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Renegade Project 18: Traitors

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You ride through the night. Just after dawn you near the estate and consider stopping at a local apothecary shop to refresh your supply of herbs, but decide to wait. You still have enough in your personal belongings back at the estate – well, enough to make another small batch of the tincture remedy. Since it would need at least twelve hours to sit in the alcohol before it could be used (ideally a day or more), you decide to work with what you have and get more as soon as you can.

At that point in the morning you expect the estate to still be quiet, but as you arrive, you are started to find servants and guards bustling about the grounds.

“What’s going on?” you ask one of the guards hustling by.

The man glances up, startled. His eyes widen at the woman sleeping in the saddle in front of you. “I – er, the main house, sir. There was an attack – in the night.”

You tense. “Any casulties?”

“I–” The man glances around. “That is…I mean, I don’t know. They called us out to search, sir.”

Obviously, you need a better informant. “Where’s Malor?”

The man’s face paled. “I don’t know – I don’t know!”

“Fine, go with the others.” You dismount, lifting down the woman, and head for the entrance closest to your chamber. The first order of business was to find out what had happened and you certainly couldn’t do that effectively dragging the sick woman around.

Most of the servants you pass pause to gape at the woman, but then hurry away. When you reach your chamber, you lay her on the bed. Her color is still pale but her heart beat and breathing are stable.

You head for the for family chambers. Verifying their safety first seemed wisest and hopefully they could give more info. As you near, you are surprised to hear Galen yelling.

“I don’t care what it says. Send a currier for the Royal Guards, now! No one around this place seems to be able to do anything. I need someone I can trust to do something!”

You step into the open doorway and see the old merchant pacing by his desk. When he turns to pace back, his gaze lifts to you and he stumbles. His eyes narrow. “You! Where have you been?”

You bow. “I have just returned from checking on the caravan, sir.”

“Blast the caravan! I hired you to protect my family and while you’re riding the countryside, my own child is taken for ransom – taken from her own chambers! I hold you personally responsible! They tell me that the very man you left in charge is involved!”

“Malor kidnapped Selyna?” Well, Malor had been one of Gallino’s men for sure, but you had expected Natin to be the target. Unless this had nothing to do with Gallino’s cryptic comment of already having dealt with the source of interferences.

Galen waves a scrap of parchment at you. “They want four hundred gold nullaros! Utter lunacy! I’d have to sell off the estate and the caravan to pay such a fortune! Absolutely out of the question.”

“Where’s Natin?” you ask.

“Natin? He’s the one who barged in here at an absurd hour of the night. He’s took some men and is trying to track the traitors.”

The weight of the enchanted dagger presses against your back. “This may not be about the ransom money. Malor was one of Gallino’s trusted men. And I regret to inform you that I did find evidence of betrayal in the caravan itself. It is being used as a cover for buying and selling forbidden magics.”

“What?” Galen’s face flushed red in anger. “Traitors and scoundrels! I’ll see the lot of them thrown in prison.”

“And what of your son, Gallino?”

Confusion pulled the old man’s brows together. “Surely you aren’t suggesting…”

You take a deep breath and nod. “From what I saw, he is both aware and involved. I watched him personally oversee a sale of enchanted weapons to the Lady Cynea.”

“You got any proof for such claims?” Galen asks with narrowed eyes.

You pull out the bundle from beneath your tunic and unwrap the cloth to show the dagger. “This is one of the relics I found.”

Galen lifts an eyebrow. “It’s a black knife.”

Draping the cloth back over the blade, you sigh, then rub the material along the metal twice. That should be enough. You uncover it and hold it up again. “Please touch the blade – carefully.”

As soon as Galen’s fingers touches the dark metal, a spark sizzles at the spot and the old merchant jerks back. “What is the meaning of this?”

“It’s a variation of what’s called a lightning staff. They were outlawed among the four realms two centuries ago in the Treaty of Rodan.”

He scowls then sighs. “Fine, I will take it and confront Gallino with it when he returns with the Caravan. You focus on the job I gave you and find my daughter.”

Do you:

Hand over the weapon as he’s asked and focus on the ransom
-OR-
Agree to focus on finding Selyna, but keep the knife “for safe keeping”
-OR-
Pacify Galen and look for the girl, but this has turned out bigger than him and you intend to alert Royal Guards or someone higher up as soon as you find one you deem even halfway trustworthy
-OR-
???

Voting is Closed.

For those who missed the rules for this game or an index check them out here!

And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1

About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

5 comments on “Renegade Project 18: Traitors

  1. […] Hurry back to estate to try and stop Gallino’s scheme to punish siblings -OR- Seek out some royal guards to officially report the crimes. The sample you took should rouse some interest and you’d rather have a few allies at your back before returning to the estate. -OR- With Gallino knowing your identity, returning to the estate is too dangerous… so try to contact Natin through the girl’s allies […]

  2. Oh. Now that’s a twist I never saw coming! Gallino hasn’t got what it takes to deal with that blade. It’s got to stay with our hero. If Gallino takes it and it ends up back in Galen’s hands–that’s a huge problem.

    Besides, how can our hero figure out how best to disenchant it if Gallino’s got it?

    I vote for: telling Galen no in diplomatic language and giving him an excuse he can accept. Also, informing him that the lightning blades aren’t all that Gallino has at his disposal; and asking him to see to the care of the girl who was injured by the poison. And going to look for the Royal Guards and Natin, in that order.

    Hey! I know! Galen can look after the girl, and when she’s well enough to be questioned, he can question her to find out everything she knows. She’s more useful to him than the lightning sword, anyway, because she’s been in the middle of it between Natin and Gallino. 😀

  3. Agree to focus on finding Selyna, but keep the knife “for safe keeping”

    • Just for fun, I’ll agree with someone else for once. Option two. Although I like Krysti’s idea of telling about the girl.
      Of course, it’s possible that could get the girl killed. I don’t know why I’m trusting anyone in this family.

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