Welcome to day 10 of Dice-ember and I hope today I will bring you something a little bit different today, well not so different as the content doesn’t really change too much on this blog, but nevertheless today I am looking a bit deeper at some of the NPCs that we may actually just pass over completely when our players roll into town with gold to spend and shops to plunder.
Grant stood just outside of the bakers shop leaning against the wall hoping that the roof would shelter him form the worst of rain, sleet and periodic snow that was currently blanketing his city. As he took a large bite into the chunk of bread he had purchased he savoured the lightly roasted seeds that this particular baker mixed through their dough before baking which made it his favourite spot to wait.
Out of the corner of his eye he noticed movement leading into the alleyway. Thinking it was the information he was waiting for he picked up the loaves of bread he had purchased and head into the narrow walkway looking for his messenger. Instead of the same familiar face he was accustomed to bringing him information he found himself looking into the terrified faces of three street urchins who were in the middle of raiding the bin the baker throws the loaves that go bad.
Sighing he gestured to the children to come forward, reaching into this bag he produced the extra two loaves of bread and held them out for the children. Tentatively they came towards him before the squeak of a “thank you” could be heard from tilted heads as they gently took the bread and walked to huddle in a door way to share the bread between them.
The creature huddled under the stairs from across the street watching as the man gave up delicious bread to street children. This wasn’t the first time it had noticed this man giving out his food to others and it was sure it would not be the last. The cold, wet, icy ground felt terrible under its paws and as soon as it was sure that no one was coming it darted across the street, extending its claws very slightly in anticipation of diving onto the warm man.
“Scree” a soft chirping was the only sign of the creatures approach as it jumped onto the back of the man, its claws barely piercing the outer later of cloth as it burrowed under Grants hood and nestled against the warmth of its neck. The texture difference between the coarse, infrequent feather scratching against his skin and the cold, smooth scales underneath them still shocked Grant.
“Sparrow, glad to see you made it back. When it started to snow I had my doubts that you would return and I would find you huddled up somewhere warm a few days from now” Grant said, handing a chunk of the remaining seeded bread up to his companion. Sparrow just made hissing squawk noise and burrowed further into the hood to keep warm. Walking back inside the bakery to buy another two loaves of bread to replace the ones he had given the children he did his best to hide the creature in his hood and luckily enough the warm of the fires in the ovens and the warmth of his hood and furs under the cloak were enough to keep Sparrow from leaving his hood.
As he waited for his bread he remarked at the creature that he had encountered on a merchants boat that was deemed to be importing goods and animals illegally, Sparrow being one such animal. Sparrow was some type of bird from a distant continent that was lost for quite some time and seemed to be of remarkable intelligence and upon Grant discovering it locked in a crate and nursing it back to health they had formed a bond. But what surprised Grant the most was the tracking ability of the small bird like creature, being able to understand messages and instructions, with some initial training, and locating things by either smell or visual aides such as drawings of similar items.
“Here you go Grant, stay warm out there apparently there is blizzard on the way” Sue, the bakers wife, said as she exchanged his silver pieces with the loaves of bread.
“Thanks Sue, you too.” Grant said back before leaving the bakery and heading out into the weather and onto the road.
“Ok Sparrow,” admittedly a bad name for the reptilian bird that was the size of a large-ish house cat, Grant thought as he reached into his hood and patted the creature “Show me what you have found.”
As Sparrow warmed up against the neck of the human who had saved its life it looked around and used the claws on its feathered arms to move Grant in a direction down the street, as he had been taught by the human. After several streets, and asking for some more bread now and again, Sparrow led Grant to a large warehouse.
Approaching the warehouse Grant noticed that the large heavy wooden doors were slightly ajar, drawing his dagger and short sword he pressed the door open and walked in alert for any sudden movement or sign of danger.
Empty, the warehouse was silent was empty. Sighing he turned his head to Sparrow “Got lost old friend?” he asked. Sparrow jumped from his shoulders and, much like a predatory creature, moved up and around a corner. “Sparrow!” Grant called in a hushed yet urgent manner. “Damnit” he muttered as he gave pursuit of his comrad.
It didn’t take much more than a few steps around a small hip height wall to find where sparrow was, standing on the edge of a basket and staring at Grant expectedly.
“What. This isn’t a training exercise Sparrow. We need to find where the thieves are who stole form Red.” Grant sighed, rubbing his eyes at the thought of another dead end in the case.
Sparrow chirped annoyedly before leaning forward, allowing the basked to trip revealing dozens of chewed on apple cores.
Looking up at the noise he removed his hands from his eyes and frowned at the mess Sparrow had made “A basket of apples, huh. Maybe Jayk was telling the truth then.” he mused as he walked forward and looked at the basket. “Good work Sparrow. Let’s get the other guard in and search the warehouse for any other clues.
Sparrow chirped happily before diving under the warmth of the hood again.
That’s all for tonight as I am not going to lie, the words had to be forced tonight. I hope to bring you a bit more detail into Sparrow in the coming days as well as some more goodies in the coming days.
Don’t forget to come back over the weekend. Two more days of dice-ember and I hope the results of the 1 day, 3 match tournament I am attending this weekend!
And, as always, don’t forget to roll with Advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe