A merchant’s caravan trundled along the roads. It was a decent day, with just some clouds marring the blue sky. It was several days before the feast in Travance, and the folk of the caravan were looking forward to the money to be made. Suddenly the necks and chests of the guards sprouted arrows as bandits poured from the woods.The leader of the bandits stepped up to the head of the caravan as her guards were slaughtered and the survivors had their throats slit.

“Seems like you’ve had a hard time of things. We’ll let you live, on two conditions,” the bandit leader smirked.

“Oh yes? And what are they?” The caravan leader was cold, sure that the bandits would kill her and her employees.

“You turn around, and tell all your little merchant friends that the way to Travance ain’t safe. Bad for business.” The bandit leader tapped his nose with his dagger and grinned broadly.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

The fire raged in the farm. Figures watched as the people locked inside the house screamed while the flames licked ever higher. Soon those in the farmhouse would be dead and all the crops burned to ash. The flames illuminated a symbol on the tunic one of the figures wore. The symbol of Duke Balliol’s forces flashed in the dark of the night.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Somewhere in Kormyre, a well-dressed man sat at a large oaken desk. He set down the copy of the note this “Terzak” person had written sent to him by Crux. He pondered for a bit. The people of Travance had proven better at subtlety than their reputation would lead him to have believed. He had sent Crux to find this person that had taunted his Society, and to keep an eye on what happened. Perhaps this upcoming attempt would prove amusing. If not, then more drastic measures would be required. This war between Count Everest and Duke Baliol was entertaining, but only because it had yet to touch his own wealth. As it stood, while it kept most of the country scrambling, his own power was stable. The town of Travance seemed as if it was rocking on its heels. He would drop Travance to its knees.

He smiled. His agents would overrun the town of Travance. The people there were so sure of their power. They would see his own. He would have Travance. And the city of Pelindor. And eventually, Kormyre.

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