"Come on, Naroy! One last drink before I take my mektoubs to the stable."

"No, Arty! You've been saying the same thing all morning, without ever leaving my bar. It's high time you left for Zora. Think of your customers!"

"How cruel of you, Naroy, forcing me to go on a difficult journey when I can't even stand straight."

"And whose fault is that? If you didn't like my beer so much you'd already be in Zora!"

Swearing, grumbling and cursing, Arty Mac Keaggan leaves the bar and with a hesitant and unstable walk heads for the cattle shed. Naroy Ba'Dardan keeps an eye on him for a moment and then turns his attention back to his customers.

Night falls slowly over Avendale. A stampede on the pontoon grabs the attention of the barman. Breathless, scratched and ragged, Arty Mac Keaggan bursts into the bar.

"Arty Mac Keaggan! If you purposely went and threw yourself in a wigweed to look like that so that you could come and ask for a beer to perk you up, you wasted your time!"

"You're no way near it, Naroy! I fell into an ambush!"

"What? Whereabouts? The surrounding area is safe."

"At the Whirling Stronghold!"

"You really take me for one of your stupid animals, don't you? That outpost has been in ruins for ages."

"Listen Naroy. I left a little drunk, I agree, but I still managed to get to the vortex for the Lagoons of Loria. When I got there, I was surprised to find it was nighttime. As I didn't want to travel at night in an area infested with Kipuckas, I went in the direction of the Whirling Stronghold. I thought I'd find the usual ruins but, to my surprise, I collided into a barrier and fell over backwards with a crash. Then I was immediately surrounded by Matis speaking homin with a strong accent. Straight away I thought it was the Marauders everyone has been talking about so much lately. They came upon me and assaulted me and I barely managed to make a desperate escape on the rump of one of my mektoubs."

"Mauraders have taken the Whirling Stronghold? What a worry! Quickly, Arty, lets warn the Chief of the Guards!"


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