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When Jerry is with us, who can stand against us?
Flossin stood precariously on the crossbeams of the Temple, a broad smile on his face. Last night he had felt fear are foreboding about travelling to the countryside to get involved in the economics and disputes of grain merchants. A fight over a woman had sealed the night as a bad deal all around.
But this morning, Flossin consulted his precious carved conduit into the mind of Jerry. Lo and behold, it looked like Jerry had Flossin's back today. Flossin knew that whatever happened today would be a sign and guidepost to guide him in the right direction. You could never trust what the Great Gygax had in store, so knowing that Jerry was with him reassured Flossin.
When Flossin came across the body of Leela, he knew that this was the direction they had to follow. And if part of the mystery meant stealing a sacred relic so be it. Life was about adventure, experience, and staying one step ahead of the Great Gygax's machinations.
Bringing his focus back to the present, Flossin quickly stepped across the beam to the net that held the crystal. With a quick motion, he grabbed the crystal. Immediately, crystal spiders came to life. Grabbing the rope, Flossin climbed, feeling alive and triumphant. He never doubted for a moment that he and his new friends would get away. When Jerry was on his side what could go wrong?
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Epic × 2!
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Posted in Flameweaver
Two Truths & One Lie/Rumors
I had come across something a DM I follow on Twitter posted about encouraging character interaction/story advancement. Basically each person posts three rumors about their character or their backstory where two of the rumors are true, and one is false.

Example: Leofire
1. He's been trained by four of the five Old Masters in hand-to-hand combat.
2. He once drank a shot glass of Drider venom on a bet, and lived.
3. He had his stomach surgically replaced with a Bag of Holding, allowing him to eat and drink far more than normal mortals.

Let me know if this seems like something people want to do, might give Matt more to work with for our characters. Or at least fuel more shenanigans.
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Tags: backstory , Group
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Lost Days, Chapter Two
Mitch let the door close softly behind him, the dull clunk of wood against wood putting an end to the interrogation. He pressed two fingers against the bridge of his nose, trying to fight back the headache that was even now creeping up at the back of his mind.

"Have a nice chat with our little friend, did we?" The voice was female, cutting through the moment of quiet like a hot knife through paper. Letting the hand drop from his face, Mitch glared back at her with tired annoyance.

"Do we really need to do this now?" The words practically rasped out of his throat.

"We do, and you know that. Or are you gonna start lying to y'er old pal Ellie now too?" The woman smirked at him knowingly, the second party to a dance that the both of them had gotten tired of long ago. The difference was, she could still put barbs to him by making it happen.

"No. No I am not nor have I ever lied to you, Ellie-"

"Ah ah. Manners now." She cut him off, tsking at the affront but showing no real offense to it. "I'm bankrolling this little witch hunt of y'ers, the least you could do is be polite." The Paladin straightened in her seat, folding her hands together on the table in front of her like a teacher trying to correct a mistake. "Now, again?"

Mitch glowered at her, but obeyed the request all the same. "No. No I am not, nor have I ever lied to you, Lady Ellebrius of the House Uhrhammer, Holy and Righteous Paladin in the Service of Helm."

She practically bounced in her seat, clapping happily as the mage continued to stare daggers back at her. "I knew you remembered the whole thing! Y'er presentation isn't great but you know all the words and that's a great start!" She scooted on the wooden bench and patted a spot next to her own, looking up at him. "Come on, I'll get you something to drink."

"Food first. If I start drinking on an empty stomach nothing I say will mean anything before too long." Mitch let the prisoner's spellbook fall on the table with a dull thud and sat down next to her, waving a server over as he did so. Within a moment or so a bowl of thick stew and a mug of something that smelled faintly of alcohol were placed in front of him. As the server looked at him expectantly, Mitch tilted his head towards the woman beside him. "Her tab, she's the bankroller after all."

Ellebrius smiled good-naturedly and rolled her eyes in a 'what can you do' fashion towards the mage before dropping two silver coins into the server's waiting hand. He bowed slightly to her in thanks and departed. Before he had so much as walked away Mitch was already halfway through the meal and all but done with the drink. The Paladin watched him eat in silence, propping her head on one hand against the table. After the meal was gone and no words had come from his mouth she cleared her throat loudly at him.

"I know, alright? I was in there for..." He looked at her questioningly. "... how long was I in there?"

Ellebrius turned her head towards the nearest window and then back to him. "Three, four hours maybe?"

"And that is a very long time to consistently lie to someone!" His words had a heavy anger behind them, and a tired resignation that it wouldn't matter this time any more than it had in the times before it.

Her expression scrunched into one of mocking pity. "Oooh, I'm sowwy. Did you get tiwed wying to anooda apooooostate?"

"I AM-" He caught himself halfway to standing up. After a long and drawn out breath, Mitch sat down next to her once again and continued in a strained whisper. "I am not an apostate!" He practically spat the word back at her. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't ask for these powers! I don't want these powers! I want to find what is causing this and stop it so it doesn't happen to other people like me!"

"An' it's that helpful attitude a'yer's that'll keep you in my good graces and outta the stocks." Her words had a happy lilt to them as she spoke, complete with the woman giving him a friendly smirk and wink.

"Lest I ever forget." He rolled his eyes, knowing the flirting was an empty gesture on her part. He had fallen for it early on in their... working relationship, but now it rang as hollow as an empty bell. With one last sigh of defeat Mitch slid the spellbook over to sit in front of them. "His name is Bhavalus, he comes from some unimportant little farming who-cares well off the beaten path between Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep." He continued, stopping on certain pages of the book and flipping quickly past others. "Got to see a passing gypsy band as a kid, one of them performed some little magics and the kid became obsessed."

"What is this, a life story?" She looked from the book to him, an indignant expression on her face.

He stared back at her with an annoyed expression and let a moment of silence pass. "Yeah. Done?"

She shrugged and wore an innocent expression. "I'll let y'eh know."

"Anyways, his parents managed to scrape up enough coin to send him to a mage's school. Nothing fancy, just some hole-in-the-wall in Baldur's and after a couple of years he was an honest-to-goodness Wizard. Can't get work anywhere good because he never learned that contacts are just as important as books, and gets stuck performing for petty coin on the streets."

"So why not go home?" The question lacked her usual sense of sarcasm, so he treated it seriously.

"Shame, I'd assume. After his family did so much to get him there it might have been impossible for him to go home empty handed." Mitch shrugged and looked back down at the spellbook, not meeting her eyes. "After failing so badly he was probably willing to do anything to make it right again."

"We aren't just talking about him, are we." When the mage looked back up he was surprised to find Ellebrius looking at him with something approaching earnestness on her face. She was concerned, and for once didn't try to conceal it from him.

And just like that it was there. The look. The goddamn look that he had spent his entire childhood enduring and explaining back to indifference. Expressions of pity that only wanted to help, but instead of accepting them the boy had always assuaged their worry, covered up the fact that he in fact did want help.

In that moment Mitch hated the woman sitting next to him, but knew it wasn't her fault all in the same instant.

"We are right now. Besides, I might be giving this guy the benefit of a conscience that he doesn't have." With his walls firmly back in place, Mitch continued. "Hell, the guy didn't flinch when I said we had his family. He was fine with us torturing and killing them until I showed him-"

"Hold on. You what?!" The empathy in her features was gone, replaced by a stone-faced anger that practically radiated heat in its intensity. "We are NOT-"

"I know that." He held a hand up to slow her, calm her somehow. "I know that, and you know that." The same hand pointed to the still-closed door across the way in the inn. "He doesn't know that."

"Y'eh were just supposed to get him to talk, not threaten torture!" Her words had calmed to an angry shout of a whisper, practically hissing the words as she continued. "I didn't send y'eh in there to threaten..." Ellebrius let the words wither away in her throat, taking a calming breath before continuing. "All right." Her breastplate rose and fell with each exhalation, almost as if it were a second skin to the woman. "Ah' don't tell y'eh how to get information, an' y'eh don't tell me how to worship. Ah' know."

"Just..." She paused, staring fixedly at the table before continuing. "... tell me that was the worst thing y'eh threatened him with." Her copper eyes marked him. "Can y'eh do that?"

"More or less, yeah." His own face remained blank, numb having already gone through what she was experiencing for the first time. "Threatening him didn't work, I had to take a different approach."

"Aye, supposing y'eh did." A single angry huff left her lips before the Paladin turned her attention back to him. "'Tinue."

"Right. So Bhavalus gets noticed by some people. They tap him to do some little shill jobs for them, sleep some guards, petty shit like that." Mitch turned pages as he spoke, stopping when he arrived at a page wholly unlike the ones before it. Broad strokes of heavy ink crisscrossed the paper like fault lines, accented with a myriad of smaller circles and diagrams notated in a sinister looking language.

"Tha' don't look like any petteh' shit there." Ellebrius was staring down at the page with concern, trying to make heads or tails out of it in the process.

"It isn't. This is dark stuff, and well beyond what anyone of his ability should be able to comprehend, let alone conduct. How's your Abyssal?" His eyes jumped from the page up to her.

The woman gave him a clueless smile. "Might be faster if y'eh walk me through it."

"It seems like something designed to send people, or at least their life energy.... somewhere? The wording is vague, almost like whoever made this wasn't told everything about it." Mitch's words trailed off as he continued to stare at the page, growing more unsure of the magic contained in it by the minute.

"Somewhere? Y'eh don't know?" Her eyes were going back and forth from the spellbook to the mage.

"Do you want to read it?!" He shot her an angry look, then deflated as she held up her hands in surrender.

"Not tryin' to make y'eh mad, y'eh just don't sound sure 'bout all o' this." She gestured a hand to the book, then grimaced at the writing for a moment. "Not tha' I'm blamin' y'eh. Nasty bus'nuss."

"It is." He shut the book angrily, pushing it towards her. "That can't be left alone. You know that, right?" Mitch met her eyes with no humor. "This can't go to some reliquary or church library, no matter what you think could be gained from it."

Ellebrius nodded. "Council won' be pleased ahm' destroyin' evidence." She chuffed. "Again. But if'n its got you spooked can't say as ahm sorry to burn it."

"Burn it until it won't burn anymore. I'm going to see what I can do to forget I ever saw it." Mitch started to push off from the bench, but a plate-covered hand caught his arm.

"Why are y'eh doin' that?" It was a question, but her words had a gravity unlike anything he had heard from her prior.

"Because whatever gave me the powers I have touched him as well. Me having the knowledge of that kind of magic in my mind is a liability." The mage turned back to her with a serious expression. "And if I retain it there is a chance more innocent people will die."

The Paladin nodded in understanding, releasing his arm. "So, one book well-done. Anythin' else?"

"His associates?"

"Took m'ah coin an' fucked off. Seemed happy to be free a'him." She smiled bleakly back at him. "Apparen' they weren't fans ah' their boss."

"Imagine that."

Ellebrius punched him in the side, then laughed as the Half-Elf doubled over in pain. After the ache subsided, Mitch seated himself on the bench once again.

"Family members?" He tilted his head back, taking a deep breath and trying not to vomit up his recent meal.

"Took m'ah coin an' fucked off as'well. Believe it or not, he wasn' popular with them either." She grinned, rubbing the hand that had punched him against her breastplate as if shining an apple.

"I believe it." Mitch felt his throat begin to relax as stew and ale slid back down into his stomach. "And Bhavalus?" He felt his eyes drawn to the closed door just as much as hers.

"Knows too much." The grin on her face died.

"Then bring him up on charges and hang him. Burn the remains so no one gets a chance to bring him back, find out what he knows." The mage felt the humor drain from his features as he spoke.

"Tha' shouldn' be hard. I tell the Council it's an apostate with dark magic an' the warrant'll write itself." Ellebrius raised her eyebrows to him. "An' y'er okay with this?"

"Why suggest it if I wasn't?" He looked at her confused.

"Well, with y'eh bein' like him an' all. I jus' thought-"

Without warning one of his hands raced forward, grabbing the collar of her breastplate and yanking the Paladin forward. Her copper eyes met his as the mage spoke in a low and furious whisper.

"I am cursed, as he is cursed. That does not make us kin, or even allies. I am not an apostate, and I am nothing like him.."

Whatever initial surprise Ellebrius felt when she was grabbed was gone, replaced by the unflinching resolve of a soldier. "Good t'eh hear." Her speech was quiet but hard, as unafraid of him as he seemed to be of her. "Jus' one problem."

"Which is?"

"How are y'eh gonna forget tha' spell?" Her gaze never wavered, never drew back from the threat. If there was a chance the mage would be turned against her the Paladin seemed unafraid. Almost prepared.

"I am going to drink until I forget I have these goddamn feet, let alone magic. By morning this will all just be another bad hangover." Little by little his grip on her armor relaxed, and the woman leaned back into a more comfortable sitting position. "And you are going to pay for me to do so."

"Am I now?" She managed a half-smirk, cocking one eyebrow to complete the look.

His hand fell away. "Yes you are, Lady Ellebrius of the House Uhrhammer, Holy and Righteous Paladin in the Service of Helm." His previously severe expression gave way to a self-assured grin.

She looked at him with the same smirk for a moment or so, then relented with a laugh. "Ah, go on with y'eh." She tossed a small pouch towards him and he caught it, looking inside it before pocketing it with a disappointed expression.

"Don' be givin' me tha' face! I don' want y'eh stumblin' into the room tryin' to make relations at me again. I'm a rare beaut, too precious for the likes a y'er fumblin' hands!" She mock pushed him away, laughing as she did it.

"That never happened." He drew the words out dismissively. "Besides, if anything it's you who can't resist me, my lady mine. More than once you've crawled into my bed asking me to hold you, how you're so cooooo~ld and loooon~ely-"

A second, heavier bag of coins flew from the table and struck him squarely in the face.

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Who am I?
Who am I?

Such a question is one of the very first questions people ask themselves. And usually, by the time they have reached the age where they leave the nest, they have answered it. I had. I am a Vudrani male, in my mid 20s. I believe in freedom, the arcane arts, allowing others to live the way they want, as long as they don't keep others from living the way they want, and to treat others the way I want to be treated. I still am those things.

Then a robot trapoped in the past recognized me and called me by name. And affixed the honorific "Captain."

And my world suddenly was off-kilter.

Captain Prajit Waseem was the commander of the starship Divinity. And he looked like me.

So who am I? Honestly, was I said above still applies. But who was I? and who am I now? are questions that need to be answered. Is it just an astronomical coincedence (no pun intended)? Or are my memories of my family and the travels we shared in Avistan figments that the Technic League planted in me?

I guess it doesn't matter unless I try to find my family (which I had pretty much given up on since they are probably back in Vudra by now). But I have to find a way to reconicile what I know, what I think I know, and what I discover.

And that is the journey that I have in front of me.

Who am I? I guess I will have to find out.
Session: Iron Gods Game - Friday, Mar 23 2018 from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM
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Lost Days - Chapter One
The cold water hit his face like a wall of ice, jolting the man from unconsciousness back into the unforgiving light of reality in an instant. He coughed and sputtered, hacking and sniffling to try and clear his mouth and nose of the liquid. Instinctively, he tried to move his hands up to wipe the remaining moisture away...

... only to find that his arms were bound.

"Good, I only need to fill the bucket once." In front of the bound man a half-elf placed a stool on the floor, taking a seat in it just after. "You can lock the door now."

Behind him a man in worn leather armor and clothing closed the door, sliding the bolt into place and turning his gaze back to the half-elf. Taking the sound of the sliding bolt as confirmation, Dornan turned his attention back to his prisoner. "Tell me your name."

A surge of emotions crossed the face of the prisoner, surprise and confusion giving way to rage, vindication, and searing hate. Saying nothing, the prisoner shook his head.

"You understand Common. That isn't a defense you can try here. I know you understand the words I'm saying to you now just as much as you do." Mitch leaned forward, letting his hands come to rest on his knees. In front of him the prisoner was trying without success to force his wrists to budge. All the while he stared angrily back at Mitch, shaking his head with admirable fervor.

"They're not coming."

These words caused the prisoner's motions to stop, almost on a dime. For a brief second naked shock showed on his face, swallowed up by the anger again just as quickly. The half-elf leaned back, considering the man in silence. He didn't talk, he didn't move, he didn't so much as blink for nearly a minute... and would have continued to do so if the prisoner hadn't tried to spit a wad of mucus and saliva at him.

"The men and women you associated with, the ones you are now expecting to come and rescue you from this imprisonment are all dead." There was no emotion present on the half-elf's face and his tone remained level, almost soft for the moment. If he felt anything for this supposed loss of life, it didn't show.

"I have watched them as I watched you. I learned their habits, comings and goings, what have you. And when I knew enough of both their routines and their roles in your plans I overtook and disposed of each and every one of them." The half-elf's eyes were a cold and dispassionate gray as the words were spoken, looking so fixedly at the prisoner that they almost seemed to bore through him.

"I know how you enlisted them, how you threatened their lives and the lives of their loved ones, their families." Without ceremony Mitch crossed his right leg over the left, letting his hands come to rest atop the knee. "You used fear to gain their cooperation, making them believe that should they disobey or refuse that you would appear at the doorsteps of their loved ones in the night like some fairy tale creature made up to scare children. They believed that you would hurt, even kill their loved ones to ensure cooperation. They believed it, as do I." His eyes refocused, marking something on the man's neck before continuing. "As do you."

Another wad of spit flew from the prisoner's lips towards the half-elf, though this time he did nothing to dodge it. The snot-slick substance hit him squarely on the right cheek.

Mitch didn't react, didn't so much as flinch. He acted as if the event had never happened, continuing to consider the prisoner without passion in his features.

"I do not doubt for one moment that you would have killed everyone they held dear to achieve your goals. What I doubt, and rightly so, is your ability to do so." Almost in response to this the prisoner strained against the bonds, the muscles in his forearms sweating with the effort as his fingers tensed and pointed towards the half-elf like accusatory knives.

"That isn't the ability I'm talking about, though in your current state it is true that you cannot kill so much as a housefly, let alone me." Mitch half-turned to one side, pulling a worn and leather-bound book from the satchel that rested against the stool. The prisoner quieted instantly, watching the half-elf with eyes that now understood a piece of the larger picture.

Resting the spell book gently on his lap, Mitch turned his eyes back towards the prisoner before continuing. "You do not have the resources, is the point I am trying to illustrate." His eyes turned downward as he opened the book, thumbing idly through it while speaking.

"You knew one or two of their relations by circumstance, enough to threaten them with. However, you lack the connections or coin to learn the extent of their living families, their in-laws and associates." Apparently satisfied with his perusal, Mitch closed the book quietly and looked up once again. "That isn't a question. You know the truth of it just as plainly as I do."

"I however, have both of those items." A slight tilt of his head punctuated the statement, the half-elf apparently content to let it hang in the empty air between them for a moment.

The prisoner cleared his throat angrily, sounding like a Goblin trying to swallow a mouthful of rocks in the process. "Bfddwmuz."* The single word was spat just as angrily as the dripping substance on the half-elf's face, and accompanied by a newly defiant glance back from the prisoner.

He had rallied, believing that his captor was merely trying to use his own trick against him. Mitch considered him without comment, letting the man stare back at him in silence for almost two minutes.

"I believe the word you are fumbling for-" The half-elf leaned forward, speaking gently as the prisoner's face was now mere inches from his own. "-is palwzyr."**

He paled.

"You believe that if you stall me long enough someone will come for you. You believe that others will come to save you, that your black and terrible god will send emissaries to retrieve you." Mitch kept his tone level, conversational. "You are going to tell me everything I want to know. You won't remain silent. You won't be rescued."

"And why is that, filth?" The jump from Abyssal to Common was sudden, but not so much so that it took Mitch unaware.

"Because I have the two assets you lack." He sounded almost bored as he spoke to the prisoner, folding his hands together atop the weathered book in his lap. "I have and have used my contacts to learn the locations and identities of the people close to you, and I have used considerable coin to have those individuals taken into custody."

The prisoner stared daggers back at him, clenching his teeth in anger.

"You are here acting on orders from someone, someone willing to let you threaten bystanders and innocent families for the sake of earning cooperation. Perhaps someone who is willing to do these types of things themselves to get what they want. In this sense they are practical, but very much still monsters."

His hands opened in a self-indicating gesture. "Just as I myself am a monster, by the same definition. You can start talking to me now and they will leave my custody in safety. I'll even put a little coin in their pockets in exchange for their time." The half-elf's eyes fixed him to the spot, reflecting the icy determination behind them.

"Or I'll leave this room, and start working on them. I'll interrogate them, torture them, break their bodies and minds until they tell me anything I want to know. Your mother, your father, your wife and child. Every living relative you have is in that room. To find out what you refuse to tell me?"

Mitch paused, letting the words hang in the air between them for a moment.

"I will kill every last one of them. Then, I will come back in this room and you are still going to tell me what I want to know. The only difference is you will do so knowing that your actions cost the lives of your entire bloodline. And after I've gotten as much out of you as I can, you'll die as well." The half-elf leaned forward once again, gently lifting the prisoner's head with one hand on a sweat-soaked cheek. He was mere inches away, looking at the man with the eyes of someone truly committed and ready for the horrors to come.

"I am prepared to erase you from this world, or any other. Any relation or trace of who you were will be gone. And your benefactor will not care. It will not come for you." His hand receded as the half-elf leaned back on the stool.

The prisoner continued to stare madly, making it clear that his bonds were the only thing stopping him from flying into a blind rage and laying waste to the room. For his own part, Mitch merely sat silently, considering him under a weighted gaze.

A number of minutes passed, with the idle shuffling of the doorman serving as the only sounds in the room. By his own internal count, the man had taken nearly eleven minutes to break. Impressive, but not a record.

"Fine." His prisoner practically vomited the word out, apparently trying to choke back the brunt of his emotions behind it. "I will tell you, once my family is freed. If you let them go-"

"No." The reply was flat, not bothering to wait until the man was finished speaking to interject.

The prisoner looked back in shock, letting the anger and indignation bring some color back to his features. "No? No?! I will do what you want, didn't you hear me? Just free-"

"No. This is not a negotiation, and if it were you would have nothing to offer." Mitch folded his fingers together as his words cut the man short once again.

"'re fucking dead. Dead, do you hear?! I have power, power beyond anything you have seen before!" The prisoner was getting his hackles up, reenergized as the rage within him was stoked. "The old one has given me a gift. A gift! You will burn to ashes, you will scream in agony and beg me for death! The power I command is unl-"

The half-elf said nothing, instead letting his hands separate and hold a churning black flame within them. Upon seeing this the prisoner's words died in his throat, deprived of the breath they needed.

Mitch let the flame sputter and die after a quiet moment, then rejoined his hands together before speaking. "You know what it is that I just did. You're a smart man, after all. If you choose not to talk to me now I will use that power on your loved ones. You know that if I do that, you have no hope of ever seeing them again. You know that no healer will be able to restore them."

The half-elf seemed to scratch a fingernail against some unseen burr on the surface of the spell book, looking down as he continued to hide the smile that was creeping onto his face.

"You're a smart man, after all."

"You FUCK! You GODLESS FUCKING ANIMAL! You had better kill me! You had better kill me! If I get out of this chair I am going to-" The prisoner was rocking back and forth violently in the chair, trying to tip it, trying to knock it over, trying to do anything.

"I am not going to use that power on you."

"Fucking monster, fucking bullshit monster, fucking-" His momentum increased, almost getting three of the four legs off of the floor before it clattered back to stability.

"I have told you that I will not shy from torture, and I meant it." The half-elf's words remained calm, as if the prisoner wasn't about to tear free of his bonds and go berserk. "I have tools, chemicals, and more than one apparatus dedicated to that singular purpose."

Without warning the prisoner managed to get onto his feet, still hobbled by the bonds of the chair but able to move about by means of a ridiculous jumping motion. He hopped towards Mitch with murder in his eyes, and behind the half-elf the doorman could be heard reaching for steel.

Saying nothing, Mitch merely raised one foot and pressed it firmly against the seat of the chair between the prisoner's legs. The sudden jolt of force sent both the chair and the man bound to it directly to the floor. The prisoner's face hit the floorboards with a meaty thud and fell still.

Behind him, the doorman cleared his throat. After a moment of consideration, Mitch nodded and made an upward circular motion with his right hand. Wordlessly, the doorman came around and picked up both the prisoner and chair with relative ease. He set them back in the correct position and stepped away, returning to his post.

"Your benefactor is willing to torture, kidnap, and murder innocent people to accomplish their goals." The half-elf started talking before the prisoner could continue his tantrum. "I am willing to do all of those things and more in order to stop them."

Mitch continued to look keenly through the prisoner, watching as the last dregs of resistance were bled out of him. "I will start with your family, and I will not spare anyone on the basis of them being a woman or child. They will die because of your refusal to speak to me. And unlike you, I will not take steps to see that they are brought back. They will be erased, and their souls will be beyond the reach of any priest of any deity. They will cease to exist."

The prisoner was spent. He tried to put the same measure of anger behind his eyes, but it had been all but gutted. Mitch resumed, sensing that the moment had tipped heavily in his favor.

"You are not going to anger me into using that power on you. If I have to torture you, I will. If I kill you while doing so, I have a priest in one of these adjoining rooms on hand to bring you back. I will torture you, kill you, and bring you back. I will complete this cycle as many times as I need to. I will get the information I want out of you." The half-elf let his tone take on a softness that was wholly at odds with the words he was using.

"I have studied torture. I know the sciences of fear and duress. I have an unfortunate aptitude for it, and the end is always the same." If his eyes were icy before, they now teetered on the verge of being glacial. "Everyone talks. Every. One."

"Look at me." Despite their severity the words remained soft. The prisoner turned his eyes upward, meeting the half-elf's gaze.

"You are going to talk, just as everyone else has. You will not escape. You will not die until I allow it. Death will not save you from this conversation." Mitch let his head tilt ever so slightly to one side.

"It will not save you from me." He propped his elbows on the book, knotting his fingers together and waiting. To his great credit, the prisoner still held fast to his silence for nearly four whole minutes.

The stillness of the room was broken when the prisoner managed a weak nod, keeping his eyes downcast and saying nothing.

Mitch smiled inside, knowing that the battle was over.

"I will begin again." The tone snapped from the prior softness to the businesslike demeanor that the interrogation had started in. He leaned in, lifting the man's chin once again.

"Tell me... your name."

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