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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“Interesting,” Aiden replied thoughtfully. “If I might ask, what's your interest in the
old city?”
“I'm looking fer a family heirloom that was lost during the fall,” he explained.
“Much was left behind on that fateful day over a century ago, most of it in the lower
sections of the city. It'd be good to bring it back and return it to Stonegaard, where it
should be.”
“That‟s your new mountain home, yes?” Aiden confirmed, receiving a nod from
Clavis. “I think our goals might be compatible. I'll have to talk it over with my
companions, who may or may not wish to join in.”
“O h ye've got some friends? That's even better. I thought it was just gonna be you
and me, lad.”
“Well, as I said, I haven't asked them yet so I'll have to get back to you a bit later,”
Aiden reiterated. “Are you in a rush to set out?”
“Well, I'd like to get movin‟ in the next few days,” Clavis replied, tugging his beard
thoughtfully. “But truth be told, I haven't bee n able to find anyone else interested in my
little underground expedition besides yerself, so I'm thinkin' I'll be available for the next
month, if nobody else comes along. Still, I'd like an answer in the next few days if ya
could lad, just out o' politeness.”
“I am nothing if not polite,” Aiden assured him. “I'll probably get back to you by
tomorrow if all goes well, as I have a few things to attend to. Also, I can be very lazy.”
Clavis roared with laughter.
“Yer all right longshanks, I'll be here, as I have been for the past week, when yer
ready to talk some more.”
“Wait, were you here through last night's brawl?” Aiden asked as he was about to
“O f course,” Clavis replied, quaffing his drink. “I would'na miss a good brawl.”
“How is it you're not injured in any way? Everyone else here looks like they've been
through a war.”
“A good bar fight takes practice lad, and I've had a few extra decades to learn a trick
or two,” Clavis explained with a wink. “Not that I go around starting fights mind you, I
just tend to be the one that finishes 'em.”
“Did you finish this one?”
“Surely did,” the dwarf assured him. “Laid out some oversized drunkard in
camouflage leathers who started questioning the lineage of some of these rowdy seafaring
folk. Why?”
“O h, no reason,” Aiden replied, struggling to keep a straight face. He was heading
towards the front door of the Seaspray Inn when Nellise and Pacian appeared, walking
down the stairs. Her expression was cool as she spoke, though Aiden couldn't tell what
they were talking about. He raised a hand to catch their attention.
“Good morning, I'm going to head over to speak briefly with the mayor. You two get
some breakfast and I'll meet up with you later. I have something I want to talk to you
about.” Nellise scrutinised the young man carefully before replying.
“Not before you clean yourself up you're not,” she declared. “Go. Bathe. Now. You
too Pacian, you're worse than he is.”
“But I was going to get something to eat first!”