Smash his face with a wine bottle.

No… smash his face into a door until his head is stuck partway through it, then watch as his pants turn brown before Bolke obliterates the door, and him along with it. 

No… pour all his best wine and hippocras into the wash basin and drown him in it.

No…

Mallory shifted uncomfortably as she sat cross-legged in her tent. This wasn’t her, and she knew it. There was something she had forgotten to say to the Red Raven… to Aric… She had to clear her mind and focus. She pulled her tent flap closed, blocking out the sights and trying to block out the sounds of their camp. Larch was talking to Doc… that was probably a good thing. She heard her own name mentioned, and her sheer curiosity almost pulled her out of her thoughts, but she pushed it away. Though she never could figure out what it was between the two of them that galled the shaman so, she figured if Larch was talking to him, maybe there was a chance for reconciliation.

Ah, there it is, she thought. Right… reconciliation. Re… remorse. 

That’s what she had forgotten to mention. She wanted to see if there was remorse for what had been done. She wanted to see if there could be reconciliation. Maybe, maybe even forgiveness.

She looked down at her hands, which trembled shakily. Every ounce of her spirit cried out against her, screaming for revenge. Begging to run that man through with her rapier, starting at his…

She clenched her fists, gritting her teeth and slamming her eyes shut as tears stung them.

No, she told herself. This isn’t you, Mallory.

Isn’t it…?

You don’t have enough of a vengeful spirit to stay mad at someone for even an hour!

Then why is it your spirit that wants to destroy this man?

No… I’m better than that. My whole life has apparently had vengeance all wrapped up in it… It was vengeance that first took my parents’ lives. For all I know, it could have been a cycle going on since long before I was born. Then I end up working, of all places, in the bar owned by the ex-husband of the woman who actually did the deed… helped him take down the cultists and already wrestled with revenge on that front once… Now here’s this chance to carry the cycle on… And I won’t be a part of it. Vengeance has been all through my life… but I refuse to be defined by it.

But you deserve justice. Your PARENTS deserve justice! And Hunter deserves to have justice done to HIM. From what Aric has told you, Hunter and Weiss are raving mad lunatics. They burned your house to the ground to replace it with ramshackle quarters for their servants! If he truly regretted the death warrant he signed to have the Cult of Calistria wipe you all out, he wouldn’t have turned your house’s remains into his servants’ quarters. 

You’re right… they deserve justice. But it won’t change anything for them. And the people of this party look up to me… in a way… I’m their “conscience…” And I have to believe forgiveness can change lives, and forge new destinies…

Ugh, listen to yourself! You don’t HAVE to believe ANYTHING. What do you think you are, some kind of savior? Do you have a god complex now because of your tragic background?! Because some people said they admired you, and you got to meet your god in person? Are you thinking you’re some big-shot saint now?

No! I’m… I’m neither a saint, nor a savior… just another sinner. But I will not forsake this cause. I cannot. I WILL see this cycle broken. 

But what if…? What if you’re forced to fight him? Even if it’s in self-defense, if you kill him, you know you’ll blame yourself for it… And what if Quinn and Vanessa are there? And what if Aric is lying? What if it was him who did it, and he’s framing Hunter? If they really are estranged as he claims, why did Aric have the key to Hunter’s house? Do brothers usually have keys to each other’s homes? 

She shook her head, her tight braids swinging everywhere. It’s no use thinking about any of that now… We’ll find out. If Aric was somehow the one at fault here, then it’s a betrayal compounded with another betrayal… and I won’t let that go. 

You’re too soft, Mallory. Whoever did this is going to walk all over you. You need to be ready for whatever comes at you. You need to be stronger.

I do need to be ready… But to hold to my convictions… that is true strength.

She breathed out a long sigh as she laid back, removing her outer clothing for the night. I really hope I know what I’m doing here.

Author Rann
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Game: Pathfinder
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