Miklos pawed through his books, the sword laid out in front of him. The candles in his room were burning low and the first sounds of the dawn creatures disturbed his concentration. He’d spent all night scanning his old lecturers notes on arms & armour. Each weapon had a history. Miklos had recognised it instantly in the blade, he hadn’t needed any magical assistance to determin its basic nature. Then practicing the incantations he confirmed his suspicions as the weapon glowed within the magic aura detection rite.
He was well satisfied with the results. The dweomer was a powerful one, some powerful weapons are reputed to have personalities, but this was not one of those. It almost seemed a simple ultilitain blade crafted for a rich but not ostentatious lord. It wasn’t elven there was always something elegant about elven craftmanship. This was brutal in comparison. Human work.
It was very light and well balanced, and although Miklos had no skill in the use of these weapons, he amused himself with the idea that even with this he could surprise an average soldier.
His analytical studies complete he wrapped the weapon in a cloth. It needed a worthy bearer. There were two such worthies amongst his friends, Feldard and Saeth. Feldard favoured his Dwarf axe and Seath favoured her throwing knives. Nicolai might also choose to use it although it wasn’t easy to conceal but Miklos wasn’t about to choose for them. Whoever had it would use it for the benefit of the party as a whole, the question would be, who would be most effective?
These questions mulling around his mind he made his way to the Toothless Gargoyle. He realised he was hungry as the waft of fresh bread and meat broth washed over him. Entering he sort out an empty table but it was busy. One table had a few spare places, it was occupied by Feldard.
Feldard was seated at the groups usual table at the inn just finishing up his meal and enjoying a relaxing mug of ale, listening to the gossip from other tables. He noted a few folk glancing in their direction and puffed out his chest a bit. It was good to be known. It might make it easier for him to find Hernane – not that he was in any hurry to return to Rockhome with his wayward bride, but the city obliviously was a more dangerous place than he had first assumed and he really should begin seeking her in earnest lest something dire happen to her. Yes, he would ask around… perhaps the Tribune and men might be of a mind to assist him. He takes another quaff of his ale and then slowly nods to himself, stroking his beard thoughtfully.
“You are looking better my friend.” Miklos waved at a barmaid to take his order of broth and ale. “You seem lost in thought, but perhaps I can distract you from this revery. I have succeeded in identifying the qualities of the Radu blade and a mighty blade it is. I was wondering who would be best suited to use it amongst us?”
“Me, that rogue, doesn’t matter. Just best that you don’t try anything with it.” Saeth had been oddly disconsolate ever since rescuing the Elfguard.
Miklos shook his head. What had gotten into the party? Feldard grumpy, Saeth matching him drink for drink–weren’t Elves supposed to be temperate or something?–and the others hardly seemed more cheerful. Best not to interrupt them right now. He’d lay the blade with the Elf’s effects; it shouldn’t be difficult, given that they shared a room. Easier to deal with the matter in the morn. She threw back her mug, slid it next to the other empties, and waved the barkeep for another.
A man dressed in upscale attire approached the group at the table. “Good day to you. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Clifton Caldwell, travelling merchant of the Republic of Darokin. It is an honor to meet you. I have heard tales of your recent heroism, and I was hoping you might be able to assist me with a predicament I have found myself in. For a generous fee of course.”
“As I have said, I am not from the nation of Karameikos, though I do quite a bit of business trade in the Duchy. I am woe to admit that I have recently made an unfortunate real estate investment. An acquaintance of mine offered to me the deed of a small castle located some few miles beyond the city gates. It was quite a bargain, in fact the lowest price I had ever heard quoted for a castle of its ilk. I have always wanted to own one and my acquaintance had seemed to be honorable.”
“Unfortunately, he turned out to be a clever swindler. Unbeknownst to me, this castle is apparently cursed! According to what I have learned, it had been owned many years ago by a rebel wizard rumored to be conducting dangerous necromantic experiments. I dare not even enter the accursed place!”
“I have come to understand that you singlehandedly managed the dismantling of one of the oldest and most powerful criminal organizations in the city. There is nary a doubt that you can handle my little problem! I will pay you well. 100 cronas apiece in return for ridding my castle of whatever lies within its accursed doors. And of course, you will be welcome to keep anything of value you may find within.”