The two guards looked down at Stoutheart guarding the pile of weapons with skeptical expressions. They weren't about to disrupt their own entertainment in watching the little dog pull guard duty, though, and waved the others through.

Inside was a narrow entrance hall, with doors off to either side. Oil lamps hung from the walls, and carpets and tapestries with geometric designs reinforced the impression of wealth.

There was no-one in sight. Hearing a faint scritching noise through the door to his left, Adelbert cracked it open. On the other side was a small room, in which a small woman sat a small desk in the small shaft of sunlight that was entering through the window. She looked up in alarm at the sudden appearance of strangers in the doorway, knocking over the inkwell she had been working with.

"Ach - damn - sorry," she said, jumping up and grabbing for a rag to soak up the spreading black spill. In a couple of seconds she had undone most of the damage. "Is - is there something I can help you with?"