Montresor 6 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) part 2

You know what sucks?  Yes, probably most things for you on account of you’re not me.  But you know what sucks for me?  After months of not being able to sleep deeply and fully and restfully finally getting that ability and then being woken up prematurely.  It was the dead of night when I slowly made the transition from being dead asleep to “is that a noise?”  It was a noise, someone was jiggling the knob (if you know what I mean) to my room.  Half of me wanted to shoot the door with my crossbow knowing it would explode.  Half of me wanted to go back to sleep and let whoever it was do whatever they were going to do.  There’s a magic period of about six seconds when you’re woken up from a serious sleep when you can just close your eyes and go right back there.  Seven seconds and you’re awake awake, you have to start all over again. 

With a sigh I got up and went over to the door.  I drew my rapier and considered stabbing whoever it was through the wood, but then the rest of them would scatter and probably come back later.  Instead I stood there and listened as the world’s most incompetent burglars fumbled with the lock minute over minute.  If it takes you late long to finagle a lock you need to find a new line of work.  I thought about doing many different things but in the end I just opened the door to reveal three started faces.

“What the Hells do you want?”

Face number one belonged to a teenager kneeling down with a set of picks in his hands and held between his teeth.  A lot of people are awkward at that age, all elbows and knees, but he seemed like a smooth costumer for his age.  Aside from being unable to finesse a simple lock.  Crouched furtively at his shoulder was the same damn woman from the baths and from the wedding – shortish plumpish curly haired blonde with one of them moon faces.  She really has a thing for me.  The third person standing back a bit was an older woman with a wet mop of dark hair hanging around her face streaked with grey (gray?) wearing a hideous multi-colored dress. I have blondie a poke with my rapier, a very gentle poke, not a murder poke.  I mean I drew blood but just a little.  She still gasped like she had been disemboweled though.

“Take a hint lady, I’m not interested.”

She held onto her shoulder like she was bleeding to death, speaking in a loud whisper (it’s a thing) “We have to talk to you!  Our family has for generations kept the secret oath of . . .”

“No.  No!  It is the middle of the Gods damned night, I don’t want to hear your fucking backstory.  I don’t care!  If you start up with that Chosen One crap I will beat you to death with your own severed foot.”

The kid had straightened up and adopted the standard teenage slouch “Like that’s even possible.”

I pointed at him “Let’s find out together shall we?”

Blondie reached for me and I slapped her hands away “You have to help us!  The Chosen One . . “

I groaned and the old lady put her hand on blondie’s shoulder to stop her, looking me in the eye with a little twinkle “If you would just let us in for five minutes then we can get this over with and you can go back to bed.”

“And what is the ‘this’ you want to get over with on me?”

She smiled gormlessly “Why reading your future in the cards of course.”

Blondie nodded frantically “Yes, yes, Deska will know the truth!  Deska . . .”

“Fortune tellers?  Are you fucking kidding me?”  I sighed and even mightier sigh “Fine come in and do your thing and then get lost.”  Oldie and blondie shuffled in but I stopped the kid with a hand to the chest “Not you junior, I’m not decent.”

He scowled “What do you mean?  You’re fully dressed.”

I gave him a shove “Fuck off is what I mean.”

I closed the door on his grumbles as the old woman moved a small table from the corner into the middle of the room and started laying out her cards as blondie hovered about nervously.  I took a swig from my flask as I sat down across from her.

“So if your stupid cards say that I’m the Chosen One then what?  You kidnap me?  Or just harass me for the rest of my life?  Actually I guess if you harassed me that much I’d just kill you.  Which’d be a real kick in the tits would it not – you find your fabled savior and she kills you all.  That would be a real twist to the story.”

Blondie just stared at me like a starving hound at a ham hock “The Chosen One will rise up to defeat the Great Doom, they say that . . .”

“Which great doom is the one you’re worried about?  There seems to be an immeasurable supply of them.”

The old woman took the reins to keep things simple “Hziulquoigmnzhah Ziulquaz-Manzah the son of Cxaxukluth, the snake-bearded lord of the underworld.”

“Why do all these monsters have such long weird names?”

“They were not meant for mortal tongues.”

“Then why don’t we give them different names?  We do it for dragons all the time, we call them Swiftclaw or Redwing or something instead of Berkelborklemarklezedon.  We even do it for elfs.  Sidenote mortal tongues would be a good name for a high class bordello.  And I mean a really fancy one, not one of those faux fancy places that ends up looking even worse.”

While the old lady was taken back by that non sequitur blondie jumped in “The founder of our clan Anig cut Hziulquoigmnzhah Ziulquaz-Manzah the son of Cxaxukluth, the snake-bearded lord of the underworld into thirteen pieces during a time of great battle long ago.  But Hziulquoigmnzhah Ziulquaz-Manzah the son of Cxaxukluth, the snake-bearded lord of the underworld cannot be slain, only put to rest temporarily and  . . .”

I held up my hand “Yeah, yeah I get it, the pieces are being put back together by some cult or other and then the guy with the beard of snakes is going to come back and destroy the world unless some unknown person from a humble origin who has a secret power inside them that actually makes them the most important and interesting person in the world defeats the undefeatable monster by wishing for it to have a heart or something.” I gestured to the old lady “Let’s get on with it shall we?  What do the cards tell you?”

She peered at the cards she had laid out in that cross patterned that these types love so much “I see chaos and fire.”

“Yeah, that’s always a safe bet.”

“I see war and death.”

I couldn’t help but laugh “Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?  If you’re going to fake a vision you could at least get good at it.”

Blondie was beside herself “What does it say, is she the Chosen One?  She must be, the tattoos, and the way she stopped the creature at the wedding.”

The old lady looked at the cards with a confused expression “This . . . . isn’t right.  The courtesan is never misaligned.”

“That wouldn’t be a bad name for a middle of the road cathouse – the Misaligned Courtesan.”

Blondie looked like she was about to pass out “What does it mean?”

After a moment the old woman shrugged “I don’t know.”

Blondie looked like she might drop dead on the spot “What . . . what . . . what . . .”

I smiled at her warmly “Don’t be too hard on the old bird.  The future is always in motion, it’s hard to see and so forth.  Things are always shifting due to free will and what not.  Soothsaying ain’t an exact science.”

Blondie looked at the old lady who cocked her head slightly “Well yeah, basically that.”

Blondie’s confusion was metamorphosing into anger “So is she the Chosen One or not?!”

The old woman leaned down and looked hard at the cards for a moment “Maybe.”

I chuckled “Well that’s divination for you, now get the Hells out of my room.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: 53,940 platinum, 26,312 gold

XP: 1,288,351

Inventory: +3 Thundering Distance Light Crossbow, Ela’s Fashionable Belt, Cerulean Sign Tattoo, Satchel of Plentiful Feed, Horseshoes of Surety, Teremana (light warhorse), Hat of Effortless Style, Ela’s Wonderful Flask, Ela’s Dazzling Garment,  Ring of Urban Grace, Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Ela’s Elegant Boots, Ela’s Extravagant Necklace, Headband of Subtle Misdirection, Antiquarian’s Monocle, Ela’s Stately Greatcoat, Ring of Eloquence, Cheating Gloves, Clothier’s Closet Rod , Singer’s Stole 

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 (631), 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, diamond and pearl lover’s knot tiara,  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, maker of the manacles, Calvados Eure, Law Offices of Lampblack and Brimstone, Peronell Missplitter, Nightmare Hag