Friday, February 10, 2012

Tempus guide thy heart, Gond bless thy gun.

The Lord of Waterdeep stood at the edge the cave-in from where the dragonwrought basilisks emerged; stone horses stood sentinel in their pens while the air from the rift- rich in age and emptiness tossed his salt and pepper hair back away from his face. Sai Piergeiron ‘The Eld’, turned his attention away from the crevice into the lower castle structure and to his favorite riding horse, a snow-white stallion now preserved as lifeless pitted stone; he spat as he noticed bits of the stone were already beginning to degrade and flake off the ugly effigy. Soon it would be just a mound of useless white dust.

“We are fortunate we did not lose more head Commander.” Madeiron Sunderstone said. He was not good with sympathy; he was Piergeiron’s Champion and as such accompanied The Eld on sport many times and knew of his affection for the stallion. His condolences, however sounded forced and hollow in the empty stone stables.

From the darkness footsteps approached behind Madeiron’s towering eight-foot frame; from the stairs came Uthrac Ruldegost, Balin Jardeth, a smug Brenton Durinbold and a seemingly anxious Vhaas Gauntyl; answering the summons of the Paladinson. Each expressed their own brand of curiosity at the scene they were called to.

“Gunslingers, I want to know where these creatures, the basilisks came from.” Piergeiron stated as he pointed to the uneven cavity in the floor. “I’m sending you four down there to secure the lower levels and eliminate any further threats be them draconic or otherwise. It will be dangerous, but I will not send you without aid.” The four gunslingers exchanged mixed looks of determination, duty, opportunity, and trepidation; but no one questioned the Paladinson.

A short time later the four men stood ready and equipped with weapons as well as items like Keoghtom’s Ointment, Scrolls of protection from magic and potions of diminution. Their hope was to plan for the best, expect the worst.

“’Tempus guide thy heart, Gond bless thy gun.’ Good luck.” Sai Piergeiron wished the group well in the words of the Knighthood.

“Thankee Sai.” Vhaas expressed to Piergeiron as a castle guard lowered him into the stale, deadly darkness.

Standing nearby, watching as Piergeiron offered his words to the four gunslingers before they were lowered into the undermountain, were three fulcrums of power in the city; each individual offered a different prospective to the events of the night before.

Baerom Tunderstaff, firm and confident in the company of The Eld, his white scattershot Frost-Brand comfortably resting in a scabbard across his back; Jhassin Hiilgauntlet, Paladin of Helm, he of might and screwed cunning his guns fine and polished; and Giles Hawkwinter, a well-known noble in the city, Piergeiron doubted if the man even knew the word weakness. Madeiron stood sentential in the stairs to the upper feasthall while Piergeiron, Baerom, Jhassin, and Giles palavered.

“We must react to this before the day is out. The ffolken of Waterdeep relies on us for protection and we must show that we are capable of that. We are fortunate the dragons did not attack, though I fear that my still be our fate.” Piergeiron stated with finality. He knew the sentiment would be shared, but he wanted to see who upheld his sentiment.

“I concur Sai, as we all do.” Baerom stated, “and I have an idea.”

Piergeiron bent low to examine a shell casing, cast aside from the battle with the basilisk. “Speak your notion Sai Thunderstaff.”

Baerom looked to his colleagues before continuing. Dim torch light flickered the Thunderstaff’s form against the back drop of the castle’s under halls. “My son has acquired divine power.” He let the implications of the statement settle. “He has the power to discern where the dragons have gone, if they are close or far; mayhap he could identify a landmark necessary to dispatch Knights… with your command.”

Piergeiron rose to his feet and considered the plan. “No, Firelance Knights are not the answer here.” Piergeiron said tossing the spent casings into the hole.

“The Knights are needed here in Waterdeep.” Jhassin Hillgauntlet agreed with Piergeiron, correctly assuming his directive. “In fact the people need to see even more military support and tighter laws.”

Giles Hawkwinter then spoke up. “We dispatch adventurers instead; we cannot afford to spread our already reduced numbers any farther. Furthermore we have yet to hear from the Knights you dispatched to Luskan, Sai Piergeiron.” Giles was stoked, at last there would be adventure; he was not for all this politics- if it was not for the family...

“You speak of my reducing the Knights from twenty-eight? It was my intention all along to hold at twenty-one. In the eyes of the people, those who did not survive until now received a fair gamble and were not subject to a ‘selection’ process. Our ka-tet is very specialized Sai Hawkwinter- as are our enemies, we must be one in purpose and cause!” Piergeiron disposition and candor had the attention of each of the men as well as the majority of the steeds who stood anxious ready to charge if given the command.

The Paladinson returned to the issue at hand. “Baerom if it does not endanger your son then you have my leave to find where the dragons have gone. Jhassin coordinate with Brother Carmichael and see to recruiting more watchmen; and Sai Hawkwinter visit the Nobles of the City and appeal for contributions toward equipping adventurers on their…” Piergeiron hesitated. He had to sell this so that the people could rest easier- no one would believe he was sending dragon slayers against the numbers that flew in the skies over Waterdeep last night. “Quest; inquire about donations of malady and entropy.”

“Outstanding Sai,” It was Madeiron who understood immediately, “deliver items of mischief like a flask of curses or a ring of clumsiness into their midst or mayhap divine aspects that offer malaise instead of exaltation to weaken them and cause conflict in their number.”

Piergeiron once again thanked Tempus and his own judgment in his choice of champions.


Gordzilla said...

This is bad ass

James Caruso said...

Thanks! I was fearful it may have been too long. 4 cards in this one. :)