Aglaril Cycle:Chapter 07 Heading Home by Rich Feitelberg

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SUMMARY: Evan finds some clues regarding the necromancers' plans.

Dusk was approaching. After Evan blessed the field, he spent time questioning the captured necromancers. They told him little and he did not have all the tools he needed to interrogate them effectively. Even a mage under his command with a spell that could read the past of these men would have helped.

Evan sighed and took comfort that he had foiled their plan. Perhaps once the necromancers were in the hands of other Michaeline priests, his brethren would be able to loosen their tongues. Evan did not approve of torture, but His Grace needed whatever information they could give. Interrogation under a variety of conditions, particularly in the hands of the most zealous of Michaeline inquisitors, usually produced results. Evan found many of these techniques distasteful and contented himself knowing that once his brethren concluded their inquiries the necromancers would stand trial for their crimes.

By the time Evan had finished questioning the necromancers, dusk had turned into a dark sky, tents had been erected, and graves for the dead were being dug. The knights had also searched the remainder of the ruins and the basement. They found the horses the necromancers had ridden into the ruins and inside one of the saddlebags a letter addressed to Jormundan. Lan handed Evan the parchment and the priest read the message.

I believe I have found what we have been seeking these many months. The prize is in the port town of C. I am sailing there now and should arrive in a few days to confirm the stories I have heard. I will rendezvous with you in the town of S.
Sailor's Guild

Evan looked at Lan who returned a blank expression.

"Any ideas what this means?" said Lan.

"I am guessing Jormundan is the leader, the necromancer who escaped. But as for the rest, no. If we take the information we have from His Grace, the prize might be the pearls or amber necklace he alluded to, but that's a guess. His Grace knows Jormundan is associating with thieves. This would confirm that information."

"The town of S might be Stellingham," suggested Lan.

"Or Sapilo or Salven or Sanjem," noted Evan.

"And the town of C?"

"Cordyn, Cooper's Ferry, or Clearbrook."

"So what do we do?"

"Nothing," said Evan, handing the parchment back to Lan. "There's not enough information from this parchment alone to know what our next step should be. However, His Grace might know more. Show him the message. Perhaps he will find the information useful."

"Very good."

"In the morning, I'll conduct a short service for the men who died before we break camp.

"Of course."

"When we reach Wrightwood, deliver the necromancers to Fathers Julian and Thomas for questioning."

"All right," said Lan, "but..." He trailed off confused for a moment then he said, "You've another assignment after this one, don't you?"

"Yes," said Evan. "In a manner of speaking. Once we deliver these necromancers to the Order for trial, His Grace promised me time to rest, although I'm not sure I will have time to enjoy it."

"Well, you deserve it."

Evan agreed. He was looking forward to rest in the quietest place he knew: his old hometown, Clearbrook. However, Evan had another reason to visit the town: Clearbrook was the nearest town of C around and he suspected something might be happening there, something he needed to know about.

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