Chronicles of Bronze

The Alchemist

Airest and Thorn awoke that morning and set out to explore more of the town, Airest making for Bowden’s, the Hunter, house while Thorn set his sights on exploring the city’s warehouses and custom’s quarters. During their explorations, a druid fresh in port was wandering down the market street and chanced upon an elderly man beset by three thugs demanding money that his daughter had owed. The druid wasted no time in aiding the old man and dispatching the miscreants. Several other thugs from the same gang, known as the Bones, that were passing down the street came to join the fray as well, the druid deftly dodging and blocking all hits and punches aimed at her and knocked them all down as well. After talking with Boyd and Bowden for a short while, Airest provided the type of gear she preferred Bowden to make from the corpse eater’s corpses and then she set out for the marketplace to restock on supplies. Upon arriving at the marketplace, Airest noticed a group of onlookers watching a fight. Forcing her way to the front she witnessed a druid and her familiar take down another thug. Examining the various thugs sprawled and bleeding on the ground and the crowds joyous cheering at their defeats, Airest nodded her approval which drew the druid to invite Airest to join her in the fight. Airest obliged and faced off against several more enemies as the Bones flocked to the scene. Meanwhile at the warehouses, Thorn was searching for illicit or hidden incoming and outgoing crates and other suspicious occurrences. Slowly working his way from the east side of the city to the west, he noticed several gang marks on many of the dock workers, picking out bones on upper arms, shark teeth around necks and tattoos resembling dragon scales in viewable places. A bone-bearing individual ran passed Thorn and hurriedly explained to another bone-person that a fight was brewing in the market street and to get everyone together for it. The two parted ways, the first heading to the east to find more bone-wearers as the second dropped his task and ran for the street. Thorn also noticed down an alley some teeth-toters and scaled skins talking quietly and then running through the back alleys to the market street. Thorn ignored this and enjoyed the quickly emptying area as he made it to the custom’s area where he stumbled upon a merchant vehemently arguing with the customs’ officer for a prime location to set up shop as opposed to his allotted lot. The merchant, failing his intimidate and bluffs, stomped off as the customs’ officer held his ground, and made for the market street. Thorn decided to follow the robed merchant discreetly. The cleric-druid pair were enjoying dispatching the thugs until a hail of crossbow bolts from an unseen attacker started to rain down on the two. Finally seeing the assailant after several attempts, the druid sent her cat forward to attack the crossbowman atop the roof as the druid slung rocks at him. About this time, the merchant made it to the street and saw the fray as Thorn attempted to approach him. As Thorn drew close, the merchant threw wide his robe and dashed for the opening in the crowd, knocking back a silver vial before jumping over the onlookers to land at the feet of the druid and cleric, drawing a crossbow from his side as he spun towards the rooftop attacker and loosing a bolt. Thorn thundered behind him but was stopped halfway through the crowd where he roared like a hungry lion and scattered the final onlookers who hadn’t had the sense to retreat while two parties were exchanging ranged fire. As the crowd disintegrated, four more bones rushed forward. The bolt fired from the merchant hit the crossbowman square in the side and erupted into a black splash of acid, making quick work of his internal organs as the cat finished him off. The druid and cleric teamed up on the left two bones as the merchant took the far right bone while Thorn decimated the last one without him taking more than a few steps forward. As the last bone fell for the group, they checked their surroundings and saw the entire street had lit up in a full out brawl. With no more current enemies present, the elderly man stood up from behind his crate and quickly motioned for the four to follow him to safety before more showed up. The old man led them to a house home to a familiar face, that of Boyd, the fisherman who had contracted Thorn and Airest to help find his brother’s dead wife’s corpse. They found out that the woman whose corpse they had recovered was the one who “owed” money to the Bones, and that the old man was her father. The old man, Crowley, explained the gang system in place in the city of Malteton, that the “bones” held the residential and market areas, the “teeth” held the fishing quarter, the “scales” had the customs area, and the three groups had separate interests in the warehouse district. Crowley also told them of a fourth gang called the “skins” that bore a pulsing tattoo of demonic skin hidden on their person and that the gang represented a sort of assassin’s guild and possibly the group backing the other three gangs. As he finished explaining this, the group focused on the merchant, asking questions of him. They discovered he was called Paelias the Alchemist and he was trying to get a booth to sell his shampoos. He had been rejected because the customs’ officer didn’t believe his shampoos could do everything Paelias claimed they could. Paelias has shampoos that all alter Charisma and another stat or skill based on needs. He had helped the group to establish that his shampoos were not a bunch of crock and had merit and that he had actually left a construct in the middle of the fight shouting that Paelias the Alchemist helped the innocent in the fight with his potions and shampoos as a sort of advertising agent. As the questions trickled to a stop, both Paelias and Thorn sensed something coming and spun around to the doorway where a hooded figure stopped and stared in. The horns were very prominent despite the hood and all could see the tail lashing back and forth. The druid voiced the question on everyone’s mind, “Who is he?” to which the figure laughed in a very feminine manner and vanished into a cloud of miasma. Thorn and Paelias rushed outside ready for battle only to find nothing. Paelias noticed something at the side of the house and realized it was a fresh corpse and called for the cleric knowing it wasn’t quite dead. They intimidated Boyd into letting them use a cot while the cleric worked on healing the charred body. As Airest healed him they noticed he had a tattoo that eerily resembled the demon skin Crowley had told them of. The near-dead man came too and they started to ask him questions. He told them to leave him alone and cursed that they had saved him from death. When further pressed for questions he told them he would say nothing, but in doing so he let slip that the tiefling had betrayed him. Thorn tied him up and dragged him outside, where once passed the door he wriggled free of his bondage and stood up with dark fire wreathing his hands. The group all drew their weapons and aimed to subdue the burnt man for more answers. As the group swung and fought, they didn’t notice that the once-corpse had edged to the very edge of the docks and was fighting them close to the waterside. The dark fire had moved all the way up his arms as he readied himself for another round with the adventurers as Thorn moved in for a final strike. As Thorn swung expecting him to dodge or block with anything, the man dropped his guard and took the hit in full, knocking him off the edge into the water, a whisper of “thanks” leaving his lips as his breath left him. Thorn dove in for the corpse to re-revive him but it was too heavy to bring it back to the surface or even within reach of the rope Airest threw that was floating at the top of the water. In a rage, Thorn mutilated the corpse underwater, separating it into several pieces before crawling back out onto the dock to dry off. As the group tried to make sense of what just happened and Thorn tried to regain control over himself, they all heard the sultry laugh of the tiefling they had just met briefly a few hours earlier. Turning to look, they noticed she was perched on top of Boyd’s roof watching with a bemused look on her face. “I knew he wouldn’t say anything,” she laughed as the group tried to get her to talk to them. She just laughed again and vanished into the same miasmic cloud she had left in last time. Paelias explained that his construct was about to expire and he needed to go continue the advertising and then parted ways with the trio. They then set out for the nearest inn to rest up for the next day.

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