Bal crouched down in the bar, eyes trained on the heavy purse of the foreign lord, who had one too many a few hours ago

The Bard from Gray watched as the body of the framed man was carted away. "Well, who was he?" One of the leading officers asked one of his trainees. The Bard tilted his head slightly in their direction to focus his hearing on them.

"Morex of Tranig." The Bard stiffened at the name. What a fool the rogue was to frame a man from Tranig.

"What's a road bandit doing here?"

"Maybe they needed money to restock. They only do it once every so often."

"But it makes no sense." The Bard couldn't agree more. He started to walk away while the officers continued to debate on what the report should say of why this high bounty was lowering him to such lowly situations. The Bard knew why though; it was Buttinsky's handy work. The man had found himself in another mission that had to have death of many as the price.

"Derdash, what have you done this time?" He spoke to no one in particular, but rather as a general question. He went to his stall, which had been untouched sense the shoppers fled the scene of the violence. "Perhaps I should keep an eye on him for a while…" He muttered as he started to pack up the products back into their storage containers. The other merchants were doing the same, for death near your shop was never good for business. The Bard of Gray continued to work even though questions plagued his mind about the current situation. How could a rogue such as Bal get here alone? He had obviously had some trouble which could only mean he traveled through or along the forest edge. If that was the case, then by all means, the man who wandered the streets now should be dead. The Bard dropped the last of the boxes into the wagon that was his. He would return send his brother home with the cart and return on his brother's horse once Bal was out of the city.

"Bryan." The Bard of Gray called to a boy, no more than twelve years of age. The boy, whom had been petting a stray dog, looked up with wide, innocent, pale blue eyes. "Take the cart back home."

"Really? I can?" He was on his feet. He had hair like his brother's, but his was long and pulled back and tied by a black ribbon. He wore a long grey tunic and white tights instead of clothes like the Bard. His hands were covered by black leather riding gloves while his feet were housed in black leather riding boots.

"Yes, but go straight home along the safe path. I do not think a storm is coming, so you should be alright. Leave your horse with me though." The Bard placed a hand on the back of the cart. "I have trained you to defend yourself should you be attacked. Tell Mother I will be home in due time."

"Can't I come along…?" Bryan came over at a jog. "I won't be a bother, I swear it!"

"Nay, little brother, you must return with the wagon. Mother would worry should neither of us return."

"Well, if I take the cart home and ride back with your horse, would that be alright?" He wouldn't give up. The Bard of Gray knew that even if he said no to the child, he would come back any how.

"If you do return with my horse, then come along the safe path. That way, if I am on my way home, we can cross one another to avoid confusion and separation.

"Yes, Brother!" He scrambled into the cart and called the stray to him.

"Nay, the dog has to stay."

"Oh please!" The boy turned to him with begging eyes.

"You can either take the dog and stay home, or leave the dog and return."

"Stay boy!" The boy flicked the rains and started towards the front gates.

The Bard of Gray picked his Lute up from the wall and readjusted his hat. He started off with an intent to find the rogue from his past.

--

"How do you feel now, sir?" The old man asked him as he hobbled over to the group.

"Wonderful." Bal looked himself over. So, he had been proven wrong after all: a healer could not only tell you were hurt, but he could actually do something about it!"

"And you, sirs?" He turned to Barb and Bright.

"Very well, sir." Bright bowed at him. "I thank you for your assistance."

"I'm doing alright." Barb flexed his tiny arms with a grin. "I haven't felt this refreshed a while, aye."

"You, Madam?" The healer looked at Keen. She nodded with a small smile. "Thank you for your business."

Bal put a platinum coin on the table. "No, sir; thank you." With that, the four left the small hut that was the healer's shop. "Well, now… I suppose that Keen could go look for that messenger for our task then."

"Just me? Why?" Keen frowned at him. "You're the one that Morgan wanted. I was just sent to fetch you."

"Yes, and help me. Now, be good lass and go find our man."

"Morgan could have sent another woman."

"More so the better you find her. I'll be taking these two to look for supplies. Alright?" Bal put his arm around Shadow's shoulders and placed a hand on Barb's head.

"… Oh, I get it…" Keen said after a moment. "You three are going to a Brothel, aren't you…"

"We are?" Bright looked at Bal with wide eyes of curiosity.

"I did promise them; Keen… let me hold up my vow. I'll buy you and ale later."

"You'll buy me more than just ale, Bal." She glared at him before walking away.

Once she was lost in the crowd, Barb pushed Bal's hand off of him. "Lead the way, Buttinsky." Bal laughed as he started down the street. "Though, enlighten me: do you know where ya going?"

"Of course; I've been to Magin a few times in the past. The ladies here love me…" He chuckled low in his throat as the three made their way through the busy streets.

"So, will you tell me what a brothel is now?" Bright looked between them with a questioning look on his face.

Both answered: "You'll see when you get there."

--

Bal opened the door to the Brothel and motioned the other two in. "After you." Barb went in, tailed by Bright. Girls came from different rooms, dressed in thin fabric that only covered small areas on their bodies. Barb grinned in approval while Bright gave out a short, scared cry.

"Madams!" His hands flew to cover his eyes. "Make yourself descent!" The women laughed as he tried to run to the door, only succeeding in running into the door frame.

"Is he a first timer?" The woman asked with a heavy Magin accent.

"Yes," Bal put an arm on his human friend and turned him back to the woman. He struggled to move his hands. "You see, he's a little… prude." He chuckled as Bright struggled to get away.

"Awe… let him go, sir…" The woman who spoke tossed her blonde hair back over her shoulder. "I'm Seloa."

"Really? This is your brothel?" He released Bright and watched him sink to the ground, muttering some kind of oath.

"Yes, it is." She came up beside him and slipped her arm around his chest as she stood behind him. "Shall I amuse you… myself?" A gnome woman with dark brown hair came out from a room and mirrored Seloa but with Barb. Neither answered as their hands traveled to their necks. They put their hands over their mouth and the two tried to get away. Powder fell from the struggled between them. Their bodies went limp and the woman let their bodies fall to the ground. Bright slowly moved his hands and looked at them.

"What did you do to them?"

"You didn't see anything, my young friend…" Seloa knelt down in front of him and put a gold coin in his hand.

"Well, I did." He said, looking at the coin.

"No, my friend, you didn't…" She put another coin in his hand.

"But I did; why are you giving me gold?" Bright tilted his head in question.

"… Don't tell anyone about this, ok?"

"Why?"

"You're not going to question a woman, are you?" She tilted her head slightly to the side.

"No, but—"

She put a finger over his lips, "Just do what I said or I'll make that vow of yours invalid…" Bright scrambled up and ran out the door way. Seloa looked at the two men. "Take them to the room with the rest."

--

Keen picked up the black tunic from the stall. It was her size and would be great to change her identity. They would all have to change something about their looks to avoid being caught when the global wanted poster went out. She sighed and put it down. With her purse gone, she wouldn't be able to do that.

"KEEN!"

She turned and grabbed Bright's robe before he could get away. "Don't call out my name like that!"

His face was pale and he was panting. "Ask me what's wrong!"

"I don't think I want to know."

"Please!"

"Is it about the brothel?"

"Yes."

"Then I REALLY don't want to know."

"Please!"

"No! I don't want to know about the activities that went on between you three and your whores."

"You HAVE to know!"

"Then why don't you just tell me?"

"Because Seloa told me not to tell!"

"Who?"

"The woman who owns the brothel."

"Then I really don't want to know."

"PLEASE!"

"FINE! What happened?"

"They knocked out Barb and Bal and gave me two gold coins. She told me not to tell anyone."

"… Bright, why didn't you just tell me?"

"Because she told me not to tell! So I had to answer your question."

"… Bright, next time someone tells you not to tell anyone, tell me as soon as you can."

"But—"

"Just do it! Now… I guess we should go save them…"

"Is that what a Brothel normally does?"

Keen hesitated to answer but smiled with a nod. "Yes, Bright, they're very, very bad."

--

Bal came to in a sitting position. His hands were tired behind his back and he was stripped down to his undergarments. "My head…" He groaned and found his ankles tied together as well. "Barb?" He looked around and felt his jaw drop. A large amount of men were in the same fashion around him. "Holy hell, what is going on?"

"Those women are taking every guy they can get to walk into their brothel and locking them up. Something about rights or something…"

"So, you all have been here how long?"

"About a week at most, so far."

"Hot hell…"

"Bal?" Barb's voice came from behind him. Bal looked over his shoulder at him. "What happened…?"

"If anyone asks, it was 100 Orcs with great axes." Bal said after a moment. There was a wave of muttered responses.