Chaos Embraced
.

Myrith looked around as they entered the small town of Duvshire. The area where the inn had been was cleared and new construction had already
begun.

Tristan pointed to a building near the site. A sign on the wall read, 'Temporary home of the Wailing Banshee.' "I think we could use a good meal and
I will need to talk to the merchant holding my funds," he said. "For now, I will pay for the meal."

"Sounds good to me," Hendandra said heading for the building.

Myrith only shook her head as she and others followed.

"I won!" A voice yelled as the group entered the tavern. Marlene jumped up from the stool she had been sitting on and applauded the group. "Less
than two weeks and the majority of the group is still in one piece." She walked over to the table where Mulbanith was sitting and held out her hand.
"My gold--please."

"I disagree. They had outside help," he said.

"That was never stipulated." Marlene punched the older man on the shoulder. "Now, pay up you grouch."

Mulbanith continued to grumble under his breath as he handed the serving girl a black pouch.

Marlene tucked the pouch into her skirts then came over to the group. "Congratulations on your survival and apparent success," she said as she led
them to a large table.

"If you don't mind my asking, how much did you win?" Tristan asked after she had taken their orders.

"Fifty gold," she said grinning.

"Then congratulations to you as well," Myrith said.

"And my congratulations to you and your friends," another voice said behind her.

Myrith turned to see Mayor Ustedler standing behind her, his son only a few steps away.

"It would seem you have satisfied the provisions of the test. Therefore, the matter involving the death of the elf Elvioril is closed and you are cleared.
It would appear you do indeed hold the favor of the Battle Maiden." The mayor nodded his head slightly to Myrith then glanced at Tristan, turned and
walked away without saying anything to the young man.

"Lord Mayor," Kyrianna called.

"Yes." He turned to look at her.

Myrith stared at Kyrianna.
What is she up to? She was the one to advise against telling the mayor anything about what we found at the estate.

Kyrianna bowed deeply. "Lord Mayor, I was wondering if the guards had found any trace of the elf Legewyd while we were gone."

Myrith continued to stare at Kyrianna.
Legewyd? What are you doing, Rangerette?

"Legewyd?" The mayor glanced at Myrith for a moment. "Ah, yes," he said turning his attention back to Kyrianna. "The elf, whom it is believed was
responsible for the fire, which destroyed the Wailing Banshee. I am sorry to say no trace of him has been found."

Kyrianna bowed again. "Thank you for the information, Lord Mayor."

The mayor nodded then left the tavern.

"Well?" Myrith asked as Kyrianna returned to the table.

"Legewyd is our assassin. I wanted to know if he was still out there and therefore a potential threat," Kyrianna said.

"We already know that, Rangerette," Myrith said.

"We also learned the mayor didn't make an effort to even have the culprit apprehended," Falden said. "His body language was stressed when she
asked the question. He was concerned we may have learned something he didn't want us learn." Falden looked at Kyrianna. "However, your own
manner seemed to put him at ease. When he answered the question, it is my opinion he was only thinking of the previous accusation."

"That was the idea," Kyrianna said with a smile. "Thank you for your observations."

"I doubt this is an appropriate conversation for this location," Jerietlan said looking around.

The others followed his gaze around the room. While no one in the tavern appeared to be listening to them, there were a couple of guardsmen in the
room for dinner.

"Where do you go from here?" Tristan asked as Marlene came back with their food and drinks.

"Those from this world will most likely be returning to their homes, Kyrianna and I need to find a way back to our own worlds," Myrith said.

"You could stay here," Laraf said glancing at Kyrianna.

Kyrianna glanced down at her wrists and the marks that had been placed there by Frayrith and Dwycia then shook her head. "No, I need to return to
Rhysia and Nydith. My family is there."

Myrith nodded. "I too need to return, there is business I should be attending to on my own world." Her hand tightened around the hilt of her sword.

"I understand," Tristan said.

Myrith closed her eyes and refused to react as she saw Tristan's gaze dart to Kyrianna and back to his plate.
So, he has an interest in the Rangerette
as well. She is definitely better off going home.

They continued their meal in silence. As they were finishing, Tristan again broke the silence.

"Those of you from Shokar, where are you from?"

"All over," Hendandra said. "I have a home in Raspa; I believe Falden is from Gormanghast, Jerietlan is from Irrmar and Nirev would be from
Domar. Laraf indicated he lives in this area now, but he is not from here originally. Somewhere to the south, but not one of the larger cities."

"That is more information than I believe anyone has discussed," Myrith said.

Hendandra grinned. "I have an ear for picking up subtle inflections in speech. I knew where each of you were from within a day of meeting you;
except for Kyri and Myrith of course."

Falden and Jerietlan both started laughing. "I should have known," the mage said.

"Since so many are from Shokar, I have a request to make," Tristan said. "Would you consider escorting me back to Raspa? Keep in mind there are
mages in Raspa who might be able to send Kyrianna and Myrith home as well. I would be willing to help you engage their services. Those from
Shokar could also find a member of the Wayfinders Guild to transport them to their homes as well."

Myrith looked around at the members of the group and saw the nods of agreement. "Agreed," she said.

Hendandra looked at Tristan. "You promised me the finest room in whatever passes for an inn in this place for the night," she said with a pout.

"That I did. Raspa will only be two days journey from here; do you prefer to reequip yourselves and rest today or start today?"

"Personally, I'm not comfortable with staying here another day," Kyrianna said. "But, I am not adamant that we should leave now. I'll abide by the
group decision."

Myrith glanced over at the guardsmen still in the room and saw they were watching them. "I agree with the Rangerette, although, I would prefer to
leave as soon as we are ready."

"Damn," Hendandra muttered. "It's going to be a while longer before I get that comfortable bed."

"I'll talk to Mulbanith and see if he will open the store for us at this time." Laraf left the table to talk to the merchant.

A short time later, Laraf returned to the table. "He will open the store in ten minutes," he said as he took his seat.

"Good. That gives us time to finish," Myrith said. She opened her money pouch and tossed a gold coin onto the table as the others did the same. She
smiled at Tristan who had offered to pay for the meal. He still had their reward to pay and she knew it would take a great deal of influence on his
part to convince a mage to open a portal to two different worlds. They shouldn't be taking advantage of his generous nature. She shook her head as
he started to drop his own coin on the table and pulled a second gold from her pouch and dropped it by his plate. "This one is on me," she said.

Tristan nodded then smiled.

Myrith glanced at the eight gold coins on the table and smiled again.
Probably a bit much for the meal and tip, she thought. However, it will help
make up for those that don't tip at all.
She remembered all too well her days working at the Silver Dragon. Being a server in an inn could be
exceptionally hard work and you had to put up with abuse from the patrons with only a friendly smile as you continued to bring them their drinks
and food. While she had seen nothing to make her think Marlene was being forced to perform other services, as she had been, she knew they could
afford to spare the gold and the girl would welcome it.


#

"Good morning," Mulbanith said as they entered the store. "Lord Duvall, I believe we should take care of our business while your friends look
around." He bowed his head slightly.

"You have the draft I gave you to hold," Tristan said. "I will need you to draw up six for one thousand gold each and the remainder can go into a
separate draft." He glanced around at the others and Myrith followed his gaze to where Kyrianna was examining several bows.

"Perhaps you should run a credit for the thousand gold for each of us and then take care of anything that might be left over," Myrith said.

"It would save on the accounting," Mulbanith said. "Now, as to my fee." He pulled out a sheet of paper and passed it to Tristan.

Tristan shook his head. "That was never agreed on. I will however, reimburse you what you lost on your bet."

Mulbanith frowned then nodded. "Agreed." He turned his attention to Myrith. "For you?

Myrith glanced around again, then shook her head. She had the armor Tristan had given her as well as the sword Hendandra had recovered in the
temple. Her other gear was in reasonable shape, and it would not be cheap hiring someone to send her home. "At this time, I do not require anything."

"Very well." Mulbanith handed her a yellow slip of paper.

Myrith looked at the paper then glanced at Tristan.

"It is a draft for the funds. It will serve just as well as actual coin with the Wayfinders Guild in Raspa."

"And it is this Wayfinders Guild Kyrianna and I must speak to in order to hire someone to send us back to our homes?"

"It is."

Myrith looked again at the paper in her hands then nodded. "Very well," she said. "At least will be easier to carry than the full amount of the gold."

"If you will excuse me." Mulbanith nodded his head to Tristan and Myrith then went to talk to Kyrianna.

Myrith watched as Kyrianna and Mulbanith spoke for several minutes. The girl nodded then shouldered the bow she had been looking at and passed
the merchant the two knives she had picked up in the estate.

Mulbanith pointed to a battered quiver and Kyrianna shook her head. The merchant bowed slightly then moved to talk to Hendandra.

Before leaving, Myrith looked around the store to see Kyrianna still studying a battered quiver with interest. "Rangerette?"

"He calls it a quiver of Dywcia and says it will hold one hundred arrows. Only problem is the cost. While I would like to have it, I will not have any
gold left to pay a mage to get me home."

"I doubt that will be a problem," Myrith said with a quick glance at Tristan.

Myrith fought to keep the smile off her face at the slight blush she saw on Kyrianna's face before the girl shook her head.

"Escorting him back to Raspa hardly warrants the amount of gold a mage would ask for to perform that high level of magic," Kyrianna said.

She knows how he feels and she has feelings also, but is denying them. This will be an interesting two days, Myrith thought. "Get the quiver. I think
you'll be surprised when we get to Raspa." she clasped Kyrianna's shoulder for a second then stepped out of the shop where the others waited.

It was only a few minutes later when Kyrianna followed her out, the battered quiver on her back along with the composite longbow she had
purchased.

"Lord Duvall, which road do we take?" Myrith asked.

Tristan nodded to the left and they headed in that direction.