Part 3: Chapter 1 - 02
Wow, compliments already and there's practically no content. Thanks.
Here, let's fix that lack of content bit...
Chapter 1 - 02
As the Bard prematurely celebrated the slaying of the tiny rat, he completely failed to notice a much larger problem.
One has to wonder - exactly what do they put in the beer around there?
The patrons were less then sympathetic.
Mary MacRary quenched the flaming Bard with a tankard of water.
The bar once again filled with the sound of laughter as our hero stood there seething with impotent anger.
"Hey, not so close fella. You're still smokin', and this drink is flammable," jibed a patron.
Mary handed the Bard a Broadsword. It was well-used, but still sturdy and sharp.
: You'd better hope I've cooled off when I return, or you're next!
As he slowly strode out swearing under his breath, some of the Patrons called out after him, each comment was followed by a fresh burst of laughter.
"What's that son? I can't hear you. Rat got your tongue?"
"Don't feel too bad laddie. I've got a bigger rat back home. Hell, I'm married to it."
Mary Macrary followed the bard partway down the hallway and asked him "You aren't still mad at me, are you? If you get down there and kill that bad, horrible, awful monster, we can kiss and make up..."
: It'd better be more then a kiss to make up for that. After receiving a thorough and well-deserved humiliation, the Bard returned to the cellar once again. He was most surprised to discover someone waiting for him.
: Who the hell are you? How did you get down here?
Mysterious Old Man: Look here laddie. Don't be concerning yourself with such things right now. I'm here to help ye with your rat problem. Any brute can swing a sword; if ye really want to slay that hairy beastie, try playing this tune on that lute of yours.
: Go on. Clear off out of it! I've no use for you.
Mysterious Old Man: I'm not offering to go with ye laddie. I'm offerin' ye a bit o' song an'magic that'll bring ye back in one piece.
: Great, so now the rat gets dinner and a show? If it's so bloody powerful, use it yourself and save me the trouble.
Mysterious Old Man: Would that I could. But I'm not a man o'action like yerself. So do yerself a favor an' take a little charity when it's offered my boy.
: Done. Show me what you've got.
Mysterious Old Man: Before ye head down there and face that huge rat I'd like to be sure that ye know yer business. Would ye like me to teach you a few wee things that'll help ye get the best o'any foes ye might encounter?
The Bard was tempted to rid himself of the stranger with harsh words along the lines of:
: I know what I'm doing old man. I've no need for advice from the likes of you
But instead he sighed and said
: I think I'm going to regret this... but I'll humor you old man.
Mysterious Old Man: Good job lad! Ye already know how to attack, but let's talk about defending yerself. Press the Defend key.
: What? What are you on about? You're completely insane aren't you. Ya know, I ran into this other guy once, he kept talking about mice that I couldn't see.
: Now I'm blocking pretend blows. I hope you appreciate what I'm going through here and reward me sufficiently.
Mysterious Old Man: That was great boyo, ye'll notice that instead o' holding down the key, ye'll have to time yer defense to the enemy's attack.
: Of course I have to time it... How else am I going to block anything?
Mysterious Old Man: Now laddie, let's teach you how to play that lute of yers and make some magic.
: What? Does my name not mean anything to you? The Bard? Did you not see me summon that rat a few moments ago?
Mysterious Old Man: Press the Summon Menu key.
Mysterious Old Man: Ye'll see several choices, these are the different types of beasties ye'll eventually be able to summon. For now let's summon that spider I taught ye about.
: Well that was useful at least. Finally.
Mysterious Old Man: This part is important so listen up laddie. The creatures that ye summon aren't under yer complete control, but they will try to do what ye wish to the best o'their ability. Try to give 'em orders using the Command keys. For example press the Aggressive key to make your little friend there become more aggressive.
Mysterious Old Man: Ah yer getting the hang o' things now aren't ya lad? Ye can experiment with different uses of the Command keys to develop yer own strategies.
Mysterious Old Man: Now at times ye may want to get rid o' a creature ye've summoned. Simply go back into the same menu you summoned him from and select him again. That's the way to get rid of an unwanted creature.
Mysterious Old Man: Good luck against the Rat, my boy.
: In the future, I'm going to have to learn how to dodge these mysterious old man types.
The Bard and his arcing arachnid approached the giant rat.
Upon his return to the main room, Mary Macrary confronted the Bard.
Mary Macrary: Run away again, did you? Go back to where you came from and leave the fightin' to those who've got the guts for it!
The Bard considered himself a good judge of character. He was naturally, completely incorrect. He paused for a moment and considered the possibilities of what would happen if he were to be uncharacteristically chivalrous.
Mary - Nice
: I've plenty of guts, Milady, which is why you needn't trouble yourself about that rat any longer.
Mary Macrary: You mean it's dead!? Oh, thank you. I can't tell you how grateful I am.
: T'was the least I could do for a damsel in distress. Now... how about that meal?
Mary Macrary: Why don't you wait while I fix you some leftovers... oh and your room in the back is almost ready.
The Next Morning
: Having spent a lonely night in a somewhat uncomfortable and shabby bed the Bard awoke the next morning in a foul humor.
Mary Macrary: You should go speak with that strange friend of yours. He was starting to scare away my regular customers. I had to chase him out.
That's how things could have gone... but since his day had started out bad and only gotten worse, the Bard decided to be blunt.
Mary - Snarky
: Oh no. The rat is the gutless one, for I spilt his about your cellar. I'd be only too happy to haul him up here for you to see .... In fact, it might actually improve the ambiance of this place.
Mary Macrary: No need. The stench you bring with you will be proof enough. Well, maybe there's more to you then meets the eye.
: Save it for the half-wits; what you can do for me is best done in silence. You knew what was down there, you and all the rest of your tartan-clad trash. So how about less chatter and more chow. And be quick about it!
Mary Macrary: Right away. I enjoy a man with a quick tongue. I'll see you get the best room in the in. It's the one right next to mine.
: So the Bard headed up to his room to avail himself of the pleasures that the Inn had to offer.
Mary Macrary: That was quite a night. You nearly made me late opening the bar this morning! Oh, and that strange friend of yours is waiting for you outside. I had to chase him away, he was unnerving some of my regular customers. See you later love.
Mary - Nice
Mary - Snarky