“And it’s no, nay, never, no, nay, never no more,” sang the three Cthonique Guards in rough unison, “Will I play the wild rover, no, no, never no more!”
Nisrioch nodded along to their song, as he glanced out the carriage’s windows. “The Folly seems nice tonight, eh?” he asked quietly.
“I suppose,” said Sacripant quietly. He regarded the Dark Lord for a moment. “You sure you don’t want to join us, sir?”
“We’re decided to turn this into a commemorative pubcrawl for Hagen,” said Palamedes. “He had this route--the Golden Triangle, he used to call it, and we’re walking it tonight.”
“Any particular reason for that?” asked Nisrioch.
The three thought it over. “Not particularly,” said Sacripant.
“I think we all suspect he’d have given us a quick swat to the head once the torches came out,” said Quiet. “So there’s that.”
“Well, you three enjoy yourselves,” said Nisrioch, as the carriage pulled up to a corner. The trio exited, nodding brightly, and walked away. Nisrioch watched them as they headed away, then turned to the driver. “I’ll be getting out here as well. I have mood in me to walk.” The driver gave a curt, professional nod, and Nisrioch stepped out. He walked down the street a ways, then cloaked himself in the night.
He walked down the streets of the Folly anonymously, his charms protecting him not from sight, but from especial notice. It was a quiet night, he noticed, a night where most men and women walked as strangers to one another, all living in their own private world. Or at least, so it seemed to the man who did just that.
He passed by a man speaking on a platform, the tall headgear of a hat perched on his head. “--Troubled times!” he exclaimed. “All is out of balance! This present administration is making our city lose its way! Children turning against fathers! Workers against those who employ them! Is this how the Folly should run? Every family, every business the site of armed camps, preparing for battle? NO! A thousands time no! And we can stop it. With honor--with fortitude--with discipline, we may turn--”
Nisrioch hurried quickly to Armida’s.
Alecto greeted him with a bow as he entered. “Your Excellency! It has been too long!”
Nisrioch gave a sharp quick nod. “Please tell Armida that I’m here.”
“She is busy at the moment,” said Alecto. “Would you like to wait here with Tisiphone or Megarea for now…?”
Nisrioch shook his head. “Just tell her I’m here.” Alecto bowed again, and left the chamber. Shortly thereafter a well-clad man emerged from the back, and left the house, doing his level best to pretend he’d never been in it. Shortly after that, Armida appeared.
“Ah, Lord Nisrioch,” she said, looking as poised and elegant as always. “How I have longed to see you! Do come with me! We have so much to catch up on.”
“Yes, I suppose we do,” he answered with a smile, as she wrapped an arm around his waist.
“Come, I have a Esches game set up for you,” said Armida. “And they are warming some wine.” She smiled brightly at him. “Shall I perhaps have Tisiphone come, and play ‘The Weary Wanderer Homeward Wends His Way’?”
“Bit on the nose, isn’t it?” said Nisrioch with a laugh.
“Perhaps,” said Armida. Her left hand darted to the necklace around her neck, briefly playing with the necklace there. Its pendant was tipped with a flawless emerald. “Perhaps.”