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Orkoral

Solomon Knox's page

11 posts. Alias of Rasputin17.


Full Name

Solomon Knox

Race

Human

Classes/Levels

1/ Inquisitor 1

Gender

Male

Size

Medium

Age

26

Alignment

N

Deity

None

Languages

Common

Occupation

Raomer, Mercenary, Hunter of Men

Strength 10
Dexterity 15
Constitution 12
Intelligence 8
Wisdom 18
Charisma 13

About Solomon Knox

Solomon Knox Character Sheet

Council of Thieves Biography:

Solomon Knox

I've been envisioning a character, name of Solomon Knox, a human inquisitor with the Trickery and Deception domain and subdomain. Solomon's ideals stem from a disillusionment with government and by extension the Cheliaxian state of affairs. It began with the murder of his parents, both of them "heathens" and "blasphemers" of the goddess Calistria. He has since forgone religion, but has instead taken upon himself one very specific mantra: Defiance. He has since acted as a saboteur, utilizing subterfuge and deception to fool the Cheliaxian authorities and defy them at every turn, yet he has not yet realized the freedom fighter mantra as his own. The trauma of his childhood has warped his mind a tad, but it's nothing to be concerned about. He's no rapist or murderer or devil worshiping nimrod. He's simply, well, off. His speech mannerisms are strange, sounding almost alien at times, providing his own idiosyncratic thought processes into his speech. He has a tendency to trail off mid sentence or ignore somebody he's talking to entirely.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizotypal_personality_disorder

I would, with this path, pick the Diabolist Raised trait to complement his backstory.

Nonchalant Thuggery: You gain a +4 trait bonus on Bluff checks to keep others from noticing your aggressive actions.
———————————————————————————————————
Solomon Knox

In the lands of Cheliax, in the city of Westcrown, in the middle of a busy street a hunter of men sat on a bench. His name was Solomon Knox.

They were like a swarm of honey bees, buzzing and buzzing hither and to, back and forth in myriad mesmerizing patterns and swaths of color. Millions upon millions of colorful men and women, shades of blue and red and colors beyond the recognizable pallet, going about daily lives of the grandest monotony, la-ti-da-ti-da.

Solomon did his best to ignore them.

"No, gotta focus, got things to do, people to threaten, things to do." Solomon's eyes glanced back and forth across the horizon of the busy street. He blinked once, twice, thrice and blinked some more, trying the clear away the images that arrayed themselves before his eyes.

"Kind of pretty," he said aloud to himself. Loud enough, at least for the several other people on the bench to glance to the left and towards him, eyebrows raised. Solomon hoped these pedestrians weren't the talkative type. He didn't feel like talking to the talkative types. It was always easier talking to the non-talkative types. They didn't talk as much.

It was a bright day in Westcrown, crown jewel of the Chelexian Empire. The sun shone through the clouds in gaping candescences of maroon and inflamed magenta. Solomon couldn't help but think the entire cobblestone street was awash with blood. Buildings of wood and stone towered overhead, but to no avail, blocking none of the brilliant incandescence.

"No, no, mind wandering, gotta focus, gotta... hey look a butterfly! No, stop that!" The other people on the bench were looking at him even stranger now. Solomon really needed to learn how to filter these things.

He was attracting to much attention on the bench. He stood up quickly and began marching in the opposite direction he was previously facing, keeping one eye towards the right of his person. This area of the street was a three way intersection, and the hustle and bustle of the city made looking at any one thing before it was obscured by a thousand passing wagons and people an impossibility. To track somebody in the city from ground level, as opposed to scaling the nearby rooftops to look down from below like some haughtily unconvincing bird of prey, Solomon subscribed to the theory that a vague direction is always better than a straight path to a target.

At the very least, it made the chase a lot more interesting.

Trouble was, Solomon forgot who he was tracking. The thoughts tried with great effort to reorganize themselves in Solomon’s mind, but nothing seemed to come to him.

The streets were packed with wagon caravans and merchants hocking an always random assortment of paraphernalia. Used to be a lot more religious flavor about though. Solomon stopped for a second and wondered what happened to all that. He was buffeted forward by several different passing wagons, each moving in exact opposite directions. He felt his knees buckle and his arms flayed back and forth as he catapulted himself on one leg into a small alleyway to his right.

He landed in a puddle. It was a hard landing and his legs throbbed in agony with the impact. "Ow," he said with only the subtlest inflection of irony. The puddle was clear and the water was still swaying and wobbling with his impact. He could see his reflection though.

Give Solomon Knox just a cursory glance, and you won't see much. The face face that stared back at him was entirely unremarkable. His gaunt face gave his skin a taught look and his eyes angled downward towards his nose, giving his face the appearance that he was always puzzling something out. Tanned skin, brown hair and eyes, average looks, marred only by the slightest and lightest of burn marks and the side of his kneck, had gotten Solomon far in a city where different had become a mark deserved of a good beating. Give him a good look though, stare into the blank limpid pools of brown murky water of his eyes however, and you'll something completely out of the ordinary.

He blinked and blinked again and blinked some more, anxious, nervous because he remembered things. It was difficult to remember what it was he was remembering. He thought long and hard. A house in Westcrown, an abusive father, a drunk mother, both clerics of Calistria.

"Ahhh, bloody nostalgia time. Just love the nostalgia." Solomon gritted his teeth and pounded the ground with a clenched fist as he stood up. He plunged down towards the other side of the alleyway, acutely aware of where his target now was. The rays of opulent sunlight reached a twilight as they entered the apex of the looming houses above him. He bathed in the half-light of the reeking alleyway, smelling of ammonia, gutters and burnt corpses.

"There are no burnt corpses, 'least not here." He blinked his eyes furiously. He kept seeing it, Asmodeus inquisitors, house fire, his mother coerced into out the window into the street amidst yells of "fire," "spies," or "heretics". He saw his father wrapped in flames, screaming his final adulations to the savored sting, his entire cadaver burrowed in a brilliant glorious pire as it descended down right on top of him.

The real Solomon Knox touched the side of his neck where the faint burn mark lied. He whispered to himself as he walked down the alleyway, still blocked fromt he shine of ruby light. He felt his father's hair lap down the side of his neck. Solomon, then and now, repressed a scream, pummeling his way out from underneath his father's melting corpse. He felt whispers in the back of his skull, coercing, numbing his spine and splitting each of his hairs with one little saying, one tiny phrase repeated verbatim again and again and again. "Give in," "Give in," "Feed the fire," "Submit."

Solomon, now, choked out one word with harried breath, "Defy."

He emerged from the alleyway and turned a sharp right, barreling over a gnome driving two horses behind him. Solomon stepped unhurriedly, purposefully, through the crowd with nary a thought on his mind.

"Today I defy," he said, aloud, loud enough to be heard by everybody and nobody. The conformist crowd walking about him exchanged nervous glances with itself, but kept moving, not wanting to be caught amiss of current goings on.

His dark grey robes flapped about him in ways that defied the direction of the wind. His armored coat felt light as a feather, red mixed with black. He stood out from the crowd and now the pedestrians parted in his wake, like a till plowing through a field of people.

He reached the Limehouse Theater, and there he was.

"My lord are you beautiful," he said to nobody in particular.

The man was short and stocky, long flowing black hair falling to his half-plate decorated with the sigils of the noble House Mezinas. His nose was squat and stuck inward towards his face. He stood in the square outside the theater, bartering with a merchant over grain or lettuce or some other nonsense.

"Hmmm, no fish," said Solomon Knox as he went traipsing down the edge of the square amidst the crowd. "I could go for some fish"

Solomon reached the other end of the merchant's booth on the opposite side of the short man from House Mezinas. Stepping over to the left side of the merchant Solomon reached over and threw the merchant aside, reaching over to rest his hands on the edge of the stall.

"It's an absolute travesty," he said to the man and the man just stood there gaping wide eyed at the occurrence.

"What is, what is the meaning of this, what are you..."

Solomon cut him off. "This man isn't selling any fish." His smile was slack, leaning over across his jowl in a half-crescent shape.

"I ask again, citizen, what is the meaning of this disturbance? I'll have you know..." The man looked anxious, scared. His eyes darted past looking for an exit strategy."

Solomon gave him one.

"Do you enjoy your life?" He asked. "Do you enjoy murder and oppression as much as I enjoy it? 'Cause we enjoy it for different reasons. You enjoy causing it, fear and misery, just as much as I enjoy ending the men who cause fear and misery."

Solomon feigned a step to the left side of cart and the Paladin bolted down towards the right, giving oh so merry a chase.

He led Solomon past streams of the denizens of Westcrown as people again parted from both of them. He led him down one block before making his way into an alleyway to the right.
Solomon knew the alleyway, knew that it led into a dead end and knew that the Paladin would be setting up an ambush for him.

Solomon ran in there gleefully. Out of the pocket of his robes he detached a punching dagger and detached the cover, placing it around his knuckles and in his palm. Then the man sprung the "trap." Solomon saw him, perched up in the second floor window of the building to his right. A damn good climber considering the plate armor.

He feigned ignorance, walking slowly towards where he was perched, not once looking up. Near the end of the alleyway, without glancing up he said, "Quick, kill me before it's too late!"

The Paladin was stunned, but only for a moment. He leapt down towards Solomon, shortsword brandished in his hand, curving forward for a downward slash that he could use the rolling momentum to absorb the shock of the fall. Man was like a gorilla.

He came down with full force and Solomon just stood there, not enough time to react, but as the blow came to pass through him, he was no longer there, but was just five feet from where he was standing. The man landed gracefully, but as he rolled he yelped in desperate anguish as the punching dagger Solomon left standing face up on the ground caught him in his shin. It seemed to penetrate the plate armor, but just barely.

Solomon was already on top of him as he landed against the nearby wall. He reached down and yanked the shortsword out of his grasp while kicking at the blade imbedded in his armor. He kicked and blinked and kicked and blinked until the Paladin was howling for mercy, blood pooling at the base of his armor. Solomon wrenched the dagger out and pinned the man against the wall, pointing the dagger at his throat.

In spite of everything the man let out a sly grin. "You know you've accomplished nothing. There are several of my brethren delivering these documents as we speak. He nodded towards a small pouch at his side where a piece of rolled up parchment stuck conspicuously out.

Solomon was staring at the wall above him. "What? Sorry, I wasn't paying attention."

"The documents," he said in exasperation. Solomon responded, "what documents?"

The man had a pained expression of confusion painted across his face. The light shone there, on his face, the deep maroon opulence that it always was in this city. "What do you mean, 'what documents?'" He was staring at Solomon, angry. "What were you after me for then? Do you know who I am?!"

"Wait, give me a second, I know this. Hmmmm, tip of the tongue. Could be... nope. Terribly sorry, I forget these things often. I am what I am and..." he broke off mid sentence.

The man was aghast. A sickly color rose of from the base of his neck. "So you waylay me, attack me, torture me, and you don't even know my name? Are you often so arbitrary?"

Solomon leaned in closer. "I do not remember your name, but names are fleeting; they change like the time of day. Things you've done, however, I know exactly what you've done. Quantifiably, you've killed seventeen people in total, eight men, six women, three children!" He leaned in close, close enough to kiss the man on the ear, knife still close pressed up against his neck. Into his ear he whispered, "I know you raped three of them, two of the women, one of the children."

The man was sobbing now, pleading, begging like a sorry dog begs for scraps.

"You've got one chance, one chance only to answer my question, and I may spare your life." The man looked up at Solomon, hopeful. "Tell me..." he looked suddenly lost. His eyes stared up towards the sky, towards the radiance and beauty that showered his world in a crimson haze.

"Tell me, does Shattered Cross Inn serve fish?" The man looked up in wild panic, all hope draining from his face. He let out a fat wheezing sound from the base of his throat, but that was the extent of it response.

Solomon's mouth was a small crease embedded in the front of his mouth unmoving. He eyes sat fixated on the Paladin's forehead and he blinked rapidly, unstopping. Wordlessly he moved his hand onto his forehead and pressed down, harder and harder and a soft scorching sound echoed off the walls pressed about them in the alleyway. It was the sound that fish makes as it is fried.

The Paladin started screaming, thrashing as his skin burned at Solomon's touch. He had to hold him down with his other hand. At once the burning stopped and Solomon removed his hand. Where once his hand had pressed there was only one six letter word, "R-A-P-I-S-T"

The man was shaking violently. "Unfortunately it's not permanent," said Solomon, "because as much as I despise torture I have to get some message across." He looked down on the sorry Paladin. "You and your ilk, you defy everything that I stand for, and that's not acceptable, really, no. See, I am the one who defies." He leaned in closer to him. "He spoke as softly as he could while still being heard. He said, "I defy," and promptly brought his boot down on his head.

In a matter of moments he was off, off to find the Shattered Cross Inn, hoping to find some fish. He was a saboteur but not a rebel, a hunter of the diabolists who hoped to control them, but was not their sworn enemy, not yet anyway. He knew, at least, that he would never be at a loss for his purpose. He would defy to the very end, even as the entirety of Westcrown collapsed around him.

Character Sheet (Council of Thieves):
Solomon Knox CR 1/2
Male Human (Chelaxian) Inquisitor (Spellbreaker) 1
N Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +8
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 15. (+2 Dex)
hp 9 (1d8+1)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Spd 20 ft.
Melee: Punching Dagger +0 (1d4/x3) and
. . Bayonet +0 (1d6/x2)
. .
Ranged: Crossbow, Light +2 (1d8/19-20/x2 80 ft.)
. . Shortbow +2(1d6/x3 60 ft.)
Inquisitor Spells Known (CL 1, 0 melee touch, 2 ranged touch):
1 (2/day) Wrath, Disguise Self
0 (at will) Daze (DC 14), Brand (DC 14), Detect Poison, Resistance
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 18, Cha 13
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Reload(Crossbow, Light)
Traits Diabolist Raised, Nonchalant Thuggery

Skill:
Atr. Full Score Ranks Misc.
Acrobatics Dex +3 3
Appraise Int -1 -1
Bluff Cha +6 2 1 3
Climb Str +0 0
Craft ( ) Int -1 -1
Craft ( ) Int -1 -1
Craft ( ) Int -1 -1
Diplomacy Cha +2 2
Disable Device Dex +3 3
Disguise Cha +6 2 1 3
Escape Artist Dex +3 3
Fly Dex +3 3
Handle Animal Cha +2 2
Heal Wis +4 4
Intimidate Cha +3 2 1
Knowledge(Dun) Int -1 -1
Knowledge(Ar) Int -1 -1
Knowledge(Na) Int -1 -1
Knowledge(Pl) Int -1 -1
Knowledge(Re) Int -1 -1
Linguistics Int -1 -1
Perception Wis +8 4 1 3
Perform ( ) Cha +2 2
Perform ( ) Cha +2 2
Perform ( ) Cha +2 2
Profession ( ) Wis +4 4
Profession ( ) Wis +4 4
Ride Dex +3 3
Sense Motive Wis +9 4 1 4
Sl. of Hand Dex +3 3
Spellcraft Int -1 -1
Stealth Dex +7 3 1 3
Survival Wis +4 4
Swim Str +0 0
U.Magic Device Cha +2 2

Languages Common
SQ Judgement(1/day), Stern Gaze, Strong Willed, Sudden Shift (Trickery/Deception Domain)
Combat Gear Bolts, Crossbow (30), Crossbow, Light, dagger, punching, bayonet, arrows (20), shortbow, buckler, light, armored coat, arrow (smoke)(3); Other Gear Backpack (16 @ 21.5 lbs), Bedroll, thorny vine(5), Ink (1 oz. vial, black), Journal, Parchment (sheet) (10), Pouch, belt (4 @ 3.5 lbs), Spell component pouch, Waterskin, cleric's vestments,
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
Judgement (1r) (1/day) (Su) - 0/1
Bolts, Crossbow - 0/20
Sudden Shift (7/day) - 0/7
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
Judgement - Pronounce judgement on foes as a swift action. Select one type of judgement, change it as a swift action.
Stern Gaze - Recieve morale bonus on all Intimidate and Sense Motive Checks equal to 1/2 inquisitor level (min +1)
Strong Willed - rolls twice and takes the best result when making a Will saving throw against a mind-affecting effect.
Sudden Shift - In the blink of an eye, you can appear somewhere else. As an immediate action, after you are missed by a melee attack, you can teleport up to 10 feet to a space that you can see. This space must be inside the reach of the creature that attacked you. You can use this power a number of times each day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.
Diabolist Raised - +1 Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive vs.
Nonchalant Thuggery - You gain a +4 trait bonus on Bluff checks to keep others from noticing your aggressive actions.

Solomon Knox: NE Way of the Wicked

Player Questions:

1. Do you have previous pbp experience as player and/or DM? If so, on Paizo's boards, or elsewhere?

I have thus far submitted my characters to three different campaigns, two Carrion Crowns and one Council of Thieves, but I have not been accepted to any of them, not for lack of trying.

That said, I am highly familiar with the ruleset and have been DMing my own home campaign with my friends for several weeks now. I've read a bunch of PbP's on this board and have done my best to acquaint myself with their eccentricities.

2. Where do you live (specifically, in what time zone)?

I live in Long Island, New York. My timezone is EST.

3. How often can you expect to post (barring illness, vacation, etc.)?

I am able to post multiple times per day on a day, but once a day is my minimum. I am going to school during the day, however, and thus I can only regularly post in the evenings. I am good for weekends, however.

Character Questions:

1. Who are you? (Name, race, class)

Name: Solomon Knox

I’ve lately created a character, name of Solomon Knox, a human inquisitor with the Trickery and Deception domain and subdomain. Originally I had it that to fit in a good campaign he would be true neutral, without a proclivity towards religion, but took it as his inquisition to defy the oppressive state of the Council of Thieves Campaign setting. His original conception was of a NE inquisitor of Norgorber, and that I think could fit in this campaign. If that relation to Norgorber does pose a problem, however, he could still remain without a deity, being somewhat of an anarchistic terrorist.

Solomon’s ideals stem from a disillusionment with government. It began with the murder of his parents, both of them “heathens” and “blasphemers” of the goddess Calistria. He can since have forgone religion, and had instead taken upon himself one very specific mantra: Defiance or he arbitrarily joined the church of Norgorber on a whim, and has acted as their agent. He has since acted as a saboteur, utilizing subterfuge and deception to fool the Talingarde authorities and defy them at every turn. The trauma of his childhood has warped his mind a tad, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. He’s no rapist or murderer. He’s simply, well, off. His speech mannerisms are strange, sounding almost alien at times, providing his own idiosyncratic thought processes into his speech. He has a tendency to trail off mid sentence or ignore somebody he’s talking to entirely. He has no issue with killing, not having the ability to pay attention for long enough to properly care. This sort of madness is not specifically sociopathy, but is best represented by a highly functional version of Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

2. What do you look like?

Solomon Knox has a visage that is near immediately forgettable, and that has helped him in more than a few sticky situations. Not specifically attractive or repulsive, he has brown hair, brown eyes, a sallow complexion and gaunt features. His skin is tanned and he usually wears gray robes under his armored vestments. He does his best to look appear with as little ostentatious grandeur as possible. His demeanor, however, is anything but normal.

3. How would you describe your personality?

Like with Schizotypal Personality Disorder Solomon has odd behavior and thinking, and often unconventional beliefs. He acts atypical in almost all situations and rarely does he go out of his way to do anything that isn't on a whim. His goals range from narrowly specific to broadly incomprehensible, but they are tied to a specific purpose. What that purpose is... I still have yet to design. *shrug. He is not afraid to murder, but will not do so randomly like a chaotic character. He's does not uphold any specific code, but will work towards his own ends no matter the consequences.

4. What crime have you committed to cause your incarceration in Branderscar Prison? (Note that your choice will convey a mechanical benefit, but I want the initial decision based on role-playing and background concerns, not the potential benefit. If you'd like more fluff about any of the following options, feel free to ask. Note also, the omission of crimes like rape, sexual assault, child abuse, and the like. The exclusion of acts of this nature is deliberate, and not open for negotiation.)

Solomon is being accused of murder. The specifics of such is highlighted in the short story below. Sorry if it's too long. I tend to let it all get out of hand when I do character creation. My brother tells me that writing that much makes it seem like I want this character to be the protagonist, but trust me when I say I have no inclination.

A Murder Most Foul:

The fight or flight response kicked in as she sat down next to him. Solomon’s eyes twitched and he blinked furiously to kick out the colors that radiated in his eyes. She was a woman alright, definitely, he was almost positive – comely enough, maybe. It’s sometimes difficult to tell. She was sitting next to him though, and that wasn’t good. People don’t sit next to people in this tavern.

The Wyvern’s Grasp was not the most sociable of places, far from it. Everyone, everyone and anyone here kept to themselves. It was just that part of town, the part that the seething romantically shameless would call a hive of scum and villainy. That was impossible. There were no bees here.

Solomon glanced her over, small and curvaceous, Aasimar quality, really. Her bright luminescent skin shown with glittering luminescence, sparking casual glances from even the most insular of the tavern’s patrons. She was radiant and beautiful in the most unimaginable of calibers.

“My lord you are the most hideous thing I have ever glanced upon in my life, probably. I have to check.”

She smiled at him and sat down in the corner booth opposite him, staring directly into the blank brown pools of his eyes, lifeless, ordinary, still blinking.

“I know you,” the woman said, melodious, a pristine echo that glanced around the room and sent shivers of longing down the spines of all the patrons. Nobody dared touch her though. She was something to somebody that everyone didn’t want to interfere with.

“Yes you don’t,” Solomon said, monotone as can be as was his custom.

“No? I could have sworn it was you. Jack Lifestone? We’ve met before in the gala of Convivial spring, remember?”

“Nope, couldn’t say I was him. Well, maybe I was, but I got transformed, but is that unlikely? I really couldn’t say. I guess, in all probability, I’m maybe not him.”
She smiled, and that was odd to Solomon, and he blinked in surprise. She made no movements to leave, hardly made a movement at all, sitting stationary, stock still, perfect poise in a small -hive of scum and villainy- tavern of the coast in the dregs of the Southern heartlands of Talingarde. Odd, very odd. Solomon liked this.

“Who are you,” he asked, leaning over across the table to look at her.
Give Solomon Knox just a cursory glance, and you won't see much. The face face that stared back at him was entirely unremarkable. His gaunt face gave his skin a taught look and his eyes angled downward towards his nose, giving his face the appearance that he was always puzzling something out. Tanned skin, brown hair and eyes, average looks, marred only by the slightest and lightest of burn marks and the side of his neck, had gotten Solomon far in a land that didn’t take too kindly to murderers and fiends in its new grand renaissance. Give him a good look though, stare into the blank limpid pools of brown murky water of his eyes however, and you'll something completely out of the ordinary.

She didn’t look taken aback in the slightest, and just sat there, brilliant gleaming eyes glaring straight through Solomon, like he was not even there, like looking at a shadow. “I am Sarivian Sarif. I apologize if I might have mistaken you for somebody else, but it indeed a pleasure to make your acquaintance. What is your name?”

Her voice was silken and smooth. “No it’s not,” Solomon replied.

“I beg your pardon?”

“It’s not a pleasure to make my acquaintance. You’re lying to me for reasons that I don’t know about which is strange because, usually, I’m the one who lies.” His voice was coldness mixed with a sulfuric acidity.

The sun shone in through the windows, grimy and filthy, haven’t been washed in ages. It was a harsh sun, twilight, gleaming with a ruby red opulence like looking through a pane of stained glass. It bathed both of them in a crimson halo that enveloped their conversation and made Solomon blink some more.

“You are a strange man, sir. I have told you my name, will you be so kind as to tell me yours?” Her smile stuck to her face like an epoxy, but it never looked fake, practiced civility radiating off the beauteous woman in waves.

“No I’m not. Between the two of us, I’m definitely the less queer.” He still glared at her.

“I…”

He cut her off. “My name is Solomon Knox.”

“A queer name for an even stranger man,” she continued. “Tell me, sir, why are you here?”

Fight or flight response again. He kept his composure. “Probably because my father f%*$ed my mother and then out pops me. Somehow, eventually, I end up here.”

“Ahh, so you have parents? I know of several men in this facility lacking even that basic nurturing presence. That sets you apart, does it not?”

"Ahhh, bloody nostalgia time. Just love the nostalgia." Solomon gritted his teeth and pressed his hand hard against the table between him and the woman where his hand rested. He plunged down towards the other side of the alleyway, acutely aware of where his target now was. The rays of opulent sunlight reached a twilight as they entered the apex of the looming houses above him. He bathed in the half-light of the reeking alleyway, smelling of ammonia, gutters and burnt corpses.

"There are no burnt corpses, 'least not here." He blinked his eyes furiously. He kept seeing it, inquisitors of Mitras, house fire, his mother coerced into out the window into the street amidst yells of "fire," "spies," or "heretics". He saw his father wrapped in flames, screaming his final adulations to the savored sting, his entire cadaver burrowed in a brilliant glorious pyre as it descended down right on top of him.

The real Solomon Knox touched the side of his neck where the faint burn mark lied. He felt his father's hair lap down the side of his neck. Solomon, then and now, repressed a scream, pummeling his way out from underneath his father's melting corpse. He felt whispers in the back of his skull, coercing, numbing his spine and splitting each of his hairs with one little saying, one tiny phrase repeated verbatim again and again and again. "Give in," "Give in," "Feed the fire," "Submit."

Solomon, now, choked out one word with harried breath, "Defy."

He blinked and then he was back.

“I beg your pardon,” she stared at him now, the permanent smile finally smitten.

He stared at Sarivian Sariff, eyes focusing, narrowing, penetrating. The hairs on the back of his arms and his neck bristled with electricity. “Who are you asking me to kill?”

She looked taken aback for the first time since their acquaintance.

“I’m not asking you to kill anybody, I’m asking you to put a stop to a murder.”
“By killing him. Oh, I like this! Since we can seemingly justify killing killers, right, we can extort extortionists? Pirate pirates? Rape rapists? Sedition… seditionists? That’s interesting; have to wonder how that works.

“The man is a blight on society. He has been charged with seventeen accounts of murder, arson, kidnapping, desecration of a holy site of Mitras.” The woman had a golden aura about her, phosphorescent and glorious and the aura seemed to bloom forth as she spoke with righteous indignation.

Solomon blinked to clear out the image.

“What’s society?”

The woman was staring daggers at him. He felt her gaze and eased back in his chair so the inflamed sunlight would catch in his eyes.

She ignored the question. “The authorities are prepared to turn a blind eye in exchange for your services, sir.” Her smile returned almost instantaneously, like a candle being lit under her chin. “The matter is of such a grave importance that an overseer from the capital has come to pay witness to the operation.”

Solomon’s eyes grew blank. “Who?”
“His name is of no concern.”

“I am concerned. Call me concerned, for concerned I am. Who and where is he?”
The woman sighed. “The man in the gray cloak, at the table to our right. He is Simon Bellfont, high ranking clergyman at the church of Mitras…” Her voice trailed off in Solomon’s ears as he sat staring at the man. A thick woolen, gray coat hung off his shoulders in waves and his face was stone, deep in concentration, staring at a man in the far corner of The Wyvern’s Grasp. His hands grasped menacingly and his eyes were red with bloodlust, reflecting the light eking out into the middle of the room.

Solomon interrupted her. “Why not arrest him. You seem like the arresting type, not to typify. Wait, maybe I should sterotype, You’re a churchgoer, are you not? The Shining Lord often hires contract killers, right? Wait, no it doesn’t. That’s odd. Don’t pay much attention to these things, lots of things on my plate, though I am hungry. Hmmm, lots of things to do – people to kill and other unsorted objectives.”

“He has too many contacts this man. His tendrils reach far into the corrupt corners of the court which our church has been trying to eliminate for far too long a time. He is virtually untouchable.” She sat straighter. “He killed Simon Bellfont’s wife in children in their own home, but that was only after raping them and crippling the clergyman. He must be stopped at all costs.”

Solomon stared back at clergyman in the woolen coat. Softly he whispered only to himself, “You had me at hello.”

Turning back to the woman, he spoke hurriedly, “Why does a society exist? One that can never even reign in the worst of the lot.”

He stood up then, suddenly, kicking his chair back against the wall. “I’ll kill him then,” he said aloud, audible to the entirety of the tavern.

Sarivian hissed, “Not now you fool! Why would you attack him here of all places.”
Solomon was hardly paying attention. His mind was entirely affixed, focused on the center of his fascinations.

"Wait, give me a second, I know this. Hmmmm, tip of the tongue. Could be... nope. Terribly sorry, I forget these things often. I am what I am and..." he broke off mid sentence.

He approached the man slowly, carefully measuring out each step. “What are we to do with an ineffectual society that actively careens around and brings about our own ruination.”

His feet echoed loudly in the silent room as he walked, stalked more like, to his target, a giant bull’s-eye painted in the center of the mass of light streaming from the windows.
“Sedition? Nah, sedition is a route problem, problem, problems and more problems stacked up as high as they can go. All we can do is bask in it? Nope, I say every man for himself. It’s this nation and everything in it. We tear the world down brick by brick, piece by piece, moving inch by inch toward our own annihilation. La-ti-da-ti-da.”

He stopped in front of his target, the man in the woolen cloak, the clergyman of that great Shining Lord. He was staring at him, eyes wide and hands grasping for the hem of his cloak where he kept his daggers. There was a repeated bleating the background, tuned out by the glare of light that invaded all of Solomon’s senses.

He spoke directly to the man. “You know what it all represents?”

The clergyman struck out at him, a blow aimed straight for his heart, but Solomon blinked, and was suddenly behind him, a punching dagger brandished in his hand.

“It represents defiance!” He screamed, holding the man by the throat from behind and bringing the punching dagger up into his spine, again, and again, and again, and again. He blinked wildly, madly, blood streaming from the man’s shattered spine and splashing up and down Solomon’s vestments. His screaming was drowned out only by a loud high pitch he heard vibrating in his ears. He stabbed at the man, forever, rolling off into infinity until finally the world stopped moving and Solomon was standing there, a dead man in his arms and every single patron staring at him.

Sarivian was staring at him, eyes wide with anger and tears streaming down her face. “What have you done,” she screamed, “you’ve killed the wrong man!”

“What? Oh yes, that. You can’t blame me much, though; I told you I defy” he said. He reached onto his back, almost absentmindedly, and pulled out his crossbow. He aimed with one hand, the other still holding the limp body of the clergyman, and shot the murderer square in the neck. Blood spurted out of the wound as the other man collapsed to the floor in a heap.

He led them on a merry chase, but they caught up to him eventually. They brought him to Branderscar, telling him he would soon be beheaded for his most foul of murders. Solomon could do nothing but shrug.


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