A very large Templar lumbered over to Yaroslava and Mina. Shade watched him approach, sitting up and pricking his ears forward curiously at the newcomer. The dog got up and trotted over to sniff of Gauvain's boots.
"Mind if I sit?" he asked as he gestured to the empty chair.
"No, go ahead," replied Yaroslava. But she remarked dryly as she gestured toward the exceptionally tall and heavy Ben and Sarael, "Though it looks like all the other half-giants are in that corner."
Still, she didn't really seem to mind, and Shade certainly didn't. If anything, Yaroslava seemed to be in a good mood... It might've had something to do with the drink.
"I'm Yaroslava Sturm," said the Ebonguard. "It looks like you Templars just love me today. Must be Shade," she scratched the dog's head as he went over to sit by her side again.
"Why?" Sarael asked, honestly confused, taking Ben's statement at more-or-less face value. "Being able to play or sing doesn't prevent one from also being a skilled fighter... at least, I assume so —I've been told I 'couldn't play an instrument to save my life'" she continued, her utterly earnest —if typically cheerful— expression the only thing that made it clear she wasn't joking.
Ben tried not to laugh, but it was becoming an uphill battle. A smile pulled at one side of his mouth.
"So, come on... won't you please play something?" she asked sweetly, with a matching smile that almost verged on the saccharine.
She bordered on annoying, but Ben couldn't bring himself to be terribly annoyed. He smiled and replied, "Maybe I will in a minute. I don't write many, uh... optimistic songs, though. Not sure anyone's excited to hear that kind of thing right now," he joked.
"Yeah, my old Knight-Captain used to say I'm 'more energetic than a sackful of puppies' —I'm not exactly sure why he'd put puppies in a sack, but, eh..." she said, with a shrug that indicated she had no concerns over the matter. "I've just always figured that if I'm going to do something, I might as well do it with spirit!"
He just nodded in quiet agreement.
"And what about you?" she asked. "Why were you all alone in this corner?"
Ben shrugged. "Just thinking. And drinking," he added, briefly lifting his tankard slightly - at this point, it was empty. "Everyone else is eating, but I'm not hungry, so I figured I'd get out of the way. Not that I mind mingling, but, frankly, I'm not used to working with Templars. I don't have any problem with it, of course, it's just weird to me. I'm getting used to it."
He took up the guitar leaning against the wall and laid it across his lap - only to be interrupted as something so silently glided up onto the table between Ben and Sarael that it seemed to appear from thin air. It was a cat, and a very pretty one at that. She was a little damp from coming in from the rain, but she briefly turned her emerald green eyes to Sarael before she padded over to Ben's side of the table and started headbutting his arm.
Ben just laughed and started petting the cat, which promptly began to purr softly. "Couldn't find any mice, huh?" he said, scratching the feline behind one ear.
As the cat leaned into the scratching, Ben looked at Sarael again. "This is Jane," he said, nodding to the cat. "I know, it's ridiculous to carry a cat with me on a mission, but cats actually have a sense for this kind of stuff. Magic, I mean. They're attuned to it, I think. No one really knows how it works, but Jane's found more than a few magical locations and items in her time."
"Because he's either a madman or he wants us to come," the old Inquisitor noted cynically. "Or both. Either way I doubt that he's alone in this."
"Probably not," Stevan agreed. "But if he's involved with any particular cult... Well, we'll have to figure out how to investigate that in the morning."
Giving a small nod, Tobias agreed. "Yes, we know much to little." A wry smile crept up the old mans features as recalled a fitting phrase that would no doubt appeal to the Templar. "Per aspera ad astra," he said to Stevan, lifting his mug, before bringing the ale to his lips.
Stevan offered a smile in return, drinking from his own tankard. After a moment, he said, "I don't mean any disrespect - just the opposite, actually - but I'm surprised to see an Inquisitor-General in the field. I've worked alongside Karl Metus, but I've never met any other Generals very eager to get back into the field. Any particular reason, or...?" He shrugged. "Did this mission just seem too important to leave to Inquisitors and Ebonguards?"