After taking our two prizes – a warship and a merchantman – we decided what was to be done with them. The warship we sent back to the rock. The merchantman we accompanied back to Rickety Squib’s for sale. And he were taken back a mite that we had brought him yet another ship and crew. Able to take it on, though.
I were starting to think that, seeing as we were legitimate proprietors ‘o Tidewater Rock, perhap we should charge a fee rather than taking the whole ship. Keep the area free ‘o pirates and such rabble. 10% of the goods, perhaps.
In any event, after a bit ‘o shopping we set sail for home. But Mork were in an adventurous mood, so we agreed to heave to at an island and do a raid.
Well, there were a village, right enough. And full of savage warriors it were, at least 50 or maybe more. And they were in the middle of some ceremony – chanting and suchlike. I used a tooth which I had prepared with Comprehend Language, and the chanting were all “Blood! Blood! Blood for the Blood-God!”.
Well, we were happy to oblige. Mork and Vorok stepped up to do some damage, but Aliza noticed that there were some men on litters – motionless they were, strapped in. No doubt they be prestst or wizards, lost in whate’r they were about. So she put a Magic Missile into him. There was a scream from the forest, and the barbarians increased their frenzy.
More of the savages came, and then from the sand of the beach emerged a horror – a great worm or centipede, tall as a ship’s mast it were. And I’ll tell ‘ee lad, we looked at the thing, exchanged a glance, and bolted.
But although the thing were slow, the savages were not. And they were in their element – we could not outrun them. So we chose a chokepoint and made our stand.
There were two dozen of them, coming at us three and four at a time. Aliza used her spells, and Mork just stood there killing one after another. I called curses down from Besmara over and over.
But when there were only four or five left, one of the bastards got a lucky hit and felled Mork. Then they advanced towards us, who were not nearly so able to fend them off.
It were a close thing. A very, very close thing. But we managed to kill the last of them between us. Mork were dead outright, I though, so I gave Vorok a little magic. But then Aliza looked at Mork and unbelivably he spat up sme blood. Still breathing! But only just.
I used my most potent magics on Mork, and we resumed running. On reaching the shore, I used my hat – Besmara’s Tricorn – and transformed it into a boat, and we got out of there.
So it goes to show, lad, although I’m not sure what. Don’t poke a hornet’s nest without need, perhaps.
We are now level 6. This means Aliza gets Fireball (I expect). Fun times!
The Holy Grail is closing.
It’s – kinda weird for me. I have been going there for 15 years. Maybe more. I was going back when it was good, when it was half the size and you had to dress up to get in. People packed in, bar staff dancing on the bar. Good times.
It never really recovered from the expansion, you know. The atmosphere was gone. Even so, it coasted along for years with the crowd it had. Believe it or not, it was classy: $5 cover charge on even a regular night, $10 if there was a band.
I remember when Holy Grail Civic was good – Swallow on stage, so many people the whole place was a mosh pit, looking like nothing so much as the thunderstruck video. Then Ian got rid of the live bands and put on a DJ, and the drug users took over the place.
Civic closed, and Kingston has been a dive for a long, long time. Three quarters empty, piped rap and R&B, Ne-Yo, Usher, and Whitney’s “I wanna dance with somebody” on high rotation. So, not a big surprise, really. Ian is an old man, now. Perhaps being shmoozed by chicks who want to hang out with the owner has lost it’s zing.
And now? I dunno. Some of the most important changes in my life had that place as background. Being in a band, my deconversion. Spend a lot of time there. Spent a lot of money, too. I spent my thirties there. And in a few days, it will simply be gone.