Grunewald stared awkwardly at the man seated before him across the table. "So..." He coughed. "How are you?"
Nathan glared at him. "Poorly. My wife and children have been kidnapped."
"I am sorry that it came to that," said the older Lamplighter, glancing away. "But you see, you didn't give us much choice."
Nathan frowned. "And I shall light the lamp so bright, that all may see it, to count on the protection of the light of truth, and the glow of fellowship. This I do swear."
"You don't have to repeat the vow," snapped Grunewald. "I know it as well as you."
"Are you sure about that?" asked Nathan flatly.
Grunewald looked away. "I don't want to fight now, Nathan. It's been a bad time for us all. The others have left this talk to me in part because of the... emotions involved..."
"And because they need someone to guard my wife and children," said Nathan.
Grunewald frowned, fingers tapping on the table. "Do you have to keep making this difficult?"
"It's the first time I've dealt with my family being kidnapped," answered Nathan. "I'm feeling my way through it."
"There's a simple way to get it to end," said Grunewald. "You simply have to bring me the Erl and the Knife-Sharpeners..."
Nathan blinked. "They're part of the bargain now too?"
"Their master wants to make an example," answered Grunewald with a shrug. "This affair is straining everyone."
"Imagine that," muttered Nathan.