Politics of Murder
The ancient high speech of Imperial Aranaad has no linguistical relative with its neighbors. In fact the high speech of the Empire has no similarities with any of the Hurradric languages including Istania and Thryme which are the Empires immediate neighbors. It was discovered by researchers of the Vaush Papers that the term vaush in the High Speak of Aranaad means wolf. When taken in context it often refers to a predatory nature among meeker neighbors. It is best described as homo hominae lupis est or “man is a wolf among men”.
The name, which is surely not the man’s real name however may speak to Vaush’s actual origins. yes he was raised with in the confines of Eve’s Palace in the burgeoning city of Hartwich, but his linage was most assuredly not. It seems likely that at least some part of Vaush’s stock heralded from the Empire.
- G.M. Frasier Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University of Cadris
-One would think that after such a fiasco as the for the young Quail, Robert would be eager to return to Eve’s Palace and in truth it appeared at first that would be our heading. Indeed, at the beginning of the end of the evening’s journey it seemed we would return home by the High Road as we often entered Hartwich._
We turned left however and entered one the Hartwich’s seedier areas. The building were slanted and leaned against each other like unhealthy or drunken companions. It did not appear that this part of the city had been touched by the sun. The wood frames and mud tracked streets seemed to be on the very edge of abandonment.
Robert tied his horse off and I slipped down to the grime covered walk. He stood under a guttering street lamp. In fact the only lamp on the street. He waited for a moment and I realized that he was waiting, making sure everyone understood he was there and this was his horse. At that moment I knew with out doubt that the beast would be there when we returned from what ever errand he intended upon.
Robert banged on the door. A voice whined from beyond acknowledging us. When Robert spoke his name the door came open, more from fear than any sort of courtesy I suspect. We entered and it became immediately apparent that Robert, like seemingly everywhere else, was feared here as well. Now however I wondered if these men feared Robert or the monster that he represented. Robert was certainly formidable; but I suspected it was Rush that they truly feared. Robert was simply his emissary.
In time something that could be mistaken for food and ale arrived. The cheese was passable, but the bread was but a few hours from yeast driven mold. It was to be swilled down with a beer like concoction that was hardly worth a civilized acknowledgment. However, now years later I can safely say that I have eaten and drunken worse… much worse.
In time men came in. I hardly remember their names; but Robert demanded that those that were responsible for the evening’s shinanigans be brought before him. Price, I think his name was, simpered and cowered before Robert, promised to present them as quickly was possible.
Soon, thankfully there was a ruckess outside and a half dozen men were brought before Robert. Not a one of them would be what could be called reasonably dressed. They were dirty and poorly handled. After all Robert made no accounting of the manner of the presentation; only that they be before him quickly. Among them was swarmy boy that was perhaps three or four years my elder. I took him to be the notorious Smitty.
Robert made it clear that the evening activities were beyond unacceptable. Assets had been lost, connections had been severed and all on the accounting of a boy. Robert demanded that the boy and his associates were never to be bothered again. When Robert identified Smitty he said that he was sorry to hear it… and with the same economy of movement he killed the boy. Stabbed him in the heart, with a blow that came up from his hop striking just under the rib cage. I felt my own pulse quicken. There was remarkably little blood, but the boy died with out a sound; simply falling to the floor with a look of surprise on his face.
Smitty was to be left in the open; found the next morning; a note pinned to his dirty collar. That was the end of the affair. Robert and I went home; I bathed and slept. It was dreamless sleep; a restful sleep.
This was the second death I had witnessed and it bothered me less then the first.
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