Saya was visibly relieved when Lydin volunteered to accompany her, although nobody else seemed up to the task. Even if he wasn't skilled in combat, just having a bit of backup was reassuring for a mission like this. She gave the elf a small smile when he finished speaking and said, "I also do not intend to enter the castle looking like this." She made a sweeping motion with her hand indicating her fur attire. "I'll be picking up a more... local outfit and I can use a bit of cosmetics to disguise my appearance as well. When I'm finished, many of you may not even recognize me."
"Good," Oleg said. "Lydin, you call on those favors of yours, and Saya, you prepare yourself with what you need. Everyone else, I want you walking the streets. eavesdrop on conversations, look out for anything suspicious, I don't care, just get us whatever information you can. As for the caravan, I think it will be a good idea to send a small team to scout ahead. Aliat are you up to leading that?"
Aliat gave a nod. "I'm familiar with the routes it usually takes, but I'll bring back whatever information I can on how heavily it is guarded and what carts are more important."
"Good. That should wrap up today's meeting. Saya, Lydin, the number one rule is get back safe. Pick up your coins from Malus before you leave."
With that, the meeting ended and the room became filled with chatter. Saya, however, wore an unusually grim expression. She picked up the enchanted coins with a simple "thank you," but no smile. Then she walked back to Lydin and said, "I'm going to gather what I need now. Where should I meet you?"
Aliat had noted that Aries seemed a bit uneasy during the meeting. It was understandable though; young warriors were usually overconfident or overmodest. Perhaps if he took her along with him he could help build up her self esteem and see what she was truly capable of. After all, on this kind of scouting mission, violence was a possibility. "Aries," he said, "Why don't you join me on the scouting mission. It will be good to get you as much experience as we can before things escalate. I'll be taking one other person too, but I don't want the group to be any bigger than that. We'll be leaving the city walls, so make sure you pack plenty of supplies."
* * *
Urzel reported that Fuschia had returned and was in the main hall now, so Korlik figured it would be a good time to greet her. The blue dragon entered the hall just after the general finished specifying how she liked her bears, and approached her with a sweeping bow. "General Fuschia, it has been ages! I am glad to see you doing well, though I assume you are here on business. Little else can compel dragons to come to the north these days. Is the matter private, or is there anything I can do to assist you?" Even when he was prying for information, Korlik's manners made it seem like he was doing people a favor. Fuschia was one dragon he would gladly help if he could, though. It was always nice to have connections, and Fuschia was very close to Salazar, which was useful both for mediating arguments between the primes and for calling on favors if he needed them. Fuschia herself was rather pleasant to deal with as well. She had a blunt demeanor, but that meant that there was little guesswork in figuring out what was on her mind.