The others had been gone for a while. That was fine, it was within the expected parameters. Even though Cat was not quite acting like herself, she seemed shaken by something lately, and Ash is a terrible despot prone to indulging in the pleasures of the flesh at least I could rely on Dain to keep his mind in the game and not get distracted by the prostitutes at the Welcoming Pits. I rechecked my illusion while I waited, it seemed flawless. While a decrepit toothless crone was not my preferred look it certainly was useful in an area such as this.
I turned my thoughts to the conversation that I would need to have with my parents when I returned. I know they want to feel useful and I want to help them with that, however the trouble was I also did not want to put them in harm’s way. Maybe Barda will be able to suggest some reputable people that father will be able to find employment with and thus provide worthwhile connections for us. Mother of course was a bit more troublesome, in an area such as the Pit I do worry for her so.
That is when I saw them. They were unmistakable, Jayce really did do a good job with their descriptions. Taking the lead was Quill, tall and skinny, mostly hidden by his cloak however I could see a couple of quills sticking out from his face. Next to him was Boulder, short and squat, he looked like a wall made from muscle. Just behind them walked the twins Rime and Frost, their pale skin, pale blue eyes which appeared almost white and hairless bodies did make them appear slightly creepy but I had seen worse before.
I hobbled over to the edge of the walkway and hocked a thick lump of phlegm off of the edge, the illusion of black tar disappearing into the mist. There was no way I would be able to take them on by myself. However they should not be looking for any particular threat at the moment either as the illusions of Fade and Jolt in and around the Pit had been seamless. Even if all four of them were to go into the Welcoming Pits they would not know who to search for. As I hobbled back to my spot and lowered my head I decided to wait and see what they were planning to do.
They stopped at the junction which led to the Welcoming Pit and Quill turned to Frost and Rime. They quietly exchanged words, the twins nodded and continued down the path. Meanwhile Quill and Boulder turned towards the Welcoming Pits. The others should be fine, they have enough sense not to risk a major incident and it was highly unlikely that Quill or Boulder would actually looking for them at the moment. Shifting my illusion into that of a typical male worker of the area I decided to follow Frost and Rime. Maybe I would be able to see what their personalities were like for myself and perhaps even an opportunity would present itself that I could exploit in some fashion.
I followed the pair along the path at a respectable distance, far enough back that that they would not believe it to be odd yet close enough to keep them in my line of sight. As they turned a corner heading deeper into the cliffs I briefly lost sight of the two of them. I turned the corner and ahead I saw an abrupt fork in the path. Quickly I searched the ground remembering the trail of frost their footsteps had been leaving behind them. Even though the area was damp it was a simple matter to distinguish the slight puddles of water they had left as the ice melted behind them. I admit I hesitated slightly, thinking I could still go back to the others, however I was committed to my action and the variables were in my favor. I followed their trail further into the cliff face.
The path wound its way into one of the more habitable areas of the Pit. Ahead I could see Rime and Frost entering what appeared to be a textile shop. I got close to the window and peered through the fabric. Inside I could see Frost and Rime as well as the shop owner. She appeared to be rather flustered with Frost and Rime’s appearance, as most were when encountering the twins. She briefly left the counter and returned quickly with a money pouch. This must be the protection money that the Chef demanded of the citizens within his territory. Throughout the encounter the twins did not appear to be aggressive in their mannerisms, maybe they could be reasoned with after all. I decided it was worth the risk. I positioned myself in the perfect location and waited for them to leave the building. Upon exiting they saw me and gave me their full attention, just as I had planned.
I could feel an aura of cold radiating from their bodies as they stared at me.
“The winds of change are blowing through the pit.”
“Who are you?” Frost asked with menace on his breath.
“Who I am is of no consequence. The time has come for change and we believe that this change is one which you too desire.”
“Who do you work for?”
“We work for the people, for all people no matter their caste, their differences or their powers.”
I could feel the temperature drop as he stepped closer, frost forming on my boots.
“I won’t ask again, who do you work for?”
“I work for those who aim to bring peace and prosperity to all people, they wish to meet with you both to discuss an opportunity which they believe you will find most palatable. Are you not tired of being isolated, feared and being considered separate from others because of what you are? We work to change this and not only do we believe that your skills would be invaluable but also that you too wish for a better future for yourselves.”
Frost glances towards his sister who gives an imperceptible nod.
“We will meet with your master, however if this is a trap you shall suffer before you die.”
We arrange to meet in four days’ time at one of the bridges in a public area where we would both feel some measure of comfort to hold such a discussion.
I take a step backwards, ice snapping as my boots as they leave the ground. Giving the pair a brief bow I slipped away into the shadows back the way I had come. As I rounded the corner and out of their eyesight I shifted my illusion and released a long breath in relief.