A Gathering of Heroes.   Posted by Wildhunt.Group: 0
Wildhunt
 GM, 45 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:19
A Gathering of Heroes
An icy expression meets your words but it only holds for a moment or two, the angelic woman dipping her head a little more to hide a small smile that pulls at the side of her ruby lips. Regaining her composure, she once again lifts her eyes to yours, her dark beauty drawing you in as she finally speaks.

"Names should not be freely given, they are deep and personal and can give power over oneself. Only an inferior coughs up their weakness so quickly, to capitulate their position of power and wait for judgement like a mutt on its back."

The angel's words are husky but rich, a mixture of accents that tease you ears, even your grasp of languages unable to pinpoint her mortal ancestry homeland. They are also tinged with steel, a challenging tone that you are unsure whether it is testing or threatening.

"The Platinum Dragon teaches that conviction and character can be forged in battle." She continues as she stands from her seat, the hooded glaive now vertical in her hand, the length greater than her frame. "In fighting evil, combat reveals your desire for true justice, what you are willing to sacrifice to see his will done. And in sparring, blades against comrades, trust and honor is found. Will your hubris of pride see you win to gain recognition of your prowess or will you take it like all grand lessons in life and teach another of your vulnerabilities?"

There is a long pause as the two you stare at each other, your peaceful afternoon now one of more lectures and divine rhetoric. You find her hard to read, much like Lorecine, for while her words could certainly be taken as hostile, as well as insulting, you sense little malice in them. And, more importantly, is she expecting you to fight her?

"Stand Audrianna of Mielikki and take your weapon of choosing. The Godsword may have deemed you worthy of righteous responsibility, but they do not speak for me. Fight, and earn my name or return to whence you have come, I will tell them you were found wanting."

Well, that answers you last thought about her intention. She seems waiting for your answer.
Wildhunt
 GM, 46 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:19
A Gathering of Heroes
"No" Audrianna's answer simple but firm.
Wildhunt
 GM, 47 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:20
A Gathering of Heroes
Your answer does not seem to rattle the woman but it seems not enough to dissuade her. She approaches your seated position, her wings flaring slightly, increasing her already impressive stature and repeats her request for you to rise, the end of her glaive striking the ground as she finishes.
Wildhunt
 GM, 48 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:20
A Gathering of Heroes
"No" Audrianna repeats, this time in the language of dragons. And just in case there is a misunderstanding, she repeats once more in the tongue of angels. The smile Audrianna returns to the glowering angel is still genuine, no mocking in her expression.
Wildhunt
 GM, 49 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:21
A Gathering of Heroes
This time, there is a faint facial tick, the angel's mouth pursing for a moment as she realizes her attempt to awe and frighten you with her presence seems to fail. She steps back and looks you up and down one more time, her dark eyes taking in the soft leathers you wear casually and your regal and defined features.

"You do not fight?" She asks, some concern growing in her voice. Looking around, she looks to where your door is open, you gear against the bed frame including your small viol. Her eyes lock on it for a moment before turning back to you, once again taking in the supple curves of your body and your smiling, undaunted face.

"Oh" she says suddenly dejected like "you are a lyricist, a dilettante who believes that a smile, a bit of flesh and a song of hope upon her lips can sway a battle instead of actually offering real aid to her companions or community. Why would the Godsword Lorecine send for one like you?"
Wildhunt
 GM, 50 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:21
A Gathering of Heroes
Audrianna laughs at the words, a warm, dulcet sound as she stands from her seat before turning slightly to face the bench, the angel still in sight.

"No, I am no bard, but I think it is not quite the insult you were going hoping." Audrianna replies warmly as she pulls at a charm that sits on her bracelet, the tiny silver sword suddenly growing to full length as she places it upon the seat. "I would be a contented woman if my lot in life was little more than wandering place to place, entertaining people and seeking a peaceful existence, no need to carry a weapon or cause bloodshed." As she continues to speak, Audrianna continues to remove charms until the bench has an array of weaponry upon it, no less than half a dozen implements of war on display.

Finished, Audrianna turns back to the woman and bows.

"I need not your approval, and I still give my name freely. But I will not fight you. I already have to use my weapons more often than I like, against enemies both humanoid and monstrous. I refuse to start what should be a cooperative relationship with violence. You see purity in it, I foresee possible begrudgery and unhealthy competition. So, unless you plan on striking at me anyway, there will be no fight this day."
Wildhunt
 GM, 51 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:21
A Gathering of Heroes
The angel's eyes drift to the bench of weapons, each one a masterpiece of aesthetic beauty and killing power. As you finish speaking, she considers your last words for a moment, her grip tight on her glaive but decides against pushing the issue. She returns to her bench and sits, once again watching you with a look of indifference.
Wildhunt
 GM, 52 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:22
A Gathering of Heroes
"It must make your travels difficult, especially in towns and villages." Audrianna calls over as she returns her weapons to her bracelet.
Wildhunt
 GM, 53 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:22
A Gathering of Heroes
At first, the woman doesn't take the bait of your open question but eventually, with your eyes on her, she decides to answer.

"The wings?" she replies flatly.
Wildhunt
 GM, 54 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:22
A Gathering of Heroes
"No," Audrianna returns, "the challenging of any and all who wish to know your name. Introductions at at a feast or gathering must be fraught with peril, and I imagine the first date is very awkward." Knowing full well the woman seemed likely to not appreciate the humour at her expense, Audrianna still pushed on a little but making sure her tone was not too mocking, something more pondering.

"What if I was a mage, or worse, really a minstrel, would you have still insisted on martial combat? Or would I have been able to choose my weapon, a musical challenge, my viol against a heavenly being's voice? Inquiring minds must know."
Wildhunt
 GM, 55 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:23
A Gathering of Heroes
You swear you feel a burning sensation as the angel's eyes bore into you with a renewed intensity but despite herself, once again, she seems to struggle to keep the well practiced icy facade up under the assault of your sweet voice a smile appearing on her face as she turns away.

"Of course not. I challenge not to bully someone but to test their resolve. But I do not do so to those who are not beholden to the blade, it would be cowardly and prove little." She stands once more as she speaks, her husky voice low but clear in the courtyard.

"I am Zakora Nox, Arbiter of the Platinum Dragon" she nods as she greets you. "My challenge to you was because I had heard of you but were not what I expected. I thought maybe you were either an impostor or that you were actually a useless bard who had built up a legend about herself and was frightened of being revealed by a real opponent. I sense that I was wrong both accounts."

Before you can ask your first, obvious question, she gives a genuine smile, the action heightening her already breathtaking but sculpted features to a level of pure beauty and replies first. "I thought you would be taller."
Wildhunt
 GM, 56 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:23
A Gathering of Heroes
"I get that a lot" Audrianna replies as she steps forth and offer her hand, wincing slightly under the surely supernatural strength of Zakora's grip.

"You have heard of me? Have we crossed paths before?" Audrianna asks enquiringly as she returns to her bench. "I admit that I do not recognise your name and I would certainly remember if I had seen you before. Are you a native of Elturgard?"
Wildhunt
 GM, 57 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:23
A Gathering of Heroes
Zakora seems to soften slightly overall, and she too returns to her bench, her wings once again folded behind her. Resting her weapon against the bench, she turns her gaze to the small fountain as she tries to remember details.

"No, I am from Amn, more precisely, the military city of Eshpurta. I assume you are familiar with it as you re-opened the old trade route through the Snakewood that connected the city with Berdusk?"

She waits for you your nod before continuing, her voice almost distant as she speaks, the act of sharing uncommon for Zakora.

"I briefly heard your name then though I was a child. The merchants were quite happy with a new trade route but some of the military were concerned about having another flank to defend, despite Berdusk never being aggressive state. But really, that was neither here nor there, it held little interest to me as a child."

She turns away from the fountain and once more lays eyes on you, your glare softened but her face back to a blank slate.

"It was not until a decade and a half ago that I heard your name again. The description enough to know that it was the same elf who had struck a deal with an ancient green dragon to allow safe passage through the Snake Wood all those years ago." Zakora again pauses as she collects her thoughts before continuing.

"I was in the town of Ilipur that sits on the Dragonmere, tasked to track down a man who had stolen a valuable icon from the Temple of Torm in the Amnish capital. Some senior members from the church had gone ahead, Vanguardiers, and I was to catch up and assist their interrogations if the man could not be found. But he had been found, the thief now a respected councilor representing the Low Ward. My two superiors, men of considerable experience and power, were on the road out, the icon in their possession but no prisoner. They tried to lie to me, champions of Torm actually reduced to lying to a subordinate for they were shamed by their failure to arrest the thief. Do you know that was?"

While Zakora's voice was even and quiet for most of the speech, the last question became suddenly quite pointed as she searches your face for recognition and finding. She pauses, waiting to see if you will respond.
Wildhunt
 GM, 58 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:24
A Gathering of Heroes
As soon as Zakora mentions of the religious icon, Audrianna knew where the story was going but was curious about her role in it. But, she had never regretted her decision that day and decided that she was not going to lie about it now.

"I remember Floric, a good man who knew he had done wrong and had strived to learn from his past."

Audrianna looks to see if her endorsement of the man bothered the angel but she flinched not nor gave away any of her thoughts. Sighing silently, Audrianna continued.

"I came to his assistance at behest of those who harp, an organisation I assist from time to time. He had arrived in the trade city and had quickly accumulated some wealth by the sale of a holy item. He had used it to buy his way onto the local council taking up a seat that represented the poorer folk of the city. While his path to power was dubious at best, he had genuine regard for his people and was blessed with vision and the power of words. But, he had regretted his actions that got him to the city and now more independently wealthy, he reached out to re-buy the relic so that he could return it to the church. A sale was arranged but the delivery was intercepted and stolen by a powerful gang who both ran the streets of the poorer area but also had connections with merchant lords. Both groups did not like the positive changes he was passing into law for his constituents and tried to blackmail him with the item. It was there that I was ca...."
Wildhunt
 GM, 59 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:24
A Gathering of Heroes
"You became his bodyguard for the meeting to arrange the acquisition of the icon in exchange for a hefty gold donation to the gang for them to go away. Did I get that right?" Zakora cuts you off as she pieces together her own memories of her investigation of what went down. She nods, partially in apology for interrupting you but also to show that she is not quite in the dark about the matter before she continues for you.

"The deal was rejected, they wanted his cooperation not his gold and things became heated. They likely attempted physical violence to prove their intent and that resulted in five of them dying in that room to you blade. That night, many witnesses reported seeing Floric fleeing through the streets with a silver-haired elf, a running battle through the Low Ward that resulted in the death or serious injury of another two dozen known members of the gang. Floric disappeared for a number of days and in that time, much of the thieve's guild was dismantled one member at a time, like someone was searching for the leader. Suddenly, a powerful lord and successful merchant upped and left the city, selling his assets by proxy and heading far away, Sembia by my investigation. With that, Floric reappeared, safe and sound and was able to suddenly leverage more resources for his people from the council. Floric's success in gaining them both financial infrastructure and safety from the criminal element in their area saw him elevated as a personal hero, the people petitioning his position be given for life. It was strange though, Floric never mentionioned a silver-haired woman who seemed to make a lot of it happen for him. Quite a selfish glory hound one would assume."
Wildhunt
 GM, 60 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:24
A Gathering of Heroes
"Not at all" Audrianna replies diplomatically, refusing to allow Zakora to stroke her ego "it was the arrangement I made with him. In those few days, I truly saw that he was a good man and that the best end result for his people was that the focus stayed on him. Adding my involvement would have just drawn focus away from what was important, that they had a rarity in Floric, a smart and driven man who was more interested in their well-being than his personal power."
Wildhunt
 GM, 61 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:25
A Gathering of Heroes
"Hmm" Zakora adds unconvinced. "For a "good man", he resisted the command of the Vanguardiers to accompany them back to Amn to face judgement for his heretical act when they arrived a few days later. In fact, he tried to bribe them with the relic and a donation of gold to the church, hoping they would turn tail and return without seeking justice."

In fact" Zakora's words suddenly finding the steely tone she had when she first spoke to you "he turned his bodyguard upon them when they refused his bribe, these pious champions of the faith set upon and defeated by an elven woman, their shame heavy due to being driven from the city.

You," she points directly at you as her eyes flash with accusation "you, a woman with no ties to either the town or the church, stepped in on behalf of a criminal and brought down two of the most powerful champions of Torm in Amn. It was was shameful and scandalous. I entered the city and sought answers, my investigations and interrogations revealing much of what had occurred in the days leading up to my arrival, but you were gone, a ghost in the wind."
Wildhunt
 GM, 62 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:25
A Gathering of Heroes
So much for bonding Audrianna thinks to herself as she receives the spray from the suddenly riled angel, the event apparently a sore point for the woman. Hoping to set the record straight, unsure if the woman would even believe her, Audrianna keeps her tone even, her answer as non-defensive as possible.

"Floric did indeed resist the command to allow himself to be arrested by the Vanguardiers, his decision backed by me. His offering was no bribe, he genuinely wanted to return the relic, it was actually already boxed and being prepared to be sent back to Amn. The gold was a donation, though I can understand the confusion of intent. They claimed the gold and relic but refused to allow him to walk free, he needed to feel their justice in Amn. Floric pleaded his case and more importantly, gave them proof of corruption in their church, his discovery of it causing him to be beaten and threatened by purifying torture by the Templemaster. He fled in fear and took the relic as both monetary safety and spite of his once superior. They did not like what they read, I suspect the words reinforcing suspicions they already had for it spurred them to once again demand he surrender so he could swear his case to the Priest-Inquisitor. It would have been a death sentence. He refused and they tried to take him by force. They had no jurisdiction in the foreign city and he had more than paid his dues, the act of your champions would have been a great blow to the people of the city. I gave them one warning and they blatantly ignored me, seeing no threat in a small elven woman. Trust me, I showed them more respect than I received, their strikes not designed to subdue me. It took some convincing at the point of a sword to get them to finally leave, with treasures in hand, and not return. They finally conceded that we would not submit to their rule and promised that the matter was settled, his crime against Torm absolved. Is that the story you got?"
Wildhunt
 GM, 63 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:25
A Gathering of Heroes
That same intense stare from earlier bores into you, her trained eyes picking up every subtle motion of your face and body as you return her look with cool regard, conviction strong in your own defiant stare. Time seems to stop as the small courtyard becomes heavy with tension, Shorel waking up and letting out a quiet growl, unsure whether there is danger. You begin to suspect that you are going to get your fight with Zakora anyway.

Preparing to speak to break the tension, you do not get a chance as you hear another bedroom door open, the third summoned individual stepping out onto the landing, their motion stopping as it appears they are about to interrupt a full blown brawl.
Wildhunt
 GM, 64 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:26
A Gathering of Heroes
Your gaze falls upon a small fellow, a distinguished male gnome whose large eyes stare out at the two of you from behind his spectacles. A neat, white goatee twitches slightly as he sizes up the situation as he brushes a tuft of equally white hair back under his artisan’s cap. While a little surprised at the situation, fear doesn’t pull at his features, and instead, he takes a seat on the landing and pulls out a small brass smokeweed pipe and ignites the end, a little puff of white vapour suddenly floating up to the sky above. He seems not concerned about the brewing situation and just relaxes with a smile on his face as he turns his face back and forth between you two, waiting for someone to break the ice.

The gnome’s presence seems to break Zakora’s built up aggression, her face softens as she politely returns his smile, the angel quite skilled at hiding her discomfort at being caught getting emotional. She heads past you, stopping for a moment as if to say something but seems to think better of it and continues to the gnome. She stops briefly to introduce herself before excusing her presence so that she may pray in privacy. In mere moments, there is a lightness to the courtyard again, a tranquillity that is carried by the twinkling waters of the fountain and the faint aromatic scent from the gnome’s pipe.

Turning his full attention to you, the jovial chap gives you a knowing wink before he casts his eyes to Shorel who is watching him with one eye. The gnome lets a couple of low sounds, wordless but vaguely guttural and Shorel responds immediately by wagging his tail. A few more sounds follow before your dog barks a few times causing the gnome to smile broadly, a little chuckle escaping his pipe-filled mouth. Seeing your eyes on him with some inquisitiveness, he shakes his head casually before addressing you.

“Worry not friend elf, he speaks well of you.” His voice is deeper and slower than what you are used to from a gnome but it is friendly in its tone. “If an animal speaks well of his master, then that is person you can trust. It is a method I find truer than any soul gazing of a divine champion.”

With that, the gnome leaps to his feet with surprising energy despite his more middling years and approaches, his small hand out in an offer of greeting.

“I am Dankip Buckleberry, a shortened name to be sure, but I have learnt that most of you tall folk do not require the five to ten additional middle names in greeting that we favour. I am unsure of what the Godsword has in mind for us but I imagine it will be quite the tale to tell in the future.”
Wildhunt
 GM, 65 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:26
A Gathering of Heroes
As you finish introducing yourself and Shorel, your conversation is interrupted by the entrance of several older men in ceremonial armour, their polished breastplates emblazoned with a symbol you don't recognise, a gauntlet grasping the blade of a downward pointed sword. In all, four men stand to attention at the edge of the garden, their craggy faces in broad smiles, something you had not expected. As they appraise the two of in attendance, they turn their heads to acknowledge Zakora as she steps out from her room, their noisy armour announcing their presence. She makes her way down to where you and Dankip now stand and await for them to address you.

A bald giant of a man, his face nearly unseen due to his bushy beard, steps forth and gesturing broadly with his large hands, welcomes you.

"Welcome friends of Elturgard, I pray that your short stay has been comfortable." His voice fills the courtyard easily, his Cormyrian accent obvious and rich. "We are the Vindicators of The Order of the Gauntlet, a recently formed militant organisation that seeks out tyranny in all lands, not just our own. We are made up of many of the faiths that call Elturgard home and while we seek to be an Order without borders, we hold the light of this fair nation highly."

As he announces his affiliation, the three members behind them raise their gauntlet clad fists to their chest and bow their heads slightly. They again take a more formal stance but their spokesman turns his head them and tells them they can take a seat. Each one looks relieved, the youngest of the three likely in his sixties and they retire to the stone bench that Zakora used earlier. Once they find space, they nod their approval for the introductions to continue. Turning back to you, the bearded man smiles broadly again and continues, his hands still waving about with every word, their motion drawing the attention of the gnome, his small head following them like Shorel to a treat.

"I am Roekann, once an adventurer like yourselves, putting sword to evil and warming the beds of...." his voice suddenly trails off, his momentary reminiscing causing a cough from his companions behind him, bringing him back to reality. If he is embarrassed by his faux par, it is well disguised by his beard but you do see Zakora's eyes just bore into him, something you are quite familiar with now. Ignoring her silent critisism, he gives the gnome a wink before continuing, Dankip quite entranced with the larger than life warrior.

"Ahem, anyway, as I was saying, I know the value of those who wander the lands, righting wrongs and doing what is right no matter the personal cost. So, in light of that, we are to direct you to the township of Boareskyr Bridge, a small settlement five to six days ride to the north. The small settlement is now administered by Elturgard but is beyond the light of the Companion. While Godsword Lorecine sees this as a test, I believe that genuine investigation is required at the caravan town and I am quite confident that you three are an excellent choice. Now let me see..." Roekann pauses as he pulls forth several scraps of parchment, holding them up as he flicks he gaze between them and you three.

"Zakora Nox, I presume" he says looking at the taller woman to your side "Celestial-blooded Arbiter of Bahamut, a famed seeker of justice across the Sword and Dragon Coasts, no man nor woman escaping your relentless pursuit. It also says that you can see into the very heart of a man and see the sin that weighs upon them, no matter how pure or debased they are. Interesting. Can you read my hea..."

"Gluttony, lust and fading pride" Zakora interrupts without missing a beat, her rich voice completely deadpan as she manages to make Roekann's smile disappear for a moment before he bursts in uproarious laughter.

"You have already delved into my heart I see, you do not trust us here in the city?"

"No," Zakora replies, still deadpan "no special powers were needed to divine your hubris', just the use of my eyes and ears."

Roekann's laughter stops just as his three colleagues behind them lift their hands to the mouths to "couch", their wrinkled faces alight with humour. Beside you, Dankip is truly struggling to also maintain his serious look, as his shoulders shake with internal laughter.

"Ah yes, well, anyway, onto the next" the slightly deflated paladin utters, his feelings only mock hurt, well, mostly. "Dankip Buckleberry, a devout follower of Lathander who has dedicated his life to perfecting the mysteries of artifice to aid and heal those around him. Apparently, while noble in ideals, several towns and nations have shown concern for the methods used in their practice. I believe the word "bombs" are recorded on many letters to the Morninglord's church."

This description causes Dankip to beam with pride, the gnome removing his hat, soft white hair falling forth as he scratches his head in nervous appreciation. Despite her best efforts to maintain her icy facade, you catch Zakora glancing down at him with a look of bewildered wonderment. Seeing your twinkling eyes catching her, she shoots you a look before turning her attention back to the paladin.

"And lastly" Roekann booms as he shuffles the papers around, one large one in his off-hand that he keeps glancing to, a wry smile on his face. "Audrianna, the moon elven ranger who calls no nation home and reputed to have tracked much of Southern Faerun. Reportedly a gentle and kind woman whose companionship is sought by noble and commoner alike." Seeing your eyes upon him, Roekann clarifies. "Non-romantic companionship, as in, well regarded as a boon companion and trustworthy friend."

Seeing that you are not entirely convinced about his edit, he smiles as he turns his attention to the larger piece of paper.

"Oh, and a wanted woman. As in, a fifteen thousand gold piece bounty upon the capture of the silver-haired hellion known as Audrianna of Mielikki for crimes that involve but not limited to; assassination, treason, heresy, assault, robbery, immodesty and corruption through wanton and carnal wiles."

The courtyard falls silent as he reads out you list of crimes from the wanted poster, Dankip looking up at you with open-eyed wonder while a thin smile appears on the aasimar's face, her eyes judging you as you stand caught off guard.
Wildhunt
 GM, 66 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:26
A Gathering of Heroes
"May I ask from where this wanted poster was recovered from" Audrianna asks, a tinge of blue burning her cheeks.
Wildhunt
 GM, 67 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:27
A Gathering of Heroes
"Saelmur that sits upon the Lake of Steam" Roekann replies with some interest, obviously wanting to know what happened.
Wildhunt
 GM, 68 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:27
A Gathering of Heroes
"Oh!" Audrianna replies with sudden levity, suddenly relaxed at the situation "Yeah, that makes sense. All good." With that, she makes it clear that she will not reveal more, a smile back on her face as she shoots Zakora a playful and slightly flirty wink and kiss.
Wildhunt
 GM, 69 posts
Tue 13 Jun 2017
at 04:27
A Gathering of Heroes
Zakora's eyes widen in shock for a moment before she realizes that you are mocking her. Resetting to her smooth, unemotional marble like gaze, she turns back to the Roekann who seems to have suddenly lost his concentration.

Realising he is not going to get more of the story behind the wanted poster, he sighs loudly and puts it away, apparently unconcerned with the implications it posed.

"As I was say, the three of you are to travel to Boarskyr Bridge via your own means and complete your test. We would hope that you are near ready to depart. Any questions?"

He looks at the three of you who all have a confused look upon your faces before Dankip raises his hand. When acknowledged by the Paladin, he asks the question you all had first and foremost.

"Good sir, uh, apologies. Good Vindicator Roekann. By what form will our test be? Are we to meet someone or look into a particular issue? You mentioned an investigation before, what is of great concern to the Light of Elturgard?"

As Dankip finishes, both you and Zakora nod slightly in collaboration. In return, Roekann's smile gets even broader, something you thought not possible, the paladin having far too much fun at the situation.

"What test provides the answers at the start. You have all you need, travel to Boarskyr Bridge and succeed in the mission. No more, no less."

Not one to put her hand up to ask permission, Zakora goes to speak, some frustration evident as her stance hardens and her feathers bristle but Roekann holds his hand up and continues in a more serious voice.

"Yes, this is a test but the reasons are more than just wasting your time. We believe there is something worth your time there but we do not want to bias your views or possible investigation. This is one of the reasons we have called for individuals of your unique talents and outlook, to maybe see things in a light that we cannot. So, I apologetically send you there blindly, to act on behalf of the Light but not beholden to the hierarchy. Perform deeds that are ignoble or against humanity though, and you will be disavowed and charged like any other. Any other questions?"

Before any of you can protest or answer, he nods and seems to decree the conversation closed, turning to his colleagues and moving for the exit. As he reaches the door, he turns to you all, each standing a little dumbfounded at the turn of events and speaks once more, some of the friendliness returning.

"Your mounts are in the stables, fed and ready with provisions and a small pouch of gold for any expenses. There is also a signet ring in the pouch that marks you as agents of Elturgard though I expect you to use your wisdom on when it is appropriate to use. If this could be resolved with official ranking members of the country, we would not need you. Good luck and may the Companion's Light always warm your soul."

With that, he is gone.