Mind Over Matter

Epilogue 4

            Cerelea looks at Nikita with a look of remembrance, “I feel there is no amount of bath that will cleanse the filth from my body, and spirit, though I mean to try. I can’t let the feeling elude me that this was just the beginning of horrors unimaginable. My spirit is scarred, and a scar will not be forgiven. The fight will continue, and quite soon, I suspect. I will not proclaim that I seek glory in battle, but know that my aid is yours when the time comes. I am in need of new clothing as these should be burnt.” She looks down at her bloodstained clothing again remembering the dwarven slaughter in the pool.

            Nikita quickly responds, “Milady, new clothing can be procured as you wish. For those that prefer laundering, that also can be arranged once you decide to slumber.”

            Sten looks into the distance, “I am no stranger to death. The taste of Victory often fuels my desire for the next battle. …Yet not today. My heart weighs heavy and my nostrils still fill with the stench of slaughtered Dwarfs. I need hearty ale and the scent of beautiful women to cleanse my palate and ease my mind.”

            Myst scurries onto the balcony and tugs Gavel’s cloak, “What lies next for us?”  the halfling asks in wondrous bemusement, all the while keeping a wary eye on Rune.

            Gavel pats the halfling on the head, “I agree with Sten but would prefer the ale to be closer to my bed. I am in no mood to share our story yet and surely those within the city will likely be wanting a tale.”

            Nikita warns, “ It would be difficult for most of you to find any solace from the citizens of Kinbrace as the rescue of the Grigor has spread already. For those that wish a strong drink before they sleep, I can arrange a private room near the kitchens.”

            Egan heads for the inside and adds, “So it sounds as if Gavel, Sten and Myst are for a drink. I shall join you and toast success thus far in honor of Tempus.”

            As the group files from the balcony, only Throg remains on the balcony uncaring of the cold. Nikita turns toward the half-orc, “Master tracker, will you join us inside?”

            Without turning his head, Throg responds, “You can return once the others have been settled and show me the quarters already prepared. I wish time alone in the elements for now.”

The young Damaran simply closes the doors leaving the half-orc on the balcony before heading across the room, “I can show everyone their room as it is on the way to the kitchens. For those that choose to prepare for sleep such as Lady Cerelea, I will have bathes drawn and brought to your quarters. Any clothing can be gathered for laundering as well.”

            Nikita leads the group through the estate to a long hallway with a dozen doors. Nikita reminds all that he will collect any written accords for the Duke in the morning and that all should return to the meeting hall at midday as the duke requested. He gestures to each door as he passes and assigns rooms. Cerelea, Griffon, and Rune enter their rooms awaiting the services of a bath, laundry, and eventual sleep. Nikita leads the remaining party members to the kitchens and identifies a small room nearby with a fireplace burning full. A few minutes later, an older gentlemen brings a tray with four tankards and then returns with a small keg of dark ale with a robust nutty scent. As Nikita departs, he adds, “Please find time for sleep and again we thank you for rescuing Sir Grigor and the others.”

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