The door opens

A moment later, the stone door opens outward, letting in light from several
lanterns.  A scribe enters the room, flanked by two guardsmen.  The scribe
is a middle-aged, bespectacled man with thinning hair and a nervous attitude.
He carries a scroll and a quill, and wears thin robes.  The guardsmen are both
wearing chainmail and are armed with broadswords, sheathed.  They bear the insignia
of the Tix regular army.  One holds a lantern, the other has his hand on the pommel
of his sword, and glances continuously about the room, giving the most attention to
Aurel and Quill.

The scribe steps forward nervously, and addresses the group of you, "Good
morning, gentlemen.  I hope your night was not too unpleasant.  My name is
Wilfred, and it is my humble duty to gather your names.  Be assured, I don't
really care whether you give me your real name or a false one, I merely need
something by which you may be addressed.  Let's start with you, sir."  He 
moves closer to Aurel.

"I am called Aurel, scribe.  How much longer must we endure this imprisonment?"

Wilfred responds, "We have been working as quickly as possible -- your group is
among the last to be seen.  If you'll step outside, the officers are ready to begin
interviewing this room right now."  Wilfred quickly jots down something on his
scroll, presumably Aurel's name.

Aurel glances around the room at the rest of you, then peeks out the door.  
Finally, ensuring he has all of his things, he steps outside, and is escorted
down the passageway.

"Now, how about the rest of you," Wilfred asks, quill pen ready to complete his

At the entrance of the scribe and his flankers, Kai betrays little
surprise, an eyebrow raises and his head moves just enough to keep
Winfred and Aurel in eyeshot as he follows the exchange.  With action
smooth enough to seem casual, he rises to his feet, spinning the chair
on one foot around to square up in its place at the table's head while
executing a slight bow in the direction of the former, intoning "kai
larsen   which ye may spell as ye like  though i might not advise the
same of our good gwar"

This said, and nothing more, he moves smoothly after Aurel, a soldierly
nod in the direction of each guard as he passes.  No glance backward to
his cellmates or the cell itself does he give...

Awaiting a brief pause Manon then raises and states " Count Manon 
Ehron is my name. And I would like to be treated according to my 
status" Pointing towards Beren, "and this is my squire Beren 
Halfhand" With this the count sits down once again.

Folding his arms, Kirion Mandrake says "We honour Kirion....our name
is Kirion.  We are hungry."

When Kirion mentions that he is hungry Manon suddenly remembers
something. Before Kai leaves the cell, and hopefully early enough 
so Aurel also will hear, he calmly says "Ohh, I almost forgot. You 
all who are not spies," taking a brief pause to look at the scribe 
"are welcome to share breakfast with me at the Rusty Barrel In. When 
all this commotion has ended."

"I am Quill an enchanter."

Quill then takes his things from the bed he was sleeping on and approaches
the scribe. "Could you please tell me why I have been detained in this
manner?" he says in a non-threatening manner.

"I am Gwar soldier".

With this Gwar leaves.

Mac rises from the wall he never seemed to move from. Looks at the
scribe and says, 
"Mac Kodiac. It has been a pleasure meeting all of you. I hope to meet
with some of you at a later time."

With that he walks towards the door and out.

"Kai Larsen...Quill...Kirion, we? - oh, never mindManon Ehron and squire -
so sorry to have caused you this inconvenience, sir.  I assure you it won't
last much longer, and you have our sincere apologies.  Mac Kodiac and Gwar.  
That makes 8 all together with Aurel, " Wilfred speaks as he writes.

All but Manon and Beren have left the room.  To Manon he continues:
"If you will just follow me, sir, we'll get through this formality and have 
you on your way.  Is there anything I can get for you this morning?"  He
ushers Manon through the door, follows after him with a wave at Beren to follow

  In the hall, a squad of regular soldiers awaits each prisoner's exit from the
room.  Two soldiers accompany each prisoner, one in front and one trailing, and
lead them down the hall to an ascending staircase.

As you march up the stairwell, admire the craftsmanship of the stonework, 
which is several centuries old and yet clean and well cared for.  If you have
magery, you note that when you left the room, the mana level returned to 
normal, and you notice that much of the castle's interior glows with some 
secret enchantment.  After passing two landings two other levels, you exit
the stairwell, march down a short hallway and enter a small room through a
heavy wooden door.  You note heavily armed and armoured guards in the hallway,
and about a dozen such doors.  A soldier carrying a staff (magical if you have
magery) gazes at you as you file past him into the small room.  You count
6 heavy soldiers and one mage in the hallway, plus your two escorts.  You
notice your comrades being taken to other rooms along the hall.

Inside, you find the room occupied by a desk and two chairs, and a
tired-looking middle-aged man, who rises as you enter.  He offers you the
chair, speaks to one of your escorts(you hear the soldier tell him your name), and
sits down behind the desk and a stack of scrolls.  The guards remain in the room
behind you, on either side of the door.

The man writes something down on a fresh scroll, then looks up at you.
"Good morning.    Excuse me.  As I'm sure you are already aware, the
Elves have been making threatening manoeuvres with their army lately, and Tix
lies closest to their kingdom.  While we have always tried to maintain peace
with the Elves, we fear that they are preparing to attack, and we must 
prepare for the worst.  Our border patrols have reported large numbers of 
Elven scouts and other parties moving north lately, and we have this evening
already apprehended half a dozen Elven soldiers from within the city."  He
pauses to take a drink from a cup on the desk.  He then pulls out another cup
and a pitcher from behind the desk, "I'm sorry, I've been working all night
and I forget myself - would you like something to drink?  If you're like most
of the folks I spoken with tonight, you fear it's some sort of trick, so watch
this,"(he pours from the pitcher into his cup, takes another long drink). "Now, do
you want something?"  

"Anyway, you're here for two reasons.  First of all, we need to determine
whether or not you are an Elven spy.  We have our methods of doing that, and 
they're beyond my control.  Don't worry yourself about that, unless you are
a spy.  Second, we're looking for information.  As a traveller, you've 
recently been outside of Tix, perhaps even south of the border.  We're looking for
information about the state of the Elven army, any unusual persons you may have
seen while in the city or en route, and any unusual occurrences in the rest of the
land that you may have noticed, as they may be related to the rise of tensions
between Garia and Thessaly.  Let's get this over with so you can go home, eh?"
"Have you been to Thessaly in the last year?" "On what business" etc, etc He asks
about fifty questions about your past travels.

"Finally, have you seen anything in Tix or elsewhere that seemed particularly
unusual, especially anything involving Elves?"

The interview finished.

You follow the guards from the small room back the way you came.  You go down
two flights of stairs, back through the hall where you spent the night, and
finally up another flight of stairs leading to the exterior of the building.
The story continues...
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