Skip to content

The Inn

Little more than a storehouse of liquor, and just enough space to deprive travelers of their coin in exchange for space enough to sleep, The Mountain Goats Inn stood defiantly against the winter winds.  Which made the bundled and shivering crowd all that much more out of place.  Hastily packing away what they could grab as they ran for the door, they had no intention of describing what had happened inside.  What they knew was leaving as quickly as possible, regardless of the storm that was just starting to loose it’s stinging rage, would perhaps save them from the horrible shrieking fates of the man that burst at the sound of thunder outside, and the man who ventured back in for his drink.

She rode up out of the thickening maelstrom, and used her long staff to aid in her dismount from her beast of burden.  She was wrapped in thick furs, with full deference to utility and warmth, not a thought given to concealing, nor flaunting the fact that this was a woman.  Her beast was a different tale, fully 18 hands high, a Piatek, a rare mammal from very ancient times. This animal had a very large beak and strange hair which stood on end.  It took a lazy arced path around the fleeing former patrons of the Inn, and settled into the largest open area of the now emptied stables.

The woman strode confidently to the door, sniffing slightly as she paused at the cracked door.  The metallic tang of cooling blood and sorcery was in the air.  She took a few pinches of the special ingredients she carried in pouches, some outside, and some inside her furs.  Then in one graceful motion bent over sweeping her fingertips across the ground in front of the doorway, snatching a single grain of dirt as the final ingredient for her pouch she had just prepared. She lashed the miniature sack to the top of her intricately carved staff, and drew a dagger and flint to alight the pouch.

Thus prepared, she stepped in through the door.

A quick scan around the darkened common area assured her of no immediate magical traps, and she muttered a two syllable prayer to the appropriate god.  Chairs and tables were overturned, and two bodies were at the center of the room.  Through her torchlight she spied the one on the floor, twisted in half and beyond the agonies of life.  She had the great luck to look up, past her right shoulder at the slightest glint out of the corner of her eye.

The dead merchant dropped quickly on sinewy, elastic cables of what used to be his innards.  The organs dangled out of his exploded trunk cavity, and his medallions clinked flatly as he lunged for her.

“Jenevieve!” he yelled, in the beggar’s voice.

She had no time to respond, as his intestines reached for her with minds of their own, set to strangle or rend.  With three short flicks of her wrist, the dagger cut the closest danger, and she swept in with her long staff, wrapping the rest of the squirming mass deftly, using the point of it to keep the enraged corpse at bay.

She kicked it back, as it kept shouting at her, “Trying to make me forget!  Making me so ignorant and diminished that I would stoop to speaking as a commoner!  Consider this fine fellow a taste of what I shall do to each and every tow–”

It was cut short by a powerful yank on the entangled intestines.  While the corpse had ranted in the other’s voice, Jenevieve had thrown the staff like a warrior’s spear, into the air, over the rafter, and as it reached it’s apex, increased its weight by a magnitude sufficient enough to balance the trap corpse at the right height for a lightning-fast roundhouse swing of the dagger to sever the cables that held it in midair.  The corpse flailed as it fell, and Jenevieve continued her spin back around, and deliver the final blow to the brain of the animated body with a loud “CHOCK-K!”

Breathing slow and easy, wary for any further danger, she cleaned off her dagger and sheathed it, then turned about on her heel, and strode for the door.  There would be time to clean the furs later, because if he’d retrieved his tools, his trail would be almost impossibly cold.

Back outside, she extinguished the flaming pouch in the snow, wrapped it for later use, and chanced the delay of a general directional tracking spell.  The Piatek stirred, sensing it was time to depart, and merely stopped to devour the larger one of the two slain men’s horses in a mere two bites with its powerful beak.   It would need the energy for speed.