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Just off the main road leading into town is a gravel drive leading up to a rather disheveled two-story building, with bits of it under construction. Out front is a big wooden sign that reads simply, “INN”. The white paint is peeling from the letters. Beneath it is a sign that reads ‘Hiring! For a variety of positions! Inquire within!’ A wide front porch dominates the front of the building. The second story has new windows, but old shutters, new shingles, but old wooden siding.

Unlike many buildings in Town that pop up overnight this one has been here for some time. It was out of business for a few months, but now there is activity at it again, mostly in the form of work crews and a portly fellow brimming with optimism and the pride of owning a new business.

The door to the inn was once painted a friendly shade of green. It is currently sanded down in preparation for a new coat of paint. Should a person venture inside he or she will be met with large room that runs the front of the building, and is much longer than it is wide.

On the right-hand side is a counter. A big leather-bound guestbook lies in the center of the counter and behind it is a window looking into a cramped office. A shiny little bell sits on the edge of the counter with a small note that reads ‘ring for service please’. To the left, the room has some tables and chairs, and in the center several aging sofas arranged around a large coffee table all in front of a larger hearth. Past that there are more tables and a small bar. Behind the bar are several swinging doors that lead back to the kitchen.

Should a guest ring for service he or she will find a portly, balding fellow hurrying toward the front counter, greeting them loudly. “Good day!”


This thread will (hopefully) be growing as I have my entrepreneurial  little character set to work on it. For now, have your characters stop by if they are curious about the new business, looking for a job, or even if they’re looking for a place to stay. Though the owner will tell them, “We’re not technically open for business yet…” he won’t turn them away if they are willing to stay in one of the not-quite-ready rooms.

A red goblin wanders up to the INN. Seeing the sign and checking his coin pouch, he decides to go in to the INN.

(the pun has been made)

((The pun was INNevitable.))

As the goblin enters he will be met by the sight of the main room as described, except there is a trail of sawdust leading from the front door, past the front counter and back into the hallway toward the rooms. The sound of hammers can be heard reverberating down the stairway.

The goblin will have just enough time to get his bearings before a portly, balding fellow with a broad, happy face comes scurrying out from the office behind the main counter.

"Hello! Hello and welcome! How may I help you?" the man asks loudly.

(I think the puns here might be INNexhaustable)

The goblin looks up at the man. There are several burns on his face that almost seem like ritual markings.
I saw a sign that said something about hiring. Is that the case, or did someone forget to take it down?

The scars on the goblin's face get a second glance, then at the goblin's question he replies, "Yes, indeed, indeed we're hiring, or rather I am hiring." he smiles widely. "What are your skills? Come, sit down and we'll talk." He holds out a hand indicating one of the round, wooden tables in the main room, and starts walking over toward it.

The goblin eyes the wood a bit warily, but follows the man over.
I can fight, though I don't think you'd want me as a bouncer. A bit too much wood in this building. Or I can entertain people.

"Oh... an entertainer...hmmm... hmmm..." He thinks on that a bit, chewing it over as it were, his jaw muscles working slightly. "I never thought much about having entertainment..." his thinking turns back into a smile, clearly he has decided entertainment might be an excellent idea. "What do you do? Sing? Tell me more, please."

The goblin closes his eyes. Flames suddenly leap into existence around him and begins to flicker and weave in hypnotic patterns, creating blazing images of heroic battles. Throughout the story, which is accomplished entirely through the visuals of the fire, the flames change color to fit the mood that is to be set. Oddly, nothing catches fire.

At first the innkeeper jumps a little, and worry flickers through his eyes, worry for his wooden inn. Then, when nothing catches fire, he calms down and watches the show. "Oh... now that is impressive. Yes, I could see that making fine entertainment some evening. But it needs narration... and maybe some music to go with it.. yes, yes, that would be quite the show."

The goblin's eyes open.
Perhaps. However, that would need to be supplied by another. My concentration goes to maintaining the flames.
He thinks for a moment.
Barring that, I have some knowledge of beverages, and my pet will keep a fire going without any need for wood.

"Ah! Beverages! Now we get into an area I need to fill quickly. It is a small bar, but it will need a bartender." He gestures toward the small bar at the far end of the room. "Are you familiar with this Town?" He looks very eager to hear the answer to that final question.

He will doubtlessly come back to the topic of the fellow's pet once the topic of the bar is well covered.

Not in the slightest. I just got here.

"Ah, more's the pity, more's the pity..." he shakes his head a little, then brightens up again. "Well, that just means I'll have more research to do. I need to ascertain what types of drinks are popular around here so I know what to stock the bar with. Tell me about any experience you have with bar-tending and more about your pet, it sounds unique."

Not so much in actual bartending as with alchemy. But bartending and alchemy have a lot of common elements, and I know how to make several drinks, though I'm not sure about any of the local varieties. As for my pet...
His eyes close again and a creature appears beside him. It looks like a coal statue with a fiery glow coming from within. Its eyes are a pair of white flames.
Talnik, Emberling steward of Torch, at your service, sir.

"Alchemy, now that is interesting. If you know basic drinks, that should be enough to start with. We'll learn the local favorites together." He says.

"Oh, my! A pleasure to meet you Talnik, emberling steward of Torch." He greets the pet.

Talnik appears to grin.
So, I'm getting to pay for my own lodging again, it seems.
The goblin looks at it.
You need the heat.

"Now, your master said you can keep a fire going without any need for wood?" The innkeeper inquires of the pet. "As you can see, I have a very large hearth here, and it would be nice to have a cheery fire going in it all the time for the guests. Can you help with that?"

Talnik walks over to the fire and hops in. As it enters the fire, it seems to vanish.
The goblin explains
Talnik is from the Elemental Plane of Fire, so it can give off flames. But, if it has a fire to start with, it can do so without consuming it's own energies.

"Well, I have some matches, and there is plenty of scrap wood out back from the renovations. I can get a starter-fire going in a jiffy. Here, let's head out back and get some wood while we talk." The man hauls himself to his feet and starts heading past the front desk and into the hallway.

"As we go, what's your name? I'm Daniel." He holds out one of his meaty hands to shake.

The goblin follows and shakes the hand. Daniel may notice that the goblin's skin is incredibly hot. Not quite painful, but certainly uncomfortable.
Torch. Pleased to meet you.

Talnik stays in the fireplace.

"Well, Torch," Daniel flaps his hand in the air a few times to cool it down after their handshake. Not blatantly enough to be rude, but just out of necessity, Daniel's handshake is firm and that just made the handshake warmer. "Will you be working off room and board as part of your pay, or will you want a straight paycheck and be living elsewhere?" he asks as they head past the stairs and out the back door.

In the back yard of the INN there are piles of new wood siding, set to be installed soon, and piles of scrapwood from the nearly completed interior renovations.

Torch doesn't mind.
For now I'd prefer room and board. I may move elsewhere once I save up some funds and have a chance to look around town.
He eyes the wood
This should burn nicely.

"Sounds reasonable, Torch." he says in reply to Torch wanting to work off room and board to begin with. "And it's good to hear this will burn well. I had this pile made hoping we could burn it in the hearth there instead of having to pay to have it hauled off."

Daniel gathers up several pieces of timber sized to fit in the large hearth and heads back toward the door.

Torch blinks and a few more pieces float up and follow him as he walks back in after Daniel.

As Daniel pulls the door open with one hand he drops a kindling sized bit of wood and turns back to pick it up. He sees the wood floating behind Torch and does a double-take. "Now there is a useful skill." he comments, clearly impressed. He continues inside.

"Once we get this going, you should head upstairs and pick out one of the renovated rooms." Daniel tosses the wood into the hearth, careful not to hit Talnik.

((see you all tomorrow or the next day, whichever I have time to post))

Talnik avoids the wood, and sts it up in a little shelter shape before settling down in it.

Very well.
Torch drops the rest of the wood on Talniks house, collapsing it on him. Grinning to himself as Talnik rages at him over their telepathic link, Torch heads upstairs, chooses a room, and quickly falls asleep.

(See you later)

Daniel shakes his head a little and squashes a smile at the fighting pet and master.

"Here, let me get that lit for you." He tells Talnik. His jolly tone shows why he just might make an excellent innkeeper: it is just the sound people want to hear at the end of a long trip. He bends down, strikes a match, and sets it into the kindling. "I'll let you decide how to tend this fire, you're the expert. If you need time off, just make sure there's plenty of wood here." He points to the woodbox at the side of the hearthstones, "Then let me know so I can keep the fire stoked while you're away. I'd like a warm, welcome blaze to be the trademark of this place."

Upstairs, Talnik will need to decide which room to pick. Not all are the same. He can also assume they are not all the same price per night, so he'll need to decide how much pay he'll want to put toward living here and how much he'll want to have in his paycheck for him to spend. Of the finished ones there is: "The Hunter's Hearth" this room is large, has a fireplace of its own, rugged furnishings, a set of antlers mounted over the mantle, a king bed and two wing-back chairs; "The Cottage" this room is also large, done up all homey like a cottage and has a large, cozy floor rug, a little table with a tablecloth and chairs with seat cushions for eating a room service breakfast at, a queen bed, antique lamps and quilts all over; "The Basic 1" this is a small room, and as the name implies, this room is very basic, bed, couple of chairs, some generic scenery pictures on the walls, it is made for folks looking for a no-frills stay for little money; "The Basic 2" is the same as the first 'basic' room; "The Nightcap" this room has a minibar, a NICE minibar, and modern style furnishings; the final room is "The Outlook 1" this room is on the corner and has two windows, each with windowseats beneath them, the view is of the forested area behind the INN, it boasts two double beds and landscape paintings on the walls without windows.

((All the rooms will eventually be described in the thread heading, and guests will be able to choose one upon checking in. I do intend to keep track of who has which room.... for starters... we'll see how that works out.))

Talnik settles in for a long nap.

Torch will take Basic 2.

And so it is Basic 2.

Daniel goes back about his work, answering questions from the work crew, doing paperwork in the office, planning things out for how the great room will look once it is all finished.

Well, since the room choice is retconned to last night, Torch comes down the stairs and decides o head out into town and look around.

"Hello, Torch!" Daniel is already up and working when Torch is headed out. "Headed to Town? If you are, mind doing a little bit of work while you're there?" Daniel asks in his friendly tone, clearly not wanting to impose, but at the same time he needs a small task done.

Torch stops.
That would depend on the work.

"If it wouldn't be too much trouble for you to stop by a couple of liquor stores on your way through Town and see which one has the best prices on what we'll be needing, that would be a real help. If it's a bother, I'll handle it later." He says with a smile as he files a few papers behind the front desk.

((It is fine for Torch to do that off-screen, if he accepts, as I don't know of any character-run shops he'd stop at.))

(Unless you wan to follow the three step plan of
1. Buy from Trog's
2. ???
3. Profit!
that's probably best)

Torch nods and heads out, dciding that the docks are as good a place to start as any to look into goods.

"A million thanks!" Daniel calls out as Torch leaves.

((But if we mark up from Trog's prices then people would rather go to Trog's where things are cheaper. Daniel needs to buy from the suppliers for everything he can, he may need to buy some things from Trog's later, if the owners are willing to do business with their competition.))

In the midst of fleeing Ernst happens to spy this place. Pulling his friend inside, hoping they're safe.

The pair hurry through the door, and find themselves standing on the new rug sprawled out before the front desk.

The signs of construction are largely gone now, instead the place looks ready for customers. Their host is certainly ready for customers! The portly fellow hurries out from the little office and comes around the desk to welcome them, quite literally with open arms.

"Hello! Hello and welcome to the INN!" Daniel says, with a broad smile. "How may I be of service? You're looking for a place to stay, yes? Our grand opening is in a couple of days, but we're ready for guests now."

The Gal-with-no-name turns toward him, looking a bit surprised at his exuberance. She's still a little out of breath from all of the running she and Ernst just did.

Garret walks up to the INN, carrying the woman best known for being the Queen of Frost.

(I swear, I did not just follow Nameless and Ernst. I was planning on coming here before Who posted)

((Yeah... RIIIGHT... Razz ))

The innkeeper smiles, pleased with the sudden rush of customers.

"Hello, and welcome to the INN!" he tells Garret. "Should I call for a doctor for your friend?" he asks, with a look of genuine concern. "I'm sure I have the number for one somewhere."

The nameless woman backs away from the two newcomers. "I admire your noble nature in seeking help for her..." she says to Garret, "But if she wakes up and sees me here, I really don't want to get the life beaten out of me with the nasty whip thing she had. Is your other friend around? The one who defeated her before?" She is backing away from the frost-woman yet again.

No, he had to leave. But she's safe now. He suppressed the entity conrolling her. She'll be different when she wakes up.
Garret turns to Daniel
No, she just needs rest.

(Well, my options were here and Trog's. And Trog's is currently in ashes, so it isn't really receiving customers Razz.)

Ernst focuses on the innkeeper, not really trusting the appearance of Garret and the woman.

"Could we get two rooms please? Preferably next to each other."

"This is the ideal place to seek rest." The innkeeper tells Garret. "Choose a room and let me know if there is anything else you need."

"I can help you get up there, hold the door and such." since Garret clearly has his hands full.

"Certainly!" Daniel replies to Ernst. "Here is the listing of rooms we have available tonight, please note that the Basic 2 is occupied. Pick the two you prefer."

((Any two rooms Ernst picks will be next to each other, because I am not making a map of this place... at least not any time soon.))

The rooms list:

"The Hunter's Hearth" this room is large, has a fireplace of its own, rugged furnishings, a set of antlers mounted over the mantle, a king bed and two wing-back chairs.

"The Cottage" this room is also large, done up all homey like a cottage and has a large, cozy floor rug, a little table with a tablecloth and chairs with seat cushions for eating a room service breakfast at, a queen bed, antique lamps and quilts all over.

"The Basic 1" this is a small room, and as the name implies, this room is very basic, bed, couple of chairs, some generic scenery pictures on the walls, it is made for folks looking for a no-frills stay for little money.

"The Basic 2" is the same as the first 'basic' room.

"The Basic 3" Again, same as above.

"The Basic 4" Again, same as above.

"The Nightcap" this room has a minibar, a NICE minibar, and modern style furnishings.  

"The Outlook 1" this room is on the corner and has two windows, each with windowseats beneath them, the view is of the forested area behind the INN, it boasts two double beds and landscape paintings on the walls without windows.

"The Outlook 2" this room mirrors the outlook one and is on the other corner of the building.

"Sweet Escape" this room is done up to look like a little tropical paradise. It has a balcony that will overlook the pool when that is finished.

"Backyard Balcony" homey room with a balcony. There's a birdfeeder out there on the rail that attracts a variety of avian life right up to the guest's window.

More coming soon!


I'll go with Sweet Escape. Sounds like home.
The woman stirs a bit, but doesn't wake.

"Basic 3 and 4 will do just fine thank you."

"Allright, here are your room keys, Sir." Daniel hands Ernst the keys to those two rooms. "Upstairs, take a left." he gives Ernst directions.

Then he takes the key to "Sweet Escape" and steps forward to lead the way for Garret. "Right this way, Sir. I'll help you with the door." And then he leads Garret and the former Ice Queen upstairs.

The nameless woman turns to Ernst. "So... we have enough money to pay for a few days, but that's it. I noticed the sign said this place is hiring. Have any skills that might be useful around an inn?" By the look on her face she's trying to decide if she has any skills that would be useful, but is having some trouble due to her memory blanks.

Garret folllows Daniel to the room, still carrying the woman.
How much will this be per night?

"I don't think so. I mean it's been so long since I left the House."

"Just *insert VERY reasonable price for a nice room here*" the Innkeeper replies as he holds the door open for the pair. "We're running our grand opening promotion right now. The actual grand opening will be in a few days. The normal rate after that week will be *insert a still reasonable price here*."

The room is sparkly clean and still smells of new carpet since the INN is newly renovated. Two beds, French doors leading out to a balcony, nice bathroom with a big tub, decor done up like a little tropical get-away.

[Meanwhile Downstairs]

"Well, I can clean, and an inn always needs housekeeping staff. I'm also pretty good with people as long as they aren't Ice Queens, so I could work the front desk I guess." Nameless muses.

(I almost didn't realize that he wasn't saying *insert VERY reasonable price* Razz)

That's awfully reasonable. Just a heads up, you may not have as much competition for a while. Someone burned down Trog's Tavern.
As Garret speaks, he walks over and puts the woman down on one of the beds. Then he pulls out a bag, and tosses it to Daniel.
There's the room tab, let me know when it runs out.
There's about enough in there for a month. Garret has experience with debt meeting deadtime.

"That sounds like something I could manage too. Maybe we should ask what jobs are available?"

Daniel catches the bag, having to use both hands as he's not the most coordinated human. "Thank you, Sir! I will let you know when you have one week left and again when it has run dry. Have a lovely stay at the INN."

He then heads downstairs again.

As the portly innkeeper rounds the corner to the main room Nameless says, "Well, here he is now, go ahead and ask." and motions toward the innkeeper.

Daniel looks amused and glances from one of the new guests to the other. "How can I help you?" He inquires.

"Um, yes. We were wondering if you had any positions currently open here?"

Garret sits on the other bed. After about an hour, the woman wakes up.
Where am I? What happened? The last thing I remember is cold...
You're in the Town. The Queen of Frost possessed you, and nearly killed me, but my friend stopped her, drove her out of you, and saved me. I'm Garret Storms. And you are?
The woman sits up.
Kelfi. My name is Kelfi. What was that you said about the Queen of Frost?
Garret raises an eyebrow
You know her?
That's the name of the airship I was raised on.

“Oh, yes, of course!” Daniel replies to Ernst in his characteristically over-enthusiastic tone. “This is excellent, I was worried I’d be under-staffed for the grand opening. I need people in ‘Guest Services’. So, working the front desk, taking phone calls, helping folks with their luggage, bringing items to people’s rooms, all of the normal things that need doing to make people feel well-served. Then we’ll sometimes need wait staff.” He motions to the great room with its tables and the bar at the far end and the doors leading to the kitchen behind that. “There is even a position still open in housekeeping and a part-time slot in maintenance, if working with the public is not to your taste. Tell me about your skills and experience.” He motions for the pair to follow him to one of the welcoming rustic wood tables that dot the great room so they’ll all be more comfortable while they talk business.

Interesting. How did it get that name?
The power source. It was an interdimensional rift, and anything that went through came back out frozen.
Garret chuckles.
I know all about the rifts. I've been through one myself. Burns, doesn't it?
Kelfi nods, shuddering at the memory.
So, What happens to me now?
Whatever you want. You can stay here, if you like.
Garret motions to the bed Kelfi isn't on
That one's mine...
He gives her a flirtatious grin.
You can pick which one's yours.
Kelfi laughs.
You are a bad man, Mr. Storm. I think I'll go out and stretch my legs for now. I think that ice bitch stiffened up my entire body.
She stands and heads down to the main room.

Ernst sits down in whatever one of the chairs, carefully thinking about the best way to phrase what he's about to say.

"I believe I may have prior experience in 'Guest Services'"

"That would be one way of putting it." the Gal-With-No-Name quips in response to Ernst's careful wording.

Then she half-successfully tries to squash her wry grin.

Thankfully her remark doesn't faze the eager innkeeper. "Tell me a little about your experience," Daniel prompts him.

She just can't help jumping in with one more comment, but this one is helpful: "He is very welcoming, and knows how to look after a guest's needs such as bringing me ice for my head-wound..." Aww, that's nice of her to say. "... he even invited me to dinner." Ok, that last bit was definitely a jab, at least she didn't add that she was dinner.

It is finally Ernst's turn to speak again.

Kelfi looks around and chooses to take a seat by the fire. She seems to be somewhat chilled.

Ernst nods along to his friend's comment.

"My former home was rarely lacking guests. I've been in the business for at least ten years."

When you think about, joking about this is kind of morbid.

Kelfi will find large ultra-cushy leather upholstered couches and arm-chairs in a semi-circle around the roaring fire in the main room. The couches and chairs are new - they were brought in after Torch left.  

The main room looks put together and welcoming now.

Off to one side of it the Innkeeper and Ernst and Gal-With-No-Name are sitting at a large wooden table and talking.


It is indeed rather morbid. It seems that one more facet of Nameless' personality is being revealed: a taste for dark humor.

"So, you have experience being in business for yourself then. You do not still run your own establishment I trust?" Daniel's just double-checking that Ernst won't be the competition. "If you'd like, you could try your hand at the front desk, checking in guests and the like. If it works well, it can become your regular position. Does this sound reasonable?"

For once the gal just sits and listens.

As Kelfi continues shivering in the comfy fireside chair, a whisper comes from the fire that makes her start.
So, the little girl with a frozen heart is looking for warmth. Let me tell you, girl, there's not a fire in all the planes hot enough to thaw you.
Who...Who's there?

"I can assure you that my former establishment is no longer in service. The  owner didn't have the heart to continue. When can I start?"

"As early as tomorrow if you like, or take a couple of days to settle in and start on Monday, take your choice." The Innkeeper offers. "Just so long as it is before the Grand Opening."

A flexible employer, that's a bonus.

"Waitstaff and/or housekeeping would suit me just fine." the gal tells Ernst's new employer. "I am a hard worker, very reliable." At least she hopes she is these things.

"Excellent, excellent." Daniel replies. "Then I have those slots filled as well. This is shaping up nicely. Welcome to the INN." He says that last sentence like he is welcoming them to the family. "Your names again?"

Just someone who knows about these things. Your very nature was changed, little girl. Like it or not, you're now the Ice Queen's pawn. Oh how my master will enjoy burning you to a crisp when the time comes.
What do you know about me!?
Kelfi's voice is begining to be raised and panicky.
I know far more than you do, little girl. It's a pity. You may have amounted to something. But you shall burn in the games of beings higher than you.

"My name's Ernst, Ernst Noble."

He holds out a hand, presumably to shake that of his new employer.

"A days rest would sufice for me, if that's okay with you?"

"Perfectly agreeable." Daniel says, and then he gives Ernst's hand a good, firm wringing of a handshake.

That's when he notices the panicky sound in his other guest's voice. "Excuse me." He tells Ernst as he quickly heads over toward Kelfi.

"Miss, can I help you? What is wrong?" He asks Kelfi in a genuinely concerned tone.

The lass with no name peers over in Kelfi's direction, curious. But then she involuntarily yawns. Tired trumps curious after she's been up for over 48 hours straight. "I should sleep... and maybe we shouldn't be down here when she goes crazy again."

Something in the fire won't shut up about me!
Once he's closer, Daniel will probably realize that it's almost certainly Talnik, and while the voice is similar, something is off about it.
The large one cannot save your, and neither can the other champions. Your mistress is far out of her league, and you will burn for her folly.


Torch is hurriyng towards the INN, calling out to Talnik desperately with his mind, and getting no response.

The innkeeper comes right to the side of her chair. His eyes widen at her words, and he whips around to glare at the fire. The motion puts him slightly between her and the formerly cheerful blaze.

"Talnik!" His voice drops from it's unusually peppy tone to a lower octave. He speaks slowly, calmly, and forcefully. It is the voice of a man who hates conflict, but knows how to forcefully take charge. "This is absolutely not acceptable behavior. Stop threatening our guest immediately."

There is a chuckle from the blaze.
Threaten not the messenger. It simply bears the will of it's master to the enemy.
The flames begin to dance out from the fire, reaching towards Daniel.
No! Get back!
Kelfi finds her matrix cord in her hands and spinning as her training kicks in. A matrix of energy begins to build within the bends of the cord as she prepares to defend herself.


Torch reaches the door and opens it. As he enters he is panting.

Ernst nods in agreement with his friend, heading towards his room.

"That would seem like a wise course of action."

Daniel does not move. "Leave this INN, now." he commands Talnik, and points toward the front door, the same door that Torch just entered.

The motion toward the door causes him to turn just enough to see Torch's entrance. "Take your pet outside. He is threatening the guests."

During this the gal with no name makes a run for the stairs. She cuts past Torch on the way because she has to in order to get to the stairway. She doesn't give him a second glance though, she's too focused on getting away from the woman who has now taken out her whip.

Ernst follows his friend's example, focusing on getting up the stairs and away from any sort of fracas that may ensue.

"Make sure you lock your door."

Torch steps forward, a strand of fire appearing in his hand.
That isn't Talnik. Something is controlling him.

Kelfi keeps the matrix spinning with one hand while she tries to shove Daniel out of the way with the other.
Move! Let me handle this!

The flames flicker, as if chuckling.
Greetings, my champion. Prepare to watch as your destiny begins to unfold.

Garret, having heard Kelfi's yell, is on his way downstairs. He stops when he sees Nameless.
What's going on?

The shadows flicker a little, though it is unlikely anyone will notice, what with everything else going on. Talia appears in Garret's room.
Now to get the wolf here.

She stops abruptly at the foot of the stairs, the motion makes her scruffy brown hair fly in her face. "The ice queen and something that jumped out of the fire are about to have a showdown in the main room!" she tells Garret.

"Wait!" she suddenly calls. "Ernst! Wait! That something jumped out of the FIRE." She abruptly changes directions, heading down the stairs. "This inn is made of wood. I don't fancy being roasted. Let's go out back until this thing is over." she motions toward the back door, which is visible just past the stairs.

Meanwhile, Daniel is pushed aside, but not pushed off balance. As he sees Kelfi creating a vortex with her whipping and whirling cord he realizes she will need space to effectively wield the weapon, so he backs away, but stays at the ready to help his guest.

The ice queen? Are you sure it's her, or is it just the girl?
Garret starts down the stairs.

Torch closes his eyes, and the walls, floor, and roof of the INN flash. His eyes stay closed, and sweat begins beading on his forehead.

I will end all challenge to my rule now!
The fire beast lunges towards Kelfi. As it does, Kelfi suddenly changes to plane of the cords rotation, setting it up perpendicular to the floor and parallel to the plane of her body. As she does she shouts in a voice of command.
The flames crash into the whirling cord and recoil from it.

Upstairs, in Garret's room, Anglor steps out of the shadows.
Welcome, Anglor, Chosen of the Earthscar, Champion of the realm of Earth. I am Talia. You are already acquainted with Shade.
Greetings, Lady Talia. Now, your servant spoke of meeting my destiny.
Wait a while. The others are handling a matter downstairs, they will join us shortly.

Clearly his friend has a better handle on this than he does, so he just nods and follows. Very much not wanting to get roasted.

Garret gets no further information from Town's newest, scared female amnesiac. She is too busy running out back with Ernst.

"Good thing we ran into that guy again. If I hadn't said it came out of the fire I'd never have put two and two together and we'd be on the top floor like a pair of chickens in a deli-roaster." She says to Ernst.
((Speaking of which... deli-style roasted chicken is danged good eating... I'm getting hungry.))

The gal with no name is panting from the abrupt change from sitting to running like a maniac. She plops down in the grass out back of the building, managing to avoid sitting on any debris left by the INN's recent renovations.

It is rather peaceful back here. The sun is setting and the bare winter tree-tops look stunning against the the purple western sky.


Meanwhile inside Daniel is watching the fight unfold. He can't think of much he can do to help.... he is ready to grab the big bucket of sand to smother any small fires that crop up. He's hoping there won't be a big fire.

Garret follows her down the stairs, but not out the door. He watches as Kefli fends off the fire beast.

Torch continues to stand with his eyes closed. His red skin now gleams with sweat.

You are nothing before me, mortal!
The fire beast lunges at Kelfi again, and again recoils from the whirling cord. This time Kelfi pushes the cord towards the beast as it recoils, driving it back towards the fire as she shouts again, her voice still one of absolute command.
Now the orbit of the spinning cord seems to be growing solid, like a giant shield between Kelfi and the beast.

I hear the sounds of battle from below. Perhaps we should aid them.
No. You have faced your trials, and they must face theirs. The champion of fire, especially. This battle will free his mind from his master.

Ernst stays standing for the moment, not really breathing that heavily at all in contrast to his friend.

"I do hope they don't destroy the building."


"I hope so too." she is quickly calming down now. "I don't want to go looking for another place to stay after dark, and it would suck to loose our jobs two seconds after we got hired."

The evening breeze rustles the bare twigs of the trees and bushes, and blows bits of debris into the hole where the swimming pool will be.


Daniel looks from one participant in this unfolding drama to another, still decided it is best for him to stay out of the action. Torch's involvement seems to have caught his attention. He squints at his employee, trying to ascertain what Torch is doing.

"Have you put any thought in to what people should call you? It's going to make work a lot more difficult without a name."

The fire beast strikes at Kelfi's barrier again, and this time the barrier flickers. A tongue of flame gets through and burns Kelfi's left cheek, causing her to cry out. Garret, seeing this, lunges forward.
There is a flash of light and a thunderclap, and Garret is gone. At the same time, Kelfi's barrier is suddenly crackling with energy.

Daniel will likely not be able to tell what Torch is doing, but it is noteworthy that the fire beast somehow hasn't been able to set fire to the wooden building. And all wooden surfaces still have a straneg gleam to them.

Kelfi, after being burned, nearly collapses, but when Garret dissappears, she seems to rally. Striking forward again with the cord, she cries out
The barrier makes contact with the creature, and steam erupts from the contact. The creature appears to be in retreat as Kelfi advances behind the barrier, forcing it back into the fire.

Who are the others?
Garret Storm, Champion of Air and Master of the Vortex. Torch, Champion of Fire and infamous pyrokineticist. Kelfi, Frozen Champion of Water, slave of the Queen of Frost, and the most powerful practicioner of matrix combat to ever live.
And who are you?
Talia, gifted shadowcaster of a far away land.


Daniel definitely notices that his INN is not on fire. That is the one thing he fully understands in the midst of this fight.

The rest... is rather confusing to him.


"No, I haven't thought about it. I have tried and tried to remember my name, but I can't." she sighs. "I was hoping a good night's sleep might bring some clarity, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen any time soon."

She lapses into silence and stares toward the horizon where the moon is slowly coming up.

"Still nothing..."

"Perhaps you should adopt a place holder for the time being?"

As the beast is cornered into the fireplace, Kelfi spins and whips the cord around her. The end lashes into the fireplace, and with a roar the creature vanishes, leaving behind what appears to be a small man made of coal, which Daniel will recognize as Talnik, and a normal fire.

Kelfi begins to collapse, but there is another flash of light and thunderclap, and Garret appears behind her and catches her.

Torch opens his eyes, and the gleam vanishes.
The emberling is levitated over to Torch, but otherwise doesn't move.

And what is your part in this, shadowcaster?
Well, it isn't as formal as your position, but some would call me the Champion of Shadow. I've been paying attention to the rifts since they were formed.


Daniel sighs in relief, and notes that the shine on the INN is gone. He looks from Garret and Kelfi to Torch and Talnik.

"What do you need?" he asks both pairs at once, intent on helping all those injured. "And once they're alright, I want to know what is going on here."


"Hmm... what do I want to be called." she ponders a little more. "What do you think? Nicknames are usually handed out by friends after all."


If you have anything that can help with her burn, I think that's the best we can do. I fed her as much energy as I could, but she drew a bit more than she should have from herself.

Torch looks at Talnik, and closes his eyes. The emberling vanishes. Then a shadow stretches out from the wall and engulfs Torch, retreating almost as quickly as it extended.

Somewhere REALLY far away

Torch appears from a shadow and there is a massive fiery explosion from the goblin.

Ernst leans against a wall, pondering for a moment.

"How does Annie sit with you?"


"With the 'ie' sound on the end?" she makes a blegh face. "Ann or Anna wouldn't be bad."


"I have ice in the freezer in the kitchen and some clean bandages in the first aid kit behind the desk. Here I'll get them." He hurries behind the desk and returns with a white box of first aid supplies.

"Wait... where did Torch go?" he pauses to look about comically. "No time..." he hurries toward the kitchen next.

Thank you.
Garret begins fixing up the burn.

Torch reappears from the shadows, steaming slightly. Literally.


Daniel returns from the kitchen with a bag of ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Under other circumstances it would be humorous to see the heavy-set innkeeper rushing back and forth across the great room.

"Here, this should help chill it down, just don't put it right on the wound, we don't want to get towel fibers embedded in any open skin.... oh, you're back, Torch." he seems a little surprised at the goblin's sudden return. "How did you..." He points to outside and then back in, looking befuddled.

"Ann it is then."

Not just burn the entire town? I have no idea.
Garret, realizing who had moved Torch, puts two and two together.
Goblin, follow me. Now.
He picks up Kelfi, ignoring the ice Daniel brought out. Torch glares at him, his eyes on fire. Literally, if you look close enough.
Why should I listen to you?


"Ann." she lets that hang in the air for a minute. "It'll do I suppose."

"Most names have a meaning, is there a meaning behind your name Ernst? Named for a relative perhaps?" She is starting to shiver a little as it grows colder.


"Um.. no, actually I wondered how you left and came back so suddenly."

Then Garret starts barking orders.

"Be polite, please." He requests of Garret. "And before either of you go anywhere I would like an explanation of what is happening in my INN. You nearly burned the place and put my guests in danger."

Torch looks at Daniel.
I have no idea. I was at the docks, and suddenly I couldn't sense Talnik. Something else took over his mind. It bunred him out.
Garret is headed for the stairs.
Come on, I know someone who can explain what happened.
Torch reluctantly starts after Garret.

"It was the name of my father and his father before him."

Noticing the shivering Ernst removes his green checked jacket and offers it to the newly christened Ann.

"You look cold."


"Thanks." she takes the jacket and slips it over her shoulders. "You'll get cold though." she points out. "I wonder if they're done fighting in there?" she heads for the door and very cautiously starts to open it just a hair, listening closely for sounds of fighting.


"Burned him out?" Daniel sounds concerned as he repeats those words.

As the other two head for the stairs he follows, desiring to hear and explanation.

As Torch starts up the stairs, Talia appears behind him, blocking Daniel's way. The young girl seems a bit wispy around the edges, as if she isn't entirely there.
You can get the short version. Only the Riftborn Champions get the full version.

Garret carries Kelfi to their room, with Torch following. When he opens the door and sees Anglor and Talia, he grimmaces.
I'm guessing the big guy is lucky number four, the earthborn?
Anglor nods.
What happened to her?
Got a nasty burn. Anything you can do to help?
Set her down on the bed. I'll explain while I help.
Garret does so.

(Also, Nameless can claim that is short for Annonymus)

((I love that!))

"As long as the explanation is full enough to answer to the near-catastrophe caused downstairs, I'll be satisfied. If these folks have any more fighting to do they must take it outside. That needs to be clear."


Of course. Can we sit down?


Alright Talia, explain what's going on.
Alright. The four of you are the Riftborn Champions. Garret is Air, Anglor is Earth, Torch is Fire, and Kelfi is Water.
Water? She seemed more comfortable with ice.
That's because the Lord of Water was a bit careless with the planar side of his rift. It's been taken over by the Queen of Frost, and she has corrupted Kelfi into her own champion. Now, the elemental lords all have a different amount of skin in the game. Torch, the Lord of Fire really wants you to be the survivor. It would give him a powerful foothold on the Material. Meanwhile, the Queen of Frost wants a foothold in the Material to gain the power to take over the Plane of Water. Garret, you aren't particularly distinctive because the Lord of Air prefers the independent spirit. You have power, but no one is going to hold your hand. And Anglor is the moderater. The Lord of Earth made him earn all of the power he has, so Anglor chooses his own path.
Why do I seem to be the only one surprised?
I filled Anglor in during the fight, and I've been traveling with Garret for a while, so he's heard this before. And Kelfi is unconscious.
So, what now? I kill all of you?
No. You broke faith with the Lord of Fire. He was going to kill Kelfi and Garret by burning down this building. You stopped him. You're as much your own man, er, goblin, as Anglor and Garret.

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