To New Beginnings
Brock Karn stood silently on the docks of Bloodstone, sword in hand, shield on his back, pack over his shoulder and a smile on his face. I’m a earn here, he thought to himself. Bloodstone was no doubt a place where he could put his skills as an ex-soldier, mercenary and general beat stick to work; and even better he wouldn’t stand out in anyway. As he considered that thought he actually found it funny that for once he appreciated the notion that with the all the thieves and murders around he was not one of them. It was not some moral rightousness or lofty sence of good, after all he was not afraid of killing someone. He just knew that he was not able to do things for his own reasons and right now he had no reason to cause any trouble. Besides, sometimes people just deserve what comes to them. For now all that could wait. He was on his own now and it felt good. The only problem he had currently was nothing to serious, nothing he could not handle; but it needed to be dealt with…he need a place to stay. But standing over 8 feet tall and almost 500 pounds he knew it might be a bit difficult.
Making his way through the filth covered streets; the smell of despair mixed with the spicy aromas of food carts harmonized well with powerful body order to create something that was nothing short of nasty. Pirates, murderers, mercenaries, and cheap whores ran around with purpose in every direction, which he expected. What he didn’t expect were the well to do merchants, soldiers and a few upper-class citizens there as well. Perhaps everyone needs a chance to be bad at times, he thought to himself. As he continued to wander the streets he happened to notice a large female Ogrun standing outside a rather lavish and unusually well to do building in the middle of all the decayed and poorly arranged structures though out the town. He stood to the side for moment watching the lady ogrun check weapons and padding down everyone who entered the large hotel with a sign lit by small ornate lanterns…White Witch Palace. He eventually began to move on when the Ogrun female shouted out. “Hey there!” It was in his own tongue giving him no chance to simply ignore her.
Brock still continued to walk until he heard another shout for his obvious attention. He slowly turned to face the White Witch Place and he before him stood the lady Ogrun.
“Hello, I am Vilin.” “What brings you here to Bloodstone” She said in their language. She stood tall and sure of herself like this was her home and she had nothing to worry about in the mists of all these thieves and murderers.
“That’s it? Brock?”
Vilin looked over Borck for a moment “Do you have a place in Bloodstone?” The question was almost rhetorical he thought to himself.
No I always carry everything I own on me as a walk around the world’s worst places. He thought to himself. “Not yet, just got in on a merchant ship stopping for repairs. Thought I would look around and see if this place was worth staying around”
Vilin looked at him for what seemed like a good 5 minutes. She was obviously sizing him up for something when she said “Hmm…come with me. You may be in luck” then she quickly shouted to another would be bouncer and told him to watch the front door.
Brock followed Vilin into the grand building before him noticing the fine curtains, chandeliers, furniture, rugs and wonderful smelling food. His stomach made a noise that was almost embarrassing. He didn’t’ get far before Vilin put her hand on his chest and told him to wait. So he did. She then walked over to an almost embarrassingly dressed human. Her dress was red and purple with a lot of…filly dilly’s he thought to himself. There was simply not a better word for what that dress was made out of. The two ladies spoke and then the lady in the frilly dilly dress approached him.
“Brock or rather Mr. Karn. This is my employer Lady Rhinehart. She would like to talk to you about a room we may be able to rent you.” She bowed to Lady Reinhardt, turned to Brock “Good Luck” She said to him, and then walked away.
As Brock turned to Lady Rhinehart he found himself looking at her hand elegantly held out in front of him. He had seen this before when he escorted merchant from Ord. He grabbed her hand and kissed it. Then smiled the best smile he could produce. This was all too much he thought to himself but he had nothing better to do.
“Vilin tells me she gets a good feeling about you and as luck would have it I could use another Ogrun at that moment. Tell me…Brock…it is? Tell me why you are here in Bloodstone?” The lady’s presence hung over Brock in a way he did not care for but had to respect.
“Just arrived. Thought I would see if this was a place worth sticking around.” He said evenly.
“Wonderful, you will do”
Lady Rhinehart called out to a small frail girl and told her to take Brock out to the old shed near Vilins and to show him where the kitchen was. She then turned to Brock “Nice to have you here Brock. We will talk more in the days to come.”
The girl’s name was Rebecca or Becky and she couldn’t weight more than 90 lbs. She was powder white but Brock could see bruises under the powder and thought she was way too young for this but he never could understand humans so he did his best not to care to much. Becky talked a lot and he had some trouble heading out the back door hallway as it was very narrow but they eventually went through a gate and ended up in a side yard. It had piles of metal and wood and there was a blacksmith shop to his left. He liked that. On the other side of the yard stood two buildings one was neat and orderly, the other was not. He knew immediately that was his new home. It was not much but he didn’t care as it seemed the proper fit for his requirement…it was big with a bid double door.
As Brock began to clean up his new house he smiled…this place was just fine.
When he finished he decided to continue his walk through the streets. Now that he was staying he needed to figure out his surroundings. Bloodstone had main avenues, if you want to call them that but it seemed to have a web of side streets and alleys. The buiilding were stacked on top of each other and in such a way that couldn’t make much sence of ho to get around. Above the streets there a maze of makesift bridges and planks that connectes houses and roff tops in a web of confusion. He decided to stick to the streets as heleft the hotel and headed out with his armor, shield and weapons in hand. He was unsure if liked or didn’t like the fact that just about everyone in Bloodstone was armed to the teeth. As he pondered that he heard a scream form an ally to his left. A girl was running from two men and she looked like her dress was ripped and torn. He moved to the entrance of the ally and settled next to the wall. He watched the show wondering if the girl was in trouble or simply getting what she deserved. The two men caught up to her and began to beat her and then a third unfolded a large bag. Brock then decided he needed to ask a couple of questions. He jogged down ally and called out for the men to stop but they were too preoccupied with trying to get the girl in the bag. Then without warning one of the men, one farthest from him, shot at him. That was simply rude and all he needed. He pulled his sword readied his shield and charged full force into the first man. The man tried to pull a pistol out but Brock was too quick. There was no hesitation in his movements. His sword came down and the man was in two pieces without a sound. Then two more shots rang out and the men shouted what Brock thought was a battle cry but it was bit too pathetic to be one. Both shots glanced off his shield and brock busted out from behind his shield and decapitated the man next in line. As the blood settled the third man ran around the corner. Brock pressed his attack until he rounded the corner and was looking at about 20 different places the man could have run off to.
The girl laid there screaming at Brock not to hurt her. Brokc once again couldn’t help but think humans were stupid. He just saved her. She was crying, shouting and looking at him like he was the monster.
“I am not going to hurt you.” He said. Stupid Girl, he thought. Are you ok?”
“What?” was all the confused girl could say.
“I said, we should be going as that guy could return with a lot more friends and bigger guns” He offered his hand to the girl.
She took his hand and as he lifted her up she informed him she worked for at the White Witch Palace. He couldn’t help feel like he should get paid for this stuff. “I am Alison the girl said softly”
“Well Alison as luck would have it I am Brock and I now live at the White Witch Place. Let’s say we go home” He was smiling as best he could.
The two made their way thought the streets and by the time they were at the White Witch Place he thought Allison would never shut up. For a girl who was almost abducted she was quick to put that behind her move on with her life. He was actually impressed. He could think of 10 or so men, front line soldiers, who could never do that…good for her the thought…live for the now.
They walked up and Vilin face told Brock he was about to get blamed for the girls tattered look but before Vilin could say much Allison told Vilin the entire story in about a 5 seconds. Brocks head spun from the quick story and as Allison finished Vilin thanked Brock and took the girl inside. He couldn’t help but overhear that that this was not the first time one of Lady Rheinharts girls was messed or taken. Perhaps there was more he could do for this Rheinhart Lady. More money he could earn. Oh..and he just killed two men and the town didn’t even blink. As he laid in bed that night with clean sheets,warm, and not terribly hungry he thought one thing. He was really beginning to like this town.
Brock woke up to a soft knock at his door. He put on a shirt he had and walked over to the door. He could see Becky standing there all dressed up. Don’t these girls sleep he thought to himself. He opened the door and before he could say anything she began to tell him to dress for breakfast. Behind her was a table filled with breads, fruits and meats sitting in, on around very nice table setting. He hoped it was not for him but his belly sang out telling him not to care about all that just eat. He shut his door and told the girl he would be out in a minute. When he arrived to the table Vilin was sitting there and Lady Rheinhart was approaching in another dress. This one was light and airy but still very ornate and worth more than what these girls make in a week, or so he thought. He paused wondering if he should eat or not. He didn’t much care for all this prissiness but at the moment his belly told him to grin and bear it. It seems like a whole day as he stood there looking at Vilin standing there quietly but Lady Rheinhart eventually sat down and told the other two to join her. Brock, Vilin and Lady Rheinhart ate breakfast like the two females talked about nothing in particular until Vilin told Lady Rheinhart one of their girls went missing last night. The two exchanged worry glances and spoke about how it was affecting the other girls.
“You need me to find her” he asked puzzled.
“No but perhaps you could provide escort around Bloodstone for the girls we send to clients” Vilin said.
“Clients?” He said looking sorta stupid.
“The men…and women who would rather have our girls meet them else ware.
“Oh…I guess that sounds better”
“Yes but more to the point of the conversation they need an escort through town from time to time. I would ask you to do so for me and some other work around here in return for your apartment. Do you agree?”
Apartment is that what we are calling it, he thought to himself.
“Sure. Do I get paid?” He asked.
“You will. Vilin shall make the arrangements” Lady Rheinhart stood not even giving him a chance to respond, smiled at each of her Ogrun employees and left the table with group of girls following her.
The two orgrun discussed terms. Brock’s pay was small but he would not be entirely tied to Lady Rheinhart’s whims leaving him able to find work else ware. Escorting whores…not what he had in mind but it would do for now.
Later that night he was cleaning his armor when her heard Vilin’s heavy hand knocking at the door. As he answered the door she wasted no time telling him he was needed to escort Becky to her appointment across town. He had nothing else to do and as jobs went this nothing to difficult. He put on his armor and headed to the lobby. Becky was there looking like a well-to-do merchant trophy wife waiting for him at the bar. He spent a little bit talking to Vilin about the recent attacks and abductions. Vilin seemed to be holding back but he learned that recently there were a few girls who went missing and Lady Rheinhart was not going to take any more chances. As they spoke a man approached them and Vilin introduced the man, Stacks, to Brock. Stacks seemed to live in the hotel for the time being and worked as some sort of messenger. It was all very tedious to Brock but he was nice enough. Stacks eventually moved on to whatever he does and suddenly a girl was inform on him, dressed and ready to go.
Brock took the girl to a run-down inn across town and was instructed to stay at the inn while she entertained her customer. He didn’t like waiting but couldn’t argue so he sat down at the bar ordered a drink and sat there watching people. The room was full of people. Many were gambling or watching the tables the place was loud and tight. Music was being played on out of tune instruments and forcing the entire crowed to yell as they drank and gambled. Brock looked over his mug and say the man he met at Lady Rheinhart’s place, Stacks was the name. He nodded ever so slightly to a man sitting across the room at a gambling table. The man looked serious enough as looked at her cards and the others at the table. Brock wondered if they simply know each other or were here for some sort of business. He sipped his drink, checked his armor and continued to wait patiently. He spoke to the bartender a couple of time asking simple questions about bloodstone and the establishment he found himself a prisoner of in only a little bit.
That girl needs to hurry up and get done with it, he thought to himself.
He turned back to face the crowd noticing a man, a newcomer to all the fun, who by all intense and purposes was looking for a fight.
“Hello, I am Gavin Armsdale, and I am looking for those who consort with the “Keepers of the Gate!”
Many of the individuals looked up and smiled. Brock did not like what he saw one bit. Crazy humans doing crazy human things was not something he wanted to be part of. He quickly moved outside as the shooting began. Shots rang out all round him and one even hit him but not the damage was superficial. He needed to get upstairs to get to Becky. He made his way around the Midnight Star as all hell broke out inside. He ran up the stairs to meet two individuals running on the balcony outside. The looked at him and began to draw pistols. Brock did not hesitate. He charged in with a thunderous roar as his sword came hammering down on the man closest to him. Shots bounced off his large thick shield causing do damage to him. He then squared off against the other man and hit him so hard he flew off the balcony as his entrails scattered as he hit the ground. Brock was worried, not for himself but for the girl he was supposed to protect. But he had no time for that. He walked into second floor and found himself on the balcony. Doors everywhere and a fight below, he had no time for this crap he thought to himself. He did notice many of the men below seemed to be fighting that human Stacks and another man wielding two pistols. The place was getting rather messy and there was caster moving to the stairs casting spells at the two men.
“This could work!” he said out loud.
Brock began to smash in doors and by the time he got to the third door he found Becky hiding naked with a man doing his very best to hide behind her. What a pitiful human he thought as a smile crossed his face.
“Get dressed Becky” He through her clothing at her and then said “Hurry, we don’t have all day”
Becky got dressed as fast as she could and before she could really finish Brock grabbed her and headed back to the stairs he came up. The shouting had settled but people were yelling and crying and he had no time for that too. With Becky in toe he checked the outside balcony saw no one and headed back down the stairs. One man came up them and as he came down and was met with the Brocks boot. He was taking no chances. He rounded the corner and couldn’t believe what he saw. The pistoled man was standing there having shot another man and was walking toward 4 more who were daring pistols.
“Humans sure a funny bunch he said to Becky” and then waited to see what would happen next.