We went to meet Telerden at the train station. It arrived on time, and we saw him get off, though his hands were in manacles. I knew him well enough to know that there had probably been a misunderstanding and that any fault rested with the man next to him, who was also in manacles. This would of course complicate things, which was a little irritating. Then someone went and shot them. The other fellow went down immediately, having received a bullet to the chest. Telerden’s wound was more of a graze, and he pulled the other fellow back into the train with him so that the rest of us could deal with his problem – one of his problems, I should say. To be specific, we were to deal with the two gunmen. Dealing with legal matters would come at a later time.
One gunman was killed in the fight, and the other one was injured severely enough that the local guards could take him into custody. I wonder how many times we will be doing other people’s jobs for them. We investigated kidnappings, killed or captured the kidnapper kobolds, rescued the children, and now we’re defending a town from raiding parties and gunmen. Did the world suddenly fall into a state of anarchy without me hearing the news of it? Or have people been devolving into monkeys and leaving me behind?
Whatever the case, Telerden was taken into custody, despite having been quite well-behaved and choosing not to stab any guards in the back while they were distracted with not killing the two gunmen and instead watching the rest of us do so. Flirt was nowhere to be found, which I can only assume he was flirting with someone – or perhaps, had finished flirting and had move on to… other activities that may or may not begin with an f. This of course meant that I was stuck with legal duty. I suppose it was for the best, though; no one else seems quite as capable when it comes to the intellectual prowess necessary to deal with legal issues.
I discussed the matter with Telerden, who reported that he was not certain why he was currently in jail. The person who would need to press charges was currently deceased. I suppose I could have offered to animate his corpse, but that would not have been very useful, being that we want the witnesses to remain silent in such instances. Regardless of what may have been the case, the fact of the matter was that, legally, the town could not hold Telerden or his client, Leonard. Due to the lack of any sort of evidence or any sort of actual charges against them, they had to be released.
I went to see the man in charge. Naturally, it was the man who was dead, and the rest of the fellows present didn’t know who was to be in charge in his place. Whether they were actually that stupid or merely intimidated by my obvious intellectual advantage I can only guess – and by guess, I mean I know for a fact that no one wanted to be made into a fool after having dealt with me. Unfortunately for his pride and dignity, I know enough to know to ask who was second-in-command. Everyone else knew enough to know they had better point someone else if they didn’t want me to thrash their entire institution to the ground with my tongue. Aka, without anyone in charge, I could do whatever I pleased without any legal ramifications to worry about. So now I finally had a man in charge to speak with. How pleasant?
I explained the situation and requested that Telerden and Leonard be released. He refused, muttering some excuse that essentially amounted to little more than “I have no idea what I’m doing, please stop it with the big words.” Clearly, he needed a crash course in how to do his job. I quoted the exact law, along with the section and subsection it could be found in. I explained the meaning along with how it applied. I then proceeded to explain how he would be figuratively crucified in court were he to refuse to release them from their illegal imprisonment. He seemed to understand that I had him under my thumb and that he had no option other than releasing Telerden and Leonard both. I just find it unfortunate that, essentially, I had to resort to such measures to release them. I would have hoped that the people in charge of this backwards town would have had sense enough to listen to reason, regardless of whether it came from a honeyed tongue and batted eyelashes or a harsh voice and a stern gaze. Were Flirt to invite them to hell with him, they would go in a second; but if I were to request their attendance in heaven, they would refuse. I am surrounded by idiots.
Laments regarding the intellectual inferiority of the rest of my species aside, this is where things to an unfortunately interesting twist. The gunman that had been arrested apparently spontaneously combusted. Why were the only witnesses Telerden and his client? I believe I covered the reason previous to this, but I will simply point to the last sentence of the preceding paragraph.
There was demonic magic at work. Furthermore, he had an unholy symbol. I recognized it, of course; it belonged to a demon lord, and I knew exactly which one.
The town yet again was attacked by goblins. In all honesty, this is getting quite old. We dispatched them, again without assistance from the people who are supposed to deal with this problem.
I suspected that there was a sinister connection between the gunmen and the goblins. Sure enough, the goblins had the same sort of unholy symbol, meaning that there was some sort of actual method to the madness (more than I can say for the people I, unfortunately, work for). I did not reveal everything. I strongly doubt my co-workers would want to know anything about demons. If they did, I still doubt that they would appreciate learning that I have studied about demons and know more than I should. I do not need any questions being asked. I explained that the same mastermind was behind the raids and the gunmen, which was sufficient. I also reported that the raids may have been part of a foolish religious ritual that demanded they be killed in battle. We weren’t dealing with idiots. Well, we were, but that applied to the humans. The goblins, though stupid, were more importantly religious zealots. Furthermore, what they worked for was something clearly not unintelligent.
It was revealed that the goblins were attacking again the following day – but not in a raiding party. They were attacking with their full force. It undoubtedly related to Leonard’s gems. That was not a pun. With the way he acts, I doubt he has any “gems” of his own. I refer to the actual gems that he had, apparently from a Vaeric temple.
I will take this moment to explain that demon lords are not interested in antiques or religious paraphernalia. Demon lords care more about power, which meant that it was highly likely that these gems were somehow powerful. Even without that knowledge, the fact that the events were linked would imply that there is more to these gems than Leonard was telling us. We asked if they were magical, and he said that they were not. We asked if he was sure. He said he had used spells to determine that they were, in fact mundane. I used my own magic to confirm this.
They were, in fact, quite magical.
I informed Leonard that he is a fool. He needs to know that.
So, now it is the morning of the day that an army is supposed to attack us. I suppose I will again summarize; we are being attacked by an army under the direction of, I suspect, a servant or perhaps even Scion of a demon lord. We are supposed to keep a town protected, when this is also the town that cannot defend against raiding parties. Reinforcements have arrived, though it’s small consolation, being that they are all, as previously discussed, idiots and fools, and so the stealthy fellows and I are in charge of the strategy. We are also busy protecting an inept wannabe mage with magical gems he knows nothing about. The train is several hours late, which can only mean that something terrible has happened. I suspect treacherous acts by some force under the influence of the same demon lord. Naturally, if I were to attack a city with an army, I would first cut them off from any outside help. Without the railroad, we are on our own. I suppose that would be check. And now it’s our move, which would be fine if we had anything other than pawns to direct.
I hate my job.