“Miranda wants us to do what?” Feridwyn asked incredulously.
“Look,” Sentri explained. “All that thou needst do is get into Klog’s offices in Trinsic and find a copy of the Fellowship’s map to the Serpent Pillars.”
“Why canst one of thou two do it?”
“We canst not chance it,” Sentri explained. “I do have a certain amount of notoriety as a former companion of the Avatar, not to mention my time as Lord of Serpent’s Hold. And Klog actually once knew young Squire Spark here. Thou, on the other hand, wert once a well-known figure in the Fellowship. Thou knowest thy way around their halls.”
“Much hath changed in the three years since that time. I want nothing more to do with the Fellowship, and I see little reason to risk mine own skin for -thy- sake. I remember my time in the castle with thou people with little fondness.”
It was early morning, and the Salty Dog common room was nearly empty. The proprietress, Polly, emerged from the kitchens to deliver breakfast to the three conversants, before settling herself at a table across the room to converse with Thurston the miller, her newly married husband.
“Wouldst thou mind?” Sentri gestured at his plate.
Feridwyn nodded, grimacing embarrassedly.
It was rarely spoken of, that banal curse the Guardian had cast upon the Companions of the Avatar, and highly inconvenient. To be utterly psychologically incapable of feeding oneself, to the point of actually being able to starve within sight of a banquet feast, was indeed an unenviable fate. Fortunately, while the sight of Feridwyn spooning gruel into the waiting mouths of Sentri and Spark might have incited some raised eyebrows from their hostess, no remark was made of it.
“Thank thee,” said Spark, who had sprouted into a gangly adolescent in the years since the Avatar’s departure.
“Indeed, we are in thy debt,” Sentri agreed.
“Don’t mention it,” Feridwyn looked uncomfortable. “Honestly, I am sorry I may be of no more help to thee. The Fellowship rules these lands now, and I wouldst do nothing to put Brita and Garritt at risk, thou understand.”
“Yes, we understand,” Sentri sighed. “If only Lord British had the foresight to copy that chart before handing it over to the Avatar...”
“Wert there not any other such maps?” Feridwyn asked. “Surely someone else must have a copy.”
“I know of no one but the Lady Gwenno, and she departed to Serpent Isle before even the Avatar,” Sentri replied. “And the copy she made was given to Lord British, who handed it over to Iolo after the destruction of the Black Gate.”
“Wait!” Spark exclaimed. “Thou hast made me remember something. When Lord British sent the Avatar off, he decided to use the chart that was captured with Batlin’s belongings. Methinks they did not bring Iolo’s copy of the map with them.”
“Interesting,” Sentri mused. “But then, who wouldst know where the old bat left the other map?”
“I canst think of but one who may know.”
Sentri began to ask who might know, but then stopped short, realizing just whom exactly Spark meant.
“There may be no other way,” Spark insisted.
“Is there something I should know about?” Feridwyn asked.
Sentri cursed. “Thou wilt find out soon enough.”
“What dost thou mean?”
“Pack, Feridwyn, thou art coming to Yew with us.”
“...” Feridwyn protested.
“Don’t bother arguing. I am entrusted by the crown itself with this, and I shalt have thee arrested if thou dost not cooperate.”
“Certainly,” Feridwyn agreed darkly. “After all, we canst hardly leave the two of thee without a spoon-feeder, now can we?”