The Spiked Rose was a nice inn. No doubt whoever originally decided to build it in the foothills of this peculiar little county, catering as it did, to those traveling here for spices, or for those about to traverse the Great Mountains, was an enterprising sort.
The companions, as usual their thoughts their own, broke fast over rashers of smoked bacon, some rather large eggs of some unidentifiable birds, and of course, since they were in Canagadi, an aromatic nog, spiced with clove, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Anquetiti ate and studied her companions, with a wayward eye toward other inn clientele, always on the look-out for "witch-hunters" or "marks".
Nisher kept thinking of his strange encounter with Alnab Rugen back in Zamorza, and itching to open the strange porcelain jug he had stolen from Bulvan, the Soul-Merchant.
Inan ate silently. For his part, he had recognized Nisher's jug for what it was, when he had spied it momentarily, as the spellwriter kept examining the vessel as they rode the previous night. Inan had seen them before. To most, the painted swirls on the rather plain looking jug were simply a design, but Inan recognized the symbols. Unstopping that jug would release a djinn, and according to the markings Inan could see, not a friendly one....
Inan studied Nisher as the latter ate and stared at his jug.
Zuan was done with his breakfast quickly, and was now quizzing the innkeep on the whereabouts of his new "spice patch". The innkeep examined the document, and shook his head slowly. This place I know he says, it is not far from the accursed keep you asked me about as well. Two hours through the mountain-pass in the same direction as the Silent Women, he explains.
Saano was checking his equipment, with a serious expression, and brows furrowed...and probably lost in debate with his dear sister. After all, perhaps before the day was even out, he would attempt to perform a Demonic Dispiritation inside the walls of an unknown monastery.
Iskander and Tagu spoke in hushed tones. There was a man inside the inn, eating as well, and staring at Iskander conspicuously, that Iskander recognized. None other than the Scarred Pimpernel, Leduardo Galze, an obnoxious duelist, who traveled the lands challenging all he met to duels with his rapier, and who Iskander had gotten the better of, once, a long time ago....
Finished with his egg, the man called Leduardo Galze stood up form his table, with a show of flourish, and approached Iskander head-on, stopping within inches of the seated man.
"It is you!" he says, and involuntarily fingers the long scar along his neck. "Long have I sought you, to exact my revenge! It is me, Iskander, Leduardo Galze, the Scarred Pimpernel, greatest duelist in all of the Sultanate's many lands!" Leduardo seemed to speak as some great "hero" would to an old draconic adversary of legend.
"Fate has been kind to me. Here you are. Shall we commence?" he asks and fingers his rapier in its sheath. "But this time, you shall not humiliate me! This time we duel to the death, and i shall run you through, then laugh as you bleed out!"
Leduardo was extremely annoying. Tagu rolled his eyes.