Griswald Brutsam, physician and mystic healer to Lord Clifton Dargon, gently closed the door to his chambers and made his way from the keep. He had served the Lord of Dargon for many years. Having dedicated his life to the mystic pursuits of healing, his skills were very much in demand. Still, he had maintained a modest life, secreting himself with his studies within the keep and seeing to the health of his liege. And now he was a party to a plot to assassinate Lord Dargon.
He pulled his cloak close about himself and made his way towards the port, the seedier section of town. The evening was cold but clear, and the stars shone bright above the dark shadows of the port. Brutsam occasionally came across citizens, stragglers from the festival, still revelling nearly a week after the festival had ended. After a short time, he came to one of the few lit buildings in this section of town. He pulled the cowl above him and stepped into the Inn of the Hungry Shark.
The entry corridor led on the right to the bar and common room, and on the left to a stairway to the rooms above. Griswald dreaded being recognized by the people in the common room, but they seemed to be completely involved in what amounted to a contest to see you could bellow the most obnoxious saying the loudest. It was unlikely that anyone saw him as he turned towards the stairs, save perhaps the innkeep.
Brutsam climbed the stairs slowly and quietly. He halted in the corridor at the top, pausing. After a moment, he stepped towards one of many closed doors in the hall. He knocked. And again. And waited.
The door was opened by Lek Pyle, the man who had recruited Griswald into this insane plot. Pyle quickly brought Griswald within the room and closed the door behind him. “What’s the problem?”
The aging physician shrugged off his cloak and stood before the warmth of the hearth a moment before replying. “Nothing’s happened. The assassin you hired is missing.”
“Thad? He wouldn’t run out on a job. He’s a scoundrel, though.”
“What are we going to do? Do you think he was caught? I’m sure if he did then he’ll have told all about your plot…”
“No, not Thad. His reputation has it that he’s one of the best in his business, though his methods aren’t the most subtle.”
Griswald was visibly agitated, not able to sit. “Well, where is he? Would he try to get more money by selling us out?”
Pyle, seeing the fear in Brutsam’s eyes, sneered. “He might have, but might just as easily simply skipped town. Still, that’s not Thad’s style. He’s a scum, but he’s a brute – he enjoys the jobs people give him, the more violent the better. He’s not likely to get caught or to just leave the job, even when he is paid in advance.”
“You seem sure of that, but then where is he, and what are we going to do?”
“We must proceed with our scheme. It matters little whether Thad was found out or not.” The merchant from Baranur gazed into the fire thoughtfully. “We will simply have to proceed with another scheme…”