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Legends of Taltos:Crusaders


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Reading Rai's glance as a request for him to stay near, Ben takes up a protective stance slightly behind her. He brushes aside his awe at his surroundings and focuses instead on any possible threat from the alien world that they have entered.

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While she waits for a reply from Freen, Janara tries in her mind to recall exactly how many drovers, horses and cattle were now travelling with the party from Denelspire. She looks around, first making certain that all the people that came with her from the Spire have gotten off the barge. Ben and Rai are standing closeby, and Joe is almost impossible to lose as he stands almost a head taller than most of those around him. Thankfully Zeke and Bhogmur are in the wagon, otherwise they would both easily be lost in the crowd.

 

She takes a second look around, worrying because she has not yet spotted Malachias, Rune or Guillom. It seems unlikely to her that a ranger like Rune would become lost, and she suspects Mal and Guillom would neither one wander far in a strange land.

 

Her stomach growls.

 

She turns back to Freen, who still appears quite weakened.

 

"Well? What next, Marcus Freen?"

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Khowloon leads Erik through a portal on the northern side of the temple.

Again there is the joyous burst of colors and sounds seen earlier in the city. A crowd has formed a short way ahead, pushing and retreating from some central stimulus. On drawing nearer, the sounds of heavy exertion, and solid punches is readily apparent. Erik is witnessing an impromptu performance of the Reptus art of pit fighting, and blood is already flowing from both participants...

Erik slows as he approaches the fighting. Although both of the combatants are fierce and bloody, the gathered crowds seem strangely quiet. They seemed to be watching mater of factly, only occasionally giving a low whistle or click of the teeth.

 

Turning to Khowloon Erik asks, "Is this normal?" His attention is called back to the fight by an eruption of whistles, clicks and clacks from the crowd. One of the combatants stands victoriously over the other. The victor lets out a loud roar, and then speaks loudly in his native tongue.

 

Khowloon answers his question before Erik can ask it. "He speaks his name and parentage, asks for another fight. Come, there is more to see."

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"I done tolja, I don't want any gods-blasted dead rat," a gruff voice exclaims loudly as the party is assembling on the dock. Rune shakes his head vehemently at the reptillian street vendor as he pushes his way through the crowd towards the others. He manages to find Janara.

 

"I tell you, Janara, don't go scouting ahead in this blasted city! I'm gone five minutes, and I have to fight off half a dozen panhandlers!"

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"Don't like big towns?", replies Janara to Rune's observation. "'Least these people here don't smell bad like beggers usually do."

 

She holds out the rat that had been offered her earlier. "One of 'em gave me a rat. I think they eat 'rats here. If they do, they'd shure love Gangrel. There they got rats as big as Nokhai."

 

She calls her dog away from the drover he was pestering, still feeling a tinge of guilt for having chucked the poor drunken human to the floor at the inn back in Yanus. After taking a furtive glance around to be sure the snakeman who gave her the rat is not looking, she dangles the rat in front of the dog's eyes, hoping Nokhai will find it more appetizing than she does.

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"Mmmmm, beer and mustard," Aridwyn muses, rather more enthusiastically than one would expect from an elf. "All this talk of food is making me hungry. I wonder where we can get something to eat? Preferably not rat." She looks at Freen, hoping he takes the hint.

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Freen, who seems pre-occupied, turns half way around to answer Janara and Aridwyn, and crashes into a tall, well-dressed human, nearly knocking himself to the pavement. Before he can curse eveyone arouind him, he realizes that he is looking at Erik Firebaugh, Crusader.

 

Khowloon steps in to intercede, lest trouble occur, only to be near trampled by Joe and Janara running up to welcome their friend. The Reptus interpreter soon finds himself surrounded by half-orcs, humans, an elf ,a dwarf a halfing, and one small orc, singing to a fish in a bucket.

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"ERIK!!", shouts Janara as she instantly loses interest in the nonconversant Marcus Freen. Amidst all the hugging and handshaking between reunited comrades, Janara does not put alot of thought into how he came to be in the Reptus city, but the question eventually crosses her mind.

 

"You was goin' back to the Spire weren't-cha? How'd you get here b'fore the rest of us? Didja get lost?"

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Rai's face reflects shock and confusion as she sees Eric and her curoisity over throws her manners. "Yes, good Sir Eric, that is a justly question. I would be very interested to learn just how you were able to return to the Spire, lend the aid that was requested then manage to arrive here before us?"

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