Who pays them?
Who pays them?
In his mind you see a man, in a dark cloak. He is young, and has a black beard. His cloak is held with a pin that looks a little like a red knife.
You feel the guard's mind disolving - being broken apart by an angry force that feels like insects scarmbling over a nut.
The guard convulses, and his face turns to white ash. It sifts slowly through his empty eye sockets, into the hollow space inside his skull.
Startled by the guard'd defacement (snicker), but recognizing a riddle when he sees one, Pandolfo carefully collects the dust from the dead man's skull, placing it into a ouch, before slipping out from the tavern and continuing on his way. He takes care not to be seen, though he doesn't make a production of it. While these tollkeepers have left him with a puzzle to solve, he has also left the dead man's friends with a puzzle of their own.
So, seven months later, you see the woman in the burgundy dress again. She is talking to a tiny girl who is gathering water at the village of her well. You don't think she's seem you.
Pandolfo stares quizzicaly at the woman in red for a moment, unsure if he should approach, then, shrugging, draws closer.
As he nears, he tries to hear what the woman is saying to the girl.
She is saying to the little girl "I know it seems bad now, and you aren't very happy, but one day, you'll be the lady of the manor here. Then, then you'll murder that girl who is teasing you, and no-one, no-one will ever take you alive. Isn't that good news?"
The little girl smiles.
Somewhat appalled at the woman's statement, though not particularly shocked, Pandolfo clears his throat loudly.
"It is a puzzle" he says, "why one would seek to ensnare the innocent in sin."
Turning to the girl, he continues "Lady you may well be, but as a Lady, your authority will come from God, and must be bound by God's laws. 'Though shalt not kill;, He said. As Lady, you will have the power to fulfil His will and yours without killing."
The little girl looks at you with enormous eyes and runs away.
"I am not not seeking to ensnare her in sin. She'll choose to do it on her own. I was just providing her a little comfort in the interim. You too, if you like. Great evil and great good are to come of your life."