hit counter code Bell 2

Bell 2



His wind blistered lips parted thinly when he spoke. "It seems the bitch went packin' sooner than ‘spected; Lifted up her white skirt and let us have an open trail." The smile and wink that followed the statement were meant to drive home the double meaning of his bawdy comment. It only reinforced the differences between the two men. Denton did not see the man as lesser than himself, just modeled to conform to his trade. A product of his environment. Denton gestured toward the door behind them and without a word the two men moved out to inspect the caravan.

Though Behr had made light of the difficulties in his arrival, the evidence of their labor was evident on man, beast, and equipment. Precautions had been taken to secure the load. The wagons were of the highest quality and well suited to the environment. The men were hardened and experienced. Even considering the weight of their preparedness, the scars of their adventure were unmistakable. Several of the wheels had been repaired en-route, fresh timber pale along side the seasoned wood. Broad stitch lines crisscrossed many of the canvasses covering the load. It gave the loads the look of a cowering hunchbacks laced with scars delivered by a cat-o-nine-tails.

Completing his survey of the wagons Denton congratulated the caravan master on his successful arrival and instructed him to move the wagon to the rear of his shop.

Returning to the front of the shop he took notice of a cloaked figure just ahead of him entering his store. He adjusted his pace to match the slower pace of the figure proceeding him inside. Placing his hand on the open door as a gesture of accommodation. He greeted the new client.

"Buon giorno." he began. Evincing a slight gasp as he recognized whom he was addressing. The woman before him bore back her hood revealing porcelain beauty. Her chestnut hair spilled out from the hood, framing her face. Her eyes, like deep cerulean pools, seemed awash in a pain uncharacteristic and chilling.


He had seen the warrior knight on many occasions. She had lead many formations to and from the worst battles this terrible mountain offered up. Never had he seen even the slightest trace of fear or doubt in her countenance.

The way she appeared now was heartbreaking. If not for bolstered morale resulting from the victorious fall campaign. Her fallen confidence would have threatened to rip away his hope for prevailing in this conflict. She was the former commander of the Viletta 3rd Pike. Stripped of title and authority after a much maligned tryst with a charismatic young sergeant. Celeste Rahmel of Viletta, defender of the Dead Mines and daughter to mining engineer. Knighted by the church of Viletta to lead her troops against the warring elements of the grimme. She was well know in these parts. Even more so now.

"Signora Rahmel." he said proffering respect and invitation. "May I take your cloak."
"Thank you." she said softly handing him the cloak. If she noticed the absent formal title that once accompanied her station, there was no evidence of in her expression.

Though men from her former command had been in here on her behalf, this was her first visit to Gallo's. He had never seen her up close until now and he wondered at her doll-like visage. She had a vapid look to her, like her host retained only a portion of it's spirit. Had she always been this way? He thought not. This must be the damage wrought by her dealings with the inquisition. An image of the Monsignor and his men flashed into his head. He concluded it was better to go unnoticed by men like that, if this was the result of proximity.

Beneath her cloak she wore traveling gear. It appeared to not have seen much use. The quality leather and worsted wool bore markings of her recent heraldry. Denton was not one given to following the fashion of who was or was not in favor. He resolved to treat his guest with all the dignity her former position commanded.