Cast of Characters:
Baltaar Sakarbaal – noble merchant of the Bronze Star Consortium
Mordecai Vivanti “The Toad” – former court sorcerer
Rhanok Fullbarrel – Caravaneer of the Kovhari dwarves
Siron Hywell – Loremaster of the southern elves
Stanislas Bogdanovic a.k.a. “The Rose” – noble guardsman of the House Bogdanovic

In the aftermath of the attack on Baltaar Sakarbaal, the group of worthies brought together by circumstance gazed down at the body of the attacker. His blood mingled with Baltaar’s on the brick of the road. Stanislas the Rose rushed over to make certain that the noble master Lord Baltaar was alive and well, only to find him healed to heartiness by Loremaster Hywell of the elves. As Baltaar invited to group to dine with him later in thanks for their assistance, they investigated the body at their feet. They determined that he was a knife-fighter, well-fed and clothed, and paid in gemstones. Baltaar, due the gemstones as payment for his blood, gave the stones to Rhanok as payment for saving his life and a sign of further friendships.  It occurred to the dwarven caravaneer Rhanok that he could find more information on the stones back with his caravan, as they often traded in such goods. 

Unfortunately for Rhanok, it was Zegnir Red-Gem who waited at the jeweler’s booth that day. Zegnir was ornery at the best of times, and his resentment of the Fullbarrels was as finely honed as his chisel. He bated Rhanok to no avail but did inform him that he could assist him with information if Rhanok would take care of some small matter of his brother Dhanok’s debts. Newly flush with wealth, Rhanok sighed and traded the gemstones to Zegnir for information and time to secure more time to pay Dhanok’s debts. It would soon be time to have words with the wastrel. However, Rhanok did learn valuable clues that could lead him to whoever was behind the attempt on Baltaar’s life.

Baltaar’s modest apartment was buzzing with conversation as he hosted his new companions for drinks and relaxation, to be followed by a fine supper. Rhanok related the clues gathered earlier to the group: green and white uniform, soldierly, braided beard, and the smell of strong tobacco. Stanislas was not shocked to hear his Cadist rivals described perfectly, as they were just the type to hire killers to do their dirty work. As they speculated this, along with the recent announcement of the death of the Prince, they spoke at length about the circumstances surrounding that ill-timed event. While rumors among the Bogdanovic’s said it was an explosion, a source quite close to the Prince himself related to Baltaar that an experimental cannon was involved in the fatal “accident.” And, according to the source, Cadists were hired to escort the cannon from its foundry to the site of the test. *GASP*

Dinner proceeded with little fanfare. There were many fine dishes prepared by Baltaar’s cook, a desert of cool cream and fresh fruit, to be followed by a selection of fine meads from across the region. However, their gustatory revelries were cut short by the arrival of an unexpected guest: Lysanthir, Dusk-wrought, First Prince of the Sword, sovereign leader of the elven people in the Southern Wood. He brought troubling news to the Loremaster and all those dining with him. There was a threat to the elves here in the city of Vulaine, and he needed honey-voiced Siron’s help to avert disaster.