“That’s great.” Sage said. He glanced around the tavern; ever since the massacre, it had been unusually full. Durry had also slashed prices on drinks to three quarters of their original price, making it easier for his patrons to drown their sorrows. It was likely that he would provide the ale for the mass funeral taking place tomorrow.
“They’ve been rumbling, you know.” Coriko muttered. “Talking under their breath about Crowlin. How he apparently sold us out.”
Sage looked at Coriko with alarm. “You don’t believe that, do you?”
“ ‘Course not.” Coriko muttered into her drink. “But the rest of the city doesn’t know him as well as we do. All they see is a Druid boy who survived the attack when the rest of the staff didn’t. A Druid boy who stands to become the Instructory’s youngest headmaster, should the Arcanis Council approve it. Which they may, given how he acted to save the rest of us from being killed. To everyone else, it’s suspicious, especially when they’re drunk. Crowlin’s survival, and subsequent rise to one of the community’s most respected positions, looks planned. His Druid heritage doesn’t help.”
“Can’t they see reason?” Sage demanded.
“Do you and Kashé ever see reason when you two get drunk?” Coriko asked. “They don’t want reason. They want someone to blame. We all do. Lately, they’ve been moving towards going out and finding a scapegoat for the grief, and Crowlin’s the most popular candidate.”
“I should find him, then.” Sage said, getting up. “I was planning on inviting him to come with us.”
“Wait up. I’m coming too.” Coriko said, slipping off her stool. She reached into her purse and pulled out a few coins, but Durry caught her hand before she could drop them on the counter.
“Nay, lass. You drink free. I can’t deny that to someone who’s lost as much as you have.” he said kindly, gently pushing her hand back to her. “Besides, if I’ve been listening aright, you’ll be needing those where you’re going.”
Coriko’s eyes grew misty. “The spirits bless and keep you, Durry.”
“You ought to be along.” Durry advised. “I know that friend of yours, and there’s a many fixing to pin the blame on him. You should get him out of the city afore long.”
Sage and Coriko quickly left, departing the tavern for the night. But there were those in the tavern who had overhead their subject of conversation, and would not sit idly by.