Well, not quite an army, but a good number of troops at any rate. Dusting myself off, I notice that the troops are wearing the orange and black colours of House Mateus. The Captain of the detachment is engaged in conversation with the lady with whom I fought beside. Standing off to the side are a pair of golden Dragonborn, one of whom seems decidedly young and excitable. The older one looks like someone I'd rather not have for an enemy, I can only surmise he's her guardian.
Well there's a turn up for the books – seems I've unwittingly aided in the defence of nobility. The Captain shepherds the other combatants together, inviting us to the palace. Not as prisoners, however I get the feeling it's one of those 'offers you don't refuse' kind of invites. I beg a few moments to check on my donkey, Ed, who is completely unmoved by events. Good donkey, that. And off to the palace we go.
The Daimyo of House Mateus is called Olmek, can't say I know much about him other than he's reputed to be one of the fairer Daimyos around. We head to the palace with little in the way of conversation, well except for the younger Dragonborn who talked enough for the whole army (yes I mean the army this time.) In short order we're ushered in to what would seem to be the throne room, the last place I expected the tasting paddle of the Yellow Wand to take me tonight.
We are not kept long when an older golden Dragonborn walks in, accompanied by the younger Dragonborn. In what I know is a breach of protocol, the older Dragonborn comes down from the throne to greet us in turn, introducing himself as Daimyo Olmek, and thanking us for saving his daughter, Lyra. Lyra's bodyguard, although he is not referred to as such, is introduced to us as Sunga. it's under these circumstances I learn a little about the others.
The lady with the propensity for flinging vials of fire is introduced as Gytha Lin. She looks to be human and I take an instant liking to her. She certainly proved she knows how to handle herself in a tight situation. Carrying a bow and a quaterstaff, her choice of weapons are the same as my own.
Wait, are we allowed weapons in the presence of nobility? Oops, let's not draw attention to that, play it cool.
Moving on, the gentleman I've nicknamed 'Shark' in my head introduces himself as Jace Vas' Hyperion. He's a bearded, gray haired man with inquisitive eyes. Whilst he carries more swords than seems necessary, it doesn't take long to realize that whatever power he holds lies in a deck of unusual cards which are strapped to his side. Interesting.
The next to be greeted by Olmek introduces herself as Rhododendra 'Den' Hillfoot, the halfling who I recall is quite adept at dancing on the heads of monsters. Still in her performer's clothes she never the less exudes an aura of competence and calm and I've seen what she can do with the rapier she carries.
Rounding out our band is Alilyasa 'Alyssa' Silverkin. To my eyes she looks like a half-breed. I haven't much experience with half-breeds, but people are people to me so it doesn't really bother me as much as it might others, I mean not like they chose to be born that way. My fellow elves can be snooty lot and humans downright hostile to half breeds, which make no sense to me. While not visible, I know she used a few daggers in the fight. More obvious is the lyre and the flute she carries.
Back to Olmek, excuse me, Daimyo Olmek. He's more than a little surprised to find that this merry band are strangers to one another, apart from Alyssa and Den, who perform in the same troupe. Excusing himself to other matters, Daimyo Olmek invites us to dinner. I mentally file that under "invite you don't refuse," and readily accept, as do the rest. With that, we're escorted to individual rooms where, for me at any rate, a heated bath awaited along with attendants and clothing suitable for dining with nobility.
Dinner turns out to be splendid, as befits nobility. Lyra is irrepressible and has taken a shine to Gytha and Den in particular. Throughout dinner we learn that Lyra is the last of Olmek's offspring in the city. His sons are training with the army and the older daughter is married and with her husband. Dinner is coming to a close when a senior golden Dragonborn enters, beckoning to Daimyo Olmek.
She must be important to beckon over a Daimyo. Observing unobtrusively, the senior golden Dragonborn seems to be firmly delivering news to the Daimyo which makes him uncomfortable, if I'm any judge of Dragonborn mannerisms. Nodding unhappily, Daimyo Olmek re-joins us at the dinner table.
To round off the trilogy of "invitations you don't refuse" for the evening, Daimyo Olmek lays it out for us in simple terms. Lyra needs an escort, the senior golden Dragonborn is convinced that we five are the ones for the job. How do we feel about being retained to escort Lyra and Sunga, a job that will take weeks by sea or months by land depending on how we choose?
Life suddenly got a lot more interesting.