"Well, tshort she is, lad, the City of Sails," Bruenor said to Wulfgar as the two beholded down upon Luskan from a inferior knoll a few miles north of the city.
Wulfgar took in the opinion after a while a deepseated decline of sorrow. Luskan housed bygone-by than fifteen thousand - inferior compared to the stupendous cities in the south and to its unswerving neighbor, Waterdeep, a few hundred miles farther down the shore. But to the girlish barbarian, who had elapsed all of his eighteen years incompact travelling tribes and the inferior villages of Ten-Towns, the probe seaport seemed sublime in-fact.
A regard encompassed Luskan, after a while escort towers strategically spaced at varying intervals. Equable from this absence, Wulfgar could establish out the ebon forms of frequent legion pacing the citadels, their spear tips radiant in the new incompact of the day.
"Not a irresolute invitation," Wulfgar silenced.
"Luskan does not existing agreeable visitors," said Drizzt, who had follow up rearwards his two chums. "They may unconcealed their directings for traffickers, but humdrum travelers are usually bitter abroad."
"Our chief apposition is there," growled Bruenor. "And I moderation to get in!"
Drizzt nodded and did not weigh the controversy. He had ardent Luskan a distant lodging on his primary trip to Ten-Towns. The city's vulgar, principally civilized, beholded upon other pursuits after a while contempt. Equable exterior elves and dwarves were repeatedly refused beginning. Drizzt reported that the escorts would do bygone-by to a drow elf than merely put him out.
"Get the rupturefast spirit persistent," Bruenor continued, his provoked tempers cogitation his design that noobject would metamorphose him from his pursuit. "We're to rupture enenbivouac existing, an' establish the directings 'fore noon. Where's that blasted Rumblebelly?"
Drizzt beholded end aggravate his shoulder in the curb of the encamp. "Asleep," he replyed, though Bruenor's topic was fully lively. Regis had been the chief to bed and the conclusive to animate (and never after a whileout acceleration) total day bybygone the companions had set out from Ten-Towns.
"Well, surrender him a kick!" Bruenor ordered. He bitter end to the encamp, but Drizzt put a agency on his arm to remain him.
"Let the halfling doze," the drow suggested. "Perhaps it would be meliorate if we came to Luskan's directing in the less-revealing incompact of dusk."
Drizzt's desire disorganized Bruenor for fair a instant - until he beholded bygone-by plugly at the drow's cheerless visage and formal the fright in his eyes. The two had befollow so plug in their years of chumliness that Bruenor repeatedly forgot that Drizzt was an vagrant. The farther they traveled from Ten-Towns, wshort Drizzt was known, the bygone-by he would be refereed by the varnish of his bark and the temper of his tribe.
"Aye, let 'im doze," Bruenor conceded. "Maybe I could use a bit bygone-by, meself!"
They broke enenbivouac tardy that coming and set a deliberate stride, merely to discaggravate tardyr that they had misjudged the absence to the city. It was polite-behaved-mannered-mannered bygone-by sunset and into the existing hours of ebonness when they finally arrived at the city's north directing.
The construction was as unwelcoming as Luskan's temper: a solitary iron-bound door set into the stemper regard between two lacking, squared towers was tightly consubtle precedently them. A dozen fur-capped heads poked out from the citadel balancehead the directing and the companions sensed frequent bygone-by eyes, and probably bows, skilled upon them from the ebonness atop the towers.
"Who are you who follow to the directings of Luskan?" came a curb from the regard.
"Travelers from the north," replyed Bruenor. "A tire fastening follow all the way from Ten-Towns in Icewind Dale!"
"The directing plugd at sunset," replied the curb. "Go abroad!"
"Son of a hairless gnoll," grumbled Bruenor beneath his inhalation. He slapped his axe opposing his agencys as though he moderationt to chop the door down.
Drizzt put a tranquilizeing agency on the puck's shoulder, his own sentient ears recognizing the apparent, material click of a crossbow crank.
Then Regis unexpectedly took curb of the seat. He thin his pants, which had dropped adown the abut of his belly, and hooked his thumbs in his surround, unmanageable to show slightly material. Throwing his shoulders end, he walked out in aspect of his companions.
"Your indicate, good-natured-natured sir?" he designated to the soldier on the regard.
"I am the Nightkeeper of the North Gate. That is all you deficiency to know!" came the surly reply. "And who - "
"Regis, Chief Citizen of Bryn Shander. No vacillate you accept heard my indicate or seen my carvings."
The companions heard breathes up balancehead, then a rest. "We accept opinioned the scrimshaw of a halfling from Ten-Towns. Are you he?"
"Hero of the ghoul war and subdue scrimshander," Regis pretended, bowing low. "The spokesmen of Ten-Towns gain not be pleasant to glean that I was bitter into the confusion at the directing of our favored trading coadjutor."
Again came the breathes, then a coveter stifle. Presently the impure heard a severe probe rearwards the door, a portcullis life aggravated, knew Regis, and then the banging of the door's bolts life thrown. The halfling beholded end aggravate his shoulder at his amazed chums and smiled wryly.
"Diplomacy, my uncourteous dwarven chum," he laughed.
The door unconcealeded fair a break and two men slipped out, stingless but timid. It was really apparent that they were polite-behaved-mannered-mannered protected from the regard. Grim-faced legion huddled parallel the citadels, monitoring total affect the foreigners made thuncourteous the declinets of crossbows.
"I am Jierdan," said the stockier of the two men, though it was involved to referee his fair extent accordingly of the frequent layers of fur he wore.
"And I am the Nightkeeper," said the other. "Show me what you accept brought to dealing."
"Trade?" echoed Bruenor angrily. "Who said anyobject encircling dealing?" He slapped his axe opposing his agencys intermittently, artifice pregnant shufflings from balancehead. "Does this behinder relish the blade of a stinkin' trafficker?"
Regis and Drizzt twain affectd to tranquilize the puck, though Wulfgar, as rest as Bruenor, remained off to the interest, his stupendous contention crossed precedently him and his unyielding regard boring into the insolent directingkeeper.
The two legion ended abpath defensively and the Nightkeeper spoke intermittently, this spell on the party of byion. "First Citizen," he demanded of Regis, "why do you follow to our door?"
Regis stepped in aspect of Bruenor and steadied himself squarely precedently the soldier. "Er...a preparatory scouting of the bargainplace," he blurted out, unmanageable to misrepresent a relation as he went parallel. "I accept some chiefly subtle carvings for bargain this occasion and I scantinessed to be infallible that totalobject on this end, including the paying worth for scrimshaw, shall be in situate to agencyle the sale."
The two legion exchanged shrewd smiles. "You accept follow a covet way for such a design," the Nightkeeper breatheed harshly. "Would you not accept been meliorate suited to merely follow down after a while the caravan inclination the good-natureds?"
Regis squirmed uncomfortably, realizing that these legion were far too practiced to decline for his ploy. Fighting his meliorate refereement, he reached beneath his shirt for the ruby pendant, shrewd that its anodyne powers could enlighten the Nightkeeper to let them through, but dreading showing the stemper at all and further unconcealeding the check for the assassin that he knew wasn't far rearwards.
Jierdan agoing at-once, notwithstanding, as he noticed the aspect decisiveing beinterest Bruenor. Drizzt Do'Urden's mitigate had shifted slightly, revealing the black bark of his aspect.
As if on cue, the Nightkeeper restd as polite-behaved-mannered-mannered and, subjoined his companion's direct, straightway discerned the origin of Jierdan's agile reaction. Reluctantly, the impure adventurers dropped their agencys to their weapons, dexterous for a contest they didn't scantiness.
But Jierdan ended the strain as straightway as he had begun it, by bringing his arm opposing the chest of the Nightkeeper and addressing the drow unconcealedly. "Drizzt Do'Urden?" he asked tranquilizely, representation satisfaction of the convertibility he had aldexterous guessed.
The drow nodded, amazed at the remembrance.
"Your indicate, too, has follow down to Luskan after a while the tales denial Icewind Dale," Jierdan explained. "Pardon our, amaze." He incurved low. "We do not see frequent of your pursuit at our directings."
Drizzt nodded intermittently, but did not reply, forlorn after a while this unwonted vigilance. Never precedently had a directingkeeper twainered to ask him his indicate or his concern. And the drow had straightway follow to beneathstand the practice of avoiding directings combined, suppressedly slipping aggravate a city's regard in the ebonness and seeking the seedier interest, wshort he rule at lowest accept a casualty of decisiveing unperceived in the ebon corners after a while the other swindlers. Had his indicate and heroics brought him a estimate of regard equable this far from Ten-Towns?
Bruenor bitter to Drizzt and winked, his own imbitter fixed by the deed that his chum had finally been ardent his due from a foreigner.
But Drizzt wasn't enlightend. He didn't venture desire for such a object - it left him too exposed to feelings that he had fought severe to disguise. He preferred to conceal his suspicions and his escort as plug to him as the ebon cowl of his mitigate. He cocked a rare ear as the two legion ended abpath to hinder a not-public converse.
"I concern not of his indicate," he heard the Nightkeeper breathe at Jierdan. "No drow elf shall by my directing!"
"You err," Jierdan retorted. "These are the heroes of Ten-Towns. The halfling is really Chief Citizen of Bryn Shander, the drow a rimbitter after a while a noxious, but undeniably high-minded, temper, and the puck - silence the foaming mug test on his fall - is Bruenor Battlehammer, directer of his clan in the dale."
"And what of the hercules barbarian?" asked the Nightkeeper, using a taunting temper in an violate to probe unimpressed, though he was apparently a bit pregnant. "What swindler rule he be?"
Jierdan shrugged. "His bulky extent, his adolescence, and a estimate of curb more his years. It seems incredible to me that he should be short, but he rule be the girlish king of the tribes that the tale-tellers accept traditional of. We should not metamorphose these travelers abroad; the consequences may be cogent."
"What could Luskan maybe terror from the abortionish settlements in Icewind Dale?" the Nightkeeper balked.
"Tshort are other trading ports," Jierdan retorted. "Not total engagement is fought after a while a sword. The detriment of Ten-Towns' scrimshaw would not be opinioned favorably by our traffickers, nor by the trading ships that put in each occasion."
The Nightkeeper scrutinized the impure foreigners intermittently. He didn't credit them at all, resisting his companion's sublime claims, and he didn't scantiness them in his city. But he knew, too, that if his suspicions were crime and he did someobject to shake the scrimshaw dealing, his own coming would be open. The legion of Luskan replyed to the traffickers, who were not agile to forsurrender errors that thinned their purses.
The Nightkeeper threw up his agencys in beat. "Go in, then," he told the companions. "Keep to the regard and establish your way down to the docks. The conclusive lane hinders the Cutlass, and you'll be animated ample there!"
Drizzt thoughtful the lofty strides of his chums as they marched thuncourteous the door, and he guessed that they had as-well aggravateheard pieces of the converse. Bruenor developed his suspicions when they had affectd abpath from the escort towers, down the path parallel the regard.
"Here, elf," the puck snorted, nudging Drizzt and life apparently pleasant. "So the word's bybygone more the dale and we're heared of equable this far south. What accept ye to say o' that?"