Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (2)
Apparently we are to aid the Tall Man in a quest of
some sort. He was given a small box by some local official, and
all of Miyara's followers were given many instructions on its
use. Miyara is accompanying him, and therefore, of course, am
I. It is surely simple enough: perhaps the Tall Man is to be a
The mode of our departure did not bode well.
We were packed into a crude wagon and delivered to a back alley in the
city, as if we were just so much produce for sale. The wagoneer
indicated a door, into which we were apparently to enter, and left us
with a laugh.
I was surprised that the Giant opened the door
rather than break it down. A stairway beyond led into darkness,
while the barbarians eagerly jostled for the right to lead, I simply
took my position to shield Miyara from what may lie below.
At the bottom was a door with a note on it.
The illiterate barbarians of course ignored it; I handed it to Miyara
while the others just shoved the door open and pushed their way into
the room beyond. Apparently, though, the Elf can read -- he
politely shared the note with Miyara, then told the others they had
been premature and should come back out.
The Giant knocked on the door and waited. I
waited too, expecting him to break it down at any moment.
Eventually his patience ran out and he opened it again.
This time we all entered the room. It had been
the scene of some scuffle, with overturned furniture and other signs of
a struggle. I noted a lever on the wall near the door -- the
denizens of this hole clearly had some low cunning and had contrived
some trap or defense if it was to be disturbed. Obviously they
were not cunning enough, as it did not seem to have prevented the fight
Further into the rat hole the scene was worse.
A gang war had been fought beyond, and bodies were left lying about
with no respect. Some had been tagged with a small card, no doubt
an attempt to claim some kind of honor for the kill. Our own
group of barbarians checked the bodies for loot, but apparently found
Some discussion followed this, which seemed to make
them nervous. We continued with more care. By now it was
becoming clear that only the Elf and I, and perhaps the White Fairy,
could see in the dark, so I took a position nearer the front so I could
warn Miyara if there was trouble.
The passages led on. A storeroom had been
vandalized, boxes smashed, sacks of grain ripped open. The other
gang must have come here to look for something, but had not found
it. It was now clear that the Tall Man's quest was not so simple
-- surely the item for which he had been sent was that which had
precipitated the gang war.
At this point a weak survivor tried to threaten us
crossbow. The White Fairy crushed his hand in response. The
barbarians roughly questioned the wounded man, then left him to die as
we continued. I hate their cruel ways.
Further in we came across a larger room, with
unharmed gangmen packing up to leave in a hurry. They were
loading goods on hand carts, and expected us to help. Obviously I
did no such thing. It might have been a ruse on the part of the
Giant, as he then questioned the overseer, and then after a short while
we all continued down a passage to an office at the end -- if one could
use the word office for a dank stone room under a stinking city.
This was presumably the front office for the gang leader.
As usual with the barbarians, an argument
ensued. The Giant did most of the shouting for our group, and
eventually gave in to impatience and went on through to the next
room. The official went with him, gesticulating ineffectually,
and we all followed.
A short entryway lead to the gang master's main
room. There had been an assassination here, and the gang leader
had given up his head. A blood trail lead through a set of
bookshelves -- even the barbarians realized that this meant there had
to be a hidden door. We searched for a means to activate it, but
before we could find one they started breaking down the
bookshelves. Indeed they broke through, revealing a passageway
beyond into the sewers. We continued to follow the trail of blood
that had dripped from the leader's severed head.
It seems I am forever being challenged by the
disgusting aspects of this unclean city. At least the sewers had
a ledge that allowed the more nimble of us to move easily without
touching the refuse in the trench. The city above is unimaginably
foul; what it rejects is indescribable.
As if to add insult to injury, we were then attacked