Garda - by LemmingofGlory
Download the 366kb. Run the executable. You'll probably get a message saying that you need MSagent and it'll ask you if you want help downloading it or something. Tell it yes while connected to the net and a webpage will open up that has three files to download: MSagent, tv_enua.exe, and Genie.exe. Download all three and run Genie.exe after the other two. This should get the program up and running. Sorry about the spam, but I'm really excited about this little proggie.
And it went on like that for some time. Ogden feared that his tavern would fall apart, but Garda assured him that her kin would repair anything should it break. Still, that didn't seem to calm his nerves.
"Garda, shouldn't this be done in a field instead of a building?" Ogden asked, hoping he wouldn't be heard by the BARs but also hoping that Garda would hear him over the clamor.
"Nonsense, it'd scare the cows away," Garda replied. "Let them have a little fun, Pumpkin. It isn't every day that a Prime Evil is defeated.
"Ogden sighed heavily and conceded defeat. But he did love it every time Garda called him a vegetable. For the rest of the night he watched as chairs broke and tables turned over, but he kept a smile on his face. He hadn't seen Garda so at peace before. Diablo's defeat was a great one. All he could think about was the next time Garda would call him "Pumpkin."
Ogden awoke the next day at about noontime. He'd been moved out of the Tavern and was slouched against the fountain. He could hear hammers busily clanking inside the Tavern.
"Pixips, pixips, pixips..." Ogden heard a voice whisper. It was very close, and then a shadow was cast over him. Ogden turned his head to see Deckard sneaking up on him.
"Deckard, did you say something? What're you doing?" Ogden asked.
The story teller immediately stood as erect as he could and pretended to be interested in the noise coming from the Tavern. He then looked surprised and turned his attention to Ogden,
"Oh, my friend, I was just about to ask you what was going on inside of your tavern." "Oh, that. Garda's kin were celebrating the defeat of Diablo," Ogden explained.
"How- Who told you about Diablo?" Deckard asked.
"When your spouse is a hero you hear things," Ogden replied.
"Ah, yes. So you would," the story teller replied. "Well, I must be off. Gillian's grandmother and I have a cribbage game in a few minutes. In fact, I am already late. Good day, Ogden."
Ogden rose after Deckard had hobbled away. He entered the Tavern of the Rising sun and tried not to notice the damage done during the night. He looked around for Garda but did not see her.
"Excuse me," Ogden asked a small, furry Barbarian as he scurried by, "Have you seen Garda around today?"
The tiny beastie stood up on his hind paws and cleaned his face, "Hambone no seeing Garda tahday. You likey good BARs clean up bar?"
"Yes, you're all very good workers," Ogden replied. Hambone scurried away and Ogden exited the tavern. Outside he heard the slow clopping of hooves and he turned toward the sound to see Garda riding a cow through town. "Garda, Lester doesn't take kindly to people getting near his cows!"
"You worry too much, Pumpkin," Garda replied. "Come along and ride Belle with me." Ogden blushed and allowed his mighty spouse to haul him onto the bovine's bac
"Where to?" Ogden asked.
"Aydria. She tells me that she's got something to show us," Garda replied.
"Peer into the cauldron and your questions will be answered," Aydria said as she waved her hand in a mystical fashion.
Ogden looked first and a strange brown-green glowing mass appeared in the liquid. "What's that?"
Aydria's counteaance became puzzled for a moment but she answered in her typical all-knowing manner, "That.. is a Pixip. Humm, have you been speaking to Cain lately?"
"I thought I heard him say that word earlier. What is a Pixip?" Ogden asked.
"Eh.. let us move on," Aydria urged.
Garda caught Aydria's gaze and gave her a stare, "Wife want know wut dat is."
"It's the addictive droppings of pixies. Cain is very much controlled by his dependancy on Pixips, which frequently appear on magically enchanted items. He typically scavenges them off of items that he identifies. With the lack of new items being brought up from the dungeon Cain is likely to experience withdrawul and without warning go into a trance-like state without realizing it." Aydria explained.
Garda and Ogden looked at each other. Both spoke at once, "Dat's gross!"
"I tried to avoid telling you.."
"Do a better job next time," Garda interrupted.
"Yes, yes. But, alas, there shall not be a next time for I am leaving this place soon. That is the reason I called you here. I've been doing a bit of gazing into the future and I must advise Garda to peer into the cauldron and tell me what she sees. One can only see their own future, and ours cross paths again but there may be trouble."
Garda wasted no time and gripped the edges of the cauldron. Ogden stood behind her and watched the liquid churn. Garda appeared to be seeing something horrible, but Ogden could see nothing more than boiling liquid.
Furfuzz, a Druidic Shaman, approached the group as Garda pulled herself away from the cauldron.
"How I know you not do juju trick on us, Witch?" Garda asked.
"She no trick. Bar Shamans teached her dat voodoo," Furfuzz answered.
"Furfuzz!" Garda greeted the Shaman.
"Dat's me," Furfuzz acknowledged with a tilt of his head that made his Fool's Crest jingle. "Bar Shamanans speaked to witch 'bout usin' cauldron for seein' future. She say we could but had teach her voodoo so we did. Wut did you see when you looked?"
"Battle," Garda replied. "Battle at Bar homelands. All homelands tribes fight, not just one. Make worry."
"Wut else?" Furfuzz asked.
"Saw happy at homelands. Childrens run and play-battle inagimary juju mens like big BARs," Garda replied. "Also saw tribe. Lots older dan now, tribe in trouble, but just our tribe. Seem earlier than first battle."
"Hambone saw same tings. In few years our tribe go back, Shaman thinks, and save northland kin. Wut you tink?"
"Garda go when time right."
Ogden didn't know what to make of the conversation. He could understand Bar speak somewhat if it was just Garda, but too many BARs confused him. He decided to ask Garda about the conversation later.
"Garda, what was all that talk about your homelands? Will you be going back to battle?" Ogden asked.
"Saw future in the cauldron. I'll be heading back to battle in a few years, but Furfuzz will tell me when." Garda answered.
Ogden looked at his surroundings. He and Garda were sitting alone at a table in the Tavern of the Rising Sun. The BARs did a surprisingly good job fixing the place up again.
"Will it be far into the future? I thought we'd, you know, get time to ourselves," Ogden said.
"I know that it'll be far enough into the future that we'll have some little ones," Garda said with a grin.
"Kids! Wha-what do you mean? Kids?" Ogden nearly jumped out of his chair.
"I mean, we'll have
children, Pumpkin," Garda said as she gave Ogden a romantic smile.
Part 2: The Watcher
Aydria stood at the outskirts of Tristram and watched the Barbarian caravan leave town. Garda was with them, as were her children. Ogden, however, had remained behind. Aydria had not set foot upon the fouled ground of Tristram for years and did not intend to do so again. But now she was wondering if it would be better for her to do so than to not. Ogden's decision to stay behind was not a good one, Aydria had a feeling about it. She stopped puzzling over Ogden for a moment and listened to the wilderness. Someone was behind her.
"Hey, what're you doing here?" a voice asked her as it drew a sword from its scabbard.
Aydria slowly turned around and faced her interrogator.
"I said.. wait, don't I know you? You're the witch, ain't yah? I thought you left town years ago," the voice spoke. "Well, you gonna talk or I gotta make yah?"
"Put down your sword, there is no need for violence. I am here because I may be able to help somebody." Aydria replied.
"I'm s'pposed ta believe that?" Aydria now recognized the man as Farnham. He was sober for once and appeared to have washed recently.
"Yes, for what reason would you doubt it? Surely a strong man such as yourself need not fear a mere witch," Aydria tried to convince Farnham to leave her alone.
"You magic types always cause trouble, that's what I know. Come with me!" Farnham approached Aydria and pointed toward town with his weapon.
The witch responded by removing her cloak to reveal an beautiful set of light plate that was decorated with scales. In her hands she weilded an ornate staff which she used to summon a Golem. Farnham watched in disbelief as the creature rose from the earth and plucked the sword from his hand.
"If you know what's good for you you'll take my word: Leave here. He comes again." Aydria instructed Farnham in her most serious voice.
The poor man's mouth dropped open in shock. He began protesting, saying "No, no, no. It can't be true.." and continued to mutter that as he ran off into the wilderness.
Aydria turned back to watching the town and found that the caravan was out of sight. She could see Ogden outside of his tavern chatting with Pepin. Aydria knew that she needed some way of getting Ogden's attention without having to step within the grounds of the town. She watched Tristram late into the night.
"brump swish.. brump swish.. brump.." Aydria heard uneven foot falls approaching.
"Say, that's a weapon of war you've got there. You're probably not out to pillage that dump of a town, only idiots would do that, so you must be passing through here," came the voice of a young male. "You know, I might have something that interests you. Of course, it'll cost you 50 gold just to take a look. But if you don't appreciate fine wares, I'm out of here."
Aydria turned around to face the boy. She recognized him as Wirt, an orphaned child that was good for nothing other than getting in the way. She thumped the ground twice with her staff and her Golem lumbered out from some nearby bushes.
"Golem, restrain this human," Aydria instructed her creation. "Don't worry, Child, it won't hurt for long." Aydria told Wirt as the Golem grabbed him and crushed him against his chest. Aydria chanted an incantation and the boy went limp. Her Golem changed shape and became the spitting image of Wirt, except he lacked a peg leg. "You are now mine, Wirt, and you will do as I tell you. This is fact, you cannot resist."
"You can't do this. I.. I-" Wirt began.
"Silence! You will go to the Tavern of the Rising Sun and tell Ogden that a courier has come from the Barbarian caravan and that he is to come at once. You will lead him here. Go," Aydria instructed.
Wirt-Golem went to the tavern without delay and was back at Aydria's side within minutes.
"Heh-hello. You must be the courier?" Ogden spoke. "What is the news? Surely there isn't trouble already?"
"No, Ogden, there is no trouble. I apologize for the deception but I am no courier, but do not fear, you know me. I am Aydria, and the news that concerns me is you," she explained.
Ogden became tense, "What do you mean?"
"I believe it will be much safer for you to set out to the northlands at once. Why did you stay?"
"Garda said that the place for the wife is in the home, not on the battle field. She said she'd take me to her homelands next time," Ogden replied.
"If you do not leave now, there may not be a next time. I believe that Diablo is not defeated, and for Garda's sake I came to warn you," Aydria said. Aydria then noticed that Wirt-Golem had been creeping away, so she thumped her staff on the ground twice and he snapped back to her side.
Ogden cocked an eyebrow at this behavior but continued with the conversation, "I cannot leave without telling the others, Aydria."
"Then you have a choice: Leave silently or return to your life without this knowledge," Aydria said.
"Why can't I warn the others?" Ogden asked.
"I do not feel that they can be trusted. Cain is suspicious and I do not trust him with this knowledge. Gillian's grandmother is too sick to leave so telling her would be cruel unless the entire town helped to move her. But then if the entire town were to leave, Cain would surely follow," Aydria spoke.
"What about Wirt and Farnham?"
"Farnham knows, but none would believe him. Wirt will not be telling anyone."
"I cannot leave my fellow townspeople, Aydria. I will return to them, but, tell me, are you telling me this because something bad is sure to happen to me?"
"Nothing is certain, Ogden, except for the fact that Diablo still lives," Aydria explained. "Now, I shall purge your memory of this conversation and this meeting. You will go back and live in peace. I pray you will be safe." Aydria cast a spell and Ogden marched back into town.
Aydria watched solemnly as Ogden entered his tavern and shut the door. "Come, Wirt, we have other matters to attend," Aydria said to Wirt-Golem, and the two each turned their backs on Tristram for the last time.