For some reason the manor-house that I was being held in burning down caused a lot of people to cast a suspicious eye on me. I pointed out rather levelheadedly that I was in as much risk of burning to death as anyone, plus I didn’t even try to escape – which surely would have been the motivation for setting such a fire had I done it – but that didn’t seem to make anyone feel better about me not being a suspect. It’s not fair, I get blamed for everything. I suppose we’ll never know what caused the blaze.
After the fire I was moved to a tower, it reminded me of a picture in a storybook. You all remember the tale of Pentamaia from when you were kids right? She was the daughter of a rich merchant, who of course worshipped Odobenine, and kept Pentamaia locked up in a tower in order to keep her virtue intact. You know the virtue I mean. When the time was right her father came to her and told her it was time to marry some other Odobenine merchant so he could get the money, but uh-oh she had become an Adariel worshipper in her tower (somehow) and she interested in being a crude form of sexual payola.
So the father did the only thing he could do, he made to beat her to death with an iron rod. But before he could smash Pentamaia’s brains out of her head one of Adariel’s archons flew down and airlifted her from the tower, although he then just left her out in the hills, which seems like a real jerk move for an archon. The father chased after her of course, why let a little thing like divine intervention keep you from killing your daughter, but two goatherds hid Pentamaia in their shack when he was searching for her. Or they did at first anyway, they got scared and the goatherds were like “she’s over here!” and Adariel didn’t like that so the goatherds were both turned into goats and their goats were turned into ravening wolves that ripped them to shreds. This seems like an odd thing to have happened for two reasons. One, Adariel is the god of peace and non-ripping and all that. Two, helping Pentamaia get away seems like a better use of divine intervention given the situation.
Pentamaia’s father dragged her by her hair (which was reputed to be quite something) before the Count of, well the County, who had her tortured because what else are you going to do with a teenager that refuses to marry who their father sells them to? After the torture her dad beat her head in and she died, but then he himself burst into flames and died also because of Adariel, which again doesn’t seem right. Remember that story for children? Anyway, the tower looked like the one in the book I saw about that that story. It must be one of those places where they stick rich people who did something naughty but can’t face normal punishment like the poors. I think they kicked someone out to put me in there – the bed was still warm. I was a little drafty but I got a good night’s sleep anyway.
In the morning I was taken to the bottom room of the tower (there were only two as far as I can tell – what a waste of space) and met with my lawyer, a man so short that I thought he was a Halfling when he first walked in. He was wearing a ridiculous white waistcoat and had spectacles that think were fake and just for show. He spent about ten minutes talking in circles until I told him that he was supposed to bamboozle the magistrate not me and he got offended and left in a huff. So either Lord Oeracea is really bad at picking lawyers, he decided to betray me for some reason, or this really is the best lawyer in town. Realistically it doesn’t matter which, the end result is the same. After he stormed off I was left cooling my heels for quite a while until one of the Bluecoats came in – she was the only one of the four who hadn’t said anything in the initial encounter. She was slender and had thick brown hair tumbling close to the middle of her back. I got the feeling from looking at her face that she may have never smiled in her life.
“I used to have hair like that, I can’t help but be jealous.”
She sat down across from me looking at me like I was some kind of specimen in a bug collection. “We’re not here to talk about hair.”
“What are we going to talk about? How I was supposed to be in the custody of the civic authorities and yet here you are appearing like magic – a hired goon.”
“You can’t upset me.”
“Why would I want to upset you? I have a feeling that we’re going to be wonderful friends. It’s a man’s world you know, we independent ladies need to stick together.”
“I’m going to ask you questions and . . .”
“Why? What’s the point? What is it you’re trying to find out? Your friend Elias attacked me, I defended myself, there’s really nothing in dispute from a factual standpoint is there? I should be asking the questions, because you people are a mystery to me. You’re some kind of holy murderers for a god that no one worships and everywhere I go the authorities let you have free rein. I have never heard of such a thing and it’s truly mystifying. How did you guys pull that off? Blackmail?”
“I’m not here to answer your questions, you’re here to answer mine.”
“That hardly seems fair, how about this I’ll answer one of your questions for every one of mine that you answer.”
“We’re not here to talk about me.”
“I’ll go first. Are you a virgin? I have to imagine that you’re not married, what man would want to marry a woman who ran around arresting people and getting in fights? Can you even imagine?!” I laughed heartily “And you also don’t seem like the type to be hanging around at bars trying to catch some dick. So you’re probably a virgin. That has to be a little weird. One the one hand you probably get some measure of respect because a woman’s virtue is all she has of value, but then again you’re supposed to have given your only thing of value to some man by now so it’s probably pity as well. I mean you’re not very pretty but that hardly matters, anything with a pair of tits will suite most men just fine. Have you ever even been kissed? At what age does someone pledge themselves to Vultur? Did you have a childhood sweetheart?”
“Are you finished?”
“No, but I apologize because I just asked four questions and the deal is one for one.”
“If you’re not going to talk about . . .”
“What , if I don’t play along you’re going to leave? That would be silly, the more I talk the more likely I am to ‘trip up’ and confess right? Or maybe you can catch me in a lie. There’s no reason for you to leave because there’s really no reason for you to be here. I admit it, I killed the guy! He attacked me and I killed him. Case closed. What do you want me to say? That I recognize your made-up authority to enforce fake laws? That seems pretty darn unlikely that I would say that. Anyway, I answered a question of yours so now you owe me one. Why are people like you all so grim and serious? If your god is that much of a stuffed shirt why do you worship him?”
“Justice is serious.”
“How does that relate to you? You have nothing to do with justice. Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo? Who the fuck are Gilcus and Stolo? And what jurisdiction do they have over anything? Since when do lawyers make and enforce the laws? But we’ll set that piece aside for a moment and get to the real question. Why are you like this? Lots of people have serious jobs. Have you ever worked in a livery? You mess up shoeing a horse and you get kicked in the head and you’re a drooling moron that soils themselves for the rest of your life. That’s pretty serious. You try and cut the nuts off a horse and mess up and the horse runs off and tramples the sheriff’s kid to death? That’s pretty serious, even if it was really just his brother’s kid who he adopted after the brother died. And yet I have never met a single farrier that walked around like they had an iron rod up their ass that went all the way to the top of their head. They work hard and its serious business while they’re at work, but then they go have a beer and sing songs and have some fun – I think you know the kind of fun I mean. Does your god do something to you to make you like this?”
“My personal life is none of your concern.”
“Of course it is! How will we become close friends without gabbing like gals? I’ve changed my mind though, I don’t want to ask that question, the question I want you to answer – you owe me one remember – is, are you going to torture me?”
“Certainly not! The pursuit of justice doesn’t allow for such thuggery!”
“Why not? You decided I’m guilty right? All you need is for me to say it right? Why not pour boiling water in my ear? Or use one of those pear-shaped metal things they shove up ass and then it expands outwards? Or just a good old fashioned drowning? I’ve seen that work really well. The human body can only take so much you know, its biology. People, well men, like to think they could stand up to it but they’re pissing their pants and crying in a few minutes. It’s awful.” I snapped my fingers “That’s why you’re like this! You’re all fucked up in the head because of all the horrible things you’ve seen and done to criminals like me. Can you still smell the burning eyeball? Every time you close your eyes do you see the severed penises?”
“You’re trying to get a rise out me, it won’t work.”
“Why would I do that? How would that help me? I’m just chatting with me new gal pal. But I have a different question anyway, I don’t want to use my question on that. My question is this, have you ever killed anyone? I saw you with a crossbow the other day. You ever shoot anyone, and I mean bad. You ever shoot anyone in the back? That’s the best way to do it, I don’t know why everyone gets upset by that. You’re going after dangerous murders and cattle rustlers and people that spit on rich men, surely you’ve had to shoot someone. You’ve been at this game for a while right?”
“I’m wasting my time here.”
“Exactly! I did nothing wrong, now if you’d be a lamb and pop on over to your boss and tell him that everything is fine and he should let me go that would be great.”
She left without even saying goodbye! How rude.
Hair regrowth progress : .0975%
Inventory: Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Enchanted Tattoo (Storm)
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