Ivaris - Chapter 6 by Jennifer Raney

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SUMMARY: Ivaris and Seroan begin their journey to discover the truth.

The capitol of Houvet is ____.

A charming little city called Suone. It was actually smaller in size and population than Tuiran, but was obviously very central to the empire. The government buildings were built of lovely granite and marble, and had been well cared for over the ages. We arrived there three days after leaving Tuiran; the chilly rain and mud slowed us down a bit along the way, but once we found the paved main road to the capitol we made good time.

We were becoming increasingly concerned about each other's involvement and welfare, thanks to our journey together. Our relationship grew very strong during our travels, and it's not hard to imagine how desperately we wished to protect one another. As such, we had decided that our plan would be not to return to Enora until we at least had some more information about what was going on - enough information to (hopefully) protect our lives when the time came.

Rory suggested we start in Suone and seek out a few of his associates who might have some leads for us. I never did gain a complete understanding of what exactly Rory did for a living. Certainly ‘The War Cry' was a very successful establishment, but even with my lack of real-world experience I had come to the conclusion that Rory was a busy man in many industries other than pub ownership. These associates of his were now our main focus – he had assured us that although they may seem hostile or unwilling, the fact that he wished us well should be enough pull to gather some important information.

The first ‘associate' was the owner of a little antique shop in the tourism district. Seroan referenced the city map Rory had given him, and we wandered along looking for the address scribbled on it. We found the shop finally, down a quiet little cobbled street several blocks away from the main hustle and bustle of the tourism. By this time much of the storm had passed through, and we were even blessed with some blue sky and sunshine. The face of the building was very quaint and old looking, with dusty display windows and a rickety front door.

We settled our horses outside and I asked Rikash to vanish and come inside with us. We entered, the little bells attached to the door tinkled pleasantly to announce our presence, and Seroan introduced himself by his alias to the woman at the counter.

"Good morning, miss," Seroan greeted the woman pleasantly. She looked up from the items she was cleaning to consider the young man approaching her counter. I wasn't sure if this was the person we were looking for or not, so I just stood a step behind and tried to look friendly.

"Good morning, citizens," she replied, "What can I help you with today?"

Apparently Rory had given Seroan some code phrase, "I need help locating a particular rook," he said significantly. I was puzzled for a moment until I remembered a lesson from symbology class. Very often code phrases put emphasis on a word that didn't quite fit, but rhymed with another word that would spring to mind and would indicate something different.

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