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The Fireside Tales - Chapter Fifty-Five
Chapter Fifty-Five: Message of Danger

"The end is getting close, Heroes."

"Lord Mayor!" Lotho said with a hint of feigned surprise in his voice, "It is such a surprise to see you!"

Shayliss had led the large man into the Rusty Dragon, where Lotho and Alicia had been sitting. Dozens of tankards were at the other end of the table in mixed conditions of standing up, laying down, and a couple even managed to turn upside down. They were all empty and looked as if they had been discarded immediately after being emptied. In front of the two heroes were books and papers stacked high. The titles of the old books were all on varying subject matters and the covers were different colors. Yet, at a quick glance, they all seem to focused on Thassilonian history and customs.

Both the halfling and human looked as if they had not slept in days. Black bags layers deep hung from under their dull colored and bloodshot eyes. Their hair was in many kinds of messes and a coating of dirt covered their bodies completely.

"You dare meet with me under such filth?" The Lord-Mayor boomed.

Lotho stood up. He was not a tall man, even for his race, yet the look of annoyance he aimed at the Lord-Mayor of Magnimar could have melted steel, "May I remind you that you are the one that came to us for assistance uninvited. Not even a forward letter was sent our way. So sit down, deal with the situation you set up yourself, and let's talk."

"No." The Lord-Mayor growled, "I will not sit so close to you. This whole bar stinks of your smell."

He turned around to walk back out, but Shayliss stood at the door with arms crossed. As soon as the man came close to her, she bared the dagger up and at him again.

"I knew you would make my day worse," she muttered. "Turn around and sit back down."

Behind the Lord-Mayor, Shayliss could see that both Lotho and Alicia's eyes widened but neither said anything.

"You peasants would dare threaten me?"

"Remember where you stand." Shayliss lowered her voice, "You are an unofficial and uninvited guest in our home. You put yourself here saying you needed assistance from the Heroes. As a member of the nobility you should act as a noble should. Even if you were just a 'simple peasant' like us you should have the decency to respect those who you ask for a favor." She poked the dagger forward, "So. Sit. Down."

The skin of the man sharply reddened with rage. "Do not think I will forget this."

A bright white smile flashed. "I don't want you to."

Teeth ground together, but the man turned back around and sat down as far away from the two heroes as he could while still being 'polite.' Shayliss stepped toward Lotho and Alicia, who were staring at her.

"What is going on?" Lotho asked.

Shayliss made room for Ameiko to walk around as the bartender took the Lord-Mayor's order. From the expression on her face, Ameiko did not like the man. Yet her voice was calm and professional.

"He was at the North Gate," Shayliss whispered. "Apparently he wants to talk with you."

"About what?"

She shrugged, "No idea. But he did not want to introduce his arrival to Deverin."

"With him, that could mean anything," Lotho sighed. "Why were you threatening him with a dagger?"

"He would not listen to me otherwise." Her voice was unashamed.

"Just like Valtyra." Lotho shook his head, "Well, let's at least see what he wants."

As the three of them sat themselves near the Lord-Mayor, who tried to pull away, the door opened again and Bubnug walked in. He saw the group immediately and started walking toward them. Ameiko, delivering the Lord-Mayor's drink, smiled and nodded at the tiny goblin. Lotho and Alicia both held neutral masks while Shayliss looked at him with hope. The Lord-Mayor had the largest reaction as he stared wide eyed and spat in disgust.

"Now you bring in a barbaric freak?" he yelled.

Shayliss leaned in. "May I remind you that this 'barbaric freak' controlled the goblin tribes in Varisia as well as assisted in the death of two people who threatened the destruction of the towns you are supposed to help protect?"

He glanced at her, then subsided by making a large pull from his mug. Bubnug approached the table and gave Shayliss an obvious nod. The tension in her body faded some at that nod. The search party was out there looking for Valtyra.

"Now that we are all here," Lotho said, "why don't you tell us why you have come?"

With a reluctance nearly tangible, the man pulled from his mug again and set it down, "You have saved Magnimar. Which I am grateful for." He pulled out a bag from one of his pockets and threw it down on the table.

It was a very hefty bag that jingled and clinked with the sound of a lot of coins. Just from the sound, it seemed like there was enough in the bag to buy a house near the size of a mansion.

"But this is not the only reason is it?" Lotho asked.

The Lord-Mayor shook his head. "Of course not. I need your help again."

Now the man's hesitation seemed more significant than just his selfishness or hating the company around him. Lotho's eyes widened, "Wait. This is about Turtleback Ferry and Fort Rannick isn't it?"

Shayliss gasped. Is that where she went?

He nodded, "The ogre clan near the fort have finally beaten back the walls and taken it over. The Black Arrows have all died. The town of Turtleback Ferry is in danger."


Do you have any comments, questions or concerns? Please leave a comment or email me at sean.francis@rivalcastmedia.com!

Also, you can follow me on Twitter for updates on The Fireside Tales, or just random statements I may make: @Miggnor23.

I'm quite lost. Can I see the previous Chapter?

I just arrived! Could I see the first chapter?

Next Chapter Coming On March 3rd!
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