GRAND FAIR HARBOR
The big sundial monument in the plaza above the docks read five minutes to noon. Elliot, his eyes squinted in the sunlight, looked out beyond the small piers and beyond the modest group of dockworkers, to the waters of the Allirian Strait. Out there, its backside peaking out just barely from around the reaching arm of a craggy strip of land, was the luxury ship Elliot was set to board today.
On that ship was the Benefactor. Whom he meant to betray. It was not personal, nor particularly ideological. It was simply that there was a grander end to which Elliot aspired, one which dwarfed even his own desire to conclude his "unfinished business" in Dornoch. And to this grander end, it was imperative that the false identity of Darrethyn Ilsendrith be kept intact, and the Benefactor--she who had forged this identity for him--was the only one who could destroy it at a whim.
Elliot couldn't allow that to happen. So an understanding needed to be reached. Cordial--relatively--or otherwise.
And for that possibility of "otherwise," Elliot had called in an old friend. With whom he was to meet at noon.
Elliot turned from the sundial monument and walked back to Grand Fair's modest inn.
* * * * *
For a town with a name the likes of "Grand Fair Harbor," it was a small, cozy place. Even the word town seemed a bit generous of a description, village striking one as more appropriate. The local Grand Fairers all knew each other--it was that kind of quaint place--but even so there were plenty of visitors and travelers. Grand Fair was part of the Kingdom of Oban, situated south and a little east of Oban proper, as part of the small stubby peninsula there (the locals called this peninsula "The Right Thumb," because, well, face the palm of your right hand toward yourself and stick out your thumb. Now look at a map. Looks like the curl of your right thumb, doesn't it?). The village was nestled in the only place of safe harbor--for small boats, at least--among the picturesque rocks and crags prominent along most of the shore. Red clay roofs and white-walled homes comprised the whole of Grand Fair, and all was bright and clean.
One of the Kingdom's little gems.
* * * * *
Elliot entered the inn, the Grayshore. Three tables and accompanying chairs were about the little lobby, the rooms upstairs. But the rooms were too small for Elliot to have the conversation he wanted there. He knew. He'd been up there with his "guest" already.
He walked up to the Innkeeper, an elderly human with a well-put-together appearance. The Innkeeper stopped sweeping. Looked to Elliot inquisitively.
"Can I help you, sir?"
"I need the inn."
The Innkeeper flashed a puzzled face. "But...you've already got a room."
"I know I've got a room, I need the inn."
"I don't rightly understand."
Elliot's hand slipped into a pouch on his belt and he took out a few coins and took hold of the Innkeeper's hand and palmed the coins into them. "It won't take long. Just stand outside the front door and tell people you're closed for a bit. I've got some friends coming."
He saw the concerned look on the Innkeeper's face and said with a slight forward cant of his head, "It's not anything illegal or sordid. I'm just having a private conversation and that's all. You have my word."
His concern allayed, if only by small measure, the Innkeeper posed another question, "So...how will I know to let your friends in, if I'm to be keeping people out?"
"Because they're going to ignore you."
And with that, the Innkeeper, broom in one hand and the few coins in the other, gingerly started to walk to the front door. He opened it and stepped outside and closed it.
Elliot sat down at one of the tables of the lobby. Crossed his legs and his arms.
Siegewright Zilvra Srivani Nysia