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Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning:
“What am I supposed to do with the child you’ve imprisoned in my wine cellar?” Bella rushed up to us and got inches from Wyanet’s face.
“It’s taken care of,” Bucephalus pushed past Bella. “Lord Tiarna is sending someone to take her into custody.” He pulled out a stool at the bar and sat down. “Serving girl! I need a drink!”
Bella’s eyes burned. “No you don’t, you’ve damn near drained my store as it is.” She stomped over to Bucephalus and pushed her chest against his. “Not a single drop of which has been paid for.”
Raisa appeared at the kitchen door.
“I told you, the Conclave will pay you once I make it back to the Isle and document my expenses.” Bucephalus turned to Raisa. “Get me some ale.”
Bella poked Bucephalus in the chest. “Money six years from now isn’t going to keep my business open tomorrow.” She poked him again. “This freeloading cow is not to have another drop of any alcohol until he pays for what he’s already drunk.”
Raisa nodded. Bucephalus snorted, stood and puffed out his chest.
“Am I interrupting something?” The young man from Wolfhearth manor strolled through the door. Phebes trailed behind him.
The colour drained from Bella’s and Raisa’s faces. Bella lowered her head to the man. Raisa ducked back into the kitchen.
“What can I do for you m’ lord?” Bella hurried behind the bar. “Can I get you something to drink? If you’re hungry, I can prepare whatever we have.”
Phebes threw her arms around Wyanet, then me. “I thought I was going to be stuck in that jail cell forever. I didn’t know if you guys knew I was in there, I thought I would have to change my name, because you know being on the inside changes people.”
“No ma’am, I don’t need anything to eat or drink.” The young man gestured to Phebes. “I’m here to return this delightful woman to your company and find out what they agreed to.”
Wyanet pulled a quartered piece of paper with a wolf head wax seal from her pocket. “We signed a contract naming us an independent task force under the employment of Lord Tiarna.”
Phebes furrowed her brow. “Wait, what?”
‘Our first job is to find and destroy a cult of the Fallen Gods.”
“If we manage to do that,” I added. “We will get more jobs from Lord Tiarna.”
“So we’re mercenaries now?” Phebes asked.
“That is what it’s called when someone pays you to fight their battles for them.” Bucephalus smirked at Bella.
“You’re still not getting anything until I get paid.”
The young man clapped his hands together and grabbed Wyanet’s shoulders. “Welcome to the pack! If you need extra help, let me know. I do nothing but paperwork and sit through meetings anymore. It’s all so boring. I could use a bit of excitement again. Speaking of which, I need to get back to the manor.” He nodded to Bella and left.
“Do you know who that was?” Bella whispered.
“Lord Tiarna’s personal servant?” Wyanet shrugged. “I do not understand your noble ranking system.”
Bella’s jaw hit the floor. “That was Lord William Tiarna. The second son of Lord Miles and heir to Vercingetorix. He’s the second most powerful man in the city.”
“Whatever his rank is,” Wyanet took a seat at our table. “We need to get to work finding this cult.”
“While I was in prison,” Phebes sat down beside Wyanet. “I had the idea that we should check the other shrines in the city to see if they’re ransacked too. The guards wouldn’t tell me anything, but maybe if we find out who destroyed that shrine we could find the cult.”
“You might be onto something there,” Bucephalus put his arms on the table. “There’s a rumour in the Inquisition about corruption within the clergy in Spinel and its surrounding regions. Bishop Berthwald, with whom you’re well-acquainted, is believed to have abandoned his faith in the Raven Queen. No one can find the evidence to prove it though.”
“She’s the one that rules over death, right?” Phebes asked.
“Sweeney taught me she is the patron of destiny,” I replied.
Bucephalus waved our statements away. “Yes, yes, death and destiny. The point is, her followers balance on a thin line between law and chaos.”
“Why does any of that matter?” Wyanet leaned back in her chair.
“I’ll get to that,” Bucephalus pulled a piece of chalk from his pocket. “All the cities in the new world large enough to have a temple, connect to the shrines in their city.” He drew a ten pointed star on the table. “If a shrine is sacked and abandoned by its caretakers, the secret passage connecting it back to the temple can’t be easily used.”
“The undefiled shrine shows us which section of the clergy to start with,” Wyanet smiled.
Bucephalus brushed his thumb down the side of his snout. “Exactly. And I’d wager that the shrine of the Raven Queen is undamaged.” He clapped Phebes on the back. “Good idea, blondie.”
“Oh, uh, it was nothing.” Phebes stared at the wood grains of the table.
“I’m all for blaming the church,” I said. “But what if we’re wrong? We’re making a lot of assumptions with little information.”
“We start with the church,” Wyanet put her hand on mine. If we are wrong, we will keep looking.”
Raisa brought a platter with fresh bread, hard cheese and a small bowl of strawberries to our table with a pot of tea.
“We should have a guide, none of us know the city very well.” Phebes grabbed for the teapot.
“What about Raisa? She did well last night.” Bucephalus bit into a strawberry.
“I’m sorry,” Raisa blushed. “I’ve had enough dangerous adventures to last for a few years. Besides, I can’t skip the supper shift again. Bella would be furious.” Raisa ran back to the kitchen.
“The first day we were here, a little girl showed me around town. If we can find her again, I bet she’d be happy for an easy coin or two.” I ripped off a chunk of bread.
“Where is she?” Wyanet sipped her tea.
“I don’t know. She didn’t tell me how to find her,” I replied. “She didn’t even give me her name, now that I think about it.”
Bucephalus sighed. “What did the mysterious child tell you?”
“All she told me is if I needed her She’d find me.”
The story will continue, March 12th, 2020.
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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)
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