“Well, we’ve got someone looking for a staff he can use to walk, so we can hopefully get him to a good bed.” But now that you think about it, Ash has been gone a while. Just a bit longer than you’re comfortable with. “Though, we could get on that sooner if you know of anywhere else we could get a crutch of some kind. Some ice might be good for his foot, too, though I don’t know if we can find any on this ship.”
“A staff, you say?” The priest seems thoughtful. “Well, I picked this one up on the way here. Didn’t want it just lying around.”
He produces one from the folds of his robes. It’s decorated with symbols that seem quite weird.
“Where did you find that?” Long asks suddenly.
“Rider ran into a wizard and grabbed it off him. Not as tall as you, so the staff’s kind of small. Still, it’s sturdy.”
“Not as tall,” you mutter. “Was he elderly, about this high?” You hold your hand at a height about a foot and a half over the grebling’s head.
“Yeah, that’s right. He ran off in a hurry. Something about sabotaging the ship; Rider seemed to think he might come back.”
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” you say. You hand the staff to Long. “You think that’s going to work?”
“It’ll support me better than a mudpike would,” he grumbles, standing up. “What about Ash? Where is he?”
“I don’t know. He ought to be coming back…”
The priest looks back at the door suddenly.
“Doesn’t look like anybody’s on their way here,” he says.
Well. That’s worrying. It suggests that either Ash has run off, or he’s run into trouble. In either case, you’ve probably got to get moving… but you’ve also got to get in touch with Rider.
So what should you do?
Send a swamp pigeon letter…