Fruit of the Fallen

Tales Told Twice

A Fresh Perspective

Part 16 of The Adventures of The Split Falchion

Vargard smiles to himself slightly as he watches Marwyn rush out the door. Nice to see at least one of us still has something close to a personal life, he thinks. His thoughts were dragged from what would have been a reminiscence of the past as Jorduna asks, “So, what now boss?”
“Oh,” he replies, snapping back to the present, “I’ll go to the university. Hopefully Craigor will be sitting in his office, perfectly healthy, and ready to explain why we lost our memories.”
“I would imagine Queen Aurala is also waiting there to bestow upon you a fiefdom,” Lesani cuts in. Her earlier pleasantness had fallen away, merely a façade masking an otherwise irritable mood.
“Damn, Les. You weren’t this grumpy after Passage.” Jorduna says.
“This curse is likely the product of demonic forces. I despise demonic forces,” she answers simply.
“But…. you don’t actually know it is, Les?” Vargard asks, forgetting her earlier sarcasm.
“Not definitively, no. But the possibility makes my skin writhe. If you do, by some miracle of the divines, meet Craigor, please give him my warmest regards, and the request to have this memory curse, or whatever it is, removed as soon as possible.”
“Will do, Les,” Vargard sighs, as he stands from his chair. He notices with a small surprise that Cletus had already left the table. Not in the general tavern either. No amount of time travelling with the dwarf prepares you for moments like this, he thinks to himself. “Marwyn’ll probably be back sometime next day. No point looking for work until we’ve gotten this mess sorted out.”
“Yeah, I should probably take the day making sure the guard aren’t after us,” Jorduna says. “What?” she adds, to the confused glances of the other two, “We lost a day. No way knowing what we could of done, or who we may have pissed off.”
“I believe you are far more in danger of that than we are, Jor. However, considering this inn is not currently full of Fairhaven’s… fairest, I would doubt we are wanted by the guard. Also,” she says, looking around at the other patrons of the inn and lowering her voice, “I would suggest not mentioning our possible delinquency in an open space.”
“I’ll see you two in the afternoon,” Vargard says, breaking away from the conversation, “Gates open soon.”

Vargard returns to the University of Wynarn moments after the guards unlock the gates surrounding the campus, exactly an hour after dawn. Entrance to the university is restricted to only those with authorized papers, though attaining them is typically trivial. The fact that his entry had been denied for the week leading up to the bandit, Neldon’s, trial left him with the impression that the Aundarian crown had longer reach into the university, despite its supposed distance from royal happenings. “Politics,” Vargard curses to himself as he crosses through the gate.
“Whazzat” the guard, who had been replacing the gate key to its place at his belt.
“Nothing, nothing son,” Vargard answers. He pauses as he briefly glances at the gateman, a young elf (well, young by their standard), wearing the uniform of a near freshly-minted footman of the Aundairian guard. Guarding the university was a privilege of sorts among the soldiers of Fairhaven. I would know, Vargard thinks to himself, it’s what drove me to volunteer for duty at Vanguard Keep. He remembers the constant, yet subtle infighting amongst the lower ranks for easier assignments with disdain. He passes the guard quickly, not wanting to delve too far back into his memories.

The University yard is fairly deserted. Not accustomed to the weekly schedule that dictates the lives of its denizens, it takes Vargard a moment to realize it is Sul, one of the two days normal classes aren’t held. Even so, the exhibition stage at the center of the plaza held some activity, as a couple students assembled what looked to be a fairly complex demonstration. Not what I came for, Vargard reminds himself, and focuses his attention forward, towards the main tower. The path to Craigor’s office, one that required the traveler to wind their way through the labyrinth of floors and classrooms that was the University of Wynarn, was now familiar to Vargard. He reached the office with little trouble, few staff or students in the halls on this holiday.

When he reaches the door, however, it is locked. Vargard sighs, half-expecting this, and tries once more. The door yields no ground, being of the same strong craftsmanship that built the original Fairhaven. Add the University’s own mix of protective enchantments befitting an elder professor, and a battering ram would find trouble breaching the office. Disappointed, Vargard took a moment to think to himself. The possibility of his friend’s demise was beginning to fully impact him.
As long as he’d known Craigor, Vargard had respected the dragonborn’s arcane talent. But against so many others of his own kind… this hole in his memory was unsettling. Vargard wondered if it was this, more than anything else, that had set Lesani off this morning. No one liked to lose control, especially over their own mind.
And Vargard’s thoughts drifted towards Redmont, as he leaned outside of Gilmont’s office. I lost my control there, Vargard admits to himself. Les pulled my head back into the game eventually, but I shouldn’t have let it get that far. Let myself be… consumed with the thought of a capable rival. Would that I had spared him, perhaps he might have helped us against that beast…

“Sir, do you need something?” a voice asks him, shaking Vargard from his thoughts. Vargard looks up, annoyed with himself at letting someone close on him without noticing. He then looks a bit down to match the gaze of the dwarf staring at him, dressed in university robes.
“Yes. I’m looking for Professor Gilmont,” Vargard explains.
“Ah,” the dwarf says, genially nodding his head in understanding, “I believe Professor Gilmont left for the week’s end. He should be back tomorrow, however…”
“Has anyone heard of him since two days past?” Vargard asks suddenly.
“,” the dwarf answers, taken aback by the sudden question, “Not since he left the gates with… with several warriors…”
“Damn it all,” Vargard curses, suddenly growing impatient. He quickly brushes past the bumbling professor, who quickly presses against the wall as Vargard rushes out of the tower.

Later that Day
“Srry, sir, but we ‘aven’t seen anythin’,” the rough man answered, “There were a great commot’n ‘round tha time yah mention’d, but we’d all duck’d inside once we’d heard the figh’n. Whish I could tell ya more…”
Vargard sighs. It is later in the day, and he stands next to a farmer, who had temporarily stopped his work at Vargard’s questions… and promise of gold. It was the fourth such man he had asked, after a long day trudging through the fields close to the where he last remembered seeing his old friend. The supposed battlefield itself was suspiciously vacant of any signs of battle, clearly something had tried to conceal what had happened there.
Someone must have also gotten to any witnesses, Vargard thinks to himself, this man is clearly lying. He shakes his head in disappointment, but reluctantly says, “In truth I expected nothing more. If you do hear anything useful from anyone who did see anything, I’ll be sure to reward you in kind.” Vargard fishes a silver coin from his purse, and hands it to the waiting hand of the farmer.
“Course…. ‘course, though anyone ‘o might’ve might be keepin’ their ead’s down. Dang’rous it can be, to talk what of dang’rous men,” The farmer says surreptitiously, quickly stashing the coin and making haste to return to his work.
“Indeed,” Vargard replies, more to himself, as he takes another sweeping glance of the countryside. He severely doubted any further probing would reveal anything. Damnit all, Vargard thinks to himself, I started this thing to get away from damned detective work. Craigor, you bastard, if I find you, you’ll have some explaining to do.

A crude dinner bell rings out, and the farmer stands, running back towards the farmhouse. Vargard realizes the sun is once again reaching the horizon, and he makes haste to return to the city before the main gates close.

He returns to The Crowned Leper well after nightfall, his walk back taking the remainder of the day. After petitioning the barkeep for the cold remains of the inn’s supper, he sits heavily on the table, hunger taking priority over his other concerns. He notices, with a touch of pride, Cletus slipping into the seat next to him. Not this time, friend, he thinks to himself.
“We’ll talk later,” he mumbles to Cletus between mouthfuls, “Have Les set up a room.”
“Aye,” Cletus. He pauses, and mentions as he struggles down the tall barstool, “Bard’s not back yet.”
“He’s probably having a better time than any of us,” Vargard replies dismissively, “Nothing I have to say is worth fetching him for.”
Cletus leaves with that, as Vargard finishes his meal.

It is an hour later that the four members of The Split Falchion meet in Lesani’s warded room. Most of the patrons had turned in for the night, Vargard’s meal prolonging the rest of the group’s day far into the night.
“Jor, you start,” Vargard says, as the four settle into their seats. You probably learned more than I did, Vargard silently hopes.
“I,” Jorduna starts, a little surprised at the granted initiative, “Well, I’m a few pieces lighter, but I can say with confidence that if the guard was looking to arrest us, we would already be in chains. So we have that going for us, at least.
“As much as we had already surmised,” Lesani grumpily adds.
“Hey, at least I did something today,” Jorduna cuts back, “Instead of sulking in a tavern.”
“The day is not yet over,” Lesani answers, a dangerous edge creeping into her voice.
“This is not the time for infighting,” Vargard mediates. Gods, he thinks to himself, we’re unravelling. Just like in Passage. “Les, still nothing on the curse?”
“No,” she replies, still holding a nasty glare at Jorduna, “Though I may have acted in haste with regards to my suspicions. With concentration, I detected faint traces of a ritual cast on myself, as well as the rest of us I must assume. By my best estimates it was cast sometime last night.” Lesani cooled as she gave her report to Vargard, reigning in her temper.
“Wait, but you now think it isn’t demonic? Why the change of opinion?” Vargard asks.
“For one, Cletus spent the entire day drinking without illness,” Cletus gives Vargard a subtle nod, “However, the defining factor is that this… memory charm, for lack of a better term, is not in fact a curse.”
“I’m going to have to disagree with you on that, Les,” Vargard responds, skeptically. Cletus and Jorduna mirror this confusion, though both don’t interrupt. To do so would go against the former’s nature, and Jorduna felt that conversations on magic were best left… delegated to Vargard and Lesani. She’d learn what she’d need to in the end, and the current tension between her and the warlock did nothing to help.
“Well… it is a curse,” Lesani concedes, “Though in name only. I admit that it would fall under Professor Gilmont’s purview, however it is unlikely that we were affected by it unwillingly.”
“You mean to say that we willingly accepted this ‘memory charm’? This is,” Vargard pauses for a moment, searching for the right word, “Troubling.”
“Indeed, especially considering the continued absence of Professor Gilmont. I can only guess why we five would accept such a burden. Perhaps we were defeated in combat, and this was the dragonborn’s price for defeat. Though I doubt they would have left our supplies unmolested.”

A silence falls as the group takes in this information. It is Cletus that finally breaks the silence, looking to Vargard. “Gotta suggestion, boss,”
“Hmm?” Vargard glances back, train of thought broken.
“Nothin’ we can’ do tha’ we haven’ already done. Let’s go onna job, see wha’s changed after. Give everthin’ time ta’ settle.”
“A good idea, Cletus,” Vargard says, warming to the idea.
“You want us to go on a job, now?!” Jorduna protests.
“Cletus is right. We’re only wasting our time, and coin.” Vargard adds, softening Jorduna’s look slightly, “We lost two months tracking that monster, and I’m not keen on losing more now. Tomorrow, I’ll reach out, see if there’s anyone who needs a few hired swords. I admit I don’t like leaving without finding out what happened to Craigor…”
“We will uncover his fate eventually, Var,” Lesani reassures, “I take it there is nothing left to discuss?”
“One thing,” Vargard says, stopping Cletus, who was midway to the door, “Well, two actually. First, it appears someone is trying to suppress information surrounding Craigor. I spoke with several farmhands, all either were ignorant, or had been convinced to keep their mouths shut. Further reasons to wait and approach this from a different angle.”
“Any idea as to who would do this?” Lesani asks.
“No,” Vargard shakes his head, “Though I’d suspect Aundair is involved, somehow. If there were Argonessan diplomats, there’s no way they passed the border without the Eyes sniffing them out.”
“Reasonable,” Lesani agrees. “And the second?”
“Yes. Cletus, if Marwyn doesn’t return by noon tomorrow, track him down. If we’re lucky, should find something by next sundown.”
“Aye,” Cletus nods, resuming his walk to the door. Jorduna and Lesani also move to exit, sensing the end of the briefing. Only Lesani pauses, one hand on the doorframe as she turns towards her room.

“One thing still bothers me, Var.”
“What?” Vargard asks, looking up in surprise.
“If an entity is indeed attempting to suppress information surrounding the dragonborn, it is likely they know of us. If so, this memory charm could be their work.”
“A fair point, Les. Whatever the mystery surrounding this is, a fair chance is we had a hand devising it,” Vargard replies, understanding her point.
“Exactly. I’m… I’m not entirely sure if we should continue down this path, if that is the case.”
“I have to know what happened, Les. Even if it’s not right away,”
“Even if you yourself willing hid those memories?”
“Yes. Even then,” Vargard answers, definitively. Lesani tilts her head slightly as she absorbs his decision, then removes her hand from the doorframe, returning to her room. Vargard sighs, and blows out the candle burning on his nightstand. His own, occupied solely by himself. It had been years since that had been different, but even now he faintly missed it. Missed the days where he didn’t fight every day for a living. Missed it, when there was another who warmed his bed…
Vargard’s train of thought is broken as he mind automatically registers Lesani’s enchantment fading, and the magical environment of the inn returning to an inert form. He rubs his eyes, exhaustion taking over, and lays down.

In the end, two things separate successful mercenaries from failed ones. The first is the more obvious, an aptitude for survival on the battlefield. The second, the ability to find employment. Sharp blades and arcane knowledge matter little when there is no coin to be spared for them, and many a mercenary has turned to thievery due to this.
Of the famous and well-known mercenary groups, work comes both easily and in great variety. Of smaller groups, trying to stay ahead of starvation, work is a daily struggle, with long-term engagements the most prized. The Split Falchion is a rarity in this regard, a crossbreed between the two. Small, not known to most, yet they never seem to want for work if they look hard enough. Rare was the occasion they had ever worked for one employer more than a week, granting variety to what can be a dull and dangerous profession.
Cletus and Jorduna had their suspicions as to how this was, yet they had never asked out of deference to Vargard. As for Marwyn, well, he hadn’t nearly enough experience with the world to even question the seemingly miraculous manner with which Vargard procured work. And Lesani, well… Vargard smiles to himself slightly, Lesani knew full well where he got his information.
Part of it was a good relationship with the Aundair guard. Town and regional heads are often mentored in Fairhaven, then assigned out over the local garrison. As it happens, Vargard’s tenure with the Fairhaven guard allowed him connections with these up and coming leaders. He didn’t know it at the time, of course, but the connections he formed proved very valuable later in life. The job tracking Cutthroat Jack is merely the most recent example.

However, even that isn’t enough, Vargard ruminates, as he sits on a crate near an alley. Before him lies a busy marketplace, one of the many in Fairhaven. Tall buildings line circle the plaza, casting a dark shadow across part of it. Such would be welcome in the warm summers of Aundair, but with winter practically here, the sun’s gaze was more pleasant.
Unfortunately, Vargard’s position was in the dark of the plaza. Yet, his leathers provided him warmth enough. He had been waiting there for an hour already, trying his best to meld into the background of the busy street. The wait had been expected. It’s a wait he’d had many times before.

A drunk comes stumbling from the alley, open bottle in hand, perfectly mundane image of a man whose revelries yesterday had blurred into the next day. But Vargard knew better. The drunk stumbled into him, as he expected. Vargard utters a half-hearted curse at the drunk, who for his part, flipped him off and disappeared into the passing throngs of marketgoers.
In Vargard’s hand, lies a small piece of parchment that had been passed to him. A single glyph, unintelligible to the untrained eye, graces it. As he had done many times before, Vargard feigns a cough, while swallowing the parchment.

Further into the city does Vargard walk, the sun reaching overhead. He had been up since dawn, leaving The Crowned Leper far before any of his cohorts. He had half expected to see Marwyn stumbling back to the inn, yet no bard had greeted him this morn.
Vargard mentally shakes himself, refocusing on his task. He was reaching his journey’s end.

Vargard ducks into a busy warehouse, mere blocks from Fairhold. He went unchallenged, the page at the door giving him a brief glance, and the worker’s even less. Among the masses of grain, and other foodstuffs, is a small section of crates covered by a tarp. Edging up to the cluster, Vargard lifts the tarp over his head, and disappears from the common eye.

“Haven’t used that entrance in quite a while,” Vargard comments. He sits in a darkened room, the only light source directed towards him. A figure, the outline of someone, leans against a far wall. Vargard had only ever seen the entity this way. He has no wish to become more acquainted.
“The city’s preparation for winter has made it less… conspicuous. I assume you are following up on our missive?” The same enigmatic voice as before. Vargard often wondered if the figure always used magic of some kind to disguise it. Almost definitely, given the elaborate lengths it goes to live in the shadows.
“Yes,” Vargard responds. He had long since burned the letter he had received upon arriving in Fairhaven, yet its importance had remained in his memory. “But I have… questions. About two days past.”
“Ah yes, Professor Gilmont’s debacle,” the figure responds. It waits for Vargard to react.
“It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I have no memory of it. Locals are unerringly quiet about it as well,” Vargard continues. Impatience at the figure’s elusiveness was building in him, yet he kept his tone level. Doubtless this was sensed by his companion.
“Measures had to be taken. I warned you not to let it get out of hand. As it stood, we had to intervene, for both our sakes,” the figure explains.
A little exasperated, Vargard replies, “Can you be a little more specific?”
“No, Mr. Garodin,” the figure says, determinedly, “Though I can say your friend is quite well. In hiding, at the moment, while things settle.”
“He lives?” Vargard asks, relieved.
“Yes, though none may see him. You are being informed solely because we know such information will be well-guarded. Your compatriots…”
“Won’t be a problem,” Vargard finishes curtly, “Will our memories ever be restored?”
“No. But you will learn of what happened in good time. Shall we say, after you have finished our next engagement.”

Damn politics, Vargard thinks to himself. “I suppose I have no choice in the matter. What is it?”
“Let us say you are finishing a job. The remnants of the so-called Cutthroat Jack’s band have continued to be a nuisance.”
“I thought they’d of screwed off after Jack was hanged,” Vargard says, “What’s happened?”
“As far as the guard discovered, they assaulted and attempted to kidnap a herbalist merely miles from our walls. Fortunately, he managed to escape with his life. Unfortunately, it appears they have joined a larger group of malcontents.”
“Yes. You remember the border incident of a few months ago? With the captured Thranishman.”
“Of course. Hard to forget, that one,” Vargard affirms. Silas Lancaster, I wonder what happened to him, Vargard thinks. Wasn’t at the bandit’s trial. He’s probably been squirreled away somewhere deniable Thranish assassins can’t reach.
“True. While you were traipsing around Khorrvaire looking for the daemon, we were investigating the teleportation scrolls recovered from the rogue’s den. An odd spell, it took us some time to trace it to them.”
“There exists a faction within Aundair that wishes the war had never ended. Even after the Mourning. We had suspected them to be behind the Lancaster mess in the first place, but had no solid proof.”
Vargard thinks to himself for a moment, and continues, “Aurala’s never been one to tolerate mutiny of any kind. We both know what lengths have been taken to ‘protect the welfare of the kingdom’.”
“Several of their number are fairly high up in the royal court, practically untouchable to anything other than an ironclad case. Caution was advised, until they plotted against the queen herself.”
“They what!?” Vargard reacts, incredulous.
“We were just as surprised when the assassins stormed the royal court. Stopped dead, of course, though just barely. Had one of our senior agents not been making an impromptu report…. It is safe to say we took direct, final measures against all who dared play a part in the role, despite the possible ramifications. It was a small list, yet too large all the same. I don’t need to tell you how fortunate we were to keep this contained.”
“Palace intrigue aside,” Vargard comments, taking the news in stride, “How does this have anything to do with me?”
“Yes, well, from what we learned of the conspirators before their departure, the brunt of their mercenaries, not” the figure interrupts himself suddenly, “that I am comparing them to an outfit of your… caliber, lie in a network of abandoned tunnels beneath the Aundairian plains, west of our capital. We weren’t able to get the location out of those who talked, the ringleaders remained quiet to the grave. Fortunately, we arrested some who were trying to purchase more of those teleportation scrolls.”
“About those scrolls,” Vargard cuts in, “I’ve never seen anything like them before. Pretty simple spell from what I’ve seen, especially considering the complexity of normal teleportation magic. Where were they coming from?”
“A mage visiting from Arcanix, of all places, who apparently thought nothing of selling some of his research to anyone who knew what to ask for. We worked out the source of those scrolls fairly quickly after the incident, but the initial purchase was made via proxy. After some lessons about carefully choosing his clientele, we managed to convince him to play the part of bait, in case they should return. As luck would have it, we captured a good 15 in all. With so much to work with, it’ll only be a matter of time before we break one of them. At that point, you and your crew will assist us in rooting out the last of these traitors.”
“I would gladly do it,” Vargard responded, but adds hesitantly, “But I cannot in good conscience accept without payment for my men.”
Vargard wasn’t sure, but he got the feeling that the figure was leering at him. It responded, “My, my. Vargard shaking down the Royal Eyes of Aundair, this I thought I’d never witness. I understand, of course. The standard fee is always implicit when you work for us.”
“Good,” Vargard says, slightly relieved at getting through the briefing. The news of Aurala’s assassination still bounced around in his head. An attack on the Queen herself? he thinks to himself. The fact that the figure before him even mentioned the event was slightly comforting, however. Even when he was a part of their organization, Vargard never really thought he had a good grasp of what his superiors were up to. Letting him into a secret this big meant they still trusted him, and needed him. It only made him more curious towards the mission they had in mind after this trifle.
“As I said before, we will have more meaningful work than taking out the trash. By the time you return we should be ready. You’ll be pleased to know we’ve already made some progress. But for now, you’ll be contacted with more specific details when we’re ready. I would expect a messenger before the day’s en…”

The door on the far end of the room is hastily thrown open, cutting off the figure. The speaker’s fury at being interrupted radiates across to Vargard, though they leave without chastising the new figure, also obscured by the lighting, or finishing their sentence.
“With me,” the figure says urgently. Vargard pauses briefly, unsure of himself, but then follows. He’s slightly surprised when the torchlight of the hallway reveals the speaker to be a tiefling, female. He immediately disregards the form, however. Vargard had often heard of the higher ranks of the Royal Eye’s ability to shapeshift, through some form of magical enchantment. Vargard was almost flattered that the agent was using such methods for him.
“What’s going on?” Vargard asks.
“Prisoner escape. Damned teleportation scrolls, someone must have slipped one to the group and they got away. Three guards dead,” the tiefling explains.
Vargard detects a slight hint of hesitancy in the voice, easier to determine now that he could see the mouth that forms the words. “There’s something you’re not telling me,” he says pointedly. The tiefling shifts ever so slightly. Vargard had never had the opportunity to read her like this before, and the loss of her advantage was clearly unnerving her.
The agent was composed enough not to show this for more than a moment, though. “There was… unforeseen consequences of our operations. The full story will be explained later, suffice it to say your bard was with them during the escape.”
Vargard stops in his tracks, and grabs the arm of the tielfing, stopping her as well. Rage builds in her eyes at the affront, but finds its match in Vargards. “What. The. Hell. Was Marwyn doing in prison? What kind of angle are you playing!?”
The tielfing jerks her arm out of Vargard’s grip, “I’ll excuse your momentarily lapse of judgement. As I said, I will explain after we’ve sorted them out. What you need to know, right now, is that your bard is, at this moment, with a group of terrorists who tried to strike at the heart of this nation. If they haven’t killed him yet, your only hope to save him is to kill them. Now, are we done here?”
“Yes,” Vargard concedes begrudgingly.

A few moments later, the tiefling and Vargard stand outside of a cell. Most major cities of Khorvairre have such tunnels underneath, some for siege breaking, others the ruins of prior settlements. Those in Fairhaven have been well mapped and warded by Aurala’s cloaked guardians, and to Vargard they were well known. Screams are heard from the other side. Vargard shifts, still angered at the arrest of Marwyn, and the damned politics that undoubtedly surrounded it. He was used to this sort of lack of information from his time with them, but the situation was different now. Marwyn was his responsibility, same as any other under his command.
The screaming stops, replaced by a muffled kind of sobbing. The sound is briefly amplified as a man walks out, the kind of bulky, nondescript man whose sole purpose in life is to attain specialized knowledge in knives. Most becomes butchers, though some find employment in much darker means. This man wasn’t the best torturer the Royal Eyes had at their disposal, though not many can resist his brutal efficiency.
Vargard never liked to wonder how much of his intel had come from scenes just like this back when he was an agent. Somewhat hypocritical of me, he thinks, remembering Merrick and the Cyrian.
“I thought you said they all got away,” he says quietly.
“One did not. Apparently, there were none among them who could wield the scroll, which is why Marwyn was recruited. During the chase, one’s leg was injured. They were left behind, to our benefit. Did you get a location?” The last question is directed at the torturer, who nods.
“’alf days ride ‘t most,” he answers simply.
“Good. Vargard, gather your men and meet us at the West gate. We leave immediately, hit them at dawn.”
“Got it,” Vargard answers, “I will be expecting answers when I return.”
“You will have them,” the tiefling answers. Vargard turns and starts moving through the city’s tunnels once more, heading for the nearest exit. His mind still racing all the information it had processed in such little time, he almost misses a turn and nearly slips on the slightly moist cobblestone. Gods, he thinks to himself, Jor is going to be unbearable when I tell her we have to pull Marwyn out of the fire.

Continued in Part 17, The Wrath of Patriots – Wages of Sin


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