Ardougne's Crisis

Rowan, a small time thief, lives in the City of Ardougne. A city that has been divided into east and west. Where one side shows a bustling city and the other is shrouded in mystery. Rowan lets curiosity lead him to discover what is going on behind those walls. (An Alternate take)

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1. City Facade

 

               Ardougne. On the outside a city with a bustling market an exotic zoo and plenty of friendly faces.  Underneath a poverty stricken, crime filled city with a false sense of security. My home sweet home. Leaning against the bank wall that overlooked the market I took a deep breath.The air was thick and heavy. I will never get use to the thickness of this air. I looked to the west at the walls dividing the city. There was always smog looming over the wall no matter the time of day. I wonder whats on the other side. A loud crash and shattering glass caused me to jerk my head to the busy market.

“Stop thief!” A market guard yelled.

I saw a man bowling over the crowd with what appeared to be gems in his hands. Running behind the spice stall I waited for the man to get closer. My heart started to race.  Alright.. Alright…Now! I jumped from behind the stall and grabbed him throwing us both to the ground.

“Damn it get off me!” The man barked as I wrestled him to the ground.

He rolled over and swung his fist at me. I dodged it only to be clobbered by his other fist. Saradomin that hurt! I flung back after the punch connected to my face. My face pulsed with pain. Just as I hit the ground the guard, accompanied by two others, grabbed the thief. Dust flew in the air as the man struggled to break free.

Agh my face. The guard from the gem stall stood over me with a grin. 

“You sure can take a beating Rowan.” He laughed. “Shut up Walter, you were too fat to chase him.” I grumbled back. He smiled and extended his arm. I grabbed it and pulled myself up.

                “Geez Walter, why did you even become a guard, you’re terrible at your job.” I examined my face in the shattered glasses reflection.

“Well if you wanna eat ya gotta work.” He responded.“Not all of us can get by without jobs like you. How do you survive anyways?”

I turned to see if he was serious. He stared at the trashed gem stall. “I am a smooth talker. Always find a way to get free handouts.” I lied as confidently as I could.

Walter walked over to the stall and started to help the owner clean up the shattered glass. He’s a good guy. I thought to myself.

“That’s why it’s hard for me to do this.” I whispered picking up two shiny emeralds from the ground and shoving them into my pockets.

“Hey Walter I have some business to take care of, I’ll see ya around.” He seemed too busy cleaning to hear me so I just started walking.

“Alrighty let’s see how much I can get off you two beauties!” I could hardly contain my joy of my new pick.

               I could see the Poison Arrow Pub around the corner and quickened my pace. I pushed the door open to the pub and was hit with the smell of ale. I looked to the counter to see Marion behind it tending to something on the shelf.

“Hey Marion I have something for you!” I said cheerfully making my way to the counter.

“Not more trouble I hope. You still haven’t paid me for the smashed table last month.”

She came from behind the counter and shot a sharp stare at me.” Hey hey take it easy. Look what I have for you today.” I pulled the two emeralds from my pocket and placed them on the counter.

“I assume these aren’t yours.” She looked straight into my eyes.

“Let’s just say I was accommodated for stopping a thief.” I said trying to keep calm and avoid eye contact.

She looked at the emeralds closely. “200 for them both.”

“What! Are you crazy! They are worth at least 700 apiece. Please Marion!” I begged.

“Take it or leave it, this item is hot no doubt and it is going to take a bit of effort on my part to sell it. Not only that but some of it should cover the table.”

She’s right. I thought to myself. “Okay fine 200 it is.” I didn’t want to push Marion too far. She use to be the leader of a group of bandits and still had many connections underground. Not a person to get into a real fight with.

              

               Walking out of the pub I shook my bag of gold. What to buy what to buy.  I walked lazily around the city and noticed a commotion up ahead. It was Horacio’s Jade Vine again. It was on the fritz and the guards were trying to contain it. Horacio was just frantically running around and yelling. This happens a lot so I just kept on walking. He should really stop letting people plant that thing.

               I crossed the bridge and saw the mighty castle of Ardougne which King Lathas ruled. I find it funny how this big castle covered the gates to the west part of the city. Like it's trying to cover it up to make it seem it isn't there. But even in all its majesty it could not cover the fog that hovered over that part of the city. I walked around the castle to see the gate. Two men stood guard wearing suits that covered them from head to toe. They are called mourners. I heard that west Ardougne was plagued and the mourners were the ones who helped those inside. I used to believed it like everyone else. But that changed.

               I was walking around the castle late at night planning to break into King Lathas castle and was surveying the area. Yeah a dumb idea but I thought I could do it. Anyways I was checking for a way in when I noticed a man come climbing down a rope from the wall that divided the city. I hid around the corner of the castle. He wore ragged pants with holes and had no shirt or shoes. He looked like he was beaten badly. Reaching the floor he frantically looked around. The two mourners that were guarding the gate turned to see him. The man began to yell in fear as he ran in my direction. I continued to peer around the corner at the scene that played out in front of me. One of the mourners muttered something behind his mask when a blue aura started to appear around his feet. Then suddenly he flew forward at an insane speed. He moved so fast it looked like he teleported. The mourner blocked them man’s path and uttered more words I couldn’t hear. A red aura was forming on his chest.

“No! Please! I can’t go back! I can’t take any more!” The bruised man yelled.

“Don’t worry we won’t take you back.” The mourner spoke softly.

The man looked confused as he slowly backed away. “You must be eliminated.” This time the mourner’s voice was hoarse and violent.  

“Someone please help me!” The man yelled as he began to run.

Suddenly a sharp black tendril emerged from the red aura on his chest and went straight for the running man. “Aghh!!!!” It pierced the man through the chest, right where his heart was. The tendril retracted and disappeared along with the red aura. The man collapsed to the ground.

“What the hell.” I said to myself.

A bead of sweat rolled down my cheek. The second mourner that was near the gate dragged the body back into the gates of the west side of the city. Ever since then, I find it hard to believe they are here to help those with the plague.

                Nigh fell on the city as I found a place to sleep. I snuggled up against the blacksmith building and got comfortable. It was nice at night, everything was dead quiet. Falling asleep was never a problem for me here. I closed my eyes and let the silence take me. Something was jabbing at my side. I scooted to the side. I felt it again. I opened one eye to see Walter standing over me.

“Say Rowan… Wha.. What are you doin?” I can smell the ale from here. The  large glass of ale he held was pouring onto the ground.

“I’m sleeping Walter. How about you go act drunk somewhere else?” He looked at me with confusion.

“Aw come on Rowan.. I don’t… Don’t wanna drink alone…Hick.”

I took a deep breath and sighed. “Fine fine lets head over to the pub and get some drinks. I’ll pay.” He gave me a smile that stretched from cheek to cheek.

“Ahahaha your a great guy Rowaan!” He chuckled. He started to lean over to kiss me.

“Whoa! Whoa whoa!” I yelled as I tried to fend him off. Walter suddenly stopped and looked me square in the face. His face was very serious.

“Walter?” His mouth opened and let loose a sea of vomit that barely missed my legs.

“Damn it you almost hit me! Come on lets go.” I don't feel like drinking, but I thought of Walter as a good friend. Plus I owed him for the gems I stole.

           

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