The silence had become palpable, no one meeting each other's eyes. Far off in the distance, echoing off the stone walls, came howls, yelps and growls of the various animals that was kept under the Fields of Triumph. Rikus glanced to his side, at the human man who was slumped on the floor, staring off into space. Rikus, a bald dwarf, stood out from all other dwarfdom as he was shaven. As punishment for some mysterious wrong that he'd done to his clan, Rikus had to shave his beard off and then was exiled from the clanhold. He'd made his way across Faerun, fighting here and there before finding a home and acceptance among the Order of the Black Sword. Wijon, his closest friend, human or otherwise, had joined the order around the same time. Forming under the stern leadership of Belgora Agundar, the Order had been a successful adventuring company before accepting an offer to fight solely in Waterdeep's arena.
"So, anyone see that new creature they brought in, the one from the jungles of Chult? Two horns above the eyes, one from the nose. Big as a house!" announced Gregor Greenstaff, the company's mage. He looked around the room, but no one met his gaze. He shrugged uncomfortably and lapsed back into sullen silence.
Rikus could stand it no more. Straightening up from his slouch on the wall, he cleared his throat, saying "Well, Wijon and me are gonna go back out on the road. Belgora's left us, seems clear to me. We're on our own now." He looked down at Wijon. The large man nodded his agreement.
"So that's it? Belgora leaves and we just split up?" asked Carmenell, the female archer. "Who says one of us can't take the lead? Or do we need a leader? We just talk things over and agree on an outcome. How does that sound?"
In a surprisingly soft voice for such a large man, Wijon answered "It wouldn't work, Carm. Belgora drew us, held us together. Without him, this... "order" would never survive. I've been getting the feeling Bel's heart hadn't been in anything he's done for awhile. I think that's what kept him here."
"Nay, that brother of his kept him here. Now that he's gone, Bel can come out." said Gregor, picking his teeth with a splinter.
Rikus shared a look with Wijon, who shrugged, and spoke "Whatever you decide, Wijon and I are out. We'll take our cash, find lodgings in the city and wait out the winter. When it breaks, we'll hit the road."
The others looked at each other, their eyes asking questions they couldn't bring to voice. Carm wearily rubbed her temples. "Fine. You two do what you want. I'll find Norsinnow and let him know."