Curse of the Crimson Throne

The Harrow for Escape from Old Korvosa

Everyone gets 2 harrow points

The Varisians know that Fate is a plan known only to the Gods, but the hearts of men determine the path and shape of its coming. You may use these Harrow points to accomplish any of the following. Remember, though, the Fates are also fickle. Any points unspent by the end of the adventure are lost.

Intelligence Rerolls: Spend a Harrow Point to reroll any one Intelligence-based skill check. You must abide by the new result (although if you have additional Harrow Points remaining, you can use them to attempt additional rerolls).

Flash of Insight: Spend a Harrow Point to be able to make a skill check in an untrained skill you don’t normally have ranks in. You gain a one-time +5 insight bonus on this skill check.

Arcane Wrath: Spend a Harrow Point to increase the strength of an arcane spell as it is cast. This spell gains a +2 bonus on its save DC, a +4 bonus on its caster level check to overcome spell resistance, and a +2 bonus on any attack rolls needed to strike the target.

Character Card Notes
Aerich The Wanderer (NG) Combat with Sivic the Dark Sphinx
Boshi The Vision (CN) Encounter with Salvatore Scream
Perdi The Joke (CG) All encounters involving Pitts Swastel
Thorn The Inquisitor (LN) Combat with Sanshiir the Beatific One
Ithamore The Rakshasa (LE) Encounters involving Bahor
Kes The Hidden Truth (LG) Combat with Vimanda
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Thrill of the Hunt Part 17
Beloved

In the dark underbelly of the city, Mr. Black sits in his throne room. The sewers an underground conduit for carrying off sewage or rainwater… And secrets.

Lizabeth, still chained looks at the floor in disgust, praying to her goddess to be freed.

“Lizabeth,” Black leans forward pulling her red hair back, “Your god won’t help you.”

She pulls away violently, some of her hair being pulled free, “She works in mysterious ways. You will see…”

He laughs at her, “Tell her to bring it on.” Smiling, “I like a challenge.”

The door to the chamber opens and a man walks on in towards them, kneeling before Mr. Black. “M’lord.”

Mr. Black nods, “What is your report, Carter?”

The man looks up, “The entire city is plagued with the Blood Veil. People are dying in the streets, their homes. The city is on lockdown.”

“And what of the ranger, Thorn?” He asks.

Lizabeth looks up at Mr. Black surprised hearing Thorn’s name having been there at the temple with him, “You leave him alone!”

Mr. Black backhands her, “Do not tell me what to do wench!”

Lizabeth falls back, blood trickling down the side of her mouth, a tooth falls out, holding her face.

Carter looks on, emotionless, but inside a rage burns within him seeing Lizabeth struck. “Thorn has been very active in the city trying to put out proverbial fires around the city with his friends.”

Mr. Black nods, rubbing his hands together. “Start more fires. I want him. I want Thorn! Hire some Blood Veiled victims, promise them a cure if they get me him!”

Carter nods, “Excellent plan, Sir. I will see to it personally,” standing up.

Dismissing Carter, “See that you do. Now begone.”

Bowing, giving a sly wink to Lizabeth as he turns to leave.

Lizabeth frowns and scoffs at him, “Disgusting.” Knowing that Carter is a friend to Sarenrae.

Carter walks out, but Mr. Black eyes him curiously, observing him. Turning his attention to Lizabeth, "Cure Disease, cleric. Now… " Feeling unclean and not wanting to catch the Blood Veil plague after a visitation.

Lizabeth gets up, and walks over, spitting before him a crimson red wad of spittal, “Sarenrae, grant me the power and the ability to show this fiend… your divine might to cast away any afflictions that may haunt this man…” Angry she casts the divine power upon him and frowns.

In the hallway he hears the spell being chanted and pauses for a moment, but continues on… He will save Lizabeth, his beloved soon.

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Sacrifice - Part II

Aerich ascended the stairs. The wooden catwalk creaked beneath his feet with each boot step. The torches gave the room a warm glow, rising above the putrid stink of filth contained with the vats below him.

Looking toward the doorway, Aerich saw the creature. The Daughter of Urgathoa stopped in the doorway and bellowed at him, green viscous spittle running down her lips and pooling on the ground. Her flesh was warped and deformed, pulsating with unholy power.

She raised a huge, misshapen fist and screamed again.

The cleric looked back in the direction of his friends, toward escape, toward the elevator.

Smiling up at him, tears streaking her face, Kes raised her rapier in salute – in good-bye.

Comforted, Aerich turned to face his foe. He felt like a tiny toy in a child’s game standing on the catwalk. The creature could simply fly past him or around him and continue its pursuit, saving him for last. That was unacceptable. He must threaten it.

Driving his blade into the wooden floor, he grabbed one of the ‘Priests’ Crossbows and notched a bolt.

‘Please, Ragathiel," he thought, "aid me…’

He fired. The bolt streaked out and struck the creature in its shoulder. The bolt didn’t seem to do any damage, but the creature screamed in anger and frustration. Drawing back another bolt, Aerich fired again. The bolt struck home, hitting dead center, sticking into the creatures twisted flesh.

The creature leapt into the air.

Aerich could hear footsteps on stone as he dropped the crossbow and pulled his sword free. He could see the Daughter’s twisted face, what little human remaining forever corrupted by the Pallid Princess.

He could feel his feet want to turn and run. Escape! Flee! His skin grew cold, sweat seemed to pool in his gloved hands.

Aerich raised his sword in salute.

The creature screeched, its face twisting in rage.

’I’m coming home, Aiori,’ he thought, as he shouted in response, raising his shield and preparing himself.

His mission was done. Aiori, and countless others had been avenged. Lamm would never hurt another person, his greed would not spill another drop of blood. She had died needlessly, blood spilt at too cheap a price. He would buy something more valuable with his blood because that was all he had to offer and all he had left to give.

Aerich swung his blade in a sharp arc, forcing the creature to land awkwardly or be gutted. The creatures screech nearly burst his eardrums as it landed next to him. The stench of its breath was like a fresh grave. He charged at the creature and slashed out with all of his strength, the magical blade running across the creatures chest. Black blood cascaded through the air.

The Daugther reared back and raised its mishappen fist over her head. Swinging down, its claws slashed through armor, flesh and bone.

Aerich fell.

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Sacrifice - Part 1

Aerich looked back at the creature, flailing against the stone wall. Already it was angling its arms to fit through the barely three-foot wide hole. They didn’t have much time before it was through the hole and the pursuit continued. The elevator was the party’s only chance.

Looking back at the ghastly creature, the abomination summoned by the Goddess of Disease and Pestilence, then back toward the elevator he gave it a quick thought. The distances were too short, the creatures speed far too quick. It would be a brief pursuit that would end with the death of himself and his friends.

“No time,” Aerich said.

Kes and Ithamore stopped and turned. “We have to get to the elevator, Aerich. We can pin it down here.”

Aerich looked back at the creature then at Ithamore.

Ithamore didn’t say anything. He had heard Aerich clear as day. He approached Aerich slowly, his face somber and thoughtful.

Is this it? Ithamore asked silently, their eyes meeting.

Aerich nodded once. Ithamore clasped the Cleric’s shoulder as Thorn and Perdi stopped, looking back.

“Take care of them, Ithamore,” Aerich said, his voice low and sad. “Good bye, my friend.”

The mighty fighter swallowed hard, wiping harshly at the sweat and blood from his face. Hefting his axe, Ithamore waved it at Thorn and Perdi. “Get moving!”

Thorn and Perdi looked at Ithamore in surprise, then headed toward the elevator with the large fighter.

Kes’ glowed. “Aerich, hurry!” she said, pulling at his hand like an eager child. “When we get to the top of the elevator, we need to…”

“Get going, Kesali,” Aerich said.

“What?” Kes’ face dropped.

“We don’t have the time,” Aerich said, avoiding her eyes as he looked at the twisted face of the creature. “You need to get everyone else out and prevent the creature from reaching the city. I’ll get you the time to prepare a defense.”

“No! Aerich!” Kes visibly shivered in horror. “We need you! I need you! Don’t do this to yourself!”

“They need you, Kes,” Aerich said gently, taking her head in his hands and brushing an absent strand of hair away from her face. Dropping to one knee, he kissed her gently. “Farewell, Gnomemaid,” Aerich said softly. “Your light will brighten this world, but it is time for mine to darken. Don’t grieve for me,” he pulled her close, whispering into her ear, “we should not mourn those who have fulfilled their destiny. Mine is fulfilled. Justice for my wife has been earned and her soul is now at peace. She and I will walk together upon the seven mountains of heaven very soon.”

Aerich stood and drew his sword. “Now, go, Kesali. You will need every second I give you.”

“Aerich…” Kess’ tears choked back her words. She stared at him, her mute appeal a scream.

“Go,” he said.

Stumbling blindly, Kes turned and made her way toward the elevator.

“Aerich,” Kes sobbed painfully, grabbing at Ithamore, “he…”

“I know,” Ithamore replied, “I saw it on his face. It’s been there since we met. It’s up to us now; we can’t let his sacrifice be in vain.”

Kess took a deep breath, wiping away the tears angrily, cleaning up as best she could. “Alright, I’m ready. Let’s go…”

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Thrill of the Hunt Part 16
Fear

“Fear.”

“It is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

“Fear is…”

“Your heart beats faster, sometimes your hands shake or get sweaty, your whole body might shake, your breath becomes shorter and faster.”

“I felt true fear when an avatar of a god appeared shortly after a very tough fight.”

“An avatar is the bodily incarnation of a deity on earth. The god can become incarnate in one place at a time.”

“I was witnessing it first hand and I ran, ran with my friends.”

“I do not believe that running is shameful. It is the survival instinct in us all. It is the instinct in us and animals to do things in a dangerous situation that will prevent them from dying.”

“We run.”

“We hide.”

“We pray.”

“In the most extreme… We fight until the very end.”

-Thorn

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Thrill of the Hunt Part 15
Magic

“Magic, some spellcasters select their spells from a limited list of spells known, while others have access to a wide variety of options. I watched my companions use magic.”

“I remember when I came to the orphanage I never had the discipline for the art. I would have rather been out in the wild, running with the animals, exploring. I was a wild child I enjoyed freedom, books seemed stuffy and binding, holding me down. However, I was always told I had a knack for magic.”

“There is the Arcane arts cast by Kesali the fortune telling bard, and Divine cast by Aerich a cleric of Ragathiel and experienced rangers.”

“Even as a ranger I shunned the arts. I instead relied on tricks I learned, my skills, my senses rather than some musty book and a wand. I didn’t want to be tied down not to a book, or a god.”

“That changed.”

“I had so much anger inside me about everything; The city, the deaths of friends, loved ones, and the people who were evil and corrupt who polluted this world. Aerich made me open my eyes to the teachings of Ragathiel and turn that anger into vengence.”

“I started to notice that magic was inherent within me. I always had a feeling, ability to know where North is, which helped in my tracking and survival skills. Then as time went on I started to develop, new abilities awoke in me. I could detect magic if I focused on a object, I saved friends from a horrible fall making them light as a feather, finally saving one by levitating him to safety.”

“I wonder what else is in store for me.”

-Thorn


Mr. Black has been sitting in a room since the entire plague has happened. He has been using his own little guild to bring him food, and they kidnapped a cleric for any Cure Disease spells that needed to be cast upon him.

“This city is in such a feeble state,” he declares, “Don’t you agree, Lizabeth?”

Looking up from the floor, shackled to the very same floor with disgust, “I am taught temperance and patience with following Sarenrae… you are testing my faith.”

Mr. Black laughs, “I bet you say that to all of the men.”

Looking away from him, “Compassion and peace are her greatest virtues, and if enemies of the faith can be redeemed, they should be… You however are remorseless and evil. Sarenrae’s doctrines preach swift justice delivered by the scimitar’s edge.”

Mr. Black leans forward, grabbing her chin, forcing her to look at him, “That sounds about right. Evil and remorseless.” Pushing her face away now he leans back on his chair, “Crossing me you know will harm your family here in town. I have my best trained snipers on their every movement.”

She sneers, “You will soon get yours, swift justice you criminal…”

Mr. Black just laughs at her, an evil maniacal laugh.

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Unconcious Dreams
When you are near death you see things differently

Darkness had closed on me. Yet when I opened my eyes I was back in the attic room of the old manor. It was the home of one of the men my parents worked for long ago. I was maybe 10 or 12 years old, but didn’t look older than a tall 7 year old human. I was dressed in my rags of my kitchen girl position. I remembered coming here when I could steal away. It was a place the masters of the house wouldn’t’ find me, and it was out of the staff’s way. There was a large full length mirror I would dance and twirl in front of. Then I wasn’t as careful as I am now. I wouldn’t dare do the thing things, or say the things I did in front of an un-known mirror. In this dream, at least I hope it is a dream, as I stand there I see another me in the mirror but she is dressed as a lady of means. I see my father, my real father come and scoop me up in a hug. I watch a life of one where my father found his fortune, and remarried, instead of drifting off and leaving me behind. I was good there, but I could see that I wasn’t really happy. Yes I had a nice home, and dresses, but I was being forced to be a lady by my new step mother. I was a barraging tool for her when it came to social alliances. I wasn’t allowed to cook as I liked, or tumble and climb. I was allowed to dance but I wasn’t as good as it as my step mother wanted. I didn’t have the graces she wanted.

I watched myself cry and walk away only for the mirror to go black, and in the darkness came a teenage girl, myself I could tell from after my dark time. I could see myself going about the rituals of the Phsarma temple. As I helped walk the dead to their final resting place. I was doing well, I could see that but the spark in my eyes was not there. They were dull from the overwhelming sadness around her. She would do as she must because otherwise someone would kill her. She had nowhere to go. She crumpled into the grass by a grave and sobbed.

The mirror blurred from the rain sheets that fell against it.
When the rain past, it was the view from the gate of a small meadow. Inside were a couple ponies, and two sheep dogs, with a small herd of sheep. I found that the mirror was gone, and I was standing in the meadow itself. I was dressed in the clean but slightly worn clothing of a farm girl. I carefully made my way to the cottage. From inside the cottage I heard humming and singing. In the cottage, a woman sat at a loom making wool cloth from the yarn. I stood next to her and watched her. She smiled and patted my hair. I sighed and knew this person loved me. She sat me in her lap, even though I knew I was a bit big to be there. She showed me how to weave the wool. We did that for a while before a kettle whistled. She got up and made me a cup of hot herbal tea that calmed my nerves and warmed my empty stomach. I wanted to say her name but the finger on my lips told me no to. Here she let me dance to the songs of the birds. At the hearth she showed me how to cook the fruit and berries from the surrounding woods so they tasted wonderful. I was allowed to run and chase the rabbits, and climb the trees like the squirrels. Here I was happy and I was content, yet I would continually look to the meadow’s gate. I was missing something. I had all I wanted in this place but as I looked at the gate I felt the woman walk up to me and wrap her arms around me. It was then I cried. I cried like I never had before. I told her everything. I told her of everything that happened me with father’s neglect. I told her everything of how I was treated as a servant. I told her what I had done to the man that hurt me. She listened as I told her of my time at the tavern, and of my friends. I told her of what we found in that warehouse, and how we had to stop the men that were killing all the people. I hold her I wanted to stay with her, but I knew I must go back and help. I wasn’t rich back there. I was cook for god sake not some noblewomen, but I was happy doing what I was done. I loved working with my friends, despite their quirks. I didn’t know how I knew but, I knew they were drying out there. As much as I wanted to be there with her, I couldn’t let them die. I was just so tired. So very tired.

She wrapped me in her arms and kissed my forehead and said I would rest soon, one way or the other I would rest. If I needed her, I had but to close my eyes and think of her. She wasn’t far away. I kissed her cheek and hurried to the gate. I had turned around to wave good bye to her when I felt someone reach over the gate and yank me back with them.
My eyes opened to the sounds of battle. I knew what I must do. I grabbed my swords and jumped into the fray.

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what is on the other side of the door may kill you

We knew at some point the rug would be pulled out from under us but you never expect it at that moment. We have had a very long day with everything we have been through. It is very late in the day and honestly most of us just want to go back to bed, but that was not going to happen. Before us was a pair of double door, and on the other side we knew it would be trouble but how much? Well we found out when the ground disappeared below our feet, literally!

When the floor started to disappear I made a frantic leap into the room thinking so would my friends, yeah that didn’t work so well. Ithamore and Boshi began to drop like stones, but magic came out of nowhere and let them fall like feathers. I later found out that was Thorn’s doing. Where the magic came from I have no idea but glad he had it. Over the din of the falling stone I heard Aerich shout, “Kill the spellcasters or we are all dead!” Doing as ordered I made for the spellcasters.

For me it was easy, run up to the vats of red goo, bounce off it and up onto the catwalk next to necromancer. I was aching to get my blades into his flesh to make him pay for what he had done to everyone. For an instant I was distracted when bounding out of the 40 foot writing pit come a pissed off Boshi. I knew he was already pissed what happened to me, but I have a feeling he may have had some rage magic behind that look as well. I have to admit it was pretty impressive to see him bound out of the pit take two steps and bound across the room and up next to the other spell caster on the catwalk. It was in that moment of amazement of Boshi’s feat that the spell went off. I was hit with a spell that sucked all the air out of my lungs. I had no breath, I was suffocating! Before I could even take a hit on the guy, I passed out into blackness.

I don’t know for how long I was unconscious. I dreamed something while I was unconscious but now it had faded into simply a lost memory. All I do remember is feeling as if someone grabbed me by the seat of my pants and forcibly yanked me back into the land of the living. I awoke gasping for air and laying on the catwalk alive, somehow got to my feet. Seeing my friends alive, some barely alive, but alive none the less. I bounded down from the cat walk to next to Kess. I knew she had a healing wand and hopefully she could help me.

I had hoped my friends had killed that blasted necromancer while I was unconscious but alas that did not happen. From the catwalk he fired a lighting bolt spell down at myself, Kess and Thorn. I saw it coming and did this full split dodge move and the bolt managed to complelty miss me, however Kess and Thorn were not so lucky. Thorn got singed but was ok. Kess took the blast fell in the face. I had seen a play once where a gnome was struck by lighting and their hair was standing on end straight up with white streaks in it. I never thought it was possible in real life…. Until I saw what happened it Kess. Thankfully she was alive- burnt, with a mild sparking tick but alive.

I was already directed to kill the SOB necromancer, but this guy had made it personal. Again I bounded up in close quarters with him. One thing that Kess and Aerich have taught me is spell casters don’t like things up close and personal. He tried to cast a spell on me, but it did minimal damage to my already heavily damaged body. Just as I was about to sheath my blades in his rib cage he cast a magical door, and disappeared elsewhere in the area. He was gone there were others in the room that could kill us.

I only had time to see Ithamore’s mighty ax swing before I heard the falling of a body. When I could fully turn around, the body of the plague doctor lay with his legs cut out from under him, and his head 15 feet away from his body. His head was going to make excellent proof for the bounty on it. With danger temporarily gone, we quickly investigated the bodies, no time for a full search. There were quite a few bodies about; unfortunately one of them was Boshi. Thankfully even though we were low on spells; we had magic wands to heal us of our near fatal wounds. The group retreated for an hour to one of the more secure chambers near the elevator.

With what few spells we had, we returned to the room to deal with whatever was in a small room up on the catwalk. Looking back we should have just stayed in our bolt hole and rested there, but that is not what we chose. The door was locked, and honestly it was one of the hardest I had ever done. It took me a couple minutes to get it undone. I was getting some nasty glares from my friends by the time I got it done. As per the norm, I switched places with Ithamore so he could open the door. Soon as it was opened all hell broke loose. Inside was a nasfaratu, a vampire. The one’s whose spawn had attacked my friends in the toy shop. Aerich had consecrated on himself, and had cast protection from evil on Ithamore. The plan was that Aerich and Ithamore would stay in the room and deal with the thing. Boshi would hold the door, and only open the door to a non-dominated ally. The plan went well …for a few seconds. That was before it went tits up!

The Nasferatu dispelled the protection from evil on Ithamore. This caused him to be dominated and was told to “Kill them all.” Thankfully Ithamore managed to miss Aerich. Alas Aerich had his own problems, the Nasferatu cast stinking cloud causing him to retch and vomit so badly he could only move to the door and bang on it. His only hope was for Boshi to open the door to allow him out of the cloud. Thankfully Boshi did but at the cost of allowing Ithamore access to the rest of us. He took one chop at poor Kess and she fell back. I stepped up and with Boshi on the other side of him I landed several sword thrusts to his ribs. I could only say I’m sorry my friend as he fell to the floor, he was unconscious but not dying. In the meantime Thorn is peppering him with arrows while Kess sang her heart out. Again it tried to dominate one of our friends, and succeeded in dominating Boshi. Between Thorns’s arrows peppering him, and my flashing blades he too went down and did not get up. By then Aerich had stopped puking his guts up, and ran back into the fray. A tangle foot arrow from Thorn got him stuck in one place while Aerich had him cornered with his consecrate, I was able to get behind him and began slicing him to pieces. One final sword swipe by Aerich the nasferatu was into a swarm. I saw the swarm flee through a crack in the wall and followed him into his lair. Yes this was a possible suicidal mission, but this bastard had to die. I took Ithamore’s ax with me, and I removed the nasferatur’s head from his body. I then brought it back to Aerich who proceeded to drench it in holy water. We were NOT going to let this bastard come back to life.

It was at that time that we cut our losses for now. We had no spells, we were near death, and two of our people were unconscious and dying. We had to find a bolt hole and rest. There were no questions about it. We dragged Boshi, Ithamore, and the guy who had been on the alter – aka the bard we had been looking for- bodies into the hidden chamber of the Nasferatu, and I relocked the door to the nasferatu’s lair. If someone was stupid enough to attempt to come through the lair’s door, and then if they could find the hidden door to the chamber was in, we were already dead so what else did we have to loose.

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A rogue's gambit

In finishing with the manor we were no closer to finding our lost bard. He was nowhere in the manor, I was sure of that. We could either go back to the bar and drown our sorrow and go “oh well” or we could use the resources we had at our disposal. Like it or not we had someone who knew where and what was going on everywhere in the city. We could go to Eel’s End and talk to Devargo Barvasi, the Spider King. He owed us a favor, and favor from a man like him is very valuable indeed. Was this man’s life worth us using this favor? After heated discussion, the decision was made to cash it in.

I was not too thrilled to go back out there. It’s not that I don’t like the place, far from it, but it is the fact that Carista and Adelaide are there. To say I have a chip on my shoulder about them in an understatement to say the least. The people that normally crowded the place were long gone but there were a few about. As we walked past the House of Clouds I saw Carista step out of the shadows and walk with our escorts. She made a point to walk beside me.

I didn’t want to deal with small talk, so I jumped right to the point. “Is she still alive?”

“Yes, but barely. The red veil did a number on her. It will be quite some time before she can return to work for you.” Carista walked by me, looking straight ahead.

“Oh she is not coming back!” I laughed, and glared at her.

“And why not?” Carista sincerely looked offended. “She was a good worker, and took good care of your customers.”

“Besides the fact that she was hired to be kitchen help, and the thought of washing sausage casing made her turn green, there is no way Kess will let her step foot back in the bar.”

“And what would little miss fortune teller do?” Carista scoffed.

“I believe the term is, ‘Cut a bitch’, comes to mind.” I gave her a side long glance.

Carista’s step faltered for a moment. “I’m sure Mr. Priest in tight pants over there would forgive her and protect her. “

I couldn’t stifle the laugh, “Oh really, you expect a cleric of Ragathiel, a man who has sworn to assist those in achieving vengeance for grievously wrongs done to them to simply, ‘Forgive and forget’? You MUST have been breathing the Dragon’s Breath’s vapors if you believe that.” I shook my head at the brazenness of the woman. “Adelaide should be happy she still has her life. She is lucky I am not after her head. Because of her Devin tried to come see her and became ill himself. Thankfully, he will live, but given her treatment of him, she dare not show her face around the bar because her life is not worth it.”

“Point taken.” Carista groused, and continued to walk next to me. After a few moments she again spoke. “If Adelaide cannot work, I want someone else there.”

“No.”

“Your master’s bar is a good place for information. It is a neutral ground and a center point for intelligence in the city. I want a contact there.”

“Let me guess, even Devin told you to piss off when you tried to get him to spy for you.” I smirked at her. Carista glared at me. Her silence told me what I needed to know. Carista had tried pushing Devin and it back fired on her.

“You owe me Perdita. I saved your life.” Carista tried to push the point.

I scoffed, “Hardly. You used me for your own purposes, simple as that. The problem is that I have out grown you. You have no sway over me anymore. Are you going to say I was a thief? Some may believe you or they will see me as someone who changed her life and is now doing well for this city and the kingdom. You have no sway with me.”

Carista began to get highly irritated, “You need another serving girl and I want one of my people there.”

“To report on us? No.”

“The bar is too valuable of place even without your intelligence. I want a contact there.” She began to get seriously agitated.

I eyed my friend to see if they were going to do anything. I had a feeling they were watching her but wouldn’t pull a sword unless she tried something. “It is true that many that are members of your church are useful; however I want to pick who I want. “

“Fine then who? Prudence? Rosie? Charity? Any of them would be excellent workers.”

I smirked. “And any of them could end up dead once their multitude of sins came to light. No.” I gave her an evil grin, “I want Trudy.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“Trudy, or no one.” I smirked at her. I had known Trudy for a long time. One thing I had to say about her was she was loyal, and it wasn’t loyalty to Carista. It was to her deity Calistria. She believed gaining knowledge for the betterment of the world, not for one’s self; which had always put her in conflict with Carista. Trudy would gather information on a cheating stealing spouse to allow the poor neglected wife to receive recompense; while Carista would use the information to blackmail the husband, AND the wife. If helping out meant a few rules got bent, Trudy wasn’t opposed to it, but it better be for a darn good reason. The best way to incur Trudy’s wrath is to bully someone she cares about. To say she has a chip on her shoulder against bullies of all kinds is an understatement. I’d like to see Carista try to bully Trudy into taking the job, but we shall see if she takes the job. Would Trudy tell our secrets to anyone? No because frankly she would agree with most of the stuff we do anyway, and would help out if she could. As long as we do things for the greater good, her moral compass should point similar to ours.

“Fine. Soon as the whole plague thing blows over I’ll send her your way. I need her here for now helping with the sick. My side business has taken a serious hit, but my healing has increased. One must do what one must.” Carista crossed her arms in a huff.

“Indeed” I eyed her as she broke off as we came to the Eel’s End itself. She gave a slight bow and went back into the shadows. I knew I would need to watch my back. Carista, like myself, prefers to play the long game. She would attempt to get back at me at some point, however, for now she had bigger concerns to deal with.

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The End of the Nail

My city weeps.

I approach the alley with head low. My blade, made in the image of His holy weapon, rests within its hilt. The weapon feels light, ready to explode off out in righteous justice.

The young woman continued to scream. She was young, attractive, her willowy features were clearly elven. The effectiveness of the Nail in cowing the citizens, combined with the plague, had cowed the citizenry into submission. This young woman was brave enough to venture the streets, defying the curfew, and was caught.

These members of the Nail were going to punish her. The first held her tight, keeping her grappled. The second was keeping an eye out, ineffectively as I stood in the open and he had not noticed me. The third, the leader, was unbuckling his sword belt.

“And thus I clothe my naked villainy, with odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ…” I say, standing some ten feet away.

My words cut through her screams and she finally sees me. The Knights of the Nail don’t even look at me.

“We’re with the Nail,” the First says, still working on his breeches.

“…And seem a saint, when most I play the devil”, I draw my sword.

“Get lost,” the Second calls.

“He’s armed,” the third calls out from behind the girl.

I bring my blade down into the the First’s shoulder, the simple leather armor not proof against my magical blade. It cuts deep as I feel His Spirit imbue my muscles with heavenly power.

Before the FIrst’s knees begin to buckle, I withdraw the blade and step forward. He gurgles once as his heart, cut in two, fails. He falls forward, a freshet of blood covering the stone.

The second Nail pulls out his longsword and swings clumsily.as the third tosses the girl aside and reaches for his blade.

The second screams and swings again. I deflect the blade down and drive my left foot into his groin. He screams and doubles over, staggering backward.

The third draws his long sword and calls out. I turn to face him as he charges. The swing is clumsy as he follows through, over extending himself. I duck under his swing as he passes by me. I lift him into the air, using the flat of my blade into the back of his knees. I can see his eyes wide as I slam him into the ground, driving my weapon into his chest, splitting his ribs.

The second, crying, is a young man, no more than 18. He holds his long sword before him, feebly. Tears run down his face as he paws at his groin with his free hand.

“Don’t kill me!”

“You’ve been judged, and found wanting,” I say as I bring my blade down. The blade flashes in red and gold as it cuts through hair, skin and skull.

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