Master Lowing broke a table when we told him what Res Novae had done.

“They will pay.” He growled, “Whether it takes days or years, they will pay.” Cristina placed a soothing hand on his arm as Maize came back from placating the inn keeper; everyone else had gone exploring.

“He won’t kick us out, however we have to pay for the table.” She sighed, “It’s okay boss, it was a relatively cheap table.” She rubbed her temples. “So, are we going through with Monty’s plan?”

“I see no reason why not to.” Master Lowing groaned, head in his hands. “Going home before the Games have barely begun, it would be the ultimate shame.”

“What could have been their motive for bringing us here?” Cristina asked, placing soothing hands on both her Master and her Hand.

“Perhaps they were tired of our hanging on.” Corin said, “We’ve been dangling by the skin of our teeth for years.”

“But why here?” Gwenn asked, “Why them?”

“Because we would believe them when they told us we had power.” Maize stated bitterly. “They probably thought that we would be disheartened from the betrayal that we would seek another guild to join.”

“Wouldn’t we just go home?” Wilma asked, “We don’t care about other guilds.”

“No,” Master Lowing sighed, “We would stay and we would fight. Despite the fact that trickery brought us here…”

“Honor would make us stay.” I said, “Honor and vengeance. One to get us there, the other to get us through.”

Master Lowing barked a laugh. “Only you would mix the common decency of honoring a promise with bloodlust.”

“What, you don’t want revenge?” Gwenn coughed, taking a large swig from her tankard—betrayal was going to make her an angry drunk tonight.

“Oh, child,” Master Lowing said taking Gwenn’s tankard from her and draining it. “I want to hunt them down and rip their throats out, for all they’ve done to us. I want to see them fall to their knees in despair and failure and I want to be the reason they do. There is nothing more in this world that I want; I want them to feel the pain of the children I did not sire, but raised as my own. My rage burns deep and unbidden and I wish for nothing more than the chance to run them all through.”

We sat in stunned silence at Master Lowing’s outburst; the normally stern and reserved man let his stern mask fall to reveal the troubled man underneath, then his mask returned, harder than ever.

“But I do not seek to fulfill these wants or these wishes.” He said, eyes darkening. “I let my revenge and hate rest because to put them before honor is of no use to any one; it only serves to hinder my job. I am a Master, not a soldier; I must abandon personal issues for those more important than my own.” He looked at me. “Yours.” And at Gwenn. “ Yours.” At Leech, “Even, yours, my silent friend.” He rose then, handing Gwenn her tankard. “I need rest.”

“What about tomorrow?” Corin asked, “Should we tell the others?”

“Yes, make sure you stress the importance of bringing any and all opponents to their knees, whatever she planned, I want destroyed.” With that Master Lowing stormed upstairs.

“What was the point of that rant?” Wilma asked, she and Gwenn sat side by side, two mirror images of harsh reality with red hair.

“Revenge is not for old men.” Wheezed Leech.

“It is for the young.” I said. “He wants us to get revenge, but not for ourselves alone, for others. If we are to try and win this it should not simply be so we can gain our old level of prestige, but rather for the things our members have suffered through for years.”

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