Inara Ionescu was traveling to Five Fingers as a guard in a caravan. The caravan was attacked by “L something or others,” but Inara wiped them out with help from the other guards and another traveler who showed up, a handsome, Umbrean man named Mishka Krasnovovich. Inara searched the dead creatures and found gold in their face pouches, but didn’t venture into their bodies since she “didn’t need gold THAT bad.” She found 41 gold and gave Mishka 15 for his help.
As Inara’s caravan traveled on, Mishka joined them as he was traveling to Five Fingers, too. As they walked, Mishka showed interest in Inara, a stunning Umbrean beauty. They talked and got along well, but Mishka kept hitting on her. Inara flirted back a bit but wouldn’t succumb to his wiles. They bantered a lot. They also talked about their backgrounds and Inara was very forthcoming while Mishka was more tight-lipped. Inara learned later that he was on his way to deliver a message to Father Daltry.
As the journey continued towards late afternoon, hilarious banter between Mishka and Inara ensued about “sleeping arrangements.” When they reached Five Fingers, they left the caravan together and started back to a inn about a half-hour outside the city. They hadn’t gone far when they heard screaming and swords clashing from a shot distance ahead. They raced forward:
Inara: “You run fast. Are you fast at EVERYTHING you do? Mishka: “No. I’m slow when it is good to be slow…”
In moments they saw a man shielding a woman standing behind him from a circle of attackers. A dwarf was also engaging the attackers in an attempt to defend what appeared to be his companions.
As Inara and Mishka rushed forward to give aid, Inara gave a blood curdling yell, frightening some of the attackers at her approach. The battle continued now with four against six. During the battle, the woman healed her male escort twice. She also healed the dwarf but unlike with her companion, she gave him elixirs to drink. The woman was obviously a powerful healer.
When the battle was over, Mishka ran after an attacker attempting to flee but to no avail. (Inara teased him about that later: “So you ARE slow sometimes.”) While Mishka pursued the fleeing criminal, Inara looted the bodies and found (4) leather armor, (3)short bows, (21) arrows, (1) short sword, (1) dagger, and (1) light shield.
Afterward, introductions were made and Mishka came back from his pursuit. The man and woman were Nik Lutrin and Clara Riddenburg. The dwarf was Jurg Reiser and like Inara and Mishka, he had stumbled across the ambush and offered aid. Clara had a Morrowan symbol on her clothing, and she worked out of the “Cathedral on Doloth” under a Father Daltry. She was on her way to the same inn Mishka and Inara were headed toward. The wife of the barkeep is often sick and right now she needed healing desperately (hence Clara going there).
Mishka, Inara and Jurg accompanied Clara and the unconscious Nik to the inn. Mishka hit on Clara both during travel and after arrival. Inara wasn’t surprised and rolled her eyes a lot. Nik had regained consciousness and was not pleased, especially since Mishka’s attention seemed to be affecting Clara.
As the group entered the inn, Clara immediately rushed back to aid the inn keeper’s very ill wife. She remained there for several hours tending to the woman. The inn keeper was very agitated and spoke about recent events at the Cathedral of Morrow in Five Fingers. The cathedral had been vandalized and Father Thomas Prandel had gone missing. The man was so grateful that Clara could be spared to help his wife. Eventually, Clara came out of the back area and announced that the worst was over and she would visit with the woman again in the morning.
Clara began conversing with the party and said that Father Daltry would probably like to meet the people who risked their lives to save both Nik and her. “Not many people around here would do something like that.” So the group agreed to meet up in the morning to go see him.
Inara sneaks off to talk to the barkeep. She then comes back to the group to say she is going to bed, but of course she doesn’t. The others don’t know this. They stay up talking some more and Inara makes sure her room is nowhere near Mishka’s.