When Amelia approached the camp, it was all she could do not to turn and flee. A large number of Lion Guard soldiers stood outside, and by the gate stood him—her father—along with a soldier whose armor suggested he was a Lion Guard officer, and a robed mage, an Altmer who towered over all the Bretons and looked out of place. But she didn’t run away. She had meant it when she had told Chamberlain Weller she was no longer afraid of the man. She refused to let him intimidate her ever again.
At the center of the vast swamp of Glenumbra Moors lay the site of an ancient battle between the Direnni and the Alessians. They called it a fort, but there really wasn’t much to it except for a few rotting log walls and a cave with a heavy door. Today it was teeming with people, mostly mages, who stood outside the gate, peering onto the battlefield or casting spells. A large tent stood off to one side, and smaller ones were placed nearby.
An officious-looking orc stood near the gate, and Amelia went up to her. “I’m looking for whoever is in charge,” she said. “I’m from Aldcroft.”
It was raining when Amelia arrived in Aldcroft, although in her mind, even the rain couldn’t make the place more depressing. The townspeople would say it was a thriving hub of the shipping industry, but while cargo ships did indeed dock there, the village itself was a sty: a few hovels centered around an open-air market and dock area, with a lighthouse off to the south and a handful of campsites thrown in for good measure. A dozen or so decent houses were scattered here and there, but they only served to make the rest of the town seem more desolate. It rested at the southeastern edge of the Glenumbra Moors; and with Iliac Bay directly to the east, there wasn’t a lot of dry land, only a series of small islands connected to each other by footbridges. Two roads led out of town and met up with major thoroughfares that connected it to Daggerfall and Camlorn, but both were rife with crocodiles. The humidity was oppressive year round, not to mention the stench of wood rot and fish. She had been used to it growing up, but it was amazing how being away for a few years could make a person forget. Either that, or it had gotten worse over time.
Dale was understandably concerned about a werewolf in Daggerfall, and he and Michel Dubois promised to be more vigilant. They were also apologetic over their treatment of the homeless, but Amelia didn’t really expect them to change. Dale was right: they had seen a lot in their time with the guard, and that could make a person jaded.
Over the next few weeks, Amelia saw less and less of her lover. They were both busy with bandits and Bloodthorns, and she never really forgave him for his insensitivity toward the homeless, even if she understood his views. Eventually, they rarely saw each other at all, except when discussing work. She supposed it was for the best. She cared for him, but there was too much going on in her life to let her feelings develop into love. Fortunately there was little tension between them; it wasn’t a bad breakup, and besides, they were professionals. Personal feelings wouldn’t prevent them from being civil while working together. They still woke up in bed together on the odd occasion, usually when they had been drinking, but even that grew less often. The Spearhead was in port, and these days she was more likely to wake up in bed with Jakarn, often with both him and Kireina—sometimes just with Kireina.
“Trust me and I will guide you, my child.”
“I trust you.”
“What was that?” Dale mumbled, throwing an arm over her.
“Nothing. Go back to sleep.”
He snuggled closer and kissed her neck. “I’m awake now.”
“You sleep too lightly.”
“Have you always talked in your sleep?”