Chapter 1: A Reward Is Offered

Fyrmont 22nd 1014

"Wanted - Brave adventurers. Recover a lost family treasure from a band of cut-throats and murderers. Contact the Mayor at the Council Hall for details. Sizeable reward offered."

read the ornate scrip on the parchment bills that sprang up overnight on all the walls of Avonmouth. Many came to claim the reward but only a few were chosen as being suitable.

There was the elf in the hooded green cloak, hood thrown back revealing his slightly haughty features and pale grey eyes. The impression of a medallion or some other bauble glimpsed through the heavy cloth of the cloak. His grey hair, contrasting strongly with the youthfulness of his face, tied back in a pony tail most of which is tucked inside his cloak. He gave his name as Angiliant.

Beside him, shifting nervously was a human male and a more striking contrast could not be made. His face is scarred, the most striking being a puckered strip of skin above his left eyebrow. His teeth are uneven and his nose appears to have been broken in a fight at least once. His clothes are cheap and shabby in appearance. He was introduced as Verlis but you heard him reply in a rather sharp manner that he prefers to be known as Earl.

On the opposite side of the room sits another elf. In contrast to Angiliant this elf has pale blonde hair and a slightly weather-tanned face. His clothes are of a reasonable quality but like the elf's face have a slightly weather beaten quality to them. This is a traveller not a student of the higher arts. As he sat down you noticed that he moved slightly stiffly as if his back carried a memory of pain. He gave his name as Andrinor.

Standing by the empty fire place, his back to the wall is another human. His blue eyes contrasting with his dark hair and tight fitting dark clothes. These eyes have been studying everyone in the room since you entered resting for the longest time on Verlis. His lips are set in a thin horizontal line and he has not said a word since he gave his name at the door, Arrik.

The last to enter is also possibly the least. A halfling. One of the other candidates had stood up and left when Raffi entered the room. The tall red haired fighter had said something about halflings being no good for anything other than trouble before claiming his weapons and leaving. The halfling had shrugged his shoulders and perched himself on a bench waiting patiently for the mayor to appear.

After a few moments tense silence the strange group started to mutter amongst themselves before a quartet of men entered the room. One the mayor appeared weighed down by his responsibilities, his chain of office like a millstone around his neck. The other flanked by two of his guards was Baron Thadimar Jubfek of Avondale. His high necked black velvet jacket lined with green silk embroidered with dragons in a darker green thread.

"I thank you for your offer of service." The Baron's voice is warm and rich, with a hint of a Bormarian accent. "A few days ago I was robbed, stabbed and nearly murdered by a half-elf dancing wench whom I was offering shelter and employment to. The harlot was then involved in a daring robbery and despoilment of my family tomb on the outskirts of Avondale. Along with a band of cut-throats and thugs she stole treasure and items of sentimental value from the tombs of my forefathers. I would like them back, and her of course. Earlier this evening a number of my personal guard managed to capture one of her band as they were liaising with a known smuggler. Sadly he died from wounds he received while trying to escape, as did the smugglers. We believe that the half-elf and her band have made their escape and are heading for Safeharbour. I would like you to capture them, alive if possible, and bring them to me. In return you may keep any items you find on them that do not belong to me. Also you will receive a sizeable reward, say two thousand crowns each plus a bonus of five hundred crowns if the half-elf is amongst those you capture."

After accepting the Baron's offer, though not without quibbles, they were excused from his presence and escorted into the market square of Upper Town. Here they split up into two groups, one to search the taverns the other to search the temples for clues as to where the fugitives could have gone.

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