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VoB - Character back stories

 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:09 am    Post subject: VoB - Character back stories Reply with quote

Here is a thread for any stories relating to your characters before they join the venture. Feel free to post what ever you want, but remember, this is not a thread for interaction with other players but strictly stories of the past.

Last edited by Dorian on Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Raphaelus the Younger
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Character back stories Reply with quote

Envelope bearing the Seal of Sol wrote:
Hear ye! Hear ye! Seeketh folk of skills and merit!

Required be men of strong arm and will!

Lord Luthor Holtz requires men for a mining workforce to work in the exotic locale of Svalsing! Experience and talent required in all fields.

Positions open are as follows.

-Miners

-Transport workers, for land and water, both river and sea

-Security

-Labourers and artisans.

-Also required are a physician and nurses, scribes, an alchemist, an accountant and a man of Solarias.

Pay to be negotiated, lodgings provided. All applicants to apply at the office on 29 Salismund st, Gerusbourg, Strassburg.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Raphaelus stared at the notice, then at the broken seal of the Solarian Administratae on the envelope. With dawning realisation he addressed the figure who had so rudely interupted his studies.

“What is this? Scribe?! I am no quill-fe-hire!” The notice crumpled in his hand. “I am a scholar of this Collegiate! My studies are of great import!”

“The church would...appreciate your presence, esteemed Colleague.” hissed the envoy from Solarian Primus. “Matters of great religious...importance are at stake.”

“What do you mean boy? Speak plainly!”

“The Nissian empire is corrupt and decadent,” He spat the words out like a bad taste. “But at least they knew how to keep a modicum of order in their colonies. Sol knows what vile sects and cults have thrived in the land of Svalsing since the Nissian retreat." The envoys eyes gleamed with righteous hatred. "We believe heretic followers of Urias have taken up root in this valley. We want you to report back on the strength and nature of these cults."

Before Raphaelus could respond, the envoy dropped a large leather bound tome on his desk. It swung open.

"The Malefaction un Malleus, the Administrataes chief source regarding heretics. You will take it with you to the east."

"I know Spregias' Malefacis, ignaro. I was writing my Formicarius while he was still drinking of his nurses milk."

The envoy ignored him, and continued.

"You will also be charged with assessing areas of Svalsing for future missionaries of the Most-Holy-Sol, as the Temple of Solarius in Sinestadt has had little success converting the inhabitants of the valley. Your knowledge of occult sects is of utmost importance here, Raphaelus." His eyes narrowed. "The Administratae is making you a generous offer. You are still a great resource to the church, but you will not always be so inexpendable. It would be…unwise for you to refuse.”

Raphaelus gaped at the young zealot, then looked down and sighed deeply. The sigh ended in a deep, rattling cough.

“I am not the young man I once was, boy. Traveling does not avail me.”

“The church will, of course, provide for you in anyway possible. You have done much to assist us in the past, and we shall not forget it. However, you should be sure to remember that, while you are in Svalsing, you will be working under our divine auspices.”

The old man winced. He hated nothing more than the watchful eye of the church in his affairs. Too often his research had been interrupted by an edict from the damned Administratae.

“And I suppose, dear child, that you wish me to go dressed in the robes of a priest?!” He nearly sneered, but stopped himself. To show such disrespect to an envoy from Solarian Primus would be suicide.

“Of course not.” The envoy glared at him, surely noting his outburst for future report to the elders. “Your connection with the Administratae is not a public one. You will be, how shall I say, traveling incognito.”

Raphealus, tired of the intrigue, sighed again. “And what front am I to use for this elaborate mis-direction? I am no spy. I know little of the arts of deception.”

“Do as you like. Use this trip as an excuse to indulge in your more…unsightful studies, miscredente. The church will turn a blind eye, as long as you are forthcoming with the information the elders require.”

Raphaelus felt the hairs raise on the back of his neck. His eyes flicked to the small chest on the floor of his study. Unlocked. He’d left it unlocked.

“You presume much, yet know little. Such is the zeal of youth. My studies have always been for the churches benefit. One must study the dark so as to best counter it." "And yes, I am a man of science. But my beliefs or lack thereof are of no concern of yours.”

“On the contrary, respected Colleague,” The envoy took a step forward, snatching the crumpled notice from Raphaelus’ hand. “The beliefs of every citizen of Alinia are our concern. You would do well to remember that." He paused, regaining his composure. "We have provided for you a fast coach to Gerusbourg, you will leave tomorrow night. Once there, you will be contacted by Brothers of Sol who will provide you with further information. That is all I have to say to you, gran' disgraziato.”

The envoy turned neatly and was gone, leaving the door to Raphaelus’ study open. Grimacing, he rose from his chair and closed it. A hundred thoughts rushed through his head, foremost amongst them the chest. It had been left in the open when the envoy made his entrance, and though non-descript, its contents were enough to see Raphaelus burnt at the stake, threefold. He resolved to be more careful in future. Returning to his desk, the old Balorian sat down again, deep in thought.

...But then…if he were to go East…why not take it with him? So far from the churches center of power…he would be free to decipher the runes, and work on his other more “unsightful” studies.

He felt the pull of that most ancient of mankind's emotions; curiosity, willing him to indulge his obsessions. He looked down upon the pages of the Malefaction, still sitting open on the desk. A garish illustration intruded on his vision.

Spregias wrote:

Maleficas, & earum hæresim, ut phramea potentissima conterens.


"Thee cleansing of thee moste blasphemous Witchcult of Draven Hill".

Heresy was thus purged in holy fire throughout Baloria during the Firste and Seconde Administratae inquisitions. The Administratae Inquisitoria destroyeth Witches and their heresy like a moste powerful spear.


He frowned. Sanctimonious and poorly written - Spregias always was an inferior student.

He placed the book on the floor and resumed his previous translations. The Book of Qei'thuth, hoary with age and blasphemous to the core, would have been lost to mouldering antiquity if not for his efforts. Much of the vellum was rotting, and the translation was difficult. After a time he stopped and looked again at the chest.

Perhaps...The East?

Regardless of his curiosities, he had little choice in the matter.

Solarian Primus had spoken.


Last edited by Raphaelus the Younger on Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three years ago,

“I’ll take no more part in this, Ingmann”.

Deep recesses of pitch black lapped against pale, lifeless flesh, gilt by the hue of the storm lantern, shining as it hove above.

“Are you listening?”

The light illumined the still form below, a form which could never again animate of its own volition, never again pluck at the harp strings of the Theatre de la Musique.

“Look, Ingmann, look”.

Anneka Malene, darling of Ipsburg, star lady of song, toasted by high society, loved and adored by every man who set eyes upon her exquisite features, jealously reviled by every girl in the Theatre. Dead by the age of twenty.

Karl Arnborg narrowed his eyes and tore their gaze from the corpse, trying to pull himself back from the stone sarcophagus but unknowingly gripping the rim of the coffin with soul-wracked dread. Ingmann held the storm lantern high above the body, so that the light dug shadows into them all. Arnborg could barely comprehend Ingmann’s seeming moral detachment, his intent and quiet fascination for the form he studied.

“Listen . . . listen to me. Ingmann . . . this . . . this is . . .” language could not quite express the horror which gripped him. “This is . . . it is wrong. This is defilement”.

Konrad Ingmann shot a scathing glance at Arnborg. The young doctor’s narrow features, set off by his aquiline nose and increasingly gaunt visage were thrown into horrible regard by the darkness playing across them through the lantern’s trickery. In a moment, Ingmann’s distaste at Arnborg’s fear grew disdainful and mocking. “I’m not sure if you had noticed, Karl but she is, in fact, quite dead”.

Only the silence of the crypt and the caress of the breeze on the stone exterior offered any response.

“Come, come,” Ingmann consoled as he rested the lantern atop the lid of a nearby sarcophagus – Anneka’s mother’s. “You were quite content to help me in my research before. What is so terribly different now?”

“You know what it is. If you can’t see it, you’re despicable. We knew her. We . . . we all loved her . . . adored her. You never told me it would be her corpse we would be exhuming!”

“Of course, of course”. Ingmann looked at the dead face, moving the lantern again to chase away the stygia which had once more whelmed its countenance. “And how could we not all love her? Such perfect beauty, such flawless skin, eyes, bones. Yes, Ipsburg has lost a rare maiden to a careless accident. Let us at least be thankful her face had not been damaged”.

Konrad!

“Don’t be so sensitive,” Ingmann tried to remain relaxed, but the cold was beginning to make his hand ache again – right where he had carelessly driven a chisel through it exhuming his first grave. “Now listen,” he began anew, this time with irritation from the chill, “if we are to prove my thesis, this is precisely the kind of skull we need to study. The face is governed by the skull and by the brain. A larger and more developed brain is reflected not just in the size of the skull, but in the countenance”. Ingmann held his right hand about the expressionless face of Anneka, while he secretly clenched his left to stifle the pain shooting up his arm. “Observe. Even in death, Anneka has revealed her benevolent mind because we can see that her goodness has manifested in her beauty. It is a fact that I intend to prove that any man or woman can be judged upon the shape and character of their features.

“Anneka, being especially beautiful, must have an exceptional brain. We need, therefore, to remove the brain and to weigh it. Once done, we can fill her skull with these lead balls,” Ingmann brandished a purse full of jangling metal Arnborg now only viewed with loathing. “The precise number of balls, all equal in dimension, can then be better compared with our other observations. Her brain, you must agree, may have already begun its decomposition and, thus, the lead will provide a more empirical analysis.

“And let us be honest, Karl – your sudden lack of taste for our work has manifested only because of an excess of sentiment. Why, you and I have so far dug two graves. Back-breaking work because they were from the poorer section of the cemetery. These crypts are entirely more suitable – we don’t even need to transport the remains if we are quick enough about our business - and, besides, what good would this research be if we did not include all classes of life for comparison?”

Karl sunk a little, contemplating the gravity of what he had done these last few weeks.

Ingmann, on the other hand was already unfastening the latch upon his instrument case. He selected a piece of black chalk and began to trace a line around the rim of Anneka’s skull. Stopping momentarily, Ingmann felt a rare impulse of nostalgia. “She really was quite beautiful, wasn’t she?” Reaching for his scalpel, the black dots were soon widening to reveal the skull line beneath.

Outside, the eternal silence of night never hinted at the deeds performed under its black embrace.
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Raphaelus the Younger
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the dream, Raphaelus was always running. Running from some nameless horror the witches had called forth from the blackness.

First, there was the ritual; thirteen gathered 'round an altar of stone, writhing and moaning in an orgiastic bacchanal. A willing sacrifice, lain on the black stone, begged for release. And then the incantation began, in a hideous distortion of the ancient tongue:


“Black sun master...under moonless sky...On this altar...we pray for a sign...”

The high priestess loomed over the sacrifice, drawing something from beneath her robes. A flash of red completed the ritual, the red becoming black as night as the dark gate yawned, swallowing all colour. Then Raphaelus was running, the ecstatic screams of the witches ringing in his ears, and some behemoth of darkness following him...


Raphaelus awoke in a sweat, and sat bolt upright in his chair. He had fallen asleep at his desk again. The Book of Qei’thuth lay open before him. The creeping horror of the dream faded as he composed himself and reached for his eyeglasses. It was almost morning, but still the dark permeated his study. Several of the candles in his office were still burning, and in their flickering light Raphaelus could read the last line of his translation:

“...all condemned beneath its shadow. Urias, the black god, spelled out in the starless skies his prophecy...”

Raphaelus shuddered. Though he felt no compulsion to believe the ancient myths, he had always found his work morbidly fascinating. The human condition was indeed a corrupt one. He rose and began to pace his study, deep in contemplation.

The nightmares and flashbacks had been getting more frequent of late, as he re-transcribed his accounts of the travels in the South into a new work. A Treatise on the Witchcults of the South, detailing the true extent of southern occultism, was still unfinished, and numerous source books and pages of personal notes lay scattered about his study, waiting to be compiled into this work. It was close to completion, but these dreams...recollecting the past was a painful experience.

Fate, it seemed, was intervening to remind him of the folly of exploration. Baloria was as safe a haven as any in the West. For the last 3 years he had been researching and teaching languages at the Library-Collegiate, and living on its grounds as a Respettare Collega. Even by the standards of his Colleagues he was considered bookish and reclusive, however, locking himself in his room for days on end. He disliked teaching, finding his students brash and arrogant, and rued the lack of privacy in the Collegiate. Thus he had applied for, and been granted, a private study in the decrepit wings of the Olde Library, seldom visited by students. Even here, he found, he was not free from intrusions from his fellow Colleagues and the meddlesome Solarian church.

Pausing at one of the many cluttered shelves in his study, he began rifling through the grimoires that lay in a disorganized mass of leather and parchment. He stopped at Daevirsh's Black Magick Rituals and Perversions, a work in Fellish. Containing the rituals of ancient southern witchcults dating back to before the First Administratae Inquisition, it was regarded as the prime source on the cults of the south until Raphaleus’ first travels resulted in his Formicarius. While rife with Solarian dogma, like the Malefaction, Raphaelus had always considered it a carefully researched and comprehensive resource. Three chapters were given to the Conjuration of the Black Shape ritual alone. Yes, it would be most helpful to have Daevirsh along with him.

The Book of Qei'thuth would join him in the East also, he couldn't trust the Solarians not to destroy it in his absence. His own notes and writings on the South, and the Treatise of course. Also...the chest. The peugnaleus was not something he liked to carry on his person, but to leave it here was almost certain suicide. Raphaelus smiled. Death was approaching him quickly enough as it was, without assistance from the Solarians. He made doubly sure the door to his study was locked, and then opened the chest. Ensuring the contents was firmly wrapped in leather, he secured the locks and covered the entire chest in vellum. He packed it carefully, along with his grimoires and notes into an aged skin rucksack, something he had not worn for many years.

His work finished, Raphaelus prepared for sleep, though the sun was just rising over Baloria. It came slowly at first, unable to pierce the veil of clouds on the horizon. Raphaelus shut his curtains on the Most Holy Sol, preferring instead the warm embrace of his bed, and the tranquil arms of sleep. The dreams would come again, he knew. He did not mind. He was prepared.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Night had become the cloak which Ingmann wore about him while conducting his research. The dark kept the superstitious denizens of Ipsburg cowering from the spectre of Urias’s hated devotees, but Ingmann had no fear of what was never to be found. Even the Lunarion sycophants who paid homage to the lifeless moon were rarely to be seen under darkness; many times had Ingmann set to work in their holy places, exhuming the most scientifically interesting specimens for his work.

Karl was no longer a constant companion for the doctor. Only two months ago, Karl had made his feeble excuses and fled to a practice on the border of Strassburg, citing Ingmann’s change of method as impractical, though clearly making haste before the commission from the Temple first arrived at the University.

Too many graves had been plundered of late. That the schools of anatomy were not acquiring enough specimens from the condemned impressed upon the ignorant minds of the religious, stooping under the weight of their own hideous conservatism. Questions had begun to be asked of just exactly where all the new corpses were coming from to supply the University. What corpses?, the professors had replied (while the college manservants were feeding the dead into furnaces, far from the gaze of the Solarions). But the determination of the priesthood was not to be discounted and, with only a case for luggage and his notes, Konrad Ingmann had finally decided to depart the comforts of academe…indeed, to flee the entire region of Ipsburg altogether.

Night, the cover for his proscribed endeavours, would now become the cover under which to affect his flight. Ingmann travelled lightly, and needed very little which the University could not supply. The tools he had used in the pursuit of knowledge would mostly have to be left behind – the doctor was careful to leave his chisels and shovel amongst the caretaker’s belongings. His instruments of trade fit compactly into his leather satchel case, while his notes and key texts were bound and securely placed in another bag. Extra clothes and supplies could be garnered along the way, or whenever he found a small practice in Strassburg to operate from.

Strassburg was hardly appealing, with its hordes of ill-kempt townsmen drowning themselves in stale, warm beers; and the back-of-the-throat coughing noise they made to form sentences. Yet it did have three chief benefits – firstly, it was not a land in which Ingmann might find himself immediately summoned before priests for interrogation; secondly, the people there were not quite so enamoured of religion as in Ipsburg; and, thirdly, the materials the doctor needed to stifle the pain of his left hand were more readily available for trade…and this third factor was of late becoming an increasingly more necessary demand.

Waiting in the dark for the coachman he had bribed to arrive, Doktor Ingmann gave one last look back to the grounds of the university which had been his home for a decade. He consoled himself that he would not miss the stifled and conservative dogma of the pre-Elendist professors, their useless adherence to century’s old medicinal cures would no longer have to be railed against. Research without the comforts of the University would be difficult, though not impossible. Despite the necessity of this flight, Ingmann felt that his career could only grow along with his own natural genius.

As a night chill set in, his hand began to dully throb. Night, his cloak and protector, was also becoming the bringer of all his agony.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis sat quietly in the antechamber, as the clerk busied himself with paperwork at the desk. Quietly, in the distance, a hand bell can be heard. He marked the noise, but wasn't sure what it meant. Years spent in the forests of eastern Iphany, high in the mountains, had trained him to listen for strange noises, as well as their absence. But household bells meant nothing to him, and all of these wood walls confused his sense of direction.

A few minutes later, a double-ring of the same bell was heard. The clerk quickly stood up, and reached for a sheaf of papers at the corner of his desk. "Monsieur de la Forêt? Captain Shuldtz will see you now. Follow me, please." Seeing Louis stand, he smartly turned to the closed door behind him and proceded down the hall. He passed two doors close together, then turned to a more impressive door on the right. The man knocked twice, then opened the door and stepped through.

"Captain Shuldtz, this is Louis de la Forêt." Surprisingly, he did not badly mispronounce Louis' name. "He claims to be skilled in forestry, and in using a bow. He is the last candidate for the evening, sir."

"Thank you, Jean-Pierre." Ah, that explains his correct accent. "I'll be going home when this is done, so please have my horse redied. And, inform the cook that I'll be dining in my rooms tonight. I need to see to my belongings before our departure.

"Very good, sir."

The broad shouldered man took the sheef of papers from Jean-Pierre, and sat down at his desk. "Have a seat, Monsieur de la Forêt." He waved at one of the tall backed chairs in front of the desk. Louis sat down, trying not to look out of place with this much finery.

After flipping through the pages, Shuldtz looked up at Louis. "So, you worked for Gévaudin, did you? Most men would be ashamed to admit that, in light of recent events."

"No sir. Er...yes sir. I did, sir. Work for Gévaudin, that is, sir." Louis closed his eyes for a moment, and took a calming breath. "I was only ten, sir. When that business with the Beast happened. I was his riflebearer, sir. I remember when he shot the beast, even. But I had no part in the rest of it."

"I see. And what have you done for the Baron since? Your sheet says you were in his hunting party?"

"Yes sir. The King had awarded him extensive lands after The Beast, sir. I was one of those who patrolled the lands. My group was to keep the herds lean. The Baron liked to be able to hunt, but didn't want it TOO easy, sir. We'd patrol the wilds, looking for predators. He liked to be able to hunt those as well, of course. But we had to keep them in check."

Shuldtz looked him straight in the eye, "Did you ever hunt humans?"

"I, uh... I tracked them, sir. Poachers, it usually was. We worked as a group, sir. Several of us scouting the land, then getting word back to our Sargent. He was a hard man, sir. He liked the job of confronting the poachers. We were to find them, show him the way, and give him backup. He liked us to creep up to the poachers while they camped, sir. Then he'd step out of the dark alone and talk to them. At his signal, sir, we'd all step up from the brush. Let the poachers know they were out numbered. Sometimes, one of them would run, and we were to stop him, sir. But Sargent Pascal, sir... he liked to do the hurting himself. Said it was the best thing about being a Sargent, sir."

Shuldtz nodded. "If I take you on, one of your main jobs will be to track down deserters. His Lordship is investing quite a bit of money into these men, and one of them running off... that's hard to replace. So, you'll need to find them, and bring them back. We'll be far enough from anything they know... any that aren't trained woodmen will likely be glad to come back with you after a few days in the cold. But some may resist."

"I'm no assassin, sir. I don't know that I could hunt down a man just to kill him. But I can find a man that's scared and tired of hard work, and make him more scared of my bow than he is of the Foreman's whip. He'll come back to work, sir. Maybe limping and a bit bruised, but I assume you don't want him too damaged."

"Exactly. That's a very good way of thinking of it, lad." Louis smiled at this praise. "Thank you, sir."

"Tell me, though. It's obvious that Gévaudin is no longer a good reference. How am I to confirm what you say here is true? The man's in exile."

"He's in exile HERE, sir. We were all in Strassburg when the King discovered his trechery. He's not to return to Iphany, on pain of death. And all of us in his household are outlawed as well. But ask anyone here who knows the Baron, sir. They'll confirm who his chief huntsmen are, sir. Those will vouch for me, sir. We're all of us here in town, sir. With no estate to his name, the Baron cannot support us now. We've all been searching for work, sir."

"Yes, that's exactly it. There are dozens of you Iphanistas here in Strassburg, looking for work, all with the same references. Anyone could claim to have been part of that, with nothing but his uncle to vouch for him. And nobody would be able to deny it. And the Baron's chief huntsmen, and chief householders here in Strassburg, they've all taken positions with other lords. Some in other countries, and some here in town. Junior positions, all of them. And no Seneschal for a lord here will stand for a junior clerk being asked for references on the woodsmen of an outlaw Lord from another land. So... your references are useless to me."

Louis' vision swam for a moment. All was lost, then. He was silent for a little while, lost to dispair.

Then, strength returned to his eyes. "Then test me, sir. Set me a task, and see how I perform it. I'll show you by my own hand what I can do. I've no need of a junior clerk or a chief huntsman."

Shuldtz smiled. "Oh, I intend to. You'll be hired on for the initial phase of the project. We need to send a group to Svalsing to set things up. They'll leave right away, and begin construction on the mining camp, setting things up with the locals, etc. In the spring, the main party will arrive, and begin the work of mining. That'll be your test. You'll come in as a private, with basic pay. If those in charge of the expadition will vouch for your value when the rest show up in the spring, then you've passed. If they won't vouch for you, you'll likely be executed as a fraud. Are you willing to wager your life on this test?"

Louis nodded his head. He said nothing else, in case his voice gave away his sudden burst of fear. But his eyes were determined, and his jaw was set. He'd do it. He'd show them what he was made of.
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Raphaelus the Younger
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raphaelus awoke from a new dream of strange Eastern spires to the knock of the coachman on his door. Cities beyond his imagining fell away as sleep was cruelly wrenched from his grasp, and the harshness of reality flooded in.

He looked around his study in a daze. It was still light outside, he could see, and the suns warmth was now finally permeating his study.

Rising from his bed, Raphaelus stretched, his joints clicking and popping as they resumed their previous positions. He winced, a dull ache emanating from his back as he set about his final preparations. His rucksack already almost full from the previous nights efforts, he donned his best robes and began to fill his pockets with currency and miscellaneous writing paraphernalia. While his writing kit was already securely packed, he disliked the thought of not having all of his quills with him, as he was a man of habit more than anything.

Returning to another of his habits, he reached over to a small lockbox above his bed. Working the mechanism, he opened the box to reveal a particularly ornate item, resplendent in its vellum backing and mounted on two small hooks:



Carefully removing the pistol, Raphaelus checked its load and primers as he had been shown to do by the armourer from the Munitorium. This ornate twin-barreled wheellock had been gifted to him by the Administratae, as 'payment' for one of his commissions, an endeavor eventually leading to the purging of heretical elements in the Solarian church itself.

He turned the pistol over in his hand, studying the garish designs carved into the gold plate. What tasteless artisan crafted this noblemans folly!? He thought to himself, as the coachman again knocked on the door, more insistently this time.

"Si, Si! Promettente! Impaziente..."

Quickly shoving the pistol beneath his robes, Raphaelus gathered up the rest of his belongings, heading for the door.

He was greeted by a smiling, ruddy-faced young gentleman of obviously low-born origins.

"Salve! E...benvenuti...err...un momento...un momento..." He faltered, still smiling, but obviously perturbed.

"You have no need to corrupt the mother tongue, we can speak yours. Now lad, pray tell, what is the time?"

The man's crooked smile returned, this time even wider, exposing rotting teeth.

"The time? Why, 'tis not yet noon sir, if the Sun do not lie! I make it two hours before ol' Sol is at his highest!"

Raphaelus grimaced. Four hours sleep at best. His insomnia was getting worse.

"Very well son, we best be off then. I assume you do know where we're going?"

"Oh very much so sir! They wouldn't overlook a thing like that now, would they!"


No, Raphaelus thought to himself as he stepped into the austere coach, I guess they wouldn't.

"What's a coachman without a place to go eh?! The very thought of it! I tell you..."

Raphaelus laid his head back and found himself wishing he could unlearn Fellish simply to silence the insufferable youth's tirade as the coach began its long journey to Strassburg.
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