Our tale began at the Springflower Inn in Husgrad; a citadel of Krath.
The characters met at the Springflower Inn; a small and dingy free house, frequented by poor farm labourers and the odd ne'er do well.
They were Vasily and Osha – people with their own reasons to leave the citadel.
Vasily bought Osha and himself a drink. The innkeeper was happy enough to serve him, but said he would not serve the vagrant Osha; who went to draw a knife, but was restrained by the brawny farm boy.
They overheard word of a circus in town – an oddity. Absent anything better to do, they went to the circus and spoke to Anton, a bear handler, who told them to come back in the evening to talk to “Baba”.
They went back to Vasily’s quarters and met Marta, his younger sister. Marta was sewing, and hurriedly hid a piece of embroidery, which she laughed off as “nothing”.
Osha went to her bolthole, but found someone creeping about in the darkened space. She hunkered down and hid, the intruder finally giving up and leaving. She followed, but could not catch up – the intruder had too much of a head start.
Vasily stayed and pressed Marta on what the embroidery was. He snatched it from her, finding it was a a head scarf, embroidered as one would for a wedding. Vasily pressed his little sister, and managed to drag out of her that she loved Grigori, the son of a local worthy (and that this was reciprocated); though there is no hope of providing her with a suitable dowry. They ate a meal in strained silence.
Later, Vasily, Osha and Marta went to the circus and saw a strongman, tumblers and the bear perform. Osha took the opportunity to pick a few pockets, while Vasily and Marta wondered at the feats of the performers.
After the performance, they went to meet with Baba. They passed close by the Bear; who seemed remarkably, and unsettlingly intelligent. There was something of the fae and weird in that bear.
Baba turned out to be a tiny and wizened old woman. She said she would take them with her when they left town; but that they would need to find a method of "paying their way".
Thinking to find a cache of funds, Osha snuck into the Boyar's gardens, looking for a way into his manor, but was discovered by a young girl. She convinced the girl not to flee, but fell into discussion with her. She turned out to be one of the Boyar's children, and told her about her brother Kal – a "very clever man".
Vasily met with Kal, and was brought into his confidence. Kal said he wanted to get away from Husgrad, but was unsure how. Vasily promised to help him escape from Husgrad, provided he could bring the book The Account of Gabriel Vermar as payment for his passage.