Archive for March, 2014

Thirds

Spring 8 Bear

            Bloodgrue looks up from his position on the wet cold pavement. Last thing he recalls was walking south towards Terenton’s.

 

The gods have shifted at least an hour in their positions in the sphere. The temperature feels cooler now. Sitting up he notices the ache on his head, reaching for the back of his head. Touching the tender area he feels dampness. Bringing his hands so he can see it Bloodgrue notes the fingers are damp with what looks like blood. Being Bloodgrue he suspects it is his own blood.

 

But how? Who? Why?

 

Noting he is front of a warehouse Bloodgrue looks around more intently. No one is here, at least not visibly. The area smells like, fish, Spertan to be sure. Bloodgrue knows there are only two places that process and store Spertan. He looks up to the sign over the warehouse’s man door. Arton Warehouse’. Yup, the warehouse he had been told about so many seasons ago. The Rogue warehouse.

 

Understanding that the warehouse is a place where rogues of all Guilds can go and do visit. Trying to run through his memories as to any information he has …. Nothing sneaks out of the clouds in his memories.

 

Bloodgrue has never been here before. But the name and is well known to him by its reputation. A place he had or had not decided if he would locate for reference.

 

Here he is sitting on ground somewhere in the North Docks that Bloodgrue is unfamiliar with.  “Peanuts!” Bloodgrue shakily rises to stand in front of the building. Whoever hit him did a dandy shot. Bloodgrue is going to feel this for more than a few days. Carefully walking towards the man door of the warehouse Bloodgrue decides he needs to introduce himself, and so did someone else.

 

Not familiar with etiquette Bloodgrue knocks on the door. Certain it would not be unguarded considering its reputation and purpose.

 

He waits more than a few seconds, then door swings inward on its own. No one is visible standing inside the doorway.

 

Knots building in his guts Bloodgrue is getting more nervous by the moment. Not sure what is going to happen yet knowing he was brought here for a purpose.

A man walks up to Bloodgrue from the dim interior of the building. Come in Bloodgrue. We have been waiting for you to visit. Took long enough lad.

 

Bloodgrue doesn’t recognise the man or the accent in his voice. None the less Bloodgrue boldly walks in while thinking, Now is not a time to be a coward or subservient. This is business whether I want it or not.

 

Smiling as he walks through the entry. Good day Sir. I believe I was summoned.” Said not as a question but a statement.

 

The slight build of the man doesn’t betray age or race. Bloodgrue taking a read believes he might be a Toydon maybe middle aged, around sixty or so.

 

Looking around casually, but mentally taking assessment and inventory. The building’s interior is more than twenty feet high and has an upper works. It is near one hundred feet wide and Bloodgrue cannot see the far end. Slightly cool even for today, the dimly lit building inside smells less strong of the renowned Spertan fish.

 

As Bloodgrue looks at the person approaching him, Bloodgrue pales slightly but tries not to show his shock. Funny, Bloodgrue never thought this could happen. Family, here in a known Rogue Warehouse. Bloodgrue my young brother, how do you fare these days. Good to see you accomplish something more useful than our parents ever did. Come.” Bloodgrue knew instinctively he had best follow orders here. Every decision now could render life or death for him, brother or not.”

 

Sure thing Arton. Your name is Arton, Right?” Even at his Jalnoric average height of 5’ 11” Bloodgrue felt the large aura of his brother over powering Bloodgrue. Arton did not look like he did last time they met nearly sixteen years ago. But there is no denying the blood ties, the trademark eyes and nose of their clan. But what makes it certain Arton is Bloodgrue’s brother is the missing lower lobe of Arton’s left ear and the black mark left there.

 

Yes Bloodgrue I use a name different than the Clan leader burdened me with. Magic, curses and all that made it necessary in the work I do. Do not trifle with Arton Warehouse. It is one of three neutral spots for all of the Guilds to safely meet. One is in Central Mount Oryn, one is here, Arton Warehouse. The Third is in the far South Mount Oryn known as Denan Height Temple to Ibon. With you now a registered Dragoman you best learn these places. If you do you will have higher paying customers. If you get really good as a Dragoman with a solid reputation as well as a reputation of honesty as an intermediary, the Nobles will hire you. They pay very well. You might even get into employment of one of the thirteen Noble Clans. Knowing our linage though, I don’t see Royalty ever employing you. Never know though odder things happen.” As he was talking Arton walked to a wooden door that has no markings or distinguishing features. Opening the door Arton steps through and motions for Bloodgrue to enter. Arton closes the door with a solid thump of wood on wood after Bloodgrue passes through the opening.

 

“Okay little brother, strings were manipulated to get you here and safely here. Never abuse family ties, I took it on to get you promoted to Free Rogue status as soon as you finished becoming Dragoman. You are free in the safe zones as long as you remember the etiquette and your place in this society. You my dear sibling are a known Registered Dragoman. You so far have no marks against you, you cannot seek favours from me. Our younger sibling decided the rogue’s life was his calling. He is an officer in one of the seven Guilds. Do as you like with that information. … You are going to sit down with my appraiser Relan, the fellow who greeted you at the entry door. Again, any abuse of connections will be noted by many and not likely forgotten. Relan will teach you the rules and etiquette of the safe zones as well as Arton Warehouse’s. There are thirty workers out there who can mobilize into militia on a few seconds notice. None will be out of line or afraid to carry out disciplinary actions if you misstep. They are your best friends if you stay on the right side of the fence, as well. … Relan will teach you the three signs for entry. He will also inform you, once the door opens you have a maximum count of fifteen to enter. Once inside you will stop seven feet in and wait to be addressed. Those three thing determine your value of your life when trying to enter here. Understood Dragoman?”

Bloodgrue briefly ponders the gravity of what he has been told. Most is new for him but some isn’t. For a Watcher this would be valuable. For Bloodgrue it sounds like life or death is in his hands here now and for the future. Yes sir Arton. Learn, observe and follow. Life or death depends on these.

 

Arton smiles, Indeed, yes, they are right. You pay attention and learn quickly. May we have a long future forward from here, Bloodgrue, and yes congratulations on becoming a Registered Dragoman. Do you want help acquiring your legal territory? People can be moved in many ways.”

 

Bloodgrue’s turn to smile, We will not garner debt yet I will follow procedure. Thank you Arton for asking and I will remember your offer.”

 

Both men stand acknowledging the interview and introductions are complete. Arton motions to the door and walks toward it, opening the door and exiting, thus displaying his back to Bloodgrue as sign of trust, as well a sign of full command by Arton.

 

Stepping into the warehouse Arton motions to Relan. When the three are together near a large wooden table Arton motions to Bloodgrue, Everything you have in your possession except you leggings, go on this appraising table. Relan will assess it all for proper taxes and tithes. What he deems allowed will be returned to you. Understand Dragoman?”

 

‘Peanuts.’ thinks Bloodgrue. But without word starts removing his possessions and setting them neatly on the table. Relan waits until Bloodgrue’s only remaining possession are the leggings. Then the Appraiser starts going through it all making notes as he goes.

 

Arton sighs and looks to Relan, ‘Thirds Relan. Thirds.”

 

Bloodgrue frowns, ‘Yah, right.

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