Tuesday, May 26, 2020

RoH: Subtlety

Doblim was a hill town, nestled at the nexus of forest and grasslands and mountains; its production was a mix of mining, logging, ranching, and farming, supplemented by a host of local crafters and brewers and artisans. It had survived the war in part due to an active and well-trained militia, but also because it had been small enough to avoid the dark lord's full attention. In the aftermath, with the dark lord dead and its armies defeated, Doblim was well on its way to becoming a city-state, mostly by virtue of having had the luck to come through the Great War intact.

Remant rode in at the back of the caravan, just another guard doing just another job. The wagons split in the merchant's square, with the Mornmith family and the handful of other travelers going their own way, while the four wagons belonging to the merchant Teldis pulled up in front of a large warehouse that bordered the square. Ikara motioned them over, then distributed them around the wagons while Teldis' servants unloaded the wagons. It was tedious, but necessary: the odds of crime were low, but they would increase spectacularly if it looked as if nobody was on guard.

When they were done, Teldis herself emerged. "You're welcome here tonight; there are rooms off the stables, and my cook will have dinner sent down. I have your coins here."

Remant joined the line and collected his pay, adding it to his wallet. It would support him for several days, even if he ignored the offer of food and shelter. He intended to be traveling out on another job well before then.

"You never take those gloves off," Itren observed quietly, sitting beside Remant while he ate the breaded pork and baked vegetables that the cook had sent down.

He shrugged, as if it were merely a quirk of his personality. He had never been a particularly good liar, and that was a problem. Dandris knew his secret, but Dandris was further down the table and didn't seem to have noticed the question. There was no help to be had from them. "I don't want to be caught unprepared."

She chuckled. "It's not the best of table manners," she said, ignoring fork and knife to raise a piece of breaded pork in her bare fingers and bite into it directly.

Remant looked at the fork and knife in his gloved hands, and chuckled. "You mock me."

Itren shrugged. "Not intentionally. I merely think you should know that you aren't as discreet as you hope. Beyond that..." She turned her head, met his eyes with her own piercing pale blue ones. "I'd only wish to thank you. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know."

Remant glanced around the table, but Ikara was absorbed in her food and Javill was asking if she had a line on future jobs.

"I'll keep it in mind," he said. "All of it."

He slept alone, and in the morning he rose and saddled his horse and went out and got arrested.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!