“The Lord Toramund will see you now”, spoke the elven guard with ill-concealed disdain. The party were shepherded through a maze of passageways until they stood on the threshold of a luxuriously furnished room. A male elf, clad in rich clothes, lounged on a rug. Another spoilt lordling, thought Wil. “You can leave me with them, Theothas, I’m sure I’ll be quite safe”, said the elf, gesturing towards the door. “As my lord commands”, replied the guard, then saluted and left, smirking at the visitors. Is someone going to let us in on the joke? Wil wondered.
The elf straightened into a cross-legged sitting position and turned his gaze on the party. It was plain he was not intimidated in the slightest by them – indeed, the fact that he was meeting them without his guards was a clear gesture of contempt. “Well, what business have you with Toramund?”, spoke the elf-lord in a commanding voice. There was silence for a moment; his physical presence and confidence dominated the room more effectively than if he had been holding the obsidian longsword that lay next to him. Wil, not given to being overawed by the nobility, felt unable to meet Toramund’s eyes. Graven was first to speak. “I bring news, lord”, he said, stepping forward and producing the enciphered letter that had been entrusted to him in Altaruk. Toramund took it without a word and began to read, frowning a little as he noticed the hole in the parchment (Ku-ki’cha shifted uncomfortably at this point). If hearing of the death of his son had affected him, the elf did not betray it. He set the letter aside. “I hope five of you did not come to trample my fine carpets simply so one of you could deliver a message?” He proceeded to question each member of the party about their travels in the region and seemed favourably impressed with what he heard. After a little persuasion he was even prepared to suggest where they might start searching for the treasure of House Madar – a place called the Canyon of Gothay.
Their audience over, the travellers wandered a little in Silver Springs. As newcomers, they attracted numerous glances, not least from unfriendly types who bore the twin-eye symbol of House Tsalaxas. Althaea pulled Naivara into a clothing shop and insisted she pick out something that would disguise her. A little later the bard negotiated a rate for rooms at an inn and the party settled in for the night. There was some discussion of how to proceed. Wil was all for setting off to claim the treasure independently, while Ku-ki’cha and Naivara favoured staying with Rhotan Var’s expedition. Unfortunately the dwarf overheard some of this and was not best pleased; it took Althaea’s best efforts to smooth over the affair, although he came close to dismissing the party from his employ.