The Curtain Drops

The Black Pistol Inn, Maestro’s Quarters, Midnight.

Maestro Bastione sits at an elaborately carved roll top desk. He drops his quill into the near empty ink well and peers over the gold and black ink of the handwritten song before him.

With tired arms he reaches for his best guitar and sets it gingerly in his lap. He tunes the instrument to perfection and strums a chord that rings throughout the room, beautiful and clear. He repeats it again, sips a dark drink and ponders his creation.

His thoughts are interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Comme dans.”

A shabbily dressed Capacionne man enters the room holding a book and quill.

“Are you ready to make your decision, Maestro?”

“I am, Theodore. My thanks for making the trip so late.”

“It’s unusual, but your affairs sounded important.”

“They are indeed. Are you ready to begin?”

“At your word, Monsieur.”

“I would like you to write up the papers for my new Taverness, Daciana. I have discussed a hiring bonus for her which will be included with your fees. She is to be given full control of the day to day of the Black Pistol Inn. I shall remain it’s owner, but in all other ways I want her wishes made writ.”

“Very good, monsieur.”

“I want you to arrange travel for me for the dates in this letter.”

Bastione hands the man an itinerary.

“I will go by my own horse but will need lodging at those stops.”

Theodore looks over the dates and times. “Good, several months to sort your affairs in Stragosa. Will you be scheduling a return before leaving?”

“I will. My affairs have been in limbo long enough and I must set a few wrongs right. Then I can return, and things can return to normal.”

“My word it will be done as you say.”

“In case anything should happen to me on the road, I want you to arrange for my small fortunes to be paid upon my death, but I worry very little.”

“Better safe than sorry, I always say.”

“Truer words. I have written my will and testament here. I charge you to keep it in good safety.” Lastly, you must send word to my wife that she may not find me in Stragosa should she come. I will send word on my return that things are safe here.”

“Tis a personal concern but you two are separated. Why should she come?”

“Just take my orders, monsieur. I will attend the next forum unless something comes up but I ask you let my friends know I will return in a handful of forums.”

“Very good. And your apprentice?”

“Lev is to remain here and train, both he and Daciana are given free room and board. That completes my wishes as of now.”

Theodore makes a quick set of notes before collecting the various papers.

“I’ve a room setup ready for your, Theodore. No need to ride out tonight.”

“My thanks. The air as a shrill chill that cuts to my old bones.”

“The next forum shall be worse I have no doubt.”

“Likely. Good night, Maestro Bastione.”

“Good night.”

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