I woke up this morning feeling much better, and not just because I slept in a real bed with a real mattress with a real bath and a real breakfast waiting for me – the Martialla situation being squared away took a weight off my mind. Before diving into that project I hit the market, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you have to take advantage of commerce centers when you can, most places can’t afford to buy a bent copper pan and have even less to sell. I sold the Robes I took off that abhorrent wizard (which one? It’s sad that’s a question, what about magic makes people want to start doing insane shit?) and unloaded two dozen garnets for a good price. I cashed in my trade bars and weird amber coins as well. The amount of money I’ve managed to amass honestly is staggering. I could probably hire a mercenary army to attack the Duke’s city if such a thing existed. For some reason the government frowns on massive numbers of men loitering about that fight for coin instead of being loyal to the crown.
After that I purchased the scroll I needed from a familiar looking older fellow in the market and then headed to the grand temple of Adariel. Adariel houses of worship aren’t as ostentatious as some, but it’s puzzling to me that a god theoretically promoting healing and niceness and friendship would spend any money on building fancy churches. That bullshit about it being a “symbol” for people to look up to doesn’t hold water when there are folk with hungry bellies roaming the streets. The high priest was expecting me so I only had to deal with six or seven underpriests or novitiates or whatever you call them before getting into see him. You know how I feel about male healers, but he seemed to know what he was doing. He was your standard bald man in white robes but he added in a sassy little chin puff. I wonder why gods don’t like hair, and why they only don’t like it for men. Maybe all my hair getting burned off was a sign that I could join the priesthood. I should ask for an application.
The high priest , four temple-guards (priests need bodyguards? Beresford must be a rougher place than I think) and I returned to Lord Oeracea’s manor where Bixton was tending to Martialla. Some of the Lord’s staff came to witness the miracle, I guess I can’t blame them. There wasn’t much to observe really, Baldy read from the scroll and then Martialla was fine. No heavenly light, no glorious players, no archons playing trumpets, the scroll did crumble away but that’s hardly impressive. Still everyone was very impressed, one of the maids fainted but I could tell she was faking. Martialla was understandably confused and alarmed.
“A wizard crushed your spirit, but this guy uncrushed it for a money.”
The high priest frowned “That’s not exactly . . .”
“Hush up churchy, you’re done here, you can go.”
The staff was shocked and horrified by my speaking to a man of the cloth like that and rushed to protect him from my terrible opinions. One of the Templars looked like they might try to do something about my insolence but in the end they left without incident as the staff fawned over them. Martialla sat up in bed still seeming fretful.
“So you saved me?”
“Yeah, why’s that so strange?”
“Normally I’m the one saving you.”
“I object to that characterization, I think we saved each other plenty of times. Maybe you saved my life a few more times than I’ve saved yours but it’s impolite to keep track of those kinds of things.”
“That was in the heat of the moment though, I’m surprised that you’d go through all this effort for me.”
“Why would you think that?”
“You’re a bit of a wild card, it’s hard to know who you’re going to help and who you’ll cast aside. I wouldn’t have bet on you saving me like this.”
If we’re being honest that hurt my feelings a little bit, but I suppose it’s fair. Trust can be hard for some people, not everyone has a positive outlook like me. We had lunch with Lord Oeracea who was clearly a little cool over the “incident” with the priest but he couldn’t be too much of an asshole about it since I had saved his life and all. He clearly felt like he owned me something but didn’t know how to repay me. I told him all I really needed was an introduction to Lord Wesel but they weren’t acquainted so I guess he’ll have to remain in my debt. Later in the afternoon Martialla and I were discussing how to approach Wesel when one of Oeracea’s servant came to say that I was needed in the sitting room.
Upon arrival I found several city watchmen along with a couple official looking fellows in civilian clothing as well as four travel-weary looking people in blue greatcoats.
“Good gods, what is this about? Don’t tell me I’m being charged with blasphemy or whatever crime it is to be rude to a priest.”
One of the women in the blue greatcoats gave me a hard look “No, but I’m sure you’re guilty of that as well.”
One of the watchmen, helmet under his arm, came forward “Ma’am you’re being accused of murder.”
“Murder? I never murdered anyone.”
The greatcoat quartet scoffed at this and the watchman continued “We have a writ here for your arrest for the murder of Elias Sharp.”
“Who’s Elias Sharp?”
One of the men in blue spoke up “One of our brothers in the service of Lord Vultur. He made the mistake of depending on outsiders to try and bring you in but we’re here to make sure that you pay for what you’ve done.”
At that moment the blue greatcoats clicked into place, Vultur must be the law-god that bounty hunter was always frothing at the mouth about.
“So he died huh? The attacked me, three times, or was it four? I forget. So I think we have a pretty clear case of self-defense here.”
The blue-clad woman who first spoke face twisted in anger “There is no self-defense from the execution of a lawful writ of arrest! A criminal can’t murder an officer of the law and then . . .”
“But you’re not officers of the law! You’re hired assassins!” I looked to the watchmen “Why are you going along with this? These people are not law enforcement, they are a private military force that hires out their services to whomever has the coin to pay.”
“We are holy justices in the service of Vultur. Justice is the highest of the divine attributes, unrivaled by any others! Vultur provides justice according to their needs for their orderly performance and formation and human civilization. Divine justice administers the necessary providence to each being so that it succeeds in the purpose for which it was created, and we are the . . .”
“I don’t give a shit what you are, I don’t worship Vultur and neither does anyone else, you should have no authority here!”
One of the civil servant types looked frightened to speak but did so anyway “The treaty signed by the King in seven forty-one states that . . .”
“You cannot be serious! These are religious fanatics collecting on a price put on my head by private citizens, how is that justice?!”
One of the other Blueies got in on the action “No one put a price on your head, we aren’t mercenaries, this is the execution of divine will.”
“Quit saying that! Your god doesn’t mean fuck all to me or anyone else, I cannot fathom . . .”
One of the other city officials shouted everyone into quiet “We’re not going to try this case right here. The fact is that you have been accused of murder. As long as you remain under Lord Oeracea’s protection we can’t arrest you, but we are asking you to turn yourself into the custody of the city watch so we can determine the appropriate course of action. You will not be handed over to the church of Vultur or any other parties without a thorough examination of the facts.”
Lord Oeracea stood “You saved my life madam, you have my sanctuary as long as you want it.”
I gave a long look to each of the four pairs of eyes belonging to the Vultur adherents. “This is never going to stop is it?” I turned to Lord Oeracea “Thank you for the offer but I will turn myself over, get me a good lawyer and then we’re square. Just give me a minute to gather my things.”
I went back to the room and explained to Martialla what was happening. She bit her lip, something that I’ve never seen her do before even with all the scrapes we’ve been in.
“Aren’t I the one who actually killed him?”
“It doesn’t matter, I don’t want you to get involved in this. I’m the one they want, there’s no reason for us both to get arrested.”
“But . . .”
“Look, here’s what I need you to do, take Bixton and get him to Juost manor. There’s nothing you can do here that can help me more than having Duke Lodvocka know that I saved his son.”
“That could take weeks or months before he even finds out about it, assuming the Baroness even tells him. She’s not exactly your biggest fan.”
“That why I need you there to make sure that she doesn’t screw me. I mean more than she already has. And if I never see you again, stay safe. You deserve long and happy peaceful life.”
“Gods you’re not going to say it’s been an honor are you?”
“No, but I never gave you your share of the garnets from the Razmiran heist.” I started shoveling handfuls of gems at her “This should be enough for you to hire enough killers to take our Dirt-Tooth and most of Graltontown if you want. It’s your money so use it how you like, but razing that shithole to the ground seems like a public service to me.”
Her eyes went wide as the precious jewels tumbled into her hands. She bit her lip again. “It just won’t be the same executing a pederast without you.”
“Don’t go getting all weepy on me, this is just in case. I’ve gotten out of tighter jams than this.”
She shook her head “I have a bad feeling about this one.”
Hair regrowth progress : .0945%
Funds: 7817 platinum, 71,104 gold
Inventory: Wig of Alluring Charisma +4, Enchanted White Pathfinder’s Gear (effects as Iadaran Dress Uniform) Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Enchanted Tattoo (Storm) Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Ring of Sustenance, Campfire Bead, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow + Sharpshooter’s Blade, Deck of Curses (two cards used), Ring of Urban Grace, +1 Human Bane Dagger, Bewitching Gown, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Ela’s Walking Stick (Rod of Ruin/Agile Alpenstock) Bag of Concealment, Bag of Holding, Black Marketers’ Bag, Handy Haversack, white squirrel fur Slippers of Scampering, Nymph’s Favor
Pocketed Scarf, wrist sheath, assortment of Fake Signet Rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), 700 garnets, severed hag head, gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, receipt, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, glass vials of something awful (8)
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, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán