Judas’ Jobs and Joys

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Judas opened his eyes, having revelled in the chill the dawn brought. With a hefty exhale, leaving a brief cloud of vapours to blow away in the gentle breeze, he hefted his glaive and began to stroll about the Lux. Everyone seemed to be putting on various layers, or spending more time in their cloaks than before... it was a foreign notion to him. That being said, he was beginning to learn of many things that were foreign notions to him here in this strange new land that he called home.

Life was still a touch new to him. There was so much that had changed since the great sleep. So few Children of Autumn he recognized, and yet there were so many others that now held the lands. And, by some miracle, they were mostly pleasant enough to be around, if a touch on the curious side. Still, the baseline of trusting someone as far as he could throw them was definitely still holding true, and had saved him a couple times so far. Always a sliding bar, never set in stone. Stigg had stepped up and offered much mentor ship, only to then proceed with an atrocity. Barra had been kind enough to lead him here, no matter how long and improvised that game of hide and seek had been, and had his back many a time. Adraxis, Myrrdin, Eleanor, and Genevra had stumbled up him in the woods and welcomed a travel companion without a second thought, always inquiring about his well being and bringing him along on their adventures. Solveig had been warm enough, only to later turn on him and nearly strike him down. Everyone a curious case.

Though, certainly by irony, that last thought passed through his head as he reached the lodging offered to him, by Solveig and Sarryn. The matter or trust has been a dicey topic in that house for quite some time. Had Judas known who it had been owned by when he accepted the lodging, he likely wouldn’t have accepted. Sarryn had an odd way of making Judas’ skin crawl, sometimes by action, sometime through conversation, and other times through sheer proximity. Baibh had mentioned necromancy early on, and it would be understandable all things considered. Then one day, it was gone. No irritation. Judas had even been surprised by Sarryn walking up to him sometimes, completely devoid of any skin crawling. Had it not been for the interactions with some of the wedding guests, Judas may have been in a place to start that trust back up to his throwing baseline. But then... the duke.

Judas’s mind replayed over and over again all of the events from the past month as he spat on the ground before entering the house. The invitation of a necromantic fae lord to a wedding. And the forced complacency that was imposed on the guests to allow it. And topped off with an accepted knighthood in to his undead court. It was horrific. No doubt it was taxing on everyone involved. Solveig was no longer cheerful, Barra was constantly tense, and every whisper on the wind speaking treason one way or another.

That, however, was yesterday. Today was a new day. Sarryn, shattered and broken, had renounced the Duke, Solveig took a stand and sought unity, not separation, and for once, Judas felt as though he had been at a place he should be. His hand wandered up, absentmindedly rubbing the badge he had donned the other day. It was a gift when he entered the lodging, one that unified him as a lower member of House Therion. One he had been near ready to set ablaze. And now one he wore with pride. One he wore against the Duke. One that signalled a new start. That signalled Sarryn and Solveig’s trip back on the sliding bar of being thrown.

Stopping briefly by his own room, and placing his glaive gingerly on his weapon rack, Judas continued through the halls of the house until he came to the room the lord and lady resides in. By the Life, that thought was painful, and he secretly hoped they wouldn’t enforce appropriate titles too harshly. He may be extricated from this house yet.

He freed himself from this thought however with 5 brisk knocks. “Haloo? Sally? Karen? It’s time to rise for breakfast.” His voice maintained a gentle air to it, as it was still rather early in the morning, and it was unpleasant to wake to harshness.


Solveig groaned as she was ripped from her dreams by the voice of Judas. She rolled over to see if it had woken Sarryn. He still snored lightly beside her.
“of course.” She thought grumpily to herself as she slowly rose from the bed, being sure to pull all of the furs off of her husband as she went.
She opened the door to find the strange dryad standing outside. A strange fellow indeed, but her irritation softened as she spotted the house crest she had given him.
“Good morning Judas, Sarryn is still sleeping but I will be out shortly.” She shrugged on her nightgown and made sure to leave the furs far from Sarryn’s reach. She opened the door and smiled at the dryad.
“Come let’s go to the kitchen for some coffee before his lordship realizes how cold the bed is.” She overemphasizes the word lord as she grins at her new friend.


Judas rolled his eyes at the mention of Lordship, turning to fall in behind Solveig. The windows were beginning to show the gentle rays of dawn's first light, and the house was starting to light up warmly. It was difficult to be truly angry at this point in the morning, though part of that was indeed the need for most people to come back from dreamland and return to their body. Though there were many things he was still learning about the lands and cultures since he woke, he had learned that the aforementioned coffee was indeed a lovely substance that had been implemented to aid in the waking from slumber.

His head twitched, attempting to shake some hair from his face. He did miss the vines, though they must fall off every time this year. They had done a remarkable job of keeping most of his shorter hair from invading his face, but he would inevitably grow them back come the spring and summer months. But after clearing his face, he trudged after Solveig towards the kitchen.

"I trust your sleep was a good one Sally? It seems as though it would, what with the large amount of cloth I see go in that room." He grabbed another drinking horn for the steaming substance, of course waiting on ceremony of the nobility, no matter how fresh, first. "I do find it difficult to get comfy myself sometimes, though that is absolutely not a knock on the lodging, simply that I'm rather accustomed to sleeping within the Earth, fully enclosed in the warmth of its touch, not just above it on something where you experience inconsistent embraces of cloth and skin."

Taking a sip of his coffee, Judas lets out a chuckle. "Of course, in the Earth, Bait and Bra also weren't shaking the foundations of my sleeping quarters."
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Solveig chuckles as she thinks of how loudly Baibh and Barra snore.
“They do make it hard to sleep sometimes don’t they? My sleep was adequate, although I am troubled. So much has happened and there is much I need to do.”
She sips her coffee and levels her gaze on the strange dryad.
“I will be direct Judas, I have no time or care to mince words. Where do you stand? We have offered you our hospitality, fed you and kept you safe in battle whenever possible. Yet, more than once you have spoken against Lord Sarryn. To me directly even. I know that you are a good man, I can see it in the way you conduct yourself, and I know our customs are strange to you. Regardless, I need to know where you stand. We want you here, but we cannot have someone who would stand against us in our home. I want you to be honest and direct as I have been with you.”
She sits back in her chair, sipping her coffee as she awaits an answer.


Solveig’s apparent awakening from her sleepy self to serious self had Judas somewhat taken aback. Figures, as Solveig had always been quick as a whip, shifting from pleasantries to business as the wind changed direction.

Judas took a long sip of his coffee, considering the question. How did he feel about Sarryn? It certainly was a difficult question to answer. The man had made his skin crawl from the very first meeting, though others allege that was the work of a fae lord. Shortly after becoming involved with him, Solveig has drawn her blade on Judas, which there was no indication for beforehand. And then the willing association with a vampire, and squirehood no less, was definitely something of a shock, and worry.

However, as the seasons do, things had changed. No longer did Sarryn’s presence make Judas’ skin crawl. Potentially another fae lord deal, but not necessarily. And he had renounced his association with the Duke. Nobles do like to play games though.

Finishing his long sip, Judas sets down his cup. “Regrettably Sally, mincing words is about the only way to come to an answer here. I am not the only one in this house to have spoken out; my first meeting with you all Bait assured me that Karyn was a necromancer. I’d not had a pleasant experience, and like to think myself a decent judge of character, which is why I was worried when the literal sight of him made my skin crawl. No intent to be rude now, of course, however if we’re to speak plainly I’d be amiss to speak this with a honeyed tongue.”

“Having been welcomed to your home, out of what I can only assume was your kindness, crafted my opinion of you. Kind and gentle, and fiercely loyal. What then, would my opinion be of someone who comes to you with no honour and harms you to within an inch of your life, then attempts to pass it off as a proposal? Humans are curious; most I’ve seen would not consider attempted murder romantic, though I am willing to cede that as a cultural difference. This was then mere hours before you turned your blade on me. What then was I to think?”

Judas levels his gaze at Solveig, his eyes slightly teary. “I sport your crest out of thanks for a house that took me in and has now renounced association with the necromantic fae lord. Though surely, even someone as blissfully in love as you, must see there are reasons for my fear, discomfort, and anger from the last months.”


Solveig sighed deeply.
“Ok, so Baibh is an ***. He told you that Sarryn was a necromancer for a laugh. Sarryn is not a necromancer and has no intent to become one. We stand against necromancy in all of its forms.”
She sipped her coffee as she pondered how much to tell him. Remembering him running into battle against the golem to protect her settled it. This house doesn’t keep secrets.
“Years ago, we were not able to enter the realms without great sacrifice, we did not have Elspeth to help us and Sarryn willing took marks from the realms to be able to enter them. It cost him dearly, it meant that no fae or dryads would trust him and withered his body. Until a month ago, Sarryn’s body was so weak because of the marks that if you had struck him while he didn’t wear his armour, you would have felled him with a single strike. A month ago, the dragon cake and healed his marks. He did not wear them proudly Judas, he wept the night they were removed.”
She sighed as she remembered how much that night had meant to her husband.
“As for our engagement, that was once again the work of Baibh. I had started putting Sarryn and Baibh told him that fighting me was the next step. Hence why Sarryn put him down when we got back....”
She chuckled as she remembered that confusing day.
She sipped at her coffee again and settled her eyes on the dryad.
“I’ll make you a deal Judas. Let’s communicate more. Our house doesn’t like to keep secrets and I’ve decided that you’re a good man and I want you with us. If you are ever concerned about anything, ask me about it and I shall not lie to you. All I ask is that you support the members of this house as well as you can, and I will never lie to you.”
She smiles at him and she finishes her coffee.


Judas remained silent long after Solveig had finished her words. He held her gaze as well, face remaining stoic. There was merit to what she had said, there always had been. Of this there was no questioning. Baibh on the other hand, was to be trusted less... humans. Such a trial, sometimes. So many curiosities to uncover.

Judas became aware of his fingers, drumming on the table that was before him in a familiar pattern. Pinky, middle, ring, index, middle, pinky, index, ring, repeat. It continued for a brief moment, before the pattern was interrupted. It always was that way; subconsciously, no problems. As soon as the focus was there, the pattern found a way to twist on itself. It was obvious that Judas was thinking hard... He usually tried to keep his twitches like that in check.

"Sally, I wish the entirety of this house had your level of integrity. Myself included, quite frankly, if I may be so bold as to make that assumption of me." He spoke with a wistfulness. "I do agree that there has been secrets kept, and it is something that has caused worry. Communication may be the key to all of this. I suppose we shall see. I will support the efforts of the house. Should there be things that become evident that are directly conflicting with my virtues, I will be forced to speak to it. No secrets, and whatnot. I will not interfere, but I do ask forgiveness in advance if I do not aid in something I find repulsively unscrupulous. That is a deal I am willing to make."

Judas nods, his words encouraging him more. "Yourself, Bra, Mel, Sassya... and Bait and Karyn. You can call on me. And I will howl with the pack."


Solveig smiles widely at him.
“Then welcome to the pack, we are glad to have you. I am curious, what do you plan on doing over the winter, I figured I would ask now as Sarryn and I will be gone dealing with things on our lands.”


Judas gazes out the window as he considers Solveig's question. There was a long time to be had adventuring and refining himself. One thing, however, was very clear in his mind.

"I intend to follow through on the same thing that nearly drove us to bloodshed Sally. I intend to purge the world of necromancy. Any cairn that spawns filth, or soul that harvests death to enslavement is to be eradicated. I have spoken with Travis about this, and he has declared his support on the destruction of the undead. Our initial plan was to petition the wild hunters guild to create a branch, however they seem to be less interested in the bastardizations of the living than I would like."

Judas lets out a sigh, with a shallow grin. "Fortunately, Pingu has spoken with me about joining the ranks of the earth weavers. I know not much of magics, and I know not that I ever will. But their dedication to the maintenance of life, and the eradication of undeath is quite appealing to me. Perhaps there may be more who are interested in taking... a more active approach to this cause than there presently are."

Judas spits on the ground, the talk of undeath leaving a sour taste in his mouth. He briefly freezes in place, forgetting that he was indoors and that spitting on the ground may be a bad idea, though it was not something he could take back.

"I plan to travel to the capital, at least for some portion, and find all the lore I can find on undeath. I intend to look and see how I might best eradicate them. And I plan to look for those who would join my cause, and rid the world of this blasphemy, instead of sweeping it under the rug for a time before it emerges again."


Solveig laughs as she looks at the gob of spit on the floor. Dryads were such strange creatures sometimes. She looked at Judas intently as he finished speaking. Taking a sip of coffee and hoping that her husband would be awake soon she decided to make an offer.
“I’ll tell you what Judas, I think hunting down and obliterating necromancy is a noble pursuit. So much so that I can confidently say that the house Therion would like to be involved. If you go and find people of like mind, gather them together and form a unit, house Therion will back you financially.”
She leaned back and called out. “SARRYN!!! Get up!!!”
She then leaned forward again and looked Judas in the eyes. “What do you say? Fancy being a noble backed necromancer hunter?”


A blank stare is all that Judas’ face can muster. His pursuits thus far had always been his own. Others had come and assisted every now and then, but Judas had primarily been working for Judas’ best interests.

And Solveig was, as of late, one of the last people that he had expected to be willing to associate with something like this. It was an odd enough idea that Adraxis wished to take a look at pursuing something so aligned with him, let alone someone who had until recently associated with a remarkably powerful necromancer willingly. Though that had fizzled rather robustly in the late hours of the night not too long ago. Perhaps this was some form of apology?

Humans. What curious creatures.

“Sally, I don’t know what to think of this. Surely it is an offer than many would blindly jump at, for merely the opportunity to be affiliated with a noble house... or, more specifically a noble house’s coffers. That being said, there is a significantly higher chance of any sort of merit being accumulated with a backing like this.”

Judas shifted in his chair, still curious if there was trickery afoot. It was Solveig offering it though, and not Baibh or Sarryn. Perhaps a trial period was warranted. And, it brought him one step closer to wiping out blasphemy once and for all.

“I will accept. I am apprehensive, yes. I will accept though. I shall speak among the crowds, and see if I can find those who may be interested. I am used to running alone though, and will not be discouraged if I am to do this alone.”


Solveig leaned back and smiled. Things had been tough with the dryad, so much so that she had considered throwing him out of the house for the things he had said. She hoped that this chance would put him within the houses trust again.
“Well Judas, welcome necromancer hunter, feel free to ask Sarryn or I for anything within reason. We want what is best for the people of this realm, wiping out things like Dam is a good place to start.”
She raises her cup.
“I know we didn’t start on a good foot, but I hope this can ease both of our minds a bit. You know, better things have started from less. I was a thief and a murderer before I came here, but this place gave me purpose, and now I find myself in a position to do some real good.... now, where in the fey lords realms is Sarryn?”


“I’m up I’m up” Sarryn yelled from the other room, “I was taking my time getting out of bed, it was nice and warm but was starting to get a chill” nodding at Judas and kissing Solveig lightly on the top of the head Sarryn walks over and pours himself a cup of coffee. “So...” looking at Judas over his steaming cup of coffee “hunting necromancers?” Sarryn raises a eyebrow questioningly a grin spreading across his face as he does. It was hard to hide his emotions when it was a noble goal that Judas was to set upon. “As I am sure my wife has told you we will give you the full backing that you would need to hunt them down, I am curious to see where this will lead you as I know we haven’t had the best start with each other but this will be a good start to repairing things”


Judas finishes his coffee and sets his cup down. "Yes, indeed Karyn. Hunting necromancers, undead, and and lairs associated with them."

He stands up, and walks his way toward the sink, a gathering place for dishes that had been used, setting his cup inside of it. He briefly turns it on, wets his hands, and splashes his face with water. "I appreciate the funding and support. I do hope that this interferes with any plans you have to associate with necromancers and undead in the future, though I assure you that is for the better of everyone involved, either directly or not."

Judas wipes his face with his cloak, then as it falls to the ground lets out a sigh. "I'm sorry. While my statement holds true, the tone behind it should be less aggressive. This is, after all, a resurgence and rekindling of opinions. On both parts, to some extent. So while I do maintain what I said, please hear it in a way that is more socially pleasing, and less like a mother bear roaring at her young."

"It is now time though to reach out and search for those who may be interested in this venture with me. I shall do my best to write with updates as they become available. I shall now take my leave, assuming there are no further matters you wish to discuss with me?"


Judas walks out of the kitchen, leaving Sarryn and Solveig alone. This was just the beginning, and it was something that he would likely not live to see the end of. That was not a worry though. If he didn't begin now, it might never be complete.
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