Immortals Of Hishran

A man about town

Davian settles Sergius into the small bed taking up most of the room. He sets the staff and spear against the wall, and then leaves closing the door behind him. Sergius remains blissfully unaware.

Davian walks back down the steps into the common room and pushes back out through the door into a much later night.

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The streets at night

The quiet outside the tavern hits Sergius’ ears like a jolt compared with the noise they leave, a similar jolt to that coming from the chill no longer dissuaded by warm bodies. A few of the lamps that line the street are lit, but while the lamps exist in regular intervals, they are lit only haphazardly and provide little light, leaving only a half-full moon and the stars to guide their way among ominously dark and crowding buildings squatting to either side.

Though Davian walks out boldly, wearing his dark grey wool clothes beneath leather armor and a dark brown cloak. The deafening sound of his own footsteps unwittingly forces his feet to lighter staccato. Both make their way along the street.

Sergius looks to tall-brother, “They call you Davian, right? Do animals live in this city?”

They turn the corner at the end of the street and Davian says, “I’m sure there are a few. Mostly dogs, cats and rats. Maybe a few pigeons. Not too much in the way of wildlife. Why do you ask?”

Sergius’ hawk screams, streaking like a bullet down past them both, squaking an alarm, unfortunately too late. As they round the corner into an opening where three streets meet into a small square, three men stand. They have seen Sergius and Davian. They knew the two were coming.

There are three of them, but that is all either Davian or Sergius can make out in the darkness of the street and the dim light from the moon. The tallest in the middle moves toward them in a way that puts ones teeth on edge. His joints twitch at odd angle. For Sergius, it seems almost animal, but in no way can this be described as natural. The other two hunch over unseen weapons as all three advance. The strange tall one lets out a madman’s howl that ends in a bestial snarl.

Sergius immediately grabs his staff and starts chanting words over it and steps back behind the building next to them and waits with his spear ready to throw. Davian climbs the same and stands on the roof looking down.

One of the two bestial madman’s companions suddenly crumples forward. His silhouette enlarges, and he unfurls himself twitching from his hunched position. His movements matches that of the first both creatures jerkily progressing toward the building where Sergius and Davian wait. Davian watches as the third one, still a man seeing that both companions have changed, runs down one of the streets with all haste.

The first of the two creatures, its snout elongated like a short-faced hairless dog, reaches the edge of the roof and starts pulling himself up, but loses his grip and falls back to his feet. He growls in frustration, staring up and sniffing loudly. It’s jaw is working like it is chewing gum as it’s head moves sharply left and right. Davian throws his dagger into the creatures shoulder where it sticks. It’s head stops moving as it makes a low murmur and rumble in the back of it’s throat.

The other stumbles in behind him and jerks back as Sergius’ spear flies a few feet in front of him. Leaning forward again to start moving, but Sergius runs against him, swinging his staff in a wide arc that catches it hard to the side of its head. With a crunch followed by a wet, squishing sound, the man-beast briefly whimpers and collapses sideways. A dark shadow grows slowly beneath it’s head.

The first tosses it’s head back and forth again snarling and jumps at Sergius with both hands sharp with claws. It’s left hand catches Sergius across the face leaves long marks in the skin. He arches back as the creatures mouth lands down on his neck and pulls away with a chunk of flesh. Sergius wobbles nearly fainting. Holding his staff in front of him he moves back as Davian leaps from the roof behind the creature, short sword in hand and ready to strike. But he loses his footing twisting his ankle and falling on his face.

The creature, ignoring Davian behind it, rears back to plunge its claws deep into Sergius and is caught off guard as the hawk swoops in clawing at its face before swooping back out. Davian pushes himself up from the ground, regains his feet and stabs his short sword toward the creatures back. But his ankle disrupts his balance , and Davian is unable to push through the tattered remains of leather armor that cling there.

Sergius staring into the eyes of the mad half-man creature before him reaches for his last reserve of strength. With a loud cry almost bestial itself, he lifts his staff far back behind his head and brings it down hard onto the creatures head. It’s snout whips backward from the blow, too far back and right. It’s neck cracks loudly as the quarterstaff pushes against the bone of its forehead and caves in. The creature and Sergius fall to the ground as one.

A little stunned by events, Davian looks down to see his companions neck gushing blood from the wound the creature gave him. He wonders briefly whether lycanthropy is only a myth, but kneels down to put pressure on the wound and stop the bleeding. They stay there on a street deathly quiet, but after a few minutes the bleeding seems to have stopped again. Davian realizes he’s standing in the middle of this dangerously unstable city in the middle of the night with a now unconscious companion. He reaches to the creature and pulls out his dagger. He slides Sergius’ quarterstaff and spear into either side of his belt and uses them to keep the body steady. He peeks at the belt looking for a coin purse, but doesn’t find one. With a grunt of effort, he lifts Sergius up in his arms and walks back in the direction of the Fairy Garden and the Donkey-Rat Inn next door.

Davian heaves Sergius body through the door of the Inn. He rests him on the floor and hammers on the bell at the desk until Nafir comes in from the back, obviously just woken up.

“What do you want, Davian?” He looks over the desk at the crumpled form of Sergius on the floor, “I’m trying to sleep!”

“I want to get a room, put it on my tab.”

“Fine. It’ll cost a gold.”

“A gold?! Are you kidding me? I could buy this place for that. 5 silver, not a penny more.”

The inn keeper looks at Davian with a raised eyebrow, “Gladly. However, since there are two of you, 1 gold.”

“I won’t be sleeping here tonight.” Davian replies with a swagger, “Just my friend here. Ge got himself in a scuffle, and he smells way too much to be spending the night at my place.”

“So be it,” Nafir shrugs, “But you’re carrying him to the room yourself. It’s the second on the left. I keep it especially for you, Davian,” he grimaces with heavy eyes and returns to the back office with a wave behind his back that looks more like a shooing gesture.

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Inside the Fairy Garden

Night has fallen as Davian, with Sergius in tow, pushes through the doors of the tavern known as the Fairy Garden. The room is hot against the chill of the late fall air, packed full with bodies which themselves are packed full with booze. The dark hardwood tables and floors are well-stained with beer, showing the scuffs of many feet and many brawls. This place is the level playing field of the merchant district. The rich don’t bother coming and the farmers stay clear. But here come the people who spend their days arguing over the price of a single good. It is here they all agree: The wenches are the best in the city.

A few heads turn, and a couple nod in recognition of Davian. One in particular, sitting at the bar, keeps his gaze steady and staring. That head belong to one Tauren Bidden, a local merchant who has hired Davian in the past for his illicit skills and has also been the target of someone hiring Davian.

Davian heads into the bar and takes a seat next to Tauren. Sergius follows tall-brother, looking nervously around the room and clutching his quarterstaff lightly. Davian call the bartender over and orders a couple of pints for himself and Sergius and then turns to Tauren and says, “Hello.”

Tauren replies, “How are thing, Davian? You’re looking worse than usual.” He grins in a way that reads neither sincerely concerned nor cynically pleased at Davian’s misfortune. The bartender pushes the beers in front of Davian and Sergius. Sergius looks at the drinks with both shock and offense. He shaked his head and mumbles in bewilderment, “City dwellers serve rotten drink in exchange for metal discs.” Grabbing hold of both glasses he again mumbles, but this time incomprehensibly. Davian glances over at Sergius quizzically.

“There’s nothing like being sucker punched by some inbred hick,” Davian takes a sip of the beer which has now been stripped of all fermentation leaving only the dredge remains that usually come out the other end of the digestive track. Davian cringes and pushes the digusting purified brew to the back edge of the bar hoping the bartender might bump into it and spill it. Sergius sips the foul liquid, grimaces, and swallows. Then he quickly slams down the rest of the yellow substance trying hard not to taste any of it. Afterwards he shivers and reaches into his pocket. He pulls out two berries and offers one to Davian, popping the other into his mouth.

“How’s business, Tauren?” Davian asks sneaking a pinch on a barmaid as she passes.

“Business is…” Tauren looks at Davian with a frown thinking for a moment. The barmaid turns and gives Davian a look with pursed lips and rolls her eyes, turning back to one of her tables. “Business is good. Good. When isn’t it? There’s always some brew you can convince people to swallow, eh?” He chuckles, reaches up to the bar to grab his beer and gulps it down. “Who’s you’re mumbling friend?” he asks staring at the back of the bar over the rim of his mug.

“He’s the one who helped scare off the guys who jumped me,” Davian chuckles chuckles and decides to try the berry, which leaves him feeling nourished and slightly less injured.

Tauren watches this with raised eyebrows, “Well, I guess he must be useful to have around then.” He shakes his head and takes another drink, “I suppose you’ve heard about Brutus’ insane offer? Heck knowing you, you’re probably already planning something.”

Sergius asks whether all city drinks taste like 3 week old goat piss. Tauren glances over at Sergius caerfully. Davian replies, “Only the good stuff.”

To Tauren, Davian says, “I heard something of it, but I didn’t manage to catch the details. I must be slipping in my old age.”

“Only the good stuff,” Tauren retorts and nods at the beer Davian has pushed asige, “Why aren’t you drinking any of it then?” He chortles and then, “I don’t really know the details of Brutus’ offer myself. I know he sent people after the good ol’ Elder’s Source and never heard from them again. Likely they were taken out by who know how many enemies Brutus has these days. Now he’s offering serious cash to anyone who can bring back information on them… but I have to wonder. Who’s he going to send out to find those guys when they don’t come back? Someday here, he’s going to run out of money! But that’s not the real question anyway.” He pointedly halts his story there.

“Aye, it matters not if his money lasts forever, as long as he can afford to pay now.” Davian says. Forgetting his prior experience he takes a swig of the piss water and frowns, pushing his pursing lips forward he manages to say, “Has anyone signed up for the job lately?”

Sergius meanwhile has emptied the last few drops of the foul liquid onto the floor. He turns over the glass and with a word and a tap fills it with clean water.

“Always there for the highest bidder, aren’t you Davian?” Tauren says through another swallow of beer. He knocks it against the bar like a gavel and yells, “Hey!” at the bartender, sliding the beer over to him for a refill. “How should I know if anyone’s signed up for that job?” his voice takes an irritable turn, “I don’t want anything to do with that one!” Sergius’ hand slowly goes to his staff at the sound in Tauren’s voice. His fingers curl around it tightly.

“Oh well,” Davian stands up and flips a silver piece to the bartender, “You’re loss.” He turns to look around the room for someone more interesting.

“You misunderstand, Storm,” Tauren growls (and obviously a bit drunk) as you turn away. “Conflicting prophecies stir these political pots. Bad taste in my mouth. Goat piss!,” he tries another laugh but it’s more a cough, “It’ll be your loss! Consider…” his head wobbles in your direction and then he waves as though batting a fly.

Sergius with wide eyes quickly moves his chair closer to Tauren while indicating somewhat forcefully for tall-brother to sit down. Then, while staring intently into Tauren, says, “Man, what do you know of “conflicting prophecies”?” Davian sits down and watches, curious to see how Tauren is going to react to being interrogated by this wild man.

Tauren glares first at Sergius and then at Davian as each takes a seat. “You’re dog seems to have you well trained, Davian,” Tauren grins viciously and finally replies, “What does anyone know of prophecy, wildling?” He leans back in his chair gulping from his mug. “Everyone knows the Elder promised the Source would keep the peace the way he did. That’s the prophecy all these Brutus types are spewing to get what they want. The other prophecy, I don’t know. Something about the Source being destruction. The end of everything.” He hiccups and then coughs uncontrollably for a few seconds. “I shouldn’t drink so much.”

More people enter the tavern. Apparently the sun has gone completely down and business is no longer possible outdoors, so it has moved indoors. Tauren looks at the new crowd suspiciously.

“That other prophecy, ” he speaks louder over the noise. “I heard its from the Hill people (Davian know this means followers of Immortals, or more specifically people still loyal to the Warrior). They obviously don’t want the senate taking the last strands of power from the last remaining immortal, right? Where isth th-the truth-th anyway?” he’s starting to slur, “Only the Elder. It’sth all about…” He pauses abruptly as a woman walks out of the crowd and leans down to whisper in his ear. She is tall and well-built, wearing pants and a tunic. Her hair is pulled tight against her head. After she speaks she looks up, barely glancing over Davian and Sergius and turns to leave.

“Therere you go,” Tauren says watching her leave. “Looksth like I’m nee-eeded at the docksth.” He makes a swashbuckling maneuver with his hand. “My pen arm isth might yer than my sthord arm.” He jumps off the stool and walks over to Davian.

“If you want to do thisth. If you want to do thisth, you’re gonna need backing,” he says looking up at Davian from his very short vantage point, “I’ll give it and Brutusth might even take it. Heck, I know very well that you’re loyal. Loyal… asth long asth itsth to the money.” He frowning intently, “But you owe me. Gardle Nord. You know him.” It’s not a question. (Gardle was the one who hired Davian to steal information from Tauren.) “He’sth been cleaning my clock with his wha wheat pricesth. I want to know. I want to know who histh theller isth. It gotta be thomeone cl-close. Roads all to hell. Just got a. He just got a large ship. Shipment in. Figure it out,” he grins looking up and loses his balance for a moment, “I wouldn’t fe-feel bad if thomething happened to his tock there.” He reaches up to pull on Davian’s shirt. “Make it look goo-good. Like an accident. Do. Don’t let anyone thee you thisth time! Gardle thill thinksth we’re on good terms. He doesn’t know. He doeth not know what I know.” With that Tauren staggers into the crowd.

Davian takes a second to digest (and translate) what Tauren says, then grins wildly.

“Looks like we’ve got something interesting to do!” He slaps Sergius on the back. “How about it, man. Care to do a little information gathering?”

“I was born in the dust. In the wilderness, I have made my home. I have hunted animals. I have been hunted. But never in this city place have I hunted or gathered. I will follow you in the city.” Sergius pauses and his eyes grow wide and with a distant look he continues “Unfolding the now, I see that soon I will be leading you into the wild”

Davian then heads out of the tavern and begins walking towards Gardle’s place, not making any attempt to hide himself. Sergius follows slightly hunched over, gripping his staff, and peering intently in all directions.

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Meeting up

It’s dusk. Davian walks among the shanty town tents outside the south-west gate of the city. While eying some worthless merchandise being sold by a desperate looking couple, he overhears the following:

“Apparently he’s paying well for expenses. Hazard pay I suppose.”

“Hazard pay for what?” the man speaking apparently has no concern for hazards, his arms speak for him. “Brigands are only a fear to sheltered politicians playing games.”

“Exactly,” says the first, not nearly as beefy as his cohort, but shows the grizzled signs of not backing down. “I’d say as that’s why everyone’s gunning for it. Chump money. Only trick is you have to convince this sheltered wuss you aren’t just going to walk with his money.”

The man with the arms laughs brutishly, “I suppose he doesn’t take broken noses…”

It’s at this point Davian notices Sergius (whose name he doesn’t yet know) looking at him queerly. Sergius continues looking towards Davian, looking puzzled and uncertain. He glances at the two other men, the returns his gaze to Davian. Davian raises an eyebrow at Sergius, then turns toward the two men and approaches them confidently.

“Sorry boys,” Davian cuts in, “but I couldn’t help overhear someone mentioning hazard pay. Anytime there’s a politician involved, I know the gold isn’t far behind.”

“What’s it to you?” says the grizzled, but smaller one.

Sergius walks up to the two men. He looks very uncomfortable and awkward.

“When opportunity knocks, I prefer to open the door,” Davian says with a wry grin which is greeted with deepening frowns.

Sergius is continuing to watch Davian. Although, now he is starting to look more confident.

Davian notices they are just staring at him and not really saying much. “Thanks, guys. Glad to know you care” He then turns toward Sergius and says “Need something, stranger?”

Sergius again looking awkward and uncertain says “I am Sergius and I believe you are the man who knows the secrets of this false-forest….uh…that is ‘city’” The word ‘city’ comes out very awkwardly.

The two ruffians have started whispering, but neither Segius nor Davian notices. Davian looks around to see if anyone’s watching, thinking it’s a practical joke. “Say what, friend?”

Sergius asks the tall guy [davian] “Do you know all the paths and dangers of this city? Where do the prey hide?”

Davian looks uncertain, “I am familiar with the.. ah.. paths as it were, yes. As far as prey … do you mean unsuspecting merchants with more purse than brains?”

“Quite likely I do…but I am not sure. I have never been to one of these pink-skinned encampments”

Ironically, it’s at that moment the big guy jumps at Davian and tries to strangle him, but Davian slips out, saying “What the hell are you trying to do, man?” and pulls out a dagger. Sergius follows suit putting his quarterstaff from his waist and holds it in front of him.

The larger man, now feeling a little embarrassed and mostly angry, socks Davian across an apparently glass jaw. Davian’s feet give out beneath him and his consciousness follows close behind. Sergius takes an ineffectual swipe, handing his quaterstaff over to the other brigand, who juts it into Sergius’ belly.

Luckily, Sergius coughs out the tail end of the summoning and his wolf nips at the quarterstaff thief. Both of the men run. Sergius give his assailant a tap on the shoulder with his fist, but the wolf tears a large bit of flesh from the calf. The man cries out in pain, forgetting the staff in order to reach down to his leg and hobble away.

Sergius walks through the disappearing wolf and reaches down to pick up his staff. He stands over Davian’s unconscious form growling at the passers by. The couple behind the wagon where Davian was rummaging peek out from around the corner and notice the wild man huddled over and immediately turn back around. They stay like that for a quarter hour until Davian finally blinks and opens his eyes.

In all this time, no authority or peace keeping officer makes an appearance. Not that they were expected.

Davian mumbles as he wakes up ”...so much rum…” then he notices Sergius near him and gasps. “What the?!? Oh.. it’s you”

“Tall-brother you are safe now” Sergius says peering down at him.

“Did someone trample me with a horse?”

“Pink-skins fear animals.”

“Yeah, sure. Oh my head…”

“They ran, not as whole as they came,” Sergius says gesturing toward the trail of blood.

“Serves them right… augh… was he using brass knuckles?” Davian sits up, rubbing his face.

“You are a soft-skinned tall-brother and he was not so soft.”

“Whatever the case… I thank you for the assistance.”

Sergius offers a hand and helps Davian to his feet, wobbly, but standing. Sergius tells him, “Come I do not like this spot.”

With the gleam returning to his eye, Davian asks, “Any idea which ‘sheltered politician’ they were talking about?”

“I am not sure what this “poh lo tishan” is.” Sergius nods in agreement, “but we must seek shelter.”

Davian shakes his head in a failed attempt to clear the cobwebs and mumbles, “Don’t worry about it. Uh, it’s a city thing. You wouldn’t understand.”

“Do you?” Sergius asks pointedly.

Davian frowns a little, not trusting his ears, “Do I understand?”

“Do you understand seety?” Sergius says, returning to his theme.

“Sure…” Davian says not sure how to proceed, “My work involves… well, you wouldn’t be interested in that. Come on let’s find someplace to get a drink.” He turns to walk, but realizes that Sergius is still standing there.

“This is a very large tribe. Who is alpha?”

Davian turns back, “Alpha? I don’t follow…”

“Who is the leader of the pink-skin pack?”

“Oh the leader. Ah, well…” he strokes his chin, thinking about it, “We are governed by a group of senators.”

Sergius nods, “Like the birds and the trees, then.”

“Something like that…” Davian agrees unconvincingly, “It’s all very…complicated.”

Sergius looks at him. “Take me to this drink place.”

“Let’s go!” Davian says, happy to be in familiar territory with the conversation. They begin to walk in the direction of the Fairy Garden Tavern. One where Davian keeps a seat regularly warmed. Best serving wenches in the city, he smiles to himself. “By the way, where you are from friend?” He looks down at Sergius, “We don’t get many…woodsy folk around here.”

“I am from the low hills of the mountain over there,” he says pointing to the north west toward the only real mountain to speak of on the continent. It’s known as the Leviathon. A long snaking mountain range stretching east to west and dividing the northern wilderness from the southern populace.

“Not much in the way of city life over there, I take it?”

“I was born in the woods and raised by a wolf.” Sergius agrees, “Tall-brother, you are the first pink-skin brother I have met.”

Davian stops and stares at him for a second, then as he leads the way around the corner to the Fairy Garden, he mutters under his breath, “That explains a lot.” Then more loudly, “Wait…” Davian pauses again, “You were raised by wovles? So who taught you the staff?”

“What do you mean?” Sergius says as they push through the doors to the tavern, “What does it explain?”

“Uh, nevermind…” Davian says and aside he says, “You weren’t supposed to hear that.”

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Background Notes Added

I’ve added a number of background notes to hopefully inform some of the character creation. It’s only an outline in it’s current form. There are more than 3 immortals, but those are the important players for the story and there’s a lot of missing detail and some of which may be hearsay. :) I’ll keep adding more details as they become important or general knowledge, so keep checking on it :)

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Character creation notes

Start your character anywhere from level 1 to 3, but you must construct enough back story to justify level 3 including several major activites.

We’ll do point buy for the character creation (although we can wait to do that in person). Point buy description

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