|Tristain the Chalker|
Tristain steps back from Lamm, still considering what Lamm told them.
It doesn't make sense. Not. At. All. Not my Trina. Does it?
Tristain steps back, pondering.
* * *
Tristain watches Raseri and Alfsigr go outside and wonders if he should join them.
Instead, he goes to Durriken and whispers in the man's ear.
"I want him dead...if you don't, I will. He is a blight on Korvosa."
Thanks I fixed it.
"What makes you think that I'll stop looking for your sister. You two are all I have left. I'll find Alfhildr, and then we can go where ever we want. We can see the world, we can go home to the clan in the north, or we can even stay here! I'll find our sister little one, and we'll be a family again!"
In skald: "This I vow on sword and shield. As long as Alfhildr draws breath, I will search for her."
Durriken's eyes widen at Tristain's statement. He pulls the man aside while Theron and Goffred maintain Lamm's attention. His eyes search Tristain's, the pain in the young artist's eyes clear.
"No, I don't believe you do. I don't believe you truly want him dead, though you may believe Korvosa better without him."
He pauses to glance back at Lamm.
"But I wouldn't worry about Korvosa."
Raseri gives her little sister a smile and pulls the girl into a bearhug.
"We'll find Alfhildr, have no doubt of that."
|Theron the Absolver|
Theron pulls his chair up a few feet from Lamm and sits. He loads his crossbow, and watches Lamm. Feeling Goffred's presence near him, Theron pushes out thoughts of the chelaxian and his daughter - focusing on the current question. 'So ... now what? What shall we do with him...'
Fredo's mouth forms a severe line as he presses his lips together. He lowers his head so he's looking at Lamm from under his eyebrows. Whoever this 'Dame W.' woman was, everything seemed to come back to her. She might be Lamm's contact with Castle Korvosa, but her being Vudran did not seem to jive with that. Korvosa's kings and queens going back to the founding of the monarchy had always favored Chelaxians. They had parlayed that favor into political support against the minority ethnicities in the city, especially among the working class and the poor, and into support for its imperialist wars. There was one prominent family that had a conspicuous connection to Vudra, but it did not seem correct to suspect the Arkonas on that basis alone. Korvosa, despite the privilege enjoyed by Chelaxians, did host many human ethnicities, all here for their own reasons.
His thoughts turn to Aless. Fredo had had no idea of his plans, but Lamm seemed to be telling the truth. Aless had been involved in a political group whose activity included planning to bomb noble villas. He'd been killed because of it, probably because one of them found out. Lamm had been their agent, their paid attack dog, and Aless had paid him twice: once for the bombs, and again for trusting him as a supplier. Fredo was pretty sure by now that Durriken had been the one to sabotage the explosives, but he would hear it from him soon. Theron sits down in Fredo's line of sight, and he remembers Tilda again. Had something happened to her? Who was Theron that he'd know about it? As far as Fredo knew, Tilda had no friends or family in Korvosa besides her mother. Fredo supposed he would learn that soon as well: Theron seemed to be avoiding his gaze, which meant Fredo was on his mind.
"If we are done," says Fredo, still looking at Lamm but speaking to his confederates, "then gag him and knock him out so we can take him with us. We should be going." Fredo turns in the threshold and goes back to the foot locker. He tries to lift it, but can barely stagger under its weight. He sets it down, panting. "A little help, please?"
Durriken tears a strip of cloth off of Yargin's tunic and ties it tightly across Lamm's mouth. There's a rasping sound as he draws his longsword from its scabbard. He lays the blade across Lamm's throat. "I think he's the only one that wants you to leave this building alive." He draws the sword back. "But I think he may be right. Leaving you to the people's justice may be worse to you than if I kill you here. Prison would be hard on a man like you. And I doubt that you'd ever see the light of day." He slams the pommel into Lamm's temple.
coup de grace, nonlethal attack: 2d8 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (2, 7) + 2 + 4 = 15
Adjudicate this as you wish. Durriken's not really pulling his punch here. If he ends up bludgeoning the old man to death (via a blown fort save or nonlethal translating to lethal, if applicable), he'll just shrug his shoulders and walk away. If he knocks him out, he'll pretty much do the same.
|Theron the Absolver|
|Tristain the Chalker|
"What's taking them so long?"
Raseri stands up and goes back into Lamm's den of filth to check on the boys.
"Are we ready to go? Or do you need some help?"
Durriken climbs back up. "Guess we hafta go back the way we came. We could go this way, but it would be rough on the kid and the prisoner." He stoops down and hefts Lamm's unconscious form over his shoulder. "Let's go. We need to get rid of him before I change my mind. And then find out what's going on with the woman."
|Tristain the Chalker|
Fredo is uncomfortable standing across from Theron, but finds that while they're carrying the box he has to look down at his feet to make sure he's stepping on planking rather than air, so it's not a pressing issue. What becomes a pressing issue, once they get back alongside the ship, is how to get back up. "Okay, the way I see it we have two options. We can throw a grappling hook into the fishery floor, hope it catches on something that will hold us, and climb up it. Maybe have Raseri go first and have her, and those who follow, haul the weaker folk and this box" Fredo gives the foot locker a kick "up." He continues. "There are two problems with this plan. First, there might not be anyplace to anchor the grappling hook. Second, there's a kid up there, and I don't want him hurt by sharp and flying bits of metal. Speaking of which," Fredo raises his voice, "Are you alright, Amba?"
Fredo hears the boy get up from sitting down, probably on one of the staircases by the sound of the creaking, and sees him poke his head over the hole. "Yeah, Mis- Fredo," he says. "You all okay?"
"For the most part," says Fredo, not knowing if the boy could see the state Tristain was in. That was another thing to worry about if they wanted to climb; how were they to keep the injured man's leg stable? They needed a better way. "It'll take longer," says Fredo, "but Durriken, I think that boat you fell in can hold two. We can row in pairs to the shore and one of the pair will head back to pick up another passenger."
Durriken eyes the water around the boat dubiously, but finally nods and drops Lamm unceremoniously on the dock. "I'll row. You go first, you can get the kid while I come back. I'll take Raseri and her sister, then Theron, then Lamm, then come back and bring Tristain last." He looks to the others, not expecting any argument.
"I think the boat would probably be the safest option, I'd rather not have to worry about Sig here climbing a rope."
|Tristain the Chalker|
Okay, since Tristain's dropping incredibly obvious hints that he wants to move on, I'm going to do the smallest of timeskips. I hope no one minds.
Durriken and Goffred step gingerly into the boat. It rocks a little, and as they sit down the amount of freeboard they have protecting them from the river seems to drop dramatically, but Durriken finds he can row the boat easily enough. Raseri cuts the line holding them to the dock with a gratuitous downward swipe from her sword, and they cast off. Somewhat surprisingly, Durriken and Goffred make it to the shore unmolested by alligators, sharks, other animals, or hazards like a sinkhole appearing in the riverbank as the bow of the boat nudges onto the riverbank. Goffred pushes Durriken back out into the water, the boat leaving behind a small divot in the ground. Water flows into it in a little V shape. As Durriken turns back to the dock, Goffred turns to head back into the fishery.
Raseri insists on Alfsigr's riding with her, despite Durriken's and Alfsigr's protests. The boat groans and shakes in protest at having to carry so many when they board. Due to the boat's small size, Alfsigr ends up having to sit on Raseri's lap, and on their trip to shore they have almost no freeboard at all. By clever shifting of their collective weight, Durriken, Raseri, and Alfsigr are able to keep the boat upright, but their trip is slow and waves slosh over the gunwales more than once. Alfsigr especially is cold and miserable by the time they land, and does not help push Durriken out into the water.
Theron's and Lamm's trips go more smoothly, though Theron and Raseri have to get in the water up to their waists to haul Lamm's dead weight onto the bank. As Raseri pushes Durriken out again, Theron checks Lamm's pulse and breathing – which are steady – and bonds – which are holding.
Tristain's trip is in many ways the most difficult. It comes with cargo, in the form of Lamm's foot locker, which Tristain and Durriken have to balance precariously as they load it into the boat. Tristain has to wait to board, hanging onto the gunwale so the boat doesn't drift out into the river, as Durriken stows the box under one of the plank seats. Tristain's boarding itself is a hassle. Thanks to his injured foot, Tristain has to half-step, half-fall into the boat, leading with the injured foot. Durriken has to catch him to make sure no weight is put on it. It's a difficult effort at balance, but somehow they manage and Tristain takes his seat. When it comes time to disembark, Tristain looks askance at the filthy water, and with a sigh Durriken and Raseri lift him, and then the foot locker, onto land. Seeing no place to tie off the boat, Durriken leaves it where it is, knowing it will drift out to sea eventually and not much caring.
Fredo heads back into the fishery for what he hopes will be the final time. He makes his way to the wooden loading dock, then down the stairs to the fishery floor. Theron would need to gather up his caltrops from around the front door if he intends to use them again, but Fredo did not want to leave Ambadus alone any longer. The stairs creak and groan as he climbs down, and he finds the door at the bottom open. Ambadus is sitting, his elbows on his knees and his chin resting on his hands, on the stairs across the room from Fredo. Seeing him, he perks up and walks to the wizard, still dripping and smelly from the river.
"Didja find anyone down there? Like you promised?" he asks. Fredo can see there's no real hope in the boy's eyes, that he's just pandering to Fredo. A precocious child, this one.
"Only Gaedren and Yargin," replies Fredo wearily, shooing the boy out the door and up the stairs. He wants to get back to the others before they are all gathered and impatient. He does not look back into the fishery. "But do not worry. We have only begun." They make it back to the others just as Durriken and Raseri unload the foot locker onto the bank. It settles into the ground with a wet thud.
Raseri puts the lockbox down with a grunt. The damage the spider venom did earlier made it harder for the woman to move the iron box. She catches her breath quickly though and looks at everyone gathered.
"I know we hardly know each other, but I want to thank you for helping me find Alfsigr." Raseri's eyes tear up, but she wipes them away before they could spill down her cheeks. "I still need to find my other sister. If you need help with Lamm and this box," she kicks the strongbox with her foot, "I will help, but I need to find Alfhildr before I lose her trail again."
If no one says anything, Ras will take Alfsigr and start searching for this Dame W.
Diplomacy to gather information: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 ouch...I don't think I can try again.
Durriken shoulders Lamm's unconscious body. "Don't thank me yet. We have only found one of your sisters. I promised to help you find both, if you helped me get Lamm. You held up your end."
He glances at Tristain. "You as well. If you still wish to find Trina, I will assist you." He starts walking up the street, looking for members of the watch. "But first, I need to get rid of this. I will meet you all at the fortune teller's house in an hour."
Okay Ras doesn't go searching.
"I'm still grateful."
Raseri looks from Durriken, to Alfsigr, to Goffred, then back to Alfsigr.
"Goffred, can you make sure Alfsigr gets to Zellara's house okay? I'm going to help Durriken get Lamm behind bars."
"I'm not entirely sure I've proven my credentials," says Fredo. His face wears a frown and his breathing's become faster and shallower, so Raseri can tell he's not joking. "But I promised you I'd keep Alfsigr safe, I promised her and Amba and all the other kids directly that I'd keep them safe, and I do not intend to go back on that." He crouches down in front of the two children. "I don't know what Lamm and his goons put you through, and I am sure it was horrible. But I do know that you both went through it. I want you to stick together, and with me, no matter what happens, okay?" Fredo waits for a response, then straightens up and turns to Raseri.
"Speaking of promises, I also said I would find the other children a decent place to live. That means finding them, wherever they've run off to. This is, perhaps, something we can focus on when we meet back at Zellara's." Somewhat regretting his decision to stand, Fredo turns back to the kids. It looked like Siggy had grabbed Amba's hand in the short while Fredo was looking away. "Alfsigr, can you tell me where you were planning to run when you escaped? A safe place where the others might run now?" Seeing her screw up her face, Fredo backpedals. "You don't have to tell me now. But think about it, okay?"
Are we splitting the party? It sounds like we're splitting the party."
|Tristain the Chalker|
Tristain smiles at Durriken for his offer.
"That would be appreciated, Durriken," Tristain says as he tests his mangled leg yet again.
I just need to live until tomorrow when Korvosa blesses me again...will I make it that long?
"Yeah, we should get back to the seer's house."
Tristain notes Raseri's eagerness to find Dame W., and her persistent and urgent questioning of passers-by about her location.
"Raseri, I know you're anxious, but not many are going to talk to us right now...look at us. We're a frightful mess, we look half-dead, and we're carrying a body. We're not going to get good answers right now. Let's go back, rest, clean, and heal up and try again tomorrow. Don't forget, I still need to find my Trina so we're in this together."
Let's not split the party. We can go together.
The first member of the city's officialdom Durriken sees is a Sable Company marine, mounted on one of their trademark hippogriffs. The beast is oozing blood from a long gash on its belly, and it looks like it can barely support itself. A wing of its fellows dives after it, but they are too late to stop it crashing into a monolithic statue of Queen Domina with a bone-shattering thud. The hippogriff and its rider slide to the ground, the pursuing wing pulling up just in time for the lead hippogriff not to impale itself on Domina's outstretched stone sword.
Durriken, and anyone else who is paying attention, listens for the plop of the hippogriff and its rider hitting the ground, but it does not come. It is drowned out by an explosion of arcane power away to the south and west, in the direction of the Academae. Slowly, a plume of smoke rises over the horizon, accompanied by a pervasive red glow that we not there a moment ago. Alarm bells begin to ring, and over the noise can be heard the call of a herald: "The king is dead! Long live the queen!"
He is answered, also far away, by a cacophany of male and female voices, shrill in their opposition. "Hang the queen! The usurper whore must die!" There comes then a clanging of steel on steel, and you can imagine the scene of the crowd pushing against the armor and shields of the herald's guards. They sound more heavily-armored that the regular Korvosan Guard.
|Tristain the Chalker|
"KORVOSA! What is going on?" Tristain looks around.
WHAT THE FLOCK!?
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15 Sense Motive - City
"The King is dead?" Tristain tries to sort through his conflicting emotions about the King...and the new leader, the Queen.
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20 Know (local)
"Looks like there is some rioting happening...this isn't good. Maybe we should go directly back the Seer's until morning and maybe this will have died down."
* * *
Tristain will hobble a few steps closer to the downed soldier and hippogriff.
If I only had my scrolls. Or more of them.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14 Perception: is it safe to approach them
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Heal check to stabilize, if necessary
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 Heal check to stabilize, if necessary
The statue is many blocks away, and can only be seen because it towers over the buildings. A few steps ain't gonna get Tristain close enough to see the man, let alone assess his condition.
Tristain has heard enough street gossip to know that King Eodred was unpopular with the workers and the poor. Too little of the city's budget, they felt, was allocated to their needs, and they weren't accorded the freedom to do anything about their disadvantaged situation without government money. Tristain also recalls rumors of King Eodred's ill health circulating for several months, and that he's heard that Abadarans, Pharasmites, even Asmodeans were unable to do anything for his condition.
The queen, if anything, is seen as worse. The best description Tristain's ever heard for her is "petulant gold-digger", and that was from one of his rare middle-class customers. He can sense that among the party, Goffred in particular sympathizes with these views of Eodred and Ileosa as people, and of the monarchy as an institution. He can imagine the rumors that must be circulating now: that Ileosa murdered her husband for the throne, that she's really a succubus planning to make Korvosa the epicentre of a second Worldwound, or any one of a thousand other flights of fancy. He also knows enough about the city's hinterland to know that heavily-armored warriors protecting agents of Castle Korvosa are likely to be Hellknights coaxed out of Citadel Vraid with the promise of gold and the chance to crack a few lawbreaking skulls.
|Tristain the Chalker|
"Yeah..." Tristain tries to calm down and make sense of the situation.
Tristain takes a few instinctual steps to go help the guard, but stops when he realizes he'd never make it in time.
Tristain turns back to the party.
"These streets aren't going to be safe right now. And we either need to end Lamm now/here or take him with us. I'm in no condition to carry him and don't care whether he lives or dies....but since the point of keeping him alive was to turn him into lawful authority and there doesn't seem to be lawful authority right now, the point might be moot."
Tristain shows a fair amount of worry his face for the fate of the City...*HIS* City, Korvosa.
"I have better things to worry about than Lamm's life."
Raseri turns to answer Tristain and Goffred, but the words stick in her throat as she sees the marine and his mount slam into the statue. She just stands there as the city begins to go mad.
"Seems the city agrees with you two. I still want to find a guard so we won't have to sleep under the same roof as this!"
"The point of keeping him alive was so that the people could see him subject to a citizen's arrest and execution. The people are now out in the streets, and," Fredo pauses for a second "I think I hear a posse of dockers coming. As such," Fredo turns to Durriken, who's got Lamm slung over his shoulder and whips out his wand in one smooth motion. He projects his voice as loud as he can, so he can be heard above the tramp of the halfling dockers' feet and the shouting of the crowd and herald. "Gaedren Lamm shall suffer the penalty for kidnapping, exploitation, blackmail, and fraud upon the people of Korvosa!" There is a burst of dark green energy, and those who do not blink at it can see a shining, white bolt speed at Lamm and sink without a mark into his flesh. Suddenly, Durriken can no longer feel Lamm's breathing, and the body hangs slightly more limp than before. Still bellowing, he adds, "And may the Queen soon suffer the same!"
"Hang him up on the lintel," he says to Durriken, more quietly now. He points with the wand to the iron mount made for a sign that still juts out above the front door to the Fishery. "Where he can be seen." He takes a few steps down the road towards Zellara's. "And let us go." Fredo wants to see as much of the city as possible. He'd thought about the masses in motion before this, and wanted to see how it looked. He suspected that, like the Lambs, they lacked an organizing principle that might turn these riots into something productive, but he needed to see for himself. And in any case, organized or not, they deserved support and Fredo could not offer it here, especially with Siggy and Amba to worry about.
|Theron the Absolver|
Theron internally debates on whether or not putting Lamm down at this moment is the right thing... and then Goffred kills him. He opts not to be impressed with Goffred acting from his instincts - quick and confident. 'That was the conclusion I was coming to ... just a little slow .. need rest'
"Yes .. lets get off the street. Back to Zellara's now? We are not prepared for any conflict whatsoever ... we are in no shape to even follow a lead. We need to make sure we have a secure shelter, hole up and rest."
Raseri looks at Goffred with a puzzled expression as he begins his proclamation and jumps when he ends Lamm's life. Anger flares up in her eyes but it quickly cools as she remembers her sword ripping through Hookshank's body.
I can't really judge, can I. This day has been long and Theron is right, we need rest.
She reaches down and grabs Alfsigr's hand.
"Stay close and don't let go."
Raseri tries to muster a smile, but the young woman can't seem to find the energy. For the first time that day she feels every ache and pain in her body.
"Theron, can you help me carry this box."
If Ras needs two hands, she'll have Sig grab her belt and hold on tight as the move through the city to Zellara's.
|Tristain the Chalker|
Tristain thanks Fredo for doing what needed to be done, but doesn't quite share in the sentiment against the Queen.
I don't know that I care about the Queen. Or not care. I want Korvosa to be safe. And whatever quickly brings end to this strife and pain upon my city is the side I'll be on...Korvosa's side.
Tristain begins to hobble back to Zellara's.
Durriken drops the body on the ground, eying Goffred disapprovingly. He unties Lamm's bonds and uses them to make a makeshift noose. He tosses it over the truss, hauls the body up a few feet, and ties the rope off. He then goes to retrieve his bow.
As the group heads off towards Zellara's, he move up next to Goffred. When he speaks, his voice is barely audible, though his tone still somehow manages to radiate disdain. "Next time you kill someone, at least make sure he's awake, first. A man deserves to look his executioner in the eye. Even one like Lamm."
Without another word, he falls back a few steps and offers his shoulder to the still limping Tristain, keeping an eye out behind them for any signs of trouble from the agitated populace.
"You are thinking small again," Fredo murmurs back to Durriken. The man's scorn for Fredo is evident not just in his tone, but in his words, and, defensively, Fredo responds in kind. Almost unconsciously, he falls back into the Jubannite formulas his father had made him drill back in Sirathu. His back straightens and his strides become longer as he does so. "Ego is not a factor. Not mine. Not yours. Not Lamm's. The lone factor of import is the impact Lamm's death will have on the masses of people. As such, I judged quickly, the better to stoke their confidence and inspire terror in their enemies.
"Thank you, despite your disagreement, for doing as I asked. I saw your work. He should hang for many days."
|Tristain the Chalker|
Zellara's home is not far, and many people have shuttered their windows and bolted their doors. Desperate citizens, salty dock-workers, and all manner of tradesmen, however, roam the area between the waterfront and Harborview Boulevard. Several blocks away, a contingent of heavily armored men with leering faces carved into their breastplates chase a pack of what appear to be looters into an alley. Out of the alleys, too, have emerged raving doomsayers and end-of-the-world lunatics. Their pronouncements drift over the crowd. One that Tristain is pretty sure he has seen on market days trumpets "the Eye of Groetus has turned from the Boneyard to look upon Korvosa!"
Another, that you missed because he was crouching in the shadow of a building, hobbles up to Durriken I rolled to see who he approached. His white hair is frizzy and wild, where it has not fallen out, and his beard would be the same were it not tamped down by food residue, street sludge, and mucus. His nose drips more of the stuff. He wheezes as he beseeches Durriken. "Why don't our sons bleed anymore? Why don't our daughters weep? Why do only the slaughterhouse calves have blood in their veins?" His questioning becomes more insistent as his questions become more nonsensical, and he tries to grab Durriken's collar for support. "Why do only the willows shed tears on Lake Syrantula!?"
Durriken pulls away from the man. "What are you talking about, man? Make some sense!" His tone is sharp, but he is obviously uncomfortable with the closeness of the man. The city has gone mad. There must be more to it than just another monarch death.
"You make sense!" screams the man, flecks of spittle flying from his mouth. He pursues Durriken with what seems like a single-minded obsession. "You're the one in my dreams. Telling me my time is coming. Why? Why take me, Korvosa's last shield against the time of death and destruction, away?" He tries again to grab Durriken, more earnestly this time. He looks like he needs help staying up. Durriken, however, pulls his arm out of the way and the man stumbles, barely staying on his feet. He doubles over with a hacking cough.
|Tristain the Chalker|
"I think it's best if we hurry. I'll feel much better once we're off the streets."
Raseri has never seen Korvosa like this. Her eyes began darting around, trying to see where the next potential threat might come from. She keeps glancing down at Alfsigr almost to reassure herself that she was still there.
"Tristain, do you think you can hold up if we pick up the pace?"
|Theron the Absolver|
Theron watches the crazed man .. 'Madness. Not brought by disease.. I hope.' Theron tries to assess the visible symptoms of the lunatic while maintaining his end of the footlocker.
perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
heal check (diagnose from distance) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Theron recalls tales of Qadiran men and women lying in the streets, their faces caked with mucus, their arms and legs bearing oozing open sores. It appears that this man is suffering the early stages of this disease, since his skin is either intact or the lesions the disease would normally cause are hidden well enough under his clothes not to be noticable. But he does seem to have some days or perhaps weeks to go before it will claim him entirely, as he predicts.
It's leprosy. It only barely fits the original description I gave of the man, but that's the way the dice roll, I suppose.
Durriken roughly pushes the man away. "You're mad. Go away, or I'll end your misery." To emphasize his point, he draws his axe and shakes it at the man, while still moving down the street. "I don't know about your dream, but I do not have time to deal with you."
He tries to hurry the rest down the street. "Yes, let us get inside."
If the man comes at him again, he'll hit him with the back of the axe head (nonlethal). He has no reason to kill him, but he wants to get off the streets yesterday, and this guy seems intent on slowing them down.
|Tristain the Chalker|
So do we get away from the sickly doom-sayer?
Raseri pulls ahead of Theron a bit as she quickens her step. Her head keeps turning back to make sure that Alfsigr is holding on tight.
Hold on Sig, we're almost there.
"That's what you always say!" says the man. His persistence earns him a whack across the face with the base of Durriken's axe blade. The old man falls to the ground, sprawling in a heap and beginning to cough piteously again. Amba and Alfsigr look back at him, but Raseri pulls them forward. The group turns the corner onto Lancet Street, and the sound of the mad prophet fades not long after he's passed out of sight.
Lancet street itself seems bereft of life, the poor and working-class residents having abandoned their homes and their neighborhood for more prosperous streets. The door of number 3 is hanging slightly ajar, and there is no light in the windows. Goffred peeks in the window, but it is too dark to see anything inside, and it is light enough outside that he can see only his reflection. Anxious to get the children off the street, Raseri opens the door and ushers them in. The rest of the group follows.
The place looks like it's been empty for weeks. There is no sign of the macabre wall hangings or torches on the wall. There is no smell of bread or wine in the air. The table that held this food lies smashed in pieces, mixed up with the pieces of other furniture, including chairs and a bedframe. As the group takes in the sight, Goffred feels a warm glow against his hip, and the image of Zellara, exactly as she had appeared the evening she summoned them, appears among the debris.
"Thank you for brining me back here," she says, looking around at the wretched wreckage of her home. "I am sorry to have deceived you. I wanted to explain myself when you found me at Gaedren's, but the strain of reliving my old life for you when you first came to visit tired me too much." She stops at that and hangs in the air, looking at each of the group in turn. She smiles at the children, who are new to her.