The friends gathered and drank and caroused. The barmaid brought endless drinks and the fun went on for hours. Umnir was slogged just enough to not notice Artemis slip out of the inn. In fact, even if he had been completely sober he was sure he wouldn't have seen it if she didn't want him to.
Baron Arald finished his long, droll discussion with local farmers, all of whom had told him of dead cattle. The mystery was one worth looking into, but no master would be bothered with it, especially with the lack of evidence that it wasn't mishandling. Several dead animals in two villages, it could be a coincidence. Still, the baron looked at the group of friends his son was drinking with and had an idea.
"Hail, graduates!" Baron Arald cheered as he approached the table, raising his tankard. He sat down and looked each on in the eye, then he squints his eyes in skepticism. "Your masters all say your worthy of commencement, but I'm not so sure. You look rather green to me," he said the last in Tarkus's direction, goading his pride.
"But," he continued. "I know of a way to test your mettle, and show your usefulness to the realm of Aralua. Would you accept my offer? It is potentially rife with danger, but generous with honor and rewards."