I’ve been sent an invitation to a dinner taking place at the Palace of Meetings on the Fourth Rung of the mountain-city of Mahltin. Immediately,
I went back to the rest of the Archons. I showed them the invitation, explained the situation and asked them what they thought I should do. They
all unanimously said exactly what I was afraid of hearing, “You have to go.” I already knew it. There was no telling who was going to be there, or
whether or not it was a trap. But if I didn’t go, there’s no telling what we are passing up. And secondly, we all agreed that if I was going to go
that I had to show up in style. So Kalak and I went shopping.
look like if she had an expert helping her. She almost felt like a sideshow act as everyone she passed in the few minute walk to carts for the 4th
rung gawked and drooled. One man even walked off the edge the third rung because he wasn’t watching himself. He survived by luck, landing on a
moving cart. It was as if she commanded their attention through supernatural beauty.
When Sepherene arrived, the room was empty except for a large table, a chair at each
end, and a ton of food. On the far side of the room was a balcony. As the door shut behind her, all the noise of Mahltin vanished. Usually in order to be heard, someone had to yell. If she dropped a fork, it might actually echo in here. She stood by the Balcony doors, waiting, enjoying the silence, and attempting to stay calm.
The door opened a few minutes later. In walked a man, unfamiliar to Sepherene. He greeted Sepherene politely and asked her to sit. She did. And after a few minutes of quiet eating, he finally broke the silence. “So you don’t remember me, do you Sepherene?” There were a few moments of confusion, but Sepherene couldn’t place him. Eventually, he stopped playing games and introduced himself. His name was
Forsaken Debt. That’s when it all came back to her.
Back when Sepherene was held by those slavers nearly fifteen years ago, one of them named Ralf, had a son. He was quiet, kept to himself, and seemed like a pretty ordinary child. That is, until she shot Ralf during her escape with the Unconquered Wolf. She had a feeling this dinner may have something to do with that. And when she made herself look up from her food, he was holding an ornate pistol with multiple barrels and and ornate designs across it, spelling out “Catalyst” in Sepherene’s native tongue of Forest-speak.
Sepherene tried to remain calm, but it wasnt working. She was about to flip the table, when he turned the pistol over in his hand, gripping it by the barrel and slid it across the table to her. She picked it up. “A gift? Why?” He smiled. “That day was what sparked a change in my life. In both of our lives. It’s what led us to our own forms of greatness. You rule a city in the Blessed Isle, I’m aligned with the Guild. And that right there is the gun that started it. It marked you, what you would become. It was the Catalyst. So I give it to you, as a gift. May you use it, and start something else great.”
Sepherene didn’t know what to say. He said he was with the Guild. He was working with the Second Hunt. But he wished that we could put that aside. He wants us to be friends.
So they talked a little more, she turned the pistol over in her hands. And then before she knew it, it was time for him to go. He walked over shook her hand. Said he had a lovely time. And turned to go.
Gavol, the devil on her shoulder, popped up out of nowhere, as he tends to do. “Ya know, Seph, he is the enemy. You could kill him. Right here. One shot. He’s not even
an exalt. But this is your last chance.”
Everything went in slow motion. Sepherene thought about it. First, sound proof room. Second, gun in her hand. Third, his back was turned. No defenses. No armor. Gavol was right. She could take out one of the Second Hunt. Send a message. Sepherene raised the Catalyst. He reached the door handle. She pulled back the firing mechanism. “Last Chance Seph!” Forsaken Debt turned around to give one last smile. Sepherene was sitting hands folded on the table. And the door shut.
“Come on, Seph. You never do anything fun..”