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Alika Epakena

ML: Hadrah's page

16 posts. Alias of Gordon the Whale.


Hadrah's mouth opens wide. "Well, of course I suppose he knows all about the desert, he's just so-- well, and you know what they say-- that is, how do you know he didn't--" She breaks off, looking flusteredly at Valik's honest and earnest face, then looking down at the breakfast and blushing a little. "Well, I suppose you're right, sahib, and he did have a part to play in getting our dear Rombard back, didn't he. I'll do my best to speak more kindly of him in the future."

As they exit their tents in the morning, Valik and Dross see Hadrah serving breakfast to the guards, who look a little bleary-eyed, as though they got little sleep. The other mercenaries and Dashki are nowhere to be seen.

Hadrah looks up brightly. "Oh, mister Valik, sahib! When we got up this morning and saw little Rombard back in the pen, we were so happy and surprised! My hadrod went straight to Garavel -- Garavel is looking so much better this morning, by the way -- and he told us about how you had brought him back under your arm, saved from that awful monster of Dashki's -- he is still carrying it around on a stick, so ugly -- and we were so thankful! Really, if there is anything we can do for you, all you need to do is ask. Here, have some breakfast!"

Breakfast consists of yogurt, dried fruit, and spicy cured goat meat, with hot tea. It is well-prepared and filling.

Hadrah bobs her head to Valik. "Salaam, sahib."

She fishes in a crate and pulls out another bowl, and pours some soup in it, now a bit cold, before offering it to Dross. "Did you want to try again for the guards' dinner?"

Hadrah nods gravely. "That Dashki," she says, pausing for a moment before continuing, "We knew him a little back Solku way, my dear Hadrod and me, I mean. He used to take rich folk into the mountains to hunt gnolls, for trophies, like. I suppose he was good at the work, but it's not good work, if you see my meaning. Our Ameera hired him because he knows the ways of gnolls better than anyone, and I don't doubt that's true. And, I'm sure I don't doubt the Ameera's wisdom, a high lady like her knows better than the likes of me, but most folk back in Solku never liked him much, nor trusted him, and I reckon most folks in the camp never did neither. And I couldn't help but hear him blaming our woes on pugwampis just now, begging your pardon, sahib, and even I know there never was such thing as a pugwampi, not outside of stories, I mean."

When Valik returns to the circle of light around the fire, only Hadrah remains, cleaning up after dinner. "Dear me," she says, "What was all that shouting about? Is there trouble?"

You guys still here?

Hadrah smiles at Dross. "Oh, certainly, there's plenty more. I made enough for everyone, you know, and seconds too! Even Dashki can't eat it all." She pours a bowl of stew and hands it to him. "I'll just give you one at a time, maybe? Unless you think you can carry more?"

As the detectives rise to visit the Ameera, Hadrah interrupts them. "Oh, if you're going that way anyway, you should take the Ameera her dinner. She usually takes it in her tent, you know, just like you'd expect of such a high-born lady. I'd take it myself, but since you're going that way already..." She smiles beseechingly.

I assume someone will take the food.

Hadrah beams at her husband and serves up a bowl of stew for Valik. "But Elois was saved, wasn't he? There's no permanent harm done, is there?"

"Bad luck, indeed. And it seems that Elois must have had more of the same. It seems an odd thing, for a fortune teller to be caught in an accident like that. I mean, he's a nice enough man, for a foreigner, don't get me wrong, but all his talking of... Cyclones, and Uprisings --"

Hadrah talks quickly and animatedly as she and Hadrod walk Valik back to the campfire. "Oh, it was strange. I was the one who saw the fire first, I was over here serving some stew to Father Zastoran and those two young mercenaries, you know, the brother and sister -- what are their names again? Oh it doesn't matter. At any rate, as I was saying, I was just serving them some stew, and I happened to look over in that direction for just a moment, and I saw smoke and flames coming out of the wagon, and oh! I started shouting! Then those two young people jumped up and ran to try to get Elois out, and Almah was shouting orders, and I just didn't know what to do! Only then, Hadrod called me, and he said-- Oh, you tell him dear."

"--then I doubt there's much to do before morning but hope." Hadrah pats her husband on the back consolingly.

"Oh, but sahib, you must be hungry after your long journey and hard work fighting the fire. Look at me forgetting myself in all this fuss. Come with me to the campfire, and I'll get you and the other young men some dinner."

"--It would be so hard to find him, especially since it is getting dark. You see, Rombard is a very young goat, and if he had a mind to hide--"

The sun is setting as you are speaking, though it is still twilight.

"You are right, sahib, Rombard is a very smart and friendly goat. He always comes when we call..."

A shocked look comes over the woman's face. She peers into the pen, looking down low between the feet of the livestock, "Why, I don't see him. I haven't seen him, not since before the fire. He must have... wandered off, I suppose..."

As she returns the last camel to the pen, the female camel driver wipes her forehead with a cloth. "Well, that's done, at least. What do you reckon, love," she says to her male counterpart, "time to get back to dinner?"

"Go on, git away from 'em, you're doin' more harm than good! Great brutes ye are..." The middle-aged woman shoos Asad and Dross away from the camel pen peevishly, and then returns to cajoling a goat back to the pen.

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