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Revelation and Disappointment

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Revelation and Disappointment

Thirdmonth 3

Having been successful with the raids we pushed hard to get to Serndall before any trouble could come our way. Darius knew some paths through the forest that cut our travel time in half, and we made it to Serndall shortly after dinner, exhausted and dirty but very happy with our effort. After cleaning up I decided to go to Grevnol’s and get some real food.

My mind was quickly distracted though as Rohese came to the table and sat. I had lost track of time in spite of the rumblings of my stomach, and I quickly ordered some stew and a biscuit to take care of that.

We chatted idly for a few moments until the meal arrived and then dug in. Conversation turned to recent events from the trip to Sikerson, and as we finished the meal Rohese reached out and took my hand.

As the rush of blood to my face blotted out almost every other sense I was wondering how I would react to this, and my mind started playing through numerous romantic scenarios. I was interrupted however when Rohese spoke my name rather loudly. As I came back to earth I learned that Rohese was not reaching out to start a relationship, but was trying to “let me down easy.”

It turns out Rohese was an orphan. She and her sister were taken in by an uncle who was less than caring, putting the two girls to work keeping house and preparing meals for him. It was hard work and very demeaning, and the girls quickly learned to be there for each other.

A year of drought left her uncle short on cash in the fall, which prompted him to sell Rohese and her sister to a passing slave caravan. The girls were shackled and taken to Serndall where they were separated and sold as slaves. Rohese was purchased by a family from Riverport as a house slave. Her sister was purchased by a half-ork and Rohese never saw her again.

Several years later as Rohese was accompanying her master home from a trip to Serndall to pick up some additional slaves their caravan was raided by the Crimson Legion. The master’s guard were routed and the slaves were released by the Legion with the promise of being taken to safety where they could start a new life. Rohese’ anger at the slavers and her desire to find her sister led her to beg to join the Legion, and she became a spy and scout for them.

It took her three years but she found what had happened to her sister. The half-ork who bought her essentially worked her to death in his coal mine. Rohese made a promise to her sister’s memory that she would devote her life to overturning slavery’s hold on the economy. This means that she cannot allow anything to interfere with that goal…no matter how pleasurable it might be.

She correctly sensed that I had become enamored of her during the Sikerson trip, and she apologized for leading me on. While she liked me and found me attractive, her life was dedicated to the work of the Legion and the memory of her sister, and that always came first. She could not afford the distraction of a relationship.

I said I understood, and did the best I could to mask my disappointment. We talked for a bit after that, but it was awkward to say the least. I made some weak excuse and left to wander around the city for a bit as I collected my thoughts.

Marcus was right. I had been a fool to fall for Rohese. I understood why she felt as she did, but that did not dampen the pain at having it laid out before me so clearly. It was a bitter lesson, but I suppose part of growing up is handling such bitter lessons.

I just made it home. It is late, and I have had a bit much to drink. Hopefully the regret will subside and let me sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy day…and a lonely one.

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