ii) The inn is quiet

The inn is quiet, save for the sounds of gambling, and the honky-tonk piano of a frail old woman, who at her age is plainly just going through the motions.

The piano stops when the group of friends walks in lugging their scuffed and filthy crates. Snoring can be heard from a fellow passed out at the bar.

With the inn’s attention on them, Shyan says, “We’re looking to sell. Bottles, phials, the like. There a chemist in town?” A murmur passes through the patrons.

Cang flashes a sign to the bartender, who begins pouring drinks. A woman in indigo robes of a delicate cut stands, throws back her hood. She has an untamed mass of ebon hair, and behind it, a hairline scar running across her forward. She slams another shot of murky brown booze before clearing her throat. “I,” she says, with a suppressed hiccup, “am an alchemist.”

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