Madness Reach (D&D Next)
“Your room key, Lord Fauntleroy.” The concierge is servile to the point of obsequiousness, his obvious desire to impress seeping through every pore. Cecil St John Fauntleroy, for his part, accepts the simpering with smiling, open-faced acceptance; pomaded peacock and child of privilege, Cecil Fauntleroy expects this treatment as a simple fact of birthright.
Deigning to nod his head to the concierge as he takes the key, Fauntleroy allows the lad to take his sturdy leather valise to his room, high on the third floor. As the concierge babbles – “It is an honour to receive a guest as illustrious as yourself, Lord Fauntleroy” – Fauntleroy takes note of the rich finishes on the wall sconces and the cloth-of-gold weave along the edge of the hallway carpet and, forgetting himself, grins just a little.
“Does something displease you, sir?” the poor man asks, notice the momentary flash across his face.
“Oh, no no, everything’s completely copacetic, my good lad.” He smiles a vapid, slightly gormless smile, and the concierge relaxes visibly.
“Wonderful, sir, wonderful. In any case, this is your room. Do you require help getting unpacked?”
Fauntleroy laughs – a neighing, abrasive sound that could curdle milk. “Quite all right, my good man! We Fauntleroys can unpack our own valises, I assure you!” He laughs again. “Here, have a silver for your troubles.” Stuttering, too grateful to speak, the concierge takes the silver and backs away mutely.
The room is even more richly appointed than the public areas. In addition to the large canopied bed, there is a large mahogany desk and vanity in the corner, as well as an internal latrine and a claw-footed bathtub in the adjoining ensuite.
Taking his valise to the vanity, he neatly unclasps the buckles and begins methodically removing items. Several sets of clothes, two daggers, a small case full of wigs and makeup, several yards of parchment, goose quills and bottles of ink. Opening the smaller case, Fauntleroy dips cotton balls in a small jar of alcohol and begins daubing at his face, removing layers and layers of foundation, rouge and kohl. He then dabs at his hairline, and the gum sealing the wig to his head begins to peel free, and he carefully removes the outrageous mop.
His ablutions complete, he looks at himself in the mirror. Short, cropped brown hair, brown eyes, regular – even unremarkable – features. He grins, producing a set of wide, well-kept teeth. “All right,” says John Sutton to himself in the mirror. “We’ve got some work to do.”
- Wooing the extremely young and extremely beautiful wife of the extremely old and extremely vengeful General Sherman Sterne.
- Though an elaborate scheme replete with all manner of creative chicanery, managed to steal the world’s largest diamond, only to lose it in a card game to a mean-spirited transsexual by the name of Astrid Pike.
- Fathered a little girl named Penny. She is as cute as a button.