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Library: A Bard's Tale - Following


Author: haydn
Date:Jun 17 2015

Slipping quietly through the streets of Arelium, the young Valar knew she was
being followed. So far she had not caught sight of whoever it was pursuing
her, but she could feel eyes watching her as she moved through the sparse
crowd. At one point she could have sworn that the human child was the one, but
that child wandered off calling for her cat. She saw a man several times,
dressed up in an official looking outfit in the cities colors, who seemed to
be following her.

Turning into an alley by Dubbha's Grocery she made a quick right and started
walking faster. As she passed Ugly Joe's Restaurant she caught sight of the
man again. He seemed to be getting closer despite her best efforts to lose
him. She started to wonder why she had ever left the safe haven of her people
and ventured out into these lands filled with evil and murder.

Ever since showing up in this land all that had surrounded the girl were
violence and wealth. Strange creatures, like minotaurs and draconians, would
shout out their thirst for blood, calling to their mighty war god, EXP.
Others, often the more gentle races such as ducks and sprites, would make
pleas for help, searching for enchanted treasures or lost lore. Worse were the
greedy merchants, always hounding the girl with promises to magically harden
adventure gear and transmutations intending to lighten ones load. She thought
that the only load likely to be lightened was her purse. No matter where she
went though, death seemed to follow.

She ducked her head into Tince's and quickly browsed through his limited
selection. Picking up a nice blend imported from Shadowkeep and a pipe, she
slipped out again packing and lighting the pipe as she went. The man following
her was even closer now, with something in his hand, but she couldn't make out
what. She took off across the street at a trot and quickly scaled the fence
into the old abandoned lumberyard.

Now at a full sprint, sure that this man was coming after her, the girl
quickly hid behind a rotten shed. She hunkered down, wondering what she was
going to have to do to save herself this time. A few weeks back she had
stumbled upon mutant chickens and some very aggressive sloths, barely getting
away over their still warm corpses. Near the same time an angry sea monster
had viciously opened combat with a spell sapping her of her strength and she
had barely the muscle power to shove her sword into its heart. What trials and
tribulations would this lead to and how many more bodies would she have to
leave behind her?

Looking around cautiously, the Valar saw that no one had followed her. She
started to calm a bit and stealthily made her way out of the lumberyard. Still
a bit shaky on her feet from this close encounter with danger, she decided to
head over to the brewery and get a sip of something to calm her nerves. Still
being careful, she easily moved past an artillery sergeant and several
apprentices, keeping an eye out for that menacing man.

As she entered the brewery the almost overpowering smell of the beer and ale
assaulted her, along with a certain humid warmth. Comforted by these familiar
sensations, she sat down at a table facing the door, and ordered a mug of the
brownest stuff they had. When it came she settled in and with a sigh of relief
started to take a sip.

Then the door opened, and in strode the man who was following her. She
panicked, and dropped her mug of ale, scrambling to get to her feet. In two
great strides the man was at the other side of the table, looking straight at
her with his penetrating gaze. She bolted left to try to get through the
narrow gap that he presented and felt her heart soar as she just barely made

Then her heart sunk as a hand clamped around her forearm with a grip like
steel. She panicked and tried to twist around to escape, but somehow he
controlled her with just that one hand, forcing her to face him. He stared
straight through her and she felt as if these were the last moment of her
life, wondering who he was and why he was hunting her. Then his mouth opened
and in a dry rasping voice he said, "Have you registered?"