Shikouju's Tale Continues
20 May 1998. The tale of Shikouju continues.
(Artifact of Calderas) (Darkside) (Jynx) (Rephidim) (Silver Blade)

In the story being recounted by the elderly lioness Khatta, Shikouju finds himself in a darkened room, and it takes a while before he can piece together what has happened: As a plan to infiltrate Lord Calderas' estate, the Compass Rose set up a bogus ambush scene that would be found by one of Calderas' stewards, Ysgard. There, Lady Martinette would pose as Lady Gossamer, a travelling noble who was ambushed by bandits and abandoned by all of her servants except for loyal "Tristam" (Shikouju) who was "wounded" in the battle. The wounds were made all the more convincing through some of Juniper Jade's alchemy … and thus Shikouju's temporary loss of consciousness and bearings.

Lady Martinette is waiting for Shikouju, and lets him know that Juniper Jade and Palao Alto have managed to infiltrate the estate in their own ways as "guests", and that there is a map room nearby. They head into the map room, where they ponder the lands that Calderas acquired, and what his motives might have been. Lady Martinette leaves to go visit Ysgard at this late hour … as the steward has made it known that he has interests in her, and Martinette's role is to make use of her charms to gain information – or an opening to perform a kill. Lady Martinette seems reluctant to leave, momentarily, hinting that she has something to tell Shikouju – but then a stone gargoyle set on the wall attacks!

Lady Martinette flees, as Shikouju faces off the gargoyle, defeating it by means of a well-placed blow with his silver dagger – as silver seems to have certain properties against particular brands of magic. (And this seems to have been one of them.) However, the trap has been sprung, and the table in the center of the room slides into the floor, while the ceiling begins to descend. Shikouju tries to get out of the room, but he is securely locked in, and the descending ceiling prevents him from popping the hinges of the door … or opening it inward.

A stone face in the center of the ceiling resembles the visage of Ysgard, and through it, the poodle mocks Shikouju, indicating that his master has powerful magicks indeed … and was expecting the assassin, somehow. Shikouju hurls his dagger into the mouth of the stone apparition, and it appears that this was sufficient to kill the remote poodle … but not enough to save Shikouju.

And so the elderly lioness ends her tale in the Missing Shekel, leaving "Shikouju" with much to try to piece together. Some of his memories return, and he at last fits the pieces together when the elderly lioness answers a question of his by saying that she's "family" and that "not all that is patched is calico". "Shikouju" makes the connections … and remembers his own identity as Feli Kurai ("Jynx") … and realizes that this must be his own grandmother, on his mother's side of the family, of whom he only has memories from his early childhood. (And, apparently, not happy memories.)

At last, Jynx, once again himself (at least for now) heads home.


GMed by Greywolf

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