Back at Greyriver Lodge

JP with Omni, Bandorchu, and Lucian

Pacing in the lodge, Voah was taken aback by Alexis’ news as she relayed of the murders and power struggle in the city. She was speechless as she mulled it over.

For one thing, Friar Balvaris was a friend who she may still have been able to trust as she gathered he was against the wars with the natives. She wasn’t sure but thought it might have been easier to convince him to help.

Secondly, Lord Wim Riese… So much for her lucky stars. The news of his tragic wedding was shocking and terrible.

She felt of little use here besides what she had learned on her travels , but that bounty hunter Alcuin had probably already relayed the important information. She wanted to find him and snuff him out.

She sighed and stared out the window. “Sir Zane first I expect… I had hoped we would have a liaison between ourselves and Margrave Otho, alas… we will need certain Holy provisions like sacred salt and holy oil”.

Alexis nodded. Even if there had been times the man had frustrated her to no end, she still somewhat trusted the old knight.

“Yeah, I agree. I always took Zane for mostly pragmatic if nothing else.”

She rubbed her chin in thought.

“I’d rather we tried to speak to him privately, if that can be managed… I think you should still be welcome in the Keep, Tarmen? Though if you’re unlucky, the Duke might want your report first…“

Tarmen sat looking at the floor, taking in the news of yet another dead ally Wim had been a royal upstart who didn’t know when to quit, but that attitude had been bearing fruit once the ego had been beaten out of it. He remembered their trip to Aquilo rather fondly, finally seeing the runt becoming a man, finding a bit of happiness here and getting back on his feet. For it to end that soon and that he could never avenge such a death… honestly he felt too beaten to feel the hurt, just adding it to the pile.

Hearing his name brought Tarmen to the present, having to quickly think over the question asked.

“Whether he trusts us or not, the Duke will make sure I can get in the Keep unharmed. Leavin’ will be another issue. Can never tell where the old wolf will be though, so no guarantee of a one-on-one before havin’ to give my report.”

“Think it would be better or worse if I come with? Just a civilian at the moment.”

Alexis inquired. She had only been contractor of sorts as far as the Duke knew of her involvement, and as such didn’t really have any business on her own in the Keep.

“Either way I think I want to see for myself what is going on in the city.”

He mulled over the idea, liking the idea of backup.

“Can’t hurt, better to find Zane and I can just say you’re with me if anyone bothers you. Besides, I’d rather you talk to Zane.”

Alexis nodded her consent.

“What about you, Voah? I’d say come along, too, but I think there is a number of people there who know you well enough that they might see through your disguise.”

She paused to think before making her decision.

"I'm willing to take the risk if you are. Can't be sure the Keep won't hold you accountable for harboring me if I am foiled. Unless you can play dumb real well. Keep an eye out for that worm, Alcuin... By Zin, I'd like to silence him."

Tarmen couldn’t get a good feeling from Voah joining them. The more help, the better was wisdom he always enjoyed, but this felt like they would be poking the boar too much.

“We don’t truly know what will happen if you are recognized and the risk of it is too high. I can’t say I enjoy sittin’ back myself, but in this case I would think it the safest option for you to stay here.”

Tarmen was right of course, but she wondered if Voah really could bear being idle, with the stakes being as they were.

“True enough, we have no idea who we might run into. But it’s safe to say that the Keep is the likeliest place for it to be someone who would recognise you. The Duke, Zane himself, Alcuin… heck, with how things seem to be right now Otho himself might be roaming the place.”

She nodded to Ekero.

“But if you are confident in your disguise, that walk around the city might be an option? Maybe together with Ekero?”

Voah stifled a chuckle. “I mean no offense but… any of us going anywhere with Ekero would draw way too much negative attention as we would be walking around with a very obvious foreigner. Unless he is in custody. I suppose if he is coming with us it must be done at some point. Just maybe not yet. I will remain for now, until we are clear on the situation. Ekero and I will take care of the place, nnn?”

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