A small boy that Zephyr knew from the streets pushed aside the final dingy blanket and stepped forward. He didn’t shuffled towards Zephyr and raised a frail hand in greeting. Zephyr nodded at him and asked if he had had anything to eat yet. Not wanting to be encumbered, Mythe responded in the little orphan boy’s voice that he had already eaten some bread. Zephyr tossed him a peach that was just about to go bad. He had been saving it for a snack but the kid looked like he needed it more. He would have more than enough to eat later.
Mythe ate the peach with quick bites and pocketed the pit after he was done. He dried his hands on the dirty pants he wore. Zephyr was daydreaming about his delicious dinner that night when a quick movement grabbed his attention at the top edge of his vision. He saw a hooded figure blending in pretty well with the early morning shadows. While he was watching to assess the threat of this person, they could have just been passing by, Zephyr took advantage. He snuck a delicate hand into the pocket of the young man and managed to snag a lovely ring. He pocketed it just as Zephyr rushed away to start gathering the three children in the alley with them. The children seemed to know the drill. They gathered their belongings with quick, efficient moves and began edging casually towards the exit of the alley. They wove through the blankets as quietly as they could and were almost at the mouth of the narrow corridor when a cry of rage erupted from behind them.
When they reached the main street, Zephyr pulled the children with him into the street and tried to hide themselves among the crowd. The sun was up and the streets were teeming with vendors and their customers. He pushed them further along into the main market place. Mythe was keeping up with the children a few yards back but in a different guise. He was now a robust man. Had changed clothing quickly as he moved through the throng of people, pulling some adult pants on. He was only wearing the short tunic of rags the boy had worn, but he quickly put on a better fitting shirt after discarding the rags. Mythe was in the uniform of an inspector now, which really just meant he had on some boring grown up clothes. Topping it off with a long duster coat, he kept pace with the group he was following. He knew they had been the culprits but since he didn’t know what had been stolen, he had to wait and see if they would reveal it to him.
Earlier that morning Dvalin was allowed entry into the city with the formal permits he had found in the possessions he had been able to take with him that his father had prepared. His father had known an attack might be imminent somehow and had planned to, at least, save him. He didn’t want to dwell on the fact that there was only one set of documents, that his father knew it would only be him who made it off that mountain. There had also been a journal and a note explaining what he needed to do. The chance that his father was dead was big so the only thing he could do was the last thing that his father had asked of him. He vowed to complete this mission as best he could. Dvalin glanced behind him and there was that bird lady again. When they had entered the city, the farmer had dropped them off in the marketplace. She had cocked her head to one side, as if considering something.
Lullaby had been dropped off with the dwarf by the nice farmer. She had asked, as best she could, about her mission and where she should go once inside the city. Her master had given her the final parting advice to trust her instinct and look for those who needed help. Following that path would bring her to where she needed to go. She was confused but followed her master’s instructions. The dwarf needed her help. He seemed to be looking for something. Deciding to follow was easy. When he turned to leave, she ran after him, keeping close but not too close. The crowd was a little intimidating so she did have to take time to find her way through that many people but she kept him in eyesight.
Dvalin had left after giving the farmer a few silvers for the ride. Thinking he was alone only lasted for a few minutes as he kept glimpsing the bird lady following him out of the corner of his eye as he pushed through the crowd. Trying to get away from her, he rushed through the crowded streets and ducked into the first building he could. It turned out to be a tavern. He rushed to a booth towards the back of the building and tried to hide in the shadows. He checked to see if the coast was clear and turned back in relief only to find the bird lady sitting on his other side, next to him, in the booth. Jumping a little made the bird lady coo softly at him. She seemed to want to calm him, not harm him. With a shaking hand he waved down the bartender and ordered a pint.
Zephyr ran blindly through the congested streets. He had tried going back into the side streets that were less crowded but every time he tried, he saw people that could blend into the shadows waiting for them. He was only barely able to see them but something always seemed to give them away if you were observant enough. Back in the flow of the sea of people in the market, he shoved the children forward. He knew they were being followed. Even the crowd could not hide them forever. Making a quick decision he pushed through the door of the pub he had performed at yesterday. It had been his first performance as a newly licenced Bard within the city and he had made a good chunk of the money that he had saved up for his birthday feast. He kept an eye on the door as he herded the children to the booth closest to the back door.
He was so busy trying to get them into a hidden area that he didn’t realize he had intruded upon a harried looking dwarf and a curious bird person. In the ensuing confusion Zephyr explained that they needed to stay there for a moment and thanked them in advance for letting them stay. The children looked around with innocent smiles on their faces. Magnus, the middle child, asked Zephyr if they could have something to drink. The running had taken a lot out of the children. Opal, the youngest, looked about ready to drop. Zephyr quickly ordered them some refreshing drinks and some ale for himself. All the occupants sat down in awkward silence for a moment as the children rested for a few moments.
None of them knew it yet but they were being drawn together for a reason. There was a reason the three of them had been brought together. Unaware, Zephyr was calculating where to escape and how once the children were done resting. He had already planned to use the back door. As far as he knew no one had seen them come in and they had no reason to believe they were here. Unless they were checking all the businesses in the area. Suddenly, leaving was much more important.