After Sinruth's so-called trial, the party made their way back to the Rusty Kettle Tavern. The strains of the rescue were beginning to subside as bruises and cuts began to heal. Rest and ale can do wonders - especially when it is free of charge. Rescuing the cook of the establishment has its perks.
In the days since their return they could hardly spend a moment outside without someone singing their praises and thanking them. Jalissa made frequent visits to dote upon Delian. Each night Sertanian and Adronsius ensured that everyone in the Kettle knew of the heroic deeds of the group. Even crotchety, old Zerriksa nodded her head and thanked them. The innkeeper noted it was the most cordial thing he had seen her do in years.
Today was different. For once the group was left in peace - or so they thought.
A breathless Tharunn hurried into the main room. A quick scan of the patrons and he marched determinedly over to Ethan. "A message for you Ethan. Sealed and everything." He handed the parchment over.
As Ethan opened the letter, Sterling appraised the recent orphan. While the warforged had not known the boy prior to his rescue, he was sure that the lad had changed in the last week. More determined, sullen, and focused. The death of his father was a hard blow to take - especially for one so young. Even now he watched him gaze intently on Ethan. The lad's attachment to the rogue was incredible. The boy watched his every move. Sterling had even caught him imitating some of Ethan's attack moves one evening. While the warforged held Ethan in the highest regard, he wasn't so sure if this was what the boy needed at this time. Perhaps more of Tharunn's time should be arranged with Jalissa. At least until they could get the youngster back to the guildhall and under the care of Ragnolin.
A low whistle escaped from Ethan. "Looks like we aren't heading to Sharn." The group looked a little confused. Ethan kept them in suspense a moment until he noticed Braddoc's eyebrow raise and Nenia's face turn slightly red. Even the usually stoic Jonathon seemed ready to snatch the parchment from Ethan's hands.
"Ragnolin needs us to head to Flamekeep. Looks like we've got ourselves in up to our necks with this Skamos fella. Ragnolin wants to nip this in the bud before anyone else in the guild meets an untimely end."
Sterling put out his hand to receive the note. He read it aloud to the group.
Hail to thee.
I trust that you have all fared well and have located Kartenix by the time you read this. Some things have come to light since your departure. Based on the events, I must make an unorthodox request of your talents.
As you know all of Kartenix' previous group have either met sudden violent ends or can not be located. He can tell you more of them if wishes. We are almost certain that the circumstances surrounding these tragedies are directly tied to the recent job they performed. I am sure that you have conveyed the news of Hi'relle's death to my old friend by now. We believe this Skamos character hunted your fellow guild members down to find the location of an item they procured. I am unsure of the exact details but some information has come to light that suggests that it was part of a set of items. Sets like this are rare. The individual items contain potent enough magic but when used in conjunction they are devastatingly powerful.
It behooves me to ask you to return with Kartenix to Flamekeep. He needs to locate whatever sources of information he used to track the item down in the first place and try to determine the true threat. A reclusive historian by the name of Thelio, a paladin by the name of Jaryn, and a mage named Kristoff seem to ring a bell from my previous conversations with Hi'relle. Kartenix should be able to assist you there.
Give my regards to Kartenix and the rascal Tharunn. I look forward to seeing them when you finally get back to Sharn.
Delian noted Ragnolin's seal at the bottom of the letter. "It seems we better find the best route to Flamekeep."
Braddoc's eyebrow flew up. "You holy rollers have ale there right?"