Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Journal of Katherine, Entry 47

Entry 47

Continuing from my entry 46...

After the secular visit, we return to the inn to plan our next steps.  Three issues most important are one, rumors about people disappearing and the details are posted on the town sign, two, the tortured servants in Broderick's house, and three,  this council member Lady Caldwell.  We think they are all related.  Soon, two gnome men enter the inn and are looking for Boomtuck, since he has been seen with us.  They state that Boomtuck has fathered many children with many women and want to "personally" give him a message.  Later that day, we meet Boomtuck and I inquire whether these stories are true, which he confirms.  This does not surprise me, for his behavior does not show any responsibility.  He becomes a new issue, as I disapprove of this, and others do too, but we will deal with him later.

When we leave to find this post sign, we happen chance see an ornate carriage pass right in front of us.  A vision from my youth gives me memories of my uncle's visits because he has a carriage like this.  Every year during the summer, he would travel in style with his carriage to our home, always bringing me presents of exotic candies from far away places.  I enjoyed the rides through the country air.  My brothers teased me about my romantic ideas of being carried away.  Those dreamy days are long ago.

As the carriage passes, my vision shows me in the carriage, long hair and in fancy clothes, but it is not me as a child, but as an adult.  No, the vision is not me at all.  It is Lady Caldwell, and the boy next to her is young Broderick.  I tell the others that Broderick is in he carriage and we should follow.  We easily see that it will outpace us, but Ohm Uri runs after it.  We loose site of the carriage and Ohm Uri at the festival grounds - the same grounds where we attended the summer festival and where Trevor ran into Rovert.  It seems that this town has a festival every few months.  We also discover the sign with the posting of the missing people.  I peruse the postings and many state the last place where they were: "Inspiration Point".

Ohm Uri finds us and he leads us through the city to areas I have not yet been.  Houses are better kept and some have gardens.  A few houses have second floors, too.  One person recognizes Trevor from one of his performances.  Eventually, Ohm Uri leads us to a house with a locked iron gate and a thick stone wall about a few feet taller than me, or about as tall as Kull.  The house is located on the river, and the wall goes to the waters edge.  There are metal points at this spot to discourage people going round it.  Under the water is unknown, but I'm sure there is something to discourage people from wading in and swimming around, too. 

A servant greets us, and states a thank you to Ohm Uri for returning with his friends.  Unknown to us, but we find out then, that Ohm Uri walked right in and talked to the Lady Caldwell, and now he thinks she is the nicest person in the town.  I suspect mind control at work, for on the road back from the north, Bob reacted exactly like this when I used the same trick.  I get a very bad feeling about this lady, but no proof yet.  The servant tells us to follow him to the back yard garden, complete with table and chairs for the meeting.  Other servants bring drinks, but I refuse. 

During the meeting she asked about Kevin, apparently to appear ignorant of his fate.  I can tell she is lying.  I try to convince Brute and Kull later when we walk away from the house.  Since she is the owner of the mansion now, she permits us to enter it at our leisure.  She continues to explain that some items were moved from the mansion to this house.  My mind wanders back to Kevin - if she is guilty of his torture and death, why did she just grant us free access?  I inquire about whether she visited the mansion, but she does not admit to it.  I follow up stating that an unknown servant was found dead, and of a maid, found alive.  Lady Caldwell persists to know the location of the maid, but we kept it to ourselves.  Late in the meeting, we see a very suspicious man emerge from a doorway briefly, only to vanish back the same way.  We leave her house, and I am convinced she is hiding something and lying.

From the house, we head towards inspiration point.  We notice the same suspicious man we saw earlier at her house.  He has a scarf covering a burn on his face.  And he enters into an ordinary house, only to come back out with more men of brutish appearance.  We follow the men and they go to the same point.  The sun is beginning to set and the moon is starting to rise.  This could be an excellent night that Trevor would want to be alone with me.  I glance at him, but his expressions I cannot make out.  If anything, I can image his disappointing thoughts that a nice night is spent not alone with me, but also with Ohm Uri, Kull and especially Brute.  We settle in for we must wait for the men to make their move.

Others are out here enjoying the twilight, too.  They, however, are acting on their desires.  They drink, talk of their work days, and some couples get close on blankets, I'll stop there.  I have never witnessed a place like this, before.  The people wear shirts with bright piccadilly colors and the young women have flowers in their hair.  A pungent odor fills the air and I try not to breath the smoke, as it awful.  Ohm Uri leaves.  An hour passes and the sun light is just a glow, and the moon assumes its dominant role in the night sky.  Trevor and I notice Ohm Uri's return, and with a rather "weird" look towards Trevor, one that I saw too many times when my father brought home the less respectable women. 

Trevor and I look at each other, roll our eyes and we both say at the same time, "There is something wrong with Ohm Uri."  Could this be a sign?  In this rare moment, we thought alike, at the same time, and acted.

I ponder our findings.  We do not have enough proof to hold the Lady Caldwell directly responsible, we can state that she has some involvement, for the men coming here links her to the disappearances.  Brute and Kull are waiting for those men to do something.  And to catch them in the act - this will get more proof.

Kull's intense focus on the brutes makes a local man a bit more vocal and he thinks that we are too close to his space.  Again, Brute says its my turn to "reason" with him.  I start an explanation, and I shorten it in my journal, on why the Light provides me with more enjoyment and fulfillment than any thing else, including their passing bodily encounters, and that they should give any extra money to the poor, and volunteer their time to help those that cannot tend to themselves, and finally, attend regular services at the temple of the Light to start their path to self enrichment.  Near the end of my mini sermon, the man simply fell to sleep, collapsing to the ground in a surprisingly quick move.  Sighting the half full bottle that he took with him to the ground, I make to grab it, with my intentions to empty the filth on the ground.  Equally surprising, Ohm Uri grabs the bottle from my hands, before I could tighten my grip on it. 

He downs a mouthful of the rot gut, then looks at me and mutters a not so nice word that I will not write here.  Trevor immediately intervenes.  Before I get an apology, a local man interrupts, stating his friend Jill is lost and has not returned.  Kull asks for where she was last seen.  The man points, and Kull and Brute run towards the spot.  They find signs of the girl's tracks, and we proceed to follow, hoping to rescue her.  We follow the signs to a road, where the tracks show a cart, but is gone now.  Again, Ohm Uri runs after to try to catch up to the cart. 

My suspicion is on the Lady Caldwell, and we join Ohm Uri at the front gates of Caldwell's house.  Before long, a carriage arrives and we look on from a hidden spot and see Lord Kayden step out and the lady of the house greets him and they go inside.  Is Lord Kayden involved in this too?  We must get more proof.  In a bold move, I ask Trevor if he still has the ring.  "I allow you to use it," I state, "to see what is happening inside."  Kull picks Trevor up, awkwardly, since grabbing an invisible man is tough, and Trevor is over the wall. 

A feeling of dread fills me as all I can do is wait outside the wall - Trevor is alone and might be in more danger than he knows.  The ring is Miranda's and if Caldwell is related to this Miranda in any way, she might be aware of its magic and consequently aware of us.  Oh, this ring might truly be cursed.  Why did I suggest him to go?  I look to the others and mention we should get inside somehow.  Then Ohm Uri disappears over the wall.  I remember cursing, and I will not write it here.  With him being so charmed, he will probably tell them we are out here, that Trevor is using the witch's ring, and the location of the maid.  I cannot wait much longer.  I state to Kull that we can get in the house, for we can tell her about the death of Kevin.  Kull is confused and says, "first you don't want to tell about Kevin, and now you do."  I turn to Brute who thinks it is a good idea. 

Brute suddenly pulls me to the dark so I am not seen by a cart moving closer.  A few men are on the cart, and one looks like it is the same masked man as before, but I am not totally sure in the darkness.  It stops at the gate and men from the house unload large sacks.  The masked man goes into the house with the others carrying the sacks, and the cart goes back the same road it came from.  This is the proof!  We can act and get the town guards.  Kull runs after the cart for some reason.  I follow after Kull.  I am not sure why.  When Kull catches the driver,  he stops listening to me and becomes berserk.  It still pains me to write about it here.

Kull simply runs right up beside the cart, grabs the driver and throws him onto the ground.  Kull is upon him and his foot is pressing hard against his chest, pinning him to the ground.  We ask what were in the sacks.  The man replies he is just a driver, delivering goods and life commodities.  I look for rope so we can tie him, leave him in the cart, and get him later.  I return and the man is babbling incoherent words and cannot breath.  I try to tell Kull to stop, but he does not hear me.  My eyes swell with tears.  I plead, but I cannot get to Kull.  Something else controls him now.  This happened before, and then, I got him to stop.  This time, I failed for Kull, for me, and especially for this man.  It takes great courage for me to move, as this issue weighs heavy on me.  There must be more I can do.  Rubbing the tears from my eyes, I find myself alone standing over the driver's bloody corpse, his chest and throat crushed.  Blurred vision reveals a hulking form bounding back to the gate. 

I run back and see another man, his bloodied fractured skull embedded in the space between the iron bars of the gate.  His limp body dangles as the gate rotates back closed, towards me.  I squeeze past this grizzly scene.  Is this the body of the servant who hours before ushered us to the back yard for the meeting?  This is spiraling out of control.  We are waging battle to a member of the council!  A sickening feeling overwhelms me.  I force myself to follow the others to the house.  I call upon the Light to aid us, but to also refrain from farther unnecessary killing, just as Kull bashes the door in, sending splinters to fly as the hinges are ripped out. 

When I enter the kitchen, I narrowly miss a blow from a massive club.  My hours of melee practice at the priory prepare me for this.  I do not remember my mace in my hand, but there it is, and I think of the people in the park, of the maid we found, of the unknown body also found, and of the mute servant Kevin that we knew.  I return the swing to block his follow up and my mace, willing itself and with the aid of the Light's Blessing, finds a weak spot and connects hard with his side.  I hear the sounds of bones breaking.  The man brushes off the pain and presses the attack.

Kull, Brute and Ohm Uri are also in here, each fighting their own battle.  However, I see only this one man turned monster.  We are locked in a dance, his face determined to make me die under his club, and me, I defend the abducted helpless ones and Trevor - my mind wonders - where is he and is he alright?  My opponent seizes upon my mistake and his club smashes into my side, followed by sly laughter, and a remark that I do not write here.  The massive force knocks the air from me and must surely leave a wound, but as I discover later, my new armor absorbed the bone crushing injury.  With no air in my lungs to feed my arms, I turn and swing to block his next move, but the mace has different plans.  Like it has a mind of its own, the magic combined with the Light's Blessing find their mark and crushes more bones in that monstrous body.  I catch my breath with a gasp and see not a monster now, but a man.  Surprise and terror take over him, he drops his club, then slumps to the floor, blood flows from a deep stab wound in the back.  Yet I see no one there.  I must stop the bleeding, but I must know who stabbed from behind.

I look to the emptiness and with apprehension ask, "Trevor, it is you." 

Again, I am being called and must finish later.

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