Chapter 17

The market was busy in the late morning hours as they waded through the sea of people. Up ahead a giant crane was lifting gigantic canvas bags filled with stuffs for the market into a sorting cage. The cage was heavily guarded as merchants jocked for position to gather their daily arrivals. Groups of slaves worked the crane mechanism as it released back into the Great Well. The whole thing was a great site to behold and images from the mural in the halls of Duren’s Fall were recalled by each of them.

A few orcs were miserably hiding in the shade, their mood is sour as the sun was climbing.

The rest of the people were generally just going about their business. The sellers could be heard shouting out their services and their merchandise. All claiming to have the best of this or that.

A few rumors were overheard, including that several heads had been put on pikes down on the docks. Some say this was retaliation for the killing of the legate several days ago.

“They say it is ol’ Radov the sailmaker.”

“Part of the insurgents? I cannot believe he’d be with such filth.”

“I saw a large group of orcs move through the Steeps a couple of nights ago. I swear they entered the sewers. I hope they cleared out those villains that live down there. They are nothing but trouble. They should just leave us alone and learn to praise Izrador.”

As the group wandered around taking in the sights they noticed a woman in a loose grey cloak with its hood up approach them. A slight smile was on her face and they recognized her voice before they recognized her.

“I have something to sell to you, something that I think I know you need. Follow me and we can haggle over the price,” Anandra lead them into a nearby busy tavern.

Sitting down at a table in the corner of the tavern, away from most of the others who are already there Anandra started, “I am glad you have decided to find your way here. I was fearful that we may not meet again when the fighting began in the sewers. Many of us did not make it out alive.”

“Yes, we lost a good ally that day,” Devin’s voice was pained. While Radovin had been vocally harsh with them and short on words he had done nothing but help them.

“One wonders how the orcs found us in the first place?” Khurran’s voice was accusatory but it was well hidden within the question. Anandra seemed to ignore the question.

“You promised safe passage to us. Does that still stand?” Devin had heard Khurran’s question and knew what he was getting at but his focus remained on Sarn. They were close now and he was ready to move on.

“I did send your request to gain safe passage to the Knives. I am pleased to say that your request was granted. I know the way and can lead you there. I must tell you though, last night, I followed this legate. He did not stay in his home, but late at night he stole away to some other house at the edge of Guildall. I do not know what his purpose there was but he stayed past the darkest hour,” Anandra looked concerned. “I have also talked to others who have followed this legate as well and they say he has done this several nights before. He is hiding something… something important enough to even keep it secret from the other legates.”

“In your opinion is that the place to face him? At his hide away?” Devin was looking for anyway to gain an advantage.

Anandra considered Devin’s question, ”I do not know. It is dangerous to confront a legate anywhere in the city. I supposed it would surprise him most if you confronted him in a place that is not his own. However, there will likely be others beside him at this place.”

”Does he travel to this place alone?” Devin wanted as much information as possible before going after Sarn.

”No he always travels with that accursed magehound of his.” Anandra responded.

Khurran al’Sherzan palmed his recently acquired charm that Nezrin had identified as being helpful in combat against magehounds.

“Will it be only you or will you bring others along with us?” Devin was unsure of trusting Anandra but right now she was the only one that was going to get them to Sarn.

”I will be the only one leading the way. There will be no others with us.”

”And we have the blessing of the Badens?” Devin knew what this answer was going to be but he also wanted to see what kind of additional information he could get out her. This was the kind of question that he could possibly get her to slip up on.

”And what do the Knives get out of this?” Khurran followed Devin’s lead. Was Anandra hiding anything?

“The Badens?” Anandra said with and edge to her voice. “The knives will not bow to their weak gestures. The Knives control the sewers near Hearthhome.”

”And the Knives get another legate as a notch on their belt.”

Devin placed his hand on the table in front of Khurran and turned to him, “With or without the Baden’s blessing we must strike tonight.” Khurran agreed, “And it will probably be best to get him at this other place he has been going to in the night.”

“Yes, I am curious as to what he is hiding. And I would rather face him away from his residence where other legates know where he is.”

Nezrin nodded in agreement, “Perhaps it will also give us some time before they find he is missing.”

“Ok, it is settled. Do what you must around the market and then I will meet you back here just before sunset,” Anandra seemed pleased.

“I will inform the Knives. If you are successful this night I’m sure they will be grateful that another legate has been claimed by the resistance and maybe they will even grant you some reward for your deed.” A sly smile crept across her face. Gracefully she got up from the table, pulled the hood of her grey cloak over her head and swiftly left the tavern.

Chapter 17

The Edge of Twilight Naszir