After our minor scuffle with the two Jagged Storm cronies Jolt and Fade, my pals and I stood in the tavern with Barda and our new friend, Jayce. My companions were a wee bit shaken from the brief spat, but they were soon put at ease by the lad’s charming demeanor, kind disposition and dare I say it, dashing good looks. The beers were soon flowing as the lot of us crowded round a table and got acquainted with the handsome chap.
A right charmer! We were smitten, to the last. Or so I assume – I wasn’t spending a whole lot of time looking at the others. Our new best pal was, as it turned out, a kind of mediator, using his affable ways to help settle disputes between denizens of the Pit.
Once we’d been properly acquainted and had a bit of a chinwag, the discussion returned the the unpleasant topic of those bastards, the Jagged Storm. It was inevitable, Jayce and my companions agreed, that the Jagged Storm would work out that the two thugs had met their end by our hands. I wasn’t so sure, and suggested that we should just deny all knowledge, but in the end we decided that the best course of action was to declare war on the Jagged Storm.
Or rather, to not declare anything and simply go to war without telling them. That seemed the more strategic option.
Jayce told us everything he knew about the scoundrels. There were ten of them – well, eight now: Quill, a cruel bugger who acts publicly as the leader; Boulder, his enormous bodyguard; Asp, a snake-like woman who seems to be the real leader and is also involved in a local gambling den; Frost and Rime, creepy incestuous twins with ice powers; Fetter, a timid man, not often seen but rumoured to be very powerful; Perfidy, a dust head (nobody seems to know much else about her); Veil, who possesses camouflage abilities; and Jolt and Fade, deceased.
We were all generally in agreement that the first of these to be dispensed with would be the leaders, Quill and Asp.
We soon embarked on our first act of war. Not an act of violence, but an act of trickery! Celeste left the tavern and went out to a busy street bustling with people. In the crowded area, she created an illusion of Jolt and Fade walking along as if they hadn’t just been killed in a tavern and tossed down a waterfall. To the eyes of everyone present, the two goons were alive and well, ready to continue terrorizing the populace. With any luck it would keep the Jagged Storm from getting suspicious for a while.
The next step was to start gathering what information we could about the habits of Quill and Asp, so we could work out the best way to reunite them with their departed cohort. Those who we told about our intentions were invariably a mixture of nervous and sympathetic to our plan, and it didn’t take us long to get an idea of where they liked to spend their time. In Quill’s case, it was a cave of ill repute known as the Welcoming Pits. He had several favourite girls there who would regularly stroke his quills, so to speak.
Kill Quill: Volume 1
After reuniting with the gang to compare notes, we decided that we would pay the Welcoming Pits a visit, and see if Quill’s regulars would be willing to help us. Celeste would wait outside and keep watch, while Cat would stay hidden in rat form, and to the proprietors of the Pits we would seem like nothing more than two young lads eager for some warm sheaths in which to place our swords. It seemed like a solid plan – go in, talk to Quill’s girls, see if we could work out a plan to dispose of him.
“Plus,” I told my friends, “while we’re in the brothel there’s no reason why we can’t make use of their services!” Cat gave me an uncomfortable look (probably indigestion).
We made our way over to the Pits. At the door was a burly guard, who halted us as we approached. He said he wasn’t going to let us in, but a smooth talker like me was never going to be held back for long, and I soon talked him around. We stepped into the cave entrance, and entered a small lobby area where we had to leave our armour and weapons. I wasn’t too happy about that, but we had to play it cool so I reluctantly handed them over. Feeling naked, and in fact being mostly naked, I followed Ash down a tunnel that led to the main area.
We emerged into a huge cavern. True to the venue’s name, the Welcoming Pits were indeed most welcoming, and comprised mostly of large pits containing tents, where all kind of goings on were going on. In the middle was a desk where a bizarre looking madame of the establishment sat. She was tall, and by the looks of it partly made of fungus. Every now and then, a cloud of spores would float out of the top of her head.
I sauntered up to her. “Alright lass? We’ve made a reservation online.”
She looked up at us. “I’m not sure what you mean,” she said.
“Never mind,” I said. “We’re the Slum Witches. We’re here to fuck bitches.”
This she understood, and she asked us what kind of girls and/or boys we were looking for. I filled her in on my preferences and she said she had just the girl for me. I told her that sounded great, and sat down in the waiting area. Ash then started to execute our plan. He told her all about what a fan he was of Quill, and how dearly he’d like to shag the women that Quill shagged. The madame was amused by this, and agreed to set him up with Quill’s three regulars.
While this blathering was going on, I inexplicably felt myself getting titillated, beyond even what was justified by the prospect of the sturdy-bottomed orog woman whose company I would shortly be enjoying. Must have just been the atmosphere of the place. I found my mind wandering to the image if that beautiful specimen, Jayce. I’d bet his pits are very-
Just then I was interrupted by my companion for the afternoon, an enormous paragon of femininity whose posterior was, if anything, even more majestic than the madame described. She told me her name was Grenda, and led me away to a nearby tent.
As I was leaving, I looked over my shoulder to see Ash being greeted by what looked like a pair of identical twins, plus another woman. Ash glanced over to me, gave me a thumbs up, and followed them away.
Kill Quill: Volume 2
About twenty minutes after I’d entered the tent (and subsequently, Grenda), Cat appeared at the door of the tent and got my attention. I reluctantly extricated myself from my alluring new companion and went to the door to see what she wanted. Quill and Boulder, she informed me, had arrived while Ash was still talking to the three girls. Quickly they had decided on a plan to assassinate Quill right here in the Welcoming Pits.
“Sorry luv,” I said to Grenda, “I’ve got to go attend to some business.”
“By which I mean, I need a piss.”
“OK,” said Grenda.
I left the tent, and Cat filled me in. The plan was that the prostitutes would ply Quill with complimentary wine, so he would be nice and drunk. After a while, he would need to go to the bogs, at which point we would follow him and attack him. Seemed simple enough.
We joined up with Ash, and hid in the shadows by one of the tunnels which led to the toilets. There were several of the tunnels, and we didn’t know which one Quill would use, so we’d just have to wait and see.
After a while, Quill emerged from his tent and started heading in our direction. He was noticeably swaying as he walked – clearly he’d been enjoying all the complimentary booze. We watched him approach and enter one of the tunnels, and quietly slipped in behind him.
While we crept along the tunnel, I took out my silence candle and prepared to activate it. Quill rounded a corner ahead of us, and we peeked around to see. Around the corner was a room with a flat raised ridge of stone along the opposite wall, cut directly into the rock of the cave, in which were five or six toilet holes. From what we’d heard about this place, the holes led a long way down, to what was essentially a giant hole in the ground containing a huge pile of shit.
That explained the smell.
Quill plodded up to one of the holes and began relieving himself. Sitting on another hole was an old man, looking distressed and sweaty and making all manner of groans and foul noises. Must have eaten the hors d’oeuvres.
Having a witness in the room was an inconvenience. In a hushed whisper, Ash and Cat and I formed a crude plan of attack. I cut my tongue and activated the silence candle, then we rounded the corner. Ash used his rapture power on the old man, who fell to the ground, writhing in ecstasy as he shat all over the floor. Then, in the eerie silence, the three of us launched our attack on Quill.
I won’t lie. He was a tough one. Even in his drunken state he put up a good fight, but eventually we got the better of him, culminating in Ash driving one of Quill’s own quills through his eye and into his brain. Once we’d felled the brute, we set about the unpleasant work of disposing of his body. We picked out the biggest toilet hole, removed the metal grate which covered it and started trying to stuff the spiky bugger down the opening to join the rest of the shit.
While we were in the middle of this, we were paid an untimely visit by one of the Welcoming Pits’ other customers who had come in to use the facilities. Well, I’ve been in some awkward situations, but the pregnant pause when this bloke walked in and saw half a dead body sticking out of the bog was so pregnant I started wondering whether I knew any midwives I could call in. I tackled him to the floor before he could say anything, and bustled him out to the corridor. He was clearly from out of town and didn’t know the politics of the area, so I started explaining to him that the man we were murdering was a real bad guy and that he really shouldn’t do anything stupid like go and raise the alarm.
He must have been a good judge of character because he quickly agreed to leave us to it and forget that he ever saw anything. What a nice man.
Once the corpse had been pushed through the hole to plummet to its rightful resting place, we cleaned ourselves up a little and made our way back to the main area of the Welcoming Pits. The silence candle was still active at this point, and when we emerged into the huge space, silence descended over it all. I hadn’t used it in such a big space before, and the effect was remarkable. Needless to say, it was quickly noticed by all and sundry, and soon people were out of their tents looking confused but then clapping and shouting and laughing with each other in total silence while the madame tried in vain to restore order.
We crept through the shadows toward the cavern’s exit, and headed up the tunnel to the lobby. We collected our armor and weapons, and emerged into the fresh air outside. (The silence candle ceased to work at this point, I noticed.)
We met back up with Celeste and filled her in on the events inside. She had something to report too: an encounter with the Jagged Storm members Frost and Rime. To cut a long story short, she had set up a meeting with them in a few days’ time, to try to get them to defect away from their gang. If we could talk them round, they could be powerful allies.
Next on the agenda was to pay a visit to the gambling den where the Jagged Storm’s (supposed) true leader, the snake woman Asp, was known to be involved. From what we had heard, it was hidden in the back rooms of a local pawn shop. Our plan was for Ash to present himself as a wealthy playboy passing through town and looking for some entertainment, with me as his bodyguard and the others as his escorts.
After returning to Barda’s Bosom for a rest and a costume change, we found and entered the pawn shop. Ash introduced himself, convincing the shopkeep of his wealthy status and desire for some amusing games of chance. The shopkeep was accommodating, inviting my companions and I to enter the back rooms.
The gambling den was more or less what I would have expected: a smoky room filled with seedy characters attempting to look sophisticated. Ash introduced us, and was enticed to play a few rounds of Dice’s Dozen. He sat down to play, and I asked for a drink. They found me something not dissimilar to horse piss, and Ash made conversation with our hosts while they threw dice.
After some subtle probing, he found out that Asp wasn’t there. He told them that she sounded most intriguing, and that he would very much like to meet her. They agreed that they would try to ensure she was there the next day if we would like to return, and with that matter settled we made our excuses and left. Progress! We went back to the taverns and got some sleep, and I spent the night with dreams of Grenda’s magnificent rump, and wondered if we might see each other again.
The next day, we woke in our lodgings which were disappointingly bereft of voluptuous orog posterior. Today we were to return to the gambling den and hopefully check off the next name on our hit list. At the appropriate time, we made our way over to the den.
The shopkeep was as cheery as ever. Unfortunately, this time he insisted that I remain in the front with him. He made his excuses about my formidable strength intimidating the other guests, but I knew he really just wanted to gaze upon my glorious muscles, impressive armour and rugged good looks for a couple of hours. And who could blame him?
My companions went in without me, and I ordered a beer and sat down to wait.