When the destruction was complete, the group reunited on the main floor. “Now where do we go?” Two asked.
One paced within a circle formed by his brethren. “They are aware of our pursuit, that is clear. Anvar Greenlith and Linvin Grithinshield have either left to search for the ultimate prize or left to hide what they possess. Regardless of the reason, our next best chance to find them will be with their only close family in the area. That takes us to Varns.”
It was then that Four entered the house holding a young boy by the arm. “This lad has some information of interest,” Four announced.
One knelt before the child and told him, “Fear not, boy. You will be rewarded for helping us track down a criminal.” The boy looked around at the destruction around him, afraid and silent. Seeing his face, One produced a small sack of gold and handed it to the boy. “Now,” One began, “tell us what you know.”
Quivering, the boy began to speak. “I delivered a message here, from an old elf in Fraylic, a few days ago. The man or elf that lived here paid me so much for getting it here, that I wanted to thank him the next day. I got up early to do that but saw them leaving town.”
“Them?” asked Four.
“Aye,” the Boy said. “The old elf that sent me was with him.”
“Which way did they go?” Three asked.
“S…south, it was,” the boy said with increasing apprehension.
One drew his face very close to the boy’s face. “Did the half elf have a staff with him?”
The boy looked away. “It was dark. It was hard to see. I…”
One lost patience. “Yes or no! Did he have a staff with him?”
“No,” the boy said at first. “Wait…he might have. There was something long hanging beside his horse. It could have been a staff.”
One nodded and resumed his pacing. “You have seen much, young boy.” One walked over and removed the sack from the boy’s hand. “Too much, I’m afraid. Four, do be certain he never has the opportunity to tell anyone else what he has seen.”
The boy tried to scream, but Four covered his mouth and dragged him up the stairs to meet his end.
“Crime has become so ruthless,” One commented. “Take that boy. He comes back with his unruly friends to rob the benevolent man who paid him so well only a few days before. He destroys the house, only to be killed by his two-timing friends and left for the authorities. I tell you, my friends, the world has become a sad place. Let us leave this den of sin and be on our way.
Four rejoined them as they neared the door. He was wiping blood from his hands with one of Linvin’s kitchen towels. “So do we head south?” he asked One.
“That would seem logical,” One commented, “however, south is not much of a destination, but Varns is. Grithinshield is known as a great strategist and Anvar Greenlith has proven to be more wise than we gave him credit for. The heading, the boy thief observed, could have been a ruse to throw us off the trail. In fact, I am quite sure it was. If that were the case, then they would have gone in the opposite direction that the boy said. That would be north and north leads us back to Varns. Now let us go. Our quarry is slipping away.”