Swamped Chapter 131 Page 3

You walk towards a partially open crate. Seems there’s some nets in here – probably where the ones restraining several of the frozen people came from.

But there’s something else in here. It looks fairly ordinary to the eyes alone, but you can tell it’s different.

“Is that a seashell?” Arlene asks.

“Depends. Would you call the Empress of Aedra a landowner?” you ask.

“At this point? I’d call her a corpse. Unless you know something I don’t.”

“Good one,” you chuckle. “Point is, this is no ordinary seashell. But now that we’ve got it, best not to linger here.”

“Do I get to hear why it’s not so ordinary? Or should I ask the Empress about that one?”

“The main special property it has is that Nual’s priests are going to want to get their hands on it, and it’ll go a long way towards convincing them we can be trusted to check things out on the Golem,” you reply, as you start leading her out. “Do the details really matter?”

“I suppose not that much,” she agrees. “But maybe there’s a story we could make a good play out of.”

You muse on that.

“There might be, but I don’t know it. I just know it’ll help us.”

“And you knew it was here,” Arlene notes. “Did you see the aura from outside or something?”

“Not quite, I saw a trace of an aura from someone who’d handled it.” You glance around just before going through the exit. “Think it’s that one with the arm tattoo, actually.”

“Huh. Funny, I think I’ve seen that tattoo somewhere else.”

“Really? Maybe it was the same person. Could’ve been watching one of the shows.”

“No, that wasn’t it,” Arlene says, shaking her head. “It wasn’t a tattoo, now that I think about it. But it did look like that, even down to the word underneath.”

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When we were camped on the road outside town, a couple of us scouted down an old unmaintained path that connected to the road. It led to some crumbling remains of a small village. Not much left, but there was a large rock with this painted on it.