The Secrets In Truth, by Charles Matthias and Fox Cutter

Story name: The Secrets in Truth
Author: Charles Matthias
Publication date: February 16, 1998 (on TSA-List)

Date: Holy Tuesday, 706 CR1
Location: Metamor Keep (the Deaf Mule, the Keep Library)

Overview

Appalled by the rumors being spread about Fox, Matthias asks him for the truth about his past. Fox tells him, in exchange for the nature of Matthias's magic.

Summary

It is evening, the same day as Escaping. Matthias joins his friends at the Deaf Mule, who begin discussing rumors about Fox Cutter's mysterious past, particularly that he was once a hired killer. Chris suddenly comes up and orders them to stop, prompting Nahum and Tallis, the most gossipy of the group, to quickly take their leave.

Disgusted by these rumors, Matthias visits the library to put them to rest. Fox becomes somber when Matthias brings up the rumor, and offers to tell him the truth of his past in exchange for the truth of what happened in the cellar with Saulius. Matthias agrees.

Five years ago, Fox arrived in the Midlands as a total stranger, gradually learning the language and building his street skills as a bodyguard, then as an assassin. Matthias is shocked to hear Fox casually claim how easy it was to be evil. Two years ago, he received his last target, a well-admired knight who had gotten away with many injustices. After his kill, he made a month-long journey to Metamor Keep and stabbed himself five times so that he could never be found and taken back. He promises that he is a changed man, who would never kill for money again.

Fox then asks Matthias for his story. Matthias admits that, where he comes from, even further south than the Midlands, there are different kinds of magic. The magic he possesses can produce more physical force than by his muscles alone. He fears all forms of combat now, as he knows his power could easily kill someone, and that is what he almost did to Saulius. Fox asks for the reason of his coming to Metamor, and Matthias refuses to give it.

Fox and Matthias part, and Matthias hopes for another summer with no killing.

Characters

Main Characters:

  • Matthias: A headmaster of the Writer's Guild, and secretly a former Sondecki.
  • Fox: The Keep librarian, also known as Foxeris. He reveals his story to Matthias, mostly so that it doesn't burden him forever.

Supporting:

  • Zhypar: A kangaroo morph and Writer's guild member. Although he thinks Fox to be odd, he does not believe the rumors that Fox is a killer. He does offer the rumor that he was exiled from the Midlands.
  • Nahum: A fox morph and Writer's Guild member who hangs out with Zhypar. He got into a fight sometime earlier, and is in a bad mood. He doesn't like Fox, and encourages the nasty rumors about him.
  • Tallis: A normally quiet rat morph who is part of Zhypar's group. He is the one who reveals the rumor he heard a few months ago about Fox being a hired killer.
  • Michael: A new arrival to the Keep. He hangs out with Zhypar's group.
  • Chris: A friend of Fox's, who gets angry at the rumors about Fox being a hired killer, and tells the group to stop.

Mentioned:

  • Wanderer: A friend of Matthias, whose showmanship is outmatched by few.
  • Saulius: A knight friend of Matthias, who was injured recently in the cellars.
  • Donnie: The bartender for the Deaf Mule.
  • Gregor: The Keep Baker. He was working for a minor Lord three years ago when the position came up; Gregor offered to take his place in return for a hefty sum.
  • Copernicus: A lizard morph who is unbeatable at pool.
  • Magus, Pascal: Two Keep mages, who know a different kind of magic than Matthias.
  • Phil: A friend of Matthias, who told Fox about the petrified wood that he had given to Matthias, who bit right through it.
  • Kimberly: Matthias's beloved, who Matthias would like to see invited to the dinner on Saturday.

Points of Interest

  • Michael's form continues to shift since Evening Stroll: his face has gotten a bit longer, his ears have gotten higher, and his fur is changing to a grayish white color. He is shifting in his seat; the reason why is explained in The Effects of Rising Too Early.
  • Nahum also arrived two years ago. Zhypar and Tallis and Matthias had already arrived then.
  • Fox rarely leaves the library, and sleeps under a table at night.
  • Habakkuk's research includes "cranial operations".
  • Fox mentions leaving his assassination money behind, and still knows where he left it.
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