Leaning back in his chair, Captain Vyrdogh took a long draught of his ale. It’s smokey richness reminded him of the deep forest to the east of Olikar. No matter what else you thought about the Khazdain, they were as fine brewers of ale as they were miners.
Candinry sauntered over with his meal, her smile a practiced invite that he was going to refuse despite the promise of her ample cleavage. The food was good, coney stew with carrots, onions and peas, well spiced. Scooped into the thick sliced dark bread, it was warm and filling.
It had taken a better part of a month but he had finally found the hounds Seeker Kasch wanted. A horned Paladin, a Khazdain of the Air and Storm and a Khazdain with hands of iron. The irony of the first wasn’t lost on him.
It bothered him to be dealing with them but what Baron wanted, the Baron got. He had come with him from Galicana and had watched his fortune rise with the Baron’s and as distasteful as he found the Seeker, if these fey could find the long missing servant of Myrot then perhaps they could bring this matter to a close and gather the support they needed to put down the rebellion.
Wiping the bowl with bread, Vyrdogh again scanned the room. He had been here long enough not to cause too much of a stir if he got up and moved around. The drunkards, the farmers, the rogues and the spies paid attention to new faces and what they did.
Draining his ale, he got up and made his way to the bar. Kalmas looked up as he approached and pulled up the pitcher. Addressing Vyrdoch as he approached by the only name he knew him by, the rotund Deliarrin grinned, " Mylios my friend, another mug of Blackstone I hope? "
The tall soldier shook his head. “You know better than that. I can only afford one glass of the Khazdain brew a night. Fortunately it’s strong enough that I can tolerate the local piss you serve for the rest of the evening.” Putting his tankard on the bar, he dropped two copper as the Barman filled it with perfectly descent ale that was house standard. “Fill er up.”
After Kalmas had done so, he asked, “Have you seen my friends tonight”
“Not tonight I afraid. I’ve got an eye out but still no sign of them. As soon as they pop up, I’ll let you know.” He promised
Vyrdogh nodded. “Fair enough, until then it’s one Blackstone a night and this piss until dawn.”
Looking about the room and let his eye fall on her. She had come in earlier with two guards who sat at the table next to hers. She was who he’d been waiting for but it didn’t matter with her dark looks and sensuous air she’d have attracted his attention anyway.
“Who’s the Lady?”
“You know what’s she’s drinking don’t you.”
“I know you can’t afford it. Trust me on that.”
Vyrdogh nodded and thought a while. “Give me a plate with some of those candied fruits you keep for Candinry. Make it look nice.” He slipped a couple of silver onto the bar.
Minutes later, a plate of sugar preserved peaches, pears and plums in hand, Vyrdogh found himself standing next to Lady Ardwiena’s table. Her guards were tense, their hands casually resting on the hilts of their blades. There was no doubt that at the first sign of trouble, that they would be in his face and blood would run free. Fortunately he that wouldn’t be the case tonight.
“M’Lady, excuse the interruption but Master Kalmas says you’re from River’sfall. I expect to be heading that direction with my cousin in a week or so and I was wondering If I might ask you a couple of questions about the journey there.”
Heavy lidded eyes, green as emeralds and deep as the merciless ocean looked up at him from behind curls dark as shadows. Skin like milk and blood red lips that begged you to kiss them to took his breath away as those eyes pinned him to the floor. “You’d be better talking to Rigord or Pyllin, they paid more attention to the ride, not I.”
Vyrdogh, grinned. Surely you’re right but then I’d have to share these sweets with them. Give me as little time as it takes for you to have your fill of the them and I’d view this evening as something to cherish. All you have to say is I’m done and I’ll walk away.
With stiletto slim fingers she picked up a piece candied pear and slowly pushed it past those lips. With slow, deliberate motions she ate it. When she was done she slowly licked her lips and with a soft whisper of a voice grinned. “This may be your lucky night depending how long you can tempt me with your, sweets. Sit down and we’ll talk of roads I have walked and journeys yet to come.”
As he sat down, he failed to place her accent and his eyes again fell on the ring on her hand. The coiled serpents with eyes of blood consuming themselves as they went in opposite direction seemed to twist and turn and he began to think he was being drawn into something far darker then he had ever known. He raised his eyes to hers and realized to his dismay that he didn’t care.