The salty sea air was humid on the SeaDawn as it was docked in the harbor. Cascada’s custom officers were clustered in groups of three across the docks. As the ship was roped in tight, the lead Tax collector was up their gangplank, almost before it was fully in place. The squat elderly man spoke immediately.
“Where is the Captain of this vessel?”
“I be here, sirs,” Gerald bellowed, as he made his way up from below deck. “Hold onto yer breeches.”
“TWO SILVERS! The last time we sailed here T’weren’t but one and a piece!” blustered Gerald.
“Indeed, Captain, things have changed. What is your cargo?” asked the short man.
“Furs, silks, dried beef from Frier’s town. Oh and a few casks of the red from Vargo.”
“Higher tax on that, what with the trade embargo with Vargo.” he replied.
Shaking his head in agitation, Gerald quickly spoke. “I expected some such. Same up and down this cursed coastline. Come below and I’ll gitcha the manifest.”
Once the three officers had followed Captain Gerald below, Rupert Verigo, slid from the top deck, down the gangplank and into the crowd of laborers and warehouse officials. He vanished quickly, melding in the mottled grays and browns so commonly worn by those that worked the docks. His travel worn brown cloak and average height made his task much easier. As long as their weren’t any readers around he would be home free. Readers were a problem everywhere he tried to go on the Shellian coast. Their ability to pick up and read his power’s aura was highly inconvenient. For him to succeed with his orders, they had to be avoided at all cost. The Vargo high councilors had made it very plain to Rupert. Failure was not an option. He only had to make it to the palace grounds. “Hold on, Alyss, I will be there before you know.” he whispered.