Put this up on deviant Art a while back and have been meaning to keep it going. Will post it here and see what you all think of it. Hope you like it. ^_^
On a side note I came up with the character and story long before i started using Karvick as a user name. He was originally going to be a space marine.
Freelancer Chapter 1
A D&D Fan Fiction
Karvick was currently sitting on a log in the market green.
He watched the tide of traders and villagers go back and forth across the square meadow. The human concept of shopping had always amused him. It had little logic in his mind. If he needed something he could not find or make himself then he would go to a market, get what he needed and go. The idea of looking around seemed like intellectual laziness.
Thea had always told him it was just him being a typical male. That one does not always know what he or she needs until they see it. Needless to say he was not convinced.
Just then his elven companion appeared before him holding some colourful material folded in her arms. “More dresses I presume?” he said with a sigh and rubbed the tired scales under his eyes. “You are aware that our line of work requires us to travel through dungeons filled with vast amounts of mud, dirt and generally what ever comes out a goblins arse?” he asked with guarded sarcasm.
“Oh give it a rest Karvick. I'm not letting your foul mood ruin my last bit of gold. Job's like that last orc hunt on the kings road don't come by every day or pay as well,” replied the the young elf maiden. Her flowing green silk dress belied her true occupation as a skilled Ranger. Combine that with her fey born beauty, long flowing copper hair and full womanly shape and one could be forgiven asking what she was going with an obvious roughen like Karvick. A question he had asked himself on more than one occasion.
“That last, well paying, job, as you put it, almost got us killed because “someone” ran out of arrows.” Karvick said with his cheek scales flaring and a frowned brow. Life among humans had taught the dragonborn to over-exaggerate his facial features so that people could understand him better. This resulted in muscle strain and many headaches; making him very cranky. Thea knew this all too well. “Maybe you should think about getting some more ammunition before dress shopping?”
Thea simply smiled and put her free hand on her hip, enjoying how much she was annoying him right now. “You know Kar, I take offence that you think I don't take my work seriously,” she said in sly seductive tone. “ Unlike you, I like to take a brake from the sword fights, magic spells and monster hunts and just be a regular irresistibly beautiful woman.”
Karvick couldn't help but smirk at her confidence and her smile broadened. She knew him too well and could always crack his armour. Coming up to five years working together next month. They had watched each others backs through orc raids, vampire hunts and the odd dungeon delve when jobs were scarce. It was a good life. One of adventure and honest work and Karvick, being a Bahamut man, the latter was more of a requirement.
“Excuse me,” said voice from behind Thea. Both looked to see the origin of the voice and noticed a well dressed dwarf. He wore a red tunic with gold trim and white breeches; on his feet, in contrast, a pair of heavy black travelling boots. His beard was split into a double braid and had a full head of hair; which was rather rare for dwarven men. “You two wouldn't happen to be sellswords by any chance?”
“Depends on who's asking,” replied Karvick in his gruff business tone.
“And how much the job pays,” added Thea still smiling. She turned to get a better look at the man, her hand still on her hip, her body leaning forward slightly as she made eye contact. This was Thea in negotiation mode and one of the few reasons Karvick indulged her shopping habits. Out of the two of them, Thea knew how to talk to potential clients. This was not because of her being an elf; she hates elven related stigmas.
When you're a ranger it pays to be a people person or your likely to get arrested or worse, killed, for hunting on someone else's land; and in the Nentir Vale, almost every bit of land is owned by someone or something. So when your potential client is a well-to-do travelling merchant, you put you best foot forward. If that means wearing a green dress that has a slit up to the thigh on both sides with a deep cut, laced-up front, leaving little to the imagination; you can guarantee that you either throw the other party off completely, or at the very least make them underestimate you. Both mean you are in a position of strength when you finally get down to working out the details because your client is too busy ogling your breasts.
“My n-name – errr humph,” the dwarf cleared his throat and seemed a little flushed as he tried to keep eye contact with Thea. “is Traevus Baernstone and I would like to hire your services,” he said trying not to let his eyes or his mind wonder.
Karvick could see man was clearly nervous and not just because his height was perfect for taking advantage of the view. “As my associate has pointed out, our “services” depend on how much the job pays,” he said with little emotion, acting as a counter balance to Thea in his leather armour.
“Forty gold pieces each to recover something that was stolen from me,” the dwarf replied with his mind more focused as is if shocked back to reality by Karvicks words. He quickly surveyed the surrounding meadow before speaking again. “If you are both interested, then maybe we should discuss this in private?”
Shifting to the side slightly to reveal more of her long shapely leg and to show off her full voluptuous figure, Thea smiled. “Make that sixty each and we can be as private as you like,” she said in a commanding but sweet and promising tone.
Traevus give a nervous smile. “Lets get a drink then shall we?” He then turned to lead them down the southern path from market green.
Fallcrest had never fully recovered from the war with the Bloodspear orcs; even after almost a century, the once great city was still littered with rubble and abandoned homes. The sad truth was that the war never really ended. The Bloodspears were still a threat and it seemed ever year more and more monsters roamed the vale.
They travelled through the rural part of lowtown where the scars of war were most visible; passing farm land and workers homes, over a small bridge that crosses the Moonwash stream and stopping outside a familiar establishment.
Par Winnomer greeted the trio as they entered the Blue Moon alehouse. “Your usual table Karvick?” ask Par. The flustered middle age man looked swept off his feet. The tavern was busy as expected with halflings and dwarves accounting for most of the patrons.
“Try and keep everyone else away this time Par,” said Karvick feeling pestered.
“Will do Kar,” Par replied sharply as he straightened up. He knew well enough not to step on a dragonborns toes.
“I see you two are familiar with this place,” said Traevus with a half hearted smile as Par led them to a table at the back under a set of wooden stairs that lead to the upper floor.
“Stick to the job please,” said Thea, undeterred by the dwarf's weak attempt at small talk. She was all business now. “What are we recovering and from where?” Her voice was a little colder now, stronger and she gave Traevus a less than friendly look as she sat down. Traevus merely gulped and took his own seat.
“Right, well then lets leave the drinks to last then.” He was trying to regain some composure but was failing miserably. “Yesterday evening while travelling the old trade road on my way here to Fallcrest, my wagon was ambushed by goblins.” Traevus sat forward and looked at both Karvick and Thea to make sure they were paying attention. Starting to finally feel some confidence he continued. “It was a small group of five. They took my cargo. A box that I was transporting for one of my buyers. The job is simple. I need you to go to their lair and get the box back for me.”
“A hundred gold pieces each,” cut in Thea as Par came over to hand her her usual and left as quickly as he arrived. She took a swig of her drink while still watching Traevus.
“W-what?” Traevus didn't know what had just happened. The wind in his sails had just stopped mid-current.
“You heard me big boy. A hundred each to do the job.”
“B-but we-we had already agreed sixty.” Confusion swept over him as he felt the sweat running down his brow and into his beard.
“That was when the job was a simple recovery. Now it's a fight passed a group of goblins to retrieve what is obviously more than just a box.” Karvick made no attempt to hide his displeasure as he spoke. “Are you even going to tell us what is in the box or do my partner and I just walk in blind and risk our lives for pay we could get working for the town guard?”
“Now Kar, don't be too hard on him,” said Thea. Her features softened and returned to her inviting beauty. “I'm sure Mr.Baernstone will be happy to make this job worth our time. Won't you?” Traevus suddenly lurched forward with a look of intense pain on his face. Thea pulled her bare foot back slightly and began stroking, with her toes, the area she had just swiftly pressed against.
“Ok-ok, one-fifty each no questions asked,” said Traevus in a rasping high pitched voice
Thea released him. What was so important about keeping the contents of this box secret? She suddenly didn't like this job any more and the look on Karvicks face told he didn't like it either but the money was too good to pass up.
“Where's the lair?” asked Karvick, pushing the conversation onward.
“Judging from the group that robbed me and their lack of mounts, not far from the crossing of the old trade road and kings road on the east of town. There are some caves along that route that would be perfect for bandits to hide in.” The injured dwarf was starting to sound normal again.
“Right, we'll take the job but we need an advance on payment for expenses,” the very second he finished talking, a bag of gold landed on the table. Pretty fast for someone nursing their wounded pride, thought Karvick.
The rest of the conversation passed quickly with Traevus making a swift exit, leaving Karvick and Thea at the table with their uncertainty about the job. They were both quiet for almost half an our staring into their drinks. “Do you think he's lying?” ask Thea, breaking the silence.
“Don't know but his refusal to tell us what is in the box is not a good sign.” Karvick took a large swig of his ale and slammed the tankard on the table. “We need the money, if we want to keep eating.”
“There are other jobs,” Thea said half heartedly knowing the response.
“None that pay a hundred gold per head.” Karvick sighed, kicking back his chair and leaning against one of the wooden support columns for the stairs “The vale is getting more dangerous, too dangerous. The towns will soon stop turning to us freelancers and start expecting the lords to take full scale military action. Once that happens they will start expecting us to sign up and hold the line.”
“Not even if the gods were to come down from the astral sea and ask me in person,” said Thea in frustration.
“Then we do the job and skip town once we're paid. There is still plenty of work to be found in the southern kingdoms.”
“Yeah, if you don't mind the constant threat of the Underdark. You do remember that drow kill anyone with pointy ears and enslave everyone else?”
“Heh, just means more paid work.” Thea gave Karvick a look that chilled his already cold blood. He knew he just hit a raw nerve. “Ok, scratch the south. We could go east through the Dawnforge mountains. Kill a dragon or two and sell the hide in the port town of Arroun. From there we could buy passage on a ship to Alba and from there make our way to the freelands.”
“Problem,” Thea raised her hand as if to push back his train of thought. “That means passing through Hammerfast and you and I are not well liked there after what happened last time. So unless you want to go trekking over large mountains on foot, that plan is out.”
“Tiamat's tits. You break one dwarf's stone golem and suddenly your run out of town.”
“We can't go west because of the army of orcs, giants and ogres in the way and north means winterbole which is suicide.”
“Which means we are stuck here; bringing us back to my original point. We need the money.”
They both looked at each other and gave a joint sigh before getting up and leaving. Tomorrow was going to be a very long day.