Your name is Cown, at your nineteenth name dae you are in the prime of your youth, yet you certainly don't feel very youthful slogging it across the city of Harlowesburg day after day, making sure the scraps oh so generously handed down to you from the Post Office get to where they're meant to go. While it's done wonders for your health it does feel a little like someone's trying to run you into the ground. Today should be no different.Or so you believe…A distant, mechanised bleat wakes you and with a groan, you force yourself out of your hammock and slide your old, beaten shoes on. They're murder on your soles, but it beats running barefoot anytime. You run a hand through your sleep-tousled silver hair and blink your stark violet eyes until they feel less heavy. A truly heavenly scent wafts through the air as you slip a simple white shirt and dark leather pantaloons – the most expensive thing you own – on, and you praise the Nine that the bakery next door has such early hours, else the collective stench of morning body odour and leftovers from the neighbourhood would make waking up truly unbearable. Why in the abyss Dagg can’t detect any of this himself is a mystery to you.Speaking of Dagg… You slide open the patchwork curtain separating you from the rest of your and your friend’s home and lumber tiredly over to the slightly less patchwork curtain that marks Dagg’s space before yanking it open.‘Rise and shine Dagg, another day, another…’Dagg’s not there.And then the front door opens and in comes Dagg, and he looks like crap. The alabaster skin he shares with the rest of his countrymen is plastered with sweat and you think you can detect the acrid tang of vomit on his breath. He turns away from the door, sees you and stops, as if startled by your appearance.‘Uh… you’re up early,’ he says awkwardly.>’No I’m not.’>’Shouldn’t I be?’>Let it go, you really should get an early start>Other?
>>32222806>Other?"And you look like shit, but what else is new?"Then start getting ready.
>>32222806You’re still more than a little tired, and while you’re curious as to what your friend could have been doing so early in the morning, you’ve got stuff to do.‘And you look like shit, but what else is new?’ you say as you fix him with a look. Some colour returns to Dagg’s face and his hazel eyes narrow at the sharp reply.‘Cranky. Someone crap in your breakfast or something?’‘Haven’t had time,’ you say as you grab your satchel from the table that sits in the middle of the chamber. It’s a tiny place and despite grousing on the size of your home you know full well that it’s impossible to afford somewhere spacier. Besides, you can’t really get enough of the scent of baking bread when you wake up. It’s the little things really.‘And neither do you,’ you add as Dagg eyes the door to the larder opposite. ‘We missed a few drops yesterday and if we don’t hand in the delivery slip to the Post Office before the end of today, we get nothing. Come on Dagg, usually you’re the one telling ME this.’‘I know, I know. I’m sorry, it’s just…’ he opens his mouth as though he’s about to start talking, but seems to decide against it and glances at the small pile of letters and parcels amassed on the table. He breathes a sigh and packs a few items into his own satchel before turning back to the front door, clearly wishing he could be asleep in his hammock.‘I’ll get started on the South end then, see you back here Cown,’ he says, his tone lighter and more in line with the Dagg you know. You nod and bid him farewell as you sift mail into your satchel and heft it over your shoulder to leave when something on the ground catches your eye.It’s an envelope. A black envelope. Dagg must have dropped it when he left. Strange. You definitely don’t remember that being in the pile last night… or maybe it was there and you just missed it. It was a pretty long day even by your standards.>Take it>Leave it
>>32223242You consider leaving it for the briefest of moments before dismissing the thought as folly. Dagg would probably raise a fuss if he knew you’d just left something on the floor for him to find. Even if you’re sure you’ve never seen it before, mail is mail and your job is to deliver, so without a moment’s pause you scoop it up before grabbing a dragonskin canteen full of water and leaving.It looks like it’s going to be a crisp, warm day; a few thin clouds drift ponderously through the sky, and the sapphire sun peeks over the horizon, casting everything in a warm orange hue that you’ve always found rather relaxing. A smile stretches across your face as you see the owner of the bakery raise the shutters, displaying racks which will soon be filled with the fruits of his labour. You make a mental note to get yourself, and maybe Dagg, something nice when you go to collect your pay. It’s been a while since you tasted fresh bread.You start to jog down the cobbled streets, edging past a hissing steam coach before you take a look at the envelope in your hands. It reads “A.R., The Walnut Tree.” No other details. Very peculiar. The Walnut Tree is a pub located deeper into the city, close to the gargantuan structure that serves as the city’s airport. A thrill surges through you as you think of the airport and the giant ships that sit there. What an experience it must be, sailing through the skies themselves! Ever since you were young you’ve wanted to see for yourself what these “Sky Riders” look upon every day. The thrill ebbs, giving way to disappointment as you realise that this dream of yours is simply that.You check through the other contents of your satchel, a parcel to a Mister Roache, three letters (one of which reeks of cologne, you note with some interest) for a Mrs Paisley, another smaller parcel for Mr Tasckird, and another letter for one Mr King. The Walnut Tree pub is the closet delivery, however, so you head there first.
>>32223866The Walnut Tree is easy to find, you’ve been past it enough times, but you still have a difficult time gathering up the courage to actually enter. Most pubs this close to the airport have an unsavoury reputation, most of them with good reason. Gulping, you step foot inside the pub and are instantly greeted by a barrage of odours, primarily consisting of sweat, oil, and alcohol, with a rosy hint of oak as well. Lovely.You look over the already crowded pub, some of the people here must have stepped off the airport just this very morning and decided to take a break, you reason to yourself. With a sudden flush, you realise that you have no earthly idea who this A.R. person is or who might know him. Glancing around, and through the throng of patrons, you see three distinct groups of individuals cloistered around several different tables.The first group is headed by a massive, bearded bear of a man who appears to be attempting to crush a tankard with a gleaming artificial hand. Another sits quietly sipping at their drinks, and appears to be in rather serious conversation. The final group sits over a map where one member with a hideously scarred face bellows and shouts at another equally red-faced man with an eyepatch and a sinister goatee.Finally you notice the bartender, who appears to notice you on account of the fact you don’t seem to be making an arse of yourself. He stares at you for a moment before shrugging and serving another man a drink.>Talk to the first group (artificial limb)>Second group (quiet ones)>Third (shouters)>Bartender>Other
>>32223900Sorry bout that. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to writing, hence I tend to take fucking ages trying to make sure it's as good as I can make it.
>>32224133Oh, it's no prob. I just got here and misread the times.
>>32223904>>BartenderAsk about the other groups.
>>32223904You make your way through the press of bodies, avoiding a thrown tankard filled with a liquid that smells suspiciously like urine and eventually you find yourself at the bar. The bartender serves another two patrons their ales, taking their coin, before he turns to regard you.‘You look a little young, boy,’ he says.‘Uh, I’m not here for a drink,’ you say. ‘I’m looking for someone, and I thought you might know who.’‘Oh?’ the bartender raises an eyebrow.‘Yeah, an A.R., nothing but the initials and the name of this pub… any ideas?’ you ask, straining your voice in order to be heard over the clamour.‘A.R.?’ The thick-set, middle-aged man hums to himself. ‘I think I have an inkling, but I ain’t seen him about yet. You’d best wait here; I’ll point him out to you.’‘Must I?’ you ask, ‘I really do need to get going.’‘Yeah, cause he usually only shows up when he pleases, and he never actually gets anything from me himself, gets one of his crew to do it.’‘Crew?’ you ask, and all thoughts of work evaporate. ‘Is he a Sky Rider?’‘More than that lad, he’s a captain he is… IF he’s the bloke I think you’re looking for.’‘Wow…’ you breathe to yourself. Leaving suddenly seems less attractive. Meeting an actual Sky Rider might be the closest you’ll probably ever get to flying on an airship yourself.‘Hey,’ you pipe up, and the bartender cranes his head to listen, ‘who else here is a Sky Rider?’The man looks at you as if you’ve just asked him if he can sprout dragon wings. ‘Are you having me on lad?’ He asks, incredulously. ‘EVERYONE here’s a Sky Rider.’The news roots you to the spot. You don’t think your heart can beat any faster. Any more excitement and you might just keel over and die from it.‘Close your mouth boy, you’ll catch a fly or two,’ the bartender says, clearly amused at your expression.(cont.)
>>32224763‘So, tell me,’ you ask excitedly, ‘where are they from?’ you point to the group headed by the man with the steel hand, who bellows in triumph at the mangled tankard in his grip. The bartender makes a pained expression before turning back to you.‘That’s Captain Grimm and his bunch of the Casteene. They’re outriders. Mercenaries in the sense that they give protection to anyone who’ll pay ‘em for it. Fairly good at it too, if even half I’ve heard is right. Took down a whole pack of fire drakes a cargo hauler spooked a few years back, which is supposedly where he lost his hand.’‘And that one?’ you ask, pointing to the serious looking group huddled closely around their own table.‘Can’t tell you much about them I’m afraid. Not really seem them before today. From the way they carry themselves though, I’d say they’re associated with the Army, or used to be at any rate.’‘Why used to be?’ You ask.‘Because if they were still army we’d be getting a great big bastard in uniform bellyaching that they’re all lazy sots and they should get back to the barracks and do drill instead of get themselves plastered this early in the morning,’ the bartender says with a chuckle.‘And what about them over there?’ you ask, pointing at the final group. The man with the scars is now right in the face of his colleague, spittle flecking his shouting rival’s face, who, to his own credit, appears to be responding in kind.‘That’s the crew of the Gastogne. Scarface is First Mate Rowe. They’re merchants, though you’d not think it to look at them, ugly bunch of bastards. First I heard of them is–’>Roll a d20
>>32224915A bottle suddenly whips across your vision, grazing your scalp before crashing against the bar and shattering. As you flinch a cry of pain shatters the rough but generally light-hearted atmosphere of the pub, and moments later you hear the din of men going roughly about beating the abyss out of each other. Leaving still doesn’t appeal but it would probably be much better for your health and you start to run.You stagger, however, as the world suddenly darkens in one eye. Reaching up, your hand comes away bloody. Some of the shards from that bottle must have cut you.Then something crashes against you from your blind side and you crumple to the ground, groaning under the weight. Craning your head around and wiping the blood from your eye you find yourself pinned underneath a patron who now appears to be counting dragons. Beyond him the scuffle has degenerated into a full blown brawl. Fists crunch against jaws, bottles shatter against scalps and feet kick out as the Sky Riders use every dirty trick they know to bring the pain against any perceived foes.The main issue is that no one really seems to know who the foe is, and in this lack of knowledge, seem to have marked everyone in the immediate vicinity who is not part of their crew a threat. A barstool sails over the carnage and you see it take the poor bartender full on the face. He falls behind the bar, and somehow you don’t think he’ll get up anytime soon. Meanwhile the brawl, formerly contained to one part of the pub, starts to spread…>Push the guy off (roll d20)>Wait
>>32225330Rolled 16Push guy off and get somewhere safe.
>>32225330Despite the awkward angle, you manage to put enough strength in to force the patron’s unconscious body off of you. All around you the punch-up escalates, the smack of fist on flesh mixing with the scent of violence that mixes with the already pungent odour to create a most potent cocktail. Pulling yourself upright, you run for the exit, dodging past combatants and at one point avoiding a punch from Captain Grimm’s metal hand that shatters the jaw of a misfortunate soul just past you.Frantically, you reach the entrance and practically tear the door open in your effort to escape. All you need to do is step out and–You hit what feels like a wall. A bumpy, fleshly wall.A hand roughly knocks you over and in steps an imposing looking individual in a sea green cloak. He’s followed by two rough looking types, one of whom has his mouth twisted into a permanent grimace by a jagged scar stretching from his mouth to the underside of his jaw, while the other wears a pair of goggles and a flat cap. You notice with a start that his ears appear unnaturally long and pointy – an elf. You’ve never seen an elf before, and you can’t help but stare at his ears.The figure in front sighs and reaches into his cloak, drawing a savage looking repeater pistol. He primes it and then unloads four shots into the air. The fighting stops and every head swivels towards the new arrival.‘Ahh,’ the tall man sighs in relief. ‘Much better.’Then he turns to you, and you feel your gut sink. Even with your lack of knowledge concerning Sky Riders and their craft, you know who this man is. His face is plastered on wanted posters all over the city.Captain Aail Ryder of the Lady Fortuna, the most notorious sky pirate in the Visan Republic, looks down at you, and says: ‘Sorry about that lad.’>Respond
>>32226215"Its fine, sorry for running into you sir"
>>32226215For a second, words fail you. If even a quarter of the stories about this man are true, he’s gutted somewhere upwards of a thousand men for simply looking at him funny. You eventually regain control of your voice and stutter a response.‘It’s fine, sorry for running into you sir.’Ryder stares at you for a moment before he throws his head back and roars with laughter. Each individual bristle of his thin black beard and moustache appear to shake at his jocularity. The goggled elf grins at you and shares a glance with the scarred man, who also seems suitably amused. The rest of the pub is completely silent.‘You hear that everyone? “It’s fine, sorry for running into you sir,” now there’s manners if ever I've seen them. None of this unpleasantness that I most certainly don’t want to be greeted with at this early hour.’ Though his tone is light, there is an unmistakable hint of reproach, which throws you off for a moment. You’d have thought a man as bloodthirsty as Aail Ryder would probably throw himself into the fray, and your surprise almost makes you miss his question.‘So, what’s a nice boy like you doing in a cosy little place like this?’ Ryder asks as he kicks up a fallen chair and props himself on it, leaning back on it like he hasn’t a worry in the world.>Tell him about the letter>Mumble an apology and leave>Write-in
>>32226215 stutter and say "Sir I believe that I may have a message for you Sir."
>>32226529Tell him about the letter, but stutter and fidget like a scared child.
>>32226537>>32226633I would also mention the knocked out barhand just incase, something along the lines of looking for an A. R, black envelope and being told to wait here until the fight broke out. Don't mention who started the fight.
>>32226720This is true.
>>32226529With the full weight of his and his crewmen’s stare upon you, you begin to feel like a critter in the headlamps. You can’t honestly remember the last time you felt this nervous. A single slip could well damn you to an excruciatingly painful death. Casting quick, fleeting looks at the rest of the pub you see that every set of eyes is fixated on you. Some look like they’re enjoying the show, some look sorry for you, others have their expressions set in stone.Somehow it’s the lattermost which worries you more.‘W-w-well,’ you start, and the elf chuckles at your stuttering. The scarred man shushes him.You stop and clear your throat, and take a deep breath.‘Easy son,’ Ryder says, the corner of his lips quirking in a smile, ‘I’m not going to murder you just for giving me a straight answer.’That’s not quite as reassuring as he evidently seems to think, but at least your jittering stops. When you speak though, it comes out in a flood. You literally cannot stop speaking.‘I run mail and I got this black letter which told me to come here to look for someone with the initials A.R. because there was no other address and the bartender got knockedoutandI’msorryIdon’twanttodiesir,’ you squeak.‘Big Sam got taken out?’ the elf says, clearly astounded. ‘Hate to see the size of the guy who did that.’Ryder, however, seems more interested in something else.‘Slow down a bit there son… you said something about a black letter?’You nod a little too quickly and frantically for your liking. Ryder gives you a quick up and down, and squints his ocean grey eyes at you. And then he says something that takes you completely off guard.‘You a friend of Dagg’s?’>Yes>How do you know him?>No (lie)>Write-in?
>>32226898>>How do you know him?
>>32226898Yeah how'd you guess.
>>32226898>How do you know him?
>>32226898‘How do you know him?’ you say. Then you remember exactly who it is you’re speaking to and clamp your mouth shut tighter than a griffon’s nest. Scarface chuckles but the elf shares a wary look with Ryder before both turn their attention back to you. Ryder appears to be mulling on what sort of answer to give you, which in turn starts your imagination. Was Dagg cutting secret deals with the pirate to get more money? Nine above knows you’re not exactly well off but dealing with the most notorious pirate in the country? What in the abyss was Dagg thinking?‘That’s… not for you to know,’ he says, and while his voice is soft, you’d have to be deaf not to hear the all too subtle threat behind it. Unfortunately this only serves to terrify you more.‘So…’ Ryder continues, ‘this black letter of yours. Pass it over?’You gulp audibly and, still shaking somewhat, hand the envelope over. You really don’t want to piss this man off. No sir. Ryder examines the envelope for a moment before nodding to himself and getting up from his chair.‘Pleasure doing business son. If you’re lucky, then we won’t have to meet again.’>Pursue the topic of Dagg>Nod and leave to get the rest of your mail run done before you say something stupid and get yourself murdered (timeskip)
>>32227367>Pursue the topic of Dagg" Sir with all due respect, if Dagg is doing any sort of business with you or you're kind then I will see you again whether I want to or not, now please what in the all of the nine is Dagg getting himself and by association me into.
>>32227367>>Nod and leave to get the rest of your mail run done before you say something stupid and get yourself murdered (timeskip)
>>32227433>>32227562A tie, fantastic. If there isn't a tie-breaker in the next 5 minutes I'm tossing a coin.
>>32227642>>32227643He says literally as the tie is broken. Fuck me.
>>32227643other guy says he second getting more info.
>>32227367The none-too-subtle blow off doesn’t quite sit well with you, and without even thinking about it, you start talking.‘No disrespect sir, but if Dagg is doing any sort of business with you or you're kind then I will see you again whether I want to or not, now please what in the all of the Nine Dagg is getting himself, and by association me, into.’You hear a low collective gasp from the patrons behind you and you swallow for what feels like the umpteenth time and pray to the Nine that you’ve not just killed yourself.Scarface growls menacingly and takes a step forward but, to your surprise, Ryder halts him with an arm. His expression is a mixture of bemusement, irritation, and a little approval if your eyes aren’t deceiving you.‘Well, when you put it that way, I guess I can tell you a little… follow me son.’ With that, he turns on his heel and strides out the door. Scarface gives you a mean look before following his captain. The elf steps beside you and gives you a nudge on the back.‘Better step on it, captain hates waiting,’ he says with a lopsided grin.That’s all the prompting you need and you follow the sky pirate out of the pub and into a deserted side alley. You wonder why Ryder walks around with such confidence despite the fact that he’s a nationally wanted criminal. Does he not fear imprisonment? Or is he that confident in his ability to escape it? You decide it’s probably the former, and also that he can most likely manage it too.‘I met Dagg some… five years beforehand,’ Ryder says without turning around. The elf and Scarface flank you, and you don’t need the potential threat spelled out for you. ‘He was pretty impressionable back then, though if you’re his friend you probably know that. Anyway, he now runs certain deliveries for me every now and then. It’s nothing dangerous really, not at all different from what you normally do, except that mine is a little more… urgent, is all.’(cont)
>>32227915(cont)You think you understand, but at the same time you don’t think he’s telling you everything either. The fact that you haven’t been cuffed or worse yet has given you courage too, and you find your shakes are almost entirely gone now.‘So… why Dagg? What made him so special?’Ryder turns his head towards you with a toothy smirk.‘Jealous son?’You shake your head, but something about his words stings a little. You first met Dagg when you were both into your tenth name daes. Dagg spoke or inferred nothing of this secret deal with Aail Ryder. Did he not trust you with the information, or did Ryder threaten him into silence? Too many questions.‘I count myself a fairly good judge of character son, I saw potential in Dagg and I took some time to polish what I thought was a dirty gem. As I’ve told you, nothing of what he does for me is any more dangerous than your day job. There are no secret deals, no debts. He just runs the odd message along for me when I’m in town… you happy now?’>Not quite: (why?)>Yes
>>32227915You probably shouldn't copy and paste write ins or you'll get grammatical errors like >you're
>>32227967Yeah I just noticed that. Not too proud of myself for missing that one let me tell you
>>32227949You think for a moment longer, and while you’d like to ask a lot more, Scarface has been edging steadily closer towards you and extending great effort into pretending not to crack his knuckles in a threatening manner. You get the message; you got it the first time easily enough.‘Yes, I think… thank you?’Ryder smiles wryly and lets you leave without any further fuss. As soon as you’re out of sight you hoof it back home but then your satchel knocks against you and you remember that you do in fact, have a job to do. It also stands to reason that it’s still early morning, so Dagg probably won’t be home for you to grill even if you do go back. With many, many questions whirling through your head, you pick Mrs Paisley’s residence as your first stop and think on the ways you’ll grill Dagg when you both get back.The rest of the day passes by without incident, and, thankfully, you’ve managed to drop all your mail off successfully. Now you just have to hope that Dagg’s done the same and you can stroll on over to the Post Office and collect your pay, buy something from the bakery, and then interrogate your friend on dealings with sky pirates. You pass the bakery and, after a longing glance at the contents displayed and its simply divine aroma you reach for the door handle and grab your key...And then you stop. The door’s open and ever so slightly ajar…>Stroll on inside; Dagg’s probably just forgotten to lock up>Be cautious, this doesn’t feel right
>>32227949Yes, since me and Dagg haven't been murdered or hung for treason so far, I guess its ok, anyway thanks for telling me sir and I'll be taken my leave. Have a good time sir.
>>32228343>be cautious, this doesn't feel right.look around for something out of the ordinary, maybe get a weapon of some kind and yell out "Dagg you in there!"
Rolled 6Guys, in the future when the OP calls for a roll you need to type dice+1d20 into the email field. /tg/ has a built in dice function.Only mentioning this because of >>32225804
>>32228765Yeah, that was blatant cheating. I'm surprised no one called it out sooner.
>>32228794Less cheating than more of a lack of knowledge, will do better next time
>>32228343Dagg’s a lot of things, but forgetful enough to leave the door open and unlocked even after a long day’s work? Not likely. Something’s amiss here. Quietly, you pry the door open just wide enough to step inside. The interior is as threadbare as it usually is. The larder door is shut, and the curtains you and Dagg put up to mark your own personal spaces haven’t been disturbed since this morning. You can definitely hear voices though, coming from upstairs. You look around for something you might be able to use to defend yourself in case there’s a burglar inside. A pot is the best you can manage.As silently as you can manage, you creep up the staircase to the loft. It’s not particularly expansive and the voices grow more distinct as you ascend. One is definitely Dagg, but there’s another voice, harsher, more aggressive. And then there’s the stink. You’re not sure even the sewers smell this uncompromisingly foul, and it’s all you can do to stop yourself gagging.Finally you reach the bannisters and peer over. Boxes line the loft, though all of them are empty – leftovers from the previous occupant, and in a little corner by a window is Dagg and three tall figures in thick cloaks. Dagg seems terrified, as if his cracking voice wasn’t enough.‘We know you picked up the letter you little bastard,’ the central figure snarls and roughly grabs Dagg by his collar before hoisting him almost a full foot off the ground.(cont)
>>32228985(cont)‘I-I really don’t know what you’re on about,’ Dagg stammers and stutters in an attempt to defend his innocence… but Dagg’s never been much of a liar, not when confronted directly to his face.The hooded man viciously backhands Dagg, whose head snaps to the side and when he looks back he’s dazed and bloody drool drips from his mouth. Anger surges through you and you creep forwards with the pot held at the ready. None of them have noticed you just yet and if you’re quick, you might just manage to take all of them.‘I’m going to ask you once more, boy,’ the man warns, still holding Dagg, ‘tell us who you gave the letter to, and you can walk away from this in one piece.’Dagg doesn’t reply, his left eye is glazed over and his mouth doesn’t seem to work from the combination of terror and pain.The hooded man grunts in dissatisfaction and, without warning, draws a cruelling serrated short sword from within his cloak before plunging it through Dagg’s chest.Gonna call it a night here, dog tired. Thoughts and impressions? Suggestions? This is literally my first QT so I'd be all ears to any feedback you guys give.
Damn good, really likening where this is going. Nice use of our input while writing a good cohesive story. Grips are that I don't know what my surroundings look like but that can be handled later. Eagerly awaiting the next installment. By the way what is the schedule for these going to be like?
>>32229034Love it when will we see the next one?
>>32229110Thanks, I'll try and work on details on surroundings.As for a schedule, I'm thinking every other day or couple of days. I'll pull a Twitter up by the time the next thread rolls around. Expect Part 2 on Wednesday, I'll probably put the thread up earlier as well by a few hours, started around 8ish GMT today, or yesterday even.
>>32229225Going to archive this?
>>32229250If you want I'll put in a request on the archive, sure.
>>32229400GMT0If that's incorrect and causing confusion then I'm sorry. Whichever is the one that covers England