The journey to Vengrad was difficult with half of the circle injured and Kinqueduran meeting you in the city itself. You kept company with some of the refugees on the later stages of the trip, once you were sure you were not being perused. A few telltale signs make themselves plain to Mendhari and Anstice as they travel.
A ghost seems to have attached itself to Anstice, a malevolent one at that. Twice on the trip minor accidents became dangerous and Anstice was wounded, a campfire flaring burned his arm badly and an owl attempted to remove his left eye twice, leaving nasty scratches that became infected.
The ineptitude of its attacks make both Sidereals decide it is a relatively new ghost, perhaps only a few days old. But it does not seem to be a hungry ghost, rather an intelligent wraith with a grudge.
A wiry young man appears in the glowing blood-red/pale-green flames, his face ashen and his torso crossed by bruises and frostbite as well as viciously torn flaps of muscle and flesh. He flickers between death and his prime of life, a fit youth with blond hair and a kind face. Anstice recognizes the worker he saw die the last day in the village.
Worker Ghost: "You s-said you'd-d take care of-f him!!" the ghost's voice shudders, anger mixing with an eternal cold that seems to permeate his being.
Anstice: "I am trying. I would not lead the armies of the Algorans directly to him. My companions need to heal, lest they die too."
Anstice: "If you may tell me where he is now, I can send assistance. Will that suffice for the moment?"
Worker Ghost: "D-dead! They g-got him, n-no one took him w-with them. N-not a little b-boy with no one t-to look after him. Y-you said you w-would!"
Anstice: "Where? Iron Horse said you were the only survivor..."
Iron_Horse: “... he was the only one I saw...”
Worker Ghost: "M-my brother was there in t-the village, ahead of m-me! You said y-you'd protect him!"
Worker Ghost: "He d-didn't find him! H-he left him to d-die!"
Anstice: "I understand your anger. He should have been found. But will this make it better?"
Iron_Horse: “... I... it's... my fault then?”
Anstice: "No. Kinqueduran missed him... the boy probably hid from the stranger. Still, even if you kill all of us, it won't bring him back. Would it not be better to strike back at those who killed you and your brother?"
The worker’s ghost screams and wavers in the light of the fire. The flames deepen, the reds shading into purples and the green becoming the sickly color of infected flesh. As the light changes, the features of the ghost distort into strong, aged lines. The young man's form ripples, growing larger and more muscular, bent with age but still powerful. His wounds recede and then his transparency fades
Anstice: "If this is Envoy... Hi."
Envoy: "We meet once again, Anstice Cyzarine. You are most difficult to track down. Who are these other people?"
Mendhari: "What the HELL?"
Anstice: "Others of my circle."
Envoy: "A pleasure to meet you both. You would then be Mendhari of the Del’zahn and Iron Horse…of no where in particular."
Iron_Horse: “... guh?”
Anstice: "This would be Envoy. Is the torment of the young man's ghost necessary?"
Iron_Horse: "... Er... what... did just happen?"
Mendhari: "Yeah. I'm kinda confused. Things are crazy."
Envoy: "Pardon?" he looks down. "Oh. He is simply recovering from the appearance. He will be fine a few minutes after I depart. Do not trouble yourself."
Anstice: "Ah. Good."
Mendhari: "What IS this guy?"
Anstice: "A... business partner. Of sorts."
Mendhari: "... does he have any tea?"
Envoy: "I am the Envoy. I have spoken with Anstice Cyzarine previously. And, I must apologize, my method of travel does not allow for much baggage."
Envoy: "I have come to offer my assistance, Anstice Cyzarine. You have kept your part of the bargain so far and the conditions have been met."
Anstice: "Assistance would be greatly appreciated, Envoy."
Envoy: "The moon is green and the Daughter wails in the night for her Mother's love."
Iron_Horse: "... huh"?
Envoy: "Another plaque was arranged, but you were entangled in events that made its delivery misfire. You will probably receive it shortly, once the delivery can be straightened out."
Kinqueduran: "Don't think about it, Iron Horse. We'll go over it later."
Envoy: "Indeed. However, such things can be dealt with. I understand you have received a message to visit Ur?"
Kinqueduran: "I suspect much stabbing will ensue."
Envoy: "The Primate-General you are to visit, I can tell you of him. Or I can tell you of another matter. My masters forbid me to tell you of both this day."
Kinqueduran: "Are we allowed to ask what the other matter is before you tell us of one or the other?"
Envoy: "Yes, that is allowed. I could also tell you of a place where you can meet with one of my masters and speak with him. I guarantee your safety in this meeting, as opposed to the meeting in Ur."
Anstice: "But not if you tell us of either two options."
Kinqueduran: "Does that give us three choices, or are we allowed to find out about your masters' meeting in addition to the other? I'm just trying to understand how you play your card game."
Envoy: "The meeting with my master or the Primate-General."
Kinqueduran: "And what is the 'other matter' you mentioned?"
Iron_Horse: "... so... uh... why can you only give us one choice?"
Kinqueduran: "Do you play cards, Iron Horse?"
Envoy: "I would give you both if I could, Iron Horse. But my masters have not gifted me such freedom."
Iron_Horse: "... what game?"
Kinqueduran: "Never mind, Horse."
Anstice: "Would the meeting be on the same day, or another time?"
Kinqueduran: "Yes, that we need to know. I do intend to keep my appointment with the monkey."
Envoy: "It will not be on the same day. To tell you any more, I must know your choice."
Kinqueduran: "To make a choice, we must know if meeting your master will prevent us from meeting the ape."
Anstice: "We will accept your offer of information on the meeting with your master."
Kinqueduran: "Do we get to kill any demons on the way there? I mean ... um ... 'have to'."
Envoy: "I imagine that if the Daughter or her servants become aware of your intent, they will try to prevent you from reaching your destination. In that case, you would likely face their demons. The Mother is not stingy with her favors to the Daughter."
Kinqueduran: "Hmm. I guess we'll sharpen our spears and put on a bitter smile."
Anstice: "We will be there."
Kinqueduran: "Should we bring snacks?"
Envoy: "Ah, my master does have on further request for all four of you. He asks that you not slay those who bring silent death to others until you have met him."
Kinqueduran: "Those who bring silent death?"
Envoy: "Those are the words of the agreement.
Kinqueduran: "You might want to make sure we know what those are. I have this sort of predisposition to stabbing things."
Envoy: "Demons are exempt from this agreement, Carmine Rain Hunter.:"
Kinqueduran: "Good, good. But 'those who bring silent death' could be mistaken for demons, I think. What should we look for, so that we know not to kill them?"
Envoy: "Assassins would be considered to be under the agreement, yes. A good example, Iron Horse."
Anstice: "Hrm. I can handle that."
Kinqueduran: "Hmm. I guess we'll just have to beat the shit out of assassins and leave them barely breathing."
Kinqueduran: "I suppose." He glances to the rest of the circle.
Kinqueduran: "No, don't agree if you don't like it. Just say what's on your mind."
Mendhari: "... I just don't trust this... person. But Anstice seems to... So..."
Iron_Horse: "... yeah, ok."
Envoy: "I assure you, Princess, I have no desire to harm any of you. Nor do I think I could do much harm before being struck down by Carmine Rain Hunter. And the master of mine you will be meeting has given his sworn oath that you will be safe in his presence from all threats."
Kinqueduran: "Wow. All of a sudden, I feel darkly appreciated."
Kinqueduran: "I think I've learned to half-ignore you now, Mendhari."
Anstice: "No. Not yet. When you're better."
Mendhari: "... fine."
Kinqueduran: "Maybe not you, but most likely me."
Mendhari: "You're slightly useful... when you're ACTUALLY around, Kinqueduran... And I don't kill useful things. Plus, I could always get you married to... something."
Kinqueduran: "I've been married before, it wasn't that bad."
Kinqueduran: "...granted, I just walked out on my wife fifteen years into the marraige."
Mendhari: "Well aren't you the most romantic man."
Kinqueduran: "We all have our problems. You, for example, are a heinous bitch lost in her own emotional scarring."
Kinqueduran: "We'll be there."
Mendhari: "Aren't you sweet? And you're a asshole with a penchant for useless violence."
Iron_Horse: "... so... uh..."
The worker's ghost and the Envoy's body merge into each other, the aged bulk of the Envoy disappearing slowly into the ghost, lessening and slowly vanishing as the ghost writhes and screams, cutting across the conversation with his pain.
Mendhari: "That's just weird."
Slowly, the twitching ghost disappears, having had more then enough pain and agony in return for its attempt at vengeance for the moment.
Kinqueduran: "Heinously enough, I think I agree with Mendhari."
Kinqueduran: "About what?"
Mendhari: "I don't know. Whatever you agree with me for."
Kinqueduran: "Should have seen that coming."
Kinqueduran: "Probably, yes."
Mendhari: "You couldn't put the alphabet in order."
Kinqueduran: "Piss off, bitch, I wasn't talking to you."
Mendhari: "Well you obviously weren't talking to your wife."
Anstice: "I'm seriously considering it."
Kinqueduran: "So am I."
Mendhari: ".... hey! You don't leave my sight!"
Kinqueduran: "Why would I want to stay within your sight?"
Mendhari: "Demons seem to think I taste sweet."
Kinqueduran: "I find it hard to believe that *any* aspect of you is sweet."
Mendhari: "I'm a freaking preach."
Kinqueduran: "A rotting peach, on the ground, half-eaten by maggots."
Mendhari: "No, that's your FACE."
Iron_Horse: "Well, if thinks continue the way they are, they'll either begin pulling at each other's hair or not speaking directly."
Mendhari: "Good idea. Be quiet."
Kinqueduran: "Take your own advice."
Mendhari: "But what would you do without my voice? It's like a nightingale, uplifting the spirit."
Kinqueduran: "Without your voice? I dunno, I might have half a moment's rest."
Mendhari: "I'm pretty sure if we hit you enough, you'd forget how to speak."
Kinqueduran: "I'm tempted to test that theory on you."
Mendhari: "And I'm tempted to make you as impotent as a wilted flower."
Kinqueduran: "That's surprisingly unlikely to *really* interfere with my life."
Iron_Horse: "... Well, I stopped my brothers using candy. But I don't have any and I don't think it'll work."
Anstice: "K? You never know."
Mendhari: "You didn't let me finish. I could also make you as attractive to women as... a new dressmaker's shop."
Kinqueduran: "But I'm not really sure that's within the realm of possibility."
Kinqueduran: "...did I miss something?"
Anstice: "Now, I slept with a young dragoness. As is proper with her aspect, our meeting bore fruit. It is handled. She will be supported, and I will play what role I can in assisting her when she calms down."
Kinqueduran: "Well, it's all good intentioned between me and Mendhari. At least, on my end of it."
Mendhari: ".... right." She looks up at you. "But... I could find someone better for you."
Anstice: "No doubt. But I have more than enough obligations right now. Between avenging my mentor's death, stopping the chaos here, and supporting Cirella, I don't have time. Maybe later."
Mendhari: "Right... I... Uhmm... I really should get some sleep.."
Kinqueduran: "I'm actually trying to drive her away. She'd be safer then."
Kinqueduran: "Depends on the favor."
Iron_Horse: "... think you could teach me a trick or two? I don't really wanna to get caught off guard like that again."
Kinqueduran: "I'm not a very patient teacher, but I think I could."
Kinqueduran: "I need to get in touch with Nine-Roads.