Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: The Price

Dollano 34, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

The Price

It’s been two days now since Sheshoffiss’ healing; a successful healing, I would add.  Sheshoffiss is still tired, as would be expected, but we think he’ll be able to travel soon, so that we can at last leave Berimandry. Donnessling’s plan is to make our way to Partameer City where we can find a ship to get us back home.

I’d noticed that things were tense between Donnessling and Olladdowa ever since the healing ritual.  As a good reporter, I had to find out why, and earlier today I found my opportunity. I saw Olladdowa heading up to the top floor of the house, to his own private workplace. I followed a few minutes behind him (no one else was around) and hid in a large hall closet that was on the other side of the wall to his room.  I was hoping to listen in (as I had done several other times), but he’s a very quiet worker, so I had gotten basically nothing from these clandestine sessions. This time, though, I got lucky. Just a minute after I hid myself away I heard another set of footsteps approach Olladdowa’s room. I heard a knock and then Donnessling’s voice asking to come in. I heard something like papers moving and a desk drawer closing. A moment later Olladdowa called out his permission to enter.

The conversation started quietly, and politely. Donnessling expressed his thanks for the hospitality. He places great value in adherence to the courtesies.

Then he thanked Olladdowa for saving Sheshoffiss’ life.

“It is our mission, to help those whose bodies have been afflicted with the worst the world may offer,” was Olladdowa’s response. As best I could tell from the other side of a wall, he seemed pleased to be thanked, and even more pleased to be praised.

“It is now time to return the Stone of Dey to Sheshoffiss and complete the healing.” With this Donnessling’s tone changed subtly; more firm and direct.

“If only that were possible,” was Olladdowa’s response. “I am afraid, my dear friend, that the white stone is now beyond his reach. The ritual has changed Shesshoffiss’ Energetic composition. He can no longer channel this artifact.”

“Then you must redress this mistake.”

There was a delay in Olladdowa’s response as I assume he digested the insult.

“There was no mistake, my friend.” The response was cool and fixed.

Donnessling’s voice rose and he asked, “Then it was done deliberately … my friend?” 

Olladdowa’s response was now fiercely plaintive, “It was the only way to save him!”

“You lie!” retorted Donnessling with ferocity.  “I saw you plant the Kurn marker during the healing, after the danger had passed.”

Olladdowa was shocked that his treachery had been revealed. He was clearly rattled and his response lost its prior finesse, “There is no such thing! Kurn markers are a myth. Only old tales not worth telling tell of them. Those stories are fantasy, not sorcery!”

Regaining his composure at least slightly, he continued, “You must not believe these fables, my friend. They will lead you only to delusion, and potential harm.”

“Threats will not benefit you, Olladdowa! At least not with me. Here is the marker.” Donnessling must have shown something. “And, I saw you plant it in his chest.”

There was no longer any attempt by Olladdowa to control his voice. He shouted back, “We heal in whatever way is effective!”

“You severed his connection to the Stone of Dey!”

“We did what was necessary.”

“You did what you needed to make the white stone your own! And, now you will return it.”

“It cannot be done. It …”

“No! It can but you refuse. You will restore his connection or I will bring this to the Council.”

“Perhaps you will change your mind if …”

“Nothing, other than restoring the connection will change my mind.”

“Perhaps the life of your friend will!”

There was a profound silence. Then Olladdowa continued, but now his tone was more comfortable, as if he had control of the situation. “The kurn will remain, and, since you seem to know about them, you know that it cannot be removed without great care and by those that fixed it in place.”

Another pause. My guess is that Olladdowa was giving it time for his threat to sink in.

“The kurn will remain, but will do no harm to its vessel as long as the white stone remains here with us.”

Heavy footsteps crossed the room. Then I heard the door jerked open and quickly slammed shut. Negotiations seemed to be over — at least for now.

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