Elder Players' - Why Was Oren Gone?
After the group séance in Ockrote's Bar, the party collectively gathered their thoughts. Oren went straight
to the bar, while Zeek continued talking to his spirits. Jeremiah was weary, and Ruadhin was discussing the communion
with the others.
Vikos looked over to Will, and started asking 'what if' questions concerning Feddon. Zeek soon caught wind of the conversation, and jumped in uninvitingly. "I know one thing for sure! The spirits shall cry in mercy when I do this!" Just then, Zeek attempted a double half, flying kick-punch; with a reverse back flip to an invisible enemy. Everything was going well, until he attempted to land after the back flip and hit his shin on a stool.
The party all chuckled, and Zeek made a few comments to the spirits in reference to "Only If'. Jeremiah then closed his eyes, and made a prayer for Zeek and his salvation with Feddon. Soon into the prayer, Ruadhin dropped to his knees and emphasized the last word in every sentence of Jeremiah's calling.
Oren looked over during this, and chugged another ale down. This had been his seventh, or eighth mug. "Damn fools! Oh bless me this! Talk to me Mr. Ghost! Please, someone offer me some guidance!" Oren had blurted at them. Staggering off, Oren commented that he was off to bed and in the morning he would meet back up for the journey to Tunis.
Jeremiah shook his head in mid prayer as in disbelief. Oren then looked back as he came to the door, "God help me find a woman! One that will suck this alcohol right out of me! Har, Har, Har!" Oren then turned around and walked into the door. After picking himself up, he said a few foul words and exited the bar.
A few of the party members chuckled in laughter, repeating "Only Oren" and continued talking about the new adventure in Tunis. Eytai looked to Vikos and Jeremiah, "Do you think someone should follow Oren to his bunk? He seems a tad tipsy." Vikos shot back at Eytai, "What? Let him be. That freak will probably sleep in some alley this night. If he didn't, it wouldn't be Oren." Eytai waited patiently for Vikos to stop mumbling, and then offered, "Well, even so. He doesn't seem himself, even for Ore". At that point, Vikos cut off Eytai in his speech, "Just sit down and relax! Go have yourself one of those drinks Oren was chugging. He will be fine."
Meanwhile, Oren was staggering up the streets looking for his sleeping quarters. Talking to himself, Oren continuously chuckled as he roamed the city. As Oren passed by any female creature, he would hoot and holler; which usually made himself trip over his own feet.
After his last fall, Oren ended up lying on his back looking up at the moon. The sky was mostly clear, with
a few clouds drifting here and there. The moon was full, and lighting the streets well. Oren closed his eyes
for a split second trying to regain his strength. Once his eyes closed, as much as he pried, he couldn't open
them. "Hah! I think I may have had too much ale." Oren chuckled. Oren folded his arms, and crossed
his legs. "It seems I will have to lie here for a little while until I get the wind back in me!" Oren
commented out loud.
Not to long after readjusting his arms and legs, Oren got comfortable. That's when the trouble started. While
lying there, something started tickling his nose. Every time, Oren would go and scratch the tickled part, it would
move to another area on his body. From nose to ear, then ear to eye, then back to the nose again. Quickly, Oren
became frustrated and sat up looking for the mysterious tickle.
After rubbing his face constantly, he looked down toward his legs, and found nut crumbs torn all over his clothing. While attempting to brush them off, more fell from his shoulders and hair. Oren quickly stood up frantically knocking off all excess crumbs. Soon after Oren was satisfied every last crumb was gone, he heard a whistle from behind him. In turning to look, Oren fell flat on his face. Looking down, his feet had been tied together.
"Who dares to fool with me?" Oren shouted into the air. Reaching down, Oren broke the rope in half from his legs. Looking up, Oren noticed this little gnome figure chuckling while pointing at Oren. "Looky thee! Big bad Oren can't see!" The gnome shouted. Soon after these words were comprehended, the gnome threw a bucket of water in Oren's face. "There, there! Lets sing a song, for all those little crumbs are gone!"
Oren wiped the excess water from his eyes, and scowled. "Little man! I am will brake you in half!" Oren then started stomping toward the gnome. "Shall we see? The big bad Oren, trying to kill me?" Soon after, the gnome flashed his hand at Oren and a wondrous battleaxe fell right into his feet. "Hit me if you will, but I warn you for I will not stand still." Oren immediately reached down and picked up the axe in his hand. "You just sealed your own fate!" Oren shouted back in hatred. While gripping the axe firmly in his hand, Oren charged the little gnome. Just short of a few feet before reaching him, Oren turned the axe to the flat side and made an attempt to swing it at him. Right as the momentum started, the axe drooped to Oren's side like a piece of rope.
The gnome again starting laughing hysterically, while Oren became red in the face. This time, Oren was close enough to see the gnome in full view. He was a short gnome, with many miscellaneous items wrapped around his belt. His hands, neck, and ears were covered in beautiful gemstones. "What do you want of me?" Oren demanded. "No need to get mad, we are just having some fun lad." The gnome commented while started chuckling again. Oren had lost his patience, and turned around to walk away, ignoring every commented the gnome made.
As Oren rounded every corner, the gnome appeared still pointing and chuckling at Oren's benefit. Before long, Oren finally called the gnome out to talk. "Please state your business and leave me be!" Oren pleaded. The gnome popped out of the woodwork once again, giving a formal bow. "Well straight to the point! Stop being angry from the anoint!" The gnome had spoken in a soft smile. "What are you talking about? What anoint? Who are you?" Oren had cut in impatiently. "The crumbs that were sprinkled on you, after my chew." The gnome replied while still smiling. Oren shook his head and sat down.
"My name is Garl, but do not worry for I am not viscous like the kobolds and their snarls. I come to inquire, much about your endless desire. As you can see I am a gnome, but not like all the rest that are flesh and bone. I am here to seek your help, for my goal is to make those kobolds yelp! If you prove to me your devotion, I will set your mind free of all emotion!" Garl then sat back against the wall next to Oren. "I think someone has poisoned all the ale in the town, for you are insane!" Oren replied back. "What don't you understand, for this is not asking but making a demand! Worshipping me, will set you free!"
As Oren closed his eyes once again, he sighed. When he opened them up, he turned to the gnome to ask him to leave him be. Yet, the gnome was gone. Oren stood up, and peered around the corners of the building. Nowhere was the gnome to be found. "Now where in the hell did he run off to now? At least he is gone." Oren commented out loud, hoping that if the gnome were nearby he would hear him.
"Don't worry, for I may scared him off." A mysterious voice came from the opposite side of the road. Stepping out of the shadows, a cloaked figure approached Oren. The tall figure came near Oren, but kept a small distance which prevent any identification. The figure held his head downwards, not revealing his face from the cloaked shadows. His robes extended over his arms and feet, and the only noticeable trait was the weapon in which he was wielding; a scythe.
Oren replied back, "Well, there is a god! I never thought that poor sap would leave me alone. I have always known gnomes were an odd bunch, but this one must have had something slipped into his ale!" As Oren took a step toward the figure to greet him, the figure mocked every step in reverse. "I am pleased to see that you recognize figures properly. My name is Nerull. While we have never officially met, I have heard many swell things about you; for you send tons of folk my way. I have come to ask if you have decided to act upon your desire."
Now Oren took a step back, while Nerull took a step forward. "My desire?" Oren had repeated while cocking his head to the side. "Now is the time to prove your loyalty to me. Come with me and your actions shall dictate my requests." While as in staring into a void, Oren didn't move. Nerull slowly raised his right arm, and motioned Oren to follow him into the shadows with his scythe.
Oren closed his eyes, and slowly started walking toward Nerull. Oren took a few steps forward, when a large Human laid a mace into the middle of Oren's armor. The impact of the mace was great, but not damaging. Oren keeled over, and fell on his back. While looking up, the Human was flailing the mace at the figure calling himself Nerull. All that Oren could hear from the direction of Nerull and the large human was "Repent for your sins!"
As Oren rested on the ground, he could do nothing but chuckle. "Oh dear me!" Oren exclaimed. "I must remember not to drink as much from Ockrote's bar! Or, maybe it is because I haven't drunk enough! Hah hah!" Oren continued to lie on the ground, dreaming of a nice stout Dwarven woman. He could picture her hair being braded back, down to her waist; with a few small braids in front dangling from her face. Large breasted, and muscular fit; this gal was. Oren closed his eyes, and started serenading "Bumpa Rumpa! Now that's a dwarf if you ask me! How about we go back and mine for some ore?" Oren continued with this conversation for a few minutes, until he started to lean forward and kiss his dream. While reaching up, Oren started at the bottom of her thick feet. Gently moving upwards to the muscular thigh, and moving his own hand outwards the waist. Abruptly, her hand came down to Oren pushing it away. "Oh, have no fear my lady, once this workhorse starts, it doesn't stop!" Oren gently overpowered her hand and started at her belly button, moving upwards. As Oren's hand made his way to her breast, he stop short; and started circling his fingers around the medallion that just instantly hung from her neck.
Oren stopped, and gazed into the medallion. He peered into it for a few good seconds, and then started to speak. "My lady, when did you put this." Oren noted while he started to gleefully look into her face. Instantly she was gone. There stood before Oren, a large human man. Immediately, Oren let go of the medallion and lunged backwards.
"Where did she go?" Oren exclaimed. As the Human started to speak, Oren cut him off. "Who are you? Oh my, I think I am going to be sick!" The human smiled, and gently introduced himself. "I am St. Cuthbert. I come to assist you in your retribution." Oren looked up at him and squirmed, "If you wouldn't have taken my beautiful lady friend away, I wouldn't need retribution! I don't think one can be saved after I touched you like the way I did!" St. Cuthbert chuckled, and then caught himself in the middle of the laugh. Quickly, he started brushing himself off and gave Oren a weird look. "No Oren, while you may be correct about repenting from this, I speak of other intentions." St. Cuthbert then walked over to Oren and rested his mace near his foot.
"You have been visited from some of my acquaintances, and I am sure you will be visited by even more. You had asked for guidance, and that you have been receiving. What you do, and how you accept this guidance is up to you. You will find that some will trick you into false hopes, while others will demand things of you, which are near impossible for a mortal to provide." Oren continued to gaze into the medallion around St. Cuthbert's neck. Puzzled, Oren attempted to clear any confusion that he had. Yet, to all his might, Oren couldn't speak. "Oren, this is your chance to end these irrational requests and deities. Come with me. All I ask of you is, to punish those who are evil and require retribution. You shall be my judge in the streets, woods, mountains and caves; anywhere this mortal land takes you. Bring down those of mortal and immortal evildoers who threaten our laws."
Oren continued to look deeply into the middle gem from the medallion hanging from St. Cuthbert's neck. Instantly, Oren slapped himself. This removed his focus, and Oren was able to speak again. "I never asked for guidance! Why is everyone imposing himself or herself on me? They demand 'Oren come here, Oren do this, Oren Oren Oren!'!" Oren stated impatiently. "Here is what I want. Take his head; I do not want guidance from anyone, anytime. Leave me be!"
St. Cuthbert then smiled deeply, and spoke. "Oren, I could see how a mortal would not understand this situation so quickly. Unfortunately, we don't have the complexities of grasping what lies in front of us. Therefore, I will honor your request. I will visit you another time, when in need. I can only say this about own actions; but chances are your night will be very late. While I will attempt to spread the word, nothing is guaranteed. Remember this for we will part now; be the free drudge like your aspire to be. Strike those down to invade on our laws and principles. I will see you soon."
Before Oren had a chance to respond, St. Cuthbert picked up his mace, and disappeared. "What in creation is going on here? This has to be a prank. If I guess it, I would say Vikos or Jeremiah is behind this! I swear if one more person just calls my name, I will be their judge!"
Just as Oren finished his overloud statement, another voice from the distance called to him. "Oren. Don't go." Oren quickly clasped his ears, and took off full sprint. After running between buildings, up and down streets; Oren finally became winded. He sat down on the edge of the street, and convinced himself that he would take shelter in the open air hidden here. At sunrise he would head to the bar to meet up with his companions and give them trouble about this nights events.
Through the night, Oren slept peacefully. There were no unusual dreams, and no one else bothered him. The bright sun from the early morning crept into Oren's face, illuminating through his eyelids. Slowly, Oren looked around and stretched. While standing up, Oren's head pounded. "This ale sure pulled a number on me. I will have to ask Ockrote about that recipe." Oren had mumbled.
Leisurely, Oren made his way back to the inn and gathered all of his stuff. He quickly bathed and headed out to the bar for the journey into Tunis. As Oren came to the bar, it wasn't open yet. Oren continually knocked on the door, but to no avail no one was there. "Bah! These fools must have drunk some of that ale I had." There was no other reason why Oren could contemplate why everyone would be late.
Eventually, Ockrote opened the bar. Oren had been waiting at the door for quite some time before even Ockrote arrived. Ockrote had a surprised look on his face when he found Oren with his gear packed ready to go. "Oren! How was this mysterious adventure you went on go?" Ockrote had commented. This puzzled Oren, and frustrated him further. "So you knew about it! Which one put me up to it? Was it Vikos? Will? Jeremiah? Zeek? Who!" Oren exclaimed.
Ockrote shook his head. "Oren, you never cease to puzzle me. You were the one who left the note in your bunk telling your friends you would not journey with them, due to an unexplained adventure. They were quite mad, and disappointed. After a little bit of search, they decided to head out to where ever they were going." Oren sat down in confusion. "I didn't write any note! How long ago did they leave? I got here today right after sun up, and found no one; or any trace!"
Ockrote again glanced into Oren's eyes. He paused and then commented, "Oren, this was over a week ago!"
Oren cringed, with his eyes shut tightly, and his face in a grimace. "Bewitched by phantasms and ghosts...damned fool dwarf!"
Ockrote put a mug of the dog that bit him on the bartop. "Just heard that Vikos, Will, and Eytai are up
in the Keep...mysteriously appeared in the Great Hall. Bet that gave Javair a start!"
Oren chugged down the ale, and raced out of the tent. "Can't miss the adventure, can I?" The gold piece he threw spun on the wood of the bar, and clinked to a top against his empty mug....