Although proud of the chaos he has caused for his captors, there is little time for Meiservus to relish the mischief he has begun… he can already hear more guards approaching over the din in the cell, the door of which he is holding shut.
Sure enough, within moments, two guards are rapidly approaching. With barely a flicker, he assumes an air of flustered superiority, demanding that the pair retrieve the key and help to quell the riot he started. Visibly confused, they slow slightly, continuing their approach. One demands that he explain himself… challenge accepted, he thinks; and in the style of a truly lying bastard, he does:
'I am supposed to be inspecting this prison, sent by Noreak himself, and almost as soon as I arrive there is a riot! Now get in there and SORT IT OUT!' he blusters at them, his false indignity palpable. This stops them in their tracks, barely an arms length away. Uncertainly they look at each other, before one of the pair demands,
'Where did you say you were from again?'
False indignity gives way to false exasperation, fuelled by a very real anger towards the pair. If they would just get in the box and give him the key…
'I have come all the way from Norwood, at Noreak's request, to judge the efficacy of your institution. There is a riot occurring AS WE SPEAK. Look at what is happening! Help me lock this door!'
Even if the argumentative little jobsworth ends up back out here, being locked outside of a jail cell with guards who don't trust him is infinitely better to being locked in one with them, he reasons. The more argumentative guard pulls the other away, they back off slightly and have a whispered discussion. The awkward one, as Meiservus has already dubbed him, sends the other away and approaches. Seizing the opportunity, using the guards swagger against him, he bundles the guard into the cell and resumes his position of gatekeeper, again demanding the key to the cell from the bewildered, pissed off and increasingly disorientated public servant. Instead of doing as Meiservus hoped though, he joins one of the embattled prison warders in the cell in restraining a prisoner, and begins a conversation which our anti-hero frustratingly cannot hear over the brawl taking place in the far corner. Within moments, the other 'free' guard can be heard approaching with back up. Seizing the opportunity, he releases the door and charges, awkwardly barging past the pair, towards what he hopes is freedom. In a cursory afterthought he shouts 'You're all fucking fired!' as he pelts it up the stairs and out of the dungeon, barely hearing the plaintive 'But… but… prison inspectors can't fire us…' from one of the beleaguered wardens.
We'll see about that, you cheeky prick, he thinks. He arrives back in the holding area he was initially interrogated in; a corridor with two other cells. Acting quickly, he checks the first. As he hopes, it holds the disorientated and traumatised girl whose face he had earlier disfigured, and with seemingly uncharacteristic luck, it is unlocked. Opening the door, and assuming an air of desperately urgent concern he beckons her.
'Come, quickly…' the girl stares at him, dazed, 'follow me, and do as I say. There are very bad men, the same that hurt you, and they are on their way. Please, for your safety, do as I say… play along, and I will keep you safe.'
Due to his unearthly beauty, with adrenaline adding sincerity to the fire in his eyes, Florenzia follows, even holding out her hand to be lead. Meiservus internally rejoices at this… not only is she hot as the flame he burned her face with, but she seems malleable. This could be fun!
Checking the next cell, he discovers his impounded gear, but the cell is locked. Desperately wanting to distract the girl from what he is about to attempt, he bids her to test the door at the end of the corridor, while he tries to burn his way into the cell holding his weapons and pack. Hoping she is too confused to put two and two together, he uses his produce flame cantrip to weaken the lock and wooden slats that bar the way between him and his property. Within 20 seconds, the door is weak enough for him to barge it open, leap in and grab his weapons and pack, before running back to the door with Florenzia's panicked cries of 'It's open' ringing in his ears. More disturbingly as he exits the holding cell, he hears – then sees – one of the guards breaching the top of the cells in hot pursuit. Running to the other side of the far door, and forcing himself to feign compassion, he wraps his arm around her and glares at the approaching guard, mustering all the human emotion he can.
'This is disgusting. I have come to inspect your prison, and within one afternoon I have been falsely imprisoned - without reason - and my beautiful niece has had half her face blown off, before witnessing the worst management of a prison riot that I have ever been privy to. I will be discussing this in detail with the Marquis. This has been the worst business trip ever!!'
And with that he slams the door on the baffled guard, leaning against it and blocking it shut with his cloven heels. The room before him is a standard waiting room, filled with a variety of perplexed (or indifferent) civilians. Thinking quickly, he finds a simple bolt, locking the guard in.
'A gold piece to the first person who can take me to the Marquis Noreak's castle!' he cries, smugly noting the eager greed in a nearby half elf who approaches him without hesitation. This in almost instantly dampened by the pounding on the door behind, a muffled 'BUT PRISON INSPECTORS CAN'T FIRE US!' frustratingly audible through the containment door. This causes the elf mongrel to pause, but an impassioned, 'there is a riot occurring downstairs, I need to speak to Noreak', while seeming less convincing than he had hoped, serves as encouragement enough to convince the dupe to help them gain access to the outside world, and towards the main goal.
Take me to your leader, bitch, Meiservus internally smirks. Because soon, you daft shit, it will be me.
And so the saga continues. Here's to freedom. Here's to dishonesty… and here's to a lot more chaos, he thinks, as he returns to the free world… and with a fiendish delight allows himself a brief optimism. It's a big world out there, filled with a lot more lives to ruin. Game on.