Traders, Games and other Rumours
(Crossing, Zoluren: Uthmor 359)
It was little less than a half-days journey, but that was enough. Dusk had settled earlier on the lands, and not a cloud marred the lights in the sky. The ground was still damp from an earlier rain shower that the sun had not time to dry. It was time to go.
The Jeraya Games had been interesting. Some furor was raised about the race, but that was to be expected … after all not everbody uses their noses. An experiment is an experiment after all. Fae dangled the little stuffed gidii he’d gotten from a box near the gate to the amphitheatre. He had met a jester that dearly loved to put on puppet shows and this little trinket might be just enough to gain the information that she was rumoured to have found during her search for some dance known only to the s’kra. Now all he had to do was find her, gossip had it that she’d disappeared up near Dirge.
Grinning the Prydaen wrinkled the furred-skin along his nose, causing the vibrissae near his muzzle to quiver. That trivia game had shown him just how much he still needed to learn about the east. However, he had found some attending the games willing to trade information, Fae’s tail twickered in anticipation. All he had to do was arrange a few meetings. He hoped.
Puzzling as to what that last search … the Hide ‘n Seek game had been, Fae realized there were more secrets in this town than he’d thought possible. Yet that mere thought pushed him on to, bouying his spirits. It had been an .. informative day. He nodded to Baresh on his way out the door of the tavern.
Faelkal shrugged his mane out fuller against his neck draggletailedly pulling the door of theWren’s Nest closed behind him as he stepped outside. Nostrils twitched as the wind soughed through an alleyway bordering a side of the tavern.
“Halfing? You’re scent is strong. Step out of the shadows.”
Disturbing the susserations of the breeze with nothing, not even the sound of fuzz tumbling against the dirt, two bright, dark eyes suddenly peered up at the Pyrdaen.
“I’m not sure I care for your nose Furry Tail.” The halfling’s unkempt black hair contrasted starkly with the almost deathly white skin of his face. Diminutive fingers agily preened a bushy, drooping mustache on his upper lip. Neither the furball nor the fuzz foot seemed to realize the alley provided a perfect echo chamber carrying their voices back into the taproom of the Wren’s Nest.
“But … at least you’ve the sense not to call out like that when the constabulary are near.” The halfling grinned oddly and pulled at a tangled bit of hair between his toes.
The halfling got no answer, for Fae was staring at … nothing. His eyes reflecting the light of two moons in the sky, though it was obvious he did not see them.
“Fae?” Adjusting his black cloak the halfing lobbed a rock aiming it to whistle past the Prydaen’s ear.
“Hey!” Faelkal widened one slitted hazel eye and lashed his tail angrily in the direction of Yantye’s glowing eyes.
“Well, you wouldn’t have wanted me to touch you now would you?” The halfling winked. “Besides my aim is growing to be legendary.”
“Yes, in your own mind.” Fae almost chuckled then he brought his tail in closer to his feet. “You remember the conversation with the woman in the Viper’s Nest?”
The halfling nodded.
“Well, I didn’t have a chance to tell you then …but … I don’t know where I may end up next … and just in case …
Rocking back on his fuzzy feet the halfling stuck both thumbs in the waist of his slim pants, his leather bag rocking annoyingly against his calf from the movement. “In case of what?”
“Just ….. in ……. case …” The lifting wind danced through blue-gray fur ruffling it, almost making the Prydaen look like a wave in the night; his tail tip twickering in an opposing rhythm to the ruffles. “Now do you want to listen, before I start traveling? Or would you rather go back to …”
Yantye chipperly interrupted Fae’s diatribe. “Go on .. go on.”
“There is much going on here .. and I’ve only scratched the surface.” He ran a claw through his mane, straightening out what the fingers of the wind had done to it. “An Elothean whose scent I strongly remembered and a s’kra whose scent was vaguely familiar approached me in the town center a day or so ago. They both reeked of magic.”
“I did not expect the Elothean to remember me … as each time I’d seen him, he was engaged with others in Talbert’s Inn. Noisy altercations having to do with who he worships. It would seem he’s heard of me though … probably from one of my many forays through this tavern.” Looking up, Fae finally notices there are two moons visible this evening.
“It was fortuitous … as without the crowds around him words tended to flow more freely. I tell you fuzz foot, my heart nearly burst with excitement when they confirmed that others believe in the existance of more than one dragon. Not only believe but have found one and that those others seek a second one. Fae laughs a moment, whether from the chill in the air or from a bit of nervousness wasn’t readily observable to the halfling.
“and …no … I don’t agree with their beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t trod a bit of the same path.” Fae shrugged. “You know I’ve been speaking with a few humans I’ve meet at the young oak near the amphitheatre about fire-breathers, as well.” Yantye nodded his fuzzy little head to let Fae know he had heard him.
“Now I need to find the second half of a poem, … some people who’s scent I don’t yet know, only their names gleaned from many I’ve been talking to, … and I may also have need of a necromancer.
The halfling stiffened, not having expected to hear that from Faelkal. Especially knowing the furry lad’s feelings about the undead.
Seeing the halfing startle for a moment, Fae shook his head struggling to clarify his meaning. “No .. no .. not the common kind. Not one of those priests who use their art to raise the dead. I’m looking for a necromancer who lays them back to rest … or binds them if nothing else is possible.”
“But in the meantime I want you to do me a favor … you can tell this Elothean by a sword he carries in a greatsword sheath … it’s a gold-hilted greatsword with the World Dragon engraved down the blade. The S’kra wears a worn golden medallion engraved with the image of a giant dragon’s head breaking through a shell on one side, and the image of an aged S’Kra Mur woman on the other. “Tell one of them …”
The wind rose more fiercely around the two, blocking some of the words from carrying clearly through the tavern’s still open window. All but blocking out the halflings response. “…… where yo….”
“ … can’t find … elder …. ooking … egg.” The odd kilter of the Prydaen’s voice could only mean he was moving quickly, his voice carrying out of range, and the wind in the alley banged the window of the tavern shut, the weather signalling the imminent end of Shorka.