3b (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Thom spat and nodded his head.

“We should never ‘ave let the barbarians take first watch on their own. Should’ve forced them to split up. Then they couldn’t have stolen all the glory for themselves and gotten Ladin throwing silver at them and worshipping their feet.”

Franklin spat his assent. It wasn’t a habit he was planning to bring back to the capitol with him, but in his present company it helped him to fit in.

“If only the monsters had attacked from in front of the caravan instead of behind. Then he wouldn’t have been able to hog them both before we were able to get in on the action.”

“Aye. I wouldn’t doubt that the giant knew they were going to attack. Had scouted them and was lying at the ready instead of warning us.”

Franklin hadn’t thought of that.

“You’re right! He probably even baited them somehow and set the whole thing up. It’s the only way he could have been in the right place so quickly. Now the whole caravan is singing the barbarians’ praises and looking at us in disgust.”

“The Barbarians are prob’ly out there right now rounding up some more ‘monsters’ to try to extort Ladin out of ten times what he offered for return trip protection.”

Franklin had to grudgingly admit that he had underestimated the barbarians, they had just looked too stupid to attempt anything this clever. Well, looks can be deceiving.

“I thought we didn’t want to be on the same watch as them because they stunk.”

Then again sometimes stupid was just stupid.

“Elmo, we’ve already passed that topic and finished another.”

Usually that would be enough to keep him silent for the rest of the conversation. However, for some reason Elmo was unusually talkative today and tried again.

“I don’t think the fires are big enough. The arms and feet are outside the flames.”

Franklin was trying to figure out how he could convey, in simple enough terms, the concept that there was little to no risk of someone stumbling upon the remains of these weirs in the middle of nowhere. Even if they did, they would have to decide, for no apparent reason, to ingest them or do whatever was required to become infected. Certainly there was no justification for delaying the caravan so they could hunt up extra firewood. Franklin was saved the trouble of explaining by Thom’s response.

“Well that hardly matters now does it? You remember old Toras’ necklace don’t you?”

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