Sweets insists they go see if anyone needs help, the help of Beanies healing hands.
Enkirash is hesitant and Hashnuk encourages them saying he will first stop by his shop to get some fire fighting magic items. Sweets and Beanie arrive on the seen of absolute chaos. Some townsfolk are hard at work on the water bucket line trying to douse the inn. Beanie gets straight to work pulling bodies from the carnival ruins. Upon Beanie’s shoulder sits one of the floating souls. Beanie grabs the arm of a motionless person pinned under a barrel. A warm sensation flows down Beanie’s arm. The trapped person begins to move and is able to free themselves.
“Thank you, you have saved my life. I am in your debt.”
Some guards come running.
“Princess, you are safe!”
The guards quickly whisk the Princess to safety, over her shoulder she calls, “What is your name?” Beanie raises his hand and shouts, “My name is Beuuggghhh!” His words turned into a grunt as a goat, finally freeing itself from being lodged through a wooden sign high above, falls on top of Beanie, pinning him to the ground. When he gets up, the princess is gone.
A strange gurgling voice says “Griiiiive us the taaaasty goooooat.” Beanie, still on the ground turns his head, three halfling sized figures, each with the head of a rat, are standing there. Dirty matted rat hair, huge chipped teeth, and patchwork clothes suggest these are not typical townsfolk. Two of them are armed with rusty daggers, the third, taller than the others by a head, holds a shiny short sword and wears leather armor obviously made to fit a man twice his size. One of the rat-men is dragging a blood soaked sack.
Sweets blubbers, seemingly in shock, “RRRRR Rat people? I I I I think we should go now Beanie!”
Beanie gets up for the second time, the ground is slippery here.
“Hello sirs, I am Beanie. Please, please take the goat. But be careful, it seems to be a champion jumper. You guys sure look tough!” Beanie lowers his voice, “Are you one of those city gangs? Is it true you kill people for looking at you the wrong way? You know like this.” Beanie squints with one eye, raises his eyebrow with the other in a very uncomfortable looking way.
The rat-men start to chuckle. “Biggs, go get’r ours goat.” says the taller rat-man.
“I is Scrumb, leader of Claw, the meansest toughsest gang you ever see-ed. Wedge and Biggs be my rights and lefts hands rats. I shoulds cut yer face off for that look.”
Beanie wipes the look off his face. “Oh, you do sound tough! Do you think I could join your gang? I have always thought about pushing people around and threatening them. Could you teach me?”
The blue light jumps off Beanies shoulder and flies over to Sweets. “Beanie, are you crazy? You are allergic to goat meat! A gang diet would kill you!”
The blue light jumps off Sweets shoulder and falls to the ground where it remains motionless.
Biggs points his dagger towards Sweets, “Wat ya got against goat? Is healthy you!”
Wedge pulls on Scrumb’s sleeve and then whispers to him. Scumb tilts his head looking at Beanie, then shrugs. “Tells ya wat, we’s gonna play a game, if ya’s win, we’s gonna train you.”
Beanie nods confidently, “A game, yes, I am game for a game.”
Again Wedge whispers to Scrumb.
“I spy with my little eye, something brown. With sleeves. And pockets. It’s over there.” Scrumb points.
Looking around Beanie goes over and picks up a soiled coat that someone had dropped. “This?”
“Yeah, gives it to me. Okay, I spies with my little eye, two more coats, three wide brimmed hats, and as many change purses as ya can find.”
Determinedly, Beanie runs towards the remains of the goat races, “Come on Sweets! We are gonna be scoundrels!” Sweets runs after still complaining about the poor dietary values of gangs.
Not long after the Claw gang well supplied by Beanie’s efforts.
“Dats good, dats good. Now ya gotta do one more thing for us.”
“Take this sword and drop it in the town well. Now, keeps it hidden, and drop when its dark. We’s going to take these goats to our lair but Biggs here will be following ya to make sure ya do wat we says. Got it?”
Beanie salutes, “Yes sir Mister Scumb!” Beanie takes the sword, it is the finest metal he has ever seen and it seems to be humming. He attempts to shove it down his pants, but only slices them open. Sweets averts his eyes and starts looking for a pair of pants. “Beanie, I found you a new pair of pants sticking out from under this crate, but they still have legs in them.”
Scrumb and Wedge laugh as they head back away from town. Biggs stands there, impatiently tapping his dagger in the palm of his hand.
Biggs: “Hey, hey, hey! Watcha gots theres?”
Sweets: “Look’s like a map for the location of some excellent mushrooms. What do you think it means?”
Beanie: “Obviously it’s a treasure map! Mushrooms must be code for something. Hmmm, mushrooms, mushrooms…. Much-Runes! Must mean there are magical items to be had!”
Biggs: “Lets me see, hmm yes, a map. The Claw always splits it’s findin’s.”
He grabs the map, but Beanie grips hard and the map rips in half. Biggs quickly puts his half in his pocket.
Biggs: “We can shows this to Scrumb when we are done, less you trying to weasel your way out.”
Beanie: “It will be at least two hours before sunset, what are we supposed to do until then?”
The wind shifts, and there is screaming and shouting as the east stone wall of the Sly Fix collapses in a pile of rubble, flaming debris shower the area. Beanie spies an old man clutching a bucket trapped under a burning beam.
Beanie runs to him.
The old man holds out the bucket to Beanie with a shaking hand and begins to mutter, his eyes close. Beanie takes the bucket and tries to hear what the old man says.
Suddenly his is yanked away and is being dragged. Stumbling, Beanie rights himself having to run to stay on his feet. He looks but can see no one pulling him save for the bucket. He tries to release it but he cannot. The bucket pulls Beanie straight to the market square fountain. The bucket plunges into the water and so does Beanie. Moments latter the two are barreling towards the fires. The bucket swings Beanie around several times and launches him over the burning in. Traveling through the air with Beanie the bucket releases a torrent of water over the inn, far beyond its capacity. Beanies body barely hits the ground before he is once again hurtling towards the fountain. This plays out several more times as Beanie calls for help.
Sweets and Biggs, eager to assist, grab two buckets and join Beanie in the firefighting, though their leaps and water delivery are far less dramatic. It isn’t very long before the fire is out. Beanie falls to the ground, bruised and exhausted. He catches a glimpse of the bucket laying besides him. “Product of Hashnuk’s Worlds of Wonder” is stamped on the side. Beanie passes out.
“Pathetic. What exactly are you, a jester in training?”
Opening his eyes Beanie sees a dark shape, its features lost in the brilliance of the sun behind it.
“Listen boy, run home to your mother, for if you-” Before he could finish a splash of water hits Beanie in the face.
“If you continue-” Another splash. The shape raises a long staff and pins the golden bucket to the ground. It actively struggles to break free.
“If you continue this path you will find torture and pain beyond your imagination.”
The figure takes a step back as Beanie begins to levitate. In a blink of an eye he is flying, feet first, through the village at impossible speed. His motions ends without deceleration, his stomach churns. “Ugh, I am going to be sick” Beanie says. Eyes refocusing, Enkirash is standing above him looking down. Shaking his head with a frown, Enkirash raises a hand and slaps Beanie in the face. Beanie flies off again, this time head first. Faintly he hears Hashnuk’s voice, “What about my bucket?”
Beanie stops again without slowing down, spotting the bucket he grabs it and vomits profusely into it. Again Beanie tries to look at the shadowy man.
“Beanie Apple- AHHH!” This time the unknown figure is being splashed by the bucket, but this time it is not filled with water. The figure morphs into a large flying shadow, wings flapping by its sides.
A hissing voice says “Run away boy, or you will feel my acid!” Then the shape flies off.
“You know, he is all talk. We can teach him who’s stronger. Can’t we Beanie?” a voice by Beanie’s side says. “So, why don’t we go get him! You, me, and a bucket full of slice and dice!”
The sword given to Beanie by Scrumb is bouncing around on its tip, a full set of moving lips on its hilt mouths its word as it speaks. “My name is Forenda the Feared, and I do not like being threatened. You and I shall rip that-” Water hits Beanie right in the face.
“Stop it you stupid bucket!” Beanie grabs the sword, swings, and slices the bucket clear in two.
Beanie feels funny, his eyes closed, he opens them to darkness.
Water splashes him in the face and he notices that he is propped up against a stone wall, bushes surrounding him, Sweets, and Biggs. It is night time, a half moon dimly illuminates the landscape.
Sweets is standing there holding a bucket. “Finally, I thought you’d never wake up. Its time to throw the sword down the well, we have been trying to pry it out of your hand but you wouldn’t have it.”
“Git up, git up, Beanie.” Biggs says as he struggles to lift Beanie to his feet. Working his way behind him, he props Beanie up on his back and slowly pushes him out of the shrubbery.
“Yes! Onward, let us slay our enemy.”
“Alls ya gotta do it drop it in the well. Ya ainst slayin’ nobody,” Biggs struggles to say, straining to keep Beanie up and moving.
“Ah, a fine young man you are Beanie, I shall make you a celebrated champion.”
Biggs jumps to the side, allowing Beanie to fall to the ground.
“Uh, who said dat?” Biggs asks in fear.
“It is I Forenda the Feared! Ancient sword of legend, slayer of Vorx, slayer of Hemubtet, the maimer of Wendolf, destroyer of Xylox the Heinous, slayer of…” the sword goes on. Biggs grabs his face in frustration. “Yous woken da sword! Oh poisoned cheese cakes! Wes failed, da boss is not gonna bes happy about dis. Wes can’t deliver da sword likes dis! Gives it here!”
Beanie’s arm raises and starts pointing the sword towards Biggs. “You are no champion my rat faced friend. Your task is complete, go back to your thieving and leave us to our glory.”
Splash! Sweets lowers the bucket, “Did that help?”
Beanie sits up. “I would like you to throw that bucket down the well please.”
“But it’s magic. I would never be so careless. Look.” Sweets places his face above the bucket ant speaks into it. “I would like some milk please.” his voice echoes. The bucket quickly fills with milk, which Sweets begins to drink heartily.
Beanie sighs. “Okay, but I don’t want one more bucket of water splashed on me ever! You got that?”
Sweets nods. Beanie shakes his hand vigorously. “I can’t seem to put this thing down.”
“You shall sheath me when I deem it appropriate,” Forenda announces.
“Now, you must jump into the well so we may find the evil there within and slay it.”
Biggs gives out a scream. “No! No! You mustn do dat!”
A light begins to glow around the sword, illuminating Beanie as it grows in strength. A breeze flows upwards, Beanies hair whisking in the white glow. A vortex of leaves and stones slowly swirl around him. The sound of stirring music sounds can be heard growing from somewhere in town.
Beanie holds Forenda aloft high above his head. In a strange tongue both Beanie and Forenda cry “ᚹᚩᛖ ᛏᚩ ᚦᛖ ᚠᚪᚾᚳᚢᛁᛋᚻᛖᛞ!” With that the music becomes louder and stronger. Beanie crouches down then jumps towards the well, completing a forward roll in midair, and disappears beneath its rim.
“NO!” screams Biggs. “Beanie!” shouts Sweets as the pair rush to the well edge.
The well is filled with a brilliant light and the sound of confident laughter, a geyser of water flies up and blasts the roof off the well. Biggs and Sweets are knocked to the ground and have to fight the flow of water to return to the well. Looking once more down the well, they see Beanie standing in a threatening stance, ready to strike with sword blade at his shoulder. Before him a serpentine shape unwinds, a water serpent of green exceeds Beanie’s height by half and bares its fangs.
Beanie’s brow furrows as he examines the creature before him, not exactly common, but neither exotic, he recognizes a giant water serpent defending its territory.
Looking down on Beanie, the serpent quickly dives down to the water’s surface and darts towards Beanies legs. It bites down with razor sharp teeth. Beanie yells in pain, now bleeding heavily, swings his blade towards the beast but its body slips below the water surface, out of reach.
The snake yanks Beanie off his feet but this time he scores a glancing blow to the snake, barely affecting it. Beanie flounders in the water as the beast releases him for a moment only to get a better grip with a second bite to his leg. Beanie cries out, “What kind of sword are you? Can you fight this thing on your own? Because you are going to have too if this thing drowns me!”
“Once more! Strike again! Focus!”
Beanie lifts the blade again and strikes at the serpent. This time his blow drives the blade deep into the creature. It releases Beanie’s leg and retreats to the well wall, bleeding from its wound.
Beanie lets out an attack yell and drives the blade into the beast once more. Rays of light shine from the sword and spin the serpent hisses as its body looses all color and begins to fade and become translucent. An instant later there is a blinding flash and the serpent is gone.
“Well done lad, however, you are soft. You must begin training to increase your strength and speed. Perhaps some armor will toughen you up as well,” Forenda says.
“What? Sounds like work. Anyway, you defeated your foe.”
“Oh no my lad, that was a lowly beast, our enemy still lies ahead!”
Forenda’s dim glow falters, “I must rest now, do not seek our foe until I have revived and be on your guard, you have been marked.”
“What does that mean? Marked?” Beanie questions, but Forenda is now silent. Beanie sighs and
looking up sees the well is sixty feet deep. He also sees a gap in the wall about five feet up.
A feather slowly falls from the top of well, beanie holds out his hand and catches it. He begins to slowly float up. Soon he passes the gap in the wall, it is a door, slightly ajar. He cannot see inside as he continues slowly to the top of the well. As his head clears the top he sees Enkirash watching him. Besides him Biggs silently beats against the wall of the magic blue cube that he is trapped inside. Sweets is preparing bandages soaked in some liquid within the magic gold bucket.
“Thank you for your help,” Beanie says as Sweets runs over and wraps his wounded leg.
” ‘Thank you, Master’ is how you should address me. And you are welcome, may I examine that blade you hold?”
Beanie gladly hands it over.
Looking at the blade, Enkirash quietly reads. “In this quest for honor, I shall fight for you. Now I’m so much stronger, we have the power of two.” He runs his hand over the blade, and then recoils as if shocked. Enkirash hands the weapon back to Beanie. “It seems this sword is yours alone now. I suggest you conceal it.”
“This town has been beset with robberies. And our friend Hashnuk has been victimized as well. The bodies of my companions have been both turned to stone and shrunken in an attempt to magically preserve them. Those figurines have been stolen as well. Let us retire for the night so Sweets can tend your wounds and that I can question this ruffian here.” Enkirash taps on Biggs’ prison cube. It and Biggs both vanish. Enkirash starts walking away, waving his hand behind him for Beanie to follow. A faint “ghruuragg,” can be heard amongst the sound of crickets in the night.