Chapter 18: The Gargoyles are supposedly also great.
They were back in Cozzlanga. On the whole they had be quite fortunate time wise. Distances weren’t always the same in Elcon. You could head to a place and it take a day to travel, then on your way back you could end up spending months.
It was more than a little inconvenient.
Not it matters how long your journey took if what you journeyed for gets stolen from you just as you get back.
“It must have… err, been a really, uh, good thief. I didn’t, ah… hear, feel or see anything.” Dookie commented as they walked through the empty main streets. The main streets of Cozzlanga were rarely used by the generally folk of ill repute that lived there, though wagons and so on frequently used them.
“I didn’t see anything either, what about you hammer?” Lofan asked.
“Not a thing dude. Whoever that dude was he was good dude” Hammer shrugged.
Cozzlanga seemed quieter than usual, perhaps it was just the time of day.
“there probably isn’t any chance of us catching the thief, so we need to find out when and where this gildenstan goldie guy is going to sell the kindling”
“Somewhere big?” Hammer hazarded a guess.
Lofan bobbed, a coneperson’s nod. All of them looked at the pillars of stone with buildings carved into them. A building in one of them seemed the most likely place.
“We’ll have to be, uh… careful. Goldie is a big cheese…”
“I thought he was a shewpog?” Hammer objected.
Dookie ignored him, “His vast wealth is, um, feared, but more feared is… uh his endless thirst for riches.”
They wandered closer to the pillars.
“you know, it would probably make more sense to ask about at one of this guy’s shops, wouldn’t it?”
Lofan mused aloud.
* * * * *
Agnezz was glad it was quiet. She was a blokkit merchant of Goldie’s Greats. Normally the main branch was really noisy and hot and busy. It had been a hectic past few days, thankfully some big auction was being presided over by Mr. Goldie himself, so the store was fairly quiet.
Mr. Goldie was making a big event out of it, there would be shows like singing and stuff. You even had to pay to get in. Agnezz was a bit sad that she wasn’t going to get to see the shows and singing and stuff. She really wanted to know what the stuff would be. Still she reasoned that had she been going she’d have just had to work. She was happy just to get the chance to relax.
Mr. Goldie paid well, but he expected a lot and was good at getting more than his treasure’s worth from denizens. Agnezz closed her eyes and leaned back in the huge fuzzy chair that the chief of sales always sat in. It was sooo comfy. She felt herself begin to drift off, this would be the first good bit of sleep she had gotten in days. Nothing was going to ruin it.
The store was silent, catalogs and goods secure in their shelves, gargoyles behaving in their guardspots. Gargoyles make good guards, as they like to stay in one spot, are made of stone and get uglier and more dangerous the older they are. Supposedly they spend all that time thinking about just about everything. Some denizens worry what gargoyles will do if they ever decide they have pondered enough.
These gargoyles wore leather hoods and heavy gold robes so as not to scare customers. The hoods and robes didn’t really make it that better, though most denizens were glad not to have to look a gargoyle in the face, or face-like outcropping as the case may be.
The door burst open, in fact it burst open so hard that it came right off its hinges. Agnezz fell off the throne of fuzz in surprise and fright, her uniform’s hat falling off. The various hideous gargoyles shifted on their pedestals. These gargoyles were old enough that they understood some denizens were just civil door opening impaired. They’d only attack if someone used the door for offensive purposes.
Two figures rushed in. To Agnezz one was a sinister blokkit witch, perhaps even crone, certainly not as good looking as herself! The other was a savage leering gleaming explodahead, with some kind of strange hoopstick. Not that explodaheads have eyes to leer with, but she just knew that the explodahead must be leering (he wasn’t). It took her a few moments to register that there was a coneperson on the hat of the witch and a rabid pilldog by the side of the explodahead.
Clearly these denizens were dissolute adventurers.
-please please please be customers- She mentally pleaded. She did not want any of the many terrible alternatives to customers, after all, customers were bad enough. Training took over and Agnezz straightened her golden dress uniform and put her boxy hat back between her ears. She gave her best blocky smile.
“Hello, welcome to Goldie’s Greats, where every product is great, every sale is great, and every breath is great!”
The explodahead thumped his hands down on the long counter.
“Where is it? We know you have it! Fess up dudette!” he shouted.
The gargoyles stirred restlessly. The problem with having gargoyles as guards was they never act if they can avoid it. To gargoyles time spent active is time wasted.
“I-i is this a robbery?” Agnezz asked, confused and bemused.
“Yes” The explodahead proclaimed.
The gargoyles shifted into position for leaping an attacking. Stony lashes, tails, claws, talons, spikes, tentacles, teeth, tusks, fangs and spurs ready.
“N-no!” the blokkit witch protested.
The gargoyles pulled back, though they seemed quite annoyed. They murmured grumpily to each other.
“i’m sorry about my companion but could you tell us where the auction is?” A polite voice came from the coneman.
Agnezz thought about this, these people were clearly not going to take formal part at the auction, they looked far too poor. She could head this off now so that her superiors didn’t have to deal with these crazies breaking into the auction.
“Cragglewarm pillar, building 14” She answered promptly.
The dangerous adventurers left, thanking her. The gargoyles also thanked her.
Agnezz leaned back into the fuzz throne, the guards at the auction could deal with the adventurers. She however would pretend that her encounter had never happened.
* * * * *
“I think that went pretty well!” Hammer claimed, blatantly unaware of how he had almost gotten them in a fight with several gruesome gargoyles.
“No thanks to you!” Dookie snapped, she had been greatly scared that the gargoyles would attack. Back when she was a child her magic teacher had this gargoyle that always creeped her out. She was sure it had been making particularly gross faces just to mess with her concentration.
They were making their way to the Cragglewarm pillar, one of the pillars of Cozzlanga. Nobody was quite sure where the Craggle part came from, but the pillar had always been warm to the touch. Not that anyone knew why that was the case either.
“we need a plan” Lofan said.
He thought about it, the best idea was probably to sneak in, take the Kindling and then sneak back out. He looked at Hammer. Well, that was sneaking out. Lofan sighed.
“let’s just break in, cause a lot of chaos, grab the kindling and flee”
“Woo! Chaos!” Hammer cheered.