Bank Chatter

- Adla Thera, you said?
- No, Anthea Waltham.
- Oh, I keep getting those two wrong. Waltham is the one from Brigobaen?
- No, that’s Adla Thera. The new wife of Senator Varouf, the stepmother of his little son, Elara bless him.
- Ok, so who’s the Anthea one?
- The wife of the fashion magnate. There was some story with her and that Commander from Marali, I don’t know. All I know is that her husband can’t stand mentions to the North because of that.
- How do you know that?
- I heard at the potion shop. Looks like he wanted the Senate to forbid any official delegation from Marali during the last Blue Moon Festival.
- Ok, right. But I’m still lost. What do those have to do with the shenanigans at the Atoll?
- Good question. Nothing, as far as I know?
- Then why is that homeless woman always shouting about the atoll when she sees Adla Thera?
- That’s Adla Thera, not Anthea Waltham.
- Ah, right. Those people have all the same name. Evroulf, Varouf…
- Right, but the guy at the potion shop was also talking about that. I think Adla Thera lost her memory, or something.
- Haha, nice way to get away without paying for your ginseng. “I forgot”.
- No, more serious than that. Either she’s pretty rude, or she’s completely bonkers. She claims she just left Brigobaen, but everyone has seen her from Mirith to Marali.
- And at the Atoll?
- No clue. The homeless weirdo is not completely sane either.
- True. She grew quite violent lately.
- Yeah, but she’s so tiny, that she shouldn’t be too dangerous.
- She also shouts nonsense about that Falvo witch. “The pipe! The pipe!”
- Maybe she’s addicted to ginseng and the Falvo chick didn’t pass it round?
- Yeah, who knows.
- Oh, and what about that sect thing?
- Which one? The Sect of the Crystal? I heard they’ve been around a lot now.
- No, no, the other one, they found at Skull.
- Ah, I think that’s an old story related to Marali, not sure. But I heard they are somehow connected with that lab guy near the volcano. You know? Pacts between nasty people never end well.
- The lab guy is that nasty?
- Ahem. Someone who collects mages’ skulls to turn them into red fire-throwing creatures is not that nice, right?
- Well, it could be used for good. You know? Some necromancers can be helpful.
- Name one.
- Think Marthonis back in the day, with all that mess in Duldrus.
- He had something to gain from it, I’m sure.
- Right, but he was helpful.
- He was helpful to Mirith. Remember Mirith? That place filled with filth? What do you call someone who is helpful to Mirith?
- You have a point there.
- The problem is that they all want something from the Atoll.
- Oh yeah?
- Yeah, I heard it as well.
- At the potion shop?
- No, at the tavern. Some brutish guys, could’ve been mercenaries.
- What did you hear?
- That they needed explosives to find some opening.
- At the Atoll?
- Yeah. They weren’t too happy about it. Apparently, it’s hard to keep golems, wraiths, and liches under control.
- What?
- For defence. They were commenting on how their boss was telling them to be careful, because they were running out of suitable skulls to make more guardians.
- You’re pulling my leg. They wouldn’t be commenting on that at the tavern… In Andris!
- They were, I tell you. It was very late, and the mead was very good. They were boasting about being able to move past some portal.
- You’re fooling me.
- No! They said it required wits, but that they had a smart guy amongst them. I must tell you, the “smart guy” looked pretty dull. He was dropping everything and asking “Argh! Is this a portal key too?”
- He wanted to find a portal at the tavern?
- Looked like it. He really didn’t seem very bright. He was looking for patterns on the floors. “Find the Spider! Find the Wolf!” Utter gibberish.
- But what do they want from the Atoll?
- Who knows? Magma to make golems?
- The volcano isn’t enough?
- Maybe it’s something else. I went home that night, didn’t hear the rest.
- Are they looking for more hands? I could use some work…
- Are you joining the mercenaries?
- Would you be shocked?
- Not really. We all need to eat. Just be careful with the sect lady from Skull. She sounds scary.
- Alda Waltham?
- No, you mix everything up! This one started with a D…
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