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Saturday, January 3

Hidden Greed: Part 4 – The Other Side

They were led to the back end of the building. Shatterscale pointed to a table with a large map of the surrounding area spread upon it. Dozens of small markers were scattered over it in various formations. He lifted his head from contemplating the map to address Vlad.

“Yig tellsss usss that Her might will fuel the heart of the righteousss and prove the truth in all disputesss,” said Shatterscale. “Yig demandsss a Trial by Combat to prove your wordsss.”

Ilmarė planted her fists on her hips. “This is ridiculous.” She turned to address the shaman. “Tell them that we saved your disgusting mud hole last time.”

The shaman watched her coolly. “There wasss a time when I would have gladly defended you, even a ssslave. But timesss have changed.”

“It’s fine, Ilmarė.” Vlad unsheathed Grungronazharr.

“Prepare.” Krisharr drew a circle around Vlad and Shatterscale. “Truth will ssstrengthen your weaponsss, not magic. Conviction will be your ally, not thossse around you or the deviousss enchantmentsss that may be cassst. The flat of the sssword shall sssmite liesss, not pierce them with callousss edge. Mercy will be the sssign of the victor, not bloody murder.”

Ilmarė translated: “So no spells, no stabbing, and no help.”

Vlad buckled on his shield. “Fine, I’ll use the flat of the blade.” He made a few test swings with his sword. “Let’s do this.”

Shatterscale pulled two L-shaped sticks from his belt. He spun them in his hands.

“Begin!” shouted Krisharr. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:52 AM


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