Kalvenor had revived everyone in the party by the time Faith was finishing her conversation with the scrag. They all watched in amazement as the giant eyelids slid shut and the troll started breathing the deep, regular breaths of one who is asleep.
Quietly, they all backed down the long ramp and climbed the ladder up to the next level.
"You did it!" squealed Twila, giving Faith a hug. "You've saved us from a Xoriat invasion!"
"We all did it," Faith blushed. "I just talked to him."
"You did fine work there, lass," Ardan congratulated her.
The sun was coming up, warm and bright as they climbed out of the sewer. They returned to the village to tell the tale of the scrag to Lars and the Mayor. The entire village gathered round as they repeated the events of the previous night and when they were done, the villagers, joined by some recovering cultists, all gave a cheer.
Compel was standing on the outskirts of the crowd. Faith moved to her.
"Were you able to find the d'Jorasco woman?"
"Yes, we did. Not only did we find her, we had to kill Jacoby Drexelhand again."
"Apparently the sahuagin kept their promise that he didn't have to die. He was raised as an undead wight, guarding the catacombs where Drusen d'Jorasco was being held. I believe he's dead for good now... but you never know."
"Did Holman get his message?"
"Apparently, she didn't have a message for Holman. She had a message for Lars."
Just then, the halfling woman and her companion came out of the Wavecrest. She asked a villager a question and the villager pointed out Lars to her. She approached him and handed him a gold scroll case out of her bag. He shook her hand and appeared to be thanking her. She nodded and then she and her companion headed down to the docks. Faith saw them board The Sojurn, Captain d'Thuranni's sea ship.
"We're headed back to Stormreach," Cellimas said.
The three of them had walked up behind her while she was watching Lady d'Jorasco.
"So soon?" Faith asked.
"We have another assignment to take care of," said Talbron.
"You've done well Faith, you have my respect. Feel free to call on me if you should ever need anything," Cellimas told her.
"And pop 'round for a pint or two when you reach Stormreach," added Jeets. "We'll meet again, don't you doubt it."
Faith hugged each of them, even Talbron who seemed a bit awkward with this display of affection.
She found Twila, Kal, Malut and Thysmac in the Wavecrest, eating breakfast to help heal their wounds. The adreneline high of being in constant danger was wearing off and Faith felt exhausted. She gladly accepted the bowl of cornmeal brought to her by Ingrid and sat with her friends.
"You've saved us, you all have," Ingrid hovered near the table for a moment. "Thank you so much."
Everyone smiled and nodded at her. They were too tired to even talk.
Master Garant stopped by their table as well.
"I want you each to know you've earned enough experience to graduate the Korthos Adventurer's Union program. You'll each need to see your respective trainers to have your records updated. You are most welcome to stay here and take additional training, including general lectures, but you are free to enter the open market in Xen'drik whenever you like. On a personal note, you have my gratitude."
With a slight bow, he turned and headed out of the tavern.
"Well, that's good news!" Thysmac was excited.
Kalvenor stood up and headed for the door.
"Where are you going, Kal?" asked Faith.
"Did you hear the warforged? We are graduated. I'm going back to Stormreach. I need to get on the ship before they fill up."
"You aren't even going to rest first, or say goodbye to anyone?"
"Plenty of time to rest on the ship."
With that, he left.
"Well, so much for thinking he liked us," Twila sniped. "What a jerk."
"What are you guys going to do?" asked Thysmac. "Are you staying here longer?"
"I'll be packing up and taking the next ship out as well," said Ardan. "It'll be harvest time at home and my brother'll be needing my help to get his crop in."
"I don't feel ready to leave," Faith said slowly. "There's so much I need to learn. I don't want to go into the city feeling like I'm not prepared."
"Do you realize some adventurers never even come out here for training?" asked Twila. "We are already ahead of the game. Come to Stormreach with me and we'll learn together."
Just then Lars came into the tavern and went to speak with Sigmund. Sigmund shook his hand and clapped him on the shoulder. Lars caught sight of the young adventurers and walked towards them.
"I take my leave of the island for now. I've come to tell you how much I appreciate your help. You brought me back into the world when I was ready to give up on it all. Thank you."
"You are leaving too?" Faith was disappointed.
"Unfortunately, yes. The Mayor and the training school staff will need to finish cleaning up and securing the island without me. I just received a message from Stormreach regarding some artifacts left to me by my half-brother. I must pick them up in person and they are time sensitive. I have nearly missed the deadline by being unavailable," he looked a little embarrassed. "So, I'm off on today's ship."
He nodded to them all and left the tavern. Faith took a deep breath.
"Well, if no one else is staying, why should I?" she said brightly. "Let's go to Stormreach!"
** End Book 1 **