Gideon Legarion’s offer to join his clan back in Narsileon was definitely paying dividends here in Archontos. Callista had been treated as well as a country cousin, which was much better than a slave or a hireling. Still, pumping these powdered, pampered punks for information about Lord Xeno and the were-rats of Macrinos and their possible connections to the Cult of Set was a tedious business. She had gotten a pretty good contact high before she could ditch them for the tea-and-cookies pretentiousness of their elder, Aunt Patty, who actually had useful knowledge about the location of Fermion’s Hold, where the Settites were supposedly shipping their goblin slaves.
Time was moving in a circle, it seemed. Her reason for being in Arden Vul, where she met this odd group of adventurers, was to infiltrate the Cult of Set for Keko. Now events had returned her to a similar position, although the target in this case was apparently named Helena, not Stephania. That was really all the information she had, at this point. The Settites had apparently never made any use of the Jade Cup, and thus her meditations brought her no old-new memories. She had needed to fall back on more traditional ways of gathering intelligence – bribery, flattery, and gossip. Equally effective for rats with and without tails, in the dense warrens of Archontos. She had stuffed every drain near the Farting Goose with the rankest, most expensive cheese she could find, and left the tailed rats with her thanks for guiding them out of the Macrinos dungeons. She was equally generous with the punks of Legarion, though she had no idea what the effects of smoking her expired troll repellent would be.
Now, here she was again, wearing the red silk robes of a dead Set priest, carrying the copper dagger and the red mace of office, wishing she had some henna for her hair. That hadn’t worked out so well the last time, but still.