Bald Ben sat at the table and sipped his drink.
"Do you want another cup?" asked Eirene, from behind the tavern's counter.
"I'm still on this one," he noted, raising his mug.
The witch gave a shrug. "Right. Sorry. Just living out my childhood dream of being a tavern keeper..."
"It's not that much fun," said Gregory as he entered the room. He gestured behind him. "Captain--meet Lady Lyn, head of the local Bellringers."
The young woman gave a curt bow. "She's also that Gwen girl Gentleman keeps going on about," explained Mosca.
Gregory and Gwendolyn both rolled their eyes at that. "Captain..." She glanced at Gregory.
"Braddock," said Gregory. "But we mostly call him 'Bald Ben'."
Gwendolyn cleared her throat. "Captain Braddock, your Lieutenant filled me in on the general picture, and of course, I am more than happy to recieve the assistance of your organization, and..." She glanced around the room. "Where is everbody?"
Ben sighed and looked dejectedly at his drink. "Ahh, yes, that," he said at last. "You recall that distraction we had planned--a random apparent attack that would divert attention from our true purpose?" He sighed. "Well, it turns out that over half the soldiers are on the other side of the island, looking for some deserters, I believe..."
"Oh, no," said Gwendolyn calmly. "They're prisoners. We're keeping them in closets and sheds at my family's hunting lodge."
Ben and Eirene blinked. The Captain coughed. "Well--what was left wasn't much, and the moment the fighting started, fled to the woods. Followed by much of the town. So... it is presently just the Scarlet Shrikes battering around here, and trying to figure out what to do next."
Ancient Evereaux entered holding a pair of boots. "I tell you, Ben, you have to try these boots! They're amazing."
"And Ancient's getting new footwear," said Eirene apologetically.
The old man turned to Gregory. "You know how it is, Gentleman--my feet ache to buggerment, and I haven't been able to get a new pair of boots that are comfortable for nearly a year now." He stared at Gwendolyn. "Who's the girl?"
Gwendolyn crossed her arms. "The lady," she stated with icy dignity.