A Rogues Bitter End

Angus Tibbs

UP: Great Lakes

    Patrons of Sanctuary’s Drunken Lizard Tavern and fans of the gaming night sponsored there by the Cap and Dagger Casino were in for a surprise last week when they found themselves in the eye of a stormy pursuit. Four bounty hunters, all clad in black, entered the peaceful tower and began searching it for traces of a notorious rogue named Trevor Beckett.

The spokesmen for the quartet, Simon Magus, and his associates Arne, Charles and Sonja the Red, explained that Beckett was wanted by the authorities in conjunction with a long list of crimes, which included illegal gambling, grand larceny, and other crimes "too heinous to be mentioned in polite company." Satisfied that Beckett was not, and had not been, in the pub, Magus asked that the people of Sanctuary send word immediately if Beckett happened by or was spotted by any of the townsfolk. Knowing that Beckett had an eye for the ladies, an itchy dicing palm and a love of strong ale, the bounty hunters were certain that if Beckett were anywhere near the tavern, he would find his way there.

Several hours later, Beckett did arrive with his cohort, Finker. Mayhem erupted as the patrons of the tavern divided over whether to offer the brigands aid and shelter or turn them over to the authorities. It was said that Beckett himself was amused by the ruckus, denying any knowledge of crimes that would warrant a price on his head, and sat back to watch the brouhaha escalate.

The arrival of Simon Magus, visibly battle worn, shook the usually complaisant little hamlet. "Your … men…. found us…." Magus snarled at Beckett when the two men came face to face at last. "Sonja lies in a pool of her own blood." He lunged at the cutpurse and suddenly, from all around, Beckett’s band of cutthroats popped out of hiding and laid siege to all who stood nearby, allowing him to escape arrest once again. By the time the swords stopped swinging, the pleasant grass of Sanctuary was painted red with blood and littered with the bodies of Beckett’s following and some of the fallen townsfolk who’d given up their lives for their township’s safekeeping.

Hope renewed for the hunter Magus and his last surviving partner, Arne, when they saw an advertisement for a gambling party being hosted on Buccaneer’s Den. They, along with others who had eyes on the purse of gold promised for Trevor’s capture, formulated a plan to bring him in, or down, if necessary.

As expected, Trevor Beckett, Finker and another dubious associate of theirs, Saul, arrived at The Pirates Plunder once the festivities were well under way. In the beginning, they seemed content to drink and flirt with the serving wenches. Then, a verbal confrontation occurred between Beckett and another partygoer, Joshua Nighthawk. Witnesses stated that Joshua Nighthawk challenged Beckett to a friendly duel, but then Joshua upped the ante when hostilities rose between he and Beckett’s men. The group stepped outside for Beckett and Joshua to do battle, one on one. Nighthawk apparently was unaware of Beckett’s fighting prowess and was forced to yield.

At this vulnerable moment, something exploded in the crowd. All at once, Simon Magus and Arne appeared, and again Beckett’s own fellowship of scallywaggery jumped out of the thick, jungle foliage where they’d lain in wait for such an opportunity. A huge free-for-all ensued. Many a fine Britannian fell, after a hard-fought battle, and those who survived could boast of having laid low the notorious cutpurse and his sordid brethren.

As the air cleared, Magus and Arne found themselves on the defensive, accused by the revelers of bringing this murder and madness into their festive occasion. Weary from the fight and ready to head for home, his mission accomplished at last, Magus collected the head of his quarry and set out across the water toward the mainland.