The Demise of Jonas Sanopace
Wearing his pauper's garb, Jonas Sanopace walked into Otibury. He had heard that a few months ago, the local lord made a deal with Bonacervus to allow locals to collect cotton and flax from the Great Glen, since then, Otibury has experienced an economic boom, with people immigrating from all around to take advantage of the prospering town.
Jonas drew a deep breath and looked around his new environment. The commoners here wore great quality linens, dyed mostly green and white, but still far above their calibre.
Jonas felt a touch embarrassed in his laced leather vest and couldn't help but try to adjust it slightly as though it would help, but then relaxed as he consoled himself with the thought that he was a far greater quality individual, regardless of his appearance.
He had his bedroll at his back, and on his belt he had his coinpurse full of silver, a leather bound, vellum spellbook and a small pouch of deistones.
He felt powerful and adopted a confident gait as he browsed the settlement and took in the atmosphere, listening to the bustle of the people going about their business and enjoying the smells of the various food stalls around the streets. Barnyard animals were being herded to market and the sky promised good weather for the rest of the day.
Finding the marketplace he saw it was neatly framed in a large square by the surrounding buildings with a fountain for a centrepiece. At the far end he saw a sheltered stone pulpit. He could imagine himself standing upon it, preaching his ideas and beliefs to the locals, he was sure they could be swayed easily.
He spent his day navigating through the crowds browsing various wares and talking with the locals, the atmosphere was alive and he found it all quite pleasing.
Upon the evening he made is was to a nearby pub, the air was thick with smoke, which lowered Jonas' mood. He disapproved of such substances. he had been told many times that drugs like that prevented people from reaching their true potential; music played and the room roared with the sounds of laughter, gossip and people having fun.
He approached the bar and sat upon a stool, before speaking to the bartender. 'Hello.' He said.
'Hello.' The bartender greeted in kind.
'Are you happy here?' Jonas asked.
'Excuse me?' retorted the bartender.
'I asked if you were happy.'
'Of course I am, what kind of question is that?'
'Never mind.' Said Jonas. 'I'd like a room for the night please.'
The bartender shot him a look of askance, before turning to a smile. 'Of course, for you, a couple silver should do.' He said, extending his open hand. Jonas paid the requested sum and grew anxious, he found the bartender's demeanour unsettling, and made his way to his room quickly.
The room was a generous size compared to what he was expecting, there was an escritoire and chair on the right and a bed laid up against the far wall under the window. He set down his bedroll and pouches on the escritoire and doffed his shoes, he turned to lock the door but he stopped abruptly when he realised it had no lock or bolt. He grew nervous and looked around for a solution. Looking at the chair he saw it would probably fit tightly between the doorknob and the floorboard, no one would get in without waking him. But first he would attend to his reading.
There were so many spells in his book he had mastered and yet so many he could not yet comprehend, some time passed and he became engrossed as he often did with his studies. Suddenly startled, he jumped to his feet and turned to see a man in full plate armour standing in the open doorway, yet he hadn't heard a thing. The man stood with a shield on his left arm and a mace in his right hand and a sheathed sword on his belt, he wore no helmet, leaving a broad face with a heavy beard and a bald head, with blue eyes staring Jonas down.
The knight's eyes moved their gaze atop the escritoire and Jonas' heart sank in a moment of comprehension, the knight moved quickly and Jonas turned to respond but was too slow, as the mace came down on his deistone pouch with a crunch which Jonas felt in his soul; the knight followed up hastily knocking Jonas back with his shield, then took another swing with mace towards Jonas.
With a flash of fire the knight recoiled and Jonas started his own offensive, firing a small bolt of energy followed by several more in quick succession. The knight deftly blocked each shot but on the fifth shot the shield split horizontally, the knight's eyes widened in a short moment of panic, but quickly collected himself, knocked aside a sixth shot with his mace while drawing his sword and embraced Jonas, dropping his mace on the floor and impaling Jonas through the stomach.
The two stood in silence for a moment, there were a lot of things Jonas wanted to say, so many questions to ask, but he found himself unable to speak.
'Wrap your arms around me magus.' Said the knight, and Jonas complied. 'I will give you a moment to leave this world at peace.'
They both knew it was a fatal blow, and when the knight would withdraw his sword it would exacerbate the bleeding and accelerate Jonas' death. The knight stood in silence and Jonas contemplated the events of his day, he couldn't believe he had been discovered so quickly, that they could have possibly known his intent and further still to have been able to stop him.
His thoughts turned to anger, how could this be his fate? Everything he had been taught, so much time spent studying, so many honours in his name and just as his purpose was to be fulfilled everything came to nothing?
Perhaps if there was a deistone left in the bag? Perhaps he could still turn this around, perhaps with a few swift movements he could come out on top? But he realised there were no swift movements left to him now.
Perhaps this really was his fate? A small piece in a larger game, insignificant and pointless, he felt a fool for thinking he may have been something more.
He took one more deep breath and released his grip on his killer, stepping backwards, and with that the knight withdrew his sword, letting loose a new stream of blood onto the wooden floorboards.
A short while later, with the help of his squire, Russel Delatus removed his armour and ordered him to return it to his residence. Then, wearing his noble attire, he took the deistone pouch and lifted the corpse of Jonas Sanopace into his arms and walked at a relaxed gait out of town.
He walked for an hour through the chill night air down to the Great Glen and arrived at a small clearing in the centre of the valley where he stood and waited. A densely wooded area stood just past the clearing obscuring the other side of the glen. The sky was cloudless and the wind calm, there was a silence
After a short while a large stag approached the area and calmly towards the knight, stopping only four feet away. It stood taller than a normal stag with its antlers looming overhead, seeming to make constellations of the stars. An old scar ran just over his left eye and down his neck, mostly covered over with fur.
'As we arranged.' Said Russel.
'Remove his garments and lay him on the ground.' Replied the stag. The knight knelt down and calmly complied. Once he had finished and return to his feet they both stool in silence as a pack of five wolves sauntered out from the woods and each sank its teeth into the corpse before they collectively dragged it back to where they came from.
'Anything else?' Asked the stag. Russel presented the deistone pouch and revealed its contents. 'Cast it to the wind.' The stag continued, and once again the knight complied.