Last night Martialla decided to join the Obsisians in their low quality revels – and just when I was starting to like her. Good thing I found out now what she’s really like, there’s nothing worse than investing time in someone and then discovering they’re a low class sort. Well, there are worse things, but you know what I mean. I’ll grant you that she did look like she was having a gay old time down there in the dance hall rubbing elbows with the bumpkin crowd. What with that entire ruckus going on I resolved to drink myself to sleep but I couldn’t even find enough hard liquor in this dirt-town to accomplish that. Thankfully I’m getting pretty good at being so angry that it makes me fall asleep. This is something that you can accomplish if you work at it. But you have to practice.
In the morning after a steamed duck dish that I will grudgingly admit was pretty good, we struck out on the road to Juost Manor. The day passed uneventfully although I found it curious that there were so few other travelers on the road – I assume there must be some measure of traffic from Allene, not to but at least through Obsis – but we hardly passed another living soul that day. Once we got in sight of Allene we saw the potential reason why – the manor house was flying the black standards of mourning.
My initial thought was that the Baron had died fighting the hillfolk and the potential ramifications thereof – on the one hand I felt I could much more easily work with the Baroness to get out of here. But on the other hand I was the one who sent him off to fight in the first place so there could be blame coming my way. And I didn’t have a good enough sense of their marriage to know if his death would be welcomed by the Baroness or not. I was uncertain what I would face as I entered the manor but in an exciting way – either way the Baron’s death was going to change things up. However, my assumption was about to be proven incorrect.
I was led into the main hall where the Baroness sat in the Baron’s great chair alone, sobbing, decked out in some of the finest funerary garb I have ever seen. I mean really great stuff. I signaled for Martialla to stay back as I approached and kneeling by the great chair I took the Baroness’s hand.
“My Lady, I have returned to comfort you in your time of bereavement.”
She looked up, her eyes red and raw and her face ashen, and halfway fell-forward/halfway pulled me up into an awkward crouch-hug. I tried to sooth her as best I could while also trying to keep up from falling in any direction and breaking our fool necks –it was a tricky balancing act, literally and figuratively. I signaled Martialla forward and she helped me bundle the Baroness back into the seat from where her husband issued his grand proclamations or whatever it is a Baron does. Something with the harvest I think.
Her voice was shaky “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
I knelt back at her side “Of course My Lady, of course, it’s a blow to us all.”
Martialla took up position to her other side “Pardon my ignorance My Ladies, but who has passed away?”
The Baroness beat me to the punch thankfully, before falling into another fit of crying “The King!”
I was perplexed “The king? The king of what?
The Baroness glared at me like an angry beast “THE King!”
“The King of the Kingdom king? Huh. That’s a bit of a surprise. He was no spring chicken but he wasn’t much over sixty I don’t think. Last I knew he was in good enough health.”
More sobbing “Well he’s GONE!”
“What are you so broken up about? Did you know him or something?”
She looked at me like I was dullard “We’re at WAR! And the KING is dead! What are we going to do? What’s going to happen?”
“The Queen will take over I suppose. I think the oldest boy is maybe fourteen so they’re not going to put him on the throne yet. There will probably be an advisory council or something. You need to get a hold of yourself, this isn’t a big deal.”
“How can you SAY that?!”
I frowned “What do you think a king does? He wasn’t out fighting on the front lines that’s for sure. And he’s not a general. Realistically I doubt he has much to do with the war at all – aside from being responsible for starting it of course. It’s not like he was a great king.”
The Baroness gasped “Blasphemy !”
“I think you mean treason. And that’s only while the king is alive, once they’re dead you can say whatever you want. If you think he was so great can you name me anything he accomplished as king?”
The Baroness made a weird honking sound, kind of like a goose being strangled “He . . . he . . . he was the King!”
“So what? You of all people should know that just means he had the good fortune to be born the son of some guy who was already king – who was probably not all that impressive himself. Surely you can’t buy into this nonsense about the divine mandate of kings – you’re part of the nobility yourself, you know it’s all bullshit. There’s no right to rule received directly from a divine authority of the Gods. That doesn’t even make sense, the Gods aren’t even on the same page about anything. You think Adariel and the Burning God get together over dinner and agree on who should be king? That’s childish. And why would they like our king better than some other king? There’s kings all over the place, they can’t all be chosen by the Gods can they? Unless the Gods are real assholes and want us to fight each other. Which is entirely possible. Gives them something to watch I suppose.”
The look of pure rage on her face made me take a step back “GET OUT!!!”
“Look, I didn’t mean to . . .”
She leapt to her feet with an imperious gesture “GET OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!”
Martialla and I scuttled out into the hallway and then slunk away from the reproachful looks of the guards. Martialla gave me a sidelong glance as I stomped back to my quarters with a sour look on my face.
“So, that went well.”
“What’s the point of saying that, other than to needle me?”
“Well I had to say something.”
“Why? There’s nothing wrong with keeping your trap shut from time to time. Not everything needs to be commented on. I’m not over here panting away from your opinion on everything.”
“Gees, who died and put you in a such a bad mood?”
“Do you want to get slapped?”
“A little bit, I’m not proud of it.”
Funds: 995 platinum
Inventory: Noble’s Traveling Outfit, Animated Riding Coat, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Light Crossbow, Fake Signet Ring, False Papers, Bag of Concealment, Belt of Giant Strength +4, Vest of Resistance +1, Ring of Sustenance, Gem of Brightness, Potion of Invisibility, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2), Glove of Vampiric Touch, Platinum and Silver Holy Symbol of Kralten, Holy Symbol of Kozilek, Ruby (2), Black Marketers’ Bag, 879 Garnets, crystal necklace
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