Elemix Meeting with Master Vorn

As evening arrived and the travel plans were agreed upon, a messenger arrived and spoke briefly to Nigel. A minute later, Nigel stepped up and whispered into El’s ear, “Master Vorn wishes to debrief you in Derrien at the home of one of his old colleagues, Captain Sir Renard du Triel. He says we must leave first thing in the morning.” Knowing that Emmeline was leaving for Uzec that morning as well, El explained his position, and agreed to return to meet in the village of Thierry, a hamlet half a day south of Uzec. He agreed also to check in at the Wig & Pig tavern to find news on Emmeline’s friends.

The manor house was a couple of miles outside the town. It occupied a wooded glade east of Derrien. Multiple smallholders cottages could be see in the nearby area, with mid summer crops growing between the hedgerows. With Nigel at his side, El knocked on the door. A beautiful waif, maybe 16 years of age answered the door, “Yes?”

“Greetings.  I am Elemix and I have come to meet with Master Vorn.”

“Mssr Elemix, my father the Captain welcomes you to his house. I am Reneé du Triel. Please enter.” She waves El into the home and offers to take his cloak and staff, which she sets conveniently nearby what looks like Master Vorn’s. “They are in the study, please follow. Entering the study, Elemix sees three people, Vorn, an older bearded man in his late 40s who was likely Captain Renard, and a priest of Aarith who looks about the same age. Their discussions cease as El and Reneé enter, “may I introduce to you Mssr Elemix to Brother Raiathon, Magus Vorn whom you already know, and to my father, Captain du Triel.” Meanwhile Nigel stayed in the entry way.

Vorn doesn’t let El speak, saying, “Sit my boy, we have some things to discuss. I sent for you to come here as my colleague the Brother here encountered a hobgoblin attack some parts east of here similar to what your note indicated. You are alive, so no need to stand on ceremony. What did you encounter up by Calder Falls?” Reneé left to attend to Nigel and the horses.

El sat as requested and began. “As requested I traveled with Nigel to the Keep at Calder Falls. Upon arrival the keep was nearly empty save for a priest and the Castellian – Sir Johan Axiney, before I had time to introduce myself a small party of wounded came from the hills to the North. It consisted of soldiers from the keep and a small group of minstrels that had somehow been caught up in the attacks. That night, as everyone tried to make sense of what had happened, it was discerned from the survivors and wounded that it was goblins who had been attacking the hamlet of Branmarc and the village of Normarc. They were being led by a powerful priest/shaman and someone dressed in black, the former of which apparently had polymorphed one of warriors from male into female. The attacks seemed to be stemming from a mine north of the villages. Many had been killed including one adventuring party and most of the second, and most of the villagers were being taken captive.

We decided then that we must confront the threat in order to save those we could. I formed a small group consisting of myself, Nigel, one of the warriors who had survived the attacks Typhon Kne (she is the one who had been polymorphed), and one of the minstrels who seemed to want to help named Emmiline.

At daybreak we headed North using Typhon Kne as our guide. She described where attacks had occurred as we traveled. When we reached the hamlet of Branmarc we were attacked by several goblins. After defeating them we captured one who held on his person a led card with an image looked like this.” El set the image with the somewhat older face of a look-alike for Emmeline on the table. “Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to find out where it came from or why as the prisoner attacked us and had to be dispatched.

We decided to make camp in one of the houses that night, and discovered several children that had survived the attacks by hiding in a basement. I asked Nigel to return them safely to the keep and return on horseback as quickly as possible.

The next morning we discovered tracks of the villagers and their goblin captors and decided it was worth the risk to follow them without Nigel in the hopes we would surprise them and rescue some of the townspeople. Luckily the decision payed off. When we came upon the group of prisoners en route North I was able to put many of their goblin captors to sleep and we succeeded in freeing the captives. They informed us of the goblins at the mine and that many of their townspeople had already been taken. Shortly thereafter Nigel arrived on horseback and we gave the horse to the survivors so they could return to the keep while we pressed on.”

El sat forward. “We came upon the goblins and their leaders at the mine later that day. We fought several goblins outside, and managed to dispatch them and free yet more townspeople. When we entered the mine we fought a goblin brute, the aforementioned shaman, and what turned out to be a priestess of Tyaa.

No enemy survived. Typhon Kné dispatched the polymorphed ewe that was posing as a goblin shaman. And the priestess of Tyaa was also slain in the battle. Searching the Tyaa priestess’s body we found this note written in Old Common script. It seems to be a cipher, and I think I can break it with a little time. Also these gold coins but I am not certain of the stamping on them. Do you know where they are from? She also had a silver dagger, and a blackened metal raven-clasp.” All of which El carefully placed on the table.

“I was hoping master that you may be able to determine if any of these are enchanted.”

“It appeared they were forcing the townspeople to dig for something specific in the mines. In the battle the priestess was trying to access something in the wall. Unfortunately whatever it was shattered before we were able to see it, but I took this impression of what had been there. Artifacts on note we found include the remnants of some carving in Obsidian. The impression found in the wall had a strange text that while similar to Goblin may actually predate it. It isn’t Goblin. As you can see, the symbol in the impression is a reptilian eye.

After the encounter we headed back to the keep at the Caulder Falls. One of the men we rescued was Sir Johan Axiney’s son Sir Etienne Axiney who was very wounded, but survived. Unfortunately none of Typhon Kné’s old party survived. Emmeline’s minstral troop, the Sonsbizarré Singers had left already, as expected, and Baron Remiel Uzec’s scouting party had arrived, 24-strong on horse.

After resting the night I returned with Nigel at once to give you this report.”

Nigel looked at the others around the table in turn and awaited their response.

Vorn replied, “Hmm. Killing the polymorphed shaman was a mistake, for both this mystery and for your gender-switched colleague. Likely this ‘Tiffanie’ is stuck as a woman for the duration of the spell. Killing the goblin with the lead card was a mistake. He could have told you at least where he found it. Killing the priestess, well that likely couldn’t be helped.” The priest added, “Tyaanites do not betray their beliefs. Civilization, my young friend, is not something they care for.”

Vorn continued, “Despite the mistakes, you lived, so you may journey to see Master Perendhiel to petition to join our College once this affair is dealt with.” He paused, “I will look into the level of enchantment of these items for you, but know that you should learn this spell yourself someday soon if you intend to explore the wilds of this world. But before that, we have some questions. Captain?”

“Thank you Vorn,” the Captain replied, “Is it your belief that the goblin threat is over – that they were looking for this bauble only and being destroyed they will leave?

“Or,” the Priest added, “Is the Hobgoblin attack east of here a few weeks back another symptom of a larger problem or just a co-incidence?”

“Or,” the Wizard added, “as the Hobgoblins were more of a bandit raid and this Goblin attack more mercenary in nature, could it simply indicate a higher availability of goblinoids in the mountains, and therefore a symptom of something even more dangerous lurking in the icelands?”

“Or,” the Captain added, “perhaps the dwarves, elves, and northlanders are fewer in number and the goblins are surviving longer or the same simply drove these monsters out of the mountains and we are victims of their successes?”

“Or…”

The conversation degenerates into a discussion of every possible permutation of the available evidence, leaving El cut off for a few minutes. The girl, Renée, offers El a drink and says, “Before you ask, yes, they are always like this. They are old adventuring companions.”

“Mister Elemix,” Vorn said in him gruff tome upon completing their argument, “look here m’boy, as you can see this could be nothing or something.”

He continued without missing a beat, “The cypher is obviously a coded message given to the Tyaanite. Given time you can unravel it. The small brazer is obviously a receptacle for a magical effect, likely one of scrying using smoke and fire. Likely attuned to how they found the artifact. The artifact is old, but destroyed. It looks like a sorcerer’s wand or maybe a staff head – a focus. You will have to research to learn more, but I can tell it still bears some magic. The eye on it is a dragon, a common symbol of the sorcerers of old – good or evil – and of the Eterian Empire, the Dragon, Sun, and Lance. Dragon symbols were often used as Legion symbols. Their, “dragon”, so to speak. This is too small to be one of those, but then again I’ve only seen drawings. The gold coins are from Malith, a broken set of realms found south east of here before one reaches the wastes. The barbarian invasions a hundred years back broke their kingdom and they have been in civil war ever since with warlords ruling even small patches of land with an iron fist. The silvered blade is obviously magical, likely with a light enchantment. We can look in more detail in a bit. The clasp is similar.”

“Do you have any questions before we begin looking into the identifiable items?” Vorn asked.

El pondered the question momentarily. Do I have any questions he asks. Of course I do. Why was I sent on this task? Why did he say I made so many mistakes when I successfully rid the area of goblins and rescued the villagers? If I ask all my questions will it make me seem stupid in front of my master? If I don’t ask anything, will it make me seem as though I know it all when clearly even my master doesn’t know? In an instant his mind raced and the questions continued. No he thought. He pushed the questions aside as he had learned to do years earlier when his mind raced in such ways while investigating something with his father, or when he practiced potions with his mother. There will always be more questions his father used to say. In time, you will learn the answers. And learning takes time – patience El. Focus on the moment

El responded candidly and straight forward. “I heard the good priest mention there was a hobgoblin attack weeks ago to the East, and you mentioned the possibility of the northlanders growing fewer in number and so on. I might add that at this point we have too little information to make any headway in the matter. I think we should focus on what we know. This group was focused on finding an artifact and they were willing to risk life and limb for it. We know it bore the symbol of the eye of a dragon. Perhaps this cipher and/or the great library or the wizards guild might hold some more pieces of the puzzle. Is there record of a great artifact lost in that area? And while we don’t yet know if the card has any meaning, it was found on a common grunt as it were. Not on any of the leaders, so we should keep that in mind as we investigate further.

El stopped for a moment realizing he may have been speaking out of turn. He looked in turn to each of the seasoned leaders in the room, bu before his master or anyone else could say anything, El continued. “And another piece of information which I hadn’t had the opportunity to mention prior to your discussions is that one of the captives we rescued made note of the local that had legal claim to the mine – named Udo. He’s dead now, but in speaking with his brother Poul, who’d heard pretty well everything that happened leading up to the goblin attack, said that very unusual couple had arrived prior to the attacks. 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. Uzec, is actually where I think the two strangers may have journey’d. The man was named Tuderic! Sounds like an old, name from a time long thought dead and gone.

Respectfully, I would like to follow what we know. These leads, and see where they take us Master.

There was dead silence.

Then Vorn smiled, “Very well. This is your mystery to chase. Looks like you have everything in hand. Put an odd accent from the east, a clearly Riftlands name, and coins from Malith, then you may have an origin-point or a red-herring. The hobgoblin attack near Envel could have been done on their way here. Anyway, not sure why they would travel this far, or go to the trouble. But, going back up to Uzec is likely m’boy the right thing to do.”

“They have a mid-summer festival going on now, the Priest added, “If you return, you might arrive just as it ends or more likely the following morning.”

“Wasn’t Uzec’s keep at the falls built on a dwarven ruin from before the Empire,” queried the Captain?

“It was, it was,” replied the Priest. “Remember, we routed those bugbears out of one of the ruins back in ’27?”

“Yes, yes. Those were the days,” said Vorn.

“Goblins,” the Captain said on a tangent, “will risk life and limb for whomever has the most to give to them and the most power. They are neither craven, nor stupid, despite the reputation. They are simply conniving, dishonorable, and thoroughly self absorbed. Keep that in mind and use it to your advantage.”

“Now m’boy, lets take a closer look at these items,” said Vorn.

Vorn excused himself and took El out into the garden. He carefully set up a ritual circle and removed a ring set with a large pearl from his pouch. Placing the dagger, the raven clasp, and the 18 pieces of the dragon-eye artifact within the circle, he chanted his ritual of identification.

“The dagger is made from the scale of silver dragon, a noble creature, inlaid with mithril silver and true silver. The decoration is Traskine, and was undoubtably created in forge of the Master of Bolseina, Taitalus, some 2000 years ago, before the Traskine were conquered by the Eterian legions. It may react in some way to the presence of a true dragon, if one is attuned to it of course, but that has its own risks. It is likely of a religious nature. The Traskine and the early Eterians worshiped the sun and moon as two dragon gods. Likely, this dagger was dedicated to the Eterians called the goddess Lumia, Lithel the Silver in the Traskine tongue. It makes sense a priestess of Tyaa would use this as some kind of spell focus. Also, it is quite durable. Not indestructible, but regular wear hasn’t affected it in two thousand years.”

“The pin looks to be made by the Svartalfar, the shadow elves, and of recent construction, not one of the dark masters – within a few hundred years. Odd, I thought they were extinct or driven to the shadowlands, but rumors persist some survived. In any event, whether made by them, or by using their techniques, this is undoubtably dedicated to Tyaa. Unlike here in the League, Tyaa priestesses are not always considered evil. More anti-establishment, anti-civilization, and prophetesses of doom. Think of them as the more intolerant version of the Druii who once roamed these lands with their elven-inspired nature-loving pointless nonsense. Anyway, this particular Tyaan clasp in similar to others of its ilk as both a symbol of power and protection. The wearer was undoubtably either high-ranked or her mission was of high importance. Once one attunes to it you see, and worn upon one’s person, it shields the wearer from scrying. No divination, nor scrying magics allow one to be found or targeted – at least not standard ones. I do think the makers of the clasp may still detect it, perhaps only if attuned, but perhaps not. Hard to know without a test. In any event it is likely they know their priestess is dead. As an aside, it is nigh impossible to break and may have metamorphic attributes.”

“The dragon-eye pieces have residual magic, but little else can be discerned in its current state. Given the destruction of the dwarven kingdom of Azenkuul many centuries ago, it could be part of those conflicts or one perhaps buried on purpose, or lost. You will need to either repair it, perhaps with many, many mending spells (though you risk destroying the magic), or take it to an expert in the City. My guess is part of a wand, staff, or war banner, likely Eterian, but perhaps even older.”

El, watched patiently and tried to make mental note of the steps his master took in casting the identification spell. This was indeed something he needed to learn when he had the time to do so.

When Master Vorn completed his descriptions El asked, “Do you think it would be dangerous to wear the pin? Seems odd that someone could detect it if it were made for anti-detection. And what do you mean by metamorphic? Do you think it grants the wearer some kind of shape changing ability?

As for the dragon eye, I wouldn’t want to risk destroying its magic without knowing its nature. I will take it to an expert in the city. Perhaps the brazier if it still contains some kind of magic can aid in the eyes repair as the two seem to be linked.”

El thinks for a moment. I wonder if I read something about a brazier and a dragon eye artifact, or who might know more.

Vorn replied, “that is up to you of course. Do you have any enemies or rivals that are priests of Tyaa?” He laughed a bit, “if you were an evil cult of fanatic nature-worshipers and chaos bringers, you would want to know where your people were and by extension hide them from others. It isn’t odd at all.”

“Wear it at your own risk, sell it, destroy it, return it. It is your call, or perhaps that of you and the others whom you adventured with,” said Vorn, “but if one has an exceptionally strong will you could mentally change the look of the broach in a subtle manner. That is metamorphic. Then again, the same person with the same will could also resist the scrying, perhaps.”

El remembered a Library researcher, an Academic friend of his father’s, that specialized in the history of dragons, their place in history, their effect on humanity. His name is Brün du Bretain, or Dr. Brün. He might known about this esoteric artifact. He lives part-time on Thalassa, but has a summer home in Camaret, on the Periphery Coast. You only met him once, but the conversation was fascinating for a 12 year-old. He may remember you, assuming he still lives in Camaret (about 360 miles by boat or road, less than 300 directly – 5 days hard ride and you’ll likely kill your horse, or 10-12 days otherwise. Riverboat from here in Derrien could get there in 6-7 days).

Of course, one could also talk to a historian on the Traskine era, before the Empire. On Thalassa itself, there is an Academic called Dr. Etenne Bodognou who you met with last year, albeit briefly. Getting to him would require going all the way back home.

In Derrien itself, there may be a glassworker or sculpter who has worked with obsidian, especially given the deposits found in the area from ancient, long-dead volcanos that once were here.

El replied. “Thank you for your help Master. I think I now have several leads I could follow to find out more about this puzzle. The two adventurers who aided me, Emmiline and Typhon Ne, have already agreed to travel with me to Uzec to find out more.  Will you be travelling back home soon? I would like to join you if possible after this affair is dealt with, and then formally petition Master Perendhiel to to join the Wizards Guild College of Evocation.

Also, I wanted to again thank you personally for providing me with your knowledge, insight, and with opportunities to grow in our craft. I hope to serve you and our college well for a great many years to come.”

Vorn said, “You are doing well. Remember to not be stupid and you will go far. In any event, you may not need to petition in Thalassa. Master Perendhel should be in Breven in a fortnight. I believe it has to do partly with her apprentice, the dwarf Dimoza. A year ahead of you I believe. The formal ceremony would have to occur at the Guild’s Great Hall, but the petition does not. I can meet you there in a fortnight after you have went back up to Uzec to meet with your traveling companions.”

He added, “I have other business between now and then.”

Remember to not be stupid. El thought. He has said that to me so many times I hope it has sunk in. I hear him say it to many initiates. Maybe a lot of us really are stupid and get killed off on these first few missions. El realized of course that he too would likely already be dead if not for Nigel and the others. The thought frustrated him, but it was a lesson well learned.

“Thank you. That sound great. A fortnight should provide me enough time to follow some of these leads.” El thought for a moment. Is this really something that I am required to do? Master Vorn had already said I had earned the right to petition the guild for admittance. Of course, I want to know why the goblins were making these attacks and what the dragon eye was and why they wanted it, etc. But am I being stupid continuing to follow up on these leads? Especially now that Nigel will undoubtedly stay with Master Vorn?”

“Master, is following up on these leads considered a guild task? I only ask because I would like Nigel or someone with his skills to accompany me if it is. He was very helpful over the past few days. My companions have proved trustworthy so far, but then I have only known them a few days and it is not their role to protect me per say anyway. If not, perhaps yourself or the Captain could recommend a skilled warrior that I can afford for perhaps a weeks time? I want to see this through to ensure this is not foreshadowing something more dire for this area in the future.”

“No, it is not,” he replied. “Nigel will be coming with me to finish his contract, but should you think you need protection – a wise course – then I’ll ask the Captain to send you into town with a recommendation.” He walked back inside.

“Captain, my good friend, I need a letter of introduction and a guide for my apprentice here to locate a proper guard for his journey.” The Captain replied, “of course, but for now your quarters are prepared. At first light, Renée will take you to the Mercenaries Guild. Should you find their prices or the available selection unsuitable, then try the Rusty Knife or the Laughing Pint. There might be help to be found there. In any event watch your step. All those places can be dangerous.”

Of course it isn’t, El thought as he walked inside.

Thank you Captain. He said courteously. It has been a pleasure meeting you.

With that El retired to his room and began studying the note. In truth he was looking forward to decrypting it. He knew it might take some time but these kinds of puzzles had always intrigued him. He found them relaxing.

After a long while  El grew tired and drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow his adventure would continue.

The next morning, El readied himself and went into the foyer where Renée was already packed and waiting. “Magus, we are ready to go. Your horse is saddled and my father has instructed me to help you today. Let’s be off!” The young waif’s energy and positivity reminded El in a way to his new friend Emmeline, albeit younger and blonder.

As they road toward town, she said, “if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I’ve lived here much of my life.”

El responded. “How long have you known Master Vorn. It seems he is good friends with your father.”

Renée answered, “They are. I’ve seen him pretty much yearly since I was a child. He is like an uncle to me.”

El regarded her for a moment and then turned his sights on the country that surrounded them. “It is a lovely place to grow up.” He stated calmly. “I was raised in the city. There were buildings almost as far as the eye could see. It was all I really ever knew until very recently. I suppose I never thought about it much but I didn’t really have a chance to see the countryside growing up.” El stopped. “I find it quite nice here, but I will always be a city man at heart I think. How much farther do you think? I must say I am anxious to meet up with my companions and discover the cause of this mystery.”

Renée laughed, “Magus Elemix, not far now. You did arrive at night, so I understand. You will get your answer when we get over this hill.” As the horses went over the hill, the town of Derrien appeared below them (see attached). “There,” she pointed, “that’s Derrien. Eight thousand souls in the city, plus many more in the nearby towns. Everything from Uzec to Chantaun, from the three valleys to the the south plain up to Aubers Ridge looks to Derrien for leadership. The docks of Derrinport you can barely see in the distance. The city commands the river below. Nothing goes up or down the river without the Duke knowing.”

El looked on. “Very nice. I am sure we will find a suitable guard here. Who is the local duke by the way. I wonder if he or his militia may know more of these attacks. Though I would hate to step on anyone’s  toes by inquiring. El thought of those he had supper with the night before. Also I wonder is there a library in town. I would very much like to peruse for a short while if there is time.”

El thanked Renée for her information saying, “Good, best to continue to the guild for now.”

The two of them went downhill to the city entrance, which did not pose a barrier. Riding into town, Renée led Elemix to the Mercenary’s Guild Hall and introduced Elemix to Gérard, the guild’s proctor who arranged contracts for the trained mercenaries who relied on the Guild. “It is not often we have a Magus among us, how may I help you?” Renée waited patiently to take Elemix to his next destination in town.

“Greetings. I am looking for a skilled warrior to travel with me and serve as my guard and protector for perhaps a weeks time. We will be headed to Uzec and it’s general vicinity. Master Vorn and Captain can’t recall name right now recommended I speak with you. I need someone who can be trusted to serve me well and there could be a longer contract in the near future should this warrior prove to be so.”

Gérard replied, “so it isn’t a warrior you are looking for but a bodyguard. That is something we can help with. We have three who are finishing contracts soon or are free. The standard fee is two piece of gold per day minimum. Depending on the skill and renown of the bodyguard in question the fee can go higher. Room and board is usually extra, but that is part of negotiations. If the journey is one-way, the bodyguard will usually charge half again for the return trip.”

“If these terms are satisfactory, I can introduce you to one or more of the guards: The first is Fritz, an ex-soldier from the Rift Kingdoms. His primary weapon is a halbard, which comes in handy when you need to hold off enemies. The second is Arande, a local merc who is a swordsman, which is good in close quarters – especially the shield. The third is Riksa, from Adera. He uses a war pick and hand crossbow, good to get the drop on enemies.”

“Who do you wish to meet first?”

“Hmm. I would like to speak with Arande. Both his local knowledge and his shield will undoubtedly prove useful on this venture.”

About twenty minutes later Arande arrived and met with Elemix. Arande had black hair with a goatee, wearing scale mail. He began, “magus, my shield can help protect you, in addition I’m from this area and in town I know where to find things. I am not a scout, so wilderness knowledge is not my specialty. My rate is 3 gp/day plus expenses, which for food should be 2 gp per week. To protect you in town, I should have a room at your expense next to yours or better yet, stay in the same room. The total is 23 gp per week. Also magus please note I would be your guard – not servant, valet, huntsman, or maid.”

Arande waited for an answer or follow-up questions. He seemed very matter of fact and business-like.

El replied. “I must say I appreciate your candor and demeanor. I think we would work well together. I am in need of a bodyguard and not a servant so you need not worry about such requests coming from me.

Also I would like to mention that it will not only be the two of us. I have some travel companions that we will be meeting up with. One of which is a warrior and the other a minstrel who can handle herself. Your charge would be for me alone mind you but we should have a little more safety in numbers.

Finally I am not one to waste time haggling and I feel it would be disrespectful to you as one who is willing to risk your life in service to another. That being said I shall be blunt. I can afford 20gp for one weeks time after which if you’re services are still required we can negotiate further. I shall pay for food. You would stay in my room if we lodge in a civilized place and near me if we stay outdoors. I do hope these terms are agreeable to you.”

Elemix awaited his response.

Arande replied, “Agreed. Twenty it is then for this first week. When do we leave?”

“Excellent. It is still relatively early. I should like to leave as soon as you can be ready. I assume you have a horse?”

“I have a hackney. She serves me.” said Arande. “I can be ready to leave in a hour. I’ll meet you at the east gate.”

With the agreement signed and the exchange or coin, El now had his first guard. Seeing the transaction complete, the patient Renée asked, “Magus, is there another place you wish to go in town, or are we complete?”

“There is one stop I need to make before I depart. Can you show me to the wig and pig?” El asked.

“I can, follow me,” said Renée.

The girl brought Elemix to a seedier part of town, one he did not feel comfortable in, much less to bring a maiden to. Finding the tavern/inn, Elemix saw that no entertainers were to be found, but it was mid-day so that was no surprise. The bartended said that they had played here for a couple nights and then departed. He didn’t know where they went, but that they tarried at least a day before leaving. The might be going to Commana, as it was the next step on the road south.

As the group had already left, El simply noted that they had made it, and while they had lingered, after a few days they had continued on South.

El turned to Renee. “Thank you for being so kind as to guide me around and share some of your town with me. I have no doubt we shall see each other again soon. I think it is best I be on my way. My companions won’t wait forever, and I am sure they need my help as I need theirs. Please give my best to your father and thank him for his hospitality again.”

Renée replied, “I will.” Nodding she left for home. Elemix met with Arande at the bridge and left town for Uzec.

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