Over the course of three, very long and tiresome days, I had made it my business to know all that I could about the Lord Enajard Sandwell.
He was a publically appointed official for the city of Coulthair in Jodascave and I must say that I found him to be; for the most part, a good man, who had the wellbeing of the citizens at heart. The people loved him, he had, on many occasions, fought successfully against the council on matters close to their heart and I believe he loved them just as much as they loved him, a fact that made my situation a great deal harder than I would have liked it to be.
I had; three days ago, made an awful error in judgment and spent a few hours with the man in his rooms on the south side of the river. We had both been drinking throughout the opening day of the city’s summer festival and somehow, ended up having sex. I very much enjoyed it, but I was a little too free with myself and having had far too much excitment, I accidentally gave away a very close and dangerous secret.
I am a descendant of Fenaan and a priestess at the monastery of our sacred mother. I have certain gifts that could easily be misconstrued as witchcraft, a thing abhorrent in the western principalities and although my work here is routine and peaceful, A scandal for the monastery here would ruin them and set us back irreparably. I am only a guest in Coulthair and do not wish to bring trouble upon my hosts. My gifts are simple in magnitude, I am not a bearer of great power. All I have is life sight and a catalogue of charms used to help me in my work. Still, people without gifts are suspicious of those who have and it was completely irresponsible of me to allow Enajard Sandwell to see my gift, more so, of me to slip up like that and allow them to be so promiscuously on display.
Upon researching the beloved city official, I found that the man had two very interesting qualities about him, and I believed them to be of the utmost importance in my plan to safe guard my secret. Most notably he was a collector of rare antiquities and historical artefacts, he was also quite knowledgeable on these memorabilia and the history of our great world.
The other curious fact about Lord Sandwell, was that he had an ongoing rivalry with the Lord Kaspian Diaar, a contention that had turned publicly bitter over the course of the last few months. You see, Lord Diaar is also a collector of note and had some of the rarest pieces in the western principalities. The Coulthair Museum of History had benefitted greatly from Diaar, and his donated pieces had brought a respectful amount of fame to the man. As the main benefactor of the museum, he would often be lauded by his peers as being the foremost authority on matters of the Sevrianance and their history, an accolade that Enajard Sandwell found very difficult to bare since he too had donated but not to the same extent. Sandwell was a keen historian and desired the fame that his rival received, he did not, however, have Lord Diaars funds and anytime a rare piece came onto the market, he was instantly outbid by the wealthy landowner.
During my research, I had been told that if Sandwell could gain the upper hand via a singular opportunity regarding a rare artefact, he would give half of his fortune for it. Upon hearing such tales, a plan began to form in my mind and I believed an item like this would help to secure my secrets future. I just needed to get hold of one. A singular historical item of the rarest quality. I’ll admit it wasn’t easy, but I had managed to attain an item of idyllic perfection. An item that Sandwell would pay dearly to possess.
The summer regatta was well into its fourth day, when I planned to make my move. The people were enjoying an evening of dancing and music, there was also a great deal of drinking and frivolity. I had, as I alluded to earlier, been swept up in such revelry and for the most part, enjoyed these festivities emmensly. It was a welcome chance to loosen my braid and relax a little, in the words of my friend Clari. “Act a little less like a priestess”.
Public opinion was always a concern of mine and I would feel uncomfortable doing anything other than errands in full view of the people, but with a festival masquerade it was less important to be mindful of such actions.
Today, however, I was not dancing, I was being deliberate and my masquerade was far more important than it had ever been before.
Opposite the Chambers of commerce and agriculture, when Seander was trying in the extreme, I crossed paths with Lord Sandwell, he was, in fact, on his way to a meeting regarding funds for the eastern wall and the repair of its damage. During the winter, part of the mountain had dislodged itself and clattered into the battlements on the eastern side of the city, it had caused “significant frailties in its structural integrity”and Lord Sandwell was desperate to fortify them and protect the people… as I said, a good man, that I had learned a great deal about over the last three days.
I tilted my mask to allowed him to see me, there was a friendly delight in his eyes although his greeting was habitually formal. He had a wonderful charm that made you warm to him instantly and he would put anyone who approached him at ease. Still, I couldn’t help but smile when I waited as he did his very best to put a name to my face, I watched him grasping at a memory and it amused me, he was about to admit defeat when I rescued him.
“Lord Sandwell, I trust you have found time to celebrate the season? Every time we meet you are engaged in professional matters.”
That wasn’t true, we had enjoyed that evening together three days ago, but he couldn’t possibly remember yet, I’d made sure of it and tested him twice before this meeting to see if my face would provoke a reaction. In time, he would remember it all, but we will get to that.
His smile was thick with humorous resignation, he was on his way to some official business. He had papers in his hand, all bound with the official gold ribbons of Coulthair and he displayed them to me with with an air of pantomime.
“Regrettably, I am due in the Chambers within the hour. But I plan to have a celebratory ale tomorrow, at the regattas final party.”
Of course, I knew this already, I knew everything that the man was going to do today, where he was eating, who he was meeting, I had researched this entirely and the very fact that I would meet him here today was no accident, in fact, it was the key moment everything hinged on, and so, I made my move.