Decimus 11, 1667
The tenth day of Decimus was quite possibly the longest day in my life besides one. After Noella and I escaped the mob we retreated to the manor where we had some time to speak alone. I revealed my deception as far as the Count was concerned, and told her of her parentage, and a bit of mine and Gallia’s adventures together. Gallia arrived shortly thereafter, and had much to say as well. Properly, though probably never fully, chastised, Noella helped us to pack up the manor so that we could make a hasty escape.
During our time packing the others slowly began to arrive until we realized that Alonso, and Fyodor, had not been seen since the mob. Uccelletta went to find them, and spotted Alonso in the square. Fyodor was still not to be found, except that he had been seen going toward the palace. She went there, and he spoke of needing to do something, but to meet him later by a sewer entrance that was known to both of them at the palace.
I mean while wrote furiously to General Montague with the magic quill and book that he had given me for such purposes. I was still unable to convince him to return to Montaigne, as he did not wish to be considered a traitor. I had trouble convincing him without the evidence he sought as he did not want to be considered a traitor. I can understand his feelings on honor, but anything standing in the way of wisdom should be discarded. Still, I was unable to convince him to betray his morals for his nation’s sake.
As time drew on the peasantry did not settle. The riot had turned into full revolution, while the peasantry found themselves armed by the machinations of the daughter’s lady who had worked with Royston and the Count to secure arms through the Moncelle’s trade with Eisen. We came to realize that if we desired any of our friends or comrades to live, it was up to us to rescue them, and see them safely out of Charouse. To this end, we decided to take it upon ourselves to rescue a list of people:
- Jean Marie…du Rogne – The Captain of the Musketeers, friend of Montague’s, and idol to Noella.
- Anna…du Rogne – His wife and daughter of the endangered Emperor.
- Noella – Herself wanted by both sides of the revolution, and in great danger from authorities.
- Tristan Moncelle – Of personal importance to me.
- Mirabelle Moncelle – Of personal importance to me.
- Albrecht Moncelle – Their creepy son.
- Dominique du Montaigne – Montague’s wife, and consequently her unborn son.
- Belladona du Rogne – Royston’s betrothed, whom he refused to leave behind.
We took our tasks in order of proximity to the mob, and thus the most in danger. Royston went to speak to the Jenny’s Guild to see if the daughters could be of any use aiding us in the smuggling of these people – what the daughters seem to do most, and was told that the Santa Cecillia Ysabette’s ship and Gallia’s Lady of the daughters, was in port in Charouse. Gallia went and worked it out with Ysabette that if we could get them aboard, she would see them out of Charouse.
It also seemed bound by Fate that Roderick should put into port with the Chatter even as Gallia approached the riotous docks. However, to our misfortune, the Lady Wellington’s Revenge was also in port. Royston confirmed that this was most likely the ship of Eric Bannon, who was searching for his vengeance against Royston. When Gallia returned to the manor, the fighting had reached us. Noella ended a Montaigne Noble’s plan to thwart the peasants by ending his crossbowman, and it wasn’t long until he was lost in the crowd. In the meantime, we took our carriages, wagons, and things, and drove to the house where Gallia and the musketeers had sought refuge for Jean-Marie.
There was a surgeon there who had been in the square during the fighting, who seemed to be quite skilled at his craft. He still needed more time with his patient in order to see him through the danger, but it was agreed that he should have it upon the road. We lifted Jean-marie carefully and cautiously, and took him as far as we could to the docks before we had to get out and walk with him while the others loaded our things aboard the Chatter.
Aboard the Cecillia was an unexpected guest, Ysabette’s sister Rosamund, who took offense when she learned of the duel and Remy’s death. She declared that if Jean-Marie was on this ship when it set sail, she would sink it. Seeing that there was no reasoning to be done, we moved him to the Chatter. Once again the daughters proved useless when we were in need, despite the myriad of favors and tasks they have asked of us and the services we have rendered to them at great personal risk and cost.
We set about rescuing the Moncelle’s next as the noble quarter was in the throes of battle, and the palace was still well secured. We moved to their manor to find it opened, but with no signs of battle or that death, the harvester of all men, had come for his due. Instead, as we went through, we found soldiers of the peasantry, and leading them was one of Montague’s thirty.
I had abandoned the guise of the Count while we were packing in Charouse. Now going by the name of Jean Luther, and in a totally different face. It didn’t pose a danger, however, as Montague’s men, or at least his thirty, have come to know of the Chameleon, as they call me. I suppose that they must just assume that any man they do not recognize who stands beside my Gallia, whom they do recognize, must be me. That might be of use later, but at that moment, it kept us from being shot, and enabled us to receive the Moncelle’s from their captors.
Their son Albrecht is… disconcerting. He showed a particularly macabre interest in hurting himself in order to further aid the disguise of prisoner. He wounded himself by smashing his face with the manacles that were on his wrists because we did not allow him a dagger.
We led them to the ships in manacles and hoods so as to keep their identities secreted away from the angry mobs that were looking to kill every noble they could find. We managed to get them aboard the Chatter with little difficulty, where we stowed them away below decks. Then we turned our sights to the palace.
We went to the palace, and Anne, Dominique’s maid, gave Gallia the proof that I had been looking for on Montague’s behalf. I immediately had to return to the ship with it to write him, leaving the others to try and discover whether or not the ones we were there to rescue wished to be rescued. When I returned, after giving Montague the important news we discussed our plans. Apparently, Dominique and Anne were both being kept close to the Emperor, who was not letting them out of is sight, or the sight of his new right hand man: Fyodor.
Gallina feared my self-righteous wrath, while others thought it might be a boon, but I feared that Fyodor was the type of man who would think himself bound by the oaths he swore, regardless of how many he broke. He had broken his contract with the Count without thought, which meant he would attempt to compensate for that guilt and use that broken promise to reinforce his resolve to keep this new one. Humans are complicated.
At the moment we were in need of something more simple: a plan. The one we devised was to enter the palace as performers, and vanish away the two we were there to rescue with cunning and prestidigitation. However, our plans were interrupted by invasion. Montague and his armies were marching through a giant Porte hole in ten by ten ranks, storming the palace. The nobles in the palace began to flee and scatter as rats from a flood. We had to move quickly. We kicked in the door to find Anne and Dominique left behind, covered in blood, the hand of the emperor (his literal hand, not Fyodor) was all that was left behind. Apparently Anne had closed a portal on him, rescuing Dominique and Anne, at the cost of her hand. The surgeon, Gage, was able to reattach it, but was confident that she would never regain control of it.
We were able to quit the palace with haste, and return to the ship. Once there however, we faced the difficulty of the Montaigne Armada which had barricaded the port. Gallia consulted with her lady, and it was determined we should set sail for the land of the Sidhe, with Galina or Isabella at the helm, and Royston beneath the water. We did so, and found ourselves on the sealess shores of Bryn Bresail. The Sidhe brothers were there to greet us.
While we discussed plans, and ways to get back to our world, the good doctor took to shore and exploration for other Sidhe with which to deal. What he found was a creature known as a redcap. It seems that the good doctor and I were not raised on the same stories. He followed the creature’s advice, and picked three mushrooms, binding him in servitude to the creature. When one of the Sidhe brothers pointed this out, I went with him to remedy the difficulty and restore the mushrooms. We were lucky in that he was able to escape a difficult and no doubt evil fate.
My time in Bryn Bresail granted me some time to gain perspective. I have been so immersed in my passion and purpose that I have neglected those around me, and those purposes have been so small compared to the scope of the world. If I am to be Theus’ agent of justice, my sights should not be on personal justice for a long dead Edouard. As Theus’ looks to all of Theah, so must I. If I am to be his agent, I must seek Justice for all of those under His care, and not just myself.
I was also left to think on whether or not I must deny myself my desires and happiness in order to fulfill my oaths to Theus. There is nothing discouraging my pursuits, no sign from Theus that he is displeased with such thoughts, so long as they will not interfere with my purposes. There is still much to think on, and much to consider. I should speak with Galina soon. We have taken turns being angry with one another for the last year. Though those months in Charouse were a welcome peace between us.
Our deal with the Sidhe brothers for our return was the powers of the unborn sorcerer in Dominique’s womb. She and her husband Montague, whom the brothers summoned, agreed to it. In return Montague was returned to Montaigne, Dominique was returned to Carleon in Avalon, Anne and Jean-Marie were returned to their villa in Eisen with Anne’s hand restored, while the rest of us, Royston’s fiancé, and the Moncelle’s were returned to Inismore.
We were restored to the shores with a stockpile of treasure from the Sidhe. There has been some talk of purchasing land in Inismore, and I for one am planning to. Royston and the others expressed interest also, and we shall see what comes of it. In the meantime, I think I shall ask Galina to walk with me a little farther. And we shall see how we may move forward from here. The group of us have become akin to something closer than merely a crew, and it shall be interesting to see where the future takes us. In the meantime, I suppose I shall have to take up a new name, as the Count seems to be a wanted man and of no use to anyone now.