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31 December 2006 @ 02:01 pm
18 Flamerule 1372 DR -- Night  
Nice to know Nimos wasn't lying to me about the half-orcs, at least. I'm sure he's still going to try to track my whereabouts; seduction only goes so far with him. He may have already sent someone to notify Denin that I'm in Everlund. Of course, if the good elves of Silverymoon's Old City made enough of a fuss over Dhavra's abrupt departure, he'll have recognized the alias and will already be on his way. As long as I keep one step ahead of him, and I will, it's all good.

Now, to find that second half-orc. Nimos didn't have much in the way of a description, but since there are supposedly only two of 'em around, I can rely on big and ugly as my first clue.

*********

It was still fairly light when I left Seledra with Thralia, so I decided to wait until twilight. It was just as well; I'd had a busy day and would likely be up all night, so a few hours rest would keep me sharp. When I decided to leave, Thralia's band was in full swing, and I imagine Seledra was making a serious dent in the innkeeper's stock of elven wine and dancing the night away with unsuspecting human boys. Better than sitting around worrying about what I'm up to.

I went around to a few taverns in the main part of the city, keeping to myself but listening to conversations, but the only times I heard a half-orc mentioned, it sounded like Kronk. It seemed, as Nimos told me, that he had been to several places looking for work since arriving in the city that morning.

The other half-orc must be laying low. I headed back to the rough side of town, and hit the taverns there. No sign of him; nobody'd seen him. At least, no one was talking. Maybe he didn't exist, and Nimos was sending me on a wild-goose chase after all. Speaking of Nimos, every so often, I could feel someone watching me, but I couldn't catch them at it.

Frustrated, I waited in the last tavern until it was nearly empty. I headed out onto the nearly empty streets and caught sight of a bulky figure. Jackpot.

I moved closer, and to my disappointment found that it was Kronk. I decided to follow him; if nothing else, maybe I could get the information I wanted out of him. He seemed to be aware that someone else was around, so I hung back, staying just close enough to see him. He was headed toward the docks; I followed cautiously for a couple of blocks when I realized I wasn't the only person following him. A figure ahead of me mis-stepped, enough for me to see him clearly, but not enough for Kronk to notice: the other half-orc. Pretty stealthy for a man of that bulk.

Kronk grew more wary as we approached the docks; he knew he was being followed. I saw him turn a corner, and I cut across on top of the building to get to his position before the other half-orc. I stopped at the second building after the corner to survey the street; Kronk was waiting for his pursuer. He grabbed the half-orc as he turned the corner.

"Kronk."

"Durth. You should be dead."

So they knew each other. This should be interesting.

I kept listening; the one called Durth apparently works for Kronk's brother. I was about to leave, thinking that the city guard wouldn't need any more information on this personal matter, when I heard a soft thud, and a grunt. Kronk had punched Durth in the gut. Something impelled me to keep watching.

"You can't make Kronk go." He turned to leave, but Durth laughed.

"So what? Your trail not hard to follow. Even if you tell constable about me, they let Durth go. Not against law to follow you. If I tell Ugurth you here, he will come in a day. He want you dead. He kill anyone to get you. He kill others to make you hurt. He even kill that gold-hair elf."

At the mention of Thralia, Kronk was so enraged he lifted Durth off the ground with one hand. "If you tell him," he said, as he stabbed a huge knife through Durth's chest with his free hand.

I receded further into the shadows on the roof and watched as Kronk dragged the body to the river. While he was occupied with his burden, I started to make my way back to The Friendly Dwarf. I wanted to speak with Thralia before I decided what to do with this information, so I needed to get back there before he did.

********

Thralia was awake when I appeared in her window.

"Dhavra? Is that you?"

"Ah, so you do know her," I said. "We'll get to her in a moment. My name is Corael Sh'aneth, and I'm looking for information on the half-orc Kronk."

Thralia narrowed her eyes. "Are you now?"

"The city guard wants to know why he's here. He is not necessarily unwelcome; they are merely interested in making sure he's not a threat to any of Everlund's citizens. I know that he works for you, at the moment, and I also know that he did not arrive in Everlund with you."

Thralia raised an eyebrow skeptically. "I didn't realize the city guard had started employing drow."

"Think of me as a subcontractor, of sorts."

"Well, you can tell whoever your employer is that Kronk is an associate of two Harper agents. If they have a problem, they can talk directly to me."

"Very well." I nodded.

"And what about Dhavra?" Thralia grinned mischievously. You don't get to be a Harper by being stupid, I suppose.

"I work for House Drii Upoth. At least I used to. I may regain my good standing if I return her, or at least provide accurate information on her whereabouts."

"Well, then, your former employers may be interested to know that Dhavra Drii Upoth died in infancy about ninety years ago. Perhaps they forgot where they buried her?"

Well done, Thralia.

"That's precisely why they seek her so urgently. Not only does she affect their reputation by acting under their venerable name, she compounds their grief by posing as their lost daughter." Ha! Take that!

Thralia laughed. "Not bad. Now who are you, really? I assume Corael is also Dhavra? And I'm sure you're not really Corael, either."

I looked at her soberly. "No one else must make that connection. No one. It is for Seledra's safety at this point as well as my own reasons."

That got her attention. "How much is Seledra involved in this?"

"She's only associated with Dhavra, and it must stay that way, lest anyone decide to follow her."

"Does she know what's really going on?"

"Most of it."

"All right then. As long as she's getting into trouble of her own volition. She's good at that."

"Indeed." I turned to get back out of the window but looked back. I had made my decision. "Kronk's been guarding your door all night, hasn't he?"

"Well, no, I told him I wouldn't . . . "

"No, you wouldn't have done that. In a place like this? You asked him to stay all night, right?"

She caught on quickly. "Of course, silly me! How could I forget that I asked him to stay."

I heard a grunt. He'd gotten here. "You should check with him, just to be sure." I flipped out the window just as Thralia moved to open her door.

**********

Last stop, the room I shared with Seledra. She was also awake, and looked a little upset.

"What's wrong, 'Ledra?" I asked.

"Oh! Fine, just fine. I, uh, had a little too much wine."

Liar. I'd seen her by now in all possible stages of drunkenness and hangover, and this wasn't it. I rummaged around for some paper and started writing a note. "Hmph. Well, I suppose I'll have time later to cajole you into telling me what's really the matter." I finished the note and handed it to her. "You know what to do; just give me time to create a trail." Seledra nodded. I packed a few things, including my new dress, grabbed Dhavra's cloak and veil, and headed back out.

"I'll meet you on the road. Remember, everyone must know that you're leaving Everlund alone."
 
 
Current Location: Everlund
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
Our Cultural Fear of Oompa Loompassarchasmic on January 2nd, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
"As long as getting into trouble of her own volition..."

Missing a word there?

Otherwise, looks good to me.
The Heretic Heart: Snape  L'Oreal Addandycat on January 2nd, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Very nice! I liked the rapport with Thralia. Is there a specific story Seledra should have when telling people why she is leaving alone if anyone asks or should I just wing it?
vaudyvaudy on January 3rd, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
:D I was a little worried about getting her voice right. You created the character, so if you think she'd react to anything differently, don't hesitate to say something.

That what the letter's about. I explain when I email it to you.
The Heretic Heart: Aayladandycat on January 3rd, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
I thought you did very well with her. Thralia is a smart cookie who hides her brains behind her pretty face. Of course, that *is* where they go, but you know what I mean. :)

Cool beans.
(Anonymous) on January 5th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
Can't wait to see what happens next!
kronk9kronk9 on January 5th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
(that last comment was mine...forgot I wasn't logged in...Kronk dumb)