A Social Call
After stepping out to make a social call, Nox makes his way to Kaer Maga’s Tallow District to hire a no-nonsense sellspell to send a message to Freya asking her to meet him at the Smiling Asp in one hour. He uses the ring she nicked as the conduit.
He seats himself at a booth in the restaurant, with a clear view of the entrance, and orders an ale. Freya slides into the seat opposite him a short while later, already cradling an ale of her own.
“You’re late,” he says.
“You’re early,” she replies. “I didn’t expect you back from that haunted castle for another few days—if ever.”
Nox says that his crazy companions created enough of a mess to get what they were looking for. He explains that he convinced them to give him the medallion early.
“Have you got the papers?” he demands.
“Perhaps,” she says. “Have you got the medallion?”
“Right here,” he says, laying it on the table. “A show of good faith.”
She inspects the medallion to verify its quality, then retrieves a slightly crumpled roll of parchment from inside her bodice and passes it to him.
“Signed and sealed by the Empress herself,” she explains, “House Nox has been restored to the official rolls of the peerage and your title as Lord of the House is conferred.”
Nox inspects the parchment, then stows it.
“You’re still here,” Freya notes. “I would have thought that you’d be trotting back your adventuring friends as soon as you’d gotten the paper.”
“Not just yet,” Nox says. “Tell me, what is the Ambassador’s standing in Korvosa?”
She seems mildly disappointed by his line of questioning, but explains that the ambassador has been ejected from the city but remains close by. It is a temporary state of affairs, as the queen is not likely to last long—if the Crimson Blades do not eject her, the Empire will not long tolerate her impudence.
Nox says that he is interested in taking the throne, but needs help from Amprei. Freya reminds him that the price of such aid is high. Nox says that he would be able to give the ambassador a chartered front company, with free reign to traffic cargo through the city. Freya says that the ambassador has cut ties to the “cargo haulers” that he is referring to, and may ask for something more specific.
Nox says he needs documents representing himself as a liaison from Cheliax and offers Freya a chance to produce them on her own, but she demurs, saying she is oathbound not to disobey the ambassador. Nox suggests that this would be in his interests, but she explains that she and her brother owe him their lives. It is her way as an Ulfen not to break this oath. But she promises to convey the message. Nox gives her two days. He rises to leave and she expresses mild disappointment that he wouldn’t share another ale with her, but he says he must decline for another time. She promises to hold him to that.
As he his about to leave the tavern, Nox checks to be sure he still has his papers, finding them still there along with an extra note in Freya sharp handwriting that reads “Ye of little faith.”
A New Deal
Later that day, a hooded stranger pelts Nox with a stone. Once he is drawn out of the Common House, Freya sidles up to him to let him know that Amprei has accepted the deal. All he wants in return is free access to the vaults below the castle and perhaps Nox’s assistance in obtaining what he is searching for. Nox agrees to help, so long as it doesn’t contradict his plans for Korvosa.
Nox also apologizes for attempting to suborn her earlier, but she brushes it off. “It is forgotten, you are ignorant of our ways.”
He cocks an eyebrow at this and her blue eyes twinkle.
Nox also offers to bring Freya along to serve as a liaison between him and Amprei’s contacts. She says she’d already planned on shadowing him and wonders if her presence might not be welcomed by the party. Nox wonders what he’ll say about this, but she assures him that he’ll think of something. “You’re a charming man. Kingly, even.”
“Flattery will get you nowhere,” Nox says, tossing her a platinum piece.
He also asks if she’d be up for a little work on the side and she admits she’s free to moonlight so long as it isn’t betraying Amprei’s trust.