Archive for December, 2011

Winds Change

The day begins warm enough. Especially for a mid autumn day.  No wind to be felt.

So Bloodgrue doesn’t know why he feels so cold right now. He has his cloak wrapped tightly around him and on colder windier days he has felt very comfortable while wearing this cloak.

He feels the package hanging from his right hip. Then checks that his short sword still hangs from his left hip. It reassures him but  not a lot.

When Arton sent a messenger to offer Bloodgrue a quick job that pays well. Bloodgrue wasn’t sure about taking it. Since it only involved escorting a lieutenant from the Blue Chip guild through half of the North Docks then escort him back out to his own guild Dragoman, that would be waiting on the east side of North Docks. But why was a Blue Chip in North Docks? It didn’t sit right with Bloodgrue. But the pay was too tempting. Three Royal Flairs for two days of walking through his own streets with one man he would be guiding. After all its the work Bloodgrue is legally paid to do. He is a Dragoman. A guide for those seeking a place in this city. Licensed, and that doesn’t expire for two more years. He had to work hard for the license. It cost him a whole years earnings. And another years earnings to get this territory as his.

Bloodgrue frowns and again touches the damp package. Nearly ten inches in diameter and about fifteen pounds. Wrapped in old leather. Tied with silk rope and sealed with the mark. Now that mark scares the seven hells out of Bloodgrue.

Bloodgrue arrives at Arton’s warehouse. Here to deliver the message and package. Looking up at the sign, Bloodgrue gives the sign asking for safe entrance into the building. The Dragoman feels the chill again and shivers run through him yet again.

Entering after the door opens Bloodgrue stands the require seven feet inside the door and waits.

The door closes and Bloodgrue hears the breathing of his friend. Arton chuckles. “You really do stupid things for fun. Don’t you Dragoman. You let them give that to you to bring here so I can deliver it to the Guild-master of  Blue Chip and exactly what are we to tell the Guild-master? There is now a new guild registered amongst us in Central Mount Oryn I bet and that the war is on?”

Bloodgrue swallow then turns and looks Arton in the eyes. “Actually its for you. The message and the package. May I take it from my belt?”

Arton stares back into Bloodgrue’s eyes. Perhaps realizing things are not good and their friendship might be at risk. Neither man refocusing else where. Not daring to look away from the others eyes as if every communication can go between them through their stares.

Arton speaks softly. “Yes Dragoman takes the package from your side and hand it to Relan to your left.”

Still speaking softly and still glaring into Bloodgrue’s eyes Arton adds. “Relan take the package and open it carefully. Don’t touch the item. I want to know what I am dealing with and I don’t want it defiled yet.”

The toymal steps quietly forward and reach out. Bloodgrue unwraps his cloak from around him. Giving everyone full view of his short sword and what he has on him. Using both hands while maintaining eye lock with the Quartermaster of Guilds, Bloodgrue releases the tie of the package from his belt. Then hands the package to Relan without breaking eye lock. He sighs hugely. Without warning Bloodgrue says to Arton, “I am prepared to die.”

This statement brings tension to the workers near by. They have heard similar statements, but usually from rogues being brought here to be judged and sentenced. Bloodgrue is one of the regulars here. Buying and selling here frequently. And everyone knows Bloodgrue is a Dragoman and not a rogue. Everyone in sight has funny stories they can tell about Bloodgrue. So this statement brings instant stoppage of activity to those in hearing range and as could be expected in such an environment the silence rolls outward in a rapid tsunami wave.

Arton pales and waits. Relan carefully sets the package on the appraisal table and looks at the two friends locked with eye lock. The sign of challenge and someones death.

Relan looks at the package and sees the red liquid soaking through it at the base. “Boss there’s blood leaking.”

That being the first and most obvious assessment. The tension rises higher yet in the warehouse as everyone is now listening. The last time this happened the messenger was a city warrior and seven employees of Arton’s died before the woman was taken down.

Relan swallows as he begins removing the Pandora Seal. “The seal is Pandora’s boss. Her personal seal.”

Now everyone seems curious and confused. This might be booty worth taking.

Bloodgrue and Arton are breathing evenly and slowly. Eye lock still held. No sign of emotion is being expressed by either man.

Relan looks at the silk cord and frowns, the taking a razor knife he cuts the binding. There is a quiet moment as all in view hold their breath. Silence as the wrapping falls away exposing the item. Gasps all around the warehouse from those able to see the package.

Without waiting for Relan Arton asks, “So, what do we see? Another Medusa?”

Relan shudders and looks at Arton then Bloodgrue. “Please tell us the message Dragoman then we can tell the Quartermaster the booty.”

Bloodgrue breaks out in laughter and breaks eye lock. “OK Pandora’s says she ratifies and co-seals Blue Chip, one district in Central Mount Oryn that Tearmain had held. As a seal the head of the Central District Sergeant from Tearmain is to be displayed in Blue Chip’s Hall. For All to see. If the head is concealed or destroyed the charter is revoked and broken. All who see this head are to know the building is Blue Chip’s Guild Hall and is a fully chartered and sanctioned guild and hall.

A wave emanates through the room as relief at a peaceful conclusion is finished.

Until a voice rings out. It is Arton, who has taken a look at the head. He is obviously angry and upset. Bloodgrue knows why and feels the chill run through him again. “This head belongs to my brother. Any who dare to witness and cheer the death of this man shall see the end of my sword. Look at that head. That is the power Tearmain holds. He takes good honest men from their families and turns them against their own family. How many of you are missing family still. That you have no idea where they are. Most likely they are Tearmain and this is how you might see them on your next reunion. NO Tearmain are allowed business here. Blue Chip is under restriction. Pandora receives a five percent penalty and any who do not carry forward these decrees better leave now and not return as you will be signifying allegiance with Tearmain. I don’t want you here in that case. Is that understood?

A collective “Yes Sir” washes through out the Warehouse’s cavernous two hundred foot length and one hundred foot width. Even up into the upper works twenty six feet up.

Bloodgrue cautiously offers, “My condolence’s Quartermaster. Your family is  righteous and an upstanding Clan. Such folly should not tarnish your reputation.”

Relan looks back to Bloodgrue as a single tear rolls down the Quartermasters left cheek slowly dampening  a trail downward, then dropping off onto the floor. Then Arton  looks at Bloodgrue then nods and walks towards his office. Arton calls back. “Let the Dragoman out when he is ready. I don’t want to be disturbed until tomorrow.  Relan get the guild’s Priest of Stonewrire and the one of Ibon. We start Last Rights in the morning. Serrec See to it the message and the seal are delivered as appropriate. The rest of you get back to work. There is no holiday today.”

The released tension washes throughout Bloodgrue’s body. He knows if it had been someone else who delivered the message and package they would already be dead. But Arton would not loose two in one day. It will be days before Bloodgrue can return to regular business at this warehouse. Maybe best stay away for a full season. He goes all weak and soft. But retains his standing. Bloodgrue looks at the head, with the guild markings of Tearmain still visible on the neck. Bloodgrue also lets two tears escape. Then wrapping his cloak back around him Bloodgrue looks away as Serrec re-wraps the head and ties it up. No one speaks to Dragoman Bloodgrue. Not Arton’s employees or customers. It is best that way for everyone right now.

Bloodgrue understood he had dangerous package but hadn’t known who it had belonged to. Now knowing, it is tearing him apart inside. The exit opens without prompting as he approaches it. Exiting the warehouse Bloodgrue now knows what the chill had really been. Family. Gone. Taken twice by the Guilds. The three Flairs in his pouch might not be enough tonight at the tavern.

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