In the Dark

Before the employers entered the room, the young man stands up for just a second, scans the party briefly. "I'm Wyngrad." He awaits a reaction, and getting none, he sits down as quickly as he stood up.

Wyngrad is a fair-faced young boy, barely over 18. He looks tough from hard labour and battle-ready, however.

Before anyone can react to the orders, Wyngrad jumps up like an eager beaver. "Yes sir!! And may I guarantee many fine gemstones for you and your fine company."

However, after listening to Sikhandyn's question, his expression changed to one of genuine concern. The words rung true. There was definitely more to this assignment than they had told them.

Sofia listened very attentively to the man but stayed silent when he asked for questions. It was all so eerie for her she couldn't possibly think of one. Diamonds? Abandoned mines? Imperial interference?

When Sikhandyn spoke, Sofia turned to him and looked at him attentively. It was obvious the man was more experienced in those things and his question was one worth hearing an answer to. Sofia inched slightly closer to Sikhadyn and nodded looking in the direction of the figure at the table. Yes, she wanted to know the answer to that question too.

The hood shifts slightly to point towards Sikhandyn. "You are right to be concerned, young wizard. The last team that we sent to scout--a group of elves--was expected to return over two weeks ago and has not been seen. Our network is certain that the mine was abandoned well in advance of the imperial movements, so we must surmise that there is another reason that the Meruians left the mine. Logic would seem to suggest that the threat, whatever it is, is localized to the mine since our eyes and ears have reported nothing else out of the ordinary in that vicinity.

"We expect your team to exercise due caution in achieving your target."

The hood turns towards Wyngrad, and the voice takes on a slightly amused tone. "Your enthusiasm for employment is most gratifying, but take care that zeal does not overcome reason. Good help is hard to find these days."

Sikhandyn nodded.
"Indeed - we must exercise caution." he said.

"Is there a village near the mining operation where we could discuss with ex-miners?" the young man asked. "They could provide useful information, such as tales of what happened in the mine, or even plans of the mining complex."

Then after a short pause:

"And just so we have a better understanding of your expectations: what quantity of gemstones - or total value - would constitute success, and help the Black Crocus run its operations?" Sikhandyn asked.

When their employer enters the room, Karn turns and sits quickly, with a speed and smoothness that might seem unusual in one of his bulk.

He sits listening quietly during the explanation of their first job and hides a smile when the young man who announced himself as Wyngrad jumps up.

He seems about to say something when Sikhandyn asks his questions. Karn waits until he is finished before he leans forward a bit and says, "So, if we are going into a mine, will you be giving us torches and such? I've heard it can get a bit dark in a mine."

The dark-robed figure nods subtly to Sikhandyn. "Another excellent question. The specific value is not of as great concern to us as the availability of gems from that site. To the first degree, you should ascertain whether valuable gems can be obtained in quantity at that location, while preserving the appearance that the mine is undesirable--we do not wish to have the miners of Astan take up where the miners of Merui left off. If you can bring back ten thousand Astan gold crowns worth of diamonds, so much the better."

The man turns toward the bulky monk. "The quartermasters will ensure you have whatever supplies you require for the task, including food... and drink." The last two words are delivered with unmistakeable sarcasm.

Annette had been sitting on the stool this whole time, eyes darting from person to person as each of them spoke. Every question asked, particularly Sikhandyn's, were followed in her head with, I was going to say that!

And there Annette sits, on the bench, trying to think of a really good, impressive question...

"Are don't have any idea what caused the mine to be abandoned? No rumors or anything for us to go on?"

Annette couldn't help to bow her head down and blush at the percieved silliness of her question. C'mon, Annette, why would they not tell us up front?

The robed man turns ever so slightly to address the half-elf. "There have been no reports of activity in the vicinity of the mine. Furthermore, the miners who fled to the nearby villages were subsequently driven from their refuge by the advancing imperial phalanxes. Our information network is not accustomed to breaking through siege lines, so we have had no reports from within River Forge that could explain the miners' actions.

"However, from the lack of activity and the fact that the empire has not moved in, I think it is safe to say that either a significant collapse occurred, or some sort of predatory creature has taken up residence in the area."

Originally Posted by Mordae View Post

The man turns toward the bulky monk. "The quartermasters will ensure you have whatever supplies you require for the task, including food... and drink." The last two words are delivered with unmistakeable sarcasm.
"Excellent! ", Karn says smiling, ignoring the sarcasm.

Sofia was listening very attentively to the man speaking. Something wasn't right... She bit her lip, putting one hand in her pocket and touching her medallion. The feel of the warm stone was familiar and soothing, but Sofia's face remained perplexed. Finally something seemed to come together to her and her eyes darted pointedly to the cloaked figure.

"If your last scouts didn't return, how do you know there will be no imperial interference?"


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