Upon seeing them, the gate guards quickly ordered a carriage for Tybalt, Erima, and Vanessa to ride to the headquarters of the Laborer’s Guild. Along the way, Tybalt manages to signal one of his old contacts for a meeting later. Erima also receives a note that the Abbott would like to see her whenever she has a moment. Otherwise, the trip goes uneventfully except for a growing crowd of onlookers watching them as they pass by. The three of them hear several comments along the lines of, “They’re back too soon,” and, “Where’s the rest of them,” and various exclamations of how very attractive they are.
Once at the Laborer’s Guild, they’re quickly ushered inside to meet with Steward Winter. She is waiting for them at her desk. Before they can even reach her, she says, “What’s gone wrong?”
Tybalt replies, “It is wonderful to see you too Aunt,” as he helps Erima into the center of the three chairs arranged in front of Winter’s desk, leaves Vanessa to seat herself, then sits in the one to Erima’s left. “Would it kill you to at least offer refreshments to weary travellers?”
“They’re on the way,” she says, “And you know me too well to try bantering with me. Just as I know you can be direct when I need you to be. There’s only three of you, and you’re back much too soon to have made it to Karnas and back by conventional means. So please tell me what has happened.”
With that, there is a knock at the door followed by a servant bringing a tray of snacks and drinks into the office. Winter patiently waits for them to be served with only a single finger tapping on the edge of her desk. Which is enough for the servant to be eager to finish quickly and leave. Then Winter looks pointedly at Tybalt.
“Well, Aunt,” Tybalt begins, “We made it to Karnas and helped the Ambassador establish his embassy without any problems. I must say, this a very fine wine. But on our way back home we were ambushed. And, where did you acquire such fresh fruit in the middle of winter? “
After that They all discuss everything that happened in Karnas with Winter ignoring each of Tybalt’s flippant comments about inane things. Winter even suggests that Tybalt consult his father about the connection to Roget, and cautions him not to advertise it yet, as it could seem tenuous to anyone not there at the time, and a politician like Roget could play it down and bury it with little effort. She then informs them that she has arranged rooms for them at the Imperial Arms though apparently one of those rooms might not be needed as she glances pointedly between Tybalt and Erima. Erima blushes and Tybalt tells Winter that’ll be fine and thanks her.