The Blood Company

Half's Reckoning

NOTE: Please read the Adventure Log, but start with “The Story So Far…” The Adventure Log lists the posts in reverse chronological order.

Two days after leaving Sandpoint, Half pulled himself onto the rail and looked out over the dark sea. The night was chilly and the moon faint, giving little light. He stretched lazily and scratched himself with one hand as he pulled his cloak tighter with the other. As such he didn’t have a hand free to reach for his dagger as he heard a throat clear behind him.

“Good evening, Half,” said Lotus, “i’ve been meaning to talk to you.”

Half was caught off guard, but knew how to regain the conversational initiative. “Wow! You’re pretty quiet. Nearly as quiet as me.” It always helps to use praise; most people can’t resist praise.

“My people are always unusually quiet, but it helped that I timed this well. I know you’ve been taking extra watches from the men. It’s ingenious. You know that as soon as we hit land the Captain is gonna start training to get us back in shape. That’s when you’ll want to sleep the whole night through.”

Half grinned sheepishly. Lotus had nailed it. There was nothing to do on ship but sleep, gamble and drink. Taking a late watch wasn’t so bad when there was nothing to watch for and you could sleep late the next day.

“So as the General said: Strike when the enemy’s resistance is weakest- so I chose now.”

Half’s hand crept closer to his knife. “Are you calling me your enemy?”

Lotus spread his hands in a conciliatory gesture. "Only metaphorically. I wanted to catch you off guard when I told you. I know you killed Gopher and tried to kill Rear Guard back in the bar at Sandpoint.

Half didn’t crack; he had spent his whole life hiding his emotions and lying to people. His hand closed around the handle of his dagger. Lotus was definitely the most dangerous swordsman in the Legion, but Half might just catch him off guard.

“I noticed that two men had their throats neatly slit by a sharp blade during a bar fight with sticks and clubs. The only edged weapons in ther room were my blade and your knives. Who else could have done it.”

Lotus turned to face out over the rail and continued, “The strength of the Legion is unity. Teach says that under Captain Drussus, the Legion dropped to 24 men! But they brought it back because they were united as brothers.”

“Are you suggesting I’m not loyal? You know what we were up against! It was the spell!” countered Half.

“I don’t doubt your loyalty,” Lotus answered softly, “or that you were compelled. I just think that a brotherhood like ours cannot last if we keep secrets. Our strength is our unity and our unity demands truth. Think about that while you’re on watch.”

As Lotus strode away, Half slumped and thought back to those precious minutes he was overcome by the urge to kill his Legion brothers. Rearguard had died, but Lotus and Holy’s quick intercession had saved Gopher. He had wanted to tell them he did it, but was afraid of the consequences. Lotus was right, he should ‘fess up. But he couldn’t. He stared off into the night.

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