Tensions between House Stel and House M’Ke have been at an all-time high of late due to House Stel taking over more and more of the warehouses just off Iron Square to provide ‘storage space’ for the ever increasing demand of slaves for the Ziggurat. The space has been taken mainly from the smaller merchant houses by the use of force and bullying tactics. They have been forcing them to sell up by sending round groups of hired ‘thugs’ armed with their trademark scimitars in increasing regularity asking for ‘protection’ money else ‘bad things’ happen, which materialises usually with raids or assassinations of house members eventually scaring the house into submission. Even the other large houses Inika and Wavir who normally operate at a similar level to Stel, are feeling the pressure as the wealth and presence of House Stel increases. As long as there is a continued demand for slaves, Stel flourishes. House Ianto and House Vordon are both doing well from slaves but their tactics of expansion have been much less violent (but equally as successful some say).
The latest event in the conflict is that just over a day ago there was a brutal attack on one of House M’Ke’s store houses in the merchant district just off Iron Square. The attack was said to be the most gruesome yet and the M’Ke members who have seen the scene have been said to have been horrified by the barbaric brutality of the murders. House Stel are heavily suspected of being involved, due to hallmarks of their handiwork found at the scene such as the Scimitar cuts and beheading of the bodies, but so far they have denied all involvement.
House M’Ke have sent several messengers out into the cities inns and shadier spots looking for mercenaries and investigators. They want to keep this to themselves without alerting the authorities for as merchants they operate outside the realms of the laws of one city state, so they have been very selective, trying to find those individuals who have very little connections within the city, have worked with M’Ke in the past or who are relatively new to Tyr. Among those who answered the advertisement are 6 warriors whom M’Ke have settled on due to their diversity and mix of skills that would perfectly compliment their interests.
Abdiel – Tiefling Templar with a thirst for adventure is aware of the power of ‘favours’ in the city. You scratch a merchant houses back, they will return the favour, for if not now but in the near future, he will need allies.
‘Chuck’ – The Thri-Kreen was seen as a ‘wild-card’ by the M’Ke household. A bounty hunter could be very useful if it came to tracking assassins from a rival house and his neutrality was seen as a bonus.
Eben – An ex soldier-slave who, through the Scarlet helms has worked with M’Ke in the past guarding one of their many caravans of nuts and spices from Raam to Tyr under the sponsorship of House Atrius, whom although he still has good relations with them they have no ownership of him any more.
Naraaku – M’Ke were hesitant about letting an ‘Elf’ anywhere near their warehouses and half suspected that Elves were to blame for the entire incident, but this one was different. Nearly all the Elves they had encountered before were mere traders, but this one had something darker about him that they liked and was very interested when the words ‘House Stel’ were mentioned as a possible connection to this attack.
Redgar – Redgar has done some work for M’Ke since coming to Tyr and has the majority of (at least the low ranking) household members absolutely convinced of his advanced telepathic ability and immediately sought him out for this mission, knowing that although he did not work cheap, he would prove to be a valuable asset.
Solzak – With a reputation for discretion and efficiency, he came as a name recommended and feared by all who knew of his exploits. Quite why he was involving himself in the petty squabbles of merchants instead of his usual more lofty political aims was a mystery to them, but they would not question his willingness to see that their sentence would be carried out (for a price of course).
The six looked warily over each other, after only brief introductions (or what information they chose to tell one another) they were led by the Mul Slave Durr-Gan into the chamber of Helandrez, master of House M’Ke