Leaving the inn we headed to the tip of the Worker’s Quarter where the Guild Hall was located. The Hall actually was built of the same stone as the custom-house, bath house and inn were made of. It was however darker in some way and crowded with people looking for work. I was not looking for just anyone though I was looking for men who were willing to make the transition from worker to soldier. The place was crowded with men and women but not all of them looked like they would fill the bill.
The Guild Hall Steward processed my request. He was a thin tall man and looked more like a scarecrow but he seemed all the more eager to help us once he saw the king’s seal on my financial papers. It took no time at all for the postings to be put on the wall and be crowded around by perspective workers. We had asked all interested parties to be there at dawn of the next morning of the next day so once we had done all we needed to do we headed to the bathhouse for what would be come our daily ritual of taking a bath.
This time I knew what to expect and so I was even more confident as we went though washing, rinsing and drying off with both sexes present. The chief difference this time though is how everyone, and I mean everyone, was polite to us. I was greeted by everyone as ‘Lady Rosenhall’. I was a little taken aback but it should also be noted that no one tried anything as crass as coming up to me and offering an alliance or any such thing. Although many looked like they wanted to they held their ground although the men seemed to send more glances my way. I dried off by the stove and then Mya and I redressed and after some short deliberation, I headed into the Worker’s Quarter looking for this Seer my father had once upon a time had consulted.
The Worker’s Quarter is not laid out with nice even streets like the other quarters. Its streets cut back and forth and the houses look run down and old. There was also the criminal elements which was light but ever-present. Mya and me felt eyes watching us but Mya would place a hand on her knife and I would walk with my hand on my sword hilt and all of a sudden those eyes would get more distant. Finding the seer though was not difficult as everyone seemed to know who we were talking about and they led us down the path. Even stranger was the fact that people smiled at us from time to time like we were expected.
In the end, we found the seer’s place in almost the center of the quarter. It was a typical Nord house but with blacked out windows and a mysterious look to it. The sign was over the door saying ‘Nala the Seer’. It was an old brown thing with red letters. I had Mya set my banner near the door and both of us went inside.
The inside of the house was clean and well polished. It contrasted greatly with the outside of the house. The place was well swept and had a nice smell to it but I couldn’t place the sweet fragrance. There was a round table in the middle of the room. There were two chairs on one side and only one on the others. The carpet on the floor was red with Nordic designs in the edge of black. Other than that this room was unadorned and so we waited. We did not have to wait too long.
“It has been long since the last time that the Banner of Rosenhall has stood outside my home.”
The voice actually sounded young and not like what I expected from a seer that my father know long ago and when the woman strode into view. She looked maybe ten years older than I and I was surprised to see her red hair was very similar to my own.
“It is said you knew my Father, I am Sophia Rosenhall. You’re younger than I expected”
The woman smiled and gestured us to both be seated. I could see Mya was uneasy and her fingers stroked the handle of her knife. I myself worked very hard to keep my hand from my sword hilt but I too could feel that something was not completely right. There was more to Nala the Seer than met the eye.
“Your Father knew me when I was younger. But I am older than I appear.”
“My father consulted with you. I wish to know what about.”
Nala smiled again, held up her finger indicating we should wait and then she disappeared into the back of her house. In moments she returned with book in her hands. She opened it and placed it in front of me. The page before me had an illustration of a circlet. I was quite ornate and had five polished smooth stones set in it.
“Your father wanted to locate this circlet. He was pretty set on it but never found it.”
“Did he tell you why?”
“It is the circlet of ancient queen who ruled all of Altar many centuries ago. It was said to hold great power for the wearer, but that wearer had to be a woman. He never got more than the one chance to go get it and he never even got more than a single clue and before you ask that clue died with him.”
“Did you help him?”
“No, my foresight does not work that way but I did lead him to your mother. You might say I played match maker.”
“I told him his daughter would wear this circlet on her brow, but to do so he would have to marry the sister of the king and flee Altar.”
A knot formed in my throat. I leaned back in the chair.
“Your father trusted my predictions, he had profited many times from them and he knew if my advice was followed it would lead to the end my path showed him. He gave up the search for the circlet and began other plans.”
“I can’t believe I am fated for this.”
Nala laughed, “It does not work quite that way, I can only see possibilities of the future. Your father avoided some of them by changing course many times. It is due to my advice and predictions that the current king holds the throne. I can only see some possibilities of the future not all of them. You will wear this circlet in one of the possibilities I see, but I cannot aid you as I did your father.”
“You are more than you seem. How do I know you telling me the truth?”
“Trust is a difficult thing, I will reveal one thing about myself that will put me at your advantage. I am the grand master of the thieves’ guild of Ragnar. It is why you came though this quarter of the city without incident and without a single thief trying to steal from you. While I cannot use my power of seeing for you Lady Rosenhall, I can be your ally.”
“Yes, my own future is intertwined with yours.”
I picked up the book and looked at the drawing of the circlet again.
“Does this circlet have a name?”
“Yes, it is called The Crown of Sophia.”