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Heroes of Mystara - Chapter 6

by Jesper Andersen

An unlikely meeting

Tserdain 24th, Klarmont, the Year 1000 after Crowning

Sitting at a table in the Broken Mug in Rymskigrad, nobody felt much like talking. They had lost all traces of the wizards who had executed Balagarn and taken Palando's staff and Palando himself had not shown his ghastly face in over a week. Still, Ikaros remained certain that this was not the end of their quest and feared the punishment his former master might have for them.

Wulfgar and Whitemane were busy sharing a jug of Boldavian spirits and Thaminor sat moodily and poked at his greasy supper with a fork. How he longed for the fresh berries and fruits and elven wine of Alfheim!

Only Petja seemed in a relatively good mood. He had convinced some of the locals to join him in a game of dice and had even managed to win a small sum of money from them. He was always fascinated with new currency and sat at the end of the table admiring his new collection of coins.

The Broken Mug was a typical, run-down Boldavian establishment; a hard-stamped dirt floor with a little hay strewn out, long pinewood tables and benches spotted by stains of food and wine and the sputtering of sheep-tallow candles and a heavy odour of sweat, pipe smoke and sour ale hanging in the air. An old greyish rug hung from the ceiling by the door to keep out the draft and a fire burned in an open heart in the centre of the room.

Most of the customers were craftsmen who popped in for a drink and a pipe after the day's chores were over. A few traders were staying the night as well as some rural folk who dared not travel at night and would be returning to their hamlets on the morrow.

Against this scenery, it is quite understandable why a woman such as her caused everyone to take notice as she entered. She was fairly tall, about five feet seven inches, and her long raven black hair flowed down past her shoulders in long, sensuous waves. Her eyes were deep and brown and sparkling with life and curiosity. She was scantily clad in a dress of cotton and leopard's fur, which revealed much of her smooth, coconut-brown skin and on her back she carried a pack and a scimitar slung in a scabbard. From her sandaled feet, up her long legs to her petite waist and full bosom, she was the embodiment of men's fantasies everywhere. On her shoulder sat a large, crimson parrot and when she whispered little words to it, her supple lips revealed a set of pearly white teeth.

As she moved from the door towards the bar, a faint trace of spring flowers could be smelled in the air around her. Several of bar's male patrons immediately moved to intercept her but quickly changed their minds when they saw her necklace of shark teeth and the deadly steel trident she carried in her right hand. Clearly, this Amazon goddess could take care of herself.

At our friends' table, Ikaros, Petja and Wulfgar were stunned at her beauty. Whitemane did not appreciate such a thing as 'good looks' and Thaminor rose to invite her to join them. To begin with she was reluctant but the charming half-elf managed to convince her to take her meal at their table.
Regaining his composure Petja said: 'so, you're rather an unusual sight in these parts. What's your story?' 'My name is Eveil and I am just a wandering spirit roaming the world' she said while she ate. 'Eveil, huh?' Wulfgar said. 'I am Wulfgar from the Northern realm of Ostland. Where are you from?' 'I come from the island kingdom of Ierendi many weeks journey to the south' Eveil replied. 'I have been wandering these lands in search of adventure since spring'.

'Well, if it is adventure you're looking for, we've got...Ouch!' Petja said as Ikaros thrust an elbow into his ribs. 'What my young friend here was trying to ask' said Ikaros diplomatically 'is, are you here alone or do you perchance have companions in the area? Other suntanned countrymen?' His tone of voice struck Eveil as peculiar and she knew he was getting at something but as she had nothing to hide she simply replied 'no, I am here alone. My last companions didn't want to come to Glantri. Said it wasn't safe in a country that burns priests at the stake'.

Wulfgar and Whitemane exchanged glances. They had also heard these rumours but never in his wildest dreams did Wulfgar imagine an entire country of heathens living without the guidance of fathering immortals like Odin, Thor, Frey and Freyja. Some day he would have to bring an army over here to teach these foul sorcerers a thing or two about proper reverence.

'Well' said Ikaros 'I am asking because we are looking for a group of men, suntanned and scantily clad, who could easily be your countrymen'. 'Really?' Eveil replied 'well what does these men look like?'

'Well they wore...' Ikaros began. 'They were wizards in white tunic uniforms with bronze girdles, headbands and bracers studded with red gemstones' Petja interrupted. He was determined not to let the wizard lead the entire conversation.

'You don't say?' Eveil replied and leaned back in thought for a moment. 'Yes' Petja continued 'and there were eight of them, and the leader had white hair and was called Zajimarn by the others'. Ikaros sent him an angry glare that quieted him up.

'Well' Eveil began 'in Ierendi there is an order of wizards known as the Mages of Honor Island. They are extremely protective of their privacy and people who intrude upon their isle are usually never heard from again. They wear the type of uniforms you describe but if they are really the men you are looking for you will have a hard time getting to speak with them'.

'Hmm' Ikaros said, rubbing his chin and nose, 'is there no way of contacting them outside their island?' 'Well, as far as I know they have a representative at court in Ierendi City but I'm not too sure about that' Eveil replied.

'Well, it's the best lead we've got so far. We had better follow it' Ikaros said.

Next time: The docks of Mirror Bay