Sephira walks in to the Flying Castle. Cedric continues to polish a glass, cause he’s a bartender, while Kratha looks at her appraisingly.
Cedric- “Emissary Sephira, good evening. Can I offer you a drink?”
Sephira - “I would love an ale, thank you. Do you mind if I join you?” She says to the party.
Cedric produces a halfling sized ale for her.
Thessa waves from wherever she’s sitting.
Yudhisthir answers “Sorry, Envoy, private business. Come back later.”
“If you please,” Thessa adds with a glare at him. He raises his eyebrows at her and looks unimpressed.
Since Sephira did not learn nothing about Yudh this trip, she ignored him and sits near Thessa. “I apologize for intruding, I just wanted to let you know that while the Duke is rather upset by the situation, he is not an unfair man. I think you will be able to prove yourselves to him in time. And I do thank you for all your efforts, and for your kindness in thinking of me when you retrieved the book. Also, I wanted to let you know that I have been given leave to go on a quest of my own, so I will be leaving town soon.”
Arjun nods. “You are welcome. I’m not sure that my brother and I have any interest in proving ourselves to the Duke, but if he’s not going to post a bounty on our heads, or take them off our shoulders himself, that’s good enough. I wish you well on your quest.”
Cyr, under her breath- “Hooray to not being wanted in two countries!” swig of beer.
“Good hunting,” Thessa adds.
Pheadra - “It has been a pleasure, I’m sure we’ll see you once you return.”
Sephira smiles. “Thank you. While I have you, I actually need to put together a party for my quest; I know you are otherwise occupied, but have you run into any other reliable individuals in your stay here? I haven’t quite decided who I should ask yet.”
Arjun: “I’m sorry, Envoy. I have no information for you. Cedric would be a better person to ask.”
Sephira - “I’ll check with him next. Good luck to you, and I’ll leave you to the topic I so rudely interrupted.” She gets up and heads to the bar to chat with Cedric.
Kratha- “I couldn’t help but overhear your talk to you friends dearie, and I think I can help you out a little bit. Cedric, could you get Herzog for me?”
Cedric- “Yes, madam.” He disappears for a moment, and returns with Herzog the waiter.
Kratha- “Miss Sephira, Herzog here is a cleric, and so I think he would be very useful to you on a quest for whatever it is you’re seeking. Herzog, Sephira. Sephira, Herzog.”
Herzog- “Pleased to meet you, Sephira.”
Sephira - “Thank you, Madam Kratha, I have heard that you are a good judge of character.” She turns to Herzog and shakes his hand.
Kratha- “Do make sure she finds a couple of reliable people to help you both out, will you?”
Herzog- “Will do, madam.”
Sephira - “Why don’t we have a seat and discuss some plans?”
Herzog and Sephira take a seat and discuss plans!
---------------Back to the Main Party!-----------------------
Navussar watches Sephria walk back to the bar. “How was she to work with?”
Arjun “Competent. Able to deal well with surprises after an initial shock.”
Phaedra - “She seems to get along well with everyone she meets, as well. She’s very loyal to the Duke, but I have a feeling we would have been in much deeper trouble if she hadn’t said something favorable about us to him.”
Arjun shrugs wearily. “Possibly. So that would make her fair-minded as well, if it’s true.”
Navussar- “She may be useful to know in the future, then. And it is a good tiding that Duke Owen has not declared you outlaws; that might have caused….problems for us in the future. All is well then.”
Yudhisthir asks “What problem would the execution of a bunch of mercenary adventurers cause?” He sounds genuinely curious. And only a bit sarcastic.
Navussar- “Your deaths? None. If we ally with you to fight the giants for our own reasons, working with known criminals would have required time-wasting meetings. Fortunately, you’re only not well liked, not criminal scum.” He smiles. “Anyway, the reason we are interested in you all is that you have proven to be discreet and resourceful. The elves of the Oytwood are planning an offensive to retake the town of Preston, in the middle of the Oytwood, and we are hiring mercenaries to assist us. Would you be interested?”
Arjun: “When? We have a rendezvous of our own to keep already.”
Navussar- “Not sooner than two weeks from now. My brethren are still conducting reconnaissance and are building ambush points along likely escape routes, and we are naturally cautious about this.”
Arjun looks at Yudhisthir “We’d probably be done by then, one way or another?”
Yudh shrugs. “I’d imagine so.”
Arjun looks at the others “And the rest of you?”
Cyr- “Sounds fine to me.” Another swig! (Yudh murmurs “Oi, go easy”)
Phaedra - “Our current plan is to stick together indefinitely, so as long as Arjun and Yudh believe it won’t interfere with the work we are helping them with, it is fine with me.” She looks at Saluki, who is not paying any attention to the party at all. “I’m sure Saluki would like to take any opportunity to use his new skills.”
Thessa shrugs. “Who knows what happens two weeks from now?” she said. “I’m not a warrior, but I’m not opposed to the idea.”
Arjun “Alright, then. Where should we meet you?”
Navussar- “I will meet you back here in 14 days, with news of when the attack will begin. If you don’t find me, what passes for the Embassy of the Oytmeet elves is two streets over (he gestures in a direction away from the Nymphs Arms). The building is unmarked, but an elf soldier will be sitting outside at all times. Just ask for me.”
Arjun “If we are able, we will be there. Or possibly stuck outside the walls here, having been refused entry, one of the two. I hope we will be of assistance.”
Navussar- “In that case, camp in the trees just outside the western gate. A messenger will find you.”
Arjun “Agreed. 14 days either at the embassy or in the trees outside the Western Gate.” He gives Navussar whatever farewell gesture the elves of his hometown use and gets up from the table. Yudh echoes the gesture. Because he has manners. Sometimes.
Navussar grins and returns with the equivalent local elf salutation. He then takes his leave, nodding at Sephira as he walks out.
Arjun, to the group: “Well? Shall we go?”
Cyr- “What, you want to go sit in the woods for six days?”
Yudhisthir: “To set up an ambush, yeah.”
Cyr gives a sour look.
Thessa is watching the elves depart. “They are going to pay us, right?” she asks. “If we fight for them.”
Arjun find a convenient wall and bangs his head into it. “Knew I forgot something.”
Yudhisthir looks suddenly alarmed. “On second thought, leaving in a couple days wouldn’t be a bad thing.” He goes over to Arjun and starts whispering at him.
Cyr gives them an inquisitive look. “What’s with you two?”
Yudh looks over at Cyr. “Nothing. A couple days rest will do everyone good.”
Thessa tilts her head. “Elves are very strange,” she mutters to herself.
Cyr- “You got that right, sister.”
Arjun quits banging his head on the wall. “We’ll talk to Navussar about payment when we see him in two weeks. And yes, we can leave now or in a couple days, and we should arrive early to set up an ambush. Any opinions?”
Cyr- “Definitely stay.” She finishes her beer.
“Stay,” Thessa says.
Phaedra - “I’d say stay, even if we need some time to set up an ambush, I’m worried the mark left in the area by our presence would be to obvious if we are there for more than a few days.”
Cyr- “Yeah, so we stay here two or three days, one day to get down there, one or two days waiting, and if they don’t show we come back, right?”
Arjun “Agreed. Try to stay out of the Duke’s way in the mean time.” He heads upstairs, followed by Yudhisthir.
Cyr goes over to the bar to talk to Saluki, Cedric, and Kratha. Thessa follows purely out of curiosity.
Kratha- “...well, sometimes we do hire the girls out for parties the soldiers across the river throw. It’s okay money for them.”
Cyr request another beer. “Saluki, game of cards?”
Saluki - “Always! Want to join, Kratha?”
Kratha- “I’m always up for something risque...I mean risky.” she winks at him. “Cedric, dear, can you get us some beers? First round’s on me.” She looks at Thessa appraisingly. “And you are…?”
Thessa bows. “Bard Thessara of Clan Leaping Rock,” she says. “Newly joined to this party. It’s delightful to meet you.”
Kratha shakes her hand...paw...whatever. “Oooh, a bard! You’ve come to the wrong side of the river, honey, all the money is to be made in the camp on the other side.”
“I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with this region,” Thessa says. “And the last time I wandered alone, I was caught by orcs, so…” she shrugs and makes a face. “I stay with them for now. Any call for a bard in town by any chance?”
Kratha- “Not really, it’s pretty drab on this side. Everyone is trying to avoid having giants drop rocks on them, so it’s still pretty empty over here. The thousands of soldiers across the river would like the entertainment. Too bad you’re not human, you could make more money that way.”
Saluki - “Thessa, I would be delighted to act as your bodyguard for an excursion across the river.” He stands up purely for the opportunity to take her hand, bow, and kiss her hand.
Thessa gives him a look equal parts amusement and skepticism. “You would, would you? Very well, I accept. Thank you.”
Saluki - “Delightful! Just let me know when you’d like to depart.” He bows again gallantly before turning back to the game and sitting down.
“Well far be it from me to interfere with your free beer,” Thessa says, also sitting down. “Perhaps I shall watch this game a while.”
And then there was gambling!
Cyr destroys Saluki and Thessa at whatever it is they’re playing, but herself loses to Kratha.
Arjun and Yudhisthir come down at evening meal time, having meditated all day and climbed to the roof to exercise his wings, respectively
After they are done, Saluki asks Kratha if she knows of any wizards who can identify items in the area.
Kratha thinks a minute. “Mmmm that would be a question for Cedric. You’d be lucky to find one, I can tell you that, dear. Cedric? Can you see if there are any wizards for hire in town?”
Cedric- “Yes Madam!”
Kratha- “You’ll have to wait a couple of days, I think.”
The rest of 20th of Grune (this day here), 21st and 22nd of Grune all pass without too much chaos or anarchy.