Oath of Vengeance,  Part 3

by Bblalock

A travel-worn stranger enters an inn just outside of the Tuchean capital. Searching the crowd, his eyes stop on a familiar face. Wading through the busy common room, Sharcu embraces his second* sister as she rises. Kersun whispers in Altene “What news of your Oath-Quest?” as she returns to her seat.

Sharcu silently mouths, “A name. Here.” in Altene, as he drops into a chair. As he pulls his chair in close to the table, Sharcu beckons for a mug of ale. Sharcu’s lips shape the words “One of the men who slew my first-family was in debt to a moneylender.” Paying the serving girl, Sharcu takes his mug and washes the dust from his mouth.

Kersun nods, “So you need to find this man, and discover what he knows.” As she leans forward to whisper to Sharcu, Kersun’s gladius is visible for an instant. It bears the image of a lioness looking across a valley from a rocky outcrop. “Did you discover what they learned from your father?” whispers Kersun.

Slowly shaking his head, Sharcu forms the words “No. The one I found was a fool, he would have known nothing” with his mouth. Sharcu emits a low rumbling growl, thinking a single thought, if something was revealed, it must be put right to restore the full honor of the Twenty-four. Sharcu mouths, “We must take this man, and his entire household, he will know much.”

As Sharcu drains his mug, Kersun rises. Kersun murmurs, “Second brother, we must present this to the commander. We also have oath-rights in this matter.” Sharcu nods, and follows Kersun out the door.

The Honor of the Twenty-Four will be avenged.

* Cultural note: The Altene culture has been influenced by the relatively high death rate among its people to alter and strengthen the customs regarding adoption. Although the word “second” is often used to indicate this bond, it is often much stronger among Altenes than the bond between those who are siblings by birth.

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