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  1. The Story So Far: It was bright and sunny the day the Assassin came to town. I was standing at my new, high-tech standing desk, which was absolutely not just my regular desk with an old toy chest on top of it, when I heard a knock at the door. I went over an opened it, and an Elf stood there. I looked him up and down; I'd never seen an elf before. He towered over me, six feet tall if he was an inch, all covered in lean muscle. He wore leather armor, carried a long bow slung across his back, and had strange things on his feet that I'd never seen before. He would later tell me these were called "shoes", and protected his feet from hard surfaces. If only I'd had some of those last challenge! I realised I'd just been staring for a good five seconds, and extended my hand as I spoke. "Hi. I'm Salivanth. You must be the one Hazard told me about." "That's right." he replied. "Where's the shrine?" "You don't want a drink or something?" I asked. "No thank you." he said. "I'd rather just get to the shrine. Besides, I've brought my own. It's only a few kilometers, correct?" I confirmed this, so we left my hut, stopping only so I could grab a torch. As we did I noticed a horse standing there, tied to my fence post, with saddlebags attached. I concluded he must have provisions in there. Without further ado, we began our walk. I'm sure the Assassin must have been impatient with my glacially slow pace, but to his credit, he hid it well. I tried to pick up the pace somewhat, but lacking these foot-coverings, there was only so fast I could move. On the way, we made small talk. He didn't give particularly detailed answers, but I did find out the elves lived in a forest a couple of days northwest of Rushforth, and a bit about these "shoes" he was wearing. We reached the cave, and I gave him the directions, just in case something happened. Swiftly we made our way to the shrine and approached it. Absolutely nothing happened. "So how do we open it?" the Assassin asked. "It...should just be opening by itself. It did when I approached it." I said. "Alright." he said. "I'll head back up a little bit, see if it opens then. If it does, shout out." He headed up the corridor, and was swiftly out of sight. After a few seconds more, the door opened. "It's open!" I called out, voice echoing off the narrow walls. As soon as the Assassin walked back into sight, the doors closed again. "Alright." the Assassin said. He stroked his chin. "Either it's only opening for you, or more likely, it only opens for one person. Head back two caverns, and I'll come back and let you know what happens." I walked back to the cavern that was two caverns away from the shrine, and waited. After a minute, the Assassin walked up. "No luck." he said. "Do you have a Warrior's guild in the village?" "No, sir, I'm afraid not. We don't have any guilds in Rushforth; not many hobbits join up." I said. He raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Very well. I'll have to check my briefing materials and go check with the nearest one." We left the cave in silence, and then the Assassin spoke again. "I'll be back in a day or two with the equipment we need. I'll require your help, so be ready. Goodbye." The Assassin broke into a jog. It looked like he could do it all day, but it was still much faster than I would be able to muster. I settled for walking at my usual pace. When I returned to my house, the Assassin and his horse were gone.
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