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Allanon watched with interested as the skiff drove into the desert. This was an interesting perspective for viewing the desert he had traveled on foot before. He was fairly aware of the wildlife through his own studies, however, this was his first time seeing a sand wolf. He was quite fascinated about this new sight. The way Chihiro spoke was quite off-putting. Before he could question it out loud, he heard Bidzil's comments about the Calabris family and his ignorance about them.

He took serious issue with the lack of knowledge in regards to the Calabris family. After all, they had their hands in everything everywhere. The fact that they were unknown outside of Portea only went to show how effective their covert operations were.

He faced Bidzil with a serious expression. "The Calabris are not a person, they are a family. They are a business. They are a corrupt organization representing the worst in humanity. They are everywhere, and where ever they are they should be cut out with precision. They are the most powerful family of the Big Three in Portea, and they are greedy monsters. The fact that they are so little known outside of Portea is a worrying thing."
Allanon had gotten onto the skiff without a word. The variety of races present without any clear discomfort between their peers was astounding. In Portea everyone just wanted to mind their own business, and they were often close minded in regards to other races. The strangeness and difference between them simply made most of them stay within their cliques. Perhaps it was simply the difference between environments that made this so? The odds were the difference in size between the cities had a large effect as well.

The last time Allanon came here he had seen the skiffs, however, he never once got a chance to use one. His old squad were here on a mission in the town on orders of the Calabris family. It was a kidnapping. The irony of his current mission was not lost on him. He hoped he would succeed in rescuing all the kidnapping victims.

The only other human on board the skiff spoke up as they headed out. He wore a Trantis guard's coat. Curious considering how Trantis was wiped out. He either was a survivor or left before.

He nodded in greeting toward Bidzil before responding with a professional tone. "Allanon."
Allanon nearly smiled at Chihiro's response to his, however, the Calabris were not worthy of such a reaction even in regards to speaking poorly of them. The only thing that would get him to smile over them would be for justice to be brought down on their evil actions and for their punishment to bring them to obscurity and beyond. The last thing she said caught him off guard. It was almost as if she knew Krogan. If that was the case, she definitely was not human.

After he spoke to Valia about escorting her someone she appeared to be familiar with approached and told her about her available room. It seemed his words were wasted. "I see you will be fine. You have an incredible community here, Madame Valia. Portea would learn much from Kalla." If Portea's community was half as supportive as Kalla would Allanon have the Sword of Damocles hanging over him today?

He smile a short farewell smile before turning and heading toward the volunteer squad. "I'll volunteer. Call me Allanon."
Allanon had noticed the onlooking guards much like Sahale, however, he had no choice but to admit his solution would have been much less smooth. Killing in such a rehearsed fashion was clear sign of a skilled assassin. Probably the best that he had ever met aside from his old team in their prime. Allanon was no stranger to dealing with opponents strong in techniques of feinting, however, one as skilled as Sahale would be a great challenge to overcome if he were an active opponent.

He caught the token and glowered at it. "Well... this just a lot bigger than a simple rescue." His tone made it clear he did not like the implications of this mission.

Allanon felt like he hardly got any information from Sahale. Certainly not enough to warrant a payment of any kind. However, he already agreed to the conditions set by the man, and he would not be one to go back on his word. Sure, he was given a lot of random information, vague words, and veiled threats, but essentially this all boiled down to go to the volunteer force. Entirely worthless. He would have likely joined or at the very least followed the voluntary force. Whatever he learned from there he would have dealt with as appropriate. At the very least the assassin could have given an exact location, after all he probably knew.

As Sahale and the beastman went to deal with their errands, Allanon turned to Valia. He placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Who do you trust that can keep you safe? I'll escort you to them. I'll be joining the volunteer expedition afterwards."

Allanon turned to face Chihiro as she introduced herself. He scanned her cautiously. Inquisitor was not a human title he was familiar with, however, he knew of a few humans that have earned an honorable title among beastman tribes. "Greetings, Chihiro, I am Allanon. I do indeed intend to join the volunteer troop as soon as Madame Valia is somewhere safe. Calabris spies and assassins could be anywhere, and until their operation is dealt with she is still at risk. Money is all they care about, so as soon as their ventures here become too costly they should leave."

He would not tell much else considering how little he truly knew about their operation here.
Allanon remained unflinching as Sahale explained how his bounty for taking him in alive was the reason he was not dead. This assassin seemed to be quite confident in his ability to kill Allanon, however, Allanon was quite familiar with the ways of an assassin. After all, he was himself an assassin. There was no way that the Calabris family would want him captured alive. He knew them too well. His existence was too much of a threat for them, which meant someone else wanted him alive for some reason. It made sense that they would keep such a bounty low profile then.

He considered the counter-offer presented by Sahale and nodded. "Fine, that is acceptable." He would trust him for now, but the veiled threats put him as far on edge as he could imagine. The instant Allanon got an inkling that Sahale was after his life there would be quite the fight. While the extra numbers would help in a search, Allanon had a hard time believing that an volunteer force would know where to go.

When a beastman approached and offered his assistance, Allanon's gaze settled on the giant satyr. "An enemy of the Calabris Family is a friend of mine. Glad to have you on board." Working with a beastman again reminded Allanon of his time with his team, and his wife.

In his time as a vigilante, Allanon took a bit more time to be in-the-know of current events and history. Before, he had very little interest in it, however, ever since he was freed from his contract with the Calabris family he took care to pay more attention to those things as such knowledge could lead to unexpected opportunities. The name was definitely a familiar one. "Krogan was a hero of Varuk, right?" Allanon had a bad feeling about Calabris' intentions in this regard.
As he caught the robe and moved it aside, Allanon started to draw his sword prepared for a surprise attack. He had no reason to trust the disguised man. When no attack came after, he relaxed slightly. From what he could tell from the stranger's posture he knew how to fight and kill. Allanon made it a habit to never underestimate a potential opponent. He did not remove his hand from his sword though, instead he had a grip on its pommel. He was prepared to use the cloak to his advantage if this scenario came down to a fight after all much of his fighting technique used his environment to his advantage just as much as his own body.

Allanon stood up straight from his combat posture as he slowly evaluated what kind of person was before him. He clearly valued his subordinates, but he certainly valued business as well. Respectable. "Alright. I will not remove my hand from what very likely may be protecting my life right now. You clearly know who I am, so you know what I am capable of." He paused as he considered his next statement. "If you can tell me where the Calabris operation is in Kalla you can extract whatever fee you please from the bodies of their mercenaries as well as the site itself, so long as it doesn't cause harm to innocents. Since, trust is a factor to worry about, you can send her with me to keep an eye on me and extract said fee."

Calabris' mercenaries were among the only people he had little hesitation to kill. They had sold their souls to the devil and many of them knew it. Even so, every life he took weighed on him. It was also possible that the operation site had plenty of valuables to exchange for money. The last one he raided had enough that it helped him get by until now.
Allanon's hand went immediately to his sword's handle when the suspicious stranger approached them. He had no idea who this stranger was and for all he knew she was going to lead them into danger. If she knew who he was then that meant she was aware of the bounty on his head. Money was a different problem altogether. Even if what she was saying was the truth there was no way he would be able to pay. He hardly had enough money to cover food if he did not have other means to acquire it.

He glowered at the stranger and questioned her. "Why should we trust you? For all we know you're an assassin working to lead us into a trap. No, if you know someone that can help us get information bring them here otherwise begone." He had no taste for killing, so if he could simply get a potential threat to back off on his reputation alone that would be good enough. It was unlikely that a third party mercenary would know the whereabouts of the Calabris operation.

In all of his years, Allanon learned patience serves well in dangerous situations. This would be no different than any other time.
Allanon had plenty of time to consider a next course of action from here. After all these years of working in the shadows to avoid the direct attention of the Calabris family while fulfilling his wife's last wish Allanon had built his skills in subterfuge and intrigue to what would qualify as a skillful level. He had two options at this point: stay here and wait for the hit squad to come and finish their job, or take a serious risk and step into an unfamiliar city to act as a body guard. He was not at all interested in losing control over his environment if he could help it.

The healer stepped out after an hour and filled him in on the situation. The catwoman wrapped up her explanation with a rather ironic joke which caused Allanon to raise an eyebrow and then chuckle a little bit. "Well, thank you." The Saints he knew were a good humored people. He was glad that the pair here appeared much the same.

Once Valia stepped out from the infirmary and told him she was ready Allanon replied to give her a choice. "The Calabris family I know will not let you be until it becomes too expensive for them, their operation here is dead, or you are dealt with appropriately in their eyes. We have a couple choices here. We can wait here for them to show up, and if they are Calabris mercenaries and not some third party hire it's possible I can get a direct lead to their operation's base and shut it down. The second choice is more aggressive and risky. We can leave here and make our way to another location where we can control the flow of who's coming in and who's coming out. The risk comes with the getting their and if they have someone with better stealth skills than my senses can detect."

He paused to give her some time to consider before continuing. "I will let you know. I prefer the first choice, but this is your life, and I want you to choose in this instance. I will keep you protected either way. I can guarantee there are few that are my equal with swordsmanship and fewer that are above without the aid of magic."

Allanon probably had the fewest answers to magic, however it was so restrictive and rare that he also rarely had to deal with dangerous magic situations. Only an idiot or another magic-user would dare risk facing a prepared magic-user head on. Everyone knew that.
Allanon remained silent as people questioned him about what happened. He could already see the suspicion forming in their eyes. These people were not combatants, but they could cause trouble if the opportunity arose. He could not trust any of them anyways. What if they were spies for the Calabris family trying to get more information out of him? The less they knew the better regardless.

If he could keep some people untainted by the Calabris family he would.

Red Saints. This caused Allanon some relief. Of all the families that were in charge of Portea they were the ones he trusted the most. Two beastmen. Unusual sights in Portea, but since he had arrived in Kalla he had seen more of them. One of them seemed to recognize him and commented on his appearance.

The bounty on his head listed all the crimes he had committed while under the “employment” of the Calabris family. The truth was his infamy was well-earned. The only thing was it was a secret until the Calabris family decided to “retire” the Ironblades. Again, he decided to remain silent. They could come to their own truth. He had no illusions about his past. He was responsible for the crimes he committed back then, but he also had a promise to keep.

The first step of Allanon’s plan was already at work. The news spread by all of those that witnessed him carrying her from her school to the temple would be more than enough to catch the attention of the Calabris family operation. Madame Valia was already bait, but it made him feel better that she was willing to help. She was right that it would be better if she could walk.

He resisted slightly as he was ushered out of the room he had brought Valia to. He wanted to be in the best position to protect her should an assassin arrive. After he did leave the room he stood by the door maintaining constant vigilance. It would be a matter of time before someone with the intent to kill arrived.

He placed his hand on his wife’s sword and sighed. ”I hope I’m doing right by you, honey. I hope that every day.”
As they made their way over to the temple, Allanon kept on full alert. While it looked like they felt just one mercenary would be enough for one woman he could not discount the possibility of a back-up. The information she gave him while limited was good enough for him to work with.

"How secure is the oasis?"

As he considered where to look next he considered the fact was with the one person with any link to the Calabris family's operations going on here. Even if she knew little about what they were doing it was entirely likely they would want to cover up any knowledge she had. It wouldn't be long before her act of self-defense would be known and the rumors would spread. He knew the Calabris family to be relentless in their pursuits, and it would not be over for Valia until their operation here was dead.

He cleared his throat. "Never mind that. I would like your help. It is entirely possible they will track you down and try again. I want to use that to find their base, and I promise to keep you safe. If I'm going to rescue those girls I'm going to need your help in this."
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