"Whence the Dragoon?"
I was halfway to the woods when a parchment plastered itself to my face. Dragoon or no, I couldn't flee blind, so I removed it and found a scrawled message. "Return to town. Strauss."
One simply doesn't ignore a summons from a Retainer.
I crept back into the flaming town, cursing the curiosity that had drawn me to spy on Strauss over a year before. She permitted me to read from her hidden library despite my indiscretion, but today I wished she would forget my existence.
Strauss flung open the door juggling an armload of crisp scrolls.
"Here." She shoved a torn parchment into my hand.
"What causes dragoons?" Strauss grabbed another scroll to read. "Not much time to get through all this. Help."
I fell into a rhythm: scan, no answer, switch, and scan. I almost tossed the Ballad of Dragoon Lagoon, but realized in time that the scroll held pertinent information, so handed it to Strauss.
She grinned as she read. "It's a misinformation spell! My enterprising sneak, you are now a worthy member of the Knowledge Retainer Cabal."
Sending me out front as a distraction, Strauss crept up behind the dragoon and found a spell-packed barb embedded in its flank which she promptly removed, releasing a crouching Snark from the hide of the dragoon. After vaporizing the hide, Strauss and the Snark retired to
the library for a couple pails of gin.
I was sent to inform the townspeople of our accomplishment.
Miss Snark is always pleased to know her passport is good for other worlds!