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[One-Shot] The Cogs of Fate: Beginning

I liek Squirtles

sobble squad
This is a little thing I wrote up to serve as a prologue for my new DnD character I made for a friends' campaign to help me explore his motivations and his voice. Hope you like it!

“...But then I told him, it’s the runic actuator that was leaking, not the reliquary crux. And it was! And he begrudgingly said I was right. Fucking elves.”

Garth looked at the pointy ears of his protege and took a sip from his firewater. “Language.”

“I am just sick and tired, Garth. I left my clade for a reason. I thought the artificers here would be different.”

The wizened yet stout dwarf shrugged. “There will always be people like that wherever you go. Your clade just happened to have… more than usual. This town, less so. Still more than usual, though. But you can never outrun them.” He looked his student in the eyes. “Show them your worth, Filibert. I know you can. Your tongue is too fast for your own good. Thank the Father God your hands are quicker.” He let out a gravelly chuckle as he took another sip, studying the young elf. “Another round, lad? You look nervous. Tell me.”
Filibert fidgeted with his fingers. The vision he had received in his sleep troubled him. “I don’t know. I’m still young. I… I feel I’ve been entrusted with an enormous burden.”

“What d’you mean?”

Filibert’s mouth went dry. “I saw a blue light. I heard a voice say I was its ‘last hope’. The whole situation rang a lot of bells for me, but I couldn’t place it for the life of me.” He buried his head in his hands.

“That sounds eerily familiar to me as well. I can ask some of the more senior folk, it reminds me of something that happened some time ago. But, for the time being, give me just a pinch of a second.”

His mentor got up and went to the bar. He asked the bartender for a shot and mixed in a few more powders and liquids of his own.

“Drink this, lad. Then hurry off to your house as soon as possible.”

The elf snickered. “A sleeping potion? Like, from the one alchemist class we had to take?”

“Ten times stronger. You’ll sleep like a baby. Get some rest, okay, Filibert? You’re worrying more than usual tonight.” He stood up to leave.

“Have a good night, Garth.”

With that, the dwarf left.

A city watcher shook Filibert awake.

“Filibert Homs?”

“WUH?! Y-yeah, that’s me.” He shook off their hands, smoothing out his messy shoulder-length hair. There were two of them, both human.

“Come with us.”

“What the hell for? I did nothing this time!”

“We ask the questions here. Get up now,” said the one that had roughly awoken him.

A little mechanical creature stirred in a corner. It looked remarkably like an stylized ostrich, but wingless and with a more stylized head. The watchers jumped.

“That’s just Griefer. With me, boy.” It followed along as soon as the command was given.

The three left the guild, Griefer in tow, leaving behind its incessant whirs and gas exhausts for the bustle of the city streets. They walked for a long while,leaving the artisans’ district. They came upon a crowd of onlookers right as they left it. They seemed to congregate under a streetlight. There was a watcher perimeter a good ten feet away from the light itself, which is where the crowd itself started.

“Comin’ through! City watch!” yelled one of the watchers as they jostled through the crowd with increasing ease.

He immediately spied the intricate dress of the guildmaster right under the streetlamp. She was talking to another watcher. She was as poised as ever, but consternation was

“Guildmaster?!” Filibert rushed to her. “What’s going on-” He then saw, tied to the post, the limp, dead body of his mentor and cherished friend, Garth Wrought. The dwarf’s neck was slit, his clothes drenched with blood, his face frozen in shock and his eyes wide with surprised.

Filibert heaved. “Gods beloved, show some respect. Close his eyes!”

“No tampering with the scene of the murder. Official procedure.”

Just as he was about to unload on him, the guildmaster grabbed him by the arm with incredible strength and pulled him aside, pushing through the crowd. “Homs. Take this.” She put a piece of paper into his palm. “Open it. Discreetly, please.”

He did so to the best of his ability. His fingers, usually so deft, fumbled at the paper. As he read it, his face went white.

“I’m taking a leave of absence. Effective immediately.”

“I understa-”

“I’m going to figure this out. I won’t be back until I do.”

“You’re what? You’re an artificer, Homs, not an investigator.”

“This is different. I know Garth. This is weird. Something’s happening, something I don’t quite understand.”

The guildmaster sighed. “All right, Homs. I don’t suppose I can stop you. But do remember you must continue to pay your dues, hmm? We still very much appreciate your talents and would love to help them develop further.”

“I’m going to empty my room. I’ve got to go, now. Come on, Griefer.” The little robot chirped.

“Gods protect that foolish boy,” she said through her teeth.
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