Odessa walked into the room, her wolf Coho at her side. The only other people who had answered Sir Sol’s summons were a grizzled old man who smelled strongly of whisky and a mysterious but incompetent looking young woman. Fantastic…
Before she had a chance to assess the situation further, Sir Sol walked into the room. He explained that the neighboring kingdom of Odir had suddenly been deserted, with no sign of where its inhabitants had gone. He was looking for volunteers to investigate the situation without alerting the populace and causing a panic. Should they accept the assignment, they were tasked only with discreetly gathering information, not acting to change the situation in any way – of course they wouldn’t be trusted with that side of things.
The drunk introduced himself as Altair, a veteran of the armed forces who had clearly given in to some more base desires after his service. He was in, and how much did it pay? Sir Sol assured him that they would be well compensated. He didn’t expect any of them to accept the mission for free. After hearing that, the young woman spoke up. She was a failed enchantress named Kenley who had been exiled for not being able to control her temper. Incompetent indeed. But she, like Altair, accepted the assignment. Although she didn’t say so, her motives were somewhat different. Maybe if she provided a valuable service, the crown would pardon her and release her from her exiled status.
Odessa looked Ser Sol in the eyes. She had worked for him before in her capacity as the unofficial ambassador for Fernassa -unofficial only in the eyes of Vashela, a self-absorbed kingdom of the human tradition. Among her own tribe, Odessa was well respected, but here the forest gnomes were not even recognized as citizens of the kingdom. This didn’t concern Fernassans much. They had been here long before Vashela came to be, and would remain long after it was gone, provided Odessa did her job right. She had to gather enough information for Fernassa to navigate the petty wars of humans while remaining in the shadows. It was good that most humans didn’t even know what a forest gnome was; it kept them focused on their own problems.
Odessa knew that she would get no more detailed information from Sir Sol. He was a master of secrets and always knew much more than he let on. Despite the clear ineptitude of her potential companions, this was an ideal opportunity to gain valuable information for Fernassa. She could work around these two and maybe even use them to her advantage.