Stoneshade Keep - Ostiarium

Tarmen looked around at the walls he had hoped not to see for some time. The whole trip back he had remained quiet, both to focus on healing and still unsure on how to carry forward.
Easier said than done, now that he sat in his intended target’s presence.
He couldn’t use his right arm, locked in a sling and still harboring an itching pain. He could walk without aid, but he didn’t yet move with his usual grace and still needed rest.
Hardly the makings of an assassin. He wondered if Hunter had made it back so he could get some pointers. He knew for sure he couldn’t take the Duke on now AND escape.
Instead he looked to the man, ever looming over his papers as he awaited to be addressed.

"Sit." The Duke said without looking up waiting for the man to comply.
He kept writing for a few heartbeats before putting his quill down. Looking at Tarmen he seemed to take the man's measure.
"I received some interesting missives from Aquilo. Sir Zane spoke highly, not only of your stand against the brigands, but of your exploration of the mines..." He said clearly and getting straight to them point.
"He tells me you found a strange race of people in the caves below Fang. But I will like to get your own account about your experiences with them..."

There it was again, the man’s machinations that seemed to have no end. No doubt he wanted to see if these people were of use to him and the Empire.
He kept his summary quick, details without the trauma or emotion. With just that it wasn’t much, but he remembered enough of their living spaces, the roles seemingly based on skill such as the female captor, and the spores to give a decent report.
Ending his side of the tale, Tarmen mulled over the way the Duke had mentioned Zane’s report; rubbed him wrong. He had made many of the mistakes while his comrades had made up for it.
“The others with me deserve more praise. Arbiter Voah, Alexis Greyriver, and the others helpin’ them did far more.”

The Duke nodded at his final words having paid close attention to Tarmen's perspective on the events. He had made several notes of is own, many of which he would have to have investigated. Of course what the moment the importance was the underground network that appeared to stretch underneath Fang all the way to the Desert of Skulls and these strange folk, the Neph-Kin.

"What about the mould?" He asked. "What did you feel when you were under its influence?"

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