March 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm #1726
Since you’ve moved in, your little block of Fanlu has become a better place. The old men and women especially, look upon you with stares of approval. They are a tough and practical people, just as superstitious as anyone but not shy about approaching you and offering their thanks, ideas, and opinions for what you’ve done in their neighborhood.
The local gang of youths has been absorbed and mostly reformed by your orphanage. There are a few bad apples to be sure, but the trouble makers are thinning out, and even the older boys are willing to put aside their thieving ways for a hot meal and a chance to learn how to really fight. You keep the kids busy. Grey is still using the Lyre, but there’s plenty of tasks to be done at the orphanage, and with so many boys to keep busy, there’s no point waiting on magic to get some things done.
Grey has been very busy. It seems like everyone has. There is a need for you here. It’s quite clear this part of town has been on its own for a long time. The Priests of the Pacified Shadow have their hands too full with the rest of town and their own little mountain realm to make it here often. You are quite literally a god send to these people, and see an opportunity to spread your faith, though you’re not quite sure how to sell the god of war to a bunch of peaceful poor folk. The kids though, they eat it up. Their entire lives have been a battle…just waiting for a purpose.
You wonder about these strange mutant, men, these spirit blooded men as Grey and the locals call them. Twice you have fought them in Fanlu. You fought them in Cragtown with Bren of Dawn, you fought them in that little town on the way to Shen Ling. These thugs seem to be peppered everywhere causing problems. Are they all related, or just a plague upon this land in the same way orcs and goblins are a common threat in the lands you came from? You’ve heard there are entire villages of these beings in the hills to the east.
The locals tell you all the normal protections…copper sigils and watch skulls and such don’t frighten them or keep them away. Something about their human part makes them immune to the things that keep out more obvious spirits like Gaki and ghosts. The locals say they are the descendants of clans that made dark pacts with darker spirits long ago, and are no longer really human. Whatever they are, whatever they want, they die like anything else. You wonder how easy it would be for a gang of them to infiltrate a big, spread out town like Fanlu, where there are whole neighborhoods the authorities sort of just leave alone.
You think on the demon that came out of the backroom at that tavern just down the way. That, is serious. You will remain vigilant, and speak with Grey about how you both can keep an eye out in the rougher parts of town. Evon, The brotherhood, even the Pacified Shadow monks seem to keep a close watch on Redtown and Southtown, but Laketown and Marshtown are wild places, held together only by their citizens and the constable…rumored to be a badass, he is at the end of the day, just one hobgoblin.
That makes you think of Yooshu two rivers, somewhere out there in the mountains to the west. What is a land ruled by noble Hobgoblins like? A land fit for the god of war you think. You wonder if they would accept your god, or if the local priests there would have you burned at the stake as an interloper. You look down at the black feather that would supposedly send word to Yooshu, almost knowing some day you will need it, wondering what fate has planned for that moment.
“Something troubles you master Stern?”
It is the old man, you didn’t hear him enter. He’s so damn quite you swear he was a thief in some past life.
March 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm #1728
Stern looks up forearms still resting on his knees.
“Oh Hello old man, I didn’t hear you come in. I am just lost in thought, there are still many things to do around here and lucky for us there are many idle hands to help in that matter. Say, I have been gone for a bit, before I left remember the incident with the boys sneaking off to the tavern and that devil Grey and I discovered? Have there been any other occurrences or other similar incidents happening around here? These spirit folk intrigue me just a tad.”March 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm #1734
Bad mojo those one’s. I’ve lived in Fanlu since I was a boy, nearly 70 years, and there kind have always been lurking around the edges. They are not all bad, but they have bad blood, and eventually they can’t help but cause trouble, and it’s always someone who ends up driving them off. Sometimes it’s the Nightwatchman, sometimes It’s the Monks of the shadow, sometimes it’s the brotherhood, and sometimes it’s just the common people getting together with torches and pitchforks…
The old man smiles and takes a long puff from a smoking pipe, seeming to enjoy some private memory for a second
This time, It was the Fishermen that drove them off. I didn’t see anything close to us, but there were several brawls around town before it was all settled. A real rough group of spirit bloods, called themselves The Black Vines, they started shaking people down while you were away. But then the Fishermen showed up, and it was over in a few weeks. Reckon they’ll be back eventually though, that’s just how it goes.March 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm #1747
What of the boys? Have they been drawing interest on things happening About? Any of them stand out to you?
I am sending word back to my order to request they send some missionaries and a priest to help out here and teach the boys the full meaning of croms grace.March 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm #1748
Oh the boys are a buzz with curiosity and rumors about the fighting. They hardly have anything else on their minds. They’ve been making plans all on their own as to how they would defend this place if it was attacked by a gang of spirit bloods.
I’ve kept them inside, off the streets, and busy, even more so than usual. Seems things are fine now, but for a while it was looking like things might get rough.
It will be nice to have some more help about.April 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm #1775
“Its is nice to know the boys have someone to look after them as you have, I do not seek to replace you mind you, more to provide teaching of Krom and the martial ways of my order. I feel this part of town is left to fend for itself and that is where we will stand up against the things that go bump in the night.
Tell me old man are there any pupils that stand out above the rest?”April 24, 2016 at 9:56 am #1781
“Well it is good to hear you do not wish to replace me. I don’t know what else I would do if I did not have this place to haunt. Even if you wish to train them as warriors, they will still need to learn good manners, how to read and write characters, how to add simple numbers, the history of their realm… I can teach them such things. You know, when I was young I was a known historian at the academy of Hing Lu Tu up in Barter Town. Did much research on the Shinto Dynasty, especially the time as it was ending, but before the high clans and the great temples of Yun Shan established the current way of things as the Ten Order Dynasty. It is surprising how little was known about that time, so for awhile I was the man to speak to on it, an authority as they say.
Believe it or not, but there was a time in my youthful forties when I would pay men like you handsomely to pillage books and scrolls from old ruins. That was a long time ago…
I have already begun to catalog the talents and character flaws of our young here, seemed a prudent thing to do. It will be little trouble for me to collate a report of sorts for your review. I will start on that tomorrow, and if you can keep the kids busy at work, I will finish before sundown.
I must put in master Stern, is there anything else you wish before I take my leave?”
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