Mindeleava 29, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 2

By the ancient and honorable law of murder I am entitled to the gear of the pit-fighter.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that he had a Bag of Concealment, it’s not as good as the extradimensional storage that I had before, but you have to start somewhere.  I’m due for a bit of luck after the run I’ve had lately.  The whole world is against me and yet I soldier on – what a hero.  After the events of the duel, sticking around town didn’t seem like a good idea for continued aliveness so I planned on headed north towards the forest.  Before I could leave town though Kent Richards came to accost me.

“What are you?”

I jerked my hand out of his grasp “Don’t manhandle me pal.  I only hold hands with my sweethearts.  Are you my huckleberry?

“What makes you like this?”

“Look, I’m on my way out of town, if you have something to say spit it out.”

“You ruined my life!  I almost died because of your lies!  I had to run away like a coward, leave everything behind, change my name!”

“So what?” His face hardened at my words. “You want me to level with you Kent?  You are a coward, you’re too afraid to live.  Your life was stupid, ruining it didn’t matter.  You were a lumberjack in a small town.  People who didn’t know any better fell at your feet and worshipped you because you were a little bit better at things that aren’t important.  And what did you do with that adoration?  Nothing.  You could have made the world a little nicer if you wanted to but you didn’t do anything.  I doubt you’re even smart enough to understand what an asshole you are.  You’re a child crying about a toy.  And that’s the trouble with you, isn’t it? You don’t think. In your mind you’re the next big thing, but look at you. Time progresses, and you don’t know when to shut your mouth. You don’t listen. You think you know everything better than everybody else. There was nowhere else for you to go because no one can stand you. You’re just a con artist, more than I ever have been or ever will be.”

He stood, mouth agape.

“Any retort?  No?  Good chat, see you in Hells buddy.”

But before I could leave town I was again confronted – this time by Trueblood, although he had the good graces to invite me to join him for a drink rather than just grabbing at me.  An invitation backed up by armed goons but it’s the thought that counts.  We sat at a small table outside his tent with a bottle of Snakeroot Hollow.

“So, you beat that whole devil-worshipping thing at trial?”

“Yes, I was innocent after all.  Three Rivers is a bit more cosmopolitan than . . . what was the name of that town again?”

“Who remembers?”

“You caused me quite a bit of trouble in whatever that town was called.  But since you’re the Baroness’s cousin now I suppose there’s not much chance of retribution on my part is there.”

“I suppose I better keep being the Baroness’s cousin then eh?”

He gave me a long look “What is your game?”

“Well I haven’t played in a while but I remember being pretty good at jacks.  I could get all the way up to elevensies.” 

“Do you ever give a straight answer?”

“Only when doing so will make it seem like I’m lying.”

“I’ll drink to that”

Once I was able to divest myself of these gentlemen callers I was finally able head back towards Juost Manor, once again deciding to cut through the forest.  It was late in the day to head out, but I figured I wouldn’t last long if I stayed in town. A few minutes later it started to rain, which was almost enough to make me turn back.  Almost.  At least it will help clean up my clothes a little.  A very little.  Two hours later when I reached the treeline it was steadily pouring, you’d think the canopy of the leaves would help keep you dry but you’d be wrong because everything is wet and slapping against you. If you know what I mean. I was travelling along a narrow, exposed trail that wound up the flank of a rocky hill when I saw that ahead the trail had been washed out. 

I was about to head back to try and find another path when I heard a faint voice.  Grabbing on to a small bush and making damn sure my feet were set, I leaned out ever so slightly over the side of the trail, spying through the sheets of rain a man laying a good forty feet down on a berm of sorts.  He was clearly injured or stuck or both.  I couldn’t make out what he was yelling but I assumed it was a cry for help.  I used my vocal abilities to cast my voice down in his direction.

“Hang tight down there buddy, I don’t think trying to rescue you now would be a good idea – once the rain stops we’ll see what’s what.”

I couldn’t hear his response but it didn’t sound happy.  I backtracked on the trail a bit and found a semi-dry spot to take a rest.  Much to my surprise I dozed off, waking up several hours later as the sun was starting to set and the rain had stopped.  At least the mud on my clothes should help cover up the blood.  Heading back up the trail I was able to see that below there was a smashed wagon and a dead horse as well as paunchy, reedy fellow who was not only stuck in mud but also appeared to have a broken arm and a nasty head wound.

“Looks like you’re having a bad day.”

“Get me out of here please!”

I looked around “I don’t know about that, it’s still very wet and slippery out here.  How about we wait until tomorrow when things have dried up a bit?  If I try to help you now I’ll probably just end up getting hurt as well.”

“No, no, please get me out!  I’m hurt!”

 “Sorry, I think waiting is the best bet.  You’re in no immediate danger.  Let’s play this one safe.  Tomorrow morning bright and early I’ll fish you out of there.” He started sobbing. “Look I have a healing potion here, if I drop that down can you catch it?  Maybe if that fixes your arm you can pull yourself out of the mud and then maybe we’ll be in business.”

“Yes, yes, throw it down!”

I wasn’t sure about his ability to catch, but I collected one of the potions from my Bag anyway and let it drop over the side.  He was nowhere near able to grab it, but he gestured with his one good arm and it flew into his hand.  He greedily drank it down. 

“You’re a magic guy huh?”

“I study the schools of magic yes.”

“And yet you couldn’t magic yourself out of there.”

“The irony isn’t lost on me madam.”

“That’s not irony, it’s just something that happened.”

The potion helped with his head wound but not so much with the arm, he wasn’t able to pull himself out of the mud until we repeated the process and he guzzled my second potion.  Even then it was a bit of a struggle for him.  I produced a rope from my secret pocket and tied it around a tree, dropping it down to him, but he couldn’t climb up it.

“I told you mighty wizard, it’s too muddy, you can’t get any purchase on the side of the hill or cliff or whatever it is.  Just bed down on your broken wagon and we’ll get you out of there in the morning.  At least you have that, I don’t even have a blanket up here.”

He sounded bone-tired.  “You’re right, thank you for your help, we’ll try again in the morning.”    

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 240 platinum, 7 gold, 6 silver

XP: 138,228

Inventory: Muddy Blood-Spattered Noble’s Traveling Outfit, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Light Crossbow, Fake Signet Ring, Map, False Papers, carnelians (2), Bag of Concealment,  Belt of Giant Strength +4, Vest of Resistance +1, Ring of Protection +1

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