The gateway shimmered into sight, casting a different light than the candle flame flickering in the heavy smoke from the incense. With a wicked laugh, Dominique dragged her unconscious captive through the portal’s threshold into the shack.
Her Mistress silently appeared behind her, “Dominique, ma cherie, tell me of your success.”
“Oui, my Bokor. They have paid. Many lives were taken and I have brought a bonus! I gift to you the famous Charlotte Tempest,” Dominique smiled triumphantly as she gestured to the unconscious woman at her feet.
“And Captain Jun…?”
Dominique’s demeanor changed, clearly anxious to answer, “I raised the dead captains with the ritual you taught me – before being killed they caused havoc and Little Kalfu is sure to be much pleased… I even left a very special parting gift… and managed to grab another captive of interest…”
“And Captain Jun?”
Dominique continued on in a nervous rush, “And First Mate Guthrie was captured and eventually killed by Travance, so he will not be returning to report to Fross…”
“And Captain Jun?!?”
Dominique shied away from her Mistress’ reproach, “Bokor, he slipped away before we could capture him. In this I have failed you.” She bowed her head.
The Bokor shook her head in disapproval, “And now we have not fulfilled our end with Monsieur Fross. Dominique, you will fix this. I will not be held in debt to that man.”
The woman prowled around the room finally turning her focus to Tempest still slumped at Dominique’s feet.
“Ma cherie, do not fret. I believe you have brought an interesting prisonnier de guerre. She will be both a bargaining chip and our ticket back to Travance. Come Dominique, there is much to plan."
* * * * *
It was late, but the Dragons’s Claw inn was still busy. Many bards were retelling the story of heroics from the battle with the ghost ship. The heroes of Travance had achieved a partial victory in defeating the three pirate captains. The tales of heroics were widespread. There was the tale of William Sterling who crushed the Voodoo Bocours barrier with his bare fists. There was the tale of Therion who held the ghost ship together as it threatened to dissipate with the heroes still onboard. There was Brogan who while sinking in the sea in the clutches of one of the pirate captains, invoked a seal of vengeance around them and killed the pirate. There was the story of Dimitri who deceived the voodoo dolls, so the pirate captain’s souls could rest. There was dozens of such stories floating around and being told with fervor and excitement. While it was not a complete victory, so many heroes of Travance had a tale to tell, and tales not only raise spirits, but also inspire others to greatness.
The bar room however painted a different picture. Jonas Kane shifted nervously on the bar stool and slammed back his ninth shot of Londwynian Whisky. The bartender thought to cut him off but knew better then to try. Jonas was known for handling his liquor just fine, but even this was a bit excessive for him. A loud thud echoed in the bar room and Jonas spun around on his seat instantly. A drunk patron had dropped his mug. Annoyed Jonas jumped off of his stool and grabbed the patron by the shirt, dragging him to the door. “Go home and sober up!” he shouted at the man as he tossed him out on the dark street. Jonas walked cautiously back towards his stool, his eyes darting around the room. Examining anything that made the slightest movement, paying closest attention to the darkest deepest corners of the room. Sitting back on his stool he turned to the bartender, pushing forward his shot glass, “Another…”
The Bartender knew something was up, and so came his first mistake. “Hey boss, you sure you want another? I mean you seem a bit off tonight. Is everything OK?”
Jonas’s stare could have bore a hole through the bartenders soul “Shut your dirty, piehole mouth and pour me my drink, or you’ll be the next one thrown out on the street.”
Thinking better than to loose his job, the bartender poured the tenth shot of Londwynian Whisky and began to wipe down the bar top and some nearby mugs. Finally after a while he built up the courage to serve his curiosity. “Boss, if there’s something bothering you, maybe we could find someone to lend their assistance to the matter?”
At first it looked as Jonas was going to throw his shot glass at the bartender, but instead turned it over and slammed it on the bar. Jonas laughed mockingly. “Good luck to the person who thinks there gonna put this cat back in its cage!” Jonas threw back another shot he poured himself and continued, “Just about every morning I go down to the graveyard and piss on my brothers grave. It had been a couple of days since id been down there, business and such as its been. I get down there a little later in the day than id like and lo and behold to say that what I found was a cause for concern, would be an understatement. At first I thought I had the wrong grave stone, but sure as hell it bore the name Kartagus Kane. The ground before it had been excavated, and the coffin was open and empty. Candle wax, dried herbs, ash, tobacco leaves, scorch marks, just like the graves of those three pirate captains where found. This was no dark magic, it was the tell tale signs of voodoo.”
The bartender without prompting, poured Jonas another drink. It all sounded pretty dire, but truth be told he didn’t know what this meant, and that was apparent by the look on his face. “So you think he’s up and about now? You think hes after you?”
Jonas threw back the shot. “Not sure. I hated my brother, that good for nothing, backstabber made gold hand over fist inventing the Arquabus and his family never saw a copper of that money. I had to fight my way through the mud to make my fortune, and so when I heard of his passing I came to Travance to claim his hidden treasure, which to this day has still eluded me.” Jonas took a break to slam back another shot and look around the room some more. “Is he after me? I don’t know. Maybe he is, maybe he wants revenge on the people who sold him down the river, Pendarvin, the Paladins, the Baronial Guard, The Rogues Guild, maybe he’s just mad at everyone, I sure as hell don’t know what that blowhard is thinking. What I do know is that his death must’ve been a fluke mistake that he will not repeat again; for all the hate I have for him, I knew that his skills at assassination were legendary.” Jonas jumped off his bar stool and grabbed the bottle of whisky. “Its late. Close up shop and go home, oh and go in the back and fetch me my meat cleaver. I’m walking home and suddenly it no longer feels safe to travel unarmed…”