According to rumors, a rich merchant needs somebody to go along with her on a long trip and – among other things – provide for her safety. These rumors tempted many people, from street urchins to high nobility, to see what it's all about; such a trip can be a good way to live adventures, achieve glory, reach enlightenment or simply escape the dull life of the city. Posters all over the city fueled the rumors, and provided a clear indication for a meeting in a Tavern in the city, at least to those who knew how to read the information.
The Tavern, called "The Pointy Unicorn", is known as a starting point for many adventures, and has seen people return in glory, in ruin or (pretty often) not return at all. As the merchant enters The Pointy Unicorn, she knows exactly what to expect: a bunch of people from all social ranks with lots of hope and motivation, but often with very little useful skills. She hoped to find at least one competent travel partner, but expected to have to hire a group of random yokel. Her eyes took a second to adapt to the dim light in the Tavern, but then – to her great surprise – she immediately recognized somebody: Princess Yasmin von Lavender was sitting at a Table, not far from the counter. Swiftly, the merchant approached her to greet her and inquire what she's doing in a place like this. The Princess just cryptically answered that she's waiting for someone, and so the merchant approached the counter after a few cordial words.
As soon as she took her seat on one of the bar stools, she heard a voice directly behind her. As she turned around, she could hardly contain her suprise: a dwelf! She heard rumors of a heroic dwelf protecting the weak, but she thought it was just a urban legend! The dwelf asked about the job offer, and after short negotiations, they agreed that Glyra – that's the dwelf's name – would come with her, and they drank some rose schnapps to seal the deal. The merchant tried to get to know the green-clad dwelf, who looked like she just came from the woods, and so started conversing with her, with one of the first topics to come up being the destination of the journey: Chirinto.
Seconds after the merchant mentioned Chirinto Princess Yasmin approached, and said she'd like to offer her services too, as she has to go to Chirinto anyway. At first the merchant was skeptical, knowing the reputation of the noble – a trendsetter and fashionista, but then she noticed something: upon closer inspection she could recognize the outlines of equipment, probably weapons, and maybe even a shield, hidden in her elegant long dress. Probably few people would notice it in the folds of the dress, but years spent traveling thought the merchant to look out for hidden equipment. Apparently there was more to the high-born half-elf then she assumed.. intrigued, the merchant agreed to take Yasmin along.
Just as the marchant was about to introduce her new travelmates to each other, another patron of the tavern asked what the payment will be. Without introduction, without greeting, disregarding all social norms, right to the point, the merchant liked this. Still observing the princess' dress, and even more, observing the dwelf - a sight more unique then rare – the merchant explained that payment will wary, and be paid upon return depending on the work done. The newcomer inquired if any of the items the merchant was planning to retrive in Chirintor would be given as payment, and the merchant agreed that yes, some items could be given. Digging deeper, while still not looking up from her book, the inquirer asked if there will be any guaranteed payment. The merchant thought for a while, and decided that as initial incentive a ruby each would be an appropriate payment – after all, she didn't know what those potential travel companions would actually contribute to the safety of the trip. Without missing a beat, the reader demanded more. Amused, the merchant agreed that the inquirer will get a 50 golden coin bonus for her services. Glyra immediately protested, but it came across pretty rude, and the merchant – even though secretly understanding the sentiment – made it clear that the the dwelf should be happy to get anything, since she didn't ask for payment at all. Yasmin then tried to negotiate a bonus too, and the merchant agreed to pay everyone at least a ruby and 50 gold, to keep things simple – of course she knew they would all get way more then a ruby and 50 gold during hte course of the journey, but she didn't like to agree to payments so long before the payment is due.
The merchant then looked around the Tavern, to see if anybody else would join. There were a few patrons who obviously where there to join her, but they seemed intimated now that a small group had already formed – the reading travel partner closed the book and was approaching them by now.
At this point the merchant decided that maybe those three would be a good company for the journey.. at least for now. So she proceeded to introduce herself as Nerwe the merchant, and then asked the group to introduce themselves, noting what a strange group they are, a highborn, a dwelf and a… only at this point did she really look ath the third comrade: a Tiefling! She had nothing against Tieflings, on the contrary, but… a Tiefling. Well, why not? This erudite-looking Tiefling was a very intriguing figure, and her going right to the point might have been a social no-go but Nerwe liked it. And as Sayyra (that's the name the Tiefling presented herself as) kept on talking about her academic successes, and the books she wrote, and the research she did and was still doing, and she kept going on and on without regard for the others reaction, Nerwe knew Sayyra would prove to be useful. As soon as the list of achievements started to fade out Yasmin explained that she had to meet somebody in Chirintor - But she didn't get further into who it was or why. Nerwe was pleased, and ordered a round of rose schnapps, and the group got to know each other a bit more. After a while Nerwe excused herself, saying that she still has preparations to do, and that they shall all meet the next day an hour after sunrise at the east gate of the City. Sayyida left right away too, without a word of goodbye or anything. She went straight to the bibliotheque to do research about Chirintor and the way there. Yasmin stood up too, and offered Glyra to come with her to the palace for the night, but the latter one declined, explaining that she still had to go collect some herbs before starting, and so they departed too, Yasmin towards the palace and Glyra in the general direction of the next exit from the city.