Author Topic: [Short Stories Advertising Potions]  (Read 1006 times)

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cmenden

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on: August 12, 2019, 05:11:51 PM
Suicide Rahim left the Seam behind, his face and body smeared in viscous mud, the men of mud wouldn't be invading the City this day.

It was good training, he thought to himself, but the opponents were too weak. If only there were better opponents to train against.

He had heard rumors that there was a dangerous wizard who had entered the service of House Orza by the name of Ramon, this would prove a suitable sparring partner, for training.

But wizards have magic, he mused, I will need more magic than I contain in my body. It's fortunate that I bought these potions from Anemone before my trip into the Seam.

He went to the Peerage Ward and shouted to the gate for Ramon to face him. As the wizard showed up, he flexed and all the dried mud that had caked onto his body broke apart under the force of his muscular action.

The wizard shuddered in fear, but he knew he could not say no.

"I cannot deny your challenge, sahib. Prepare yourself."

Suicide Rahim drank a Potion of Wisdom, then he drank a Potion of Clarity, then he drank a Potion of Strength, then he drank a Potion of Grace. They tasted good, for potions, and they were very potent.

The wizard Ramon cast spells of his own, but they weren't as impressive as the perfect combination of the potions and a powerful warrior who had trained his whole body to be a weapon.

The battle was over before it began, and in short order, Suicide Rahim stood over a defeated Ramon.

Now that he had proven himself once again, who would he fight next?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 06:41:02 PM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 13, 2019, 05:38:28 AM
"I only water gardens with sweat and blood."

Suicide Rahim spoke to no one, but the universe heard him.

Ozymandias, his oldest and truest friend, emerged from the hole into the secret garden where he meditated.

"Suicide Rahim, it's... the Knaves. They've... got the King. You gotta stop 'em, before they do something we're all gonna regret."

He looked over Ozymandias, only just then noticing that the burly halfling had a dagger sticking out of his ribs.

Ozymandias drank another Endurance potion he had bought from Anemone the previous day, "I can still keep going, Suicide Rahim, I bought twenty for the very reasonable price of 1600 groats, but here, you're gonna need these."

He handed over a sack and as the muscular man looked in the sack he saw that it was full to the brim of arcane potions.

"If the Knaves are lucky, I'll let them drink these before the battle, so the fight is fair," he stated, stretching his muscles as if before a big fight.

"Just do what you gotta, Suicide Rahim, we're all counting on you!" Ozymandias retorted.

And with that, Rahim crawled into the hole, leading out of the Garden, a look of grim determination in his features.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 04:38:35 PM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 13, 2019, 04:55:06 PM
Meanwhile, Across Ring 99, In the Catacombs of the Peerage Ward...

Shivaun took a long drag on her cigarette, a smirk curling at her lips.

"Everything is coming together," she said to her husband's tomb, but no reply was forthcoming.

She ashed the cigarette right on his name, one of the small satisfactions left to her in the world.

"Your self-importance got you killed, you know. You may have thought you owned the entire City of Rings, but you owned nothing, not even me, your wife."

She spit on the grave, for good measure.

"We'll see who owns what. My loyal soldiers hold the King in a secret location, beyond your cold, dead reach. When I reach them, I will whisper my Wish into his ears, and he will be forced to grant it."

She stared coldly, at the cold stone, of the grave in this tomb.

"As for my wish... well, wouldn't you like to know?"

And with that final utterance, she strode purposefully forward, seeming to glide as if she were a ghost herself among the spectral forms that also occupied the catacombs that contained such ghosts, and spirits, and sometimes bandits.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 05:13:50 PM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 14, 2019, 06:30:11 PM
As Suicide Rahim emerged from the hole, he realized he wasn't alone.

"Show yourself, or I will know you are a coward." he growled to the air.

"Call me a coward again and I will cut out your tongue. That's what I do to liars." replied Zargon, who emerged from behind a rock he had been lurking behind.

"The Knaves are your master now." Rahim did not ask a question.

Zargon snarled, foul spittle flew from his lips, and his breath reminded Suicide Rahim of sahuagin, like fish and putrescence.

"I am my own master but I enjoy violence so much that I'll kill you for free, even though the Knaves are offering a great sum to my treasure hoard." He smirked, as he spoke.

"You talk too much." Suicide Rahim said, reaching into the large sack and throwing a potion to him.

Zargon opened the potion, sniffing at it, "Poison? You must think me a fool."

"It's a potion of strength, made by Anemone. I value a fair fight."

Zargon sneered, "Anemone and quality are synonymous, everyone knows that. This mistake will be your last."

He drank the potion and his muscles bulged, causing his clothing to tear, revealing his new, larger muscles. It also made his breath smell better.

Suicide Rahim drank a potion of his own, from the bag, cleverly choosing Grace, because sometimes speed can triumph over power, he knew from his training at the monastery.

The battle was fierce, but short. Zargon lay defeated, face down in the dirty cobblestones.

Suicide Rahim was disappointed, but not surprised. He heard a commotion coming from the direction of the Cube, and could sense the presence of a powerful warrior.

"Your masters await. Let's not disappoint them."



cmenden

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on: August 15, 2019, 05:11:00 PM
Suicide Rahim traversed the labyrinthine streets surrounding the Cube, purposefully striding toward his destiny.

Outside the cube, three people stood on the gallows, nooses around their necks, as two Arbiters looked on.

Javier spoke, with some effort, around the noose, "The Ferrymen were just paid to rescue the King, by concerned citizenry... perhaps we could work something out, friends!"

To his right, and to his left, Svala and Kethra nodded their agreement.

The Arbiter known as Irontone spoke, his voice like gravel, "Ye be accused of violating the fortieth scroll: even the mercenaries be suffering for the sins of their employer."

Suicide Rahim arrived at this exact moment. He surveyed the scene, and did not like what he was seeing, he didn't like it at all.

"Release the Ferrymen. Your cube is far from the Courthouse and your justice is no true justice at all."

The second Arbiter spoke up, "Our justice is the only justice that is true, untainted by the machinations of the King and his cronies. You should leave, or else you will join them for violating the sixty-eighth scroll: interrupt a hanging and you will also be hanged."

Irontone pulled out his blow gun and said "I be thinking ye only learn through pain. It be fine, we will show you our sting."

Suicide Rahim stood up to his full height, and cracked his neck. "Stings? No. The only sting to fear is that of pride when failing."

He took a potion from his bag, but noticed it was a potion of barkskin. He tossed it aside, because he knew that they often tasted like animal feces and mistletoe.

"On second thought," he uttered, his voice like steel, "If I can defeat you without drinking any of Anemone's potions, you will free the Ferrymen."

Irontone nodded gravely, "We be agreeing to ye contest, but as scroll ninety-nine says: never go into battle without Anemone's potions."

The Arbiters reached into their bags, and both drank a number of high-quality potions.

Suicide Rahim grunted, knowing this would be his first true challenge if he truly wanted to save the King.



cmenden

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on: August 16, 2019, 06:12:34 AM
The Arbiters lay defeated before him. Suicide Rahim's cowl and pants were torn, his bag of potions was depleted, and signs of the battle were all over his body.

The Ferrymen bolted as soon as they were freed. They took the bloodiest of jobs, but they also valued their lives, and their skill was such that it wasn't usually their own blood on the cobbles.

He searched the Cube, but could find no sign of the King.

"What lead the Ferrymen here? They had to have known something was here." he said to no one, and no one responded in turn.

At first he thought they may have been mistaken, and he nearly gave up hope, but then he noticed something that caught his attention. A scrap of paper was sticking out of the Arbiter's bag. He investigated it further and saw that it was a note, written with remarkable penmanship.

It said, "Meet me at my husband's grave in the catacombs when the deed is done. No survivors." Suicide Rahim recognized the signature immediately. Shivaun was behind this. Of course she was.

He made for the Peerage Ward, entering the Catacombs through a secret entrance he favored, near Bloodiron's Stall. He ran his fingers along the gravestones, most were undisturbed, making it clear when he found the right one.

The ash of a cigarette was on the ground, and even the name on the tomb was ash-marked.

A spectral form rose up from the Tomb, growing ever larger, looming in the darkness of the catacombs, until it seemed to encompass the entirety of the space.

I'm going to need more potions, Suicide Rahim thought grimly.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 06:22:14 AM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 16, 2019, 06:48:57 PM
Suicide Rahim watched grimly, as the spectral figure took form, a human-looking form, but one that floated, instead of standing on feet.

The figure spoke, "I know you, Alrahim, I see and hear more than people realize."

The ghost glowed with an inner light, belonging to his spirit body, and by that light, Suicide Rahim could see, that this ghost was handsome, and powerful.

"I sense great power within you, spirit. I would know your secrets." he uttered, still in a guarded stance, used by warriors who need defense rather than offense.

"Call me Adrian," came the reply, "I will tell you of my dearly beloved wife's plans."

Suicide Rahim relaxed a bit. He could always sense when an opponent meant him harm, and this helpful ghost's battle aura was powerful, but quiet.

Adrian continued, "She comes here often to brood, and often talks to me of her plans. The Knaves hold the King in Ring 101."

"Impossible." Suicide Rahim, retorted, "The gateway to 101 is sealed, and none may pass beyond."

A smile crested his spectral visage as Adrian said, "None of mortal flesh, perhaps, but you have ghostly assistance."

"You would help me, against your own wife?" Suicide Rahim was suspicious of the offer.

"I will save the King from her, and her from herself," came the cryptic reply.

"Time is of the essence, but we will need potions. Lots of potions," the muscular warrior uttered.

"Open my sarcophagus."

Suicide Rahim grabbed the lid and gave a mighty heave, throwing aside the stone. It shattered as it hit the stone of the ground.

Inside the sarcophagus was an enormous collection of potions brewed by Anemone, potions of strength, grace, endurance, seeing, speed, displacement, and even wisdom.

"But how...?" inquired Rahim.

"I've been saving them for a rainy day, my friend, and in my City, it always rains," Adrian replied.

And with that, Rahim gathered the potions into his large bag, and he strode out of the Catacombs, his newest ally floating along beside him.



cmenden

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on: August 18, 2019, 04:00:37 AM
As the rain fell at the gate to the 101st ring, Morgan stood guard. If not for his boss asking him here, he wouldn't have come.

She had smashed the activation button completely, so no one was getting through this gate. Besides, it didn't even have a brazier to warm his hands.

Walking up the path to the gate, he saw two men approaching. He blinked, thinking it a trick of the light, but one of the men was actually a ghost.

As all reasonable individuals are, he was terrified of ghosts, but he stood his ground.

"Who goes there?" he called out to the duo.

"Suicide Rahim and a dead man. If you do not let us pass, then there will be two dead men here."

Morgan drawled, "I wouldn't be much of a gate guard if I let you through, now would I?"

Suicide Rahim removed the bandages around his fists, "No. You would not."

Adrian shook his head. As much as he wanted company in the spectral realm, he preferred things to be resolved peacefully.

Suicide Rahim ended it with a single punch.

Morgan coughed up blood, his own blood, and slid to a sitting position, slumped against the gate. He drawled, "I have one last request. Let me taste one of Anemone's potions, one last time."

Suicide Rahim was a man of honor, so he pulled a potion of displacement from his bag, and handed it to Morgan.

Morgan nodded with appreciation, and popped open the vial. He drank from the potion, and for a moment, it appeared as if the potion had made a spectral copy of Morgan, but that's not how potions work, even high quality ones made by Anemone.

It was his ghost, separated from his body. He floated to the other side of the door, and opened it with ghost powers.

Suicide Rahim and Adrian the Ghost shared a look. They both knew there wasn't much time to reach the King.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 04:50:46 AM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 19, 2019, 05:47:10 AM
Suicide Rahim and Adrian the Ghost hurried through the gate to Ring 101.

It was a grid of streets, each one containing a fountain. Everyone knew it was easy to get lost, if you didn't know the way.

Normally, Suicide Rahim loved puzzles, because they were fun, but today he didn't have time for puzzles, the King was in danger.

He could sense a powerful energy, the presences of many dangerous foes, and he followed his senses directly to them.

As he emerged from the Fountain Maze with his ghostly companion, he came upon an army of Knaves, all lined up in orderly rows. They seemed to be watching someone give a speech, up on a stage.

Adrian pushed Suicide Rahim to the ground, most likely saving his life, because the Knave Army didn't notice them.

From the ground, Suicide Rahim stared out over the sea of Knaves, expecting to see Shivaun, but instead they were taking orders from another.

"Is that...?" Adrian asked, too surprised to finish.

"Maldon Kirkland, their leader," Suicide Rahim finished, having put it together himself.

"Anemone was once robbed by the Knaves. This will hurt her." Adrian stated.

"Her heart is as strong as her potions. She will be fine," Rahim said firmly.

They both realized in that moment, that they loved the same woman, and maybe they would have to fight one day because of it, but today was not that day.

Today, their foe was the secret Leader of the Knaves, Maldon Kirkland.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 05:51:41 AM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 19, 2019, 05:05:03 PM
Kirkland finished his speech and felt satisfied. The Knaves would defend the plaza in case Suicide Rahim showed up, and Shivaun was on her way.

Once she showed up, he would kill her. The King's Wish would be his, and only his.

He laughed to the heavens and the Knave Army joined in. The sound was deafening.

He left the plaza. The Knaves would handle Suicide Rahim, and he would await Shivaun.

Meanwhile, just out of sight, Adrian and Suicide Rahim watched him depart.

"Alrahim, you must stop him, and save the King," Adrian the Ghost spoke with determination, through gritted spectral teeth.

"I'm aware of that, spirit, but first I must defeat this Army." Suicide Rahim replied, his face a grim mask.

"There's no time for that. I will handle the Army." After saying this, the spectre gave a loud whistle, and the sound of flapping wings could be heard approaching.

A ghostly wyvern flew to him.

Suicide Rahim sprung to his feet, assuming a fighting pose, "I won't let you die twice to this wyvern."

Adrian smiled, shaking his head, "As ghosts, we discovered we had a lot in common, and now he is my friend."

He pulled out a Potion of Clarity and threw it to the phantom wyvern who ate it in one bite.

"He loves potions as much as I do, especially high quality ones like Anemone's," Adrian stated, matter-of-factly.

Suicide Rahim grunted, satisfied that the Plaza was in good hands, wispy and diaphanous hands, but good.

As ghost man and ghost wyvern took off into the sky, he began to climb down the cliff, to the plaza below.



cmenden

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on: August 19, 2019, 08:49:57 PM
Suicide Rahim made his way through the crowd. He was a shadow, unnoticed by the Knave Army, who were too busy fighting off a ghostly man on a spectral wyvern.

He closed the distance to the compound quickly, two sets of stairs ascended to an entryway. He climbed as fast as he could. The King didn't have much time.

Suicide Rahim reached the top of the steps. Straight ahead, he saw another figure reaching the top of the opposite staircase.

Shivaun stared him down. He stared back.

"Only one of us is going through that door," she declared.

Suicide Rahim nodded, grimly, and replied, "I know."

He opened a large bag and said, "I have enough potions for both of us. Anemone's potions are too potent for it to be fair."

She shook her head, withdrawing her own large bag, "That's all right. I brought my own."

They compared potion bag sizes and seeing that they were roughly equivalent, both were sastified that the coming duel would be fair.

They began to drink rapidly, first the longer lasting ones, such as Strength, Grace, Endurance, and Wisdom. Others came rapidly: Blur, Clarity, Displacement, Speed.

The potions were so powerful, they didn't need the lesser potions of the Divine, or the foul smelling brews of the Druids.

Blows were exchanged. The battle may have been short, but for the combatants, entire lifetimes seemed to pass.

In the end, only one could emerge victorious, and it was Suicide Rahim.

The battle had been taxing. Suicide Rahim's clothing was torn. Shivaun's armor was battered and broken.

Shivaun took ragged breaths, seating herself against the railing, and she took out a cigarette, "Can I... get a light?" She held out a cigarette.

Suicide Rahim nodded grimly, and cast a Fireball so precise that the flames at the edge were enough to gently light her cigarette.

Shivaun smiled gratefully, coughing a bit. Suicide Rahim grunted and turned for the door.

Shivaun's cigarette fell to the ground, still burning, its lone ember forgotten because the dead cannot smoke.

Suicide Rahim pulled on the door. The King, and the Leader of the Knaves awaited him. He knew he had better be ready.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 08:51:36 PM by cmenden »



cmenden

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on: August 20, 2019, 04:18:16 AM
Suicide Rahim entered the compound, ready for anything.

It was dark and foreboding, visibility was low, and he knew his opponent would have the advantage under these conditions.

He reached for his belt, where he kept a special potion, just for such occasions.

Suicide Rahim drank deep of the illuminating draught, lighting up the room.

Much better, he thought to himself.

Kirkland, revealed by the magical light, began to clap very slowly.

"You are everything I'd h-heard you w-were," he said, eyes staring at Rahim, seeming to drink every secret from his body like fine wine from a nice glass.

Suicide Rahim felt naked beneath such a piercing gaze, but he steeled himself, and replied simply, "You are not."

Kirkland scoffed, drawing a bow that was so dark, it seemed to absorb all the light around it. He melted into the shadows, chuckling.

As Rahim reached into his bag and drew a vial of Strength, the vial was knocked from his hand by an expert shot from the darkness, falling to the ground and breaking. He cursed.

"Without Anemone's quality p-potions, you can't face me, Rahim. You know it, and so d-do I." Kirkland mocked him from the shadows.

Suicide Rahim grimaced. Kirkland was right. If he hoped to stand a chance, he was going to need to level the playing field.

A technique came to him, but he wasn't sure he could pull it off. He realized that he had to try. For the King.

As arrow after arrow pierced his flesh, tearing at what remained of his clothes, he reached inside himself, and opened the Gate of Flame.

The air heated up rapidly, crackling and burning around him, as a burning ring of fire swelled outward, engulfing the entire room.

Kirkland tried to leap out of the way, but he was caught in the flames. He hurried to put them out, and that was all the opportunity Suicide Rahim needed.

He drank a single orange potion, vanishing from sight.

Now, the True Battle could begin.



cmenden

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on: August 20, 2019, 04:31:14 PM
Suicide Rahim was invisible, giving him plenty of time to drink potions. He drank one of each of the important ones, quaffing them with a preternatural speed.

Knowing what was coming, Kirkland pulled out his own much larger bag, and drank like there was no tomorrow. For if Suicide Rahim bested him, for him, there wouldn't be.

Suicide Rahim dismissed the illusion, appearing in the middle of the room.

Kirkland arched an eyebrow, one of the few things that could be seen with his cowl on. "Why d-didn't you strike from invisibility? Are you m-mocking me?"

The muscular warrior merely shook his head, "I would never do such a cowardly thing. In fact, I value fairness so much, that I will give you all that I have."

Kirkland was confused by this. Had he been holding back all this time?

Suicide Rahim began to unclasp the rings on his wrists, casting them aside. As the weighted bands hit the ground, they hit with such force that they caused the beams holding up the ceiling to shudder and strain.

The masked merchant shouted, "Impossible! No man can have such strength!"

Suicide Rahim was more than most men. He had mastered all the gates. He had transcended mortal limitations.

He seemed to move so fast that he was everywhere at once. Kirkland's stealthy Arrows from the Darkness technique was no match for a straightforward fight, and he was bested in moments.

As his fist flew toward Kirkland's face, Suicide Rahim stopped suddenly, a split-second before connecting.

Kirkland raged, "D-Do it! Or do you not have the n-nerve?"

Suicide Rahim pointed to the door, "Leave this place. Change your ways. If you do not, then I will find you and finish what I started."

"Why are you doing this?" Kirkland was in shock.

"Because someone I value highly would be very sad if you died," came the grim response.

Kirkland threw a smoke bomb, and as the smoke cleared, he was gone.

Suicide Rahim found the King bound and gagged in the next room. With a single strike, he removed both ropes and gag.

"Thank you, Suicide Rahim. You have saved me, the King, and I will grant you a boon. What is your greatest desire?"

Suicide Rahim thought for only a moment. The answer came to him immediately.

"I wish that the City would never stop providing me with new challenges, each greater than the last."

The King smiled. He had known Rahim's wish even before it was spoken.

"It shall be as you wish."



cmenden

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on: August 21, 2019, 05:59:28 PM
Robert Gillam set his shovel down by his side as he relaxed in the chair, at the Spinning Groat Casino.

He looked around the room and saw that it was filled with the lowest sort of scum, the kind of men who kept a gravedigger busy, murderers and thieves.

Genovalio the Casino King made the rounds, shaking hands and evicting those who his magic vision told him were not the "right sort" to be in his Casino, in other words, groatless.

A waiter attended to Robert, asking him what he'd like to drink.

"I'll take a mixed drink, an old favorite of mine. Two parts Velstra gin to 1 part potion of Clarity, top shelf, with just a spritz of lime."

The waiter nodded brusquely and retreated to the bar to make his drink. He reached for the counter, where they kept the Winter potions. He grabbed for it but noticing Robert's gaze upon him, his hand migrated upward, to the bottles with the signature A marking them as Anemone's higher quality fare.

The Gravedigger satisfied, continued his sweep of the room.

A band began to play music as his drink arrived. The curtains parted on the stage, and the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen stepped forward.

As she began her dance routine, Maria Courtenay looked around the room.

The hunchbacked goblinesque creature known as Ironblood shambled around the room, talking to various groups of people.

The High Thaumaturge knew that when you saw one Orzan, others were surely not far behind.

Robert Gillam had nearly finished his drink when he noticed the room begin to spin. He immediately knew the room wasn't spinning, because the casino's name didn't refer to the building's ability to spin. He had been poisoned.

As the Gravedigger looked around the room, searching for a way out of this apparent trap, the music swelled to a crescendo, and the Orzans attacked.



cmenden

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on: August 23, 2019, 10:38:22 PM
Robert Gillam rose to his feet despite being poisoned. He took the shovel in hand.

The Ironblood creature escaped in the commotion. The gravedigger had expected as much.

Seeing that the time for performing had ended, Maria Courtenay reached into her stockings and pulled out twin daggers. She had possessed them since she was a child, training in the monastery. She had named them Virtue and Purity.

An Orzan with a large axe came up behind Robert Gillam, preparing to swing down and send the grave digger to his own grave, that no one would dig, because he was dead.

The High Thaumaturge leaped from the stage, landing on the shoulders of the Orzan. She squeezed her legs together and stabbed Purity right into his ear.

He howled in pain and rage, dropping his axe, he stumbled around and she jumped off him, landing on the ground, back-to-back with Robert Gillam.

He glanced back, speaking to her in a voice pained by poison. "I don't know who you are, but I'm glad you're on my side."

"Who said I'm on your side?" she quipped back with an enigmatic smile.

"Listen, lady, any side that saves me from being put 0 feet under is a side I can get behind." He was all business, but business also included gratitude.

"I'll get us both out of here, but you won't be seeing my side or behind, so don't get fresh." As she said this, she handed him a vial labeled Ironguts by Anemone.

"Just what the doctor ordered." He said, before drinking deep of the heady draught. The potent liquid entered his body and he felt better able to shake off the poison, as the potion supplemented his natural hardiness.

With his vision clear, he hefted his shovel and began to fight back. He knocked aside men and women wearing orange and black, clearing a path to the rear exit.

Swinging her twin daggers Virtue and Purity, Maria Courtenay defeated an equal number of the attackers. The daggers drank deep, their blood storage containers filling up slowly. The altar wouldn't go thirsty tonight, she thought to herself.

They escaped the casino, to the catacombs below the City, and finally had some time to breathe.

Robert Gillam spoke up first, "Do you have any idea what they were after?"

She nodded, licking sumptuous lips, always painted the perfect shade of red, "They were after this."

And with that, she pulled from her robe a rolled-up map. "They were after the map to the Golden City."