One week ago, we debuted part 1. Today we conclude with part 2 of Forgery
Pomeroy walked his rounds, following the imaginary groove he cut into Stormwind’s cobble stone streets. His familiar pattern did not bring him an ounce of comfort. Thoughts–terrible thoughts–racedthrough his mind. Bricu was insufferable now. To have to…. Edgar shook his head, a vain attempt to banish the thought. Instead of repeating his rounds, Pomeroy veered from the Cathedral District, to the forge where Threnn Al’Cair–he refused to think of her as Bittertongue–worked on her blades.Threnn was working on a new design of some sort of claymore–she always did favor two handed swords–completely engrossed in her work. Her work ethic was impeccable, he thought. Again, Edgar shook his head. This time to keep his thoughts from drifting to regrets and actions he should have taken. His mindset on the task at hand, he scanned the rest of the crowd looking for her bastard of a husband.
Edgar Pomeroy struggled to look professional when he saw the red-headed Northman. Stay calm. Stay professional. Edgar repeated the words under his breath, a not so silent mantra. His disdain under-control, he noted what Bricu was doing. He was standing right next to Threnn as she worked, their darling daughter on his shoulders. Edgar did not see the hilt of a greatsword on Bricu’s back, which meant he probably had a rapier on his left. Naiara was clapping and giggling away. Surprisingly happy for a child with the surname of Bittertongue.
Edgar smiled briefly, then made his way through the crowd towards Threnn, Bricu and Naiara. Naiara was the first to notice him. She stopped her clapping and giggling. Instead, she pointed at Edgar and yelled, “BAWKS!” He was close enough to hear it over the din of the forge. Bricu obviously heard her as well. He looked up, grinning, straight at him. Edgar noted that Bricu wasn’t wearing the rapier on his left. In fact, he did not notice a single visible weapon. The bastard’s probably covered in knives. His lot always do…stay focused. Stay professional Edgar repeated his mantra, and walked towards the family.
“Oi.” Bricu said. His infuriating smile disappeared, only to be replaced by a puzzled look. “Who are yeh?”
“Excuse me?” Edgar said.
“I’m sorry squire, I’m not in the habit o’talkin’ ta folk I don’t know when me wee one is on me shoulders.”
The baby said a few nonsense syllables, but she appeared to agree with her father.
“Excuse me?” Edgar repeated
“Och, that’s not a name. That’s the same shit yeh just said. I asked yeh, Who the fu–” Bricu paused. He shifted Naiara before finishing the thought, “the earmuffs are yeh?”
“You know exactly who I am, Bittertongue. I’ve arrested you dozens of times.” Edgar said.
“Strewth, I make a point ta remember each an’ every tosser that put their hands on me.” Bricu made a point to size him up. He smiled before he finished the thought, “Yeh don’t have the stones.”
“You’ve got to be drunk. Threnn, would you…” Edgar started to say.
“Oi, the missus is workin’ an yeh were talkin’ ta me. So, who are yeh?”
“Uther’s beard, I’m Officer Edgar Pomeroy. I’ve arrested you dozens of times. You’ve blackened MY EYE.”
Bricu shrugged. “I’ve hit lots o’wankers in the face ‘fore. It’s how I get paid. I don’t normally hit the Watch…but there was an occasion a way back that led ta a decent muck-up. Still, havin’ the uniform doesn’t prove a bloody thing. Uniforms are easily faked. Let me see yer ID.”
“Badge o’office, Identification papers. Yeh know. Let me see ‘em.”
“Oh, to hell with this.” Edgar said, “I don’t know what your game is here, but by the Light, I will….”
“Look, I’ll just take this up with another officer or with Braxton. Yer the one that’ll hang fer impersonating’ an officer o’the Crown.”
Edgar’s hand brushed the pommel of his sword, reaching for his brass badge of office. Edgar saw Bricu take a step back, pulling his daughter off of his shoulders and spinning around to shield her from a sword thrust. Edgar barely had time reach the badge when Bricu–now that Naiara was safely off his shoulders–turned back to face him, his fists clenched and ready to strike.
“Badge. Not a fuckin’ sword.”
“Relax, Bricu.” Edgar managed to say. Bricu may have been lying about not recognizing him, but Edgar was far too familiar with Bricu’s currrent glare: It was the same wild eyed look he had in his eye just before he was thrown in the stocks the last time. The time where Bricu blackened his eye. Edgar pulled his badge of office out and handed it to Bricu. He turned to Threnn, still in the process of folding a two handed blade, but refrained from asking her anything. Bricu was still glaring at him.
“Missus.” Bricu said calmly. “Does this look like a real badge ta yeh?”
Edgar watched as Bricu tapped her on the shoulder with his badge . He was holding Naiara’s hand with the other hand. Having both hand occupied didn’t set Edgar at ease. During the last arrest, Bricu slammed his forehead into the bridge of his nose. Twice. Despite copious amonts of healing magic, he slept with a snore for nearly a month.
Threnn looked up from her work, smiling at her husband, then at Edgar.
“Officer Pomeroy.” She said. Her tone changed when she saw the badge. “Why does my husband have your badge?”
“Well…” Pomeroy said with a sigh. “Would you please tell Bricu that I am the same Pomeroy that has known you both all these years?”
“Love, why are you making Edgar’s life more difficult?” Threnn said sweetly.
“Missus, how many cultists, imposter’s an’ constructs have we had ta deal with recently?” Bricu said.
“More than our fair share.” Threnn said.
“You cannot believe that I’m a cultist, or a construct!” Edgar said.
“Yeh really don’t want know what I believe, ‘Pomeroy’” Bricu said with a sneer. “I’m just bein’ careful.”
“Love, I’m sure it’s really Pomeroy.” Threnn said.
Bricu handed her the badge, “No love. Give it a look. Feels like brass, somethin’ any two bit smelter could come up with. How long yeh been in the watch, Pomeroy?”
“Six years.” Six long years, he thought.
“There’s no patina on yer badge. Stormwind’s sea air would age the brass quick.” Bricu said skeptically.
“I polish it once a month.” Edgar said. If Bricu had held the badge, he would have snatched it back and cited him with one of the new revenue raising tickets the crown recently set forth. Given that Threnn was looking at it, all he would need to do is ask.
“Is it a clever forgery love?”
“No, I can see a bit of patina behind the badge. It’s legit.” Threnn said.
Bricu, with Naiara in tow, nudged Edgar aside, and stood next to Threnn. Naiara started to fuss while they walked the few steps. Without hesitating, Bricu used both hands to lift her back up to his shoulders. Edgar relaxed slightly, knowing that Bricu wouldn’t headbutt him with Naiara on his shoulders. Naiara stopped fussing as well.
“Here, here and here.” Threnn pointed. “Edgar, did you take the badge out of its holder?”
“Once every other month…” He said sheepishly. “Threnn, can I have my badge back now?”
“Hold on a second.” Bricu pointed somewhere on the back of the badge. “There. That’s a smith-mark. Hard ta duplicate, but not impossible.”
Edgar watched as Threnn shook her head. “No love,” she said. “Look at he patina in the numbers. It’s a real badge. Are you satisfied?”
“He could have stolen it. “
“Threnn.” Edgar said.
“It’s not magical though, I can tell that much.” Bricu said.
“Oh for the Light, Threnn, can I have the badge back?”
Threnn handed the badge of office back to Edgar. “Sorry. For both of us. One of us is being paranoid.”
“Keep that badge out, Pomeroy. I want ta see it when yer talkin’ ta me.”
“Fine.” Edgar held the badge of office up next to his face. “Now then, I have one question for you…”
“I already told Braxton, we’re not involved with Dannis’ disapperance.”
“That isn’t it.” Edgar said. His urge to cite him was growing.
“We paid our back taxes.”
“That isn’t it either.” Edgar said.
“Then why the hell are yeh botherin’ us?”
“Did you really buy a commission in the watch?” He said. Edgar held his breath, waiting for an answer.
His question hung in the air for a full second before Bricu responded with a great, belly shaking laugh.
“Yer tellin’ me a bloody joke, right? Me? In the watch?”
“I don’t know,” Threnn said, “Captain Bittertongue has a nice ring to it.” Edgar could see that she was beginning to laugh as well. The urge to fine him was waning. The urge to run away was growing.
“Captain? Bah, I’d go fer Commander. Knight-Commander, in fact.”
“Uther’s beard…” Edgar said. His shoulders sagged and the badge drooped an inch.
“I didn’t buy a bloody commission, Pomeroy. Why the hell would you ask me such a…earmuff….question?”
“There’s a rumor floating…”
“Bugger the rumors. Who’d yeh hear it from?”
“Thompson? Strewth, yeh believed it?” Bricu said.
“Edgar, really?” Threnn asked.
“She told me specifically this very morning.”
“Uther’s balls… Pomeroy. Kara gets nearly everythin’ wrong. She didn’t get the right folk when Threnn was havin’ Naiara.”
“She had Bricu’s name wrong for nearly two years.” Threnn said.
“I’ve given up on gettin’ a proper order back from the Rose. An here yer gonna believe her that I bought a commission in the watch?”
“I mean, we’ve talked ‘bout it.”
“Wait. You’ve talked about it?” Edgar asked. His voice ratcheted up an octave. The urge to run was nearly overpowering his sense of duty and decorum.
“For each of us, really. In case we decide to retire to Stormwind permanently.” Threnn said calmly.
“Oh…” Images of constant torment filled his mind. Bricu as his commander…
“It’s just talk right now. But with Arthas dead, what’s a Northman ta do?”
“That’s not a problem, is it Pomeroy?” Bricu asked.
“No… No. No.” He said. Edgar didn’t believe it either.
“I’ll..I’ll leave you be. Thank you for your time.” Edgar said. He put his badge back into his belt, and walked through the crowd at the forge. When he disappeared from view, Bricu, smiling all the while, turned back to Threnn.
With Edgar Pomeroy well out of earshot, Bricu turned to his wife. “That enough time, missus?”
She nodded as she answered, “Getting the heft was a nice touch. I’ll need the brass by tomorrow if you want me to finish this by next week.”
“Och, I’ve got some spare in the bank. I should be able ta get enough ta yeh in a few hours.” Naiara started to babble, then play Bricu’s head like a drum.
“I’m not sure Naiara approves o’this plan.”
“I think she’s just giddy at her first successful con.” Threnn reached out to take her off of Bricu’s shoulders.
“When did you need this by?”
“Me next meetin’ isn’t until next Friday. Braxton canceled on me again.”
“Should be enough time for both the badge and the rumor to spread.” Threnn said.
“That’s me thought exactly. Now then, let’s head off ta Noy’s. I heard he’s got a new reciepe fer bread pudding”
Threnn handed Naiara back to Bricu, so she could gather her tools. Naiara giggled as her parents passed her back and forth.
“Noy will let you in?” Threnn asked.
“Love, if Pomeroy’s heard it, so has Noy. He’ll let us in just ta ask us ‘bout it personally. Better still, he’ll bribe us with a taste or two
“Will he give us double the bread pudding if he hears that the rumor is about both of us?”
Bricu shifted the still giggling Naiara around his shoulders. “I’m positive he will. In fact, if we ask nicely, I’m sure he’ll put us right next ta Officer Jaxon. I heard he’s been flirtin’ up Noy’s new server.”
“We’d best hurry then. We don’t want to miss out on Officer Jaxon, do we?”
“O’course not love. Yeh sure this is ‘bout the rumor?” Bricu said.
Threnn shrugged her shoulders. “Jaxon, bread pudding… I’d say they’d about even.”
Threnn locked up the last of her tools. She held her arms out for Naiara, who continued to giggle. “Do you I really need to decide right now?”
“Not until yeh try his bread puddin’ love. It’s supposed ta be as brilliant as the plan.”
Threnn, Naiara and Bricu walked out of the Forge, towards Stormwind’s Canal district. The older Bittertongues smiled at their secret, while the youngest giggled all the way to Galahad’s.