Some years later, late at night in a back alley tavern in Bezantur:
The night was almost done, he thought. Or at least that is what he felt as he looked blearily into the remnants of the mug of ale. I guess best go sleep...and find more work tomorrow...or the day after. The chatter around him was fading, stools and chairs being scraped over the stone floor, and then the chatter seemd to fade a bit faster, and a stool scraped decisively closer to his table. He glanced up from the mug. Red robes...shit...A sudden rush of sobriety hit him...not quite red, more orange and yellow but flecks of red in patterns of flame..still shit...he forced what may have passed for a smile, and raised the mug, becoming more aware now not only of the new occupant of his table, but of the sudden emptiness of the rest of the tavern.
"Priest...ess...what do I owe the er..honour?" His rapidly unblearing eyes took in the olive skin, the long black hair, the flame tatoos on the forearms, and the demeanor of arrogant confidence of those in this city who enjoyed certain positions. And the scar...scars, up the side of her face, burn marks, not long healed either. Shame...rather spoils the view...
"Rogar Vieklis" A statement, more than a question. "Lord Krathas sends his displeasure at your latest service in his employment. Some of his property was damaged, beyond repair."
He could still hear the bolt thud into the back of the fleeing man..."Well...it didn't cooperate...priestess" his mind was trying to piece things together Why has he sent her? Oh...he had...some connection, was rumoured...
"What did you expect? There was a clear preference from Lord Krathos that the property be returned relatively undamaged."
He focussed a bit more.."Preference, yes, priestess, but you know how things go, yes? Why are you here, to give me my bounty, or burn me?" A sudden rush of emboldenment seemed to take him, which he almost instantly regretted.
An amused snort from the Kossuthan. "Your bounty has been paid" She reached in a robe pocket and slid a piece of paper across the table "In kind, no doubt not to your ah...preference. A passage, on a ship tomorrow at noon, to Sarshel."
A laugh in return "Very kind, priestess, but I have no need of that...or to go there."
"Oh, you do. You are bound to no house, but sell your services where you can. That requires some reputation, which after noon tomorrow will be all around Priador that Rogar Vieklis is past it, cannot fulfill his contracts and is utterly unreliable. " He stared, open mouthed as another piece of paper was slid across the table "I am not unfamiliar with the land, this is a map, as far as I could recall, and there is a contact name there too. Lord Krathas seems not have lost his interest in Impiltur..perhaps your talents are not altogether finished. Consider this a test of your strength, Rogar, in the way of the Firelord." She rose abruptly then, and offered what would pass for a smile. "Do not make me come and rescue you."
He watched her go, and stared into the almost empty mug, which he drained with a gulp. Red...I hate red.
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