"That is fine," Creek Mary reassured him as they hurried along. "Your gifts will be an assuring thing to have. Let us just pray that we do not have to use them." She was then distracted by several cries of fright up ahead. People were crowding about the stables, where the stable hands were dragging our three bodies--unknown to the companions, the three of the five men that weren't so lucky to escape Belraad's wrath with a missing ear. As Creek Mary hurried to invesitgate, her hand covered her mouth and she was forced to look away lest she cry out in horror. Only an assassin could go to such lengths... "Sir, what happened here?" Dead Boy asked a nearby hand, taking care that his face was covered by the cloak. The young man was as white as a sheet. "We found them only moments ago, freshly dead," he swallowed. "A merchant wagon's missing, too. But there wasn't anything that valuable on it to justify killing three people..." "There is now," Mary said in dread, looking up at Adrius. Thanking the boy, they hurried to the edge of town where the Djeres Highroad stretched out once more before them, going to Alexander. There was no way they would catch up to a horse-drawn wagon on foot, she realized...and the wagon tracks were already erased in the mud by rain. Closing her eyes gently, she reached into one of the many pockets of her doeskin tunic and pulled out a small handfull of ordinary dust, lacking luster in every form. She whispered a small prayer and let go of the dust. It rained to sprinkle the ground, but instead took the transparent shape of a wild dog. It whined and looked up at her; as its feet touched the wet ground its paws took on a muddy look. She spoke silently to the spirit and it took off with the speed they did not possess. She would at least watch over Eris and her captor until they could get there. She turned toward Adrius and gestured for motion. "Quickly!" Without another word she followed the wolf down the muddy highroad. **** Eris looked down at the ear and made a strange face. "Eww...that's alright, you can keep it," she said then with a forced smile. "I have enough tokens to deal with." She slowly took the wineskin, thinking that this guy was insane and that she'd better find a way out of here lest it be in a burlap sack. "Ahh, what the hell. I was going in this direction, anyway. Now I've got a free ride," she shrugged.