A Change in Tactics

Nothing worked. Despite progress, at every turn her plans had failed and all progress was lost.

It had been weeks, but her anger was undiminished. Furiously, the lady pulled a ball of incandescent energy from thin air and hurled it at the cupboard smashing it flat against the wall and sending shards of glasses flying around the room, followed by a stream of curses that could have cut as deep as the glass.

First the Candle of Love was restored, she thought, as another ball of energy flew from her fingertips and smashed out the kitchen window leaving a smoking, broken frame. Next, the Book of Truth was purified, she recalled, as she screamed in a demonic rage and hurled another ball of glowing blue energy at the intricately carved stone table nearby. She watched hungrily as the table was consumed by the energies released. Lastly, even the Bell of Courage had been cleansed! Again, a ball of energy appeared at her fingertips which was released in a stream of lightening towards the ceiling and burst through to let in the cool night air and the gently falling rain.

Like a fire doused by water, her anger cooled, yet still steamed within her. How could this have come to pass? How could so many plans all fail, one after the other, again and again. Quietly now, she replayed the attacks in her mind.

Her toy Marcus Rotgut was used as a tool to sow discord throughout the land and steal the treasures of Britannia. While the thefts succeeded, each time the people rallied to defend against the disruption.

Marcus was sacrificed to corrupt the Bell, the Book and the Candle. These tokens of virtue were used to open the very gates of hell releasing the Greater Demon Arcadion… only to see the Demon defeated, again by the people of Britannia.

The stolen treasures were recovered by the people of the land.

The Candle was restored by the efforts of the people.

The Book was purified by the efforts of the people.

The Bell was cleansed by the efforts of the people.

Something had to change! There had to be a way to turn the tide and achieve her goal of conquest. She returned to thinking about the prior encounters: What did each encounter have in common? The people were always there to block every effort… Why?

She returned to thinking about the prior events. In her mind, she replayed event after event. What was the common thread? There: A man in a green cloak. Again, the green cloak rallying the troops. Once again, the man calling the people to battle. Organizing them to recover the stolen items. Leading them to restore the symbols of the virtues. Again and again it was the man in the green cloak. Who was this man?

Again, she replayed events in her mind trying to catch his name. A man called him Troubadour. A woman called him Sir Troubadour. A young girl called him Trouble.

In a flash, all of her attention focused on this trouble-maker. He was the cause of her failures! He was the one who time and again ruined her plans! Her anger now had a target and no more would she randomly lash out at her surroundings. It was time for a new plan. It was time for a change of tactics. It was time to end Troubadour’s meddling… and she knew just how to do it. What better way to ruin a man than to use his own strengths against him?

Quietly, she left her ruined home to seek out the items she would need. This would be a difficult incantation to cast and the reagents would be most challenging to find.

In the town of Britain, she slipped quietly through the King’s Castle and into the dungeon beneath. In an area that appeared to be a section of Britain, she slaughtered a captain with a sacrificial dagger and took his heart.

In Moonglow, she traveled to the cemetery to open a crypt and removed from a sarcophagus the Open Hand of the recently deceased.

In Trinsic, she removed a Chalice from the office of the Governor and headed towards the guard station at the South Gate. With all the charm of a Succubus, she lured the lone guard on duty across the bridge and while embracing him, quickly slit his throat. His life’s blood was collected in the Chalice.

In New Magincia, she found a young Shepherdess attending to her pets in a stall and stole her Shepherd’s Crook.

In the town of Yew, she ventured into the Court of Truth and took a Quill that was used to sign the arrest warrant for Governor Gooch.

In the town of Minoc, she found the home of two young girls, twins barely old enough to walk. Into the home she crept and cast a sleep spell upon the parents. For a moment, she showed the girls her true demonic form causing both to scream and cry. Again in her human form, The Lady crept forward to capture Twin Tears of Terror.

In Skara Brae, she took an Ankh Pendant from the neck of the Governor as she slept quietly in her home.

In Jhelom, a blood caked Dagger was lifted from the famous Dueling Pits.

With these reagents, corrupted symbols of virtue, she returned to her home to begin assembling the spell while wondering where would be the best place and time to find this Troubadour. It would not be long before he was out of the way.

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