While we wait, I take stock of the situation. Though I do not know Archer, something in the way he keeps his distance at this point tells me he will not side with Gormhen if things turn any worse. Gormhen himself is unlikely to be a threat. Not it a cold, dank building like this. He must conserve energy or wind up catatonic. As it is, he edges closer to the brazier, soaking up as much warmth as he can get.
And the lieutenants are clearly tough, but nothing I can't handle even tired as I am. But I'd rather not have to come to blows with them.
Vin returns carrying a bucket. “The collateral.” He sets it down at my feet with a clatter.
In the bottom is a hand. The skin is a kind of green-white, most of the blood drained out, but it seems otherwise undamaged and of the right size to be Brandon's. But I nudge him with my foot, just in case. “Is this yours?”
He squints into the bucket. “Yes.”
“Here.” I toss the Master Key to Vin who promptly passes it to Gormhen and they spend a moment examining it.
“All right.” Gormhen nods to indicate the Key is in the same condition as when it was leant out.
“I suppose you'll be wanting to keep the bucket?”