Episode 024 (Text): A Sticky Situation

When we last left our heroes…NUTMEG, GELMAHTA, and SISTER D spent a restful few days in the elven city of KAL RAMMATH, where Nutmeg partied hard and Gel got morose. After journeying down the river through the monstrous woods, they fought a shocking battle at a burning barn on the banks of the river. Now they make their way to the town of TANNER’S CROSSING, where Captain ANNA THORNSPUR wishes to debrief…

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – In Which Captain Anna is Very Capable

Tanner’s Crossing was a bunch of farms, some buildings, and that was pretty much it. Not a bad little town, per se, but certainly nothing to write home about. Gel eyed the newly-built watchtowers on the road into town with a critical gaze. Not nearly as well-made as that goblin barricade on the road to Kal Rammath, and staffed only by a few guys who looked like they had been farmers until very, very recently. If there was anything notable about the town, it was the old toll house on the Hestor River. Plainly a structure of dwarven make, all solid stone and still-gleaming brass and metal, with two great iron columns flanking its double-doors. It was to this building that Captain Anna Thornspur led them. Inside, the toll house appeared to be a combination town hall, barracks, courtroom, records office, and jail, with people bustling all over. A drunk halfling was locked in one of the cells, snoring thickly and reeking of cheap ale. Captain Anna scowled. 

“Give me half a second here, folks, sorry. Roebuck, can’t you send Hollyrump home?”

A put-upon-looking guard shrugged. “Sorry, Cap, he’s still asleep.” 

“Well wake him up,” said Captain Anna. Turning back to the party, she shook her head. “I’m sorry. We’re not used to – well, to pretty much anything. Until recently. Hollyrump was as much trouble as we might see in a year.” 

Gel found himself warming to Captain Anna. She had a wide, square jaw and a flat nose; her hair, short and dirty-blond, looked like she was constantly at war with it. Her armor was well-worn, and she carried herself with an authority that seemed, well more authoritative than Gel would’ve guessed for some backwater little militawoman. 

The Captain led them back down a hallway, past a room labeled “Land Deeds And A Few Shipping Records And Miscellany,” to an office with a firm stone door. She knocked; a voice called for them to enter. 

The man seated behind the desk in this office looked like he would rather be anywhere else. Balding and built like a barrel, with beads of sweat on his brow. He beckoned for them all to come in, with a great deal of “hm” ing and a few “oh sorry”s. 

“There,” he said, when Captain Anna, Nutmeg, Gel, and Sister D had all taken their seats. “Now. Anna. What’s going on here? Busto came riding in, said you’d found the Kalamakis farm burned and had some folks to talk to me.” 

“That would be us,” said Nutmeg. “Hi. I’m Nutmeg, that’s Gel, this is Sister D, we’re the Hob Gob Killin’ Mob, and we’re in town to kill hobgoblins.” 

“Well.” The man scratched one bushy eyebrow. “Well. I’m Mayor Wiseman. Norbert Wiseman. Pleasure to make your-”

“Mayor Wiseman,” interrupted Captain Anna, “there’s no time for that. These people fought off a platoon of hobgoblins-”

“And hell dogs!”

“- and hell dogs – at the Kalamakis farm. A raiding party, but they’re getting worse. And they – well, you tell him.” 

“There’s an army coming,” said Nutmeg. “ A horde, technically. I mean, I guess a horde is just an army we don’t like. Right?”

“I think ‘horde’ makes it sound less organized,” said Gel. 

“And that would be a mistake, because these foes are well-organized indeed,” added Sister D. “They fight with regimental precision.”

“Tell him about the Day of Doom thing,” said Anna. 

“Oh yeah!” Nutmeg snapped his fingers. “That’s a new wrinkle. This hobgoblin at the farm said, uh, the Day of Doom was coming for the ferry-town. From a castle of ghosts. Ring any bells?”

Mayor Wiseman’s mouth opened and closed a few times, like a fish coming to grips with brief life on land. “Well. Uh. I. Oh. A castle? Caer Karnak, right, Anna?”

“That’s what I was thinking, too,” said Anna. She turned to the gang. “Across the Hestor, in the woods, there’s an old castle. A ruin. Most people say it’s haunted. But if I were a hobgoblin invasion force looking for a staging ground, I could pick a better one.” 

“Makes sense,” said Nutmeg. “How do we get there?” 

“That’s a little trickier,” said Anna. “We don’t have much use to go through the woods these days. The old dwarf-road goes up that way, but it’s pretty overgrown.”

“We have to muster the guard!” declared Mayor Wiseman, reaching some conclusion he’d clearly been working hard on. “Every able-bodied fighter in town. We will hold the river!” 

They all said some variation of “no” simultaneously, then looked to each other. 

“I-”

“I-”

“-ope, sorry, didn’t mean-”

“No, no, you – you go -”

“No go ahea-”

“Shut the fuck up,” said Nutmeg. “Look. Wise guy. You can’t hold this shit. Not alone, anyway. Send a letter to Lord Carlan Marth in Barrendell. Ask for some soldiers. Captain, you’ve probably got, what, a hundred dudes? If that?”

“If that.” 

“Yeah, Tanner’s Crossing is fucked if you don’t ask for help.”

Mayor Wiseman massaged his temples. “You don’t quite understand my position. If I submit to the military strength of Barrendell, we may as well recognize Lord Marth as the king! It’s yielding our rightful independence!” He shook his head. “No. I won’t do it.” 

“What?” asked Gel. 

“I won’t!” The mayor pointed at the door, some sort of embarrassed anger boiling up his body. “Get out of my office! Anna, I will speak to you at a later date!” 

When they were in the hall, Anna Thornspur sighed. “Come on, we can talk in the courtroom.” 

Despite the many people bustling around, Anna was able to clear out a little space for them in the jury box. Gel put his feet up on the headrest of the seat in front of him. Across the room, the snores from the drunk tank rang out loud and phlegmatic. 

“Look, Anna,” said Nutmeg, “I don’t want to put you in a hard position, but -”

“Oh, I’m going to send a letter to Barrendell,” said the Captain. “Look, you guys are clearly serious operators. You took out a platoon of hobgoblins. We probably would’ve lost twenty men trying the same thing. We’re not equipped for war, and fuck the Mayor’s politicking around.” 

“Good,” said Sister D. “Good. You may want to consider evacuating children, elderly, and anyone who doesn’t want to fight.”

“I’ll consider it, but that’ll be another fight with the Mayor.”

“What about this ghost castle thing?” asked Gel. 

“Oh, yeah.” Anna smiled. “I was thinking about that. I know a guy, actually. George. Just George. Lives out in a shack on the edge of the woods. Really unfriendly, crotchety old coot. But no one else knows the woods like him.”

“Is there a way to win his heart?” asked Nutmeg. “Booze? Women? Hard drugs?” 

“Just tell him you’re a friend of mine.” 

“Shit, Captain Anna, you’re cool as hell. Where’s good to stay in town? We’re probably crashing tonight.” 

“The Red Apple,” said Anna, with no hesitation. “Just down the road from here, on the Green. Can’t miss it. Just stay clear of The Dwarf Bridge Inn. That place -” she made a face like she’d just smelled something awful. “It’s mostly, you know, people like Hollyrump over there.” 

“What, drunks?”

“Halflings.” 

Chapter 2 – In Which Nutmeg Meets More Wise Guys

Hollyrump was staggering home. Or at least, staggering away from the jail cell. Nutmeg watched the halfling’s progress from an alley nearby. The town drunk. A shame. Being drunk? Totally cool. Being the town drunk? Eh, not so great. Growing up, Nutmeg had known a guy – Jumpy Ed, an elf with one leg and a bad, bad drinking problem. A city as big as Lone Tower had more than one town drunk (the ratio, Nutmeg estimated, was something like one town drunk to every two thousand residents, with another gaggle of drunkards radiating outwards from that one outstanding consumer of alcohol) – but for Nutmeg’s part of the city, Jumpy Ed was the central drunk. Nutmeg and a few other urchins had taken it upon themselves to defend Jumpy Ed on his meandering, stumbling way home from any of the various bars, alehouses, potshops, and head holes in the city. After all, Jumpy Ed was a pretty easy target for would-be-muggers. But Nutmeg had taken pride in beating the absolute dogshit out of those muggers. You don’t pick on the littlest guy, and you don’t mug the town drunk. 

Nutmeg had no intention of mugging Hollyrump. But he had a free afternoon in Tanner’s Crossing, while Gel shopped for a replacement sword and Sister D went to visit the local shrines. Nutmeg, too, had some shopping to do. His bag of mister dusty was almost empty – and, worse, it’d torn in the attack on the barricade, and he hadn’t noticed for a few days. He wasn’t addicted, no, that’d be crazy, him? ha ha are you kidding? But he did really, really want some more drugs. And if there was one thing that was true of all town drunks, it was that they frequented the types of places where one might find the Good Stuff.

Hollyrump stopped for a minute to converse wordlessly with a wooden post. The halfling just stood. Stood and wobbled back and forth, maintaining eye contact (such as it was) with the post. This was not the first time he’d been interrupted in his pilgrim’s progress by an inanimate object. Nutmeg decided it was time to intervene. 

“Hollyrump, right?” he said, stepping out of the shadows. The halfling blinked big moony eyes at him. 

“Huh? Who’s askin?”

“Just a buddy,” said Nutmeg. “Listen, can I help you get where you’re going?”

“To get my hat,” explained Hollyrump. “My unusual hat.”

“What makes it unusual?”

“Shaped like this,” said Hollyrump, and made hat-shaped gestures around his head, suggesting a fantastic form. Nutmeg whistled. 

“That rules. Where’s it at?”

“The Dee Bee.” 

“Dee Bee.”

“Yessir.” 

Nutmeg almost wished he knew what letters were. “Well hey, I’ll walk with you. Show me where we’re going. I’m new in town.”

Hollyrump led Nutmeg slowly, ineffectually, although with a surefootedness brought on by well-ingrained muscle memory, to the south side of Tanner’s Crossing. Captain Anna had not been joking: this was a shadier part of town. Wooden shacks, less fancy than the painted, upright wooden shacks on the north side. Lots of wood. Lots of wood. Very flammable. 

Nutmeg tried not to think about the flammability of his surroundings. Hollyrump had brought him to a cozy-looking tavern with a little second-story balcony, upon which stood a halfling woman in bangled brocade. She waved down at them, and blew a kiss to Hollyrump. “The Dee Bee,” proclaimed Hollyrump, sounding proud. “Dwarf Bridge Inn.” 

“Oh, ok, I heard of this place.” Nutmeg pushed the door open. 

It was mostly halflings. Captain Anna had been right about that, too. A group of them sat, clad in white linen shirts, around a round table, playing some version of high card bust and eating sliced meats and cheeses from a big platter. There were other halflings, too, sitting at the bar, sipping mead and beer. Everyone turned to look at him. One of the halflings playing cards said “Ey, you, dwarf, whatta you doing here?” 

“I heard this was the cool bar,” said Nutmeg. 

“Hi folksh!” slurred Hollyrump, stumbling past Nutmeg into the bar. At the sight of the town drunk, the regulars all eased up a little. 

“Ah, if youse with Rump, you’re ok in my book,” said the halfling who had spoken first. “Pull up a chair.” 

Nutmeg did as he was bid. The meats and cheeses arrayed on the card table were quite tempting. The halfling must’ve noticed Nutmeg salivating, because he laughed and said “Ey, help yaself. Just don’t eat it all. You new in town?”

“Yeah,” said Nutmeg, helping himself to a fisftful of something that looked like cured salami and a few slices of sharp white cheese. “Name’s Nutmeg.”

“I’m Cantankerous Louie,” said the talkative halfling, “and these are my boys, Joey Snakes, Antediluvian Fredo, Strombucho, and Jeff.” Each halfling nodded in turn. “You just helping Rump outta the kindness of you heart?” asked Cantankerous Louie, who seemed anything but.

“Well, I gotta level with you – actually, first off, gods damn this is tasty stuff.” 

“Imported from da mother country,” said Joey Snakes. 

“Nice. Anyway, like I said, gotta level with you. I figured Hollyrump might know the spot in town where, well, a guy like me could get what he’s looking for.” 

“Depends on what you’re looking for,” said Strombucho. 

Nutmeg pulled his almost-empty bag of mister dusty from an inner pocket and set it on the table. “The good stuff,” he said. “You import any of that?” 

“Oh hoh hoh,” said Cantankerous Louie. He dipped a finger into the bag and tasted the powder. “Where’d you say you from?” 

“Out east,” said Nutmeg. 

“Humber?”

“Further.” 

“Yeah, thought so,” said Louie. “This tastes like the eastern stuff. Diluted. They process it the same as we do, but they’re growing the plant too far north. Soil’s not right. See, we get the good stuff. The good stuff.” 

“Oh, yeah? I didn’t know much about the growing process.” 

“It’s a good business,” Antediluvian Fredo chimed in. “Good money.” 

“Well, I’ve got money, if you boys are selling,” said Nutmeg. He plopped one of his many coinpurses onto the table. “What’s the going rate for mister dusty around here?”

“Ah, yeah, you even call it the eastern name,” said Louie. “When it’s imported like we get, we call it signore dusto.” 

“Sounds tasty.” 

“It is.” Louie reached into a small bag and pulled out a much bigger bag, the size of Nutmeg’s head. “This here’s two hundred gold pieces. You look like a dwarf who can spend that. Whaddya say?” 

“Hundred fifty,” said Nutmeg. 

“Nah, no hagglin’.” Louie opened the bag. The crisp white powder looked more like snow than fun drugs. “Not how we do business down here. Besides, I’ll give you my business card. You in the area for long?”

“Don’t bother with the business card,” said Nutmeg. “I can’t read.” He handed over the coinpurse. “That’s about two hundred there. We good?”

“Oh, we good,” said Louie. “Have a bump, buddy. Start the evening off right.” 

“I think I may,” said Nutmeg. “I think I may.” 

Chapter 3 – In Which Jam is Smeared

Gel sat by the river. The Hestor here was wide and slow, languid and easy. He’d watched the ferry go back and forth a few times now. It was operated by a pair of cranks on the two riverbanks, great capstans turned by harnessed mules. The ferry itself was a flatbottomed craft of maybe forty feet, little better than a raft with a railing, attached to the pulley-cables turned by the capstans. Not many people used the ferry, it seemed. A single wagon came up the west road and into town; a few farmers left Tanner’s Crossing around lunchtime, bound who-knew-where. 

No good targets.

There was a hunger building in Gel. It had started on the road, maybe, out of Dwarroway; grown in the shadow of the towers of Humber and Barrendell, and blossomed in Kal Rammath. Yes, there was a hunger: he needed to do bad. Not evil, not like nasty fucked up shit, but he found himself really pining for the days he’d spent in the capital city, breaking and entering and stealing, the cool stuff. Getting all reflective with the elves had helped him remember that. That was a big part of his life, before Lucy sent him that letter. Before he ended up halfway across the continent with a holy priestess and a nutcase druggie dwarf. 

He’d been watching the ferry and hoping for a rich guy. Someone well-off, just passing through town, who could make an easy mark. No such luck, though. Tanner’s Crossing was out here at the fuck-off edge of nowhere in particular, and no one seemed to be interested in coming through. Which was why, for the past hour or so, he’d been watching the tower on the north side of town. 

It was up a little road, away from the town proper, on a lot at the end of a prim private path. A tower – well, to be specific, a tower attached to a little house. Old and stately, built of good, if weathered, stone. Perfect for climbing. Out of view of the rest of the town, unless you happened to walk right up through the hedges. Most importantly, it looked like the kind of place where someone might have an old family sword or something. An heirloom. An ancestral weapon. Something to replace his rapier at no cost. Gel checked his pack. Yup – rope, pitons, everything he needed. He pulled up his hood and scarf. It was early evening now, but getting dark. Dark enough. 

GEL!” 

He turned. Nutmeg was there. Looking bad. White powder smeared in his mustache, under his nose. Barechested. 

“Nutmeg…”

What are you up to, buddy?” asked Nutmeg, loudly. 

“Are you high?”

I’m testing out some stuff,” said the dwarf. “They call it signore dusto.” 

“Aw, fuck, Nutmeg.” 

WHAT ARE YOU UP TO, BUDDY?” asked Nutmeg again. 

“I was intending to rob that tower, but-”

Let’s go!” Nutmeg grabbed Gel by the arm and dragged him toward the tower. Gel hardly had time to say a word. He’d planned on climbing the tower. Getting in through the window. Classic acrobatic thief stuff. Nutmeg had something else in mind. 

Hwooargh!” Nutmeg hurled Gel. He was flying at the door. No time to dodge. 

CRASH. Gel burst through the front door of the little house. Thank the gods it was unlocked. Still, all the wind went out of Gel as he rolled into the darkness beyond. 

“Fuck you, man.” 

Let’s find the cool stuff.” Nutmeg was silhouetted in the doorway, a red god against a red sunset. Gel rolled to his feet. Best to humor the dwarf. He’d seen Nutmeg go through some serious drug-induced psychoses, but this was – well, it was more psychotic than usual. 

They were in the parlor of the little house. It looked unused. Dust was everywhere. There was a kitchen just through the next doorway, and more dust and flies waited within. No torches or candles glowed on the walls, no cheery light to cast aside the gloom. Did anyone even live here? 

Nutmeg lumbered on into the kitchen. Gel followed, one hand to his shortsword. Should he get his poisons ready? Would poison stop Nutmeg? He didn’t relish the idea of doing battle with the dwarf, but if Nutmeg got too kooky, well, things might have to be done. 

There’s some jam in here!” yelled Nutmeg. He was sitting at the kitchen table, wrestling with what appeared to be an ancient jar of jam, half-eaten. Most of the contents of the jar were – oh, gods. Gel turned away. Mold. Just straight up slime mold and jam. There was nothing good in the kitchen anyway, just some busted-up old chairs and a bunch of unwashed dishes. “Hnnngghhh,” said Nutmeg, yanking at the lid of the jar. “Huhhhghhh.” 

“Is someone down there?” came a voice from the next room, up a set of stairs. The tower. Whoever lived here was in the tower. Had this joker abandoned the house completely? What was going on? Gel drew his sword and did not answer. He prayed that Nutmeg would regain his senses, even just a little bit, and shut the fuck up for once. 

HuuAAA!” Nutmeg bellowed with glee. The jam jar came open. Gel intentionally looked everywhere else, but he could hear the slurping and smacking. Then the sound of gagging. 

“Alright, Nutmeg,” he said. “That’s, I mean, come on. This is ridiculous, even for you.” 

“Hello?” A man poked his head around the corner from the tower room. He was a balding human, late middle age, with a scruffy beard and extraordinarily bushy eyebrows. In one hand, he held a magic wand, which glowed with ethereal light. “What, by the saggy teats of Yad-Ha, is goi-” 

Nutmeg tackled the guy. He moved faster than Gel had ever seen him move before. Ever. Okay – noted, side benefit of the signore dusto. Gel had been avoiding looking at Nutmeg, but now he couldn’t help it. He had to make sure Nutmeg didn’t kill this weirdo. The dwarf – covered in a slurry of moldy jam and his own vile slizz – had pinned the homeowner to the ground. “WHO ARE YOU?” howled the dwarf, spitting. 

“Auhh,” said the guy with the wand. The poor dude looked like he was going to be sick, too. Gel felt like he might not be far behind. 

WHO ARE YOUUUUU.” Nutmeg was speaking with the cadence of a truly insane man. This was actually worse than the time he’d annihilated his Self in the jungle. At least then he could take out his psyche-less psychosis on menacing, creepy gatorfolk. Here there was only some guy. Some guy with a magic wand. And a tower. And no need to concern himself with dishes, cleaning, or even food. 

“I think he’s a wizard,” said Gel. 

“I am!” agreed the guy on the floor. “I’m Sendivogius the Incandescent, a mighty wizard! And – and I – huuahhh.” He finally did spew chunks. On Nutmeg. The dwarf looked murderous. More murderous. 

“Nutmeg!” shouted Gel. “Get off this guy. He’s going to lead us to his magic treasures, but only if we don’t hurt him!” 

If you say so,” said Nutmeg, in a surprisingly reasonable tone. Was the signore dusto wearing off? Gel truly, truly hoped that was the case. The dwarf stepped off the wizard. 

“Sorry about that,” said Gel. He made sure his face-scarf was up. “We don’t want to make this difficult for you. Lead us to the magical treasures.” 

“The – but I don’t -”

“I’m not sure you get it, dude,” said Gel. “If you don’t lead us to your magical treasures, my buddy here is probably going to feel pretty disappointed.” 

Extremely.” 

“Alright!” Sendivogius stood up, brushing himself off. “Er – ah. Urk. Ok. Follow me. Out of – here.” 

“Yeah, you need to get a housekeeper or something.” 

“I’ve been busy! I – well, I don’t have to explain my research to common thieves such as yourselves!” 

“Oh, we’re pretty uncommon,” said Gel. “Come on. Magical treasures.” 

Sendivogius led them, muttering and sputtering, up the stairs, through the several floors of the tower. This was clearly where the guy lived. It was far less dusty, and the light of the setting sun washed through wide windows in the bedroom and the sitting room, two of the levels they passed on their way to the tippy-top. Gel swore to himself. Of course. The top of the tower. If Nutmeg hadn’t showed up, he’d have been in and out of that tower-top room faster than a demon’s whisper. 

When they did reach the top room, Sendivogius stepped aside. “There,” he said, with some remaining pride. “My greatest magical treasures.” 

Books.

It was all books. 

There were little knickknacks here and there, but otherwise? Books! Tomes, volumes, old scrolls, manuscripts bound in mysterious leather, sacred texts that glowed faintly in the low light, chapbooks of student poetry, a few plays, one intidimidating text titled simply “ON FIRE” – Sendivogius had it all. 

“This library is my life’s work,” said Sendivogius. Gel got the feeling this wizard was, on some level, just happy to have someone to brag to. Wizards were like that. “I have studied the savage esoterism of the Shetheen Gnomes! I have peered beyond the Veil of Carpann and seen the seven heads of Vau! I have – what are you doing?” 

Nutmeg was peeing, of course. The dwarf had whipped it out and was idly peeing on a stack of books. Sendivogius wailed. “No! No! The Hakkagnumicon! That’s the only surviving copy!” 

“There’s one surefire way to make him stop,” said Gel. “Valuables. Magical treasure. Come on. Anything.” He picked up a battered-looking, floppy hat. “This worth something?”

“Yes!” cried Sendivogius. “Yes, it is! I – it’s a mystic hat! I was studying it – please stop peeing, how can one dwarf pee this much –

“Stay frosty, Sendivogius. What’s the hat?” 

“You say the command word and it changes your physical appearance.” The wizard found some inner reserve of strength and grabbed Nutmeg by the arm. “You can have anything! Just stop! Peeing!” 

No.” Nutmeg turned. Preemptively, Gel winced. The dwarf slapped Sendivogius across the room, into a pile of letters, which flew every which way. Gel grabbed a handful and stuffed them into his pockets. Blackmail, maybe. You never know. Gotta be ready to improvise. 

“Nutmeg, we gotta leave, dude. This guy’s gonna call the law.”

LEAVE!” Nutmeg understood, on some level. The dwarf turned towards a large, round window in the south face of the tower. Gel groaned. 

“Come on, man, just go down the-”

LEAVE!” 

Nutmeg left. 

Gel turned to the wizard, who was weeping softly. “Hey, I hope this is obvious, but if you tell anyone about this, we’ll annihilate your soul.” He paused, and donned the hat. “How’s it look?”

“Ahuh huh huh,” sobbed Sendivogius. 

“Maybe I’m not a hat guy. Hey, you don’t have any magic swords, do you?”

“Huhh, ahh huh huh.” 

“Didn’t think so.” Gel unslung his pack and pulled forth his rope and pitons. He walked to the shattered window through which Nutmeg had left. The dwarf was down below, just off the prim path, having apparently passed out in the hedges. “Alright I’m out bro. See ya later.” He affixed the rope and descended into the cool, breezy night. All in all, it could’ve been worse. 

Chapter 4 – In Which They Agree Not To Talk About That Ever Again

The morning dawned bright and breezy. Sister D was waiting for them at the ferry, her floppy hat tipped high, her pack freshly filled with potions, salves, and ointments for the road ahead. Nutmeg looked at Gel out of the corner of his eye. The elf hadn’t said much to him this morning. The worst part, he thought, was that he remembered everything. Everything. From the jam to the pee. 

“Not a word to D,” he said, hoarsely. His throat felt like shit. 

“Oh, obviously,” said Gel. “Wouldn’t dream of it.” 

Part of him felt guilty. Obviously he had to feel guilty. That poor wizard really didn’t have it coming. But two things stuck with him. Two things he could not shake. 

The first was something Antediluvian Fredo had said. Or hinted at, at least. The dust was a good business. A lucrative business. And it sounded like the stuff in the Hegemony wasn’t as pure, as high-quality, as it could be. If his road ever took him back to the Hegemony…well, maybe there was a business venture there. 

The second lingered at the back of his mind. That time in the jungle, when he’d lost all control, all sense of self, become nothing but the barbarian dwarf…he had been strong. Very strong. The signore dusto made him feel the same way – but more sensible. More himself. He imagined for a moment his many brushes with death – his battle with Alghor the bugbear, for instance. Could he have fought harder if he’d had a little sniff of dust? A tactical application of it could give him superpowers. 

Something to think about, as they hit the road, heading…where the fuck were they heading?

“Good morning, gentlemen!” said Sister D, at their approach. “Are you ready? Captain Thornspur said George’s house is across the river, maybe an hour into the woods. From there, he can take us to Caer Karnak, where the goblins have their hideout.” 

“Thanks, I’d kinda lost the thread there,” said Nutmeg. “Some wilderness guy named George. Right.” 

“Nice hat, Gel,” said Sister D. “You buy that in town?”

“Yes,” said Gel. “I absolutely did.” 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s