This week on Fiction Friday it’s Ghets Chapter 5! The fellowship makes it to Ghetshaven where they meet Reez and Odvid, and the true journey begins. For more of Ghets check out my Ghets Preview
Reez couldn’t believe her luck.
Since the official decree arrived weeks ago every Ghets in town had been chatting about the Aphetrrian Fellowship. The Aphetrrians weren’t playing around this time. The decree was endorsed by everyone from the Golden King, to the High Priest of Dhiamitrst. There was going to be seven warriors to represent the seven Elven Goddesses and they each came from a different kingdom. Though most of them looked like Easterners with some support from their mountain allies. The Easterners were using the Fellowship as a power play since the Eternal Empire were hurting.
Politics aside, or maybe because of the politics, there was a lot of money and power behind this Fellowship, which meant it was going to be a fat purse for whatever Ghets landed a contract with them. Every Ghetter captain worth their gunk had been practicing their Lori’ve and spending time in the ‘Holy, Holy’ tavern wanting for the Fellowship to land on the Aphetrrain side of town.
Reez and Odvid had been at the tavern every night since the decree, but the Fellowship never showed. It had been well over a month and most of the other Captains had given up hope, taking work with cravens and heading out of town. Only Reez kept to taking day jobs and spending her nights in the ‘Holy, Holy’ waiting for a tired pack of Aphettrians to wander in for a drink.
Her perseverance had finally paid off. A strange looking group of Aphetrrains had come in and Reez was the only Ghets Captain in the tavern. She rushed them, dragging Odvid with her and offering to buy her new friends a round of drinks. The potential Fellowship had been guarded at first, but eventually Reez’s smile and charms won them over, that or she was too gucking stubborn to take a hint, (and why should she be anything else? They made her wait weeks!)
“So, you all work for the same guild or something?” Reez said to the Aphetrrians with a knowing smirk.
“No, why do you say that?” Roland asked. The old human seemed alright, bit Eastern Aphetrrian stiff, but friendly.
“’Cause you all got on the same cloaks,” Reez said leaning in, “Nice ones too, Winterash and a Silver silk blend? Fancy, hear that stuff changes to different shades of grey to help you blend in, a lot of rangers carry them.”
“Oh yes, right” Roland corrected feeling his cloak, “I suppose you could say we’re work colleagues, of a manner.”
“Roland” Markus said with force.
Markus was bitter, clenching his stein and looking all mean. If he wasn’t so ridiculously pretty or maybe had a pair of tusks, the human would have stirred something in Reez. Markus had nice muscles, rich brown skin, a strong jaw, and lush black hair. He had to be the leader. Aphetrria liked to make plays and songs about their ‘heroes’, they cultivated a certain type.
“So, you guys merchants?” Reez asked.
“Reez” Odvid said, exasperated, he just wanted to get this over with.
“Yes?” Roland offered not sure what to say.
These gucks weren’t good at the game. The innuendo, the raised eye brows, the little hints and suggestions. Everything done with just the right emphasis to explain what you were really looking for. Crow already had these guys beat, she was a master of the game.
“Burnished gold plate armor,” Reez said peaking at what was under Markus’s cloak before he wrapped it around himself, indignant.
“And you, Orecast chain mail?” Reez said turning to look at the dwarf. “And that’s an impressive war mallet too!” Reez said inspecting the weapon. “That thing double headed? One side an axe the other a hammer?”
The dwarf crossed his arms and nodded with pride. Markus shot him a look and the dwarf coughed sheepishly.
“Well, we heard it was dangerous on the road, highwaymen and what not” Roland said trying to play.
Reez gave him a point for that. None of the other Aphetrrians were engaging. Markus spent most of the night glaring at her. The pretty elf blushed and looked away, the part elf with an eye patch squirmed, and the dwarf drank. They were all uncomfortable, clearly out of their gucking depth. It was a good thing Hawke or Sahar hadn’t gotten to them or these poor gunkers would have been swindled out of their coin before they even started their quest.
“Oh, it’s real dangerous out there.” Reez said leaning back, “That is if you don’t got a guide.” She gave them another of her award-winning smiles and then a big dramatic wink to sell it, cause this Fellowship needed all the help they could get.
“A guide, oh, like a Ghets?” Roland said, seeming legitimately confused. This was slowly unraveling from fun to painful.
“Yup, that’s what the G stands for. Ghets: Guides. Hunters. Explores. Treasure Seekers.” Reez said.
The part elf girl shot up. “What? Their dumb name really means something? I always thought they were trying to be stupid or cute.”
Reez deflated, “Nope, it stands for exactly what I said.”
“Oh marvelous,” Roland said, “Do you know any Ghets? We may be in the market, if you know what I mean.” He leaned in close, “We’re not actually merchants.”
Reez didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, “You don’t say.”
“Roland don’t,” Markus interjected.
“But Markus, I thought we agreed–” Roland said,
“She doesn’t need to know. We can find Ghets on our own. They must have a guild.”
Reez grabbed her wine and drank deep, “Course they do, got a certification board, reviews too, all the Fellowships they smuggle across the border on clandestine missions leave letters of recommendation. Don’t trust anyone who’s under three starts, fivers are overrated. If you’re a five, you usually haven’t done enough work that’s why their scores are so high, go for a solid four, they have the experience and the right price.”
Roland brightened at that. “Thank you, let me write that down.” He started searching his bag for a stencil until Odvid spoke up.
“Don’t, she’s teasing you. We’re Ghets.” Odvid said.
“Oh—I see, if you don’t mind me asking what are your stars?” Roland asked innocently.
Reez laughed, Odvid made a face, trying to ignore her.
“There’s no rating, there’s no guild or certification board. We do our deals in crowded taverns like this and then sign contracts written up in Oath Hall. Don’t worry, the language is made purposely vague for your benefit and ours.” Odvid explained.
“Why?” Roland asked confused.
Reez was having enough of this. If these gunkers needed it spelled out for them, she’d spell it out. “Because leading Fellowships like you across the border is breaking a ton of gucking treaties and we don’t like pissing off Neradoom, Aphetrria or the Okkore.” Reez said swirling her glass.
Markus shot up, his hand on his hilt, eyes locked on Reez. The entire tavern went silent watching them. Reez just kept on sipping her wine.
“How do you know about us and our quest?” Markus asked in a harsh whisper. “You’re an orc, are you a spy for the Okkore?”
“For the love of Kor and his gucking ways.” Reez said sharing a knowing look with Odvid. “Not every orc is a member of the Okkore, learn that quick or you’re going to tick somebody off. Now sit down and stop acting like a butt-spider. Half of Aphetrria knows about your gucking quest. Your kingdom has been bragging about it for months! I even took a job last week taking one of your Heralds to the Shattered Coast so she could give public reading.”
Markus glared at Reez but did as he was told. He looked to the other members of the Fellowship, all of them seemed aghast that their ‘secret’ mission was common gucking knowledge. They lent in whispering.
“There was the parade through both Valenbrook and Sphettra.” Roland said
“And the feasts in Eldorita and Grunnhorn” The pretty elf added.
“Oh yes, and in Nord’s homeland too! That was quite a bit of mead,” Roland said smiling before, looking down at his stein embarrassed. “Now that I think about it, one doesn’t usually get that drunk to announce a clandestine enterprise. Actually, rarely does one ‘announce’ anything clandestine at all do they?”
Markus’s scowled, “I can’t believe this. Why would Sphetrra jeopardize us before we even left? I knew of the announcements, but to be spotted like this” Markus sighed, “If the Ghets know we’re here than surely Maelator knows as well.”
There was a bit more chatter, not all of it Reez caught and then the Fellowship broke up their huddle. Markus the hero sat up straight and looked at Reez with frighteningly serious eyes.
“We need guides and body guards to take us into Neradoom.” He said
“Course you do. Now where do you need to go and how much are you going to pay me to get you there?” Reez asked smiling.