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- See also: The Burden of Guilt
They came to me fore help, these three maidens of the Blackmarsh. They were young, beautiful, vital, everything she desires. They gave me gold, jewels, and family heirlooms. I imagined their mothers and fathers, uncles and brothers pressing those treasures into their hands, enough to ransom a life promised to their baroness. I agreed to spirit them away from Blackmarsh.
She learned of it. She appeared the night before. Her eyes were like flat, dull stones; her hair was stringy and streaked with grey. And I saw why she needed the women.
I hid them in my wagon. The youngest embraced me before she crawled between the bales of hay. She said, "Maker bless and watch over you." I drove them to the crossroads where the baroness's man waited. He took the wagon. Their families never knew.
The witch, as good as her word, brought me a chest of gold. She twirled like a little girl, eyes now sparkling. "You've earned every bit, merchant."
The gold was no comfort. I saw their faces on each sovereign, heard their voices in the tinkling of the coins. I couldn't bear it. I buried it all in the deepest part of the marsh. Still, I found no peace. There will be no peace for me until I stand before the Maker.
(Attached is a map to the cache.)