Sep 15, 2019 5:46 AM
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"Really."

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"At first? And then he was the - scary guy with the shadow things and I do not want to piss off a scary guy with shadow things."
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"You could have come to us."

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"And be arrested for smuggling?"

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"Do you know what woke shadows do?"

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"... Kill people? Probably?"

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"Sometimes. Not usually. More often they give people intolerable nightmares and whisper awful things into their ears while they're awake. Sometimes those are bad enough to kill outright, and we find people dead of fear in their sleep. Sometimes they drive people to suicide or violence. Sometimes they're just bad enough to torment the victim until they've placated whoever controls the shadow."

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"Oh," says Veron, in a small voice, appropriately cowed.
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"And now for every set of candles you brought him there are a few shadows, loose now, and after I've turned you in I'm going to have to track them all down and destroy them, because otherwise they will never stop."

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"Um. Sorry?" Pause. "... Do you want help?"

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"I would like you to tell me what you know about how many shadows he may have made and where they were sent, who they're hurting."

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"Sixty seven candles in all, not counting the ones I just smuggled. And he was desperate there, so he probably used all the ones I brought before. I - think I know some people they're after for sure, I can guess at some others, do you want names or places, ooor..."
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"Places is most important, names might be useful too. Why are you not counting the ones you just smuggled?"

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"Because they're not an issue, you took care of them? When I say just smuggled I mean just smuggled, I'm pretty sure I still have some of the wax on me, I don't hang around places after I smuggle things, that would be stupid. Places - the area around the docks? Ebonwood street, near where it crosses the river. There's a spot near the bar, the, the one whose name I can't remember, Silver Short, or something? About a five minute's walk south from an inn, the one with the white trim?"

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"I may ask to borrow you from the mayor so you can show me these places."

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"I did just offer to help," he points out dryly.

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"Yes, but you're under arrest and can't go around helping people on your own recognizance. You see, the last time you were allowed to help people on your own recognizance, you helped a shadow-waking mage. Hence, asking the mayor."

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"Right. Joy."

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"You understand, I'm sure."

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"Yes, perfectly, I will not see the light of day again, I'm excited. Do you think they'll feed me moldy bread or watery porridge? The question's just so pivotal to my daily life in the future, you see..."

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"I haven't inquired after the prison conditions. It's not really my end of the whole business."

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"Winter Light doesn't care about the end results of going and paladining at things?"

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"We can't be everywhere and do everything. We can stop dark things from being made and kill the ones that are around anyway, which is important, unambiguously good, and uniquely requires a paladin's skillset. We must trust those we work with to appropriately handle what we cannot personally take responsibility for."

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"Well, what happens if they screw it up?"

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"Then they will have screwed up. I'm needed elsewhere handling dark things. Mishandled prisons can be fixed by people other than paladins, and there are not so many paladins around as all that."

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