Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg’s trust in his team had been shaken. They had uncovered a conspiracy to commit murder, as well as evidence of wrongdoing, but rather than arrest a guilty party they allowed the crime to remain unsolved, and worse a political rival to know that this had been done. With no crime punished, his position had been left vulnerable politically.
As a consequence, the group was tasked with a relatively simple task to show they could handle a low-key assignment. Lord Aschaffenberg’s nephew Maximillian had recently become infatuated with Esmerelda Fenstermacher, the only daughter of a poor merchant, who had been entertaining several suitors of late. Lord Aschaffenberg wanted the group to investigate these claims, and discretely break up the arrangement.
The group started with some gentle inquiries around town. Apparently the young lady had indeed become the focus of lots of nobility gossip lately. Apart from Maximillian, many other richer families had also been courting her via expensive gifts. She had apparently received a small fortune of gifts within the last few weeks – something that caught Valanduil’s interest.
As the group watched Esmerelda going about her day for signs of what made her so captivating, Guthrie vonHammastrat dramatically approached her, and announced loudly that he would be leaving for the mountains to slay a band of Orcs in order to win her favour – an act that Esmerelda greeted with trepidation and attempted to persuade him not to do so. Heedless of her request, Guthrie rode out of town immediately, leaving Esmerelda behind. As she stood there, Halion Balfour observed a faint aura of the wind of Hysh about her, but nothing that indicated any active spellcasting.
Although none of the three present were expert on human courtship rituals, they all agreed that there didn’t seem to be something special about Esmerelda to explain this surge in attention. Halion resolved to investigate a potential magical angle, while Valaduil and Bissil would interview the most active of her suitors to try and get to the bottom of this.