Campaign of the Month: March 2008
The Nemedian Chronicles
Dhak Chapter 8 Entry 5
Day 2,587 of exile from Stygia
There is an uneasy stillness in the air as we make way back to Timeon's manor, the Hyrkanian and I staggered from near-grevious wounds from the would-be street assassins. Fortunately they are rarely afforded a second strike before falling under a rain of steel driven by the barbarous thews of the erstwhile savages I companion with.
Still unable to sleep I decided to spend some time in Katos' former room… perhaps his lingering spirit might appear and speak? Ha – if we were in Stygia, maybe. Not in this upsart fort of bigots… Nary moments passed before a muffled shout carried through the stone floor. More visitors, doubtless.
Swiftly I moved to the balcony in time to witness the last moments of yet another of Galbro's lackeys as he was split like cordwood by the Aesir's sword – a sight I never tire of. A crumbling shingle from the roof edge coaslesced my senses and I instinctively knew another was moving off the roof above. The stress of the last few days manifested in a nigh-unquentiable desire to slay and I scrambled up immediately to intercept, but like the slinking thief he was the intruder fled like a shadow. I'll not underestimate the ability of Ophir's thieves anytime soon, but I will always despise them.
Apparently the theives sought the Urn that was kept in Annaro's room – the Crucible! I was a fool not to realize it sooner. And one had escaped, doubtless with the artifact in hand. As the others sought to track his path – through the city, no less – I knew there was another means… but it would be costly. Not to me though, no no, just to the weak-minded fools I would need to draw the additional power from! and though it leaves them insensate, they usually recover in a day or so. Yes there was no margin for error and the servants were present, why not make use of them? I had two of the soldiers fetch a servant woman and subdue her as I leeched her mind essence into my being. I was disappointed when almost instantly her eyes rolled to the whites and her tongue (distended to twice its size) lolled forth from her froth-flecked lips! Too weak, hardly worth the effort, and another would be needed. Surprisingly the so-called hardened soldiers recoiled in fear from this most trivial of sorcerous powers… had I not advised them the woman would be fully recovered in mere hours? By Set had they hesitated another second to fetch another servant I would have run them through! The next was a far better specimen; perhaps a dozen heartbeats passed before his eyes rolled. For a brief moment I considered Tullviem's slave-girl, then thought the better of it… likely she's already clouded his wit with her feminine wiles enough to provoke a fury if she was harmed…
No matter, I felt strong enough use the heart. With Yag-Kosha's gift I saw my quarry. I saw him as an eagle high above, as a crow skimming the rooftops, then as a fly just above him as he fled through Ianthe. I saw his ramshackly hovel and I saw the wretch walk in. I saw him as a gnat on the wall as he laid to his threadbare mat. And I knew he was mine.
I gathered the others and made for the worm's lair. It was there, were my magicks said it would be. Unwilling to expend my strengths further I left the oafs to the task of charging down the door and cornering the fool. Surprising though, that even then, he lifted his sword to hold ground. What has instilled such will into the black hearts of these nightcrawling pickpockets? In little time though he was a broken man, though our efforts were spent in vain – he had not taken the urn. However we did learn the location of a house used by Galbro, a house on wolves' row. The magicks and bloodshed of the prior days had wearied me, and we allowed him to live if he fled the city. The look in his eyes convinced me he would do exactly that. Indeed, he'll think twice before crossing a sorcerer again.
Again with nothing save one new scrap of knowledge we returned to the manor. Not surprisingly Timeon was in another foul mood and wasted no time lashing with his fat tongue, fixating on my benign treatment of his slaves as an excuse to berate us. Words were spoken but passed by as wind for behind my eyes I was utterly consumed by two questions: What ultimate manner of devilry is afoot here? and How may I gain from it?