What the guards called a holding area was laughably insecure. In a corner of the bustling Capital Market, a rickety wooden frame draped with once-opulent fabric covered an only slightly sturdier cage, the bars reinforced with some metal. The whole thing blended in well with the rest of the booths and stands, which is what they were most likely going for. Miles trailed behind the three women and glowered. He wasn't quite as annoyed as he put on, but it never hurt to let people think they annoyed you. Especially when you were just robbed in a marketplace lousy with guards. Miles didn't have a problem with them, per se, but they couldn't guard a wet paper bag...

"Here's the guy. He doesn't seem to concerned with being caught." The guard looked at the party, eyeing Miles with a bit of suspicion. "Go on, talk to him. But no funny business."

Miles gave a snort, but said nothing. The "Librarian", as she styled herself, glared at him. Miles just rolled his eyes. "We promise, sir. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk to him." The woman bowed shallowly to the guard, and then straightened and strode to the 'cell' and faced the man. He sat in the corner and looked up at her.
Alice, who seemed familiar with the Librarian, moved next to her, arms folded. The pickpocket looked about ready to laugh at them. "Such lovely interrogators. I'm honored. Though, I can't tell you more than what I did when your goon manhandled me earlier." He nodded at Miles.

The Librarian huffed. "We want our stuff back. And the necklace you stole."

"I have no idea what you're talking about." He stretched his legs out and yawned extravagantly. "I'm here, falsely accused."

"Right," Miles muttered. "You're oh-so innocent, which is why you had my money on you when we collared you earlier?"

"A misunderstanding."

The Librarian glared at Miles before turning back to the man. "You also stole my gun, and a few other things. We want them back, and we want them back now."

The man shrugged. "It's good to want."

Miles sighed and walked up to the cell. He leaned against the cage and casually pulled his sword. The guard stiffened and the Librarian looked scandalized. Alice looked shocked, and the soldier type rolled her eyes.

Miles sighed a bit and pulled out a cloth and started polishing his sword. The prisoner swallowed hard. "You know, there's an ancient punishment for thieves and liars. For thievery, they cut off a hand when you're caught. A proven liar... they used to cut out the tongue." Miles' voice was casual, far too casual. The guard's hand went to his side, ready to draw. "Now, I'm sure you're proud of your little heist, and that's fine. But you've been caught, and caught with the goods. Own up, give them back, and keep your hands. You can tell us how you know the woman you robbed, and keep your tongue. It's a fairly simple trade, I think." He looked up at the man, fixing him with a cold, flinty stare. "Well...?"

The man frantically climbed to his knees and grabbed the bars. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry for everything! Here!" He emptied his pockets of all his tokens and... a necklace. "Take everything! The woman! She paid me to take the necklace and look suspicious! That's all! I don't know who she is!"

Miles watched him for another long second, then sheathed his sword and grabbed the pile. He handed the tokens to their respective owners, and then looked at the necklace. A note was taped to the back of it.

He tapped the note. "Talk to the Lorekeeper?" He muttered. He turned the necklace around in his hand and frowned. He looked down at the still cowering man. "She paid you to run with this?"

He nodded enthusiastically. "That's all! I swear! It must be valuable to make such a fuss over it, right?"

Miles tossed the necklace to the Librarian, who ground her teeth. "First, the thing is worthless. Cheap junk. Second, read the note and tell me what the hell that means."

The woman caught the thing and frowned. "How do you know it's fake?"

Miles raised an eyebrow. "It's in my best interests to know how to appraise things. The note."

She read it, her eyes going wide, and then narrowing. She looked at the man in the cell. "Where did you get this note?"

"It was on the thing when she gave it to me," he shrugged helplessly, nervously looking at Miles. "She didn't say anything about it when she paid me."

"What does it mean?" Miles asked. "You're a Lorekeeper, aren't you?"

"Yeah, but... not THE Lorekeeper."

Miles looked at the guard. "He didn't have any weapons on him, did he?"

The man didn't look happy, but shook his head.

"Did the woman bump into any of you?"

The three woman exchanged glances. They all shrugged.

"I think we need to find her. You said 'THE Lorekeeper'. What does that mean?"

"Uh, he's the elder in town. I report directly to him."

"Could the note have been directed to you?"

She shrugged, looking both confused and angry. "If it was, there are better ways to get my attention. You don't steal a girl's guns, dammit."

Miles coughed to cover a slight laugh. "Okay. Maybe we ought to go and talk to your boss, find out if he knows anything?"

"Woah, wait!" She held her hands up. "We don't just walk into the Lorekeeper's office and start asking questions."

"You have a better idea?"

"Uhm, maybe we can talk to that woman we met? The one who hired the girl we're looking for?" Alice shrugged. "I mean, maybe she can help us." She looked at the Librarian and smiled apologetically. "But we should talk to the Lorekeeper. He might have some answers."

The Librarian eyed Miles, and then met Alice's eyes. "I can't take these guys into the Library. It's not done!"

"You let me in."

She huffed. "That's different."

"Is it?" Alice looked at all of people in the room, then back to the Librarian. "I think you can trust them, and you trust me, right?"

"I do," She looked up. "But you guys can't take your weapons into the Lorekeeper's office."

The soldier woman looked upset. "Hey, no, I don't part with my weapons! How do I know you won't take them. Or you're trying to lead me into a trap?"

"Uh, no offense," Miles said, "but I don't care enough about you to want to lead you into a trap. You don't want to give your weapons up, fine. Then wait for us outside the office. Or wait here for all I care." She glared at Miles, her fingers twitched at her side, near her gun. Miles looked amused. "Go ahead. Draw. Your hand'll be on the floor before your gun clears the holster."

She snarled and turned and stalked out of the tent.

Alice looked after her, and then turned to Miles. "You could have been nicer."

Miles shrugged. "Maybe. But she's paranoid and obviously running from someone or something. I doubt she'll trust us any farther than she can throw us."

"That's very cynical." The Librarian said.

"Says the woman who walks strapped like a gunslinger. We all know what it takes to survive in this mess. Some of us are just more honest about it than others." He shrugged and walked past them out of the tent.