Monday, July 30, 2007
Norg Biscuits O.o
Walking into Norg the leathery faced outlaws half glanced up at us without making eye contact. They were used to occasional adventures coming here because of the tenshudo in Lower Jeuno but that didn’t mean they trusted us and the feeling was mutual.
More of a cave than a village it opened to the open ocean to allow the boats to come and go secretly from their shady voyages. Dark and damp it was lit by intensely hot torches that left black smoky residue on the ceiling of the cavern and the heavy smell of burning fuel.
Feeling it was my turn to be in charge I knew right where I might find the kind of information I wanted. Jumping down on the wooden planks around the dock I intentionally steered a bit clear of the large torches. Fire always made me a bit uneasy though I didn’t really know why I saw no need to take any chances.
Twenty feet in the air a watch man glared hard down on me with a scowl. The last thing we needed was an entire village of angry ruffians chasing us. I’d be fine but Gurok couldn’t run as fast and there is a limit to how many he can take on at once. We’d have to be careful not to draw too much attention. Five of them or so I could take one handed but making trouble with these people was not my goal.
Continuing up the stairs I pushed open the heavy oaken door to the left. Inside were the usual group of drunken fools. Gurok grabbed the first hume by the back of his shirt and lifted him a foot off the ground. “This one looks like he knows things.” Gurok grinned.
“Washu!” I smiled widely and hugged my old family friend who stood near the kitchen door.
“Child you are too thin! How is your mother? Oh, hold that thought.” As she scurried into the kitchen Gurok let out a loud groan of disappointment and set the hume down on his feet. The startled man chose to leave as quickly as possible without a peep instead of retaliate or ask any questions of the looming galkan attacker.
When Washu came back she had a basket full of the hot steaming buttery biscuits that she knew I loved when I was a child. “Oh Washu you’re heaven sent.” I gave one to Gurok who seemed like he felt a little left out and took one for myself tearing off one little piece at a time to put in my mouth and savor.
“Mother is well but I come with solemn news. My husband was murdered by a galka and I am here to find his killer and bring him justice.” I said matter of factly. “I really hope you can help me find out where Pete the Meat can be found.”
Her countenance fell. “Yes dear, I do know where he and his gang can be found. I’m so heartbroken to hear about your husband. Pete the Meat is known for being quick to anger and deadly. His gang likes to creep about Sea Serpent Grotto in search of lost adventures to mug. As accomplished as you look, you really should bring more help with you. His group varies in size and strength but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I don’t want to be the one to bring your mother bad news.”
“Very good biscuits mam. Thank you.” Gurok complimented as he sprayed crumbs with a mouth full of his third for fourth biscuit.
She smiled warmly and brushed crumbs off his whiskers. “Sweet boy.”
“Thank you for all your help Washu.” I hugged her tightly.
“I have one more bit of help. I can’t go with you but I want you to take my friend Kallo with you. He knows all of Pete the Meat’s favorite hiding places and every twist and secret of Sea Serpent Grotto. He’s always coming around here looking for something to eat. He’s a bit of a scoundrel but invaluable in these sorts of situations and he owes me a favor or two. Kallo, I know you’re ease dropping again. You might as well and say hello.”
“I wasn’t ease dropping, I was eating lunch.” He said as he sat up from a nearby table. “and yes, I’d be happy to help if it allows me to check off one of those favors I owe. This one should be easy as stealing...” The evlaan thief trailed off and bowed low to kiss my hand without breaking eye contact.
Washu beat him with a hand towel. “Knock that off! Her husband just passed. Show some respect. She’s not one of your girls you understand me boy?!”
“Yes Madam!” He shouted mockingly for mercy as he winked at me.
Gurok had already turned his back to call my linkshell. “Yes, it’s time to gather.” I heard him say in a low voice. Turning back around he gave Kallo a hard glare and stood between us. “Let’s go meet everyone at the gate.”
Washu tucked a warm box of her biscuits in my bag and the three of us waved goodbye and headed off together to finish what needed to be done.