Hannah, Brynn, and Nabile and the We Hate Hanso Club: Part Two
Brynn and Nabile made their way back toward Sakhmet palace. Nabile thought Brynn seemed worried after learning from Tomos that the artifact that she was searching for was on its way to Krawk Island.
"Thank you for all your help, Nabile. I guess I'm off to Krawk Island. Too bad I can't count on my Ixi thief to be waiting to help me with this. King Jazan is lucky to have a reliable one," Brynn laughed.
"You aren't going to wait around for Hanso?" Nabile asked.
"I don't have the time. This artifact sounds extremely dangerous, and the last thing I need is for it to fall into the hands of a pirate captain," Brynn explained.
"Well, in that case, I want to come with you," Nabile said.
Brynn's jaw dropped. "No! I can't allow that! You're the queen of Qasala, and this could be dangerous. Do you know the kind of trouble that could result if you got hurt?"
"I can handle myself, Brynn! I lived on the streets for most of my life; I took a direct attack from Razul and survived. I think I'm pretty hardy, and I'm smart. I'm dying for a break from the mundane of my everyday life. Jazan is away right now, if I go back to Qasala I'll only be lonely and bored. Please?" Nabile cajoled.
Brynn sighed good-naturedly. "All right, but you'd better not get hurt. If this comes back to bite me later I will help Hanso plague Jazan to death."
Nabile laughed and promised not to get hurt. She slipped back into the palace to pack some clothes and then met Brynn down a side street. They went to the inn where her two Unis companions were waiting. They looked in surprise at Nabile, then asked where Hanso was.
"This is a friend of mine who is helping out in Hanso's place, since the jerk left me with all the work while he went off chasing a king who isn't even in Qasala. Her name is Nabile. Yes, like the Sakhmetian princess who married Qasala's king. Don't start, it's just a name. Now, come on, we need to get the Krawk Island as fast as we can. The artifact may be on its way there, we need to intercept it as soon as possible," Brynn snapped.
"You're cranky today, Captain Brynn," one of the Unis commented good-naturedly.
Brynn and Nabile climbed up onto their steeds and the Unis took off. It was late in the evening when they arrived on Krawk Island. Brynn sent the Unis off to find a decent inn while she and Nabile went to the Golden Dubloon to see if there were any rumors of an artifact floating around. With any luck they should have arrived before the person who had it, but as Brynn told Nabile, luck was a faithless friend.
They sat down at a table and waited for the waitress to come over, so they could question her about the latest gossip while they ordered. Suddenly, a familiar Usul with long brown hair skipped up to their table and sat herself down. She put her elbows on the table, threaded her fingers together, and rested her chin on top on them. She leaned in towards Brynn with a sarcastic grin.
"You're Captain Brynn, Hanso's girlfriend," the Usul stated.
"You're Hannah the Brave," Brynn replied.
"Darn right I am. Where's the lout hiding out at?" Hannah asked, her grin turning into a frown.
"I'd love to know that myself. He ran off and left me with all the work. What's he done to you?" Brynn asked with a groan.
"The sneaky little Mortog tried to make off with a very rare necklace Kanrik gave me as a birthday present last month. With Kanrik watching too, not too bright that Ixi of yours. Plus, I take the trouble he has given Kanrik as a personal offence, simply because I can," Hannah informed her. "You really don't know where he is?"
"Brynn is telling the truth, that's why I'm here. I'm stepping in for him. My name is Nabile," Nabile backed Brynn up.
Hannah looked between them and replied, "Well, look at us. Brynn the abandoned, Nabile, wife of the Ixi thief's mortal nemesis, and yours truly, who would like nothing more than to feed him to the Krawks. We're like the We Hate Hanso Club. So, since it is just you lovely girls, and Hanso is the subject of mutual disdain at the moment, though I suppose you must go back to liking the lout, Brynn, how can I assist?"
"I don't suppose you have heard any rumors about a powerful artifact coming to the island?" Brynn asked.
"Yeah, I have. Two days ago a fellow from the desert came in blabbing loudly about this great powerful weapon he had and being interested in selling it to a pirate. I heard that one of Captain Dread's men left with him. I didn't think too much of it at the time, people claim all kinds of things here. I guess if you are here it is not such an outlandish claim, huh?" Hannah told them.
Brynn's head sagged into her hands.
"Tell you what, ladies. You go find a nice inn to stay at, there are a few of those even here, and I'll get in touch with some of my contacts and tell you what I find tomorrow at ten in the morning? It is pretty late and you look weary," Hannah offered.
Brynn looked up at her warily. "What do you want in return? You're not known for your willingness to help out of the goodness of your heart."
Hannah laughed heartily. "I like you, Brynn! You're so straightforward. Yep, I'm not. I'm totally a mercenary and I'm not ashamed of that. Every now and then I do like to help out of the goodness of my heart, like with the Bori. However, this is not one of those cases. I like the idea of being able to rub in Hanso's face that I can do his job better than he can. Sound like a deal?"
Brynn shook Hannah's hand and welcomed her to the team. Hannah jumped up and skipped out of the Golden Dubloon.
Brynn gave Nabile a weary smile. "First you and now her? How much stranger can this job get?"
"Don't ask that, it will rain Anubis and Crystacats," Nabile warned.
"True. Come on, let's go find those Unis and an inn and get some rest," Brynn replied.
They did just that.
At ten the next morning, they returned to the Golden Dubloon and sat down to wait for Hannah. They didn't have to wait long. A minute later Hannah skipped in, her brown hair flying everywhere and her skirts swinging. She was in her normal high spirits. She sat down at the table and beamed.
"Hello, ladies! I've got some good news and some bad news for you. Good news is I know where the artifact is. Bad news is Captain Dread has it and he is shipping it to Brightvale to sell to some uber-rich collector with a bad reputation there. Dread himself isn't taking it there, it is on some other ship, but I have no clue which. However, wouldn't matter much if I did, it left last night. Captain Dread is a fearsome pirate, but he is a smart one. He knows better than to mess with an artifact that he knows nothing about," Hannah told them.
"Oh, for the love of Fyora, please tell me the name of that collector isn't Wreath?" Brynn groaned.
"Yeah, that's his name, how did you-? Oh, right, you're a Brightvallian. Is he bad news?" Hannah asked.
"The worst. He is a pain in the neck to deal with; his ego is from here to Kreludor. He is a two-bit sorcerer who'd like to think he is somewhere in the class of Morguss. He is relatively harmless, but that will change if he actually got his hands on something powerful. He will fancy himself some sort of Kass and probably attack the town near his estate. My superiors always made me deal with complaints about him. I thought I was finally done with him for good now that I live and work in Faerieland. My life isn't fair," Brynn groused.
"So, what do we do now, Brynn?" Nabile asked.
"I don't know. I don't have authority in Brightvale anymore, so I can't go and take it from him. By the time I get through it the legal way there is the possibility that he could do great harm with it," Brynn sighed.
"So just steal it," Hannah replied, examining her nails.
Brynn looked at her astounded. "I can't do that! I'm-"
"Yeah, you can't, but isn't that why your thief boyfriend is your partner?" Hannah interrupted. "Nabile was a thief once, can't she do it?"
Nabile shook her head. "Breaking into a sorcerer's house and stealing the artifact is way out of my league. To be honest, I am not sure of my abilities as a thief anymore. I haven't actually stolen anything in years. I'm smart and I'm agile and I might be able to pull it off, but if I got caught that would not be a good thing considering my position. I have to consider the political side of this, I'm afraid."
"Oh well, then I'll come with you and I'll contact members of the thieves guild in Brightvale. I'll see if I can enlist Kanrik's help. I'm sure he'd love to clean the guy out and assist me with this little favor. In fact, you two don't have to know anything about how he got his hands on it or anything else he took. Sound good?" Hannah said.
Nabile looked at Brynn, who shrugged. "Okay, Hannah, you get it back and we won't ask any questions. I'm going to get my Unis and we'll meet you out front in fifteen minutes, sound good?"
Hannah nodded, jumped up, and skipped out. Nothing could dampen her spirits.
To be continued...