The Dwarf With Many Names - Episode 9

The Gatekeeper and New Buildar (Mike GM - 3/17/09)

The Tourists
Remlier stands atop the gate with his back to the great city of Buildar.

Except it’s not Buildar. At least not the Buildar that the dwarf knows, or anyone else for that matter. Tourists are a daily nuisance by nature, and Remlier sees a lot of them as a gatekeeper in the new hotspot for adventurers and sight-see-ers. But even those who had never set foot in Buildar know that something seems off.

The dwarf’s friends are dead or missing. A madman is in control of the town… and it’s not Werric. And unlike Werric, this Carrion doesn’t put the blade of his law up against your neck. He lets the threat hang idly over the townspeople’s heads. Much like…

“Hey wasn’t there an island that’s supposed to float above this town?” a wife asks her husband as they pass under the gatekeeper’s watch.

“Just a silly myth to attract wives like you who want to spend my money!” the husband retorts and adds, “We should have gone to Lamascas!”

But he wouldn’t really find Lamascas either would he? Not after what happened to their army in The Battle of Buildar. A battle that left the city in ruins, conveniently after the dwarf had finally decided to call it his own following years in the service of others agendas. Finally the dwarf had found an agenda of his own and he could do nothing to stop Carrion and what he did to the city.

The Average Joes
Off in The Buildar Bar, The Bartender is wiping down the bar for what is to be his last week of business. “Can’t make a buck in this town, anymore,” he’d been heard complaining for the past three months, “Used to be you’d have a hot chick with red hair messin’ with people’s heads, or a bunch of halfling zealots so in love with some queer fluteplayer that they had to kill one of my best customers… and hell don’t even get me started on people’s desire to drink just so they could ignore that fucking horrid burnt Tiefling smell that hung in the air for weeks. Nope, the glory days are past us, and you boys are the only average joes left. And now you guys tell me that you’re moving on.”

We cut to the only customers in the formerly packed Buildar Bar, construction workers, enjoying their usual lunch of beer and more beer. They used to throw in a side of whores, but then one of the eggheads in the bunch started doing some numbers and realized that the whores just took away from their beer. The guys have so enjoyed themselves at The Buildar Bar that they’ve been trying to encourage The Bartender to open up a place somewhere else.

“Well Lord Carrion did pay to have this place rebuilt, so I guess I could afford it, but hell, where else am I gonna find a place like Buildar? Not even in Buildar anymore… plus I’d have to think of a new name, don’t think I can call my joint The Buildar Bar in Halton do ya?”

The construction workers reminisce a bit with The Bartender until a flashy, well-dressed man with closely cropped blode hair and an obscene moustache that has no business being anywhere near his haircut walks in and promptly hands The Bartender multiple notes.

“Viva La Resistance!” he says and walks out with a fist in the air.

The Bartender laughs and shakes his head, “Maybe I could keep this place open a bit longer. Goodness.”

He looks at the names on the envelopes and hands them to the constuction workers. “Must be your new assignments boys, though I thought Carrion had already built everything in god’s creation around here. Hell we got a giant fountain in the town square. The Crimson Hall which attracts those hero-fetish types. He even installed that taxi service which requires no taxi-drivers. That snobby bastard said taxi-drivers can’t be trusted. Hell, he might as well have said bartenders can’t be trusted. And don’t even get me started on that monument to that faggot Griswald, like the world needs another one of those. I mean we get it alright, he died for the elves of Dorthone, I got a cousin that died in that battle you think he gets a monument. But did he play an instrument? Noooooo.”

Each of the notes is an invitation to the new rumor going around of a resistance that has propped up to contend with Carrion and his new policies as Buildar King.

“Couldn’t even just call himself Mayor could he… snobby tiefling fuck.” The Bartender seems to be talking himself out of staying open much longer. Hell, talk like that out loud much longer and he might not be alive. The construction workers had heard the warnings. They had agreed to confidentiality when they helped build the island, and they had noticed that not as many of their coworkers were around anymore. Was it the temptation to talk about how they had achieved the impossible? Or had they given in and thus been… disappeared.

What they did know was that the information they possessed was very valuable… and it appeared that The Resistance was willing to pay that price, and then some. But who was The Resistance? They were a story that was passed around on a regular basis, but no one had ever met anyone actively involved in a plot to take down the new King of Buildar, member of The Crimson Strand, a group of heroes that had saved Taern time and time again from threats way above that of a construction worker. Just who was the balls behind this operation to take down a hero, a king?

Tomleey sits on a throne in Werric’s old torture bunker. Not his throne, mind you. No this is where Queen Thedra sits. No, Tomleey only sits here in her stead, just in case anyone decides to apply poison dust in her absence. Not that anyone would be stupid enough to trifle with him. He was the leader of The Resistance.

His errand boy returns with the news that the construction workers were delivered the offers.

The errand boy also asks if The Gatekeeper will be able to do his job, and see to it that the new recruits get to the underground bunker outside of the town limits without the watchful eye of Carrion’s army spotting them.

The errand boy doesn’t trust “that gatekeeper”, making reference to his “obviously fake name”.

Tomleey remains unconvinced, and besides he has acts of terror on his agenda for the day. He sees to it that the errand boy sets about with that.

Born To Be A Gatekeeper

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