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 3: Apprehension

Rated R because Sarscha.

Osanna woke early the next morning, before the first rays of the Dawnflower had graced the sky. Laying on her side, she shifted slightly in her bed, sensing a presence behind her. She sat up, slowly and silently, and glanced over her shoulder; Glenn was fast asleep on the opposite side of the bed, laying on the edge of the mattress, his back toward her.

The tiefling turned slowly so that she was facing him, watching him for several moments. He looked peaceful and content for the moment, sleeping quietly, although she knew he would not be once he woke. Her heart ached painfully, knowing there was little she could do to comfort him during this painful time – worse, that she had probably inadvertently added to his suffering with her misplaced words the night before.

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The End Of The Beginning, part 6: Dawn

Twenty minutes later, Helena was knocking on the door of a small, upper story apartment located above a tavern in the Dockway district, along the shore of the Varisian Gulf. It was well past two in the morning, and the exhaustion of having been awake for over a day, combined with the activity of the last twenty-four hours, was starting to settle in. I blinked back fatigue, forcing myself to stay awake and alert; Gallahad’s guards were still looking for us, although it had been fairly easy to avoid them in the darkness. The Hellknights, on the other hand, once they got involved…

Helena rapped on the door again, and we heard shuffling on the other side. “This had better be good, Dris,” came an irritable, drowsy voice from within as we heard locks being unshuttered. “I told you, I’m not helping you clean up some gods-forsaken mess that they made downstairs–”

The door opened, and Zelia cut off abruptly as she and Helena stared at each other for a moment. “By the gods – Lena?” Zelia said, flinging the door open wide.

“Zellie!” Helena gasped, her face splitting into a smile for the first time since I’d seen her that night. I glanced down at the street as the two girls embraced, Zelia nearly knocking Helena over in the process.

“It’s really you!” the half-elf cried once they finally pulled apart. She was holding Helena by the shoulders, looking her up and down with a grin. “You put on some weight – it looks good on you!”

“I missed you, Zellie,” Helena said, smiling fondly at her friend. Continue reading

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