The journey from the mainland has been difficult to say the least. A sudden squall blew your ferry boat miles west of the island and the ferryman and his crew had to bring the boat into Sandy End through the shallow water bounded on the north by the North Reef. Although of shallow draft, the ferry ran aground on a sand bar and now here you are – wading ashore in 3’ deep water with such belongings as you can carry on your back. You reach the beach head for the entrance gate. Once inside the town walls you make for the nearest inn where you hire a room for the night and head for the Common Room to get some food and drink. While you are eating you notice that one wall of the room is used as a notice board. Among the jumble of information one notice stands out. ‘Adventurers/Mercenaries Wanted.’ Having little money and being stranded in town you all decide to go to the manor and inquire about the job. Upon inquiring of the innkeeper you are directed to Hunter Manor on the east side of town and the Lord of the Manor – Master Brannen. The directions are simple and you soon find yourselves standing in front of the Manor Gate. Once inside you are escorted to the Manor House where you are met by a serving man and taken to a room to wait. After five minutes or so you find yourselves in the presence of Master Brannen, a large-chested, muscular blond man with blue eyes and a roguish smile.
‘Greetings,’ he says. ‘So you have come to inquire about possible employment. ‘The job is simply this.’ Brannen smiles. ‘Take this small, iron-bound box and deliver it to a particular person in North Point with the accompanying letter. The box and the letter must be delivered with the seals intact or you will forfeit payment at the other end. For your trouble, each of you will be given 500 silvers by myself and 500 silvers upon completion of your task. Should either item be lost or the seals broken, my agents will hunt you down and exact payment of an unfortunate kind.’
Master Brannen smiles again, but his eyes are cold - clearly a dangerous man and not to be trifled with.
‘You have two weeks to complete the journey. Do you except the commission or no?’
It seemed a simple task …
Deliver some items to a man in the next town and collect a tidy sum. Little did you know that your employer was the leader of the infamous Brotherhood of the Bleeding Hearts in this area. And now you are beset by all kinds of trouble coming at you from every side! Are your allies really your enemies? Or do you have any friends at all? Go forward or go back – death seems to wait for you around every corner. Whichever way you go, your chances of survival seem slim. The forest looms about you on all sides. The green-filtered light seems ominous somehow. The open road lies before you.