“Sir, It’s been over a year. I don’t think the men can handle the workload of this magnitude.” The Iron cleans the sweat of his brow as he turns to his foreman. He looks at his foreman with a sadness yet determined look, “We have no other choice. We need to find this relic or everyone here is as good as dead. There is nothing to go back to for us. Once we find this relic, we will be richer than any Pureblood in Holy Wood….” He looks down into the mine where several miners are working. “Everything will work out in the end… it has to.”
The Rover walked up to the bar and saw the man covered in mud, his clothes thorn to shreds, and from the looks of it badly scratched up. “What happened to you, friend?” He asked curiously. The man looked at him with a blank stare. “Let me tell you what happened.”
He takes a shot of hooch. “There I was out hunting in the forest. Trying to look for my next meal and all. Then suddenly I saw him. Some creature covered in leopard skin, he had a hat that had the same leopard look, a rugged-looking face, and a bunch of gold chains with the letter on it. He had a crazed look on his face.”
“At first I thought it was just some Natural One hunting as well. Boy… was I wrong. . I saw him standing over a dead deer with blood in his mouth and hands. He was wearing some black armor with card symbols on ‘em, not a leopard skin. He looked straight at me and said ‘No quarter!’”
At this point a Genjian stood up and said, “I saw him too, but he wasn’t in some forest. I saw him screaming at a tree by the river. From the looks of it, he was crying and shouting something about the tree being a good son and was hugging it. And he was wearing a scarf made out of the skin.”
Then a ‘Merican interrupted, “No no no. That’s not what happened. I saw him out on the field. He was digging a hole. I walked up to him and was shouting out ‘Don’t worry! Daddy’s coming!’ Tears coming down from his eyes and everything. He wasn’t even using a shovel, he was using some sword.”
The Rover looks around the room, “Did anyone else see anything?” More than half the tavern raised their hands. “Anything that actually makes sense!?” Every hand went down...
The two DJ guards take up their shift in the caravan. “I’m not crazy, Kang! I know what I saw.”
The DJ shouted at his fellow guard. “HA. There is no such thing.” “And I’m telling you it really happen!” They argued back and forth until an old looking Rover comes up to them. “What the heck are you two talking about?” The first DJ smiled with glee as he explains.
“The Ghost of El Dorado…”
Kang, the other DJ, rolls their eyes at the comment, “And I’m saying there is no such thing as ghost.”
“Will you let me explain to the old man!?”
The old Rover sits down next to them. “Please...tell me more.”
The DJ begins to explain. “Alright, there I was sitting on my guard shift when suddenly this fellow walks up to me and ask if he could keep me company. I thought ‘Hey this guy doesn’t seem to be armed or dangerous. What can he do, right?’. So we were just chilling there talking and trading stories until he started telling me very creepy and spooky stories. I was pretty freaked out. But after a good while of stories I felt that it was quite entertaining, even if it was kinda scary. Made me feel more alive, you know.”
“We get it, what happened next?” Kang said with curiosity.
“Well I thought, hey I should at least give this guy something for keeping me company. But I second I look away he was gone… Nowhere to be found. It was just me and the wind…” “So what do you think of that Mr. Rover.” He says he turns and sees that the old Rover was there no longer. The two DJ stared at each other as they sit on their guard shift with the realization that they were all alone.
The hunter hugged her friend fiercely and clapped him on the back. "Dude, did you hear about those bat shit crazy Unborn the other night?"
"No what about them?", he replied, grimacing at the strength of her affection.
"Well, when I was out hunting, I saw about three Unborn charge head first into a group of Radbears, and they ripped them apart with their bare heads! They started to take parts of the bear like trophies or something... kinda weird if you ask me."
"Well, now I guess you had that Spirit Walk I gave you for your birthday finally, huh? Tearing apart Radbears with their bare hands?" His laughter filled up the quiet bar. "But I do agree, Unborn are just weird in general."
“All these new Natural ones coming into town are starting to make this place feel less like a settlement and more like a giant tribe”, complained the Merican, sipping his tea at the bar.
His companion, an older Solestros, replied “They are bossing around the other natural ones around, I think it's funny if you ask me”.
“What if they start bossing non-natural ones around?”, said the first.
"Then I will pull out my famous heavy lead revolver and shoot them right in the crouch”.
The Merican replied, "I don't know about that. They might just kill you”.
"So, I got a new bead. I heard there's a new sheriff and he don’t gots no cops. It’s just the one guy. There’s no way he can keep an eye on everything, so what I’m saying is they’re all primed for a bushwhack. I’m not promising that we’ll all live, but most of us can get away with some pretty sweet stuff if'n we hit em hard and fast."
The fisherman, greeted his friend that pulled up a seat next to him at the Stonegreen Tavern. "How are things, Todd?"
His friend replied. "Going good Sam. Oh, but make sure you don't head up that fishing hole you fancy up in the hills."
"Why is that? No one knows about it, and there's damn good fishing to be had there."
"Well, there's an sickly sweet stench coming from the hills. Like blood and rotting meat. Really nothing out of the ordinary, just thought you'd like to know."
"Hey, have you been up the old Swamp lately?", asked the Merican, slightly tipsy from the fourth round.
"Not for a bit, Hank. "she replied, her words slurring. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, there's been a group of doctor-looking folks hauling what looks like a heavy lead box into those old ruins."
"I didn't think that doctors looked any different from anyone else Hank", his friend giggled. "I'm sure its nothing."
"Ima telling you Ted, that the City O' Gold ain't no joke. Word is that Coster's army eats like kings. Its all from the endless bounty of El Dorado. We need to go and get us some!!!"
“Did you hear about the creature recently?”, whispered the Laskie quietly on their patrol.
“Wait what creature? You mean IT?”, replied the slim Merican, who's hand reached down to nervously caress the handle of her gun.
“Yeah… It’s been what two years? I’m concerned…”, he whispered back.
“Don’t be, I doubt it's back, besides I’m sure as long as we stick together it will be fine!”, she replied, her nervous laughter belying her true thoughts.
“The suns out, and it only burns a little! What a lovely day! I wonder what kind of animals i'm going to see today!”, exclaimed the Lascarian, skipping through the tall grass.
“Some guy was telling me had he a bunch of bombs that destroy blue!”
“No way! That is beyond not chill dude!”
“Yeah and i heard he was going to blow up the Tavern!”
“Thats a joke, the tavern hasn't been blown up in forever dudeeee!”
“It's been real nice around here lately! Quiet, nothing out of the ordinary. I'm actually getting things done!”
“SSSSSHHHH. don’t say things like that! SHE can hear you…. Do you want all hell to break loose?”
The rover fell to his hands and knees, the fist of the one behind him holding the scarf around his neck tight. It loosened for a brief second allowing him to catch a short breath in before it tightened again. The person chuckled, “Suffering makes you stronger little one”, before continuing their relentless torture.
The elder of the small tribe stood stunned watching the helpful stranger walk away into the distance. His people gathered around him looking at all of the resources that were just handed to them. Everything from books to brand new weapons to the supplies and prints for building. “Who was that?” “What did he say” “what did he want?” The tribes people all stared to talk over one another asking questions of their leader. He hushed them. “All he said was ‘choose good’”...
Perched on the cliffside two of Coster’s took in what was in the field below. The larger of the two groaned and turned over, collapsing their seeing glass and tucking it safely away in it’s pouch. “The first time I saw a Raider, I thought there was nothing worse. Screaming, crazy, rabid, and fast. I tell you that was about as bad as I thought it got. Come on!” Slapping their companion's arm they jumped to their feet. “ We gotta report back, Coster’s gonna wanna hear about this. Fucking Raiders, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse they organize into a giant fucking army. I’ll tell you what if that thing heads to El Dorado, it’s every damn survivor for themselves.
The Wall was filled with noise and ruckus. DJs called out gruff greetings to one another and gathered in circles, while the merchants they had transported exchanged pleasantries. After the storms the roads had dried enough that is was time to celebrate the bounty it had brought. Rover caravans were not absent from the jovial affair. Spirits were high, in part because of the potential for personal profit. Word of the Hellions recent victory was being repeated in spectacular proportions, about making the area safer for caravans.
As one more caravan pulled up and the dust settled, it’s escort a step of two above the norm for the caravans’ in the area. More than a few heads turned and whispers rippled through the wall. The golden blazen I-5 proudly displayed on the vehicles gaining the attention on some and the ire of others. Passengers scrambled out of the caravan, a group of Solestros, with broad grins and bright eyes. Followed by a few scattered rovers, and remnants by their garb. Lastly two crimson clad Purebloods, their gear for as much utility as for looks, armed with what looked to be the best money could buy.
"Did you hear that Artie?"
"What are you barking about now Gus?"
“What’s that hissing sound?”, Artie replied.
“Nevermind. Guess it’s nothing.”
Huffing and wheezing he half-ran, half-shuffled into camp. “I’ve got news about The Greek”. Eril’s band mates relaxed and lowered their weapons.“What did you find?”Eril paused for a moment, and shook his head. “There are a lot of them. I was able to sneak in and out unseen though. The place is mostly buried under centuries of dirt, but I found this.”Eril held up a large rectangular box. There were two circular holes in the front where speakers used to sit. The back had a frayed cord hanging from it. Eril and his band mates looked at it in awe. A real Kings Court relic.
“There’s more out there, I’m sure of it. And I think there’s some kind of solar array out there too. It’s kind of like the one near El Dorado, ‘cept there’s a bunch of ancient DJ rides parked underneath. But it’s mostly untouched. I wonder if anything could be scavenged from it.”
“Let’s get some sleep, we need to tell El Dorado.”