Legends of Cobalt

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Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

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About Last Night

Raisa opened the door butted against the back of the Atropa Belladonna. A handful of stairs vanished into a dark void.

“Anyone have a torch? Raisa asked.

I grabbed the hilt of my new sword. I whispered the arcane word for light, and bright light flared from the hilt. I descended into the cellar first.

Barrels and clay jugs filled any available space in the room. A narrow path from the stairs led to another door. Four timber pillars supported the ceiling. Rushlight stands extended from each pillar. Raisa brushed past me towards the second door.

“This is where we age and store our wines and liquors.” Raisa grabbed a box of matches from a ledge by the door and lit the rushlights.

“Anything in any of them now?” Bucephalus dumped Jack on the uneven stone floor.

“No,” Raisa blew out the match. “Even if there were, I wouldn’t tell you.” 

The outside door thumped closed and a metal bar clunked into place. I ended the spell on my sword.

“Strip her down.” Wyanet jogged down the stairs. “Make sure she doesn’t have any more weapons.” She knelt beside Jack and loosened the knots on her wrists. “We should gag her as well.” Wyanet pulled a knife from inside Jack’s coat. “We do not want her calling for help.”

“I’ll see what I can find.” Raisa disappeared into the next room.

“We need to set a watch on her as well.” Wyanet ran her hands down both of Jack’s legs. “I can take the first shift.”

“I’ll go second,” I chimed in.

“Neither of you are going to do that.” Bucephalus sat on one of the barrels. “You’ve got a room upstairs, I don’t.” He crossed his arms. “I’ll stay down here all night, you two enjoy your bed.”

“We need her alive in the morning,” Wyanet straddled Jack.”

“It’s easier to interrogate the living, I get it.”

Raisa came back with a rag towel in hand. “This is all I could find.” She handed the towel to Wyanet.

Wyanet forced the towel into Jack’s mouth and tied it behind her head. We levered Jack into a sitting position and tied her to one of the support pillars.

“Are you certain you will be fine alone down here?” Wyanet asked Bucephalus.

“I’ve been in worse places.”

“There are extra rushlights by the door, try not to use them all. And stay out of the barrels,” Raisa said. “I’ll bring you something to eat in the morning.”

Raisa led Wyanet and I into the next room. Shelves lined every wall of the room. Empty boxes labelled for various vegetables filled the shelves. Another door stood beside a wooden staircase leading up. Raisa waited for us to go up first and followed behind.

We emerged into a dark kitchen. Wyanet kept walking towards the common room.

“Percy?” Raisa closed the cellar door and wrapped her arms around me.” I’m sorry you got hurt because of me.” She brushed her fingers over the slash in my back. “I can stitch it up for you if you want.”

I winced at her touch. “Oh, that?” I reached my hand back to the wound. The dull light of my healing ability pulsed from my palm. “It’s nothing. I promised Bella you wouldn’t get hurt.”

Raisa nestled her head into my chest. “Still, if there is any way I can repay you? We started something before Jack showed up.” She slid her hand down my back. “I’ve got my own room if you wanted to finish.”

I took Raisa’s arms in my hands and stepped away from her. “Raisa, I’m sorry, I can’t. It wouldn’t feel right. My heart already belongs to another.”

“Oh,” Raisa slumped. “She’s a lucky girl.”

“Her name is May. We lived and trained together for most of our lives.”

“Where is she now?”

“I don’t know. Something attacked and destroyed the place we trained. As far as I know, I’m the only one who survived.” 

Silver wrapped her arms as far around my neck as she could.

“If you change your mind,” Raisa kissed me. “My room’s open.”

“Good night, Raisa.” 

I worked my way through the dark common room to the stairs. Wyanet piled her armour and clothes in a pile beside the desk while she slept in the bed. I locked the door and got undressed. I tugged my travelling blanket out of my pack and curled up on the floor.

***

“Percy, Percy wake up.” Raisa knelt beside me with a hand on my shoulder.

My eyes snapped open and I shot up. Cloudy light crept in through the window. Raisa blushed as my blanket fell away.

“Ceph said she’s awake. He sent me to fetch you.”

I wiped the sleep from my eyes and reached for my pants. “Did Phebes ever make it back last night?”

“I haven’t seen her, and she wasn’t with Ceph.”

“Go tell him we’ll be right down. I’ll get Wy up.”

Raisa left the room. I pulled on my clothes and shook Wyanet awake. “Jack’s awake, get dressed.”

Wyanet sprung from the bed. She got dressed and strapped her dagger around her waist. We rushed down to the cellar together.

Fresh rushlights flickered in their stands. Raisa and Bucephalus waited for us in the dim light. Jack’s worried eyes darted back and forth between them. Wyanet squatted down in front of Jack.

‘We are going to ask you several questions.” Wyanet grabbed the knot holding Jack’s gag in place. “Do not scream when I remove your gag.”

Jack nodded.

Wyanet worked the knot loose and stood back.

“Where’m I? Why’m I tied up? What you gunna to do to me?” Jack blurted out.

“You are safe. We are not going to hurt you,” Wyanet reassured her. “What is your name?”

Jack nodded. “My name is Jacquline, but the fathers an’ the others call me Jack.”

“Do you remember what happened last night?”

“Not really. I walked down a street and saw a man an’ a woman doin’ som’in in an alley. I don’ remember anythin’ after that. I feel like a cart hit me.”

Wyanet shot a look at Bucephalus. “Did you say anything to the couple?”

‘I don’ remember.” Jack’s eyes went wide. She fought at her bindings. “Where’s my knife? I need it. The Fathers ‘ill beat me ‘gain if I lost it.”

“Relax,” I held up a stiletto from the pile of knives we took from Jack. “We’ve got all your knives right here.”

“That’s no it.” Jack continued to struggle. “I need it. Where is it? I need it.”

I put the stiletto down and hefted the cleaver. A voice urging me to kill filled my head. “Is this the one you’re looking for?”

Jack stopped fighting. Her eyes narrowed and her lips thinned. “Give it back, ranger. Then we can finish what we started last night. I’ll kill you, then your little whore over there in the corner.”

Raisa sprinted from the room, tears in her eyes.

“You do remember what you did last night?” Wyanet accused.

I set the cleaver down. The voice left my head.

Jack’s eyes returned to panic. “Please, give it back. I have to do what it wants. ‘Nd if I don’ give the Fathers bodies, I starve an’ worse.” Tears rolled down the girl’s face. “Please let me go.”

Bella knocked on the door and stepped into the wine cellar. “There’s a man here from the constabulary for you three.”

“What does he want?” Bucephalus grumbled.

“He didn’t say, but I imagine it has to do with the little girl tied up in MY cellar.”

“She’s Jack, Bella.” I pointed at the stack of knives. “She’s the ripper.”

Wyanet replaced Jack’s gag.

Bella’s face paled. “You three go deal with the constable. I’ll make sure the door is locked.”

Wyanet, Bucephalus and I went back to the common room. A Half-Orc wearing the grey poncho and plinth helmet waited by the fireplace. An Elvish looking man with thick mutton chops of hair on his face stood at attention beside the bar. The gold brocade in the Elvish man’s waistcoat glittered in the candlelight.

“Are you Percival Von Veltliner, Wyanet of the First People and Lieutenant Bucephalus of the Inquisition?” the Elvish man asked.

‘“That depends on who’s asking,” I sidled around the bar.

“Isn’t there a fourth member of your party?” The Elvish man continued, “Where is Phebes of Last Oasis?”

“She left last night and has yet to return,” Wyanet moved to my side.

“That’s all I needed to know,” the Half-Orc grunted. “You three need to come with me.”

The story will continue, February 27th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

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