back Was it the Orlanthi? No, not Chaos?


As he looks down to where the Rat may land his eyes alight upon a small band of cavalry. "Graylor! Look down there, it seems Gerras has managed to get some zebras to head up to Pairing Stone for us. We should perhaps head them off and save them a journey." He turns the other way to face the Orlanthi "Krogar, any chance we can drop down there and speak to our friends? It looks like they are about to set off on a wild goose chase."

Tutting he turns again to the Rat "I've warned you once, sit still or you'll fall off. If you do don't come running to me when you've broken your legs!"

"Hey you're right! There is Yenda and the others. We should save them a journey, question is do we do the rest of the journey on land and take the Rat with us or carry on in the embrace of the North Wind and get this over with quickly?" Graylor asks Egil

Egil doesn't get the chance to answer that one. "We land, and walk," Krogar says firmly. "Here is as good as anywhere else, close enough to base."

The sylphs start to spiral gently downwards.

"The Lunars will tolerate some things, but flying into the New City, in daylight, is tactless at the best of times. A group this size, and at least three on the wanted lists: no. Not an option."

"That decides it then!" Privately Graylor is relieved to get his feet back on the ground, falling that far is not a sensation he wants to repeat in a hurry.

As they land Gerras and Yenda split off from the main group and race their zebra to meet Egil and Graylor. The others who are less familiar with riding proceed at a slower pace. Yenda wheels her steed in front of Gralyo and leaps from it without slowing it's headlong pace. She lands neatly at Graylor's feet. Her face flushed with youthful enthusiasm and delight in seeing Graylor again. She looks ready to throw her arms around him. Suddenly the realization of her situation hits her and she drops her arms and steps back looking embarrassed. To cover her embarrassment Yenda slips into formality.

"It gladdens my heart to see thee again. We wert most anxious when thou didst vanish from the catacombs, leaving naught but thy boots." Reaching behind her she unhooks Graylor's boots from her belt and timorously offers them to Graylor.

Graylor accepts them with a huge grin. "Thanks, I'd missed them. Fortunately, thanks to our neighbours here, we haven't had to do much walking yet." Quickly he slips his feet into his boots and with his arm round Yenda's shoulders he walks out to meet the others.

"Irnar, they got you on a hor… mount! Yinkin's whiskers you must have been worried! Santhis good to see you too. Glad you all made it out in one piece." Graylor warmly greets his companions. "Good news, Egil caught the Rat, his master was none too happy I can tell you, and he is going to take Egil to where his sword is hidden."

Egils smirks although it looks like a grimace. "He seems to think I want to kill him. I don't know where he would have gotten that idea from."

Turning to Gerras he calls "So you gathered a cavalry eh? Shame you don't need it now. As you can see we caught the sword thief but we are under oath and he must not be killed for this crime under any circumstances. Although as we are in your lands now I suppose I should defer to Waha's law on how a criminal is treated."

Looking at the rather large group that seems to be gathered Egil seems to come to a decision "We want to avoid attracting too much attention from the loonies, Krogar and Ratboy, me, Gerras and Mav. Graylor, Irnar, Elgan and Yenda should be sufficient. The rest of you should disperse. Ok then, Rat you lead the way, I don't mind which way we go into the city but I want to avoid any....imperial entanglements and remember if trouble breaks out and it looks like I'm going to meet Hu, you're coming with me."

"You think eight people armed to the teeth, one of them painted blue, won't attract attention? The Lunars are dumb, but they're not that dumb. No, I'll go alone," then, hastily, as he catches Krogar's glare, "with two or three who know how to avoid trouble. Anyway, you won't want to do sewer work, you'd get your nice swords dirty."

Graylor snorts with indignation. "That is the least of your worries, you have far greater crimes on your head than getting us dirty."

He turns back to his comrades. "I guess you'll be comming Egil, I think that Irnar would be useful too. As to the others I'd suggest that they return the way they came, back to the zebra pens. We can meet back at Gimpys."

Krogar speaks. "We can all go back via the Zebra pens and Gimpy's. I can take your companions to my room there where we will be less likely to be disturbed."

"He's probably got one more crime on his head, if you remember," Rana says, "and I'd rather like an explanation of it before he gets himself killed." She pulls out the little vial of fluid they had seen earlier. "Why? I suppose I should have known better than to trust you or your gifts, even that long ago, but to leave me with something like this... where did you get it from, anyway?"

Egil turns to Graylor, his voice carries a slight hollowness to it as if Hu is speaking as well "I'm ready for the off. My hand is itching to hold my sword again or deal death to the thief should it not be forthcoming. We can only hope our journey is not delayed by the Bull who might smell the chaotic potion that Vinga has drunk."

"Fortunately it is not a potion that needs to be drunk so there is no taint in Rana. However, I think that destroying the vial would be a good plan. Reliance on such items can lead to a slow and insidious slide into the darkness. Though to calm your fears Egil the vial gives no indication of its nature until the magic contained therin is released."

A flash of inspiration hits Graylor and he turns to the Rat.

"Did you get this from Cavos? Or are there many nests of vampires hereabouts? How far have you ventured down their road?" Visibly Graylor restrains himself. Time enough to examine the Rat when Egil has his sword and who knows how much of the Rat would remain after Rana has finished her discussion with him. And speaking of remaining.

"Krogar, I would ask a boon of you, since you are Orlanth to the Rats Eurmal. I presume that he is bound into the Tricksters oath. Cause him to guide us back to your rooms in Gimpy's after he has returned the sword. I fear without such direction he may forget the way and miss out on the just rewards for his services!" The last said with a grin. "Hu and I would be most happy to lend you our support with your oath, just so that he knows it is no ale bound oath to be broken at will."

"Oh, I can do better than that." He grabs the Rat again, this time by a slender chain around his neck. "Until we meet again, you will obey Graylor as myself. Understood?"

"You can't...!"

"Can't I? And what's this about this girl, and chaotic amulets?"

Graylor grins humourlessly at the thief's discomfort.

"Oh, that." He shrugs dismissively. "A former apprentice of mine, and a trinket I gave her years ago. I stole it from a vampire, yes. It's chaotic, then?" He doesn't seem to find the fact of any particular interest.

The smile is wiped off Graylor's face to be replaced with a much darker expression. "Such callous disregard of the things of the pre-dark could land you in serious trouble, my light-fingered friend. It will not be forgotten."

"Apologies Krogar, I had assumed that you knew Rana."

Graylor makes the introductions between Krogar and Rana. While they are exchanging pleasantries Graylor speaks to Egil.

"We need to get a message to Dori, the last she heard was that we had been magicked away. We could get Gerras and Yenda to detour via the camp when they reach the rubble if that is OK with you?"

Egil nods, "That sound like a good idea to me, Mauvin can go back with them too."

He turns to his companions to instruct them "Gerras, Mav can you tell Dori that me and Graylor have come back? We're going to the new city to pick up my sword, I have sworn an oath not to harm the thief for his misdeed although what Hu might have to say on the matter is another thing entirely. Do warn her though that he has been dabbling with vampires and has got hold of some of their chaotic magic so to beware if she should come across him."

Turning back to Graylor: "I think I'm ready for the off, shall we go?"

Rana seems to have been getting on well with Krogar, though his slightly flowery way of addressing an attractive and much younger woman might come as a surprise to some. Now she turns back to her former teacher, with rather less friendliness. "Which way are we going in? Bait Street entrance?"

"In this company - well, it's as good as any other. Back into the city the same way we left it, though you can only cover one at a time, can't you? How many of these tame killers are on the Wanted list?"

She glares at him. "If you think I'm using that thing again, now I know what it is, forget it."

"No definitely not! As soon as we have the leisure I would happily destroy it for you." Graylor offers Rana.

To ther Rat he says. "Well.. We're not popular at the moment! You know the copy you sold to the Yanafal Tarnils? They had their ceremony last night and Hu here slaughtered their heroquester. We left them in quite a panicked and demoralised state. Though that was several hours ago, they have probably reorganised by now. The Yinkini and I can move without being seen if we have a need to."

"All right.. that leaves her, me, and your quiet and subtle friend. Hu's meant to like silence, right? Can we gag him and put a sack over his head?"

"No," Rana says firmly. "That'll only draw attention. Tell you what, though - I bet the Marbles won't have told the other regiments what happened. They'll be running round like headless chickens, but you think they'll tell the others how badly they got beaten, and by who? No, if we go for a gate they're not due to be guarding, there should be no more trouble than normal. In fact.... head for Rivergate. If I'm remembering the schedule right, I can get us in there, and if I'm wrong, I'll do a distraction. It worked last night, it should work again today."

Egil, in a flat, emotionless voice states "I can make this promise, I will be stood close to our friend and guarantee that should he give us away the next person he speaks with will be Hu."

Graylor looks at his friend in surprise, wondering why he was so calm about the Rat's comment about having a sack on his head. Seeing the all black eyes he recognises the presence of Hu very close to the surface. Perhaps that is why Egil is so aloof at the moment Graylor thinks. Mentally he shrugs and returns to the problems in hand.

"Let's go then. The sooner we are in the sooner we can get this finished!"

Into the Rat's lair | Reporting back
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