Salus: Until The End

Fire, Undead and Possibly New Allies

(April 22 - Krulloc, Balgan, Korrah and Skorheddaluna)

As told by Krulloc’s perception

“Halt the wagons!” I yell so that the first wagon could hear. “We are here in Mercadia, at least the outskirts of the city. Master trader Verlock can take his business from here. Squad, this mission is complete. You each should have your next obligations already. You are dismissed.” In the background I hear several, “Yes, sir.”‘s and “As you command”’s. I return many salutes as I walk toward the local tavern. Most of the people in this part of town, don’t recognize the emblem on the breast piece of his full plate armor. The emblem of the Knights of the Independant City of Horvath (KICH). But they do recognize that the emblem of an officer on the neck guard of the suit.

After sitting down, Krullocs orders some mead and tries to relax a little. But, I do realize I can’t here. I am a glarring symbol of the war or disagreement between Mercadia and Horvath, Slavery and Freedom, and several other comparisons in this strange world and time. I pull out a scroll from my pocket and reads it again. It basically states that I am a guard for Verlock and I have the right to enter the city gates and travel to and from the trade district and any other section of the city in which Verlock sends me. As long as I do not break any city laws, my association with KICH can not be used for grounds of arrest in accordiance with the trade laws of the king.

The tavern I am in, has only a few patrons. Mostly low class workers getting off the night shift. This city is one of the few cities I know has normal workers working all hours of the day, all cities have guards on duty during the full day, but with foundries and such which can’t be shut down easily, having work go all day is very ecconomical, and is used to control slaves so that they are not all awake at the same time. Since the normal day is young, there is few others here as the hours where most people work has already started. But as normal there is always someone spreading rumors or in their thought, talking about bad work conditions.

“Tinkerson is mad. He thinks that pile of metal will be able to surround someone. And deflect bullets, how mad could he be?” someone said to the bartender, who seems to be prentending to listen to the guy, nodding at the right moments, but looks like he’s checking the bottle levels of what he has at the bar. He is being polite to half drunk worker, but is trying to do hids job too. This is one of those bars where you assume the drinks are watered down, the games are loaded, and greed is the name of the game. But even if the drinks are watered down, I really don’t care because I can’t risk drinking to much anyways. “Could some be actually be working on a steamwork super heavy armor set? Wow, that would make knights be dominate on the battlefield. As time passes, guns have become more and more common in warfare, and knight and standard heavy fighters have become basically slow moving targets on the battlefield. Little honor in that, but if there were availiable of armor that can repulse gun fire, then that could make knights a major threat like they use to be in the world.” I think to myself. Looking at the patron that said this, he now looks like he’s in a stupper, and trying to get more information out of him would probably break a city law, a risk I don’t want to take. So I decide to enter the city and find out more of this Mr. Tinkerson and his invention.

As I approach the gate of the outer city wall. The guards there singal me to them. As I stop in front of them, one of them says “State your business.” Knowing that any miss step here would have serious consequences, I hand the scroll over to the guard. I think I actually saw him get more irritated at me, as if I spoiled his fun. The guard brought the scroll into the guard shack and brought it back in a few minutes. A seal with the time, date and record number was impressed on to the bottom of the scroll. He said in a sharp voice, “Don’t lose this or we will have fun at your expense.” With a salute I was through the gate. Knowing that the best place to find out more would probably be another tavern, I looked around and found the Queen’s Blessing, a little more elagant than the first one, but not too snobbish where outsiders would probably not be kindly treated. Knowing this area of town normally is pretty old and that there is no queen at this time, this must have been named when there was a queen. So in I walked set to figure out if the runor is true.

After ordering a drink and giving the bartender a big tip, I asked him if he knew Tinkerson. The bar tender replied, “Know him, no. Know of him, yes. He talk and skinny and evil looking. His dark complection and pointed ears make him look like a demon. I don’t think I could ever trust a drow.” Nodding, I start to piece together that this might be true. Another patron said, “He has been a shut in at the foundries of the Temple. He works the whole day only taking 2 hour naps here and there and eats anything he can that allows him to continue working.” I know of only one temple that would have its own foundry and that is of Cyriss. I buy the patron a drink and head off to the temple. I use to believe in the old Gods, but when I got my mechanical arm, I figured it was a sign and I converted to Cyriss as my patron God.

When I entered the temple area I met up with a temple administration cleric. After a prayer and a heafty tithe, I was told we could see if would see me, but not to hold my breath as most others either don’t get seen or walk away disappointed. Nodding that it might be a lot cause, I follow the cleric toward the work shop. On the path there was a fairy and an orc. I thought this is weird, an orc in armor and no collar in this city? And a fairy companion? I shook my head, but as I finish, I started to see evidence of a fire in the building we were headed for, so my natural instinct to save lives had me running toward the building. The orc also started heading toward the building once the doors blew open. The fairy started running, but not into the building, but around the building. I questioned that in my head, but could only think of it for a second as my mind and eyes tried to evaluate the situation.

Inside we found Tinkerson pinned by a beam from the rafters. The orc moved the beam and started to drag him out of the building, talking to him as he was dragging. I hear some noised in a back room, concerned it was more people to save I ran toward the back room. I looked at what I saw and there was another orc in the building, this one collared and in no armor, only an axe to defend himself with. And defending himself is what he was going to have to do. There was these undead, basically skeletons with like a large worms inside of them. With a fear that the orc might die fighting these things, I look around and yelled, calling them out to fight me, it worked too good. As they all charge me. And then I also heard a noise of a bigger creature also coming toward me. I bit my lower lip and strted to defend myself. I continually tried to kill these things. but they didn’t fall quickly and they were getting past my armor. The orc was casting some type of spells, which I hoped was either hurting these things or helping us.

The other orc was shooting arrows at these things, but just like my sword, they didn’t seem to being much damage. The all of a sudden the fairy appeared in a window holding a long pressurized hose, she dropped it down and the orc took control of the hose. Next thing I knew he opened it up onto several of the skeletons near me, they thrown against the wall in a vilent crah against the western wall. I stepped aside and he knock a few more. The fire continued to burn and spread. We were kinda stuck, we had to defend ourselves, so putting out fires were the least of our concern. Then the large creature appeared, a great big worm, looking simular to the small ones, but so much bigger, it might fit into a storm giants body or a dragon skeleton, that would be something I would never want to see. The orc turned the hose on the large worm, and a battle of will was started. The worm tried to keep heading toward the orc and the fairy but the hose was what the worm had to fight against, as the wate tried to push it back and the worm tried to move ford against the water pressure. The fairy was now shooting up a storm with her pistols, rapidly reloading and firing again.

We finally defeated the mosters, and started to actually fight the fire. We started heading to a storage room where we saw it. A large suit of armor laying on the ground. It seemed to be larger than a set of full plate, it would need to be if the armor was designed to give protection against guns, or if it had steamwork devices for other reasons. It look so cool from a distance, but the fire was raging all around it and when we started to get close, the walls ad roof colasped arround that room, luckily we were far enough away to not be caught under all this rubble. I am secretly praying that it survived or will be salvagable enough where it can be prepared. We were quickly ushered out of this building by the clergy. The collard orc assisted me walking out as I didn’t realize how bad off I was. My adrenaline dropped since I was no longer in combat.

And that is how I saw my first day in Mercadia…

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