Helix cried out in surprise and nearly dropped the flask with a fluorescent green alchemical concoction when the door burst open and an obviously excited, and exhausted Yanika rushed inside. “Drop whatever you’re doing, well, maybe not that” Looking at the bubbling flask Helix was desperately trying not to drop on the floor. “Have I had an exciting day! You need to hear about this!” Zaela poked her head out from the bedroom where she had been hiding from the smell of alchemical experiment, one eyebrow raised at the ruckus. “Come come! Sit!” Yanika grinned widely at her friends as she headed over to the cupboard to get a cup and something alcoholic to drink. Helix might not yet be that great at alchemy, but he did make the best moonshine in this part of the city.When her two friends had sat down and been poured a drink, Yanika sat down on the opposite side of the table.“So, you remember the dream I told you about with the strangers in the street and the black ship moving over the city towards that pyramid?” Helix grinned at Yanika and gave Zaela a poke in the ribs. “You mean the one where you woke up squealing like a pig and bathing in sweat, that one?” Which promptly got him a slap around his big ears by Zaela. Yanika smiled in gratitude as her orc friend half growled and half laughed at Helix. “Maybe let her tell story instead of trying to be funny you big eared oaf!” Helix looked at her in mock hurt, one hand over his heart, the other rubbing an imaginary tear from his face, but he did remain silent though, letting Yanika continue.
“Well...early this morning these two characters show up at the door. Ace and Spade. Yeah I know, I would have laughed about it too if it hadn't been for the fact that I had seen both in that dream. They didn't seem to recognize me at first though. They came here to deliver a letter to me, an invite by some guy named Torrok.” She tossed the envelope with the letter onto the table in front of her two friends before having a sip of Helix’ most recent batch of moonshine. While her two friends went over the contents of the letter, she coughed and made a face as the liquid burned in her throat, then she took another sip. The letter read I am Torrok and I have come from far. It is important to speak with you. Meet me at the Broken anvil Inn. Before either could ask, Yanika continued.“So I questioned the two for a bit, Ace seemed to be the leader of the two, doing most of the talking. Very pretty girl too. Spade on the other hand seems to be the thinker of the two. He checked out the apartment while we were talking. I don't think he noticed that I noticed though. Anyway, they told me that there were more people they had to go and see about this. So I told them that I would go to the Inn to meet this Torrok. And I definitely wasn't the only one. The first guy I met was a half frost giant? frost half giant? A very confusing person. He was very kind and calm though. Told me his name was Atlas, or Aitlas or something. I'm going to call him Atlas for now, it fits him and he doesn't seem to mind. The second was some scruffy looking human boy named Zebular, and another, more gruff looking human named Majid. The last one to join was another half giant named Kayne, whom I've learned by now, is very straightforward and single minded.
”She paused a moment to take a sip from her drink. Zaela and Helix were sitting quietly, listening to their friend talk. For a moment it looked like Helix wanted to say something, but a stern look from Zaela made him close his mouth again.“All of these people are the ones I had seen in my dream, so it can't have been coincidence that we were all invited there. We waited for a bit in the backroom for this Torrok to appear. When he didn't show up, Ace went to ask the bartender about him and came back with the news that he hadn't seen Torrok in days. Right at that moment, some hobgoblin walked in, saying Torrok had sent him to retrieve the Sword from us. Which led to some confusion as none of us seemed to know anything about a Sword being given to us. Majid then accused the hobgoblin of lying, he's a sharp fellow I've learned, and when the hobgoblin was confronted by this, he turned to run. Spade tried to stop him but he managed to slip past and cry for help, or rather order his underlings to come and help. So we followed him into the main room, where his minions were waiting. Some goblins, a derro and some big kitty cat. Kayne managed to flatten the hobgoblin leader in one very messy blow, and his allies were not smart enough to run at that sight. The fight was over quickly though and we captured two of them. And no you don't have to worry, I didn't get injured.”Yanika smiled affectionately at the two of them, she could read the worry in their eyes even though both tried to hide it. She took another sip from her drink before refilling the glass and placing the bottle in front of the two of them.“The hobgoblin, or what was left of him, had a tattoo of a golden owl, but we have no idea what that means. The others decided to interrogate the survivors, and especially Majid seemed to be very keen on doing this while Spade seemed very methodical about it. Long story short is that we learned from them that they belong to a gang in the Rack led by a bugbear named Har Hack, who's a lowly street thug, so no idea where he gets a gang from. They had captured Torrok and he sent his thugs to retrieve this Sword that Torrok is supposed to have given us. So everyone but Majid and I went to have a look at the Racks and this hideout of the gang. In the meanwhile I went to look through Torrok's stuff and found some pictures of Ace and Spade, and a small vial with a silvery liquid. Between Majid and me we figured out it is supposed to be smeared on something metal to make it shine like a mirror. So I guess that has something to do with this Sword they wanted. A bit later the others returned and said they had found the hideout and had learned that the leader knows magic. They also found a back entrance and everyone seemed to prefer this, except unsurprisingly, Kayne.” Yanika paused for a moment to catch her breath. In her excitement she had been speaking rapidly now that the story was still fresh in her head, only pausing to have a drink. For this first time since she had entered their flat, she started feeling the tiredness of the night of fighting and running around town. She sat down with a huff and leaned back in her chair.
“Ok where was I? Oh right.So we discussed a bit on the best approach to free this Torrok and in the end decided that splitting up was not the best idea, so going through the front door it was. When we arrived at the building, in the middle of the Racks, we found a bum sleeping in front of it. The rest of the surrounding buildings had been levelled by the recent earthquakes.” Yanika made a face as she remembered the smell of the place and the sight of the destroyed buildings, briefly wondering how many people had lost their lives in that disaster. “Kayne and Ace went to deal with the bum, and funnily enough it was Kayne and not Ace who convinced the guy to move, without even threatening him. He then proceeded to be his hands on approach self though and kicked in the door. Inside we found a room with a hatch in the floor and stairs leading up. And a lot of goblins yelling and laughing upstairs. So went up and found a big group of goblins torturing an Otyugh!” Anger rose in her voice and in her features as she recalled the scene and how horrible and sorry she had felt for the poor creature. Yanika’s cheeks turning red as she huffed in anger. After another sip and cough, she continued. “So Majid charged in, swinging his swords left and right, but he quickly got surrounded and cut down. Atlas, trying to cover our flank got taken down too and things seemed to go bad really quickly. Spade and me tried to free the Otyugh and finally managed, and that turned the tide and gave me the time to get people back on their feet. Luckily no-one died. You know I have some healing magic but it is still very limited. So while everyone rested and looked around the place, I befriended West. That’s what I called the Otyugh. I also gave him a magical trinket that plays his favorite tune, though sadly eventually that will run out, but I’ll just have to find him again and make him a new one.”She paused again and brushed her fingers through her long red hair, which she now realized, was in quite a mess.”We hadn’t found Torrok yet so went down to investigate the latch, this time, doing it with a bit more stealth. We found a couple of hobgoblins in a room in the cellar and Majid decided to attack immediately, but missed and broke the surprise. That part of the fight was over quickly though. Har Hak, their leader, was another matter. He had been hiding behind a door and when I opened it with magic, both he and Kayne attacked each other. Now Kayne is impressive and al, but he’s basically this big guy in a loincloth and this Har Hak is a huge bugbear in plate armor, so that didn’t go too well for Kayne. After knocking Kayne to his butt, he made himself invisible and fled.”She shrugged a bit and took another sip from the moonshine, starting to feel the effect of the alcohol, lack of sleep and food. A quick trip to the cupboard by Zaela provided Yanika with much needed sustenance, some bread and cheese. She smiled in thanks and continued with the story.
“In the room where Har Hak had been hiding we found Torrok, in bad shape, and some other things, including a drawing of the pyramid from my dreams, drawn on the wall. The most important item was a journal by some dwarves who had come here and created a settlement. The bug bear had been translating the book, but he hadn’t finished yet and the location of the settlement remains a mystery for now. I have the book in my pack so I can continue studying it later.” Yanika patted her backpack with wide grin. “We vacated back to Ace and Spade’s hideout, which turned out to be a private eye’s office, because it was close by and safe. After a while Torrok woke up and he filled us in on what had happened and why he had been looking for us. He used to be and adventurer, or grave robber more accurately, and in some ancient pyramid he found a cursed sword, which gives him strange dreams if he sleeps in the same room as it. And those dreams were about this city and me and my companions, so it led him here.”
Yanika smiled as she pulled out the flask and placed it on the table. “This is a sword, or rather, the sword. It can be turned to a liquid when put into water. And then when you put the liquid on a mirror, it gives whomever looks into it a vision. But we didn’t have a mirror with us, which is one of the reasons I rushed back here, though I think I need sleep more than I need a vision.” She said with a yawn. Zaela had noticed too that Yanika had been falling asleep when telling the story so she got up and lifted her friend of the chair. Before they even reached the bed, Yanika was fast asleep, so she put her down gently. Helix removed her boots and coat and then gently covered her with a blanket. The two friends looked down at the sleeping Yanika and smiled at eachother.