Calculations of an Apothecary

“I was told you were the man to see.” A burly njord squeezes himself sideways through Helgi’s small door. Helgi scowls for only a moment before adopting his pleasant smile reserved for dealing with brutes. This man was trouble, but also in need. Trouble and opportunity so often come hand in hand, he mused.

“And who told you such things?” Helgi prepared some tea and gestured to his sturdiest bench as a seat.

“That doesn’t matter, can I trust your discretion?”

“Of course, if you trust your friend’s referral then you can trust me as well. If you don’t, then feel free to leave before wasting my tea.” A light jab, test the ice, how desperate is the brute.

The brute scowls but shrugs and takes the tea. Good, he’s committed. Such a small step, but it’s a step over the line. “I need to kill a man.” He reveals, looking at the floor. Yes there it is. But he feels guilty. No, ashamed.

“And you cannot challenge him directly. So you come to me. You need something slow, so that you will not be there when he dies?” The man nods at the floor. “Tell, me why do you want him dead?”

“What does it matter?”

“I have my rules.”

The man pulls at his face. Tired eyes finally meet Helgi’s piercing gaze. “He killed my father. Then when my brother challenged him he killed my brother as well. I cannot face him in the challenge, but I must avenge them.”

Helgi nods, “And why did he kill your father?”

Eyes to the floor again. His tea grows cold, still untouched. “In battle. my father was raiding his homestead.”

Helgi’s scowl returned to stay. “And does he have children?”

“… No.” The pause was too long.

“How many children does he have?”

The man eyes burn a hole in the floor. “Two.”

“And a wife?”


“Twenty silver.”

The man looked up in surprise. “Why…?” He falters.

“You need four doses.”

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