Emmeline had wandered off to engage in conversation with some of the villagers, when she returned, she greeted Typhon Né and Elomix with a wave.
“Hey you two. I just finished speaking with some of the good folks we rescued and I picked up some pretty important information. I thought I’d pass it on to you in case you wanted to check it out. It’s on the way to Thalassa anyway, it would seem.
“So, what I heard is that the local that had legal claim to the mine was named Udo. He’s dead now, but I spoke with his brother Poul, who’d heard pretty well everything that happened leading up to the goblin attack. Poul says that very unusual couple had arrived. One was an older, gaunt man with an odd accent. Poul guessed an easterner or he might have been from Rift country. The other was a tall woman that was less gaunt. Long white hair, possible elven blood if not an actual elf. They made an offer to buy the mine, but Udo wouldn’t sell. Then they offered a huge amount of gold just to work it for a single season and Udo decided there must be something valuable in the mine, so he refused again. Finally, they asked to just look around the territory and again Udo refused because Udo only had the mine a few months and already a band of adventurers had scoured the area and pretty much robbed him. It was after these two left that the goblin attack began.”
Emmeline added, “I have the man’s name and I think I know where they went after they left here. Let me know if you would pursue this.”
Elemix replies. “Very interesting news. It is I think too convenient that this couple appeared and made these offers and then left prior to these attacks. They were obviously looking for something. I think it makes sense to track this lead to its end if possible. I also need to stop at the city just south of here to speak with someone, but barring any unforeseen circumstances in that exchange I think we should find this mysterious couple.
On a similar note, I was meaning to speak with both of you as well. It would seem we make a good team and I was wondering if you would like to join me on the way back to Thalassa. Perhaps we can get to know each other better on the journey?
“I don’t know,” Emmeline said cautiously. She was acutely aware of the eggshells they all had been walking on since she had manifested powers. The Thalassan Wizardry guild allowed no magic but wizardry and bardic magics, and barely acknowledge priestcraft, even if there were no laws against it. She knew Thalassan traditions very well since she grew up on the same island as the city itself and she had no intention of allowing a bunch of snobby mages harass her because she had gifts that didn’t come from their stranglehold on magical knowledge.
“I’m an entertainer and I did agree to accompany the troupe,” Emmeline said. “Our tour had been detoured by a call to the north here, but I’m sure they’ll want to be continuing. It will be hard days travels for me to catch up, but if you don’t mind hurrying, I could accompany you and Typon Né until then?”
Elemix understood her hesitancy all too well. Whether Emmeline had known about the laws of Thalassa prior to the previous day’s encounter or not, he did warn her explicitly so he was certain she knew now. He replied. “I understand you are busy. I am relatively certain my business won’t take long. Elemix wasn’t certain he trusted Emmeline, but then he knew the only way to overcome his unease was to learn more about her – and her abilities. He wasn’t certain himself if Emmeline was really ready to go to Thalassa just yet. Inevitably her abilities would become known and what exactly would happen to her he didn’t know – too many variables at this point for that answer. He continued, “I would welcome the chance for us to travel together again if even for a short time. I for one would like to get to know both of you better as we have risked life and limb together. I also am very curious to know exactly what these strangers were looking for. What would cause so much killing and unrest?”
At that, Elemix turned to Tiefanie. “Without Nigel I would be hard pressed to continue the investigation without someone of your abilities. I do hope you would be willing to accompany us to see this thing through? And if you would be willing to eventually travel back with me to Thalassa, I would like to put in a good word for you with the Mercenary guild. Someone of your abilities could go far with such an organization. If you would wish me to do this of course.”
Typhon-Ni set her mug of ale down and looked at Elemix. “I understand why Nigel was with you. I have noticed that you magic types are soft and easy to injure. I feel that following this lead is a noble act, those villagers must have vengeance for the wrong that has been done to them.”
After taking a long drink from her ale mug, she said, “I will have to think upon this offer of the Mercenary guild. If like you and the priest said earlier, I must seek help from those of Thalassa to help rid me of this curse. So I shall travel with you to there. And then see where the winds send me next.”
“Uzec, is actually where I think the two strangers went,” Emmeline put in. “And get this; the man was named Tuderic! Interesting, no? Sounds like an old, name from a time long thought dead and gone.”
Elemix stared at Typhon-Ni. “We can’t all be skilled in martial fighting.” Someone needs to lead the muscle after all. He thought to himself. Otherwise there would be no society to preserve – just chaos.
“I chose a different path many years ago, and I think you will see the benefits of my choice in time. Still, I am glad to hear you will travel with me.” Elemix took a sip of water. If he keeps making comments like those I don’t know how many of us soft types will be willing to help him. But he will learn that soon enough.
Elemix looked to Emmeline. “Tuderic you say. Interesting indeed. It is settled then. We shall follow this lead together.”