"Hey... It's only the right thing to do! Don't even mention it." As if anyone in good conscience could ignore a child on the side of a road. She did have her moorcat with her - Wyth was his name - but Ethan didn't feel comfortable leaving her be. Moving out, he fell in line alongside Amuné and Wyth. He seriously doubted anyone, or anything, would try to cause them harm with a group this size, but precautions never hurt. Silence felt awkward and Ethan was compelled to speak with the child. When he looked down and caught her fending back tears he turned away, rubbing uncomfortably at his neck. "Um... Once we get to town, maybe you can get some clothes...?" Was he addressing the problem? No. Heck, aside from what he could see he hadn't a clue what might be bothering the child. "Oh! I might still have gold on me, we can get you some more food too, if you'd like! For you and for Wyth!"
The sky had turned a gentle shade of red when the group arrived at the town's gates. Large doors blocked their entry, and two men stood on either side, pikes in hand. It struck Ethan as odd that the small town was sealed up tight. They were stopped shy of the gates and one of the guards met them in the road. Unlike those in the city who wore polished armor and sported fine weaponry, these men clearly had settled for what they could get. Simple quilted vests, heavy leather gauntlets, padded trousers and boots made up their "uniform"; their weapons looked to be fashioned from farming tools.
It wasn't a wealthy town then. Strange considering Ethan was certain he saw a mill on their way up the road.
"Halt. State your purpose, travelers."
He would like to think that their purpose was fairly clear. A few sailors, a child, filthy and unkempt, a ragtag group if there ever was one. "We're here to get help. A ship capsized in the sea, and there are survivors back towards the shore." The guard looked at Ethan, appraising him. None of them were exactly much to look at, either too young to be of any significance, or too nondescript. Which was precisely why the guard was being wary.
"A ship? The coast is miles from here, boy. You mean to tell me you all walked here?" It was a bit difficult to believe admittedly. They had just survived a shipwreck only to walk for half a day to find aid. Ethan nodded and the guard glanced back at his partner. "How many survivors?"
Ethan cursed mentally, not having had the wherewithal to take count. "Not many... A dozen, maybe two?" The estimate was high for sure and served to color the guard's face in doubt. Ethan stepped forward and smiled uncertainly. "Maybe more like... A dozen and a half. Look, the point is we need supplies. Some of them are okay, but others probably won't last long. Anything you can spare would be a huge help."
The guards shared words in private before one called for the gates to open. Rather than let everyone inside however, one of them disappeared into the walls, and the other joined him. "We're going to speak with the foreman. Wait here." Foreman? Did they mean the one in charge of the mill? That made sense; the town was too small to have a mayor, which likely meant whoever headed the town's main source of income would be in charge.
Ethan watched as the doors sealed shut before them, sighing. "Well... They didn't say no!" He laughed, and he was the only one to do so. Awkwardly settling down, he looked back at the gates, wondering if he should have shown his insignia. These people couldn't possibly turn them down if they knew he was with the Church. He adjusted his cloak, still damp and stiff from being soaked, peering at the faded patch. Maybe he could use it as a negotiating tool later if he needed to.
A few short minutes later the doors were opened, this time granting them access inside. "Foreman's busy at the mill, but he's agreed to hear you out. Come on in." The town itself was small, with little more than a dozen buildings inside the walls. A small group of children stopped in the middle of town when they entered. Ethan smiled and waved to them politely only to watch as they bolted off in between two homes. Why did children hate him?
"Inn's over there if you're wanting a drink. We don't have much left, but we'd appreciate the business." One of the guards motioned towards a two story building. It hardly looked welcoming, with peeling paint, dirty windows and vines growing up the walls. The guards left them be and the doors were sealed once more, leaving the group standing at the entrance by themselves.