At the time of the first game most of the characters are acquaintances, having grown up in Sandpoint with mutual friends (see What Came Before for details). Antax is the only PC new to town. As the opening scene unfolds:
- Antax has been working for Ameiko at the Rusty Dragon for a few months. Though his food is excellent, his presence disturbs the more vocal regulars.
- Paz has just returned from a 3 month trade trip with friend and caravan owner, Sandru Vhiski.
- Rillka and her mentor Shelalu have returned to town for supplies and Rillka is enjoying a drink at the bar while catching up with Ameiko.
- Keiko (aka: Locke), has been in Sandpoint for only one socially-awkward night. She sits in the dining area, journaling and examining her feelings about her sister, her recently deceased father, and her place, if any, in Sandpoint.
|R -> L: Harold Olver, Liam and brothers (in red), Antax, Keiko (Locke), Paz and Adrezi, Rillka|
Conflict at The Rusty Dragon
Apprentice blacksmith Harold Olver, his friend Liam, and Liam's younger brothers are eating and drinking in the Rusty Dragon's dining room when Antax slithers by to serve Locke.
Harold Olver wrinkles his nose. "Do you smell something? Smells like dead fish."
Liam Cooper and his two younger brothers laugh into their ale.
"Yeah. What is that?" Liam asks. "Is it this nasty soup?"
Harold sniffs the air, then his gaze falls on Antax. "No, it ain't the soup. Hear that, Anthrax? Liam thinks your soup's nasty."
"I am ssorry," Antax says. "Would you like ssomething elsse?"
"Want nothing from you, snakehead," Harold snaps.
- Instead of confronting the human, Antax lowers his head and slithers back to the kitchen.
- Locke, fascinated by Antax's physiology, scribes detailed notes in her journal.
- Paz and his serpentine eidolon, Adrezi, enter the bar. "It's great to be home! Who is that?" he asks when Antax slithers past the foyer to the bar.
- Harold, Liam, and the others follow Antax, continuing to hound him.
- "Harold!" Paz interrupts. "Old friend."
- "Paz," Harold grits.
- "I just returned from a lucrative trip. Let me buy you and the Cooper brothers a drink."
- Paz's distraction allows Antax to slither out of sight, so Harold and the others reluctantly agree.
- Paz recognizes that something is off with Harold. He can be a jerk, but it's clear that something else is pushing his buttons beyond this strange Antax person. (See "Rumors and In-Character Knowledge" in Behind the Screen: The Rusty Dragon for more)
- On the way to the dining room, Paz notices Locke in the corner.
- "Is that, Keiko? I can't believe it. Keiko! It's so good to see you. It's been what, a year? Two?" Paz goes in for a hug.
- Locke recoils at each use of her given name. "Paz. I thought you were dead."
- Stunned at the hard look in Keiko's eyes, Paz stops, arms wide.
- "Don't call me Keiko. It's Locke, now," she says, then goes back to her journal.
- "Yes, well. We'll talk later then." Paz continues to shepherd Harold and his friends to the back of the room.
- The off-duty Sheriff Belor Hemlock and one of his guards come into the Dragon to post the newly reinstated "Goblin Ear Bounty" on the public board.
- Belor sits next to Rillka at the bar and buys her a drink as they discusses the recent problem.
- Somehow the local goblin tribe, the Licktoads, got their hands on fireworks and have been terrorizing caravans coming up from the south. At first the situation was just annoying, but now three people have been seriously hurt.
- Hemlock encourages Rillka and Shelalu to get involved, knowing their expertise with goblins.
- Adrezi curiously approaches Antax in the bar.
- "You do not need to be with thesse humanss, brother," Antax hisses in draconic.
- Confused, Adrezi responds in perfect common. "I don't understand a thing you're saying."
- The two have an entertaining conversation about their unique histories.
- After sating Harold and the others with food and drink, Paz returns to the bar.
- "Sheriff! So good to see you."
- The sheriff smiles. "Paz. Thought you were dead."
- Somewhat disturbed by the trend, Paz replies, "That seems to be the general consensus, yes."
- Rillka, Paz, and the sheriff discuss the current problems, while the off-duty guard goes to the dining room to eat.
- Antax serves Rillka and the sheriff soup and asks them how it is.
- "Excellent, as always, Antax," the sheriff replies.
- Antax drops off a drink to Keiko, then approaches Harold's table.
- "I didn't hear any complaintss about the ssoup."
- "Excuse me?!"
- "I ssaid, I didn't hear anyone else complain about the ssoup."
- Harold launches to his feet and faces off with Antax. "Get out of my face."
- Harold shatters a mug on the table and attacks Antax.
- All Hell breaks loose.
- Antax manifests fear made flesh in self-defense before he can control himself.
- His horrific form and psychic backlash cause everyone in the bar to experience their own worst nightmares.
- Paz, Adrezi, Rillka and the sheriff hear the screaming from the other room.
- Assessing the situation, Paz casts enlarge person on Antax, then drops to his knees. "Great snake god, don't harm them!"
- "See, Harold! I told you!" Liam screams, then backs into the off-duty guard.
- The younger brothers jump through the windows.
- Harold pees himself, then follows his friends out the window.
- Things start to calm down as Ameiko arrives from the back room.
- When Antax sees Ameiko he is horrified at his actions and slithers upstairs.
- Ameiko follows.
- Ameiko calms Antax, assuring him that what happened wasn't his fault.
- "You've been here with me for three months. You haven't been outside, except to fix the roof. You need to get out again. You can't go home. You can't go back to your own people, your own world. So, you are going to have to learn to live in this one."
- Ameiko is the only non-ophidian Antax has ever met that doesn't react to his uncontrolled psychic backlashes. He doesn't know why or how she manages it, but she has been nothing but kind and generous with him since they met.
- Antax nods.
- Locke defends Antax, telling the sheriff that Harold attacked first.
- Guard takes Liam away.
- Sheriff finishes his drink, requests Rillka's help with the goblins once again, then leaves.
- Paz, Locke, and Rillka discuss taking up the bounty.
- Rillka is trained to fight goblins.
- Paz wants to help the town.
- Locke just wants out of the awkward situation she's in with Ameiko.
- Antax returns and the three ask him to join them.
- After his conversation with Ameiko, Antax agrees.
Next: Fires Over Brinestump, Beasts of the Bog