“They’ve even turned Fireforge’s boy, the faerie one.” His faced scrunched sourly as he flapped his fingers like tiny wings. “Saw him arrive at the station, I did. Real blood proves true, it does.”
“You spendin’ lot of time at the watch eh, Sedirek?” A loud clatter as the speaker hoisted his new wooden prosthetic onto the poorly balanced table.
“The fuck’s that supposed to mean? Someone’s gotta keep an eye on that nest of snakes. How else you gonna spot traitors? Death to all traitors, I say.”
“Someone certainly tipped ’em off about the Lackerton mine.” Another dwarf rumbled into his tankard, glancing sidelong at the wooden stump before quickly looking away.
“Fucking snitches, selling out their brothers. I say death to all traitors, watchmen and elves. Nothing but cowards the lot. They’re no match for us in a real fight.”
The table wobbled precariously as the wooden leg grated across it. “Yeah? Know a lot about fighting do you Sedirek? More than a cavern-finder? How many Bulettes you faced that couldn’t be defeated by turning the page? Oscar didn’t raise no coward, elf or otherwise.”
The dwarf seated between shifted uncomfortably. “Brother Steelback, what are you—”
“I’m saying the enemy ain’t the stupid bastards down here in the shit with us. Those elite motherfuckers in the Capitol, high up in their goddamn Tower, that’s who’s starving us and our families.”
“You going soft on us, Steel? The watch do you a favor so now you’re all sweet on them?”
“Yeah, some cowardly watchmen saved the lives of me and mine. Whereas you’re just a sleazy piece of shit that I’d sleep easier if we chucked down an open mine shaft.”
“Peace? Came to the wrong place for that. Only hard fightin’ ahead of us here, even if the Brewers hold their end of it, so spare me the idealistic bullshit. Because there’s gonna be a lot of us growing new wooden limbs before it’s all said and done.”
PERSONS OF INTEREST:
- Inspector Kuggs – Lead on Red Phantom Task Force at Underton Station. Dispatched officers to Certis for their safety and promoted them to Acting Constables.
- Ulara – Thief who cracked the safe at the Puckered Goose. Kuggs has placed her in witness protection.
- Constable Faeland – Kuggs has been alerted this officer may be a co-conspirator of the Red Phantom.
- Shank the Sharkman – Gang leader terrorizing the cavernlands between Reaches. Involved in the trade of restricted weapons-grade shrooms with the Brewers.
- Sargent Barnabi – In charge of Certis Station in the Lower Reaches.
- Oscar Fireforge – Respected foreman and political figure of the Lower Reaches mining community.
- Terrance the Magi – Resident magician for a three-man consulting agency.
- Howard the Plentiful – Large priest who weighs in on the divine.
- Rijndael the C̥̟̭̕r҉̪̰͉̫y̵͎͚͍p̯̀ṱ̴͚͓͎o̭m̝̘̞̜̰͠a̙͓̱͈͚n͍͍̦͇c̖͓̭̳̭̳ḛ̸̞̺̻̫͓r – Probably some kind of pervert.
- Officers temporarily dispatched to Certis Station in the Lower Reaches until the Red Phantom incident is contained.
- Traveled to Lower Reaches by Geary’s Gate using a little known tunnel system. Met a retired Snerf Watchman who warned about Shank, a ruffian who had staked out turf in the cavernlands.
- Met a peculiar woman in purple garments being chased down by Shank’s bullywugs. In the ensuing melee, she very nearly twisted an ankle.
- Acquired a Sack Of Bats, a Ring of Self-Invisibility, and a strange ivory mask of divine origin.
- Officers dispatched to investigate rumors of illegal mineral extraction deep in the Lackerton Mine. The mounting tensions between the miners and constables appeared to be at a breaking point, until an enraged Bulette reminded them of what they shared in common: not wanting to be killed by Bulettes.
- The Bulette’s physical appearance was deemed atypical due to missing segments of armor and a proliferation of strange tubes emerging from its flesh.
- Upon investigating the tunnel the Bulette had emerged from, the officers found themselves in a strange hidden laboratory. Unfortunately, without their dour canary the watchmen nearly succumbed to toxic fumes. Through a herculean effort, Constable Rockbreaker managed to haul his squadmates to safety while under fire from scaled men in white coats wielding tasing wands.
- Not much is known about the facility, other than the repeated printing of “S10-4” along the walls.