Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Masterwork Theatre: A Tale From the Coast, Part II

Art by Felipe de Barros
    "So, where were we?" I sat down to the table, back from the gas station with Doritos and Full Throttle. "Oh, we're at Port Maverick to talk to our supplies guy, uh..."
    "Edwardo Dundergruff; halfling ex-military," I reminded him,
    "Right, right. And then Guillermo was about to do something stupid," Derby said between handfuls of chips.
    "Don't worry that cute head of yours, baby. I've got this under control." Guillermo took a swig of sodapop and we resumed play.

~
    Fulvar's eyes widened with indignance as they stepped down the gangplank. A beardless Dwarf with a shorn pate stood at the edge of the pier with a clipboard in hand. Fulvar thought to himself, what sort of sick minded Dwarf would shave his beard off? Truly, this must be a base and sordid city with beardless Dwarves tramping about. And in a place of office! Faldun nearly protested aloud, but somehow he held his tongue. It was likely that Jim would get them enough trouble as it is.

    "Names." The dock official spoke curtly. Clearly this duty of his was not pleasing to him (though, by the look of the man, it would be safe to assume that there are very few things that are). Jim Crosby smiled defiantly. He would not let his good mood be spoiled by this stout sourpuss. "Name of Jim, lad; Jim Crosby. This here is my associate Faldun, pleasure to meet you, sir. Might I ask jus-"
    "Yes, very good," the Dwarf interrupted, "And how long do you expect to stay in Port Maverick, sirs?" He scriveled something on his little board, having yet to bother making eye contact with the now very bothered Jim. "Overnight stay," Jim muttered at the bald little man. He handed his clipboard to another official nearby and stepped onto a small crate, giving him the height necessary to open a much larger crate.
    "Now, if you would sir, please remove any weapons, armor, magical apparatus, or symbols of power, religious or otherwise into this crate. We will seal it with the date of your arrival and stamp it with your names and it will be stowed on your returning boat home."

   At this point, Jim decided he'd had quite enough. "Well, being a humble monk of Melora, the only armor I got is my humble garbs," he explained, "but rules are rules I suppose." And with that, Jim turned and dropped his trousers, mooning the discourteous Dwarf. "Now, if you don't feel I've been thorough, feel free to frisk me."

~

    The laughter eventually died down. My palm to my face, I asked Derby what he planned on having Faldun do. "Well, I hate this guy with a burning passion. But I also don't want to go to jail," he pondered his options carefully as I thought to myself whether this particular dock official was the type to rough a guy over before taking him into custody. I decided the Dwarf thought he was above such actions, but explained that a few armed guards have approached at the beardless Dwarf's request.
    "Diplomacy, check!" Derby exclaimed, "We don't need to make things physical, right? We're better than that. How about we pay him, say, a fine for indecent exposure and get this business over with. I'm sure he doesn't want to be around us any more than we want to be around him." I nodded in agreement, musing at the fact that a Dwarf was covering for a Human's social misstep. "Go for it."

"Cool." The die hit the table. "I got a seventeen."

~

"Well we're down a few gold, but at least we're not in jail," Faldun remarked, placing his coin purse back into the folds of his doublet. "Maybe next time take it easy on the nudity, okay?" They headed to the census and excise office to pickup their gear from the ship's cargo. Jim scoffed, "Oh, don't spoil my fun. Didn't you see that guy? He was a putz. I'm not even a Dwarf and I was offended by that ugly naked baby face." Faldun laughed as he opened the door to the building, "Your words are poetry, Jim."

    Now, with neither their gear nor themselves in custody, Jim and Faldun rummaged through the crate of their equipment and found their personal effects. But at the bottom of the box, they saw something else; a small scrap of paper, ornately scrawled on in cursive.

                 "Meet at the Leaning Lady. Midnight.                                  
                                                                                 ~Mister Whispers"

    Jim and Faldun exchanged glances nervously. Port Maverick was seeming more suspicious each minute they spent within it's confines.

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