Montagem 3 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 1

Take it from me folks, there’s really nothing that can put you in a good mood like bearding a mighty wizard and getting away with it one hundred percent completely free and clear.  It’s a great feeling.  Those pointy hat types think themselves so superior with their spells and their books and their stupid robes but what are they really?  A bunch of weirdoes living in towers and kidnapping women because that’s the only way they’ve ever get to touch another human.  As my grandmother used to say they’re no better than they should be.  I don’t know what that means really but it sounds good.  After soundly humiliating the all-powerful and all-knowing Dulphistos I turned in early last night and slept the calming and relaxing sleep of the righteous and awesome.  If you ever get a chance to take on a wizard you should do it.  Probably you’ll get turned into a frog because you’re not me, but it’s worth it on the off chance that you come out ahead.  I was still basking in the glow the next morning as Martialla and I had breakfast on the veranda of my room at the Song and Dance.  

I took a deep breath “Ah, what a wonderful day.  It’s the kind that almost makes you feel good to be alive.”

“And so now we’re going to go back to Cauldron and pick a fight with a hag?  That’s the plan right?  Remind me why we’d do something like that again.”

“Oh, you know me and my flights of fancy.  If you want to be practical about it though having a craftmage on our side wouldn’t be the worst thing now would it?”

She shook her head “You just want . . .”

She trailed off in mid-sentence and then a strange look came over her face – and I mean that literally, in that her face looks strange not that she had an odd expression.  I’ve seen her disguise herself with magic illusions many times, hundreds probably, and this was a little like that only it was still her own face.  It was like someone who had seen her was trying to put an illusion of her face over her actual face.  It was rather unsettling.  Next thing I knew she was extending her arm, mumbling her magic words and twin beams of deadly fire were roiling towards me.  I managed to avoid one, but the other punched me back out of my chair and into the railing of the balcony – you know, in addition to burning the Hells out of me.  I saw her stand up calmly with another spell on her lips and I rolled awkwardly over the railing, getting my Boots on the underside of the balcony and walking upside down out of her line of sight.  I managed to disengage the Boots and tuck myself into a flip to land on the ground without breaking my neck.

Not that long ago I would have just assumed that Martialla was betraying me and thought nothing else about it, but now I thought about that strange change that came over her and figured she was being controlled somehow.  I know what you’re thinking “If you love Martialla so much why don’t you marry her!”  That is childish, you are a child.  But it’s not even that, it’s not that I’m more trusting, it’s that I’m more paranoid.  About things like wizardly mind control.  I saw a couple of Dulphistos’ goons hanging around on the street and one of them made a rush for me – getting a Walking Stick-full of snakebite in his face for his troubles.  I’ve seen men falling to the ground clutching at a snakebitten face many times now and I’ll never get used to it.  Once time Martialla asked me why I always go for the face when I use my snake-stick.  Why wouldn’t I?  I took out my crossbow and shot one of the other goons as he was standing across the street looking stupid, but then I saw the mailed axeman and the lizard-guy coming to box me in.  I was thinking about making a break for it when Martialla floated down to block off the other path – which I’m pretty sure is not a thing she can do.  I’ve never see her float before.

The voice that came out of her mouth was not her own – it was the voice of a weak man “You have something that belongs to me.”

“Last time I checked slavery is illegal in the Kingdom.  But perhaps you meant ‘belong’ in a less literal sense, more of a being chained together by the bonds of love, something like that.  Two faces of a coin or some such.  The problem with that notion is . . .”

Martialla’s hand came up, palm out, cracking with magical energy “Where is she?”

“Look man you got to get over it, there’s plenty of women out there for all of us right?  You’re getting hung up on this broad for no reason.  I haven’t seen you but I assume you’re a decent looking man.  And you’ve got all this cool magic power and bandits under your thumb and shit.  Women like that kind of thing, I tell you what . . .”

I flash of light jumped out and struck me in the chest, in addition to being painful as all get out I’m also sure that my heart stopped for a moment.”

“Ow, fuck!”

Her hand shook with invasive anger “Where IS she?!”

“I don’t know, she’s gone and I don’t know where.  I didn’t want to know, I don’t care where she went okay?  I was just doing a favor for a friend.  My father and her father are pals and they were talking one night at the bar and . . .”

“LIES!!!  Her father is dead.”

“Not her birth father obviously, the guy married to her mother now.  He never had a chance to have a relationship with her you see and my father owed him a favor from the war and . . .”

Martialla’s arm cut awkwardly through the air in what should have been an imperious gesture “Silence!  Tell me where she is or die.”

“I don’t know where she is.  I just know she left town.  You’re a mighty wizard right?  You should be able to track her down what with your mighty magic and all.  I realize that my friend and I have caused you problems, I didn’t understand who you were, like I said I was just doing a favor.  You know how it is with family right?  Now that I know who you are I am abjectly and completely sorry.  Give us a chance to make up it to you, give us a task or a quest or something, let us . . .”

“You will die, and your friend will be tortured until I find my love.  She will beg for her own death.”

“Hey, what about this, what if I take her place?”

Martialla’s face twitched as if the person controlling her as confused and it didn’t quite transmit “You want to be tortured?”

I shook my head, biting off a cutting remark “No, not in the murder-torture plan, let me take the place of whatshername, Cathasomething.”

“Cathadela!”

“Right, her. You want a woman?  I’m it.  I got a look at old Cath and let me tell you something straight, she was pretty sure, but look at me.  I mean am I right?  Plus she seemed like one of those uptight types you know?  I’m sure she was kind of lame in the sack.  I can guaranty you this, I know how to please a man.  I don’t mean to brag but . . .”

The controller’s sneer crawled its way onto Martialla’s face “You think this is about something as venal as sex?  This is about love.  Something that I doubt you know anything about!  Sex without love is like food without taste.  Why would I welcome you into my bed when my love has been taken from me?  The crass skills you brag of mean nothing to me.  My love meant more to me than . . .”

“Venal?  I think you meant venereal right?  Look if you’ve got the crotch-rot that’s kind of a deal breaker for me.  There are ways to work around it sure, but I’m just not into it you know?  I have to tell you, I’m not surprised really, when I saw Cathadela I could tell she was a filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, janky, bottom-feeding, trash-heap whore.  Sometimes just by looking at someone you can . . .”

The voice issuing from Martialla’s mouth screamed with rage, but instead of being annihilated by arcane energy I stood unharmed as she began to twitch like a marionette that has two different people working the . . . handle things.  I bet those have a name.  You know what I mean, the little wooden things that work the strings.  Martialla flopped to the ground convulsing as I activated my Boots for extra speed and charged at the lizard, transforming myself into metal form via Amulet and hurling myself at him like the world’s sexiest javelin (beating out the Winged Harpoon of Delarch Malguyre).  The crown of my head hit him right on his long lizard snout and he was walloped with the full force of a woman turned into metal slamming into his lizard face.  Have you ever wondered if lizardfolk can be knocked unconscious?  Wonder no more, they can. 

I scrambled to my feet and saw the axeman coming towards me, but then pause as if heeding unheard instructions.  This allowed me to get my crossbow up and fire but it deflected off his armor as harmlessly as a pebble. I felt a strange crawling sensation on my skin, like some manner of slick liquid was trying to crawl underneath it and grasp onto my bones, but I willed it away.  I took careful aim at the axeman, going for the eye-holes in his helm, but again my bolt clattered away harmlessly.  Martialla was getting to her hands and knees and he stood over her with his axe poised to strike.

The strange hollow voice of a man in a greathelm issued forth “Surrender or I’ll cleave her head in two.”

I carefully put down my crossbow “Okay, I surrender, now what?”

Those giant helmets are great for protecting you from getting shot in the head, but they’re terrible at letting you look around to see which of your boss’s bandit-minions are still around.  The Axeman had to turn fully to see who was still about to issue his commands to and at that moment Martialla rolled onto her back and slipped her rapier into the gap between the armor on the inside of the thigh and the groin.  Someday they’re probably make a kind of magic armor that has no gaps you can attack.  I wonder what will happen then.  It’s not like we’re going to stop killing each other.  I suppose they’ll have to make magic weapons that boil you alive from the inside right through armor. 

The Axeman was clearly a robust individual but getting stabbed through the inner hip-area tends to take the wind out of your sails.  Even so when I came at him he walloped me with his axe hard enough to cleave through my metallized skin.  If I had been unprotected he would have slaughtered me like a butcher.  I was knocked down and away like a leaf battered by the wind but Martialla skidded up behind him and conjured a glob of motel metal right in the grill of his helmet.  The screams that echoed out of that metal cage will haunt me for some time.  I’ll have to remember that one for when I get my hands on the Duke.  In his pain-maddened panic the Axeman tore his helmet off and Martialla put a dagger into the back of his skull.  And that was the end of that fellow.  For good measure she pulled her rapier out of the dead man’s inside thigh area – with no little effort – and impaled the lizardfolk as well.  The rest of Dulphistos’ lackeys wisely ran for their fucking lives.  My metal skin wore off and I started to gush blood out of my axe-hole but a healing draught from my Flask brought it down to acceptable levels of bleeding to death.  Martialla walked over cleaning the blood off her blade.

“Remind me not to get on your bad side.”

“Thanks for not killing me when I was possessed.”

“I’m not sure that I could.  If the two of us ever came to blows for real that would be a Hells of a fight.”

She gave me a chilling look “Thankfully we’re the best of friends that would never happen.”

“Well, I guess we better go finish this.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning let’s head back to Dulphistos house and kill him while he’s weak.”

Martialla crooked her head to the side “How is he weak exactly?”

I motioned “We, mostly you, just killed his two best goons.  He’s shown here that he’s not going to let this go, I think this is our best chance to strike.”

“Except that all his other mercs should be there.  We don’t even know these are his best goons, this lizard guy is probably just the tracker.”

“Maybe, but this other one was his personal bodyguard I would guess.  Regardless what other options tdo we have?  Wait around for him to attack us from the spirit world again?  Sidenote, I just want to make it known that he tried to possess me too and I was able to resist him.  So don’t get any ideas.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” She sighed “I guess you’re right, we better make a move.  I think it’s a bad idea but it’s the best idea we have right now.”

“That’s the spirit!”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 47,550 gold

XP: 836,921

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet, Ela’s Boots

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three) 

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag  

Montagem 2 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 3

Before we made it more than a couple of blocks a small figure came pelting up to us, skidding to a stop.  I couldn’t tell if she was a young girl that kind of looked like a Shireling or a Shireling that was pulling the old trick of passing themselves off as an adolescent human.  I wonder if kids ever do the reverse – disguise themselves as adult Halflings.  I suppose you’d have to be a damn precious kid to pull that off.  She told us that “it” was going down.  Impressively she wasn’t gasping for air after running full tilt like (oh to be young again) and she gave us in the information in a calm professional manner.  Martialla dismissed her and lead us to a squat building with no sign.  There was a name painted crudely above the door in blocky red letters but it was so poorly done that I couldn’t tell what it said.  The place stank of smoke and bad booze and sweaty boot rash.  I’ve been in some low down dives these past few months but it’s been a good little while since I was in a sawdust on the floor hole like this.  A tough looking older woman with grey hair down to her waist and crow’s feet sitting at one of the rickety barrel tables waved us over.

I learned slightly towards Martialla “I thought you said that Adelis’ girls were on watch.”

“I thought it was wise to expand things a little.”

“You have a real knack for this kind of skullduggery, you’d do well in organized crime.”

“You bite your tongue, I am a woman of high moral standards – I earn my money the honest and moral way by taking it off the bodies of the people you kill.”

The old bag informed us that several of Manzar’s Bravos were spotted leaving Dulphistos’ manor house armed for combat and heading for the general area of where Velké Dářkos and the Black Sheep do their gooning.  She made it clear that Dulphistos himself had not been seen with them nor was the attack forcet reckoned to be all of the Bravos.  Martialla passed her a coin and we took out leave from the dump.  Once we were outside and strolling away we both spoke simultaneously.

“Well we tried.”

“I think we should head over there anyway.”

Martialla’s eyes widened “Why would we try the place now?  It didn’t work, he’s still there.”

“But he won’t be expecting trouble.”

She threw her arms wide “Of course he will!  He’s the one starting the trouble.  He sent his goons out on a hit, he’s very much going to be expecting trouble.”

“Technically maybe, but you know what I mean.”

“I have no idea what you mean.  Let’s just come up with a new plan, or forget the whole thing.  Tell Adelis we tried but it didn’t work out, sorry.  We got her three new girls to replace Cathadela, how many girls does she need?”

“You make it sound like we delivered those women to her so they could work for her.”

“Didn’t we?  What else are they going to do?  Needlepoint?  That’s neither here nor there though, the here is Dulphistos is there, and the there is it would be crazy to go there now.”

“Without his guards though . . .

“Without SOME of his guards.”

“. . . we should be able to handle him.  If it even comes to that.  We can probably get in and out without him even noticing.  I’m tired of all of his, I just want it to be over.”

“Tired of what?  It’s only been two days!  Are you trying to get yourself killed?

“We’re not joined at the hip, nobody said you had to go, I’ll go by myself.”

She made an exasperated noise “No, I’ll go, I don’t need your ghost haunting me.  You used to be a lot more careful you know that?”

“And you used to do what I told you.”

“No I didn’t!”

I raised an eyebrow “Yeah, but you should have.”

I wouldn’t say that we ran to Dulphistos’ Manor exactly, but we certainly hurried in a most undignified fashion.  Martialla turned us both invisible and I scampered over the outer wall as she did the same with a spell.  Despite Martialla’s dire predictions of magical traps and sensors everywhere we made it through the courtyard easily enough and climbed up to the third floor and in a window in a hallway.  The hallway had one large door in the middle and nothing else, which makes no sense.  Assuming there had to be hidden doors on either or both ends we made our way to the eastmost and before I could even touch the “wall” I was jolted by a painful shock.  Cursing under my breath I shook my hand.

“Well there you go, no one traps bare walls, get to it.”

Although I couldn’t see her I could hear the frown in Martialla’s voice “Get to what?  You’re the one who’s always bragging about how you can see through illusions.”

Biting off a sharp retort I studied the “wall” carefully and soon enough the real image underneath revealed itself – a pretty dang large and heavy wooden door reinforced with bands of iron.  I was about to say something when the illusion shattered and the door swung open – nearly catching me in the face with the edge.  I jumped back (quietly) as surprisingly attractive lady dwarf appeared in the doorway in an odd nightshirt holding a silver wand of some manner before her.  She started to cast a spell and I threw my voice to inside her room behind her.

“Where’s Cathedela?”

She spun around, finishing her incantation with a flourish of her wand.  Our invisibility was leached away as I grabbed her and put my (unattached) Blade to her throat.

“Nice spell, too bad it doesn’t help when you’re looking the wrong way.  Where’s Cathadela?”

Her voice was dwarf deep but feminine “I just work here, I’m not involved with any . . .”

“Good, then just tell us where she is and you don’t need to be involved.”

She told us that the apprentice’s rooms were on this side of the door we saw and that Cathadela’s room was on the other side towards the interior of the house.  Martialla tried to put the dwarf to sleep with a spell but it didn’t work.  She mumbled some excuse about dwarfs being hard to enchant as I glared at her.  I was about to say something about tying her up with bedsheets (the room literally had nothing in it other than a bed and stacks of books) when I heard a whispering voicing – the only reason I caught wind of it is because my head was right near the dwarf’s as I held my blade on her.

“What was that?”

She tried to crane her head back to look at me “That was Dulphistos, you tripped one of his alarms.  He’s asking me if everything is okay.”

“Tell him that it is.”

“Let me go and back out of my room and I will.”  She cut me off before I could protest “I don’t care about Dulphistos’ whore, you want her she’s yours, I care about staying alive.  If I don’t answer right now he’s going to come up here anyway so make your choice.”

I let her go and we left the room, the door shutting behind us, and we immediately made our way to the visible door in the middle.  Martialla made short work of the lock with her fiddle bits (not those ones) and we were in another hallway where we quickly made our way to a much less fortified and normal looking door on the left. It was locked as well and as Martialla worked on it I threw my voice into the room.

“Adelis sent us to get you, we’re coming in, be ready to leave.”

Once we got the door open inside the darkened room was a passably attractive woman in a nightgown with a robe thrown over it hurriedly sticking jewelry and books into a pillowcase as a makeshift sack.  I gestured at her urgently.

“Enough of that, time to go.”

She grabbed a few more things before hurrying along with us back to the hallway with the window we climbed in – as we did so we could hear a the banging and clanging of a man in heavy armor running up some stairs beyond the room we found Cathadela in.  As we looked out the window we saw a few fellows running out into the courtyard as well.  Martialla cast her climbing spell on Cathadela and then turned her invisible as I instructed her to climb up and over the house and come down on another side to make her way to Adelis’.  As she climbed out the window a man in plate mail wielding an ax burst into the hallway.  I dove out the window, grabbing Martialla and dragging her with me.  We both managed to grab onto the wall like spiders with our enchantments and scrambled up to the roof as the men in the courtyard shouted and pointed at us – but they must not have had and bows or the like because that’s all they did.  Up on the roof Martialla turned us both invisible and we made our escape.

We rendezvoused at Adelis’ home where everyone was scurrying around getting ready to leave Preen post-haste.  Thankfully Cathadela was there, not having gotten lost or captured, or attacked by a gutter-goblin, or swallowed by a sewer monsters or some other damn thing.  A few minutes later the man in the plate mail along with a couple of the fellows from the courtyard turned up outside following a reptilian humanoid with thick tan and red scales, a long frighteningly toothy snout, and a heavy alligator-like tail.  He was clearly a tracker of some kind.  I took on Cathadela’s appearance and Martialla and I made a run for it, enticing them to chase us as he rest made their escape out the back.  Once they were on our trail we able to confound them by climbing over buildings and changing appearance and the like.  I don’t care how great a tracker you are, it’s going to be tough sledding to track someone over rooftops.

It was still an hour from sundown when Martialla and I returned to the Song and Dance, it was quite a full day.  After washing up and changing we settled down to a nice meal of brined iron eel sausage, gilded sweet slices, spinach and white cheese salad, and lion ant tails.  I was expecting a lizard monster to come smashing into the dining room at any moment followed by a brigade of goons but it seems for once we made a clean getaway.   We were due I suppose. That’s how probablity works right?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 47,550 gold

XP: 827,011

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet, Ela’s Boots

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three) 

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag  

Montagem 2 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 2

It would have been quiet poetic had this happened a couple days ago.  Getting drugged and kidnapped on the anniversary of the day I was drugged and kidnapped from the Duke’s court?  That really would have been something.  That’s the kind of shit that you roll your eyes at when it happens in a book.  But it would have been real.  If it happened.  Which it didn’t.  I could easily say that it did though, who’s keeping track?  Nobody, that’s who. 

This is the first time in a while that I’m waking up having been made a captive.  Seems like it used to happen every other week back in the early days.  Looking back on it now the sheer volume of times that a cult wanted to sacrifice me was staggering.  I can tell you this now, I don’t miss it.  Call me crazy but I don’t enjoy being abducted and bound and left to the mercy of violent strangers.  I suppose on the plus side this time I’m not in some weird dungeon or the top of a tower or anything, it looked like I was just in a normal house.  I’m not sure but I think the street where I was shot with that dart was literally just outside.  On the negative end of things I was tried pretty securely to a chair, which is very uncomfortable.  Even worse my captor was in the process of sticking me with a thin needle-like instrument that was dripping with a thick yellow liquid.  She was young, skinny as a rail, and her dirty blonde hair was chopped up hideously – I’ve seen better hairstyles on scarecrows. 

“What the Hells are you poisoning me with now?”

She turned her head over her should “She’s wake.”

“Did you happen pick up my Walking Stick or did leave it lying in the street?  It’s very expensive.”

“Shut up!”

“You must be the blow girl.”

Her head whipped back around “What did you say?!”

“You’re the one that shot me with the blowpipe right?  Hey, I know you.  You’re one of the Gallow Girls?  You and your friend were hassling me when I came to talk to your leaders a while back.”

She grabbed me by the hair and made as if she was going to jam the needle up my nose “My friend is dead because of you!”

“Ow!  Ease off the roots lady!  Clearly you’re rejecting societal norms surrounding a woman’s hairstyle but my hair is very important to me.  It all got burned off once and . . .”

She let go and stepped back with a sneer “I tell you my friend is dead because of you and all you can talk about is your hair?”

I shrugged as best you can while tied to a chair “It’s a pretty good story.  I didn’t kill your friend, I only met you two that one time and I didn’t kill anyone that day.  I don’t think.  No one in your gang anyway.”

Choppy-hair was working up an angry retort when another woman walked in the room.  I recognized her as well.  Very pale, long dark hair, practical commoner clothing made expensively, an enviable degree of cool confidence.  Her pale face was now marred with several ugly bruises.  She set a chair in front of me but didn’t sit in it, hovering at my side.

“Where’s Tario?”

“Tario?  What . . .”

She punched me hard in the side of the head.  Along with being abducted it’s been quite a while since I’ve been punched.  Stabbed?  Sure.  Bitten?  Absolutely.  Clawed, burned, strangled, battered, poked and prodded?  You bet.  But I haven’t been punched in a while.  It hasn’t improved with time.  I’m going to be controversial here but I’m going to say that getting punched sucks.  I started to say something else but was silenced when I was hit from behind by something hard.  For a moment before my vision started to swim I could see Choppy-hair grinning at me mercilessly.  Paleface was talking but with the ringing in my ears I couldn’t understand her – it sounded like she was talking underwater.  I could see her getting angrier when I didn’t respond.

“I’m no expert but when you’re interrogating someone hitting them in the head is maybe not the best idea.  Makes everything get all dizzy.”

Paleface nodded “That’s fine, we’ll work on your toes.” She took something out of a pouch on her belt.

My vision started to clear “Is that a fucking hammer?  Who carries around a fucking hammer?”

“My father was a carpenter.” She ducked her head at Choppy-hair “Cren, get her boots off.”

“The way you have me tied up I think that’s going to be hard.  You should have discussed your torture plan before you tied me up so thoroughly.  But in any event it’s unnecessary.  I’ll tell you whatever you want.  I’m not one of those people who get salty in the face of torture, whatever you want to know I’ll tell you.  You want to know my deepest darkest secrets?  I’ll blab happily.”

She put the hammer away “The only thing I want to know is where Tario is.”

“Why?”

 She moved behind me and pushed my chair over so that my face smashed into the empty chair in front of me – she held on and careful positioned me so I was levered onto the chair at an awkward and painful angle.

“I don’t want questions from you, I want answers, and the only thing I want to know is where Tario is. 

At this point a very odd thing happened.  The ropes, which had been excruciatingly tight suddenly loosened of their own accord, spilling me out onto the floor.  I would find out later that this is something that my Tankard does.  It has some enchantment on it to loosen bindings, not even right away, after a while, which is ingenious.  I should really learn what all my magic shit does one of these days.  I think all three us were equally caught off guard by this turn of events but I recovered the quickest – spinning to my back and kicking the chairs up into my interrogators face.  I scrambled to my feet with the unfortunately revelation that without my Walking Stick I don’t really have a good weapon for close quarters fighting.  I’d skip the standard complaint about how I shouldn’t be leading a life where I even need to know about close quarter fighting (but I shouldn’t).  Remember back when I had dwarf runes that allowed me to turn my hands into lion-paws with big gnashy claws?  That was pretty sweet.    

Choppy-hair had a dagger out which she was smearing with poison (I assume, some kind of white paste) so I used the ropes that were still hanging off me to toss around her neck.  She dropped the dagger to grab the rope and I did my level best to use her as a human shield as Paleface came at me with a club.  Club sounds too crude, it was a very fancy club, I’ll call it a fighting baton, that sounds better.  Or wait, baton sounds like it’s leading a parade.  Let’s just call it a cudgel.  After getting cudgeled upside the head I decided that my rope strangling plan wasn’t working out so well.  I let go and activated my Amulet instead, covering myself with metal skin.  This took my kidnappers aback but they rallied quickly.  Choppy-hair hurled her dagger at me, which bounced off harmlessly.  Paleface leapt into the air and spun about with some elaborate whirling attack move, her strike made an ugly sound like a bell poorly struck but it didn’t do anything.  Paleface danced back but I bashed Choppy-hair in the nose with a metal fist and sent her crumbling to the ground with a fountain of blood.

“I think we can agree here that I have the upper hand now, so let’s talk.  I have no idea where Tario is, I haven’t seen him since the last time I was here.  Why do you want to kill him?”

Paleface glared at me as she helped Choppy up “You’re just protecting your boss.”

I made a sour face “My boss?  Tario?  That moron?  I wouldn’t sign on with that scapegrace if I woke up nude in an alley in Malgereth.  He’s probably already dead.  With all that money he got from the heist he probably drank himself to death, or someone killed him to take it because we was talking about all the money he had.  Is that what this is all about?  The heist?  You had your chance to get in on that action, what’s the problem?  Non-buyer’s remorse?”

Her expression remained implacable “Maybe you’re the boss then.  Maybe you’re the one we need to kill.”

“Why would you want to kill me or Tario?  You’re the ones that got over on us last time.  You ripped me off.  I offered to cut you in on the jewel job, you were too afraid of Razmiran’s assassins to take it – that’s your own fucking fault.”

She shook her head “And that’s why you and Tario are back in town, to finish us off.  You thought you could extinguish us because we’ve been weakened but we captured you easily enough.  You and Tario are both going to die.”

“I don’t care about you, I’m not here . . .”

She pointed “Ever since you came into town there’s been trouble for us.  I think you’re the cause of it all.  You’re not as clever as you think, we figured out what you’re up to.”

I sighed “People love saying that to me, do I seem like I think I’m overly clever?  Look, I . . .” At this point my metallic skin faded away “. . . oh shit.”

I really should learn how my magic items work.  Choppy drew another dagger and poured an ugly black syrup on it as Paleface charged with her club.  We had moved far enough away though that I was able to get my crossbow and shot her at essentially point blank range – the bolt punching all the way through her stomach to almost hit Choppy as well.  Paleface sagged to her knees, as people tend to do when shot completely though, and I stabbed her (you know, in the head) with my Crossbow Blade.  Choppy came at me with her poisoned knife but I smashed her down with the stock of my crossbow.  Thankfully I did see my Walking Stick in the next room as I walked out of the house, I would have been pissed if they left it in the street and someone snatched it up.  Once I was out in the street and walking towards the Song and Dance again Martialla fell in beside me.

I looked down at my dress “If those idiots tore my dress I am going to be very upset.”

“I told you should have it magically treated to avoid being damaged.”

“You tell me a lot of things.”

“And all of them wise counsel.”

“Where the Hells were you?”

“I was looking for you.”

“How did they get me in the first place?  You were literally holding onto me.”

“There were more of them, it was a whole scenario, I knew you’d be able to get free on your own.”

“I’m sure.  I tell you this much, I’m glad we framed them now.” 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 47,560 gold

XP: 807,911

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet, Ela’s Boots

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three) 

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag  

Montagem 2 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 1

This morning Martialla skulked off to do whatever it is she does, if I was being charitable I’d assume she’s checking in with our boots on the ground.  But probably she’s just carousing.  With nothing on my agenda I was left to rattle around my room and not think about my withered arm.  Perhaps I should have been practicing covering it up with an illusion – a one armed woman is going to be pretty conspicuous – but I didn’t feel like it so I didn’t.  Truth be told I didn’t do much of anything until Martialla came back for lunch.  I told her that she needed to look her best for our meeting with Banderess Vichada, which perplexed her.  Why bother getting dressed up for an alchemist?  I told her that based on the invitation I knew that this wasn’t going to be your standard mutagen chugging vivisectionist freak.  I wouldn’t have bet that there was a refined and elegant alchemist out there but that letter was so sophisticated in both form and function it indicated otherwise.  It’s good to know that I can be pleasantly surprised from time to time.  Figuring that I wouldn’t have many chances to show it off I decided to wear my Saryah Phidaner dress and went all out making myself up – I didn’t want to muck about one armed so I had Martialla help me despite her grumbling.  I almost would have been better off doing it myself even one handed.  The woman is hopeless with a beauty regimen.

I was looking very fine indeed and while Martialla is a persistent disaster when it comes to fashion I did my best to make her at least presentable.  I had arranged a carriage to take us for the nice part of Preen (inasmuch as the term applies) for our afternoon meeting with Vicahda.  What I expect from an alchemist’s hovel – I think they call them “laboratories” but hovel is more apt – is a large ill-made shack that smells liked rotting vegetables, which has clearly been blown up and rebuilt three to seven times, and has several stove-pipe like chimneys sticking out of it at odd angles disgorging strange colored smoke.  Inside you’ll find things like open grates with grey slime clinging to them, burned, stained and partially dissolved wooden dummies, shelves of mummified flesh, and piles of broken pottery.  I assumed, again based on the invitation, that this would be something else altogether but I wasn’t prepared for the full superiority of the house we approached.  Since my exile from court I’ve seen some nice properties, I’ve seen some expensively properties that looked like crap, but this is one of the few that wouldn’t have been out of place in Paladore by the Duke’s palace.  It projected power without being over-aggressive, it was luxurious without being gauche, as far as architecture goes it was class all the way.

We were met by a footman who was prim and proper without being snooty and were shown in by a maid who was appropriately demure and submissive without being servile.  The sitting room was perfect and our hostess was quite the picture herself.  Her reddish-blonde hair was too short and she was showing too much cleavage to be entirely acceptable in respectful company, but otherwise her style was impeccable.  Her choker was a Chiara piece that I would have loved to have myself.  The only real misstep in the whole presentation is that along with the tea (which was wonderful) her servants brought in honeyed oat cakes and spinecone fruit, which while delicious, is far too common for to be served in this setting.

Banderess Vichada didn’t introduce herself as anything else than Banderess Vichada, but she carries herself with the air of authority customary to people of status.  I gave her several opportunities to reveal herself as titled nobility, however minor, but no such information was forthcoming.  She’s clearly had access to the finest schooling in the Kingdom and there’s no other explanation for her education that I can think of other then being a member of the aristocracy.  There must be quite a story there.  She was well-spoken and a bit a bit pedantic for my taste but not so much as to annoy me over the course of one afternoon.  She was absolutely enamored with my gown – as she should be.  After the small talk hit the appropriate mark I explained to her my current predicament.  Right away she said that it would be no issue at all to correct.  I was overjoyed until she continued.

“The process is simple. All I need to do is attach a hydraulic confabulator and a modified chloric fluid matrix amplifier, inject you with psuedodorafine, make sure your etheric levels are above twenty percent and your arm will be good as new.  Once that’s all in place the last thing we need is a lightning strike to power the machine.”

My face fell for a moment until I saw the mischievous twinkle in her eyes “You’re having me on aren’t you?”

Her laugh was a delight “My apologies, that wasn’t very charitable of me, but I could tell that you’re apprehensive about the alchemical arts and I couldn’t resist ribbing you a little.”

“I have to admit, the other alchemists I’ve met have been less . . . respectable.”

She pursed her lips tightly “Yes, well, unfortunately there are a lot of those sorts about.  I studied at the Royal College for more than fourteen years, I assure you that I won’t be strapping you to a table an injecting you with any glowing green bile.  What those tramp potion makers and chirurgeons do isn’t alchemy – not really.  I would say that a good parallel would be that Mariacheva Antdallia and some shrieking tavern bawd are technically both singing, but they’re not doing the same thing.  I wish there was a different term for what I did so I wouldn’t associated with those fluid-mongers, but alas.  There’s a difference between making drugs in some dingy basement and unlocking the secrets of the universe.  There’s alchemy and there’s Alchemy.”

“Well said.  Would it be rude if I asked why someone of your skill and stature is in a place like Preen?”

She smiled “Only slightly.  I was looking for something, but it seems to have left town, so I’ll probably be leaving before long myself.  That’s all I care to say about that.  I won’t miss this grubby little place.  I’ve done everything I could to make it livable but at the end transforming this backwater into a place worthy of folk like us is alchemy beyond even my arts.”

We chatted for a bit longer and then she briefly excused herself, returning with a crystal tincture bottle which she handed to me.  I drank the swallow of liquid in the bottle, which wasn’t entirely unpleasant tasting, and just like that my arm was healing.  It was that simple.  Turns out that magic doesn’t have to be the random chaotic nightmare that most people make it.  Sometimes it can just be magic.  After that dragon cookies were served along with one hundred year elf whiskey.  Elf whiskey is not to my liking but you can’t fault the woman for her taste – even the Duke has trouble finding a vintage this aged.  After that a little more small talk she politely excused herself, having another appointment soon.  She never even brought up the crass matter of money, leaving that to a manservant that crept in apologetically with a ledger once she was out of the room.  For once I was glad to pay my bill.  As Martialla and I walked back to the Song and Dance my spirits were soaring.  Who knew that so much joy could he had from losing something and then getting it back?

Martialla glanced at me “Well that was surprisingly uncomplicated.”

“Yes, and you didn’t even spill anything on my dress and ruin it either.”

“Well I didn’t want to be murdered.  You should probably have that dress enchanted to protect it if it’s really so great.”

“Bite your tongue.  I won’t have some dingy wizard pawing at this masterpiece.” I sighed contently and made a bold gesture with my restored arm “Is there anything money can’t do?”

“Which do you like better, the money itself or the things it can buy?”

“Thankfully I don’t have to choose today.  I think I strained my voice when I was screaming in horror the other day.  I should have had her mix up a concoction for that as well.”

“Are you the one who told me about the opera singer who messed up her voice and tried all kinds of curatives and she turned into a ghoul?”

I shook my head “That’s not what happened, you’re remembering it wrong, she . .  . ow!”

I felt a quick pinch in my neck like I had been stung by a hornet.  I slapped at what I assumed was an offending insect but felt something hard.  Instead I found in my palm a tiny dart with an even tinier little plume of blue feathers.

“What the Hells?”

Martialla glanced at it “I think you just got shot with a blowpipe.”

I scowled “What the fuck is a blowpipe?”

“It’s a tube that you blow into to shoot people with tiny darts like that.”

I scowled harder “Why?  What possible harm could it do?”

“Generally they’re used to deliver poison.”

“That’s dumb, I never heard of such a thing.  Who would use something like that?”

“A poisoner?”

I glanced around at the people on the street “Did one of you fuckers just shoot me with a blowpipe?!”

Martialla leaned in to look at my neck “Do you feel poisoned?”

I irritably pushed her away “I feel fine.  Can your magic neutralize poison?”

“No.”

“So what good are you?” I started walking again.

“Are you just going to ignore that?”

I shrugged “What’s there to be done about it?  I feel fine.  Obviously the poison, if there even was one, didn’t work on me because I’m so tough.  Probably it was just some asshole shooting darts at beautiful women.  There was a guy like that back at court, he used to jab the maids in the ass with a pin.  Eventually though he ass-stabbed the wrong lady and someone broke his bloody neck.”

“Do you have any stories from your old life at court that don’t end with a horrible murder?”

“No, not really.”

About twenty seconds later I suddenly felt woozy, really woozy.  It was like going from stone cold sober to the end of a night of hard destructive drinking in half a second.  I stumbled, and then when I started to fall Martialla grabbed me, keeping me only partially upright as all the strength went out of my legs.  I could see her lips moving but I couldn’t hear anything, I saw her eyes turn hard when she spotted someone or something and she let go up me to reach for her sword, then everything went dark.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 47,560 gold

XP: 803,511

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet, Ela’s Boots

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three) 

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag  

Montagem 1 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

All things considered I’ve had worse nights.  Many worse nights.  Even though she was the one ripped to shreds Martialla got me back to the Song and Dance and handed me a couple bottles of Golden Fleet Vodka to keep me company while she saw to her wounds.  The arm doesn’t hurt, which is unsettling in and of itself when you think about it, so as long as I don’t look at it I’m fine – and you’re not looking at your arm after you drink until you pass out.  I woke up on the floor in the broad daylight and tried to push myself up, at which point my physical situation came flooding back instantly, all the good work the vodka did to blot it out being erased in a flash.  I almost started crying again.  But I got a hold of myself.  Bad shit happens and sitting around crying about it doesn’t help a damn thing.  I took a moment to compose myself and then rolled to a position where I could stand up with one arm.  That one little movement was a way of telling myself “see, its fine”.  I had the good graces to believe myself.  I can be very convincing you know.      

Once I was on my feet I took another couple of moments for myself.  So my arm is screwed up?  So what do we do?  We fix it and we move on.  I drank the last little bit of Golden Fleet Vodka out of one of the bottles and then got myself washed up and dressed.  It was tricky with one arm, thankfully I won’t have to get used to it though.  I summoned the staff to clean the place up, because having other people doing your bidding always makes you feel better.  After watching them sternly for a moment I went to talk to the manager about finding me some magical restorative therapy.  Now that I think about it I don’t recall seeing any temples in town, but there has to be an Odobenine presence in a place where there’s so much commerce right?  And they’re always good for some mercenary healing.  After communicating my request to the chief lackey I returned to my room and had them bring me breakfast on the balcony – double berry crepes with lemon crud and vanilla cream, grilled honey peaches, and sour cream waffles with praline apples.  It was a bit awkward eating with one hand but I won’t have to deal with that for long right?  While I was eating I Martialla returned and she took a seat across from me, helping herself to some breakfast wine.

“What have you been up to this fine morning?”

“I went back.”

“Back to the hag-hole?  That seems like a terrible idea.”

“You don’t know the half of it, a big section of the place collapsed – probably from that freeze magic the hag used.”

“Well, here you are so I guess it worked out.”

“I was being careful.  I wanted to check out if our new friend was there by coincidence or if she’s allied with Dulphistos.”

“What did you find out?”

“Nothing conclusive, although I’m not sure what that would be conclusive evidence other than a letter from Dulphistos left behind and that only happens in books.  I think it was just a coincidence.  I saw traps in other buildings and some magical sensors but they didn’t have any fucking monsters in them.  I think it was just our god damn dumb luck that we went into the one with a whistling hag in it.  If she’s not working for him I’m sure he knows she’s there but as long as it keeps people away why would he care?”

“It’s hard to say, but it probably doesn’t matter.  In a way it just helps our story that some people were lurking around his house.  Even if they are in cahoots I mean it’s not like that eyeless thing can describe us to him right?”

“Are we already to the joking about it stage on your arm?”

“No, but I’m using humor as a defense mechanism.  I asked the concierge or owner or whatever he is where the best magical healing money can buy can be found.”

“I’ve already been asking around.  Razmiran didn’t encourage of religious institutions to come here so for a town of this size there’s not much in the way of divine spellcasting.  From what I was told there are two options.  The lumber people have a healer that’s supposed to be a bigshot in town right now in case their troubleshooter gets himself a boo-boo, but I don’t know how we’d make that approach.”

“Let me guess, the other option is a crazy alchemist?”

“We don’t know that he’s crazy.” I gave her a sour look “We’ll see what Mr. Song and Dance comes back with, but I assume those two options are going to be it – Preen isn’t really a hotbed of fantastical magic commerce.”

“Is there a place that is?”

She shrugged “Probably.”

I sighed “In retrospect we undoubtedly should have anticipated that the buildings around a secretive mage’s lair would be guarded somehow.”

“True.  You know what they say about hindsight.”

“That people think it’s better but that’s only because they have information on what did happen and they’re not thinking about whatever other bad things could have happened for the things they didn’t do?”

“Uh, that’s not the expression I’m familiar with, but sure.”

“I’m going to pick up my boots today, I can ask what’s her name about healers in and around town as well.  In the meantime what’s the plan?  No reason to let all our work got to waste just because my arm is shriveled like a cock on cold winter’s night.”

“Adelis has a couple of her girls watching.”

“Isn’t that a terrible idea?”

“Not watching Dulphistos, watching Velké.  If Big D and his people make a move on Velké we’ll know about it.  There will be a delay, but we’ll know.  It makes things trickier but it’s the best I could come up with.”

“I suppose worst case scenario the mage kills the gangsters and we miss out on our chance and we have try something else.”

“This really is a lot of trouble just to help out an old acquaintance.”

“You know me Martialla, I give and I give and I give.”

After breakfast Mertialla skulked off to do more skulking and I headed to Vetovia’s shop to pick up my new boots.  They weren’t great looking aesthetically, I’ll spare you my usual complain about mages and their inability to make quality items, but they’re good enough.  And the magic actually works so that’s good, I’m always worried about magic people ripping me off because how would I know?  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s the perfect scam.  Sure this ring is magic, ten thousand gold please.  Once the pleasantries were out of the way I explained the predicament with my arm and she suggested that I seek out someone by the name of Banderess Vichada, who based on our conversation must be the alchemist that Martialla mentioned.  How many arm-regrowing alchemist can there be in Preen?

But surprisingly that wasn’t all.  Vetovia knew all about the crazy gnomes and their eyeless mistress (she’s the one who explained to me those various facts I mentioned before).  I’ve often wondered where hags come from, well she told me where this one came from.  Turns out that if you’re a woman saturated with arcane power and you become consumed with bitterness, what you can do is complete a ritual that culminates in ripping out your own eyes and tongue and burning the light from your soul. This turns you into a hateful abomination dedicated to spreading misery and strangling joy wherever you go. Which seems like a bit of an overreaction if you ask me.  I mean if you’re going to gouge out someone’s eyes shouldn’t it be the person that made you so bitter?  Vetovia knew about this because the hag was (is?) her friend Vasya.  In fact the only reason she’s still in a place like Preen is because she’s trying to find a way to un-hagify her friend. 

“Wow, that’s very devoted of you.  I hope if I ever get turned into a hag I have a friend like you.  How’s the cure coming along?”

“It’s hard to say, it’s not like I can test it out.  I think I have it figured out.  I have a unicorn hair, water from a healing spring, what I don’t have is a flawless diamond into which to draw the ‘infection’ and somehow that diamond has to involve a promise faithfully kept.  But the real hard part is that I need to kill another hag and use some . . . parts from her body for the concoction.”

“That shouldn’t be so hard, there’s a whole village of hags just south of here.”

She snickered slightly “You don’t mean Cauldron do you?”

“Hey, I didn’t think it was real either, but then I fucking went there – some big blue hag with steel claws kicked the shit out of me.  It’s a real place, believe me.”

“Are you serious?”

“I’m as serious as a severed hag’s head.  Plus check this shit out, I’m about to make your day.  I have a diamond I can give you that should work and I promise that I’ll help you out with this whole scenario.”

She blinked “You will?”

“A hundred percent.”

“Uh . . . why?”

“A couple reasons, one that hag is on my list so she has to go.  Two, you seem like good people.  Three I need favors, lots of favors, for some other things I got going on.  And four, I’m whimsical.”

“O. . . kay.”

“No fooling, I swear.” I took out one of my diamonds “Check this baby out.”

She squinted at my palm “It’s awfully small.”

“It’s a diamond, they aren’t that big.  The point is that it’s flawless, and I promise to give it you to help bring Vasya back from her bitter fate.  A promise that I shall faithfully keep.”

“That’s . . . insane.  We’re basically strangers.”

“Well now we’re pals.  Once I get my arm back in fighting shape and I take care of this other thing we’ll pop on down to hagtown and massacre one of those warty broads and then we’ll fix up your friend right quick.”

Once I got back to the Song and Dance there were two notes waiting for me – one from the manager telling me that I should speak to Banderess Vichada about my arm.  And the other, on very expensive stationary and wand written with impeccable penmanship (penwomanship?) was from Banderess Vichada saying that she was available to see me for high tea tomorrow at her manor.  She must be one of those supernatural figures that hears their name if you say it too many times.  Martialla turned back up later that night saying that the word on the street was that our frame job appeared to be working.  Over dinner I told her about Vetovia and Vasya.

Martialla shook her head “At this point I think you’re doing this on purpose.  For someone with a supposedly singular purpose you get sidetracked remarkable easily.” 

“My new theory is that the Gods are going to throw something at me anyway, this way I get to choose what it is.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Neither does your face!”

“I can’t argue with that.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 53,580 gold

XP: 803,511

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet, Ela’s Boots

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three) 

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag  

Montalan 30 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

Today it’s part two of operation frame-up.  Part one of part two is finding a place from which we can observe Dulphistos’ manor house and wait for him to fly out on a roaring rampage of revenge.  Part two is faking the murders of the two snitches we impersonated yesterday by agents of the people we’re framing to real sell the story.  The first part turned out to be rather simple.  Several buildings are so close to Dulphistos’ compound that they’re almost abutting his wall – which I am confident is not allowed by the Preen building code.  If Preen had any building codes.  Most of those buildings are abandoned, either because no one wants to live next to a wizard or because said wizard had his goons run them off.  Although I suppose in a sense those are the same reason.  The building that offered the best viewpoint of the Dulphistos’s compund looked like it had been a watch-house back in the days before Preen was a total shithole and then had been converted to a tenement of sorts once Razmiran showed up to run the place straight into the ground before ultimately being abandoned.  I know what you’re thinking, “Ela, wizards aren’t totally dumb, he’s going to notice if you start squatting there”, but don’t worry about it, I’m not stupid.  Martialla assures me that she can cloak our presence with her magic.

After that was the simple matter of faking a couple murders.  Most of Generous’ girls work in the area around the vice district where I found Aubesh, so we went to that area and Martialla took on the form of one of the women we kidnapped and strolled around a bit before I appeared in the guise of Velké Dářkos and abducted her, smacking her around enough that any watchers would know that this was going to end in murder.  The response from “law enforcement” was laudable – a brute squad from whichever gang the Lumber Consortium is using as their strong arm showed up in just a few minutes to shake down potential witnesses and make a nuisance of themselves.  Martialla and I made sure to turn up in the guise of honest hardened gamblers to tell them about the horrible scene we had witnessed.  Then a couple hours later once the hubbub had died down we returned and did it again with Martialla in the guise of the second woman.  This time things didn’t go quite as smoothly.  As soon as I showed up looking like Velké a couple guys had blades out and were coming at me almost before I could get my hands on Martialla. 

Anyone paying close attention might have thought that for someone being assaulted woman number two was being very cooperative with her attacker, but hopefully no one was who’s that paranoid.  We led them down a blind alley where Martialla put them to sleep with a spell and I made sure they weren’t going to wake up again by activating my Amulet and bashing them good – I figure that should simulate Velké’s methods as much as possible.  With that done we figured the frame was as good as it was going to get – assuming that all the moving parts work Generous should be telling the Lumber people what’s going down and he should be telling Dulphistos.  In retrospect maybe we went one level too far with the whole thing but time will tell now.  After that we gathered up some stakeout supplies – molasses fry bread and a case of Stolen Kisses Rum – and headed for our wizard-blind.  I stashed our supplies and started looking around for a good watching chair while Martialla took out some scrolls and starting doing magic stuff.

“I’m not looking forward to this, I have a feeling this is going to take a while.”

“Assume we even see him leave.  There’s no reason to believe he’s just going to walk out the front door if he even goes himself.  He could very well ‘magic’ himself wherever he’s going.  Plus wasn’t Tarver bragging about a secret passageway?”

“Do you think he was being literal?  I assumed that was an ill-conceived innuendo.”

Her response was forestalled by the appearance out of thin air of some manner of deformed gnome with a red cap and iron-shod boots, swinging a very much not gnome-sized sickle at her.  It sliced the scroll in her hands in half and then ripped a bloody line from her sternum to her belly button.  I have to admit I found this quite startling.  The ugly little man gouged her again with his outsized farm implement before I could react – clobbering him with my Walking Stick.  Even though I was attacking someone hald my size this maneuver had about as much effect as a playful paw slap from a kitten.  At least it did attract his attention, Martialla staggering away spilling blood in buckets as he whirled on me, raising his sickle to strike.  But the blow never came, instead his tiny wrinkled face became strangely smooth with a look of terror and he ran out of the room.  I know what you’re thinking “clearly this was no man at all but rather the fey creature know as a redcap – their fear of religious icons is well known and it must have seen your Adariel symbol hanging around your neck”. 

That’s a decent theory, but sadly wrong.  I would find out later that this man and his fellows, because there were more of them, were not Recaps at all but rather actual gnomes that either think they are recaps or want so desperately for other people to think that they are redcaps that they even mimic an actual redcap’s fear of holy iconography.  So there, not to smart are you?  I moved towards Martialla to check on her, but I only made it a step before a creaky door flew open and wildly rushing in was a spindly grey skinned woman that had to be over seven feet tall for all that I doubt she weight more than a hundred pounds.  Her hoary skin was cracked and shot through with black veins and what little wispy hair she had hung over a face that featured empty eye sockets, a toothless mouth, and a gaping whistling hole where a nose should be.  I was told later that this was yet another hag.  It seems like I can’t go a month without being vexed by a hag.  I wonder if one of the curses that first hag put on me was to attract other hags like a drunk woman at closing time attracts sexual predators. 

This violently failing monstrosity grabbed me by the shoulder.  I’ve come to expect even the most decrepit and frail looking hag to be monstrously strong.  Based on that I expected her hand to close on my shoulder like a vise, tearing muscle and cracking bone with brute strength.  But that’s not what happened.  That’s not what happened at all.  I barely felt her touch, which was curiously light, before the flesh of my shoulder and arm started running like water.  It was like a wax candle being tossed into a roaring fire.  I’m not ashamed to say that I screamed in abject and helpless terror.  I am a little ashamed to say that  at that moment I would have wished anyone in the world to have been in my place other than myself, up to and including Martialla.  There’s nothing and no one I wouldn’t have betrayed in that moment not to have experienced that. I was suddenly struck by a sharp pain in my throat and I felt to the ground heavily cradling my malformed limb with my good arm.

I’m not sure what would have happened if Martialla hadn’t been able to regain her composure.  Actually that’s not true, I know exactly what would have happened, I would have died.  That withered eyeless beast would have killed me.  Slowly and tortuously.  Martialla called on her magic and blasted the hag with a stream of fire – her already cracked flesh burning like dry paper.  The hag’s mouth opened wide in a silent scream (turns out they’re also tongueless) and she responded to the attack with a massive cone of freezing death but Martialla was able to dive out of the way – stabbing back at her with twins rays of flame.  The hag made a twisting motion with her hand like gathering up a fistful of loose thread and Martialla charged forward with her rapier.  I would learn later that’s because the hag at rendered her temporarily mute to prevent her from casting spells.  Her sword though did little to no damage to the hag, which responded by tearing further bloody rents into Martialla’s body with her ugly claws.  At this point I finally managed to stop sobbing, dragged myself up and knocked the hag in the back of the legs with my Walking Stick.  With her off balance Martialla and I both tried to bare her to the ground but in addition to being able to stretch flesh like taffy she was also obscenely strong like your “standard” hag and she hurled us both back easily. 

Martilla pulled out a dagger in her off-hand to attack with both blades while I tried to work around to flank the hag, striking with all my might.  Our efforts to engage the thing physically were fruitless, our attacks barely seem to harm her and she was able to batter us without much trouble.  I was start to think about a way to escape when either Martialla was able to overcome the hag’s abetment or the effect wore off and she burned her with another furious bolt of flame.  Even this didn’t slay the creature but she finally fled, tarry grey blood falling out of her bubblinh flesh.  Martialla staggered after her for another attack but the thing turned invisible and disappeared.  I managed to give Martialla a healing drought from my Flask to stop her bleeding before I started weeping uncontrollably again at the sight of my gnarled arm.  I would find out later that this is what the hags call “shaping”.  Usually they use this ability to offer people beauty and youthful appearance, resculpting them into more pleasing forms in return for foul deeds.  But in a pinch it works equally as well in combat.  I pride myself on staying level headed in almost any situation but I was beside myself in this instance.  Instantly my thoughts went to Malgareth and the disfigurement I suffered as the result of the beating I took there. 

I looked at Martialla desperately as she helped me out of the building and down the street back “home” “We can fix this right?  Some magic spell or other.”

“Of course.”

But I could tell from her voice that she wasn’t sure.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 53,590 gold

XP: 803,511

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring , tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three)  Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag    

Montalan 29 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

One year ago today I woke up in a dirty alley (as opposed to a clean alley) in Graltontown.  It took me a long time to wake up fully.  For a good while my body was limp like a shirt on a clothes line.  My mind was foggy worse than any hangover in the recorded history of the universe.  At first I had no clue where I was or what was going on.  It certainly didn’t cross my mind initially that I wasn’t in Paladore anymore, let alone that I was in an armpit like Graltontown.  But I started to catch on to what had happened.  For obvious reasons the Duke’s wife and I weren’t the best of friends, but as long as we ignored one another everything was fine.  Out of sight out of mind right?  Their marriage wasn’t a love match by any stretch so why not allow the Duke his whims?  Within reason of course.  But something had happened that pushed that boundary too far.  In retrospect he Duke had been more shameless than usual in parading around with me on his arm in the months preceding my exile.  Maybe he was trying to upset her, maybe he was just getting careless, maybe it was one of any number of other reasons.  Regardless of why, he went too far and his ladywife complained enough that he felt he had to get rid of me.

He could have sent me off to one his other holdings.  He could have given me to one of his cronies.  He could have just said “hit the road kid”.  He could have killed me.  He could have cast me out into the streets of Paladore.  He could have set me up with a nice retirement.  He could have done many things.  But what he did do was drug me and toss me away like garbage.  Was this supposed to be a mercy?  He couldn’t bring himself to kill me?  Or was it a cruel joke?  One final laugh at the expense of good old Ela?  Either way he had to have assumed that I would die shortly after being abandoned.  Or at worse that I would end up a corner girl and be dead within a few years either from too much pipeweed, suicide, or some other nasty end.  So if it was kindness that stayed his hand it was a curious kind of kindness indeed – but I know better than anyone that the righteous Duke isn’t much of one for kindness. 

I can admit now that along with the anger I felt, and there was a lot of anger, I also initially felt despair.  My immediate thought, that the Duke was going to pay and pay dearly, no matter what by any means needed, was bravado.  At first.  It was the crying of a child who has been denied what they were promised – sound and fury only.  But it didn’t take long for it to become very real.  Without a doubt it’s the most genuine and true feeling that I have ever had.  At that moment I could have turned away very easily.  In fact most of who I am was screaming for me to do that – turn away, look away, don’t seek out what is likely to be your own destruction.  Run, run far away and never look back.  There’s a large part of me that begged me to do that.  And I could have done it, I could have listened to that voice.  And everything would have been fine.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I had to follow this path, that I had no choice.  I take responsibility for myself and what I am doing.  I know who I am and what I am doing. 

There’s no such thing as redemption, no such thing as second chances.  I’ve already been where we go when we die.  We’re shadows dressed in costumes of skin and bone.  Nothing you can see is going to last for long.  I don’t believe in destiny or fate or karma or whatever you want to call it – our lives are not written in the stars, we’re not stones thrown at our birth traveling to a destination with no altering the flight.  But despite all that, when I woke up in that alley, my path became horrifying clear.  And nothing, nothing, will stop me until I face him.  Nothing.  I will drown this world in blood if I have to.  I will tear down civilization itself if I have to.  I’ve said this before, when I say that I will do anything to have my revenge I mean anything.  Nothing that I can ever do to the Duke will be bad enough to satisfy me.  But I’m going to give it my best shot.  I mean someday I will when I stop being distracted by whatever I’m doing now.

Turns out that Aubesh doesn’t know any of Generous’ other girls, for some reason she’s not tight with his crew, so there wasn’t much to do today other than wait for the appointed time they would check in a Gentlemen Jack’s.  It gave me time to reflect on the last year and all the awful things that I saw and did.  I got really good at mundane disguises.  And guys, I mean really good.  It took time but the end result was flawless.  I could disguise myself as a specific person, as a different gender, as someone much older – you name it, I could do it and look perfect.  Then I learned how to do it instantaneously with magic and that skill became completely useless and all that time I spent learning it was a massive waste.  Which is magic in a nutshell.  I learned how to shoot a crossbow pretty well, and then shot a bunch of people, most of whom died.  But they were all bad so it’s fine.  I spoke to several worgs and only one of them tried to eat me.  That’s pretty good.  I rode a pegasus which was fucking amazing.  I started cursing.  I got sick and very nearly died.  Twice.  I made my first friend.  I made probably a million enemies, conservatively estimating.  I got lost many times.  Turned into a cat.  Was cursed several times.  Got super rich.  Some kind of old lady vampire put me in a cage and I was almost killed by her demon dog.  Thinking back on it it was really quite a year.  I wouldn’t recommend drugging yourself and having someone toss you in the street somewhere far away with nothing but the clothes on your back but it’s certainly a way to shake things up in your life.

Once I got bored of intimate self-reflection I went over to Martialla’s room to kill time, maybe play some cards or just chat but she was banging some guy (where does she find the time to meet anyone?) so I went to a stable and rented a horse for an afternoon ride.  Petro was a fine looking steed but he was a too ornery and finicky for my taste.  If there’s one thing I don’t care for it’s a horse that has its own ideas.  Still it was nice to go for a ride, seems like ages since I’ve been able to do that.  Once I got back Martialla was done with her dalliance and we had a long luxurious dinner since we had to nowhere to be until late.  Once it was appropriately late we staked out Gentlemen Jack’s and waiting for Generous’ ladies to show up.  The first one we tried to grab actually wasn’t a prostitute at all.  Boy was there egg on our faces.  In our defense though you should have seen the way she was dressed.  There were no mistakes the second time though, Martialla used her magic to put our target to sleep and then I assumed her appearance to go in and pass along her hard earned coin to Generous – and to pass on the information that one of “my” tricks was a Black Sheep who was bragging about taking out Dulphistos’s apprentices.  This almost turned ugly because Generous had forbade his crew from fraternizing with the Black Sheep, but I figured out that was just for appearances, the G man making it known that he’s a bad scary man but also being glad for the intel.

We let the next couple pass by unmolested and then repeated the process with the fifth girl to come by (sixth if you count the one we accosted by mistake).  Generous was nice enough to ask if “I” had heard anything about the Black Sheep and Dulphistos’s apprentices so I let him draw it out of me and feel like he was a genius.  After that we carted our two new friends to Adelis’ for safekeeping and then made our way back to the Song and Dance.  I can see now why serial killers are always targeting prostitutes – it’s so easy.  I mean that and the whole sociopathic sadistic sexual thing.  After a hard night of kidnapping and lying Martialla and I took to the veranda with some dwarfen fire ale to enjoy the moonlight.  Not normally my kind of drink but I’ve found that oddly the beverage intended to get you all riled up has a calming effect on me and acts as a sleep aid.  Maybe it works differently on different species. 

I offered my glass up to Martialla “Here’s to a job well done.”

She touched her glass to mine “I’ll drink to that I guess.”

“Clearly this isn’t what I expected to be doing with my life, how about you my old friend?  What did you think you’d be doing?”

“You’re asking about my life?  Are you confused?  Did you forget that I’m not you?  I can’t see any other reason that you’d be interested.”

“Hilarious.”

I could see her grin in the gloom “No, I didn’t expect to be snatching whores off the street at all, not even for a good cause.  Well not a good cause maybe, but a neutral one at least.  I figured I’d just eke out a life moving from town to town like everyone else.  When my niece was killed the entire trajectory of my life changed radically.”

“Were you two close?”

“No, which sounds strange maybe.  That I’d set off on a two year quest for revenge on account of a relative that I didn’t know well, but my sister deserved better.  We were close once and her daughter dying broke her.  Seeing that nearly broke me.  In a sick way it’s made my life much better, following you and taking up your scraps has earned me more money than I ever could imagine.  And my power with my magic has grown to be more than I ever thought it could.  Who would have guessed that the key to becoming a mighty sorcereress was killing?”

“I would have.  You know, I do owe you quite a bit of money, all joking aside.  Not that you shouldn’t have your vengeance as well, but she could be brought back.  Before I wouldn’t have believed it, but now . . . now I know that it can happen.”

Martialla was quiet for a while “The thought has crossed my mind.  You hold onto the money for now.  Once the whoreson who killed her is well and truly fucked then we’ll talk.”

“Now that sounds like a plan.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 28,040 platinum, 53,601 gold

XP: 795,911

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring , tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three) 

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa