Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mayro and the House of Jourdain Part 4 ("What's the pay?")

After Mayro had spent about a week recovering from his wounds, Madam Guto came to him with an offer. The House needed more protection and he had shown that he was a brave and skilful fighter. Would he like to take up residence in the House, guarding her and the women? She offered 30 tael a month plus benefits.

Mayro accepted the offer, and they agreed that he would begin service in a couple more weeks after he fully recovered from his wounds. He asked for his belongings to be brought from his inn and this done. He asked to see Golfo and Nardon; this was attempted, but proved impossible since Beatriss, their patron had been placed under house arrest, and her associate had likewise fallen under official suspicion.

After about a week, and in anticipation of a large party, Mayro was moved from his luxury quarters to the humble room that was intended to be his residence while he stayed in the house. Small, windowless, and obviously not intended for entertaining high-paying guests, the room was clean, private, and located on the upper-floor of the House, otherwise reserved for paying customers.

A few nights later, Mayro’s rest was disturbed by the sound of someone breaking in through the and then running past his door. Grabbing his sword, he followed cautiously. He heard a door being battered down and then screaming. He arrived at one of the bedrooms in time to see a large, fearsome, humanoid creature, green-skinned and covered with sores leaping out the window. There was a woman in the bed, bleeding from cuts caused by the creature’s claws, but not seriously injured. Her companion was completely unharmed, but thoroughly outraged. Madam Guto arrived, told him he has having a bad dream, and convinced him to go to sleep. The injured woman slipped out and another replaced her in the bed.

The next day Madam Guto asked Mayro if he was ready to go to work. She needed him to remain in his room, listening carefully for any outside intruders, and be ready to intercept them. He was ready. Later that same day, one of the women came to him and explained that she was especially afraid of the monster and would he please take up his guard duty in Room Number 4, under the bed? He agreed.

Predictably and yet not so predictably, Madam Guto came to check on Mayro at a time, when Room Number 4 was very much occupied by a customer. He could heard her distinctive walk and he could hear her first lightly rapping on the door and then opening it. Mayro waited for an opportune moment to slip out from under the bed and get out of the room. But the woman beat him to it. He heard a whispered conversation, then the sharp blow of Madam Guto’s cane, then the sound of the woman collapsing on the floor. He got out from under the bed and dashed into the hallway, disturbing the dosing customer.

And the customer was very disturbed. Madam Guto tried to calm him down, but that only outraged him more. Who was this man in his room? Why was his girl lying on the floor here in the hallway? And when Kura, the ostensible of the Little Foxes gang, came upstairs to see what was going on, and then started making insulting threats, the angry customer became outraged. Madam Guto asserted herself once more. She sent Mayro to his room, sent Kura downstairs and tried again to tell the angry customer to calm down. He ignored her, and after putting on his clothes, stomped downstairs, shouting challenges to Kura.

After hearing Madam Guto stride away on her cane, Mayro crept out of his room to check the woman in the hallway. She was dead. Hearing the gang members amassing in the foyer downstairs, Mayro decided not to wait see what was going to happen-- he charged downstairs, and seeing the front door already barred, hurled himself through the window.

No one tried to stop him, and some of gangsters even laughed with surprise. But none of them laughed for long. The angry customer and his bodyguard-- four well-armed fighters were in the courtyard with their swords out demanding that the door be open or that Kura be handed over. There were gangsters in the courtyard, too, and on the roof, but they're defense wa unorganized and feeble. Mayro took out his own bow and assisted the angry customer in fighting his way to the window. Then after, taking a couple blows himself, Mayro ran for the open gate and the open night.

Mayro circled the building, listening to the sounds of fighting, and picked off the gangsters still on the roof. It got quiet, and we waited. After a short time, the angry customer and his men burst out of the gate, singing a song of victory. He watched them go, then set off into the ruins, looking for a safe place to spend the night. He encounter a group of the Emperor-Khan's men, riding on patrol. At once suspicious and deferential, they escorted him to a decent inn in Fun Town. Most of his money and his main spell book had been left behind, but he had enough to pay for his room.

The next day, he went to see Xiao the merchant and ask for a job. "Come back in a few days." He did, only to find that Xiao had left town, called on sudden business. After knocking on a few more doors, he found another merchant he'd served once before, and who, thanks to several profitable seasons, was interested in hiring a well-armored household guard. 6 tael per month, plus upkeep.

No comments:

Post a Comment