Macendamandel 11, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

After escaping from the Domiel domicile I had offered to help Dorehe find a new job but she ran away from me as soon as possible – literally .  She hiked up her skirts and ran as if I was the boogeyman.  I’ve said it before and I say it again – people have no sense of appreciation.  I was at least able to guilt her into helping me haul Vivian back to my room at the Scarlet Dragoon.  After the last few days I slept long and hard – waking up to a large black dog standing over me on the bed, almost nose to nose with me.  It’s breath was rancid and awful.

“No dogs on the bed.”

“You’re sleeping pretty late for a woman on a deadline.”

“Well I’ve had a rough go of it lately.”

“Obviously.” 

“And who or what are you?”

“Call me Goliath.”

“I will not.”

“How about Wilfred?”

“No.”

“You can call me Poor Annie for all I care, I’m here to observe and handle all the bureaucratic details.”

“So you’re like my familiar?”

“No, that’s for witches.”

“Well get the Hells off the bed.”

Vivian was still out cold.  I was going to need some professional help rather than whatever backwoods chicanery my new benefactor had done to her.  And for that I’m going to need money.  I decided to go to my good friend Kellgale’s apartment.  I assumed that she’d be hard at working swindling the good people of Graltontown and I was proven correct (as usual) when one of her goons answered the door.  I told him that she had asked me to stop by and pick up a few things and as soon as the words were out of my mouth I felt a stabbing pain in my stomach – like I had swallowed a barbed dagger and it was working its way through my innards.  I doubled over and grabbed the doorjamb for support.

“What the Hells is happening to me?!’

“You can’t lie to people.”

“Since when?!”

“It’s part of the deal.”

The goon was astonished – “Did that dog just talk?”

“He never said anything about not being able to lie!”

“He didn’t say a lot of things.  You really should ask more questions before you agree to something.  You aren’t much of a negotiator are you?”

“I am a great negotiator!  I had been trapped in a cage and starved! I wasn’t thinking straight!”

“You weren’t even there forty-eight hours.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Ela, I’m going to level with you, you’re a smooth talker – no one can deny that – but you’re not all that smart.”

The goon finally managed to close his mouth – “The dog is talking.”

While the guardian of the apartment was marveling over the talking dog I staggered in clutching my stomach and grabbed her box of coins from behind her bed and her sketch of the famed Grand Theater.  As I lurched back out I heard Poor Annie saying to the goon “I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I’m not really a dog.”

I started to wobble away but then stopped and turned back “Hey, you want to sell your soul?”

The goon thought about it “I’d trade my soul for a magic sword.”

I snapped my fingers at Poor Annie and gestured and she just looked at me “What?”

“You heard the man, he wants a magic sword for his soul, get on it.”

“I don’t have a magic sword.”

“Well do whatever it is you do and get him one!”

“I don’t do anything lady, that’s your job – I’m just here to make sure everything is nice and legal, spiritually speaking.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“I don’t think so.  Whatever you can do for people to get them to give up their souls you should but we’re not granting people wishes or something like that.  This is your deal.”

“He didn’t say anything about that!”

“Maybe you should have asked more questions . . .”

I stumbled my way to the market, grabbing a man’s cane from his hand along the way to help me, and sold the sketch for a handful of gold.  The pain was starting to diminish to a dull ache as I made my way to the temple of Adariel.  I told them I had a very sick friend and shook my box of money at them but they being the “good” people they are said they didn’t charge for their services.  They sent an acolyte with me that looked like she was all of fifteen years old – I guess you get what you pay for.  Back at the inn though she clearly knew her business – she started to explain what was wrong and what she was going to do but I waved her off.  Shortly thereafter Vivian was up, and very confused and frightened, she started to explain what had happened to her but I waved her off too –

“Yeah, yeah , same thing happened to me, let’s get back to the temple.”

The pain was gone by the time we got back and I explained to the priest on duty that an evil blood-drinking old lady was in our midst kidnapping and murdering.   She was clearly dubious until Vivian started telling the same story, which frustrated me.  Even then she insisted that we go talk to Dorehe and her parents – who by the way were MUCH more thankful than Dorehe herself.  They tearfully hugged and kissed me as they should – Dorehe giving me the evil eye the whole time. 

Even after all that the priestess then insisted that we visit the guard.  The guardsman who had hired Waycombe and Axmar was shocked when I told him that I had found her – and that I had rescued Vivian as well, who no one even knew was missing.  More priests showed up and more guardsman and they talked and talked and TALKED. 

“Come on people let’s roll on this bitch already!”

But no one listed to me.  Eventually they organized a posse of guardsmen and Adariel’s faithful and random “adventurers” from local ale-houses and the raid was on.  It was a quite a scene – the Halfling butler was taken into custody at the door but the other Halfling was a frothing madman, and I mean that literally.  He was clearly magically enhanced as well as he appeared to be as strong as an actual man rather than a tiny wee fellow.  At first he fought with his diabolical razor but he switched quickly to a serrated ax.  Who even heard of such a thing?

Auraluna was a terror was well.  But the worst part was as she was fighting the youthful flesh was literally melting off her like candle-wax, leaving her the ancient crone she is  with rivulets of bubbling flesh flying off and trailing her like a tattered cloak.  It was undoubtedly one of the most revolting sights I have ever seen.  Half a dozen men died in the attempt – yes, attempt.  Once the Halfling was down and the crone’s dogs were all dead and it became clear that her artificial strength was starting to flag Auraluna smashed through the rotten wall and escaped into the night.

After that it was a chaotic scene as the adventurers tried to loot the place, the guard was trying to figure out how to work the elevator, and the Adarielites started to cleanse the “energy” of the house with magic.  I suggested they close up the place for now, post guards, bury the dead and worry about it in the morning.  Surprisingly they listened.

When I went back to loot the place there wasn’t a lot of be had – which isn’t unexpected considering the lowly state of the Domiels.  I was hoping that Auraluna was the kind of old person who kept all their money in their house instead of in a bank but no such luck. Besides recovering most of my own gear I gathered up all the jewelry, what little of the clothing was in good shape, some coin, and from the attic a rapier and darkwood buckler adorned with the Domiel family crest.  

I wonder what became of Auraluna’s “daughter”.

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 992 gold

XP: 14,544

Inventory: Peasant outfit, wooden box, Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, thieves’ tools, land deed, Bag of Tricks (rust), gold ring, Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Talisman of Spying Master Ring, Disguise kit (9 uses), assorted jewelry, noble’s outfit (4), Domiel family ring, masterwork rapier, darkwood buckler, walking stick

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

Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)

Souls Damned to the Thirteen Hells – 0/10 (29 days remain)

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