"Capital. Most capital, indeed." Grobaras bobs his head, causing all five of his chins to waggle comically. For the briefest of instances, the less soused of you seem to catch a new light in the Lord-Mayor's eyes - something much colder, clean as a knife in the dark - but the instance is over, and all you see is a plump gold filigreed bobble-man giggling as he reaches for yet another slice of cheese in one hand and for his goblet with the other.
"A toast then, shall we say, to the success of your mission? I believe you are already raring to go! Lenardi, if you would be as kind as to fill up the glasses of our honoured guests..."
Day 48: Neth 9, 4707
Just before 1700hrs
Your stay in Magnimar several days earlier had begun with a hurried scamper through the district of Ordellia under the cover of darkness for fear of the guards. Perhaps it is only appropriate then that you now leave Magnimar from the docks on the northmost shore of Ordellia, with the captain of the Watch herself here to escort you off. Fortunately enough for those of you who had eaten and drunk too much the night before, the hour of departure certainly leaves enough time for you to recover from your hangover and appear mostly presentable.
Captain Uriana glowers up at the seagulls circling lazily overhead, shielding her eyes with a gauntleted hand before glancing back down at your group. "Damned flying dung-sacks," she mutters viciously to herself. "They'll follow you for miles up-river. Best to stay off the decks 'lest you fancy washing your digs in the river, and the Yondabakari isn't awful clean at this time of year. Now, bandits - you want to keep a look out for those. You're on a big barge and most scoundrels are canny enough to stay away, but you'll be in the thick of the 'Fens for a day or two and I don't rule out goblin packs desperate enough to try a quick raid or two. Be firm, be quick, and they'll scare off in no time at all."
She nods towards Rico, whom instinct had suggested was likely to be the safest member of your group to leave the Lord-Mayor's purse with, lowering her voice without glancing around. "It's seven-fifty gold for each of you. Don't go flashing that around, hear? Now where's that ranger got herself to-"
The more alert members of the party prick up their ears as salt-swollen planks creak on cue, marking Shalelu's unceremonious arrival on the docks. The elf hardly looks the part of appointed deputy of the Magnimarian government - her golden hair remains tousled with eagle feathers askew, her travelling cloak still caked with mud from the road and her pack coated with the reddish dust of the city's cobblestones, her jaw lean and hard. Only her bow - a beautifully carved darkwood polished to a high sheen - and the haughty carriage of her head give the lie that she might be anything more than just another harried mercenary. Shalelu's eyes gleam as hard as emeralds, though at the sight of familiar faces gathered on the dock, they twinkle as her chapped lips break into a genuine smile.
"Well, well then. I had wondered whom the Lord-Mayor meant for me to escort. My heart is glad to see that he had meant you lot. Though I do see that not everyone remains... Has Taladron lost his heart for the road then? And where is Master Sirus?"