After rescuing Alvar Tuule from the gray gnomes and gathering up the stolen supplies, the caravan continued on to Crestwood. Spared by Kayomie, the party allowed Reina dj’Sharn to travel with, though they kept her bound and gagged. Despite this, the druid’s former friend managed to vanish overnight. Still, the trip continued with very few difficulties.
After arriving in Crestwood, the party was taken to the local branch of the Royal Traders’ Society, where they met the guildmaster. The man was a kind elven man named Lorian Monet who informs the group that the guild has all but closed down. The guild hall, which would normally be busy and full of tradesman, is almost completely empty. Still, Lorian invites the party in and rewards them with a hearty and welcome meal.
Over dinner, Master Lorian explained that the Crestwood Mercantile had recently risen to prominence and taken over several other guilds in the process. The Royal Trader’s Guild had survived so far, but the Mercantile took most of the younger members. Making matters worse, the Mercantile has blocked Alvar Tuule’s business deal, preventing him from selling the goods he had shipped from Belligar.
Furious about the turn of events, Alvar brought the party to meet Werner Ananias, the new master of the Crestwood Mercantile. While intended as a show of force, there is nothing immediately threatening about the man, and nothing he has done seems to be illegal. His major domo, a young man named Cornelius, stood in his master’s shadow at all times, occasionally speaking up in his master’s defense. Although still suspicious of Werner and the Mercantile, Alvar Tuule and the party left empty handed.
After leaving, Alvar stormed back to his guild house fuming and cursing the entire trip. He still didn’t ’t trust Werner, and is certain that there was some sort of funny business going on. Several of the guilds and businesses that he had taken control over weren’t related to the Mercantile commerce in any way, and a few of the old masters had died, disappeared or otherwise left the business at convenient times.
With no way to sell his goods in Crestwood, Alvar begged the party to join him one last time to escort him and his supplies south to Carbourne. More than willing to assist their employer in his time of crisis, the party agreed.