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Fetch Me This and That [Quest: Nanezgani]

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Fetch Me This and That [Quest: Nanezgani] Empty on Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:31 pm

The kind of quests available to Phantom Lord weren’t found by the easiest means. But, one way was an old corkboard nestled in a winding, sketchy alley in Oak Town. With nothing on the docket for the next day, it seemed the perfect time to look for a mission to occupy Booker Nanezgani’s time. Perhaps, another prominent figure needed help from a dark mage? Or, something with a handsome reward waiting? Honestly, even a quest that might help him get more used to this town would help.

Oak Town wasn’t all that complicated, but, Booker wasn’t exactly an adventurer by any stretch of the imagination. He was determined, despite that, to get a better feel for his guild’s home town. What was a hero without a city at their back?

With minimal stumbling through the evening, Booker found his way to that sketchy corkboard, passing a duo of cloaked figures on his way through the evening. He tried to offer them a polite nod, from one wizard to some others, but it seemed they had their dark and gritty aesthetic down pat, and only walked on without a word.

Luckily, the board was abandoned. Only a scraggly man sat beside it, seeking some handouts from the mages that came through. Booker ignored the guy, and took to the board, scanning it up and down for something that looked just his speed. Nothing jumped out at Booker. Every page was offering too meager a reward, too dangerous a job, or looked absolutely monotonous.

Getting desperate for a worthwhile job, he started shifting around the pinned jobs, moving them and lifting them to look at the older tasks underneath. Finally, one caught his eye. Or, more precisely, a name caught his eye. “Serena Nightless.” Booker recognized it, as a cult leader and extremely dangerous personality. Exactly the kind of prominent figure it would be worth making a connection with.

Booker ripped off the task without reading any further than the name, looking back at the beggar to see Snowy messing with him, eagerly awaiting a small piece of meat he dangled in front of her eyes.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, man? She doesn’t eat scraps!”

The old man was hurt, returning his gaze to the guy, “Oh, you have any change you can spare?” he asked meekly, as if it was the first he’d noticed of Booker at all.

His condition plucked at Booker’s heartstrings, who knelt down, placing a delicate shoulder on the guy. “You won’t have to beg for Jewel for much longer, my good man. I’m sorry for yelling,” he sighed in the middle of his thought, “people in your condition… it’s pitiful, just because you don’t have enough of some worthless paper, you’re forced to beg for it, abandoning your pride.”

The man cocked his head to one side. Snowy snagged the meat out between his fingers, chewing on the dry jerky. Clearly, Booker’s words were passing right through this guy’s ears.

“It’s alright,” he resigned, standing again to begin the evening’s activities. “I’ll save you. One day.”

Standing by the light from a street shop, Booker actually read the quest for the first time and was a bit befuddled at its instructions. All the same, a cultist probably didn’t have the most normal tastes. There was no use in questioning the mission itself.

Quickly realizing he had no idea how to find an aged Brusk Root, he sought out a botanist in the town, one he’d remembered passing once or twice on another mission. The mostly unfamiliar streets together with the cloudy evening didn’t make for great navigation, and it took asking a few extras in the cast to figure out where he should be going.

He opened the front door, peering inside to find an older woman making note of something or another at a small desk off to the side of the entrance. “We’re about to close, sir. Can this wait until tomorrow?”

“Ah, don’t worry ma’am, I’ve only got the one item on my shopping list,” he read the plant’s name aloud, patiently waiting for her to point him in the right direction.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to wait. I’ve only got one at the proper age, and it’s on order,” she said, trying to be polite, but it came off as a clear request for him to exit the store. “Perhaps if you come back tomorrow, you can put in your own order for one.”

Booker really wasn’t having any luck with small business owners recently. He snapped his fingers at Snowy, commanding her attention, “Frost!” and the beast acted accordingly, opening her mouth to cast a spell of ice upon a group of plants, covering them in a thick layer of ice.

“What have you done?!”

“Now!” Booker cut off her question, “you going to give me what I want? So I can move on from this chapter already? Or should I take out some more of your inventory?!”

The botanist desperately wanted there to be an easy solution, something that would get her out of this bad dream. But, nothing came to mind, and at that threat, she retreated into the back of the store, taking with her a small clay pot, with an ugly, wrinkled root laying in the black earth.

“One aged Brusk Root,” she said, disappointed she was being forced to give it up.

Booker smiled at the first third of his quest. “Now, I’m not gonna go home and find out you duped me, right? I’d hate to have to make a return visit here.”

“Not everyone is like you! Take your loot and leave! You bandit!”

He grimaced at her slur, but walked off all the same. He hated having to progress his story like this. But, if walking in the shadows was what it took, he’d be damned if he was going to run away like a second-rate coward.

The burnt wood, his next item on the agenda was much easier to find. Passing by a public firepit, he simply commanded Snowy to walk up and pull one of the charred, burning shards of wood from the flames. While he earned plenty of glares from the extras enjoying the firelight, they didn’t say a word.

Booker stamped out the fire and picked up the stick, adding the item to his strange collection.

But, the last piece would be, by far, the most irritating to collect. Not only was he lost on how to find some attainable hunk of metal, but how was he supposed to carry it with the rest of the crap he was meant to be lugging around? Not to mention how ridiculous the request itself was.

He decided the best course of action would be to just head for the rendezvous posted on the request. Perhaps he could give her the first two pieces and gather some illumination on the third.

Of course, some events truly reminded Booker Nanezgani that he was the hero of his story. Because only a hero, a true protagonist, would randomly come across the perfect piece to round out his collection.

There, at the entrance of a restaurant closed for the evening, was a large, ornate metal door. Closed shut, of course, the final piece of his puzzle had been dangled before him. And, loitering in an alley were some perfectly capable assistants. A quartet of teenagers milled about between the restaurant and another dimly lit business, making the most of their night with some banter and relaxed conversation.

Approaching them was a suspicious looking man holding some weird plant and a stick, with a strange beast following his every step. It was no surprised Booker’s appearance halted their conversation.

“And, just what are you supposed to be, man?”

“Instead of wasting your night, I’m the guy that could be giving you all a greater purpose. How’d you like to serve your country?”

The question earned some hearty laughter, “The hell? Are you recruiting for the Council or something?”

“We’re not interested, man, keep walking.”

“Wait, wait, what if he’s got some good pay in store?”

“Ohhh, now you’re talking!”

The mention of both the Council and their godforsaken currency was simply too aggravating for Booker, who quickly saw they wouldn’t be keen on cooperating either. And, the last thing he planned to do was pay them for their help. The idea made him sick.

Refract Fog,” he whispered, casting the spell to partially encase two of them in a swarm of bubbles, “Don’t move an inch!” he warned sternly. All four listened, scared by the stranger’s sudden use of magic.

“This is my Aquarius Prison you’ve got yourselves trapped in, boys. Pop even one of those bubbles, and you’ll be in for a very rough night.”

“Just chill out, relax, man,” one of the teenagers in the back said, the two in front were too frightened to even move their mouths to speak. “We’ll do what you want, just, just let our friends go!”

“Pitiful,” Booker complained, “And to think, you could’ve been such valuable allies. Now you're only willing to help by way of coercion.”

The mage walked towards his Refract Fog, popping the bubbles himself, as if disenchanting a powerful spell.

“Take off this restaurant’s door. Break it off, unscrew it with some pocket knives, I don’t care. But, do it quickly, and then follow me with it.”

They readily were obeying orders now. They took to hastily unhinging the door like professionals, working together to lug the thing behind Booker and his other items. While a great many passers by looked on in confusion, Booker only hoped the metal he brought was big enough to please Serena.

Finally, arriving at the rendezvous, Booker shooed the teenagers away, who were happy to oblige. The task had instructed him to meet in an old lot, mostly abandoned save for some refuse. It seemed just out of place as a sensible meeting spot for some less than legal happenings.

Much quicker than he might’ve thought, an elegant, raven-haired woman appeared from the lot’s entrance, joining Booker and his collection of items.

“Finally, an answer to my quest,” she said with a smile.

Booker nodded, “I’ve heard your name, when I saw it on the mission, I was happy to oblige, Ms. Nightless.”

He guessed that overzealous respect would be the way to win this woman over, but she betrayed nothing with her expression. “And now, finally, they’re here, my items, and my hero,” she said, looking longingly at Booker, who was surprised this hunk of garbage was having such an effect. She really couldn’t have gathered this up on her own?

“With it all collected into one spot, I can-” she paused for a moment. Was that a laugh Booker heard? She tried to resume her speech, but only started giggling again.

“Oh God! I can’t do it, this is too funny!”

Serena Nightless, cultist and feared personality was double over chuckling at the scene she created.

“I can’t believe you wasted your evening gathering up all this crap?! What did you think it was going to be used for?!”
Her laughing started up again, and Booker found himself getting red in the face, lost for words.

“Here, here,” she tossed a patchy sack at his feet, “for your troubles! HA!” her laughing was relentless, and if she wasn’t going to leave than Booker sure as hell was.

Shamefully snatching up the sack and exiting the lot there was only one thought coursing through his mind. Perhaps this would be a chapter best left out, when his story was told.

WC: 1940 / 1000

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