Huge Ancient Wyrm Tyrannosaur, that is...
Beyond the crown-carved door a stone stairway curves into darkness. You descend with only a glimmer of light below to guide you. An arch at the foot of the stairwell leads into a high-ceilinged cavern lit by the glow of witch-fire from a reading lamp. The lamp illuminates a large open book, an inkpot and a quill. Dark shadows hide most of the cavern from view, and a heavy odor of cinnamon and musk hangs in the still air.
For a moment all is quiet save the sound of your own breathing. Then with a metallic gong a platemail cuirass bounces from the shadows to land at your feet. It's clear the armor was crafted with skill--skill matched only by the fury with which it was destroyed: holes are punched through the breatsplate and backpiece as if it were skewered by many spears, and the entire cuirass is blackened and corroded.
A deep voice speaks from the shadows, a rumbling growl shaped into words,
"Who claims to be the hatchling's father? Who claims the armor my lover wore when I slew him?"
Creatures takes a look at the book and quill (from where he's standing). If it looks to be a guest register he'll go over and sign.
Well what does it look like to a frankenstein of Creature's intellectual capabilities? Roll Scholarship.
Creature stares at the book trying to figure out what it says. Then he remembers he's mostly illiterate. (Scholarship rating -7%, rolls a 39)
"Three seconds 'til showtime, Buck."
[Planning something Quazarn? Something has successfully Seen the Future.]
[Uhh...what? I was just saying that Buck's gonna hafta start doin' some acting, since he shot Quazarn down from it and all. DANCE, SPACEMAN!]
Creature takes a few strides towards the table, squinting at the book. Buck takes a step forward, "Well...ma'am? That would be me wh-"
roars the voice, and Buck is as silent and still as wax. Something ponderous moves in the darkness. A head nearly as big as a damnation van swings slowly into the light, mouthful of wicked teeth bared in a come hither grin --
-- come hither and be devoured, that is. As her Cease spell takes effect the runes carved on her sweeping horns flare purple and slowly fade.
With unhurried movements Darryl's H.A.W.T. mother stalks forward from the darkness. She has the general shape of a Tyrant Lizard, but the long neck and barbed, coiling tail of a dragon. She cocks her massive head to the side and regards you coolly.
"Well? Who else will risk his silver tongue? Or will you tell me no more lies? I am Inez Consilio Regina. Why have you come?"
[Rondo is temporarily offline and gave me permission to run Buck, instead I'm opting to put him on indefinite magical hold. Buck said plenty to piss off Darryl's mom last week, so this is about how it would've gone anyway]
"Bigby...Smalls...Big...Time...Brawl?" Creature asks Darryl's Mom.
Inez Regina angles her head toward Creature, leaning in close enough for him to see the scars of age and battle on her snout. Her breath is hot and and smells of cedar.
"A true and undevious word at last," she says, turning to the others. "I despise the wiles of men, so speak plainly unless you long for oblivion."
She regards Creature again and nods. "Strong and stupid, yes. That is best. I will back you in the Brawl, but your companions do not impress me. What have they to say for themselves?"
Buck attempts to move his arm...his jaw...anything....
[If you wish you can roll a Saving Throw, discounting any bonuses from armor.]
[I should be able to post during the day, from work off and on, but at home I have no power, no phone and no water, so bear with me....as far as Buck is concerned, it might be the general agreement that he shut the hell up anyhow..]
With a 21% save, a "58" ain't gonna get it.
[Sorry guys...just trying to get us someplace other than a cafe....Buck's intention was to let mama know that we made no promises about the boys father, but with a fighter in training and a ring crew we were hoping to help her find the culprit through mercenary action...maybe get enlisted in the Big Brawl...she's got a boy that would make an excellent corner man, with his knowledge of the set-up.]
"We say you obviously got some wiles of your own, and I say that as a complement," says Zarko, bowing respectfully.
He's on familiar ground, now: This is clearly a Boss, and you don't try to baffle a Boss. Not if you wanna keep on with that whole respiratin' thing, anyways.
"We was just lookin' for an in at the Brawl. An in, and an edge. And from what we heard, you was the one to make both of 'em happen."
He awaits an answer, hoping that he hasn't gone too far, but knowing that if he has, there's precious little he can do about it. Just look at Buck!
[Note that everything Zarko is saying here is the truth, as far as he knows. He's not trying anything.]
Darn. Rolled a save for the heck of it again...missed with a "36".
Quazarn steps forward with confidence -- but deference. "Madam Regina, my Planetary Ape friend speaks naught but truth. We are a team of adventurers seeking glory -- each in our own way. Creature, here, is a being of great might, and we bring him here to test his mettle in your Brawl. We come for this," he concludes, "and no more."
I finally threw a "17", if I can say my bit..
The dracosaur listens impassively, tilting her head to watch each speaker in turn. Her eyes are as dark as indigo swirled in ink.
Her horns glow purple again and she flicks her tail at Buck, knocking him loose from her enchantment and off of his feet. She looms over him, close enough that he is unable to rise from his sprawl.
"Now then, spacer, you may speak your piece from a position of proper deference."
Buck stays prone and speaks, "I accept full responsibility for leading my companions to your home, and I apologize. Our goal is a humble one...to participate in the Big Brawl. It was my intention that if we could offer aid to you in the situation concerning the boy's father...then all the better. It appears you need no one's aid in this regard...Madame handles herself in an effective manner. No offense was intended, and no deceit was planned. Please accept my apologies, and please hold no grudge towards my companions, as it was I who spoke with your son."
Creature grabs Buck by his collar and plucks him off the floor. "Darry's..Mom..no..hurt..Buck...Buck..nice....Buck ..help..Creature..squish..mean..ogress"
"That's true," Zarko adds. "I saw the whole thing."
Buck dangling from the Creatures grasp, turns and smiles lightly, speaking softly "Thanks pal..."
Madam Regina rears up to her full height and stares at the group. There seems, just possibly, to be a glimmer of satisfaction in her eyes. After a long few seconds she turns away, sighing deeply.
"The Brawl, yes, all the young toughs and rowdies want to fight in the Brawl. And I do indeed have sway with Bigby, among others. I can get your Creature into the fray. He should do well. Perhaps even last to the second day. I will even pay the entry fee. But there is another cost."
She settles back on her haunches, coiling her tail loosely around her neck like a shawl, and sighs again, "Darryl also wishes to fight in the Brawl. He thinks of nothing but victory and glory; he is like his father." A gob of acid streaks across the room, landing with a plink and a sizzle in a distant spittoon. Madam Regina dabs at her mouth with her tail. "Like his father, my son is a fool....But he shall have his wish. Darryl too will fight in the Brawl, and you four will fight at his side. You four will guarantee his safety. Not his success, merely his safety. Should he return bowed and bloody, so much the better, but you will see that he returns unbroken."
"This task then is the cost of your entry to the Brawl. You need pay no coin, and I am generous to those who please me. You will find the cost of refusal much steeper."
"Madam," says Buck with a light bow, "Speaking for myself, It will be a pleasure to assist the boy. He already has the knowledge and makings of a great fighter. He, shall indeed fight, and whomever of us remains alive will most certainly return your son unbroken, if not a tad worse for wear. I will watch over the boy as if I were his own fa...." Buck's eyes dart to the pierced armor laying crumpled on the floor, "...the boy's uncle!" He smiles at Madam Regina.
The dracosaur flares her nostrils, and the spines along her back bristle. "He will never be a fighter so long as I live. He will become a doctor as I planned. In the vernacular, I send him to the fight only to have some sense beaten into him. Do not forget this."
"The next Brawl is in three day's time."