PSMG: Last Words

Dead Gods: Epilogue

Bleeding Setch was a careful cambion. So when he hid the tiefling bubber's corpse in a barrel, he hid the barrel as well. Then he hid the barrel he hid the barrel in. The middle step was probably unnecessary, but Setch was in a silly mood.

He stepped out of the alleyway back into the Clerk's Ward and rubbed his hands together, contemplating his next move.

He had no allies left. Orcus was dead - Setch had peeked into the Astral and seen his newly-arrived corpse floating in the silver void for himself. The tanar'ri had always hated him, even before he abused his status as an untouchable proxy all those centuries ago. His tomfoolery had earned bounties on his head all across the Whistles, from berks he'd never even met. Who the hell was Xideous, and what did he do on Gehenna to vex the shator so? Setch didn't care, really. Before Tenebrous tracked him down he'd been unfindable in his little kip on Mechanus - but he couldn't go back. The visages - tanar'ri half-resurrected by Tenebrous' might - had stated, in no uncertain terms, that if they had the chance they would spend centuries tracking down a portal to the Negative Energy Plane in somebody's bottom, just so they could insert him into it. Of course, they had joined him in the Astral, but Orcus had returned from the Astral once before. If the visages found a way…

Well, sod that. Bleeding Setch had been through Sigil a few times, and he was sure he could make a new life for himself here.

And it had been even easier than he thought. Stepping through a portal to the Lower Ward just this morning, Setch wasted no time in picking up the latest chant, and learned quite a few helpful things - including the nature of The Friendly Fiend, run by a strange arcanoloth who was said to be friendly to all, from the lowliest fiend to the highest archon. Curious, and in need of a few protective magical items, Setch had gone to see him, introducing himself as a bright-eyed cambion from Curst who had finally escaped.

A'kin was an even friendlier fiend than Setch thought. In fact, the arcanoloth talked happily for fifteen minutes about some dabus construction work going on down the street, and the odd way they went about it - they had re-paved the entire street twice in one week, though Setch wasn't entirely sure why that was curious exactly. Eventually, Setch used the jink he'd found on the barrel-bound clerk to buy several protective devices at a discount rate - A'kin had even let Setch hire some addle-cove to put the gear on and let Setch try to thump him to test them out.

"So, Mister Setch," A'kin purred, "Have you seen many of Sigil's sights yet?"

"Nah," Setch said, having warmed up to the fiend. "Haven't been here a day, cutter. Been having a good time so far," he added, remembering the tiefling.

"Well, if you'll take some free advice, my friend," A'kin continued, "why don't you try the Great Gymnasium?"

"The what now?"

A'kin idly polished a few amulets to replace the missing protective charms on the shelves.

"It's in the Market Ward," he explained. "The streets around have the finest eateries and bathhouses in Sigil, I hear, and the Gymnasium itself is an excellent place to relax. I believe they have a special steam bath the tanar'ri love."

Setch perked up. "Really now. They open to the public?"

"At certain times," A'kin said. "They change often. I'm sure if you presented yourself to the staff you could make a swift appointment."

Setch smiled. "I'll take a look."

"You do that." A'kin smiled. "It's an interesting ward," he rambled, "I hear a new coffee shop has opened there which… oh, but is that a new customer? A fiend, I see."

Setch turned. A hooded, chain-wrapped figure brazenly displaying the symbol of Carceri on its robes was visible through the shop window and heading for the door.

"Ah… I should go," Setch said.

"Someone from Curst after you, Mister Setch?" A'kin said with a smile. "There's a back door, if you'd come this way…"

Setch thanked A'kin and ducked out. He weaved through a few alleyways just in case, and quickly made his way to the Market Ward. He was sure nobody was after him just yet, but better safe than sorry. Anyway, it was best to maintain the false identity he'd given the arcanaloth, just in case.

He should hide now, really. Go to the Hive, find some kip, kill the basher inside and take it for himself. And from there, he could plot his revenge.

Who first? Probably that defender of Sigil who had it in for him. From… the something Order. Fraternity of Order, probably. Yes, he was sure of it. He would make her scream and beg first, and she would die last.

Well, he could spare a few minutes to see this Great Gymnasium and its steam baths. He always thought better when he was relaxed, and who could possibly trouble him in the Market Ward?

And so, whistling a happy tune, Bleeding Setch strolled to his appointment in the Great Gymnasium.

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