Following Trejack’s trial he was unceremoniously hoisted up into a crow’s cage, as they called them in Kratas, in the Grand Bazaar of Throal. I was not there to see it, but Dagmar told me about it the following day. The anger in Dagmar’s voice was evident as he, as well as pretty much everyone else in Throal, was unhappy that Trejack received such a light sentence after so obviously committing such horrible crimes. Trejack only received one month in a crow’s cage, actually a pretty stiff punishment by itself, and two months hard labor. However, he deserved nothing more than an ignoble death and the fact that he was able to snake his way out of it, was a testament to the weakness of the Throalic justice system. Had I been King Neden, I would have intervened and ordered his execution outright, laws of the land be damned.
The weasel-like law experts that were shipped in from Kratas had been well studied on Throalic law and utilized several loopholes in those laws to get Trejack a lighter sentence. They had also picked on the fact that I was a questor of Rashomon, claiming that if I were a member of the Unchained, that all of our testimony was moot. They waited until I was out of the room to begin that line of attack, and it is a good thing because when I find them, I will challenge them to a fight in the hazel rods. In Konigsberg, to challenge a man’s word is to challenge his honor, and that is not something taken lightly. The two slick bastards skipped town as soon as Trejack’s precedings ended.
I still did not see how our testimony was even necessary. We had Trejack’s log books. He was a known criminal. We had fifty slaves and another fifty oarsmen who were witnesses. Bold Arrick, Jeoffery and two of Trejack’s men. All of whom would testify that he was the man in charge. Yet it mattered not, somehow he escaped the justice of an ignoble death. We were not allowed to do anything to him prior to his sentence ending, so he would live for at least another three months until he could be killed. I thought that, just because we couldn’t kill him, doesn’t mean we couldn’t make his stay in the crow’s cage a lot more uncomfortable.
Suulin and Dagmar had gone out of their way to visit and/or taunt him in the days after his internment in the crow’s cage. I had not done so, but instead I got permission from Suulin to send her apprentice, Taran, on a little errand. I gave the boy some coin and sent him to Bartertown to buy something specific. Hours later he returned, carrying four small bags made of thick leather that closed tightly at the top.
The next morning after morning drills with the crew, I sought our Taran and together, we made our way down to the Grand Bazzar trailed by my entourage of Throalic bodyguards. Taran had the four leather sacks with him.
The Grand Bazaar was an impressive place. Full of shops and merchant huts selling everything under the sun. It was early in the morning, and only a few places were open. As we got to the main street into town, I looked down the street toward the square and I saw three crow’s cages hanging, the one nearest us had Trejack in it, hunched over and looking miserable. He must have been asleep when I arrived because he did not stir and I’m quite certain he would have been interested in my presence.
Taran then nudged me with an elbow and pointed before running ahead over to a cluster of four kids in dirty street clothes standing at the corner. I motioned to the guards to hang back, as they clearly made the kids nervous. They did so, wondering what it is we were up to. Taran then handed a sack to each kid along with a handful of coins, 10 silver each. Each kid was grinning from ear to ear as they smashed the contents of the sacks, still tightly shut, with their feet. As they finished, each looked inside his sack, and with a satisfied look, pulled their faces back in disgust, presumably at the smell. Then they scampered off down the street toward the cages. I followed at a slow walk, happy at the thought of what was about to happen.
I approached the cages trailed by the platoon of the Throalic bodyguards. A pair of guards stood near the cages, making sure the prisoners were unmolested. I greeted them with a hearty hello and as I approached, they turned to greet us. Behind them, I saw the kids reach into their pouches and ready themselves, making sure to keep their noses as far away from the sack openings as possible.
I begin to talk to the guards, keeping their attention on me. At this point, a haggard looking Trejack woke up and stared at me, his eyes turning into hateful slits before the first throw of gunk, properly smashed up into a sticky pulp, hit him. He was slow to realize the danger, and made no reaction until he was pelted by the third and fourth throws of the gooey mess. At that point, the kids had his cage dialed in nicely and were on a roll, hitting him repeatedly with throw after throw. He shouted first and them, and then at the guards, who took their sweet, sweet time to react. By the time they did, Trejack was thoroughly coated with a sticky mass of crushed Carrion Berries. A wild berry that leaves an odor that strongly resembles that of dead, rotting flesh and is irresistible to insects, particularly to the biting kind. So much so that a single smashed berry will attract flies from hundreds of yards away.
The guards finally chased off the boys, who first ran to a fountain to wash off their hands. Then Trejack turned toward me, swearing, his eyes wild in rage. Already the first of the flies, the first of thousands from miles around, were already buzzing at the irresistible smell of the carrion berry juice. I turned, and began to walk away with Taran at my side and a satisfied smile on my face, followed by the entourage of bodyguards, who to a man, were also grinning. The last thing I heard as I rounded the corner to head to the compound of The Hand to continue my training was Trejack pleading with the guards to wash him off.
Dremnin later told me that did not wash Trejack but stayed at their posts, only a little further away from Trejack’s cage than before.