All The Warm Lives, part 7: A Place To Call Home

It seems you have quite a way with words, Lady Redbreeze,” Paralictor Halst commented, holding the door open to an office room in the back of the Bastion of the Nail as Osanna stepped through. Glenn followed, still being escorted by one of the other Hellknights who had accompanied them to the Pediment Building for his sentencing hearing. “This is not the first time you have managed to convince the Justices to release a convicted criminal to your custody.”

I simply state the truth,” Osanna replied as Halst shut the door behind their party. The Paralictor made his way to the opposite side of a heavy wooden desk that dominated the center of the chamber, setting several sheafs of parchment down before him and picking up a pair of reading glasses.

We have a few things to go over before either of you can go,” Halst stated as he slipped the glasses over his nose, glancing up at first Osanna, then Glenn with a small frown. “The Justices have voted not to remand you to the Hells, but that does not mean you are simply free to do as you please,” the Paralictor continued, settling his gaze on the man bound before him. “First, you are–”

Excuse me, Paralictor,” Osanna cut in suddenly. Both Glenn and the Hellknight commander glanced at her, Halst frowning slightly at being interrupted. “Pardon me for interrupting, but – are the manacles really necessary at this point?” She motioned toward the shackles that bound Glenn’s hands before him.

Halst looked momentarily annoyed. “I suppose not,” he conceded after a pause. He nodded toward the Hellknight who had escorted Glenn back to the Bastion. The man stepped forward and unfastened the binds from around Glenn’s wrists.

Um, thanks,” Glenn muttered, glancing up toward the Hellknight’s helmed face as he rubbed his wrists; a thin, angry red line braceleted his skin. The Hellknight didn’t respond as he stepped back.

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All The Warm Lives, part 6: Judgment Day

Most of Osanna’s dialog in this part was written by Derrick.

***

Zelia sat nervously among the gallery of the courtroom of the Pediment Building, where the Justice Court was preparing to meet regarding Glenn’s sentencing. She had never actually been inside this room before; she had been to the Pediment Building over a few minor infractions over the years, but none of them had ever warranted her going before the Justices.

The room itself looked more like a small arena than a courtroom. The chamber was circular and bowl-shaped. Zelia was currently seated among a row of other spectators in one of the rows of tiered benches that ran along the length of the wall of the room; the one in front of her was set a bit lower, and the one behind her a bit higher, so as to allow everyone a better look at what was happening in the center of the chamber. At the back of the room at ground level stood a pair of double doors that lead to the rest of the building, where other people were currently filing in and making their way up the rows of benches to find seats in the gallery around Zelia. At the opposite end of the floor of the chamber stood a long bench atop a raised dais, with thirteen individual chairs behind it, all currently empty. In the center of the room stood a second, smaller platform, large enough for a single person to stand upon but devoid of any furnishings.

Stop fidgeting,” Carmine said, glancing at her sister. “Just be glad you’re not the one on trial.”

What would I be on trial for?” Zelia demanded, giving her sister a sideways look with a frown.

I have no idea,” Carmine replied with a shrug, “but I don’t doubt there’s something.”

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All The Warm Lives, part 5: Cupcakes

I screwed up Gaetana’s rank in the last section — Lictors are actually the leaders of a Hellknight order.  Paralictors fall beneath them (with a Mistress or Master of Blades (Maidrayne Vox’s rank) being the second in command below the Lictor and above a Paralictor) and Maralictors are beneath Paralictors.  I’m not going to go back and fix the previous chapter, but from here on out Gaetana will correctly be addressed as Maralictor.

* * *

A knock sounded on the door that lead to the conference room where Maidrayne Vox was currently in conversation with Darean Halst inside the Bastion of the Nail. “Lady Vox?” came Maralictor Gaetana’s voice from the hallway. “Lady Redbreeze to see you again, ma’am.”

Yes, send her in,” Vox replied, setting aside the paperwork that she and Halst were looking over together. The door opened, and Maralictor Gaetana stepped aside to admit the Sarenite paladin.

Lady Vox…Paralictor Halst,” Osanna greeted both of the Hellknight commanders as Gaetana closed the door behind her once she was inside the room.

Yes, good afternoon, Lady Redbreeze,” Halst addressed her with a nod. “Lady Vox told me you had come to call.”

We were just going over the final details of the prisoner’s transfer,” Vox added. “I trust you are done visiting with him?”

I am,” Osanna confirmed. Vox could tell there was a hint of uneasiness to the tiefling’s voice as she continued. “That’s actually what I wanted to speak with you about before I left, if I may trouble you for a moment of your time.”

We are expected at the Pediment Building,” Halst commented abruptly.

A moment, then,” Vox declared, holding up a hand to Halst before he could continued. “Speak, then, Lady Redbreeze.”

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The End Of The Beginning, part 2: Priorities

The next day, slightly hung-over and more than slightly fatigued, I traveled to Sandpoint. Having traveled the road from Magnimar to the smaller fishing village a number of times before, and with summer fast approaching, the journey was easy and uneventful, despite my slightly incapacitated state, and I was able to reach Bill’s house before dusk.

Unfortunately, the wizard’s revelation about the creature that Osanna and I had fought the night before was far less easy to deal with. After describing the abomination to him, and how it acted and reacted to us, Bill confirmed what I had already feared – that the thing was a Daemon. Worse still, it was a Daemon that had somehow possessed or reincarnated inside my former body – that of the grippli that had been left behind in Abaddon after we had broken the curse.

“It called you ‘Father’?” Bill asked, after we had discussed the creature at length. We were sitting around a small, round table in the back of his father’s shop; I could hear Vorvashali Voon talking to a customer up front.

“Yeah. And Osanna ‘Mother,’” I replied.

“Creepy. If accurate, in a twisted sort of way,” Bill said with a frown. Continue reading