--donation bonus week (day 3/5, post 1/5)--
‘What was her name?’ said Garovel.
‘Stasya Orlov,’ said Voreese. ‘I doubt you’ve heard of her. She never became famous.’
‘Why not? If she was as strong as you say--’
‘Because people are bastards. We’re talking about the early days of the Mohssian Empire here. Not a great time period to have lady parts, you may recall.’
‘She was a genius, that woman. Built incredible things. And history gave her zero credit. Even this place. Officially, Warrenhold is said to have been built by some fucking douchebag.’
‘That’s depressing. And sadly, also a very common occurrence for historical women. But if what you’re saying is true, then the new Lord of Warrenhold would surely be in a position to give Stasya her due reverence.’
Voreese’s skeletal grin broadened, and she looked at Hector. ‘Oh yeah?’
Hector just kind of shrugged and nodded, deferring to Garovel.
‘We can build her a memorial, if you like,’ he told her. ‘Or just put her name up everywhere.’
‘Either of those would earn my eternal affection.’
A construction worker stepped up next to Hector and said, “Hey, wait. You never explained why the stone makes people freak out.”
Hector did a double-take. That wasn’t a construction worker. That was Roman dressed as one. “What the--?! When did you get here?!”
“A while ago. Told the other guys that I was a volunteer. They didn’t seem to mind the extra pair of hands.”
Hector had so many sudden questions that he wasn’t sure where to begin. “W-why are you dressed like that?”
Roman smiled. “A little anonymity among friends never hurts.”
That wasn’t much of an answer. Hector glared at Garovel. ‘Why didn’t you sense him?’
‘Oh, I did. I wanted to see how long it would take you to notice.’
‘Good to see you, Roman. Welcome to Warrenhold.’
“Thanks. I was curious. Voreese? You gonna explain?”
‘The stone doesn’t make people freak out,’ she said. ‘It just causes anxiety.’
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Why, though?”
‘It’s really just a side effect. Stasya wanted the castle to repel pests. She had a real thing about bugs.’
A beat passed.
“Are you kidding?” said Roman.