Rem ate his breakfast slowly, savoring every bite. Ham, rocco eggs, enchanted rye bread and, of course, a tall glass of golden, aromatic mead. One should eat their food slowly, chew well and have a glass of something close by, just in case – people in his line of work despised indigestion. Sitting alone at the long table, Rem’s only company was his maid, Valeria, who stood behind him, decanter in hand and ready to refill his glass.
“Val, could you please sit? You know full well that I am not a noble, nor do I care about etiquette. Not while we are all alone in this oh-so-empty mansion of mine.”
The maid, a young city bred elven woman, bowed gently and with a polished, professional tone answered:
“It is as the Master wishes.” - In her usual graceful manner, Valeria sat next to him and rested her immaculate white gloved hands on the table after placing the mead filled decanter before her. Rem was sure that any noble would love to have a talented maid like her in their employ, yet it was him who had to hire her. He knew people. The man also knew elves, orcs and dwarves but that was beside the point since all of his contacts had been supplying him with accurate information for a decade or so. Valeria was supposed to be the next victim of one supremely obnoxious, in his humble opinion, secret society. Which he quietly took care of and free of charge, after Val was safely working in his own, well protected mansion. Said group was made out of sadistic morons and bitches who chased away their “boredom” by torturing young men and women to death. Valeria was a gray skinned, blue haired, elven beauty, whose pink colored eyes were now studying his spaced out facial expression. Hopefully Val will never learn why he hired her, offering the recently graduated and inexperienced maid such a lucrative contract or what could’ve happened if he hadn’t done what he did. The young maid gave him another strange, even confused look and with a tone much less professional than the way she spoke before. asked:
“Is the breakfast to my Master’s liking? Perhaps he desires a meal more... refined?”
“Thank you, it was tasty and filling, Val. The mead you brewed two months ago is marvelous!”
“Thank you Master, I shall endeavor to do even better in the future! By the way, this arrived in the mail right when I was preparing your food.” - Valeria produced a letter from her perfect apron and placed it next to Rem’s now empty plate - “Would that be all, Master? I could serve you another portion, if you so desire.”
Rem stood up letter in hand, fixed his robe and smiled back at his maid:
“One portion will do, thank you very much. You can go about your daily routine, Val and I... well I will retire to my study and read this letter. Bleeding trolls! That sounded so stuck up and noble-y!”
Chuckling, the 6.5ft tall man walked past the big, crystal windows, for a moment checking his appearances. The blue robe couldn’t hide his powerful, athletic build and despite the messy, stubby beard he now sported, his face was still pleasant to look at. His brown, spotted eyes were still throwing youthful glares left and right or so he was told by his lady friends. Taking the advice of his maid Rem allowed her to braid his shoulder long, jet black hair and the braid was now resting on his left shoulder. Rem thought himself average but skilled and although he had a couple of lady friends, he couldn’t find time for a committed relationship. His current occupation was definitely not the safest and most women worth their salt would be unwilling to share their lives with a solver of problems. He made most of his money by taking care of things which other people were unable or unwilling to deal with. Like an occasional group of murderous cultists or a band of useless. The useless in particular were a big problem during this Turn because a lot of failed adventurers had to be banished out of Krart. Only those who took the Guild’s exam and did not stab their comrades in the back during the test, were allowed to stay within the city walls. Indeed, one could be a raging asshole, but the Law was the Law and people who were not willing to work with others had no place in the city.
Walking into his mansion’s study, Rem sat on a plush chair and examined the fancy letter. Obviously sent by somebody rich, perhaps even famous client of his. The letters “Levoah” suddenly appeared on its blank surface, after he opened the envelope and Rem gasped surprised. That was the biggest and richest noble House in Krart! It was also well known that their noble family had plenty of servants and even a small army of knights. For what reason were they offering him a contract? Never mind, Rem pulled the letter out of the envelope and read it:
“Dear Mr. Rem,
I will be short in my expose and hit the nail straight on the head. There is a certain group of Useless close to your current location and they are in a possession of a stolen property. Property which belongs to me and it should be no surprise to you that I want it back. The item in question is a chest made of darkwood, blue steel bracers and locked by an elaborate alchemical lock. Your job will be to locate the fools, now hiding in the nearby forest, eliminate them and then return my property back to me. For that I am willing to pay you the hefty sum of one thousand gold coins. You will notice that it is a reward most generous and that is because I urgently need the contents of this chest. Mind your time sir, for you can waste no longer than a Ninth. Mr. Rem, I trust that you as a well known professional will not disturb the sanctity of my possessions and open the chest. If that should happen, our contract will be null and void, and you eligible to pay a breach of trust fine!
Countess Karena Levoah”
Rem read the letter again and then carefully stashed it in his safe. If something should happen, his friends in the city had a spare key and could use the letter as evidence. Not that he expected anything to happen to him but... one never knew when taking jobs from House Levoah. So far it sounded just as mundane as his recent jobs had been and when it came to the Useless, that was consistent with what they usually did. Once banished from the city, they formed gangs and tried preying on the travelers, robbing cargo or kidnapping people for ransom. That never ended well for them because Rem, or some random group of adventurers always got the fools before they did too much damage. The banishing was not permanent but in fact a second chance instead of a swift execution. Krart could not spend resources and space to jail people, therefore they were sent outside to survive on their own in the wild. Sadly very few actually changed their ways and in recent years people were questioning the Law, claiming that giving murderous and treacherous people a second chance was a waste. Fiddling with the key to his armory, Rem thought of what would be a good way to secure additional information for this contract. It was indeed a job which required speed, secrecy and on top of all, he had no idea of the size of that gang. He could send a message to his people in the city and ask them to do some magical scouting for him, but that, of course, would take time. He had only nine days – after all, his employer gave him a Ninth to complete this job. A letter sent to the city of Krart would take a day to reach his people, and then for them to do their work probably yet another day would pass. That in effect robbed him of three full days and left seven to do the job itself. Instead of wasting precious time and money paying for magical scouting, Rem could go out on a walk. There was a small, fishing village, one hour walking distance away from his mansion and the Hoods there could also provide him with information. These vigilantes had agents everywhere, their eyes saw much and their ears were privy to many a rumor. If he chose to use their services though, they’d demand some sort of a price to be paid. Coin was their usual fee, that or in some cases a “simple” favor. Rem was in a good relationship with the Hoods and even did a couple of jobs for them during the past Turn. Although that was many months ago and he was unsure if their village chapter had relevant information. The good thing was that he’d only lose a day while dealing with the Hoods, that, and they were a reasonable bunch, always ready to help the common man. He packed a bag full of coins, his short sword and, after grabbing one field ration pack from his pantry, ran with all speed towards the village. Rem only hoped that he'd find the local Hoods in good spirits.