Curse of the Crimson Throne

Recollection 7

You again? What are you doing here? I thought you forgot all about me. Feels like an age since you were around last. I suppose you’ve come for more stories, haven’t you? What am I, some cheap entertainment, huh? Just show up at old Twitchy’s door any time ye please and he’ll pick up right where he left off. Bah, I won’t have it. I’m not here to cater to your whims, you know. I have things to do. No time to recount every minute detail of my wonderfully eventful life. Nope. No. I won’t do it anymore. Best you’ll get is a summary.
So what do you want? That pseudodragon heist? Turned out to be quite simple, really. Took a swim to the King of Spider’s throne room on the Eel’s End, popped a window open, applied a little acid to his cage, and away we went. Majenko was his name. Pleasant chap. Took me on a nice little aerial tour of North Shore.

What else? That was around the time I got my shop started, I suppose. A good location not far from the Gold Market, plenty of foot traffic. Spent weeks getting everything set up inside. I can’t tell you what a joy it was finally having a proper workspace for experiments and procedures. An alchemy lab, an infirmary, even a proper store front to sell my remedies and services. And, of course, the back room… All in all the place was a dream come true.

Am I done regurgitating stories for you? Will you leave me be now? I see the look on your face. There’s something else. Ah, her. Should have known you’d ask about her. You remember the part where we arrested her? Well, after that Trinia sat in the Citadel dungeons for a while. I made Cressida promise not to mistreat her, and I was sure to bring her painting supplies so she could occupy herself while stuck in that cell. I had taken a fancy to her, as you might guess. Didn’t dare reveal who I was, obviously, but I admired her in my way. For days and weeks Sav and I pressed Cressida for information on her impending trial, but always the answer was, “Later,” or “Nothing’s been determined,” or “You’ll be the first to know.”

Then the field marshal sent us on a mission. The son of a Shoanti chief had been murdered in the city, his body sold to a necromancer named Rolth for nefarious purposes. If the corpse was not retrieved and laid to rest properly, it might ignite the already smoldering tensions between the local tribes and Korvosa. You can guess who did the retrieving. Rolth’s lair was deep in the catacombs below the Grey District. He was not present at the time, fortunately, but many of his minions and—pets—were. Derro and Otyungs were bad enough, but if you saw the sickening perversion of life that was the carrion golem…

We found the Shoanti boy’s corpse, piece by piece, while I happily looted anything and everything that might have aided me in my medical and alchemical endeavors. We did the job without pay, much to Sav’s chagrin, but we had been promised rights to anything we found in the catacombs and I was thrilled to add several instruments, a small library of—unusual—knowledge, and some valuable specimens to my collection. My excitement turned to ash the minute we made it back to the Citadel, however, and—hey, pay attention. This is the part where Trinia comes back into it. You thought I was going on a tangent, didn’t you? Well if you would stop fidgeting around and listen you would understand where I’m going with this.

We got back to the Citadel only to be greeted by a distracted and distraught Cressida. In the mere hours we had been gone, Trinia had been brought to trial, convicted of regicide, and sent to the gallows. Bad timing doesn’t even begin to describe it. I had never seen the field marshal so defeated, and my own mind raced for solutions as we hurried to the square where the execution was to occur. Perhaps I could disguise myself as a guardsman and lead her away. Perhaps I could disguise her and help her slip into the crowd. I knew the consequences would be severe, but I could not live with myself if I did nothing. It wasn’t simply that I fancied her, you see. I was the one who had captured her. Promised her fair treatment. Promised her that everything would be okay, would turn out for the best. I never believed her the killer, not for a second, and I was sure she would be freed once the queen’s mad accusation had been proven false. But there she was, standing on the gallows next to that solly sop worm Gaedren Lamm, a stained rope chaffing her slender neck, and me without a single way to stop it.

I thought of that battle in the woods on the road to Kintargo. You remember that one. I had been shackled, able only to watch as my travelling companions were cut down one by one by bloodthirsty highwaymen. Helpless. Utterly helpless. Even without the shackles, even with all my schemes and disguises and potions and clever little tricks I was helpless to stop her death. I watched Gaedren’s body swing and did nothing. I watched the executioner about to pull the lever on Trinia. And even when her salvation came from another man, that Black Jack, all I did was watch. As the legend himself delivered his hero’s speech about the death of tyranny, as he did battle with the executioner, as he nearly died in the attempted rescue I was idle.

Then Sav fired off an arrow. Sav. Shot at a city official. The shot went wide, but it was enough to distract the executioner and let Black Jack and Trinia escape. It wasn’t a perfect plan. Honestly it wasn’t even a plan. Just a gut reaction. But it was enough. Sav acted and it was enough, but I did nothing.

Leave me be now. There is more to tell I suppose. The sickness came next. But we should save that for a later time. For now, leave me be.


Shimon CrunchyCrab