Wikkit's Journal Entry 1

Day 1. Where the HELL am I!?

No shit, there I was …

I had just finished refilling my purse1 and was considering my travel options2. Wandering down an alley I hadn’t noticed before, I saw a sign over a store that said “Thrings”. Figuring that a proprietor who was illiterate might also be innumerate, and always willing to pick up a little extra dosh for the road, I shrugged and pushed through the curtain.

1 Wikkit’s Rule of Gambling: Lose small at first, then win moderately, then lose big at the end – but only big enough that you actually walk away with a modest profit. Then WALK AWAY. That way, your investors aren’t twigged to your lucky coin and call in the watch. AKA No Arrest for the Wikkit.

2 Wikkit’s Rule of Winning: Leave town. Quickly but discreetly. Before
they DO catch on. AKA The Wikkit Flee When No Man Pursueth. (Because, let’s face it, fleeing when they’re pursuing is No Fun At All.)

The first thing I noticed was the dust. I’ve seen deserts with less dust. Hell, the cobwebs were the cleanest things in there.

The second thing I noticed was the gloom. Even though it was bright sunshine outside, by the time I’d taken a half-step inside, it was so dark that it was like looking at a dim light through smoked glass.

The third thing I noticed was … the owner. He was a brownie. I hate brownies, the little perverts. He sneered at me – I guess the feeling was mutual – then climbed a ladder to a high stool where he could look down on me. Y’see why I hate brownies?

I started with a friendly greeting: “How’re things going, you undercooked gnome?”

He shot back, “I didn’t know there was a circus in town, midget.”

Now that was right unfriendly, I thought – and altogether too close to the mark3.

3 See my biography.

I riposted, “Nah, or they’d’ve snagged your shrunken ass for the sideshow. I haven’t seen your store here before. You just move in?”

“I’ve been here awhile. Just because you halflings can’t see your own noses in front of your faces …”

I decided to move on in the conversation. “How are you fixed for scrolls?” I asked. I’m always on the lookout for scrolls to help me maybe translate the inscription on Luckbringer.

“I’ve got a few, over there …” and he waved vaguely toward a dark corner. I gathered my courage, gave Luckbringer a quick rub, and headed in the direction he indicated. I kept my senses as sharp as possible, watching for traps in front of me while listening for a knife from behind. Never trust a brownie, I always say.

The gloom made even my night vision struggle. It was almost … magical … in intensity. As I worked my way back into the depths of the place, I passed oddly decorated pieces of armor, strange tools, piles of musty clothing. I tried hard not to stir up the all-encompassing dust, but still managed to send myself into a sneezing fit, to the immense humor of that little waste of skin on the stool.

My eye fell upon a lamp. At first I thought the wick was especially long, but upon closer inspection, I realized that someone had stuck a scroll into the spout. It was small, tattered and moth-eaten, but definitely a scroll. I picked up the lamp, and navigated through the mess back toward the counter.

As I went, I tried to get a better look at the lamp. It was your typical oil lamp, with a rounded bowl extended in both directions for the handle and the spout. There was some decoration around the lip where the lid attached, but nothing that would fetch a high price in the market. All-in-all, it couldn’t hold a candle to my brother’s work.

When I got up to the counter, I asked the tiny terror, “How much for the scroll? I’m not interested in the lamp.”

“10 Gold pieces for the lamp and scroll,” he said.

10 GOLD PIECES?!?” I said. “That’s 100 times what the lamp is worth, and I don’t even WANT it! Just the scroll!”

“10 Gold pieces,” he repeated. “Both together. Take it or leave it.”

This was outrageous. I decided to show him I could bargain with the best. I grabbed the scroll, ripped it out of the lamp’s spout, and said, “See, they don’t have to go toget-”

And noticed the smoke.

Roils of black smoke came pouring out of the lamp, choking and blinding me. I dropped it and heard it hit the floor, then felt myself sinking into unconciousness. The last thing I heard before the blackness closed in was that brownie cackling madly.

Did I mention I hate brownies?

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Wikkit's Journal Entry 1

Crimson Skies PhoenixMark