When Himo and I reached the common room where Hari was snuffing lamps, he looked at the man.
“Wow, you’re sneaky,” he said. “I didn’t even see you come in here.”
I looked at Himo.
“It’s … uh … I slipped past,” Himo said. “I’m interested in a room.”
“He was with this group I came with, Hari,” I said. “Do you have some cold fish and potatoes?”
“Oh, we still got some,” Hari said. “I’ll make some for him.”
“Thank you,” I said to the innkeeper. “I’ll talk to you about it later.”
He gave Himo an odd look.
“I was probably serving drinks and had my back turned,” he said. “You are a wily one.”
Himo ate and went up to his room. I talked for a while with Hari.
“Just between you and me, he appeared in a flash of light in a room,” I said. “He came from another plane of existence.”
“Very interesting folks you’re traveling with these days, Bartleby,” he said.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever had folks like this with you in the past.”
“I’ve never traveled with anyone in the past.”
“Well, there was that one girl.”
“Oh, she was … far too beautiful for me.”
“I’m sure she cost a lot.”
“Now now, Hari!”
We had an ale together.
“What did you find?” he said. “In the room.”
“Nothing,” I said. “Her key. Her key was there and a broach: a silver cloak pin with jade on it. That was all.”
“The door was locked. The windows were locked. Saw no sign of any disturbance. Very strange. How could she leave the room and lock the door without her key?”
“Well, she did lose a key shortly after she arrived.”
“She lost a key? Where? I mean, did she say? Did she say when she lost a key?”
“She had no idea. She just said she would need another key.”
“Honestly, I think it’s her boyfriend.”
Hari described the aquatic elf. He was blue and was an actor and a dancer. I remembered seeing him in the inn before but never saw them together.
“An aquatic elf?” I said. “How long have they been courting?”
“You know, I try not to involve myself in other people’s business, but they do spend a lot of‒” he said.
“Hari. You know everything that goes on in this part of town.”
“Unless you’re a man that can appear out of fireworks, apparently.”
“That’s why I told you about him, so you would know!”
“Well, I appreciate that. I believe they’ve been involved for quite some time.”
“But she does travel and Zabados is a local.”
“Where does he live, do you know? He lives in the lake?”
“Yes, I believe he lives in the lake, the Nyr Dyv.”
“Does he have friends or anyone who might know where in the lake?”
“He has a sister.”
“What’s her name?”
“Her name is Lashandra.”
“Do you know where she lives or is there way to contact her?”
“They come in here sometimes. I haven’t seen Lashandra in some time.”
“As long as they’ve been courting?”
“They’ve been seen in each other’s company for several years. I have not seem Lashandra for … probably a month and a half or two months, which is unusual.”
“Does she often come in?”
“Yeah. People who are blue stand out.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Even if she doesn’t come in here, I do go out once in a while and I have seen her in the streets.”
“You go out!?! I’ve never seen you outside this establishment!”
I laughed and tapped his mug with mine.
“I do leave once in a great while,” he said.
“Well, thank you Hari,” I said. “That’s very useful information. I will let those gentlemen and that lady know.”
I asked if he heard anything else about the two to let us know immediately.
I went up and knocked on Alexiah’s door. She opened it and I saw her for the first time without her armor.
“I’m sorry to disturb you,” I said. “I wanted to relate this information to you. I know that Groth and Fred are both busy.”
She let me in and I told her of what I’d learned from Hari of Zabados and Eloranta.
“I wanted to let someone know besides myself but everyone else is sleeping or busy,” I said. “And I’m sorry to have disturbed you.”
I bowed to her and put my hand on the door handle.
“Before you go, Bartleby …” she said.
“Yes?” I said.
“Do you have any further information on this Zabados or Lashandra?” she said.
I just then remembered Zabados was someone who performed in local establishments. He was an actor and a dancer. I related all I knew to her.
“That’s all I really know about either one of them,” I said. “But I wanted someone else to know in case I … disappeared.”
“Why would you disappear?” she said.
I told her of talking to Groth about Iuz and suddenly Himo appearing, which was why I was distraught earlier in the evening and acting in a manner uncalled-for.
“So, because that happened with Himo, you’re concerned you’ll disappear?” she said.
“Well, I’m just …” I said. “I … I think that more than one person associated with you should know.”
“Just in case. Good night. I apologize.”
I left, closing the door behind me.
It was another bright and sunny day on the 17th of Sunsebb, though quite cold, especially with the wind blowing off the lake. I was awoken by the smell of baking bread. After dressing, I went down for a large breakfast the inn always provided. It included eggs, ham, fresh bread and butter, and ale, mead, or a light breakfast wine. The others joined me. Himo paid with a gold coin.
“Do you have anything smaller?” Hari said.
The breakfast was only three copper coins.
“Unfortunately, I do not carry much coin and last night’s meal …” Himo said.
“Here,” I said. “Here.”
I gave Hari a silver coin to pay for Himo’s breakfast.
“Thank you, Bartleby,” Himo said.
“Thank you, Bartleby,” Hari said.
“Yes, I’m not used to carrying much coin,” Himo said.
“But you do carry gold,” I said.
“I carry a little gold,” he said.
“Which is much coin.”
“I would not consider the gold I carry as much.”
As we ate, I related the information I’d learned from Hari the night before. I asked Groth if he scryed for Eloranta but he told he had not prepared the spell. He said he could do it that day. I suggested going out into the city to ask and he said he’d done his divination spell the night before but thought scrying might not work.
He told us his divination of where she was located only revealed a riddle:
All bridges span the way, but only one has only one.
Twisting vine shades watery grave, where endless work is never done.
“Why would a scry not work because of that?” I asked.
“The watery grave part makes me feel like she may be deceased,” he said.
“You can’t find a dead body with a scry spell?” I said. “I’m asking not because I doubt, but because I do not know.”
He related he could potentially observe her corpse if she was dead. He noted he could do so after his morning prayers. I suggested again he ask about a gate to the plane of fire.
We discussed the phrase he’d learned for a short time.
“I’m going to go about town and ask about Zabados and Lashandra,” I said.
Groth said he was going to a weapon smith to get some masterwork arrows for his divination spells. Alexiah said she was going to the library.
“I don’t want to come off as a greedy individual, but was there any party treasure from that fortress?” Himo said.
“You were with us,” Groth said. “I didn’t grab anything off anyone.”
“Yeah, the one where we weren’t able to save the enslaved dwarves?” Alexiah said. “No.”
“The ogre … um … I forget his name,” Himo said.
“Ahnold?” Groth said.
“I did identify those items,” Fred said. “The pearl is a pearl of conjuring. You can recall one minor conjuration spell per day. Then a robe of anarchic conjuration. It allows summoning from the planes of chaos.”
Himo asked what he should do and Groth suggested he look for rumors or learn about bridges in the area. Himo said he could look for bridges and search under them. Groth asked Fred if he had any use for the cape, but Fred didn’t seem to have an interest. Fred suggested selling it and using it for party treasure. Groth asked Fred to appraise it. There was talk of what to do with the pearl and Turk noted he would like to be able to cast more spells.
Himo asked if there was a temple of Heironeous in Dyvers and I noted there was.
We finished breakfast and parted, agreeing to meet for lunch.
Himo went to the temple of Heironeous and spoke to a priest there, looking for information about Zabados and Eloranta. He learned nothing. He then went to a central market but had little luck there either.
Alexiah went to the library to look for maps of the area specifically for bridges and gravesites. She found maps of the city but they were vague and showed little detail. There were none with bridges. There was information about aquatic elves and she learned they were slender and slightly shorter than humans. They typically had pale, greenish-silver skin and emerald green hair. Their ears were pointed and their fingers and toes were partially webbed. They could only be on land for a limited amount of time – typically about two days. They were excellent fighters underwater and cavorted with dolphins, whales, and other water creatures. They had good vision in starlight, moonlight, and torchlight. They had gills.
She found the blue skin was specific to the aquatic elves of the Nyr Dyv. She asked a librarian how common aquatic elves were in Dyvers and learned it depended on the elf. Most stayed in the water.
She asked a few librarians if they were familiar with Eloranta and Zabados. When she mentioned courting, they said they weren’t aware of any relationship with anyone, though they knew of her. She traveled the Nyr Dyv and sold magical trinkets and items. She was well respected as a mage. They knew she sold items by the docks as she had a ship.
She asked about bridges in the town and was pointed out to the bridge that led to the docks area. It had to be used as there was only one entrance and bridge that connected Dyvers to the docks.
Fred spoke to Hari, the owner of the Roaring Griffin. He showed the man the silver pin and asked if he recognized it. He said he’d never seen it before and never saw Eloranta wear it.
He went out into the city to find out what he could about the pin. He learned nothing. No one had seen the pin before.
He returned to his room and looked through Andunna’s books.
Groth sold the cloak and purchased masterwork arrows to cast his scrying spell. He was able to sell the cloak for 1,500 gold coins.
He then returned to his room and cast the scrying spell to try to locate Eloranta. He was surprised that his casting of the spell was blocked by something. He was confident he should have seen her, but something else blocked him.
Turk went down to the docks and found it spanned the entire coastline of the town. A wall separated the docks from the rest of the city and a single bridge led to the docks from the city. The port was filled with large ships, people working, and the like. He didn’t see any vines on the bridge.
I asked about town for Zabados and Lashandra and learned Zabados was a wonderful dancer and actor who performed at a variety of establishments about the town. I learned Lashandra came into the city on occasion but was believed to be a ranger who defended the creatures in the Nyr Dyv. It was noted she had not been seen in a while though typically she was seen at her brother Zabados’ shows. One person I talked to said they believed the next night was the typical night Zabados performed at the Roaring Griffin. That person also thought he’d be performing somewhere in the city that very night as well but he wasn’t sure where.
I looked for flyers for Zabados and tried to overhear anything about where he would be that night. I finally learned he would be in the Black Barnacle in the Dock District.
We met for lunch again in the common room of the Roaring Griffin. I told the others what I learned. Alexiah related Eloranta had a ship at the docks and other information. Turk related what he knew about the lone bridge that led to the docks. Groth told us of selling the cloak and casting the spell to try to scry Eloranta.
“Fred, we probably owe you for the pearl and your time, so … let me know how much I owe you for that,” he said.
“I’ll take it as a favor at a later time,” Fred said.
“And then I attempted to cast a scrying spell … and something interfered with me … casting the spell,” Groth said. “Not Ellie, but something else was preventing it. It could be multiple things.”
Fred suggested figuring out which ship was hers and investigating it.
I looked at Himo. He told us he asked around but didn’t learn anything.
Fred also noted he couldn’t find anything out about the pin he’d found.
There was some talk about the riddle Groth had learned. Himo wondered if it was an actual bridge and suggested it might be a bridge between the planes. Turk and Groth agreed the simple answer might be looked at first. Groth also wanted to look into Zabados and where he was going to play tonight. Alexiah suggested looking for her ship and then for his performance.
We had a fine lunch.
We headed down to the docks after we ate. I suggested we split up to find the Eloranta’s ship and the Black Barnacle, and then meet again at the Roaring Griffin later. We crossed the bridge that led to the docks.
Before we even split up, I asked the dock master on the bridge for her ship and for the location of the Black Barnacle. It turned out the Black Barnacle was one of the more well known taverns and got instructions on how to get to it. He also told me where her ship was and that it was named the Hare.
We quickly found the Hare and saw it was battened down and locked up. A few men stood on the dock it was moored to, guarding it.
“She’s not selling today,” one of the men said. “We’ve not seen her for a few days.”
“Where is she?” I said.
“We don’t know … but she is a magic user.”
“Sometimes she goes places. We just keep an eye on the ship.”
“Are you employed by her?” Groth said.
“Yes,” the man replied. “We are part of the crew. We drew the short straw.”
“Does she live here?” I said. “On the ship?”
“Well no,” the man said. “No. Well, when we’re on the waters she does, but she’s normally up at the Roaring Griffin.”
“When is the last time you saw her?” Alexiah said.
“Three or four days ago,” he said.
“Is it normal for her to be gone this long?” I said.
“She does sometimes – you know – disappear,” he said.
“Do you travel with her to other locations?” Alexiah said.
“Yeah,” the man replied. “All throughout the Nyr Dyv.”
“Where else does she like to stop to sell her wares?” she said.
They listed several cities that lay on the southern parts of the Lake of Unknown Depths.
“Have you seen Zabados?” I said.
“We did see her and Zabados,” the man said. “I believe he even greeted her before we even made it into port. He swam out and joined us on the ship as we came into port and the two of them left together. I believe that … they do sometimes spend time together and …”
“She just left the ship before you docked?” Turk said.
“No,” the man said. “He is an aquatic elf. He swam up next to the ship. He was actually, at that point, swimming faster than we were sailing. He climbed up onto the boat and the two of them, after we docked, they ran off together.”
“After you came into dock?”
“I think he’s at the Black Barnacle tonight, which really stinks. Unless our replacements come and let us leave so we can go watch him perform. But more than likely on a night when there’s going to be good performers in the Dock District, our shift change doesn’t happen as we would hope, so we’ll likely be stuck here all night.”
“Oh dear,” I said. “That’s a terrible shame.”
“Is there any way you would just allow us to look about the ship to see if she left anything?” Groth said. “Any notes or anything?”
“Is there any way you would empty all your pockets and your bags and let me look through your stuff?” the man replied.
Groth pulled out the coin with the token given to him by Constable Truesil. The man looked at his companion.
“Hey Bill,” he said. “Throw the ropes onto the dock.”
The other man did.
“We’re at sea,” he said.
“I see,” Groth said.
“We don’t have to listen to you,” the man said.
“You realize she’s vanished without a trace!” I said. “She could be dead! We’re looking for clues to try to find her. What’s wrong with you!?!”
“There are people who are concerned about her whereabouts and have asked us to locate her,” Alexiah said.
“She does disappear, sometimes for three or four days at a time,” the man said.
“But we have been officially asked by the city to find her,” I said. “There could be clues in her quarters there. That’s all we ask. That’s all we wish to look for: something that might give us some idea of her location.”
“Will you throw the ropes back?” the man called. “We didn’t know the city had … what is that you’re holding? I’m not familiar with that coin.”
“It’s something the constable gave me as a token,” Groth said.
“That must be something the city watch knows,” the man said.
“Constable Truesil,” I said. “You know her?”
“I have heard of her,” the man said. “But like I said: throw us the ropes. We didn’t know that the city was looking for her. You hadn’t mentioned that yet.”
“I apologize for my behavior,” I said as the men moored the ship once again.
“We were asked to be discreet about it, so we didn’t want to advertise we were actively searching for her,” Groth said.
“Oh,” the man said. “Okay. We’ll keep it a secret. We will be joining you and we will limit it to two people. Trying to keep an eye on six of you could be difficult.”
“Fine,” Groth said.
Fred and Himo went aboard to search as well they could. They returned a short while later, having found nothing. They were allowed to look at the log, however, showing they arrived eight days ago. Eloranta had logged in until a few days before. There were earlier entries where she was not in the log for three or four days.
I thanked the men for their time. I told them if we found out anything, we’d let them know and slipped each man a gold coin, shaking each of their hands. I told them I hoped their replacements showed up.
“Thank you, thank you,” the man said.
I apologized for being so rude earlier.
“We were also rude,” he confessed. “But we were not familiar with whatever you were holding.”
“Fair enough,” I said.
“Understandable,” Groth said.
We found the Black Barnacle in short order thanks to the directions I’d received. Though it was a low-class establishment, it did not seem to be dangerous. A small stage stood on one side, apparently made out of apple crates and boards just to raise it above the rest of the room. Groth suggested talking to the barkeep to see if Zabados was still supposed to appear there and went over.
“Good day, Master Dwarf!” the man there said.
“Greetings,” Groth said.
“Would you like a stiff drink?”
“More on the information side. I understand you have entertainment tonight?”
“Yes! Zabados! He’s a fantastic actor and a great dancer! His moves are erotic and exotic. You will love it! You should bring all of your friends tonight to see Zabados!”
“We might. We might.”
“Have you ever seen a man with webbed hands and webbed feet dance around? His skin’s so blue, it will enlighten you!”
“Interesting. That sounds fine. Have you seen him lately?”
“Ah yes, he was in this morning, letting me know that he will tell the tales of The Creature from the Deep and the man who slew it before his children were eaten.”
“When does he usually arrive?” Alexiah said.
“He will be here about an hour before sunset,” the man said. “You bet!”
“Very well, we will see you tonight,” Groth said.
“I will see all of you here tonight?” the man said.
“Hm! Business is good! Sometimes people don’t come out in the winter.”
I tipped my hat to the man as we moved towards the door.
“You sure you didn’t want to drink something?” the man said.
I turned and returned to the sticky bar, ordering a watered-down ale.
“Tell me about Zabados,” I said.
He told me Zabados lived in the lake but he didn’t know where.
I paid him a silver piece for the drink and he scrambled for change.
“Oh, don’t worry about it, old man,” I said. “I’ve enjoyed our conversation.”
“Ah, I do hope you and your friends come back tonight,” I said.
“Oh yes, we’ll definitely be back,” I said. “I’ve never seen Zabados.”
I couldn’t figure out if the floors in his run-down establishment were sticky or slippery. They seemed to be both.
I left the place and went after the others.
As we walked back to the Roaring Griffin, we again discussed the riddle that had answered Groth’s divination spell. Himo suggested the bridge in the riddle might be the bridge to the afterlife. Groth mentioned the watery grave and twisting vine. He wondered what was endless work that was never done. Turk suggested it might be the work of the dockworkers. Groth thought of a waterfall for some reason. Turk thought we might have a better understanding after we talked to Zabados.
We also examined the bridge to the Dock District but it seemed atypical. Groth mentioned music having bridges and I noted a bridge was a section of a song meant to provide contrast to the rest of the composition. It was used to change the mood and keep the audience alert.
“Maybe we should pay attention to Zabados’ performance,” he said.
“He doesn’t sing,” I said. “He acts and he dances.”
“But doesn’t he dance to music?” Alexiah said.
“I would think so but …” I said.
“It’s still probably a stretch though,” Groth said.
Groth suggested we look for other bridges in the city or look for something or someplace called the Twisting Vine. Alexiah noted she asked about bridges and only the bridge from the docks into the Dock District was the only one that was a singular bridge. I suggested they look at the bridge and I’d go in search of a shop or inn called the Twisting Vine. I said I’d start by the docks. Groth asked about a hangman’s noose as a twisting vine and I said I’d look for gallows as well.
I asked about where to meet.
“I don’t want to eat at the Black Barnacle,” I said.
“Early dinner then?” Groth said.
“Early dinner. Two hours before dusk at the Griffin.”
“Is that satisfactory to everyone? About three hours?”
We all agreed and went our separate ways.
The others went to the bridge and saw small boats passing back and forth so hired someone to take them in a boat under the bridge. They took some time to examine the bridge from below. It was large and sturdy, obviously designed for heavy traffic. They saw no signs of vines or anything else out of the ordinary under or around the bridge. Nothing really stood out.
Groth paid the man a gold piece and asked about vines in the city, especially by a bridge, but the man had not heard or seen of any. When he asked about vines on bridges, he said there might be, but nothing stood out to him. Some houses had creeping vines. He asked about waterfalls as well but the man said there were none. He asked about fountains and learned the Grand Plaza probably had the largest one but even smaller markets had fountains. The man didn’t know of any that were overgrown, though perhaps there would be one in the Dock District. He noted there might be an overgrown fountain in the cemetery, but didn’t know if there was even one in the cemetery.
Groth paid the man and went to examine the fountain in the Dock District but found no fountain there. He passed the fountain in the Grand Market on the way to the Roaring Griffin. It was large with tragedy and comedy faces on it, spitting out water.
After dinner at the Roaring Griffin, all of us but Fred went to the Black Barnacle and managed to secure the last table large enough for the six of us. The barkeep saw me and smiled.
“Ah!” he cried out. “You’ve returned and you’ve brought friends! Thank you! Thank you!”
“Of course!” I said. “Of course! A round for us all please.”
He brought us mugs and a pitcher of the watered down ale. I slid him a gold coin.
“Keep them coming,” I said to him.
“Only a little while and Zabados will be on the stage, performing,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to it,” I said.
“Oh yes, I’m looking forward to it.”
The only other exits besides the front door were the door behind the bar and a door by the stage that led out behind the tavern. I told the others I’d be right back and went out to see where the door from the stage was with the intention of walking around the building.
I was surprised to see a blue-skinned elf in the alley, stretching.
“Hello good fellow,” I said to him. “Might you be Zabados?”
“Ah!” Zabados said. “Ah! My public awaits me! Yes, I will speak with you after the show.”
“Of course. Of course. Well, thank you. I’m Bartleby Grymm.”
“Ah Bartleby, pleased to make your acquaintance. Tonight I’ll be telling the tale of the creature from the deep that tried to eat a man’s child, but he destroyed it.”
“Ah yes. And I understand you dance as well.”
“Yes, I do.”
“I look forward to seeing it. Do you dance to music?”
“I didn’t see any instruments inside.”
“Oh, my friends are coming. I have a friend who plays the lute.”
“Ah, I see.”
“And a friend who plays the pipe.”
“Ah. Very nice. Very nice. It’s very nice to meet you. I look forward to talking to you after the show. Will you join us for a drink?”
“Mm … here?”
“No. No. At the Roaring Griffin.”
“Very good. Very good. I look forward to it.”
“I have a friend who stays there. I need to pay her a visit.”
“Good. Good. Well, we’re right on the way, yes.”
“It’s grand to meet you. I look forward to your performance.”
“Well, thank you. I hope you enjoy it.”
I finished my circuit of the building and found another door and a window which was probably the barkeep’s living area. I returned to the table and joined the rest, noting the food being served in the place was probably purchased from street vendors and then brought in. I told the dwarves of inviting him to the Griffin after the show.
“If he’s such a good performing, why is her performing … here?” Alexiah said.
“That’s … a very good question,” I said. “Because he didn’t seem to want to drink here, either. And this beer is quite … stale.”
“Maybe he just performs in multiple locations … each night,” Himo said. “One night he’s here, one night he’s there.”
“Doesn’t want to wear out his crowd,” Groth said.
“Yeah, but he has a standing … he’s expected to be here,” Alexiah said.
It was a good question and, when the barkeep came around with another round for our table I caught his arm.
“How did you get Zabados to play here?” I asked him confidentially. “It must have been expensive.”
“No, actually,” the man said. “He accepts free will donations here because he knows that most people in the Dock District don’t get to enjoy the arts. So, once a week, he comes down to help the people of this District get a little culture, be entertained, maybe to be taken away from their normal worries or anxieties.”
“He’s a wonderful entertainer and I’m so glad he comes here. It’s the one night a week where I can say there’s a crowd.”
I thanked him and complimented him on his establishment.
“You have such a nice place,” I said.
It worried me when the man paused for a moment.
“Well, thank you,” he said, tears in his eyes. “Thank you so much!”
He probably hadn’t had anyone compliment him on his establishment for a long time.
Shortly thereafter, the back door opened and a man with a fife came in, playing. Another man followed him, playing a lute or sittar with a long neck. It vibrated with a high pitched sound. They played a fast beat.
Zabados came in after that, spinning like a whirling dervish. The entire bar erupted into cheers. He danced for several minutes before stopping.
“Tonight I will tell you the tale of the Creature from the Deep!” he said.
He told a story of a young man who went out on an adventure and was swallowed by a large creature from the depths of the Nyr Dyv. The young man’s father swam into the depths, holding his breath as he cut the boy out of the large beast’s belly. The audience hung on his every word as he gestured and acted and used different voices for the different characters and strange sounds for the creature.
When the story was finished, the musicians began their playing again and Zabados danced once more. He spun and flung himself from table to table, landing on the tables without actually touching the items already upon the tables. The crowd loved it.
I carefully cast a detect magic spell, muttering the story of revealing enchantments under my breath. I matched my somatic components to the music as if dancing in my seat. I saw there was enchantment and transmutation magic upon Zabados and also noticed what appeared to be a map case or something by the door that was magical. The magic of enchantment and transmutation came from the small, cylindrical leather container. I quietly informed the others.
He finished his dance and the musicians came out with baskets to collect money. Most people put in copper coins, but others put in apples or pieces of fruits. Groth put a gold coin in. I put in two silver coins. Each of us put them in the basket of a different musician. They noticed and each man made eye contact with us and nodded at us. I nodded back.
Once the baskets got back, Zabados put the magical case back on his person. He looked in the baskets and gave a silver coin each to the musicians. They divided the copper coins. When he took out the gold piece, he measuringly looked around the room. He walked over to the bar and put it down.
“House ale for everyone!” the barkeep cried out, throwing up his arms.
“Enjoy!” Zabados called out. “Enjoy!”
He walked over to our table.
“My understanding is that Master Dwarf here was very kind and generous this evening,” he said. “I just wanted to say thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,” Groth said.
“We hope that you will join us at the Griffin once you’re finished here,” I said.
“Oh, we can go,” Zabados said.
“Very good,” I said. “Let us depart.”
We left the establishment.