It was a long winter break. Like all of the previous winters Phoenix Force stopped adventuring and pursued their own interests. However as the spring thaw came to Celinus so to did our heroes. This time they met at the Green Dragon Inn. This large inn located just west of the lower market is a favorite gathering place for well-to-do merchants looking for some under the table deals. The owner is a large woman named Kayla who pays the city guard well to keep out of her establishment.
Tharen brings with her word that Lord Fulco, Baron of Maasen, is seeking the help of brave men who can retrieve things that were stolen from his family. Although Julianna, Dom Hannibal, and Arrianna have not yet arrived the others decide to at least speak to the Baron about his needs. The leave a message with Kayla about their intentions and settle the bill. Just after they leave the Inn a small child, running down the street, runs into Hellstrom and promptly falls down. The young girl picks herself up and keeps running into the night. Looking down he finds that she dropped a small thin-bladed knife. He puts the knife into the sleeves of his robes when four city guards come running down the street – clearly in pursuit of the girl. They question Phoenix Force for a couple of seconds and after getting directions the guards run off after the girl.
Without so much as a second thought about the knife, the members of Phoenix Force retrieve their horses and set out northwest towards the Barony of Maasen. It is three days of hard travel as spring has not come fully to the kingdom. The roads and paths that lead to the barony are often slicked by mud and blocked by fallen trees. Three days of traveling through this muck and both people and horses are getting worn-out. It is not until mid-afternoon that they finally reach the outskirts of the Village of Maasen. They arrange to stay in a room above the village’s only tavern and then clean-up in a nearby river.
They speak to the Reeve and request an audience with the Baron concerning the work of retrieving the Lords lost heirlooms. He explains that the Lord is hunting today and that they should wait at the Speared Boar Tavern (the only tavern in town). If the hunt is good then the Lord and his party will bring down a share of the bounty to the tavern and share it with the commoners. If the hunt does not go well, then they are better off waiting until the morning to see Lord Fulco.
They head over to the Speared Boar, grab a table and wait to see if Lord Fulco will arrive. It is well after sunset, but he finally arrives with his entourage and half a boar, a brace of rabbits, and two foxes. The Lord is greeted warmly by the locals in the tavern and he takes the time to talk to each of them. He clearly notices the party as they are the only outsiders and a guard in livery moves to stand between him and your table. The guards terrier demeanor causes Cohen to chuckle and Tharen to elbow him in the ribs.
Eventually the meat is taken into the kitchen to be prepared, Lord Fulco grabs a stein and comes over to your table. After exchanging pleasantries you explain that you are hear because you heard rumors in Celinus that the Baron of Maasen was looking to hire people to recover some family heirlooms that were recently stolen. Lord Fulco has heard of your reputation at court and agrees to hire you to help him, you simply have to show up at his manor house tomorrow morning and he will go over the details.
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