I’m actually pretty angry. I don’t like being led around by the nose, and I let her know it; “You need to start talking. What the hell happened here and how does it help me find my friend?”
The Wanderer’s playful attitude begins to melt away and it seems to me there might be a real person under there after all. She says, “They came for her … they weren’t able to get me, but they got her …”
She looks like she’s on the verge of tears so I ask, “Who?”
“Cheryl Wellington. She married Reginald against her will. You know how it is with nobles. One night, years ago, I was still honing my skills as I tried to be accepted into the Thieve’s Guild and I thought a kidnapping and ransom might help build my reputation. I was waiting in an alley when Cheryl escaped her chaperone, her father I think, I grabbed her and took her to same place I took you. I didn’t bother tying her up and after she learned I wasn’t planning to hurt her we started chatting. She told me she hated life as noble and that she envied me and my life. She talked a lot that night, and even though I was hanging on every word I don’t remember what she said now; I only remember how beautiful she was that night.
I let her go, sooner than she had wanted, but we set up times and places to be together. We fell in love … but obviously we couldn’t stay together; she was a noble woman and I was, am, a sewer rat.”
She paused there seeming stuck in her story. I didn’t expect her to pour her heart out like that, and though it was moving, I wanted to get back on track so I said, “And someone took her?”
My question seemed to bring her back to life and she said, “Yes … and she isn’t strong enough to stop them like I was.” I could see The Wanderer was regaining her sense of purpose. She continued, “When the plague began I started looking around. I wanted to know what brought it on and how it could be cured. Suddenly these foreign doctors started showing up and seemed to know what they were doing so I followed them. I didn’t realize I was being watched by their hired muscle … they were better than me. I didn’t even know they were behind me and then everything went black. I woke up in a dungeon … there were sounds of screaming coming from somewhere outside my room; and there was a man in the room with me. I’d never seen him before or since. When he pulled out a knife I realized I was tied down to a table … he tortured me then … it’s how I got the scars on my face. Eventually he told me he would be back tomorrow and that he had other girls to see, then he left. They underestimated me though, I was able to escape.”
The Wanderer’s face goes white as a sheet and she says with tears in her eyes, “They probably have my Cheryl there right now, Cayden. They might have your friend too. Please, help me get her out.”