Macendamandel 10 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

I don’t remember anything about the prison escape (I’m certain that I did something awesome) and I have only a few flashes of what happened once we were out on street.  I have a flash of being hustled/dragged through the streets by Martialla and my former cellmate (well not cellmate but cell-adjacent mate), at one point I remember Martialla taking on the form of a watchman (such as they are in Three Rivers) and talking to a squad of Consortium skullbusters.  Later I definitely remember Martialla roasting someone with her magic and then engaging in swordplay, fighting at the side of someone I didn’t recognize.  I feel like I was shoved through a crawlspace at some point.  What I do remember is the pleasant, fanciful dreams that I had once I was finally set down and drifted off to sleep – and by drifted off I mean sank like a rock.  I’ve never had such enjoyable dreams in all my life.

When I woke up it was dark but that’s because I was indoors somewhere without any light.  I thought that I was in a closet for a second, but realized after a moment that I was up high in some kind of coffin sized alcove.  Maybe it’s some kind of storage space of some kind?  Its intended purpose eluded me.  I had the impression that I had been asleep for quite some time but I still felt groggy – I think the only time I felt more out of it was when I first woke up in that alley in Graltontown.  I was propped up on a pile of blankets and pillows but closing my eyes and feeling the rough wood beneath me made me feel more stable.  My rustling around must have alerted someone that I was awake because I heard a voice down below.  A frantic voice.

“She’s awake!  You got to get her out of here now.”

I heard Martialla’s voice respond “Shut up.”  After a moment I heard someone climbing a ladder and opened my eyes to see her face peering at me over the edge of wherever I was in the darkness. “How do you feel?”

My mouth was so dry it took me a moment to find any words “Never better.”

“Yeah, you look it.  Our host is desperate to get you out here, the Consortium has people going house to house looking for you.”

“I’m flattered.”

“Do you feel up to moving right now?’

I wanted to say yes, I almost did say yes even though it was a bald-faced lie, but I did something that I rarely do, I told the truth. “No.”

“That’s fine, if they come there though you’re going to have to disguise yourself in whatever way you do that you claim is not magic, can you do that?” I nodded. “Good, I’ll bring you something to drink.”

She did, and I was shocked to discover that it was water.  I probably have dysentery now on top of everything else.  The good thing about the distilling process is that you kill all the nasty little buggers in there along the way.  Plus it tastes delicious.  I stayed awake for a couple minutes drinking the water slowly and enjoying the feeling of being tired and knowing that I could sleep.  That’s not a sensation that you’re likely to encounter often but it’s nice.  Once the water was all gone I lay back down and instantly fell back into a deep sleep filled with dreams of dancing and rainbows and sweetness and light.  When I woke up again I was rested enough that I almost felt human again.  There was a light coming from down below so I clambered down the ladder into a surprisingly spacious building that seemed to be half apothecary, half spice shop, and half beauty products – that’s three halfs because of the building was half again the size of a “normal” shop. 

Martialla was lounging in the front window like a stray cat and standing behind the counter looking alternately like he was going to pass out, throw up, or drop dead was a pinch faced fellow with a long skinny nose wearing a stupid white hat that looked like a wimple.  It made him look far more feminine that he really was.  I don’t know if he was too preoccupied with trying not to have a heart attack to hear me or if I was just moving so slowly that I unintentionally stealthy but he about jumped out of his skin when I spoke.

“This is quite a fancy place for a timber town.”

Martialla glanced up as Mr. Wimple was clutching at his heart “Probably all the Consortium bigwigs need their ground chimera horn to make their dicks work.”

I looked over at the maybe dying maybe just panicking man “I assume this is Wolfie’s friend?” Martialla nodded “Where did Wolie himself get to?”

She smiled grimly “Are you kidding me?  You’re the most wanted person in the city, he lit out of here before we even hauled you up the ladder.  Which wasn’t easy mind you, you’re much heavier than you look.”

“Thanks.” 

“I’m surprised he did even as much as helping bring you here.  Like I said before, they’re literally searching house by house looking for you.  There’s roving mobs of lumberjacks wandering the streets hoping to drag your scrawny ass in for the reward.”

“How much?”

“Last I heard eighteen thousand gold and a piece of the company.”

“Shit.”

She nodded “Yeah.”

By this point Nosy had recovered enough to come over and grab at me “You have to leave right now!”

I shrugged him off “We’ll leave soon enough, another couple of minutes won’t make a difference.”

Martialla came over to stand opposite the counter from me “And where shall we be going exactly?  Seems to me like this would be a lovely time to leave the city.”

“Perhaps, but we’re here now, I’d prefer to finish up my business with the Consortium while we’re here rather than having to backtrack later.”

“That business being bringing them to ruin.” I nodded and Pinch-face made a distressed noise and all but ran into another room “I thought you might feel that way.  Could I convince you that we should regroup and worry about the Consortium later?  Things are pretty hot and heavy right now, maybe it would make sense to move on to other business and come back later.”

“You might be able to convince me of that but it would be hard – I don’t like leaving loose ends behind me.”

“You leave loose ends behind you all the time.”

“Yeah but I don’t like it.  We’re here now, I say let’s just take a couple days to bring down the most powerful mercantile outfit in the county before we move on.  Should be easy, I already did it once with Królewna & Bonifacja and I barely even had to try.”

Martialla reached over and counter to grab a little bag of some pearlescent powder “I think it’s a terrible idea, but I’ll back your play like I always do.”

I watched as she snorted some of the powder then pinched her nose and shook her head “Why do you always back me up?”

“I’m your friend Ela, that’s what friends are for.  You can always count on me, in good times, in bad times, for sure.  I’ll be on your side forever more, because that’s what friends are for.” She offered me some of the powder and I waved it away. “Well you’ll need this.”

She handed me another little silken baggy “What’s this?”

“Sweetdream.”

I eyes widened “That memory erasing narcotic that rapists use!” 

She frowned “It also has medicinal uses.” She poked me in the chest “For people plagued by nightmares or insomnia.”

“That’s what you gave me?! No wonder I can’t remember what happened yesterday.”

“Well that and you were delirious from sleep deprivation.  Our nervous friend didn’t have much in stock so we’re going to have to figure something else out in a couple of days.”

I looked at the bag dubiously “Isn’t this stuff horribly addictive?”

“Only psychologically.” She shook her head “You know there’s no pleasing you, I break you out of prison and save you from dream-murder and all you can do is give me dirty looks about how I did it.”

“Good thing we’re such close friends or that would bother you.”

“Yes, good thing.  Since you’re intent on staying and risking your life and mine on your quest for revenge there is a place we can go.  A safehouse of sorts.  As I was escaping you from prison I followed your drug-addled and sleep deprived idea of opening any other cells along the way.  Several of them happened to be inhabited but local malcontents.  Specifically a union organizer who was number on the consortium kill list until you showed up.”

“They should be more careful with the people they want to murder.”

“They didn’t expect someone as skilled and powerful as me to turn up working against them.  Anyway he and his people were quite pleased by my daring rescue and I implied that we were sympathetic to their cause – which is technically true in a way.  They said we could lay low with them for a while.  They claim to have spots the consortium will never find.”

“Sounds good, but we won’t be laying low, I have a plan.  Everyone here already hates the consortium they just need a spark to get them going – an inciting incident I think they call it.  And I have a good one in mind.  Lumberjacking is a dangerous profession, there have to be a good number of widows around here – we find them, convince them to march to demand some kind of death benefits or pension and then let nature take its course.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning the consortium has their goons beat up a bunch of widows in the streets and that incites a riot which leads to open revolt.”

“That’s . . . . pretty awful.”

“Well as they say revolution isn’t a tea party.  A few broads get knocked around is a small price to pay for making the world a better place.”

“That’s easy to say when you’re not the one getting kicked in the ribs.”

“It sure is.”

Martialla sighed “As your friend I have to say I worry sometimes that you don’t mind burning the world down to get your revenge.”

“I don’t, the world has it coming.” 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: None

XP: 1,190,751

Inventory: Whiterock family signet ring (Ring of Binding), Sweetdream (3)

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, maker of the manacles, Calvados Eure, Law Offices of Lampblack and Brimstone