Cyan Serpent - Part 1 (Part 1)Mature

Grimmshaw was a lot more foggy than Griever had ever seen it. 

He strode down the street, waving to those he could make out through the thick fog veil and pondering how this much fog could accumulate in a town out in the middle of the plains. It wasn't impossible, he guessed, just improbable based on the usual weather patterns. Beside him, Kate watched suspiciously. Perhaps she had thought the same about the fog?

'I don't see how it's that surprising,' Bash said, 'From what I can gather it is possible and odd weather patterns are actually common. It's a weird thought, to be sure, but no less true.'

'I just have a bad feeling,' I told the Gear. 'By the way, you almost had five minutes of silence. So close to that next compliment.'

'Bah, I care not for your compliments if they cost me my pride,' Bash retorted, sounding annoyed, 'And your gut? How dull. I was hoping you would say something about a hypothesis or something. A feeling in your gut is hardly reliable.'

Griever ignored the Gear and headed to a pub he saw nearby. Kate followed, though she made a bloody point to sigh as she did. Woman probably thought he was just wanting a drink or something. Pubs were more useful to Griever as information hubs, though. 

The pub, a small but nice place called the Hog Heaven, turned out to be decently occupied. Some twenty odd people sat throughout the place. A few small groups spoke among themselves and a game of cards was going at yet another table. A nice atmosphere, though the lack of women made it less pleasant. Well, unless you counted the one serving girl who was preoccupied by some larger herder men. 

"Not worth the hassle..." Griever muttered, then took a seat at the bar. Kate did likewise, gaining a few looks from across the small pub. The barkeeper, a large jolly man with a balding head, looked particularly pleased at her presence. But one look at Griever made him forget about her entirely.

"Well, I'll be..." John Beamston whispered loudly, "If it isn't the Bloo- er, Leo!"

Griever waved, pointedly ignoring Kate's questioning glare, "Been a while, John," Griever said with a smile. John had been the barkeeper for almost eighteen years and was a good friend to the White Boar commanders. He was a good man.

"Have a good day!" John called to a leaving patron, then focused on Griever once more. He leaned in and spoke in a low tone that only Griever and, through heightened senses, Kate could hear. "I heard the White Boars turned traitor and were wiped out."

"You know that first part isn't true, John," Griever growled softly, "And that last part... Well, I wish it weren't true..."

"So Augy and Falke are...?"

Griever nodded. "I... saw it with my own eyes. We were tricked and led into an ambush set by Droil and the Abysman. I'm the only one left."

John sighed sadly and poured a large drink for Griever and, after a moment, got one for Kate as well. She drank it slowly, staying quiet. "I was afraid of that, though I can't think of who might actually believe the Heroes of the Abyss War were traitors."

Griever shook his head in agreement. "We worked hard for the coin, honestly, but we never betray our employers or our home kingdom." He glanced at the room, spotting several men watching Kate, their conversations all but gone. "Has Grimmshaw gone dry in the female compartment?"

John shook his head. "Nae, just been a few women murdered in the last month has most of them scared. Say it's a ghost killer since it only started when the fog rolled in."

"Been meaning to ask about that," Griever said while watching the men in the room carefully. Depravity was plentiful in their eyes. "This fog doesn't seem normal."

"Aye, it doesn't," John agreed. He pulled the empty glass from in front of Kate and started washing it. "It came just about when the new Marshall arrived, oddly enough. Seems to want to linger, too. Goes some days, but always returns the next day."

'That is particularly odd,' Bash suddenly said. 'I think we might be dealing with a Gear after all. This is just too coincidental.'

'I agree,' Griever thought, spying a new figure in the pub's doorway.

The End

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