Tuesday, August 22, 2006

[Story] The girl wore red, Ch 5

It appeared that the drunken sot, Domenici, had not overheard the Night Elf. Instead, he followed the drunken little gnome out of the tavern, probably to find another, more appropriate venue to continue their conversation.

"One for the road", thought Saphran, hailing a serving wench to ask for another ale. Just a few minutes later, the girl arrived back at Saphran's table, slopping the tankard down beside her. "That'll be 50 copper." As Saphran dug around in her coin purse, she failed to notice the tall Night Elf bounty hunter pull her cloak up and also leave the tavern.

Finishing her ale, Saphran looked around the tavern. "Ah, bubbles! Where did that stupid elf go?" Saphran thought. "I've gone and lost both the she-elf and the obnoxious human. What am I going to do now? The boss isn't going to like this at all." Saphran was seriously contemplating drinking herself into oblivion, when she noticed a huge man descend the stairs into the bar room. "Oh my! That has to be Maximar! They told me he was going to be involved in this" Saphran was elated. All she needed to do now was to try and stay inconspicuous while following Max, and let him do all the hard work. From his reputation, it was something he enjoyed doing.

Max sat down at a table by the wall. Trying not be obvious, Saphran surreptiously studied the man, attempting to determine whether he was in for the night, or was waiting for someone. Either way, Saphran was going to stick to him like rendered horse hooves. It didn't take long before Max was involved in a conversation with the next table, a dwarf and a human. Although Saphran couldn't hear what they were saying, it was obvious Max was trying to get some information out of them. After some fairly pregnant pauses, it appeared that he had gotten the information he had needed.

Saphran watched Max rise from his table and head back upstairs. He must have gotten directions to something! Saphran decided that this was probably a wise time to also head up stairs and put some fighting gear on, in case Max started any trouble while she was following him. She followed him up the stairs, only tripping over her feet twice. Once inside her room, she grabbed her sword, pulled on a leather tunic and a pair of leather greaves, knowing that if she wore her plate, it'd make a hell of a racket if she accidently stumbled. Just before she left, she grabbed a couple of healing potions from her backpack, just in case.

When as she was about to open the door, she heard heavy footsteps in hallway. Waiting till they were much fainter, she creaked open the door, peeking around it to see who had just passed. What luck! It was indeed Max. Apparently he had decided to fully gear up, plate and all. "Oh well", decided Saphran, "No time to change now."

With that, she locked her door and followed Max out of the tavern.

After a short amount of time, Max arrived at his destination. The place didnt look terribly exciting from the outside, but the noise from within carried out onto the street. It was at this point that Saphran had to stifle a giggle. The building was obviously meant for gnomes as the door was only 4' high and Max had to crouch to try and knock on the door. Several moments later, it was obvious that the gnomish bouncer wasn't going to let this massive, fully geared warrior into their establishment. "He's going to just knock the entire front of the building in!", thought Saphran with glee.

Unfortuantely for Saphran though, it appeared that this man wasn't just an elite fighting machine, he was also blessed with a fair amount of common sense. He simply rested his back against the wall and waited. From her vantage point, Saphran had no trouble keeping her eyes on Max without being seen and as an added bonus, the winter chill was also allowing some of her wits to return to her.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

[Story] The girl wore red, Ch 4

He laughed loudly. "Nowhere near the truth little girl. Aren't you a bit young to be drinking?" he shot back.
"Little girl! Too young! I'll show you who is a little girl!". Saphran jumped from her seat by the fire to stand up to the man impugning her stature - a little too quickly. Blood came rushing to her head making her feel woozy and unsteady. Collapsing back into her seat, "Maybe tomorrow when sun's out and my feet have properly defrosted, I'll ask you again how old you think I am", she retorted, her face red.

"So what is the truth, what is this grand tale you have to share with the patrons of this fine establishment? I warrant not quite as interesting as you make it sound, although if you buy the next round, I'll happily listen to your story"

Saphran listened to the man's story. Entertaining to say the least. Saphran didnt believe a word of it, but stories like this usually have some small elements of truth in them. Saphran hadn't heard of a merchant prince in Stormwind with a daughter named Francissa, but that wasn't suprising - Saphran was not exactly on the must-invite list of Stormwind High Society. Something about the gems made Saphran wonder though.

"Barkeep! Be a gentleman and fetch this man another drink!"

"Thats quite a story, Domenici. I'm sorry, but I've only arrived in Everlook last night, and have yet to fully acquaint myself with the town. Tell me, these gems. Do they have any properties other than fitting into this ogre-helm?. How do you tell if you've found the right gems?"

"Well, nothing else that I know of." the man replied to Saphran's question. "They're about the size of a chicken egg, and weigh a few ounces. They're supposed to be of an exceptionally deep color...high end stuff you see."

"Has anyone heard of other gems like this? Or of where I could find someone who does... I miss my Francissa...", the man's voice faded as he was loudly interrupted by a disagreeable looking gnome.

"I have shertain ..friendhs that mayyy know a thing or tow things, or multipliculatrial things about what you need... but I cant remember... ...without gold", the gnome drunkenly bantered.

Sounding like he was going to fall for the squat little gnomes dubious claim, the man expressed interest at the proposal. Saphran harrumphed her derision.

At was at this point that Saphran noticed a lofty Night Elf descend the stairs. It was the Night Elf who had arrived with the prisoner!

It seemed pretty obvious to Saphran that this elf was a bounty hunter and was wildly curious about what the other Night Elf had done. Why would the bounty hunter keep their prisoner locked in an inn room though? Hardly the most secure place to stow a prisoner. The bounty hunter probably had the captive gagged and bound to a chair upstairs, Saphran decided.

As the Night Elf reached the end of the stairs, Saphran may have been mistaken, but she would swear that the Night Elf's eyes widened slightly when she looked at the table Saphran was sitting at. The Night Elf sauntered across to the bar, where she began a conversation with the bar keep. For some reason, the Night Elves voice carried right across to the table Saphran was sitting at. It became obvious that the Night Elf too, was interested in gem stones.

As addled as Saphran was at this stage of the night, even she could deduce that there was a lot more to these ogre-helm gems than what Domenici had let on. The more Saphran thought about it, the more likely it was that these were agents involved in the exchange she was supposed to intercept. Saphran cursed herself for being this careless and allowing herself to get this drunk. There was nothing for it now, she'd made this bed. Now she had to lie in it. At least she had identified some key personnel, she consoled herself.

Saphran waited to see if the man had overheard the Night Elf as well, or whether he was too intent talking to the obnoxious little gnome.

Monday, August 14, 2006

[Story] The girl wore red, Ch 3

Positioned where she was, Saphran had an excellent vantage point to watch as one of the Night Elves dragged the other towards the bar, undoubtably as a prisoner or captive. Trying hard not to look too interested, she easily overheard the conversation between the Night Elf and the barkeep.

"I need two rooms, and one must lock from the outside. I'm transporting a prisoner back to Darnassus, and it is imperative that she be kept safely".

Fascinating, thought Saphran. I wonder whats going on there?

As the Night Elf continued to talk with the barkeep, haggling over the price of a room, Saphran noticed a human male descend from upstairs. He was dressed finely and sauntered towards the bar, stopping to flirt with one of the more attractive serving wenches.

"1 silver for anyone here that can guess my tale- and I bet you all 1 silver I can guess yours.", he announced loudly.

Saphran sized him up one more time, trying to decide whether this man might know of anything relating to the artifact she was supposed to intercept.

Deciding that the dress was more than likely an affection, a costume, given the man's obnoxious boast, Saphran decided this man was more than likely just a common rogue. Not one to be involved in something as important as the artifact exchange given his obvious lack of subtlety.

"You grew sick of the beatings from your son-of-a-yeti father, the lamentations of your morally bankrupt mother, you left the rat infested hovel you called home, after which, having found no place to call your own, you meke out a poor existence stealing silver from merchant stalls! Finally, after a long day, you now assail us with your offensive body-odour!", she replied more than a little rudely.

"Now give me my silver.", she smirked, flashing the man a decidedly wicked grin, daring him to respond.