Session Eleven - Eaves
Solana made her way back towards the barracks, moving lightly across the rooftops. Dodging the quarantine cordon was child’s play; the Grey Maidens wore full plate, and it was always fun to play with just how much that limited a guard’s field of view.
Finding Victor Grey, of all people, clawing his way up the underworld was an unexpected surprise. His particular brand of cruelty combined with brute force and a certain low cunning had worked out well for him, it seemed. And it was poised to take him further up. If he managed to get his hands on Vencarlo, and turn him over to the Queen, whatever favors, titles, and powers he might get as a result would be more than worth the paltry sum he paid out to them. She had no intention of turning Vencarlo over to him, and was reasonably sure that Lumen, Hargrin, and Borlun felt similar. Gron was the wildcard, though. With his obsessive fixation on the Queen, and his almost admirable single-minded stubbornness to the idea that Blackjack was a villain, his attitude was going to be a… Complication. She could only hope that they would be able to convince him otherwise, to keep Vencarlo safe and Grey in his little kingdom.
Solana had little love for the people of Korvosa as a whole, but they deserved better than what the Queen and her new seneschal was cooking up for them, that much was obvious. Between the plague, the Grey Maidens, and everything else, things had been moving awfully fast for the Queen to have started this right after the King had passed. Whatever she was planning, Ileosa had clearly been planning on this for quite some time. Hopefully the conversation with Vencarlo tomorrow would clear up some of these things. Finding Blackjack gear in the ruins of Vencarlo’s house wasn’t particularly a surprise; it just confirmed what she (and most of the city) had suspected for a while now. It would be interesting to see if he had hid similar caches of equipment elsewhere in the city, and if they even survived at this point. The odd moral and ethical questions he had thrown at her while their sparring sessions made more sense now; he was looking for a successor, someone to take up the mantle of Blackjack now that he was becoming older, and Korvosa was needing a hero again.
Solana paused at the edge of a roof, and glanced down into the alleyway below as a young voice drifted up. “So, why was the pusher-dwarf spending time with the king’s half-brother? My uncle told me he sees him in the bar all the time, getting drunk and yelling.”
Pusher-dwarf? There was only one person Solana knew of that could be described that way, and it grabbed her attention. She paused and craned her head around. Under the eaves were three small figures, kids, huddled around a small fire. The flickering firelight obscured most of their features, but it was clear that there were two boys and a girl. Each had a hunk of bread in their hands, gnawing on them as they talked.
“Didn’t they used to be with the King of Spiders?”
“That guy was a chump.”
“Not the old guy, the new one.”
“The one that disappeared after the Eel’s End burned down? He was really creepy.”
“Well, he wasn’t with them when the Queen called them all heroes. His face wasn’t up in the sky.”
Solana remembered the royal projection-proclamation with a grimace. Too many people in the city knew who she was on sight now. Probably including the kids right below her. The whole point of being a ninja was to avoid being seen, moving quietly and silently, eschewing attention. When she had complained to her Master, the Master had just cackled, delighting in her student’s discomfort. “More excuse for you to learn to hide in the shadows, then. Or learn how to BE the center of attention. When they are watching your left hand, you strike with the right!”
Below her, the kids continued.
“So if that other guy wasn’t the king’s half-devil half-brother, what is he?” one of the boys asked.
“I asked my mom,” the other boy said. “She said he’s probably a half-orc. Or a half-goblin. Or quarter-troll.”
Solana bit her lip to stop from laughing. Poor Gron.
“Yeah, I saw them with the man with the boomstick.”
“A couple of them are staying in the guardhouse. I’ve seen them going in and out of the barracks before. I know I recognize the rude lady with—-”
Flute? Lumen doesn’t have a flute. Wait, are those little shits—-!
I was on a timetable! she wanted to yell down. I didn’t have time to schedule an appointment! Money talks, bullshit walks, and I deafened that old hag! She stopped herself from yelling at them in the nick of time, thinking back to that afternoon, as well as the confused, miserable look on the face of the harp-playing girl whose lesson she had interrupted.
Okay, so maybe that was a little rude.
The city deserved better than the Queen. Those kids deserved better than the queen.
She listened to their chattering for a few more minutes before continuing on her way, vanishing into the night.