Friday, 29 June 2012
Honour Among Thieves: Wanda's (Shallow) Well of Patience
She clenched her fists. So many unanswered questions. Fine - so the one-armed bandit in the other room remained unidentified. What had happened? Had he tried to cut his own arm off? Did someone else do it out of fear? She hadn't seen the corpse, but Malmir's telling of the tale didn't suggest that the man had been forced into surrendering his arm. Who was he? What was his name?
A thrill of resentment ran through her as the elf wiped his boot against the dead man. She was angry with dead man, but what gave the bloody elf the right to demean him so?
Only...humans... could do that.
She shivered at the implications of that thought. If it was one of the others, that would have been fine. But no the elf! Arrogant sod! She spun around, expressing her distaste with a cold shoulder and stared at the puddle of oil, the merry little flame dancing, oblivious to the fate of those in the room and it's own, inevitable fate.
And then there was the whole problem of this cursed gem. How were they supposed to move it? The box didn't appear to be magical. There was also this six hour limit Oldenhaller had described. when did that kick in? How long had they been down here? If what the man said had been true, then even mere contact with the gem would...well, what? What would it do? She wasn't sure. The fool had died before she could work out what had happened to the arm. Damn! Damn! Damn!
What's this? Werner appeared out of nowhere and thrust a crossbow at her. "Here, " he started, pointing to the device. He started explaining it, the trigger, the quarrel and how it fired.
She closed her eyes and sighed, wishing for some deep well of inner peace and patience. No doubt his intentions were good. After all, all she had was a knife. The truth was that she was out of her depth with this sort of thing. Magical education included a large part of learning about risk analysis. Don't play with fire unless you understand fire. Simply put, she stood more chance of shooting one of the members of the party than anyone else she came across.
She waited impatiently for him to explain, before taking the crossbow. He stooped down to remove a belt from one of the bodies - something to do with the crossbow, he had said - before he reached back and handed it to her.
"Thanks," she said absently, passing the crossbow (and belt) directly to Kirsten. "I believe you asked for this?"
Wanda made eye contact with Kirsten as she passed, each with a raised eyebrow, before Wanda rolled her eyes.
Kirsten understood: Men!