I’m done with the bracket. Honestly, I don’t know why either. Regardless be it (2.11) or 2.11, tis the hour of the wolf!
I counted out ten gold pieces and handed them to the guide, trying not to wince. Git’s eyes followed the gold automatically as he chattered on about some sort of mold he wanted to buy tonight.
I could have bought a small house in the city for that sum, but in the end I did not balk. The only metal vengeance cares for is weapon’s grade.
The guide looked the coins over, put them into a rugged pouch, and then looked me in the eye.
“I’ll take you to the Rarest Red, as fast as you are able.” she said. “You will follow my instructions without question. If you try anything ugly, I will abandon you. My friends have seen you, and will come knocking if I go missing. Understood?”
“We would never dream of harming you, my dear,” said Git.
“Right, keep five paces behind me and watch for my signals,” said the Guide.
We set off at a brisk pace. Git kept talking, something about the properties of salamander’s tongues and gin. This close to the guide’s hub the tunnels were crowded. Most of these people were sightseers from abroad willing to pay a premium for a safe “tour” of the undercity markets. Most of these were wide-eyed and kept very close to their guides, There were also regulars, people who had frequent business here, striding purposefully to their destinations. Most of these would have invitations to the shops they were seeking, along with instructions on how to find them. Things always moved around in the undercity. The brightly coloured mohawk on our guide stood out, making her easy to follow in the crowds.
After a few rapid turns and an iron rung ladder downward, people thinned out. Our guide seemed to relax and slowed a bit.
“Do you ever miss exploring the deeps, Ragnar?” Git’s question penetrated my thoughts.
I met Git and Renoit, among others, exploring the “deeps” the ruined, dangerous parts of Myrrhn that were uninhabited save for vermin, monsters, and worse. Bounty-hunting and treasure seeking mostly. It was a dangerous way to live, but potentially lucrative.
“I do, actually,” I said. “Why do you ask?”
“Do you remember the sunken temple?”
“The one with the Kraken?” I made a sour face. We lost friends that day.
“I think I understand what the cult was about–“
Questions flooded my mind. We never found out what the cult of the Kraken was doing in that sunken temple. It was a sore point with me still. I could still remember that first tentacle shooting out of the water and the chaos that followed. I was about to ask Git what he was talking about when the Guide suddenly halted. Her hand shot up, signalling us to silence. We stopped.
The Guide turned back to us. She looked us both in the eye.
“This is a close as I will take you.” she said, “You know what this place actually is, right?”
“Yes, we are not here to make a donation sister,” I said, patting my axe.
“I don’t want any part of it.” said the Guide, putting up her hands. “Rarest Reds is down that tunnel right there. If I don’t see you by second bell, you are on your own.”
I nodded. Git followed me down the tunnel. There were no lights, but both Git and I could see well enough in the dark of the undercity. As we closed in on the shop the smell of blood became stronger. Other scents tickled my nose and I paused, putting my hand on Git’s shoulder as we caught sight of a figure just ahead of us.
“Murder-wight!” I hissed.