For the last several weeks, the mysterious notice has hung on the signboard outside the Horned Man Inn, while other copies were distributed by bards and heralds to nearby towns and even further abroad. No one had ever heard of this Master Salinmoor, though folk throughout the district had heard sinister whispers about the haunted house of Saltmarsh. Speculation was running high, especially as the day approached.
Well, today was the day, and all manner of strange, foreign folk could be seen in the normally quiet town of Burle. The Horned Man Inn, the most popular public house and normally the beating heart of the town, should have been full nearly to bursting. Instead it was eerily quiet, as the farming folk kept their distance from the swaggering bravos and brazen adventurers who were sure to swarm the town. Fathers kept their daughters locked up tight, and mothers urged their sons to keep away from the dangerous men, and so Burle seemed like even more of a sleepy backwater than it actually was.
The Horned Man itself was quite ready for a brisk business despite the depressing turnout so far. A great table had been set up opposite the bar, near the grand fireplace, where the mysterious Master Salinmoor could hold court when he arrived. Yet that august personage was not yet in sight, and the barmaids stood by with very little to do, enjoying the tranquility while it lasted.