Thanks to the tea I was up early again and cooked up some spicy porridge for Alice. I told her that if we were living together we should be friends. She seemed touched. A few minutes later she seemed less touched and more in agony as the fire jackal saliva did its work.
I helped her to bed and then helped myself to her clothes as she lay writhing. Afterwards I made my way to the house of the Leadyhead family where she worked a maidservant. The footman was suspicious, which is his job, as I explained that Alice had fallen ill and recruited me to fill in for her, but eventually let me in.
I have no experience with this kind of work but I’ve been around enough maids to know what makes a good one. I had no trouble with Alice’s duties, aside from swallowing my pride to do them, thinking about the Duke buried up to his neck with ants devouring his lips and nose helped get me through the day. They fed me a decent if common meal. Just when I was despairing of having to resort to lifting a few trinkets I found a quiet moment to look around Master Leadyhead’s study and discovered some interesting material in his papers. Is there anything more foolish than writing down your schemes? If you can’t keep track of them in your head you shouldn’t be scheming.
At the end of the day the butler pressed a silver coin into my hand like he was passing me the crown jewels of Greater Paribas. The look of superiority on his face made me want to strike him dead right then and there.
I intended to sell out Leadyhead immediately to the guard but one of Piltis’s grungy skunk-apelike minions came upon me unawares and grabbed me by the arm, dragging me to the dungheap Piltis is the king of. I saw several dirty faced urchins with badly burned hands scurrying about as I was forced into Piltis’s ramshackle “office”. He was drunk as a lord and barely able to stay upright in his creaky chair. He slurred something about not seeing me on “his” corner and that I was now his woman. I dissembled for as long as I needed until he finally did fall over, out cold on the floor. I have no respect for a man who can’t moderate his liquor intake. Not that I had any respect for him anyway.
His goon seemed unsure what to do so I gave him instructions to help his boss to bed, confused morons are always grateful to be told what to do, and I made my way out. I got my reward from the guard for turning in a tax cheat and returned to find Alice in poor health buy still alive. I was wondering about that, fire jackal salvia can easily be fatal, but she managed to pull through. She was terrified that she had lost her job but I told her what I had done (except the one part) and she was so relieved that she insisted on giving me this awful pendant she had made.
We dined on rabbit and roasted pumpkin and turned in early.
Funds: 200 gold, 1 Silver
Inventory: Peasant outfit (with hidden pockets) , Signet Ring , Stiletto , Map case, quill pen, red riding cloak, candlerod (5) , dreamer’s star tea (4 servings) , poison ring, awful pendant
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ingle the butler
Behind the curtain: I used the rules for determining the value of a secret from the Spymaster’s Handbook, considering tax evasion to be a survivable scandal