Myn and her cohorts were hustled through offices and richly decorated rooms, each of which was dark and barely occupied due to the suspension of trade and the blockade. The Lord Mayor’s office was directly behind a large stained glass window, broken into four planels that each represented a quarter of the city. When the watchmen opened the door, a heated discussion was already underway.

“…sheer madness! You know as well as I do that they won’t surrender a single prisoner, for they take none!” A tall elf with a full blonde beard was shouting, bent over the Lord Mayor’s desk.

“Pem Hsuabel from the Elf Quarter,” whispered Tinain.

“And this one reminds you, Pem, that any pause in the hostilities for parley can only benefit us!” Behind the massive, ornate desk of the Lord Mayor, the goblin holder of that office–Niynx Gavelpound, Tinain had called him–was seated. He looked well-fed compared to the denizens of the quarter, but had a lean face and a keen eye all the same.

“And what if it’s merely a ploy to lure us out to capture us?” A dwarf, dressed in an extremely fine gown, said from a nearby setee. “Those savage greenskins will use any advantage they can take, as we’ve plainly seen so far!” Her accent was thick and haughty enough to spread on fine toast.

“Who’s that?” Myn whispered.

“Dwarf Quarter council member,” Tinain said. “I forget her name.”

“Orza Callandelve,” said Zaldi. “Originally of the Layyain Callandelves, hence the accent.”

Myn looked at her companion. “How in the world did you know that?”

“She enjoys the Mud Pits,” said Zaldi. “Quite a bit.”

Ninyx the Lord Mayor was still talking: “What say you, Galba? This one can be overidden by a vote of three to one on such matters, and none knows the state of our city’s supplies better than House Barleyfurrow.

The fourth council member, an ill-looking human woman who was quite bald, sat quietly in the corner. “Gaiza has always relied on control of the sea, by those willing to trade with us, to withstand seiges,” she said in a voice hardly above a whisper. “With the new ships that the Goblin Legion has brought, not one ship in ten reaches our quays. Even with the Goblin Quarter sealed off, and the starvation rations I insisted upon at our last meeting, we wil not be able to feed our troops within a month.”

At this point, the Lord Mayor noticed Myn and the others. “Oh, this one sees that our official envoy has arrived,” he said. Rising from his chair he walked over to greet Myn, his fine outfit’s metal bits clanking together as he did so. “This one is dreadfully sorry that the mercenaries at the dock saw fit to place you in the Goblin Quarter and not bring you directly to this one’s office.”

Myn visibly swelled up pridefully at this talk. “Well, it’s a good thing you realized your mistake,” she said. “Myn the Mule is resourceful but the wild goblins of the Quarter still nearly had her killed.”

“You see?” cried Pem, the elf councilman. “I told you that the Gob Quarter is seething with synpathy for the Legion! It’s our soft underbelly!”

“Well, from what I saw, about as many goblins blame the Legion for what’s happened to them,” Myn said. “If you keep them starving like animals, though, that’s probably going to change sooner rather than later.”

“You impudent whelp!” Pem snapped. “Speaking that way to me! Do you think we did not fully consider all the ramifications of sealing the Gob Quarter in detail? That we wouldn’t have done so if we had any other choice?”

“Calm yourself, Pem,” said Orza, the dwarf councilwoman. “You needn’t treat every disagreement as a personal attack, you’ll wear yourself out.”

Ninyx waved them both aside. “So, Lady Myn Toansdottir, what news from Pexate? How soon can we expect reinforcements, and supplies?”

“Um…what?” said Myn.

“Reinforcements and supplies,” said the Lord Mayor. “How soon will they be arriving? We assumed you arrived in response to our request for aid.”

“Uhh…” Myn racked her brain trying to think about whether Lord Eyon had said anything about Gaiza asking for aid. “We…we never got any such message.”

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