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The one with Spade’s negotiation skills

The trio walked along the street, the orc Zaela and the goblin Helix flanking their friend Yanika as they moved towards the market to do some shopping. While they were walking, Yanika continued the story she had been telling the night before. “So back at Ace and Spades, we checked out what the orb we got from the crocodile actually is, and see what we could do with the sword. We found out that the orb is a key of some sort, but no idea what purpose it has, and it’s impossible to bond with. The sword we found out is called The Sword of Mirrors. I suggested someone bind to it so we could discover what it does, and so it would be harder to lose it. In the end Aitlas volunteered to bind it, and Majied went to the guildhall to find out some more information about both items.”. Yanika rambled on as Zaele went through the nearest fruit and vegetable stall to find some fresh produce for them to eat. The trio had long decided that it was best to leave the purchase of food to their orc friend. “While Majid was gone, we had 2 knocks on the door, the first turned out to be the letter we sent to Brand being pinned to the door, with no additional information, so an ominous warning. The other was a giant coming to visit, can you imagine that? An actual fire giant! He’s called Ortir and he wanted our group to come to Gold Gulch for a job offer. Apparently the Old Council has heard of us and wants to hire us for something. He gave us a paper with the address we had to go to in the morning and then left. So we now have two job offers, one from the giants and one from the Arcanum Guild.”.

“We went to the guildhall next to talk to our guildmaster Ravan dox, to see why he wanted to hire us. Apparently some of the workers who’re rebuilding the guildhall have been disappearing over the past year, and he wanted to hire us to investigate the disappearances, as the workers don’t want to work anymore.”. She smiled at the two of them, Yanika realising her star had been rising these past few weeks and she was so proud to be able to share this with her best friends. She rested her hand on Helix’ shoulder as she looked at Zaele when they moved to the next couple of stalls. “As you may know, the old guildhall burnt down some fifteen years ago, when an experiment to build a sky-engine failed miserably. The original design was by Nathaniel, and he died when the airship The Silverhawk crashed into the side of the mountain. Then fifteen years ago his son Nathan, and Estar Acros, who were Nathaniel’s apprentices, decided to try and rebuild it. But something went horribly wrong and the entire thing exploded, burning down the guildhall.”. Helix nodded as Yanika recounted the story. As a member of the Arcanum Guild he also knew that story very well, even if it was from before he was born. He also visibly brightened at the mention of Estar Acros, the signature he had received from Yanika now one of his prized possessions. “So the next people to talk to were Dagmar, the one in charge of the construction, and Estar. Ace went to talk to Estar, and while he doesn’t know anything about the disappearances, he could tell us more about the tragic accident though.”.

She brushed her fingers through her long red hair and pursed her lips a bit as she thought about the events that had happened after they had left the current guildhall, not having pleasant memories of this. “So when we left the guildhall, we were surrounded by some of Brand’s thugs. Brand wants us to come to his gang’s hideout to have a chat. Nah don’t worry, I don’t intend to ever set foot in there again.”. She smiled lovingly at the two friends, noting the concern on their faces and in their eyes when she mentioned the psychotic gang boss. “Majid drew his weapons to confront them, but he was knocked out easily, being still wounded from the fight with the crocodile. Kayne on the other hand managed to threaten the thugs into leaving. It takes a bigger bully to deal with a bully. No, in truth I am very fond of Kayne by now. But anyway, we all decided to go home, except for Ace and Spade who went to talk to Brand, not the wisest idea in my opinion, but they live in the Racks os I guess they felt they don’t have another choice.”. The rest of the evening they already knew. Yanika had come home very excitedly and had started working on the small tinkering gift she wanted to send to Emina Ada.

“I was still tinkering about with the small thopter, I so hope Emine will love it!, when Ace showed up in the middle of the freaking night, to task if I wanted to come with her to talk to Brand, because apparently he wanted to see everybody. I found this a bit shady, especially the way she was acting and being all reluctant, so I refused to go. She didn’t press the issue and headed off again. I learned the next day when I met with the rest at the new guildhall, that Brand has put a price on Kayne’s and my head, because we insulted him by not showing up. And the sad part about this is that I had to seriously prod Spade and Ace for this information, as they didn’t seem very willing to share even this warning. I don’t know, it makes me not want to trust them too much, if they’re withholding information from the rest of us, and keep making deals with that psychopath.”. She had been rambling on and on, not seeing the angered expression on her friends faces. Only when she stopped for a breath did she notice them, looking at her in shock and concern. Helix had a self made grenade in his hand and Zaela had her hand on her dagger, looking around for any sign of trouble. Yanika blushed a bit and hugged the two of them tightly. “Promise me you won't do anything foolish, the two of you, like burning down the Racks or so? I don’t want either of you hurt.”. Only they had both promised to not go and deal with Brand and his gang on their own, did Yanika continue on. But she couldn’t help but notice how alert her two friends were now as they moved through the market.

“Next on our list was to talk to the giants and see what they want to hire us for. The meeting place turned out to be the Keep of the Giants itself, and we got to talk to Harald Frode. He’s like the highest in rank among the Old Council, and the most important person among the giants!”. Her friends looked at her blankly, neither having heard of the giant before, and in truth, neither had Yanika before that meeting. “He was impressed with our actions and wants us to investigate the earthquakes that have been plaguing the city. The Old Council is looking for the cause, and their magic can’t give them the answer, so they need us to do some good old fashioned leg work. We already know the Arcanum Guild has nothing to do with it, and that the cause isn’t natural. The origin also lies inside the city, and it only affects the mountain, not the entire region. I wonder if the disappearances at the construction site and the earthquakes have something to do with each other?”

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