Tymon, Subotai and Fruz return to Hillias as part of Gabrela’s victorious mercenary unit, looking forward to spending their pay and share of the salvaged caravan loot on the pleasures and diversions of the metropolis. The trio decide to spend some free time in the Lower District to see what they can learn about rumors of people disappearing at night from the city streets.
Lendi’s Tavern is a small but relatively well-kept tavern on Barrel Street, where Fruz cheats at a house dice game, Tymon samples the local brews with the discerning tastes of a Gis alchemist, and Subotai drinks wine and scans the crowd for potential female companionship, hoping one or the other will help take his mind off the disturbing dreams of home that have haunted him lately. The evening is rudely disrupted by the arrival of a group of thugs led by local ruffian Kradik, who goads the heroes into a street fight outside the tavern. But Kradik’s men get more than they bargained for and several are taken down before the arrival of the city watch ends the affair.
Several days later Gabrela finds the trio in the barracks and orders them to track down a missing comrade – Niko Four-Fingers. Young Thory provides the first clue when he recalls Niko recently mentioning a pretty tavern-dancer who had caught his fancy… it looks like another trip to the Lower District will be in order.