Sartow

Sartow was to extract some information from someone held by the town guard. The grey haired man, walked past the Chalice Gate wondering how he would have to proceed. He was familiar with several ways to break the mind of someone. Sometimes it was as simple as intimidating them with pain. The imagery in their own mind would often work against them. He hoped it would be that simple. His cape flapped into him as the wind changed direction.

The guards in Saj-greaf were generally respectable so he figured it would be more of a mental game than physical in the extraction. Sartow whistled as he walked down the Courier’s Path. He smiled and nodded at the passing folk, kindly stepping out of the way for an old woman carrying an oversized basket of plant trimmings. She reminded him of one time he had to play on a grandmother’s fear for her grandchild’s safety. He had no idea where the grandchild was but she was never aware of that and assumed the worst. It took no time at all to have the woman break down on where her son was hiding in the country side.

As he walked on, a pickpocket tried to relieve him of the pouch hanging from his belt. Sartow snagged the working hand on glared down at the young man. “Rethink your actions, quickly” was all he hissed and the young man released the pouch and scampered away like a frightened dog. Had Sartow more time he would have taken justice under his wing and educated the boy in who he was messing with. But those actions were not for a day when he was working.

Sartow exited the maze of back alleys to find himself near the Durst Market. The place was in busy with merchants trying to hawk their goods to passer’s-by. He did not care for the place, but it was the shortest path to his destination. He was offered a fine assortment of meats at one stall and another tried to sell fine pottery. In an ideal world he would have launched their goods across the market and left them to clean up. This was not that sort of day. Instead he reminisced in silence about the price all people have.

If given the right biographical information, Sartow could haggle the information out of anyone. He may pay slightly higher for it if he was trying to please the other party. He might pay highly for it if the need was right for impressions. However if allowed to play with ones emotions long enough, Sartow would have the other person thanking him profusely for the measly sum they got paid.

Jit Tower was not much further. Sartow was hoping he would not have to break his victim permanently. He had done this once before, and did not care for it. The reputation it left with observers was not to his liking. It also taxed his mental fortitude as he actually had to delve into their mind without letting it influence him. He still recalled the torment that he had planted in the poor souls thoughts. It was one of the few things in life that made him shutter. He gripped at his pouch absentmindedly. The contents of it could let him do it again, if lives mattered as they did then.

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Negotiations

There was a web in the corner of the room. A fly lay stuck in it, long dead and forgotten by the web’s creator. The three doorless walls of the room lay covered in tapestries to keep out the wind of a cool evening. There is no method to the haphazard patchwork other than keep the room warm. Hanging from the ceiling in each corner are candles surrounded by frosted glass to dim and protect the light. There is a fireplace at the far end of the room with the last of its embers still emitting a pale read light.

In the middle of the room is a table made of mahogany, smooth as ice on the surface. The legs reach down to the ground with space for its three chairs to comfortably sit around it. On the table rest two empty bottles of wine, A full glass, a half full glass and an empty glass. There are numerous papers scattered about on the table all not part of what the three are talking about. In a tall wingback chair Ertle sits alone next to the full glass.

In a short-back chair with the empty glass sits Sir Corvus. He has just taken his last sip, but is infuriated with Ertle’s denial of his request. In the other short-backed chair sits a man who will never to finish his drink. He is but a humble servant of Corvus. At the end of his one arm is a metal fixture with a stylus that he takes notes of the dealings that have transpired. His other hand perfectly capable of taking another drink, but he knows the tone has changed and it would be a mistake to partake in any further hospitality of Ertle.

“Perhaps if I were to say I owed you a favor in the future,” Corvus offered, with the tone of annoyance that only a deaf man could miss.

“Favors are tricky thing,” Replied Ertle after some calculation. “What do you have to offer?”

“A place to hide, next time you need it?”

“You know I cannot be seen with you. I have a reputation that does not need your association.”

“True,” Corvus laughed. “Then perhaps funding next time you need a backer for one of you expeditions.”

Ertle thought a moment before replying, “What I really need is an enchanter from a different land, someone with discretion. Do you have someone you can send my way?”

Corvus smiled the type of smile you know to be on the right side of. The servant reached over and took a sip from his glass and scribbled down a few things and handed a paper to Ertle.

“There you are Ertle, he is the best I know.”

A flame blazed up in the fireplace, letting off more smoke than usual before turning a faint green and dying. The three of them missed its occurrence, busy congratulating a done deal with a new bottle of wine.

Little Cat – Story 2

A slight movement in the air caught her attention. Was it a leaf, a feather, perhaps a bird? She rolled on to her side and balled in to a stalking hunch. Whatever it was she was going to catch it. Keeping herself flat, welded to the ground, she slowly inched forward. It had not seen her yet as it continued its ride of currents. The object spiraled down closer to the ground before being listed on another flow.

She watched for a good ten minutes as the bird darted around in the air, never to land more than a second. Its wings flapped faster than anything she had ever seen. The body of the bird was smaller than anything she had eaten before. The taste was what she could not decide on and what drove her to continue her stalking. It may have a sweet taste or it may be more feathers than flesh but that did not matter anymore. Now it was a question of patience.

She watched the bird make its way to the flowers of a plant. It was not the nip, but another flower that she had decided was nice tasting and fragrant. It had once seemed to settle her stomach when it was sour but other than that she knew nothing about it. She charged her legs ready to leap this time. The bird was at a lower flower and easily in her grasp. She started her leap certain to have a new meal. but she watched the bird move with such speed it was gone by the time she landed.

The little cat played it off as she had just been exercising, indifferent to the bird who was now well aware of her. She didn’t even give a second look as it flew a little lower to enquire who she was. It did not matter anymore. It was time to prowl. So she left the field in search of entertainment.