Larandir knocked on the door of the ordinary suburban bungalow. It didn’t match her expectations, given why she was here, but this was definitely the right address.
The gate opened then closed again behind her and, when she looked, the two men coming up the garden path behind her were thugs, but not official ones. She might not be doomed yet, but she really wanted the door in front of her to open.
The man inside was dressed in black: jeans; tee-shirt; boots; and belt. The belt buckle’s interlinked eternal serpents had gold and green crystals for eyes. His thin horseshoe moustache was neatly trimmed, and he had practical muscles.
“Yes?” His eyes flicked from Larandir to the men and back again.
“I’m looking for passage to Costandidor and I was told that someone at this address could help.” She glanced over her shoulder. “I don’t know them.”
“I do. They’re some local standover merchant’s muscle I haven’t bothered killing yet.” He added, “If they’re going to try to extort the religious of the snake god, then they should expect violent death. Besides, that’ll cover our departure, Daughter of Higgins.”
“How did you-?”
“I’ve been expecting you. Now, let’s get my motorbike and really upset the Hierarch – he’ll hate it when we pull this off without divine help.”