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Monday, August 8, 2011

Guildpact - Chapter 4

Here we have it, the return of an old and tired Agrus Kos.

Guildpact - Chapter 4

Tired of lawlessness? Looking to make a difference and a little extra pay in this unforgiving world? If you want to do your part for justice and earn a guaranteed bumbat ration daily, contact your local Haazda recruiter today!
-League of Haazda recruitment poster

30 PAUJAL 10012 Z.C.

Welcome to the Imp Wing Hotel and Bar. A very drunk volunteer lawman Vodotro is going on a drunken speech as to how a familiar face should join up with the Haazda. Ex-wojeks are certainly a common part of their organization, they provide great benefits, and he wouldn't have to quit his job as security for this fine establishment.

A very not drunk Kos just nods and listens, and once things start getting out of hand, Kos signals the bartender and owner to give Vodotro a  special drink he's sure to enjoy (*wink*). Despite how undisciplined the Haazda are, they are the only law that Utvara has, and Kos can't help but want to think about the protection of the whole valley, despite Pivlic's insistence that he remember that he's officially Orzhov now and only needs to worry about the security of the business.

Vodotro soon passes out from the sleeping powder that was mixed in with the drink and Kos picks him up, ready to dump him somewhere safe where he can sleep off his drunken state when a party of rather important Orzhov officials arrive: one bald man, one striking young lady, one surprisingly dead body of the owner of the entire valley, and three thrulls.

Pivlic was the representative of the... dead body in the chair... and had been expecting them to arrive the following day. Obviously something had happened. Kos checked to see if he was needed and Pivlic waved him away. He wouldn't be needed.

With no time for pleasantries the woman commands Pivlic to lead them to a saferoom. They have yet to see his ghost appear and there was still time to perform some ritual that Kos was happy to not have to witness.

...In the saferoom...

It's time to set things up just right. Pivlic has the ectochair given to him by Uncle 200 years ago ready for the ritual. After some telekinetic assistance from Melisk, they get the body sitting just right and adjust nodes on the chair just right. After forgetting that he needed someone to get the special mirror that Pivlic had been storing above his bar before dismissing Kos for the night, the imp requested if Melisk could be so kind as to be the one to retrieve it.

While the two wait for him to do that, Teysa goes into a quick speech. She doesn't want any nonsense from him. No groveling and flowery words. She wants to run things as efficiently as possible, wants the area granted full status as quickly as possible, and then she'll leave back to the city and will require someone to be her agent in the area.

As the agent for Uncle these past twelve years, Pivlic got the hint. After a few minutes Melisk returns with the mirror, and sets it down in front of the body.

...Out in the night...

Agrus Kos was feeling the aches of an old body. He hadn't intended to take Vodotro all the way to the guardhouse, but he ended up doing it nonetheless. Leaving the man out in the street just didn't feel right. You know what else didn't feel right? Standing by and watching four thugs harass a familiar centaur face. But Pivlic was right. He wasn't an wojek anymore, it wasn't his responsibility. And after dropping off the unconscious Haazda volunteer, Kos had another one of his panic attacks. They weren't states of emotional panic, but he was old, and his body had gone through years of alcohol and teardrop abuse, and with no pattern to it at all, his heart would begin beating as if it was about to explode. It wasn't his place anymore to interfere in something like this.

With that said, sometimes it just can't be helped. The thugs see him despite his every intention to just walk on by they turn around an confront him while the old centaur runs off and hides. Kos pulls out his wojek baton that had been given to him as a retirement gift. He was the famous Agrus Kos that arrested the Parun of a Guild that most has no idea even existed after all. With strength of numbers and youth on their side, the four hold their ground until both the hum of his baton and a reminder that he served the Orzhov agent in charge of the area got them to turn their tails and run. It's a good thing too because the baton was only for show and could no longer shoot any submission blasts. The only power crystals he could get were knock offs from Pivlic and not official wojek issue crystals. Making the baton hum was the best he could hope for.

With the thugs out of the way, the old centaur, and ex-chief Trijiro comes out of hiding to thank the ex-wojek. Kos spares him what money he can, and they exchange a few words. The centaur did happen to see that odd Orzhov party that came through the town not an hour earlier, and he questioned Kos if the two had killed the fat man in the floating chair. They way the three of them talked with each other it sounded like the other two would benefit greatly from his death.

Now that was odd. Kos hadn't expected the man to still have been alive. But the standard ceremonial Orzhov mask had been on his body so it was possible. But that meant bad things for the Gruul. Kos passed on the news that the two had said it was the Gruul that had attacked them, and that it was the Gruul that had killed the patriarch. Whether or not they had actually killed him was irrelevant. There would likely be trouble for the Gruul coming, and if the ex-chief still ran in any circles that could give warning, it'd be best if he made contact. That was the best Kos could do. It really wasn't his place to give the centaur that kind of information, and the centaur better remember that he didn't hear it from him.

...Out in the Husk...

Crix finds herself uncomfortably tied to the back of what she assumed is an ogre by the smell of him. She was moving further from the Cauldron by the second, and the only good thing was that she had taken an inoculation against the kuga plague that should still be in effect for another week.

Well maybe not the only good thing. What ever she was strapped to was the bandit leader, with other Gruul and their hunting dog-like lizards in tow. Since she was here, she might as well make a study of this variant of Gruul. She already could pick out familiar sounding words from his orders. Despite being versed in various languages, a necessity when being a courier, she could pick out words that seemed centaur, ogrish, and goblin in origin. One of the orders went something like:

"Tell the shaman (or perhaps chief) that the prisoner is a courier"

If they could recognize her as a courier, there was a chance she wasn't being carried to certain death. At least from the Gruul. Out of nowhere a pile of junk stands up and with a lokopede sized arm comes crashing down on two of the lizards, and the while she could see what it was exactly since she faced the wrong way, she could see that the faces of the fearsome Gruul looked terrified.

* * *

Agrus Kos, Security Chief

Well Kos is back. And he still isn't your standard fantasy hero, and that's great. It's been twelve years since Book One and he was already an old man then, and he feels just right. We've seen Agrus Kos as a wojek novice, a wojek veteran, and now retired wojek. He feels different yet the same, and I'm looking forward to see what's going to happen with him.

And considering that Herndon waited until Chapter 4 until before reintroducing him, I take that to mean that he's now the final core "hero" of the book to be introduced.

Pivlic, Orzhov Representative

Interesting that we got a POV from Pivlic. It looks like he's going to play a bigger role in this book than the last one. As a guess, the role similar in size to Jarad in the last book. He's competing with Teysa as the true Orzhov representative in the book, and she obviously will have the bigger role between the two of them.

Ghost Free-Zone

Something I didn't mention up above was that prior to running into the group of thugs, Kos was having some stray thoughts, some of them flashing back to Borca, which led to him thinking how one of the reasons he liked this place so much was that there were no residual ghosts in the whole Utvara valley. There was something about the place that wouldn't allow them to linger for more than a few moments. That's twice now that the lack of ghosts has been mentioned. 

Crix, Gruul Prisoner

I'm very blue in nature, and it's great to read a POV that has such an inquisitive mind. I don't know how other people will take it, but I find it to be a great way to get through exposition while feeling very natural.

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