Watchman Wayne was frustrated. Violet wanted to persue charitable endeavors like oversee a leper colony or an orphanage. While the ideas were noble, this was not what he anticipated when he married her. He stormed down the docks in a dark mood feeling sorry for himself and hating life. She was not making him happy.
As he ambled through the streets on his patrol, he wondered what he was thinking when he fell for her.
His thoughts were interrupted by an unfamiliar face. A man wearing the attire of the docks district was passing through, but there was something about him that did not sit right. Was he from Silent Gallows Prison?
Wayne raised his voice a notch. “Hey you there, stop!”
The man turned and ever so friendly. “Hello Watchman Wayne, how is your shift?”
“It is well, where are you coming from?”
“Ah, from home good sir, just heading to the Puke for a pint of Screaming Peaches! Me wife is driving me crazy.”
“You live in the docks district then?”
“Of course, lived here all me life! I fought beside you in the civil war for La Longi when Admiral Gryll captured the town. You remember Molly, right?”
Wayne Winced, “ah yes, Molly.”
Sir, I am just doing my rounds and you seem goodly enough, enjoy your evening.”
The man smiled ever so pleasantly. “You’re just doing your job, be safe out here.”
Wayne gathered his manners. “You as well sir, keep your hammer at home, friend.”
“Was a joke, enjoy the Peaches.”
As he walked away, Wayne was puzzled. He knew everyone in the docks but could not place him. Perhaps he wasn’t as sharp as normal today.
He decided to head on down to the Puke. Some things were predictable there. Galvin the Bard was performing yet again.
They never seemed to tire of him and his awful music. Mel was deceiving the young sailors about her forearm tattoo and the little Redhead who would stab you for a little cheese was outside.She always told the locals she was travelling, but she was not going anywhere soon it would seem.
The Puke smelled of vomit, cheap perfume and unwashed bodies.
Wayne ordered rolls and scanned the room. Above all, he listened.
There were a few mercenaries for hire. A warlord named Chandra had brought two dozen men who were spoiling for a fight. Apparently in their home country they lost an important battle and sought to regain their lost honor. They stood out with their white armour, boot knife and unique swords.
Wayne’s rolls arrived. He thought about Violet. He was a fool for being angry with her. He wished she was here enjoying them as well. Taking care of other people was what he did for a living. Perhaps he was angry it wasn’t his idea.
Patrons came and went and the minutes ticked by.
Finally, amongst the hustle of the crowded inn he saw the man he was looking for, drinking with some Carsiolians. He ordered a Pint of Peaches and held it down like a champ.
He stood up wishing his drinking companions a fond farewell. Wayne wondered. Very few locals could quaff so quickly a Screaming Peach and walk well. He pitched a few coins in Galvin’s bucket and departed.
Wayne waited a few seconds to be inconspicuous. He tipped the waitress and passed the table where the Carsiolians were. One said,
” nice people here, seems like a good place to raise a family,”
“Indeed, what a guy, buying us our drinks like that!”
Wayne had been accused of being paranoid and sometimes he was. This time, he knew he was on to something. Swiftly, he made his way outside and caught a glimpse of the man he was following.
Ever so nonchalantly, the generous local walked along the docks. Appearing to light a pipe, the man placed a parchment between two slats of wood on the side of a building and continued on his way.
Wayne waited until he was out of view and opened the folded parchment. It was correspondence to a General Gallio Cordius Ferentinus of Carsiolia.
Wayne promptly arrested him.
He was not a local.
Every married man in La Longi knew about the hammer.