A crackling surge of flame lighted the torches on the skyward stairs. Those whose jobs were to light these wooden candles then returned to their place of employment, the Crow's Nest, trudging the high climb and complaining along the way. The day-long tavern now receded to night hours, and employees of the day shift returned home for rest in their rebuilt Lion's Arch. That long, cold war - something that many young adventurers missed - served its time and purpose, and it wasn't until the true end of the war that those with raised hair could finally sleep peacefully under their covers again.

With the change of staff, four interesting characters meandered to the stairs: a Human, two Charr and an Asura. The burly Human went by the name of Ian Chandrie, and his assistance to the remaining three belonged in his service to the Crow's Nest. A bouncer by all means, his duties were to toss out the rough-housing customers without plummeting them to their deaths, and this he had perfected. The two Charr, both male, went by the names of Grimm Clawburn and Evris Clawhammer, respectively both from the same old Warband. They belonged to Whispers, and their disguises proved that undercover work was within their objectives that day. The last, and most notably out of place, was the Asura, a thief by the name of Teekii Tumen-Ranik.

Teekii, surprisingly, did not notice his lack of blending with his surroundings. Being of the Priory, he wore his coats and emblems proudly, publicly, and rather blatantly. As a side quest to his growing chores in his Order, a new invention was on the rise of mass consumption, and he was tasked with its first play-test. How exciting! At least, he was thrilled! His tinkering incentive brought on massive enthusiasm for the project, and while he was all up in arms about its success, his temporary comrades' excitement was lackluster, at least.

"Oh, come now! Think of all the uses this device could have!" The Asura's deep voice heightened with speaking of it. "The Whispers would have a whole new avenue of opportunity! Finding criminals, subterfuge, and blackmail!" His eyebrows curved to appeal to the Charr, and Evris turned to address the tiny figure.

"If you speak any more of that thing, I will shove it down your throat," the warrior threatened.

Grimm placed a clawed hand on his friend's shoulder. "Now, brother, hold yourself. We can't give away who we are right now, and we're here for information, you hear?"

"I hear," Evris rolled his eyes, before returning a glare to the Asura. Teekii merely shrugged at his gestures.

"You'd have to catch me first," he sneered.

"You aren't a Daredevil yet, Ranik, so I still have a chance," Evris remarked, before receiving a nudge from Grimm. They had a sudden stop, however, with Teekii's head hitting the face of Grimm's hammer. Ian had ceased walking, and turned back to them to address the situation.

"Alright, men. Today's Thursday, which usually has our roughest taverngoers. You should abstain from Marcus Grenam in particular; he's the one who gets everyone riled up."

"You're kidding, Chandrie."

"What's the issue, Grimm?" Ian replied.

"That's who we need to consult on this issue." Grimm's eyebrows twisted in uncertainty. "How do you suggest we approach him?"

"If I were you, join his circle of friends first, let them warm up to you. The Norn's a wild fellow with little trust, so gain his friend's first. By the way," Ian added, "What was the purpose of this... Device, again?"

"Not sure," Teekii admitted, "but it has something to do with telecommunications. Sub-radar frequencies, and the like; Sieran gave me very vague directions." He drew his eyes to the tattered parchment as he spoke, mentally confirming his words with the three sentences written on the paper.

"Alright, well, don't let Marcus see it, whatever you do," Ian warned. "He's a very superstitious man; if he sees anything that could suggest double-crossing, he'll raise hell."

"The secret's safe with us," Grimm assured. With a nod from the human, the four ascended the stairs and made their way into the tavern, ready to take on whatever was thrown at them.