A letter from Lt. Gwenn Jade to her beloved Marco, the handsome half-devil.
I am like the cat with a canary feather sticking out of her lips! I don’t have any idea what to do with this information, but you’re probably a safe person to brag to. Pride is unbecoming, I know, but I hope you’ll overlook it.
We are in Kindel. Finally. I won’t go into my reasons for finally coming home. I know the risks. But… the Harriers have work to do far, far away, and I couldn’t leave without saying good bye. To Rob. To my parents. To my own grave.
Ah, yes. That’s an eerie feeling, seeing your own grave.
But let me back track. We arrived in disguise. Firiel looks like a gentleman of quality, and Tris is her servant. Emilien and Ordune came in separately, also in disguise. Emilien’s is the same disguise he has worn for months– he’s ostensibly here for supplies. I am in disguise as a servant. Firiel did a decent enough job altering one of her uniforms, but she had to slit the sleeves to make them fit. To my eye, my bare arms look downright scandalous, but my assessment that no one would even look at a servant girl was spot-on. I was ignored even when climbing onto a roof-top.
I gave Firiel an assignment to look for my old weapons master– an assignment she utterly passed off to other people, I might add– and took Tristram with me to… my home.
House Jader is beautiful any time of year. They’ve pruned back the branches on the tree in the back, though, so we had to climb up on the neighbor’s stables, over the fence, and down the tree. Once there, it’s a fairly quick jog across the lawn to the mausoleum, but for the guards that we could spot at their post.
I had a clever idea, though, and convinced Tris to put a light glamour on us, making us glow very faintly. A few suggestions to him on how Rob used to carry himself, and we strode across the lawn in the gathering dusk, just as bold as can be. Tristram’s blond hair is currently dyed brown for his normal disguise, which definitely completed the ruse.
We made it to the mausoleum, and I left Tris outside while I took care of things in the interior. I needed to be there, to see the legacy of the Jaders, to see the pathetic building that houses our bones, if I should fail and this is all that remains of who we were. I don’t know if you, with your eternal life, will understand that, but… for me, eternity is measured in generations and our impact upon them.
When I was done, I found a trigger for a panel, which opened, and I summoned Tris just as the guards were coming for us. We slipped behind the panel, closing it and listened while the guards searched the crypt in confusion.
After they left, muttering about what they might put in their report, we followed the passage behind the panel. It led out, Marco! A secret passage I never knew about in my own house! Of course I’d never have been able to use it before, but now… now a passage that leads out can also be used to get back in.
And I’m going to need it.
When we reconvened later that night, Ordune had quite a bit to report of his own. He’d been searching for the Normand family and found them. And he found quite a bit more about them, including the younger Normand’s cruelty to the servants, their wanton disregard for the household which they have newly taken over (the war has turned fortunes aplenty), and so forth.
As he described the cook he had encountered, the name and description were quite familiar to me. I haven’t told Ordune this yet, but… I am fairly certain that the Normands have taken over the Jader estate. This may put us at odds in our respective goals, if we cannot agree about whether we want the Normands executed, murdered, or to pay dearly but in ways that make them suffer for a very long time.
As you can see, I am completely unfit for joining you in Avernus, my dear.
Send my regards to your family. I hope to feel your warm call on my wrist soon.
This scene was straight out of Scooby Doo. I’m surprised Gwenn and Tris didn’t get caught by some meddling kids, but Steve was just improvising as fast as he could wrap his mind around what we were doing.
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