Agents Four and Five,

As I write this, you have yet to receive these “orders” in person, but as you read this, you have. Consider this a reference. Or perhaps a momento. Or a fleeting entry into the logs.

You are to investigate Grobestadt.

That is all.

Of course, like the deepening gloam that encircles a camp lit by a dying fire, it’s the context, not the order, that hides the monsters here.

The first of these lurking monsters is that I give you these as orders, written and spoken, which means that I won’t be joining you.

The Polite Company was founded upon the skills of Agents Zero, One, and Two. They envisioned a syndicate of ne’er-do-wells who nonetheless might be a great force for good in the world. They formed a guild that would ply its talents for intrigue and outright duplicity in order to accomplish what honest men and women could not.

Agent Two died in the pursuit of those accomplishments. Some months later, the other two began to reach out to their friends, colleagues, and contacts. They still had a Mastermind and Cat Burglar, and they had a Muscle and a Fixer, but they needed a Face. They needed a liar and a distractor, a negotiator and a coordinator. One of their partners, a royal poet at the Neverwinter Academy, knew someone—a young woman, romantic and idealistic in a much different way than his normal students. While he had many great and talented pupils with passions for the arts and knacks for guile and persuasion, there was one among them who loved her art so much it made her restless. She was eager. She was animated. She burned to be turned loose to work the Bard’s magic upon the world. So, one afternoon, agents Zero and One manufactured a chance meeting with her in the halls of the Academy.

That’s how I became Agent Three of the Polite Company.

And that is how I’d like to continue being Agent Three of the Polite Company. There is still so, so much work to do. There are lies that need to be told and there is leverage to be applied. Agent Zero has ideas and Agent One is back in action. This agent is eager to put her talents to work with them to see the Company’s work through.

The Grobestadt affair, nevertheless, remains of interest to the company. We have no active contract on it, but there are clearly sinister actors at play, and there’s reason to believe the stakes, however hazy, are high. Which brings me to the second monster hiding in these orders: the investigation. There is an element of personal danger and familial urgency involved for Agent Four. The vagueness of the “orders” above are such that you have wide discretion to handle yourselves as you see fit. Do what you need to keep yourselves safe. Do what you need to see to the complications related to Agent Four’s family. And if a time comes such that those are no longer consistent with “investigating Grobestadt,” merely say the word and you’ll have leave to pursue your personal objectives as necessary. I will be in close contact. You will have the support of the company as well as my personal support whenever you require it.

There is one more thing unspoken by these orders. The martial artist and ascetic, Rylo Ken, is likely to wish to join you in your journey to the West, and you are, of course, welcome to accept or deny his aid as you see fit. And, because I do believe this is important and I would feel negligent to withdraw my personal presence without compensating for that somehow, I recommend to you another. Her name is Muarillaithe, and she is—although this term translates rather crudely from Elvish—something of a godmother to me. She is practiced in ancient, powerful magic, and is quite more accomplished in the general art of spellcasting than I am. She is also rather eccentric. Aren’t we all?

The last few months have been enriching. They have been enlightening, humorous, frustrating, thrilling, and fun. It’s been a pleasure to work with both of you, and I hope that you return safely so that we may do so again.

Agent Three