The night sky held no moon that night, casting the town in utter darkness. The wind was biting cold for such a warm time of year. The townspeople huddled in their homes, beneath furs and blankets. Yet the night was eerily uneventful.
“Perhaps there was no Undead menace,” Caim mused.
“Or they’re still gorging on their previous score,” Emerick replied.
Elkas flared. “How can you say that? They may yet still live.”
“It matters not,” Derek said. “We must still escort these people to Crimmor.”
Vlad was instructing one of the stable hands on how to properly saddle a horse in the style of Cormanthor. “Enough of this talk, daylight comes within the hour. We must be ready to leave at first light. Emerick, go wake the Mayor. The rest of us should start rounding up the peasants.”
By the time the rays of light could be seen playing across the bottom the sky, the caravan was on its way. Roughly one hundred men, women, and children set off down the road, a mixture of fear, sadness, and anger playing across their faces.
“It’s about time I travel in a way appropriate for someone of my status,” Vlad said, patting his horse. “It’s no Elven Courser, but it is adequate.”
“And what status is that, pray tell us?” Emerick asked.
“Why, I’ll have you know I am the son of Lord Vladimir the First; Watcher of the East, and Guardian of Elmwood.”
Arily spat. “A noble, is it? Where are your loyal retainers, your bodyguards, your personal army?”
Vlad ignored the contempt in Arily’s voice. “I was beget of a Human female. When the Humans invaded from Impiltur, public opinion deemed me a threat.” He sounded almost proud of this history. “I am here because I must, and the rest is of no concern to any of you.”
Emerick chuckled. “A lord’s bastard. Explains a lot.”
“And you are no one’s bastard,” Vlad shot back.
They made it to Crimmor with little daylight to spare.
“Here is your pay. These notes are worth two thousand gold pieces anywhere in Amn or Baldur’s Gate,” the Mayor explained. “Just go to any bank and they will exchange these for gold.”
“Thank you, sir,” Caim replied. “It was an honor to serve.”
Emerick snatched a note from Caim. “Who wants a drink?” Emerick said, waving the note in the air.