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Registered: 12-2007
Posts: 80
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Echos


   Calm days and clears skies seemed an impossibility in the region. Were it not the war on elves consuming the minds and fears of the common people, the ongoing battles between werewolves and vampires would be at the forefront, or perhaps even the looming star shining brightly in the night's sky which, if the tales were to be believed, portended a war amongst the dragons. No, the land was far from peaceful, but that didn't stop the daily grind in the market place.

   Larry Buckley (of Buckley's Buckles and Bucklers ltd., thank you very much) was in pain. It wasn't a stubbed toe or something he ate (even though the Calm wasn't the best place to frequent), nor was it a burn from the smithy or a broken limb from an unruly mule. Larry Buckley, to put it as bluntly as the man himself enjoyed being, had a headache. Oh, this wasn't any run of the mill headache. He'd had his share of those over the years. A bump on the noggin from his angry wife, a few too many while at the clam, and sometimes both (though not in that order)! This headache was dead center in his skull. It felt like someone was trying to sharpen a shiv against his thinker and it was none too pleasant.

   They'd started days ago, he remembered (and had been rather loquacious about), when he'd snuck down into the sewers to try and skip past Old Gnarles. Old Gnarles was a man more intent on his pockets than on the law and Larry, bless his tarnished little soul, wasn't the hero to stand up to him. Larry was chuckling to himself and enjoying his good fortune, smelly as it may be, when he stumbled upon a camp!"Wotcher 'ere!?" he blurted out mindlessly. He'd heard talk of things living in the sewers before, what city bred lad hadn't? But this was far form anything he'd have expected to run across. The camp looked to be in moderately, if horribly smelling, good repair. Larry spent a few moment's poking around the cmap. "Why not?" he thought. There might even be a bit of coin laying about, though he doubted it. Street folk didn't leave that sort of stuff around... Still, it didn't hurt to check! He laid a hand against the filthy column to her left, unwittingly getting a bit of the slime on his skin. Frantic wiping at his smock cleaned it off marginally well, but for some reason he felt a chill down his spine. The column had these funny pictures on it which tugged at his memory, as though someone were talking to him out of his past.

  It took dear old Larry all of 3 minutes staring and gaping before he noticed the scritching-scratching noises coming from behind him. Rough and ready as Old Gnarles was, Larry was half wishing he'd taken that stroll on by as he turned with a gasp. The dank, dark sewers felt heavy around him, like a weight on his chest. He could barely see more than 20 or so yards ahead and those damned noises were getting louder. He ran. It took Larry only a few minutes to reach the last intersection before the sewers opened up to the surface again, but those minutes in the dark, running and panting in the fetid stench felt like a lifetime. His hand just reached the chain leading to sweet (well, less horrible) air and freedom when he felt something heavy clutch him from behind. It was then that dear old Larry, poor in his fortunes but rich in his hopes, blacked out.

  It was dark when he awoke, his smock and trousers were ruined, caked with muck as they were, but Larry didn't notice. The only thing he noticed was the cool breeze off the sea and the stars glittering overhead, seen through the sewer grate up above. He lay there a minute or two to gather what little of himself there was to gather and stood. He seemed relatively unharmed, but for a faint headache, but blacking out in a sewer, a nasty fall like he must have had, who wouldn't have a bit of a pain in the noggin? Larry took hold of the chain, which felt oddly dry in his hand, and climbed. It took him all of a half hour to claw free of the sewer and stumble his way home and his greeting, shriek filled and pottery smashing as it was, filled him with a strange sense of relief.

   Yes indeed, Larry Buckley (of Buckley's Buckles and Bucklers ltd., thank you very much) was in pain and it was all that damned Old Gnarles' fault, as far as he was concerned. Stumbling down the road, he cast a bug eyed glance from face to face as he passed, looking for Old Gnarles so he could give him a knock to the chin for all the trouble he'd caused. Hero or not, that fellow was deserving of something unpleasant for all the mischief he'd caused, and Larry was just the man to give it to him. The dryness he felt from everything was just passing annoyance in the face of the painful headache, but it was another notch on the tally stick.

Last edited by Tazon Dae, 1/7/2008, 6:46 pm


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