Percy - Eighth day of Patchwall
A drunken elf is singing out of tune in the cell next door. My cell is pretty good, as far as jails go. A clean, simple bed fills one end of the cell, the rest of the floor is swept clean. The hallways are even a little polished. I once spent a night on a bed of straw that was more bedbug than hay, and I paid for the room at that inn!
Such a shame at the end of this stay I'm going to lose my head. The penalty for my crime is death. Wish they told me that before I terrorised the unscrupulous bartender with a severed head, but I probably would have done it anyway.
A window sits at the top of one wall. I push the bed over and look out the small opening. The walls are a foot thick and big iron bars block my escape, but I can see a small laneway on the other side. It's empty except for a monstrous looking black horse. I've heard of these creatures, known only as night mares. They travel from plane to plane, striking fear in the hearts of good people. Its eyes are inky black wells filled every bad dream I've ever had.
As I wonder why this ominous horse is standing outside my cell, a key turns in the lock. Funny, it's too early for lunch.
A guard opens the cell room door and says "he's in here," as he leads Akta into the cell. I'm saved!
"Akta, thank gods, I'm saved!" I exclaim. "You're going to get me out of here, right?"
She ponders this for a moment, trying to find the right words. "You're gonna die."
What? Where's the audacious prison break, as my buddies storm the jail with their crossbows firing? "Come on Akta, you can't have that attitude. How are we going to get out of this mess?"
"I don't know, dad. How will my sisters and I survive?" She blurts out, trying to shed some tears too and failing.
Ah, I see how they got access to this prison, normally visitors aren't allowed. How the guard believed Akta, a grey skinned Tiefling older than me, is somehow my daughter is beyond me. "I don't know, we'll find a way to get out of this mess, dear," I say, continuing the bit.
The guard, watching us from the doorway, is so moved by our act he starts to sob. "I don't know, anything short of a pardon from King Hanin won't get you off this murder charge," he explains, all choked up.
Of course! "Akta, you know that little quest Veto asked us to go on where we could get King Hanin's favour?"
"Hmmm, I don't know that one."
Damn. "Could you get your uh, sister? She might know."
Akta is escorted out, returning five minutes later with Torran.
Good, she's in on the act too. "You know the quest Veto told us about, the one where we have to find a traitor in King Hanin's court? One of the rewards was a favour from the king, something that might bust me out."
I'm about to continue explaining when I see Torran try to slip me a dagger. Checking to see the guard isn't watching, I edge up to the bars and take it. The guard looks up as I'm pulling away from Torran. "Hey! No contact," he sternly explains.
As we're pulling away, I stash the dagger in my tunic without the guard seeing. "Sorry, I was just giving my daughter a hug. I don't know if we'll see each other again."
The guard's eyes are all puffy from crying. "I'm sorry, it's the rules. You have to go now."
"We'll get out of this mess, I can't stand trial tomorrow and be sentenced, please help," I say to no one in particular, hoping Torran or Akta will understand. Torran nods as though she gets the message.
A few minutes after they leave, I hear a rush of flames from the window. Looking out, Everyone is chasing some guy down the street. It's the barkeep! I can't believe my luck. Torran, Akta and Twinkle are chasing this poor wretch down the street into the path of the night mare.
"Aithon, pin him down!" Akta yells. The horse responds, knocking the barkeep down with his front hooves and lowering himself onto the ground. The barkeep is trapped by the fearsome horse. I wonder where Akta got this creature, sure hope he's not my replacement in the group.
Pinned by the weight of the horse, he pleads, "Stop, please, I don't know what you want!"
Akta walks towards him. "Yes you do. Because of your words, our friend is in jail. You have to get him out."
"But I can't do that, there was a tavern full of witnesses! Please, I cant breathe!"
"You WILL get our friend out of the mess you put him in."
He's trying to move, squirming and straining. "I'll try, just get this, this thing, off me!"
"Aithon, let him go." The horse stands up. "You go around the corner to the guards and explain that Percy wasn't the one who left the severed head on your counter."
Torran & Akta
At the jail's entrance, the barkeep knocks on the door. The same guard who escorted Akta and Torran answers.
"It was me, I killed that man!" The barkeep wails.
The guard is confused, but recognises the barkeep's face. "Who, the man whose head was left on your bar?"
"Yes, I killed him, then paid the man you arrested to bring his head into the bar," he begins to plead. "You have to believe me, I killed that man and covered it up!"
The guard is unconvinced. "We have witnesses, it wasn't you." He pauses, considering this strange turn of events. "Is someone threatening you? Wink once for yes, twice for no."
Akta is watching the exchange and notices the barkeep blink only once. Before he can say any more, she pulls out her hand crossbow, shooting the barkeep in the chest. Running around the corner, she mounts Aithonand gallops away.
Shocked, the guard begins to drag the body inside, yelling for reinforcements. Torran runs up to the door. "What's happened? Oh no, is that man dead?"
"Somebody shot him. You'd better get in here, where it's safe."
Torran slinks inside before the door is bolted and the guards take up defensive positions. She begins to look around while everyone is busy with the phantom threat. A small room off to the side holds all the inmates possessions, on the opposite wall is the captain's office.
The captain's desk holds a ledger with every prisoner's name. Torran looks up Percy's entry and sees his court date is set for tomorrow, the ninth day of Patchwall. Thinking quickly, she takes the captain's quill and puts a line in front of the date, changing it to 19.
Ten days - enough to obtain a favour from King Hanin and break Percy out.