It has been an eventful day. After a fairly peaceful journey since taking leave of the last remains of the bandits who wanted to rob and kill us, Kyle and I arrived at the outskirts of Riddleport. He told me that he had business of his own, and that we would probably part ways here, but that if I was going to be in town a few days, I might see him about. I’m glad that he decided to keep traveling with me after what happened, and we parted as friends. I really do hope that he lets Amethyst down gently though.
I had planned my first stop to be the Cypher Lodge on the recommendation of Brodert Quink, since they were a group that he’d had correspondence with in the past and who know a lot about ancient Thassilon. Since it was late in the day already, though, I decided to find lodgings first. Kyle recommended “The Mystery of the Gate,” and warned me to watch my back, since Riddleport is a rough town.
His warning was prophetic, since when I got to the inn after winding my way through a street full of down at the mouth people, overly cheery vendors, and a cabbage vendor who I helped after her cart got toppled over, I found that someone had picked my pocket. Mercifully, they only took my gold pieces. Since I still had plenty of silvers and coppers though, I went in to the inn anyway to get dinner, a drink, and a room.
After a while, I was spotted by a curvaceous, dark-haired young woman named Lyssa who had been arguing with some men. She hurried over to me and asked me to help her, saying that they were playing poker and wouldn’t let her play, accusing her of cheating. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but she seemed like a good person, and I needed a bit of fun and a friendly face. When I told her that I couldn’t help her since I had just been pickpocketed, she told me not to say that since I’d look like an easy mark, and agreed to stake me a pile of money in exchange for “ten percent of the takings.”
The game, it turned out, was pretty serious. I won a couple rounds, folded one, and went all in on another which Lyssa won. I was now out of the game, but one of the other players insisted I deal, since he still thought Lyssa was cheating. I dealt one hand, and Lyssa lost. I dealt another, and Lyssa wound up winning, winning a huge pile of money and taking everything the man who challenged her of cheating had.
Predictably, things went pear-shaped after that.
The man she’d just bankrupted lunged across the table to try and strangle Lyssa. Lyssa leaned back in her chair and kicked the table into the man’s gut. The man’s friend, who was sitting right next to me, got up and tried to punch me, and missed. Lyssa, whose smile never wavered, said to me “Care to help out, love?” I obliged, considering that these people were trying to knock me out too. The whole thing escalated into an all out brawl when Lyssa threw a bottle over the first man and hit someone else in the back of the head, shouting “FIGHT!”
Apparently this sort of thing is a common occurrence at the Mystery of the Gate since everybody got into it and the bards kept right on playing. I stuck to my fists for a while, knocking out a couple, until some drunken jackass decided to hit me with brass knuckles. At that point, I decided to escalate it a bit by using the blunt end of my ranseur as a quarterstaff and leaped onto a table to get the high ground. By this point my blood had gotten flowing and I was getting into the spirit of it, shouting “WHO’S NEXT?!” I rounded out the evening by knocking out the guy who started the fight in the first place after he had shanked someone with a shiv. I’d noticed him and his shiv before; he’d gotten a mad look in his eye and looked like he wanted to murder someone and didn’t much care who it was. As much as I had felt sorry for him for losing his money and losing a tooth when his head met the table, I was perfectly happy to knock him out and keep him from killing somebody.
The fight broke up shortly after that when the innkeeper got up on the bar banging a cast iron skillet, and threatened to not serve any more beer to anyone who kept fighting. That shut everyone up. The whole company set in to cleaning the place up, and the gendarmes were summoned to cart off the serious offenders. Apparently tavern brawls aren’t a problem, but bringing brass knuckles or shivs into them is.
The innkeeper, a man named Zeke, seemed very happy with me, and when I offered to help clean up, he thanked me for helping get the fight under control and working to not get any blood on his floor, and gave me free beer for the rest of the night. Lyssa showed up again shortly after that, and gave me my cut: 200 gold pieces. Not bad for an evenings work, even if it felt kind of odd. Still, she seems like a decent sort, and we wound up spending the evening drinking and talking. I wound up carrying her up to my room since I didn’t know where her lodgings were and she was pretty well gone at that point. She woke up again just before I went to sleep, not remembering who she was, and pointed a pistol in my face. Then she remembered who I was and laughed it off and passed out again.
Life around this girl will not be boring. I just hope she doesn’t shoot me when she wakes up tomorrow. She also offered a possible explanation for all the weird things that have been happening: I am actually a Cypher Mage apprentice who was exploring the Old Light, took a falling rock to the head, and woke up with memory loss. I spoke Thassilonian because Cypher Mage’s learn Thassilonian, and it was what I had been thinking in and thinking about at the time of I went unconscious. The dreams and visions and the creepy voice in my head are all hallucinations brought on from brain trauma and stress from recent events. As for why I was naked… well, perhaps I was a recreational nudist, or perhaps I was unconscious for a while and was robbed of everything I had down to my clothes. It doesn’t quite explain the statue, although perhaps that’s just a coincidence. It’s not so unbelievable to think that someone from ten thousand years ago might have had a face very like mine. Certainly Lyssa’s explanation sounds plausible, and a lot more comforting than the alternatives. But enough of that. The matter will be settled tomorrow. She will probably be right, and someone will recognize me as that crazy Ali girl who never minded losing at strip poker.
It is very late now, so I’ll leave off here. I’ve got a big day tomorrow.