Sigthyme and Tak said goodbye to Noruid at the headquarter’s of The Titan’s League and began making their way back through the city of Xylon. They had separated from the others but were meeting for one last time. Kind of a going away party. Just a group of nobodies who had traveled the Vern Road together and now were going their separate ways.
Sigthyme’s mind was focused elsewhere; however, as he thought about The Titan’s League. Noruid had told them that there would be some sort of trial tomorrow and if they suceeded, they would become members of The Titan’s League. They would start their journey to become monster hunters. But Sigthyme was unsure. Was that really what he wanted to do?
He looked up at Tak walking beside him. He towered over Sigthyme as well as much of the population here in Xylon. Tak was a wall of muscle and physique which was the exact opposite of Sigthyme the musician and smooth talker. Fighting monsters was really Tak’s thing while Sigthyme could definite compose a ballad or sonnet after the fighting was done. But Sigthyme couldn’t just ditch his friend. Tak had been with him the longest and he knew he wouldn’t be here without Tak.
Tak looked down at Sigthyme as they walked.
“What’s on mind, Siggy?” Tak asked.
“Oh, it’s nothing, Tak,” Sigthyme said with a small laugh. “We’ve just been really busy lately and it seems crazy we finally made it to Xylon.”
“Become monster hunters,” Tak said.
“Yeah we are one step closer to join The Titan’s League and becoming monster hunters.”
“What about others?”
“The others? I’m not sure what they are all going to do,” Sigthyme said. “Maybe Riffen found his long lost love and Juniper found her brother. My guess is that they will be making their way back up the road to Frost Haven.”
“We’ve all made our way here together but it seems like our paths are diverging,” Sigthyme said.
“Not you Siggy. You stay with me,” Tak said.
“Of course, buddy,” Sigthyme said. “No matter what we decide we are going to do here in Xylon, I’m going to be with you.”
“Do not want others to leave. Strong together.”
“It’s true that we were pretty strong, fighting together, but things like this happen. We had a common purpose to get to Xylon and now our goals are no longer aligned.”
Tak fell silent as they walked on the outer part of the city, toward The Pilgrim’s Rest.
After a small moment of quiet, Sigthyme spoke up.
“I’m going to miss them too,” He said.
Finally they made to The Pilgrim’s Rest and walked inside. Now that is was entering the evening, the bar was starting to grow busy with many patrons drinking ale and eating dinner. Eva, the owner, waved at them as they entered.
“How are you two doing?” She asked.
“We are doing well,” Sigthyme said. “We are meeting up here for dinner tonight. Anything special on the menu?”
“We got some fresh beef this afternoon,” Eva said. “I’d recommend that.”
“Sounds perfect,” Sigthyme said. “But for now we’ll both take an ale and a table in the corner. We’ll order food once everyone arrives.”
“Well go ahead and take a seat. I’ll get you some ale,” Eva said as she pulled out two large tankards.
Sigthyme and Tak took the tankards of ale and made their way to a corner table. There was a small band playing but Sigthyme was not impressed. He drank from his tankard and took in a bit of the atmosphere.
After an hour Juniper and Grace walked in to The Pilgrim’s Rest and Tak waved them down.
“You two look like you are having fun,” Juniper said as she took a seat.
“We got the party started a little early,” Sigthyme said.
“Right,” Juniper said.
“I hate to bring it up, but I don’t see another person with you. Did you have any luck finding your brother?” Sigthyme asked.
“Not exactly,” Juniper said. “We met a powerful Arcanist named Ms Zaffre who might know something about my brother. She seems to think that Julian is mixed up in some very dark stuff but it will be a little while before she knows more.”
“I don’t really like her,” Grace said.
Juniper looked over at her.
“You don’t like her because she called you out for stealing,” She said.
“You were caught stealing?” Sigthyme asked.
“It was a bit of a situation, but now we are all squared away,” Juniper said. “What about you two? Did you find the place you were looking for.”
“Monster hunting!” He said with a booming voice.
Some people turned to look at them but quickly back to enjoying their meal.
“We found The Titan’s League and if we pass their trial, we’ll become members of the monster hunters,” Sigthyme said. “But if you need help with your thing, we could probably delay the trial.”
“That’s very sweet of you, Sigthyme, but I’m not sure what I need right now,” Juniper said. “I plan on going back to Ms Zaffre tomorrow and see if she has any new information. If she does, we may be leaving the city tomorrow.”
“Plus we need to head to Frost Haven,” Grace said.
“Absolutely,” Juniper nodded.
“Speaking of Frost Haven, where is Riffen?” Sigthyme asked.
All four of them looked around the bar but Riffen was nowhere to be found.
“Do you think he is still out there looking for Lillian?” Juniper asked.
“Maybe he found her and they skipped town together,” Sigthyme suggested.
“Riffen wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye,” Grace said.
“I’m sure he’ll be here at any moment,” Juniper said.
Eventually Eva made her way back to the table and all four of them ordered food and drink. They wanted to wait for Riffen, but Grace’s stomach was growling loudly. They ate and drank, but there was still no sign of Riffen.
“I’m getting worried,” Juniper said. “He should be back by now.”
“It’s quite strange,” Sigthyme said. “Should we go out searching for him?”
“Find Riffen,” Tak said.
“He can’t be too far away,” Grace said.
“I don’t know if we all need to go,” Sigthyme said.
“What, you think only you and Juniper should go?” Grace asked while starring daggers at Sigthyme.
“I wasn’t saying that,” Sigthyme said.
“Then we should all go together,” Grace said.
“Grace, I’m not sure if you should go,” Juniper said. “It is now dark out there in the city, and I don’t want anything to happen.”
“What? I’m going!” Grace said.
“It’s really going to be a quick trek around the city,” Sigthyme said. “We shouldn’t be gone too long. Plus what if Riffen shows up while we are all gone? He’ll think we left him.”
“Sigthyme is right. Someone should stay here just in case Riffen shows up. I’ll go with Tak and see if I can find him and we’ll be back in an hour,” Juniper said.
“You and Tak?” Sigthyme asked.
“Find Riffen,” Tak said.
“I am the best tracker and Tak can protect me if something goes wrong,” Juniper said. “You can stay here with Grace. Keep each other out of trouble.”
Grace and Sigthyme just glared at each other.
“I’m glad it’s settled,” Juniper said. “Come on, Tak. Let’s go.”
Before another word could be said Juniper and Tak left The Pilgrim’s Rest and out into the city of Xylon to find Riffen.
Riffen left The Ironfang Forge after saying goodbye to Lillian. He couldn’t believe he had traveled to Xylon and found her, but she was just walking away and there’s nothing he could do about it. He couldn’t convince her to come back to him. However, her words still stuck in his head. She was right that he needed to return to Frost Haven as soon as possible. Riffen knew there would be wrath to face from his father, but he would have to face those consequences. He just hoped he didn’t screw up too bad.
As Riffen walked the streets of Xylon, lost in his thoughts, he suddenly felt a presence behind him.
“Lillian?” He asked as he turned.
For a brief moment he saw a person standing there, but it was not Lillian. He didn’t recognize this person at all.
“Got you,” The strange man sneered before throwing a brown potato sack over Riffen’s head.