Hannah, Brynn, and Nabile and the We Hate Hanso Club: Part One
Nabile languidly stared out her window into the courtyard below, while she wondered where Jazan was that day. She really hoped he wasn't tracking Hanso through Qasala's sewers again. Hanso had been a little more wary of hanging around Qasala since Nabile had shown him who the smartest Ixi thief was. She grinned at the recollection of Hanso scrambling out of her trap with patches of fur missing all over.
A sigh boredom escaped her, Nabile wasn't sure why she was so bored lately. She loved Jazan and had always been happy in Qasala. She had the life she always wanted. What more could she possibly want? A child raced by in the courtyard, she was being chased by an older sibling. It brought a smile to her lips as she remembered the chases with the guards when she was a child and member of the Desert Scarabs.
Then it clicked, she was bored because it had been so long since she had any sort of exciting adventure. Everyday had been filled with excitement, and often a little danger, when she had lived on the streets. She didn't miss it or want that life back, but she could do with a little more adventure.
However, there was a problem; Jazan would be against her setting out on any sort of adventure. He was fiercely protective, he'd never let her go off alone. An adventure would be completely out of the question if she had a dozen armed guards surrounding her at all times. As if in response to her train of thought Jazan walked into the room reading a letter.
"Hello, darling," Nabile greeted him.
"Good day, my love," Jazan replied, glancing up from the letter.
"What do you have there?" Nabile asked.
"An invitation from Altador to come to his kingdom, he has something he wants to discuss with me. I think it has something to do with the events of the fall of Faerieland," Jazan sighed wearily. "I don't see how I can say no. Why is it that we can't have any calm around here? It always seems like someone is calling me away from home for some reason or another."
"Or you are off chasing that Ixi thief of your own free will," Nabile teased.
Jazan glowered. "Don't bring him up, Nabile. You know how I despise him."
Nabile laughed and his expression softened as he laughed too.
"Jazan, go to Altador and see what King Altador wants. You'll enjoy it. I'm told the kingdom is lovely, especially at this time of year," Nabile said.
Jazan looked at her. "Are you sure, my love?"
"I'll find a way to keep myself amused while you are gone. Just bring me back a nice present," Nabile laughed.
He kissed her cheek and promised to do so, then left to make preparations to go to Altador. Nabile grinned, this was working out well. Jazan would get that business out of the way, and she would have her adventure while he was gone. Two birds with one stone.
At dawn the next morning, Nabile was waving goodbye to Jazan while her maids were packing her bags for a trip to Sakhmet. She wasted no time having them load them onto her Uni steed and setting off. When she arrived, she was greeted cordially by her cousins Amira and Vyssa. Nabile did not reveal her plan to Amira, knowing full well her subdued cousin would disapprove of the idea and would try to stop her.
Around sunset, Nabile slipped out of the palace and into the streets of Sakhmet, setting out to find Tomos. As she was walking along she noticed an Orange Kougra in foreign armor leaning against a building, fuming. The armor was dark silver and she was wearing a purple cape. Nabile was certain she knew her from somewhere. Curiosity got the better of her and she approached the Kougra.
"Excuse me, miss, but do I know you?" Nabile asked.
"I'm Captain Brynn of Faerieland," Brynn muttered as fast as she could, but Nabile heard her anyway.
"Brynn? Do you mean Hanso's friend, that Brynn?"Nabile asked.
"Yeah, that Brynn. I don't suppose you've seen the oaf? I seem to have lost him somewhere. I'm certain he snuck off to Qasala to torment King Jazan." Brynn sighed. "So, now I'm stuck all on my own to hunt down this artifact. Typical."
Nabile couldn't help but grin. "If it makes you feel any better, Jazan has gone to Altador on business so Hanso's trip will be wasted."
Brynn smirked. "Yeah, actually, that does make me feel better. Thank you."
"What is it you're looking for?"
"I don't know really, just that an artifact of great magical power is here somewhere and I need to retrieve it and bring it back to Queen Fyora for safekeeping. I don't even have clue where to start looking, that's what Hanso was for. He should have been making contact with the criminal element here to try to find out what is being said about it," Brynn explained. "And I really shouldn't be telling you that."
Nabile smiled. "Well, since you've lost your Ixi thief I'll be your substitute until he turns up. Follow me."
Brynn did as she asked, "You're a thief? You can't be. You're dressed too nicely and you don't talk like one."
"Years in luxury will do that to you, but once I was a Desert Scarab," Nabile replied, pulling up her sleeve to show the tattoo.
Brynn stopped dead. "You're Queen Nabile of Qasala."
Nabile grinned. "I am."
"My partner tortures your husband," Brynn reminded her.
"He does," Nabile acceded.
"You're going to help me in spite of that?" Brynn asked, astounded.
"I am. Did you know that I dropped Hanso in a trap full of Werhonds once? He ran away missing patches of fur, and his dignity," Nabile laughed.
Brynn clapped a hand over her mouth to control her laughter. "He came home like that one day and I asked him what happened, but he wouldn't tell me. You did that?"
"I did. He made my husband wade through the sewers. I think he deserved it," Nabile explained.
Brynn nodded, her grin huge. "He did indeed. Okay then, your highness, lead on."
"Call me Nabile," Nabile replied as they turned to go.
Nabile guided Brynn through the streets of Sakhmet. Near the edge of the city Nabile turned down an alley and gestured for Brynn to follow her. There was a door at the end of the alley, Nabile knocked twice, then three times hard, then twice very soft. The door unlocked and the women went in. A group of young Scarabs lounged about the room; eating fruit they had helped themselves to just a few minutes earlier. Nabile didn't know any of them; they must have joined after she left Sakhmet. At the sight of Brynn they all jumped up in alarm and grabbed sticks. Brynn pulled out her sword and put her back against the wall.
"What's all the commotion?" a familiar voice shouted from above.
"Guards. We've been found!" a Pteri shouted.
Tomos appeared in a doorway and looked at Nabile and Brynn. A giant grin broke out on his face. He came forward and Nabile threw her arms around her old friend. He spun her around as he hugged her tight. The other Scarabs relaxed slightly.
"Nabile, it's been too long! What are you doing here? We always meet up on the wall," Tomos asked.
Nabile smiled and replied, "I need a favor. Well, my friend needs a favor. Can we talk?"
"Of course, come on. Don't worry; anyone with Nabile is a friend of ours," Tomos told the Scarabs.
Brynn put her sword away while Nabile took a bag full of coins out of her pocket and tossed it onto the table with a grin. The Scarabs pounced on it as Nabile reminded them to share. Brynn and Nabile followed Tomos up onto the roof. They sat on the wall that surrounded the rooftop and Brynn explained to Tomos what she was looking for.
"Yeah, I heard something about that. The guy who found it was a Scarab. He said he thought he could get a good price for it on Krawk Island. He left a few days ago to go to one of the costal cities down on the boarder to get a ship there. He'd probably be getting on the ship today. Unless he got a ride with a caravan, in which case he could have gotten there days ago," Tomos told.
"What do you know about the artifact he found?" Brynn asked.
"Not much, only that he was sure it was pretty powerful. Apparently he managed to vaporize a tree or something with it. He was scared of it, but he didn't want to throw it away because he was certain someone would pay top dollar for it," Tomos replied.
"Why Krawk Island of all places?" Brynn pushed.
"I don't know. I would have gone to Mystery Island, Faerieland, or Neopia Central to sell something like that. He always dreamed of sailing on a pirate ship. Maybe he is hoping he can use it as his ticket onto some crew or other. I'm sorry, Captain Brynn, but that is all I can tell you," Tomos said.
Brynn nodded and thanked him. They went back downstairs. The other Scarabs had vanished. Tomos and Nabile said goodbye and they two women stepped back outside and hurried away.
To be continued...