Miklos nodded with satisfaction, true, only he could see the auras but he was not one for secrets. “Maruc, Jolenta’s mace is enchanted, take it to ensure the servants of darkness are not armed with such. Her shield is magical too. Perhaps Feldard or Hasan or Stephan might employ it? Ah Stephan, I see your shield is already enchanter, no doubt a sacred family heirloom. Sligh’s shield is also magical, I doubt he would make much use of it now. He eye’d Ludo’s hand, but he dismissed mentioning the ring, after all he might have had it all the time and Miklos wasn’t about to be rude.
“What shall we do with Jolenta?” A vision of the interrogation of the Goblin Chief at Sukiskyn floated across his mind. He winced, and felt he must try give her the chance before things got nasty.
He lent toward her. “Listen my dear, you are cultured, I can see that. Cultured people avoid unpleasantness. Please believe me that I for one would not wish to be subject to the whims of Master Feldard. He can be awfully…ahh tense. I’d take this opportunity to reveal what you know freely and our paths may never cross again. Sadly if you chose the alternative…” he shivered, “I doubt taking paths will be an option. I really only am thinking of your best interests.”
Maruc snorted. “Miklos you are wasting your time. She will not talk. She is wise enough to realize she is a dead person. She lost her duel, her friends are dead. She knows we will not let her go to raise a force to follow us. Loosing Feldard on her will probably result in lies to fool us.” he locked his gaze with Jolenta. “Yes. I am no fool. Mighty Halav who is here, present in this world has greater more immediate power. You have failed your god, let us hope he is merciful. But from the little I know, your ‘hereafter’ won’t be that pleasant. May be I’m mistaken? Maybe Holy Pflarr is forgiving? I certainly hope so for your benefit.”
“Good bye Jolenta. I will not say farewell.” with that Maruc turned his back on her.
“Gentlemen we must rest for the night. I am exhausted and I need to heal you. Then I agree with Ludo, We must investigative Golthar’s Lair.
Maruc picked up the mace as he collected his things, surprisingly light, he thought. “Thank you for the gift, Jolenta this will serve the forces of good and righteousness from now on.”
“Why not,” shrugged Hasan, as he hoisted the priest’s shield. “Looks rather battered to me, Miklos. Could do with some greenwash to improve the color, too,” complained the elf, picking at the flecks of yellow and red that lay on a cold black enameled core. Still, the elf could see the use of such a thing. “I’ll need some work with this, Stephan.”
Ludo approaches Maruc and grabs his shoulder. “You cannot allow Feldard to kill this women in cold blood. Yes she is a vanished enemy, but she does not deserve a cold bloody execution. Maruc do not do this. Your soul will be tarnished. I suggest we tie her up, take her armour, weapons and holy symbol, and leave her only with rags. Everybody should have a chance of redemption. Let her see Halav’s mercy! Who knows, this mercy may turn her from the dark path she is travelling on. We will be long gone into the wilderness before she will make her way free and beyond the clutches of the Iron Ring.”
Feldard scowled. Of course the humans and elf would leave the dirty work to him. No one else seemed to have the stomach to kill when it wasn’t in immediate self-defense. Somehow Feldard had given his companions the impression that he was blood-thirsty and brutal – with goblins and orcs sure, but…
The dwarfs scowl deepened “So why did you bother keeping her alive in the first place? Just so I could kill her? Bah!” He’d best get this over with. He roughly forced the female into a kneeling position. This would be execution-style.
Stephan could see the grim nature of Feldard but couldn’t tell for sure that it was out of distaste for having to carry out the execution. He wondered, briefly, whether the dwarf would do it. It was odd, he thought, that the demi-human seemed to be the one designated for this task. To be sure, it was not in any of their natures to wantonly kill.
Stephan finished gathering his things. He was woefully low on arrows now and planned to purchase more in Threshold.
He turned, ready to knock and let fly an arrow into Jolenta’s heart if Feldard was somehow unable to carry out the deed.
Ludo’s words troubled Maruc. “No. You are right we must not slay in cold blood.” Maruc stayed Feldard s hand. “One moment friend.” he turned to address Jolenta. “Do you repent your foul ways? Do you seek the light? Will you turn away from the foul deeds for your past life and embrace the good?”
Ludo looked on in silence, he knew the answer this woman gave would mean whether she lived or died. He was shocked to see that she started to… smile?
Jolenta’s grin grew bigger and then she started to cackle. A cackle which grew into a maniacal laugh. The disturbing laughter continued until it was silenced by the fall of the dwarven axe.