A trial of mettle part 2

Trial of Mettle: February 2nd year, 36 ACI

Vizzini and I arrived at Ricardo’s Corner just after nightfall. The people of the town were already inside the walls and behind closed doors.  A small town like this doesn’t have an inn for travelers.  I will have to hope there are kind people here who can give us rest, lest we must move on and make a camp in the forest.  

So, I knock upon the door to the largest house I see.  An old woman opens the door for me and lets us stay the night.  She is very ill, however, and dies in the night.  Vizzini and I spend the rest of the next day preparing her for burial and seeking out anyone who knows of her family.  Unfortunately we are left without any leads as the rest of the village seemed to hate this woman.  They say that her grandson is her only living relative and he is to be found in the town of Tyria just east of here.  

We make haste to Tyria, in search of this grandson, for he has a sad burden waiting for him at Ricardo’s Corner.  When we arrive, the people are gathered at the church.  I had forgotten, it is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. So, I step off of Sablemane and enter the church.  What I see here is astounding.  I admit, I was taken aback.  

The church was full of people and livestock!  I saw merchants all along the walls and goods and services of all sorts being bought and sold.  

A man came up to me and said, brazenly, “I’ve got things you won’t believe, name your pleasure and I will sell.  I can fix your wildest needs, I’ve got Heaven and I’ve got Hell!”  

I turned to the pulpit to see another in a piebald coat offering that I should “Take your pick of my finest wine, or lay your bets on this bird of mine.”

A blue haired man said to me “Don’t be scared, give me a try, There is nothing you can’t buy!”   

Turning away, I finally saw something that so reviled my eyes that I lost my temper.  A man in a Nurnberg surcoat was standing on the crucifix of our Lord spouting verse “Borrow cash on the finest terms, use this bank of Nuremburg!” 

The outrage in my eyes did shock Vizzini, who was respectful enough to leave his wares outside of the holy space.    As the fire swelled within my body, I took to a violent stance and began to thrash about the stalls of these merchants who would dare to defile this church.  Something overtook me as I called out to them “This church should be a house of prayer!  But you have made it a den of thieves!” and with one swing of my mace after another I smashed and crushed through the wares, expelling the merchants from the hollowed halls.  

I remember not how long it was that I remained succumb to the fever of battle, but when I regained my composure I was met by the bishop of Tyria who chastised me for my actions.  He claimed the devil took my soul and demanded that I leave the town.  Vizzini and I left as he wished, although I did make the Bishop Giotto Colombel aware of my intentions to inform the Society of St. Paul regarding this occurrence.  He swore to see me stripped of my position as a Paladin and furthermore to ensure I would never achieve knighthood - for he was a very powerful man in the kingdom.  Of that, I guess time will tell where the Lord takes me.  For now I will continue my journey to set right what was wrong.  

On the way out Vizzini told me that he had met with the old woman’s grandson and sent him back to Ricardo’s Corner.  This was good, for even if I did lose my temper, our mission here was completed.  Vizzini also told me that he was concerned that there may have been some credence to the words of the bishop, in that during my outburst it was observed that my eyes did reflect the light off of the cross much like a cat’s eye.  I hope for my sake that was just a trick of the light.  

For now, we journey north to Fallsburn. 

~Phillip Stephenson  

Posted on April 21, 2019 .