Aside: Dogar's Night Out

A New Challenger Appears, and more riddles.

Dogar had made arrangements to meet back with Sierrafinnia and the others after taking care of some business of his- namely tracing down some poachers who had stolen some griffins from his stomping grounds.

Through a clever mix of rangerness and asking around, he had triangulated their most likely location somewhere in the crowds of booths that ringed the Council of Kingdoms. However, when he got close, something was strange.

There was a hugely fat man wearing naught save a diaper and strolling around the vendors area, talking loudly about his prowess. Manriki was trying to follow up on some rumors he had heard about priests not fulfilling their sacred duties when he came upon a pretty, dark-haired, lightly freckled girl in a black dress strolling down a narrow aisle between booths. The corpulent priest offered his services as a bodyguard, proclaiming his ability to do anything with the utmost confidence.

She looked him over, and decided that she couldn’t afford him, then departed gracefully, slipping past Manriki’s bulk without disturbing a single roll nor a hair on her head, and melted into the crowd, which wasn’t really thick enough to lose a single Medium-sized creature in so completely. Dogar watched this exchange with a mild sense of amusement, as he moved across the vendor’s area.

When he got within 30 feet of Manriki, something caught his eye- a scroll shrouded with a haze of golden sand was stuffed in his diaper. He approached the fat man to ask him about it.

Manriki was a bit concerned that Dogar was able to see the scroll, which as far as he understood, only existed when he thought about it- that it was not an actual object, but a manifestation of his faith in his deity. He pulled out the scroll and looked at it, and Dogar noticed something on the back of it- a riddle of some kind, which Manriki had not seen before, but was definitely there now. Manriki also noticed that Dogar was pretty badly hurt. Manriki’s estimation of Dogar changed a bit after realizing the amount of healing that he needed to get back up to top condition- he had been through quite a bit and still stood to tell about it.

Before they could talk much more about anything, Dogar got attacked. Out of nowhere, a dagger appeared in his back, and seemed to be digging its way deeper, though no one could tell where it came from. Seconds later, the graceful girl who had talked with Manriki rushed out of the crowd holding a long, thin sword, thicker than a rapier and edged for slashing in one hand, and a dagger in the other.

She charged up to Dogar and laid into him with both weapons, her arms moving in a dizzying blur that seemed to have a pattern to it. When both of her blades connected, she would twist them together, tearing Dogar’s flesh even more. He nearly died outright from that assault. Manriki tried to pull the dagger out of Dogar’s back, but the vicious blade held on and dug deeper, causing more damage.

Dogar began his dance of death, and (wisely) focused on defending himself. By keeping his scimitars close to his body, he was able to parry nearly as elaborately as his assailant was able to attack. During one of their clinches, she leaned in and told him that he “had something that did not belong to him.” While Dogar was locked in this dance, he noticed a human running along the tops of the booths. Manriki cast a pair of healing spells on Dogar, who then took the fight to the girl, counter-attacking with a burst of blinding speed. Manriki moved in and grabbed her as she frantically tried to keep up with the ranger’s whirling scimitars, catching her in a bear hug and lifting her off of her feet.

Dogar’s assailant disappeared in a clot of inky shadow, traveled across the battlefield, and stood next to Dogar, where she resumed trying to kill him. Manriki moved to intercept her as Dogar landed a few more telling blows.

Faced with this combined opposition, she sheathed her main-gauche, left herself open as she retrieved her dagger from Dogar’s back (both Dogar and Manriki took advantage of this opening, though it apeared she was ready to capitalize on the opening if either of them missed), sketched a quick salute, and disappeared into another clot of shadow, traveling out of sight. The human on the rooftops was also nowhere to be seen.

Dogar and Manriki caught their breath for a moment, when suddenly a man holding a large red sword, riding what looked like a nightmare rode towards them, separated from them by a shimmering golden haze. Manriki was visibly disturbed by the presence of this creature and firmly suggested that the two of them go Somewhere Else, and discuss what they had both seen.

The Abstract did not follow them, instead laughing and proceeding towards the Council building.

Dogar told his story, and Manriki thought it might be a good idea to meet with the others that Dogar had met. So they went to the Lazy Dragon Inn, which was under investigation by a largeish contingent of guardsmen. When asked what the problem was, they explained that a man had been killed in cold blood there, and they were trying to determine if this was connected to the other disappearances that had happened over the last few days, or the suggestions that Luvanar had given them a few hours ago. The two of them got directions to another bar, and Dogar had his money refunded. They went to the Bloated Toad, where they drank some and became the type of friends that nearly dying makes any two people.

After finding that the man who committed the murder had also gone through the same thing that Dogar had, Manriki wanted to bespeak him, but Dogar swayed him somehow, I don’t remember. They resolved to wait for/seek out the rest of the group before doing anything else.



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