Back/up The previous resident Pavis overall

"It's shaped like a Death Rune!"


On their return from Duke Raus' residence, Siggyr and Jamal are quickly briefed by Dorinda and Vindana. Siggyr is impressed by the speed of their analysis, and greatly excited by the implications of what they have found. He asks a few pointed questions, and hears nothing to dampen his hopes - yes, there would have been a Humakt temple in the Old City, yes the area indicated is small enough and well marked so that there is a reasonable chance of locating it.

He smiles. This is a great opportunity for the Temple, and it is times like this that repay his sufferings over discipline in the unruly VII. This is what the VII Cohort does.

"Dorinda, Jamal, Vindana - we shall report to Lord Illig. Hrolf, I want the Cohort ready to move in two hours, field dress, light packs. Malan - take cash from the stores and get enough tuck for two days in the bush. Wyredd - send a message to Yaren Blackstaff, the Issaries merchant, asking him join us here. He claims to be an experienced Rubble guide."

"Any questions? If not, let's get on with it!"

"Not exactly a question, more a point of information that may or may not be relevant."

Her initial excitement at the map hidden again, Dori is once more trying to be the detached, analytical Raven (acting).

"You remember it was mentioned a few days ago that there are other Humakti out in the Rubble, including the former commander of the Pavis Royal Guard, Caspian Vur? Illig asked me to find out more about him. It's been a bit hard, with him being banished by the Lunars and them not knowing he's still anywhere near Pavis, but I gather that a year or so back, his followers were looking for something in that sort of area. There were enough general rumours about it to have half the independent adventurers trying their own treasure hunts, anyway, though I gather nothing was found."

Vindana looks disgusted. "He never came to us. Not that I was here myself, but you'd have thought anyone with any sense would've asked at the Library. Humakti never do things the sensible way, though, we all know that. You want to find something out, you need the God of Knowledge. Look at how little you've found out about Vur - if we'd had the job, we'd've known his inside leg measurement by now."

"It's 34." Dori says absently. "He used to use Byrgga Scissortongue as his tailor. She doesn't know anything useful either, though."

"Wha... Dori, that was a joke!"

"If my Warleader orders me to seek out the truth of a matter, that is not a joke."

Dori is the picture of the stereotypical humourless Sword of Humakt whose religion has been called into question, and Vindana retreats to her maps, muttering under her breath. "Used to be fun... Old'n'boring... "

A faint smile plays across Dori's lips, and her own whisper is barely audible even to those standing next to her. "Got her - again."


Not long after Siggyr is briefing Lord Illig, passing on the day's news and requesting permission to lead the VII into the Old City. He has been scrupulous about passing on all the uncertainties, but also trying to communicate his enthusiasm for the expedition. "...Well, it obviously isn't going to be easy to find what we're looking for. After all, Vur looked for sometime - as did others - and found nothing. But we have a map, and at this stage all we are going to do is reconnaissance - in force, as I understand the Rubble can be a difficult place. We'll have a look, find the site indicated by the map, and see what we can see. It maybe that Vur didn't find the right site, didn't find an entrance that we might spot. Or it maybe that we'll be hiring all the available labourers in Pavis to do some serious digging. But until we have a look at the place, we won't know. If need be we'll dig in and report back via messengers. We have retained a local guide experienced in the Old City, and the VII is ready to move as soon as you give your orders, my Lord."

"In force, rather in secrecy." His eyes flick from one to the other of them, measuring. "Your plan, not Dorinda's."

"Of course, sir", Dori says mildly. "I merely provide the information. What is done as a result is the Hundred-thane's decision, not mine." Whether she approves of that decision or not is hard to tell.

"Yes... This site is, of course, right next to General Vur's present headquarters. Unless you are very careful, he will know of your activities
as soon as you begin. While his cooperation is, of course, likely to be beneficial, and we would not wish to deceive a fellow Humakti, General Vur has been asking a great many questions and providing remarkably few answers. Concentrate on investigation, rather than on keeping him informed. And watch him."

Siggyr hides his irritation with a wry grin. "I think that the warriors of the VII Cohort are amply qualified to create confusion and distraction
wherever they go. Moving in force does not preclude a certain amount of ambiguity - we will do our best to leave observers uncertain as to our intentions."

Illig turns back to Dorinda. "A map of another Humakti temple, and in an area already thought to be well-explored - you did well to obtain that."

Dori blushes - Siggyr might notice that about the only time she does blush is when Illig praises her. "We were lucky, that was all."

"Someone [1] once said that he would rather have his hundred-thanes be lucky than good. I prefer both advantages, myself."

Then, back to Siggyr: "Let us hope this run of luck continues. Go ahead with your investigations. I will expect regular reports, both on this possible temple site and on Vur. Dorinda, you have lines of communication set up, I trust?"

She nods. "A little unconventional in places, but they work."

Siggyr refrains from the obvious comment about unconventionality - Dorinda will do her job, he will do his, the VII Cohort will do theirs. Nothing more needs to be said.

"We should approach Karrath Sing-and-Die, and try to negotiate an entry to the rubble using the Cradleriders' tunnels - otherwise we will have to effect an entry by some other means. Vern, too, would be a useful addition to our party."

[1] Napoleon. He refered to generals rather than hundred-thanes, for some reason. Illig is, of course, a much better military strategist!
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