Way of the Wicked
40 - Orphans
Chapter 39: Orphans
The short winter days slowly lengthened and the temperature began to warm thus heralding the eventual arrival of King Markadian and his armies. Each time we visited The Fireaxe the weight of the impending arrival of this irresistible force seemed to weigh more heavily upon his soul. And still no word from Cardinal Thrune.
We continued to explore the city and learned of some die-hard soldiers in the sewers. We unwisely went to investigate without much preparation and fell into a well-designed ambush. It was only a quick retreat that saved our lives. After this we largely avoided the sewers.
The next few days brought both a plethora of false rumors and a group of young orphans we found in wretched conditions in the city. We brought them back to the tower and gave them clothes and shelter although they were anything if grateful equating us with the invaders who murdered their parents. I can’t say that I blamed them.
We found Cardinal Ignatius Mark hiding in the Cathedral of Aroden and asked him to watch over the children in exchange for stopping all resistance activities. He agreed to watch the children but refused to any other demands. In the end I turned him over to the Fireaxe where he was doubtlessly tortured for all useful information and then killed. He seemed an honorable man. Such deaths are a shame but I found that by this time in my life I’d grown immune to the remorse of killing those who represented a threat to our plans.
We came across a swordsman whose arrogance was only exceeded by his skill. He and Dunn dueled with the Dunn emerging victorious. In his eagerness to please us the swordsman agreed to watch over the children and teach them useful skills. I had no doubt he’d teach the boys to use the sword and thus eventually become warriors, either for Asmodeus or against Him.
We returned to the Tower now bereft of the gaggle of children and got a good’s night sleep.