Hello Everyone…here is a wonderful story by Avatar Acid. This performance includes a wonderful cast of voice actors.
Sir Franks Story Part 1 by Avatar Acid
Welcome to old manor by Alexandr Zhelanov
On the very edge of the known world shrouded in wonder and mystery lies the Outpost,far beyond the claimed territories of Governments, Empires, and Lords, it is a destination for many. Misfits, travelers, diplomats, and traders who seek opportunities usually outside their own means often find their way to the Outpost for the promise of a new chance in life.
Sir Frank’s intentions however were to make his visit to the Outpost as short as possible, he is quite happy with the life he already has and the Outpost is simply the last stop in the next great chapter of that life. With dusk finally coming to an end he rose to his feet, sticking into his mouth the last piece of a fine dried meat selection he had prepared to replenish his body before the long day ahead. He was acutely aware of his surroundings including the anxious scratching of claws in a tree’s branches above him. He clamped down on the meat with his teeth and tore a piece off, then with a sharp whistle he tossed it up in the air and with all the grace of a drunken fool his uniquely abled companion swooped from the branches to catch it.
Frank: “I’ll give that one a six Furt, keep trying through!” said Sir Frank.
Completely unfazed by the comment Furt happily ate his prize, his broad wings keeping him in the air as he did so. Sir Frank put out a small concealed fire which was built into the side of some rock outcroppings to keep it hidden from prying eyes, and when he heard the chewing stop he reached into his pocket for a coin.
He flipped it up into the air for Furt with a simple suggestion and gesture with his left hand towards the Outpost, “You know what to do Furt.”
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Furt let out a quick bark of acknowledgment and wasted no time at all, he flew off in the direction of the Outpost. Sir Frank collected his things, drew his cloak and started off himself to cover the short distance between his position and the Outpost. He doesn’t have long on the short walk but uses that time to think about troubling things and about the information in which he has come by, about the danger which now surrounds the world. Information privy to only those who know how to firstly intercept it, and then decipher it. Sir Frank was unsure as to exactly when in the near months or years these dark times would come to pass, but he is sure of one thing and that is that the world will look very different in the not so distant future. Everything will change and many will not live to see it, Sir Frank had come to one conclusion. He is going to make it through the troubling times ahead, no matter the cost.
Soon enough Sir Frank came to one of the entrance gates to the Outpost which is already open, he walked through to be met by a group of guards most of whom were busy talking with various incoming travelers like himself. One of the guards finished and started to walk towards him with a general look of disapproval.
Guard: “Name?” the guard asked with a stiff upper lip.
Frank: “Frank.” he replied, knowing there wasn’t a good chance anyone here would recognize the Master of Coin and he wanted to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Though that won’t last long, Sir Frank has already spotted two men looking his way with his keen eyes.
Guard: “What is your business here in the Outpost?” the guard asked again.
Frank: “I’m on my way through, I’m just here for the night.” he said as he brought his finger to his ear, with a twist he adjusted something that none other than him knew was there. Turning his ear towards the two men, Sir Frank listened.
Seemingly Random Guy 1: “I wonder what the Master of Coin is doing all the way out here,” one of the men asked the other. “there is nothing for him here.” Sir Frank observed their puzzled expressions as he eavesdropped in on their conversation. He recognized the clothing worn by the two men and had made a guess on their identities based on information he had read over in the past. He turned his attention back to the guard who handed him a piece of paper.
Guard: “Don’t lose this,” the guard said pointing. “the Shady Cat isn’t far, just around that corner and a ten minute walk, they’ll have a room.”
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Frank: Sir Frank nodded as he collected the note the guard handed him and set off, walking right by the two men who had been speaking about him very nonchalantly, again catching part of their conversation as he walked by, “Very odd indeed.”
Sir Frank made his way towards the Shady Cat taking in, or rather being bombarded by, his surroundings. A hodgepodge of style and décor from many different cultures, and still to his surprise it all flowed together more like a live performance of the arts, lacking the disorder of the abstract.
The walk was quick, he came upon the sight of the Shady Cat in no time at all. Nothing unremarkable at first glance, just the typical smells and sounds which might accompany any such establishment. A waft of savoury foods, large quantities of ale, and of course the music of Bards. Sir Frank made his way past your average porch dwellers and straight into the Shady Cat.
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The Bards had just started a new song, a pleasant introduction to the piece was being played by skilled lutenist, and chatter was not loud and at an even murmur. Sir Frank slowed his walk to the vendor as he took a mental note of the Shady Cat’s layout. A large man to his left slammed his metal jug onto the wooden table after releasing it of all liquid, two exits in the back and one in the front, stairs up to his right, seating and stage to his left. Chatter died as a vocalist began to sing, your average song about regret and hindsight, but decent skill for the location he thought to himself.
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The vendor looked up from behind the counter as Sir Frank approached andbefore the vendor could offer Sir Frank stated his intent.
Frank: “Just a room for the night.” he indicated to the vendor.
Vendor: “Right. That’ll be eleven and a quarter. Just make’r half.”
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Frank: Sir Frank grinned, he put down eleven and then asked “So why then eleven and a half?”
Vendor: “We round up round here, ain’t nobody got a quarter piece any more.” he said taking what Sir Frank had already laid down.
Frank: “I’ve always got exact change.” Sir Frank jibed as he flipped the rare quarter piece up into the air landing into one of the cups the vendor had picked up to polish.
Vendor: “I’ll be a son of, ya know this is worth more than the eleven don’t you?” he asked surprised.
Frank: “Keep it, it wasn’t my only one,” he said as he held out his hand, the vendor handed him a key. “thanks.”
Vendor: “Your loss friend. Up one, all the way down, seventeen.” said the vendor out his big smile as he pocketed the quarter piece.
Sir Frank nodded then climbed the stairs to the first floor and walked the unusually long hallway of unusually small rooms, the original rooms were probably cut into halves he thought, unlocked his room and walked in. Not exactly what he was accustom to, but he didn’t think he would be there long enough to notice. After having a quick look around the room he laid down on the bed and put his feet up.
With the music and comfort of a bed for a change, he thought he could just slip into his first decent sleep in a long while. What he didn’t do however, is forget who he is and what he has to do, his eyes opened, he heard several footsteps. Sir Frank sat up hung his feet over the end of the bed onto a large circular rug, his staff made a hollow thud as he lowered it to the floor.
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The greeting party seemed well organized, they didn’t talk as they arrived and arranged themselves outside the door. Then Sir Frank heard a few words, foul words, magic words, the door unlocked as if the key was presented and then burst open after a kick. Two men with short pole arms hurried in flanking two others, one with a staff, and another well-dressed individual with his weapon not drawn. There was an unusual silence for a while as the men all faced each other in stare.
Frank: “I assume one of you is going to tell me what all of this is about.” Sir Frank calmly stated.
Telar: “Sir Frank, Master of Coin?” the man in the decent garb asked.
Frank: “Got me in one.” he responded.
Telar: “I am Magistrate Telar, I had to see this one for myself.
Frank: “Well Magistrate,” Sir Frank commented while standing up, “the show is actually down stairs, I know this because I can hear it from up here.”
Magistrate Telar let out a crooked smile but his men had no such appreciation of Sir Frank’s humour, the men with pole arms were visibly agitated that he had stood up. The man with the staff Sir Frank quite appropriately assumed was the magic user, held out his hand towards the ground.
The Black: “Going somewhere?” the noticeably thin and pale man asked Sir Frank.
Frank: “Well yes, now that you mention it my sickly friend, I am leaving, far past this place in fact. You won’t really have to worry abo—“ he was cut off as the magic user slammed his staff down onto the wooden floor. A few words came out of his vile mouth again as his staff glowed a subtle red hue.
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The Black: “You aren’t going anywhere Frank,” said the magic user, “you’ll be coming with us now.” he finished quite pleased with himself.
Frank: “Why is that?” Sir Frank asked as he lifted his rod off the carpet. Sir Frank stepped off the carpet to the side at great disbelief by the men in the room. He kicked the carpet aside revealing a magical design of some kind which was painted on the floor. “Because of this here magic trick? Have to admit, the staff glowing red was kind of neat though. I’m surprised you had enough time to design this circle too, don’t you have some reagents somewhere that need sniffing?”
The guard types stepped back and the magic man was about to speak again but Magistrate Telar cut him off. “Now, now, everyone I think we can resolve this without further escalation. Please leave me with Sir Frank for a moment.”
Without question all three vacated the room, Magistrate Telar closed the door behind them then unclasped his scabbard and sword. He leaned it against the wall then walked over to a small table to sit in one of the chairs, motioning for Sir Frank to join him.
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Telar: “Sir Frank,” Telar started as Sir Frank took his seat, “It seems that a man of your prominence isn’t able to remain entirely invisible while travelling abroad. I was actually alerted to your arrival about a day ago by an, interested party.
Frank: “Some party.” Sir Frank shot out.
Telar: “Quite. I am sure you are well aware of the Outpost’s status on intergovernmental affairs, we don’t choose sides. We’re a place where everyone can come to do business, make the deals you just can’t make back south.” Telar asserted.
Frank: “Wild guess here,” Sir Frank started, “there are exceptions.”
Telar: Telar continued. “I like to think of these little occurrences as compromises. When I became aware of who you are and learned that you were travelling to some yet to be known destination, it raised my interest also. There might be more people than you think who are interested in where you are going and what you are up to Sir Frank.”
Frank: “That is of course my business Magistrate, none of theirs, none of yours.” He responded.
Telar: “And I agree with that Sir Frank. I’ve been paid quite a large sum in order to interrogate you before letting you leave the Outpost. But here is what I am going to do instead. The Outpost has to remain neutral territory to survive, there can be no doubt about our position here on that matter. You will come with me and I will deliver you to the lockup for all to see, in the early morning when it is quiet you will be released. I will inform the interested party that you gave us the slip, and collect my money based on whatever you decide to tell me.”
Frank: “How can I say no to such a,” Sir Frank added a spin to his next word, “compromise. I’ve heard about the Monolith building.” Sir Frank stood and motioned towards the door. “Shall we?” he asked.
Telar: “Ah, you know a good deal about the Outpost Sir Frank. Yes, come, let’s get this show on the road.”
Sir Frank knew everything about the Outpost exactly because of the Monolith building. Hundreds of years ago the Monolith vanished, leaving no trace of itself. Before that the Monolith was enshrined in a structure, it was one of the oldest structures in the world now and has today been relegated to serving as a jail. Sir Frank had no quarrels with spending the night in that jail, it was exactly where he needed to be.