I was so steamed about Hellerhad getting over on me that I didn’t even try to sleep, I sent the early part of the night staring out my bedchamber window and seething – it takes a lot of effort to maintain a good seeth. I’m getting pretty good at it though. Consequently I was awake when the holy symbol started vibrating and I retrieved it from my belongings.
“Who are you?”
“You called me silly, shouldn’t you know?”
“What happened to Tesseria?”
“I feel like you know the answer to that.”
“Do you know what you’ve done?!”
“No, why don’t you tell me?”
“I’m going find out who you are and I’m going to kill you.”
“Get in line pal. Look while I have you is there a way to make this thing contact other people? It would really help me out of I could retune this thing.”
There was no answer. For reasons unknown this exchange calmed me down enough that I was able to get a couple hours of unneeded sleep. At the crack of dawn the team and I were on the road again heading towards the vast tracts of land belonging to Baron Stellos Canto – it’s farther than we can travel in one day even with this superior (maybe magic) coach, and as much as it would tickle me to stay the night at the Relonge compound it’s probably not a good idea. Hence we were left to camp out of doors. Well, everyone else was anyway, I would be sleeping in the coach of course. Despite that I was sitting around the fire, being companionable you know, when I noticed that Hardra was missing from the group.
Everyone looked around in that way that makes you know instantly they have no idea where someone is and didn’t notice they were gone.
“Tudos are there orcs or other dangerous monsters around here?”
“Not really My Lady, these lands are well settled, every now and then someone has an issue with a giant spider but . . .”
I involuntarily started slightly “Don’t even joke about that!”
“It’s no joke my lady, last summer old farmer Feltcher had his prize hunting dog eaten by a spider the size of a cart – had to get some fighting men down to take care of the nasty thing. One of them was bitten by the Gods forsaken thing and lost a leg to the venom I reckon.”
I reached out with my boot and half kicked, half flipped a burning branch onto Otacvio’s feet, who had fallen asleep – as per usual. After a moment he came to life, jumping up and kick it off.
“Ow, shit, Gods!”
“Hey warrior, our chaperone was carried off by a giant spider . . .”
Tudos frowned “We don’t know that My Lady, I just said that . ..”
“She was lassoed around the neck by spider silk and dragged off into the darkness to be injected with venom and drained dry, nothing left but a bag of skin and bones. You need to go rescue her. Are you sober enough for a rescue? Or drunk enough?”
He grinned, the confident and moronic grin of the inebriated “Always My Lady.”
As he stomped off into the darkness Martialla had a worried look “Maybe I should go with him.”
I waved away her concerns “He’ll be fine, he’s a professional.”
“A professional drunk maybe.” Altos piped in.
I glared at him “Isn’t it past your bedtime? Shouldn’t you be asleep?”
Perhaps half an hour later Otacvio sauntered back into camp, only stumbling slightly in the darkness. He sat down heavily in the same spot where he was sleeping before and seemed about to be about to instantly fall back to doing the same. I threw a pebble at him.
“Hey, how’d the rescue go?”
He closed his eyes “Fine.”
“In what sense? You appeared to be pretty alone for someone who just rescued a damsel in distress” I found a long stick and poked him across the fire. “Hey, tell me what happened, use your words.”
He yawned and I about jammed the stick in his mouth “I found her, she wasn’t in in any trouble, she was getting buggered by some fella.”
“What the Hells are you talking about? Who else would be out here? Everyone is right here besides her!”
“I’m just telling you what I saw, get off my back.”
I rose to my feet “Get off your back? Get off your back?! Listen you winesoaked . . .”
I trailed off as Hardra came walking into the firelight looking only slightly disheveled.
“Where the Hells were you?!”
She glanced at Tudos and acted like she was embarrassed “Ahem, nature called My Lady.”
I gestured at Otacvio “This drunken halfwit said he said you getting plowed.”
She sat down by the fire primly “If you knew where I was why did you ask My Lady?”
I threw my arms up “Are you serious? We’re in the middle of nowhere, who even was it?”
“All due respect My Lady but this is not exactly nowhere, there’s farms and homesteads all around here. I know that cityfolk like to imagine that the country is just a large wheat field broken up only by the occasional good spot for a hunting lodge but it’s not so. As for who I was visiting with that’s not really your concern is it? But if you must know he was an old friend of mine, I told him we’d be coming through this way and that if he saw us passing by he should find me if I he had the time.”
“I . . . I don’t even know what to say to that. What kind of chaperone are you?”
“You said that before My Lady.”
“What . . . what the fuck ?!”
I looked at Martialla and she just shrugged and started
shaking out her bedroll. There really wasn’t much more to say so I retired to
the coach, slamming the door as Hardra was humming contently as she built up
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, Hellerhad the Wizard
Behind the Curtail – Newly updated version of the original map added – it’s great!