The Bauerson's two sons along with the half-orc Malut worked on freeing the hut from the stilt that was still attached. Looking at the wood, the entire foundation was going to need to be replaced.
Faith and Twila watched their progress, along with Kaja and the handsome half-elf who had appeared with Malut. He smiled at them.
"So ladies, my name is Thysmac Essory. I'm an apprentice. Are you students too?"
"Hello Thysmac, I'm Twila," she stuck out a hand to shake. "I am a student. And I am a destroyer of buildings."
"That might be a useful skill in our line of business," he winked at her. "And you are...?"
He turned to Faith.
"Faith Fayrehold, student," she replied.
"I'm Kaja Bauerdatter and I live here in the village," said Kaja.
"Bauerdatter... not Bauerson? Aren't you Sigmund and Ingrid's daughter? " asked Thysmac, eyebrows raised.
"Oh that, it's tradition in the islands," she said. "Sons are well, son like Bauerson and daughters are datter like Bauerdatter. I think it's a way to make old maids feel bad since they never change their name. Ma's a Bauerson because she's married to Da."
"I see," said Thysmac. "Well, I can't imagine you have to worry about being an old maid!"
Tears welled up in her eyes.
"Well, I just might be one, at that!" she murmured. "I thought I was going to be a Heyton but now that won't be happening."
One huge tear slid down her face.
"Oh, I... I'm sorry, I meant it as a compliment. I mean, you are lovely and you seem sweet..." Thysmac flushed pink and his attempt to flirt just seemed to make her cry more. "I'd better go see how the hut recovery is coming..."
"Oh dear," said Twila, "Don't cry, come on we'll walk you to the tavern."
"No!" Kaja looked terrified. "I need someplace to hide until my eyes aren't red. My family can't see me like this, they told me not to mess with the likes of Lars in the first place. But they don't know him..."
She glanced at her brothers but they hadn't noticed her crying. Faith and Twila looked about for a place to take Kaja until she felt better... it was not like she could come up to their room. Twila always had an ear for a story; she listened to everyone and she found out interesting details in the most unlikely places. She came from a family of well... intelligence gatherers... in House Phiarlan so gossip gathering was a way of life for her. If Kaja needed to unburden herself to someone, Twila wanted to offer a shoulder to cry on.
There was hardly any privacy in this small village though. The fenced in "safe" areas didn't offer a lot of room to roam. Twila looked about for someplace that would make Kaja feel safe enough to tell them everything. Her eyes fell on the slightly ajar door to Heyton's Crypt.
Twila grabbed Kaja's hand.
"Trust me!" she hissed and led Kaja with Faith close behind to the door of the crypt. "In here, just for a few minutes."
Kaja nodded miserably but Faith froze as Twila opened the door enough for Kaja to slip through.
"I'm not going in there!" Faith told Twila. "I won't!"
"It's just a stone building, now go!" Twila gave Faith a small shove through the door.
Faith found herself in a small room with a large iron gate blocking the way into the crypt itself. The building was much larger than it appeared from the outside, carved into the hillside itself. She refused to step forward, standing with her back touching the door and watching the passageway beyond the gate.
"See, it's just a little room, nothing creepy," soothed Twila. "Now Kaja, what's got you all worked up?"
Kaja burst into full fledged tears.
"I can't talk about it to anyone, so you can't tell, Ok?"
Twila and Faith nodded. Twila wanted details and Faith would have done anything to get out of that crypt faster.
"There is... was... a man who lived here named Lars Heyton. He was the last of a long line of Heytons who have protected this island. He's smart and handsome and brilliant and funny and a genius," she trailed off. Her eyes got a faraway dreamy look. Faith and Twila glanced sideways at each other.
"Got it, he's amazing," Twila prompted her.
"Oh he is. And he loves me. He was in a real bad sahuagin fight a while back, saved us all! He always does. I was first to find him, almost dead and spent a few weeks taking care of him. He taught me so much history while he was recovering. We fell in love. We were going to get married, but Ma and Da didn't approve of me spending so much time with Lars. He's a little older than me, you see. I never told them how serious things were. Lars said he had something important to talk to Da about when he just disappeared. Everyone says he's done turned into a cultist like the others... but I don't believe it! He can't be! But nobody's seen him in months..."
The tears started pouring down her cheeks again, but a sudden noise made them all jump. The noise came from beyond the gates on the burial side of the crypt. It was a low moaning sound, an unearthly wail. Faith's hand had never left the door handle and in a split second, she had the door open and had leaped out of the crypt. Kaja and Twila were right behind her.
"What was that?" Twila demanded of Kaja.
Kaja was just as frightened as they were.
"I don't know," she wailed. Then she took off for the tavern. Her brothers had seen the three girls come out of the crypt and followed her.
"I guess she has a reason for tears now, " Twila said to Faith, then her expression changed when she saw how pale Faith was. "Are you ok?"
"I TOLD you I didn't want to go in there!" Faith's expression was murderous. "I told you and you made me go in anyway!"
Faith ran towards the Wavecrest as fast as her legs would take her. She wanted to be far away from that crypt. She wanted to be far away from the reminder that her mothers' dead body was still in Cyre, never decomposing. It haunted her.
"Wow, you're making all kinds of trouble, aren't you?" smirked Thysmac who had walked over with Malut to see what was going on.
"Oh, who asked you, half-human," she spat at him.
"Ah, you are one of those elves, so superior, " he said. "What a suprise..."
"No fighting," said Malut. "Tell us what happened."
Twila told them about the noises without telling them why they were in there in the first place.
"You must be hearing things," said Malut. He walked up to the door of the crypt and started to open it when the wailing started again. He walked slowly backwards, back to Twila.
"I see what you mean," he said.
Just then, a human man with a sour look on his face walked up behind them.
"What are the likes of you up to here?" he asked in a none-too-friendly voice.
"I... we... um... we heard noises," Twila answered him.
"Aye, lots of people be hearing noises from the crypt these days. None of yer business, if you know what's good for ye. I take care of this crypt and there's no explaining the noises that come from deep inside. Now, off with ye!" he waved them away.
"Who are you?" asked Twila, a little annoyed but careful not to offend.
"I'm Jacoby Drexelhand and I'm the caretaker of this crypt. You have no business here, so be off!"