Once Katherine approached, the tiefling took a seat beside the blond woman, who seemed to take her time looking at Katherine and examining her features. Her light white hair, golden yellow eyes, her near pitch black tail. Compared to the others here, Katherine was relatively normal looking aside from the blond. The Tiefling had demonic written all over his empty face, the snakeman seemed more beastial than human, and there was something off about the gnome, more so than gnomes normally are. Even the leader herself had a certain look about her that made you wonder if her head was going to split open into a giant toothy maw and bite your face off. Or maybe Kathrine was just down here for too long.
"Katherine Lindall... A pleasure. I am Selena Riovas. Not many know of Underhaven, and less know of Lucilia, especially for newcomers. I'm well aware of why you're here, as my eyes can see more than just the darkness underground, so let's not try to be too coy with one another. To that end I'm actually looking for Lucilia myself. It's strange for her to not be here for so long with no notice. Doubtful that she's in any danger, but just as well who knows what's going on with her... My friends and I plan to head up to the surface to look. Care to join us?"
As Selena spoke to Katherine, her tiefling minion as well as the snake man spoke to Livia. Seemed that the vampire had no interest in Livia, or perhaps she just wanted to divide the two sisters from one another so she could have Katherine all to herself. Indeed, as Katherine looked at Selena, her view would shift slowly into Selena's eyes, almost mesmerizing so. Like looking into a bright portal into a new world, mysterious yet tempting.
As Livia approached, the demon who had spoke to Katherine turned towards her. His wicked grimace continued to bare his toothy smile as he gave her his attention. "Please to make your acquaintance, Mistress Fiore. We've been expecting you." He snapped his fingers towards the snakeman who stopped to see what was going on. Seemed like he wasn't paying too much attention. "You name carries some weight even here, though I imagine that you're not the type of woman who intends to coast along a family name. Such ambition is admirable; lesser folk would resent you out of jealousy, thinking that you've thrown away privilege to feed your own pride, but simple folk rarely understand the intricacies of aristocracy and the responsibilities that come with it. In any case, I am Darc." After his lengthy introduction the tiefling took one of the vials that the snakeman had and handed it to Livia. It was tightly corked and in a fairly thick glass, as far as small vials go.
"A welcoming gift for one such as yourself. Snake Venom. Now I'm sure you're wondering what the price would be, but let me be blunt and simply say that this is a gift to earn your trust. I certain that you've had a poor reception since you've arrived here, and I have no doubts that you were tormented on your way to this place. Far be it from me to complicate it further with unnecessary distractions, requests, or bargaining. But enough sophistry. Maeda is a busy woman and so she doesn't like to be kept. I'm sure there's still more that needs to be done, so allow me to humbly offer my services for you, in exchange for a lasting partnership in the near future. You're free to refuse of course... But be doubly sure that you can afford to do so."
The men gathered seemed highly annoyed at Ethan, but their chief simply raised a hand to make them backdown. He spoke quietly to Ethan so he could mull on why these men are so high strung. "One of Sip's Couriers brought these bandits into the village. He worked with them in order to learn where our valuables were stored, our patrols, and who among the villagers could repel their raiders. Many of the young folk were killed because these men were far too kind and trusting of a stranger who showed no ill-intent. They don't intend to make that mistake a second time." The chief sighed and stepped back to reorganize his thoughts before speaking more clearly. "As for your goods, I'm afraid that due to recent bandit activities, we've not been able to prepare them. After the last attack we've been forced to take considerable withdrawals from our emergency supplies and we've not been able to meet our quotas." The chief handed Ethan a tightly wrapped package that was about as thick as a notebook.
"In that parcel is a message saying as much to Sips. He won't like it of course, but you can hardly be faulted for our troubles. If you do still wish to gain the supplies Sips wants, I'm sure the bandits within the forest still have them, but obviously I don't recommend you do that by yourself or even now, as it's getting late. The next village is a fair bit of distance away and I have no doubt that it will have it's own perils, and not just because of the bandits. Frankly I'd recommend you turn back and return to the town immediately; even if you could somehow avoid any dangers along the way you'll be cutting it quiet close before the ferry is closed for the night. And word of our troubles have already reached the next village, so you should be prepared if they too meet your with some hostility, or at the very least have no desire to house you for the night if you're stuck there."