Ennu

Three chalices sat in front of Ennu, two empty and the third cup filled half with a blackberry wine that had slight tremors across the surface of the fluid from the sequential little to index finger tapping of his fingertips on the table. His eyes were immeasurably distant as Ennu cursed the storm that held him here. The ship was delayed nearly an entire week, along with his shipment. A sour look stained his features, and if anything brought a sense of dissatisfaction with the world around him, it was unreliability, instability, and damned ship-stopping, money halting storms.
Ennu sat and listened to the raging winds rush past the window on the far side of the room. A whispering ghost at first, to a screeching banshee and finally a distant howl far away to join its other wind brethren hampering the manor walls. He raised his hand stilling his tapping fingers to rest on the edge of an empty chalice. “No, I cannot sit idly by any longer,” he thought to himself quietly. Pushing his fingers forward the cup tipped and then bounced with a loud arpeggio clang that quickly faded before rolling back and forth a few moments. Ennu’s eyes still stared off into the distance as he stood, done with waiting for the storm to heed his impatience. Standing, Ennu made his way to the wall hanger by the door and grabbed his thick earthen wool cloak and throwing it across his forearm before exiting out of his rooms to do something about ending this dreadful lingering.
As the door rattled shut behind Ennu, a book on the shelf behind his desk fell with a soft thump to come to rest on the pale white skull. Eye sockets hollow and staring incessantly forward into the door leading out of the room, the weight of the book began to move the bone through the dust of the shelf. Slowly, at first, then as if pushed the book slapped the wooden shelf shifting the skull off the edge of the bookshelf. The head broke into several misshapen pieces on the hard finished floor of Ennu’s reading room. Blood began pooling beneath the shattered skull spilling slowly in all directions and between the seams of the hardwood planks of which the broken fragments now sat.

“Ennu!” He sighed to himself as he looked at the door to the outside of the manor, his hand resting on the cold brass handle that seemed to leech the humid cold air of the storm on the other side into itself.
“Yes, darling, what is it?” A petite, fair-skinned woman with hair the color of ravens came bursting out into the hallway and pointing at him and then motioning Ennu to follow her.
“Eat! You must eat before you wander off into the night on whatever venture you’re getting yourself into now.” She turned abruptly, not waiting to see if he followed because of course, he would.

“Quit mincing your words and just get to the point!” Elandri said, aggravated at his meandering around the problem.
Ennu sighed, releasing his grip on the handle of the knife, “The only thing getting minced, or isn’t now, is this damned dinner!” Ennu muttered under his breath. Dropping the knife into the half sloughed meat, Ennu sat on the nearby stool and focused intently on her green-blue eyes bearing into his, “I am merely just upset at the amount of time that wasted away over the last couple weeks because of this foul weather we’ve been having. It has nothing to do with you, any unknowns, or anything else in this house. It is what is OUTSIDE,” Ennu pointed randomly through the far wall of the kitchen, “that is frustratingly unstable.” Standing, Ennu grabbed the knife again to finish trimming the fat off the slab, “Let me sort it out without your prodding, easier that way.”
Elandri spoke matter of factually, “You are a big boy, so you should know what you got yourself into.”
Once again he stopped and looked up at her, “Yes, I know what I… got myself ‘into.’ That’s not the point, now is it?” Ennu set the knife down once more and leaned against the counter crossing his arms over his chest. “There’s unpredictability in situations like these of how circumstances we’ve never experienced are going to affect us. There’s a selfishness to this particular kind of situation of course, but it is not as I have ever had the pleasure of smuggling before. It’s a new, unprecedented, worrisome, dis-honest…” Ennu trailed off and moved away from the counter and sat down resting his arms on his thighs looking at her questioningly. “Have you ever heard of Three’s Light?”
“Desperate times,” Elandri muttered under her breath before answering feigning her ignorance, “No, why don’t you fill me in, my dearest?” She said with humorlessly raised lips.

The taste of dinner still permeated his tongue as he made his way through the drenched city of Lastium, a robustly stable city. Some rabble tends to focus along the outskirts in towards the mainland, but that comes with cities that outgrow the land they started on. With the high volume of expensive items going in and out of the large city the dock merchants pay a hefty, and willing, tax to keep any disruptive kind away from their goods. Constables are heavy footed with any troublemakers, and there are one for every ten citizens within the city that houses over 10,000 stable residents and just as many transients arriving by boat all hours of every day. At least there were that many people when there wasn’t a storm battering the harbor in which currently put the business at a stand-still. Business for merchants that had arriving goods, or perhaps smuggled goods that left a typically predictable Ennu out of sorts. The inns, pubs, and discreetly hidden away alley banned brothels were teeming with tourists and residents riding out the sheets of water pouring down from the charcoal colored clouds above.
Ennu pulled his cloak tighter around himself as a carriage blew past him, and he cursed wondering who in the devil’s hell would be in such a hurry to get nowhere at this time of day. He then chided himself and asked himself what his business was, why was he so hasty? “Just want this miserable business over with,” Ennu thought to himself.
He could hear the harbor waves splashing against the wooden sides of the docks as he approached a well lit, and very bustling, alehouse with a colorful wooden sign that read, “Last’s Draw.” He quickly made his way into the building shaking off his wide-brimmed hat that kept off some of the rain before entering. Ennu wasted no time and waved down the man behind the bar.
“I need to get in touch with a Light, one that will help me get to a ship docked out north of the harbor. The ship’s name is Resplendent.” Ennu spoke quietly to the innkeeper behind the bar, the noise of the main room drowning out his words.
“Fast ship that one is, high priority shipments, you think they’ll risk letting someone aboard during rough seas, good sir?”
“That is not the concern. I just need a Light.”
The innkeeper nodded, “I know of a certain Light, ‘thee’ Light to be exact. He will cost you more than the average as he will most likely be the only one willing with this weather.”
“The cost isn’t a concern, either,” Ennu stressed, “where can I find him?”
“Goes by the name Three, he’s most usually out at the house off of the southern number twenty-two dock. Good luck, sir.” The innkeeper, Last was his name, nodded to Ennu and heeded the call of one of his patrons asking for another fill.
Ennu turned to head towards the exit before running headlong into a barrel-sized chest. Ennu felt like he’d been tossed back by a wall before blinking away the sudden confusion and looking up towards the man’s face. “Ah, Constable Jenry, I apologize I was stuck in a reverie.”
“Not used to seeing you about perusing with the people of the city, Ennu. What brings you to this storybook cold and stormy night?” Jenry’s voice was laden hard with a Lastium accent, thick and from the gut, that only lifers of the city obtained.
Ennu cursed his luck as he smiled warmly towards Jenry, “Just checking on some shipments, making sure they’re still waiting out the storm and haven’t decided to sail back on home with my goods.” Which wasn’t far from the truth, getting a shipment wasn’t anything out of the ordinary being in the shipping trade capital this side of the ocean of Rystan.
“Ennu, it’s spittin’ demons from the heavens, what package can’t wait until the light warms us with her presence again?” Jenry asked curiously with a half risen brow.
Damn your suspicious inquiries Jenry, Ennu thought, “To be frank, Constable, I’m as antsy as a drying out worm watching this storm go on for days. Needed to get out and feel like things were getting done.”
Jenry nodded, “Should take up arms in the city guard Ennu!” He bellowed humorously thick from his gut, “When it’s wet the rats prowl the streets thinking we’re afraid to get wet for a catch!” Jenry slapped a meaty hand on Ennu’s shoulder, “Watch yourself out there the roads are slick with Oiler’s milling about.”
Oiler’s were what the people of Lastium nicknamed the transients who stayed longer than their welcome. Trying to dig their way into the river of coins that came and went in the pockets, purses, or charity given freely by the soft-hearted throughout the city. The city guard did well enough keeping them out of sight, but where there is a city, there is an underbelly no matter how well kept scrubbed on the surface. Ennu smiled and nodded his partings to the house of a man named Jenry, before quickly exiting the Inn back into the shroud of shadow that was the night.
The number twenty-two dock extended towards the very end of the harbor, one of the first landings coming in from the sea. There was only darkness within the small building at the top of the dock. Ennu found it hard to fathom, but it seems that Three was already out on the water, ‘At least it was worth a shot,’ he thought. There was a way to call a Light in darkness at the dock’s end. The pitch black night was impossibly dark, but as Ennu made his way down the flexible ramp towards the float, the black soup of water seemed to suck the rest of the thin light that remained in the hours after the second Sun’s fall. Trying as he might to not tumble off the edge of the dock in the unlit darkness Ennu found himself nearly going for a swim with each gust of the wind that seemed to laugh and howl at him with each passing gust. “Damned wind demons! Leave me be!” Ennu cursed to himself as he finally came to the end of the float, a cylindrical pole rose from the water that anchored the dock in front of him. Ennu chided himself for not bringing his light to lead the way forward. Foolishly, he didn’t think he would find himself in complete darkness tonight. “There’s the end,” Ennu muttered, “…now where is…” Looking to his left, he found the bell-box that held the call for a Light lead. Ennu wondered for a moment if Three would even be able to hear the ring. The Innkeeper, Last, said he was out here so he would just have to try.
The rain decidedly ramped up its efforts to add to his misery seemingly wanting to drown him as he stood as he opened the box with the brass bell the size of his head and pulled it out. Lightning cracked across the sky, golden flecks in the brass bell reflected a green shine off its surface before thunder crashed into his ear drums moments after, making his heart skip a beat. Ennu sighed and then hit the side of the large bell on the edge of the box itself. The clang that the brass bell made seemed to drown out all the rain and echoes of thunder that permeated the air before softly fading. Again, Ennu cracked the edge of the box, harder this time against the metallic corner seams. The rain didn’t cease, but the wind did die down for a moment as he listened to the bell’s deep tang speed across the churning sea waters. Finally, a third crack of the golden colored bell that seemed softer, yet lasted longer, than the first two rings was his last call to Three. Ennu then waited, holding the bell at his side looking out towards the mouth of the harbor feeling the sideways drops of water pelt the side of his cheek.
For what seemed an eternity Ennu stubbornly glared out into the water past the harbor, he imagined where the Resplendent would be riding out the winds and doing it’s best not to get close to shore, lest it would tear itself apart on the rocks of the jetties that inharmoniously protruded out into the Rystan ocean. As short as the small rock protrusions were into the waters, they were aptly named the Devil’s Fingers. Doing what they must by breaking apart the swells of the water coming inland, but they were deathly when the Lighthouse found itself dark in the night for poor unfortunate sailors trying to make their way inland. Ennu was in a reverie of an incident many years prior, a similar storm when the Lighthouse did not come alive in the night. Some still argue that of trespassers, tampering, or even terrorists that broke the fixture in which housed the light. Blood covered the rocks below the Lighthouse, but there were also three ships full of crewman that found themselves swimming for shore, their wooden hulls shattered in the dark. Therefore, blood on the rocks wasn’t necessarily a surprise. Ennu squinted through the sheet of water covering his eyes before wiping them away to see clearer. “There,” he thought, “…there he is.”
A dim light rose and fell with the black swells that slowly made progress towards Ennu, the stormy waters not concerning themselves with care for the approaching skiff as it rocked back and forth. A hooded figure rowed silently, slowly, and with infinite patience as he made his way to the twenty-second dock towards Ennu. “So this is Three,” Ennu thought. He had heard of him in passing, but never had the chance to come face to face in meeting with the man. Ennu stared into the cowl of the cloak trying to get a fix on the man’s face. There was only blackness in the hood, though. Can’t say he blamed the man, Ennu felt bruises on his cheek from the constant barrage pelting his face. ‘Perhaps I should have put my hood up, too,’ Ennu pondered for a moment, ‘Idiot,’ he thought, chiding himself. He shrugged off his self-accusations as Three brought his small transport boat parallel to the dock itself. Ennu reached down and helped the landing ship bridge the last few inches into the bumpers on the side of the dock. He didn’t bother with a tie and stepped down into the rain-soaked planks of the boat, as wobbly as it was with the water he only almost fell out twice. Three pushed off the dock with his long wooden oars to head back the way he had appeared. When they got far enough out Three reached out to each side of the small structure and extended out what looked like wings on each side of the boat. There was a small long buoy attached to the end of each ‘wing’ that instantly smoothed the rolling of the vessel. Ennu furrowed his brow towards the contraptions and nodded approvingly. Oh the things I never paid attention to, it truly is all in the details isn’t it, Ennu mused to himself before looking back to Three. Ennu noticed that Three had set aside his single bladed paddles and was staring back to him with eyes he couldn’t see in the depths of his hood.
“The Resplendent is the boat I’m looking for!,” Ennu yelled over the winds and rain towards Three, “You know of it, and where?!”
Three only nodded his cowled head and gave Ennu a quick gesture of his thumb raised up in the air. Three then pointed to one of his outstretched gloved palms and then to himself, indicated he was looking for payment.
“Of course!,” Ennu once again yelled over the winds as a rogue wave splashed over the edge of the boat on onto Ennu’s thighs. Ennu cursed before reaching into his bag of coins strapped to his belt and pulling out two golden coins, inscribed on the surface of the coin was the image of two oversized lizards grasping one another in their gaping jaws, and handed them over on his open palm so Three could plainly see their value. Three waved the offer away with both hands. Ennu leaned back, “More?! Is it more you want? How much? Double? Just ask, I have it!”
Three traced his index fingers from the side of his neck to meet on his chest; he apparently took Ennu’s face for confusion as he repeated the gesture. “My necklace?!” Ennu said confused as he reached under his shirt to pull out the piece of jewelry. Three once again gave Ennu the thumbs up before reaching his palm out. Ennu was at a loss as he stared down at the silver chain around his neck which held only a stark white skull about twice the size of a large grape. Ennu furrowed his brow as the memory of where he got the jewelry came over him. He found himself shaking his head and looked up to Three, “I can’t! I can’t part with this, yet!” Three slowly pulled his hand back and reached to the oars once more. Ennu shook his head, “Double! I will pay you four of these coins for the trip!” He screamed over the roar of the wind in his ears as he shook his fist toward the darkness in Three’s cowl. Three began rowing back the way they came towards the harbor.

Ennu slowly shut the brass handled door behind him and stared at the closed door a moment, listening to the drips of water sounding off the entryway mat. He had his necklace in his hand. “How did he even know about this?” Ennu thought, staring at the hollowed out eyes of the skull and seemed to be waiting for it to reveal its secrets when a hand touched the small of his back. Instinctively he flinched forward, face first into the door with a loud smack. “Arg! Elandri, what the hell are you doing sneaking up on me like that!” He scolded before turning to face her.
“You were a statue for what seemed like minutes! And I did call to you, but you blatantly ignored me!” Elandri scolded back, “Serves you right, hitting your head like that.”
Ennu growled to himself as he removed his rain-sodden cloak putting it on the hanger by the door and clasped the necklace back around his neck, tucking it under the ties of his shirt. “This night has not gone as I would have hoped, Elandri,” he murmured. “Let’s get some rest, I’m exhausted and have accomplished nothing for the effort.” She took his arm in hers after he removed his boots and they retired for the night. Making their way past Ennu’s study, he stopped for a moment looking towards the door.
“Not tonight…” She pleaded, “Just come to bed.”
“If I…” he began before shaking his head, “Yes, too tired, let’s get some sleep.”
In Ennu’s study, the still shattered skull lay motionless on the hard wooden floor. The deep red of the blood surrounding the broken pieces of the head was dark and shone with a sheen that could just as well have been sweat perspiring down a runner’s forehead, morning dew, or misty mountain air. A skittering across the floor came as the first rat scurried in from a dark hole in the corner to sample the liquid staining the floor. As the rat drank from the motionless pooled blood on the floor, two other rodents joined him in drinking from the new source of food to quench their thirst. A few heartbeats after their first sips all three rats lay unmoving, lifeless on the floor with their heads still in the blood around the broken skull.

Lightning flashed in the distance outside. There was only a soft drizzle coming down outside as Ennu made his way through the early morning throng of fishers and sellers peddling their wares. They were all just arriving to set up shop for the day or the fisher’s getting their lines ready to grab their catch. The first sun hadn’t even risen so the sky was still dark and the last remnants of stars were only beginning to fade with the brightening of the horizon across the ocean. Ennu didn’t wait for Elandri to stir before he quietly made his way out this morning, he merely grabbed his thick earthen colored cloak and made his way out into the foggy morning air. He could hardly sleep in the night with his concern over the delivery he was supposed to receive, and his meeting with Three still bothered him. He eventually wrote it off to a strange boat man’s inexplicable actions. “Some things just couldn’t be explained and don’t make sense in life,” Ennu thought. Three must have just guessed Ennu had something more valuable than money and was being greedy having to ride in the stormy waters. “Just what was he doing out there already anyway?” The thought faded as quickly as it came as a fisherman with an armful of gear crashed into the back of Ennu knocking him to the side and nearly off his feet.
“Out the way, mate!” The fisherman growled at him with a gravely full voice that matched his appearance. Ennu glared at the retreating backside of the large man but knew he was invading what was usually a time reserved for laborers. He had no place here until the first sun rose. The boats should be on their way inland. The waters were calm this morning. The storm was far past on the distant horizon, the lightning flashed, and thunder cracked in the distance still, but the wind had passed for the moment. Even so, Ennu cursed the fading storm still as he approached the busy docks that had all manner of activity, none of which Ennu cared. He was waiting for the merchant ship Resplendent to sail in the harbor which should be just after the first Sun’s rise. His buyer would want his shipment sooner rather than later, and the truth is, Ennu wished this nonsense passed. The money was fantastic, but he didn’t think he could take the stress or these types of transactions.
Jenry was making his rounds along the docks and was coming straight towards Ennu. ‘This man never sleeps,’ he thought with frustration as Jenry noticed him smiling warmly, but with a curious expression.
“Beginning of the morning to you, Ennu,” Jenry said with that thick Lastium accent.
“…and you, Jenry,” Ennu responded.
“Did you ever find that package you were so damnably determined to risk getting hit by lightning and drowning all in the same night?” Jenry asked with a slight chuckle.
“No, turns out that you were right once again, should have just stayed in for the night.”
“You could have stayed with the rest of us and enjoyed a few passing hours at Last’s for once, too, Ennu! You’re always so cooped up with whatever business you’re on!” Jenry said.
Ennu nodded to Jenry, “Yes, yes I will, soon, promise.”
“I’ll add that to the list of times you’ve promised, Ennu,” Jenry said lightly before waving a goodbye. “Must be about, stay safe and good luck with that special delivery.”
Ennu couldn’t stop a wave of panic come over him. Did he know? Was that a suspicious tone? Damn your intuitions, Jenry! “Thank you, Jenry, and have a good day,” Ennu responded shaking off his worries. “I’m just ridiculous,” Ennu thought, “This transaction has me way too wound up.” Faster then he realized, he was standing under the number twenty-two sign that was next to the small hut of a house. “Three’s place, if Last told me right.” There still wasn’t any light coming from inside the house. All the windows were empty and only reflected the harbor. Ennu found himself growing curious, more curious then he should be as he looked over his shoulder to see if Jenry was in sight, but he wasn’t anywhere. Ennu made his way to the shut door of the small abode. ‘I still have some time before the first sun rises, I’ll just see if he’s home.’ He knocked softly on the door. The door slowly swung open having not been shut completely.
It was dark inside, and Ennu couldn’t make out any details, “Three? Are you in there? It’s Ennu from last night. A couple of questions, if you would?” A resounding silence was all that responded to him, and Ennu furrowed his brow. Could he possibly still be out on the water? Ennu shook his head and knocked softly on the door again, well-greased hinges swung the door nearly all the way open. “Whoops…” Ennu told himself he didn’t mean to do that, but his curiosity took away his better judgment as he stuck his head inside to look around. “Three?” Ennu asked quietly. It was then that Ennu noticed there was only an empty building to greet him. “I thought this was where he was staying? Last must be mistaken.” Ennu went all the way inside the empty building. There were windows on each wall giving a great view of the harbor and the Rystan ocean extending out endlessly into the horizon. The first suns rise was just peeking over the distant waters, and the form of a large boat was just beginning to take shape across the harbor mouth’s entrance. “Timely,” Ennu said as he walked forward to look out the far window at the approaching ship. The horizon and the surrounding sky was truly beautiful, Ennu found himself admiring the colors spreading quickly across the heavens as he stared out the window. The ship which he could only hope was the Resplendent slowly crept it’s way forward towards the docks.
A constant stream of fishing vessels passed by going the opposite direction with a flurry of activity on the decks of the boats with a crew busily setting up gear and nets of all sorts. Ennu studied the larger merchant ship approach the outer piers to dock at an unloading station across the harbor. The ship indeed had the name Resplendent marked on the bow and stern end of the ship. Ennu smiled contentedly and turned, “Time to retrieve that damnable package.” He stopped as the door to the empty building slowly shut in front of him. Ennu stared for a moment towards the hand on the doorknob before following the length of the covered arm up to the cowled head of who he recognized as Three from the night before.
“Three! I’m so sorry for intruding. It was empty in here. I thought nobody was here!” Ennu spoke quickly and apologetic. Three waved away Ennu’s concern with a motion of his hand. Three’s features were still shrouded in darkness. The sight unnerved Ennu now that it wasn’t at night in the middle of a storm. Three made his way across the room next to Ennu and joined him gazing out over the harbor. Three’s thin weathered digits moved as the air around them had turned viscous. When they reached his cloak’s hood, Three pulled it away from his face. Ennu studied the old man’s thick curly white beard that completely covered his lower features, but wasn’t long. Deep eye sockets sunk into his skull to an extreme that seemed unhealthy to Ennu. Leathery skin stretched taught over a bald tanned scalp. Fearsome looking he is, Ennu thought. “Would you… like me to leave?” Ennu asked slowly after an extended period of silence.
Three didn’t shift his gaze, but long thin fingers curled down, and he brought his thumb to his forehead and brought it down to touch the top of his other thumb down near his chest.
Ennu watched him for a moment before Three turned to make eye contact with those dark shadowed eyes studying him. Three repeated the gesture and added after touching his thumbs together with the same sign he had given him the night before, a tracing of both his index fingers around his neck to stop in the middle of his chest. A voice as weathered as the skin that stretched over nearly visible bone and dark as the inset eye sockets accompanied the gestures, “Remember the necklace?”
Ennu visibly stepped back a bit, “…how? How do you know about that necklace anyway, and what’s it to you?”
Three didn’t respond and only turned to look back out the harbor towards the ship Resplendent now unloading its goods. Three pointed a long thin finger out the window and lifted his head towards the ship. “You better get going, Ennu.”
Ennu followed Three’s gaze as he spoke, “Yes, of course,” Ennu responded before backing away slowly to the door. Three remained standing and motionless staring out the window to the harbor. He did not move or say anything more as Ennu opened the door and exited the small building and started making his way towards the ship to retrieve his delivery. His mind couldn’t escape from that man named Three. There was just something unnerving about him. ‘Hell does he want with my necklace anyway? It wouldn’t possibly do him any good anyhow. At least, it shouldn’t?’ Ennu shook himself and pushed those thoughts away to concentrate on finishing the deal. It had been too many weeks, and he wanted this transaction over.

“Cotton blankets! it was a stack of cotton sheets!” Ennu raised his voice towards the Captain, “Where in the hell are they?!”
“These are the only blankets, SHEETS, or stack of anything for that matter we have right here, and they fit the inventory sheet, sir.” The Captain responded patiently with a practiced patience.
“These… are… WOOL!” Ennu said accusingly.
“Not… my… problem.” The Captain said to Ennu threateningly, “I deliver the goods, not make them. Now, off with you!” The Captain motioned for one of his deckhands to escort Ennu off the deck of the ship back to the docks.
Ennu grabbed the stack of wool blankets before turning to leave, “I can find my way,” he said to the huge deckhand approaching him with a glare. Ennu stomped hard down the ramp to the dock. He knew that it wasn’t the Captain’s fault, and he merely picked up the shipment, but he’d be to hell and back if he weren’t going to take his frustrations out on him. Ennu was at a loss for what to do. The buyer was going to be furious. He had to think. He had to get home and sit and figure this out. Elandri would just scold him for being an idiot for doing this anyway. He would figure this out. The way home proved unsuccessful at easing his concerns. He hadn’t calmed down in the least bit. His mind ran faster the closer he got to needing to deliver the already purchased goods. As Ennu entered the house, he noticed Elandri had stepped out already, probably to get some fresh food for the day. ‘Good, good. I have time to think this through, anyhow,’ Ennu thought as he made his way to his study. After opening the door, his mind stopped as he looked down to the skull on the floor to the side of his desk. He looked up to where it should be and saw the book that must have pushed the head down. Ennu tilted his head, “You would think that would break falling from that height,” He shook his head and retrieved the skull, placing it back to where it should be, setting the book back up on its end.
Ennu sat, dropping the stack of wool blankets on the desk in front of him. One of his chalices were filled still with the blackberry wine from the night before. He drank it down and reached into a drawer of his desk to grab the bottle and pour another. Ennu looked from the bottle to the cup and decided to skip the pouring and just drank from the bottle. He hesitated to inspect the blankets. He knew it wouldn’t be there. They weren’t the right ones, why would it be there. After the fourth or fifth drink, he set the bottle down and began untying the stack of wool blankets. There was supposed to be items sewn into the fabric of the material, hidden from sight. Ennu wasn’t meant to know what, just get them here unnoticed. He turned each blanket over in his hand. There were two of them, Ennu sighed. These were only one layer, and there was nothing inside them, no seam to hide anything, just a single layer of fabric, a traditional woolen blanket. There wasn’t even three of them. There was supposed to be three double layered cotton blankets, expensively made soft fabric from the city of Amorine, the city that created the most wondrous of machines and products.
He leaned back heavily grabbing the bottle again and finishing it off before throwing it hard against the far wall. It was a thick glass bottle, and Ennu wasn’t the strongest, so the bottle merely bounced and landed on the floor before spinning in a circle.

“The road to hell remains paved with such things, Ennu,” Three said to the empty room without a hint of humor, “I found that out first hand.”

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