The City at the Center of the World

Chapter Three

A Bad Night for Borl

Accompanied by Enos Corwin, Denrik Frostshield and Maral Helvetica hurried through the streets of Absolom in order to intercept Borl, the slaver employed by Droda Strush’s House of Bright Wings. Borl and his guards had arranged to meet with their hired muscle at an abandoned and dilapidated warehouse in the Puddles, and upon arriving the heroic trio found that they had beaten the slaver gang there. Sensing an opportunity, Maral, Denrik and Corwin concealed themselves as best they could.

Borl soon arrived, accompanied by his guards. The hidden heroes noted that the mysterious jug that he had carried earlier in the evening was no longer in his possession. Maral stepped from hiding and demanded that the slavers surrender, which was met with sneers from the newly arrived slaver and his companions. After a brief exchange of words between the two groups, it was clear that their differences would only be settled by a swift application of violence, and blades and bludgeons were brought into use. Borl and his men fought fiercely, and a savage hit from one of the slaver’s guards dropped Corwin, bringing him to death’s door. Denrik and Maral redoubled their efforts, dispatching the guards, but Borl quickly devised a plan to make his escape, holding his blade to the unconscious Corwin’s throat and threatening to remove the Andoran’s head if Maral and Denrik tried to prevent his escape.

Maral, knowing that she had only heartbeats to act if she wanted to stop Borl, called upon her magical aptitude to restore Corwin to consciousness and some measure of health. In a flash, the Andoran soldier drew up his blade and slammed it into Borl, knocking the slaver senseless. The group bound Borl before awakening him, and began asking him questions about the House of Bright Wings and its defenders as soon as his senses returned.

Understanding that his only chance for survival was cooperation, Borl admitted that the House of Bright Wings was a front for a cult of the parasitic demigod Ghlaunder. Droda oversaw the operation of the cult, using select slaves as hosts for his parasitic swarms at the direction of his witch advisor. When pressed, Borl revealed that the jug that he had been seen carrying earlier in the evening housed a malign spirit that could be called upon for information and advice. The slaver confessed to being afraid of what might happen if the spirit were ever freed from the jug.

Made certain of their purpose by Borl’s admissions, Denrik, Maral and Corwin decided to make haste back to the Coins to pursue the final confrontation with the House of Bright Wings.


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