Lords of Rock

Setting

A Rock Hard Land for Rock Hard Men.

The Rockaverse

The Land of Plenty

Minimap

The Rockaverse is a part of Lords of Rock.

7 Characters Here

Syra Onnet [48] A thrall who seeks more from life.
Captain Ash [12] A man gone wild, either by lust, by wars, or by the desert sun. Or maybe he's just clinically insane.
M'Kama [8] Life and death, two sides of the same coin. With that in mind, he crafts his own luck.
Mathis Gladys45 [0] New
londy [0]

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"I don't really know what you mean by that," Otis answered honestly, and somewhat nervously. "Read the atmosphere? Like the sky? I mean..." Otis looked up at the sky. "There aren't even any clouds up there."

Otis sighed. "I miss clouds."

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"No, I uh, I was talking to the sand," Horik muttered, wondering what she had just seen. Had there been another man on her mind? Or was she finally losing it?

She sighed, "Wait, I thought you were opposed to going into the town at night? I mean I know that card fool volunteered you but you don't have to come if you don't want to. Unless you have to come, then I dont have any complaints."

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"I uh, thought we were going to stay outside the town to be honest," Otis said, sighing again. "But I suppose we can watch each others' backs if it comes to a brawl."

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"Three blanks spaces..." M'Kama spoke. "Right above us..." he nodded, glancing up at the three empty shelves in the stable that would normally be filled with ant-feed.

An old man, hauling two large buckets of sugar water from a wagon heaved heavily as he placed the buckets down in front of two massive red ants. The stables weren't the largest. Eight ants in each pen, along with the two driving the wagon were about all M'Kama figured they had in such a small town.

"Luckily the harvest should be comin' in soon," the old man sighed, "You know how it is, partner! With all the damn dust storms croppin' up recently, we gotta get our crops when we can..." he shook his head, his hands shaking as he reached to grab two more buckets. M'Kama stepped in to aid him, carrying both buckets. The old farmer nodded gratefully. "Much obliged, partner!"

M'Kama nodded, placing the buckets before two ravenous ants, before turning back to the old man. "It is no problem...but I don't know in fact," he shrugged, walking over to get two more buckets. "I'm new to this town, in fact."

As soon as these words were spoken, the old man lurched backwards with a speed that surprised even M'Kama as he reached over to grab the next two buckets himself. "You're a stranger, then?"

"That's generally what you call someone you've never met, yes," the Yybian man answered, scratching his head, not needing his cards to predict that he would soon be confronted with some frustration. "Just rolled into town recently, trying to find an old relative of mine."

"Relative you say..." the old man whispered, his posture, relaxing a bit. "Oh, so you've got family here..." he narrowed his eyes. "Who?"

"Man named Dante. You know him?" M'Kama asked.

"Pale as moonlight, Dante?" the old man asked, his expression hardening again. "Jittery small feller? You're related to him?'

"...distantly, yes," M'Kama answered after a moment. "You know, a third cousin, twice removed through some sort of shotgun wedding. I heard he hangs around here..." he stated, moving to grab the last pair of buckets. The old man glanced at him cautiously, but allowed the Yybian's aid.

"He used to be a stablehand...but he quit. Couple days ago in fact," the old man answered with suspicion.

"Oh?" M'Kama asked. "He ever give a reason as to why?"

"..." the old man was silent for moment. "Yeah. As a matter of fact, he did. I can even show ya...but you might not like what you'll see. ...Follow me." the old man began to walk, hands behind his back, out of the stables. M'Kama raised his eyebrow slightly and followed him, caution etching into his own face.

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"I mean it's hard to see what scares you if you stay away from it," Horik said with a small laugh. "We gotta go investigate! See what's giving you those shivers! I want to see who's out and about in the dark."

as she talked, her eyes began to light up. The others had gone, all doing their own thing. Only Horik and Otis were really left since even the worm had left. She sat down in the sand next to Otis with a small, gleeful laugh.She paused though and raised an eyebrow.

"Unless you have another idea? Cuz uh, it's still a while till sundown. We could see about maybe getting some supplies or something. I have tools but only a few are really meant for fighting and those are mainly range. Only thing really for brawls is a knife and I need to sharpen it."

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"We can do that," Otis said, nodding. "My sword is all I really need offensively, but I have been thinking about getting a shield if they have one."

Otis followed Horik into town, passing by a few shops but nothing of interest really met his eye. Despite Otis' words, he had no real desire for a shield. Admittedly, his only interest came from having seen what Galneryus did with his, but Galneryus' custom-designed and built shield was worlds above quality-wise anything the Rock could produce.

"Excuse me, son," one shopkeeper said, gesturing to Otis. Otis paused and nodded. "You seem like a friendly sort. From out of town, are you?"

"Yes, we're... passing through," Otis said cautiously. "Heading home really after visiting some family."

"I'll bet they real appreciated your visit," the shopkeeper said, his friendly smile not reaching his eyes. "Would you mind...? I have a large chest in the back I need to move. Would give you a discount if'n you helped me lift it."

Otis glanced back at Horik, who was arguing with another shop owner, then back to the shopkeeper and shrugged. "Very well, I can spare a moment."

"Excellent, excellent, just follow me," the shopkeeper said, holding open the flap to enter his store more fully. Otis walked through in front of the shop owner, who let the flap fall down behind them.

A few minutes later, the shop owner exited the building, alone, and resumed his business.

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"And like i said, i SAW. YOU. STEAL!" the shopkeeper yelled as Horik stood her ground, arms crossed over her chest. "Don't you lie to me too! I have a little bit of faith left in you and I ain't-"

"Hey look! There's another thief there!" Horik yelled as the shopkeeper immediatley turned around to see a pole. As the shopkeeper.began to interrogate the pole instead, Horik walked on over to where she had seen Otis stop at.

"Hey uh pal, neighborhood thief here. You see an Otis around here? He's uh, he's my true pal," Horik said as she began to eye the shopkeeper's wares.

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"An Otis?" the shopkeeper chuckled. "I saw one duck down that alley over there, looked real scared." The shopkeeper pointed at what was best described as a crevasse between two buildings, a few houses down. "But before you follow him, please, check out my wares. I'm sure there's at least something here you'll be interested in! Everything is on sale, for you only! Unlike my idiot counterpart over there, I know an honest buyer when I see one. And you, madam, might have an unfamiliar face, but it is one without deceit! Yes, the need for my wares is burning in your soul! I can feel the flames!"

The shopkeeper held up a set of stone utensils that looked like a five-year-old had carved them into the basic shapes of a fork, knife, and spoon. "Just look at this high-quality stoneware, forged in the heat of the noon-day sun to give them the obsidian edge that other crafters only dream about! A woman like yourself doesn't want to be eating her food with her fingers! No, she is too high class for that! And for such a high class lady, I will ask for only 15 copper bits, even though even saying that makes my legs sway and my heart skip a beat for fear of my losses."

Indeed, the shopkeeper swayed back, holding his hand to his head, eyeing Horik with shrewd eyes as he performed.

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Horik eyed the man suspiciously. Anyone who knew of ducks was a man of wonder indeed. She eyed the man and his wares and glanced about. The other shopkeeper was starting to realize he had just lost a bit more faith.

"I mean I am starting to get tired of my spooforknife," Horik said as she reached out to grab the wares the man was presenting. "But a high class woman like me can steal these any day. In fact..."

Horik dropped her voice and leaned in, "I'm looking for spaceship parts."

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"Space... ships?" the shopkeeper blanched, releasing the stoneware and staring at Horik for several seconds. "Well, I'm sorry girl, but I don't have anything of that matter. Take the stoneware as my gift and move along now." The shopkeeper, obviously angered, turned away from Horik and began gesturing at other passersby in an attempt to get them to visit his shop.

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"Not so fast ol' buddy o' pal o' mine," Horik demanded as she pocketed the stoneware and a few other wares from the stall. She slammed her hands on the stall and pointed an accusatory finger in his face. "I know you got something, anything, in the back of this exemplary stall of yours. It was my mistake for saying it out loud but I know you got the goods. I know you got that sweet, sweet load back there."

Horik winked.

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"Go ahead and look for yourself," the shopkeeper grumbled, clearly annoyed. "But there is nothing back there that you are looking for."

The shopkeeper gestured dismissively, and returned to his other customers, and did not seem hesitant in the slightest in letting Horik enter the shop behind him.

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Horik raised an eyebrow but busted on into the back anyway. She had other thibgs to steal after all.

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The shopkeeper signaled for several guards to arrest the crazed pirate. The guards entered his shop.

"Outsider!" one of the guards snarled, aiming his pistol at Horik's face. "Come with us or die!"

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"Dante Shelby...bad stablehand, but decent deputy," The old man muttered, shaking his head as he led M;Kama to a shack around the back.

"He was a deputy?" M'Kama questioned. "An interesting change of occupation.."

"Sheriff Tarson is my younger brother..." the old man explained. "Dante was always a good lawman, but one day...he just up an quits. Had a chase with a bandit a year ago and came back with a bad back. Shame for one so young.." the old man shook his head. "I knew he was a hard worker, so I gave him a job and a place to stay. Biggest mistake I ever made. Never even showed up for work half the time. Bad back kept him from doin' any of the work he showed up for...What a nightmare..."

"So why keep him employed?" M'Kama questioned as they approached the cabin, noticing a small lantern and desk through the window. Perhaps the former deputy's quarters?

"...Good faith, I guess," Old Man Tarson shrugged as he fumbled to find the right keys to the cabin door. "Always stood buy us as a deputy...never let us down then...but ever since he got hurt. He just...liked to slip off in the dead of the night sometimes. I dunno...the boy just became lost once he couldn't be a lawman no more."

M'Kama nodded. "I see. And what made him leave? Perhaps he sought an ailment to his bad back elsewhere? I've traveled far and wide and I am certain such things exist."

"No, Dante never wanted to leave town," Old Man Tarson answered, almost in approval. He had notably flinched as M'Kama mentioned the idea of travel. It seemed to him that these people didn't even trade. Farming was likely their livelihood and the aforementioned sandstorms likely put them in a bind. "If the doctors here couldn't help, he wouldn't get help. And as for why he left...well...see for yourself."

The old man unlocked the door to the cabin, giving M'Kama witness the chilling sight that lay within. Upon Deputy Shelby's bed was a pile of bones. Human bones. "Didn't even pack his things, just up and left. Told me he quit. Went back to his cabin and..." Tarson gave a heavy sigh. "This is what I found..."

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"Aw fuck," Horik muttered before tilting her head down, goggles slipping down onto her nose as she pulled out a small ball from one of her many pockets. She threw it down onto the ground and smoke burst out. As the guards coughed and waved their guns about, Horik pulled out another rough looking egg shaped object from her pocket. She squeezed it in her hand and could feel it vibrate softly. Then, with a flick of her wrist, the egg shape exploded.

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The guards toppled as Horik made her quick escape out the back.

"No, don't you mind the noise!" the shopkeeper told his customers who looked warily behind him at the store. "There's a thief in the neighborhood, but the guards are on it, don't you mind. Now, wouldn't this polished sand ring look great on you?"

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Horik bolted out the back but once she was in the alleway behind the stores, she slowed. The crowd paid her little attention but she knew she was still getting looks. Her goggles resumed their normal position on her head.

"No Otis, huh," she said with a sigh as she brushed the residue off her hands. She shook her head and debated going back. The guards were going to be dazed for a bit but it looked like the shopkeeper had been right. Horik had seen a small store full of crude wares but nothing that really indicated her companion had been there.

Horik slipped into a neighboring alleyway and slipped on a scarf to cover her face. Was Otis somewhere else? Had she really lost track of him that easily? Horik dug into her pocket and felt the knife and homemade grenades.

Or had the shop keeper lied?

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"E-excuse me," a voice said from behind Horik. From the shadows, a small figure approached. A dward, one of the hideous miniature men of the Rock, bowed his or her way forward (it was impossible to tell), their face pinched like someone much larger had taken the top of their head and the bottom of their jaw and squeezed them together.

"P-please don't t-take this the wrong way," the dward said, in what might best be described as a whine. "B-but... you're n...not from around h-here... a-are you?" The dward licked their lips. "Y-you'd b-b-best leave soon. B-before it g-gets... d-dark..." The dward whimpered and waited for the attack to come, the vicious kickings and punchings that were a dward's lot in life.

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Horik scooted closer to the strange little man, lowering her goggles once more. She got down on her knees and sat down, so she was a bit more eye to eye.

"Hey little buddy, you dont gotta flinch with me. I pick on people my own size," horik said gently as she tried to make eye contact with the stranger. "Mind telling me more about the danger you're talking about?"

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"Who's corpse is this?" M'Kama asked.

"I don't know," Old Man Tarson answered.

"When exactly did it get here?" M'Kama inquired.

"Don't know that neither," Old Man Tarson responded. He turned to the Yybian. "Look...you some kinda lawman, yourself?"

"Not so much a lawman," M'Kama scratched his chin. "As an unraveler of mysteries."

"....What in God's name are you on about?" the old man grimaced, eyes squinting.

"Do you not have a priest? A gravedigger?" M'Kama questioned, not actually answering the old man, who looked at him in dismay.

"What? Why?!" Tarson asked.

"So the dead can be buried," M'Kama informed him. "So these bones can get the long rest they've been denied."

"You don't seem to get it," Old Man Tarson sighed with exasperation. "We don't know where these bones came from! Could belong to an outsider...could be somethin' that don't belong anywhere near here..."

"Do you have no leads for me...?" M'Kama asked. "Have there been any strangers before me that arrived this town a couple of days ago when Deputy Shelby left? Have there been any strange occurrences around here?"

"You know the only strange occurrence I've seen is some no good stranger what suddenly waltzed into town, playin' lawman..." the old man snarled back, tried of the questions apparently.

"Stranger than skeletons suddenly appearing in the beds of your stablehands?" M'Kama chuckled. "Seems quite doubtful. You have a good afternoon, Mr. Tarson," he nodded, walking away.

"..." the old man shook his head, sighing with a puzzled look upon his face...or was it a puzzling look? "Wait...maybe I can help. Will you really try and find Shelby? Ain't right for one of our own to just go missin' like that."

"I'll try my best, yes," M'Kama nodded.

"Then look...he mentioned somethin' before everything went crazy...somethin' about a deal gone bad. Real bad," the Old Man shook his head. "Think that mighta had somethin' to do with it. Some kinda deal with bandits? Maybe the skeleton was a warning."

"Bandits...perhaps not..." M'Kama noted, drawing three cards from his pouch and beginning to walk off.

"W-wait! Where are you going?! What did you mean?!" Old Man Tarson called out.

"This is a mystery that will indeed be solved, farmer..." M'Kama spoke as he walked back into town. "Just pray that answers unearthed do not lead to ruin..."

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