Second Darkness

Chapter 3: A Duel, A Church... And a Goat.

The One with the Goat

We were closing our evening with a few rounds of gholem as usual, this evening I took the round. Afterwards Tensa went over the ledgers with Laurer at his request. Laurer had found some discrepencies and wanted Tensa to confirm his suspicions. He said he suspects this to be the work of Belthias Krune, an infamous but petty thief and peddler. Our sources told us Belthias operates out of Split-hog alley, at the church of St. Casprian’s Salvation.

We made our way to St. Casprians under cover of night, planning to slip past the clerics of the sun while their god sleeps. There was little difficulty in entering the church. Upstairs we found a cache in the bell tower containing our stolen merchandise and a little extra for our troubles. Continuing our exploration of the place, we encountered two gamblers, a short man and a half orc. The half man claimed no part and, quite literally tried to back stab Vex. Luckily, his aim was off and he failed in his endeavor. He did however, escape us and fled into the night. The half orc attempted to stop us by throwing a crate with one of his pet scorpions inside it. I squashed the bug with little effort. This threw the half orc into a rage and he took down Telsarian in his fury. We dispatched him quickly after that and brought Telsarian back to his feet. On our way out of the church we encountered Belthias himself pretending to be a beggar. Elethrose had his way with him and quickly dispatched him with some hypnotic magic and talked him down.

I most confess I remember little else of that evening. I know we returned to the goblin where we gave Laurer the good news. Tensalrian, must have been very thankful for the hand up in the church because he talked me up to many of the ladies that were at the bar that night. With his aid I left the bar with no fewer than 6 ladies that evening and had more than I’ve ever drank before. The following morning I stumbled back to the goblin to greet everyone. They obviously had continued the party without me for they looked ragged and Elethrose had apparently only returned just before I did, no doubt on one of his drunken bouts. We were approached that day by a lovely half-elf named Samaritha Beldusk who was looking for work. She had come from afar to try and earn an apprenticeship with the cipher mages that the rest of my partners are so fond of. She traveled here with only what she needed, and with only what she could carry on her back. After some deliberation we decided to take her on a trial period and see what she could do. So we sent her for a quick training session with Lixxy to get her ready for the evening.

The rest of the day went by as it usually does, but the evening held a surprise in store for us. The night was bustling, when I heard a familiar voice in the crowd. My old rival Thibault had arrived at our establishment. He’d heard I was in town and was looking to settle the score and show everyone who the greatest swordsman in Korvosi really was. I wasn’t going to make a scene to potentially disrupt the evening so I told him we’d have our duel after. When the evening settled down we began to set things up. Our staff arranged a dueling stage for us. I took a shot from the bar and received some words of wisdom and encouragement from Elethrose (Although they escape me at this moment). I returned to the stage to face my rival, and with that our dance began. We were both moving cautiously, and I was first to strike. With one quick strike Thibault sliced across the hilt of my rapier and removed a piece of it. Blow after blow I thrust but was unable to land a hit. It wasn’t soon after that Thibault disarmed me. Luckily I had a dagger as a back up until I was able to retrieve my weapon. But again he disarmed me. Again and again he struck and I was unable to hold my own against him. I was reaching my limit and at my wits end. I only had one more chance. I reached for a table leg and brandishing that as my new weapon I struck back. I had gained the upper hand, if only for a moment. My momentum was short lived and Thibault struck the final blow.

I awoke some time later sore, not from Thibault’s blade, but from a wound long ago remembered. I retired for the remainder of this evening, with heavy heart and broken blade.


poirier_j_mike matthew_van_es

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