19 March (Continued)
Bhavik found Azal back at the Griffon’s Nest, absorbed in one of Belak’s Journals again. As he sat at her table, she passed a pair of parchments across to him and he looked them over. They appeared to be requests for help with rewards attached. The first was from a Baron Althon, offering a reward for weapons with the mark of Durgeddin the Black – crudely depicted on the bottom of the page. Perhaps, mused the shifter, this was why Sister Alonsa had seemed hesitant to help them find the Stone Tooth. The other bill was a bounty from Sir Miles Berrick – the mayor of Blasingdell – for the orcs harassing the populace. The creatures were thought to be holing up in the hills north of the town, and hearsay placed them in the Stone Tooth itself. The warden sighed and tucked the pages away, ordering a meal and a drink to wash it down.
After a few minutes, two middle-aged men – a pair of shifters – eyed Bhavik appraisingly from a nearby table. “Thought I knew everyone around here,” said the older one. “Are you not of the tribe? Tell me, boy. Who is your father?”
“I am Bhavik,” the warden said, avoiding the question. “Who are the two of you?”
“Akar,” answered the same man. “This is my brother Wanza.” The other man nodded in acknowledgement.
“Well met then. It is my mother through whom I would be known, and her name is Akuti,” said Bhavik, not without pride.
The men scowled and looked at the young man skeptically. “Really,” Wanza said. “Never heard that traitor shat out any brats ‘fore Karma caught her up and the Great Ulfe had his revenge.” Akar frowned at his brother’s choice of words, but he didn’t say anything more.
In a cold voice Bhavik said, “This establishment, I fear, is not fit for the conversation we should be having now. Is there somewhere less crowded the two of you would like to continue this?” He stood slowly, staring down his new acquaintances.