As Wylie and Crowley rode on, Castle Ostia rose up in the distance. They had only been riding for about 6 hours and as such, it was only mid-afternoon.
The closer they got to the town, the more obvious the signs of repair became. Wooden scaffolding had been erected around the walls of the castle and people were working on it from all angles. It seemed Ostia had recovered remarkably well since Roland's attack.
"Lets swing in here and grab a drink and see if anything interesting's happening," Wylie said to Crow, "and then we'll decide if we want to stay the night or keep going".
Four hours later he was completely smashed and unable to walk. He felt like sh*t; and that's the way he liked it. He had tossed some money around to get attention and thugs, villagers and wenches were all very eager to please the 'rich' man. He smiled at Wylie.
"You... you... you know what? Um... Wylie. Yes! Wylie! You are a swell guy. Really. Sweeeeell. Isn't that true ladies?" He yelled at some of the wenches sitting around him who seemed to have no problem with the ugly Crowley. They giggled.
"You are such a funny man." One of the women said.
"I k-know darlin', I know." He smiled and laughed, full of himself. He loved that guy in the mirror. And for the moment he loved everyone, even Wylie. He thought about that and proclaimed:
"I love you all! I love Wylie, too!" He let out a howl and winked at Wylie. And then the alcohol really hit him.
"Urg. I gotta go to bed. I think we should stay here... Wylie. I don't feel so good."
(OoC: Wow, you seem to have good knowledge of everything that's happening on the Way, I'm impressed. Your posts show a lot of insight. I like that. Niiiice. Oh, and I guess we're staying in Ostia for the night )
Wylie's first drink of the night remained in front of him, virtually untouched. He worked up the courage to take another sip. It tasted like scumwater. Nevertheless, he had paid for it and he wasn't going to let that money go to waste. He considered just giving it to Crowley but he was afraid he already seemed weak enough in Crow's eyes. He lifted the glass again and, strangely, while awful, it did taste a little bit better. After his final sip the drink actually tasted alright...
...and he was gone. This was probably the most he'd drunk in his life and this was also the reason why. Wylie had to stare really hard to make out Crowley and his, how many friends?
About ten minutes later, he found himself incredibly sleepy. He decided to let Crowley know he was going to bed in case he got worried.
Without getting up, "Hey Crowley! I'm going to bed now, okay?", he yelled at the blur before putting his head down on the bar and instantly going to sleep.
A village that was burning, several mercenaries with red scarfs started killing the villagers, every single last one of them. They enjoyed it. Crowley himself was running towards a family where a woman tried to protect her injured husband he slayed them both and set the building on fire. He laughed. And then...
"F*CK! Never again!" He mumbled while getting up. He breathed heavily. It was a dream. That one. Again. He shook it off. Then he looked at the man lieing next to him.
"What the hell?" Crowley murmured.
One bed. Two persons. Males.
He pushed Wylie out of the bed. He took all the sheets and covered himself with them. Pretty cosy. He decided it was to late to get to sleep anyway, so he got up.
"Okay, mate. Lets get packin'. Or do you want some breakfast first? I smell bacon!" He started dressing himself and looked at Wylie who had a terrible hangover as well.
"You remember me of my first hangover. Heh." He smiled. He felt bad for the guy. He had a dry mouth as well, but he was used to it.
"unghhhh," moaned Wylie, weakly. "I feel like I've been smacked in the face with the back end of a house." In his mind, he imagined Crowley actually picking up a house and doing just that, which made him laugh, but laughing just made his head hurt more so he stopped.
He too could smell bacon, and this was just enough motivation to get him out of bed. He forced himself to dress and then walk down the stairs with Crowley.
After a greasy breakfast and a coffee, he still felt awful but well enough to begin the day.
"So what're we doing today, Crow? Checking out the town or moving on?
"Mph. I guess we should be movin', but before we leave we have some talkin' to do. And not in this place." One of the bar wenches recognised Crowley and walked to him while smiling at him.
"Sorry, babe, I'm out of money." Crowley said, the girl stopped smiling and turned around.
"Women. Heh." Crowley grinned. He finished his meal and got out. He took his horse from the stables and waited for Wylie to catch up with him. After a short ride out of town he stopped at a nice apple tree.
"Right, well we've really got a couple of options," said Wylie. "We can: One, charge head on and cut some people up. Obviously that would be you doing the cutting and me healing you. Two, sneak in at night through a window or something and hold up an elder at knifepoint while he's sleeping and see what he tells us. Or Three, infliltrate as students, or maybe a student and servant or something, and see if we can get close enough to an elder to hold a knife to him in private."
Wylie sat back on his horse and thought about it. Charging in would mean a lot of fireballs and lightning being thrown at us. But then, they are only students. But what about the masters?
Aloud, he said, "Option one feels pretty dangerous."
Number two could work but I really have no idea how stealthy either Crow or I can be. I've never done anything like this before.
"Two is possible but it would be very easy to get trapped in a master's bedroom during the questioning. We'd have to be dead quiet"
Three would rely on them taking in healers as well as young mages and I really don't know enough about the place to know for sure.
"You think they'd take in an student healer?" he asked. "Or even a test dummy?" He eyed Crowley while saying this.
"Anyway, that seems like all of the options. If you can think of another way say it now but otherwise, what do you think?"
"I'm to cowardly to charge in. I'm to loud to sneak in and I'm to dumb to pose as a student... If you were the student, would this involve you doing all the work, and me sitting on my ass all day?" He asked. He grinned at the smart healer.
"In other words, I like option three... Well, we can still decide once we get in Etruria. Just say your father sent you, or, something, I don't know..." Crowley didn't know a lot how this things worked, so he hoped Wylie would do the thinkin', so he could do the drinkin'.
Wylie and Crow continued riding, talking while trotting along.
"Yes, I like three as well," said Wylie, nodding. "Mind you, if I'm a student, what are you? Servant? Bodyguard? What do you think is most believable? Because I'll tell you right now you are not just going drinking in town the whole time"
Wylie fingered his staff absent-mindedly. "You know, this could be good. I know I'm only there to interrogate an elder but if they've actually got a master healer there, nothing says I can't actually learn something while pretending to be a student."
Crowley and Wylie passed through the same village where they had slept before going to Etruria. Crowley and Wylie had travelled slowly, they had to recover from their wounds. Crowley was feeling as fit as ever now, so he was glad they made it to Lycia without too much trouble. He saw that things were changing here as well, the rebuilding in Ostia had began. He liked that.
"Okay. Let's rest here one more night and let's go to Santaruz. We've got some rewards to claim."
(OoC: Haha, most awesome post EVER! Will we be waiting for Zeiss here?)
"Mph. I like this place." Crowley nodded to the smiling faces. With much drama he searched for a seat and found one. Immediately he and Wylie got swarmed by people.
"Are you...?" One of them inquired but he couldn't end his sentence because of all the yelling and babbling of all the people who wanted to get a piece of Crowley. He stood up.
"People, people, there's enough Crowley for EVERYONE! Now, let me tell you how it happened. It was a fine day, and I had just returned from a fine battle where I killed 10, no, TWENTY bandits, with my BARE hands. Then I encountered an archer, who..."
While Crowley was telling his story, some villagers were staring in awe at him; some children were whispering that they wanted to be just like Crowley The Magnificent when they grew up. Well, without the scars and the rotten teeth, anyway.
"And then me and my mighty friend Wylie the Wrestler, here, killed 10 mages, armed to the teeth, who were catapulting fire at us like nobody's business. And then we were followed by a horde of bandits, which we had to fight off and..."
Now children were staring at Wylie as well, who seemed to be a great man, too, in their eyes. He was a not as ugly as Crowley. Even better, he was handsome. It didn't take long for the local wenches to find their prey.
"Hey handsome." One whispered to Wylie, who was sitting next to Crowley, listening to a new version of the stoy.
"And that's how we ended up here. And now I'm going back to Santaruz to defeat the Bern army SINGLE-HANDEDLY! HA!"
The crowd cheered and the bartender yelled, 'free drinks for everyone.'
Satisfied, Crowley sat down and started another evening in another inn.
Zeiss was among the crowd while Crowley told his tale. at last he sat down next to him. 'Well, that's quite tale you got there. Defeating the Bern army singlehandedly, that should be quite a sight.' Zeiss had a huge smile on him.