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Jewls snip

There had been a time when he thought his name would be... Jewls the Lucky of the House of Fire Master of the Violin Most Esteemed of the Gods. He'd been thirteen when he thought up that name. His fingers strained, reaching just a little farther, a little farther. "Lower," he hissed at Connor Greenfeather, his adopted brother, of sorts, as bards didn't actually have family and braiders didn't really adopt people either. "Almost there!" His hiss was as quiet as the wind around the stone walls of the tower they were trying to inflict a little justice on.

Jewls, with red hair and a stubborn grasp of his own version of fairness and justice, didn't get along so very well with most of the worlds nobility, bardic cliques, or pretty much anyone else that saw the demon blood in his red hair before they saw his bard mark.

Connor was a good man, powerfully built with dark hair and a steady willingness to follow his unofficially adopted brother into pretty much any situation. Kyle, his twin, was more than happy to profit from pretty much any situation that Connor and Jewls got themselves successfully out of.

That situation in the present had Jewls lowered into a dusty library of books that didn't matter to anyone other than the bardic souls they represented and the nobel who took pleasure in owning them, occasionally burning one up as a sacrifice. Some of the darker gods might be pleased, but Jewls wasn't. "Just one more!"

So .... every year for the last handful, he'd been re-liberating as many books as he could carry.

Bard books were the breath of a bard, written every day of their lives, their journeys recorded onto crystal embedded paper, when all the journals were assembled in the Guild Palace, a bard could join the long house of the Bards... ever living, always giving wisdom to those that consulted them.

"There are torches," Connor snarled. "Leave it!"

But the name, embossed in gold, begged not to be left. The Cat. Jewls had never known a the Cat, but he recognized that he'd left the book on the top of the stack and well, it would be at risk if those coming wanted something to burn. "Just a little lower!"

The strong hands holding his ankle tightend on his bare skin, but he was suddenly down low enough to get the book. He grabbed it by the corner of ancient leather. "Up!"

Connor jerked him up, almost tossing him. He and the book flashed up into the night, catching the echoes of nearer firelight. Almost immediately an arrow arched by them, digging deep and angry into the roof. The book tumbled up out of his grasp and Jewls chased it with both hands. Connor was already over the edge, down the rope they'd climbed up.

Book just barely in hand, he shoved it into his bag with the five other books he'd liberated. Another arrow hit the roof and he hurried, back to the people he couldn't technically be robbing as only bards could own bard books so they couldn't own them. He didn't see the arrow that sliced through his grey sweater, but he felt the flaring pain of it. His hand lost his grip on the rope, letting him pitch forward. It was ten stories down. Kyle was going to be pissed over the loss of the rope.

He chanted as he fell. His braid jerked free trailing him like a kite string. He was truth, would always be truth, all truth, through and through, ever clarifying, ever clearer and broader. He held his arms out, fearless, accepting.

Smoke hit him, sucked deep into his lungs. He banged on his chest, found solid ground under his thin soled leather boots as he staggered forward.



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