The call had gone out. Adventurers looked at the postings and mercenaries had grown an interest in the notices. A merchant caravan needed protection on its journey, from Alliria all the way to Elbion. It was a commonly used but dangerous rout through the forests, savannahs, grasslands, and the foothills of the Secret Mountains. The merchants had five carts lined up in front of the warehouses owned by the Alanthis trade empire. Tzuriel Alanthis oversaw the preparations himself as thick wooden crates were loaded onto the first three carts, and food and other provisions were loaded into the last two. Each wagon had a team of four oxen for hauling heavy loads and a driver for each. Tzuriel signed off a checklist as the last boxes and provisions were loaded up. He was a fit man, not what one would expect for owning one of the most profitable and expansive trade empires in Arethil. Nor what one would expect of a man hailed as the Merchant King from Elbion to Belgrath. He wore black clothing mostly, which seemed to fit his penetrating and brooding demeanor perfectly. He had been the one who met with those who answered the call of the contract and told them what they needed to know of the job and what the journey would entail. Though he didn't get more than a few fighting people, the others who signed on were still welcome additions to the caravan. He told them that they would meet at these warehouses early in the morning for a fresh start. And with the wagons now loaded up the time was nearly upon them. After he had met with the mismatched group he had given them an advance of 20 gold on their payment to help them prepare and purchase anything they needed for the two week journey. Additional mounts, supplies, weapons, ammunition, or whatever they needed. If they weren't already there he expected them to arrive soon. Also unexpected of the head of the trade empire was the fact that he was traveling with them on this journey. The only explanation he would give to this when asked was, "It was requested by the client." He had two eastern swords thrust into his belt. A long one and a short one. He was prepared to fight himself if he had to, and he made this clear to everyone when they met. He removed the map that held their travel plan: Each mark potentially represented a single days travel, and if all went well they will arrive at the destination in plenty of time. Though it was entirely possible that they will have to travel through the night to make up for lost time if anything did go wrong.