Various members of Pendragon & Co. assembled for their weekly meeting. The building they were standing in was once a large, rather majestic structure. It sits within the mountains, hidden away from sight and guarded by impassable terrain. It appears old, worn down, dark, and only had access to the floor they were standing on. The basement was caved in and the upstairs floor was broken from years of neglect. Nonetheless, it was safe and lit by candles hanging from the walls. The glow was welcoming and the room slightly warm, a contrast to the cold mountain breeze outside.
Alystair Pendragon, the master of the House and the merchant company, looked around. “Glad to see we ain’t all gabbing aroun’ an’ made the trip up ‘ere. It can be a tricky place to find, so well done you all’s is slightly more competent than I gave you credit for.” He smirks before continuing, “Let’s get down to it.”
Reginald let out a snort and nodded in agreement.
Alystair pulled out some paper, reading. “The other day we got our shipment of goods through the wastelands, and whilst there were some troubles from bandits…” He silently recalled the bandit kings head he chewed into. “I don’t thin’ they will bother us anymore.” Reginald nods as Alystair continues, “With that, we have a full stock, and so we are gonna look at having ourselves a market day to start selling wares. We are gonna need gits to look after stalls and tend to the customer’s yea?”
“Gits, sir,” Borin asked.
“People,” stated Booker.
Alystair Pendragon raised an eyebrow, looking at Borin as though he was on some sort of spectrum. He pointed to the gnome, “Git.” He turned back and continued, “There is another order of business. In a few weeks, there will be the annual Pendragon Ball; a tradition carried on for quite a time back in the ol’ days, and one that I would like to breathe a little life into.”
Reginald let out a small chuckle, crossing his arms over his chest as he looked at everyone in the room whilst listening.
“Hence, we shall be hosting the Annual Reclamation Ball – to celebrate the return of our family and future success in our many trades.”
Nittletonk, Borin’s younger sister, arched a brow at the prospect of a ball. She glanced at her brother, now wondering what on earth he’d gotten her into. Borin rubbed his chin, intrigued.
“Now it may be one of them ‘ere poncy party types that is considered a House event, so if you don’ like that kinda thing you aren’t forced to come. But it will be wine, dine and a spot of dancing right? Music, fun. And it will mark us all as founders and members of what will become the strongest and most influential business this side of the Maelstrom.” He paused for a moment to see if anyone had anything to say. “You got any gabbing on the topic then, or are we good to go on?”
Reginald merely offered a shrug. Nittletonk was silent, only listening as she felt in no place to weigh in on the proceedings, not yet being a fully fledged associate of the House.
Seeing that no one had anything to add, Alystair nodded. “Right. Next.” He pulled out a large sack of gold, splitting it up into smaller bags, and tossing them towards each member. “Watch yourselves walking around with this. Lastly…” He suddenly reached down to his right, picking up Nittletonk by her collar from where she stood beside him and brought her to hang right in front of his snout. He sniffed her, licking his lips and staring into her eyes. “Who is dis?”
“Waaah!” Nittletonk yelped as she was picked up, staring at the Worgen with a mild amount of startled fright. “Nittletonk! Nittletonk Innato, sir!”
Borin looked up at her. “That is,” he cleared his throat, “my sister.”
Alystair looked her up and down, still sniffing the unfamiliar gnome. “Is she for fightin’ or is she for eatin’?” He eyed them both.
Borin shook his head. “She is not on the menu sir, she is a new pledge.” Nittletonk puffed out her cheeks with a scowling pout.
Alystair seemed reluctant, poking Nittletonk’s tummy with a pointed claw. “Fine.” He placed her back down. Nittletonk looked up at him and sighed before returning to where she stood beside her brother.
“Any of you gits that ain’t signed one of these contracts better do so after this meeting… There anything else?”
Borin spoke up. “I have heard word of a market that is world wide supposedly.”
Alystair turned and looked down at the male gnome, “Oh? Elaborate on this, Master Innato.”
Borin nodded. “I don’t know much sir, I’ve just heard whispers of it in passing.”
“It got a name?”
“Cotton Bottom… I think.”
Alystair nodded. “Then you all have a mission. Find out about this market. Get some information, find out who we have to pay or threaten to get in. Easy.” He looked at the small gathering once more. “Keep a look out on the notice board, we got some missions coming up. Now, sod off.”
Suddenly, a guard stumbled into the room, clearly annoyed and frightened to interrupt. “I’m sorry Sir, he insisted that you were aware of his coming.” The guard twitched as he spoke. There were wires hanging from his back that were attached to a small device held in the hands of a goblin, who proceeded to speak.
“Sorry I had ta electrocute ya friend here, but he just wouldn’ listen. You remember me don’ ya? I requested a meetin’ the other day.” The goblin stared past the guard’s twitching body at Mr. Alystair Pendragon.
Maeleth had begun to leave until the goblin decided to make his sudden appearance. Booker pulled out a small blade from a side sheathe. Reginald sighed heavily, unamused by the situation. Alystair raised an eyebrow, “Yes I remember you, goblin, but I don’t appreciate you hurting my people…” The guard growled at the goblin.
“Like I said, he didn’t give me much of a choice.”
“Let ‘im go and I may not kill you.”
“Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like ta talk business.” The goblin pushed a button on his device, the wires retracted, and the guard fell to a knee, gasping for breath.
Alystair Pendragon nodded to him, “Then let’s talk business…” He gestured for the goblin to stand in the middle of the large crowd.
The goblin walked to the center of the room as prompted. “My name is Nox, Nox Saltwell. I have a proposition for you, though it may be a lil’ dirty.”
“I have this whistle, I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s precious to me. Anyways, it was stolen by some skeezy culty lookin’ people and I want it back. I need your help to do that.”
Booker eyed Nox warily. “What’s the catch?”
Alystair raised an eyebrow, “Aye, what Master Wilhelm said.”
“And,” Booker looked around as he continued, “some others here might be more interested in how much does it pay?”
Borin chimed in. “I know I want to know the latter part of that information.”
Booker looked at Nox with narrowed eyes. “So, either start talkin’ or either someone will stab, shoot, or eat ‘ya, goblin.”
Nox gestured about as he answered their questions. “The catch is that ya’d have ta deal with some skeezy cult people, that not catchy enough for ya? The pay is adequate though I’m open ta negotiations. How about 500 gold?”
Nittletonk arched a brow and stared at Nox. “Split among all of us? For a whistle? That seems … Low…” Her brother expressed his opinion. “500… You were thinking 500 each I would hope.” Nittletonk nods in agreement with him.
Booker folded his arms over his chest. “So… you want US, to take our men, risk their lives for your shit… for 55 gold and change each?”
Alystair watched the exchange between his house members and Nox. “Aye Master Goblin, these ‘ere gits are the ones working for us. If they don’t like the pay then you best gonna have to make it worth their while.”
Nox spoke up. “Per person of course.”
Booker nodded, appearing satisfied. “Now, thats’a different story.”
“But if that doesn’t persuade ya, there’s more.”
“Such as…?” Alystair leaned forward with his arms crossed, towering over the Goblin.
“These culty guys, they’ve been hitting up other people too, other big establishments. All I want is what was taken from me. You’re free ta do want ya want with the rest.”
Booker listened and nodded. “So, 500 gold each and wahtever we can carry out?”
“I just want my whistle back, safe and sound. You can keep everything else for ya self. Don’t get any ideas about keeping the thing though, best keep ya curiosity at bay. Ya know what they say about cats and all!”
Alystair looked at the assembly, “What we all think, we want to take the job?”
“For 500 gold and the pick of the bandit’s loot… I’m in.” He looked around, wondering if anyone else would say anything. Nox smiled smugly and nodded in approval.
“I will assume then that none of you have any reservations, so we will take the job,” Alystair replied.
“Since no one spoke up, that is a logical conclusion.”
Nox claps his hands together. “Great! Wish I could tell you more about the guys who took it, but I don’t know much. All I know is where they are hiding for now. I’ve hired a guy ta take ya there. Ya can find him at the docks tomorrow evening. The ship in the middle, I believe.”
Alystair nodded. “Very well, we will be there. I don’t want any funny business, Goblin. Better be as you say it is.’
“His name is Betty…B… somethin. I’m sure ya’ll find him. Just for good faith, here’s 500 gold as a sort of deposit.” Nox handed Alystair 500 gold pieces in a bag.
Alystair took it, putting it into the large sack, “Consider that a bonus to your next pay, everyone. We done here then, Goblin?”
“Yeah yeah, I’ll see ya back here when the jobs done.”
Alystair nodded. “Now the rest of ya get gabbin with me on contracts or get going. Been here to late already…”
The goblin looked around, glared at the guard from before, and smirked. “Later!” He walked out smuggly.
Once all was said and done, Nittletonk, Borin, and Reginald saw to their contracts being completed. They took the blood oath of service to House Pendragon, each of them leaving with proof of their commitment as an open wound on a palm.