Bloodsticks - Chapter 5
No, that can’t be. My mind stumbles back to my discovery five short years ago, uncovering the greatest mystery of my career. The Demoni Vankil.
This is the second award-winning work of Höbin Luckyfeller, and the second book in his Field Guide series. The script is hot and fresh and we also have a new cover for the book!
When Höbin is contracted to research the popular game of chance, he quickly learns the truth surrounding its history is anything but. Circumstances unfold faster than he can anticipate, pulling Höbin from his assignment and thrusting him into the shadows of intrigue, magic…and murder.
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Chapter 5 - Day Two
I follow Tilly through the maze of books. She hops up and over the aisles, waiting patiently as I step between and around this organized chaos. Finally perching on a stack of literature in the middle of the floor, she purrs at me, the end of her long tail tapping a thick book underneath her.
It has a blue leather spine on it.
Tugging it free, I read the title and laugh out loud. It’s called The Malfeasant Register.
It’s a history book of sorts, of the Gypsy society. People who live here, in the Black Market throughout the centuries. People who sought to make a new life, away from the prying eyes of the world…and the cold reach of the law.
Throughout the night, I sit and scan the yellowed pages, looking for clues. The lives displayed before me are fascinating. I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to share in such adventures with those fleeing the authorities. Many of the men and women in this volume ran from the law through no fault of their own. People made mistakes or suffered from bad choices made as they lived in judgmental communities. Surrounded by people who couldn’t mind their own business. In the blink of an eye, they found themselves outcast, shunned…and labeled as infidels, filth or worse.
With no way to right the offenses which others held close to their hearts, they forced these downtrodden souls to leave…sometimes flee for their very lives. Seems so very tragic.
Sir Ulrich Gillings, in 6102s was one of the key nobles noted as funding the building of Til-Thorin Keep. So hated was he by the other Lords of the region, not only for his outspoken reputation, but for his generous nature towards the Gypsies. They changed the laws of the land. They made it punishable by death to help any Iskari outcast.
King Shelmon had yet to be crowned king and a council of Lords ruled Andilain, supposedly overseen by Her Majesty, Queen Älodiä — but that was not the case. The Lords ran the country in secret, keeping their dealings from the Queen and her son…simply to throw Sir Ulrich into prison. While they imprisoned Gillings, they ravaged, burned, or sold off his lands. They conducted a series of mock trials to convict and execute their fellow noble. Gillings escaped before the execution and vanished into the forest regions.
He spent the rest of his life striking out and robbing those very lords who imprisoned him. Twelve years later, Gillings died in a duel while trying to defend the honor of a widow farmer. The villainous sheriff, who had committed a grievous crime against the woman’s virtue, had an ambush waiting. A hired archer shot Gillings in the back during the bout.
Another entry records that Krystiana O’Connell, a young village maiden, refused to pollute herself in the bed of the Lord Regent of Forde. He was so outraged he had the young girl flogged at the center of the small village in which she lived. This village had already sacrificed their young men to the service of the war. Most had died in service to the Lord Regent, and few children remained among the families. Krystiana was supposed to be made an example, to strike fear into the hearts of the families, but it backfired. The entry reads:
“The people knew her virtue, her tender heart and loving nature towards the sick and afflicted. The pain inflicted upon her body…her screams, was more than the people could bear upon their souls. A revolt ensued. The elders of the village rose and slew the soldiers present, including the Lord Regent, beaten with clubs, then beheaded — his body
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