The Wise Horses inn lay just outside the mountain face, near the inner gate, sign swinging in the lazy mid-summer wind. A few citizens from the outer quarter were sitting amongst lazily spread tables, clinking glasses and merry music bleeding out into the streets. A guard in thin studded leather armour leaned against the doorframe, pulling at his neck, droplets of sweat glistening on his brow and a plated hand resting lightly on his sword hilt. His eyes scanned the thin trawl of passers, glancing disinterestedly at Runebrace as she moved past, entering the inn. Pushing the door open, music blared out, the band playing to the happy crowds gathered by the stage. The barkeep, clothed in red shirt and a dark-tanned leather vest, showed little interest as she pulled up a stool and dropped two coppers on the bar. A glass of sloshing amber liquid slid to her awaiting hand, a crisp piece of paper stuck to the hollow base. Nestling the drink for a moment, she felt the familiar raised dots on the paper, rereading it twice before screwing it up between thumb and little finger and downing the strong-scented drink. Pushing the glass away, she slipped the paper into an inner pocket and made her way back through the bustling inn, eyes searching the crowd for potential rats.

A scrawny man in ill-fitting worker’s clothes, tucked away in the corner away from the door caught her eye and the spark of panic and recognition gave him away instantly. Hastily rising from his seat, he dragged himself across to the privies at the back of the tavern, veering right at the doors to sneak out through the kitchens. Runebrace caught him barrelling out the back door, tripping his foot and sending him sprawling into the murky puddled cobblestones. Before he could pull himself up, a long, thin blade caught at his throat, holding him in place.

“Hamett.” She said, left hand steady with the dull ebonsteel blade. His eyes were stuck to its edge, straining to make it out in the fading light save for where the torchlight caught an edge.

“High Hunter please…”

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