Diamond Cascade: Shifty’s Friends

Alturiak 13: Strong was Diamond Cascade’s desire to leave this sink of corruption and return to battling the vile hordes of darkness sweeping the land; yet as he prepared to leave, word came of one of Diamond Cascade’s most dire foes. No less than the wicked dwarf Durmijeron might be found within this place, for he is a servant of the seventh house of the city, the house of Valdas whose symbol is the two-headed serpent, and in matters of this house, many strange deeds are afoot. Diamond Cascade vowed to bear the stench of this City of Sin for as long as it would take to bring the “white dwarf” to final justice.

No hurry though.

So Shifty takes us to some place he knows, The Flying Goose or some-such, not that I much care apart from needing to know where to stagger back to once I’m done partying. I have to admit, I’d kind of thought the whole letter delivering business was Shifty’s problem, since he’s the one carrying it, and the rest of us would be left to our own pleasures (or whatever substitutes for them in the case of The Monk and the Knight of Something). But no, there’s a mad dwarf (can we meet a dwarf who’s not mad, please, one day? Or mad in a has-a-fetish-for-stamps sort of way, instead of mad in a has-a-fetish-for-severed-heads kind of way? Or do dwarves have the same social management principles as the elves and the reason we only ever find lunatics is because they’re the ones who weren’t allowed to stay at home)? Mad Dwarf recognises Shifty but not before The Monk has to kick his butt in an arm-wrestle and thus piss him off (because the loony social outcasts of elves and dwarves getting together is, like, a total recipe for social harmony. Not). The Mad Dwarf has a  friend (Karallis Fane? But I’ll remember him as the man who thought that wearing a deep purple cloak over dark red clothes mad him look cool instead of making him look like he’d just crawled out from under a bad accident involving several tuns of wine) who has to show up and we all have to walk off to some swanky house run by some Lord Smelly Arse (Aros Reekiel, was it?) who then proceeds to ask all sorts of questions that I, for one, would prefer not to answer, such as ‘who are you and why did it take so long for my letter to get here and what have you been up to on the way’? We tell him some bollocks, but here and there the odd bit of unguarded truth slips out. On the plus side, Lord Smelly Arse shares our dislike for Durmijeron. On the minus, well, now everyone knows about the stupid riddle the Gnomes left for us.

Afterwards, Shifty and I go to a pawn shop and offload the shit we lifted from the dark elves while we were busy pretending to help the Gnomish Kingdoms. Got to say, the plus side of having half your old friends killed: You get to keep their share. Never seen so much gold. Ever. Or so many pornographic paintings of dwarvish ‘ladies,’ but that’s another matter.

Downside of half your old friends getting killed? New friends. Yes, The Monk, The Mage and The Knight of Something, all still here. Come on bandits, where are you when I need you?

After that, maybe some more shit went down, but if it did, I was in an alcohol, sex and I-have-more-gold-than-I’ve-ever-seen related coma, and it went down without me. Unlike my temporary friends Romana and Tallulah.


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