Not even a hint of what this rivalry consisted of. Perhaps this was normal–what were most mercenaries but pawns? Still, it bothered Saeth. What sort of heroine could she be in this story, wandering around at another’s behest, for no reason that she (nor the minstrel) could know?
Before they left for the temple she asked, perhaps more pointedly than might have been prudent, “What does Simion aim to do, now that he’s back in the city?
“I have returned to the city on an urgent family matter. Recently, the head of our family, Christoph, passed away. This loss has greatly weakened our family. The Torenescu are now lead by Cristoph’s son Aleksandar. He is but a youth of 26, and even he would admit to being a bit in over his head. I have returned to advise him.”
“And why do these Veils oppose you? What makes your allies different?”
“We believe the Veiled Society is the secret arm of the Radu family,” Simion responded. “They use terror and crime to gain control of the money-lending institutions and market areas of the city so that they may dictate terms to the Duke. They are envious of the Torenescu’s political influence. Our families have been in opposition for as long as anyone can remember.”
Of course, it wasn’t long before Saeth would come up with a persuasive answer on her own: she was taking the Torenescu’s coin.
Maruc paused to hear what the Lords might say to Saeth’s comments, before offering his own. “What sort of danger are we in and what can we do about it? What has so riled the Radu to make an atempt on your life Lord Simion? These are extreme measures even for a ‘bunch of thugs’. The Veiled Society is a well supplied and trained group driven by some polical agenda.” Maruc was feeling a little tired and it was making him a little short tempered but he tried not to let it show in his voice.
“The Veiled want to keep the Torenescu as weakened as possible,” answered the nobleman. “If Aleksander were to grow into a strong leader, it would be a disaster for the Radu. I am one of Aleksander’s closest allies. Perhaps, they thought I would be an easy target. I am glad you were able to show them otherwise.”
“I repeat my previous question namely would it be more appropriate to flee the city? Do you have any country residences that you may retire to until this situation calms down? If anything we can further support your guard for a while?”
The Senator stepped forward to answer. “Simion will be safe here. I am fairly certain that no one would dare a direct attack upon the home of a Senator. In any case, I will be supplementing my guard as a further precaution.”
“If you wish to help us, and seek to get back at the men that have gravely wounded you and your young friend, then I would suggest that you continue you investigation of the death of Lucia Vorloi. Finding the Veiled Society men responsible for her death could be the key to exposing the Radu.”
“Thank you for everything,” added Simion. “Here is the payment promised to you by Theosius. You have certainly earned it.”
Torenescu handed over a coin purse with 250 gold crona to be split amongst the group. The Senator’s aid led the group back to the game and they walked cautiously toward the Church of Traladara.
The dwarf who had been stoically silent during the introductions and polite greetings with the Senator was a little less so on the way to the Church. “What a fine kettle of fish we’ve found ourselves in, eh?”
When the group finally arrives at the Church, the Senator’s aid spoke to one of the priest’s and explained the situation.
Out of earshot of the priest, Maruc offered a few comment to the others “My friends, I am of a different denomination of the Traladarian Church, I am obliged to see aid from my own church if possible as this causes less ‘issues’.” Maruc couched his words guardedly. “You are more than welcome to join me and you will be treated by trusted priests who will not seek to tithe us over much.”
“But, these preists seem honourable and as we are sent here by the Torenescu, we may be respected enough. It would also save you a journey should you wish to be treated hear. Saeth has escaped injury but I’d advise urgent attention to you Master Feldard, I myself will seek my brethern, they may even have further knowledge of the troubles we have encountered?”
Miklos listened to interest the the Priests words. “The calling of the cloth is not a simple one I see. You try to rise above the worries of lesser men only to be pulled down again!” Miklos winked at the priest to show that he was only winding him up a bit.
The dwarf scowled at the priests suggestion of going elsewhere for healing. “You ain’t gonna find me traipsying all over Hells’ half acre just for a prayer or two. We’re here now – have done with it! Don’t make me knock some common sense into that soft head of yours!”
The Traladaran priest returned, and quickly produced a potion of healing. He brought it to Nicolai’s lips. Almost instantly, the color returned to the young rogue’s face and he regained consciousness.