Bardass! Quest 04 – Why is the Rumble On?

The newest chapter of Bardass! What happens when you put a bard into a fistfight? There’s no punchline, I assure you. Or is there?

Quest 04 – Why is the Rumble On?

Three days must pass before the borders of Astoria reopen. The bard and Svennia have done various quests and part-time jobs, but haven’t gained enough gold to cover traveling expenses to the Sakarlands. And so, the young bard chooses to whittle away the remaining time in his favorite bar.

However, a sign on the pub door discouraged him.

“No liquor will be served today!”

Brier: W… WHAT THE FUCK?!?!

Forcefully, the young bard charged into the establishment and barked loudly.

Brier: Hey, what’s this about no ale?!
Bartender: We’re closing down.
Brier: Wha?
Bartender: The owner has… personal reasons behind it. And so…
Thug: Hey, kid. This ain’t no place fer you. Why don’ ya go chase some skirts while the real men do their thing.
Brier: The hell are you talking about?
Bartender: We’re having a brawler tournament. The winner gets all the remaining stock.
Brier: All the… (Whoa… all the ale I could ever need in one fell swoop… It’d be a bitch to transport but I’d be set for Sakar!) Alright, count me in!
Bartender: Are you sure? This is a BRAWLER tournament. Though it’s open to any class, no weapons or magic are allowed.
Brier: What about items?
Bartender: You’re limited to what you see in the bar.
Brier: Alright, then I’m good.
Bartender: Very well.

Quest: Brawl for it All – Round 1
–Astoria City–

Recommended Level: 50

Party Leader: Brier

Brier [Bard] lv. 21
Title: Dark Bard

Standing in front of our hero was a tall, muscular man. He boasted wide, broad shoulders and bulky arms. Though he was strong, his age started to show in the slight sagging of his skin and thin, barely visible blonde hair.

Dunkel (lv. 35): Heh. Won’t even work up a sweat against this boy.
Brier: I’m sure you’ll find I’m full of surprises.
Bartender: Now fight!
Dunkel: I’ll end it now! Wham Hammer!

The six-foot-tall behemoth Dunkel clasped his hands above his hand and brought his fists down with incredible force. Brier ran close in and jumped up through the opening between Dunkel’s arms, striking his chin with a swift knee strike. It wasn’t enough to faze him much, but the bard wasted no time in wrapping his legs around Dunkel’s head and throat.

Brier: I haven’t had to do this in ages! How do you like my Twin Boa Clasp?
Dunkel: Ggh….

The giant collapsed.

Bartender: The winner, Brier!
Brier: Hey, fighters get a drink, don’t they?
Bartender: Just one drink for winning. But it won’t do you good to get drunk before a fight.
Brier: It’s alright.

Quest: Brawl for it All – Round 2
–Astoria City–

Recommended Level: 50

Party Leader: Brier

Brier [Bard] lv. 21
Title: Dark Bard

Brier’s second opponent was just under six feet, with a more athletic build. Though his muscles and build weren’t as large, his body was well-toned and sported a dark tan.

Kurg (lv. 55): I’m not like that other guy. I’m well-versed in every fighting style there is. I won’t go down from a simple submission like that.
Brier: Oh, a master, are you? Let’s drink to that.
Bartender: Fight!

The bard opened up his bottle while his opponent charged. He immediately sprayed the alcohol into Kurg’s eyes.

Kurg: Agh!
Brier: You’re open.

Kurg stopped to wipe his eyes, leaving his stomach exposed for a counterattack. Brier did very little damage though.

Kurg; Even cheating, that’s the best you can do?!
Brier: How about this?!

Brier slammed his bottle over Kurg’s head. Normally that would be enough to finish most brawls, but his opponent had a vast level advantage.

Kurg: You’re all out of tricks. It’s all over!
Brier: Not yet.

Brier’s final trump card was an oil candle left on the table. He threw it at the ale-soaked giant, who immediately burst into flames.

Kurg: GWAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!
Brier: Did you just come here for the fight with no idea about why I love this place so much? You can really enjoy 160 proof when you’ve got the kind of body I have.

Quest: Brawl for it All – Semifnals
–Astoria City–

Recommended Level: 50

Party Leader: Brier

Brier [Bard] lv. 22
Title: Dark Bard

Brier’s third opponent stood only two inches taller than himself. This new foe had neither muscles nor an imposing build, but the brunette half-squinted her eyes at Brier, and her tiny, unpainted mouth turned up in a slight pout. It was a somewhat unnerving sight.

Brier: Well well, a woman.
Janet (lv. 35): Well well, a kid.
Brier: This is gonna be fun.
Janet: Oh yeah?
Bartender: Fight!

Janet immediately broke open a bottle of ale and pointed it at Brier.

Brier: Oh, you know your stuff alright…

Brier picked up a bar stool and held it as if to keep his opponent at bay.

Janet: Good strategy, using that thing’s range… But I can tell you’re struggling just to hold it up like that. You don’t have the strength to use it properly, and you can’t throw it either.
Brier: Good eyes. If I’m so easy, then why not attack me?
Janet: Because I know you’re clever.
Brier: Heh.

Brier threw the stool at Janet’s face. She blocked it with her arm and tossed it aside while the bard fled and kicked over some tables to create a makeshift barricade.

Janet: That won’t stop me!

Janet used a chair to prop herself up, then leapt over the barricade. Brier threw a full, unopened bottle of ale at Janet’s face.

Janet: Nn…

Janet toppled over sideways. She wasn’t knocked out, but she let go of her broken bottle, which Brier immediately snatched up and pointed at her neck.

Brier: How about it?
Janet: Uh… I give up.

Quest: Brawl for it All – Finals
–Astoria City–

Recommended Level: 50

Party Leader: Brier

Brier [Bard] lv. 21
Title: Dark Bard

The final opponent was like the others, yet so very unlike. He appeared to be near seven feet tall and clearly muscular, yet lithe enough that he wouldn’t fight predictably stiff. He had an air of arrogance about him and his facial expression appeared to be eternally fixed as happily smug, yet Brier knew that what faced him now was a true master.

Tyler (lv. 56): Hey there… long time.
Brier: It’s you.
Tyler: I’m a bit tougher than the others.

Tyler grabbed a bottle of ale and drank it empty.

Tyler: *belch* Ahh… You’re right. Only guys like us can handle this stuff.
Brier: Oh, hell.

Brier took a swig as well.

Bartender: Begin!
Brier: (Here goes!)
Tyler: UWAAAAAUGH!!!
Brier: !!!!

Brier planned to spit alcohol into Tyler’s face, but was pre-emotively attacked by projectile vomit.

Mina: Tyler, you sicko!
Tyler: Heh, sorry, but a fight’s a fight.
Brier: Damn, out dirtied.
Tyler: Hell yeah, dirtiest player in the game! Now go to HEEL!

Tyler lifted up his leg and stomped Brier in the face while he was still wiping away the puke in his eyes.

Brier: Grr…
Tyler: Oh, just hanging on by a thread? Tell you what, you can say uncle if you want.
Brier: Thanks for the offer, but no thanks.

Brier sprang to his feet and delivered his strongest left straight on Tyler’s hardened abs.

Tyler: You sure weren’t kidding. You’re weak.
Brier: Try this.

With his right, the bard struck Tyler’s face with his bottle, shattering it but otherwise not fazing the tall brawler.

Brier: And now this!

Still gripping the bottle tightly, Brier plunged it into Tyler’s side. The sharp glass broke off upon contact.

Brier: Damn… Tough Skin.
Tyler: That’s right. I’m no pushover.

[Brawlers] have several schools of offense, but only one line of defensive techniques. Since they don’t use shields, the only thing they can do is improve their physical durability. [Tough Skin] is the final progression of the [Endure] line of skills.

Brier: Hah! Hah! Hah!

Brier continuously stabbed at Tyler, reducing the durability of his weapon and dealing very little damage.

Tyler: I could do this all day.
Brier: The thing about Tough Skin is… you can’t attack as long as you activate it.
Tyler: True, but that bottle’s on its last legs. And nothing else you do is gonna hurt me enough, Tough Skin or no.
Brier: Grr…

Finally, even the handle in the bard’s grip shattered away.

Tyler: It’s all over.
Brier: I’ve still got one last ace! EEYAH!

With all his might, the bard delivered a swift kick between Tyler’s legs. He was immediately countered with a fierce right hook to his loins. The bard crumpled to the floor and sobbed softly.

Tyler: And your winner, the undefeated Tyler!

Tyler gained the title [Filthy Animal]!
Brier learned the song [Lament of Lost Manhood]!

Tyler: Ha ha ha ha! Free ale, fellas! Tonight we feast!
Kazan: Tyler, I think you’ve had enough for today.
Tyler: Oh, you kidding? I’m just getting start-
*SLAP!*
Mina: Tyler, we have to think of our expenses! The free ale goes towards our regular pub expenses. If you try to finish it all in one go this was for nothing!
Tyler: Ow, alright alright.
Brier: Damn, you’re one dirty bastard.
Tyler: Same goes to you! Not bad for a bard.
Mina: Don’t let it get you down. Tyler’s a bona fide freak of nature.
Kazan: Not just anyone can solo a golem and make it look easy.
Brier: Yeah… Can’t say I’ve seen that kind of strength in a long time. Last time I met someone that strong was in Harl…

In the court of the Dark Lord Balken was a mighty man, a [Berserker] from the land of Harl named Cyrus. Seven feet tall and almost as wide, Cyrus wielded a massive iron maul as tall as most men. Even unarmed, he was the only man capable of besting the Dark Lord in a test of strength. In the Seven Heroes’ raid, Cyrus was bested by Arbel, his former student and current ruler of Harl. Cyrus enjoyed drinking and teasing the unsociable hex master Caden and the young bookworm Ranka, who was Cyrus’s equal in rank.

Tyler: Well, I’ve been training longer than you’ve been alive. Good to see you again.
Brier: Same here.
Tyler: So, what happened with that Harlot we delivered to ya?
Brier: I managed to extract some info out of her. So now me and Svennia are preparing for a trip to the Sakarlands.
Tyler: Sakar, eh? That’s a ways off. Tell you what, I’ll lend ya some ale. One crate.
Brier: Really? Thanks for the off- wait, lend?
Tyler: Well nah, I ain’t gonna just give it up for free.
Brier: So what do you mean lend?
Tyler: I mean next time we meet up, every time we meet up until it’s paid off, you buy me a round.
Brier: Is that so? What if we never meet up again?
Tyler: Nah, we’ll meet up. Everyone who owes me ends up paying me back one way or the other.
Brier: Well… I like those odds. It’s a deal, Tyler.
Tyler: Heh heh heh… Just don’t end up dying before you get to Sakar. You’re an interesting bard. Maybe you should learn some songs for the next time.
Brier: Maybe I’ll have ruled the world through song by then.
Tyler: Ha! That I’d like to see. Let’s drink to tha-
*SLAP!*
Mina: NO!
Tyler: Ow… Fine, no more drinking today.

Brier received (12) Special Moonshine!

With enough ale secured to last most of the way (given some thrift), attention now had to shift towards the day the borders opened, and the rest of the travel money needed to survive the trek to Sakar…

In the next episode of Bardass!, Brier encounters two men who claim to be knights. Only one of them is telling the truth; the other is an imposter. It’s risky, but perhaps there’s a reward in this. The Astorian Knight… What is in store for our hero this time?

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