Escape part 1
As she played Jade noticed that Michael tapped his fingers to the song and every now and then she thought she heard him sing. That surprised her, no one knew the song. She could never find anyone who recognized it. Not even the book imp in the library had any idea what the song could be.
When the song was over she asked, “Do you know the song?”
“It is a song I knew as a child from the rim country,” he said. “It's called Novalee.”
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“It means new beginnings.”
“Could you teach me?” she asked.
“Of course,” he stepped up to her.
A paladin, this one a large human called Senior Nose, stepped between. “She is not for having tonight.”
“I only want to speak with her,” said Michael, “I promise.” He took out some silver coins, “An hour of her time can't be more than this, and we will stay here at the table.”
Senior Nose took the coins, counted and nodded, “Stay where I can see you.”
A different girl, who couldn't play nearly as well as Jade, took her place. Jade sat at the table. A time candle was lit, when it burned down the hour would be over. During that time Michael taught her the song. It was in a strange language that she didn't know and it was difficult for her to remember. Soon the hour was drawing to a close.
“I hope you will come again soon,” said Jade, “I'd like to know it perfectly.”
“I will not be back,” said Michael. “My business draws me out of town, but here.” he handed her something. When she reached to take it he pulled her close. “I know what this place is and tonight when the bell tolls people will come, people who this place doesn't want here. Take this. It will keep you safe. When the bell tolls, put this on and run. I'm sure you know what will happen to everyone here.”
Jade's eyes grew wide again with fear. In the paper was an amulet.
“This is all I can do for you. Now go back to playing, it will be alright.”
She was distracted as she continued to play but no one was there to listen to the music. Therefore the missed notes and fudged chords passed unnoticed by anyone. Then the bell tolled. She stopped, and watched for something to happen. The great door burst open and men dressed as knights of Themis rushed in.
Jade quickly put on the amulet. Lady Themis was the Goddess of Law and Justice, and the patron goddess of the city. It was also well known that she held a special grudge against Asmodious.
“By order of the King and the power of Lady Themis this house is to be closed, and everyone is under arrest for the worship of the Damon Asmodious.”
“By what proof do you make such an allegation?” asked the high priest, though no one was supposed to know that was what he was. He was not dressed in his holy attire but in custom of a fashionable noble. He was answered by a javelin being thrown through his chest. He was dead before he could speak again.
With that, the paladins unsheathed their weapons while the three high priestess and priest stood from their seats and began attacking the guards. The quiet calm of the tea room erupted into a bloody riot as patrons, who either had no idea that the proprietor of The Temple was also the high priest of Asmodaius, or they didn't want anyone to think they had known the true purpose of the place, ran for the exits. Some of the lower priests and paladins attempted to get the girls to safety but they were all killed-- all who bore the sign of the house.
Jade hid under the table. She could hear the screams of fear and of death. The sounds became more frightening now that she couldn't see what was causing them. She had to get out. If she was caught by the knights of the city, she might be executed there in the room. If she survived, but was still here, the priests would move her to another temple or sell her to a different pleasure house. And if the priests caught her trying to escape, they would kill her. Better to be dead than stay here, she thought as she gathered what was left of her courage and made a run for it.
No one noticed her. As she ran for the exit. it was clear that the worshipers of Asmodaous were losing. Patrons surrendered rather than be cut down. She wasn't the only prostitute trying to escape. Senior Brokenhorn stood at the exit trying to keep the girls from escaping. Jade tried to stop but she slipped on the bloody floor. There was so much of it that she kept sliding. She slid unnoticed by the Shedim and through the curtain which hid the back exit.
Once out of the room, she stood up. “There's more over here!” someone yelled. Jade took off running before they could catch her. She made it though the hall and out the kitchen door.
Outside The Temple, she kept running. She didn't know where she was going. All she cared about was getting farther away. She ran till her lungs felt like they would burst and her heart felt like it would break out of her chest and fly away like a bird. But she kept running, putting as much of the city between her and The Temple.