Chapter 2: Eveneye – The Joys Of Preparation

Eveneye Runewood Ironheart Cloudhand, Keeper of the Scriptures of the Third Wing of the Emberwolf Library, fourth in line to the lineage of Head Cleric Mervinn Waterhelm, Keeper of the Sacred Hammer Greenfallow and Follower of the Teaching of Rei-Ki of the Antari, leaned back in his chair and sighed deeply.

He knew that establishments such as this were a necessity.  Tiresome, but a necessity nonetheless.  He looked around at his fellow patrons, most of whom presumably could not string more than two words together to form a coherent sentence, and as for reading and writing, well he was glad he had been through a proper education at his home city.

Almost absent-mindedly, Eveneye adjusted his eyeglasses and made sure that the pendant he wore was situated exactly in the centre of his chest.  Just because he was amongst illiterate barbarians was no excuse to let his appearance lapse.  He didn’t even need glasses – his eyesight was perfect, as one would expect.  He had seen someone wear something similar once and thought it lent a certain air of intelligence and refinement, so of course, he immediately obtained a pair.  They were uncommon enough to mark him out as distinguished, yet not so rare as to become the subject of unwanted attention.

Eveneye opened his satchel and withdrew a sheaf of parchments covered with notes.  His latest contract was to retrieve an ossuary from underground catacombs, situated a few miles from his current location – namely this backwater village.  He had been very thorough in his questioning of the client.  The item was said to house the remains of an ancient king, possibly dating from before the legendary Crusade of Lotac the Tenth.  The client had assured him that such an artifact had great historical significance and would be worth much to the right people.  Eveneye had managed to obtain a very precise description of the item – its height, width, thickness of the wall, even down to the precise shape and designs adorning it were known to him.  He prided himself on knowing everything there was to know about any subject that interested him and this was no different.

His notes also contained information on where it was likely to be and what obstacles – both artificial and animal – would be in his way.  Eveneye had spent the last couple of days buying various pieces of equipment and he was in this tavern to obtain the last item he required.  That is if his contact could be trusted.  The price asked was not too extortionate but it still made Eveneye raise an eyebrow.  He was just putting his notes away when a shadow fell across his table.

“’Scuse me sir,” said a voice.

Eveneye looked up into the face of a man who, he considered, seemed to share some common ancestry with a weasel.  The man had a pronounced squint, a sharp nose which sniffed regularly, and what Eveneye could see of his teeth made him wish the man kept his mouth closed.  Eveneye said nothing but motioned to the chair opposite him.

“I got wot you asked for Mr E-” the man started before Eveneye cut him off.

“Yes, yes, very good.  Can I see it?” Eveneye was eager to be done with this transaction.  The man put a package wrapped in black cloth onto the table between them.  Eveneye lifted some of the folds and examined the contents.  Satisfied he replaced the material and placed a small stack of gold coins in front of the man.

The man coughed and Eveneye sighed again.  “Very well,” he said and produced a small flask.  The man’s eyes lit up as he saw the contents sloshing around.  The potion had not been particularly difficult to make but it was something Eveneye would sooner have had nothing to do with.

“Now remember, no more than two drops per night and certainly no more than three nights in a row,” Eveneye said in what he hoped was a suitable cautious voice.  The man nodded eagerly and before Eveneye had even begun to notice he swept the money and the potion into his shabby coat.  He gave Eveneye a brief nod of thanks before disappearing into the crowd.  Eveneye didn’t bother to watch him go.

Eveneye considered that it was time, he too made to leave, now that he had everything he required for the task ahead.  He started to gather his belongings but was distracted by a commotion at the bar.  Looking over, he saw a huge hulking brute of a Wild One tower over a girl who looked no more than twenty.  The cause of the dispute seemed to be related to the liquid dripping from the Wild One’s face and clothes – most likely his drink which the foolish girl had no doubt spilt – but what drew Eveneye’s attention was the robe the girl was wearing.

If eyeglasses were not common, it was even less common to see one so dressed in the style of Golian this far east.  The mages of the golden city were known to stay close to the western shores of the Land and only ventured further at the greatest need.  That this girl was a mage was beyond doubt – the staff on her back attested to that fact.  Most curious.  The altercation ended when the girl scurried away from the Wild One.  Eveneye decided that it was time for him too to leave.  He finished collecting his gear, once again ensuring that his glasses were clean and his pendant was centred, and began to push his way through the crowd.

Halfway to the door, he heard a shout behind him.

“Your kind should go back to the woods you crawled out of!”

This was followed by a bestial roar and Eveneye quickened his pace.  This was most definitely the appropriate time to leave.  As he reached the door to the street a body flew through the air and crashed into the table not two feet away from him.  He managed to leave the tavern before things got properly underway.

The street in front of him had an ethereal glow from the light of the moon.  Eveneye turned and started walking to his lodgings.  Like everything else, he had planned his place to stay meticulously – far enough from the tavern so as to be undisturbed by a ruckus like that which was now happening, yet close enough so as to quickly obtain information and meet contacts as required.  He had perfected the art of such things and was quite proud of the fact.

Eveneye reached the room he had rented.  There would be no sleep for him just yet – he had a few more preparations to make.  He opened his potion-making apparatus and began the fine art of measuring and mixing.  He had a good idea of what he would be facing but it never hurt to prepare for the unexpected, and if Eveneye had learned one thing during his travels, it was that the unexpected was practically certain.

It would be a long night.  Eveneye got to work.

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