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The one with the Duke of Time

Helix burst out laughing as Yanika told her story, almost coughing up the wine he had just downed all over the table. The other patrons in the bar where the trio, Helix, Zaela and Yanika, had gone for a drink, stopped their conversations and looked over to the loud goblin, before turning back to their own business. “I swear! I’m not making up any of this! Zebulor used to be a performer at the Reverie!” “But why wouldn’t he share that with you? Especially considering…” Yanika held up her hand to stop Zaela, and grinned widely at her friends. She took a long gulp from her wine and put down her empty cup. “I don’t know, maybe he was embarrassed or something? I don’t know, the more I learn about these people I have adventures with, the more I’m convinced I’m the only normal one.” This got another laugh from her goblin friend.

“What? One of them is a shapeshifter of some sort, one has connections to a league of assassins, another got kicked out of the Skyrifles, and you have a giant pining over an axe? Seems all perfectly normal to me.”

He grinned and waved over the waitress to order more drinks and some bread and cheese for snacks, while Zaela poked Yanika in the ribs, urging her to tell the entire story. The gorgeous redhead for her part held up her arms, demanding for silence before bursting out in laughing.

“Alright alright, I’ll start at the beginning! So after learning that our missing eye was at the Reverie, with some guy named Epharantes, or at least at the time we thought it was a guy, we obviously went there. It took us a while asking around before we found someone who could tell us that Epharantes is not a person but an organisation including artists, among them Adalinda the Snake Charmer.” Yanika picked up a piece of cheese and wolfed it down before grabbing her new cup of wine and taking a sip before continuing.

“It was then that Zebulor decided to tell us that he used to perform at the Reverie, and that he could get us backstage to talk to Adalinda. When pressed on what he used to do at the Reverie he revealed he had an act there and was called The duke of Time!” This got another round of laughs, with this time Zaela almost spilling her drink and Helix almost rolling off the table in laughter. Yanika grinned and composed herself.

“You can imagine the reactions from the group when learning about this! I mean, Duke of Time! Anyway, his lordship then led us backstage, first to Viola, whom he seemed to be on good terms with, and then to Adalinda across the hall. When we asked her about Epharantes, she got upset however, and explained she didn’t belong to the organisation. She said she had gotten approached by Rabo, a dragonborn, who wanted to recruit her. Adalinda believes this Rabo to be mostly harmless though, and says that he works at the Reverie as cheap labor.”

Another round of drinks were brought to the table and Yanika picked up her new cup. The entire outing to the Reverie had been a bit of a red herring in her opinion, even though it had led them back to the eye and allowed them to recover it. But the main interesting thing that had happened had been learning of Zebulor’s former life.

“Kayne suggested we follow this Rabo stealthily, so Spade, Majid, Ace and me did so, hoping to be led to his employer. When he went backstage, where we couldn’t follow, Majid decided to crawl over the fence, but did it so noisily that it provided the perfect distraction for me to do it properly. I managed to find Rabo while Majid was being chased around, and went through his stuff to find the Eye, but it wasn’t there. So I went back and then we had a discussion on what to do next, finally deciding to come back the next day and simply confronting him.”

She leaned back in her seat and picked up some of the bread and cheese to munch on as she looked around the bar for a moment. Usually she would have these conversations back at home, drinking and eating as they enjoyed themselves, but now they had been forced to a bar near Ace and Spade’s detective bureau, so they could be with just the three of them.

“So the next day we went back to the Reverie and confronted Rabo about Epharantes. He told us something about earning money with recruiting people to the organisation. It all very much sounded like a pyramid scheme to me. In the end, Spade intimidated him into talking, instead of paying the hundred gold Rabo was asking, which weirdly enough, some of the group seemed to be ok with paying. These people really have no concept of money. Anyway, he led us out of the Reverie to a field in between 2 hills, with a small forest in the middle. And in the middle of that forest stood a wickerman, which was supposed to be Epharantes. I’m not sure what the hell was going on with that, and if it’s something to be wary of, but we did find the Eye at the feet of the wickerman, thrown there as an offering.”

She ran her fingers through her long red curls and smiled at her two friends. It had been too long since they had had an evening like this, with just the three of them, and she intended to make good use of the time.

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