Obsi followed Stormy to the near side of the tree where the dwarves were gathered. Queen Rosheen greeted Stormy with a hug. As soon as the Queen turned to her, Obsi curtseyed. The Queen laughed.
“Royalty does not bow to royalty, Princess Obsidian,” she said with a wink.
Obsi did not move as she looked up. “I am not royalty,” she replied sweetly.
Rosheen laughed. “Stand up, please,” she said. She beckoned for them to follow as the dwarves made their way to a table lined with food and caskets of ale. Rosheen had Stormy sit on one side of her and Obsi on the other as she took her place at the head of the table. Once everyone had a full plate and a full mug, she spoke.
“Has Stormy filled you in on our dragon problems?” she asked.
Obsi shook her head. “Just that there is, or are, problems.”
“I wanted to be sure she would help before I went spouting off about dwarven business,” Stormy explained.
Rosheen sipped her ale and nodded. “Aye, good thinking.” She turned to Obsi. “Have you heard of any of our dragon legends?”
Obsi waved her hands excitedly. “Oh, yes! Galgrim, the gladiator dragon, Morak, the fabricated dragon, um…Tarand! The Winter King! Oh! The Gryffs!!”
Rosheen laughed heartily. “Yes, well I suppose you have! Well, in a nutshell, Galgrim has gone missing. I suspect his former owners have sent mercenaries to get him back from us. And just when he was used to not fighting for his life every bloody day!”
“Who are his former owners?” Obsi asked.
“No one knows for sure,” Stormy said, “but I’m guessing the Blackbloods are involved somehow.”
“That wouldn’t surprise me,” Obsi said flatly.
“Nor I,” Rosheen scowled. “We need you to find him, if you would. You will be paid handsomely…”
“Of course I’ll help you,” Obsi replied. She wanted to say she didn’t need payment, but refusing gold from a dwarf, let alone their Queen, was considered a huge insult.
“Wonderful!” Rosheen said. She pounded on the table and the rest of the party stopped their conversations. “Raise a glass to ObsidianWraith, for she has agreed to help us find our Galgrim!”
“Hoorah!” the dwarves shouted. They raised their mugs in unison and drank them.
Obsi smiled. “So, where and when would you like me to start?”
“Us,” Stormy interjected. “I’ll be helping you.”
Obsi nodded. “Ok then, where and when would you like us to start?”
“Tomorrow morning. Enjoy the rest of the evening. I’ll have dragons waiting for you here. They’ll take you to see Jynx.”
Obsi and Stormy finished their meals and made their way back to where Dally, Soc and Raven were seated. Obsi filled them in on her conversation with Rosheen.
“Something is definitely not right with that situation,” Dally said thoughtfully. “Just be careful. The dwarves don’t all get along and not all of them respect Rosheen. No one has heard from Jynx in quite some time, so I’m not sure what side she falls on.”
“Jynx has never taken sides,” Soc replied, “but it will be better to err on the side of caution.” He stared at Stormy as he spoke. “And you had better follow Obsi’s lead. She is much better suited for diplomacy than you are.”
Stomy snorted. “Whatever.”
Raven cleared her throat and stood. “Well, I think it’s about time we turn in. You’ll need a good nights’ sleep before leaving tomorrow.”
Obsi agreed. She hugged Soc and Raven and then she and her sister made their way back to the Inn. Obsi had no trouble falling asleep and woke promptly at dawn. She dressed, went downstairs and found Ovidus had made her a breakfast of eggs, sausage and bacon. She thanked him and ate as quickly as she could without making herself sick. He handed her a satchel full of food and waved her off as she hurried back to the center of town. She looked up and saw what appeared to be very large birds circling the sky above her. Slowly she realized these were not birds.