Mantelderith 29 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 2

I’m starting to realize that what my life has become is a series of days where I have new and unpleasant experiences.  And I think that it’s partially my own fault.  There are only so many things you can experience right?  I mean there’s only so much that exists in the world – there’s a finite amount of experience to be experienced.  I’m starting to suspect that I did myself a disservice my front-loading my life with all the good stuff.  With the help of magic I plan to live several more hundred years but what good new experiences do I have to look forward to?  I’ve already indulged in all the good stuff, from here on out everything new that happens to me will at best be neutral and most likely will be bad.  It’s a mildly depressing thought. 

Case in point I woke up being drug across the ground by the feet.  The woman with the prize-fighter face and the tiny green shirt had my feet under her arms like she was pulling a cart full of rutabagas.  I assure you that waking up to a feeling of being dragged is unique and not good.  This is what I’m talking about.  This is the kind of thing I have to look forward to in terms of new things to encounter.  My clothes were in shambles and I was getting a goodly amount of dirt getting scraped into the back of my shirt.  Based on the aching in my head I think I was already knocked around by a couple rocks on the ground – or maybe that was just the after effect of the kick that blew out my candle in the first place.  I tried to pull my feet free but her grip was like a vise, or some other less tired metaphor.  What’s something else tight?  Besides that.      

“Hey you’re mussing up my hair.”

She half-way turned to glance back, but not enough to actually look at me “Shut up or I’ll break your jaw.”

“I get that you’re mad because I killed your friend but that’s no reason to be rude.”

“You didn’t kill Bock, but you’re going to tell me who did.”

“Oh, I killed him alright, I killed him good.  I dropped a chandelier on his ugly mug and then I cut his throat – twice because it didn’t take the first time.  It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t really that hard either.  I guess he was supposed to be a hard bastard but he died pretty easy the way I see it.  Are you suggesting that I couldn’t have killed him because I’m a woman?  I suppose I’m not surprised, there’s a lot of women who are so indoctrinated they’re just as misogynistic as men – moreso sometimes.  It’s a sorry sight to behold.

“No, not because you’re a woman, because you don’t look strong enough to lift your skirts to piss.”

“I’m not wearing skirts, but I take your meaning.  You look a real fighting fighter, I’m more of a fancy gal so I get that.  Can I ask you something?  How do you wear a shirt like that?  Aren’t your tits getting smashed flat?  That can’t be comfortable.  How can you even more your arms in that thing?  It’s like painted on you.”

“Shut up or I’ll break your jaw.”

“You already said that.  And, professional to professional that is not a terribly effective threat since you’ve already implied that you’re taking me to be interrogated about who killed your friend since you think I couldn’t have done it.  I assume you’re taking me to the fort so he dwarf can be involved.  Seems  like he’s the leader.  That’s a good mile away, why are you dragging me?  Just to be a bitch?  You’re clearly very strong, you could be carrying me across your shoulders like a shepherd with a little baby lamb.”

“Shut up or I’ll drag you through a pile of horseshit facedown.”

“Now that’s a believable threat.”

I need to work out my core muscles more, I had a real hard time folding up to stab her in the ass with a convenient dagger from my secret pocket.  I wanted to stab her in the back, go for the kidney or the spine maybe, but I couldn’t reach.  I think my long legs were working against me in that position – it was awkward as Hells I can tell you that much.  I can also tell you that she had one Hells of a muscular ass.  I suppose with all that kicking she does that really tones the glutes.  Have you ever tried to stick a knife into a thick roast and it goes in a little but mostly just bounces off?  It was like that.  Her response to this tiny ass prick was wildly disproportionate.  She dropped my legs and swiveled around with a kick/stomp to my shoulder/collarbone that made my entire right side go numb.  Then even though the blade had tumbled out of my senseless fingers she grabbed my wrist and twisted it in an excruciating way – although strangely it felt like my elbow is the joint that was going to break.

She leaned down to put her face right in front of mine as I teared up with pain, her breath was oddly minty “See what I can do to you?  Don’t do that again.”

“Okay.”

I forced that out through gritted teeth.  Then I ungritted them to bite her on the nose.   Later people would say that I bite her nose off – this is an exaggeration.  Most of her nose was still there, a good eighty percent of it in fact, I just bit off the portion after the nostrils.  There was a ton of blood though so I guess I can’t blame bystanders for assuming that he whole nose had been bitten off – from their point of view that’s probably what it looked like.

Women are weak and pathetic an unable to endure pain – we all know that.  Childbirth is an uncomfortable counterpoint but I’m sure that they’re working on a theory behind that – probably that the Gods give them special magic powers during that time.  I’m a perfect example of the feebleness of women – I get stabbed and beaten and tramped all the time and I complain about it to no end.  It’s pathetic really.  But I tell you this, the woman in the green shirt and naught much else took getting a piece of her nose bitten off as well as I imagine someone can take it.  Sure, she loosened her grip and I was able to scuttle away like a crafty crab, but she didn’t scream – she didn’t lose her cool.  All things considered she handled losing a part of her body in stride – it was a small part of her body, but still. 

I pulled a cloak of out of my secret pocket and threw it over her head, hoping to blind her while I retrieved a weapon and stabbed her good.  I assume there’s a name for that, the old blanket attack.  What happened instead is that she did some kind of rolling scissors thing with her legs and hurled me to the ground while she popped up to her feet and tossed the cloak away.  I managed to pull out a rapier and came at her with a pretty solid attack if I do say so myself and she caught the blade.  You know, with her bare hand.  Catching it all is impressive enough, doing it with your bare hand is a bit too much if you ask me.  You can be a good warrior but do you have to show off?  Nobody likes that.   With a shout she brought her other hand around in an open palmed strike that snapped the blade like a chicken bone.  I’m not having a good day weapon breakage wise.

“Shit.”

That’s what I said as I activated my boots and ran like Hells – right up the side of the only somewhat dilapidated temple of Adariel.  This ended up being a little more harrowing than expected because some of the stones shifted as I scampered over them, I think because their mortar was being replaced by moss.  I still want to know how that happens.  How does a plant grow in stone?  I was safe on the roof for about three seconds before my opponent took a couple steps towards the temple, then a did a little hop, and then leaped onto the roof as gracefully as a gazelle.  Well except for the part where when she hit the roof the wood collapsed and she fell through.  Even considering the falling through the hole part it was a startling turn of events – that had to be a twenty-two foot height and it’s not like she jumped up on the side and caught the edge and pulled herself up.  Which would have been shocking enough, she fucking cleared it (easily) and landed on her feet.

Looking through the hole though I saw that she defiantly did not land on her feet in the temple (which looked empty) down below, it appeared that she had landed on her head.  I guess her feet must have gotten tangled up in the rafters and she flipped over.  Standing over her was that I thought was an empty robe hanging in mid-air, but I eventually realized was an insubstantial rail-thin woman.  It probably didn’t help that even if she wasn’t half-starved the robe looked to be about three sizes too large for her.  Amazingly, yet somehow not surprisingly, the fallen woman below started to move as I was looking down at her supine form.  For some reason the first thought that came into my head was tying off a rope and climbing down – instead I just activated my boots again and spider-walked my way into the hole, across the ceiling and down the side of the wall.

The priestess who was more robe than woman looked at me with concern “I think she’s pretty badly injured.”

“Not as badly as she’s going to be.  Where is everything?  This place looks abandoned.”

“I had to sell most everything, donations have been scare lately.

“What’s the world coming to?” I walked over to my foe as she was just about on her hands and knees. “You think you’re the only one who can kick?”

I drew back and unleashed a mighty kick right into Green Shirt’s ribs – it felt like I had kicked a stone wall.  I immediately fell on my ass with a yelp of pain, pretty sure I just broke my heel.  Have you ever broken your heel?  Pro tip, it fucking hurts.

“God gods, what the fuck is wrong with you!  I understand that you’re in great shape but this is ridiculous!”

She was starting to get up, dizzily, so I crawled over and smashed her on the head with my Tankard a few times – I halfway expected it to shatter on her iron skull, but I guess she is human because it certainly dazed her.  Enough for me to get hammer and piton out of my Greatcoat and drive it into the back of her skull.  I’ve been told that the guys who “drive” elephants have a mallet and stake for just that kind thing – if the elephant goes crazy they drive the spike into its brain and kill it before before it stomps too many people on your own side.   My question is, what happens to the guy?  Falling off a horse is bad news, having your horse fall over with you on it is even worse.  Having that happen with an elephant has to be ten times worse.  Plus you’re in the middle of the fucking battle.  I suppose that’s why you don’t see too many war elephants, sounds like a poor design for a murder machine.

The robe/woman was staring at me in horror “This is a holy place.”

I grimaced slightly “Yeah, sorry about that, I didn’t mean to murder someone in your house of worship it jus thappened.  That’s my mistake.  If you need to reconsecrate the place or something I’ll cover the cost, that’s no problem.  I’m not really religious but I certainly didn’t mean to you know . . . . defile or whatever.” She nodded numbly, watching the expanding blood of blood from the face-down woman. “Look, I think I busted my foot, are you a healer?  Can you do something about that?”

Wordlessly she came over and laid her hands on my foot reverently – with a flash of golden light everything was fine and the pain was gone.  I pulled myself to my feet and patted her on the shoulder.

“That’s some fine healing.  Do you have like an acolyte or a choir boy or someone to help you drag this body out of here?  I’d do it but I don’t want to.”

She didn’t answer but at that moment Martialla came in, not exactly casually but not really in any kind of a hurry either.  She didn’t even have her sword in hand or some magic crackling around ready to fry someone.

She looked down at the dead body “So that’s what all the racket was.”

“Where the Hells have you been!”

“I was visiting a friend.”

“You know someone in this shit-town?”

She winked “A new friend.”

“Good Gods woman, there is something seriously wrong with you.” I waved at her “Come on, there’s one more up at the fort, let’s kill him and then get the fuck out of here.”

The robe with a woman inside seemed even more dismayed, which I wouldn’t have thought possible “The dwarf?  He’s doing something terrible up there, I can feel the evil forces gathering around him.  I didn’t know what to do, I’ve been praying for guidance.  I feel that something very bad is going to happen unless he’s stopped.”

Martialla and I headed out the door “Good news honey, your prayers have been answered.”

Martialla made a sacred sign “Truly the Holy Mother works in ways unknowable to the minds of men.”

“Shut up you.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 47,040 platinum, 25,750 gold

XP: 1,181,151

Inventory: Hat of Effortless Style, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Ela’s Dazzling Garment, Belt of Physical Might +4, Ring of Urban Grace, Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Elegant Boots, Ela’s Extravagant Necklace, Brooch of Shielding, Headband of Subtle Misdirection, Antiquarian’s Monocle, Ela’s Stately Greatcoat

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), 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, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three), darkwood and platinum music box, silver bracelet set with bloodstones, platinum ring set with fire opal, silver and moonstone bracelet, holy symbol of Kozilek, dwarf journal

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, eyeless hag, Baron Saltwheel, Baron Harmenkar, Colonel Tarl Ciarán’s wizard soldier, Victor, Beharri, Cebuano, Mayor Eryn, Chimera Trading Company

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