Hyrule Castle Town - Day 1
Hidden beneath the streets of Castle Town was a dark and narrow tunnel, through which a dimly lit figure crawled. The tunnel itself was not fresh or new having been dug out by Kourtz several years ago. As he quickly wiggled his way through he dragged his supplies behind him. At the end of the tunnel he came to an underground cache. Filled with supplies, treasures, and all the necessary goods it was crammed but still much wider than the tunnel he had come through.
After arranging the storage area Kourtz looked up at a locked metal grate on the ceiling through which light leaked in. He unlocked it and climbed up through into the back of his store. After three or four steps forward he came to the entrance and walked outside. Stepping into the afternoon light he lifted up his dusty goggles onto his forehead, revealing the furry black spots around his eyes. Pulling out the open sign Kourtz stood back and looked at his shop.
To call his place small would be an extreme understatement. Sandwiched in the alley between the bakery and the fine goods store was a wooden shack barely wider than a large doorway. It had been hastily nailed together and painted the day Kourtz set into North Castle Town Road. The plywood roof, entranceway, and back were the only things he had actually built as the sidewalls were the brick siding of the two stores it lay between. While puny and cramped to a Human's eyes to a Mogma who spends most of his life in claustrophobic spaces it seemed adequately large enough.
As he set up shop the owner of the fine goods store passed by from next door in a fancy red suit. As he walked past he muttered out loud "Oh look, he’s back. And here I was worried you had finally moved away for good". Kourtz turned to greet him and said "Yo, thanks. I’m glad you finally…" Before he could finish the man snapped back "Of course if you couldn’t tell from the tone of my voice I was being sarcastic". The Mogma’s happy demeanor quietly vanished. "Look pal, if you’re going to be so frank why you don’t just come out with it. You haven’t liked me since the day I moved in. What’s the deal? You hate treasure hunters or somethin?"
"Well if you’re so keen to know I’ll explain it to you. The fine goods emporium has been run by my family since we arrived from the sky above. It may be the finest in the kingdom but lately I’ve seen a substantial drop in revenue." He then turned and looked at Kourtz’s store disapprovingly. "Your trashy little shop has been scaring away all of my finest customers." Kourtz seemed taken aback. "Trashy?" "Yes, so I suggest you stop living like a rodent or else you best move into the slums of town where you clearly belong. I’ve put my life into this shop and I’ll be damned if I lose it because of a weasel like you."
Kourtz glared angrily at the man as he walked away. "Geez, what a jerk." Doing the best he could to ignore his remarks he finished setting everything out and opened the stores door and glass window for business. On the narrow counter in front of him stood his merchandise. Spare slingshot ammo, a demon fossil, mysterious shells, and the timeshift stone all stood there waiting to be bought.
Meredith Delaan/Fine Goods Eporium/Day 1
Meredith skirted past her opulently dressed boss. As usual, he paid her no mind, not even registering her existence. The man was a self-obsessed miser, and a real bastard to boot. But he seemed to be in a particularly sour mood, and there were only a handful of things in Meredith's experience that could set him off in such a manner. A few more steps down the street proved one of these things to be true. Meredith smiled at the hastily constructed shack, then pushed open the door. The chime of a tiny bell tickled her fancy, as it always had, and the noise drew her a greeting from the only occupant of the cramped room.
"Yo! Welcome! Take a look at my treasures!"
Meredith shared her cherubic smile with the funny Mogma. "Glad to see that old man hasn't put a damper on your spirit, Mister Kourtz! What did you bring ba- Oh! My! Kourtz, what is this!"
Her attention had been grabbed by the dark purple stone sitting on his counter. She moved to grab it, for some reason intrigued by the dull rock. "Do you think it could be made into a necklace? Wouldn't that be striking?"
Kourtz/Mogma Shop/Day 1
Sitting on a small wooden chair, Kourtz fiddled with a blueish colored conch shell as he waited for customers to wander in. He had yet to see much business, having only sold a few seashells and slingshot pellets so far. Still the day was far from over with more than enough time left for people to come. As the front door creaked open the small bell hanging on his door could be heard chiming above.
"Yo! Welcome! Take a look at my treasures!"
As he put down the shell and turned to greet his new customer a warm smile appeared the instant Kourtz recognized who had walked in. Meredith Delaan was one of the few true friends he had in Castle Town. Although he failed to understand exactly what she saw in him Meredith had taken a liking to the young Mogma since he had first come to Castle Town. The two had always enjoyed exchanging stories with each other and although she worked for a man who hated him she couldn't be more kind to Kourtz than she already was.
"Glad to see that old man hasn't put a damper on your spirit, Mister Kourtz! What did you bring ba-" As he prepared to greet and answer her Meredith suddenly stopped in amazement. "Oh! My! Kourtz, what is this!" Before he could answer back Meredith had already made her way over to the crystallized stone in the corner. As she moved to grab it, Kourtz saw a look of excitement wash over her. "Do you think it could be made into a necklace? Wouldn't that be striking?"
Although he was surprised at the jubilant behavior it didn't seem out of character for her. Meredith always had a peculiar interest in historical artifacts and trinkets. Kourtz assumed she had also heard the tales of the ancient robots and wanted to get ahold of a small part of that civilization.
"Ah, I can see how enthusiastic you are about that thing. Knowing you, you've probably heard the stories of the lost Lanayru technology yeah? Well that's where it came from along with this other stuff I found while out while tunnelin' in the Gerudo Desert. I assumed its some kind of decoration, so yeah, I suppose it could be made into a pretty neat necklace. Heh, not that I know much about Human jewelry.
Anyways I suppose it's a bit too big to be used as one in it's current state, but I'm sure it could be gridded down to the right size if you needed to."
Meredith nodded as Kourtz explained his finding of the odd purple stone. "Oh, Lanayru? Really, I've only heard the basic stories, you know? Little creatures that have lightning in their veins, instead of blood, and all that other weird stuff. I guess it is a bit big to make into a necklace as is... I was thinking, though, if it could be chipped into pieces, I could make just a spectacular set of jewelry! I've never seen anything quite this color before..."
She smiled as she turned the rock over in her hands, imagining all the possibilities to come from it. "How much, Mister Kourtz?"
"How much is it? Let me think, for you…"
As he pondered a price a flash of thoughts suddenly rushed into Kourtz’s mind. "Charge her for every rupee you can! You’ve worked hard for that piece of junk and she looks like she will pay anything to get it." Everything in his instincts was telling him this. After all he had come from a race of treasure hunters who valued their items more than any other. On top of his Mogma instincts he also needed to make some money to stay in business. "Come on now do it! She’s your friend after all, she won’t hate you for this".
With that last thought Kourtz made up his mind, the thoughts in his head having only lasted a short instant. Yet despite his rhetoric the words that came out his mouth surprised even him.
"You know I was hoping to make some money off this, but I couldn’t do that to a friend like you. I never seen you want something so badly before so consider it a gift of mine, on the house." As Kourtz saw the look of joy Meredith shared with him he thought to himself "I can't believe I just did that." Still he felt he made the right decision. He had seen too many people in his life overcome with greed, the man next door merely one of them. Kourtz never wanted to become like that. Besides Meredith had stuck up for him more than any other friend he knew. In clean conscience he couldn't charge her for something he himself didn't see much value in, not while she wanted it so much.
That brought Kourtz back to the moment. "On the subject of cutting it down I think your idea sounds great. I don't know how to do that myself but you could take it over to Popper the Goron at his bomb shop. He should know enough about grinding and reshaping things."
Meredith was overcome by Kourtz's generosity. She very bluntly couldn't believe it.
"I don't believe it. No, no, Kourtz! You had to work for this, I won't just take it without paying... Here!" She fished around in the purse attached to her belt, pulling out a small satchel. "This is what's left of my last pay from that greedy old man. It's not much, but... well, it's what I have left. Take it. And don't you dare so no, or I'll leave!" She narrowed her eyes, throwing her best 'woman's ire' glower at the mogma. "You know I'll do it, too!"
Under such a withering glare no being could have lasted, and Kourtz merely nodded, taking the satchel. Meredith's expression immediately melted back to its cheery default, and she skipped around the cramped room as best she was able.
"Popper the Goron! Do you think his shop is still open, if I run over there? Gorons are so very good with stones and crafting, I bet he'd make the best jewelry in Castle Town with this! Oh, I just know he would!"
"I don't believe it. No, no, Kourtz! You had to work for this, I won't just take it without paying... Here! This is what's left of my last pay from that greedy old man. It's not much, but... well, it's what I have left. Take it. And don't you dare so no, or I'll leave! You know I'll do it, too!" A feeling of relief came over Kourtz as he heard these words. Although her glare was cold and serious he knew Meredith only had his best interests in mind. Not daring to argue with her and not wanting to anyway Kourtz nodded his head in agreement. As he took the satchel and placed it behind the counter Meredith's innocent demeanor once again returned.
"Popper the Goron! Do you think his shop is still open, if I run over there? Gorons are so very good with stones and crafting, I bet he'd make the best jewelry in Castle Town with this! Oh, I just know he would!" "Hold on, let me check on that for ya." Kourtz walked a few steps over to the window with his stubby legs. As he looked out he could see the hour hand on a nearby clock hanging across the street. Turning back to Meredith he continued on. "You should still have time to make it. Popper tends to close up early, but his shop isn't that far from here. Just head up the street to the left and you should see his store by the North Gate entrance." Kourtz though back to when he first met Popper back in his younger days.
He had come across him while digging out what would become Goron City on Death Mountain. He was the one who first suggested to Kourtz that he set up shop in Hyrule Castle Town. Since then the two of them occasionally ran into each other while at business. "I've seen his work before so I know he'll be perfect for the job. Tell him that his old buddy Kourtz sent ya and you should end up with a good deal. Oh and Meredith before you go there is one last thing I have to say. Thank you."
Meredith bobbed her head. "You're welcome! Thank you!"
She turned to walk from the small shop, but stopped with her hand upon the door handle. "Hey... Kourtz?" she asked, her voice quieter and her back still facing the addressed. "What does a mogma eat?"
"Well Mogma’s are omnivorous, so we’ll eat just about anything edible if it tastes good enough."
"Oh," Meredith replied, still facing the door, "good. Then... would you like me to cook you dinner sometime? Since you'll eat anything tasty? I promise to make something good enough."
She didn't have the courage to turn around and ask him to his face.
Not having eaten anything fresh or cooked in his recent journey Kourtz truly liked the proposal Meredith had just offered to him. Even if he had gotten something decent to feast on he would still be interested to see what her cooking was like. "Sure, as long as its no trouble to you I would love to try your food. I'm sure whatever you have in mind will taste great. Just let me know where and when you wanna do that and I would be thrilled to have dinner with ya!"
Meredith smiled. "Alright, Mister Kourtz. Would you like to have dinner tomorrow evening?"
Kourtz confirmed his willingness to make the date, and Meredith left the story happy. She made her way through the streets with visible exuberance in her expression, and found her way to the shop of Popper the Goron bombsmith.
What A Chump
Popper/Castle Town Armory/Dusk Day 1
It was close to closing time, and Popper was ready to call it day. He thought briefly of the odd wolfos-cloaked man, and the task upon which he had set the man. If it went according to plan, the bombchus and bag would have been well spent. Just as he finished cleaning for the day and was about to move from behind the counter to lock the door, it opened and a young Hylian woman walked into his shop.
"Sorry, Miss, I was about to close. Do you have something pressing, or can it wait until tomorrow?"
The girl frowned, but barely. "Oh. I was hoping you'd be able to make some jewelry from this stone, but I suppose I can come back tomorrow."
Popper's eyes widened when he saw the stone she displayed. It was like nothing he had ever seen before, and that was an uncommon thing for a goron to admit. His pride began to influence him; a rare stone as this was likely something to brag about after working. "Where did you get that?" he asked. "What type of stone is it?"
She peered quizzically at the rock. "You know, I don't know what it is. Mister Kourtz said he found it in Lanayru, though."
Popper exhaled thoughtfully. Lanayru, eh? I wonder... "What type of jewelry did you want made?"
"A necklace, and a ring. Maybe two rings? Is there enough for a bracelet, too?"
Popper chuckled. "Li'l Miss, with that hunk you've got, there would be material to spare after all that."
"Yeah. Tell you what, let me have it overnight, and I'll try to figure out what it is. Come back in the morning, and if it's workable we'll negotiate payment and the details of the pieces you want."
The young lady's smile grew larger, impossible though Popper thought it could have been. "Deal!" She handed over the rock. Popper turned it in his hands a few times, mulling over what it could be. The woman left the store, and Popper locked the door, returning to the counter. He had work to do that night, it seemed.
"It can't be... I never would have thought... in all my life. It can't be."
Popper, to his vast surprise, found himself in possession of one of the rarest materials in Hyrule. A genuine timeshift stone. Thoughts shot through his mind to flee Castle Town with it, and live richly back in Goron City. If he sold it, he wouldn't need the shop here any longer. But such thoughts were cut short by a knock on his door.
"Castle Town Guard! Open this door immediately!"
Frantic, Popper stashed the timeshift stone behind the counter. "Coming, coming!"
He opened the door, and a contingent of guards marched into his shop. One who appeared to be the leader addressed the shop's owner. "Popper the Goron? You are under arrest for the illegal purveyance of illicit materials. Come peaceably, and the punishment will be swift and just. If you resist, I cannot guarantee such leniency."
Popper's eyes nearly bulged from his head. "What is the meaning of this? I have done nothing wrong!"
"Here, sir!" called a guard from the back of the shop. He straightened up behind the counter, holding the timeshift stone. "Found it!"
"Nothing wrong, eh?" the guard's leader said with a smirk. "Mind explaining that, then? Timeshift stones are controlled materials here in Hyrule."
A flash of defiance crossed Popper's thoughts, but he quickly squelched it. Ignorance was likely his best way out of this mess. "I didn't know it was a timeshift stone! A young Hylian female came in earlier today asking me to make it into jewelry! She'll be back in the morning! She's the one you want, not me! I've done nothing wrong; I'm a victim here!"
The guard's smirk persisted. "We'll let the courts decide that. Take him away, men!"
"Please! No!" Popper pleaded, to no avail. Three of the guards escorted him from his shop.
"Alright, you heard him. The girl will be back in the morning. Knowle, Arand, I want you to stay here and apprehend her when she arrives. Ahre, you're with me. We've got a Mogma to track down still."
Kourtz/Mogma Shop/Night 1
Dusk fell over the walls of Castle Town. As the moonlight began to shimmer down upon the streets below the young treasure hunter began to lock up his shop for the night. To him it had been a good day as he sold much more than he expected. Kourtz toyed with the idea of quickly running out of town to get more supplies, but he didn't want to run late for what he had planned tomorrow.
With the shop door locked Kourtz decided to spend the night sleeping in his stores basement. One of the advantages to being a Mogma was that a small underground burrow was enough to sleep in anywhere. He didn't need to have the fancy bedrooms or sheets that humans always seemed to demand. A fluffy mat in the corner was all the comfort he needed.
As he drifted into slumber Kourtz thought about the day ahead. He looked forward to the dinner Meredith had planed for him. But before he could wake up to that day he was jolted up by the sound of knocking.
"Mister Kourtz, open up!"
"Who could possibly want to talk to me at this hour?" the Mogma thought to himself.
"Uhh... I'm coming". As he groggily crawled out of the basement the knocking grew louder. "Castle Town Guard, open up immediately"! Another loud "I'm coming" was the response they herd. As he slowly walked over to open it up the door suddenly flew off its hinges and almost landed on top of him. "Gah! By gods, I said I was coming! Can't you just..."
Kourtz stopped in surprise as the armored guard walked in uninvited. "...Um, sorry sir. Is there something I can do for you guys"? "Kourtz, you under arrest for the sale of illicit materials. Come peacefully, and the punishment will be swift and just. If you resist, I cannot guarantee such leniency". Kourtz's heart almost stopped in shock. "What?! Illicit materials? This must be some kind of mistake. I've never sold anything illicit in my life. Perhaps I can show you my merchandise to prove my innocence"?
"Well if you really are innocent then you can start by explaining where this came from". The guard reached over to a bag the other guard was carrying and pulled out a timeshift stone. Kourtz recognized it instantly. "Oh hey. That's a crystal I sold this afternoon. I gave it to a friend of mine named Meredith Delaan". As he looked back up at the guard a slight feeling of worry came over him. "How did you get this anyway? Did something happen to her"?
Rather than reply to him as he expected the guard simply looked back at his companion and nodded. The other guard slid around the narrow entranceway and looked down at the Mogma. Grabbing his unusual set of hands and hastily chaining it up in shackles Kourtz found himself being dragged out of his shop. "What do you think you're doing"! Out on the street he got his response. "The possession or sale of timeshift stones is strictly forbidden in Hyrule. You are to be put on trial and punished for you actions against the Kingdom".
A sinking feeling of anger and confusion loomed over him. "I don't even know what that thing is; you can't punish me over it"! The guard didn't seem to have any emotion towards his response. Seeing as he had no choice Kourtz followed his escort towards Castle Town prison. "Look, I know you fellas are just doing you job, so I'll come with you. But there better be someone I can sort this out with when we get there"!