"Someone was looking for you," a drunk, muscular man applying some paint to his fingernails says to Belmarniss as she walks by. "Drow girl."
"Did the Osirian government have marching orders for you, Fazil -"
"The answer was just 'acknowledged', which is pretty typical, they'll presumably have to inform someone who can decide what to do."
"We can't be conscripted if there's not an actual war."
"I find it hard to imagine we'd get orders I didn't wholeheartedly approve of. They'll want to prevent a war in the Inner Sea, and so do we."
"I'm all for preventing wars on the Inner Sea but supposing your orders somehow result in us needing to part ways what becomes of the magic carpet while we are over the sea?"
"You might have to stick with us until we reach land but that's only a couple hours. I guess you could sneak aboard the ship if you'd rather."
"I was wondering about the case where you are ordered to do something that continues to be over the sea for more than a couple hours, if you'd be recalled straight home no problem."
"I'd be really surprised if they asked us to stay out here with a Sending's worth of instruction doing something weird enough that we'd reasonably have reservations."
"I'm not going back to Sothis to be talked to by politicians."
"We can store the two of you in Mahdi's purse."
"I don't mind talking to politicians, or potentially even doing jobs for 'em, I just don't want to be drafted!"
"I don't think you can be, you're not Osirian. - Hagan can."
"Only if they catch me."
"So he can hide in your purse. Though I hear you lose more party members that way."
"I don't - super want to have this fight when it may not even be necessary - but if a Chelish conquest of Andoran is at stake I would actually expect you to get it together and smile at the politicians," he says to Hagan.
"Expect like predict, or expect like -"
"Not - entirely lying - about the regional governor who'd kill me if he saw me."
"Wow. Uh, can you get perhaps three inches closer to the truth, maybe I'll have a clever idea -"
"I will be recognized if we go hobnob in Sothis and this will not advance any of your goals. Probably."
"Okay, does it have to be Sothis one reports in to, there's temples all over the place. Shall we emplace you in a foreign country and collect you if there is appropriately overseas work to be done. Should I slip your mom five gold and make up something about, uh, diplomatic immunity, at anybody viewing you crosseyed. Should we buy a Hat of Disguise - or do you still have that one we found? Is there a palatable misdemeanor with a sentence of six months in a monastery - no, they probably suspend those sentences for people they wanna conscript, don't they, pity if you've always longed to commit vandalism -"
"Somewhere other than Sothis is fine. Foreign country is fine. I - don't think it would help at all to tell them I technically belong to some drow now and it might be hazardous to your health. I assume security around fancy people frowns on disguises. Interaction with the legal system bad."
"Okay. Steering around Sothis likely to be an issue?" Belmarniss wonders in Fazil's direction.
" - conceivably? I am not sure how many people coordinating a war effort there are going to be anywhere else." He is frowning at Hagan, who is scowling back at him.