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The Loom and Spindle (Vozhdya)


Oak planks form the walls and floor of this shop in Vozhdya Square. Light streams from two windows on either side of the door, and from a single window on the east wall of the shop. Near the east wall window stands a short fat belly stove, two wooden chairs, and a wooden stool. Next to the stove, is the entrance to the shop's workroom.
The back wall is covered with wood shelves stacked with fabric samples and finished clothing. A long wood counter runs in front of the back wall, leaving just enough room for one person to pass between shelves and the counter. A wood stool stands behind the counter. The west wall is empty save for a door leading to a set of stairs and two additional rooms.

Into the shop steps an all-too-familiar form - bald head, grisly finger necklace, grim smile and a sharp nose. Surrector Gell Mikin is currently wrapped in a cloak of shriekweasel furs, heavy cotton trousers and polished black boots. He allows his eyes to become adjusted to the light soon after entering, closing the door behind himself.

Chase licks its paw.

Althea Weaver stands behind a wood counter, sketches on parchments strewn on its surface, a mug of tea by her side. At the sound of the door opening, she looks up with a smile. A smile that soon tightens as she recognizes the new visitor. Quickly she moves around the counter and bows to the Surrector. "Excellency," she says gravely. "You honor my shop. Please come in." She stands once more waiting his word.

Gell Mikin approaches the counter, his smile neither fading nor growing. "Mistress Weaver. Your friends continue to elude us. Have you heard from them? *Any* of them?"

Althea inclines her head, a mixture of tiredness and wariness in her eyes. "I have many friends," she says in reply. "But if you mean the Finethreads, no, I haven't heard from them. I fear them dead now. His Grace has advised me that perhaps they died at the hands of Pash Cobble."

"And who would His Grace be, precisely?" The Surrector inquires.

Althea blushes, eyes fluttering. 'My apologies for not being clear,' she says. "His Grace Vodz-Kahar."

Gell Mikin lifts his chin. "And why would the duke think that Pash Cobble murdered those women, rather than aiding them in their escape from the Church of True Light?"

Althea shakes her head and shrugs slightly. "I have no idea, Excellency," she says. "He was warning me to stay away from Master Cobble and to, I think, end my search for the Finethreads. It mayhaps was an offhand comment, but he seemed quite adamant about his assessment." She gestures to the chairs near the stove. "Can I offer you ease and tea?"

"No," the Surrector replies curtly. "But you may tell me if you have heard from Master Cobble. You had done business before. I am given to understand you were on friendly terms. Perhaps he has tried to contact you since his escape from Aegisport?"

Althea sighs, but looks straight at the Surrector unflinching. "I do business with a great many crafters, Excellency," she says. 'And I have found kindness does more for relations than coldness. As for Master Cobble, I do not know where you might find him. It is dangerous business he has found himself in, and busines I'd rather not continue to be involved in. If I may?" She walks to the stove, takes up the teapot and refills her mug. Setting the pot back down, she takes a swift sip of the hot liquid, then stand, hip cocked and hand resting there.

"A wise choice," Gell Mikin replies, brushing his intact fingers briefly against the grisly adornment dangling against his chest. As his hand falls back to his side, he says, "If he does make contact with you, notify me at once." He glances around the shop. "It would be a tragedy to see such a prosperous business come to harm."

Chase curls up on the ground.

Althea stands straight, though her hands are trembling. "I'll let you know if Master Cobble comes calling," she says. "Unless he burn me to the ground also." Her eyes are level and calm.

Gell Mikin smiles faintly. "Very good. Keep in the Light." With that, he turns and stalks away, making his way to the door, tugging it open, and vanishing into the night.

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