I knew a woman in court who broke both her shins in a horse-riding accident. They patched her up but after that she became a hardcore pipe-head. She was one of the strongest most determined people I ever met. She tried to quit dozens of times, and she meant it each time – but she couldn’t help herself. Once these things get on top of you it’s hard to get out from under them – much like Count Orsol from back in the old days, the fat bastard. That’s why today when I woke up reaching for the Heathensnuff I knew it was time to give it a rest. I dramatically tossed the whole box into the river which was stupid because I could have sold it, or at least given it to my goons. Oh well, I guess everyone is entitled to a bad decision ever now and then.
I got myself a bottle of Dalida Hill Platinum Seal to help dull the pain – nothing wrong with alcohol – and shuffled to the tournament grounds to find Achila Thel. She and her manager Trixa were surprisingly welcoming – she even kicked her boytoy out of bed to meet with me. As she was throwing on a robe I looked her over – if you’re into that tanned-skin muscly type I could see her being appealing. It doesn’t seem quite fair that she, a pit-fighter has a perfectly smooth face while I, a high class society lady, look like a dockside pugilist. The mother Hurk is going to wish she was never born – I mean more than she already does.
I decided, and by decided I mean was magically compelled, to play it straight. I told them that Mazzmas wanted her dead and I needed his help to heal my face. I was telling them this because he was a revolting little troll and I wanted to figure out some way to get what I wanted and screw him over. Normally this would be no big issue but I’m currently operating under a demon-curse that prevents me from lying. You know, that old story.
They said that Mazzmus was a thorn in their side and they’d be glad to be rid of him but what could they do? When I suggested she could, you know , murder him – they acted like that was a crazy thing to say. This woman fed his son to giant bugs and now she’s being squeamish? People have all these rules – its okay to kill this way and not that way – and they think that’s going to save them somehow? Unreal.
I asked her if I could set it up would she be willing to face Mazzmus in a special attraction “match”. Her laughter was delightful, very feminine and silvery, she said there’s no way he’d go for it. I pressed her – if I could make it happen would she do it. She said nothing would make her happier.
After that I tracked down Mazzmus at the Witch’s Teat – one of the more low down dirty whorehouses I have ever encountered. Kicking what looked like a bundle of dirty rags but what I assume was his paid companion out of his bed I told him that me killing Achilla was the coward’s way – if he wanted revenge for his son he should do it himself, in front of everyone. He started sneering and simpering about his physical ailments but I told him to shut his ugly mouth – I could make it so he was whole again, all it would cost him was his black soul.
It took some convincing – we talked for so long the owner of this rotten hump-shack came to throw us out and I was forced to have my goons beat him bloody and throw him in the river – but eventually Mazzmus came around. Poor Annie trotted around the corner like she had been there the whole time and the deal was struck. I actually had no clue if the demon-healing I saw from the Hurk brothers would fix his spine – but I guess that there’s a difference between lying and assuming based on nothing? The cracking sound of his vertebra moving into the correct places was wince-inducing, it sounded like someone trying to eat rocks.
He’s still an ugly weasel but at least he can stand up straight now. After that I went to visit Rilfus, he turned white as a sheet upon seeing me – Mr. gold chains must have really scared him – but once I assured him I wasn’t trying to mess with the tournament I was trying to add to it he calmed down a little. Shortly thereafter the fight was on the card – special grudge match, Achila Thel against Mazzmus Parmalee.
I had intended to rest for a while before the event got underway but I was diverted by gold-chain’s thugs to his tower/house. This time he wasn’t even wearing a shirt – I’d like to snatch those gold chains off his chest along with a handful of hair I tell you what. He told me the deal. Sir Humperdinck is a drunk arrogant blowhard with a chest full of gold which is magically enchanted so that only he can open it. He would be easy enough to con, but he’s got a squire – Reby Skycloak – that watches him like a nursemaid.
“Okay easy enough, kill the squire, get the idiot to open the chest – give you the gold and then we’re square?”
He explained that the squire cannot be harmed for “reasons” and that this did not square us at all – this was just to see if I was capable of doing a job that could square us. Perfect. If there’s one thing I love it’s being under someone’s thumb.
I smiled brightly “I’m on it boss, you can count on me!” He glowered. There’s just no pleasing some people.
After that it was time for the special event. The tournament grounds were as packed as I’ve seen them so far – Achila is very popular and people turned out in droves to watch her pummel the widely reviled alchemist to death. What happened next was hard to watch. It was like watching a hawk fight a turtle – Achila was a skilled fighter in her physical prime, even with his disability fixed Mazzmus was a human toad. But he healed her spear-thrusts almost as soon as they were made. The crowd quickly turned angry. Eventually she realized the only way she could defeat him was with a decapitation – no small feat with a spear. Clumsy thought he was Mazzmus was able to protect his neck well enough that she resorted to a grapple – but by this point you could see that she was exhausted, sweat dripping off her like rainfall.
Mazzmuss took control of the clinch and slowly overbore her. In no hurry, he calculatingly broke her left arm with his demon-strength. Then the right. Then the legs. I won’t go into what happened next. The crowd could have rushed in at any time and ripped him apart. But they didn’t because that would be “wrong”, gods forbid that the sanctity of this very honorable and legitimate form of murder-sport being upset. They stood there and they screamed and shouted with all their ire and they did nothing – they just watched. If that isn’t a metaphor for life and the human condition I don’t know what is. Eventually he strangled her to death – it seemed like it took four minutes for her to finally die.
Normally when a gladiator eats it people rush out immediately to steal their gear – but this was such an awful shock no one did any such thing. I went and grabbed her gear myself – no reason to let it go to waste. Then we got out of there because it seemed like a riot was imminent.
Rilfus showed up at the house to scream at me – Achila dying had screwed up the tournament draw. I said he probably shouldn’t have let one of his feature attractions fight in a sideshow. His face turned so red I honestly thought he might explode like an overripe berry. I told him he should probably get out of town before his friend with the gold chains slit his throat and fed him to the river-eels.
Around midnight I sought out Mazzmus who was yucking it up in the town square – such as it is – with a bunch of newly acquired sycophants. It’s hard to decide who’s more disgusting, the smug snake or the people who suck up to the smug snake. He made a big production out of talking about our deal and then started acting like he wasn’t going to go through with it just to make himself feel big, but in the end he produced his scroll and worked his magic. The feeling of that healing energy infusing my body was exhilarating – it was like being filled with a warm light.
It was only afterward that he remembered I still owed him fifteen hundred gold. I shrugged and walked away –
“I think you got your money’s worth.”
Funds: 382 gold
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, Disguise kit (7 uses), Domiel family ring, walking stick, aquamarine, masterwork playing cards , +2 Studded Leather Armor, +2 Light Steel Shield, +1 Keen Shortspear, hematite armbands (2), mithril hair clasps (3)
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
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Souls Damned to the Thirteen Hells – 9/10 (18 days remain)
Teams – Labors, Brute Squad (Robbers and two teams of Soldiers)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill
Heathgrove Buildings – House