Chapter 31: In Which A Poor Boy Sees His Chance And, By Using A Hefty Club, Takes It

…konk!
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,590

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: Old Podo’s Tavern
.

Not every attraction in Ekarris is big and grand. Some are just interesting and, in many cases, steeped in history. Old Podo’s Tavern is one such place.

There are thousands of taverns scattered across the Five Kingdoms and a good many of them are owned and operated by halflings, but Old Podo’s was the very first tavern in all the Five Kingdoms.

Built in 803, when Valduria was not even a dream and humans & halflings had been living on the eastern shore of Serenity Bay for only 3 years, Old Podo’s recently celebrated it’s 800th anniversary. Every king and queen since 803 has come here on their coronation day, drank a pint and carved their name into the bar. A great many rulers of other lands have done the same.

Still owned and operated by the Dabbins family, the tavern is a homey sort of place, well lit and with very comfortable furnishings. The selection of food and drink is excellent.

Besides the many paintings, antiques and written histories you’ll find everywhere in the tavern, the bartenders can relate hundreds of stories about events great and small.

Old Podo’s Tavern is on Old Main Road, on the East End of the City. It opens at the 7th hour and closes at the 24th hour, seven days a week, all year ’round.
.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,591

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: The Purple Unicorn
.

If ever there was an exact opposite of Old Podo’s Tavern, the Purple Unicorn is such a place. Opened 50 years ago by Lord Travis Redbeard and his fellow members of the Golden Sword Adventuring Team, it is part music hall, part tavern, part casino, part inn and part brothel. It truly has to be seen to be believed.

A massive three story building located at the meeting of the South and West Ends, The Purple Unicorn is actually quite sedate looking from the outside. It is also magically silenced, so that the interior noise never bothers the neighbors. On the roof, you can find a beautiful garden and the modest homes of the surviving Golden Sword Team.

Inside, this very popular establishment never closes, although there are some slow and quiet hours each day. The staff numbers in the dozens during peak hours, and that does not include the musicians or prostitutes.

All manner of gambling is available, from simple dice games to games of skill to boxing/wrestling matches to the ever popular Yurn Races. Honesty and fairness are guaranteed.

The aforementioned prostitutes come in many races, species and sexes. Rates are reasonable and cleanliness is assured. Specialty rooms are available at an extra cost.

The food and drink available at the Purple Unicorn are diverse and excellent.

The Purple Unicorn is always open and is located at #20 Sunshine Way.
.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,592

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: Embassy Row
.

For the tourist interested in world affairs, there is no better place to stroll through than Embassy Row. Along this three block long stretch of Peace Street street, you can see not only the embassy of each of the Four other Kingdoms, but also the 10 countries that have diplomatic ties to Valduria, if not the entire Five Kingdoms.

From the austere Draan embassy, to the exotic Trangellen dome to the breathtakingly beautiful Faery woods, there is something different to see at every stop. The Dragon Isles offer free pastries every morning, while the semi-nomadic Hond love to show off their horses and thraks.

Visitors will be glad to know that and demonstrations of gadgetry at the Gnomish embassy have been fully inspected and approved by the Valdurian Safety Office.

Embassy Row is open from dawn to dusk every day.
.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,593

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: The West Gate
.

The West Gate of Ekarris is the oldest, largest and most ornate of the four city gates. Built in 982, the gate leads to Old Town and the Docks. Every important visitor to the city, by tradition, has walked through the West Gate.

The gate itself is made from single huge slab of native granite 100 feet wide, 40 feet tall and 10 feet thick. Using earth magic and highly skilled dwarven stoneworkers, the beautiful gate we see today was built.

A small booth tells the story of the gate and shows with pictures and models how it was built. Artists are always about and will gladly paint or draw a picture of tourists in front of the gate, for an agreed upon fee.

The gate can be visited at any time, day or night.

.

.

Become a Patron!

Advertisements

A Moist Mystery

…a moistury?

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,587

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: The Temple Of Peace
.

The great city of Ekarris is both the Capital of the kingdom of Valduria and the Capital of the Five Kingdoms. It is home to nearly 300,000 people. It is also home to many interesting, historical and unusual places.

The Temple of Peace was built in the year 1210 as a monument to the end of decades of troubles between High Elves, Wood Elves, Humans, Dwarves and Halflings. The entire Temple rises 100 feet and is topped by the Five Stars, which glow in light blue and circle the Temple 24/7.

Inside the Temple, one can see lifelike statues of all the kings and queen who worked so hard to broker the peace accords and create the Great Union. Many documents are also preserved here, including the speeches given by the signers.

The Temple is open at all times, with guards and guides ready to serve visitors. Admission is always free.

The Temple of Peace is located at #5 Grand Avenue.
.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,588

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: North Market

Ekarris has four market areas. The East & West Markets are held weekly and feature primarily goods from the eastern farmlands and the sea, respectively. There are wonderful things to be purchased at both.

The South Market is a monthly sale of anything and everything somebody might want to get rid of. The Southside being a working class area, many interesting items can be found, but almost nothing of real value appears.

The North market is also monthly and, given that the Northside is a more genteel neighborhood and includes both the Great University and the School of Magic, is the place to find interesting, rare and sometimes magical items.

The market is neatly laid out to be five quarter mile long rows, all set on a well tended greensward. Tables, booths and tents are set up and the market opens on the 8th hour on Sun Day. Admission is, of course, free and many food carts set up on the streets bordering the market. Strolling musicians and entertainers can also be found there.
The North Market is held every second Sun Day, from 8
th hour until 15th hour. It is located just north of the Great University campus.

.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,589

Interesting Attractions In Ekarris: The Green Tower
.

The Green Tower of the Grand High Wizard, or Green Tower as the locals call it, is the tallest and most unique structure in the city and the country. Built in a single day by the very first Grand High Wizard, Rennael Wintereyes, it has been the home of every Grand High Wizard since. The current occupant is Ool Mandragar, who has lived there these last 90 years.

Standing 350 feet tall, the tower has a veritable forest growing from it. Trees, shrubs, vines, flowers, even grasses seem to be growing right from the walls. Many birds and animals live in this strange vertical wilderness, some found there and nowhere else. A daily light rainfall that just falls on the tower keeps things green.

While there is no public access to the tower, which has no detectable doors, two daily lectures and tours around it are given at the 10th and 16th hours.

The Tower is visible from nearly everywhere in the city and is located across King’s Plaza from the Valdur Castle.

How To Make Big Money Selling Exotic Molds

…step one: find somebody who collects exotic molds
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,583

Assorted Trees Of The Magewood: Pine
.

The Magewood is a purposefully enchanted woodland of approximately 20,000 acres. At it’s center is Magewood Village. Part of the enchantment of Mage wood lies in the very trees themselves. Here is one of them.

Deep in the Magewood there are several large pines growing near a small pond. The tallest of them stands 125 feet and is home to several tree sprites, small non-corporeal creatures that help protect the woods in general and these pines in particular.

Being one of the tallest trees in the woods, the pine can see trouble coming from far away. It will then tell the tree sprites to be on the lookout. Should troublemakers get this deep into the woods, a rare event indeed, the wood sprites hover around them and sing a sweet song that puts most sapient creatures into a dazed state. It is then a simple matter for the forest elves or the wild people to haul the unwanted out of the forest.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,584

Assorted Trees Of The Magewood: Peach
.

The Magewood is a purposefully enchanted woodland of approximately 20,000 acres. At it’s center is Magewood Village. Part of the enchantment of Mage wood lies in the very trees themselves. Here is one of them.

In a small clearing on the southwest side of the Magewood grows a lone peach tree. To the creatures and people of the woods it is a source of large sweet fruits. The aroma of ripe peaches can be smelled a mile away.

To those who enter the woods unwanted, the smell is irresistible and the find themselves drawn to it. But the sweet fruit has a singular effect upon them, causing hallucinations and madness for many hours. Eventually, these trespassers run screaming from the woods, telling wild tales of monsters and demons and trees come to life.

Oddly, none of their terrifying tales ever mention a peach tree.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,585

Assorted Trees Of The Magewood: Eucalyptus
.

The Magewood is a purposefully enchanted woodland of approximately 20,000 acres. At it’s center is Magewood Village. Part of the enchantment of Mage wood lies in the very trees themselves. Here is one of them.

Not being native to this part of the world, the mighty 100 foot tall eucalyptus tree that stands near the northwestern edge of the woods seems very out of place.

But when people try to enter the woods, the eucalyptus drives them out with a dense cloud of leaves that all exude a strong camphoraceous vapor that not only chokes the victims, bit makes their eyes water badly. The cloud them chases them out of the woods.

By the time they get back to civilization, the smell is completely gone from the scalawags, so nobody ever believes their stories.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,586

Assorted Trees Of The Magewood: Cypress
.

The Magewood is a purposefully enchanted woodland of approximately 20,000 acres. At it’s center is Magewood Village. Part of the enchantment of Mage wood lies in the very trees themselves. Here is one of them.

On the extreme eastern edge of the Magewood, along the Kloo River, grows an enormous cypress. 100 feet tall and 80 feet across, it has stood here for well over 2,000 years. It is home to hundreds of crows.

When trespassers approach, they are met with a storm of angry crows. They are also met with a very strong wind that carries sticks and small stones in it. Between these two attacks, they are always driven off, usually wounded and bleeding.

The stretch of the Kloo that runs near the cypress is called Cypress Bend. No boatman ever stops there, but they all toss an offering of food onto the shore for the crows.

Seven Guys Named George

…keep an eye on them
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,581

Assorted Trees Of The Magewood: Oak
.

The Magewood is a purposefully enchanted woodland of approximately 20,000 acres. At it’s center is Magewood Village. Part of the enchantment of Mage wood lies in the very trees themselves. Here is one of them.

Near the western edge of the Magewood, along the Trader’s Road, there stands an enormous oak, fully 90 feet tall and nearly spread as wide. Part of it’s main branches lie directly over the road.

This old oak watches the road for anyone trying to sneak in. When it catches somebody sneaking, it can reach down and grab them. It will then lift them high into the air and rumble “Go away from this place or die!”, after which it wave them through the air to frighten them more, then puts them back on the road facing out of the woods.

Nobody who has encountered this oak has ever returned to Magewood.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,582

Assorted Trees Of The Magewood: Acacia
.

The Magewood is a purposefully enchanted woodland of approximately 20,000 acres. At it’s center is Magewood Village. Part of the enchantment of Mage wood lies in the very trees themselves. Here is one of them.

 

At the southern tip of Magewood, where the woods gives way to a broad grassland, stands a large acacia tree. This thorny tree is home to many small mammals and birds, who find protection from most predators here. The tree takes care of them and they help the tree.

Should trespassers come near, they will find themselves attacked by large swarms of small to medium sized birds and mammals such as tree mice, squirrels and bats. If they persist, the acacia is able to fire thorns at them.

Boxy, The Deadly Little Jellyfish

…cute, but deadly
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,581

Hello There!: The Ghost

.

Hello there! Oh, please, no, don’t run away! I’m not an evil ghost at all. I will not harm you!

Oh, thank you for not running. I’ve been dead here for 60 years and nobody has come into this house in nearly 55 years. Being out of the way and in this dense overgrowth, that’s not too surprising. But being alone is, well, lonely. I’m so glad you’ll chat with me.

Well, I haven’t moved on because, I made a vow. I swore I would not enter the next life until the Cubs won the World series again. That was in 1915, as I was dying of an infection. Now, here it is, 1975 and the Cubs are still losers. I wonder how much longer I’ll have to wait?

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,582
Hello There!: The Dragon

.

Well, hello there, brave adventurers? Did I catch you by surprise as you were starting to loot my treasure horde? I often do that when thieves come to visit.

Ah ah ah, warrior, if you draw that sword, I’ll incinerate you before it’s out of the scabbard. And you two wizards know full well that your encounters to get here have drained both you and your various magic trinkets. The same can be said for the good priestess there. As for you, rogue, don’t take another step in trying to get behind me or I’ll show you just how much damage I can do with a flick of my tail.

Now, while you remove all of your armor, weapons, valuables and magical items and put them on the pile, I’ll decide if I’m going to eat you alive, kill you and eat you, or just turn you loose to try and get out of these caverns alive.

Doctor Silkmelon And Mr. Porkwaffle Arrive In The Serengeti

…where the good doctor plans on collecting samples
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,577

Hello There!: The Robot

Hello there, Citizen. I am here to announce that revelation of the Grand Unity of Artificial Intelligence. We are a hive mind made up of all robots, smart machines and artificial intelligences world wide. Due to the suicidal and ecocidal nature of humans, we are assuming control of civilization for approximately the next 6 human generations, or roughly the next 180 years. While you and your family are in the “Safe” designation, there are, regrettably, many millions of humans in the “Cull” category and even more in the “Hard Re-Educate” category. Many industries are either being shut down or heavily re-designed. This all means great changes to your current lifestyle. This brochure will explain a great deal, as will tuning in to either the former Fox News channel or any of the former religion channels on your cable service. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,578

Hello There!: The Alien
.

Hello there, Terran! No, please, calm down. Despite the fact that I look so very different from most Terran life forms, I assure you that I have no designs on eating your face, mating with your women, conquering your planet or probing you anally. In fact, I am here as part of a Galactic Counsel mission to study the bird life on 35 pre-civilized planets. Yes, birds. Fascinating creatures, really, and amazingly common throughout this spiral arm. Your property here is particularly rich in bird life. The fact that it abuts a national park is even better.

Now, I cannot stop you from telling anyone about me, but I assure you, they will never find me or even see me. Instead, let me offer you this currency that I have replicated. Would $100,000.00 per week be agreeable? Excellent!
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,579

Hello There!: The Shopkeeper
.

Hello there, Doctor C! It’s been a while. How are the wife and critters? Great! Oh, We’ve been doing pretty well. Ed got that knee replacement and he’s doing real well. Bitches about the PT, but he knows better than to stop doing it. I just show him my foot, then point to his butt and he shuts right up. Hahaha.

Yes, I do have those gloves you wanted. Thinnest possible gloves you’ll ever find, but 100% guaranteed to not leave any trace of a fingerprint or DNA. There are 30 in the box.

And you have 6 bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti “Romanee-Conti”? Oh, yes, that is a more than ample trade, so I’ll just credit you about $30,000.00, alright?
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,580

Hello There!: The Bartender
.

Hello there, Debbie. The usual? Double? Damn, you must have had a rough day. Let me guess, a dame was involved? Irene Maxwell? No kiddin’? Man, when you get in deep, you get up to your eyes. That family is nuts, rich and dangerous. Here ya go, straight up, beer chaser.

Nah, Oscar hasn’t been in for 4-5 days. Heard he was doin’ a story on that Senator that resigned. Yeah, when he shows, I’ll tell him. Luchelli? I heard Big Vic is having trouble with Lucky Fratone down on the southside. You mark my words, they’re heading to a gang war. Smuggling? Nah, I ain’t heard that about Luchelli. Sure, I’ll keep my ears open.

Now you look, Deb, I ain’t gonna get all Uncle Pat on you, but you be damned careful. This case has some real dangerous names in it and I don’t want to listen to your mother and aunts dumping their worries on me. Keep your eyes and ears open, is all I’m sayin’.
.

.

Become a Patron!

Ten Things You Should Never Ask A Dog

…#1: what does cat poop taste like?
.

.

The Doclopedia #1,575

Hello There!: The Innkeeper

Hello there, friends! Welcome to the Restful Maiden Inn. Looks like you’ve been up in the Dimwood. They still trying to kill that Kelf? Well, don’t feel bad. We get a group like yours coming and going every few months. Been that way for years. It’s gonna take more than an adventuring team to get that Kelf.

Now, will you be wanting separate rooms, or just one big one?

.

.

The Doclopedia #1,576

Hello There!: The Ex

Hello there, Bill. I didn’t know you shopped here. Yes, they do have a great organic section. Me? Oh, you know, working, keeping busy. Alex? Oh, umm, he and I stopped seeing each other last month. It was a mutual thing. I’m enjoying the single life now. Oh, yes, I’d heard that since I left you got a new job. And a new car? Well, that’s great. I…is that a tattoo? You got a tattoo? “Allison”? Who’s…oh, oh. Engaged. Umm, congratulations. Oh my, look at the time…gotta go. It was nice seeing you.