Prologue: Too Close for Comfort
The island of Mintarn lay four hundred miles southwest of Waterdeep, a haven for scoundrels, thieves and vagabonds in the Sea of Swords. It was a shabby place that smelled of fish and unwashed pirates, but there was something lively and exhilarating about the place as well. As Roon stepped off the Seabearer’s Daughter, he breathed deeply of the dust and sweat of the place with a satisfied grin, hoisting his belongings over one shoulder and making his way through the docks. Greeting nods found their way to him from fisherfolk who lounged in the hot afternoon sun, taking a break from the day’s work.
From what he’d heard of the place, no one worked too hard in Mintarn. No one had to. After all, it was a free city, set apart from the rules and taxes of the mainland. That’s why Roon chose this destination after his studies at the School of Illusion. His practice awaited, as did gold.
“Hey, lil’ one,” the sea captain growled, catching up to him and putting a heavy, leathered hand on Roon’s shoulder. Roon turned quickly, caught off guard.
“Oh, captain, it’s you,” he said, casting the man a wide grin.
“Don’t forget me, righ’? You’ll tell em I did fine?” The human was a hulking figure, intimidating to anyone who knew nothing of the soft interior of the man.
“Of course, captain Ander. When I write home, my family will know all the good things you did for me on this journey.”
The gruff man grunted and gave a toothy grin. “Good lad. ‘Pprecciate it, I do. Stay safe.”
Roon shrugged. “Ship happens.”
The captain’s grin widened, and he lumbered back down the docks to bark orders at his sailors.
With a shake of his head and a covered smile, Roon continued his path to find the nearest tavern.
“Excuse me, could I have a room please?” He asked a short time later, standing in the Barmaid’s Inn, the top of his head barely reaching the bar’s surface. “Excuse me!” He waved a hand, trying to grab the attention of the Innkeep.
“Yessir, what can I do for you—ah, youngen?” A human female with a messy bun of grey and brown hair, looking harassed, leaned over the counter to have a full look at Roon.
Roon crossed his arms and stood as tall as he could, begrudging the lack of facial hair he could grow. Everyone was always pointing out his small stature or supposed young age. “A room, please,” he said, disguising his annoyance.
“Aye, we’ve got some wee beds you can rent. That’ll be a silver, if you don’t mind.” She held out a hand and he quickly fished out a coin and dropped it into her palm. With a quick nod, she produced a key and handed it to him. “Up the stairs, to the left. That’d be number six, lad.”
Roon hoisted his pack again and clambered up the stairs, closing the weathered door behind him with a slam. He took his quarterstaff from his back and knelt on the ground, holding the staff parallel to the floor in raised hands. He pressed his forehead to the staff where a symbol was carved into the wood and muttered a few words of prayer, then stood and twisted the staff expertly in his hands with a whoosh whoosh whoosh before leaning it in the corner of the tiny room.
He left everything on the bed except for his bag of dice, a stack of cards, and his money purse, which he tied under his armpit, pulling a clean shirt and cloak on after it. He kept a few spare silvers in a separate purse, one found at his belt.
He checked his appearance in the mirror. He needed a good bath, that was evident after weeks at sea. However, a bath would not serve him in a place such as this, so instead he ruffled his greasy brown hair into an even more erratic arrangement, scuffed the collar of his shirt, and practiced his expression of utter innocence. His huge gnomish brown eyes portrayed nothing but naivety, and the fineness of the embroidery on the edges of his cloak suggested a small wealth, with an ounce of lacking responsibility.
“That’ll do,” he said with a satisfied grin, then picked up his key and bounced to the door in search of a game of chance. “Time to make some gold,” he whispered. He rolled a weighted dice in his hands and found a seat in the corner of the inn with a mug of ale, waiting and watching.
His first victim approached not long after, displaying a grizzled gray beard and a grin that lacked almost all semblance of teeth.
Two Years Later
“Kilian, I’m not sure about this place. There’s too many rules for my liking.”
Kilian flipped his card over, revealing a high pair. “I like it here,” the human smiled triumphantly, his ice-blue eyes dancing with merriment.
With a flick of his wrist, Roon flipped his own cards and revealed the higher hand. “Waterdeep is too rich for my blood.”
“That seems unlikely,” he replied, eyeing Roon’s hand. “Ha!” the human barked, leaning back as Roon chuckled and raised two fingers in the air to the barkeep. “Looks like I’m buying again,” he shook his head and Roon gathered up the cards and began shuffling.
“If you keep on this way, Kilian, I’ll be drunk, and you’ll be penniless.”
“Don’t get cocky, young gnome.” The sailor sighed and straightened his coat as a woman served them each an ale. “Perhaps you should take this game across the room to a new patron.”
Roon looked around at the crowded inn, searching for someone he could single out. “You’re the one who cautioned me to be careful outside the free cities.”
“Careful, but not poor,” the sailor said.
“What kind of name is ‘The Cuddly Cow Inn’? It sounds like a place to buy knitting,” Roon snorted, taking particular interest in a lone elf across the room next to a window who was finely dressed.
“I believe it’s supposed to be inviting. A comfortable place for people to sleep.”
“It sounds udder-ly dreadful,” the gnome noted, and Kilian rolled his eyes at the pun. “There, that elf across the way. See her?”
The human leaned in, passing a hand through his black hair, peppered at a young age with gray, as he searched the busy floor. “Hmm, you think she’s a good target?”
Roon shrugged. “Looks like she has some coin, doesn’t she?”
“I suppose.” Kilian stroked his shadowed chin thoughtfully, then grabbed his ale and stood. He looked down at Roon, who was nearly half his height, and said, “you know the act. Play it well, and don’t slip up this time.”
Roon grinned mischievously and handed the stack of cards over, then watched as Kilian strode across the inn. He followed after, ducking under the long legs of humans. The Inn was growing louder with voices, and a young halfling sat near the fireside strumming a lute and singing a folksy song, a worn hat on the ground before him to collect coins.
“Mind a game of cards?” Kilian asked, seating himself across the table from the elf.
She looked up, seemingly in a daze, and gave a gracious smile. “Certainly.” The elf had long black hair and, when she looked up, her eyes were golden. Her skin shone with a bronze hue, and she sat with a posture only elves could muster. “What is the game?” She asked, repositioning herself.
“It’s called Longback Ruse,” Kilian said, and explained the bluffing game briefly.
“Do you put money on it?”
Kilian shrugged and dealt the cards. “Usually, yes, but as it is your first time playing…” he trailed off.
“How much?” the elf asked.
“Any amount of gold,” the human said quickly, taking a large swig from his mug after he finished his deal. “But first we’ll play for practice. I wouldn’t want to cheat you as a beginner.”
The elf nodded her head graciously, and Roon ducked his head, sneaking around to feel for a coin purse. Kilian purposefully did not look in his direction. The benefits of being a gnome was often anonymity. People, especially those who were wealthy, rarely paid mind to smallfolk.
“What is your name?” Kilian asked casually.
“Thia,” the elf replied, “and yours?”
“Kilian Sondheim. Now, here’s your cards. Look at them closely, then set your bet. Which, for the sake of this game, will be imaginary.”
Roon pulled aside the elf’s cloak with deft hands and found a heavy coin purse on her belt. He reached out his long fingers and tugged, ever so gently, on the leather. The straps were bound tightly, difficult to maneuver around. He took out a short dagger from his sleeve and began to slowly cut at the straps.
“Excuse me, can I help you?” The elf’s voice was severe, and with a wince, Roon looked up. She was staring right at him, distracted from the card game.
“I am so sorry!” Kilian feigned a gasp and reached for Roon, dragging him back to his side of the table. “Roon,” his stern eyes turned on him, “what did I tell you about checking pockets?”
“No—no pockets!” Roon squeaked, playing his part. “Just checking for weapons, that’s all.”
“Your gnome here was trying to steal from me,” Thia said, glaring at the two of them. “What is this? A game of ploys?”
“No trick, I promise you,” Kilian said placatingly, and Roon, pretending at nervousness, crawled up onto Kilian’s shoulder and perched there, looking across the table at the severe-looking elf.
“Gnome, what have you to say for yourself?”
Roon began to babble nonsensically, trying desperately to squelch the bubbling laugh that grew within him at the game.
“What’s he saying?” Thia asked Kilian, looking confused.
“He, ah—he’s a very nervous type,” Kilian told her, patting Roon where he sat on his shoulder. “Sometimes he forgets the language when he gets nervous like this. He’s not from around here. I am very sorry. He’s quite young and needs some guidance in the ways of—manners.”
Roon held a smile from his lips as he crawled down from Kilian’s shoulder.
“Please,” Kilian said, gesturing to the hand of cards on the table. “Let’s play again. No tricks.”
“Very well,” Thia said, eyebrow raised, appraising the man across from her. “But this time, we use my cards. And we bet for gold.”
Kilian collected his two gold in winnings and dropped them into his pocket as Thia begrudgingly took back her cards. Roon had noticed her marked cards, but Kilian was too clever to be swindled, especially after the past two years of good gambits.
“Well played,” Thia sighed, ordering a drink for herself. Roon stood on Kilian’s lap and reached for his own mug, which was so massive he needed two hands to drink from it. He drained a fair portion of the mug and belched. “I believe that was a fair game,” the elf told Kilian. “What are the two of you doing in Waterdeep Harbour?”
“Searching for new work, mostly,” Kilian told her. “I’m a sailor, you see, come to visit friends and the like, and to make some extra coin. The seafaring business has not done well as of late.”
“And this one?” She pointed at Roon, still eyeing him suspiciously.
“A friend. Also looking for work.”
“Both of you are sailors?”
“Not exactly,” Kilian smiled. “I just sort of picked him up on the way. Please, if you would excuse me for a moment, I must get a room for the night.”
The elf bowed her head and watched them go, still eyeing them suspiciously. Kilian grabbed Roon by the wrist and dragged him away.
“I don’t like her,” Roon told Kilian.
“Really?” he asked sarcastically. “I hadn’t noticed.”
The two of them got up and approached the bar, Kilian asking after a room and digging out the coins for payment. Roon looked around and saw an awkward-looking genasi with large, gnomish, agate-coloured eyes staring around, innocently taking in the scenery of the inn. She had long, pointed ears and dark, coppery skin. Her hair was a shimmering opalescent, like a finely cut diamond, and its colours seemed to shift in the dim light. The tall creature slowly approached the bar where Kilian and Roon stood and leaned up against the wooden edge. “Can I help you, dear?” one of the servers asked, and she looked shocked that someone was speaking to her. “A drink, perhaps, or a room?”
“Drink?” she tilted her head thoughtfully. “Yes, yes I’ll take one of those.”
“Four copper, darling. You can pay him once he’s done with these other customers.” She nodded the genasi over to the man Kilian was conversing with. As the genasi tentatively approached, Roon reached up a hand and checked her pockets deftly. Or, at least he thought it was deftly until—
“Hello!” the genasi said brightly, bending down to pat Roon gently on the head. Roon scrunched his nose, looking up. “What are you doing, little one?”
“Ah, this is how we greet each other where I’m from,” Roon said with a smile, patting her quickly to check for a coin purse. Nothing. He was out of practice after a month at sea.
“Oh!” She smiled a wide smile and looked over at Kilian, who was watching the exchange with raised eyebrows. Kilian bent down and handed a room key to Roon.
“Take this, Roon,” then whispered more harshly, “and don’t get into any trouble.”
“Hello!” the genasi said to Kilian as he straightened. She reached a hand around to pat his backside. Kilian yelped a little as she did so.
“What was that for?” He asked, shocked at the woman’s forwardness.
Roon snickered and crawled up a barstool to order another drink.
“That is how you say hello, no?” she asked, eyes wide. “Your friend just told me so.”
“S-sure,” Kilian said distractedly, then grabbed another mug from the counter as the barkeep slid it towards him. She slid another to Roon and it splashed across the countertop. He licked up the spilled drops and raised his mug gratefully. “Roon, I’ll be about the room. See you later.”
With a knowing nod, Kilian turned and eyed the awkward genasi one more time. “Would you like to come sit? There aren’t many chairs left.” He gestured to the full, bustling room.
She nodded excitedly and followed the human across the inn back to the stern-looking elf.
Roon leaned in to the innkeeper who Kilian had paid: a short, wide man with dark skin and a balding head. “Excuse me, but can I ask what you know of the military force in Waterdeep?”
The man looked up from his ledgers in surprise. “Why, they keep the city safe, what’s it to you?”
“I’m just curious. Is this a safe city, would you say?”
“Safe as I’ve ever known it,” he told the gnome with a shrug.
“And what about the surrounding areas? Do you know much about the safety around there?”
“Listen,” the man stacked his papers, looking weary, “I live here and work here. I don’t get out much. If you’re curious about the city, I suggest you ask someone else.”
“You live in here?” Roon said, sounding fascinated. “Where?”
The man gestured a hand behind himself distractedly at a closed wooden door.
“Thanks for your help,” Roon smiled, and the man glanced up and nodded before shuffling off to help his employee load drinks onto a serving platter. As soon as the man was gone, Roon chugged his large mug of ale, slammed it down on the bar, then crawled off the barstool. He stole into the room the man had gestured to, closing the door quietly behind him. He searched under the straw mattress and dug through the contents of the man’s drawers and closet, but found nothing of interest, and surprisingly, no gold of any kind.
Well, he thought, digging out an inkpot and paintbrush. No point in leaving without getting anything out of this. He crawled up onto the man’s bed and painted, in large, black lettering, the word BUTTS.
Snickering, Roon crawled down, stowing away his ink and wrapping his brush for later cleaning, then snuck out of the door and made his way across the busy inn to find Kilian. His chest felt warm and content, though that may have been from the liquor.
“Kilian,” he said, crawling onto his friend’s shoulder for a better view of the table, “I have something really funny to tell you later—who’s this?”
At the table sat a small, very pale human female with emerald eyes and long, white hair. She looked sickly, and her dirt-streaked face and tattered clothing suggested she had not seen coin for some time.
“So, you do speak common,” Thia the elf said, crossing her arms at Roon. “Quite a lot, I might add.”
Roon shrugged, looking at her uncomfortably. Something about the elf’s aggressive nature reminded him of—but, that was no matter. At the table next to Kilian, perched on the edge of her seat as if unsure what chairs were normally used for, was the genasi they had encountered at the bar. She looked uncertainly at the elf, then at the pale girl, and finally at Kilian and Roon.
“This young lady,” Kilian said with a gracious smile, pointing at the frail human, “I ran into and nearly spilled my drink on. She looked a bit lost and was asking about some work, so I thought she could join us.”
“And you?” Roon asked, looking over at the genasi. “What’s your name? What are you here for? Also, why do your eyes look like that?”
The genasi’s huge eyes widened even more, as though she couldn’t believe someone was talking to her. “My name is Opal!” she said. “I’m part gnome!” She patted Roon on the head for the second time that evening. “Perhaps we are cousins!”
“Hmm, I doubt that,” Roon said, then after brief pause, “Opal, I like you. Did you say what you were doing in Waterdeep?”
“I’m looking for friends!” She said happily.
“Well, I think you’ll like us, Opal. We’re the best friends anyone could have! Tell me, are you a good fighter?” Opal grinned and nodded, and Thia looked doubtful. “What about you, young lady?” Roon turned to the pale girl and crawled over the table to look at her closer. “What are you doing here alone? You’re rather young, aren’t you? Where’s your mum?” He crouched on the table and rested his folded hands on his chin, staring pointedly.
The girl cleared her throat and looked around the table nervously. “I’m, um, my name is Evelyn.”
“Evi, eh?” Roon asked, sidling even closer to the girl. The closer you were to a person’s eyes, the harder it was for them to lie. Discomfort was a trickster’s friend. “Are you old enough to be in here?”
“Just—just Evelyn, if you don’t mind. And, y-yes. I’m here looking to make money, that’s all.” She looked down, and Roon scooted off the table, using her chair as leverage and patting a hand on her belt to feel for coins. Just as he suspected, there were none. Not even a pouch to put them in. This girl clearly had nothing to her name.
“Evelyn,” Thia noted, leaning in. “You look a bit worse for wear. Where did you come from?”
“Well, I was recently out in the hills with a raiding party, when all but me were brutally murdered by trolls.”
The table went very still, and Opal scooted forward. “That’s terrible!”
“Yes, very terrible,” Kilian agreed, sounding troubled. “These are dark times, I hear.”
Thia nodded in firm agreement.
Roon found himself a chair next to Evelyn. “Evelyn, I think we will get along just fine. Do you want to come with Kilian and I? We’re also looking to make some money in our travels.”
The girl’s green eyes lit up. “Oh yes, I would like that very much.”
“Great! Now, you’re sure your mum won’t be worried?”
“Quite sure,” the girl said solemnly. “I’m old enough to be on my own.”
“How did you survive a group of trolls while your other companions did not?” Thia asked suspiciously.
Evelyn shrugged and whispered, leaning in, “I am a very good fighter.”
“I’m sure you are,” Roon said happily. Something about the girl made him want to help her. He wished his own coin purse was a tad fuller, but after that last bet he made before they fled Alaron…
“Well,” Kilian said, finishing his mug and standing somewhat unsteadily, “I think it’s time we settle in,” he told Roon, then bowed to their newfound company. “A pleasure to meet all of you. I hope to see you all in the morning to discuss a possible arrangement of comradery.”
Roon bowed as well and clambered off his chair. “A pleasure to meet—most of you,” he said, then trotted up the stairs to their room with Kilian just ahead of him.
Once they had closed the door, Kilian turned to Roon with a smile. “I think that we have found a promising group.”
“Hmm, I guess so,” Roon sighed, picking up his staff, “though I don’t like the Elf. The weird one I like.”
“Which weird one?”
“Both of them, I suppose,” he shrugged.
Kilian rolled his eyes. “You always do this, Roon.”
“Not always,” he said stubbornly, then raised his quarterstaff and began his nightly prayers. Kilian respectfully remained quiet until he was finished. He stood and twisted the staff in his hands and placed it next to his bed when done. Kilian sat on his own bed, placing his two newly-won gold pieces into his coin purse.
“Roon, we came to Waterdeep to find companions to take on our journey. You know we need more protection. Especially with what we’ve heard.”
“I can protect you, Kilian,” he said quietly.
Kilian walked over and placed a hand gently on his shoulder, eyes crinkling in a smile. “I know, friend. I only mean that there is safety in numbers.”
“We’ve been mostly fine on our own for the past two years.”
“Mostly fine. And now we are out of the free cities. We must step cautiously, Roon.”
Roon climbed onto his bed and crawled under the covers, facing the wall. “You’re probably right,” he whispered, then closed his eyes and went to sleep.
“I heard the owner complaining this morning that someone had written BUTTS on the wall in his bedroom,” Evelyn whispered in fascination, hunched over the table next to Opal.
Roon gave Kilian a knowing smile, and Kilian pressed his palm into his forehead with a sigh.
They all dug into their breakfasts except for Evelyn, who ordered nothing and looked to be streaked with more dirt. Roon wondered if she had slept outside. “Here, do you want some?” The gnome asked, holding up a piece of bacon to the small human. She gratefully accepted it and, with a sudden look of ravenous hunger, tore into the meat with her teeth. Roon handed her another piece, which she ate with more decorum. Once he was finished eating, Roon lit a flame with a snap of his fingers and began to make the flame dance from hand to hand. It was a rudimentary thaumaturgy spell.
“Oh! I can do that too!” Opal said happily, created a small flame in her hand. Evelyn watched them play with the dancing lights, her eyes glazed over, captivated by the display. Thia approached them a few minutes later and sat, straight backed, across from Kilian.
“So,” the elf said thoughtfully, “I have thought on this all morning, and I believe it would be in our best interest if we worked together. You say you’re looking for coin, as is Evelyn here. Opal is looking for friends and has told me she is quite familiar with the forests and fields in these lands. I am on a mission to hunt down some creatures, and I believe that we can find someone to pay us for ridding the land of the abominations, if we simply ask. It could be a benefit to us all.”
“What kind of creatures?” Roon asked.
After a pause and a look of annoyance, Thia said, “giants.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Kilian said, sounding relieved. “We would gladly welcome companions on the road. Where abouts are you headed?”
“I spoke with a few people last night,” Thia said, “and the giants I hunt have made their way to Nightstone, by way of talk. That is my direction.”
“We’re also headed to Nightstone,” Roon chimed in helpfully, looking at Kilian’s ice blue eyes. “Evelyn, you said you were a good fighter. Are you willing to leave Waterdeep and prove this to us? If we can find pay?”
The girl nodded slightly. “Yes.”
“Then it’s settled,” Kilian nodded. “We would like to see what it would cost to rent a cart and horse. Roon and I are not familiar with long travels on land and would be grateful for the help.”
Roon stood, “I’ll ask around and see if I can find directions to a stable.”
“Wait, what’s your name?” Opal asked the gnome.
“Roondock Bardo Dimble Orris Garrick.” He declared. “But, you can call me Roon.”
Kilian ushered Roon ahead, and the awkward group was soon setting out from the Cuddly Cow Inn.
While searching for the stables, Roon approached a few residents of Waterdeep looking for mercenary work or stories of the military or otherwise. What he could glean from the civilians was no more than he and Kilian had already heard upon first landing in the harbour: giants were roaming the lands, wreaking destruction and killing innocents. Any gold that could be found in removing them would likely be paid by the township of Nightstone.
Gold, of course, was not their first priority, but they wouldn’t turn away an opportunity if it presented itself.
“I’m afraid the cost of cart and horse would run you about sixty-five gold pieces,” the grungy looking man with a scruffy red beard and wrinkled forehead explained to Kilian.
“We can’t afford that at this time, unfortunately,” Kilian sighed, eyeing the group uncertainly. “Tell me, uh—”
“Name’s Mork,” the man replied.
“Mork. Do you know how far it is to get to Nightstone from here?”
“I’d say it’s about some three days walk, if you’re keeping up a good pace. With those short legs, however,” he looked at Roon skeptically, “it might take a bit longer.”
“I’m three foot one. That’s plenty tall for a gnome,” Roon said defensively, hands on hips.
“Are you sure about that?” Evelyn asked quietly, standing next to him and measuring his height next to her.
Roon grunted. He was at least three foot, and some days he felt a little taller, so three foot one was what he told people. He scratched a hand through his thick, frazzled brown hair and looked to Kilian.
Kilian gave him a subtle nod, and Roon twitched a finger and muttered under his breath. A shimmering stream of magic flowed from his fingertips and the horse caretaker breathed it in through his broad nose, his gaze going soft.
“Listen—Mork, was it?” Roon stepped up, broad smile on his face, “we’re friends, aren’t we?”
Mork nodded slowly, looking dumbstruck. “Course we’re friends.”
“Why don’t you give us a discount on this horse and cart? Perhaps halve the price, then halve it again?”
Mork muttered the word ‘halve’ a few times, looking down at Roon. “I can give them to you for thirty gold. That’s best I can do, even for a friend.”
Roon harrumphed and looked back at Kilian, who shook his head.
“You know what, it’s fine,” Thia cut in, looking at the group. “We can walk the distance. It’s really not that far.”
“I am very strong!” Opal declared, displaying her endurance with a few lunges followed by some jumping jacks.
“There you have it,” Thia said, holding out a hand to the genasi. “We’ve got it under control.”
“Very well,” Kilian said reluctantly.
“Hey, Mork,” Roon said again to the man. “Since we’re friends, would you mind if I borrowed some money from you? I promise I’ll pay you back sometime.”
Still looking dazed, Mork reached into his coat and dropped three silvers into Roon’s open hand.
“Thanks very much, friend! And thanks for all your help. We hope to see you again soon.”
“Goodbye, then,” Mork said, looking confused as he lumbered away.
“Evelyn,” Roon said, turning to the pale girl and taking her hand, “take these. I think you could use them.”
Evelyn looked down at the three silvers and, with a slight nod of thanks, pocketed them, somewhat embarrassed. The others were turned away from them, doing a quick inventory of their food and water supplies for the journey.
“Um, Roon?” Evelyn asked as she bent down, her white hair falling forward and sheltering half her face, “I know how we could get a cart from that man.”
“Oh, how’s that?” the gnome asked curiously.
“Well, we just get rid of him.”
“You mean put him to sleep, or distract him, or—”
Evelyn shook her head. “Sleep, kind of. But, like, a permanent sleep. We should—we should kill him. That way we could take as many horses as we like. And borrow the rest of the money from him.”
“Kill him! Evelyn!” Roon lowered his voice then, grabbing the girl by the shoulder, as she was bent to his height, “we can’t just kill anybody who gets in our way. We’ve got to be clever. Quick witted. I don’t want to end up in a prison somewhere, do you?”
She shrugged, looking surprised by his reaction.
“Let’s not jump to murder quite so quickly. Look, we can walk. It’ll be good for us, right?”
Evelyn nodded, not overly convinced, but tucked her hair behind and ear followed Roon as he approached the rest of the group.
“Ready to go?” Roon asked Kilian, and the human declared that they were, helping Roon onto his back to carry him. Roon didn’t mind, as it was very difficult to keep up with a human’s pace. Besides, that genasi looked like she had far too much energy to match, even for Roon.
They set off southeast down the road in the early light of day.
Chapter One – A Giant Mess