The suns had sent their rays to restore the colours to shapes that had been grey and pale during the night. The melodious sounds of chirping birds filled the air while flowers slowly opened their buds, tilting and raising their leaves towards the suns. Frogs were jumping out of those many puddles on the road and little goblins were trying to chase earthworms, which had appeared on the surface after the rain had finally stopped.
Some Tibians were already strolling through the town, heading for the depot to resupply for their next hunting trip. As the dawn became midmorning, more and more Tibians filled the streets and every house had its windows opened to let in fresh air and sunlight. Well, every house except one.
While his wooden shutters were able to keep out most of the light, they were not able to filter incoming sounds properly. The rising suns had brought an end to the rain but the water had been dripping from the roof of his house and onto his windowsill with annoying regularity. He really had to get that drain fixed.
Tibicus buried his head under a pile of pillows to lessen the pain those drops caused in his head every time they hit his windowsill with the sound of a thousand anvils. "Damn you Frodo... Why do you have to be such a good brewer?" He should have known better - but who in their right mind would have turned down free drinks?
Now he had to face the consequences of his excessive (but excusable) behaviour and acknowledge that his soft and feathery sound mufflers were only doing a mediocre job.
Furthermore, those rumbling and growling noises, which originated from his stomach, reminded him that it was time to get up and start the day.
When Frodo had decided to call it a night and throw him out of his tavern, Tibicus had been forced to walk through the rain. Completely soaked from head to toe, he had stripped down to his underwear once he had closed the entrance door behind him. Due to his urgent need to go to bed, he had abandoned his equipment in a heap on the floor.
Overnight, the water had dripped from his armour and formed a puddle. Therefore, the marble floor was still wet and slippery and the inevitable was bound to happen: On his way to the kitchen, while Tibicus was still trying to rub the sleep from his eyes, he slipped in the water and went sprawling on the hard floor. Moaning and groaning, he tried to get back on his feet when an envelope on the floor, caught his attention.
"Ah, Benjamin must have already finished his daily round" he thought, still a little lightheaded from the rough landing. He opened the envelope with his obsidian knife and began to read the letter. With every word, his eyes and mouth opened wider and his mind became clearer. He looked at the envelope again, no sender, no postmark, just his name written on it. Alarmed by what he had read, he rushed through the room towards the stairs and stormed to the upper floor.
The old, dark wood creaked in complaint as Tibicus stomped on it trying to skip some steps. He slipped again but fortunately, this time he could break his fall by grabbing the banister. When he finally made it to the upper floor, he took a deep breath and headed towards the room at the end of the corridor.
He stared at the doorknob for a while, unsure if he wanted to find out whether the letter had told the truth. He laid his hand on the cold, golden knob and slowly turned it to the right to unlock the door.
The room was bathed in light. He had paid particular attention to ensure that everything in here was always illuminated perfectly. Rays of light shining in through the eastern windows as the suns climbed in the sky had already warmed up the room to a comfortable temperature. During the night, skull lamps in each corner and torches on the walls ensured that the interior was properly displayed. This was the inner sanctum of the house. In here, Tibicus stored his most precious belongings.
Arranged in the room was the story of Tibicus' life up till now, told through his possessions. Many items were worth a fortune on the market but there were also items that had a very high personal value for Tibicus. Every piece had its own spot in the room and Tibicus had arranged them in a specific order. On the left side of the room, standing to attention, was his collection of armour. Shiny golden and prismatic armours were displayed on armour racks, followed by demon armour and shields of the deepest crimson. On the right, side by side against the wall, were tables covered by rings and amulets.
In the centre of the room where the light converged was the pride and joy of his collection. Some of the rarest and most fabulous items known to Tibia were displayed here. A collection of trophy stands arranged in a circle around his most precious possession dominated this space.
Tibicus held his breath. The sight of his collection always made his heart beat faster, but now his heart sank. The letter had already warned him, but now he saw it with his own eyes. Everything was intact, in its place, except one single item: The hat, the precious hat, was gone.
Where was he going to get 400 million gold from within the next seven days?