Part 1: A Job Offer
It has been nearly 2 months since Khoriboon’s return from the elven city of Ulthuan and he stares down into his amber colored drink. The high elf diplomat that had promised him reward for his return of the coach’s package snubbed Khoriboon with only a small reward of 3 silver, nearly all of which has been spent on food, drink, and lodging.
Khoriboon looks around the bar and notices another traveler with a similar expression upon his face. The two strike up conversation. The man’s name is Baltimore, a former Bailiff, who has recently been let go by his former employer due to Baltimore’s unconventional handling of prisoner’s and his greedy taxation on his former provence. Baltimore is finely dressed and is carrying a large shield strapped to his back, with a family crest of sorts across its shining surface. The two heroes hit it off immediately and take turns in the purchase of rounds of drinks. They recall past adventures and grudges, and both express their deep desire to find work again very soon. As the afternoon turns to evening Khoriboon takes a break from conversation and scans the surroundings of the bar. On the wall he notices a posting of sorts; it reads:
“LOOKING FOR WORK? Resourceful and intrepid fellows required to assist in house move. Job involves discretion, danger, and some heavy lifting. Only honest applicants will be considered. No layabouts. Hired candidates will earn 6 silver schillings a day for their labour, plus any expenses incurred. INTERESTED? Ask for Herr Hendrick at The Red Moon Inn in Ubersriek. Don’t delay – seek Herr Hendrick today!”
Khoriboon relays his finding of the posting with Baltimore and before long the two have set out towards the Red Moon Inn to find Herr Hendrick.
The Red Moon Inn rests on the waterfront of Ubersreik. The heroes enter the Inn. The common room of the Red Moon is smoky and dark and smells sharply of a mixture of fish, smoke, and sour beer. The bar is little more than a plank, and the furnishings are shabby. Against one wall are a series of snug booths, many with curtains of tattered linen slung across them to offer some privacy. A scattering of candles and oil lamps light the room, as the small, grimy windows offer very little illumination from the outside.
Upon entering the inn Khoriboon heads up to the bartender and asks if he has seen Herr Hendrick. The bartender points over to a corner booth where an apparently moody, mid thirties, man in decent servant style clothes is sipping an amber drink. The man is also fidgeting with a bandange on his right hand and grimacing with each touch. Khoriboon thanks the bartender and makes his way over to the booth to introduce himself.
Baltimore and Khoriboon introduce themselves to the man, who is indeed Herr,(Vern,) Hendrick, and they join him at the booth. They exchange brief pleasantries about the weather and the changing seasons before inquiring about the posting they had seen earlier requesting assistance. Hendrick is very hesitant to hire them on initially. He gives them a brief interview to get a sense of their trustworthiness and after gaining some lays out the details of the job. He states,
“Lord Ashaggenberg is most concerned with the state of his new manor. He thinks there may be some kind of rebellion fomenting in the ranks of the staff, on the whole a shiftless and uncooperative crew to a man. He wants to hire people to look into this matter. Ostensibly you will be there to help unload the lord’s coach and arrange his furniture, but really you are there to covertly spy upon the staff, learn what you can of any insubordination, and report it to Lord Ashaffenber.”
Khoriboon then asks if there is anything else he should know about the task at hand, maybe if there are any dangers he should be aware of, and also asks what happened to Vern’s hand.
Vern replies, “There are herds of beastmen on the move in the woods around the lodge. Last week a band of creatures attacked the manor. They were repulsed by the guards, but a number of guards and staff were injured in the attack. We hit them harder than they hit us, but they may return if their nerve recovers.”
Khoriboon, who is familair with the beastmen of the Riekland’s, pulls Baltimore aside briefly to discuss the task, and after a moment turns back to Vern and states that they will take the job. The heroes and Hendrick finish their drinks, then set out upon the open road towards Grunewald Lodge.