Ludo picked up his backpack and followed the guards out of the Court Room. Breathing a sigh of relief he turned to his companions. “I think we should get Feldard a sword as soon as possible, no doubt Golthar is aware of our presence and if he true to form he will try and make our lives as difficult as possible. I also think we should avoid that court at all costs, personally I think that Curate is as crooked as a dogs hind leg, and he was just looking for an excuse to throw us in the clink.
Hasan filed out of the court, as silently as he had stood within. The human justice was strange. In his own hard village, those who challenged the Quiet Way would have been sent into the forest, to return nevermore. This judge had imposed some crazy restriction against axes and bows, but not against a sword, whip or … well a pike for that matter. The elf left happily enough, and finally spoke, as the party assembled in the street outside the court. His tone was weary. “Let’s us flee this settlement and the rot that infests it! There is nothing for us here.”
“Agreed,” Stephan said to the elf prince. “Aside from long-held obligations,” Stephan referred to the task of delivering Nicolai’s ashes, “we really don’t need to tarry here. We’ve enough supplies to get us going. Let’s get out of this town. I’ve a bad feeling about this place.”
Feldard nodded his agreement to the overall sentiment. “Bah, buying a sword would be a waste of time. I just said that to make my point. Let’s just find this Marta and deliver Nicolai’s last wish.”
The group exited town hall. Standing in the plaza outside, they began to discuss their next steps. The town hall was at the south end of the plaza, and the Temple was to the west.
The dwarf glanced about and, spotting a group of youths, Feldard made his way over to them. “I’ve a coin for the one who can direct me to the dwelling of Marta, mother of Nicolai.”
“Sorry sir Dwarf, we’d love your coin, but we ain’t heard of her,” responded one of the boys.
In a town of 5000 folk and a large number of wayfarers, perhaps this would take some time.
“Stephen I agree with you, even though I have no way of knowing I feel that Golthar has a lot of friends in this town and we have none. This is a dangerous place for us, I felt safer in Xitaqa. I think that the Curate has been paid off, not the first time that the clergy have fallen to evil for personal gain. The sooner we leave and head north the better. I do need to restock some arrows, replenish some rations and gather some extra supplies. May I suggest we see to Nicolai’s ashes and fulfill our obligations, get the supplies and be gone from this town before nightfall. I do not want to remain in this town any longer.
Miklos had also remained silent during the exchange. He filed out with the others keeping a close eye on Maruc’s resolute face. When they were out of earshot he murmured. “So you hoped he’d help us then?”
“I sought to get the measure of him. I needed to know how bigoted he was,” Maruc’s smile broadened into his familiar grin. “And that my friend is alot less than I thought. He did not ask if one of us was a wizard. We are not incarcerated. We challenged him—a wise and powerful ruler in his one citadel and he was lordly and predictably haughty. But he was not evil, nor crooked he did not penalise us. He has no need to follow us, fore he can see that we are resolute and of noble heart. He was not troubled by us. We have a tacit sanction to pursue our errand but not to turn the city upside down in the process.”
“Hmm. Ok” Miklos said absently. “I don’t know about you lot but a night or two in a boat is enough to warrant a bed. We are all travel stained tried and irritable. If I was Nicolai’s mother, I would expect so respect from his companions, and that means being clean and fresh. And that means a good nights sleep in a quality Inn. No one knows where they are going. We need information about the road ahead and we need to ensure Golthar isn’t following us.”
On the way to the Town Hall, walking from the docks to the east, the group had passed quite a number of inns, most streets had at least one.