The Callindra Chronicles Book 2: The Rise of Evil – Chapter 32

Tryst walked into the common room of The Drunken Thief feeling weak as a newborn lamb and hungry as a bear after his winter sleep.  The scent of roasting fish and potatoes fills his nostrils and his mouth began to water.

“Hey brother, come have some food and an ale!”  Callindra said with a smile and a wave of her pipe. “They’re grilling catfish and tubers.  The ale is flowing and we have a lead on where the bits we’re looking for might be.”  Her cheeks were slightly flushed with alcohol.

“I see not much has changed.”  He said, a grin spreading across his face, noting Cronos sitting with a pensive expression on his face and three empty plates stacked in front of him and Vilhylm was chewing on a mouthful of food.

“Oh come off it Tryst.”  Cronos said, crossing his arms.  “You’ve been out of it for weeks.  Come and eat something.”

“it’s good to see you out of bed brother.”  Vilhyl said, grinning around a mouthful of potatoes.  “Quit the tough guy act, it doesn’t fit you.”

Laughing, he sat with his family, for he thought of them as such even though they weren’t related by blood.  They talked and ate; Tryst catching himself up on the events that had transpired since he had been indisposed.

“In the end it all comes back to Adbar.”  Tryst said grimly, “The Countess nearly burned down the Grandfather Tree, we should have known the Count would be involved as well.”

“How could he have figured it out?”  Callindra asked, “Jorda gave us this mission herself, how is it possible that anyone else knew about it?”

“I would imagine that if one God knew about it another could have as well.”  Tryst said, helping himself to another serving of fish.  “I think we would be foolish not to anticipate there being more than one interested party in this matter.”

“You mean you think we have been foolish right?”  Callindra said, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, we know that Dergeras is trying to set the abyss free, but we never thought that there might be others out there who are also looking for these artifacts.”  Tryst said, “We need to recover the remaining ones as swiftly as we can and then go face Count Adbar.”

“We’ve got one advantage over any others though.”  Cronos said with a smile, “We have the Hand and it points us towards the nearest piece.  Vil and I have been checking where it points now against a map while waiting for you to get up and for Callindra to finally get out of the bath.  We’re pretty sure it is aiming us at the Whalebone Islands.”

“At least that’s the only thing of significance in that direction within a reasonable distance.”  Vilhylm amended.  “If it’s not just laying somewhere at random, that seems like the only place it could be.”

“I know it’s out of the way and not part of the plan, but I must get to the glaciers of the north.  I don’t know exactly where it is, but there’s an old burned out volcano there.”  She put a gentle hand on Brightfang’s hilt.  “I have to bring him there and get him repaired.”

“Without you to fight beside us we would be sorely lacking to be sure.”  Tryst said, “Of course we will venture there with you to find your smith.”

Callindra let out a breath, feeling the tension in her shoulders release slightly and gave her brothers a smile.  “Thank you.”

“There is a fishing village on the shore of the Drakkenmore.”  Mili said, arriving with fresh plates of food and tankards of Bog Ale.  Setting the food and drinks down, she indicated a spot on the map.  “You might be able to pay one of them to take you out to the Whalebones.”

“Thanks Mili.”  Tryst said, digging for some coins.

“Your money is no good here.”  She said firmly, “You all rid us of The Ravenger.”

“You have to make a living somehow.”  Callindra said, “What are you going to do now that all your customers are gone?”

“Oh they’ll be back.”  Mili said, “Or others will come.  There’s too much treasure out there in the swamp for them to stay away for long.  Without The Ravenger to keep them away, we will probably have to put a new wing on The Drunken Thief.”

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