It was a rough night for Sigthyme, Grace, Juniper, and Tak as they found themselves in the jail cells beneath the courthouse. Pria, Riffen’s cousin and Soulon Ambassador, had negotiated them a deal that would let them out of jail after spending the night. When the morning came, they would be released into her care which was not ideal, but not as bad as spending more time in prison. For the most part the group just slept silently.
A tension was still persisted between Grace and Juniper, while Sigthyme felt like this was a new low for the group. Riffen was captured and even though the group had found a secret passageway at the scene of the crime, they were not able to investigate before being arrested. On top of that, Sigthyme and Tak had managed to gain membership with The Titan’s League, but during the challenge, Tak had unleashed some sort of unknown dark energy. It seemed like every time the group made progress forward, it was two steps backward. Maybe the group was cursed or maybe a dark energy surrounded them.
Sigthyme had a very restless sleep as he laid on the wooden bench in the jail cell. He tossed and turned with thoughts of Brother Haxiss dead in front of him.
This thought was at the front of his mind when he woke up in the early part of the morning. Sigthyme sat up quickly to see someone standing outside of the cell.
“Pria?” He rubbed his eyes as the person came into focus.
“Dreaming of a girlfriend?” The person asked.
This wasn’t Pria, but instead it was Noruid, the Dwarven man in charge of The Titan’s League.
“Uh, not exactly,” Sigthyme said as he hoped to the floor of the jail cell and approached the bars. He spoke in a soft whisper. “What are you doing here, Sir?”
“You failed to show up for dinner,” Noruid said.
Sigthyme let out a sigh. After Sigthyme and Tak became members of The Titan’s League, they were told that they would need to go to the market to get things for a dinner to celebrate this accomplishment. Obviously that didn’t happen because they were busy investigating and then got arrested.
“When you and your friends didn’t return, I thought you were potentially in danger. Or maybe you fled in fear from something,” Noruid said. “I did some investigating and found out that all of you were thrown in jail.”
“Look it’s not…” Sigthyme began.
Noruid put up his hand to silence Sigthyme.
“Yesterday I saw a lot of potential in both you and the Goliath. You are quick with words and he is quick with his weapons. A dangerous combination. But potential is not enough. I’ve seen many adventurers like you before. Lots of potential but lacking forethought. Idiots chasing the high of battle or the danger of the chase. Do you know where they end up?”
Sigthyme opened his mouth to answer.
“Dead,” Noruid said before Sigthyme could say anything. “They end up dead. And this isn’t much better.”
“I’m sorry,” Sigthyme said. “It’s just that our friend is in danger and we were trying our best to find them.”
“You took advantage of my goodwill. You tried to use my name to break into official guard business and got caught. I told you that these Robinhearts are already using me as a punchline and now this.”
“I’m sorry sir, but…”
Again, Noruid raised his hands.
“Your group has a lot to figure out. You need to do that on your own time. If you figure yourselves out and want to try and become members again, I may allow you. But until then, you and your companions are not welcome in my establishment,” Noruid said.
Sigthyme hung his head.
“We are really sorry, Sir,” Sigthyme said.
Noruid shrugged his shoulders and walked away from the cell, leaving the Sigthyme standing there at the bars.
“Great,” Sigthyme let out a sigh. “I guess we can fall further.”
After that the next few hours were uneventful. Ultimately, the morning light came and Pria and The Captain showed up to stand in front of the cells.
“Morning,” The Captain said.
“Good morning,” Pria said.
“Morning,” Sigthyme addressed the two of them.
“Are we free?” Grace asked.
Pria gave a slight smile, but The Captain was not having it.
“If it was to me, you’d stay here for weeks,” The Chief said.
“We have agreed to release you into my care and you will all be staying at the Embassy with me,” Pria explained.
“Are we able to explore the city?” Juniper asked.
“You will have to stay within the embassy for a few days at least,” Pria said.
“So we can’t explore the hidden passage we found,” Grace said as she folded her arms.
“You are to stay away from all guard business or you will be back in here,” The Chief said. “Without a deal to save you.”
“What about Riffen?” Sigthyme asked.
“The City Guards are currently investigating the situation,” Pria explained.
“But we found the secret passage way! We should be the ones who investigate it,” Grace said.
“If I even get a hint that you are all sticking your noses in guard business, I’ll have you thrown back in jail for the next decade,” The Chief said. “You got that?”
Grace folded her arms and turned away from them with a grumble.
“Well?” The Chief asked.
“We understand,” Sigthyme said. “We’ll stay away from looking for Riffen.”
Juniper hung her head and Tak let out a grunt of frustration.
“Very well,” Pria said. “Chief, can you let them out now?”
“Fine,” The Chief grumbled as she pulled out a ring of keys.
They unlocked the two cell doors and Sigthyme, Tak, Juniper, and Grace walked out and stood together next to Pria.
“Well I’m glad that is taken care of,” Pria said. “Now I’m sure The Chief here is very busy and I have my meetings as well.”
“Keep an eye on them,” The Chief said.
“Of course,” Pria said with a nod.
Then Pria led the group out of the courthouse and onto the street.
“Well I’m sure that wasn’t a very pleasant experience for all of you, but don’t worry, the embassy is much nicer than the jail cells,” Pria said.
“But what about Riffen?” Juniper asked.
“Juniper, we talked about this,” Pria said. “The guards will handle tracking down Riffen. The Chief has guaranteed me that she is using all the resources in her power to search the underground caverns and find Riffen.”
“Underground caverns?” Sigthyme asked.
Pria let out a sigh.
“Yes. The passageway that was discovered yesterday…”
“That I discovered,” Grace interrupted.
“Right. That passageway leads down below the city to underground caverns that are below the city. They are mostly abandoned but sometimes people are sent down there to check on the underground water supply. It seems like the house had a secret passageway down to the caverns that no one knew about,” Pria explained.
“But are the guards able to track them past there?” Juniper asked.
“As far as I know, the search of the caverns started last night,” Pria said. “They’ve been searching, but some of the underground caverns go quite deep. Others lead to springs on the outside of the city. They are unsure if they escaped the city or have hidden themselves in the deep caverns.”
“Sounds like they need more people to search,” Sigthyme suggested.
“The entire city guard are focused on searching the caverns as well as their duties within the city. They have also asked The Robinhearts and The Pact of Thorns to help search underground and in the areas outside of the city.”
“But we could help,” Grace said.
“Find Riffen,” Tak said.
“We’ve been over this before and at this point I feel like we are just talking in circles,” Pria said. “You all are forbidden from interfering with the City Guard business. I’m going to take you all back to the embassy where we will wait to hear any news.”
“I don’t think so,” Grace said.
There was a moment where everyone looked over at Grace. In a flash of movement, she had drawn a blade from her belt and held it toward Pria.
“Grace!” Juniper let out a gasp.
“Shut up, Juniper,” Grace said as she starred straight ahead at Pria. “We have to find Riffen and I’m not going to let you stop us.”
Pria looked down at the blade and then back to Grace’s eyes.
“Young lady. I want you to think about what you are doing. Holding a blade to a government official is very serious. I could have you arrested on charges of threatening an ambassador,” Pria said. “All I have to do is call out for help and guards will come running.”
“You’re not going to do that,” Grace said as she took a step closer to Pria, blade still in hand. “The City Guard is busy with Riffen. You said so yourself. Plus I can throw a blade faster than they can run.”
“Grace,” Juniper reached out a hand, but Grace slapped it away.
“You’re making a big mistake,” Pria said. “And what about all of you. Are you holding me hostage as well?”
Sigthyme, Tak, and Juniper all stood in shock for a moment as they exchanged eye contact.
Grace gave a side eye to Sightyme and Tak.
“We need to find Riffen and we need to do it now,” Grace said. “I’m not going to be thrown in some cage where we’re powerless to help Riffen. Now are you with me or not?”
“Grace, I understand that you want to help…” Sigthyme began.
“We’re in,” Juniper said.
Everyone turned to look at her.
“Seriously, Juniper?” Sigthyme asked.
“Grace is right. Riffen is out there and we need to find him,” Juniper said.
Sigthyme let out a sigh.
“We are going to get into so much trouble,” He said.
“Find Riffen,” Tak said with a big smile on his face.
“I can’t believe you all are encouraging this. I’m helping you. If it wasn’t for me, you’d still be in jail. I’m trying to help find Riffen but this…this…” Pria looked down at the blade inches away from her stomach. “This is a very dark path you walk.”
“Enough talking, embassador,” Grace said as she pivoted around Pria and placed the tip of the blade in the small of her back. “Act casual and start walking toward that house. We’re going after Riffen.”
Again, Sigthyme and Juniper exchanged looks of worry, but Grace shoved Pria forward and the group started walking down the road toward Krumb’s hideout. Sigthyme just hoped at it would all work out for them and Riffen in the end.
Header Photo Credit to ArsynalProps on DeviantArt