Select Page

Lieutenant Gar oversaw his small Tricorn company as they tended to their weapons and a large pile of cudgels. They chatted among themselves, quiet but with humor. Above them a stained-glass mural depicted the heroics of the town’s namesake, Galister. Blood flowed around the hero as he stood his ground against inhuman foes.


Tinged red light fell upon the Tricorn and their leader. Athia stepped into it, up to Gar.


“I need to ask a few questions.”


“Be quick, I’m busy.”


She looked at him for a moment before speaking. “Do you have any ideas on where the thing might be?”


“It’s not here among the company,” he said. “But my guess, it’s either in the Socratian camp or Meyer’s office.”


“Really think that?”


“They won’t work with us, the Socratians. And they show up right as this all begins, wouldn’t be surprised if they still worship the Watcher.” He spat, leaving a wad of mucus on the stone floor of the hall. “And we know It’s in league with the Unseen.”


“You really think the mayor could be involved?”


“It’s who I would snag,” Gar said. “He was already self-important and occupied with monetary concerns.”


Athia folded her arms, watching the Tricorn work. “You two have issues? Why?”


“We both ran for position as minister. He promised nonsense. Less work, less taxes, all sorts of things he can’t deliver and has no control over. Since then, he’s done next to nothing except take in his pay from everyone’s taxes.”


Athia tapped her foot as she listened. “And you don’t like how he’s trying to handle this?”


“Meyer owes money in Olstin. He needs to get paid or risk losing his family lands about an hour up the road. If the city stays shutdown he defaults and loses everything. That’s why he’s so adamant about everyone acting normal.”


“Really think so?”


“Yes, but he won’t admit it. I might be the only person outside his family to know, found out when I walked in on an argument with a collector.”


Athia side eyed him and asked, “what about the Socratians, exactly? What makes them seem guilty to you?”


“How many of our people died to them in the war? They’re not friend of ours and their travels would make it easy for such a beast to latch on to. We’ve had no other troubles.”


“Unless it waited for this opportunity,” Athia said. “It could be among them now, as it could be anywhere, but I can assure you they didn’t bring it.”


“And why’s that?”


“If it was invited, someone here had to do it. If it wasn’t, then the creature found this place welcoming. Meaning the root problem is here. No one else did this to you.”


Annoyance tightened Gar’s face. “Insulting us is surely a good way to begin.”


“You said be quick, so I’m being direct.”


Gar barked something at a slacker, then turned back to her. “True enough. Tell me, how did someone like you become practiced in chasing lurkers?”


“I grew up on the road, my family did all sorts of work, including hunting lurkers. And I happened to have a knack for it. You’d do well to not think otherwise.”

Last Chapter Next Chapter