By Jamey Martin
The Enemy of One's Enemy
Thus it was that Corwin set about learning all he could of this Marcellus Hondrosus. And this proved to be a fairly easy task considering the historical significance of the adventuresome Marcellus, and the Hondrosus family, who had had many vested interests in early Ordulin. Within two days Hla'thair of Deneir had told Corwin much of the family; particularly that Marcellus returned to his family manor, in the lands around Arrabar, in the year 898 DR. And also that, while the Chondathan did venture forth on a number adventures following his return, he finally died at home in the year 943 DR.
Unfortunately, the historical texts, such as they were, made no mention of any Green Orb in association with either Marcellus or his descendants. Of course, while this might seem strange for so great a find, Corwin and the others reasoned that it's true significance might not have been recognized. Thus, like so many other magic items that Marcellus must have found on his journeys, it was not mentioned. Alternately, its true significance might have been spotted straight off, and kept secret for that very reason. Perhaps even until this very day! Finally, it might be that Marcellus did not win the Orb from the horde of Talastrillandris at all, because Talastrillandris never came into possession of it.
And so it was decided that a diviner must be hired in hopes of scrying out the lair, and hopefully the bones, of Zarlandris. Unfortunately, the diviner they hired was unsuccessful in his attempt.
Thus it was that the band began to discuss a voyage out to Arrabar, where they might win an audience with the head of the Hondrosus familia, and hopefully gain permission to peruse Marcellus' old diaries, ledgers and other notes.
One night, while Dawnpriest Hector was on his way back to the inn from the Dawn Tower, he witnessed a couple of thugs drag a screaming maiden into a dark alley. Going to her aid, Hector pursued them deep into the alley and commanded the scoundrels to unhand the woman. They immediately complied, with the woman getting up with a snide smirk on her face and taking up a position beside the two ruffians.
A moment later, Hector heard a sound behind him and whirled about to see to the two Sons of Jesuah whose lives he had spared in the Yevenwood. One spoke of Hector's foolishness, of how a Son of Jesuah would never shirk his holy duties or obligations. Then, the duo closed in for attack; the bait slipping away unseen into the night.
While Hector was not unfamiliar with melee combat, especially for a ex-diviner, and did have something of a reputation for charging into entire gangs of orcii, he was ill prepared, out numbered, and maybe even a bit out classed. He soon found himself overwhelmed, and would surely have perished if not for the timely intervention of a flamboyant and foppish duellist. With this man's aid, they managed to hold the zealots off until their shouts for the Watch were at last answered.
Settling into the nearest pub after dealing with the technicalities, Hector took the opportunity to buy his saviour a drink. He learned that the duellist's name was Vaydrian, and soon enough, that Vaydrian was a servant of the Sembian Cell of the Cult of the Dragon.
Vaydrian quickly stayed Hector's knee-jerk reaction and assured him that he was sent in peace. If otherwise, the duellist explained, the Dawnpriest would surely have perished in the alley this night. As Hector eased, he went on to explain that the Wearers of the Purple were aware of his quest, and they wished to speed it on with news of the resting place of Zarlandris' bones.
He passed the Dawnpriest a scroll case, within which he found a map of Glaun Bog, the lair of Zarlandris clearly marked out near it's the bogs heart. Vaydrian assured him that Zarlandris bones rested within.
As a former member of the Cult of Tiamat, and thus well aware of the bitter history between the Cult of Tiamat and the secularist Sembian cell of the CotD, Hector pretty well knew why the secularists were offering their aid. The enemy of my enemy, after all. As for Vaydrian, he revealed little more than was necessary, ie. that it was the will of the Wearers of the Purple.
Likewise was Hector tight lipped and cautious. When the formalities were done, Hector once again thanked Vaydrian for his assitance, on both counts Lathander willing, and then made his way at a goodly pace to the Hearthside and the safety of his friends.
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