For a time, the eight waited within that room, nothing but the occasional words to one another and the methodical ticking of the timing contraption accompanying them. It was not until the long hand of the 'clock' was an inch along from the uppermost dot, did the door open once more. In entered a man. Six feet tall, broad shouldered and bronze-skinned, he was. Though his dark hair had streaks of grey which suggested he was in his mid-forties, the mans physique showed he had the strength and stamina of someone in the prime of their life. The groups gaze followed the man steadily as he walked silently across the floor and - with the exception of Greyson, who has had dealings with the mayor before - all were surprised when this man did not sit in one of the eighteen seats provided for adventurers, but in the single one on the opposite side of the table.
"I sincerely apologise for keeping you all waiting so long - I had 'business' with a small band of lowlives trying to string up people without reason." The bronzed mans tone was affluent and rich and exotic in nature. It was clear he was not born in Cuedrim. "I am the mayor of Cuedrim. My name is Leyri Canus. And I expect that all of you here are aware that there is an enormous forest growing just shy of my town. Its not the most difficult thing to see." Leyri paused in his words for a while to glance around, taking in each and every one of the people in the room. His mouth twisted into a faint frown at the sight of all the empty seats, however. "I had expected more... For all the obnoxious, crude people running around bragging in my town, you would expect them to actually prove their worth, hm? Well, no matter. For all of you who HAVE turned up, I do thank you - and please forgive me if you think I class you with the rabble out there; that is not the case." Once more the mayor paused, offering a brief glance to the hound at Coram's feet before continuing "Of all of you here, I know only Greyson," A faint nod is offered in the direction of the mercenary, "But I am sure, like him, I can put my confidence in each of you. But on to the details!"
"You all may have noticed that the main path to Cuedrim enters from the east, and continues throughout the center of town to leave at the east. Of course, the east of Cuedrim is now completely overrun by the forest. This forest is enormous, and has engulfed fourteen towns, in all. What I would have each of you do is enter the forest, and first - seek out the nearest town to us: Falamir. Falamir was a mere day and a half journey along the cobbled road that left town to the east, and though most of the cobble has been removed or overgrown, I am certain the path is still followable. Once you reach Falamir, I would like you to search for survivors and take a report on anything you find in the town. Any survivors you find, should be escorted back out to Cuedrim. From Cuedrim, you will then move back in to do the same for the second town - Uldama - which is nearly a weeks journey on foot. I want you to do the same in there, as you had done for Falamir - find survivors and escort them back, and take a report."
"I believe Uldama is quite near the center of the forest, however, so before you leave once more for Cuedrim, I ask of you to scout around the area to see if you could find any reason that a forest could appear in the span of several hours, in a formerly sunburned land."
Leyri paused for a while, glancing from one adventurer to the other, "I don't know what to expect from within those trees, but I want you all to be on guard. Perhaps theres nothing in there, and the worst you'll have to worry about is a few mangy wolves, but even still..."
"Though this is a fairly small town, we have made quite a profit, selling our woodworking wares and grain throughout the western lands. I will give you money enough for supplies now; you'll find a few places to buy food, water and packs in town, as well as a few small weaponry goods; sharpening stones and the like. After you return with the first group of survivors, you will be paid two hundred KÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¨yre each. After the second group of survivors, you will get four hundred more. Thats enough to live comfortably for half a year - please be thorough. Prove to me that you are worth such expense."
"I would like to see you all leave together and stay together, so please meet up just shy of the forest on the east road after you buy what you need. I used to be quite an adventurer in my time - I travelled and painted all the paintings you see on these walls - so I know how it can be. So best of luck."
His speech done, Leyri stands once more and turns to the clock contraption, studying it briefly before turning back - the long hand is now pointed just before the upper-right dot. "Questions before you leave, anyone?"