The plan required local help. And I had to be alone to find it. Alone and vulnerable.
And I worried that they would think I was taking some position, making some claim. The streets were built to giant proportions – I was tall, but not that tall – so I felt a little small and awkward. And half-naked, as I had left Kanesha’s sword with Thruor. Not the necklace, mind.
The fyrhund padded next to me as I slipped into a tavern. I was not sure how I looked to them – I was exercising power to not be noticed which here? I probably looked like a nondescript giantess.
I found a corner table, ordered beer and listened while sipping it slowly. Slowly because I could not afford to be drunk. Like dwarves, fire giants seemed to have a drinking age of “Large enough to raise a tankard.”
But the crowd was subdued, then I heard a voice raised. “I know, but look at what he’s doing.”
Perhaps I had found what I was looking for. I set down my tankard and turned slightly to face the speaker.
“He’s the king. You speak treason. Sit down and sober up.”
“I speak truth.”
Well, this guy was going to be in the drunk tank if I did not do something. I nudged the fyrhund under the table and it got up and padded over there…and then as the giant stood to face his opponent, neatly tripped him into the table.
It was probably a Loki thing to do, but it deflected him from his rant. “I’m sorry. He slipped his collar.”
The man stalked over.
“Let me make up for it by buying you another drink. Sit down?”
He did so, warily. Glancing at me. “I should probably not have another. I forgot myself.”
“Or remembered yourself,” I said to him, seriously. “Tell me…”
“You are one of his spies.”
I shook my head. “Far from it, and we don’t have to talk here.”
He glanced around. “Tomorrow. When I’m sober. If I still want to talk, there’s a livery stable on Hercus Street.”
I nodded. I could find that easy enough. “Sure you won’t accept a drink. How about a bar snack?”
He considered, and finally let me buy him a snack to soak up the beer. I did not, though, expect to actually see him the next day.