Pelbath woke with a sense of delusion at where he was, even though it was his own chamber in a Keep of his choosing, with moss strewn walls and tapestries and a sense of leather and oak emanating from its core, however the certainty of peace which the room provided was a ploy , for the man in the center of this room was like a spider in a web and filled with expectation.
Outside the city came to life, and creaking carts and hammering metal began to play like chords on the instrument of existence, rising with the sun in a natural symbiosis. Pelbath opened a volume seemingly at a whim and began to read. “……Relwin ordered a conscription and few survived to tell the tale, many have called into question the following expediencies promoted by his reign but few survived to remit the knowledge to anyone whatsoever.” A bland book, a bland phrase. Histories often, are the summation of miseries and peace and they lack the ability to do anything but convey knowledge, and knowledge without emotion is merely an empty vehicle. Pelbath read that in his mind rather than the phrase in the book and he felt like the grappling hook of logic was weak, tenuous and falling apart at its center, he felt as we all often do, a helpless buoy floating, but as we often do as well, he forgot that buoys stand as warnings and not superfluous gally gigs, for men often scrape them selves on the shallows but never report about what happens to them in highest places.
Pelbath was no member of any Guild of Mages, Pelbath would never accept such a nonsensical burden. The idea of certainty was an affront to him and to many similar minded mages, joining in something uncertain with uncertain humans struck him as an assault on knowledge itself , and the act of speaking to others brought sweat to his mind before it even occurred. ” The coward dies a thousand deaths” etc.
The door was knocked upon.
“Yes , what is it? ” irritably called Pelbath, unused to interruptions of any sort.
“Your wash sir, as you requested.” replied a miserable looking Halfling, clearly a slave to it’s master and filled with fear.
“Thank you, forgive me for being remiss , Im merely consumed with thought little one.” said Pelbath ” You need not worry of your behavior” he echoed, and the Halfling relaxed visibly.
Pelbath would never grow used to the idea of slavery, or the needs of men to have anything at all using such means, but the facts of life smacked him in the face , even in his parlor, but his response to said Facts was his own prerogative. And his prerogative contained much, much pelf and much indecision.
The poor creature retreated , and after its shadowed exit, Pelbath worried over it’s destination. Though disgruntled, Pelbath was not a hateful man, Power in all its ridiculousness had humbled him and given him humble lessons.
While taking his washed clothing from their simple olive drab packaging, a note fell from the pocket of a shirt left unwashed amidst the bundle of clean linen. ” Fancy this, I’ve lived enough and been dead enough to know that this entails some nonsense and an adventure.” Instead it read like a shopping list of a wealthy connoisseur of the mons pubis, lover of the clitoral range, a grasper after the finest most verdant nippled givers of physical ablution, it was a who’s who of the finest brides in the city, all of them exposed magically and embossed onto this sheet, with statistics along the side, and a holographic movement to their bodies which gave them life and inspired lust even in the lifeless tired frame of Pelbath. “What the Hades, why me , why this?” What “this” was , fell short of even wishing to be determined by Pelbath, he rummaged and hung his clothes in his armoire covered in dusty gilt (guilt) with his family armorial crest barely visible under ages of lack of hygiene.
After two pipes of the finest Tetra hydra cannabinoid plant he could procure in this region (specially cultivated for him by the Dwarven cave hydroponicist, paid for at a pittance, as the seeds were given by Pelbath to the horticulturalist and thus ensued a lasting semi-friendship), Pelbath began to think more clearly upon the subject of the unwashed shirt and the tarot of physical statistics he had un-needingly stumbled upon before even tea or pipe, before even thoughts of cheese and egg were allowed, before he could have his morning shit, before he could….on and on, “Where has your philosophy gotten you Pelbath, your study of bilocation? Shitless, with a bevy of perfectly exposed princesses oddly in your pocket when you are too old to satisfy even the mere thought of one of them, why? Better yet who? Whose is this?”
Try as he might he must not persist in thought on this, he had seen what he was like, a fool rabid when on an idea train, he would smoke too much, drink too much, think too much. The idea gleaned would had better have been gleaned from sober refusal of acknowledgement, a separate space not a space shared with a substance was what was required for good thinking, thought aloud as he unconsciously began loading his third pipe.
He began frying an over easy Thurg egg, simultaneously boiling slowly his bed of rice, and adding the particles of plant based analgesics into the yoke of the exactly over easy egg, lastly cutting into naturally octagonal shapes , his tomato gourd, afterwards sprinkling them with the powdered tusk of what was said to be the horn of the last Klodian (a race of uselessly Horned men who died out in a plague when first encountered by the Lexicographers), however it was more likely a mild narcotic and it served the purpose of a flavor additive as well, a double duty pleasantly given by nature to a mere thing.
After this a shower, all water provided by the aqueduct, a taxed service merely paid for and then received and if not paid for then not received, no one knew where this aqueduct came from, no one asked. Every day we ask no questions of the very things of life which we should question.
He donned his grey robe , checked his beard and neck line, “Blasted neckline” he muttered as he placed on his black leggings and high grey boots made of the skin of sixteen tribesmen who bet their integumentary system in a gamble with a Warrior ( Pog or something guttural if i recall) long ago in his employ but since dead, needless to say the wager was lost, the shoes were comfortable and considered a not ill gotten gain, this is a hard world and those men would have died of gluttony anyways and had raped and done enough evil to deserve to be boots.
This was always the hardest part, opening the locks on his door and leaving his home, uncertainty lay outside even for the most mundane creatures, nothing, nowhere was safe, not even ones mind before one opened ones door to enter the Outside. Pelbath peered through his eyehole with a jointed mini telescope in case an assassin were to blow a poisoned dart into his eye. No one there good, he replaced the telescoping jointed lens and grabbed his bladed Halberd of a walking stick and three loaded and safetied poisoned mini crossbows, one dagger on either sleeve of his robe, in a leather case with a retraction button for instant use, and dark shaded glasses of his own make which alleviated his anxiety at being seen, heard, or in any way being notorious.
He was not much of a wanted man, but his fear of others wanting or otherwise believing things harmful and or terrifying to him and their secret passions kept him keyed up for action, as the world always seemed to pulsate with it, especially when you wanted nothing more than to be left alone.