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Friday, March 13

Sibling Rivalry: Part 4 – The Squatter’s Corner

A thin man, unshaved and unwashed, cradling a small child, came forward to speak with Vlad.

“I beg your pardon, noble sir. My name is Jozeph, a freeman from Milandir and one of the faithful of our Mother Church. As is written in our holy books, I have taken my family and set off on a pilgrimage to the First City. Our caravan, full of pilgrims from various parts of Milandir and even Ulfia, were beset by bandits as we were traveling across the plains of Dagha. Most of my fellows were slain. My family and I would have been killed too, had it not been for the Soldier-Saints of Dagha. They arrived and killed or chased off the bandits. In their kindness they treated the wounded and escorted us here to convalesce with the Ansharans.”

Vlad watched Jozeph apprehensively. The child reached out for him and grabbed one of Vlad’s fingers.

“Though we are very grateful to the monks and priests of the Suffering Goddess for their kindness these past two months, we are desperate to get home. I am not a rich man, but I do own a small shop where I sell my wares. I am a cobbler by profession and would gladly repay you in services or wares if you were to visit my store in Luchek. “

“That is not necessary,” said Vlad.

“I only ask for enough money to purchase a horse for my wife and child to ride and for some food for the trek.”

Vlad hesitated.

“Please kind sir, I beg of you. I don’t know how much longer we can stand to be in this place of misery and sorrow!”

“How much do you need?” asked Vlad.

“One hundred imperials.”

“Done!” Vlad handed him a coin purse from his belt. “Anything for a fellow Milandisian.”

A great cry of hope and despair went up from the room as Vlad handed over the gold. People mobbed them both with every sob story imaginable. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:30 AM


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