By Jaap-Peter Hazelhoff
Chapter 11 - Spellbound
Berdusk, 1371 DR, Eleint, 8th day, early evening
After meditating and going through her prayer rituals, Immerine makes herself presentable again. Fastening the veil, she opens the door and leaves the room to head downstairs. There are more sounds coming from the taproom below, more folk have gathered to spend the evening in the Running Stag.
As Immerine opens the door to the taproom and holds the ivy curtain aside, she sees a group of people enter. A sad looking lady wearing a black dress, her brown hair, almost black, decorated with a beautiful red rose; a handsome looking, lean and well-muscled young man escorts her to a table; a young boy with a black and white dog follows the pair. The boy obviously amazed at the wondrous environment of the inn. Behind the boy an elf and another young man step inside. The elf is wearing common clothes and a staff, and walks with a natural grace. The young man is dressed in what appears to be some kind of robe, and wears a piece of cloth wrapped around his head. Halacan is still sitting in the same spot Immerine left him, engaged in a conversation with two elderly looking men.
Elisa notices Immerine, a smile of recognition on her face, and walks up to her, “Please have a seat, I’ll get you something to drink milady.“ She looks around the room to find a place where Immerine can sit. “There, next to the hearth.“ And she guides Immerine there. “Another glass of spring water milady?“ Elisa asks. “Please, Elisa. Thank – You.“ says Immerine quietly as she watches the people in the common room. She closes her eyes and listens to the bubbling spring and thinks back to when she was a girl.
Elisa walks to the bar to get a glass, and fills it with water from the spring. Returning with the full glass, she stops halfway to talk to the young lad with his dog. Giving the boy a friendly smile, she walks up to Immerine, “Here you are milady.“ The veiled woman watches the boy and dog closely. Her green eyes watch the animal more than the boy. She tilts her head as Marc fills the bowl and puts it before Friend. Then she speaks, “Tell me, do you know what you are giving your companion, lad?“ She holds up her own glass of the crystalline liquid. “We are drinking the ever-seeping blood of Bhalla. Do you know Bhalla? Ehm, I believe here in your lands she is known as Chauntea.“
Marc is startled at first when this unknown lady addresses him, and as he looks towards the speaker – no, gazes is a better word – this startling can be clearly read from his face. At the last word, however, he relaxes a bit and with a chary smile he answers her, “Ah! Chauntea, yes I know her of course. And for each life I take I not only thank and praise the beast I killed, but praise her too.“ He pauses for a brief consideration and adds in a casual tone, “But… blood…? Well, it’s an interesting thought for sure…“ Again Marc pauses for a moment in an effort to think. Then he continues, “but I don’t think I like this idea, if you don’t mind.“
Standing, the willowy lady approaches Friend and kneels next to the spring murmuring to the dog. “It began when the world was very young, mankind was only in the imaginations of the gods. Bhalla was young, her two sisters Khelliara and the Hidden One, left her alone one day. Now…“ She looks at Marc, “Remember Bhalla only knew goodness and purity. She did not know of treachery and deception yet.“
Marc is feeling quite unpleasant as this woman turns out to be a bit, well weird, in his vision. Her approaching them intensifies this emotion and while his eyes open wider he stealthily peeks at his new friends. The veiled woman pauses and takes a drink of water, “A darkness, cold and calculating, circled Bhalla. A creature of instinct approached her and called himself the Beastlord and ruler of the forests Bhalla had produced. He swayed and spoke of creation and great majesties. Bhalla was intrigued. She got to know this stranger and soon lay with him to produce the creatures in the forests.“
“Bhalla was pleased and smiled on the beasts and frolicked with them. She did not know the calculating eyes of a hunter were watching and waiting to spill the blood of her children. Khelliara and the Hidden One returned and saw what their sister had brought forth. The Hidden One hugged her sister and gifted her with a sparkling shawl woven of magic. Khelliara stretched forth her hand and brought the new creations under her protection. Bhalla noticed a few did not come to her sister’s call and worried. She left to find the lost ones…“ Immerine pauses as the door to the Stag opens to admit more people. She watches all newcomers seemingly feeling them out and searching.
Back at the docks the small group makes it a bit slower to the bridge, yet Matteo leads them through some of the smaller streets, in a shortcut route to Castle Hill. Walking through one of the smaller streets, not far from the House of the High Hand, Matteo and Grim hear some muffled sound in the street behind them. Both of them look at each other, indicating that they both have heard the sound. Matteo continues walking, his hand falling to his sword and whispers, “Calathra, Portia, there might be someone following us. Calathra, get behind Portia and Grim. The three of you get ready. I am going to circle around from behind. Pretend to lose a boot heel or something, anything as an excuse to delay. Then I’ll depart.“
Grim makes a slight nod with his head and whispers softly, “That can be arranged.“ Grim mutters something about a heavy backpack and wanting to sit down and have a rest when he suddenly seems to trip in mid-sentence and falls down, flat on his face. A barely contained scream makes clear that he has hurt himself as he grasps for his ankle. He frees himself of his backpack and carefully straightens himself to a sitting position… now facing the way they came from. An endless complaint about the horrendous state of the roads, his bad luck and the agonizing pain starts to roll from his lips.
Grim takes a deep breath to vent even more complaints at the world, but before he starts again he whispers softly to the rest, “Something moved around the corner of that building over there.“ While he whispers, Grim makes a seemingly random pain driven movement with his left arm in the direction of a building shrouded in shadows.
Cursing Matteo turns to Grim, “Oh shut up man! If you’d watch your footing you clumsy oaf, none of this would happen. Well, I cannot wait for you. I have to go arrange things for her ladyship. Bah! I’ll see you later.“ Turning Matteo stalks away in disgust, turning right at the end of the side street.
“Yeah, you go ahead, we’ll follow after I’ve helped Grim here.“ Portia says, while bending down to examine Grim’s ankle. “What did you see?“ She whispers. Looking from the corners of her eyes, while pretending to be interested in Grim, Portia sees nothing in the direction indicated by him. In between a groan and a moan Grim whispers, “Hard to tell, but there was movement in the shadow as if someone hurried around the corner.“ Portia fidgets some more with Grim’s ankle, trying to buy Matteo some time. After what she thinks is a reasonable period, she can’t wait any longer and says in a clear voice “Well Grim, it’s not broken, only slightly sprained. With a bit of rest it you should be fine by tomorrow.“
“Slightly sprained!?! It sure doesn’t feel like only slightly sprained to me.“ Muttering and complaining Grim works himself up to a crouching position with one knee on the floor, his hands feeling tenderly around his ankle. While Grim grabs his ankle, he secretly slips two throwing darts from his boots, and shoves them up his sleeves, ready to throw if an opportunity presents itself, all the while trying to monitor the area in an inconspicuous way. “Would you be so kind to help me up on my feet again? I think that walking is going to be difficult, maybe if you can help me to the side of the street I can use the building for support.“
Once out of the street, Matteo runs around the block, slowing as he nears the entrance to the street his companions are in. Matteo slowly draws his sword and trying to creep up the street behind whoever is following them. When he silently rounds the corner, Matteo finds an empty corner. A barrel stands in a nook, a drainpipe leading from the roof into it. Looking up, Matteo can’t see anything over there either. A little to his left he can see the wrought-iron grate that leads down into Berdusk’s sewer system.
Down the street, he can see Portia examining Grim’s ankle, while Calathra hovers around. Walking forward Matteo sheathes his sword. As he nears his companions he sees Grim rise back to his feet and shakes his head slightly. “Whoever it was is there no longer. There is a grate down into the sewers back there as well as a barrel standing near a drainpipe. They could have gone under or over the city. Best we just push on for the Stag.“
Getting back Calathra sighs and whispers, “I did as you told me, TallMan. What happened to Grim? Ah… Seems to be you’ll be doing fine, Grim.“ Calathra starts whistling a childish tune that hardly fits her manner but goes fine with her small race. “Thank you Calathra.“ Matteo says quietly in halfling as he returns to the group.
“Here, let me help you.“ Portia supports Grim as he limps to the nearest wall. Standing against the wall, Grim shrugs his shoulders in response to Matteo. “I agree. I am not in the mood to chase phantoms over the rooftops or go crawling into sewers. The Stag it is!“ With swift movements that betray a certain experience in these matters Grim shakes two throwing darts from his sleeves and puts them back into his boots. As they start walking towards the Stag again, Grim starts to whistle a cheerful tune. “You heal miraculously quick my friend.“ Portia says and she winks at Grim as he walks beside her.
Throughout the walk to the Running Stag, there is a feeling of eyes hidden in the darkness, following every move. Yet looking about no suspicious persons can be seen: a few passersby, walking through the wisps of fog. Three priests near the temple of Azuth, The House of the High Hand, apparently discussing something. Household guards patrol near the perimeters of the houses of the First Folk. Near the Running Stag all seems to be quiet, a whinny of a horse can be heard from the Stag’s stables and a dog barks in an alley nearby.
“Well.“ Matteo says, “Here we are.“ Opening the door he motions for the others to go through and follows them in to the inn, casting his eye around for the others that they met at the docks a short while earlier. Calathra goes pale and utters, “Don’t go in so fast, TallMan Matteo. I feel a thousand daggers waiting to strike at my back. I think I saw some clergymen or were they wizards at the human temple, the one with glowing finger. Come to think of it, they seemed like wizards of a sort. Might it not be wise to ask them detect however is looking at us?“
“Not at the moment Calathra. We cannot just walk up to the magistrati and say we feel like we are being watched while walking to an inn at night and can they do anything about it. They would either ignore us or we would set tongues wagging. Neither outcome serves us any good. And what if they did detect someone? I am not inclined to chase people through the city streets and possibly into an ambush. Better at the moment, I think, to surround ourselves with friends in a well-lit public area.“
Grim looks at Matteo for a moment in utter silence. “Last time I was surrounded by friends in a well-lit public place a friend of mine was brutally murdered right in front of me, his body was dragged away and people were pointing crossbows at me. Somehow I doubt that this place can offer more protection.“ After another few moments he adds, “but it’s better than staying outside I suppose.“
“A friend of mine also, Grim. I have not forgotten.“ Matteo replies, his voice bland and face impassive. Portia stands near the door, looking somewhat nervously out into the darkness. “The others should be inside, and from the sounds, everything is normal within. Come.“ She gestures toward the door, before moving to enter. Matteo politely ushers his companions through the door, remaining outside to enter last. Casting a last glance back out into the darkness he follows them in. As he enters the building, Grim scans the crowd in search of familiar faces.
Scanning the crowd in the forest-like interior of the Stag, the new arrivals quickly spot the others sitting at a large table near the hearth, which still has seven empty seats. A veiled lady is sitting at the other side of the hearth telling a story. And a red-haired serving girl is heading towards the table to take orders. Several of the guests in the inn have fallen silent at the lady’s voice, listening to the story. As the outer door opens, the lady falls silent, and all eyes are on those who enter. In the sudden silence, the serving girls voice sounds suddenly rather loud, “Milady, gentlemen, would you like something to drink?“ Her face turns red when she realizes that suddenly she is the only one talking loudly.
Breathing deeply as the people move in, Immerine relaxes, as Friend doesn’t react negatively to them. At this interruption of the monologue of the veiled woman Marc sighs softly and strokes the head of Friend once, giving the dog a short smile.
Taking another sip of water Immerine continues her tale, “Bhalla was worried for her lost children and left to find them. Several moonrises passed before she found a trail, a trail of dark seeping liquid. Following the liquid, she came upon a horrific sight. The handsome young man calling himself the Beastlord stood transformed in the center of a group of snarling slavering beasts. As Bhalla looked closer she recognized some of her own children twisted into demonic forms. The Beastlord himself had taken on a form matching theirs and in his arms he held the broken mangled forms of two of her other children their blood running in rivulets into his fur.“
“Heedless of her own safety, Bhalla threw herself at the manbeast attacking him for his treachery. Repeatedly he threw her down only she made her way back to him. The peaceful Bhalla could do little except hinder the Beastlord. The battle raged for uncounted days. The Beastlord tore her flesh and gouged her deeply until liquid ran from her body and washed away all it touched. The darkness, which threatened to overwhelm Bhalla, fell back at the pure fluid. The blood of her children mingled with her own and lakes, rivers and streams were formed.“
“With what was almost her last breath, Bhalla called out to her sisters. Khelliara came with her curved sword and pierced the Beastlord driving him back. Kneeling Khelliara tried to stem her sister’s wounds, but most would not heal. They seeped and sprang forth even through the densest poultice. Taking Khelliara’s arm in her hands Bhalla said, ‘My blood is life and what it touches survives. Let the beasts and plants drink of me and remember.’“
Immerine sits back and looks at her glass, “This is why we cherish water. It gives life, purifies darkness and cleanses our bodies. Without it we die. It is the blood of the land, we are tied to her in this way and she to us.“ Immerine falls silent and takes the final drink from her glass. Marc looks around at the companions. His eyebrows are frowned as he is puzzled. Slowly a small twinkle lights up in his eyes and the frowning decreases a bit.
Matteo’s eyes flick towards the veiled woman as she recites her tale into the silence of the room but its topic fails to catch his interest and his gaze quickly passes her over, coming to rest on the Lady Jalarghar and her companions. “Saerloonian glowfire if you have it.“ He says to the serving girl and proceeds towards their table. Giving Ditalidas’ hand a small squeeze he listens to the tale the woman in the veil weaves. “A fine tail of history and religion.“ He says to no one in particular. Ditalidas listens half to the story and is thinking of other things for the other half. Her finger started drawing symbols again on the surface of the table, but she doesn’t seem to realize that she’s doing it.
Marc looks at the veiled lady and says, “Well, ma’am, if you say so.“ He looks straight in her eyes and a cheeky gleam shines from his eyes as he asks her, “Excuse me, ma’am, but I think you must know my auntie Deirdre from Hoursmound… And if not, you should! She can talk for hours, just like you, about deities and their relations and history. Of course she calls Chauntea by her real name, but I just know you two would go along very well.“ Then he turns emphatically at Elisa and says, “Yes, a pint-a-bitter would be welcome…“ At very soft voice he adds, giving her a wink, “Preferable to blood any time.“
Ditalidas frowns a little when she hears Marc’s impolite answer. “Marc, be polite.“ She says absently. Marc looks at his protectress, catches a breath and opens his mouth to speak, but silences. Then he bows his head and says humbly “Awright. I’m sorry, her highness“, then he turns towards the veiled lady. He prudently looks up at her – his head still bowed. Again he starts opening his mouth, and then shuts it again.
“I do not know this auntie of yours, nor a place named Hoursmound. I am from Rashemen, a land far to the east. If your auntie tells tales of history and the gods, you should listen. She teaches you truly and not only of the past but of the present and the future. Each living thing is connected one to the other. Disturbances affect us all.“ As Immerine speaks she moves gracefully around the group.
Marc smiles a little bit and backs out: “Well, in fact Deirdre is a wise and friendly aunt. If you would come to my birth grounds you really should go and visit her, I’m serious now I think of it. And you are right, I should listen more intensely to these stories than I tend to, but somehow that seems to kinda hard often.“ He looks up and smiles more warmly now, “But, thank you, I will. I know you’re right and I am a true devotee of Chauntea. Of course I am!“ He sighs softly and looks intensely at the dog, which is finished drinking by now. Then he adds faintly “and for Hoursmound, it’s an hour’s walk from Dreights, but I’ve no idea where Dreights is from here. Still, you will be welcome there.“
“So tell me.“ Immerine leans in towards the table where the boy and his companions sit her voice dropping almost to a whisper, “Do you know of any? Do the walking dead touch you too?“ As the strange woman whispers the words, Ditalidas’ eyes widen with fear. She jumps up from her chair, which falls backwards with a loud noise. “What… Who are you?!“ Her hearth is pounding wildly in her chest. She turns half around. Ready to flee when she needs to.
Chuckling softly Telsom rises from his chair in a flash and goes to help Ditalidas to her feet and back to her chair. “You’ve nothing to fear from the tale weaver precious one, I’ve a fine nose for demons and dastardly types and I’m glad to say she’d fit into neither position.“ The paladin gives the veiled woman a polite smile and a nod. “Tale weaver it is a pleasure to meet you, my name is Telsom Torentshed knight of Sune.“ Turning back to Ditalidas he softly whispers into her ear while holding her arm in his hand to steady her.
Stepping up behind Lady Jalarghar, Matteo places a gentle yet very firm hand over her wrist. Touching her lightly in the small of her back he deftly applies a little pressure to sit her down and says, “My lady, perhaps you would be better sitting down.“ Turning to the veil lady with cold eyes he says in an even tone, “Perhaps you should sit also, my lady, and explain yourself. I doubt you have come so far from home to frighten young ladies.“
Marc looks dazzled back and forth at Ditalidas and the new woman, who is standing uncomfortably close to him. All he can do now is finally shut his big mouth, and so he does.
Bending in close Telsom actually brushes Ditalidas’s neck and ear with his nose. “There is nothing to fear here. You have your friend Matteo, his companions as well as Druth and I to protect you. If you come to find yourself afraid again come and share my seat with me, I find your presence quite relaxing and have come to enjoy it very much since meeting you this afternoon. You have my shoulder to cry on, and my lap to sit on should you need comfort milady.“ Ditalidas nods at Telsom’s whispered words. Slowly she let’s Matteo push her back in her chair.
Standing straight and tall Immerine meets the eyes of each of the party, finally reaching Matteo’s hard gaze and holding it. “To answer your question, Lady.“ She begins without moving her gaze from the man, “I am Immerine Adonamere. I meant no offense or fright with my simple words. The tales I tell are teaching tales for my people. I am an educator and protector in my lands. As I traveled here, I felt disturbances. The spirits speak strangely yet the land is the same. Some abomination rose from the river to confront me, not far from here. I joined my voice with that of Khelliara and drove it away. The thing fled to the forest to the south. I was drawn here, and here you are. I ask a question and it is answered.“
Staring at the scene unfolding before him Grim can do nothing but stand and listen. After a while he softly mutters something to himself and heads over to the table, sits down and takes a deep breath. He turns towards Portia and tries to get her attention, “Excuse me, might I have another look at that piece of paper now?“ Portia absently fishes the slip of paper from her pouch, handing to Grim. She then begins to un-encumber herself so that she might sit and enjoy a meal. She removes her buckler, placing it on the floor against her small pack, and adds her crossbow to the pile. As she sits, the soft scrape of her mail against the seat is audible. “I too will have water, and some of those biscuits as well, please.“
After Portia hands him the piece of paper, Grim thanks her and puts the paper on the table in front of him. He puts both elbows on either side of the paper and rests his head in his hands… and stops responding to anything said to him. Looking at the lady at the end of the table, Portia leans forward slightly so as to be able to see past Grim, “There are Velsharans at work in this town.“ She says this as if that is enough information for anyone, for in her opinion, it is. The only other info she needs is ‘where’, and she doesn’t have that. While outwardly relaxed, the frustration this lack causes her is becoming evident.
“Oh.“ She ads, somewhat surprised at herself, “I’m Portia, of Kelemvor.“ Smiling, she says, “You have some wonderful tales to tell of your gods. Unfortunately, the fables of the gods of Death aren’t exactly suited to enlightening followers or converting unbelievers. I suppose I’ll simply have to make due…“ She sighs, but smiles. Immerine smiles at Portia, “Ah but lady, tales of death are but part of the Circle. I have several of those as well. The abomination of undeath stands outside the circle and I believe your Kelemvor is a warrior against it? Am I correct?“
Kalil looks at the scene in front of him and just listens, trying to make sense of it all. At Immerine’s last statement, he shifts into action “Foreclose for a moment, please. You can question what? The very lands? Or the spirits? Or even a god perhaps? What magic makes you do that?“ Kalil pauses for a moment. “Excuse me, I’m loosing my manners. I’m Kalil of Gildenglade. I’m a merchant from the city of Zulla in Amn and very interested in what you do, somehow… I’m curious to learn more about the abominations you speak about.“ Kalil has the look on his face of those who know they have overstepped the boundaries of good manners. But at the same time, he seems pretty confident about it.
Turning from the lady and her two protectors Immerine faces the one called Kalil. Her eyes sparkle at his questions, “How can one question a god? And, the spirits rarely reveal their knowledge or presence to those they do not trust, Kalil of Gildenglade. What I possess is not ‘magic’ as you understand the word. Let us say I am attuned to nature and its ebbs and flows. Something has disturbed the balance here. Even the spirit of the spring in this house of man feels it. I feel it. Looking at some of you, I can see the mark upon you as well. Something has come, and it touches you all.“
Ditalidas gives the veiled lady a tremulous smile. “I apologize if I over reacted. I hope I didn’t offend you.“ For a moment she looks to the people at the table and standing around her. After that she turns back to Immerine. “Why don’t you sit down? We are gathered here to discuss some events that took place tonight. There seems to be a connection somehow and from what I just heard from you, your story fits the topic perfectly.“ A worried look crosses her face but the worries cannot hide the sadness in her eyes. Suddenly she tosses the strange woman another smile. “I’m sorry, I’m forgetting my manners. Let me introduce myself. My name is Ditalidas Jalarghar. “Looking around again she continuous. “Please people let’s all sit down and let’s allow the waitress here to take our orders.“
“Lady Ditalidas no offense is taken as none has been given. These are disturbing times and your reaction was deliberate on my account. If apologies must be given let them come from me.“ Bowing her head to Ditalidas, Immerine takes a seat after retrieving her staff. Once Ditalidas is back in her seat Telsom reseats himself running a hand through his hair. Smiling up at the waitress he places his order. “I’ll have some of Bhalla’s blood please.“ Looking to Immerine he gives her a playful wink and sits back turning his attention to the spring in the middle of the tavern and marveling at its beauty. “As will I please, Elisa.“ says Immerine.
“You are doing business, something is happening. And I must say I don’t like it.“ Kalil comments on Immerine’s talk of being touched by something. He relaxes a bit and smiles at Immerine. “We were here to discuss what happened. And what is the reason behind it all. Who is responsible and what can be done about it.“ Kalil glances around at pauses at some of his companions. Then he adds, “What we can do about it.“
Still standing, Matteo watches while everyone seats themselves and begins the introductions. Looking at Immerine once again before glancing around the room he bends close to Lady Jalarghar’s ear and murmurs, “Did you order food?“ Ditalidas turns her head to look at him. In a soft tone she answers: “Ehm no, the waitress just got here.“ She shrugs her shoulder. “But since you got here so quickly, everybody can choose for themselves what they want.“ She turns to the group at the table. Loud enough for everybody to hear she continuous: “Ehm, people, if you need a place to sleep, you can arrange it here. I know I said I would arrange something, but now you’re all here so quickly, you can decide for yourself what you want.“ She looks at Druth. “Druth? I’d like to invite you over at Jalargharspires. A spare bedroom has been made up for you. Look at it as my first step to thanking you.“ She tosses him a short smile. Druth smiles back at Ditalidas. “I would be honored“ Finally Ditalidas turns to the waitress. “I’ll have a Berduskan Dark and some hot buttered biscuits. That would be all for me.“
Silently Marc looks at a ‘log’ near Friend’s bowl and seats himself there. He sits somewhat lower and a few feet further from the table there, but he’ll be able to see and hear everything that’s going on around the table. He remains silent. For a moment he scratches his armpit and talks softly to Friend, then his attention returns to the people gathered, but focused on both the high lady and the veiled lady… Still he remains very silent. Looking at Ditalidas in concern as she begins to place her order, a look of relief washes over his face. “I’m glad your appetite is returning milady.“
With a sheepish smile Ditalidas answers: “I can really use a glass of wine, but not on an empty stomach. I’m still not hungry though. But I’ll try to eat some of the biscuits. They are quite good. You really should try them.“ Chuckling Telsom pats his belly. “The food served at your manor was more than sufficient; I’ve got to keep my girlish figure you know.“ Winking at the woman Telsom reaches over and squeezes her biceps reassuringly.
Smiling slightly Matteo straightens. Stepping back from Ditalidas he crosses the floor to where Mumadar stands behind the inn’s bar and speaks softly to him. “Mumadar.“ Matteo says quietly, “I would like to establish an open-ended account. A number of the people at my table will require accommodation for an indefinite period of time, as well as refreshments. I would like you to arrange good rooms for them and hold those rooms until I inform you they are no longer needed. Also, many have had an eventful day and are hungry. I assume you have a reciprocal arrangement with a nearby restaurant or eatery whereby you purchase meals from them and they direct customers here for a bed? Well, I want you to order in a spread of food. Hot meats, chicken or game bird, lamb, roast beef or venison. I’d also like a wide selection of vegetables and fresh fruits and well as cheeses, hot breads, pastries and sweets. Can you arrange that?“
“This should help.“ He says, sliding five gleaming platinum coins across the counter. “Certainly Saer. That will be arranged.“ Mumadar replies while filling some mugs with ale. “I do have several rooms available… let me see.“ Pausing for a moment to think, his hand goes into a pocket of his apron. Retrieving a coin, he starts flipping it in his hand. “There should be about nine rooms available at the moment.“ He puts the coin away again and places the mugs on a tray. “I can order a good meal at the Red Lion for you Saer.“ Looking at the coins on the bar, “That should buy you the meal you described Saer. I’ll have Marc run the order to the Red Lion.“
“Thank you.“ Matteo replies. “I doubt we will need all nine rooms but I will get back to you soon on that. You’d better take this too, just to cover other initial costs.“ He says, handing another five platinum coins over to Mumadar. “You honor my humble establishment saer. The thanks are all mine. I will make sure your friends will have the best service available.“ Mumadar places his right hand over his heart and bows politely to Matteo. “I will arrange a separate room where your esteemed friends can enjoy their meals and have some privacy. Are there any other arrangements you wish to make Saer?“ Nodding his head in return Matteo replies smoothly, “The Lady Immerine, I will be covering her costs as well. Thank you Mumadar, the honor is mine. Oh, one other thing Mumadar…“ Matteo says, “Could you please direct me to the room you will set aside now. And provide me with a key?“
“When Elisa is ready taking the order for your friends, I will ask her to ready the room. It’s through the curtain over there…“ Mumadar points at what first seems a growth of ivy, but Matteo can tell it is a curtain after looking at it a little. “…Through the door, second door on your right Saer. I’ll have Elisa hand you the key.“
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