- Are they back?
- Yes, my old friend.
The white haired man that asked the question, raises from his chair carefully, challenged by his weight. His movements are slow and small taps are heard with every step he takes on the hardwood floor.
- The blacks have their value…
He says with a raspy voice. He pauses for breath. Needing two long breaths to continue his idea, he carries on.
- Their experience with such dealings is second to none. They are not good at discovering new sources, but have always been great retrievers when the need arrives.
- Like dogs? Asks a tall man, who answered before. He is resting his arm on the window’s sill and is watching what happens outside in the yard.
- Like dogs, yes, they cannot find unless you give them a scent, but they are loyal and dependable… Are they carrying anyone with them?
- No, they are alone.
- That is curious. The merchant told me that his gem was stolen. I would’ve expected at least one body, if not an organization of sorts. From my understanding, the gem is almost an artifact, worth at least 15-20 ingots. I have a few buyers lined up and I believe we’ll have an auction, so the price might end up even higher than that.
- Who knows? Maybe the body was beyond transportation…
The fat old man starts moving towards the window. He helps himself by resting his arm on the desk. Tap, step, tap, step. His wooden leg fills the room with a syncopated rhythm.
- Let me take a look at them…
The tall slender man turns around to help him. His face is smooth, his hair is long and brown, running down his back, almost merging with his carmine cloak. His eyes betray a certain compassion while he helps the old man, while trying to keep his calm and calculated attitude.
The old man pulls out a monocle from his and slowly fits it on his eye.
- They look unharmed! He exclaims, almost breaking his voice.
- Are they this good?
- They are one of the lesser teams. They’ve shown potential, yes, but not like this. Are you sure they brought it back?
- How often are we guilty of miscommunication, sir? On such simple matters, even for blacks, this question is an offense.
The old man smiles filled with pride, while enjoying the view in the yard…
A tall short haired blonde woman in her thirties, followed by a bald olive skinned dwarf and two massive half-orcs engage in conversation with the two guards that recently allowed them to pass.
- How is the boss feeling? Asks the woman, with a deeper voice than one would expect.
- Better, I think, he’s inside with the Red Cloak. I don’t think they will have time for you this week. Do you have anything worth private time?
- Nah… It was underwhelming. Peasants being unaware of their realities, that’s all. Only thing worth mentioning is that I’ve met an adventuring party, some type of local heroes, led by a sorcerer.
- Anyone we know?
- I don’t think so. We should check the records though. I was dismissive of them at first, thinking they are local trash. After some snooping around it seems they’re pretty able. They’ve cleaned out the Old Keep near Fairhill.
- Wasn’t it ruined by the army of the Duchy when they passed through?
- That’s what I knew as well. What I actually found out is that savages took hold of the keep. They were some band of orcs, not a known camp.
- After you drop your bounty at the vault, you should have a talk with the librarian about all this. Maybe he has more information, or at least some records about the area. Maybe some reds can go have a look.
- Will do. Before we left I heard they’ve had some casualties. I even sold them the druids’ oil.
- The desperate kind… For how much? The guard laughs a bit and with a smile on his face, anxiously awaits the answer.
- Eighty plats. They did help me with the bounty.
- Eighty plats is fair enough for a friend. Still it’s a lot of coin.
- Yeah, and look at these stones. This is clearly an adventurer bounty, found in some troll’s cave or some other beast’s den.
The woman pulls out a bag from her backpack and shows a few gems of different shapes and sizes. Then she continues with a lower voice, as if sharing a secret:
- I’ve heard from a passing merchant that they’ve had their hands on some elixirs too.
- Of longevity? You mean…
- Yes, there are still brewers somewhere. Or at least there are still some elixirs to be found.
- Do you think that they…
- Nah, they don’t seem to know anything about the elixirs. And none of them seemed necromancers. I don’t know if they have more, or if they have a steady supply. What it proves though is that they proved their mettle. I offered myself as a contact, and I’ll put a good word with the market, in case they need to move some treasure around.
- Suit yourself. You should probably go over this with the boss. Or at least with the Cloak. You know they don’t like being overextended in any way. It exposes the reds.
- I’ll see. They might not even make it to Bard’s Gate anyway…
A mission well done
- Are they back?