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“Strange happ’nins round these parts of a fortnight,” says the innkeep, leaning over the oak bar with a conspiratorial glance.

“Oh no,” says Aberdeen.

“Children afeart, animals missin’. Some say that old hermit what lives in the foothills has–”

“Look, I’m sorry, but I’m not an adventurer,” says Aberdeen, embarrassed.

The innkeep’s dialect fades. “But your sword! Your travel stains! Your mismatched traveling band!”

“We’re a theater troupe.” Aberdeen waggles the sword. “Prop. The stains are a postmodern homage to–”

“That is obviously just to throw the dark hunters off your trail,” he snaps.

“Well, yes, but mostly for tax reasons.”