The room is set up like an old-fashioned parlor out of a period trid. Two small couches and a variety of comfortable chairs are set up in the room, along with a real wooden dining table, set with a white linen tablecloth and crystal glasses. A real fire in a hearth warms the room, and the flickering firelight sparkles off the crystal on the table. Sitting casually in one chair is a brown-haired human woman with fair skin and blue eyes. She’s wearing a pale-blue tailored suit and some unusual jewelry, including a large dragonshaped ring. She’s sipping a glass of wine when you enter, but she smiles and stands when the hostess closes the door behind you. When she stands to greet you, you realize she’s much taller than a normal human woman, and her slender figure clues you in; she’s an elf. She’s attractive, but not in the same class as that hot hostess outside—until she smiles at you. Her smile lights up her face, transforming her from simply attractive to suddenly stunning. “Hello,” she says, greeting you all. “I’m Ms. Johnson. Thanks for meeting on such short notice. Please, sit down.” She waits for everyone to sit and introduce themselves, then begins.

“I trust that your fixer mentioned that I’m looking for some traveling companions? Yes? Well, I’m actually in the business myself,” she flashes you a smile. “I’ve been hired by a private antiquities collector, who recently lost an item from his collection. His only clue is this man, who has apparently been hired by a rival collector to find the item first. He’s an elf who goes by the name of Samriel Lockwood. One or both of those names are likely to be false. “We’ve been tracking him, but it now appears he’s gone to Lagos. We need to locate him quickly and trail him to the item. Now, normally, I work alone, but Lagos … well, it’s not exactly a safe city for a single woman. If you’re amenable, I’d like to hire you to accompany me as security, and you can also help out in my investigation. “As you can imagine, the trail grows colder with every hour, so I’d like to leave as soon as possible. In the morning, in fact. “I’m willing to pay 2,000 nuyen per person, per day, plus a per diem of 250 nuyen with a guaranteed minimum of five days paid upfront. I’ll also cover lodging in Lagos, plus the cost of travel to and from Nigeria. If we find the lost item, and you assist me in recovering it, I’ll also split the ‘finder’s fee’ with you—which would be 50,000 nuyen for your team.”

Dawn of the Artifacts

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