[The story so far]
Gaming Year 1: Epilogue
What to say about those days after the defeat of the Vespertines and the flight of their masters? Strangely little happened, strangely little was said, strangely little was remembered, and even less was ever told outside Corcelle. Listen carefully and you will understand as far as I do, you may even remember some of it yourself. Then again, you might not...
As soon as Alaric, Berignon and the others had been released from their chains, the cleansing of the Temple and the wider city began. My new big folk friends and the Watchmen who had fought alongside them were ushered with great thanks and praise into the Temple infirmary where their wounds were healed - all save the magically caused cut on Montagne's face and a black, sooty mark the size and shape of a handprint seared into Dumnorix's chest - the residue of the evil cleric's power.
Others set to work cleansing and purifying the Temple itself, physically, spiritually, and magically. Elsewhere, Hugo Langfort had not been idle or abandoned my new friends. No, he had been ensuring that the other Watch captains had done the same as he had - securing their Gates, capturing any Vespertines who were in their Quarters of Corcelle, reopening any buildings guarded by them (the Constable's Keep, the Library of the Sages, etc.), and restoring calm to the streets. Du Frith wasn't found, however, not at any gate, nor at his fortified mansion. No sign either of the leading cleric of Aractheon who had stepped through the portal it had ripped open. The captured Vespertines ended up in chains under the Constable's Keep as far as I know.
All this under cover of darkness, but that is not, I think, why so little has since been said. That, I believe, is more to do with what came next. I saw Langfort, his crony Jacques from the Gryphon, and the trader Bertolac turn up on a cart, dragging a fourth man with them. Berignon met them on the plaza outside the temple. The fourth man was down on the ground between them, begging on his knees, pointing at the cart. Whatever he said must have worked, though, because Berignon nodded and went back to whatever was happening inside the Temple. Langfort dragged the poor fellow to his feet and back to the cart they went. I followed them, saw them throwing handfuls of dust from sacks on the cart into every lantern and fire they saw, starting small blazes at street corners and feeding this stuff into the flames. A heavy, greasy smoke curled up from the flames; no way was I sniffing that, bad enough that my hair was already falling out - no good, useless student wizards and their "healing" spells. Pah! Anyway, that smoke. Reckon it was pouch-smoke, or thief's-ease, or something like. You know, to set folks in a daze so you can take their pouches easily. Sitting like a fog over the whole city - must have been a five-year supply, spent in one night! Obviously I swiped a handful... Only reason I can think of why no-one in the city batted an eye the next day when Alaric told them that the Vespertines had "completed their task and left until they were needed again."
I say Alaric, but he was just repeating word-for-word what Berignon was whispering next to him. You could see by his eyes that his mind had been fried if you got close enough. Which I did. They shut him in a room of his own after that, with a sizeable novice on the door.
Berignon quietly took over the Temple. Smoothly and sharply for an old man. He also took time to speak to each of the big folk - Jacques, the watchmen, the student wizards - individually, sitting by the fountain in his lovely new garden behind his lovely new house. Alright for some! That fountain was a nice touch, meant I couldn't eavesdrop. Like I said, sharp.
Then it was the festival. Praising, drinking, singing, unattended pouches - paradise for a little fellow with a clear head and light fingers! All the folk of Corcelle seemed happy enough too. I guess we had saved the world after all, but no-one apart from us and Berignon knew, the rest were too full of pouchsmoke, so no fat reward. Hardly seems fair, does it?
What? What Berignon said to the others? No idea, mate, they haven't said. I'm meeting them later though, now that Montagne has sobered up. Gods above and below, but that man can drink!
So, that's it, a memory you'd forgotten and something almost nobody knows. Gotta be worth a bit, that, eh? Now are you sure this'll stop the rest of my hair falling out? Do I drink it or rub it on?