Archive for August, 2011

Life as we don’t know

Bloodgrue wants to grumble about the day. But he knows its life as he knows it right now.

The warm south breeze gently strokes Bloodgrue’s face as he watches Tess shadow a mark.

The mark in this case is a middle-aged  female merchant with a large hand cart full of carrots. Her name is Rendamin Almorin. Bloodgrue also knows that Ren keeps her coin pouch in the cart on the bottom under her produce.

Tess waits for Ren to settle her stall opening it  for business. As Ren is setting up her stool and cart to sell carrots for another day Tess walks over as if inspecting the carrots. Ren misses Tess retrieve the  coin pouch and then walk off.

But a fourth person doesn’t, Garrif One Toe spots the lift. This is Garrif’s territory and Bloodgrue wince’s when he spots Garrif signalsomeone that is out of sight. This is not going to be a good day for Tess. Bloodgrue kinda likes the rogue.

Garrif is not a big Jalmal nor is he overly bright. But his temper remains calm even when someone steps in his territory and works his marks. Garrif is very vindictive though. He has plans set out for such situations. People fear Garrif because he is so meticulously vindictive. He has also gathered some of the most notoriously vicious goons to work for him.

Bloodgrue ponders all this quickly trying to figure out how to get a source of income safe again. Garrif’s crew won’t enter Terret territory or the North Docks. But to get Tess there before being apprehended might be difficult. If  Bloodgrue is right Ren pays protection coin to Garrif. Also Bloodgrue knows Ren doesn’t have a lot of coin with her most of the time. Bad luck all the way around for Tess.

Garrif also knows this area better than anyone so any short cuts would be death cuts for Tess.

Bloodgrue feels his coin purse and swears at himself as a thought races in for the count. Bloodgrue has twenty Royal Kannoral Flairs he is saving for a new set of tools for his cousin. But unfortunately it might be awhile longer to save enough coin.  Bloodgrue stands up shakes his head, says a prayer to Ibon.

Walking across the street to Garrif. A suicidal move for most and maybe even more so for Bloodgrue. Bloodgrue walk to three metres petition distance from Garrif and turns to look towards Ren. “My apology master. My partner forgot we can’t lift in this area. I believe Mistress Rendamin carries twenty dusters normally. Was she carrying for you Master?

Garrif coughs. Thus giving permission to continue and calling attention of one of his minions.

Bloodgrue continues. “May I ask how much restitution it would be for safe passage for myself and my cohort out of this territory?”

Garrif doesn’t answers right away. Tess is now out of sight as she rounded the curve four hundred metres down the road. Bloodgrue counted three trailers but knows there were more.

 Bloodgrue waits patiently but wonders if he will see Tess alive again or at best whole.

Garrif touches Bloodgrue’s shoulder. “You did well for me a season ago Dragoman. I earnt twenty Dyns in one pull. I asked you not to come back as I also lost one of my people to Tearmain’s ilk in the pull. Now I find you in my territory watching over a rival rogue. Tell me Dragoman Bloodgrue why I should talk with you and not kill the both of you? Dragomen are not sanctioned rogues. They are city guides, and only guides. You need to relearn that. As I hear you have had a hand in more than a few marks loosing coin. You live well for a young Dragoman. Beyond the expected means you should have. You have this nice new cloak you wear. You live in a nice Inn and actually eat hot meals. You bath frequently and you buy your friends gifts. I haven’t received a gift Dragoman. So am I not a friend?”

Bloodgrue’s insides churn in the fear he is feeling. Did he do right stepping in for Tess? Will they survive never mind even survive intact.

Bloodgrue casually answers Garrif. No evidence of the fear he feels, in his voice. “Master I fear it simply is an oversite on my part. I haven’t been here in some time. Perhaps a tithe of … say … five Royal Flairs would make an excellent gift for the Master and his people.

Garrif coughs twice and Bloodgrue spots a young boy run after the others.

Garrif thoughtfully replies, “I think Dragoman I want new shoes and leggings. I saw some over  at North Docks I like. I can get a cobbler here and a tailor to make me some that fit nicely. They say it will cost one hundred Dyns. True five Flairs would start to pay for that. But I unfortunately spent my savings on a new dagger. I think I would forget the bad manners of the rogue and yourself for.. ten Flairs. I think for each Flair you are  short. Miss Tess will lose one finger at the first knuckle joint past the palm of her hand.  And before you ask. No you can’t go get your coin. It will have to come out of that purse you wear right now. Your friend only has a minute left you know.”

Bloodgrue tenses a bit then relaxes again. “Agreed master. I will pay the ten Flairs now. If Mistress Tess leaves unharmed.”

Garrif coughs again. Then Bloodgrue feels a hand on his shoulder. “Hand it over now and we will forget this happened Dragoman. But as you know I am not very forgiving. You will pay me and if I am satisfied you will have enough time to walk out of my territory without stopping. If Ren catches up to you after I could to ten. You will never return home. Neither will your friend. I am counting as soon as you pick up your coin purse so you best not dally.

Bloodgrue without answering picks up his purse opens it and quickly pulls out ten Flairs. Placing them on the small table beside the two of them. Bloodgrue starts walking a normal pace to follow after Tess. He closes and secures his pouch of remaining coin as he walks. Bloodgrue counts to seven as he walks, when he hears a curse behind him, Mistress Ren’s voice he is certain.  Bloodgrue picks up his pace.

Ren can be heard to shout and then start running. That is all the signal Bloodgrue needs. He breaks into a run of his own. Directly for North Docks. Damn Tess. Last time he saves her ass. This cost him ten flairs minimum. Maybe much more if Ren is faster then he believes or Garrif decides the truce is breakable. Or wants more. Bloodgrue sees the boy and four others lounging against a building up ahead and they are not hiding they are watching him.

Bloodgrue runs past and he can hear Ren getting closer. ‘damn seven hells she runs fast for a merchant.’

Bloodgrue runs past Tess without a word. He runs for eight more blocks of city streets and roads. Then passes the invisible boundry that marks North Dock District

Damn near out of breath. Exhausted he falls to the paving stones trying to get his breath back. He lost Ren two blocks back but he wasn’t taking any chances by slowing down until he was safe. Home free and Tess will never know what happened as Bloodgrue knows if he tells her she will go back for the Flairs. If she makes it out now. Looking back down the direction he just came from Bloodgrue doesn’t see Tess.

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