What Now

Tribe 8 – RPG/TRPG Session

Run by Chris (alcoholandaphorism)

Tribe Members;

Lady Quinn – Me

Brhyannon – Jason (jymmijamz) ABSENT

Aulderush – Will

CHAPTER TWELVE

Refuge

Aulderush and Lady Quinn hurry through Hom, heading towards the tower with the flame on top.  The place where Veruka resides looking after the flame.  They race through the shantytowns and squalor where the squats live away from the Outlands.  Even amongst these places the corruption of violence has spread, it seems to be dogging their tails as they flee.  Eventually they make it safely to the entrance door of the tower.  They hammer on the blackened door, and soon a pair of eyes looks out.  As quickly the door slips open allowing them entry.

As they make their way to the top, up the many stairs, Lady Quinn mentally checking the number of stairs once again without thinking.  They can hear banging echoes and reverberating around and off the metal stairs and platforms.  Screams coming from the distance as they go.  When they do make the top they see the prone shape of Veruka lying there with her eyes closed and an ink black mask covering her face.  In the window is stood a man looking out at the visage of Hom before him.  Pieces of bright oranges and yellow hang from him, along with strips of silk.  Chains thread through his face in places, along with tattoos.  The reflection of fires dancing on his face as he stares out at the middle distance.  He has a type of androgynous look to his features, with solid tanned muscles.  He turns to look at them as they enter; he smiles before looking back out.  There is a quiet muttering, almost musical coming from him, as he seems to be far away.

A banging can be heard echoing up from the entrance door below, where the childish violence is trying to batter it’s way in.  Lady Quinn goes over to Veruka to check on her.  She places some fingers beneath Veruka’s chin, feeling no pulse and the skin is cold.  She points this out to Aulderush who rushes over to check himself.  He even thinks she may be dead, but then he is suddenly aware of a very faint pulse there, terribly weak.  It is as if she isn’t there, and her body is on autopilot, barely keeping her alive.  It seems like she is in a type of coma.  The man at the window looks over at them both again.  “Is it wrong for all of my soul to break to look upon this.  It is possibly the most beautiful thing I have seen today.  It’s our dreams in smoke, but the reflection on the water.  The smoke as the sun goes through it.  The frost I can see the chill within me.  There is a beauty in the sadness.”  He looks back out of the window.  Aulderush looks at Lady Quinn and mouths ‘what?’  She just shrugs her shoulders.  Lady Quinn goes over to look out at what he is seeing.  “We’re loosing it, we are loosing it all now.”

“Loosing all of what?”  Aulderush asks him.

“The Tribe.  We were coming together finally.  Not to be just people, but to be a community.  To be a shared life.  But look at this we aren’t a tribe, we are just people pushed together.  Maybe I was wrong.”  He turns back to look at them and smiles again at them.  He then apologises at them, saying that he hasn’t done the proper introduction yet.  He tells them he had seen them at the Cage, and how they were saying fine words.  “My name is Dais.  It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, even though it would have been better at a different time.”

Dais tells them that Veruka gave him shelter when things started going wrong.  He is not one for that type of physical activity, more of the ‘pliant’ type.  Aulderush ask if he knows what may have started it.  Dais states that it starts like they all do, with a death, an argument, and a cry in the dark.  “But I have a feeling Dane Hadis doesn’t help particularly much either.  A wise woman but…”  He blows through his teeth.  “She could strip the flesh from my bones with but a word.  And I don’t mean that in a good way.  I wouldn’t go to her bed out of fear of leaving without my soul.”  He then states that to him it looks like they will not be going anywhere soon.  They do have some rations but, he looks out the window.  He tells them that the main grain and food stalls are all up in flames.  “If I didn’t know any better, I would say it was deliberate.”

Aulderush and Lady Quinn talk with Dais at length about what has happened, about their venture in to the tunnels and the Keepers, and who may have started this violence.  Dais believes that the Tribes may have done the deed.  There is a blink and suddenly Veruka sits up at a ninety degree from the waist.  She looks around and sees everyone there, “Oh I have company.”  They have a quick talk with her to see that she is alright and show their concerns.  She then excuses herself and closes her eyes.  Everything goes black for a second.  Leaves grow up and words sprout out.  Aulderush can read them saying, ‘are you ready Veruka?’  Veruka nods and the leaves fade away.  The dream swirls around like leaves in a breeze, fading through black and white.  An old man appears, forming from the wisps of the dream.  His features haggard with his hair tied back behind his neck in a ponytail.  A marking of the third eye upon his forehead, and a thick grey bushy beard on his chin.  He looks down, “Veruka.  A pleasure.  Dais.”  Dais bows down low, touching his forehead to the ground.  “You don’t need to do that for me boy.  Ah the new comers.  Antikin speaks highly of you, in his own unusual way.”  Lady Quinn nods her head at him.  “I think I need to thank both of you for that, especially…” He pauses as he thinks, “…you.  Aulderush isn’t it?”  Aulderush confirms this.  “The fire of Joshua burns inside of you.”  Aulderush asks whom he is speaking to.  “Oh I am sorry.  My name is Halos.”

Taken from site - flickr.com

Halos says that the tribe is being tested like it has never been before.  And there are rats running in the middle.  He tells them that he has just had two women enter his dream, and manage to escape with their lives.  He isn’t sure what they were after, but it means there are tribal in the dreams around here.  He then states that if they try with Hadis then he pities them for trying.  He tells them then that he and Veruka are in agreement of the tribes needing something to unify them.  Some sort of symbol, something to follow and look up at.  He states that the tribe is fracturing back in to small allegiances, and it cannot be allowed to carry on as this dangerous rate.  “I am afraid that the four of you and myself are all that we have to call upon at the moment.”

Halos tells them that Kimber River is out trying to gain food at the moment, and she was always good at bringing the people together.  If they can find her then the people may listen to her voice.  He then tells them of items and symbols of Joshua, of the things that were before he fell.  But if they can find these then the people may rally behind them.  He then asks them a selfish request that is not for the tribe but for himself.  He wants them to go find Harkin Antikin as he has lost touch with him.  His mind is fading from over exposure to the River of Dreams, and now this, this could be his undoing.  Could they find him and take him to a place where he can be safe until this anarchy washes over.  Lady Quinn nods and Aulderush tells Halos that they will do this.  Halos then warns them to watch their dreams, and if ever they become too solid, then they may be under attack.  Be ready.  And with that he fades away, leaving the four of them in the top of the tower.

Veruka shares with Aulderush and Lady Quinn, how Halos has been around even longer than what she has.  She then states that she agrees with Halos about finding an artefact of Joshua that will help reunite the tribe.  Dais looks out the window again and states that he would not like to go out there at this time.  Suggesting spending a few days to weather the storm.  Aulderush takes a look at his wounds, cleanings  and stabilises them once again.

A Mission

Aulderush and Lady Quinn discuss where Harkin may be right now.  They sit together and meditate, Lady Quinn assisting Aulderush with his ritual.  In His vision within the dream, Aulderush sees four women with the colour of blue, and the scent of cinnamon.  They run through dreams and poison.  He then sees the small scuffles around Hom, and in places it is so dense that it is like a raging inferno.  The vision shifts again, looking down at the walkways and different routs through the Hallows.  It is like he is on the highest point imaginable, looking down upon it all, aware of someone nearby, whose mind is going mad, torn every which way by the River of Dreams.  Then the vision fades to nothing.

Aulderush describes what he saw to Lady Quinn, and as they think on it she suggests that it may be referring to the large metal wheel standing tall over the Hallows, which is used as a lookout for Hom.  They look out the window of the tower, seeing what stands between them now and the metal wheel where they wish to go.  It will be a long dangerous journey, where a lot of pockets of chaos and anarchy rages, hitting out at anyone near.  Lady Quinn considers what is needed to make it safely over the distance, and suggests that she could manipulate her synthesis which would augment a bubble of reality around them, making it very difficult for anyone to see them as they travel.  Aulderush likes the plan and they sit down to meditate once again, this time Lady Quinn taking the rains.

Dust and air vapor begins to swirl and twist around Lady Quinn.  Dais looks on with a smile across his face.  Aulderush steps in close to her, making sure that he is included in the camouflage.  The tower even begins to shake from the force of the synthesis.  People outside back away from the quaking structure.  The light and patterns around them both are breaking up making it extremely difficult to be seen.  People only seeing shifting light and shadows in the corner of their eyes.

Going down to a lower window at the back, Aulderush and Lady Quinn make their way out from this vantage point.  Lady Quinn going first to help Aulderush, she hangings from the ledge of the window, her arms around Aulderush.  She then kicks out pulling him with her, holding him tight as she lands gracefully on the ground, bracing the impact and placing him on the floor unharmed.

Taken from site - desdemonadespair.net

As they make their way through the shantytowns.  They can see that the violence is gradually dissipating somewhat, with groups now backing off from each other, but the knives are still drawn as they watch one another carefully.  The fires still raging all around.  Over at the Cage, the groups there are still fighting, but they are not using the blades now but only with fists.  People trying to hold superiority over others.  Soon they pass under the massive bridge that shadows the entrance to the Hallows.  The gates are closed with chains and nailed on wooden boards, with a sign only Aulderush can reading ‘KEEP OUTT’.  Lady Quinn helps him make the leap over the threshold easily and on they travel.

Going through the Hallows they see people hold up in shadows of the buildings and alleyways.  In the streets there are some people who are dead lying where killed.  One with several arrows sticking out like a pincushion, and many dark windows looking down upon the scene.  Some have barricaded the buildings with whatever they can find.  In the near distance Aulderush spots two young urchins scurrying under the covers, and carrying a sign reading, ‘dont fire – food’.  Lady Quinn however spots something else as well.  She sees a familiar sign meaning a meeting in thirty minutes in El Per Do, along with the sign of her contact.  It also looks like the time has been changed several times over the past hour.  She also pots in the shadows a red bearded man, a hatchet tucked in his belt.  He is creeping along a walkway that is in the shadow of a second walkway above.  Ferris is crawling on his hands and knees, deeply staring down at an elderly Squat woman on the streets.  The woman is carrying a heavy saddlebag.  Ferris stalking slow along after like a cat after it’s prey.

Lady Quinn points out Ferris’ actions, asking whether they should try to act or carry on.  Aulderush thinks that they should at least try to help assist the woman.  As she rushes from cover to cover, where she settles down for several minutes before making the next charge to safety.  Lady Quinn leads Aulderush in their bubble to creep up and try to use the visual distraction of their bubble to gradually hide the Squat woman from Ferris’ prying eyes.  However every time they think they have her covered, Ferris is stalking in from a different angle.  It is gradually leading them back out through the gateway from the Hallows, and taking about twenty minutes or so.  Lady Quinn is aware that they are taking too long, and Ferris seems to always be one step ahead and from a different angle.  She suggests that they call it off as a failure.  They both agree that they cannot waste anymore time, or blow their cover.

As they turn from Ferris to head on back towards the tall metal wheel.  They see Ferris finally catch up to the Squat woman, leaping down from a tree on to her face.  She goes to scream, but he is there before her, jabbing his thumb under her jaw, turning her face this way and that.  He nods as if in satisfaction at what he sees.  Then in a flash the hatchet is out and slicing through her throat.  Blood showers out.  Gurgling coming from her mouth.  Ferris clambers her mouth shut.  After what seems like long minutes, and after the Squat woman stops shaking, Ferris releases his hand and pulls the hatchet free.  He opens her mouth and pulls on her tongue, swinging his hatchet once again and severing the woman’s tongue.  This he slips in to his pocket, and then he looks around him.  He tosses the limp still warm body of the Squat woman over his shoulders and disappears in to the trees.

It is starting to get dark as they finally come upon the large metal wheel.  There is a group huddled in near to the feet of the wheel.  They have been trying to approach but are frightened off by the rain of arrows that shower down upon them at every attempt.  The metal wheel is rusty and still has flecks of red paint in places.  A sign of something from the world before.  As the wind blows through this structure, the frame creaks and seems to sing.  At even section around this wheel are small round cage like protrusions.  People have constructed makeshift ladders and strung ropes from one to the next, making the way up to the top.  At the very top can be seen bows and crossbows poking out.

Lady Quinn urges Aulderush in their little bubble to sneak their way past the groups below, and make their way up to the top.  They sneak around from a different direction, going past an old broken concrete hut with broken glass windows at the foot of the wheel.  The bottom ropes and ladders have been pulled up high from the ground, so they have to climb up the metal frame to the first circular cage.  Lady Quinn goes slow and helps Aulderush up, keeping a rope between them and guiding him up.  It is difficult going for Aulderush, but Lady Quinn takes her time, and every time it seems like he is struggling she stops and braces the rope.

Taken from site - craigfergusonimages.com

Eventually they make it up to the top.  The small cages swaying in the wind.  They can see Harkin at the top, he is wrapped up and holding his leg, he must have had help to make it up there.  There is also two women keeping watch with bows in their hands.  Crows feet in the corners of their eyes, and both have thin-lipped mouths.  They each have tattoos telling the tale, and are used in a way as to become a kind of camouflage.  One of them has short-cropped hair, the other long to her shoulders and a scarred throat.  The fourth and final person up there is Barber, he is sat next to Harkin muttering something.  He has his crossbow in his hand.  He pulls a hip flask from his pocket and takes a swig.  A drip of green liquid hits the metal and fizz.

Barber talks.  He thanks the two women for letting him and Barber up on the tower.  The one with the scarred throat, tells him that it was no problem, and also informs him they had seen two women at the back in the distance, near to the temple.  Her voice his quiet and rough, like her vocal cords got damaged.  Barber mutters, ‘interesting’, as he takes another swig from his flask.  “What made them stand out?”

“Clothes, slightly blue.  Dreaming around them.

“Ahh, the game is a foot.”  As wicked smile spreads across his face.  “I may have to get Lady Quinn to there.  Where it is one of the cases that if she does decide to kill one, it wouldn’t matter too much.  It will be interesting to see what she does there.”

As if on cue, Lady Quinn drops the bubble around her and Aulderush, hearing her name coming from Barber’s lips.  Barber pauses momentarily, holding his flask up to his mouth, then lowers it again.  “Speak of the devil.”

“You rang.”  Lady Quinn smiles as she bows to him.  “I am glad I never mentioned how much I would like to… But I am glad I never said it.”  He smiles back.  “If you know what I mean?”  He then asks her if she had come merely to share his drink, but unfortunately he is down to his last dregs.  Lady Quinn asks Barber how Harkin is doing, and is told that he is not doing too well.  He doesn’t seem to be with them at the moment.  “I had a hard time getting him up here.  But I wasn’t going to leave him down at the bottom.”

As they talk, Barber tells Lady Quinn that he had sent two runners out to see what the situation is, but as of yet he hasn’t heard back from them.  They could be hiding out.  He also suggests that the group they were talking about has made their move/  He was not expecting them to act so quickly.  Barber shares that the group seems to have child in the organisation, as runners go between dug in groups, organising.  “This doesn’t bode well for us.”  He reckons that they have about another days supplies before they will have to venture out for more food.

When asked, Barber informs Lady Quinn that the two women there in the look out are not his ‘bar maids’, but the look outs, and they know how much he does like a good tale.  He winks at the women, as he looks more concerned of Aulderush’s presence.

Aulderush in the mean time is busy taking a look at Harkin.  Harkin is busy muttering about the rats, and only one man hunting them.  “The hunter can’t get them one at a time, as there is always more rats.”  He begins to sob as he tells of the rats pouring out from the tunnels, and how there are always more rats coming.  He then looks directly up at Aulderush, “You saw the rat catcher didn’t you.  You saw him.  You saw the rat gutted.  You saw it.  TELL ME I am not MAD.  You saw it.  I can’t… I’m loosing it.”  Harkin keeps on mumbling about the thousands upon thousands of rats in the tunnels.  He then turns and points at Lady Quinn, and tells Aulderush that she had seen one, it had stared at her right in the face.  Lady Quinn turns to Harkin and asks him what the rats are, but he states  that they are rats and they are never alone, always wanting more.  She asks if they are part of their own group, or even part of the Z’bri.  “No, no.  Don’t mention the words Z’bri.  I don’t want the visions.  They will come again.  No, no.”  Harkin huddles up upon himself crying.

Aulderush looks concerned and asks Lady Quinn how they purpose to get Harkin down and back to the tower.  She looks down over the edge; seeing that the people gathered at the bottom seem to have been deterred now and nowhere to be seen.  He then asks Barber what they are looking for, and is told they keep a look out for any Z’bri, or tribes, or for that matter any sign of Boarhead.  Barber then turns to Aulderush and asks if he could have a private word with him.  Aulderush agrees and they go off to a lower cage beneath.  Barber asking Lady Quinn to keep a look out while the two women have a break, as they have been at it for nearly a whole day now with no rest.  It had all kicked off towards the end of their shift.  Lady Quinn agrees and takes a look out position.

“I am just wondering, how much has Quinn told you about the bar, the Junk?”

“Not a lot I’m afraid.”

“Oh that’s good.  I have been relying on her to get some good drinks in.  And it has required some…’none’ standard ways to get them in.  And from what I have been told, she is good at that.”  Barber coughs,  “And I thought it would be bad if you heard this from someone else.  You know?  I didn’t want you to think of me in an unreliable fashion.  I was just worried that she may have said something that could have made me look bad and out of context.”  He smiles.  Barber then goes on to detail how he knows people who are the middlemen, and that they trade with the Tribes or Squats.  This is then how he can get his drinks in for the bar he runs, knowing how dangerous and bad it can be if the people in the Vimary where to know the exact dealings.  Barber is looking rather like an ashamed businessman right now, babbling on about his dealings.  Aulderush nods his head understanding the situation.

Taken from site - mnn.com

Barber then changes the subject and asks Aulderush, as he was said to be the closest.  About a Tribal going down in Hom.  They talk about the Joanite’s throat being slit.  “We need to make sure the Tribals never find out about this.”  Aulderush asks him how he would suggest they cover it up.  Barber stutters saying that he wouldn’t know, with it not being his area of expertise.  “But perhaps you could tie some weights to him and throw him in to the water, at the far end of the island, perhaps behind the temple say.  But that is just a random guess.  I don’t know even if that would work.  I don’t do things like this.”

Before they go back up to the others, Barber asks Aulderush one more thing, he asks if he and Lady Quinn are close.  Aulderush agrees that they work well together.  Barber nods, stating that often when people go Fallen together they bond, and find someone who they can trust.  Barber intently looks at Aulderush’s face as he says the last statement, reading the reaction.  Aulderush remembers all the past experiences with Lady Quinn, and thinks to himself that he can’t truly trust her.  Barber pauses reading the distrust before saying.  “It really is. It is nice to have someone who you can trust no matter what.  I’ll get you back to her, then she can watch your back.”  And as they join the others, Barber laughs and jokes, saying that he will have to get the good stuff in for them to share, especially after the male bonding.  He pats Aulderush on the back.

Dreams

They decide to wait until morning as it is already dark, to give everyone a chance to rest.  Lady Quinn keeps up her watch until midnight before turning in herself.  She falls asleep with the image of the fires burning in the dark from around Hom.  The campfires out where the Joanites are camped at the entrance to Hom.  Their laughing carefree attitude that was carried on the breeze, echoing in her head.  She remembers the kind Keeper they had so recently befriended and lost in the same heart beat.  Concerned that they will not hear the end of this.

Lady Quinn jerks awake again, aware that she fell asleep on watch looking out over Hom.  She then hears a voice behind her.  “Hey there sister.”  The familiar male voice coughs.  “How’s it going?  Said I would look out for you.”  Lady Quinn turns to see Taylor stood there.  She looks around the rest of the camp who are all busy sleeping.  Then she turns back to her observation, keeping Taylor within her peripheral view.  Taylor is slumped there, his rotting belly bloated and dripping acid.  The intestines hanging out.  He looks out at her through his glassy eyes, his tongues dry and swollen like the dead.

“Sorry about this sister.  I think this may put a spanner in the works for the negotiations, don’t you think?”

“Yes I would say so.  Um, how are you here?  If you don’t mind me asking?”

“No, no that’s fine, familiar can ask those sort of questions.  And you’re like my family.  I hate to tell you, but I can’t feel anything below my waist.  You did do good though, trying to get these talks going.”  He coughs.  Lady Quinn then becomes aware of a woman near by watching, with pale blue tinged skin, and a paste like tattoos in places.  She is wearing aquamarine silks.  This woman looks directly at Lady Quinn with utterly white eyes.  A hint of cinnamon can be sensed on the breeze.  The woman is sat on one of the cages furthest away from her.  “Oh please don’t stop, keeping talk, don’t worry about me.”  The woman gently whispers.  “It’s a bit late for that.”  Lady Quinn replies.  “Just pretend I am not here.”

“Like I said it is a bit late for that.”

The woman stands and walks over to Taylor, walking over thin air.  “A dead person,  Lets have a look.  Feeling guilty are we?  That’s horrid, it really is.  Guilt, try to let it go.  Many people die that you can’t save.  So dead man, how did you die.”

“Poison.”  Taylor response to the woman.

“Really.  And did you see who?”  Taylor shakes his head to her question.  “Oh, that is such a pity.  Oh well that is probably irrelevant to why I am here.  So poison, guilt.  He referred to you as sister, are you blood related?”  She turns to Lady Quinn with these musings.  Lady Quinn gives her s simple no response.  “Oh I see, a colloquialism.  Well if there can be some good to why I am here.  Please let this go in to your subconscious mind, please don’t hold guilt for this, I am hoping I can help make up for this intrusion so what.”  The woman is now standing before Lady Quinn on thin air.

The woman turns back to Taylor and asks him what he is as he doesn’t look tribal.  He tells her that he is a Keeper.  She then asks him where he is from.  Taylor tries to not say but then blurts it out, tunnels, forth one, third side out.  He then shares about a back entrance and some strange strings that set off noise markers.  All being described with terms easy for them hearing to know what he means.  The woman then muses about being slightly off, and asks if either of them know an Aulderush.  Lady Quinn glances over to Aulderush to make sure he is still there and alright.  She then becomes aware that he isn’t there, in fact none of them are there, only the three talking right now.  Lady Quinn, Taylor and this strange pale blue woman are the only ones.  Lady Quinn looks around to make sure.  The woman interrupts her by saying, “Oh he is near by, that is good.  I like that you are being very helpful.”  She then sits down next to Lady Quinn, assuring her to please let the guilt go.  “I think you have me mixed up with someone else.”  Lady Quinn states to the woman.  “Well he is there at the fore front of your mind.  Hmm, it may not be guilt but you definitely have not forgotten him.”

“Who are you?  What do you want?”

“Hmm, that is the odd question.  Things have changed slightly since my plan here.  I thought I wanted to talk with Aulderush, and kill a Joanite.  Now the Joanite is dead, people keep reporting seeing him.  Oh and what do we do with Aulderush, be has become a bit of a bigger problem than I thought.  I quite liked him, but I also dislike loose ends.  I wonder if you could help.  What would you do if someone had seen you, and knowing the destructive nature of it?  What would you suggest?”

“Well going from you and everything you seem to know.  I don’t think you need me to answer that one.”

“No, go on I would really like to know how you would deal with it.  This is the fourth scene I have sat in on, but you wont remember the previous times.  However you have been a gold mine of useful information, but you do seem to be calming up this time.  You’re probably going to wake up shortly, that’s why.  Hmmm.  You’re probably more conscious, and that is so annoying when that happens.”

“Well as information cost, and you seem to be getting it all.  How about some coming the other way.”

“Looks like I will have to visit you tomorrow night.  Darn it.  Hmm, Aulderush is near by.  Perhaps I should visit him, it would be rather rude to turn up and not know what to say or do.  I wouldn’t want to leave him hanging.  He was such an innocent young man you know.  Trying to save that woman’s life.  Of course that goes against the Fatima’s will so he had to fall.  But there is such purity to his stupidity.  But there was an honesty to him, unlike that other I had seen.  What he had done to that girl, it was probably best he didn’t wake up.  I was going to report him back to the others.  Simple all around and the family didn’t have the shame.”  Lady Quinn just nods along to this strange woman before her.

The woman goes back to the subject of wanting to know what Lady Quinn would do.  But she is having none of it, suggesting that the woman does like to talk.  The pale blue woman shares that it helps to guide the person to where it can be of use.  But admits that it is not working on Lady Quinn anymore, as she appears to be waking.  “That reminds me.  The next shift is coming up.  Be a dear and not remember any of this when you wake.”

“Oh I will see what I can do.”  Lady Quinn retorts sarcastically.  Unfortunately when she does wake, she can only recollect having talked with a Keeper called Taylor.  There was someone else there, but can’t remember what they had all talked about.  She looks around panicked to see if Aulderush is still there, not knowing why.  And remembers a smell of cinnamon.

Taken from site - medicinalherbinfo.org

The rest of the night passes uneventfully.  Aulderush took the next shift on watch.  The following day is bright and sunny.  Barber hands around the last of the meat.  Harkin awakes and greets the day.  He turns and sees Lady Quinn, saying how nice it is to see her again, suggesting that it has been a cycle since they last met.  Then he turns to Aulderush and is pleased to seem him, telling him again how thankful he is of his help, and saying that looking at his face is like looking at Joshua himself.  They all greet each other and welcome the new morning, seeing how everyone is feeling this day.  Lady Quinn does mention that she can’t remember but seems to believe she had an odd dream.  This sparks a memory of what Halos said from Aulderush, about watching out for the dreams and if they become too real, as he had been attacked in his.

Aulderush, Lady Quinn and Harkin discuss what they are planning on doing today and where they think it advisable to head.  They finally agree that even though it is too far for Harkin and his leg, they feel that the Sepulchre tower is the better option.  They get ready to leave, and Harkin stands, revealing something odd under his robes as he does so.  A kind of tube that Dahlians usually use in their performances, which shoot out a shower of feathers or petals.  He straps this back on to his forearm under his long sleeve.  Lady Quinn notices that this one however has been heavily modified, being wider and weightier than a normal one.

They say their goodbyes to Barber and one of the women, as the other has already left early in the morning.  Lady Quinn helps Aulderush down from the top first with guide ropes.  Once down, Aulderush helps from the bottom, while Lady Quinn stays at the top and they both help Harkin down carefully.  Then finally Lady Quinn descends to join them both at the bottom.

For the journey back they remain visible as they help Harkin and his bad leg.  It is slower but they keep a careful eye out for any more trouble.  Harkin mentions on their way back that he could swear he could smell cinnamon when he woke up,  Lady Quinn looks at him and feels something at the back of her mind, but nothing comes forward and she forgets it and carries on.  They try to keep to the less visible paths, staying to the shadows and keep quiet as much as they can.  In parts they have to take a longer way around.  On the way Lady Quinn notices another marker from her contact wishing for a meeting in El Per Do…still.  It seems rather desperate, but she feels that it will have to wait.

They hear on their way, and from a distance, a kid’s voice shouting at a man.  They are talking about some food and trust.  The kid has food to offer for some assistance from the others.  He also states that if anything happened to him then it would bode ill for them like it had done for some others who had thought it a good idea to cross them.

Eventually they manage to make it safely through the Hallows, luckily avoiding any dangers, and in some cases narrowly.  They now head through the shantytowns, and forests.  Feeling eyes and weapons watching them as they travel.  They make it to the Cage when a short fellow stops they going any further, instructing them to go the longer way around and pointing out a different route through a different shantytown.  Not wishing to cause any problems they do as instructed and head around and through the wooded area towards the other shantytown.

Probably about halfway through the woods, and dispersed shantytown, Aulderush and Lady Quinn are aware that things are not going well.  The eyes watching are getting very nervous and agitated.  It feels like a powder keg ready to explode.  One wrong move or word out of place will set things off.  Then a man gets shoved down in to a water-butt.  “No!  We will not leave or loose another step back.  No more.”

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