The Gondola Games were drawing to a close so Kolivan, Hiscubo and their companions made the way through the Entertainer's Quarter to the West Side Quarter to continue the festivities closer to their homes. As their gondolas docked their was a commotion nearby. Kolivan and Hiscubo, being the first off the gondola, went to investigate. A large crowd had gathered and from them came raucous roars of laughter. The laughter seemed off somehow, as if it carried a tone of malice to it. A pitiful wailing could be heard inbetween the burst of laughter and it was clear that this tormented wail was the source of the amusement. Kolivan pushed through the throng of people with Hiscubo close behind. As Kolivan reached the edge of the crowd he could see a few youths pelting a filthy beggar with horse dung and rocks. The poor soul could only moan in anguish at his attackers, it was clear that he was without all of his faculties. Kolivan immediately stepped forward and interposed himself between the beggar and the youths.
"Cease this assault at once," declares Kolivan. "How dare you torment this man. Can you not see he is defenseless?"
"Oi!," replies the largest youth. "Git aaaht ov da way yew stuffed shirt. Tis 'avin' a bi' ov fun wiv da poor sod is all."
Hiscubo slids up behind the large youth and stands motionless with his quarterstaff at the ready.
"This is not fun," scolds Kolivan. "You are injuring this man for pleasure. Cease your cruelty and leave. I will not warn you again!"
"Who do yew fnk yew is me muvver?" replies the smallest youth.
"I fnk we 'ave a bleedin' 'eart what needs ter be taught a lesson," says the other youth.
The largest youth looks at his friends and then turns as if he is about to walk away. He then turns on his heels and whips the rock in his hand at Kolivan. Hiscubo gives his staff a quick motion that catchs the youth's arm mid throw sending the rock wide. The youth turns to Hiscubo ready to throw a punch... It never connects. Kolivan bursts into action, charging the youth and laying his elbow into the back of the youth's head. The youth proved the adage "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" by collapsing in a heap at Hiscubo's feet. Kolivan turned to his friends and all but growled his warning.
"Leave now or suffer the same fate," says Kolivan through clenched teeth.
The two other youths do not hesitate and flee away from Kolivan into the crowd. Kolivan then turns to the drunken crowd.
"You all as well," commands Kolivan. "You should be ashamed of yourselves for cheering on boys to torment a hapless beggar. Begone!"
The crowd mummurs their displeasure but none dare to defy Kolivan. In a few moments the crowd goes on about their business and Kolivan turns to the terrified beggar to help him. The beggar huddles in the corner of a building and it takes a few moments for Kolivan to coax him out. When the beggar finally turns to take the food Kolivan is offering it becomes obvious to all of the companions who the beggar is. It is no other than Runther, the wizard in service of Yriss Ghuth that had attempted to kill them all in Wizard Warrens. Kolivan turned to his companions with a look of confusion.
"How can this be?" asks Kolivan. "Wasn't he arrested for his part in Yriss' crimes?"
"Yes he was," replies Constantine. "As well as punished as per Mage Law; a Feeblemind spell to reduce him to this state."
"But he is here," says Kolivan. "How did he escape?"
"He didn't," replies Artair. "Isn't it obvious? They release him once they punish him. The crime has been punished so they no longer care what happens to him."
Kolivan turns to Runther and beckons him to come. Runther timidly comes foward and Kolivan places his hand on his shoulder and release the blessing of his Immortal to heal the former wizard's wounds. A visage of relief washes over Runther. Kolivan beckons for Runther to follow him and the former wizard complies.
"What are you doing?" asks Erhi.
"Taking him back to the Dragon Rampart for a warm meal and place to sleep," replies Kolivan.
"You know he tried to kill us right?" asks Erhi.
"Yes I do," replies Kolivan. "But this is justice without mercy or compassion, something we should have for our foes least we become like them."
Erhi shrugs her shoulders and starts heading off in the direction of the inn.
"If you get fleas, don't say I didn't warn you," says Erhi under her breath as she leaves.