If you want something done right… Kerrin sighed as he slung the wire around his neck like a priests stole. It glowed for a moment and then faded from sight. How’d that old song go? Kerrin hummed a tune off key while his ghostly body slide through a wall and across the inns common room. He phased through a fat merchant eating dinner and the patron choked on his bite of turkey leg, suffocating as Kerrin rolled his eyes and passed through the ceiling to the room above. The commotion below was dimmed through the floor and the two men in the room paused their conversation. “Did you feel that?” the one by the window said as he wrapped his cloak tighter. “It’s here, I can feel it!” He said as he drew his short blade with a shaking hand.
“Be still.” The other said. He kneeled next to the bed, his long blade laid across it still sheathed in is silver chased scabbard. The older knight pulled a rosary from within his faded purple shirt and left it dangle from his fist. “Swords are no use against this spectre.” The squire looked away to hide his shamed eyes and slid his guard back into its sheathe.
“Expecting me were you?” Kerrin said his voice coming from the shadows while his ghostly form was invisible in the candlelight. “Well…I hate to keep a loyal servant waiting.” He said and slid behind the squire in the space only a ghost could fit in between the trembling man and the open window. The knight mouthed the words to a silent prayer and bright light burst from the relic in his hand casting deep shadows across the room. Kerrin slipped sideways to the nearest shadow and chuckled in the squires ear who shouted in surprise and stumbled forward. “See, light just makes better places for to hide. I’d thought you’d have understood that by now.” Kerrin said and drifted toward the squire, fading into the comfort of the mans shadow like it were his own. “And the best place to hide? Right in plain sight.” Kerrin said, the last words spoken from the squires mouth as the shade that was kerrin slipped from the youths shadow into his soul.
He stretched his neck and cracked his knuckles. “Hey, free advice.” He said to the worried knight. “Don’t take your body for granted. Never know when you’re going to lose it. Is that still hot? I’m starving.” He said and walked on awkward legs towards the knights forgotten dinner. “Excuse the stumbles.” He said between mouthfuls of bread. “Always hard to walk when you first jump in.”
The knight lifted the rosary above his head and the light shone as the noonday sun. “Foul spirit, leave that man! You do not belong here. Pass on!” He shouted.
Kerrin/Squire blinked and squinted in the bright light. “Hey!” He said and raised his hand to block the light with a hunk of bread. “I’m a very clean spirit. Hard to get really dirty, anyhow. Sure you’re not going to eat this?” He said and picked up a chicken leg.
The knight glared at Kerrin/Squire and the rosary shok as a wave of force slammed into Kerrin knocking him into the wall. He looked down at the dropped food. “Probably still good.”
“Spirit, you have haunted this inn and town for too long and your wicked deeds have further stained your corrupt soul. Leave this man and accept the peace of Pelor.” The knight said and stepped around the bed.
Kerrin/Squire shook his head and licked his fingers. “Actually, my ‘wicked deeds’ haven’t done any harm to my soul.” He said and then paused. “Well, not recently. Not important. All those murders you’re referring to, they were placed squarely on the slate of those whose body I was borrowing at the time.” He said and the garrote shimmered into the visible spectrum. “See, I’ve got a trick. This lets me pass any old wicked deed I choose on to them. Every innocent acolyte or aspiring squire I’ve possessed? After your merciful brothers and sisters gave them ‘Pelors Peace’ their souls went somewhere else than beside Pelors side.” He said and winked as the pointed to the floor. “Here’s a hint. They’re not exactly singing with the angels.”
“Wretched villain!” The knight bellowed and rushed forward, slamming the relic into Kerrin/Squires forehead. His skin began to smolder and he tried to slip away but was locked in place by the knights conviction. “Release their souls!”
Kerrin/Squire squirmed under the knights wrathful eye and smiled. “Certainly, since you asked so nicely.”
The knight frowned and in the moment of confusion his concentration wavered and Kerrin/Squire disappeared from his grasp and appeared reclining on the bed. “But nothing’s free. You want their souls, I want something in return.”
The light from the rosary dimmed to torchlight. “What service?” The knight asked. “Take care spirit, I am not in a flippant mood.”
“Be at ease, noble knight. I’m giving you the opportunity you’ve always wanted…to die in service to your god, sacrificing your life so that others, others so ignobly imprisoned may be set free. It’s for a good cause, really.”
The knight kept silent.
“It’s simple. You accept my ‘peace’ and I’ll trade your soul for on of those below.” *Kerrin/Squire said. *"No, not one. All of them." The knight replied. “Every soul you’ve tricked and sent to serve penance for your sins.” The light from the rosary flare once and them went dim.
Kerrin/Squire wave a hand. “Fine, fine. Yours is worth ten of theirs anyway. Or is that your strength? I can never remember.”
The knight stepped forward and dropped his hand holding the rosary to his side. “Done.”
“Here, let’s trade.” Kerrin/Squire said and took the garrote from his neck and handed it to the knight while taking the rosary from his hand. “Just put it on.”
The knight held it as if it were a snake ready to bite and laid it over his shoulders, each end of the glowing wire dangling free. “No, no. That’s all wrong.” Kerrin/Squire said and moved behind him in an instant. “Like this.” The ends of the wire jumped to his hands and he pulled tight. The knights eyes bulged and his fingers clawed at the wire digging into his neck. Kerrin hummed as the knight struggled, then dropped to his knees and fell over on the ground. “Fits much better that way.”
When the knights struggles had nearly ceased Kerrin/Squire held the garrote with one hand and brought the rosary up to his face. “When I call for you, remember His light.” He whispered and a more of dull color flee from his mouth and landed on the rosaries sunburst insignia. It flared once and then sunk into it. Placing the rosary around the dying knights neck he releases the garrote a moment before he breathed his last.
The knight opened his eyes and shadows fled into them, lurking in the corners out of sight. “I lied.” Kerrin/Squire said. “Now get up. We’ve got work to do.”