Diamond Cascade: Finally, after so many tries

Alturiak 8: For anyone planning a career as a thief, bandit or other profession that is likely to get you hunted by a posse of irate armed men whose treasure you’ve stolen, here’s a clue. Don’t run off into the night across open country after a heavy snowfall. It’s cold, the going is hard, and you won’t get very far. However, if you absolutely MUST go, then at least do SOMETHING about the monstrously obvious trail in the snow you’re going to leave behind. I mean, hello, fly spell? Pass without trace? At least a switchback and a false trail or two.

So Stalker and The Gnome. So good at running away and hiding that even we tracked them down before the middle of the next day. The fire and the thin little column of smoke were the biggest give away, at least after the trail in the snow and the fact that they’d basically followed the one road out. So we catch up with them. There’s a little bit of a ruckus for a moment as The Gnome kicks off and lobs a spell in my direction and I lob an arrow back and then we’re all like Stalker, dude, what was all that about? and Stalker is all, Ha HAA! I have a power you cannot imagine now, which was a bit odd and a frankly bit lame, and so we’re all what are you talking about, dude? I mean, could we at least talk it over next time before you do over half the town guard, and we’re not mentioning the fact that several of us would probably have happily joined in a night-time wealth-enhancement caper or two, but only not mentioning that because we’ve go a couple of town magistrates with us, and there’s a certain level of wondering whether we bring Stalker and The Gnome in like we’re supposed to or do we turn on the magistrates, only that would make us all outlaws in Osmuld, which wouldn’t be great, and anyway, Stalker is the nephew of the king now, apparently, so wouldn’t that be OK because they’d just let him go in the end and let’s face it, none of us liked The Gnome anyhow, and I’m paying a little bit of attention to all this talk but mostly I’ve got my eye on where Stalker’s loot bag is stashed. It’s all a bit uncertain where this is going and who might actually side with whom…

Until Shifty slips around the back and sticks a knife in The Gnome’s ribs and it’s all downhill from there.

Stalker goes for Shifty, the magistrates go for Stalker, I’m piling in trying to separate them, thinking… I don’t know what. That I might save The Gnome from bleeding to death? That Shifty is every bit as much a murderous bastard as Stalker? That I might stop anyone from killing anyone else? Could have done nothing and watched. Didn’t. All I can say as to the whys of that is that no one else did die and that somehow, in the confusion of the melee, Stalker’s treasure bag wound up on my horse without anyone noticing how it got there.

So now we’ve got him. Question is, what, by all the gods, do we do with him? He’s a murderer. He’s the king’s nephew (possibly) and he’s what passes these days for a friend.



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