Livara sat in the basement alone. It was cool and dark and lit only by a ray of moonlight coming from the small window above her. The basement was almost empty and picked clean by its former owners. There was a desk and a chair across from the door, and a tall cabinet and wooden chest near the wall to her left. Scattered papers and odd trinkets were all that remained. Like the house above it, it looked like it hadn’t been occupied in years.
The sun had set a few hours before and a bright moon had taken its place. Night lay over the city of Riverfork and only evening stragglers and city guards with torches walked outside. Livara could hear their footsteps coming and going, and the muffled chatter of passersby. The town was quiet tonight before the festival started tomorrow at midday.
Livara sat on the desk and swung her feet slowly while she thought to herself to pass the time.
Just 5 days earlier she was far from Riverfork. She had been to the sea-side town of Selhun to kill a baron. It was an easy job. The baron was constantly filled with arrogance and wine, and decided to stumble alone down a dark street on a rainy night. Livara even did the job with pleasure as she heard of what the baron routinely did to courtesans in the town.
She took the baron’s ring from her satchel. She had not yet been able to return it for payment as she was mysteriously called to Riverfork. She inspected the ring, turning it with her fingers. It was a gold ring, big as a rock and embedded with rubies and diamonds and a rune Livara did not recognize.
Livara again reached in her satchel and took out the folded note that had been left in her hideout in Selhun. Someone had found her. Livara needed to find out how. She opened the note written in black ink and read:
Meet me in Riverfork on the eve of St. Witney’s Harvest. Across from the Smithmoore & Sons’ Bank is a three-story house with red shutters – I shall be in the basement after sundown. And I was told to tell you – blue jay orchid.
Whoever they are, they are late thought Livara. And they knew her code word. Only 3 people in the world knew that. But this person knew it too.
Livara heard the back door of the house open above, followed by boots lightly moving across the floor. The floorboards creaked above her releasing wisps of dust. She followed the steps as they moved towards the basement stairs and heard the visitor coming down. Livara’s hand moved instinctively to her belt where a dagger rest in a scabbard on her back. The steps grew louder as the visitor arrived at the bottom of the stairs and turned into the doorway.