chapter 1 page 4-5Mature

There was the incident with the baron’s daughter, the frequent visits to the local whorehouses, and the blatant disregard of civility when it came to Sigismund Wissen - one of duke Wissen’s many children... which had led to his remark about duchess Wissen’s lack of chastity followed by the loss of Sigismund’s hand in the ensuing duel.

                Apparently, however, all of this paled in comparison with his friendship with Master Xavier Helden, a wizard. Magic was legal within the Viimarch but that was a relatively recent change. It was only a few decades since wizards were exiled or, if they practiced darker magic, burnt at the stake. It was an almost completely innocent friendship but unfortunately his father had been one of the most die-hard opposers of making magic legal. His father had disowned him on fairly short notice.

                So, taking advantage of the situation, William stole thirty gold crowns, his father’s prized four chambered clockwork pistol, and Adalhard – the finest warhorse in the stables. With these and a small portion of his own wardrobe and belongings William fled into the night. He was well outside of the city before anyone noticed.

                Adalhard was the first to go. William had forgotten just how expensive it was to feed a purebred warhorse. Still, that alone got him more than one-hundred and fifty gold crowns. One of which was used to buy a respectable saddle pony. By this point he was more than two hundred miles from his home, the city of Fenich.

                He was slightly surprised he hadn’t been caught. The Imperial knights patrolled the roads and they had just passed him by. He was certain that his father had circled his description. Of course the fact that he had changed his name probably helped. He was glad he’d met the first group of knights after he’d master the ability to not stutter when calling him William. He was the wandering, wayward son of the merchant Hannes Faust.

                Of course, that only fooled the officials. The bounty hunters were more troublesome. Occasionally one or two figured it out. William killed his first man in a tavern in the small stop over village between Heldhiem and Gessen. The man had called him out, a pistol to the back of his head. William surrendered but as the gnarled cutthroat tried search him William spun out of the line of fire. Too late the hunter pulled the trigger and he accidentally shot a child. In the confusion William escaped... the bounty hunter didn’t. The fact that his father wanted him ‘dead or alive’ hurt a little.


                He flinched as the sun that filtered through the window fell upon his eyes. He suddenly became aware of the woman sharing his bed. She reeked of stale sweat and alcohol. Still, he reasoned, he probably did as well. He hadn’t bathed in a while. Maybe at the next town he’d make sure he found an inn with a bath.

                William slipped out of bed, got dressed, gathered his things and left. He was almost tempted to steal back the money he’d paid her but decided that she’d done a good job, even if she wasn’t the most attractive of whores. Nothing was said as he left the place. He untied his sturdy pony. He’d grown fond of his new mount even if it wasn’t half as fashionable as his old one. For food she simply grazed on whatever she could and she was very calm. Unlike his warhorse who’d been excited by just about everything. The journey was a lot easier without him.

The End

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