They were returning to the little town in drips and drabs, from their hiding holes, and their safe places. Caspar smiled to himself. This was how the people of Ladoegan Isle had survived for so long in the shifting realm of Tintagel--running and hiding when trouble came,and if that didn't work, either knuckling under, or starting to fight as the circumstances warranted.
In this case, Caspar was of course, firmly of the opinion that this most certainly the latter. But then, as that was the course he'd taken, he freely admitted that he might biased in this matter.
Two Scarlet Shrikes appeared--the slender, dark haired fellow, and the old one. "So..." said the slender one, "they understand we aren't bandits now?"
Caspar nodded. "We've managed to convey that to them." He raised an eyebrow. "Mind you, they don't trust you much, but then, they don't trust many people much."
The old one gave a laugh at that, while the slender one sighed and rolled his eyes. "Cheery place," he muttered.
"It's been happier," said Caspar. "That said, we've pretty much always been awful bastards here. It's just that our recent circumstances have upped the bastardry."
"Well, we've been sent to help by..." began the slender fellow, then coughed. "Well, some interested parties."
"You mean the Cthoniques?" said Caspar. "And the Free Cities."
The man blinked. "How...?"
"Oh, I'm very good at keeping my ears to the ground," answered the Tintagelian. "That's more or less my job in Lady Lyn's organization."
The man glanced down at his feet. "Well, then, I might as well not bother talking any further as you already know everything."
"I don't know your name," pointed out Caspar.
"Mosca," he said, offering his hand.
Caspar took it. "I'm Caspar."
"And they call me 'Ancient Evereaux'," said the old man.
"A pleasure," said Caspar. He glanced at the man's feet. "Those are very nice boots."
Everaux nodded fervently. "The best I've had in years!"