not like gambling in this manner with someone’s life when they had no say in the matter. There was no sport in it.
“Iiiiii accept this offer! A FRIEND FOR ME!” The jester cried out exuberantly, “Hand me the woman and you may take the trinket and I’ll send you back out of my home!” Gendy and Morgrim dragged the unconscious elf and Varis grabbed the trinket. He held the hilt that it attacked to. As soon as Varis grabbed it, the five of them blinked and suddenly they were back in the courtyard outside the Shrine.
Varis was looking down at his new toys, placing the pommel onto the handle. The sword sparked to life, a blade of electricity shot to the length of a longsword before him. At the same time, his normal vision left him and all he could see was lines of energy. What is this? Varis wondered. Never had he seen what his beliefs told him. The very energy that gives life to the creatures around him. It was then he noticed the rest of his companions looking forward across the courtyard.
There stood in front of them five men. One being Marcus, the tiefling the group had befriend. The other four men were wearing black canvas hoods that obscured their faces. “Welcome back! I see you’ve lived through the shrine.” Marcus called out.
“What is the meaning of this?” Theren asked.
“Oh this? Well I’m not actually some immortal being trapped to the courtyard.” Marcus laughed. The other men laughed with him. “You see, I was sent as a scout to the Shrine. And to allow you fools to get the artifact for us. Would you please hand it over so we don’t have to shed any blood?”
Gendy’s blood boiled. He had almost died several times getting the artifact in the shrine for some religious organization that he didn’t believe in. And now here in front of him was another group asking to hand over the item. He had had enough of pious folks and their ridiculous fights.
“DO YOU KNOW WHO I FUCKING AM?! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! I GOT THIS FUCKING ARTIFACT AND ITS FUCKING MINE! YOU BIG FUCKING TWAT! DO YOU WANNA FUCK WITH ME TODAY?! NO! FUCK OFF YOU FUCKING FUCK! I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR FUCKING FIGHTS!” Gendy lost his cool. Morgrim simply walked passed the five men as they were all astounded by the explosiveness of the little halfing. Two of the men then realized one had gotten past and they went after him. Java too had had enough. He mumbled a few words in Celestial and called upon the spirits.
Glowing white, warriors from beyond sprang from the air and cut down three of the men and Marcus with greater ease than any of the companions had anticipated. They were all a little surprised at how weak the group that had just threatened them had been. One man remained, he cowered on his knees pulling his hood back and throwing his hands across his chest in the symbol of surrender.
“ERIK!?” Theren screamed. He had let this man go from a previous job. Erik had been responsible for the collapse of the mine and the death of more than a few innocents in Theren’s home town of Oreastrum. “I thought I let you go under the condition of not doing any more evil!?”
“I’m not!” Erik replied, his voice cracking. “I just joined up with this group, they said they would pay me well if I came along! They said there would be no bloodshed!”
“NO! Your going against our terms!” Theren was ready to cut down the man who knelt before him. Varis interrupted Theren before his mind could call his arms to action.
“To be fair Theren, are we not the same? We accepted a job from an organization in exchange for pay.” Varis said calmly.
“This is different! He is a killer!” Theren was not having it.
“And we aren’t? What about those four men laying in pieces right there?” Varis pointed at the corpses in the courtyard.
“Woops.” Java mumbled under his breath, not really feeling bad about it.
“Fine.” Theren said defeated. “Then let’s go collect our gold and be done with this.”
And with that they traveled back to Carthis, Erik Dras their prisoner.
When they arrived, Theren and Java went to the Olladran temple. Java spoke first to the agent that greeted them. “We’ve returned. We don’t have that item but we do have this guy who was with the Cult of the Dark Side of the Moon.” Java said, hiding the truth about the artifact. Varis said it would be useful to see living creatures. More so than the gold they would receive from turning it in.
“Well We’ll have to take him for questioning.” the agent replied calmly, writing in his ledger.
“Damn it! No! He is mine and I will take him!” Theren said once again letting his anger take him.
“No Theren, we didn’t return the artifact. We have to give up Erik.” Java replied.
“He is ours. Unfortunately since you did not return the artifact we cannot pay you your remaining contract.”
“This is bullshit.” Theren stormed off.
Back at their tavern room Theren explained what had happened. Morgrim wasn’t really paying attention. He had the more pressing matter of the spikes inside his helm digging into his skin.
“Hey can we go to Genisys?” Morgrim interjected towards the end of Theren’s tirade.
“Why?” Gendy asked.
“I’ve been told by one of the local blacksmiths that there are folks in Genisys who can help me figure out what’s going on with this.” He pointed to the silvery metallic cask over his head.
“I’m ok with anything.” Varis said as usual. He was not to worried about his location or what job his new friends had. So long as nature was not harmed. Though he was curious about the state of the land around Genisys. He had heard the city spread for miles and the ground around it was dead. Maybe he could do some good there.
“I can always talk to some higher ups for another job there.” Java put in.
“Why can’t we ever stay put long enough to earn some coin.” Gendy said, more to himself than to the group.
They arrived in Genisys.