After Councillor Bane had left, Temoth Roburns turned and greeted Addath, “I was not expecting to see you until next week.”
“I thought I’d come in and finish off the report summaries on my active files.” She regarded him with her one eye, he could clearly see the curiosity there.
“Eulla, you’re welcome to close things up here when these three are done the files they are transcribing.”
“Of course, Master Roburns.”
“Addath, come sit down, there are a few things I wanted to talk to you about.” Temoth led her into his office. She closed the door behind her and took a seat.
He used his lighter to start a couple of the room’s lamps. Then he returned to his chair and sat with a self satisfied sigh.
Addath asked, “I’m guessing that went well?”
“Well enough. We’ll see if the councillor can really get rid of the tax. Though he seems very confident he can have it rescinded within a couple of months. So, Master Adwin and his companions were able to get underway without delay?”
“Yes, I was there to see them off. I noticed that Hidge was assigned to the coach. She said something about a vacation.”
“Well, it might be at that, at least for her. But I sent her along to keep an eye on Adwin.”
“Are you still worried about reprisals from the Fingures?”
“Not at this point, no. I sent her more as a guarantee on the general safety of my investment. I like the new eye patch, very tasteful.”
“Thank you. One of Adwin’s companions, Calathy, gave it to me before they departed. I was hoping to retain Hidge as my security chief.”
Temoth smiled, “I’m sure you will be able to find someone local for the job. I felt placing her near Adwin, considering his regard for her, would be a better use of resources. Besides, I can’t let you pouch my best people Addath. You’re going to have to make SkadWind work with local talent, for the most part. I feel I’ve been pretty generous to both you and Master Adwin.”
“Of course you have sir, I did not mean to imply you had not. Though, I think you should know, Adwin is not planning on taking the coach to the end of the line. They are concerned they may have troubles passing through Sharlok’s Hold.”
“I’ve prepared for such a situation. In a few days a courier will be leaving with messages going east. When the courier catches up to Hidge, she’ll receive orders to carry those messages further east and to travel in company with Adwin.”
“Seems like a lot of effort and expense. You must have further plans for him.”
“Oh, be assured, I’m not done with Adwin of Willik’s Hold. Nor SkadWind for that matter. If you want to leverage some resource sharing, then you’re going to let me bring in another couple of security teams and another mage from Maldorn and have them officially be employees of SkadWind.”
“Alright, I can do that. But, I would like continuing access to the file room.”
“I’ve no problem with that. In fact, officially, I was planning on keeping you on the books as a consultant. You’ll receive your usual pay, bonuses and retain your seniority. In exchange you will provide SkadWind’s services to the company on an at cost basis. Additionally, as I said, I’d like to be able to expand security and bring in another mage, which you will be able to use for your own needs. I do highly recommend though, that most of your staff should come from the local population. It will help you retain the good will that Master Adwin has generated.”
“That should work. Out of curiosity sir, now that the properties have been obtained, will plans be going ahead?”
“Yes, Drisby Cardoon, should be coming on, or with, the first regularly scheduled airship of the new season. He and his team will be surveying our available space and he will be designing an aerodrome and a couple of docking frames for us. If all goes well, in three years we will be tripling our airship operations. Not to mention, creating a local market for the sales of the airships.”
“Glad to hear it, sir.”
“Indeed. We should have a drink and celebrate the effort you’ve contributed to getting us here.” He went to the bar and poured a couple tumblers of the dwarven whisky.
Addath accepted the drink, “Thank you.”
“No, thank you. To your dedication.” He raised his glass.
She did likewise, “To the future successes of both our companies.”
“To success.” He took a drink and returned to his seat, “What active projects are you passing off to Eulla?”
“Aside from the Fingures?”
“Well, that’ll be going to the back of the stove for a while. We’ve seen no increase in activity and other than that attempt on your lives there’s been no retribution. I’ll find someone else to keep tabs on the situation, but I’m pretty sure the Fingures are done in GreensBridge.”
Addath looked unsure, so he asked, “Do you have new information? Or concerns?”
“No new information. Though we know the woman, Raven, was never captured nor were a few of her known associates. Additionally there’s the fact that a few of them escaped custody. There’s also reason to believe that a significant amount of their operation took place in the Tannican District. Most likely involving the smuggling of Shadow Essence and slaves.”
“Well, those sound like issues for the Arcanium and the city guard. On that subject though, I did hear a rumour that the situation in the Tannican District will be resolved shortly. I know you have a number of contacts over there and it is our main source of Tannican luxuries until we can reestablish trade with Rogh Mohk Talh.”
“I’ve already made arrangements to have our business redirected to Naskohn.”
“Still, I might take a crew and sneak over some night soon, I’m sure I can leverage that information.”
“Great. What else do you have open?”
“Couch and Courier, Eastern Line. We’re still stuck with Sharlok, though all reports indicate he will be expanding his borders this campaign season.”
“We need to get that done. The money we are getting from the military and associated contracts are too valuable to lose. As is anything we’d be able leverage from them in the future. I’m hoping Adwin might be able to help us with some of that, he is from that area. Do you have any suggestions as to who we should have lead? I’m not comfortable giving that to Eulla.”
“What about Mr Hollen?”
“Kite Hollen, our eastern field operative?”
“He knows Sharlok, and the areas beyond, better than anyone else.”
“He’s a bit heavy handed.”
“Well, that might be what we need. If Sharlok decides to advance cautiously or diverts the money we loaned him for road improvements to his military that will only delay us further. I’d suggest putting Kite in charge, freeing up some of that military money and whatever we can spare from the kryl weaponry, maybe even dedicate an airship to supporting the mission.”
“Well, there will not be any airships available for the first half of the trade season. Most of our fleet will be busy between here and Maldorn helping Councillor Bane deal with the predicted worker shortages due to the upcoming conscription. I think you are right though, I’ll get Kite to handle that for us.”
“The only other major project I have open is the Arcanium file. Other than the inroads we’ve made over the winter, by working with them against the Fingures, I’ve nothing new to report.”
“Well, we knew from the start, that one was going to be a long game.”
“Other than a dozen or so of the lesser projects, I think we’ve covered the important stuff.”
“Alright, so get those reports updated, most of it will be going to Eulla. We’ll give Kite the Eastern Line. Also, if Bane comes by to see you, make sure he gets a good deal on any of East District properties he’s interested in.”
“Sure, I can do that sir. Was there anything else?”
“Yes, one more thing. I want the lawspeaker Adwin hired on payroll with the company. Can you reach out to him?”
Addath paused, “I can sir, but I’m not sure that he’s the type of man you are looking for. He also just signed on with SkadWind.”
“He’s good enough for you, but not for the company?”
“Well, let’s just say he’s not favourably disposed towards Roburns Trading Company and he’s the sort or man who favours the Foreign Agencies Tax Measure.”
Temoth frowned, “Well then, hang onto him for now. Hopefully we can find ways to change his disposition over the next year or so.”
“Very good, sir. I should get back to SkadWind.”
“And, I have a number of letters to write that need to go out with the first airship. Have a good evening Addath.”
“You as well sir, thank you for the drink.” She left, quietly shutting the office door behind her.
Temoth stayed at the office, late into the night. He drafted a couple of letters that would be sent to various contacts of his in Maldorn. The first airship out of GreensBridge would be departing within days, once his air-mage told him the weather would be clear enough. With a large influx of Maldorn nationals into the city he could afford to bring in more operatives, within months he would know what was going on at the East Docks better than Corvern Bane himself. He also took the time to write a private letter to his wife and family, to advise them that their trip to GreensBridge this year would be pushed back, possibly cancelled outright.
The coming siege would offer plenty of profitable opportunities, but a city under siege was no place for his family.