After their meeting concluded and those assembled dispersed to their chambers, or other duties, Viconia made her way swiftly to her chambers within the keep. She was eager to be away from the distrustful gazes of Nors and Eltan’s pet wizard, and especially keen to be rid of the Ranger’s piercing eyes. She wondered if he had perfected such a look, or if it were something that came naturally to a man such as he. Either way, it was unnerving in its intensity and it recalled in her memories of the High Priestesses of Llolth, especially the Matron Mothers, back in Menzoberranzan.
Wheeling Sundril about in the keep’s courtyard, Jaryn tore out through the gates and down the high avenue. It was nearing dusk and he knew he had a hard nights ride ahead of him if he were to reach the Friendly Arm Inn, a waystation along the Coastway, a normal two days ride to the south, in time to hopefully intercept Lystra. If she were to perceive of trouble before he reached her, she may abandon his orders to make for the city and make her way to Beregost instead. It would also behoove him to get into contact with the High Druid Blacktree once more and, luckily, there was a way for him to do so much close at hand.
While the rest of the Sword Coast weathered the steady drizzle, a much harsher storm head had descended on the town of Beregost. Rain fell in driving sheets upon the slate roofs of the cluster of buildings that made up the town’s center, as well as those of thatch of the numerous farmsteads dotting the landscape around. The only souls who stood outdoors were those poor Flaming Fist guardsmen unlucky enough to pull guard duty. All of the townsfolk had retreated to the safety of their homes, or else to the welcoming warmth of the Burning Wizard Inn
Lystra awoke in the predawn hours to the ominous rumbling of thunder and the tapping of rain upon the window of her modest accommodations at the Friendly Arm Inn. Sitting up, she allowed the blanket to fall from her naked breasts, stretching her stiff muscles and cursing her body so unused to sleeping with a mattress beneath her.
Guiding their mounts at a plodding pace, Lystra and her companions traveled in silence northward along the Coastway. All three were sullen and miserable, the constant rain sapping them of any cheer or drive.
Night had fully engulfed the land when the Percin caravan hauled itself into the small roadside dell Rendrick had ear-marked for their first night’s camp. The ranger, Keira, and Tiberius led the way into the sheltered space, guarded on all sides by high outcroppings of stone and roofed by the canopies of great oaks that had taken root there. All three were exhausted, their fronts covered in mud, evidence of their recent labors of dislodging the latest wagon wheel.
Like a thread fed expertly through the head of a needle, Jherek stole through the backstreets of Baldur’s Gate. His course taking him ever nearer to the city’s slums, and his ultimate destination that night.
An ominous roll of thunder heralded the dawn for Lystra and her companions. They had awakened early, Kivan rousing them from their slumber, a meager fast of dried fruits and meats their only sustenance before they took once more to the road.
Jherek lay upon his bed within the Elfsong Tavern, asleep and yet not fully asleep. His eyelids were closed and, beneath them, his eyes spun as if he were possessed. A slight creaking of the door to his room urged him to wakefulness. A shadow passing his curtained window suggested an intruder. A light exhalation told him someone was near at hand.
uiding Shadowflight off the streets of Baldur’s Gate, Lystra urged her mare down a side alley beside the Elfsong Tavern. Her course led her to a small yard at the Inn’s back where a four-horse stable stood against the far wall. It was rare that all of the stalls were taken in the Elfsong’s stable as most who patronized the establishment were denizens of the city and so had no need to stable their mounts there. Currently, she saw, only one other horse resided there and her eyes narrowed at the sight of it, not due to any action by the horse itself but more so because she could guess whose horse it was. If what Jaryn had told her on the road was true, she knew that the black beast in the stable could be none other than the horse of the Harper Master Jherek for the Elfsong was a favored haunt of his while he was in the city.