The wagon bearing the maga and her baggage continued onward through the light early autumn drizzle. Morticia pulled her blanket closer around her and continued trying to doze, curled up against the trunk at the back of the wagon. Her bodyguard walked along behind, one hand near her sword as her eyes constantly scanned in every direction. The other man-at-arms, the cook, and his wife sat on the seat, the cook holding the reins.
"Maga," the bodyguard Lizette said to her charge, "it is growing dark. We should stop soon."
Morticia sat up and yawned deeply, then looked around. "Where are we?" she asked.
"According to the farmer we passed a few minutes ago, we're almost to a town called Boppard," Cristofano, the man at the reins, says. "I think," he adds almost under his breath.
Morticia pulled a watertight tube from her robes, opened it, cast a quick, spontaneous spell to protect its contents against the drizzle, then pulled out a piece of vellum and unrolled it. Squinting to read it in the gloom, she muttered imperceptibly, then cried out "Ah ha!" with a grin. Rolling up the map and placing it back in its case, she turned to the front of the wagon.
"We continue on. Our destination is just a few miles past Boppard, past the next bend in the river on the left. We should be there in less than an hour. And I don't want to have to try to spend another night in the open, or have to stop and be robbed by another innkeeper when we're so close."
A little over an hour later, well after sundown on a nearly moonless, drizzly night, the guards manning the northwest tower see an odd sight: a figure wielding a guttering torch walks before a carriage, waving it to and fro. There are two figures on the front of the cart, and another walking behind. The torch-wielding figure looks up at the tower and calls out, "Mi scusi, è questo il patto di Laurus Argenti?" in a male voice.