On our way out of town Martialla and I picked up some wolfsbane in case Lathal wanted to give that a try. We got to the camp outside of town where Imma was doing her best to be winsome and charming towards Drake who was doing his best to be solicitous and comforting to his sister who was annoyed by both of them. Of Imma’s father there was no sign. We told Lathal her options and she decided, over her brother’s protests, to give the wolfsbane a try. Watching someone voluntarily ingest poison is quite an experience. I mean I’ve seen religious people do it but they’re crazy so it doesn’t count. I’m no poisonologist but I know a few things and I know that wolfsbane takes a while to kick in – still we couldn’t resist staring at Lathal the entire time.
After ten or fifteen minutes she started sweating profusely and seemed to have trouble breathing. Next she puked her guts out, the kind of wracking full body heaves that I imagine leave your ribs aching. After that she reported feeling very weak and a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth and face. For a while her face drooped like she had a palsy. The worst of it only lasted a few minutes, although she clearly had stomach issues for a while afterwards, but she said that “it” was still there. On the plus side she didn’t die. The chirurgeon had told us that you could keep trying wolfsbane until it worked, but we didn’t think she would survive a second dose.
“I guess we’re going to have to find a dryad, unicorn, or hag then. Tomorrow we’ll go back into town and ask around.”
Imma seemed to have shifted her tactics – doting on Lathal – but Drake remained oblivious “Make sure you find father as well, we don’t want to leave without him.”
“He went into town? I thought I made it clear everyone was to stay here.”
“We needed supplies, besides you shouldn’t be ordering him about anyway, he’s a grown man.”
Stifling the urge to smack the prim little girl upside her bonnet or to say something cutting (I wonder which would have upset her more) I set out back towards Bowcrag. Martialla wanted to come with but I told her to get some rest, I should be able to find one middle aged man all by myself. What I hadn’t considered is that after dark all the shops would be closed, trying to track him down would be a little more difficult. Since the only things open were bars I had no choice but to start there. It was a good lesson in patience for me – on account of my no-hair and branded forehead. Men aren’t very restrained in the best of circumstances and after a few drinks all bets are off. If I flew off the handle over every comment or question about my appearance the town would have been depopulated in short order – or rather I would have be facedown dead in an alley.
Eventually I was able to track down girlie’s little daddy at a house of ill repute called the Red Dress. He was being watched over in a sideroom by a couple of burly lads. The madam, an alluring blonde wearing an exquisite gold and lavender dress (not red) who looked like she should be working at the place rather than running it told me that he owed five hundred gold. I glared at the shamefaced fellow in shock.
“Five hundred? What kind of perverted shit did you want that cost fire hundred?”
The madam put her finger on my chin to turn my head back towards her “This is an establishment of the highest caliber, five hundred is nothing out of the ordinary.”
“First of all I will thank you madam, and I use that term literally, not to put your fingers on me for obvious reasons. Second, I don’t mean to tell you your business, but isn’t it customary to get the money up front? I don’t mean to imply that you’re bad at your job but how did you let this happen?”
“He left a gold ring with the cashier but it turned out to be a fake. By the time we figured that out he had already incurred some billable charges.”
“And what were you going to do if no one came looking for him?”
“Someone usually shows up.”
“And what about the times they don’t?”
I was sorely tempted to leave him there, but I knew that Imma would fly to pieces and I doubted that Drake for all his taciturnity towards his wife was cold blooded enough to ditch her. But there’s no way I’m paying five hundred for this asshole. The madam and I got down to some serious negotiating over some ice wine and sweet apple cake. We arrived at three hundred, which is still outrageous, but she had me at a disadvantage. She turned out not to be such a bad sort, after I handed over the coin she mentioned that she had an array of wigs from back in her working days and I was welcome to pursue them to see if any caught my fancy. I was so pleased that I could have kissed her – if I didn’t know where those lips had been.
I did find a wig that I quite liked and fit rather well. She wanted an arm and a leg for it because it was enchanted, but she was willing to take payment in gemstones so I was happy enough to pay (sort of). Looking at myself in the mirror of her vanity adjusting the wig I felt like myself again. I still have an ugly magic brand on my forehead but one step at a time. I would never admit as much, but I was ecstatic that this randy old goat had got me to this outcome with his irresponsible behavior. As we walked out of the city and back to camp he had the look of a man going to the gallows. After a long bout of silence and about thirty times clearing his throat he felt the need to explain.
“My wife , ah hem, hurh, hah, my wife . . . . has been gone . . . . for many years, and . . .”
“I don’t want to know, I don’t care.”
After a long while he spoke again “You, harum, hurh, ah, ah, you wouldn’t . . . I mean . . . my daughter is . . .”
“I’m not going to say anything to her, why would I tell anyone about this?”
“I . . . appreciate your discretion. Ahhrem, as it were.”
“What were you doing back there? Were you trying to run a game on them or did you not know that ring was fake?”
“Does it matter?”
“I suppose not. Can you pay me back the three hundred?”
“Well . . . . um . . . herm . . . mer . . . ahem . . .”
Hair regrowth progress : .0165%
Curses – Marksman’s Malady, Unnerve Beasts
Funds: 8,876 gold
Inventory: Wig of Alluring Charisma +4, Enchanted White Pathfinder’s Gear (effects as Iadaran Dress Uniform) Pocketed Scarf, Wrist Sheath, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Ring of Protection +2, Assortment of Fake Signet Rings, Bag of Concealment, Belt of Giant Strength +4, Versatile Vest, Ring of Sustenance, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2), Platinum and Silver Holy Symbol of Kralten, Black Marketers’ Bag, 852 Garnets, Campfire Bead, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow
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, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office
of Glilcus and Stolo