(( Gray Whitestripe ))
Gray Whitestripe tirelessly hiked the road north of Mossflower in the dark phases of the morning, seeking refuge. He could hear his stomach growling at him like a vicious beast. He regretted eating the last of his rations the evening before. Rations that were meant to last a full week ended up consumed in but a few days.
He was recently hired by an ill-mannered wealthy polecat who lead a small horde. He along with several other mercenaries was ordered to search for anyone resembling his twin sister, and bring her back alive in exchange for a fairly attractive bit of coin. Not being the best of trackers, he decided to try his luck north of Mossflower.
He took happy note of a building silhouette further along the road. As he drew closer, he recognized it to be an inn of sorts. His first thought of course was food, but he also realized the inn could possess useful information on his current mark.
He entered the building, and managed to catch a drowsy fox, who appeared to be the inn's landlord, as he was heading down the steps. The fox stopped at the end of the steps, all signs of drowsiness leaving him as he examined the large creature and his mace from a distance. "A traveler? And a 'particularly' large one at that. Don't you think it's a bit early for business?"
"Well what can I say? I'm famished!" Gray responded with a light laugh.
"Shh!" the landlord shushed him angrily. "All right, all right. Keep your voice down please! There are beasts sleeping. Just take a seat and I'll hand you a menu," he whispered as he headed over to the bar counter. "You will have to be patient. Our cooks are still asleep, but I'll be happy to fix something up for you."
Gray nodded and seated himself at the bar counter as the landlord handed him a menu. He set his mace down and glanced over it, scratching his muzzle thoughtfully. "Lemon 'n butter troat, with a side of shrew bread."
The landlord picked up a quill and parchment. "Simple enough. Will there be anything to drink for you, sir?"
"As you wish." The fox placed the menu back on the stack and poured him a glass. He was about to head out to the kitchen.
"Wait. I need some information."
The fox stopped and returned to him. "Ah, information eh? Sure I hear of various things around these parts. What kind of information exactly?"
"I'm searching for a particular female polecat named Eve…" Gray briefly explained her supposed appearance.
The fox grimaced upon realizing who he may be referring to. His tone was hesitant. "Hm... well, I think I may have seen someone like that..."
Gray frowned at him. "Are you sure? Which way did she go?"
The landlord's eyes shifted to the badger's mace. "You're a mercenary, aren't you? It is not my intent to put my clients in danger. It's bad for business, you know."
The badger picked up a coin bag and set a large handful on the counter. "Then perhaps some coin will help loosen your muzzle?"
The fox smiled greedily as he gazed over the gold coins. "Ah, this polecat must be quite important to you. Very well. I saw a polecat with a similar description speaking with a large wolverine. The wolverine's presence is what made them stand out to me. He left, but the one you seek is currently staying at this very inn."
A wolverine? Could it be…?
"She is? Which room was it?"
"Oh? Err, I believe it was room: […]" Gray stood up and grabbed his mace as he headed for the stairs. The landlord collected the coins as quickly as he could before rushing after him. "W-wait! There are people sleeping, you idiot! Don't make me call the guards!" He grabbed at him and tried to pull him back, but to no avail.
Gray thumped his way up the steps and headed over to Eve's room. The door was already half-opened. He pushed it away and peeked inside to see no one there. The landlord was still pulling at him angrily. "She's not here…" he growled in disappointment.
"Well it makes sense, doesn't it? She was here just last night. She must have known people were after her, and left early on. She can't have gone far. Now get back down this instant, or I will have you arrested! I'll make you some food, so quietly, please!"
A weasel approached them from down the hall. "Sir? What's with the badger..."
"One of the cooks!" The fox took out Gray's order and handed it to her. "My apologies for bothering you this early. Please take care of this for me while I guide this badger down the stairs."