With a leap he lands on the ground next to the caravan master. Stretches and works out the knots of muscles cramped by long hours immobile. His only baggage a finely embroidered and fleece-lined bag in the shape of a great bow. After a slow, deliberate look at the town, he shoulders the bag and walks down the road to the ‘Nest, wondering if his old room is still vacant.
Returning from a trip to the bazaar, Thorvald notices a folded piece of parchment under a small bag on top of the battered desk in his room. The bag proves to be a purse with a number of gold coins in it. Taking the piece of parchment, he sits in front of the fireplace resting his feet on the hearth. He unfolds the parchment and reads:
*written in a concise and flowing hand, it is unsigned and unsealed*
As mentioned in my original note to you, the commission which you have undertaken will be extremely dangerous and will require a talented and dedicated team. I trust your judgment implicitly and will leave the recruitment of such in your hands. To defray the initial hiring costs I have provided a small sum of gold. Feel free to promise what you feel fair for compensation and rest assured that it will not be deducted from your fee. As discussed earlier, a bonus for prompt completion of the task will be provided to all involved.
Thorvald makes a deep sigh and flips the parchment into the fire. Staring into the flames he begins to make a mental list of those he has to track down and convince to come along on what, most likely, will be a fool’s errand at best and a suicide mission at worst. A slight smile comes to his face as the first name comes to mind.