Adventures of Tiag Streamhammer and Aalish Triggerguard
Tiag and Aalish were once again sitting at their favorite table of the Starlight Inn. As usual Tiag was holding a mug of the establishments homebrewed beer, while after his last foray with the beer, Aalish sipped from a small clear glass of ruby red wine. On the table before them was Aalish's latest work, a contraption that stood three feet in height with a hand crank toward the bottom. "What is that contraption?" a lovely young human woman inquired curiously. At this Aalish's eyes lit up and he replaced his wine glass on the table. "Well m'Lady," Aalish began elegantly, he had always had a thing for taller women, especially human women. "I call it my anti-personnel tower! This is but a prototype, but I envision it as a much larger device deployed all around the world!" Tiag shook his head as he listened to yet another one of Aalish's rants on the virtues of his latest design. The gnome was always designing something or other and would regal anyone who inquired about them with his vision of their future use. However, he had to admit that this young woman did seem more interested than many others. Raising his mug for a drink, Tiag glanced toward the door and noticed four unsavory characters enter the Inn's main hall. As he watched, the four looked around till one of them pointed toward Tiag and Aalish's table. Slowly as not to alert the four Tiag set his mug back on the table, tuning back into what Aalish was saying Tiag realized that he was too far gone to warn. "Now," Aalish was saying to the young woman, "to operate this lovely piece of machinery you simply turn this crank like so." Fitting his words to action Aalish began to turn the crank with a smooth rocking motion. "As you can hear the internal gears engage initiating the tumblers which spin building up a charge." As he said this, the four new comers arrived at the table right behind the gnome. By now dead silence had settled on the once lively inn hall, even the young woman next to Aalish became aware of the four men behind the gnome. "Once the charge reaches completion the crank will lock," Aalish said into the silence oblivious to the danger looming. Just when the biggest brute was about to speak the crank locked and a klaxon buzz sounded. With a load clacking the top of the contraption opened and a lantern with red lens on one side emerged. "Now, as the 'Eye' emerges," Aalish continued, "the igniter will light the lamp’s wick and the light is focused by the red lens." As he spoke all this contraption worked then began to scan back and forth. "As the light hits objects it bounces back to the mirror lens below the lantern pin pointing the target's location. Then the Fun begins!” When the klaxon sounded everyone in the room, including the four brutes, stopped to watch the contraption in action. What happened as Aalish announced that the fun would begin no one but the gnome expected. From out of the middle a metal-segmented pole shot out. The pole was eye level on the two brutes in the middle, and with one last click the machine whip the pole to the left then the right smacking both men in the sides of their heads. Then from the top shot two solid, rock like objects that made a beeline toward the other two brutes. Upon connecting with their chests each object emitted a bright light and thunderous sound blinding and deafening their targets. Meanwhile the metal pole continued to swing to and fro between the middle brutes till they both fell to the ground unconscious. Suddenly the pole withdrew back in the contraption and two more shot out to take the last remaining brutes in the faces knocking them to the ground out cold. Again the poles withdrew and the machine did another scan before quieting and closing up. All was silent for a short time, and then Aalish spoke. “So that is what it does,” Aalish stated, “sadly it is not quiet finished nor does it really work. Like I said it is only a prototype.” “Doesn’t work?” Tiag asked in disbelief. “That is right, it doesn’t work.” Aalish replied hanging his head in shame. “I think you need to turn around and see what the thing that ‘doesn’t work’ just did,” Tiag advised him. With a questioning look Aalish turned around and what he saw startled him. On the floor were four large brutish human men with theirs faces and heads beaten in. A smile began to spread across the gnome's face. “Well look at that, it does work.” With that Aalish hopped up out of his chair and began to dance around his fallen foe.