Roleplaying > Moderated Freeform

Chapter the Third, Silent Woman Keep

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Zuan thanked the innkeep and turned from the counter. Rather than discourage him, the somewhat bewildered proprietor had put more wind into his sails. Its proximity to the "accursed" abbey could potentially be a boon. Places called "cursed" had their own unique economies: people avoided them for a reason, and even the most obnoxious place could be found to have some value. This would only mean the patch of land had undiscovered value that only his trained eye might reveal.

The priest was lost in though so much he nearly tripped over Leduardo Galze's sprawled form as he walked through the room. He raised a curious eyebrow at his two soldier companions. "If you are finished with your... friend here," he said, stepping gingerly past the duelist, "I suggest we pack to move soon. I have a holding of land near the cloister I should like to survey along the way. It will provide a brief respite for us to luncheon on our trip."

He sat down at an empty table and produced a closed ink well, a pen, and a parchment from a pouch at his belt. He began to write:

"By the merciful discount of the Divine Broker, Zuan Coursi, Merchant Quaternary of the Divine Way, to Azrec d'Atayde, Apprentice Quinary, greetings:

We have arrived in relative safety. Inform Joachim Ebellos that several have taken themselves upon our retinue. Be sure he keeps our signed contracts later; these esteemed friends that have joined us may later suggest they deserve a portion of our earnings, and Joachim need be ready to prove his original dealings.

Send nothing by way of Zamorza - the city has the pest, or at least they claim. Either way, it should be a poor investment. Redirect any trade to by the neighboring routes.

I have acquired a parcel of land in Canagadi: a clove field near the monastery. I shall inspect it later today and will write again regarding its value when I have the chance.

Return correspondence to me to this inn. I shall leave instructions with the innkeeper. I expect we will stay with the Silent Women, but given the situation there, I cannot trust their abbess will not have my letters inspected.

I expect full report and a copied ledger of our business in Abodroc from you. Continue to prove the trust I have granted you, esteemed apprenticed.

May the highest dealings of the Divine Broker concede, I pray, to your piety, sublimity of bargaining, profundity of acumen, etc., etc."

Folding the document and sealing it with wax from the table's candle, he returned to the desk of the innkeeper. "Sir, I find I must post a letter." He presented it, with five cobres neatly arranged on top. "I trust you will find it to a reliable courier, and secure any correspondence that arrives here for myself?"

She gave the braggart one raised eyebrow - there was little of interest there... until the table impacted his face, which she commented with a hearty laugh and almost choking on the spiced nog.
There was much merriment to be had by their band as Leduardo landed outside, in the water trough. "Let the mules shower him with kisses!" she cheered, but was prepared in case the dunce came back in, perhaps with a band of similar simians.

Much merriment - except for Saano.
The nephilim sat next to him, cradling a glass of nog. "Why don't you delight at a fool's just reward? What is so somber that a braggart's well-timed humbling does not draw a smile?"


...realize that we still know almost nothing of the necessary rituals, right? While normally Saano would cheerfully discuss anything with his sister, they had been going at it for a few days now, and at this point, he was rather sick of the constant nagging.

No, I completely forgot that, despite you bringing it up every two minutes for the past three days. Yes, I know the quicksilver isn't going to work all on its own. Yes, we'll have to make sure the priestesses are safely locked out of the room. I'm not a complete idiot.

The scorn in her reply was hot enough to melt steel. Could've fooled me. Only an idiot would head into an exorcism without knowing exactly the ritual needed to banish the entity.

I'm sick of this argument. For once in my life, I really don't want to talk to you.

Intentionally pushing his attention outward, Saano took stock of the resolving situation between Leduardo Galze and Iskander, silently cheering his companion as Fixer quickly trumped pompous duelist. Anquetiti caught his attention with her question, and he forced a smile for her benefit, though it didn't reach his eyes. "I find it as delightful as always. I'm simply distracted by what complications the rest of the day might bring. Nothing to worry yourself over."

"Do not meddle in the affairs of men, Anna?" she smiled. "I like a little meddling from time to time. And, for how you helped me save Inan - I think I can worry a little too."

The innkeeper palmed Zuan's cobres and nodded. It would be done.
Leduardo's rapier was no ordinary blade. If Leduardo's past boasting was to be believed, Iskander remembered that the hand-guard held the toe-bone of some saint, empowering the epee with minor magic. The pouch contained twelve silver Tails and thirty Cobres, as well as a rolled-up perfumed silken scarf, a few romantic letters, poems, and hair-locks in a fold. His dagger was the only other thing Iskander could easily pick off Leduardo, without actually making a spectacle of himself in the taproom, robbing the unconscious man.
After the water-trough bath, Tagu proceeded to drag Leduardo's prone form behind the inn. What happened there could not be seen, but suffice it to say Tagu was good at following instructions. For a few cobres more, the innkeeper even ignored the proceedings.
An hour later the companions were gathered outside the inn. It was still a few hours from noon, and a gentle breeze ladden with exotic scents, felt refreshing. The innkeeper, for yet a few more coin, offered them pack-mules to traverse the heights, and for yes, more coin, a few Tails this time, he offered to stable Zuan's camels and the companions horses for two nights.
The flower-choked meadows and forested slopes of Canagadi, all purplish, green, and gold in the distance and the morning light, beckoned to them.


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