FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 2 Part 4d

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 2 Part 4d

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Mokha woke slowly. Other than a line of greyish light from under the door, his room was dark. He lay there for a while, languishing in a relaxed warm feeling he did not typically have first thing in the morning. After awhile he came to the realization he was still high. He rolled onto his side and pulled his blanket up snug, maybe he could fall asleep again.

His mind drifted and he was vaguely aware of the sounds of household activity. Half awake his mind wondered in diverse directions, eventually his thoughts floated around to the fact he was supposed to meet Adwin today. He startled to a more wakeful state and sat up. Yawned. Stretched. Looked around his room in the dim light.

His small room did not have a window, he lit a couple of candles and slid out of bed. He took a couple of moments to sort through some of the clothing laying in disorganized piles around his bed. He separated his outdoor wear and piled it with his satchel near the door. As for the rest of the clothing, anything that smelled unpleasant of had any crustiness to it, he threw on the bed. Items that passed the sniff test or were absent of obvious stains he tossed in front of his small wardrobe. When he had completed that task he dressed. Stripping his bedding he bundled up his dirty clothing and was surprised by the amount. With some difficulty he manoeuvred through the door, along the narrow hallway of the servant quarters and down the stairs into the main workroom off the back of the house.

Surprisingly there was no one around. He listened for a moment, heard little to indicate there was much going on in the manor and headed towards the sound of singing. As he passed the laundry and bathing room he was surprised to find it empty as well, but he did leave his pile of laundry there. Whoever was singing had a nice voice, as he came closer he joined in on the song, harmonizing easily. A moment later he found the cook’s main assistant in the pantry. She was smiling as she sang, and together they finished the ballad, leaving them grinning at each other when they were done.

Mokha was unsure of her name, but he said, “You have a beautiful voice, I’m surprised I’ve not realized that before.”

Still smiling she returned most of he attention to the contents of the pantry and said, “Mistress Thelvenni has strict rules about not singing, ‘servants are not to disturb, they are to serve’.”

“Then am I to assume the Mistress is out?”

“The family and most of the staff have left. Off to the country estate. I’d imagine they will be absent for the better part of a month.”

“Already. Well, that happened sooner than I had assumed.”

“They had to leave earlier than they wanted to. Hiring an airship for transport is pricey and there are not that many available.”

“Well then, who do I see about getting some laundry done?”

“There’s not many of us here. I’m more or less in charge while the others are gone.”

“More or less?”

“Well, the groundsman is more senior, but he tends to stay in the garden house through the winter months, he’s not much for people.”

“How many of us are left then?”

“Other than you, I and the groundskeeper; two lads from the stables and two of the younger girls in the house.”

“Oh. They took a lot of the household with them.”


“So is anyone doing laundry?”

“I gave everyone a half day off, someone might find time tomorrow.”

“Oh. Okay.” He heard the midday bells sounding across the city. He was late to meet Adwin.

“Something wrong?”

“I’m late for a meeting with a friend.” He started towards the kitchen door.

“Hey, Mokha.”

He paused, “Yes?”

“My name is Calathy, in case you did not know. Will you play for us while everyone is gone?” She had a friendly, hopeful smile.

“Of course, Calathy. I’d love it if you sang with me.”

“That would be great.”

“Alright,” He returned the friendly smile, “Bye.”


He was out the back door and making his best pace to meet with Adwin, unfortunately the streets were fairly slippery so running was not an option. He had also left his winter clothing in his room. After a few blocks he found a small carriage for rent and hired the driver at double the standard rate. When he finally arrived at the diner he was nearly an hour late. Thankfully Adwin was a patient fellow and was just inside the entry watching the water clock.

Adwin looked up, “I was beginning to think you had forgotten about our lunch date.”

“Oh, are we dating now?”

Adwin blushed, “You know what I mean.”

Mokha laughed. They were soon shown to their usual seat, Mokha ordered breakfast and Adwin ordered some fish soup and fried bread.

Adwin started with an apology, “Sorry I had to cancel out last get-together. Work has been a lot this past eight-day.”

“No worries. I ran into Tipper yesterday, near the university.”

“Oh?” There was a note of sadness in Adwin’s voice.

“Yeah, she has a job now, as a guard.”

“Yeah, I heard.”

“Best news off all though, I found a place were we can get together over Yule.”

“Oh, that’s good. Where were you thinking?”

“The Greensly Manor, where I’m employed. They are away for the next month.”


“Yes. Most of the servants went with the family, somewhere in the Eastern March?.”

“Well, that’s interesting.”

“Any idea if your boss is going to give you the holiday off?”

“I think so. The new office is nearly ready and she’s selected the rest of the team.” He said it without much enthusiasm.

“New team?”

“Yeah, I was promoted and put on a special project with my boss, Addath. Our new job is to acquire certain properties that are presently held by the Fingures.”

Mokha thought that was pretty ironic and chuckled, “Imagine.”

Their food came and Mokha realized he was famished. They ate in silence for a while.

“Tipper also said we should each invite someone over to spend the Yuletide with us.”


“Yeah, I think that was my fault. But, it does sound like a good idea.”

“I guess.”

“What’s wrong Adwin? You seem pretty despondent.”

“Yeah. Well, aside from the fact Tipper is going to hate me, let me see. Huh. How about the fact that the Fingures have been following me for the last eight-day or so. That’d be a good place to start, one of them even has my hat.”

“Oh, yeah? I had a run in with the Fingures yesterday, Raven and at least one other, who seemed to be a mage. Oh, and I can’t scry Raven anymore.”

Adwin looked worried, “It wasn’t the sorceress I saw in the mirror?”

“No, I think it was a guy, but I don’t know for sure.”

“Well, that means they’re onto us both. It’s just a matter of time before they grab us then.”


“Well you don’t think they’re just going to let us be?”

“No, seems unlikely, but they have to be reeling a bit after the loss of their base of operations.”

“They’ve plenty of places in town. Like many dozen, at least.”


“We’re doomed.”

Mokha suppressed a laugh, “Listen, I think if they were just going to kill us it would have happened eight-days ago.”

“So what, I’m supposed to look forward to being captured and tortured?”

“Well, I don’t really think you’re into that.” Mokha said, trying to lighten his mood.

Adwin just looked at him, unimpressed.

“Listen. Just the fact you saw that witch in the mirror, indicates that she was not likely in the area. Also, there was no immediate reprisals. My guess, is that the loss of their operations centre left them short on resources and leadership. Then there’s the fact the Tannican District is locked down, that means they’ll have difficulties there, but also means they’ll have unanticipated opportunities. Throw the Arcanium on that list too, not to mention the extra attention from the guards and perhaps Bane is being troublesome to them as well.”

“You say all that, but here we are, both of us have been located. Even though the new job has me at a different location for work and lodging, they still know where I am.”

“Well, I don’t know what else to say.” Silence followed, Mokha finished his meal and poured himself another coffee. Adwin sullenly dipped spicy bread into his soup and masticated despondently. Mokha tried another track, “Let’s think about this a bit. You say they’ve been following you for over an eight-day, what were you doing when you first noticed they were tailing you?”

“I was walking Tipper back to the university.”

“Yesterday was the first time I’ve seen Tipper in a while. The mage that was tracking me still couldn’t get past my guard, magically that is. Raven was at a shop along the way, so there was likely at least one other person involved.”

“If we both started being followed after seeing Tipper, doesn’t that mean she’s being followed too?”

“Obviously, but that is almost beside the point. How many people do you think are following you?”

“The guy with my hat for sure and at least one other, a young woman I’ve noticed a couple times.”

“So it sounds like we each have two to three people tracking us. I’m the only one they seem to have taken any direct action against. I’d say it was more of a probe than an actual attack. Likely they were trying to confirm I was the mage involved in the heist?”


Ah, progress. “So, all we really need to do is be more vigilant and avoid moving through the city alone, especially in less crowded areas. We should also get a message to Tipper, make sure she knows.”


“If you want we could get some security, body guards or some-such.”

“Well, the new job has its own security detail, though I think it’s just for work.”

“Well, maybe you can inquire about that. You said the company was going after Fingures properties?”

“Yes. Around the city, some of the major ones, maybe others.”

“So, the trading company wants the Fingures properties. Sounds to me like you have the dream job for the circumstances. How’s it going to work?”

“Well, a lot of legal stuff, much of which I’m still trying to understand. We will also just offer generous prices for any of the really desirable properties. Also, we have two modes of operation, one specifically for dealing with the Fingures and another for dealing with their affiliates, many of which are unwilling.”

“I don’t see why you’re so glum. Seems to me the answer to your problems, our problems, has been offered on a golden platter. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where our enemies are and make their lives difficult. Maybe even get them arrested or have the Roburns security people go rough them up.”


“Oh, for sure. Have you guys started acquiring properties yet?”

“No, not until the new year.”

“Okay, still. So long as we don’t get careless over the next eight-day or so.”

“You really think it will be that easy?”

“Sounds to me like it’s a done deal already.”

“I guess.”

“Great. Lets get a message to Tipper, I’ll let her know about the Yule accommodations as well. I think she’ll be inviting her Professor. Any idea who you want to invite?”

He sighed, followed by a sullen, “No.”

“Come on Adwin, let’s get out of here. You can help me plan the Yuletide festivities.”

“Yeah, sure. I don’t think I want to finish this.”

They paid for their food and headed out into the snowy streets of GreensBridge.


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