He had enjoyed the few nights of sleep in a real bed he had gotten. The bath had helped too. The town was abuz, even more so than it had been when he arrived. News had spread, that somehow the king of Kalladen had been taken prisoner. "Now there's an interesting turn of events....I wonder who arranged that, I shall have to meet him...or her whichever this individual chooses to be addressed as." he thought to himself as he watched a young boy carrying some wood stumble and drop it all, pick some of it up, only to have a couple of the pieces he was still holding fall as the piece he picked up pushed the other log off. It was raining tonight, a cold slick rain that was more like a mist than a dropping from the sky. He relished this kind of weather, the kind of night that made the lanterns glow more defined, the kind of night that seemed to swallow up travelers then spew out more as they passed. He had arrived on the eve of war, and to his amusement he hadn't even caused it....of course that didn't mean who couldn't profit from it. He just needed that juicy piece of info, to catch that cloaked figure sneaking through the alleyway, or maybe...just maybe find out where the king was and arrange a rescue....
While he had been keeping a low profile, he had also been learning who ran what and who might be useful and more here. The Sheriff, named Spik, or something seemed agreeable enough, though Halinoph felt he used his sword a bit too much to get his point across, and was culd have used a little more finesse in how he did business. But that was nothing that Halinoph couldn't deal with later. Kalladen would be...different than the other places he had been. Aside from his birthplace, where there were no towns or farmers, every other place had more... peaceful residents for the most part. Here the things that most other Kingdoms reviled and hunted as monsters, were among the champions and lords of the realm. Werewolves patrolled the forests and he knew for certain he had smelled demonic and fae traces all over the place. He couldn't help but shake his head and smile, it would take a bit more planning to set up shop here....a bit more indeed. So knowing this he had started taking interviews for prospective, assistants and representatives. Well, he had at least let a few of the more burly and brutish men know he was looking to hire some with their talents. With everyone preparing for this war, he was satisfied no one would notice his inquiries.
The misting rain fell in larger drops down from his long bamboo hat. But he still heard them and more smelled them. There were five of them, all male, all human. Judging by their scent and the noise they made they were more than likely locals. Though their occupations were most likely of the not so legal persuasion. He paused and turned his head just slightly as if to "notice" them, and then made his way down the nearest dark alley. The five men followed and when at last he came to what seemed a dead end he turned to face them, keeping his hat down over his eyes but only enough to allow him to see their legs and know if they were moving or not. If these had been trained warriors or assasins he might have been more direct, more concerned, but this rabble, were more likely the local farmers, or shopkeepers who aspired to be something more. They huddled together in a big clump, easy pickings if someone who practiced the arcane arts wanted to entrap or just ignite them. But Halinoph was not one who delved into the arcane ways. He did know a thing or two about potions and such, and that would cost these fools.
"Aye you, word is you got here the same day war was declared." said what seemed to be the leader of this bunch, at least he was the one standing in front and speaking, so Halinoph could only guess.
Halinoph nodded thoughtfully. "Well actually now that you mention it, yes I did." he said.
"That's amight' suspisious." Grunted another man, a shorter potbellied bloke with a lot of facial hair and very little on top.
"Really, now why prey tell is that? Are you implieing that my arrival was not indeed coincidence, and that in reality I am some sort of agent sent by...oh who are you fighting..." Halinoph paused and snapped his fingers as if trying to think of an answer right on the tip of his tongue but unable to come out.
"Havenswatch?." another man asked as if to actually answer Halinophs question.
"Yes Havenswatch...thank you." he replied and nodded to the man politely. "But I assure you gentlemen and I do use the term loosely, I merely arrived here on the same day. I don't serve Havenswatch, I have never been to Havenswatch and nor do I even know anyone from or who has ever been to Havenswatch." Halinoph exlaimed and even as he did his left hand was reaching into his pouch, fingers pulling on the small "eggs" inside.
"I think yur' a spy, I do." said the leader. More I think you helped get the king captured. You've been runnin' around here these last few day listening to folks talk, talkin' to certain people about hirin' them as bodyguards and such...."
"Well if you're interested in the job I can...." Halinoph stopped as the tip of a sword blade touched his throat. "Well, that speaks volumes." he said as he swallowed nervously.
"Time to dispense some Kalladenian justice!" yelled another man, though Halinoph couldn't tell which one as he was too busy staring at the sharp pointy piece of steel touching his throat and pushing ever so deeper into his skin.
Yes indeed things were going to be a bit more challenging here in Kalladen