Instead of being taken to a holding cell I was placed under house arrest at the manor of another noble family – the Cheapwhittles or the Heapskittles or something like that. They acted like having an accused murderer imprisoned in their home was a great honor. This was suspicious in and of itself, but they were so solicitous, almost but not quite waiting on me hand and foot, that becomes convince that I was going to have an “accident” in custody. But then I realized that it didn’t really matter if they were going to poison me or whatever, there wasn’t much that I could do about it either way until it happened. If I was here I should at least enjoy myself until they tried to kill me. Taking advantage of their indulgence I treated myself to massage from an Ulpine exile. He was a mountain of a man who didn’t seem to speak our language but his hands were doing fantastical things to my body. After about forty-five minutes there was a break in the action and when things started up again everything felt different. These were no the same hands nor did they know what they were doing.
“You’re a terrible masseur.”
“Yes, but I’m good at so many other things.”
With a sigh I opened my eyes and turned over on the table, seeing my friend with the bushy mustache from Malgareth – seems like a lifetime ago that he caught me in his web but it was only three months. I suppose that is a lifetime in some ways.
“I would have thought in your line of work you’d at least have learned the rudiments of giving someone pleasure.”
“That’s a very odd thing for you to have thought. Are you entirely sure you know what line of work I’m in?”
“I’ve only been here three days, how do you move around so quickly?”
He sat in a chair in the corner, sprawling out lazily “The King’s will is a powerful thing.”
“Don’t you mean Queen?”
“Are you here to kill me or just call me stupid again?”
“I don’t think you’re stupid Ela.”
“I didn’t say you did, I just said that you called me stupid.”
“Fair enough. What you are Ela is troublesome. I thought we had an agreement, you were going to live out the rest of your days with your beloved ‘cousin’ and not cause me problems. And yet here we are, it hurts my feelings that you didn’t keep your word.”
“I did. I was doing just what you said. The Baron is away and the Baroness needed help, she’s the one who sent me out into the world to do her bidding, what was I supposed to do?”
“For starters? Not convince the Baron to go fight your pretend enemies. Second? Convince the Baroness not to send you on goodwill tours scaring across the countryside. You can’t say that you couldn’t talk her out of sending you on this ‘mission’ if you wanted to.”
“I don’t know that I could, she’s cannier than you give her credit for. I mean I get it, she’s a woman so you assume she’s weak an pliable – have you ever met her though?”
“You’re a good liar Ela, better than most, but I have a secret method of figuring you out – you have a tell and I’ve picked up on it, I’m pretty good at that sort of thing.”
“What’s my tell?”
“You open your mouth, and words come out.”
“That hardly seems fair.”
“Ela, there’s an old riddle or parable or whatever you want to call it, about a priest and a king and a rich man all telling a guy with a sword to kill the other two. It’s supposed to be about the illusion of power. But it’s flawed. Power doesn’t rest with the guy with the sword. Power comes from lying. Getting everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts isn’t true, that’s power.”
“I feel like this is way too much talking for you to be here to kill me so what is this? A recruitment? You want me on your side because I’m so great?”
“No Ela, because your lies don’t match up to my lies, and my lies are the ones that matter. Your lies are petty ugly things, the lies of a child really. I’m not here to kill you. That pleasure lies in the hands of Duchess Eaglevane. You’re going to be delivered to her. The Queen Herself has ordered it.”
“The Queen knows who I am?”
“No, but the Queen’s orders don’t come from the Queen.”
I sat up, letting the sheer sheet that was covering me fall away, to his credit Mustache’s eyes didn’t even flicker away from mine.
“Of course not, you can’t have a woman messing about giving orders can you? I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere though.”
He sighed “And why is that Ela?”
“Because if you had men with you I think they’d be in here, not all of them, but some of them – I’m not very dangerous being a woman and all but still, you can never be too careful right? But there are no men in here so I think you came alone.”
I summoned the power of my tattoo and blasted him above the collarbone with a strike of lightening from my hand that nearly broke the room in half, not to mention starting several things on fire. He wasn’t dead though, a massive spider-web of black marks radiated out from his chest and his throat was clearly burned to ash but he was trying to gasp for air, which was just as clearly impossible. I’m sure he would have died regardless but there’s no reason not to be sure, I activated my Lion tattoo for a massive paw and slashed him across the belly, pulling out whatever gross stringy things I could get my claws on. That pretty well did the trick. Turning my hand back into, well, a hand, I flipped on a silk robe and joined the screaming and running around that goes with a house starting on fire.
Moments later I was standing out on the streets of Beresford with Keeplittle household freezing my ass off and watching the fire brigade trying to keep flames from spreading and destroying the entire city – that happens sometimes you know. All these wooden buildings butting up against one another sometimes all it takes is a little spark and the entire community is gone. Without firebreaks or the application of magic it’s a real possibility. At my shoulder was the Ulpine masseur. I looked up at him.
“Are we going to have a problem?”
“Ya me s’azate Inglec.”
Hair regrowth progress : .096%
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