I awoke groggily, later than usual, still coming to terms with the fact that I had killed two men. While my code grants exception to murdering people when necessary, I’m finding it difficult to justify killing two men over less than 40 cael, even if their deaths were unintentional. More and more, I’m beginning to realize that there may not be room for thieves on the battle field; I may have to become something more sinister in order to adapt to my current situation. These thoughts plagued my morning reading, and made it difficult to glean any useful information from the text. My thoughts were fixed on how I cut that man down, how he bled out on the ground in front of me. 40 cael…so much blood…blood…My mind became transfixed on the fact that his blood was still caked onto my sword and I could not focus until something was done about it. I took my sword downstairs and washed it thoroughly before returning to my room to resume reading. Unfortunately, my esteemed colleagues awoke in their usual, peaceful fashion, by shouting and causing an unnecessary commotion. I cracked my door and looked outside to see a bandaged up, nearly naked Connor limping along with Perla, who was hefting a semi-conscious Logan into his room. No, not today, I am not dealing with this today. I left my door cracked, just in case I was needed, and sat back down to read. Almost immediately, Connor came limping in on a staff and plopped down on my bed. He looked like some kind of battle hardened king wielding a wooden scepter, minus all the kingly aspects of grace and regality. Come to think of it, I believe a beggar or deranged lunatic would be a more apt description for how he looked in that instant. I asked him not to sit on my bed, hoping it might possibly cut our friendly visit short. Connor implored me to talk to Racha about the money she stole, to which I begrudgingly agree in order to get him to leave so that I may return to my peace and solitude.
I went downstairs and sat with Racha as she ate her breakfast and proceeded to have a wonderful conversation! She agreed to return all of Connor’s money, admitted that she was a psychotic drunk and needed help, and in general apologized for all the headaches she’s caused my friends and I recently. She even agreed to stop free loading and find her own damn place! Oh, wait a minute, I was talking to Racha…that’s right, none of that happened and the conversation eventually devolved into her reminding me that she is Racha and there’s nothing I can do to make her give Connor his money back. She also mentioned that Connor was stupid enough to pass out in her bed and was adamant about having never touched a cent of Connor’s money. I decided that I enjoyed having my head firmly attached above my shoulders, and that I should just take Racha’s word for truth and left her to continue eating her breakfast. I informed Connor that my conversation was fruitless and agreed to take him to the hospital and pay for part of his visit if he promised to leave Racha be. He told me he was finished chasing after her, but, knowing Connor, he’ll be right back at it as soon as he’s fix up and ready to be crumpled again.
The hospital bill came to 150 cael in order to have Connor’s wounds healed immediately. I did not have that much money, and knowing that Connor’s promise was hollow and worth essentially nothing, he’s lucky I agreed to pay the 50 cael I did. I decided that, since his word was useless, he would work off the cael I had paid by helping me read. In hindsight, I don’t know what made me believe he was even literate to begin with. The joke was on me, however, when he successfully finished Dark Watching and was able to essentially recite the entire book’s content from memory. I, on the other hand, passed out mid-sentence and proceeded to nap for almost the entirety of our time spent reading together. Connor Grey, the Murderous Moronic Morc is more literate than I am…I could feel my ego shrink and disappear as he recited, from memory, a book I had utterly failed to penetrate in the slightest.
After listening to Connor’s description on what exactly this form of scrying entailed, I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk just to find my old master. Still, it could prove useful in the future. Connor hastily left my room afterwards, visibly disturbed by the contents of my book, and I decided I should probably go eat. I was seated near the embodiment of femininity, poise, and grace that is Racha, who was drinking alcohol straight out of the bottle all throughout dinner. Such class! I sometimes feel I am not worthy to be in the presence of such a prim and proper lady! Perla handed all of us gifts, except for Connor, stating that his was being prepared. I’m still not quite used to this whole gift giving thing; the sentiment is nice, but I’m starting to feel like a bad person for never returning the favor.
Corinth asked if I would be interested in a walk, and apparently Logan could sense my legs spreading underneath the table, as he insisted on being my chaperone. Chaperone? Really? What am I, five? Does he seriously think that if he turns his back on me, he’s going to turn back around just in time to see me strip naked and throw myself at the nearest man? I decided that I would just ignore Logan’s comment and attempt to remove myself from the room without him noticing. I got my chance when Connor mentioned that Logan was attempting to steal a bottle of alcohol from Racha’s room. With his recent refusal to help us during most of the battles in the coliseum, along with this theft incident, I saw my chance. I questioned Logan’s devotion to our group, causing everyone to argue with him about whether he would be able to stand and fight with us against the Hroggar. During the commotion, Corinth and I slipped away from the table and out a nearby window. Really Logan, you’re just too easy sometimes.
Cornith took my hand and led me quickly through the streets. Had he not been pulling me behind him so quickly, I might not have been able to move at all of my own volition; my legs had gone limp and my mind had turned to mush. God Jenny, pull yourself together! How are you ever going to be with this guy if this is how you react to him holding your hand? Not that I WANT to be with this guy…well, not that I don’t want to be with this guy either, there’s nothing wrong with him or anything, on the contrary, everything is just right. Oh god Jenny, are you even paying attention to where you’re going at all?! I snapped out of my own day dream when Corinth stopped near the city’s clocktower. I honestly had no recollection of the walk there; no idea how long it had been, which streets we had taken, nothing other than the fact that he was holding my hand and I apparently floated behind him. He asked me if I was able to climb, to which I respond that I wasn’t very strong. He said that wouldn’t be a problem, opened a manhole cover nearby, and beckoned me to follow him into it. Wonderful, our date will commence in the refuse and waste of the city! Truly a night to be remembered! I was somewhat reluctant to follow him into the sewers, but I couldn’t exactly turn back, since I had no real idea how I had gotten there in the first place.
I followed him down and he led me through several access tunnels which eventually opened up inside the clocktower. It was a wondrous sight to behold, all the crank and gears and levers all combined to serve the one simple, yet intricate task of telling time. I had little time to stop and marvel at this masterpiece of modern engineering, as Corinth once again grabbed me by the hand and I turned to mush. He led me across numerous gaps. I followed him through the intricate interweaving of parts, soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through the tower until we reached the top. At several points, it became evident that my limp legs and clouded mind were not suited for such coordinated movement, as I nearly slipped and fell numerous times. Luckily, Corinth was there to catch me with his big, strong arms…anyways, we eventually made it to the top of the tower where a small camp has been set up.
Corinth led me over to the transparent clocktower face and placed his arms around my side as we looked out over the city. In that instant, had the sound of gears cranking filled my ears, I would have been convinced that I was floating somewhere high above the city. I snapped out of my dreamy stupor as Corinth led me to a table he had set up near his tent. He pulled out two danishes and apologized about it not being very much. He leads me through the city, takes me on one of the most fun adventures I’ve had in quite a while, and brings me to a place overlooking the entire city of Cataline and he thinks I’m going to fault him on feeding me a danish? Either he has mistaken me for someone who is much more high maintenance, or he’s trying very hard to impress me. Please be the latter, dear god I hope it’s the latter, because if it is, he’s gone above and beyond impressing me.
We made small talk while we ate, he asked me about my book and I told him it wasn’t worth the trouble. He talks about how he found the clocktower entrance, but decided the way he had taken me was much more fun. I attempted to dispay my peerless wit and wry humor by blurting out “You’re fun!” Oh yeah Jenny, real smooth. He chuckled a bit, and I could feel all the blood in my body rush straight to my face. I then slyly diverted the conversation to the cleanliness of the clock face, and rambled on and on about how someone must come up here to maintain it. I wanted to stop, I really did, but my lips just kept moving and words just kept spewing out. Goddammit Jenny, just stop….just stop…please? No? Okay then, just keep talking about the clock’s cleanliness. Somehow I managed to clamp my fat mouth shut long enough to notice that Corinth was scooting closer to me. I followed suit until we were both right next to each other. He pulled me in close and we kissed. It felt as if the entire world had slowed to a grinding halt, as if all the gods hand stopped time and space for a mere instant to add weight and gravity to our coupling. We parted after what felt like minutes, but what was in fact merely seconds. Corinth stood and beckoned towards a nearby window. I, however, curled up into a ball and put my face into my knees to hide just how red I was. Corinth snickered a bit to himself, causing me to curl up tighter. I sat like that for a few minutes before awkwardly responding that I would like to do that again. Corinth took my hand, whisked me into his arms, and we locked lips yet again. Had he not been holding me, I probably would have hit the floor. It really helps that he’s so smooth, it makes up for how clunky and awkward I keep acting.
After he let go and I managed to compose myself slightly, he informed me that there was a zipline that ran from the clocktower to the center of town, which was exactly how we were getting back. We ziplined down and arrived back at the embassy shortly after. Corinth went to his room after saying goodnight and I took the time to admire his back side as he moved to his room. Everything checks out, this man is gorgeous all around. I floated lightly to my bed and passed out with the biggest, stupidest grin on my face.
I awoke roughly to the sound of Racha breaking down Connor’s door. Oh good morning, goodmorning, to you Racha! I decided that the best course of action would be to wait until things calmed down a bit before going to Connor’s room to scrape the bits of him that were left into some sort of sack or vase. After checking on Connor and finding that he was, surprisingly, okay, I went into the shop to buy supplies for our trip north.
I ran into Corinth and Corlin while I was out and Corinth, thankfully, didn’t make a scene in front of Corlin. Corlin informed me that he had a job for me to do and I decided that I would tell him about me and Corinth then. Corlin…Corinth…Corlin? God, this is getting confusing. Corlin led me into a room in the embassy and informed me that my job would be to file various papers for a couple hours. I tried numerous times to inform Corlin that me and Corinth were together, but he was just so dense that I got frustrated and blurted out that me and Corinth had kissed. Dammit Jenny, you were supposed to let him down easy! I could see the hurt in Corlin’s eyes immediately and I felt like the lowest piece of trash in the bin. I tried to talk to him about it, but he locked himself in his room and wouldn’t come out. I tried, in vain, to disguise myself as Perla in an attempt to get him out, but I did a very poor job and he remained locked away in his room. Corinth met me in the hallway and, seeing that I was visibly upset, asked what was wrong. I told him about the current situation between me and Corlin and he responded by saying that he may have good news later before kissing me and heading off. That helped improve my mood substantially, but I still felt bad about hurting Corlin like I did, however, I decided that it would probably be best if I left him alone. He probably didn’t want to see me after what happened anyways.
I ate lunch and set out to find another job, only to find Connor doing pull ups on our awning. I would have made a comment about his lack of intelligence, but my ego was still writhing in agony at the fact that Connor was more literate than I was, so instead I merely told him to stop and be more careful, to which he responded by ignoring me. I searched unsuccessfully for a job before running into Perla, who was holding a sign advertising a nearby restaurant. I asked her if there was a job open for me, to which she responded that there wasn’t and that I should check the job posting board in the center of town. Job posting board….in the center…of town…if my palm had hit my face any harder, I would have broken my nose.
I proceeded to the job posting board and a notice caught my eye. I took it, followed the description listed on the parchment, and came to a shop headed by a male earth Archon. I asked him about the job and he pulled me into his office, where he informed me that I would be stealing a replica of the dwarven floating ship from some scumbag named Benedict. This job sounded too easy and I took it with glee. After arriving at Benedict’s establishment, I surveyed the outside and noticed that there was no way up to the second story from the outside. I went inside to get the general layout of the store and notice that there also appeared to be no entrance to the second floor inside here either. The sleazy shop keep came up and started asking me if everything was to my liking and I could feel him attempting to burrow his eyes through my clothing. I said no and promptly left; had I not been on a mission, I would have ran back to the embassy to scrub the first two layers of my skin off after that lovely encounter. I found a wind archon street urchin and asked if he would be interested in helping me with a job. He agreed and said it would cost me 5 cael. I gave him ten and instructed him to go into the store shortly after I did. I entered, only to be greeted once again by the prying eyes of Mr. Benedict, who wasted no time in attempting to help me with whatever I needed. I had to steel myself slightly in order to not vomit in my own mouth. The child entered shortly and began breaking several items before grabbing a particularly expensive piece and fleeing the shop. Benedict ran after him and, noticing that everyone else in the shop was also looking toward the source of the commotion, lept over his desk and quickly and quietly opened behind the counter. I turned around after easing the door shut and found the stairs leading up to the second floor. I followed them up and peaked through the door leading into the second floor which was at the top of the stairs. Inside, I was able to locate the replica as well as the imposing dragost guard that my employer had warned me would be waiting inside. I knocked in the door, readied a smoke bomb, and gassed him as he opened the door. I was able to catch him and redirect his fall in such a way that it made very little nose whatsoever. I quickly went into the room, secured the replica, and exited the window of the second floor after making myself invisible. I hit the ground and blended into the crowd. Pfft, what a joke. That was, quite possibly, one of the easiest thefts I’ve ever performed, and here I was hoping for a slight challenge to help hone my skills. Oh well, easy money is always nice.
I walked back to the earth archon’s shop, where he paid me a hefty amount of money and quickly ushered me out of the shop. I returned to the embassy and ate lunch with comrades. Corlin stood abruptly during dinner and unceremoniously announced that he was withdrawing his combat status with the group in order to stay at the embassy. I sunk in my chair and kept my gaze to the floor. This is entirely my fault, he’s leaving because I hurt him and he doesn’t want to be around me anymore. I wanted to say something in protest, however I realized that this was probably for the best; Corlin was never much of a fighter and he’ll be safer from Exe here at the embassy than out on the field of battle. Corinth took this as his cue to announce that he was joining our group as a permanent member, and while I was incredibly excited about this new revelation, I decided to keep it to myself, lest I hurt Corlin’s feelings even more. I told Perla about my job and she told me about the gifts she had bought for Logan and Connor. I was intrigued at their magical properties and decided that I would visit the shop tomorrow myself to see if I could get something just as fantastic.
I went to my room and attempted to read, but I was interrupted, yet again, by a ruckus being caused by my ever so considerate friends. I left my room to see Connor in a bloody heap outside of Racha’s door. I quickly helped him into the nearest room, where Logan healed and patched him up. Goddammit, that does it! I don’t care who this bitch is, or who she thinks she is, she’s got to go and she’s got the go now! I asked Connor what he had done to warrant getting stabbed. He informed me that he had broken into Racha’s room numerous times, she had pulled a knife on him and gave him fair warning to leave, and that he responded by lighting his fists on fire and waving them at her, vaguely insinuating that he wanted her to shake his hand. She responded by stabbing him. My rage was replaced by deep frustration and contempt for the idiot sitting in front of me. Fuck this, fuck you, I’m done. I left and went to my room in an attempt to sleep through the stupidity that was leaking from Connor’s side and dripping all over everyone he came in contact with.
I awoke to Racha screaming about how she was going to murder Connor. I lept from my bed and bolted to her door. Perla met me there and we began banging and screaming incoherently against the door in an effort to get Racha to spare my idiot friend’s life. And then, there was silence. It felt as if I had swallowed a rock; Racha had killed Connor, I knew it, I just knew it. I braced myself to have her throw his bloodied corpse outside her room for us to deal with…and then I heard incredibly loud moaning and creaking. Oh…oh my god…they’re…he…but…I turned to Perla and pulled her into my room. I made it very clear to her that we saw nothing, heard nothing, and were asleep the whole time. In fact, I’m just going to scratch that part out of my journal…actually, I’m going to tear this whole page out and burn it, because I was clearly delusional when I wrote it.
Everfall: Rise of Nations
Felvida 28th-29th Jenny Cross