Savaged Kith'takharos

Session 31

An uncomfortable silence settles in Mistress Bianca’s chamber after Meryl’s sudden exit. An exit as sudden as his entrance, Meryl’s admonition in regards to the recent foray into the swamp raised many questions. Why should they keep their trip and findings secret? From whom and for how long? Then there is the obligation Rikard and Bart accepted on behalf of the group from Jorian Odessa. Another tangled mess to be sure. Bart remembers Jorian’s words, “Oh, and before I forget, I urge you not to kill all the spiders,” and “Leave before dawn to avoid unnecessary attention from you know who (eyes darting off to the Transit Guild enclave)” Mistress Bianca seemed to fear the worst and unleashed unexpected rage upon her rooms fixtures. Finally she sat, clearly winded and not in full control over her emotions. Her shoulders sobbed unsteadily. Perhaps more than winded would call for. Then Rikard let loose with a sharp almost bleated cry, “Damnit, that weasel slipped away!” A quick look about the room and everyone knows who Rikard is talking about. Darren is nowhere to be seen.

Mistress Bianca sighs defeatedly.
Mistress Bianca: I really don’t know what to do Rikard.
Rikard Castleberry: You mean, aside from breaking lamps and such?
Mistress Bianca: I am afraid I am running out of things to break.
Rikard Castleberry: Well, you know my thoughts on the current situation. If we are in way over our heads here, then we need to go somewhere else for a bit.
Mistress Bianca: I do not know about you but I am thinking maybe of heading out to the swamp again. At least there we know what kind of dangers to look for.
Rikard Castleberry: There’s no reason just yet to go back out there. This place may be all upside down, but that doesn’t mean the entire town is.
Mistress Bianca: Just half of it and the other half who knows. Perhaps you are right. Should we go to the salted eel and rub some whiskey in our wounds?
Rikard Castleberry: Eventually. Not yet. Do you think they want to see us walking in, barely able to stand, bleeding still?
Bart: Does it not make sense for you to stay, Bianca?
Mistress Bianca: I don’t want to be caught in a weakened state as I am…as we are. It would be better to make a rescue at peak health. I don’t even know what is going on. I was thinking about getting some rumors from town.
Bart: You would be safe here I would think. You are still a hero in the town, a bargaining chip to be used against your uncle. Rikard can find out information form the leaf.
Rikard Castleberry: Also, everyone here is on high alert. They know everything, we know nothing. Not a very good position to be in.
Mistress Bianca: Maybe you are right. I think there is someone at the Jade leaf that can tend our wounds though. He worked on Rikard just a couple weeks ago.
Bart: And a couple bar maids who will look forward to resuming their care.
Rikard Castleberry: Sure, but that comes later, after I’m cleaned up.
Mistress Bianca: Be that as it may be, if we go there we most likely will have to give them the webbing.
Bart: Darren has that anyway doesn’t he?
Mistress Bianca: I believe he does. I guess we will have to find him.
Rikard Castleberry: So, since he isn’t here for us to give up the webs, we can’t turn them over.
Mistress Bianca: Now that idea I like. I guess I am so tired and sore I didn’t think of that. Wow Rikard. Perhaps you should be my eyes too.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh, let’s not do something quite that hasty.
Mistress Bianca goes through her closet to find another cloak type garment with hood to cover her hair up. She finds a dark grey cloak with green embroidery on the edges and a deep hood that comes to a draping point near the small of her back when put up.
Bart: So what is the plan?
Mistress Bianca: We visit our friends at the jade leaf, Cornelious especially.
Rikard Castleberry: Clean up, get out of here, get more info, kick some skulls in.
Bart: Shall we get our boat?
Mistress Bianca: Actually yes. That is a good idea as well.
Rikard Castleberry: It wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to take it over to the leaf and dock there.
Mistress Bianca: Lets do it. You two can wash up in the basin there. Towels are underneath.
Bart: Then we have a plan. Let us go.
Rikard Castleberry: Excellent.
Bart ignores the comment about washing.
Rikard Castleberry starts to wash up.
Rikard Castleberry concludes washing up.
Mistress Bianca: Ok lets go then.

Most of you move out of the Transit Guild’s main hall, making your way to your skiff. Once there you plainly see that the four web containers are indeed missing. Next you travel a few hundred yards by river to the Jade Leaf Order gate. It is closed but two guards raise it for you as a third runs off into the compound presumably to let someone know of your arrival.

Rikard Castleberry: Hi guys!
Mistress Bianca waits quietly.

Darren you arrive jugs in hand. You are questioned briefly and then allowed entry into the Jade Leaf Order’s compound. You are led into the main keep where you meet Jorian Odessa for the first time.

Jorian looks up from a parchment. “Put those on my desk. Sit down. Would you like some ale?”

One of the guards return. “If the other one had a let us know you were on the way, we’d of had that gate open.”

Darren greets the half elf cordially.
Jorian: Cat got your tongue?
Darren: It is a pleasure to finally meet you Mr. Odessa.
Mistress Bianca: Other one? Ah of course. Do not worry about it. I am sorry for the inconvenience.
Jorian leans back in his chair and stretches. “The honor’s all mine if there’s web in those containers.”
Darren: I have several specimens for you as was agreed, however, a fourth specimen was unable to be obtained

“No trouble at all ma’am”

Jorian: There was trouble?
Darren continues to speak as he takes them one by one out of the bag and sets them onto his desk.
Darren: The spiders were quite dangerous. The three who accompanied me were seriously injured.
Mistress Bianca: Can you take us to him then Mr…?
Jorian: But survived…
Darren: Yes, they did survive.

”’A course, mind yer steps.”

Jorian nods. “Good. They have proven themselves pretty damn tough. I’d be surprised if anything was mean enough to kill Rikard.”

You are led into the main keep and brought to a room where Jorian and Darren are talking. The three web containers are on the table between them.

Darren: I was not privy to the agreements you made to Mr. Castleberry and Bart, however the task seemed a worthy one and I knew I could be of use to the effort.
Mistress Bianca walks in leaning heavily on her staff behind the man.
Jorian rises and nods slightly, as if he is making some internal calculation. “You need a doctor.”
Rikard Castleberry: 4, if you have them.
Jorian: Please, sit.
Mistress Bianca wastes no time taking a seat.
Darren appears to not be surprised by their entrance.
Mistress Bianca: Thank you.
Jorian: There’s some ale, dried fish, and fruit on the table over there. Help yourself.
Mistress Bianca looks at Darren as she sits.
Rikard Castleberry gives a decent, polite 5 second pause, and then starts in on the food.
Mistress Bianca: Perhaps later if that is alright sir.
Jorian sits back down and places hands upon his desk, straightening a stack of papers.
Mistress Bianca: I am sorry that it took so long.
Jorian rubs his eyes and grimaces, and then takes a deep swallow from a nearby mug.
Bart: What has happened with the trade guild?
Jorian: As I told Rikard and Bart, time was not an issue.
Darren lets his eyes grow wide for a moment at Bart’s bluntness.
Bart puts some of the fish in his pocket for later.
Rikard Castleberry stops eating for a moment.
Jorian laughs. “Reinforcements. Claiming they came to help us against the Swamp Men. Perhaps they did, but it doesn’t matter. This man Bjorn has other plans, I think.
Rikard Castleberry: By the way, I would seriously recommend next time you send folks into that forest; you go in heavy, much heavier than 4. We managed, but most would not have lasted the first night.
Mistress Bianca: Has Uncle spoken with Lady Salmissra or Dorian yet?
Jorian: You’ll have to ask the Lady and Dorian about that.
Mistress Bianca: I see.
Bart: I am surprised you let an army in on so thin a pretense.
Jorian: Well, I’ve had far too many surprises recently.
Mistress Bianca: I know we are not the closest of friends, but having just returned an hour ago, Is there any things else wise that we don’t know about?
Darren: You must forgive the questions Jorian, it has been a ver
y long and troubling day for us all.
Jorian: To be honest, I thought you had come to report about the mission. I was hoping to learn some details about these spiders and their habits.
Bart: They are evil creatures that should be destroyed.
Darren: Ah yes, we have quite a lot to discuss.
Rikard Castleberry: I’d be happy to talk about the spiders. It’s just the 2nd most disturbing thing that’s happened recently, that’s all.
Mistress Bianca: Ah, Forgive me. I am just reeling still. You were correct, we need medical attention. Those spiders are evil and extremely deadly.
Jorian: Evil? In what way? You mean evil and not just dangerous? I’ll send for the doctor.
Darren: They appear to possess an organized intelligence far surpassing mere arachnids.
Mistress Bianca: Perhaps Bart could explain better. That is not to say Darren is incorrect.
Bart: They are a blight upon the swamp. A disturbance on the harmony that exists. They should not be and yet they are. Dou you understand?
Darren: Highly territorial and protective of their lair, resistant to damage, to water and immune to flame.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh, they spit fire, too.
Mistress Bianca: Bart described them before as unnatural.
Darren: Bart, perhaps it would be better to stick to what we experienced.
Bart: Because you are blind to what exists does not mean that others are so short sighted.
Bart sits down to let Darren…explain.
Jorian yells, “Claw!” A young man enters quickly and Jorian instructs him to fetch Doctor Troost.
Mistress Bianca: I thank you much Mister Odessa.
Darren sighs.
Darren: From what little I know of Bart, he appears to have a keen insight to the swamp and the abundant life that thrives within it. He has expressed reverently that the spiders are altogether wrong as if they do not belong.
Jorian: I know men like that and respect their opinions greatly.
Darren: They are no mere creatures, they appear to be…special.
Mistress Bianca shifts in her seat and winces a little as the clothing stuck to her flesh with dried blood breaks free.
Darren: To what degree I can not say but I do know they deserve more study and much more concern.
Jorian steeples his fingers. “Unnatural like some of the swamp plants, perhaps?”
Rikard Castleberry: Except that, we wouldn’t be in dire trouble if swamp plants invaded the town.
Jorian: How many spiders do you estimate were there? How many were killed?
Darren: I would say that their appearance is…suspicious.
Rikard Castleberry: We killed about, oh, 10 or so?
Darren looks over at Bianca and Rikard.
Mistress Bianca: We saw maybe a dozen more.
Rikard Castleberry: They die easy enough; the trouble is their projectile flame, and small size.
Mistress Bianca: Imagine a concentrated ball of burning oil spat at you from 30 feet. When it hits it is like a small explosion of flame that burns what it touches instantly.
Darren coughs and settles himself for what she is about to say next.
Jorian: I will note these things and take them up with Dorian. It is not my call to send an expedition to exterminate the spiders.
Darren: There is one more thing however…
Darren looks over at Bianca.
Rikard Castleberry: We’re full of good news!
Mistress Bianca looks at Darren.
Jorian leans back. “Please go on. I wish to hear everything you can tell me.”
Darren: We obtained a live specimen.
Mistress Bianca: Yes, Darren. And I am going to kill it.
Jorian narrows his eyes and points at his desk. “In one of the containers?”
Mistress Bianca: Would you like to know what else I am going to do with it?
Darren: No…a device that was loaned to us.
Darren almost ignoring her.
Bart tries to keep the “I told you so” look off his face.
Mistress Bianca: I am going to drain its blood into a pot and heat it till it boils. Then I am going to open a wound on my arm and add some of my blood to it. Would you like me to continue?
Jorian: Where is this device?
Rikard Castleberry: I kind of want you to.
Darren clears his throat as he hears Bianca’s words.
Darren: I am not sure where at this moment the device rests Mr. Odessa. I only felt that it was important for you to be well informed about our findings. We all agreed to that much.
Darren gives her a sidelong glance.
Mistress Bianca: I have the device. Right here in my bag.
Jorian exhales. “And what does this device do?”
Jorian appears to be having a hard time controlling his emotions.
Rikard Castleberry: Are you alright Jorian? You appear to be flustered.
Jorian gives Rikard a glance before turning back to Bianca.
Mistress Bianca: I could tell you what it does exactly Mister Odessa, but I am afraid I did not come here to discuss the device.
Jorian nods as his eyes narrow. “Pray tell, what did you come to discuss?”
Darren feels a cold, row of sweat suddenly appear upon the back of his neck at the question.
Bart: What happened at the trade guild.
Jorian: AH, I had hoped you would explain that. Please continue.
Mistress Bianca: Truthfully? I came here because Kith’takharos has an army inside of it, I am here because I do not feel safe in my own home. I am here because I just got back to town from a jaunt into the swamp where a bunch of spiders burned the shit out of my breasts and the only god damn healer in town is here at the Order of the Jade Leaf.
Rikard Castleberry: It felt like walking into a living dream, with how different things were in the short time we was away.
Jorian: And I think one more thing, perhaps.
Jorian turns to Rikard and Bart. “Was I at all unclear with the mission parameters? About why you left at dawn to hide your movements? Then I learn that the first place you go upon your return is the Transit Guild.”
Jorian: That was not part of your mission.
Rikard Castleberry: They know nothing about what we did. Absolutely nothing.
Darren doesn’t mouth the words but a clear resounding “aw fuck me” resounded inside his own head.
Bart: Bianca is wounded. Her health is of more importance.
Darren: She entered to clean herself up in order to make a decent report to you Mr. Odessa. She was very badly burned and her clothes all but covered her. The changes that we have discovered there have been particularly difficult for her and have added undo stress to her otherwise fragile state.
Jorian suddenly stands and slams a fist upon his desk. “Bullshit! You want to play both sides? I don’t give a goddamn what you say your reasons are. You knew I did not want this mission exposed to the Transit Guild.”
Mistress Bianca: Then why the fuck did you hire me?
Rikard Castleberry: Like I said, they don’t know what we did, or where we went. We docked, dealt with some issues, and left. Like any number of times in the past we’ve walked into any given place.
Jorian calms himself but does not sit down. “But you got this device before you left, yes? And you got it with no explanation of why you might want it?”

There is a light knock at the door.

Jorian: Come in.
Bart: They knew about the spiders already. It wasn’t a surprise to them.
Mistress Bianca motions to Rikard, Darren, and Bart to let her handle this.

The door opens and an elderly man with an absolutely huge nose steps in.

Cornelius Troost: Ah, well, uh, it’s crowded in here. Who is hurt?
Darren lets his eyes widen and almost looks as if to shake his head in disagreement to her gesture.
Rikard Castleberry: Pretty much everyone here other than Jorian, doc.
Cornelius Troost: Or rather, who is not hurt. Come let me see what we may see.
Darren: I believe I am relatively unharmed, however The Mistress is badly wounded.
Mistress Bianca: Ahh, Mister Troost, Nice to see you again. I think we all could use your help but help my friends here first; I need to speak to Jorian privately.
Bart sits comfortably again to let Bianca explain.
Jorian clears his throat. “Forgive me. Nature calls. I’ll be back.” He steps around everyone and heads out the door.
Rikard Castleberry starts pointing at the spots he is injured for the doc.
Mistress Bianca wishes that she didn’t have a mask on so that she could wink at her friends.
Cornelius Troost moves towards Mistress Bianca and examines her.
Darren narrows his eyes at Bianca as Jorian passes by him.
Mistress Bianca: Mostly the chest Mister Troost, which is why I wish to be seen…privately.
Darren moves over and sits down.
Cornelius Troost: Oh, yes, of course you do. Um, could everyone step out into the hall? I believe there is a small sitting room across the hall to the left.
Rikard Castleberry grabs a plate of food and moves into the hall.
Bart: Sure.
Bart follows Rikard.
Darren sighs and steps out as requested.
Darren walks down the hall.
Mistress Bianca: So Mister Troost, (she says removing her cloak and loosening her shirt) can you help me?
Rikard Castleberry: Well guys, I would say this day hasn’t quite gone anywhere how I anticipated it.
Cornelius Troost: With skill and practiced hands the Dr. performs an examination. He tends the wounds by getting hot water, and cleaning the wound. Then he dresses it and says, “You’ll need plenty of rest. With luck infection won’t set in but I’d not guarantee that won’t happen.
Mistress Bianca: Well I haven’t needed them so far in life. I doubt I will in the future.
Cornelius Troost: Send another one in and I’ll see what can be done.
Bart: Rikard, You are next.

Over the course of an half hour you are all tended, and will likely avoid the worst septic effects of the swamp. Dr. Troost excuses himself and says a word to Jorian privately, then leaves.

Jorian: So, we’ve all had a little time to think. You wish to say something Bianca?
Mistress Bianca: Yes, I have never lied, nor do I wish to now. I will also not continue to let my friends lie for my protection.
Darren wonders to himself if the beam supporting the front awning could hold him should he decide to hang himself from it.
Jorian: Have I been lied to?
Mistress Bianca: I asked for several doses of Trastic and V’gar from my uncle Meryl.
Mistress Bianca: To help with the night time sight I originally expected we would need when dealing with the spiders. As well as the extra stamina because well he have been beat to hell before when we saved Kith’takharos from the swamp men.
Mistress Bianca: I did not want to tell Uncle Anything about anything really. But have you ever had a person that you were so close to that when they looked at you just right you crack?
Jorian says nothing.
Mistress Bianca: I am sorry. I made sure of two things when talking with him. One, that the town’s safety is the first priority.
Mistress Bianca: But he wanted us to bring back a live specimen. And presented a device for doing so safetly. My other task was to guard the device with my life. I take full responsibility for telling Meryl. When returning honestly I only wanted to return home and clean up and see if I could get patched up by our own physician of sorts.
Darren postures himself as if patiently waiting to add something to the discussion.
Mistress Bianca: We risked our lives to get you those 3 jars. That is all the webbing we could grab. I have one spider that I am not giving to anyone because I need it. And after we are finished in town as soon as I can I am going to go back and eradicate those spiders, and if anyone else wants to come, I would welcome the help.
Jorian nods and listens.
Mistress Bianca: I have saved the town once, and I will save it again because I know damn well that these are too dangerous to leave out there with people like Tierney and Hoyt out there.

You hear men walking by in the hall laughing, “Two days? Hell that is a….” but it trails off as they pass from hearing range.

Mistress Bianca: Now if you want to be angry with me so be it, what is done is done and I cannot change it. And do not be mad at my friends, protecting me is their only sin.
Darren gets a quick, unsettling image of Bianca standing over him as he lays inside a coffin. She laughs maniacally as she pounds a nail into the ajar lid of his own coffin.
Rikard Castleberry looks between everyone, clearly missing some sort of below the surface discussion.
Jorian sits on a corner of his desk. “Yes, you did save the village. That is not forgotten and is a strong point in your favor. All right, your story seems reasonable. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.” He reaches into his desk and pulls out a bag of coins. “We agreed on 800 for 4, so you get 600 for three. Plus the boat.”
Bart: So now can we discuss getting Meryl back in place?
Jorian raises a finger. “One moment, there are a couple more things to discuss. First, as a representative of Lady Salmissra and the Order of the Jade Leaf, I request that you do not return to kill these spiders unless Lady Salmissra agrees.”
Mistress Bianca takes out 100 gold and hands 50 to Bartand 50 to Rikard, The other 50 she hands to Darren wordlessly.
Bart: That’s dumb.
Mistress Bianca: No problem. It will prbably be a few days first. I hope they do not burn the town before then.
Rikard Castleberry: What if these spiders become hostile? I assume that it’s open season at that point?
Jorian: Second, this captured spider would be invaluable to Kith’takharos. The things we could learn would be invaluable in future explorations of the swamp. Lady Salmissra has made it clear how we should respond to such opportunities. You would be well compensated for the spider.”
Mistress Bianca: Remember what I said about the blood draining?
Jorian: And even better compensated for the device.
Bart: What?
Jorian: Blood draining?
Rikard Castleberry: The device is not ours to sell or dispose of.
Mistress Bianca: I was not joking. One of the books that Lady Salmissra personally gave me described something that is lost to Kith’takharos. Possibly the world. It may not have been seen for a thousand years.
Jorian: Please explain how you would use the creature?
Mistress Bianca: And I need the device and the spider to uncover it.
Jorian: You cannot do it without the spider?
Mistress Bianca: Well…I think it is a better discussion for your historians and philosophers. How much do you know about magic?
Jorian: I’m sure Lady Salmissra would provide whatever is needed were you to release the spider.
Mistress Bianca: It unfortunately does require the spider. And as you can see…I do not want money.
Bart: Do we need to get the healer back in here? Was she not clear as to the danger?
Jorian: As I said earlier, this is not my call. If it is to be done, Lady Salmissra will decide.
Mistress Bianca: I can absolutely assure you that what I gain from the spider will far surpass anything you could possibly imagine gleaning from it.
Darren: Bianca, it would be a good gesture to release the spider to the lady and then perhaps mediate to the lady of your requests?
Bart: No it would not.
Rikard Castleberry: I’m not releasing that thing anywhere. I’m not hovering over it with my weapon ready.

The 350 remaining coins are still sitting in the bag on his desk.

Mistress Bianca: I will speak to the Lady herself. It is after all directly related to me and to her.
Jorian: Can you teach someone else what you will learn?
Mistress Bianca: I intend to do so.
Jorian: Well, then. We are about done here.
Mistress Bianca: I understand your side of this Mister Odessa. I formally request a visit with Lady Salmissra regarding the matter. Perhaps breakfast tomorrow?
Rikard Castleberry: Jorian, before you go, I have a last question to ask of you.
Jorian: I will transmit your request. Where will you be when word comes back?
Bart just shakes his head with disbelief.
Darren: Mistress, you have already asked very much of Mr. Odessa, perhaps another time for such a request would be more appropriate?
Darren gives her the stink eye.
Jorian: Speak, Rikard.
Mistress Bianca: I will be at Darren’s house.
Rikard Castleberry: I was injured rather more than I let on, something rather more long lasting than a simple rest will do. Do you know of anyone I can go to for more specialized healing?
Jorian: I can have Dr. Troost visit you in the morning.
Rikard Castleberry: That would be great. Thank you.
Jorian places his hand on Darren’s shoulder as Darren turns to leave.
Jorian: Your candor is appreciated.
Jorian holds out a hand to shake.
Darren straightens and shakes his hand.
Darren: Thank you for seeing us Mr. Odessa.
Jorian says to Darren, “Won’t you take your bag.
Darren hoped he would say something.
Darren: oh…ofcourse.
Darren steps and takes up the gold and follows everyone out.
Mistress Bianca makes sure she is the last to leave.
Bart: So I know I might have missed something while you all were explaining but did we find out anything about what happened or what the Leaf was going to do about the army in their city? Or getting Meryl back in charge?
Mistress Bianca: No, I am just happy that a Snake-vine will not be slurping on our insides tomorrow.
Darren (in a low voice) I think you should be thankful we are not led from here in chains.
Mistress Bianca: Why don’t you lead us to your house Darren. I think we should all spend the night there.
Mistress Bianca: Especially now that I will be receiving a message there. I probably should be there to receive it.
Rikard Castleberry: I have a stop to make first, I can catch up.
Darren: Well, considering you have no other place to go at the moment, that will be alright however Bart’s…animals will have to stay outside.
Bart: I wasn’t planning to spend the night in the city.
Mistress Bianca: Well, lead on Darren, I do not want to misplace you a second time.
Darren steps out toward the compound gates.
Mistress Bianca: Please stay the night Bart, I am certain your animals will be most welcome in Darren’s house after he falls asleep.
Darren: Well, you all need to be healed for what comes next.
Bart flips a piece of fish into the darkness.
Mistress Bianca: Exactly, And after all that time in the swamp I think I will sleep better with furry things scurrying about. I can rest better that way.
Rikard Castleberry: That, and a proper place to sleep at, yes?

Squishy noises are heard off in the direction Bart’s fish went.

Rikard Castleberry: I could have sworn I just heard the sound of a squishy, large noise….
Mistress Bianca: So it is settled.
Bart: Lead On.
Darren: Well I have more than enough rooms.
Darren heads west.

It is not far to Darren’s rare two storied home. You arrive altogether weary.

Bart finds a place by the flower bed, careful of the flowers and goes to sleep.
Mistress Bianca crashes on the futon.
Darren heads to his own room.
Mistress Bianca uses her bag as a pillow.
Rikard Castleberry heads to the kitchen for a snack.

There is a loud knock at the door.

Mistress Bianca bolts upright looking for her bag.
Bart looks at who has woken him.
Rikard Castleberry is still snoring.
Mistress Bianca sees that it is there and relaxes a bit.

A young shaved man in Lady Salmissra’s livery is at the door.

Bart: Yes?
Mistress Bianca sleepily and in thoroughly wrinkled clothing makes her way to the door and opens it.
Bart: For you.
Bart rolls back over.

Is Mistress Bianca here?

Mistress Bianca: I am she.

I am to inform you that your request to break fast with the Lady is impossible. However, she will be available to dine with you at the Sheltering Frond two hours before noon. Will you accept her invitation?

Mistress Bianca: I will be there with the proverbial bells on.

I shall relay your acceptance. Good morn to you.

Darren dries off after splashing water onto his face.

The young man turns and heads north along the main road.

Mistress Bianca (yawning): Bye.
Darren checks the state of his hair and makes sure his clothes are in good order.
Rikard Castleberry wakes up with a start after the messenger leaves, with a loud “Haserhgaefhagaah!”
Rikard Castleberry: Oh. Good, its morning, and we aren’t under attack?
Mistress Bianca shouts “HEY DARREN! You got a bathtub here?”
Darren: Of course, its in the mud room.
Mistress Bianca: Can you fill it with hot water please?
Rikard Castleberry: What’s a mud room?
Darren: I’ll have my man take care of it, he should be here soon.

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