Max & Hammaryn: The First Watch

When the previous post had it’s results and reactions portrayed in game during the guild’s weekly gathering, members present suggested a ‘watch’ to try to catch who might have been messing with Ghaar.

Here is the first of them. Hammaryn and Max.  This takes place between midnight and 4am.

“So first you gotta set out all the parts like this!”

A small pouch was upended over the ground and given a gentle shake. Out tumbled a small pile of gears, springs, bolts, and nuts. Also included in the pile were several buttons, a few dust bunnies, and something that may or may not have looked like a piece of candy. Max gave a little cheer and popped the candy in his mouth.

Hammaryn pointed to where the candy had just been.  “Did you just…you know what, never mind.”  She took another swig of her flask of caraway burnwine.

“Mmmm, yummy! Anyway! Next we gotta get the bad parts out!”

Upon hearing the familiar-sounding phrase the mechanical squirrel at Max’s knee gave an excited chitter and tried to make a run for it, but Max was able to grab it by the bushy metal tail just before the it cleared his reach. Max pulled the squirrel closer to him, then lifted it a few inches off the ground and begin to vigorously shake it. The poor squirrel flailed about, chittering wildly as a few screws, bolts, and springs began to fall away from its small metal frame. It only took a few shakes before Max gave a satisfied nod and set the squirrel down, then picked up a few of the pieces that had fallen off and held them up for Hammaryn to examine. They were all broken in some way: screws stripped, springs unsprung, and one cracked ruby that used to be an eye.

Max was still poking at the damaged parts when a small blur shot past his knees – the mechanical squirrel flew over to the contents of the pouch and began pawing through it. Every so often it would make a small cry of excitement and pull something from the pile, waving it in the air before shoving the part deep in its torso. A few of the smaller pieces found their way into the squirrel’s mouth, and one was just simply banged against the side of the squirrel’s head a few times before sticking. After a few minutes it gave a final chirp then ran off behind Max, appearing a moment later on his left shoulder.  One of the squirrel’s ruby eyes now glowed with a slightly brighter gleam.

“And that’s how Mister Cheeks stays fixed and working!”  Max laughed.

Hammaryn was staring at Mister Cheeks, a look of almost abject horror on her face.  She’d raised the flask to her mouth again but apparently forgot to drink at some point during the squirrel’s parts rampage.  “Are you sure that you built that thing correct -”  She stopped mid sentence, setting the flask on the ground.  “Max, did you just hear something in the bushes?”  Hammaryn’s long pointy ears were perked up, her posture rigid.

Max totally missed the question, caught up in poking and prodding at the broken parts from his squirrel.

Hammaryn unsheathed her sword, poking Max in the arm with the handle.  “Max!  Pay attention, did you hear something in the bushes?”

“Something in the bushes!” Max jumped to his feet and stared at the bushes, halfway hidden behind Hammaryn. “Maybe it’s a tiger! Or a lion! Or…. a GNOME!”

Hammaryn sighed and climbed to her feet.  “Well, whoever it is I’m sure they’ve heard us now.  They’d better not be coming for Mister Ghaar.”

“Mister Cheeks, attack the gnome!” Max picked up his mechanical squirrel and heaved it into the bushes, then followed with another yell.

Hammaryn dropped the end of her sword onto the ground with a loud clang.  “Max.  What the hell are you doing in there?!”

The shrubbery thrashed about wildly as Max hollered back a reply. “I’m looking for the gnome! They’re really tiny and hard to find and mean!”

Hammaryn marched over to the bushes, whispering a few words in Thalassian before consecrating the ground beneath her.  “I don’t hear any screaming.  That means there aren’t any gnomes.”

“… oh. Okay!” The bushes stopped their shaking and Max emerged, now covered in loose leaves. “I’m sad though. I wanted to catch one!”

“Our watch is almost over.  We can go to Loch Modan and catch gnomes after if you want.  Maybe take them spear fishing.”  Hammaryn grinned.

“Whoo, fishing!” Max turned and shoved his head and arms back in the bushes to pull out Mister Cheeks, then followed Hammaryn back over to the campfire, happily chatting about fishing and spearing gnomes.


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