I woke up this morning in the summer estate of Baron Juost, which either means I was transported hundreds of miles in an instant or that I was somehow not aware of the passage of time – I’m not sure which would be more disturbing. I was attended by several maids who appeared to be at the ready when I got out of the expansive bed I found myself in. Shortly thereafter the Baroness – a youngish woman with auburn hair in ringlets – greeted me warmly as her cousin and together we went to the chapel for morning prayers. After that with the help of a small army of servants we got dressed in fine gowns of the most delightful fabrics seven to nineteen layers deep. Now that we were prepared for the day we had breakfast – zwieback, chilled blueberry soup, quince jelly, and tangerine mimosa. We were joined by her ladies in waiting and discussed the recent betrothals, marriages, poetry, and music.
After that it was time to see to the education of the upper class girls who had sent to the household for fosterage – comportment, feminine communication style, appropriate body language, vocal training, style and cosmetics, that sort of thing.
After that it was time for mid-morning prayers and then a mid-day meal. Lobster Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette, Dry Aged Sirloin Steak Frites with Béarnaise, boneless duck with pickled red onions and champagne served with a cocktail made of rhubarb, raspberry eau de vie , vodka and a dollop of “raspberry air” an aerated mix of raspberry syrup, lime and Northern sea salt.
Then we turned to housewifely duties – supervision of the household servants and making lists for shopping. Next was leisure time – embroidery and dance practice. After that came evening prayer and then supper in the main hall. After this fill and very productive day it was time to turn in for the night. The door to my room was locked of course, but I had swiped the key earlier in the day. Letting myself out into the darkened hallway I activated my tattoo for lion nightvision. Being able to see in the dark made it so easy enough to avoid the guards I can see why orcs and other hideous monsters like it so much. I carefully worked my way out of the manor house and after a quick change of clothes in ther servant’s pantry off the kitchen I was able to pick my way across the courtyard to the stables.
There was a stableboy of course and unfortunately for both of us he wasn’t asleep but rather was reading a book by candlelight in his makeshift horse-stall bedchamber. I considered trying to bluff him but sadly as soon as anyone came looking the gig would be up. A shovel blow to the face stopped him from squawking – but I don’t feel good about it. As quickly and quietly as possible I mounted the sturdiest looking steed and grabbed some provisions. If I head south I should hit the road to Cathars. I don’t relish the idea of starting all over again, but at least I have some experience this time so things should move a little faster this time around I hope. Not sure if the better idea is to stay in Cathars or continue on to Three Rivers – no reason to decide now, I’ll play that by ear.
I had to resist the urge to gallop out of there – people forget sometimes how loud horse hooves can be – and very gingerly lead my new equine friend to the edge of the compound before mounting up. Even then I proceeded at no more than a walk until I was a good half mile away. It was about an hour later when the Baron’s men caught up to me. If the person you’re chasing is any kind of rider at all it’s pretty difficult to catch someone on a horse and stop them without seriously injuring them in the process – falling off a galloping horse is a pretty good way to bust your neck. But I give these fellows credit, they knew their business – they were able to box me in and slow my steed to a halt without anyone being trampled nor thrown. It was impressive. They very courteously but insistently escorted me back to the manor despite my best efforts to sweet-talk them.
The Baroness was waiting for me alone in the kitchens in dim candlelight. She was in her bedclothes and nibbling on a pastry as I was led in and sat before her.
“Well ‘cousin’ I expected you’d try to escape but I didn’t expect that you’d bludgeon a child in the process. He may never recover his wits with the wallop you gave him. You’re quite an animal aren’t you?”
“How did you find me so quickly?”
“That silver chain around your neck? Pretty enough, but what’s really nice about it is that it lets us know where you are at all times. I thought about telling you about it up front but I thought this would be a better way for you to learn a lesson – I hadn’t counted on you being violent. I can’t blame you for trying to get away, but I can’t have you attacking my staff. If you do that again you will be punished.”
“I believe you.”
“Good” She stood up and dusted crumbs off her bedclothes “There’s no escape ‘cousin’ the sooner you accept that the happier you’ll be. If you make trouble for me I make trouble for you, that’s all you need to worry about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have wifely duties to attend to.”
She swept out of the room and a servant appeared seemingly out of thin air to pick up the candle.
“Will you be retiring now mum?”
“I suppose I will at that, thank you.”
Inventory: Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion)
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