Veiled Threats (flash story)

A continuation of the adventures of Karamus as told by older and more bitter version of himself in a semi-journal format. These are written for fun so enjoy.

-Lucas

Karamus frowned a bit as he woke up in the usual way in the usual place. Absolute darkness. He tested each hand and each found and as usual, found them bound tightly. “You know… it wouldn’t hurt to have some variety every now and then. Silk instead of metal… wine instead of mud… wenches instead of sodding paladins…” he began to mutter to himself as he relaxed his body against the metal surface. The room was colder than normal and as the cansin looked, the normal fire was nothing but a few embers.

Concern whipped through his mind at the thought of having been left in the room alone, forever. Even being alive for as long as he had been, forever was still a bit of an unbelievable dream in the back of his mind. Certainly those of the adventuring type typically don’t live long lives but those who do tended to be some of the most powerful people in a realm. Karamus only needed to think of uncle Klimmerfall for a perfect example of that. “No, not the person to think of…” he told himself, “He died in a torture…room… just… like… this… one…”

The thoughts of death raced through the old man’s mind once more, conjuring a particular memory of a time when he was in Cauldron. He figured the memory was really brought up during a previous torture session and has just lingered in his mind since. He had nearly died that day, a hair’s breadth from slave labor at the feet of a uncaring god in an uncaring environment. Yeap, eternal life was sounding better all the time. Now was a good time as any to reflect…

The incident was preceded by the group’s usual aimless wanderings. My own devices and plans were set in motion once the ring was obtained from Kort’s belongings. Why I did not hold onto that ring myself I will always chide myself over. Must be more forward thinking!

I spent most of my time for the next two or so days at the inn to distance myself from the company activities. I found this to be the best solution so as to not draw attention to my business dealings. Speaking of which, I think my poor underling might need a raise for when I asked for the world, he delivered in excellent fashion. Upon the morning, Maavu had been arrested, Tercival was rumored to be a fake and the half orcs were giddy over the chance to go into Redgorge. Only the last item was left to be uncovered which was delivered on queue.

I received a message from the company that a letter had arrived for me and so on time I arrived and feigned disbelief that the Shadow Academy had made their final demand on my sister. For the most part, everyone was ready to help in my quest to get back to Sigil though the sodding paladin was suspicious of the events but seemed more occupied by the events that had cropped up over town.

When I tried to speak with Ashton about the best means of getting to Sigil and the rest of the group was talking aimlessly like normal, the room was suddenly filled with unholy fire. I had caught a whiff of sulfur just before it went off and my training took over as I dived for cover. From above, a half-orc jumped down from the balcony and began to slice and dice his way through the group with the intent of turning Bransen into a steak dinner. Quickly I moved to flank the assassin, running Nightstar through his side with practiced ease. I had hoped that the half-orc would continue to focus on Bransen so I could continue my assault but for some reason, he suddenly turned on me, brining both blades down and nearly severed both my arms. The room went cold and dark as I sunk to the ground and then I blacked out.

I don’t know how long I was out but when I came to, most of my injuries had been healed but the battle was still raging on. When I looked around, I saw the half-orc charging by me and I quickly got to my feet and chased after him. He didn’t get far as the paladin and I cut him down in short order. Next we both moved on to the archer who was helpless but floating in the air. I switched into my slippers in short order and climbed up where the archer was and slid my rapier into his heart. The wizard managed to get away from what the others had said and all I could do was shrug. “Who wants us dead and how did they know so much about us?” was the universal question.

__________________

The old cansin was awakened from his slumber by the searing of flesh, his flesh by a red-hot poker. He screamed, his senses quickly snapping to attention to figure out the situation he was in. He was still in his room, still tied down to a table and still being tortured. “Oh good…I was afraid things might go right for a change.” He mutters.

“Now now, if you only tell me what I want to know, you can have change.” Came the voice of his torturer.

“You have yet to ask a question worth answering.” Replied Karamus. More pain from the poker shot through his body, “Alright! I’ll tell you everything you want to know.”

“Excellent. Tell me of Calmus Vel.”

“Moron. Likes altar boys and long walks on the beach. Likes things that dissolve.” More pain coursed through his body with a single hand motion from the dominator. “Fine. Priest of Wee Jas. Picked a fight. Ran his mouth. Got disintegrated.”

“The long version.”

With a sigh Karamus put his head back against the bed, “Well…we got put onto his trail after the assassin attack. You see, after removing their items, we notified the guard of what had happened and they said they would attempt a spell to speak with the spirit of the assassins to try to garner information. While they went off to do that, we sold some of their gear. Might as well turn a profit from their attempt right? The sodding paladin and farmboy went to try to uncover more info on why Maavu was in jail. He claimed he was setup but didn’t have a way to prove it.”

“That afternoon, we all got back together to hear what the guard had learned which was that the assassin’s were not native to Cauldron and their employer was someone by the moniker Veiled Lady which we knew to be another name for Wee Jas. As it so happened, there was a new temple going up in the city for Wee Jas. After some debate, we decided to demand some answers from the priesthood.”

“We hit up the temple late in the afternoon. After some trial and error, we were left scratching our heads on who to speak to our how to get inside without busting down the door. Ashton lost his patience and decided to teleport inside. Moron. I had to work quick on my feet to try to pick the lock on the door which was an excellent lock by the way so we could get inside after skello and the whole time the sodding paladin is yapping in my ear about how this isn’t the best way to get inside.”

Ignoring him, I got the lock open in under 10 seconds and as we rushed inside, we found Ashton facing down two giants, three half orcs and Calmus Vel who starting running his mouth about sheep when Bluejack turned to him and looked and then poof, ash. I tell you what, funny looking man, but never say that to his face. He’s a little sensitive about it. Anyhow, as usual, the group took care of business quickly and efficiently. When all was said and done, only a single giant remained. He said that he had been hired to guard the temple. Since that was obviously a bust, he surrendered and we let him go. With that handled, we started our way up the stairs.”

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