|| The Shortcut |
|Quest Giver:||Mendelus Pennypouches|
|Location(s):||Golden Sickle's Trading Post, The Dancing Nomad, Bathhouse|
|Prerequisite Quest:||Errand Boy|
|Next Quest:||Trails in the Sand|
|Rewards:||900 EP, 250 Pennies|
This quest will begin right after Errand Boy, when Mendelus gives you your paynote. Go to the Bank in Ark's Marketplace and talk to Banker Samael Silren, where you can redeem your 350 Pennies. Return to Mendelus and he'll inform you that Maél Dal'Loran, the leader of the Golden Sickle, wants to meet you. He directs you to the Golden Sickle's Guildhouse, just across the street from the trading post. If you talk to him, you can learn that he is impressed by how you “quickly used the tragedy of the caravan to your advantage”.
Enter the guildhouse, and Maél will direct you to take a seat before talking to you. He'll offer you the rank of Protector of the Golden Sickle, saying that you've proven yourself after taking care of the Petrified assassins that attacked the caravan. You can ask for some time to think about it, but there's no option to deny the offer. Once you accept the promotion, he will hand you a contract and ask that you return it to him signed.
After accepting your new job as a Protector, you will receive your first mission, from Maél himself. An emissary form the Blue Islands Coalition of Kilé has been sent to Ark, despite the wars. Maél wants you to deliver an invitation to the emissary so that he can discuss the exploding prices of Kiléan goods. Talk to Duul on The Dancing Nomad. He can be readily recognized by his brightly-colored garish clothes. You can either give him 50 Pennies or brawl him to find out that the emissary, Dijaam is in the Bathhouse. Note that Dijaam only spawns on the Bathhouse after you talk to Duul, so you cannot go straight to the Bathhouse.
Go to the Bathhouse and talk to Gelvin Nobleyarn. He will initially deny knowing Dijaam, but she will quickly appear and tell him to allow you through. Dijaam will invite you downstairs. Denying will only earn her disapproval, and it won't change her mind. Go down to the pool and she'll ask if you'll join her. Again, denying will earn her disapproval. She'll inform you that she's been waiting for two days for Maél to contact her. After giving her Maél's invitation, she'll ask you about your origins, then invite you to The Dancing Nomad for a chat, thus starting From Dust to Gold.
Return to Maél and tell him that you met Dijaam. He'll be surprised to learn that she's a woman, and will then ask for your opinion on her. Saying anything negative about her will lend you his approval, while saying good things about her will make him disapprove. Talk to Mendelus to get your payment and finish the job. This will end the quest.