With my presence of mind restored, I pressed on to look for the foreman the Satyr under the falls told me about. It didn’t take for me to find his henchmen. Or rather, it only took a few moments for them to locate me.
As soon as I left the comfort of my little corner, four Satyr bared down on me. The first blow to the head was indeed a surprise, but inflicted little damage, at least as far as I recall. The follow up blow to the head, was merely glancing, as I remember it. The third assault started to get the better of me and I veered off course into the makeshift scaffolding they had erected.
The upturned burlap sacks took the brunt of the next few hits, which gave me time to scramble to a place of safety and mount my counter attack. If I was on the move, they wouldn’t be so easily able to strike me down.
I leapt over the barrels, ran up the wooden loading ramp, hurled myself back down, kicked water into their faces from a nearby puddle, tore open a sack and threw it’s contents over them, then when they were bewildered by what my next devious attack would be, I ignited the sword and plunged directly at them.
They had no chance to avoid the debilitating damage of my strike. My chosen course was completely unpredictable and that mage was utterly stunned when my sword ran him through. His horror struck compatriot dropped to the floor like a sack of wet potatoes. But his look of confusion was wiped away as he caught fire crumpled to the floor.
Things were starting to look up. I ran straight toward the next mage, barely feeling that blistering fireball as it consumed me. I’m sure he expected me to drop to the ground and lay silent. It takes more than fire and common sense to stop me and I wrestled him to the ground.
Metal repels fire far better than the loin clothes those savages skulk around in, and he begged for mercy. My field of mercy was barren, so I had nothing to offer.
That left a single opponent, who was already reeling. A few jabs with the Stone Fist is all he could take.
But just when I thought it was safe, the barricade was thrust open and two Satyr came out to investigate the ruckus. Before they could fully comprehend the scene, I rushed in, sword blazing. They shrank back from the flames, which gave me the upper hand. And when I have the upper hand, crates get damaged and my enemies suffer debilitating humiliation!
I chased down the first Satyr, and while some may call it a less than honorable act, I stabbed that scalawag right in the back. But I interject, I had no choice, he wouldn’t hold still for the proper thrashing I was intent on delivering.
Realizing the debilitating nature of my fighting style, my other foe attempted his own escape. I would have none of that. I tracked his route and cut him off before he could get away. I had no choice but to leave him slumped on the floor.
“Despite how this looks and the trail of bodies and destruction I’ve left in my wake, I’ve been sent here to negotiate, so let’s get to it!” I said walking toward the foreman.
It was clear I was not a man to be trifled with, thus he immediately stated that he and his men had legitimate gripes that should be addressed.
“Oh yes, and what might they be? Come on, out with it!”
“The mines are cold and we want more heat!” he exclaimed.
“Wha?” I said with great confusion. “I’m sorry, say again? There is a tremendous amount of ringing in my ears at the moment and you have me at a terrible loss.”
“The mines are cold and we want more heat!” he said again.
“The mines are cold you say. Is that correct?” I asked.
“Terrible conditions,” he added.
“Of course it’s cold. It’s a bloody mine! We’re underground! This isn’t some sort of vacation resort where the sun always shines, the wind gently rustles through the trees and someone appears every few minutes to top up your drink with a refreshing cocktail of fruits and spices. You have to labor! And by the very nature of the word, you have to be cold and miserable or your aren’t laboring correctly. I’m stunned by this petty grievance of yours!”
“We have other gripes as well!” he retorted.
“Well, let’s hear them,” I said. “I’m all ears. But, I hope they’re of more substance that what you just said.”
“We’re bored, we want to dance,” he admitted.
“Dance? You want to dance? What like sprites in the forest? Want me to get you a maypole and some lovely ribbon and have you go around in circles until you get giddy? Have you looked at your feet? What manner of dance step are you going to get into? I’m surprised the steward hasn’t taken the lash to every one you!”
My fury was peaking at this point.
“You mean to tell me, I risked my life and senselessly slaughtered all your kinsman so you can have heat and dance a bloody jig? That’s what this is all about?”
“Good point,” the Satyr mumbled. “Tell the steward we will get back to work.”
“For the love of the Oracle,” I said as I stormed off. “Curse on you and this whole stupid mine! I should have stayed at the open air tavern and had a lovely evening sipping ale and listening to the rushing water. But, no! I try and help out you lot and this is what happens! Senseless death and violence!”
The Satyr horde had been thinned by my initial visit, but there were a few who tried to stop my retreat. I was in no mood for their boasts and threats of bodily harm, so they each received a hearty punch to the throat as I continued on my way.
“Say Ho Hah again! I dare you!” I yelled.
Back in Jaanaford, intent on having a few stern words with the steward, he immediately deflected my verbal onslaught.
“The fact you are still alive means the foreman is going back to work, yes?” he said.
“Yes. I crushed his hopes and dreams of heat and dance. But, I have a bone to pick with you!” I said with a scowl that I hoped was intimidating.
“Very good, little human! Here is tiny human armor for your trouble. Now you must go!”
With that, he tossed the armor at me, which was quite a bit heavier than I expected.
“Very well, I accept this chest plate, but I don’t think it adequately compensates for the loss of life that has taken place here today!” I said. The Satyr was already ignoring me, so I salvaged the evening by heading back to the pub. With any luck I could use the chest plate as a way to pay down my previous drinks tab.
Oh come now, this is an incredibly dangerous bridge expanse. No wonder there is much hostility down here.
I know you’re in there Mr. Foreman, you come out here this instant! We have a few things to discuss and I’m in no mood for the shilly shally.
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- The Satyr Who Guards The Broken Echoes Silver Mine
- The Mighty Cloak of Yellowness Returns!
- What is Experience Worth?
- Economic Collapse of the Graff Gem Mines
- Because I could not stop for Death
- A Happy Seasonal Yuletide Harvest to You All!
- Finding Some Lucky Leather in South Drachvald Spur
- Liberating the Lucky Nugget in Tenebris Harbor
- The Mansion of Sorrows
- A tiny airship followed me home