Myam 15 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

Taking a day off to do absolutely nothing is wonderful – yesterday was a treasure of idleness – but there’s always a price to be paid.  Always.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that there isn’t.  My enemies are many and varied, every second that I’m not working to thwart them their advantage over me grows stronger.  They never stop trying to destroy me and every moment that I don’t fight against them gives them that much more chance of success.  I have to be working as hard as possible all the time just to stay above water.  The pressure is intense and relentless, thank the Gods that I’m strong enough to handle it where other women would crack and fall to pieces.  I really am something. 

Since the damage was already done by yesterday’s day of rest I slept late today as well, might as well enjoy it if you’re going to do something stupid.  Once I was up and ready to go my plan was to hit the market and do a little trading, but as per usual my plans were foiled before they began.  Once I got downstairs there were a pair of Baron Redmynd’s retainers waiting for me.  They explained that he needed to speak with me in a way that also made it clear that this was not a request.

“How did you find me?  How does everyone always find me?!”

“We were told to check all the finest inns in town.”

“Oh . . . well . . . that would do it.”

They escorted me outside where the Baron’s carriage was waiting along with two more armed men on horseback as outriders.  When I climbed inside I saw there were already three women sitting and waiting – three almost identical looking women.  You know the ones I mean.

“You’re a little late to score high marks on bodyguarding.”

“We were ordered away from your tent that day, we don’t work for you remember?”

“You could have, I had the money.”

“Things aren’t that simple.”

“Tell me about it.”

We clattered our way to the mayor’s former civic complex which is now the headquarters for Redmynd and whatever it is he’s doing here – attempted coup turned into . . . something else.   He didn’t keep me waiting at all.  His armed goons ushered me into the former mayor’s office where he was looking at maps and charts without delay – so he’s an improvement over the former occupant in that way at least.  He thanked me for uncovering the conspiracy of demoniacs in his midst and apologized for the “unpleasantness” at the camp, stating these two simple concepts took him a solid half hour as it was mixed in with the usual self-aggrandizement and empty fluff.  In the end he told me that he owed me a great boon for making sure that his conspiracy, sorry I mean peace-keeping mission, wasn’t suborned by the powers of the Hells.  

“I don’t mean this as an insult to your honor, and I’m not saying this is the case with you by any means, but four times before a powerful man has told me that they owed me a great debt, and yet somehow I never ended up getting much of anything from them.  One of them was the man who was sitting in that very chair a few days ago.”

“Some men are reckless with their word of honor. I am not such a man.  You need but speak your wishes and if they are in my power they will be yours.”

“I’d like free passage through the city.”

“That’s easily done, but you should be forewarned that the streets aren’t entirely safe yet.”

“I have the ligature marks on my neck to testify to that. I was working with a man named Rindol, a sage in the employee of Lord Wesel.  He was right in the epicenter of the fighting when it started, I’d like to know if he survived and where he is.  And for that matter I need to speak with Lord Wesel as well.”

“I’ll see to it, so far your price is very reasonably met My Lady, you have prevented a great catastrophe in my ambitions you need not restrain yourself.”

“What can I say, I’m a simple woman really.  I had a family ring that was taken from me, it’s one of the few possessions in the world that I cared about.  There’s no getting it back now of course but if there’s a jeweler in town of great skill I would like to have a new one made.  It’s been in my family for a long time, from back in the days when our fortunes were much different.  It was very dear to me.”

“If there isn’t a craftsman of suitable skill I shall have one brought to you My Lady.”

“That would take a while and I’m not sure how much longer . . .”

He butted in with a throat clearing “Actually My Lady you’re going to need to do me another favor.  I have to ask you not to leave the city until Baron Juost shows up.  And I need to know where you’re going to be so you should stay at the Crux Ansata.”

“Oh yes, in all the excitement I forgot that I’m still your hostage.”

He affected a pained expression “My Lady . . .”

I held up a restraining hand “Don’t fret Baron, I harbor no resentment over the fact, just tell me that the Juost contingent will be here soon.”

“Alleene is no great distance my lady, he should be here within the week.”

“Fair enough, one other thing, if his head hasn’t been put in a pike yet I’d like to talk to Baras Haldmeer.”

A short carriage ride later and I was at the small prison where criminals are kept until the judicial system can decide what to do with them.  Even in his small cell the former mayor looked unchanged – very much like a man who’s not just had his entire world snatched away from him and is most likely going to be killed soon.  You have to admire someone who can handle total collapse with some dignity.

“I have good news.”

He seemed unsurprised by my presence “I could use some just now.”

“I found a lead on your brother.”

He nodded “That is good news but I would be lying if I said that was my main priority right now.”

“I have  problem though, I swore vengeance on you but it’s hard to see a way that your situation could get any worse.  I thought about bringing you some poison and encouraging you to kill yourself but if anything that seems like a kindness at this point.  I don’t like the fact that you’ve been brought down without my having much of a hand in it.  It’s unsatisfying when circumstances beyond your control bring about something you want.  I like to earn it.”

“You still need me to get your things back.”

“No, I have them, your friends in blue told me that you had lied to me and where they could be found. “

“I’ve been siphoning money from the city coffers for years.”

“Let me guess if I get you out of here you’ll lead me to it?  I don’t doubt in the least that you have quite a stash hidden away, but you’ve already betrayed me three times Lord Mayor, what kind of fool would I be if I trusted you again?  You know the old saying, fool me three or less times shame on you, fool me four or more times shame on me.”

“You could help me out of here so that I could rebuild my fortunes so you would have a chance to rip them away yourself at a later date.”

“That would be quite the epic journey of revenge, but I’m already on one of those – you were just an incidental revenge side trek – and I don’t have the time for two epic revenges.  I think I’m going to have to be satisfied with being unsatisfied in this case.”

“It’s a shame to let all that money I stole go to waste.”

“Yes it is, but I’m already very wealthy and when they torture you I’m sure you’ll tell them where it is.  Eventually. So it won’t go to waste entirely, someone will get it.  About the only thing you could do that might change my mind is tell me that you have some way to bring down Duke Eaglevane.”

“I do, just get me out of here and I’ll tell you.”

I smiled slightly “Goodbye Mr. Mayor.”

He sighed quietly “What’s the difference between you and me?  Why I am here and you’re going to walk away?”

“That’s a good question.  Off the top of my head I think the difference is that you thought you had the upper hand.  You had status and prestige and power and money and an entire network of thugs and civil servants at your disposal.  I have none of those things, I’m always fighting uphill against superior forces.”

He frowned “How is that to your advantage?”

“I don’t know, but here we are.  Maybe it’s that no one sees me as a threat, the more power you accumulate the more other people know they have to watch out for you.”

“I knew I had to watch out for you.”

“And yet you’re in there and I’m walking away.”

He nodded “It bears something thinking about.”

“If you’re going to think about it my advice would be to hurry, I don’t think you have a lot of time.”

After my meeting with the former mayor I had a late lunch with the Baron and his sycophants, which was pleasant enough for what it was, before I was deposited back at the Crux Ansata.  I could have spent the rest of the day doing something useful but the day had left a poor taste in my mouth and I decided more indolence was the order of the day.  I have one less enemy now so it should be alright.  I spent the afternoon with Eramus Stutr and the other luminaries staying in the luxury suites playing cards and gossiping before having a lovely dinner on Mr. Stut’s balcony.  A wandering musician on the street below saw us and started playing his fiddle.  It was almost romantic until two footpads ran up to beat the snot out of him and steal his instrument.     


Funds: 27,817 platinum, 44,859 gold

XP: 635,101

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Badge of Last Resort, Stone of Good Luck, Tankard of the Drunken Hero,  Censer of Dreams,  potions of cure moderate wounds (5), potion of invisibility, Enchanted White Pathfinder’s Gear (effects as Iadaran Dress Uniform) Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Campfire Bead, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Deck of Curses (two cards used), Ring of Urban Grace,  Bewitching Gown, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), white squirrel fur Slippers of Scampering, Nymph’s Favor, Token of Summoning, Tidy Trunk

Courtier’s Outfit, noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), severed hag head, gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, 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), disguise kit, covenant ring , tiny diamonds (27), Saryah Phidaner gown, bottle of elfen absinthe, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55)    

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, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa