Outside the gates

Outside you find a bustling marketplace with a few dozen tents set up.  The
day is growing very hot, and many people are taking shelter in the shade of
the city walls and the tents.  It is about 1330.  After a few moments, you
pick out Mac, Kirion, and Gwar, in the crowd, browsing disinterestedly through
merchants' wares.

Manon dismounts and approaches Kirion, Mac and Gwar in the bustling 

"Well don't you think we should get going? Kai have left me the
message he will wait for a guide named Dax and then catch us on our
way north. I know nothing of Quill."

Manon takes a good look at Mac, Kirion and Gwar to see what they have 
brought for supplies and what mounts they have.

Kirion: No more than when he was in the cell last night.  No mount.
Mac: A large wineskin and a pack, presumably with some food in it.  No mount.
Gwar: A wineskin, presumably some food stowed somewhere.  No mount.

As Manon finishes speaking, Quill exits the North Gate, followed dutifully by
a nondescript man carrying a few of Quill's things.  Spying the group of you,
Quill approaches.

"Greetings.  This is Max," he says, waving offhandedly at the man behind him.
"Are we ready then?"

Gwar looks around and asks "Who are all these people ? Dax AND Max ? We all
need to get together and agree on this plan, whatever the plan is. Most 
importantly food, water, and transportation. We had ideas about this, now 
what are we doing about it?"

As the group is speaking with Quill and wondering who Max is, Kai exits the
North Gate flanked by a large Jade, whom you can only assume is the guide
he was tasked with finding.  They are both walking at a swift pace, and 
Kai quickly spots the rest of you and steers toward the group.  A moment later, he
is standing among you.

It is now just after 1500.

Waving a hand with the thumb up, top two fingers extended as a pointer,
and the lower two at a right angle, parallel with the ground, Kai in
order points to his subjects as he drones out "dax the good count ehron
his squire beren kirion mac kodiak gwar and the quill i spoke of"  Here
his thumb drops alongside his top fingers as his lower two curl in to
touch his palm as he indicates the last man present with "and this man i
know not although perhaps he as belike as quill may answer regarding the
sorcery at work within the gates"

Through out his attention has not wavered from due north an iota, nor
has his pace slowed, pointing out the horses as he steps onto the
stirrup of his own and swings up onto the saddle effortlessly he
continues "there seem to be fewer mounts than i would have guessed which
may be all for the good in this terrain"

Now ahorse, he swings his gaze around to first Manon and utters "are we
prepared to ride captain  there is a magic brewing in the city and i
would fain be here when it manifests" whereupon he swivels over to stare
at quill as he continues "unless you or your companion can tell us more
of its intent and effect that is"

Now Kai's impassive gaze moves back to its original direction as he
swings his mount around likewise and finishes with "if anyone has come
up with a more specific destination let them speak now else i suggest we
move off and choose a better direction when i can feel this casting no
longer  as it seems to weaken as i move northward i suggest that
direction for the nonce"

"I feel it as well. For it does not bode well for Tix. But we should be 
on our way. " Mac turns and begins walking North.

"Greetings, all.  As Kai ssaid, I am Dax.  I am prepared to take you into the
Sssalanar wasstess, but firsst there is the matter of my fee."  He looks 
around the group, his gaze falling on Manon.  "I require 25 silver per day,
a week's worth up front.  Alsso, " turning now to face Quill, "is it true you
know ssomething of thiss impending ssspell, Elf?"

Kirion turns and follows after Mac and Kai, ignoring Dax and the rest of the

Gwar follows the persons departing.
Kai's mount moves over aside Manon's as he leans in close for a private
word with the count, murmering below the normal range of hearing.

Turning from the conversation with the Hawk Manon calls for Beren.

When Beren comes closer to the count you can hear him getting an
order. You are a bit to far away to hear the full conversation but
you can make out:

"Beren, fast ... .. ... inside ... ..... ... .......... ... ... .... 
Kai's ...."

The count then turns back towards Larsen and continues to converse
with him.

Somewhat louder now, but still hushed, as his's horse pulls back to a
comfortable distance alongside Manon's, Kai drones "he requires 25
silver per day and a week's worth up front"

That's 1 and a fourth gold pieces per day! It's like highway robbery.

Mac reaches into his pouch and pulls out 8 gold and 15 silver. Mac then 
walks to the guide mumbles something to the guide and turns North once again.

Beren returns, catching up with the rest of the group who is now outside of
the market area and about a half a mile up the road.  His travois is now
laden with about twice what it was before he left, including another rolled-up

The story continues...
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