Mede 22 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

In this prison-tower they send you food via dumb-waiter.  I’ve never cared for those things.  When I first got to court there was a dumb-waiter in the kitchen and I would imagine that when the door was opening a goblin was going to jump out and hack me to death with a butcher knife.  Probably because one time when I first got to court I saw a goblin jump out of the dumb-waiter and hack one of the cooks to death with a butcher knife.  Probably that’s why.  Some people say that the “monstrous” races are mirrors of the “goodly” races, and that goblins are twisted mirror Halflings.  Seems plausible.  Those things are horrible but in a much different way than orcs or what have you – they’re like little murderous jesters.   

I wonder how long I could stay in this tower before I went mad.  If you have no one to talk to and nothing to do how long before you start to lose your mind?  I suppose it varies from person to person.  I remember there was a Lord Greystone whose ship sank on some voyage or other and he was alone on an island inhabited solely by carnivorous apes for more than three years.  When he came back he seemed totally fine, slipped right back into the old noble routine like nothing had happened, but eventually they found out he had killed and skinned eight women since coming back and was storing their skins in a cabinet.  It’s a good thing they were all poor otherwise he really would have gotten in trouble. 

Eventually the guards came up to bring be down to the bottom room again for more interrogation.  Today’s offering was the Vulturian who other than the angry woman had done most of the talking in our initial meeting.  He was an older fellow, even older than Elias himself, with long white hair and a lined face.  He seemed too advanced in age to be haring around chasing dangerous criminals like myself but he had an air of confidence and competence about him that made me think he could handle himself.  I suppose when you’re dedicated to justice there’s no retirement plan – you just keep justicing until a goblin hacks you to pieces. 

“I can’t help but feel deceived.  I was told I would be in the custody of the city authorities and yet you blue folks are all I see so far.”

“You are in the custody of the city, I’m just here to talk, you aren’t under my authority.”

“Well that makes me feel warm inside.  What would you like to talk about?  I tell you this, you Vultur people seem to have a goodly amount of women in your organization from what I’ve seen.  That’s very egalitarian of you.  That really makes me feel good.”

“Vultur doesn’t discriminate, just like the law.”

“The law absolutely discriminates.  Have you ever been arrested for wearing pants?  I have.”

“A fair point, but the laws of man are not the laws of Vultur, not yet anyway – we’re working on that.”

“And what would a world under Vultur’s law look like?”

“It would be a paradise of course.”

“For whom?  Seems like people have varying ideas of what paradise is.  I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people wouldn’t like a Vulturian paradise.  Justice after all has quite a painful sting for some.”

“Too true.” 

“You’re a pleasant fellow, you must be the friend in the old friend and foe routine.  Sadly the ‘foe’ didn’t do her job very well yesterday so you’re in a tight spot here – I have no hurt feelings for you to act as balm.  I know I just said that I appreciate your egalitarianism but even so I think you should have the men be the hammer and have the women be the healing hand.  There are something things that are just better handled by men and/or women you know?  I hate to be old fashioned but I think men are just better at hurting people, even emotionally.”

“You’re quite chatty aren’t you?”

“The gift of gab is the gift that I have.  I don’t have much of an education in the traditional sense but I feel that I’ve learned a few things and what’s the point of learning if you don’t teach others?”

“Well said.”

“So what’s your routine?  How are you going to trick me, the ignorant criminal, into incriminating myself?”

“No routine, I just want to talk, see if I can get to know you a little bit.  And also I did want to tell you that Reedsy Trygve was arrested for setting the fire at the Keepkittle house.”

“Who’s Reedsy Trygve?”

“Lady Keepkittle’s personal servant, I understand that he also served as her bodyguard.  Very large man, I’m not sure I’ve seen taller, looked strong as an ox as well.  I think he might be mute.”

“Oh, the masseur.  He’s not mute, I think he only speaks Ulpinese or whatever language those foreign devils speak.  Although he must understand the King’s tongue well enough, otherwise what kind of servant would he be?  Or possibly he seems mute to you because he’s just smart enough to know once you’re in custody the best thing to do is not to utter a single solitary word.  Nothing you say can help you.”

“And yet you’re talking to me.”

“That’s because I’m innocent whereas he is obviously guilty.  That big bastard was clearly bad news.  I bet he set fire to the house as part of some Upline plot against us.  I hope he hangs for what he’s done.  You’ll need a long rope though, big as he was.”

“Wouldn’t that mean we’d need a short rope?  Otherwise his feet would touch the ground.”

“I meant because his neck was so thick, it would take more rope to go around.”

“Ah.  Would you feel bad at all if he was hung?”

“No, why would I feel bad about a foreigner, an enemy of the state, getting what they so obviously deserve for their palpable malfeasance?  You don’t arrest innocent people do you?  I mean besides me.”

“Some people think that you started the fire.  If you had started the fire and someone else was hung for it would that bother you?”

“I couldn’t say really because I didn’t start the fire, it’s hard to imagine what would be in my mind if I were the kind of person capable of doing something like that.  I’d be an entirely different person than the person I am now were I capable of arson so I really can’t speculate.  That would be like me asking what you’d think about something if you were woman.  You’re not, you have no idea what it means to be woman, so any answer you gave would be utterly meaningless.  I’m not an arsonist so I don’t have a good answer for you.  All that stuff about walking a mile in someone’s shoes is silly because you can never know what it’s like for someone else.”

“If you did start the fire would you tell me?”

“Is this really what you want to talk about?  Let me ask you something, can’t you use your god’s magic to detect lies?  What’s the point of all this when you can just force me to tell the truth with your divine power?”

“There are spells like that, but they’re not as reliable as people might think.”

“That doesn’t paint your god in such a favorable light.  If I can trick his magic what does that say about him?  And you for following his dictates?”

“I don’t know, I really don’t.  It’s one of the primary questions people have about the gods in general – why can’t they do more to help us?  People have been asking that one for generations.  It’s unlikely we’re ever going to get an answer.”

“And yet you’ve dedicated your life to Vultur.  You believe.”

“I certainly do.”

“I’m tempted to ask why but I’m sure it’s not something I can understand.  That old gem about how the faithful don’t need an answer and the faithless will never accept one is horseshit because it’s a non-answer to the big question but there is some truth to it.  Some people use religion to deal with trauma, or to excuse their actions, or as a blatant power-grab, but you seem like one of the others – one of the ones who honestly and genuinely believes without there being something sinister or foolish behind it. And that’s likely just something that I can’t comprehend.”

“Don’t you believe in anything?”

“I believe in lots of things.  I haven’t seen much evidence that the gods have our best interests at heart.  Enough philosophy, what exactly is going on?  Is there going to be a trial?  I’ve been accused of murder, what comes next?  Do you people just keep coming in day after day to talk to me to death or where are we going with this?”

He got up to leave “I’ll see what I can find out.  It was lovely talking with you.”

And with that he was gone.  What was the point of all that?  Hells if I know.

_______________________________________________________________

Hair regrowth progress :  .099% 

Funds: None

XP: 335,251

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

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