It comes on a nice warm morning in Earth Season, and
standing outside the Temple of the Air Gods, thinking
of not much
except how to raise some scratch to bet on the next
game. The reason I am standing there is because this
is a place
that many adventurers are bound to stop at on their
way to the
Rubble, and if they are lucky, on their way back also,
such occasions I may be able to make a touch. If they
in, I offer to pray for them for a few clacks, and
in this man's town knows that a prayer from me is
much use as a Mostali crossbow 1, there are always new
adventurers, and every now and then one throws me a
for luck, to pray to Orlanth Adventurous, or maybe
Storm Bull. Of course, I do not actually go and pray
because I know nobody is going to check up. For either
not come back, or if they do they make a nice score
and cannot be
bothered over a few clacks, or they have other things
about, such as broken arms.
I look out for those who come back also, and try to
who makes a nice score, for such persons are often
and I hope to get to them before they feel the bite
too often and
become disillusioned with the whole experience. And I
wish to say
that I do not do too badly, at that, for I always ask
their story first, and as everyone knows adventurers
to tell their story - in fact, the chances are that
the only time
they are not telling their story is when they are
adventuring. At the least they may stake me to a
drink, and while
I am by no means a guy who has to have his drink, I
will not say
no if a drink comes along, and someone else is paying.
I must hear ten thousand stories in my time, and I
figure I will open an advice bureau for adventurers
and make a
mint, but then I remember that they are likely to come
when I am trying to catch up on my sleep, and so I
drop the idea.
Many of the stories are interesting, and even
sometimes there is a good laugh in them, such as when
fumbles so much he takes off his own leg instead of a
Troll's, but of course I do not laugh unless the
thinks it funny also.
As I am standing there, who do I see but Lucky Eddi.
Eddi from around and about Pavis for many years, in
fact, I know
him from before he gets called Lucky. The reason he
has this name
is because he makes his living guiding adventurers in
and it is really remarkable how he always comes back
with a whole
skin, particularly since at first he is the only one
come, back. But this begins to cause gossip which
Eddi's business, so parties start coming back
they may even have something to show for the trip
and bruises, though in such cases nobody is able to
find out what
happens to them afterwards, as they seem to disappear.
adventurers are always coming and going in Pavis, so
give this much thought.
Anyhow, Eddi goes along with his business, and it is
he does fairly well at it, for adventurers are a clack
a dozen in
Pavis, and Eddi is very good at picking parties who
will make it
worth his while, and will trust him, and at avoiding
look to be too tough or too smart. He has plenty of
keeps moving around, so nobody will know where to find
his dough, especially his dough, though some persons
unpleasant things seem to happen to such persons, and
generally believed that Eddi has very good connections
sides of the Walls. He certainly keeps in with the
hard guys on
this side. While it is nothing that Big Nygg nods to
he will nod to anyone when he is feeling good, I once
Wolfhead do so, and anyone will tell you this is
phenomenal. For Wolfhead is such a guy as never seems
feeling good, but is extra-mean, and he generally
through you, and will tread on your toes if you do not
get out of
I do not see Eddi for quite some time before this
fact I hear that he finally decides to retire, but it
seems he is
still in the same old business, for he has a doll with
has adventurer written all over her. Now, personally,
disapprove of dolls being adventurers, because no doll
stakes me to anything in all the years I am in Pavis.
But I am
very careful never to voice such sentiments, for the
any doll adventurer will knock you bow-legged if you
things, and I hear some will do so if they suspect you
thinking them. So I step up and smile very politely at
I get a good look at her, I wonder how she figures to
adventurer, unless she is going to charm anything she
death, for while she looks as pretty a doll as ever I
stands about as high as a stunted Trollkin and does
not look as
if she can deliver a punch that will go through paper.
a cute little sword, and carries a very new-looking
spear, and a
shield that does not have one dent in it, and I judge
has a fair bit of dough behind her, for all her armour
new ringmail. The only funny thing is, she wears a
traveller's hat with such a broad brim that you cannot
her eyes properly. But she smiles back at me very
so does Eddi when I ask him how he is doing.
"I cannot complain," he says. "In fact, I am
really retired, but I come out of retirement to do
"I hear of Master Eddi as one of the most experienced
guides to the Rubble of all time," says the doll, "and
I have to have a good guide, to find my ancestor's
I can see that she is a gabby doll, and will tell me
proposition in a moment, but Eddi shushes her and says
know who may be listening. And indeed, who comes
corner just then but Wolfhead, but he walks through us
all as he
loves to do, paying nobody any mind, and goes on his
doll looks after him and asks who he is.
"That is one of the worst guys in this whole town,"
says Eddi. "But do not worry, miss, because you are
with me; he will not bother us."
Of course, this is nothing but a falsehood, as the
way I hear
it, Wolfhead will bother anybody if he sees a way to
profit by it, up to a Zorak Zoran Death Lord. But the
to believe Eddi, and smiles up at him, and he smiles
back in such
a way that I commence to wonder if he does not finally
fall for a
doll after all these years. Then she says she must go
and do some
praying to Orlanth Adventurous, and I take the chance
to ask Eddi
about the proposition.
"It is really remarkable," says Eddi. "I do not
have to do a thing. She seeks me out and is wild to
because of my great reputation."
"What is this treasure?" I ask.
"She has a chart," says Eddi, "and it is not
one of Treasure Trove Hurbi's, either. It seems her
caches some stuff long ago. I may even look into it if
I get a
"Then you do not figure on going for it?" I say.
Eddi laughes and shakes his head. "Do you think I am
getting dumb? No, she tells me all about her family,
and I figure
they will pay a nice ransom to get her back in one
piece. It is a
pity, because she is really very cute, but business is
My partners and I can always use a little more."
Well, this is really quite indiscreet of Eddi, to be
out details of his business to me in the street, and I
this doll must have him a little dizzy, after all, but
she comes back, and off they go towards the Rubble,
and I think
no more about it.
A whole lot of time goes by and I do not make a
when I move near the People's Gate, which is the main
into the Rubble for adventurers, and finally I am
giving up for the day and trying the grog-shops, when
I see two
persons coming through the gate from the Rubble, and I
one of these as the doll from her hat, which makes her
a walking mushroom. Now this is strange, to be sure,
but not half
so strange as who is with her, for it is by no means
Wolfhead. I am so surprised that I step right up to
them and say,
"Where is Eddi?"
Then the doll takes off her hat and looks me slap in
and I see that she has a pair of very blue eyes, but
expression in them makes me go cold all over. "Eddi
be back," she says. "We make quite sure of that, after
we find out where he keeps his dough."
"You mean you leave him helpless in the Rubble, when
you want is his dough?" I say, somewhat horrified. "At
least you can bring him back alive. What does he ever
"He takes my brother Rory into the Rubble and does
bring him back," the doll says. "My brother Rory is an
honest sap, and will trust anybody, but I love him
just the same.
Of course, I cannot do it without Wolfie here." And
smiles up at Wolfhead, though I will just as soon have
smile at me, personally.
Wolfhead says, "It turns out that Griselda is my
long-lost cousin, and so is her brother, though of
course I do
not know it then, or I will make Eddi hard to catch. I
a cousin before, that I know of, but kinsfolk must
together, no matter what."
It seems he gets a great bang out of having a cousin,
never see him like this before.
"So Eddi's luck finally runs out," I say.
"No," says Wolfhead. "He gets lucky again at
the end there. I do him a favour and finish him off.
Perhaps I am
Then he and the doll laugh very heartily and go off
arm. Wolfhead is carrying what looks like a pretty
but I know there will be no sense in trying to touch
him, for he
is a very hard-hearted guy indeed, whatever he says.
1. A Mostali crossbow will self-destruct
in the hands of a