Lorgan shuffled the papers on his desk, lining the documents up neatly. He had just finished reviewing the last month of reports with Zinji, the peg legged cutthroat who ran the carting and mercantile aspects of the Twilight Raven. Lorgan had never been sure just exactly how the one-eyed cripple had wound up with the job, but Zinji was part owner of the Twilight Raven Inn and a damned good freight line manager. That was a fact Lorgan had always been grateful for, as it left him free to focus on the expeditionary part of the Twilight Raven’s business.
A soft knock on the door interrupted his musings. Lorgan leaned back into his chair, his eyes wandering over to Zinji on the other side of the large oaken desk. The man’s remaining eye caught his with a smirk. Lorgan was often startled by the brightness of the color in the Zinji’s eye; it was like a sunlit forest on a blazing clear day. Lorgan’s eyes wandered over the room. Maps were tacked to every wall; documents in pigeonholes dotted the space, broken up with trophies of the guild’s victories. A giants crown here, a spider shell or ankheg carapace there. This was the center of the Twilight Raven’s expeditionary force, and more than anywhere else this was home.
Lorgan cleared his throat, smiling slightly at his own hesitation. “Enter.” He rumbled.
The door swung open on well-oiled hinges, admitting the slight form of an elf. Lorgan regarded the newcomer for a moment before motioning him to an empty chair. The elf was slightly taller and more muscular than most he had met, as well as darker in complexion and hair. The sides of his face were covered with wild tattoos of black and brilliant blue a mere shade less than the elf’s azure eyes. The elf took a seat soundlessly, without even a whisper of the cushion. Lorgan smiled, leaning back into his high backed chair.
“Thanks for coming by, Llandrien.” Lorgan rumbled in his gravely bass voice. “This is Zinji, he runs the routine shipping aspects of the Twilight Raven’s mercantile group. He handles standard shipments, trade routes and caravan security for us, and he’s been with the company since the days of the old Raging Boar Merchants group.” Lorgan nodded at the one eyed man, who in turn nodded to Llandrien.
“I as you know, am Lorgan. I manage the expeditionary arm of the Twilight Raven. We focus on discovering new goods and sources of revenue, new trade routes and salvage of lost caravans as well as recovery of good from raiders and bandits. Between the two aspects of our business, we manage to turn a modest profit.”
“The reason I’ve asked you to join us today,” Lorgan continued, “Is that we have a an opening in our ranks, and you seem to be the most likely candidate. You’ve handled a few minor tasks for us, and your conduct in that incident with the orcs near split shield was exceptional.” Lorgan shuffled some papers on his desk, opening a leather dossier.
“In fact, given your own search for your missing parents, I think we are in the position to offer you considerable resources, and a chance to combine business with vendetta, so to speak. I am taking most of the current expeditionary force on an extended mission in Calimport, you know how that is.” Lorgan closed his eyes, tilting his head back.
“Bright sun, Crystal clear water and beaches that sparkle like diamonds. Exotic fruits and foods, spices and flavors you would swear are not of this world. The sultan has agreed to let us stay in the palace as long as we need to; it’s quite nice of him. I think he still feels a measure of gratitude over that incident with his daughter. This sort of ‘mission’ is exactly what the group needs. They’ve been working hard for quite some time.”
Lorgan’s eyes opened, focusing again on the elf across the desk from him. “This of course, leaves a void that needs to be filled. That’s where you come in. We are in the process of organizing a new expeditionary force to take over while our veterans are away enjoying their well-earned respite. Zinji and I have talked it over, and we think you’re the man to lead that new expedition.” Lorgan leaned forward, sliding the leather dossier across the thick desk.
“These are the files of the team we’ve assembled for you. They’re all young, and some are anything but altruistic, but they should be a solid crowd. Each of them is hand picked, and all show promise.”
Llandrien nodded, shuffling the papers. “Caecara,” he mused, “It has been a while since I have seen my cousin. Dronak, a knight of bloodstone?” Llandrien arched his brow, shuffling the page. “Okep, Torkur’s apprentice and Cilole, Golnol’s younger brother.” He looked up at Lorgan.
“This is hardly a complete expedition force, even for a group so young, Blackmane.”
“No, it is not.” Lorgan agreed. “Zinji will remain with you to handle the routine shipments, and you will have to recruit new members as you find them. You are free to deploy your resources and use the company’s informant network as you see fit, you will have a free hand to pursue information regarding your parents, so long as you take care of the expeditionary business at the same time. There will be caravans to salvage and the like, you’ll see a lot of travel, and that could be beneficial to your personal endeavors.”
Llandrien smiled slightly, his face unreadable and reserved like most elves. “My brother, Athanaum will have to join me of course.”
Lorgan nodded, reaching across the desk to flip Llandrien’s dossier to the final document. “The company is willing to give you an advance loan enough to buy a tenth of the business. We strongly believe that our leaders need to have a stake in the company’s success. The rest of the document details salary responsibilities and the like.”
Llandrien glanced over the page slowly, his eyes darting across its surface. At last he smiled, showing his teeth for just a moment. “So where do I sign?”
Lorgan reached over and flipped the page, handing Llandrien a quill as he grinned at Zinji. “I told you he was the right man.”
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