Werewolf Protection Packs

posted Nov 4, 2020, 12:17 AM by Another Ninja   [ updated Nov 10, 2020, 11:13 AM ]

Undecitina 17th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Margot "Maggie" Hardcheese's auburn halfling braid falls upon the oak counter as the wooden front door slams open. The brisk air from the busy streets fluttered into the store. The winter clothing that she mends, with her sewing kit, falls quiet upon her somber lap. In a sharp but delicate voice, filled with pride for her work, welcomes the patrons to Majestic Wares.
"Oh, hello! Welcome to Majestic Wares," Maggie begins with her typical greeting as three dwarvish bearded men enter the small shop.  
In a gruff bellowing voice that escaped behind a gray tri-braided well-groomed beard, "Well met little one, I have heard you carried Werewolf Protection Packs?" Maggie nods in agreement. "We will be needed one." The dwarf had many golden rings holding each braid in place. Each of which appeared to be different from the next. Some of them were even expensive looking.

The other two dwarfs remained silent as they began to examine the many items lining the walls and tables.

The shortest of the three dwarves was fascinated by the high-end clothes donated by lord Von Rumm. Making his way from one item to the next, reading each display card. None of what he was doing struck Maggie as odd. 

Maggie's employer, Magic, wrote all the display cards himself. Each item in the shop is sold, with a story of its original adventure before entering Majestic Wares. Many of the items come from Magic's exciting adventures in The City!

What was odd, was the smallest dwarf's appearance… Many long scarlet scars riddling his face. Huge gashes that left treads so deep, his own scraggly burnt sienna beard would not grow over the lashes. Even his clothes look to have seen some carnage, still torn with many split seams. Nowhere near the quality of the Von Rumm clothing, he loomed over.
"One Werewolf Protection Pack, Coming up!" Placing the winter clothing on the counter and pocketing the needle Trying not to stare, Maggie eyes up the gentlemen as she prepares to get the Werewolf Protection Pack assembled. A werewolf went on a rampage a few days ago, not too far from Majestic Wares. Luckily no one was hurt. Only property was destroyed but Magic has been vigilantly spreading the word of the attack and selling protection to those who can afford it.
Hopping off the stool, that allows the halfling women to see over the counter, Maggie quickly starts to fill the pack from around the store. "One backpack… check, powdered silver… check, silvered dagger… check, steel mirror, manacles, 15ft of chain with lock and key… check, three torches, ten candles… check, a tinderbox with a flask of oil, and…" Maggie looks up to the three patrons.
The third dwarf hadn't moved from the doorway yet. He allowed the door to close, as it swings back on its own, but then standing gingerly next to it. The broad-shouldered dwarf stroked at a recently trimmed neckbeard of salt and pepper. He was stouter than the other two, equipped with hide armor made of bear pelts and a gleaming handaxe at his side. Maggie astutely perceived that they are up to no good or are looking for trouble.
Finding the gray bejeweled ring bearded one, Maggie asks, "would you be needing holy oil? It is normally 25 gold pieces but, but, but, in the pack, it is only 20 gold."
Twisting at one of many gold rings that hold his beard in place, piercing black eyes echo back an answer, "You never said how much the pack even was…"
"Mm..muh…much apologies sir!" Stiffening up and trying not to stutter anymore than she already has. "The packs are 40 gold without the holy oil but," pausing to collect herself for her sales pitch, "the powdered silver mixes will with the holy oil for a potent werewolf fighting brew."
The ring beard dwarf smiled uncontrollably. He was finding the halfling girls salesmanship witty and humorous, letting out a warm chuckle,  "Is that right? See me and the boys here are going to be hunting this beast." His smile turns to confidence while his eyes dilate, haunting for the kill.
"Oh!" Maggie squeaks out in a much higher pitch tone than she would have liked. "Well, then you would each need a silvered weapon!"
Goosebumps crawled over Maggie's skin. Her auburn braid began to unravel as the pepper beard dwarf spoke from the shadow of the door. The words rolled off his tonged with a thick dwarvish accent; each word crested at the top of his mouth. The shadows between the candles trembled as he spoke.  "Or… a magic one…" Taking his handaxe from his belt and pressing the blade to his forked tongue. He followed the sharp curve of the blade with his tongue wreathing like a constricting serpent from each side. He slithered his tongue back into his mouth, taunting his brothermen. "The wolf's hide will make a wonderful addition to my masterpiece." Maggie listened as he lingered on each syllable, while he began stroking his well-crafted bear hide armor. The serpent spoke again, "Fetch us… two more blades and one… vial of holy oil… tiny one…"
Maggie felt the pressure of the situation and did not like it at all. If only Magic were here or any of his friends, she would have felt safer at that moment. Although she felt fearful of the three men, she had a job to do. Maggie Hardcheese always chooses bravery when being confronted by fear. After all, she has a job to do. She nodded with a gentle smile, doing her best to show complete indifference. Just another day in Star Plaza, Maggie told herself. "I will just have to grab the flask from the back."
Toting the increasingly heavy backpack to the storage room, Maggie finishes constructing the pack. The shelves of the backroom brimming with items from her bosses exploits through the city. Feeling satisfied that not only did she sell a Werewolf Protection Pack with holy water but an extra two silvered daggers too! The backpack is toppling with goods as Maggie, with great struggle, drags it back it out of the storeroom.
The storeroom door does not open easily for Maggie on the way back out. Her current sale weighs about as much as she does. She leans into the inside of the wooden door as it swings open more quickly than she expected! She fell upon her face, breaking the fall nearly before impact. Her left cheek was throbbing from the cold stone impact. There was also a draft upon her right knee, that told her that she had a tear to her pants as well. Simple mends but nothing compared to the blow to her ego in front of these rough and tumble dwarves.
She looks up to find the three dwarves looming over her… "I am sorry" Maggie spoke as she attempted to get to her feet quickly. "If anything is broken… um… I will replace it…  have your goods… the total will be… um… 70 gold total… please…" As she stood, she found herself in between a mountain of goods behind her and the men in front. Embarrassed, she hurriedly tries to go around them, but they move to block her way.
The scarlet scarred faced dwarf spoke as he drew a secret dagger from beneath his tattered clothes, holding it to her bruised cheek. His voice crackling as he instructs Maggie, "Now lassie, those goods are going to be free or Bastion the "Kind" will wear you as a pelt next!" Drawing a second dagger, running it down her auburn braid, unbraiding it as he goes. Then taking the same steel, he uses it to turn her face to wander upon the salt and pepper bearded dwarf. Maggie does not speak as she knows it would not play in her favor.
Bastion smiles at her and leans in. Abrasively kissing her forehead as his forked tongue slithers up to her hairline. Behind a hiss, his voice filled her with dread, "the kiss of death, tastes so sweet." 
Maggie stands there frozen with the daggers pressed in deep, drawing tears of blood dripping down to her feet. Out of the corner of her eye, she watches the one with golden beard rings grabs the freshly made pack. Ring Beard slings it over his shoulder with ease, "good doing business with you, little one."
The three men turn and leave poor Maggie standing there stained with blood where her cheeks should grow rosy. Letting the door close behind them as if they had never been there at all. In solemn silence, she begins to clean herself up and fix her braid, next attending to the store and the mess upon the ground. Thinking about how she wished Magic would have been here and how she hopes he will walk her home.
The "Kiss of Death" loomed over her head for the rest of the day.
"I am far too young to die today…" 
"What was that Maggie? Did you say something?" The majestic voice started her. Had she thought she had said that to herself. 
Her eyes dart to the corner of the room, behind the counter to where a beautifully tall, slender elvish man stood. She did not hear him come in, far too lost in thought. She questioned if she had missed other customers today. "Hello, Magic!" She rushed to say, trying not to sound startled in the least. He had broken her internal replay of the horrific encounter earlier in the day. "Did you have a nice day?"
Magic voice was his true beauty, even more so than his bouncing blue locks that set majestically upon his head. He had a way of making everything seem okay and he never got mad at Maggie, no matter what she did or when she messed up. He was kind that way and only expected she try her best.
"My day was splendid, dear Margot. The school was delightful! I truly believe I am becoming more and more inspiring each day I attend! Today we learned the importance of inflating your chest." Magic puffed up his chest and held up his arms at ninety degrees at the elbow. Huffing and puffing around the room for a few moments spouting off about Werewolf Protection Packs.
"This Just In! Majestic Wares Is Having A Sale On Werewolf Packs... Get One Or Get Eaten!"
"The Best Defense Is A "Majestic" Offense! Werewolf Protection Packs For Sale! Majestic Wares!"
"Majestic Wares Cares... Werewolf Protection Packs For Sale."
"Sharp Teeth Will Not Make Me A Feast! Buy A Werewolf Protection Pack To Slay The Beast! Now carried at Majestic Wares!"
Magic had a way of making fun of his learning and habits. He knew he was an overzealous chatterbox at times and never took himself too seriously. Or anything too serious in fact. Magic noticed that Maggie was not her usual chipper self but wanted her to bring up what was bothering her.
"I see you sold quite a lot today. A few Werewolf packs as well, I see. Well done, my number one employee" Magic winked his left eye at her, a pool of sparkling blue.
Maggie replied, being sure not to face him directly, "I am your only employee Magic…"
"And for very good reason, Maggie. Who else could I trust with my livelihood?"
Maggie shrugged bashfully as she attempted to look busy with the shop.
Magic continued, "you are organized, thoughtful, and truthful. All things I am not very good at but working very hard on, I mind you. These three qualities you have mastered skillfully. I couldn’t do it without you." Magic smiled an honest smile, as it was true. Maggie's last business had failed but, Magic had faith that together they would succeed. A failed merchant and an overeager talker. What could go wrong?
Maggie remained silent.
Magic stayed quiet after his flattery, waiting to see if Maggie would speak of her troubles.
When she did speak, Magic was careful to let her vend all her feelings.
"One… one of the packs was stolen... with holy water… and two more silvered daggers…. I am terribly sorry…"
Magic smiled warmly. "I am glad you are alright."
Maggie fought back the tears fleeting from her eyes. "I should have asked them to leave. I could tell they were up to no good!"
Magic raised his hand slowly to steady her. "There, there, nothing to get too worked up about. It is just merchandise."
Maggie fought the urge to scream, "HE LICKED ME!" Maggie shuttered, grabbing at her arms to warm the chills and rubbing ferociously at her forehead. She prayed she could rub hard enough to scratch the memory away.

Magic's eyes steadied on her and his eyebrows lowered, "tell me everything," and she did.
Magic was appalled by this intrusion upon Maggie and his shop. The audacity. Tomorrow he would find these bandits and end their blight. 
Maggie did as planned ask Magic to walk her home. He was more than happy to oblige. Magic also reassured her that he or one of his friends would walk her to and from Majestic Wares until she felt safe.
Majestic Wares was not far from Maggie's small bungalow in Star Plaza. She lived alone in a room she rented from a nice older halfling woman. "We must watch out for our fellow little folk," the old women would say. The woman gave Maggie a flower for her Auburn braid whenever she had the copper to spare. Maggie would often purchase one as well, a single Iris, to proudly accent her hair.
"Magic?" Maggie looked down to meet her gaze. "Thank you for always being nice to me. It can be a rough city for a halfling."
Magic chuckled, "All the halflings I know are thriving!"
"Or Dying!" A slithering voice crept from the nearby shadows of the alley as the two passed.
Magic angrily called to the ally, "That is not a nice thing to say! Show thy self!"
Maggie already knew who beckoned from the dark as she hid behind Magic's red flowing robe etched with beautiful gold. "Magic that is them." She whispered from behind his legs.
The three dwarfs sundered onto the main street each, with a weapon in hand. The first dwarfs gold rings of his beard knocked together as he drifted from the alley with is silvered dagger pressed between his teeth. The second dwarf with scarlet scars wained from the darkness wielding a silver-tipped blade in each hand. It looked like they meant to hurt the two of them with the goods they stole. Lastly, Bastion descended forth from the emptiness, wielding his handaxe paired with his forked tongue vibrating into the night air. 
The dwarf baring scars anxiously licks his lips at Maggie, speaking in dwarvish, "I can not wait to eat the flesh from her face!"
Maggie clutched tightly onto Magic. "He is going to each my face!"
Scarface looked surprised as Maggie translated his dwarven tongue. The surprise quickly drained as a blast of pure white power eviscerates the remembrance of his face. The other two dwarves looked on as Magic lowed his hand, back to his side, and their comrade dropped cold to the ground at their feet.
"No one touches a hair on Margot's head again! Do you understand!?" After taunting them, Magic turns to Maggie. "Now hide!"
Ring Beard quickly knelt next to his fallen comrade. Placing his hands across the wounds of his face, Magic watched as glowing life flowed back into Scarface.
Maggie turned to the side of the road. Closed market stalls and barrels to collect water line the street. She dashes to the nearest line of barrels, using her small size to squeeze between them and disappear.
Bastion stepped forward and chucked his handaxe recklessly at Magic! Striking magics shoulder as it flew past, drawing blood! Ripping and staining his new bedazzled rope. Bastion smirked as his handaxe twisted back from its mid-air flight to the hand of its master who threw it.
Magic's eyes lay open wide as he witnessed the magical handaxe return. If he had not been so fortunate, the ax would have split him open on the return trip.
Scarface stands, alive and well, retrieving his dagger, and at Magic, he swells! The one blade turned downward as he lunges to make his deadly strike! When the weapon met Magic's skin, it stopped outright.
Magic bewildered, gazes upon the new scar on his opponent's face. Sticking straight in one ear was a knitting needle punctured through Scarface. Maggie, from her hiding place, chucked a knitting needle with such amazing grace. She killed the dwarf before his dagger could get a taste.
Magic turns toward the two other dwarven men, "It is time for both of you to meet your end. "I hex you, deathly healer! May your friends stay dead!" Pressing his presence upon Ring Beard's neck, Magic launches another Eldritch Blast attack! The blast his time is different from the last. The pure white energy twisted with black. Where good meets evil, the shot was true. The ray went into the dwarf and straight through.

Falling to his knees, Ring Beard clutched at the new ringed shaped hole that bore his death where his stomach was once so bold. He found the street as the rest of him began to unfold.
Maggie watched as the second of the three dwarfs fell, a smile cresting her face. They were not out of the woods yet though, this last dwarf had already gotten a taste. Maggie watched in horror as he ran toward Magic at an alarming pace! Bastion recklessly strikes him twice in the leg earning a pool of blood. A strike to the arm finds Magic as well, trying to block away from the second attack. Maggie watches as Magic fails to lash back. His Eldritch Blast zooming over Bastions head as his ax continues to connect. 
Magic is barely left standing. The last strike near-fatal. Dripping blood and breathing heavily, he was still able to stammer out, "I hex you now so that you will not find my trail upon the ground." With those words, Magic disappeared as he cast invisibility upon himself. 

Bastion, now fully loaded with anger, franticly starts striking out at the air around him, hitting nothing, as Maggie did her best to remain unseen.
"CRASH!" goes a barrel as Maggie tries to make a getaway. A small bump and the barrel begins to roll the dwarf's way. He sees poor Maggie standing there alone. A new prey. Maggie scrambles. Turns and flees!

Rampaging after her like roaring lightning! Bastion begins to charge!
Closing the distance rapidly on each step in an all-out barrage.

Bastion throws his handaxe at Maggie as she makes her escape. 

The halfling is too hard to hit as the ax misses its target. Wooden shards shoot into the air as the handaxe smashes into a simple market stall. Debris peppers the street as the stall crashes into the earth. His magical handaxe is then called back to his hand, never missing a step. 

Maggie looks back in hesitation as she begins to sweat. It is too late she is done for. Bastion looks like a dire wolf lurking in for the kill and her a lamb to slaughter at his will. 

The "Kiss of Death" was coming. She could feet it in her bones. Her auburn braid began to unravel as Bastion raised his handaxe to slice her freckled skin.
"CLAANNG" The sound of an instrument being slammed against the face of a dwarf as he ran in. Bastion was hurt! Caught off guard by the invisible lute that clotheslined him. Maggie seizing the moment, making another attempt to hide! This time under the cloth banner of a closed stall nearby.
Maggie watched cozy in her hiding spot as Bastion recovered from his daze, "MAGIC you yellow horned butt scratching toad! I will find you and end you! May my truth be told!"
"Tweet!" "Tweet!" Whistles blew loudly! Footsteps approached. The City guard was close!
Maggie scanned the street for the guard but, Bastion and his salt and pepper beard were already gone.