It has been but a few days since I arrived in the West Marches. The region is as wild and lawless as I had hoped and I doubt that my work will arouse much attention. The lack of any authority also seems to have increased the number of… opportunities… available.
On my arrival I met with two others in an establishment in Westmoor, a border town. One was decidedly outspoken with an air of charisma, while the other seemed quiet, reserved, and listening to everything that transpired carefully.
The three of us were approached by a squalorly elf wretch. I paid her brief attention, assuming her a beggar. She gave a long self-serving story of how her husband forced her to this glorious free land (she ignorantly condemned it as backwards and cruel) and I was ready to send her away until she surprised us by revealing that her husband had not been heard from in several days. Her husband had been part of, what sounded like, an esoteric and interesting cult living in a town called Amber Heath. No one had heard from the town in quite some time and I was quick to assume they were dead in this competitive landscape.
My curiosity was roused. How could an entire town go silent, even in this part of the world? The elf offered a tidy sum of jewels to get word from her husband, which immediately caught the attention of my two new companions, Roywin and Akorath. I was certainty interested in the mystery of Amber Heath but could always do with more funds and it was not long before the three of us set off to the town.
We followed my raven familiar, Nevermore, through the wilderness seeking our destination. After some travel we came across a broken down wagon with an inordinate amount of men and women standing around it. We approached the group and it was immediately apparent that they were not traders but more likely bandits. In preparation for the coming violence I began to swim through my grimoire’s ever-changing pages, faintly listening to the conversation around me. Roywin and Akorath were engaging in a charade of a conversation with the highway men while I prepared for the inevitable conflict.
These bandits, The Thorns, were led be a woman who seemed to think herself quite clever; Freda. She put up a ruse about the barrels in their cart, insisting they originated from a meadery in Amber Heath though we quickly caught her in the lie… then we happened upon the dead body in the back of the wagon.
As the tension built one of my companions managed to enthrall Freda in a charm spell and before I knew it the confrontation was abated and we had control of a new band of hirelings. Freda ultimately fell out of our direct control but as long as we can keep a measure of leverage on her and keep her and her thugs rich I am sure she will fold to any request.