The first part of this story can be found here.
At this time of morning on Rahmkesh, the holy day of the week, there wasn’t much traffic on the streets of the Religious Quarter. People rushed about on their way either to or from some temple. Here and there the street was dotted with a palanquin holding some rich noble or merchant out to pay his weekly penance to his god of choice. Webley stepped off the stairs of the temple and into the street, making his way to the Merchant’s Quarter and his favorite tavern. Garrin, who was many things but not particularly stupid, figured out where they were going within two blocks and stopped short, forcing Webley to turn around.
“Oh no, no, no,” said Garrin, shaking his hands back and forth in front of him violently. “Tell me we aren’t going to her place. Anywhere but her place.”
“OK,” said Webley with a grin, “we aren’t going to her place.”
Garrin gave him a dirty look. “You’re a crappy liar, you know that? I can’t, no make that won’t, go back there. She’s crazy! I’m not going. That’s final.” He folded his arms across his chest.
“She’s only crazy about you,” said Webley. “Can I help it if you’re the one who got all the good looks and I got the brains? We can’t all be tall, muscular, blonde, and have such piercing blue eyes.” He clasped his hands together over his heart and batted his eyelashes. “Otherwise I would do my part and suffer her affections like you do.”
“Fuck you,” said Garrin slapping Webley’s hands. “I can tell you’re just using me so we can get free drinks and food. Like usual.”
“Ah, but this time it’s much more important my friend! We have limited funds so you’ll have to be on your best behavior. We’re going to need a room.” He winked.
Garrin groaned. “Oh shit.”
Webley clapped him on the back and got him walking again. “I feel for you my friend, I really do.”
A few blocks later they stopped in front of a rather nice looking tavern in the middle of the block. That is to say it was nicer than its neighbors since it wasn’t as crusted in filth and mud and didn’t have anyone sleeping in the doorway. Over the previously mentioned bum-free doorway hung a sign that read ‘Delilah’s Den’.
“It hasn’t changed a bit!” exclaimed Webley happily.
“That’s exactly what I’m afraid of,” grumbled Garrin.
“Nonsense!” Webley said as he swung the door open and stepped inside.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
High Priest Quentrell sat in his office drinking wine from a jewel encrusted cup and staring into the fireplace. He was finding it difficult to brood as there was no fire to concentrate on since it was the hottest part of the day. The curtains over the tall window behind him parted with a soft sound.
“You can come in using the door you know,” Quentrell said to the figure that stepped out from between the curtains. “No one will say anything if they see you. Besides, it’s unnerving how you’re able to get into the windows on the third floor like that. I really do wish you’d use the door.”
“The point in my line of work is not to be seen. It goes with the job description. You don’t like it, use someone else.”
“Fine, fine, have your moment of theatre if you must. Have a seat.”
The tall thin man in dressed completely in black sat in the matching chair next to Quentrell in front of the fireplace and looked at him with dark eyes.
“Care for some wine?” Quentrell offered.
“Have I ever, in all our dealings, taken off my mask for any reason?”
“Well, no. But I thought – “
“You thought to trick me into revealing my identity. If I am only here to play childish games then I shall leave.” The man in black started to rise from the chair.
“No, please stay. Forgive me, it was a mere slip of my mind, nothing more. I meant no offence.” Quentrell motioned for the man in black to be seated.
“Very well, I shall forgive you as I know your mind must be reeling with the thought of finally being rid of those two thorns in your side.”
Quentrell was taken aback. It had been less than a day since he’d exiled Webley and Garrin. How did the man in black know about it so fast? He made a mental note to look into the affairs of the acolytes as soon as possible. Someone was talking and he wanted to know who.
“Yes, yes you’re quite right! I am quite elated to be rid of those two assholes. But I’m afraid I’m only rid of them in body, not in mind. My mind to be precise. Did you also know that when they were exiled, the Masters decided they couldn’t be sent out empty handed and had me give each of those miserable little shits 25 silver coins! After all the damage they’ve done! It’s not sitting well with me at all! I can’t stop thinking about how unjust it is! I want that money back.”
“I am to get it for you, is that it? They will have spent some by now you know. With what you’ll be paying me it hardly seems worth it. Take my advice: forget them. They are gone and no longer your problem. Put an end to it.”
“No! NO! I cannot! It is the principle of the thing! It’s not fair to the temple or myself that those morons be rewarded for their behavior here after all they put me through! I want the money!”
The man in black stood up and walked over to the window. He turned and looked at the back of Quentrell’s chair. “What if they won’t simply hand it over?” he asked.
Quentrell turned in his chair and looked him in the eyes. “Then take it from their dead hands.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~