Ptolus: Blood in the Streets
Let it go, just let it go…
EXT – NIGHT – INQUISITION CAMP
Venmann stands over the exploded corpse of the inquisitor, rendered into little more the sausage meat by Nameless. Damn. Killing the furry one just made his meaner and stronger, as one more “meat pie” worthy inquisitor proves-up. No wonder he accidently wound up the Alpha of the pack… that and he’s saner then everybody else.
Venmann looks over to the happy couple… no… not Snow and Baffin, they fucking hate each other, but the wizard and his recently freed wife. Betray your city, get thousands killed, get reunited. Do you job, try to save lives from religious based mass-murders, lose everything.
Venmann’s inner being prevents him from burning the couple to death and he walks away, to prevent further temptation. He walks past the half-dozen soldiers that Baffin mind-melted in a fury of sonic rage… Bard my ass. He’s Lord Death of Murder Mountain and he’s about to pound some meat pies on your piss-ant soul. Piss on your corpse? Hell no, he’ll eat giant-ass turkey drumsticks over you and leave the bones on you cracked-broken, oozing dome.
Snow is wiping the blood off her sword, the only “man” in her life, and glaring at Baffin… about some new indignity/insult/whatever. It’s been hours since she had a drink, and she (and Moog) just had the living HELL beaten out of them. Moog is oddly calm, the rage is gone, the madness is gone… He’s different, maybe for the better. Moog was beaten bloody for the entire fight and he comes up smiling at the end. Maybe it’s all the sex. Cause’ nobody is getting any in this group, save the Big Man.
Snow is a different matter, she got stuck in and got rocked around by the fight. The feud is starting to become serious… Even Nameless noticed that Baffin was ignoring her need for healing for the whole battle… This is going to get interesting, to say the least.
Nameless is howling. The Alpha is howling his victory to everybody who can hear, to his dead ancestors, to… Venmann walks slowly back to camp, cursing himself for not having the “character” to burn the happy couple to death. Venmann and the party turn in for the night…. Now the fun really begins…
EXT – ABBY’S HOUSE – DAY
Venmann wakes up, sort of. He looks around and finds that he’s back at the beach house, where his dead wife now resides in some sort of afterlife. He gets off the sand and notices the beach is covered with tar and rotting seaweed… and it STINKS. It wasn’t like this before.
Something’s not right.
Venmann looks up at the blazing sun, the sun of Pelor… He sees only clouds, only the dying embers of a sun blotted out by thick black clouds.
Venmann walks up to the house… Has it been abandoned?
The walks are cracking, sand litters the vastly overgrown lawn, white window shutters hang listlessly off their hinges. Venmann walks up to the front door, and gently pushes it open, he sticks him head in…
INT – ABBY’S HOUSE – DAY
The house is a wreck. Dishes, plates, garbage, food items litter the floor. Abby is sitting on the floor, writing on a piece of paper.
Venmann: Abby? What’s going on?
Abby: Look at my paintings Venmann… What do you think?
Venmann: Paint? This is new…
Venmann looks up… first mistake…
THE WALLS ARE COVERED WITH TERRIBLE, POORLY PAINTED PAINTINGS OF BAFFIN. How bad? Take a random homeless man, give him a trash bag filled with Meth, and ask him to paint the “Last Supper” and you’ll get an idea of the travesty that covers the walls.
There’s one in particular… right in the middle. It shows Baffin, TOTALLY NAKED with ripped washboard-abs RIPPING THE HEAD OF NAMELESS with one arm, punching a…a… weird looking half-dog thing with his second arm, and with his THIRD ARM… He’s… He’s…
That’s not an arm.
Venmann WALKS OVER TO THE PAINTING AND RIPS IT OFF THE WALL. He walks over to Abby and shows the picture TO HER.
Abby looks up… She’s pale, almost ghostly.
Venmann: What’s this?
Abby: A painting.
Venmann: What happened here?
Venmann tosses the painting aside, he kneels down next to Abby. Abby stops writing and looks up at Venmann.
Venmann: Last time I was here, this was the picture perfect paradise. Now it’s a wasteland of garbage and twisted paintings.
Abby: I’m not in paradise.
Venmann takes a step back. Abby gets up, she crumples up the piece of paper she was writing. The PAPER TURNS TO GLASS AND GOUGES OUT HER HAND. BLOOD POURS FROM HER HAND ONTO THE FLOOR.
Tears, tears of BLOOD STREAM DOWN ABBY’S CHEEKS.
Abby: I failed. I failed you, I failed Pelor… Let me go, Venmann.
Venmann: What happened! Tell me!
Abby: When I died I came here, I thought it was paradise… my reward for a lifetime of service to Pelor… But it wasn’t that. This (Abby indicates the house) was my waiting room, as I waited for final judgment.
Suddenly SUNLIGHT POURS THROUGH THE BROKEN WINDOWS… and this disappears quickly.
Abby: (Pause) Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?
Venmann: Purgatorio… The hall of those who’s sins were light enough to be forgiven by Our Lord, but who’s actions in life did not earn the Sinner entry into Paradiso upon the rendering of the Mortal Coil. Purgatorio is a place where the Sinner can ponder their actions against the will and desire of Our Lord and therefore earn True Forgiveness and then enter Paradise. De Mortis Finto Absolvo. Then final absolution after death, once Sinner has been forgiven by Our Lord…. Yes, I know what you’re talking about.
Venmann: I was taught by nuns and priests, they beat it into me, literally. I’ve been nearly killed 27 times and I still remember that.
Abby: I think I screwed up that whole “Finto Absolvo” thing.
Abby sinks to her knees. Abby’s knees GRIND INTO THE GLASS, RIPPING THEM OPEN. Venmann kicks the rest of the glass away and kneels down next to Abby. He puts his hand on her shoulder.
Venmann: What did you do, Abby?
Abby: I made a deal.
Venmann: Deal?… Pelor doesn’t make deals.
Abby: If you kill Nameless for me, I’ll go to Paradise…. And then Baffin and I will be together forever, and ever.
Venmann: Killing Gnolls is not the key to Pelor’s Kingdom. What did you do?
Abby: Tell Baffin I’m coming for him, that he’s mine!
CRASH! THE HOUSE is starting to ROT and crumble around Abby. The GLASS THAT WAS IN HER KNEES IS STARTING TO DIG ITS WAY THROUGH HER BODY. Abby, is starting to crazy-giggle at the pain.
Venmann: Sorry honey, Baffin doesn’t do dead chicks. Not even Moog would bang you, not even if he was high.
Abby: You have to do this, you have to! I couldn’t just wait around forever and watch you betray your country! Your people! Why would Pelor do this to me! Wasn’t I good? Wasn’t I faithful?
Venmann: What… Did… You… Do… Abby?
ABBY’S EYES START TO BLEED…
Abby: They told me that if I convinced you to kill the fiends that Baffin would be mine forever… That I would see paradise. That I wouldn’t have to watch you become a mockery of a man! You traffic with baby-eating monsters, and whores who worship a death goddess!
Venmann: Don’t forget a Dwarf nailing madman, a status obsessed Eladrin, and a mass murdering Bard who eats 17 times a day. And a demonic child… and at this point an angry imp, don’t forget him…
Abby: You betrayed your oath!
Venmann: My oath was to the Emperor, not to a crazy witch. When I became an officer, I took an oath to serve the Emperor and the Empire. The Emperor has been murdered by Leska and the Empire has been enslaved to her mad will. I am filling my oath to the letter, darling. Those who side with the Witch Queen are slaves to a false god, and will suffer for it.
Abby: Don’t say that!
ABBY STARTS TO ROT AWAY, as if her sins were eating her body away…
Venmann: There is only Pelor and he is our shield and protector. We, the loyal and faithful, are his eyes, his heart, the soul of his heavenly kingdom. We carry Pelor’s will as his torch, with it destroy the shadows…. And that bitch is one serious shadow.
Abby: She is not the enemy!
Venmann: I think it’s time for me to go… for good. I’m sorry you couldn’t overcome your bigotry, but my pack needs me. (pause) We’ve got inquisitors to kill. You were the best, but it’s best I leave you behind.
Venmann gets up, he walks to the door… THE HOUSE IS STARTING TO BURN… VENMANN PUTS HIS HAND DIRECTLY INTO THE FLAME. HE IS NOT BURNED AT ALL.
Abby is now ON FIRE.
Abby: All heretics must die!
Venmann: Suffer Not the Witch to Live, my dear… Suffer not the witch to live.
BOOM!! THE HOUSE EXPLODES IN A SEA OF FIRE…
Venmann wakes up…
You Can’t Make Everybody Happy.
EXT – DOCKS – NIGHT
BATTLE! The party has cornered the killer, a sea witch who is inhabiting the body of the son of the Matriarch.
The sea witch BLASTS the party with a wave of water, magically infused to cause far more injury then a simple wave.
WHAM! The blast HITS the party! Sending the team scattering onto the docks and into the water. Baffin adds a diet of moldy wood to his usual diet of meat pies as the heavy armor gouges out a Baffin sized divot into the dock’s wood.
Ophelia, lighter then Baffin, is launched into the filthy swamp water. She curses in many languages at the filth-encrusted water, as she comes to the realization that even March Elves need to deposit their sewage somewhere…
Snow pancakes against the deck, popping her back out of place and then back in… creating just enough pain to kill the edge of her buzz.
Venmann is launched like a robed rocket into the water, he skips across the surface like a poorly shaped stone and goes under the water. Internal bleeding, check. Still alive, check. Good to go.
Venmann, silently thanking the Pelor Priests who forced him to learn how to swim… by throwing him into the water and screaming at him. Swims over to the wooden platform used to dock boats and climbs on top of the platform.
The Sea Witch turned her back on Venmann and moves towards the rest of the party…
KABOOM!! LIGHTNING ERUPTS FROM VENMANN’S STAFF. BLASTING THE SEA WITCH!! THUNDER BUFFETS THE SEA WITCH, KNOCKING HER AROUND… The Sea Witch is now bleeding water, dark water. She turns back to Venmann…
The Sea Witch launches herself at the Wizard and fills his lungs with magical water. Venmann vomits bile, blood, and water upon himself and passes out on the deck… dying as the battle rages. The faint sounds of Moog running down the dock fill his ears as Venmann’s floats out of this world…
EXT – GREEN FIELD – BRIGHT DAY
Venmann is lying on a soft green field, looking up at a mighty yellow sun. He slowly gets up… Slowly… He’s still wet, he’s still in pain. Venmann leans on his staff, he looks up at the mighty yellow sun.
Venmann: I’m in for it now, aren’t I?
The sun remains silent.
Venmann: I’ve been talking to you for years, don’t you think it’s time to end the silent treatment? Am I asking for to much here?
The sun remains silent. Venmann spits up some bloody salt water.
Venmann: Why should anything be different now, right?
(Off Screen) Abby: Venmann?
Venmann turns around and sees ABBY, HIS DEAD WIFE, STANDING BEHIND HIM. WHAM! Venmann PASSES OUT and collapses on the soft green field.
EXT – VENMANN’S BEACH HOUSE – DAY
Venmann is lying on a reclining chair, looking over the soft waves of the ocean. His robe, equipment, and staff are all lying next to him.
Abby is sitting next to him, she’s wearing a yellowish Pelor robe with a symbol of the sun on it, like the clerics wear when their doing their duties.
Silence. Venmann looks over to his dead wife.
Venmann: Didn’t expect me to end up like this, did you?
Tears. Abby starts to cry. She runs her hands over Venmann deep scars, over his ribs and collar bone. She rests her head against Venmann bony chest.
Abby: I used to joke, to my mother,… that if I wasn’t for me you’d be a mess.
Venmann runs his hand through Abby’s hair.
Abby: You weren’t supposed to prove me right…
Abby pulls away from Venmann, she looks down at him.
Abby: I’m so disappointed in you.
Venmann: Fuck you, and the sun you rode in on.
ABBY REACTS LIKE SHE’S BEEN PUNCHED IN THE FACE.
Venmann: You think you can judge me? I had to keep living… Keep going when everything in the world turned to shit. Do you have any idea what actually happened out there, in the world?
Abby: You just cursed at me! You can’t talk to me like that! What happened to you!
Venmann: I think you know what happened to me, don’t you?
Silence… Abby looks towards the ocean.
Abby: I do… I’m trying to be fair… I didn’t think you would fall so far. I’m so disappointed in you, Venmann
Venmann: Disappointed in me? Screw you. Would you be happier if I were working for Leska? Killing people in Gate Pass?
Silence. Abby looks at the ground.
Venmann: You do NOT! You do not think I should be working for the other side! You used to believe in fighting the good fight, you convinced me to arrest members of the inquisition. Remember? … I’m the one who should be disappointed.
Abby: Fight the good fight? I died! I lost our child, you bastard! They brought you back and left me behind! Do think this has been easy for me! Sitting up here, alone, watching you turn into a cracked, half-dead skeleton who travels with monsters!
Abby storms off. Venmann spits up more blood.
INT – BEACH HOUSE – NIGHT
Venmann wakes up, staring at a fireplace, sitting in a chair. He’s one step away from death now, almost becoming translucent. In the fire the battle still rages. Moog is knocked into the water and starts to sink like a stone…
Abby walks into the room… the fire turns back into a normal fire. She sits down next to Venmann… She touches Venmann’s face
Abby: I’m sorry
Venmann: Me too… Hell of a reunion, huh?
Abby: Do you miss me?
Venmann: Honestly… It’s been a terrible time without you. My pack would laugh at me for saying this, but part of me doesn’t want to live without you… I gave up. I gave up on food, women, people, everything… When you died, I died. I’m just a ghost, honey. A stiff wind and Venmann blows away.
Venmann touches Abby’s hand.
Venmann: There are times I wish I was never brought back… That I died with you.
Abby: Don’t say that.
Venmann: It’s the truth. The only thing that keeps me from walking into a fire are the people I’ve run into. They mean a lot to me know… They’re all I have since you’ve left this world.
Abby: Your pack?
Abby: Your pack ?!?
Venmann: Oh shit… Here it comes.
Abby: You’re a man! Not some animal! You don’t have a pack. You should be with people, real people, not a motley crew of outcasts.
Venmann: Actually, technically, I’m in a pack. Sorry…. Besides the “real people” seem to siding with necromancers. Which, last time I checked, was a major problem for Pelor, right? Or has that changed too?
Abby: You made the wrong choice, Venmann.
Venmann: There was no choice to make. My pack is win, honey.
Abby GETS UP AND KICKS A CHAIR OVER. If steam could come from a woman’s eyes, it would be coming from hers.
Abby: YOU ARE NOT IN A PACK! YOU ARE NOT IN A PACK! YOU ARE NOT IN A PACK! (Abby throws a copy of the Pelor bible at Venmann)
Venmann: Now we’re getting somewhere! Pack. Pack. Pack. I’m in a pack
Abby starts throwing more books and other random items at Venmann. Venmann starts laughing while repeating the words “pack” over and over again.
EXT – VENMANN’S BEACH HOUSE – DAY
Venmann is sitting in the chair again, now he’s wearing his wet clothes, staring at Abby… Abby is fuming. Venmann is HAPPY.
Abby: I’m not talking to you.
Abby: Die in a fire!
Abby: Are you trying to hurt me?
Venmann: What’s wrong with my pack?
Abby: Wrong? You travel with an evil, man-eating Gnoll! He’s a shadow creature who eats babies, rapes animals, and laughs at Pelor’s grace! His people are a curse upon the civilized world.
Venmann: He only eats the bad ones, lots people laugh at Pelor… and he’s our Alpha. Without Nameless I would have walked into the fire a long time ago.
Abby: I’m not done! You’ve got a drunken, self-loathing, mass-murdering Raven Queen following Wolf-Thing!
Venmann: Shifter… They’re called shifters.
Abby: Whatever. Do you remember how much trouble those people used to cause us? Killing people in the streets, fighting all the time. They’re a bunch of thugs who worship a Death Goddess who use that as an excuse to kill people they don’t like and cause chaos! I’m glad that Leska is putting them in order.
Venmann: I’m glad to see that even the most devout Pelor followers have found room in their hearts for a war-mad, would-be goddess who summons the undead! Praise Pelor!
Abby: Moog is a madman who sleeps with Dwarves, Ophelia is worthless, vain, petty little elf… I think that about covers it.
Venmann: Baffin. No hate for him? I wasn’t expecting that since you gave it to everybody else.
Abby looks around, she’s a little flustered.
Abby: There’s nothing wrong with Baffin… he’s a little curious, but…
Venmann: Curious? (pause) You’ve got a crush on Baffin, don’t you?
Abby turns deep crimson… She’s caught.
Venmann: You do remember that you are the WORST liar ever, right? You couldn’t even keep a surprise party secret… Don’t even try.
Abby: Maybe I do. (Abby looks at the ground)
Venmann: Always had a thing for the tragic musicians…
Venmann: You’re letting me go, aren’t you?
Abby (Looking at ground): Kinda.
Venmann: Thank you.
A wave of relief pours off Venmann… Like the weight of a thousand TONS HAS BEEN LIFTED OFF HIS HEAD. It’s gone, the weight is gone…
Suddenly the fire ERUPTS BEHIND VENMANN. In the fire Snow pulls the BARELY ALIVE VENMANN out of the water.
Venmann disappears. Tears start to roll down Abby’s cheeks. She kneels down next to fire. She watches Venmann come back to life.
Abby: Fight the good fight, V-man… Fight it for us all…
Venmann is lying in comfortable bed, staring at the ceiling. Another city, another inn, another night alone. Human city, Elf city, whatever… All cities are the same when you’re alone in your room. Venmann looks over himself.
By Pelor, what had he become? Deep scars cross his body, driven in by arrows, blades and lances. Magic healing saves your life but sometimes it leaves “reminders” of the blows that fell you… At one time his body was clean as a whistle, smooth like a merchants skin but those days are long done.
The scars aren’t the only changes. His travels and his new diet have reduced Venmann to a smaller version of himself. No meat, no ale, no cakes, no nothing. Why? Why the fuck not? What was the point of joy, if it always comes to an end? He went from 150 pounds when he was an officer to… to…
Venmann casts a cantrip that Samantha taught him… 108 pounds. Thinner, motherfucker, Thinner. Your ribs are showing, how about that sexy collarbone? Who doesn’t give a fuck anymore? I don’t. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the craziest member of this party after all?
Moog. He traveled through time and nailed Dwarves. He wins. Can’t beat that with a bat.
Samantha was nuts about her weight, her looks… actually, she was pretty fucking crazy about everything. She went to all-girls Pelor Secondary school before the Academy and the taste of freedom made her absolutely berserk. Venmann shakes his head, he went to an all-boys Pelor Secondary school… What a couple. Two repressed, outcast kids who found love with each other.
It would have been a storybook romance, if Juliet didn’t try to kill Romeo to appease Orcus. She didn’t get him though. First cuts are the deepest, my friend. The first cut is always the deepest… She’s been at this for a while, now it’s just a matter of pride. Samantha hated to lose and she’s been losing to a burned-out wizard for 15 years… That’s gotta sting. Now she’s a member of the Inquisition and has offered a small fortune for his head. A head that his “packmates” keep staring at. Whatever. At least they haven’t sold him to the Empire yet.
Next to Venmann, lying on the table are chemicals. Venmann has been hard at work making potions… Liar. Your ass is making drugs. If you’re going to be a goddamn outlaw, you might as well at least live part of the life. Back in the salad days, when you were smooth skinned, beautiful, and had an amazing wife you would have never considered even doing ANYTHING like this. You were a real fucking Pelor paladin, weren’t you? Look where that got you? Your wife is dead, you were betrayed by the Town Guard you dedicated your life to and the country you were loyal to used your FACE AS A URINAL PUCK because a MASS MURDERING Necromancer decided to “switch sides” and put your name on a list.
Lose everything you once held dear? Check. Watch the most powerful church in the land, the one who could with ONE FUCKING STATEMENT put a dagger into the heart of Witch Queen’s “divine” aspirations, completely FAIL in its sacred duty? Check. Live on the run, hunted by your own countrymen? Check. Form a sacred bond with a band of broken, wayward travelers straight from the island of violent misfit toys? Check. Have a crazy-ass necromancer have a death wish for you and all your “pack” and have the resources to back up all of her 10,000 pounds of crazy? Check.
Fuck it. Where’s the pipe? Some fools need to get high.
There’s enough Horse, Junk, Dragon’s Breath, Monkey balls, Pltous Red, B.C. Bud, Crank, Jet, Halfling Ballpunch, Super-Beardy, Mega-Shrooms’, and Gnomercy on this table to knock out a Half-Orc gang. Ya’ll could have made tanglefoot bags and other useful things, but hard times call for hard drugs.
And one man was hard at work, making hard drugs, all hard… all night long.
Remember when you were normal? Remember? Never again. You’re broken beyond repair my friend. Deal. Maybe it’s better here… You say that as if you had a choice in the matter, you don’t. You hang out with a outcast Gnoll, a drunken Shifter, a neat-freak Eladrin, a bug-fuck crazy Goliath, and a goddamn musician… And they have been more loyal, more dedicated and the best friends you ever had… Ok, the jury is still out on the “dagger ear” though… once she gets teleported to Hell and accidentally “married off” to a dung-eating demon, she’ll be one of the “pack”.
Welcome to the family, sweetheart. Leave your sanity at the door. There’s no door? Even better. Fuck that door, it tells me lies. Here’s a chicken. It’s your chicken. There’s no chicken? Whatever. Not my fault that you wanted a chicken… crazy woman. Don’t blame me, Ms. Fancy-Pants, I didn’t marry a demon who devours dung like Baffin eats meat pies. You know what pies become, don’t you? Welcome to the pack darlin’, we’ve got eats, drinks and bears for everybody. Pink bears. Bears aren’t pink. Your bears are, dagger ear, your bears are…
Everything you were taught was wrong. Pelor doesn’t love you. The Town Guard weren’t your “brothers in arms”. Samatha isn’t going to “get better” and there are fates far worse then death. See that in the corner, it’s a huge pile of bullshit that you used to carry around on your back. It reaches the ceiling… Hell, it reaches the damn moon. Now you’re free. Free to see the world, free to say what you want, free to unleash the crazy.
Moog fucked a giant elf! Of all the people in the pack to “mate” it’s the craziest member. Was he King of the Mountain? Lord of the Underdark? It’s Nuttin’ Time! No Hat! Motherfuckers! Watersports! Did she taste the golden spray? Inquiring minds want to know how you tame that beast! Fire in the hole! It’s Moog and he’s firin’ live rounds, elfie!
Mmmm… Grilled cheese. Must have grilled cheese. Snow’s going to rip off Baffin’s clothes and show him the grown-up version of “Hunter v. Hunted, the No-Pants Version”. Are chickens gay? Can they be gay? Does it matter? A gay chicken would be totally awesome, I mean who could tell? Be careful what you ask for B-Man, she might go feral on you in the middle of the naked tango and make you life hang sideways, fool. Can you handle that? Are you cracked enough to hang in the dog pack? What if she said yes? What would you do? She’d wreck your shit!
If my dead wife could see me now…
I was thinking about her, thinking about me. Thinking about us, what we going be. I bet Namless nailed a Drow, no hat. Are you sure, he hates Drow… Why would he have sex with them? Cause love and hate are only separated by a thin strand, big poppa, that’s why! Who dat?
Open my eyes, yeah, it was only just a dream. So I travel back, down that road. Who she come back? We got the gold, the drugs and the case. You know what I smell? FREEDOM BABY! I SMELL THE FREEDOM! It tastes like burning.
No one knows… I realize, yeah, it was only just a dream… Made too many drugs… room swirling…
Venmann passes out…
Fate Worse than Death
EXT – Town Guard Jail – Night
Flames. Flames of the Town Guard Station burn in the distance. The officers who guard the jail are watching the flames, now indifferent to their assigned duties…. Actually, the “officer” on duty watches. The others went home for the night. It’s nighttime, what could happen in a jail?
The guard stands in front of the jail house door, completely ignoring his post, as he watches the fire rage around the Station.
Guard: Didn’t expect to see that…
SLEEP… The guard, already tired, suddenly PASSES OUT and falls asleep.
Venmann, fresh from casting a spell, walks over to the guard. He takes the jail keys from the guard’s belt.
Venmann: I thought they fired you…
INT – Jail Cells – Night
Balithzar and a contingent of Raven Queen followers are all sitting in a jail cell, watching the Town Guard Station burn through a window in the building.
Suddenly Venmann appears, still in his uniform, brandishing the key to the jail cell. All the followers turn towards Venmann… He takes a step back… What a BIZZARE motley crew of followers that this god seems to attract.
Different races, colors and beings all sat in the cell… Venmann knew most of them, Hell, he arrested most of them for their endless lawbreaking. Burning bodies, fighting, beating up people who don’t love the Raven Queen, stabbing people… You name it, they did it.
Well… What do you have to lose now?
Venmann: Do you know who Samantha Baker is? Anyone? Does anyone?
Balithzar looks at Venmann oddly…
Balithzar: She’s a whore of Orcus. She turned to serve him at the Academy, where most of his followers get their training. Why?
Venmann: If I let you go, and show you where she is… will you kill her?
Now all the followers are paying attention… which might not be a good thing… They all start yelling at Venmann.
Tiefling Follower: I’ll cut out her eyes, for the Raven Queen!
Dwarf Follower: The Raven Queen will eat her bones!
Balithzar: Hold! (pause) (Balithzar turns to Venmann)You’re the one who threw me in here… why should I trust you?
Venmann: Things have changed… trust me. (Venmann points to the fire at the station house, BLAZING outside the window)
Balithzar: Did you do that?
Venmann: It’s been a bad week.
Balithzar: Hot damn…
EXT – Graveyard – Night
Venmann is walking, ALONE, through the graveyard. He stops at a grave. It’s ABBY’S GRAVE. Venmann sits down next to it.
Mists start to swirl around Venmann. Shadowy shapes stir around Venmann, wraiths, ghouls, ghosts, and other fiends shimmer through the mists.
Out of the mists, steps Samantha. She’s not covered with blood this time. She’s covered in shimmering black leather, with gold trim. She stops when she sees Venmann, and does a slow spin, LIKE A MODEL… and walks right up to Venmann.
Samantha: Admit it, Ven. I’m damn hot for 31, right?
Venmann: You’re undead.
Samantha: Asshole! Would it kill you to be nice for once!
Venmann: You want to murder me and make my wife your undead slave, I don’t have to nice to you.
Samantha: This is all your fault. I’m not to blame for any of this, you betrayed me. Remember that?
Venmann stands up… He looks Samantha up and down and just shakes his head.
Venmann: Your ability to rewrite the past is still top of the class… Too bad it’s all bullshit and you know it. You’ll never be anything but a monster.
Samantha’s eyes flash red… Blood starts to drip from her fingers… The mist subsides and REVEALS A SMALL HOST OF GHOULS, WRAITHS, AND ZOMBIES AROUND SAMANTHA.
Samantha: Now you die!
WHACK! A MAGIC CROSSBOW BOLT SLAMS INTO SAMANTHA’S BACK, RIPPING THROUGH HER CHEST. THE BLOW KNOCKS HER TO THE GROUND.
SUDDENLY A YELL ERUPTS FROM BEHIND THE UNDEAD…
“Back to the abyss, foul undead! In the name of the Raven Queen!
SUDDENLY THE RAVEN QUEEN FOLLOWERS ERUPT FROM HIDING AND RIP INTO THE UNDEAD! FIRE! SMITING! OATHS! SCREAMING!
Samantha turns over, spitting black blood. BALITHZAR STEPS OVER HER AND RAMS HIS SWORD INTO HER CHEST… pinning Samantha to the ground. The sword BURSTS INTO FLAME AS BALITHZAR TWISTS THE BLADE INTO SAMANTHA.
Blood pours out of Samantha’s mouth… Venman kneels next to her, Samantha begins to cry as Venmann pulls out a dagger.
Venmann: My wife is going back to the Sun, where all life began… and when I die, I will join her in paradise.
VENMANN RAMS THE BLADE INTO SAMANTHA’S TEMPLE AND TWISTS THE BLADE. SAMANTHA DIES… AGAIN..
Suddenly Samantha’s body goes to ashes and all the undead dissolve, once the controlling mind is gone.
Balithzar turns to Venmann.
Balithzar: You know that whole “returning to the sun” is just a bunch of crap. We can take care of your wife for you, make sure she doesn’t come back moaning.
Venmann just stares at Abby’s grave.
Balithzar: She’s not dead. That was just a body… She’ll be out for a while, but she’ll be back for you… and her.
Venmann: Abby was pregnant.
The other Raven Queen followers now surround Venmann, they are mustering as much pity as a host of the Raven Queen can muster.
Balithzar: Pelor isn’t going to do shit. He’s an idol that humans give money to and a fucking social club. (the other followers nod in agreement).
Venmann: I’ll let the sun judge me for my insolence then… Do what you can. Send what’s left of my family to the Queen. May she do a better job of protecting them then I ever could…
Venmann gets off the grave… he walks away… alone.
Life in the WTF Lane
Venmann watches the ghostly remains of one of the “minders” who patrol the dangerous road that his “pack” is traveling on, disappear into the winds. Venmann was impressed, his “pack” was getting better and better at killing people. Which, considering that his ex-girlfriend/necromancer turned Inquisition turncoat wanted him and everybody else dead, was a good thing.
First, it was the riddles, which Venmann was always bad at… except for this time. There was a question about marriage, which is a concept that Venmann has experience with. At one time, he was a sappy bastard, that was for sure. All he wanted was job where he could fight the “good fight”, a small house on the coast, his lady and a whole mess of kids.
Shit in one hand, wish in the other… see which one fills up first, chief.
This motley crew of tribals, outcasts, freaks, heart-eaters, power-drinkers and a goddamn musician are wandering their way to “The Lyceum”, or as they called back in Venmann’s Academy days “The Douche-ceum” the place where all the jerkoffs, assholes, and anti-social pinheads went went to study magic. Of course, this is what the Academy kids told themselves, as they studied away. In truth, there was some jealously involved in that opinion. The Academy was tied to the kingdom and the power structure there, which colored what the professors could teach and what could be learned. The Lyceum was independent, and did not have to “toe the line” politically.
This actually was a big deal. There was a lot about magic which scared the piss out of people. Hell there was a lot about magic which scared Venmann, and he was a wizard. Most academies have to walk a tightrope when it comes the kinds of scholarship and research they are allowed to engage in. Keep the kids in robes, behind closed doors, and tell them what to read. Venmann remembered that there were whole hosts of subjects that they weren’t “allowed” to touch, that couldn’t be discussed in class. This was done to “discourage” student from learning the “wrong” kind of magic.
So… How did that little plan work out for ya’ll? Half the kids spent half their time trying to get forbidden knowledge, just because they were “discouraged” from doing so. In their endless brilliance the Academy made that kind of magic even more alluring then it would have been, had they just said “Necromancy will turn you into a blood-drinking, insane, perverted slave, do the research if you don’t believe me.” and let the kids actually FIND the answer… they wouldn’t have had half the problems.
Throwing teenagers into lockdown because they found an old scroll written in Drow, is not the way to go… Venmann just shook his head… Imagine what their instruction is like now…
That… and at the Academy the students were “discouraged” from having sexual relations with each other, and homosexuality was punished by instant expulsion. Of course, that didn’t stop people from getting naked, as Venmann knew from his (completely disastrous) first hand experience… The Lyceum had no such rules about that. Men, women, teachers, orcs, spirits, ghosts, ettins, gnomes, halflings, dwarves, devas, goblins, stuffed animals, real animals, spirit animals, dream creatures, nightmare creatures, skeletons, stone golems, baby dragons, vibrating magic brooms… you could shag em’ ALL. No Hat/Lights On… and it would be cool. Nut-astic was they way they rolled.
Ok… Maybe you can’t nail ettins. That would be weird. But everything else might be fair game.
Venmann looked over his group and in his head appeared an “intelligence brief” that covered his group. He couldn’t help it, he spent too many years writing these damn things…
INTELLIGENCE REPORT – TOWN GUARD
OFFICER: CAPTAIN VENMANN STIENER
DIVISION: CENTRAL DIVISION
UNIT: SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT, S#4
SUPPORTING OFFICER: LIEUTENANT ABIGAIL GARRAK (sigh… I miss my wife… You want a tissue? How about some cheese with the wine? That level of suffering is just prologue with this gang. Why don’t you just announce to the world that you haven’t touched a woman since your wife died over three years ago? Maybe Nameless will rip out a dude’s heart in her honor… )
SUSPECTS: The suspects are a traveling party going to the Lyceum to drop off a magic case with the “Empire war plans” inside. Of course, since they can’t open the damn thing and considering the competence level of the Gate Pass “resistance” movement, it’s mostly likely a recipe for making a lemon upside-down cake. The kind with powdered sugar… mmmm… powdered sugar…
Who are you? Baffin? Snap out of it man! You have a report to write!
Abby made the best upside-down cake… mmmmm. (sigh) Back to work.
SUSPECT #1: BAFFIN
Baffin is a half-elf musician who travels with rest of the party/pack. He is known to eat nearly his own body weight on a daily basis and keeps trying to steal from the Wolf Shifter Raven Queen Avenger… No, that’s not a mistake, he keeps trying to steal from an Wolf Shifter/Avenger who follows the Raven Queen and KEEPS GETTING FRIGGIN’ CAUGHT. STOP STEALING FROM HER YOU MORON! SHE’S GOING TO CUT OFF BOTH OF YOUR HANDS AND SHOVE THEM UP YOUR ASS, YOU INSANE HALF-BREED!! Did I mention that she’s a power-drinker, and she’s great at killing people FOR THE RAVEN QUEEN!
MAY THE RAVEN QUEEN EAT YOUR HANDS!!! Remember those words… You will hear them soon.
Thankfully for the group Baffin is a highly skilled healer and and excellent diplomat, when Captain Venmann’s “charm” fails to seal the deal. Baffin is most likely trying to find ways to make some extra money from this entire affair… this will end in tears, sadness, and quite possibly he will end up the “wife” of a Balron. That’s right, a Balron. That’s what you get for being greedy, buddy. Taste the lava, sweetheart… It tastes like burning.
SUSPECT #2: MOOG
Moog was once a fun-loving, high spirited adventurer who lived to climb mountians and meet great challenges. After he was tortured, burned, violated, and mentally raped by Krystin (See Entry: Krystin, Child of Orcus, Demon-Spawn, She-Devil in Training/Ocean of Sadness in small package) several different times… he changed. Moog is now a sullen, broken, drunken (See Entry: Snow) man who only wants to be returned to his wife and family. That, of course, would require Krystin to show a small amount of compassion for the Big Man… but Father Orcus (I mean that in a literal sense) would be sad if she developed that emotion… so she just toys with Moog, to please her demonic father… Her existance a further reminder of what he’s lost.
I hope Moog recovers from this… It seems unlikely he will the same again. Being mind raped by a demonic child in no away for a Goliath to go out. They should die smiting large monsters or climbing mountians naked…
At least he got to shag some Dwarves and HAD KIDS… I’m not sure what the children of a Dwarf and a Goliath would look like, but at least somebody’s getting laid around here.
SUSPECT #3: SNOW
Snow is an Avenger for the Raven Queen, a killing machine, and has apparently 15 bladders and seven different livers. You’ve heard of a “bag of holding”? Whatever. Snow’s got a “bladder of holding” that enables her to drink 55 gallons of ale at one sitting and NOT EXPLODE. Futhermore, her livers are all given to her by the Raven Queen for her endless devotion (aka… killing people… and soon Baffin’s hands) and they prevent Snow from dropping dead or entering a coma.
I’m not saying this isn’t justified. She is holding the case, that case, the one with the reciepe for the upside-down cake in. Did I mention that there’s an Imp following us around that wants to touch the case? All the time? Did I mention that he’s always talking to Snow? You have an imp following you around trying to “touch your case” and see how your sanity holds up. Would you like some Leaf-Bottom Brown to go with that gallon of ale?
Also… just from personal experience, people don’t just “fall into” becoming AVENGERS FOR A DEATH GODDESS BY ACCIDENT. For the sake of Baffin’s body parts, I hope we don’t find out.
I just hope we don’t run out of ale… Please Pelor, let there always be ale…
SUSPECT #4: NAMELESS
Before I started adventuring with the “cursed ones” I worked with Namless on a couple different jobs. He’s a Gnoll. No, I’m not fucking with you. The statement “He’s a Gnoll” is not code for “He likes hairy women” or “He doesn’t wear pants, like a hairy playa’”, no, no, no… he’s actually a Gnoll. Actually, he’s a a Gnoll Assassin who travels with the party, using shadow energy to smite people, ripping out hearts, howling at the sun/moon/cows/chicken/demon child… and he is THE MOST SANE PERSON IN THE ENTIRE PACK.
Now, considering who we have in this bunch the honorific title of “most sane” is like being the tallest Halfing child in the room. He’s not drunk 24/7/356, he doesn’t ineptly steal from a Raven Queen Avenger, he’s not traveling through time knocking up Dwarves (who know Moog was into beards???), He’s not being chased around all creation by HIS INSANE EX-GIRLFRIEND who wants to SACRIFICE HIM TO ORCUS. Who’s the Alpha? Here’s your prize, furry one… Don’t drink it, it tastes like tears.
Lastly, I know he’s been wanting to do this for a while… but you can’t smoke the child… I’ll explain why in a bit, and why you (secretly) are thanking me (and Baffin) for not sending this child back to her father.
SUSPECT #5 OPHELIA
On a side note, Ophelia is not on “insane in the membrane” chart yet. She’s too new… Just wait, my pretty. We’ll get you, and your little dog too.
Don’t have a dog? Minor detail.
SUSPECT #6 DEMON CHILD, DAUGHTER OF ORCUS, APPRENTICE EATER OF SOULS, SHE WHO DANCES ON MOOG’S SOUL, GODLIKE POWERS + NO CONTROL = TEARS OF A 1000 CLOWNS
The Third Year Instruction book should encompass an entire year of instruction to a “normal” student at the Academy or the Lyceum. Krystin learned it in one day. One day. One day. SHE MASTERED THE ENTIRE YEAR OF MATERIAL IN ONE DAMN DAY!!!!!!
Aren’t I the smart one! Look at me, I’ll give the child a book to help her control her powers and now she’s a demonic, soul-punching child WITH MORE MAGIC POWERS!! Doing the right thing is sometimes not worth it… unless the child would fall in Leska’s hands. Bad touching.
As for why Nameless shouldn’t kill her… #1: He can’t, she’s a child of an angry God and he’s just a Gnoll. The moment he stuck her with his claw, she would become a demon and smite Nameless into free-floating vapor… and then cry “that bad, hairy man, touched me!!!” in a little girl’s voice, WHILE IN THE BODY OF A MASSIVE DEMON.
Or worse, she would think his “death-strike” was “cute” and then she would take over his mind and make him her “pet”. Like being dyed pink? How about candy flavored talons? Carry that purse, furball, you earned it. Look at the bright side, you can be the “best man” at Baffin’s Balon wedding.
I’m just trying you prevent you from having to “taste the golden spray” my mass-murdering, hairy friend. Just some help from your friendly neighborhood Wizard…
Wrong is Relative…
INT – Hospital – Night
Venmann is sitting in his hospital bed, looking through his file. He looks a little worse for wear, but light years ahead of where he was. His staff is propped up next to him with a light shining from it. He reads his thick file.
Pages and pages of notes, detailed whereabouts, in depth analysis of HIM. Venmann is reading a letter…
“On the night after the mandatory Officer’s meeting at the station. After the meeting, Captain Steiner met with Lieutenant Garrak at the back alley of Tavos Bakery. There they passionately kissed. They went to LG’s loft and spent the night together. Observations indicate they engaged in non-approved behavior, repeatedly.”
Venmann puts the letter away. He picks up another one.
“Captain Steiner was on vacation at the shore, there LG visited him and stayed at his small cottage. In her statement she stated was going to visit relatives, unless her relatives were all staying in CP’s house, this was not true. Upon observation, they carried on like a loving couple normally would… away from the eyes of the city…”
Samantha: So? What’s it’s like to fuck a Half Orc?
Uh Oh… Venmann knows THAT VOICE all too well. Venmann DROPS the letter and picks up his staff. The light shines through the room.
Samantha is standing NAKED in front of Venmann, COVERED IN BLOOD. She has RAZOR SHARP CLAWS AND FANGS. Samantha, looks over herself, seemingly amused at the scene she is making… Small pools of blood start to form around her.
Samantha: Don’t worry, honey. It’s not my blood. It’s a gift from Orcus and others.
Venmann: How did you find me? How did you get in here?
Samantha: That’s right, just totally ignore my question… Why should anything be different now? Asshole.
Venmann: You tried to kill me! More then once! That completely kicks you out of the girlfriend camp!
Samantha flicks some of the blood onto Venmann’s bed. The blood BURNS the sheets. Venmann backs away from the ACIDIC BLOOD.
Samantha: Do know what’s it’s like to watch the love of your life fuck a Half-Orc? Do you have any idea what I’m going through right now? I paid good money to have you followed around and this is what I get? I was hoping you’d be crying at home, but no… you’re going down on the “Tusk Queen”, you sick bastard!
Venmann holds up the file.
Venmann: You mean this is your doing?
Samantha stops… She cocks her head and looks at the file. She groans.
Samantha: That stupid fat fuck…
Venmann: He’s running a shadow organization out of the Town Guard, one that spies on people and sells the information. Influence, blackmail, rumor-mongering. I have to hand it to the old man, he’s not nearly as lazy as I thought he was.
Venman gets up slowly, leaning on the staff.
Venmann: He wants me to join his little crusade… I don’t think he expected one of his shadow clients to be stupid enough to bust in and torment the object of her observations just to get her rocks off.
Samantha: Or maybe I’m just tired of screwing around with you… You hurt me. You owe me, asshole.
Venmann: I don’t owe you a damn thing. You’re a monster who sold her soul to Orcus. Deal with that, bigot.
WHAM! The bed splinters into a million little pieces. Venmann is SLAMMED TO THE FLOOR. His staff scatters across the room and SHATTERS. The room goes dark. Dark except for SAMANTHA’S GLOWING RED EYES.
Samantha: I’m going to raise that bitch of yours and make her my undead slave! I’ll be there in two nights. Try to stop me, I dare you!
INT – Chief’s Office – Late Night
Chief is sitting at a table, alone, looking over files.
SFX: Knock. Somebody knocks on the door. The Chief looks up and sees Venmann standing at the door, holding a file.
Venmann: If the boys saw you working late, they would think it was a doppelganger pretending to be you… and kill you on sight.
Chief: Sometimes it pays to appear stupid and lazy, you can get a lot done that way. Why don’t you come in?
Venmann enters the office and puts the file onto the desk. Walking slowly, like and injured man. The Chief takes the file and looks it over, he counts the letters and paperwork and puts it away.
Chief: So… What did you think?
Chief: Why what?
Venmann: What have you turned the Guard into?
The Chief sits back, he looks at Venmann.
Chief: I was like you once… I wasn’t sticking it to Half-Orcs though… but I was a younger officer. Trying to do my best and make the Force the best it could be.
Venmann: What happened?
Chief: I woke up one morning and realized that it was all bullshit. We don’t serve the people, we keep order among the rabble so the real powers in this city can play their games without having to actually deal with the everybody garbage. (Pause. Chief lights up a cigar) You can either be servant, or get in the game. I decided it was time to get into the game.
Venmann: Following me around was part of the game?
Chief: We collect information, stories, secrets, you name it. We sell that to our clients. That’s our game. That file is insurance… What we usually do is wait for an ambitious young officer like yourself to get a good career, start a family, get into the system… and then we show them what we’re really about.
Venmann: What if I decide to work with you?
Chief: Well… I’ll take that file to the backroom and hide it… If not, I’ll fire your ass for sticking it to Abby (pause) and if I’m in a bad mood, Kate as well.
Venmann: What? Kate was one of Abby’s friends! What are you talking about!
Chief: Oh yeah… I took the liberty of eliminating that part of the record. Kate was one of the officers who I assigned to follow you… I guess she thought you were using her friend, because of her race, status, you know how it works… (The Chief takes a huge puff of the cigar).
Chief: Anyway, I guess she was impressed with how you treated her friend and she fell for you… That whole “secretly married” thing really turned her on I guess. Women. All Crazy. (pause) She tried to get off the assignment, but that wasn’t going to fly, the blood oath made sure of that.
Venmann nearly falls out of his chair… He backs away from the Chief. The Chief, clearly unimpressed, continues, while smoking away.
Chief: Anyway, the only way she thought she could get out of this was to screw up enough to have me remove her. Since she couldn’t betray me directly, she decided to have some mages cook up some… some… some of the magic crap that makes you look like somebody else.
Venmann: You don’t have to keep going…
Chief: This isn’t done for your benefit, asshole… I love this story. Anyway. She started pretending to be Abby. She then would shag the hell out of you and wrote long, detailed, passionate reports about it. (pause) You knocked the boots with another of my officers, lucky bastard… (pause) She thought I would get mad because she broke the rules…
Venmann: What did you do?
Chief: I ordered her to do it more! Maybe I’m getting dirty in my old age, but I got a thrill out reading them. I’ll admit, the thought of you shagging both of them amused the shit out of me. Abby was pretty fine piece of ass, for a Half-Orc.
Venmann: Did you include those documents in the file that you sold to Samantha, the Necromancer?
Silence. The Chief DROPS HIS CIGAR… It hits the floor and scatters ashes everywhere.
The Chief is LAUNCHED FROM HIS DESK AND CRASHES INTO THE SHELVES BEHIND HIM! THE CHIEF’S BONES CRACK AND HE SLUMPS TO THE GROUND.
Vennman walks over to the Chief, he DRAWS A DAGGER and RAMS IT INTO THE CHIEF’S NECK. THE CHIEF’S BLOOD SPLATTERS ALL OVER THE WALL.
Venmann is COVERED IN BLOOD AS HE RENDS THE LIFE OUT OF THE CHIEF. His work done, Venmann stands up and watches has the Chief dies SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY IN FRONT OF HIM.
Venmann: I’m officially tendering my resignation from the Town Guard. I asked the hospital to send a letter to your office… it should be here in a couple days.
The Chief IS GOING THROUGH DEATH SPASMS.
Venmann: The funny thing about working in the shadows… is that nobody knows what going on… and then when one of your officers decides to off your sorry ass, there’s nobody around to stop them or even knows about it.
THE CHIEF DIES.
Venmann grabs the key to the jails AND TO THE BACK OFFICE WHERE THE FILES ARE KEPT from the Chief’s desk. Venmann walks to the door.
BURNING HANDS VENMANN SHOOTS FIRE INTO THE ROOM, CATCHING ALL THE PAPERS AND THE ROOM ON FIRE.
Venmann reaches into his pockets and pulls out many, many containers of FLAMMABLE PITCH and CHEMICAL FIRE.
Venmann: I’ve got a necromancer to catch, Chief.
VENMANN TOSSES THE CONTAINERS INTO THE ROOM. VENMANN RUNS OUT OF THE BUILDING, ducking into an allyway, unseen.
SFX: BOOM!! THE ENTIRE OFFICE EXPLODES!! BURING EVERYTHING IN A MASSIVE INFERNO!!
Venmann runs off, towards the jail.
Venmann: Let’s see if you Raven Queen nutcases are more the just talk…
What you take with you…
Venmann lies on his back… looking up at the burning trees. He can’t sleep, again. His mind runs through his situation. He’s stuck in a burning forest with a (1) crazy, disease-ridden, old man, (2) an annoying little girl with uncontrollable God-like powers, (3) and his party… Ok, considering the temperament and the background of the people involved, this is more like a “pack”. And right now, his pack was in a very bad place.
Even worse, because the small child is the daughter of a vengeful, ill-tempered deity who lives to torment mortals. As a habit of his former profession, Venmann listed all of the “points of evidence” that would point to this belief.
Exhibit A: Girl has formal magic skills without training, mentoring, or even a damn spell book in the house. She possess skills, just with formal magic, that would equal a person over 10 years her senior… As if those were her only powers.
Exhibit A1: Her “father” has no ability to teach formal magic and claims to be a Sorcerer, and claims to “mind control” the girl. He has shown no actual magic ability and exists to only annoy our “pack” and drive Moog (even more) insane.
Exhibit A2: Girl has no knowledge of the level of her powers and seems generally surprised that she can melt face. Not as surprised as Kron was, when she popped his dome like a firecracker. Crazy bastard.
Exhibit A3: Her “Uncle” was the one with the powers who “taught” her magic. Not just formal magic, but theoretical “Earth Magic” which has no actual living practitioners. None that would admit to practicing it, anyway. Earth Magic is a form of magic that allows the caster to use the earth as a conduit for power… also you can animate trees and make MASSIVE GOLEMS AND WAR TREES WITH IT. Did I mention the “War Trees”? We laughed and laughed in class when the teacher said “war trees”… Who’s laughing now! Now the world dies. Fucking War Trees.
Exhibit A4: Both the man who claims to be the “father” (who is worthless and should be set on fire) and the girl (who is the bastard child of Orcus) refuse to talk about the “training” she received. Most likely because it involves eating human hearts and burning down churches of Pelor for “fun”… and eating lava.
Exhibit B: Child possesses near godlike powers over the time stream, uncontrollable God-Like powers over the time stream. Did I mention she can’t control her God-Like powers? Maybe I should bring up that she cannot control her God-Like powers over the time stream and uses them on people who are trying to save her. Have I emphasized her control over space and time?
Exhibit C: Child claims that her father “found” her, presumably after some bizarre and hateful deity spawned her into the world a cruel practical joke on humanity for inventing the crossbow… or something like that.
Exhibit D: Moog. Moog has been teleported into the “future” twice… and both times the future was completely different! And both futures are apparently real! It seems that in “Future 2, the Revenge of the Future, the Sequel” that Moog had a Dwarf wife and spawned many half-goliath/half-dwarf children and lived in a Dwarven city in the future… WHAT! He did what! No wonder he’s totally insane now. Hell, I’m going insane just thinking about it.
Venmann stops going over the events in his head. He’s never seen it this bad, this must be one of the worst times in his life…
No. This isn’t shit… a voice says…You’ve seen worse… It’s been worse…
Plotus – Venmann’s Office – Day
My God… Was this only a couple years ago? What a terrible turn life has made. Venmann, short hair, no scraggly beard, sits behind a desk. He’s wearing a uniform of the Plotus Town Guard, a Capitan of the Town Guard to be exact. Behind Venmann are framed diplomas from the Magic Academy and the Officer’s Specialist Training program that all magically aligned individuals have to attend to enter into government service.
Can this be real? Capitan of Supernatural Affairs? Venmann? This broken man?
Before him sits a wild eyed man, chained to a chair with magical restrains. His face is covered in a tattoo of the Raven Queen. He’s shirtless, his upper body is covered with tattoos as well, he has black pants and thick, blackened leather boots on.
The chained man is Balithzar, and he’s been here before.
Venmann: Alright… We have a problem. You keep getting arrested and frankly you don’t seem to learn from the experience.
Balithzar: It is my sacred duty to destroy the undead and all those who ally with them.
Venmann pulls open a file, a file as think as a man’s arm. He DROPS it on the table and looks right at Balithzar.
Venmann: I could go through this file again… you know what’s in here. Fighting in the streets, burning abandoned bodies… and recently (Venmann looks through the file) you and some of your friends destroyed a crypt and caused thousands of gold of damage and, as rumors stated, killed several people?
Balithzar: Killing undead is my sacred duty.
Venmann: That’s the problem… They weren’t undead. (pause) I don’t care what you Goddess tells you is right, you don’t get special privileges to kill people whenever you think they’re siding with the undead.. You know this.
Balithzar: We are at war with the minions of Orcus! He works in the city as we speak, fool! You must let me go, now!
Balithzar starts to “act up” and the restrains jolt him and drop him back into his seat.
Venmann gets up, he puts his hand on Balithzar’s shoulder.
Venmann: Like the restraints? They’re new. We had them installed recently… We got tired of having to wrestle you idiots to the ground. (pause). This might seem as a shock to you, but I’m on your side. (pause). I’m going to put you and your friends in a holding cell for a while… We’ve…
WHAM! Venmann office door SLAMS OPEN.
A half-orc woman dressed in a Town Guard uniform bursts into the room. She whips her helmet off.
Abby: Capitan! There’s another one!
Venmann: Found behind courtyard eight, with hands and heart gone?
Venmann grabs his “traveling backpack” and slaps it on. He looks at Balithzar.
Venmann: You’re not the only one with a mission.
Courtyard – Day
Venmann and Abby are standing next to the body lying in the grass. A teenage girl, naked, with her heart cut out and her hands cut off.
Officers mill about behind them, wasting time.
Venmann turns the body over… RUNES are carved into the teenager’s back. Abby pulls out a notepad and starts to take down the runes.
Venmann: Dwarven… And it starts with the statement “I am not a Dwarf.” and then goes on a tirade about how much Dwarves suck… the runes go into the rest of the story about how this is “part of the glory”. What do you think?
Abby: Well, Aside from having a serious Dwarf and woman issues, it looks like we’ve got another case on our hands.
Venmann pushes the body down.
Venmann: The officers at the scene get any witness interviews, anything?
Abby: What do you think? I had to relieve two officers for being drunk on duty, when I was here before you. Again. (Abby hands Venmann a piece of paper). And no, there are no witnesses, no interviews, and I had to chase off ravens and rats from eating the body before you got here.
Venmann: Well… We’ve got something from these runes., don’t we?
Abby: I’ll cobble something together and we’ll see if we can end this. Can I have your notebook? (Venmann hands Abby his notebook)
Venmann gets up, he looks around to see if the other officers are paying attention. They’re not. They’re sleeping.
Venmann: Want to go over this after hours?
Abby: Yeah. I’d like that. (Abby sees the sleeping officers). Bums…
Venmann: Is your warrior spirit feeling the need the regulate? (pause) I’ll leave these men to your tender mercies.
Abby: I love to hate my job.
Bedroom – Night
Venmann and Abby lie naked in bed together. Abby looks over to Venmann.
Abby: Do you have any idea how much trouble you could be in right now?
Venmann: We could be in trouble… I’d get demoted, maybe, if the chief was in a bad mood. You’d get fired, my dear.
Abby HITS Venmann in the arm. Abby gets up and walks over to the counter, she picks up Venmann’s notebook and starts to look through it.
Abby: I think I know where he’s going to strike next.
Venmann: I know.. I have this funny feeling they want to get caught though.
Venmann: I don’t know… They’ve left clues everywhere they didn’t need to. It’s like they want to have a throw down.
Abby: The Town Guard?
Venmann: I think they were hoping that some of the heavier hitters were on their tails… We did translate no less than 15 insults directed towards the Raven Queen…
Abby: What are we, Kobold dung? Don’t become like the Chief and get old, bitter, fat and sit in your office all day letting screw-ups an idiots fill the ranks. This means something! We can do this the right way.
Venmann: You think the town guard is up to this? These guys seem pretty mean.
Abby: Don’t you give up on me! We have a duty to protect people… Besides, we’ve got you there… I have faith in you, V-man.
Venmann gets up and goes over to Abby, he runs his hand through her hair. Abby drops the notebook on the floor.
Venmann: I love you…
Abby: I love you too… (Abby grabs the back of Venmann head) There’s something I really need to tell you…
Abby: Later then…
Cellar – Plotus – Night
Four figures trundle into the cellar, silent as death, and slowly drop another corpse onto the floor of the cellar. Human female, without hands, a heart or clothes… A murmur ends the concealment spell
LIGHTS. Suddenly a whole host of lanterns LIGHT UP the room.
The four figures are surrounded by Town Guardsmen, including Abby and Venmann. One of the four figures is KRON, a massive Dwarf with the word “Halfling” tattooed on his chest. The man standing next to him is ARTHUR a ragged, long haired man in his mid-late forties.
Venmann: Freeze! You’re all under arrest!
Silence… The four men are all armed and very, very dangerous.
Kron: Is this a fucking joke! You’re the town guard! Go rip off some drunk Orcs! Where’s Balithzar, you assholes!
Venmann: Get on the ground now!
Arthur: Let me tell you what going to happen. We’re going to kill or cripple everybody here, for the sheer enjoyment of it, and then we’re going to allow ourselves to be arrested for these crimes… and then tomorrow morning, we’re going to walk out of your jail… and there’s nothing you can do about it.
RUNS. One of the Town Guard suddenly drops his weapon and runs SCREAMING out of the basement. One of the other Town Guard drops his weapon and HIDES IN THE CORNER, hoping nobody will see him.
Arthur: I know you mean well (Arthur pulls out a short sword) but now you die.
Arthur’s sword suddenly becomes the substance of shadow…Suddenly a shadow shroud appears around Abby…
Suddenly Arthur teleports behind Abby and Gravespikes her to the floor.
Hospital – Recovery Ward – Day
Venmann wakes up with a start…. He vomits blood on the floor. He rolls back on the bed, holding head.
Chief: Easy kid, coming back from the dead is a bitch.
Venmann rubs his eyes and sees a fat, bald, man smoking a massive cigar, sitting in a chair in front of him. The man is dressed in an ornate Town Guard uniform. Next to the man is a pile of files.
Venmann manages to sit up, barely. Panting heavily, sweat pouring out of him, a week of beard on his face, he looks at the Chief.
Chief: Good, you didn’t go blind. The Pelor clowns didn’t screw up this bring-back.
Venmann: Where Abby? What happened?
Chief: (Sighs, he puts his cigar down) Well, hell… I’d be a damn fool if I didn’t expect that question to be the first one out of your mouth.
Venmann spits up blood.
Chief: She’s dead… Like you were… and the men who did it have been reassigned away from Plotus by the Inquistion.
Chief: It appears you and Officer Garrak stepped on the toes of some serious players and, like expected, wound up dead. You need to know when you’re in over your head… You should have kept me in the damn loop! Let the crazies fight the crazies, kid.
Chief takes his cigar and takes a massive puff off it.
Chief: The only reason you’re even alive is that some asshole felt sorry for you and donated the money to bring you back… and I thought it would be the least I could do, so I allowed it. (pause) Aside from this incident, you’re one Hell off an officer… I don’t get many of those.
Venmann: What… what… about Abby?
Chief: Sorry kid… Only enough for one.
Venmann turns over on his side, he lets out a low moan as blood seeps out his eyes and mouth… He starts pounding the bed out of abject grief.
The Chief takes a file from the floor and tosses it onto the bed.
Chief: It’s your file, I think you should look at it. Give you insight into what we’re really about… I’d like to keep you around, kid… Even if you knock up Half-Orcs who are supposed to be under your command. Would it kill you to stick your dick in a human once in while?
The Chief takes his cigar and walks out of the hospital room. Leaving Venmann to his agony….
Venmann wakes up… and wishes the story ended there…
About Last Night…
Vennman is lying awake in his bed, again. The trouble sleeping is nothing new, he was told when he was at the Magic Academy that it was commonplace for Wizards and other practitioners of Arcane magic to have trouble sleeping. This was because of the power the arcane magic which flowed through his veins… Of course, this never seemed to apply to Sorcerers or other magical professions. They could sleep just fine. And then happily launch waves and waves of hot steaming death, while never having to memorize a single spell pattern. Vennman just discounted this as nonsense he heard in school, which was a seemingly endless category.
When he was an officer of the Town Guard, Vennman was told that the job would “wear on you like a piece of sandpaper, till’ you couldn’t take it anymore.”. Which, oddly enough was true, but Vennman was no longer a Town Guardsman. In fact, he was the exact opposite of what he was before.
Being on the run is a Hell of a thing…
Vennman sat up and looked over the sleeping form of Nameless. Sleeping like a baby… For now… Vennman got out of bed and wandered to the door, putting his ear to it out of habit to see if anybody would be outside, waiting to ambush him. Old habits die hard.
Silence. Vennman steps outside and makes his way down the hall. He gets downstairs to the main lobby; there he sees one of the unlucky resistance members who pulled night shift. She’s leaning against the wall, trying not to pass out. Vennman stares at her for a moment, she’s come a long way, hasn’t she?
Oh Hell… It always ends up like this doesn’t it? Vennman just shakes his head… It’s time to man up and get this over with…
“Kathy. Taking a break?”
Kathy awakes with a start, kicking over a chair. She, looks up an sees Vennman walking towards her. She puts her hand to her weapon, as if she was going to draw it. “You better get back to your room, if you know what’s good for you.”
Vennman continues to walk towards her. “Go ahead. If I wanted you dead I would have melted you while you were sleeping on the job…” Kathy just stares at Vennman as he walks over to her, takes the kicked over chair and sits on it, right in front of her. “You’ve been giving me the evil eye for days now.. and frankly its getting stupid.”
“You’re stupid.” Kathy hisses at Vennman.
“You told the people here you were some sort of revolutionary… didn’t you?” Vennman puts his feet on the table… “How’d that go for you? How’s night duty?”
Kathy just seethes as she stares at Vennman. “I’m glad they tortured you! I hope next time they catch you and kill you, you fucking pig!”
Vennman laughs. “You were a junkie hooker who rolled her clients for drug money, honey. What did you expect me to do?… Let you go?”. “Maybe I should tell your boss that some of your victims wound up dead? Bloated and rotted like a piece of bad fruit… “
“I never killed anybody!”
“You sapped them and left them in the worst ghettos in town. What did you think would happen to them after the fact? They’d get a warm cup of coffee and a chicken pot pie?”
“Why do you think we after you and your gang like a ton of bricks? For fun?
Kathy pulls out her sword and points it right at Vennman. “You killed my brother. You killed Jack!”. Vennman gets up, he puts his hand at the tip of Kathy’s sword. “They killed an officer when we went to arrest them and almost killed three others… How did you think it would end?”
Kathy is silent. Vennman pushes the blade away. “Your brother and Jack fed you so much junk that your fingers were darker then a Drow’s shit… and then tricked you out to every bastard in town.” Vennman notices that the blade cut his hand, he flicks the blood away… “Is that how you deserve to be treated? Would you trade your life now, for what you were back then? Would you?
Silence. Kathy just stares at Vennman.
“They didn’t need to die”
“They chose to die. You didn’t. You cleaned up, right?”
Vennman smiles… “That’s good… guess something good came of this after all.”
Kathy nods her head in agreement and puts her weapon away… “I think we should just pretend this never happened and just leave each other alone, ok?”
“At this stage… that’s good enough for me”…