The Mecrosa Runes
A NPC’s Knowledge of the Runes
Player’s hook to the NPC:
The one or more of the players have a rune or the knowledge of a rune, found at the scene of a murder. This rune was over-looked by the original investigation, either out of ignorance or on purpose. It was carved into the upper portion of a door to the crime scene. The NPC is unaware of this information, but it will come out in the initial conversation.
The NPC knows these runes, knows them well.
The Mecrosa Rune System:
The Mecrosa, as part of their vast network, use these runes to mark potential targets. The particular rune they found is used for a low-priority target. Low-Priority targets are usually used in training young assassins. These runes hold special information for these young assassins, including a point value and some basic instructions on the type of target and any special instructions. This is part of their training; to be able to read the more complicated runes.
These runes are secretly implanted onto the target in some way, and young assassins are to be on constant look-out for them. Once the target is eliminated, the assassin-trainee is supposed to take an image of the rune in some way, and report in. The point values are used to evaluate the assassin.
This system is one of the best-kept secrets of the Mecrosa. Because so few people know of the true meaning, and the runes are so varied, local authorities rarely make a connection. If they do, they are usually targeted. The trainee system is also a strict system, for if anyone is caught cheating, the penalty is death. Misuse or unauthorized use of any of the runes, by Mecrosa or someone outside, is also punishable by death. The Mecrosa are very protective of their secrets.
This particular Rune, when/if they show it to the NPC, instructs the potential trainee that the target is a female noble of Mecetti, and for a low priority target, she has a VERY high point value. This would mean that there would be assassin competing for this target. Competition between assassins is discouraged except for the higher point values where it’s worth the death of a few trainees. Also, there is special instructions inscribed within, asking for a “mop-up-contingency if unfriendly nobles stumbled across the scene.
Not only is this NPC well-versed in the meaning of these runes, but he also is aware of all the known targets currently marked by these runes. He does not recognize this rune, and will ask who the target was. When he is told, he will not recognize the name. This was an unauthorized use of the rune, and he will pity the perpetrator.