The man in the cloak spoke in such a soft but powerful voice that they found themselves doing as they were told. They followed him to a dark inn and sat in a quiet corner. They listened carefully as he told them the history of the land they had come to.
"Many years ago, when the land was young, this was a happy place. Crops grew well and the Earth was kind to us. Then things started to go wrong. At first we thought it was just bad luck as our wells began to run dry and our crops did not grow. But winter became longer and our people became sad. Many left to seek their fortunes in other lands and those who stayed became ill and weak."
"Then we found out the cause of all our problems. It was Zorin, the evil wizard of Gothar. He was taking the power of good from the land and using it for all sorts of bad deeds. We knew that if we let his power grow he would destroy us in the end so we attacked his castle in the mountains. Many of us died in that battle, he used strong magic to make an army of the dead. We beat his army and drove him from the castle but we could not destroy him."
"We left one of our own wizards in the castle to stop him coming back and now we fled into the Ork mines at first, taking with him his Wand of Command, but he was seen leaving the mines without it. This Wand makes his power much greater, he must have lost it or hidden it somewhere in the mines and is waiting for a chance to come back and get it."
"The mines are defended by the Old Magic left by the Orks, it stops anyone born in Sellardore entering. But you are strangers, you might be able to get in and find the wand before Zorin comes back. We will pay you well if you bring it to us."
The three friends looked at each other. This was why they came, to seek adventure and fortune. They did not think they would find it so quickly.
Darvid faced the old man. "And just who are you?" he asked.
"I am Arcorn, head of the Seekers, we must destroy Zorin, you must help. Sleep well tonight, I will meet you at the Northern Gate at sunrise."
With that Arcorn left. Soolin turned to Darvid, "Do you trust him?" she asked.
"It's hard to say," Darvid replied, "How could we know anything about him? I don't think it would be a good idea to ask anyone else, Zorin could still have spies here and talking to one of them could make this a very short adventure."
"I agree," said Tem, "We probably can't trust anyone here. I think we should do as he asks, but I think we need to take a lot of care."
"All right, we go," said Soolin, "but let's try and stay alive!"