“...you will be wrong to think that you can get your family back without your friends helping.”
“What do you mean I can’t get my family back without them?” The Gunslinger motions to the Barkeep and the Hero.
“What have you heard about the Time Changer?” asked the Wizard.
The Hero interjects, “It’s nothing but a dwarven legend devised by a bunch of overzealous dwarves enchanted by their own handiwork.”
“Or is it? Our time-travelling Gunslinger knows about alternative timelines, but what if there was a way to change your placement in time, placing the Gunslinger you are now back into your own timeline. Just creating a parallel timeline. What if these dark dwarves created such a magic item, then decided it was even too dangerous for themselves and hid it at the ends of the earth? ” muses the Wizard.
The Gunslinger finds the Wizard’s understanding of time-space time travel rather advanced. As did the Hero, whose eyes were locked into a thousand yard stare, mind blown by the possibilities put forth by the Wizard.
The Gunslinger turns the idea over in his head. “What do you have in mind?” asked the Gunslinger.
“It’s just a ride to the coastal realm to find the good captain, you should do well with your congenial personality,” jeers the Hero. “Why did I get the long ride? I have saddle sores.”
The Hero had been on a week-long ride to find a coastal village in the far-west realm. Here, he was told, would be the place to search for the famed Captain Crimson, the swashbuckling sea-captain who could transport their fellowship to find the magical item they were seeking. That’s what the Gunslinger was seeking anyways. What the Hero wouldn’t admit, was that his placement on this assignment was initially his idea.
“This village is full of beautiful women who would be charmed by an adventurer such as myself. Plus, the Captain is claimed to be one of, if not the the greatest, swordsmen in the world, but I believe I could show him a thing or two,” thought the Hero.
Now all the hero needed was a place to rest his tired body after a full day’s ride.
Just as the Hero was about to stop and make camp for the night, he rode over the hill and caught a glimpse of the expansive coast, and the town nestled in the bay area. The Hero dug his spurs in and the horse galloped forward towards the city.
The Hero pushes open the Tavern door and struts into a room alive with buzz and chattering. There was a musical group playing lively folk ballads on stringed instruments. There were games of chance being played in corner tables. Men telling tall-tales at their tables over a pint. Just a typical night in this coastal tavern.
The Hero walks up to the bar and sits down. He draws some attention, as he usually does for his vast array of weaponry hanging from his belt and bandolier, however, the Hero takes the attention in stride thinking, it’s not everyday these people see a real adventurer, let alone one as handsome as this.
The Hero looks over and sees a beautiful girl sitting at the edge of the bar taking in the music and the life of the party. Her hair was as red as an apple, flowing down over her shoulders like water over a waterfall. Her hazel eyes accentuated her alluring face. Her skin was as fair as cream, and she had lips of crimson.
The Barkeep walks up to the Hero and asks what he could get him. “I’ll take a mead and if you would, give the pretty lady a drink of her choice,” said the Hero. The Barkeep walks over to ask the girl what her drink of choice would be, and the Hero looks into the mirror over the bar. He sees four men sitting at a table behind him, looking in his direction.
One man sat, leaned up against the wall with his chair, two chair-legs of the ground, picking his teeth with a curved, fixed-blade knife. His most notable feature is his few rotten, green teeth, and a wild/gangly white beard. He appeared to have had too much to drink and his appearance was one that hinted he stayed that way. One scoundrel was a lanky man with nothing but a pencil-thin mustache, and a large rapier hanging from his belt. Another man was gargantuan, he had to be 6’5 at the very least, and his chest looked as big around as a large whisky barrel. The man had to weigh in somewhere around 290-300 pounds, but he was as solid as a rock. A dark bushy beard graced his chin but his head was clean shaven. The leader had pitch black hair, and a mustache that flowed down around his mouth into a goatee on his chin. A pair of gold-handled scimitars hang from his sides. He had a crooked scar from his top lip up his cheek, and the mustache hadn’t grown over to conceal the old wound. None of them seemed to be too happy and the leader kept glancing in the Hero’s direction, talking to his buddies, and then looking back.
“Better make that a bottle’a bourbon for me,” said the Hero as the lead man gets up and walks over to the bar.
“That’s my girl there,” growled the lead man as the others began to rise from their seats, save for the rotten-toothed man leaning against the wall, lost in his oral “hygiene.” The tavern grows quiet.
The Bartender put down a bottle of bourbon and the Hero picks it up. The rogues freeze as the Hero whips out a slender, needle-point dagger, with a polished steel pommel and quillion. The Hero begins to speak as he turns his attention to peeling off the bourbon’s wax seal, then sticks the knife in the bar, reaches over to grab four glasses, and then pours each glass full.
“Well, I’d say she’s woman enough to make her own decision and if she wants to spend the evening with a handsomely bearded adventurer such as myself, that would be her prerogative. I am not here to cause any mischief with you ruffians, however, so if you would be so kind to sit down and have a drink on me, then we can put this unpleasantness behind us,” says the Hero.
The motley crew, all save rotten-tooth (who was still leaned against the wall, cackling obnoxiously), continues to advance.
“Figures,” says the Hero. The Hero downs what’s left in the bottle, then what’s next happens in about the span of three seconds. The Hero throws the bottle, connecting with Mr. Pencil-Thin Mustache’s forehead. He dropped like a sack of potatoes, out like a light. The Hero then grabs the dagger and sends it sailing through the air, right into the foot of the ruffians’ leader, pinning him to the floor. Finally, the Hero spins, unholstering his pistol, and fires a shot that splinters the back leg of rotten-tooth’s chair, sending him crashing to the floor. The big man stands shocked by the chaos around him, snaps out of it, and begins striding towards the Hero. The Hero looks around, grabbing a metal serving tray, springing off of a table, smacking the large ruffian in the face with the tray.
What the Hero didn’t count on was how solid this mountain of a man would be. The tray had no effect, collapsing around the man’s muscular skull as he stood firm. The Hero, believing the giant would fall after the blow, is surprised by the lack of effect, bouncing off the bulging shoulders of the man, and falling to the floor. The behemoth grabs the Hero and slings him across the bar. While the colossus was abundantly strong, he wasn’t abundantly smart and definitely did not take into account the angry patrons who’s drinks he just smashed with the Hero’s body. Six or seven inebriated patrons charge from the bar, taking the big man’s attention off of The Hero. The band resumes with renewed ferocity, patrons cheering their support to whatever faction they fancied. Dinner and a show.
The Hero picks himself up and dusts himself off as he scans the room. Mr. Rotten-Tooth was nowhere to be seen, probably fled the scene. The man with the pencil-thin mustache had not recovered from the bourbon bottle to the head yet. That just leaves…
The Hero heard something slicing through the air, so he spun drawing his twin sabers to parry the incoming blow. It was the leader sneaking around to ambush the Hero.
“Well now, that wasn’t quite sporting,” quipped the Hero. The sword fight commenced, scimitars and sabers clashing. Bystanding patrons dive and scatter, trying to avoid the hacking and slashing wirl-wind moving through the tavern. The Hero was parrying, blocking, and striking with ease. Truth be told, the Hero was far-and-away the better swordsman and the rogue’s injured foot was hindering his footwork. The Hero wasn’t looking to kill the ruffian, he was having fun with the exercise. The Hero directed the fight up the stairs to the upper level that overlooks the tavern. The flurry of stabs, blocks, and parries continued.
“Well, this song and dance was fun while it lasted, but I have business attend to,” laughed the Hero, fienting an outside stroke, drawing the leader’s guard out to block the swing. The Hero moves quickly, striking the spine of the thug’s blade, forcing the scimitar out of his hand. The ruffian, shocked once more, watches the blade fly out of his hand as the Hero fires a quick jump kick to the other sword hand, jarring loose that sword as well. While the kicking foot descends, the plant foot ascends into another kick, catching the rogue right in the chin. The blow stuns him, throwing him over the banister.
What was unfortunate was, by that time, the giant thug had whipped every patron who had taken offense to their drinks being spoiled. Fighting more than one person at a time can wear out even the biggest brawler, and the giant was no exception.
“I need a drink,” he muttered to himself. The big ruffian made his way back behind the bar to help himself. Just as he raised his glass of brandy to his lips, a falling body crashed onto his shoulders, driving his head down onto the bar and that’s when the lights went out.
The Hero, trying to contain his glee, trots down the stairs. “That was freaking awesome,” thought the Hero as he examined the carnage downstairs. He struts over to the thugs laying on the ground giggling to himself, while the man with the Mustache groans in the corner, nursing his head wound.
Just then, the door snaps open, and a dark silhouette stands in the doorway. The figure has a large tricorne hat perched on its head with what appears to be an arrow through it. A booming voice cuts through the tension-filled room.
“What be the problem ‘ere boys…”