Mercian Intrigue

Introduction and Assembly

Introduction- The farmland surrounding you is a rich golden color as wheat, ripe for harvest, sways gently on the breeze. The paved road carrying you to Freeport is wide and obviously well traveled, although not many people are in sight at the moment. The occasional farmhouses you see are splendid Tuscan courtyard homes set back from the road on dirt cart paths. Some have small private gardens with what appears to be olives and tomatoes as well as other vegetables growing for the houses kitchens to use. You can see farmhands tending the fields and children at play. A gentle warm early autumn breeze blows across the fields as you crest another hill. At the top a sign reads “Freeport – 1 mile” and looking beyond the sign and between two hills you can see a bit of the town resting on the bay. A few ships can be seen passing the temple to Semorjon, their blue and gray flags displayed prominently as they enter the harbor. A few minutes later you are passing under the arched gateway into the city. The farmland left behind, you take in the new sights of the metropolis. It seems that the harbor can be observed from almost anywhere in the city. In fact you soon realize that the city is a large crescent shape surrounding much of the harbor. Heading down to the waterfront you discover that most, if not all of the businesses and restaurants are oriented towards the water. If you are to find anything in this city then you are to find it by the water. Taking in the views of the inner harbor, you think back to a few days ago. The messenger dispatched to most of the surrounding towns and a few of the friendlier neighboring nations said “if you¹ve a mind to aid the nation of Mercia in a matter befitting an adventurers skills then be present at an assembly of great importance in the amphitheatre of Freeport on the 10th day of “Spellebb” fortunately for you, the weather cooperated and you have arrived with a few days to spare. The amphitheatre can easily be seen from the harbor and the entire city is laid out before you. Restaurants, shops, markets, guildhalls, residences, and inns are all visible from the harbor. With a little time to kill, your biggest challenge now is to find something to do until the assembly is called.

Nathan walks into town enjoying the wonderful weather that he has become so accustomed to. With the occasional wave and nod to the people working outside the city, he makes his way into town as inconspicuously as possible. Unfortunately for him, hes a half elf with a donkey in tow so he draws a considerable amount of attention with all his possessions and weapons hanging at his belt. Making his way down to the harbor he takes in the scene as the boats bob in the water and people make their way to and fro. The breeze is very pleasant and prompts our hero to head towards the nearest tavern and book the nicest suite in the joint. “A view of the ocean is necessary my good man! and a balcony if possible!” he demands to the inn keeper.

Chance Meeting: To Alton: While wandering the city and taking in the sights of the harbor you notice a small band of what look to be adventurers. Eyeing them up you see them walk over to a man apparently in the employ of a local inn and ask directions. The man is attending to a pair of horses that seem too riled up from not being used to the city. The man calms the creatures handily before steering the group into the inn that he seems to work for. You surmise that this man must know a little more about the city than you do… Perhaps he has been here longer or is more knowledgeable about Freeport. The man appears half-elven, which is obvious even from this distance and dressed for traveling. That is all you can glean from where you are.

Aldon examines the man from a distance. He instantly sizes up the man as best he could. Years of his profession has helped him in estimating the wealth, intelligence, wit, and strength of those he meets randomly. He doesn’t always mean to do this…or at least that’s what he lets himself believe, but its usefulness has definitely been noted before. He studies the man from his distance for a while trying to remain unnoticed. He spends time determining if he can figure out if he is a member of the guard or a local, or a traveler that might have settled for a while. Either way he remains watching just to see exactly how this man behaves. The thought that he might have found his first mark begins to enter his mind, but he waits patiently preparing to stalk, or maybe, someone who’s knowledge of the city could get him into places he doesn’t belong.

Your examinations, however unintentional, reveal at least some things about the man. He is dressed as a traveler, which tells you that he is not a local and probably not a member of the city guard. He is tending to horses as a job which lends itself to a person in need of money, so he most likely isn’t rich. You overheard him giving directions to the adventuring party so he must know a little about the city, but he calmed those horses easily so he must know a thing or two about the wilds. You cant tell much about his intelligence or wit from a distance but that isn’t surprising. He seems to notice you but isn’t paying you much close attention as he concentrates on his work.

Alton thinks about what he has learned about the individual. Not rich, not a member of the guild, and a horse tamer. Nothing of note to him in those details, but his knowledge of the city might prove interesting. He decides if he’s going to take advantage of all the wealth that has come to the city he might as well see what he can learn from this man. He pulls his dark cloak with him as he sets off towards the man with his small stride. As he approaches he shouts: “Hey Horse Tamer, names be Alton. I wonders if you could give me some help.”

“Oye! Hello there sir. My name is Nathan, what can I help you with? Nathan responds in his clearly fake “customer” voice as he turns from his duties to face in the direction of the shouting voice. Noticing the cloak man as he approaches, his head begins to swim with thoughts and assumptions of the mans possible inquiry as well as his strange attire. “Who wears a dark cloak this early in autumn? I guess you never know how the weather might change” He thinks to himself. Clearly not paying much attention to anything but his own thoughts.

Alton’s short halfling stride carries himself to the half-elf gingerly. He cracks a friendly smile and removes the hood covering his features. “You look like you’ve been in this job for some while or enough to get you aquainted with the town. Mays I ask you a few questions about the layout of the city?” Alton peers at the man then spits out his questions trying not to seem completely odd in his surroundings. Does this city have a sewer system? Are all parts of the city connected by the sewer system? Is the city divided by wealth? After asking these questions, Alton explains that he use to be in charge of sewer maintainance in many towns of the halfling homeland

Nathan was hoping for a more interesting inquiry, or at least something he could answer. Instead he shrugs and replies, “Not from around these parts sir and don’t usually spend much time down in the sewers neither. Id reckon one of the locals may be able to help you better. Only been in town a few days and just started here at the pub to earn a small wage and learn what i can. Unfortunately the cities sewer system has yet to come up until now…” With that Nathan dismisses the stranger and turns his attention back to the horses. Mindful of the little mans action out of the corner of his eye, he watches the man to gauge his reaction. As he waits he begins to count the days hes been here in his head..and wonders when this adventures meeting will start…when he realizes… “Oyi! Sir! Are you an adventurer as well? You wouldnt happen to know when the ceremonies are supposed to start?!” (nathan exclaims in a upbeat tone”

The short brown haired halfling ponders the answers the man has given him. Alton looks down at his feet pondering the suggestion about ask one of the locals, but given what he wants to due with the information, decides against it. Then suddenly, he has an idea. He beams up at the half-elf and exclaims an a rather excited voice: “Aye, yes I’s be an adventurer of sorts. I’s guess thats what yous can call me. I’s have traveled a great distance because of the meetin thats suppose to be happening. But I’s seem to be in the same position as yous. I’s don’t know when its going to start, probably going to announce it via a crier or messanger. Do yous know what exactly the ceremonies are for…and do you think they will let us into the castle…” With the last sentence a flash of gold appears in his green eyes, but just when you think you’ve noticed it for sure, it disappears and the small halfling continues to grin.

Nathan lowers his voice a bit and says, “I dont know when the ceremonies are…but i reckon theyll be happening any day now..I doubt theyll be in the castle though, dont seem to have much going on in there and working here prevents me from keeping a good eye on the coming and goings.” Nathan, ponders what his eyes see and quickly makes a check for his coin purse. assuming its still around or at least close to normal weight, he ignores the fleeting feeling and continues on with his duties.

While your conversation continues you begin to notice a steady stream of people flowing to one of the major roads through town. Some people are trotting or running and they appear to be rushing to catch a glimpse of something coming down the road. A murmer rushes through the crowd as something comes into view. Soldiers of Mercia are telling people to keep clear of the road as a small military convoy of wagons and horses move towards the keep. As the convoy rolls by you manage to get a look at what they are escorting. One of the wagons appears to be a jail cell with a man inside. The man inside is probably the reason the convoy drew such a crowd. The man does not have the look of a criminal but in fact looks much like a noble or at least a high ranking government official. He is wearing the colors of Mercia, blue and grey and from the murmers of the crowd around you appear to be a well known official. “oh my gosh, I thought he disappeared days ago!” “I never liked that Dinotario fella.” “I wonder what he did?” “I heard he didn¹t leave the city alone.” “I heard he took something from the royal family!” The rumors continue and you wonder how many of them are truthful and how many are just speculation. Apparently excitement is running through the city right before this assembly is to occur. With the assembly slated for tomorrow events look to be transpiring ahead of schedule. Perhaps the assembly will clear up many of your questions.

Alton watches as the caravan approaches. The moving jail cell and its prisoner holds his attention for just a few seconds. Instead the growing crowd is what attracts his green eyes. While looking around he tests the pockets of many of the individuals in the crowd feeling around for lose coin, or small items that they may be carrying in their pockets. For those that have money pouches, he quietly works out his dagger from its boot sheath and slices the ties so that it falls into his hands. He does not discriminate with is targeting, but instead looks for anyone of opportunity, which with all the distracted people should be just about everyone.

Wow look at all these people headed this way. Something must be going on” With that comment, Nathan packs up his tools, stables the horse he was tending to and heads inside to let the manager of the tavern know of the growing crowd outside. He grabs his few belongings he has with him and bids the tavern owner farewell. He steps back outside only to glimpse Alton moving into the crowd unnoticed. He catches a flash in his eyes like the sun reflecting off a shiny blade. He follows Alton into the crowd to investigate and continue their conversation. As he makes his way through, the other rumors and conversations flow to his ears and he begins to piece together the importance of the man held within the cage. Obviously something is going on and he plans to at least entertain himself for a while and perhaps learn the location and time of the ceremonies to come…

As the crowd disperses after the caravan departs, groups of people linger and discuss the recent events. Pieces of their conversations drift over to you. “that¹s what the king gets for picking a non-native to serve as one of his advisors” “I heard he has been missing for a few days” “come to think of it, that¹s the first time I ever saw him alone” “a short drop and a sudden stop for him if he did” “I thought he was sick” “he must be up to no good if they put him in a jail cell like that” “I heard he stole something from the king” “I’ve noticed a lot more patrols leaving the city” Apparently they are discussing this Dinotario fellow that was in the cell a short while ago. The conversations go on for a while and the sun slowly dips towards the horizon and afternoon gives way to evening. The taverns and inns of the city are alight with activity, you assume because of all the commotion today. With the assembly tomorrow questions swirl through your mind that you hope will be answered within the next 24 hours.

As the crowd clears a slight grin becomes noticeable on the face of the young Halfling. His eyes dart to and forth looking at the individual walking away. He chuckles to himself and pats his own coin purse with a gesture that almost seems lovingly. Suddenly, his eyes catch the half-elf walking towards him. Alton’s eyes widen as if almost to show a sense of panic, but he quickly reverts to a normal demeanor. “Ay, Elf man…”, He ponders for a second. “I mean Nathan.” He adds a small grin. “Where yous going? Yous definately have more stuff then when I saw you in the crowd; One of the few I’d reckon.” And with that last sentence he lets out a trickle of laughter. Obviously, something he knows is rather amusing. So much activity, Alton thinks to himself. “Looks like the commencement might happen tomorrow.” He looks at Nathan. “Will yous be there, because if so I’m pretty sure I can meet yous there. Going as a group might give us more of a presence and more of a chance of getting to here what the King has to say. But thats another matter for a later time, I need to celebrate. It’s time to get a drink.” He grins abit and pads his pouch and waits for the Half-elf.

Nathan sits around mingling with Alton and some of the other adventurers and townsfolk. He converses with a few people and questions them on the history of the kings advisor as well as possible information on the kings missing items. He glances at Alton as he questions about the stolen goods, wondering how long Alton has been in the town and if he really hasnt been to the palace yet. He checks his coin purse once more to make sure its contains are still with him and then proceeds to the biggest and best tavern in town. Tonight seems to be a huge event and nathan sure doesnt want to miss it! The excitement in the air is contageous and its been awhile since hes been out and about. He accompanies Alton to the local tavern and looks to get a few drinks and make some friends.

Kalika was wandering along the shoreline collecting shells and stones when she heard a commotion coming from the center of town. As she looked up, the wind caught her long black hair, whipping it into her face. Something big was happening, she thought, and placing her collections into her bag, she walked into the city to see what was going on. Kali had already missed the cause of the excitement, but her keen ears picked up the townspeople’s comments from blocks away. Hearing that the scene was caused by an official of Mercia, who had been captured and paraded through the streets in a cell, and knowing that this would definitely impact the assembly the following day, she decided to find out more. She went to the pub she’d visited the night before upon entering the city. The bartender had told her to come back anytime, with a sly grin, which was actually lucky as she didn’t have much human money… Kalika walked through the darkening streets and entered the dimly lit, smoke filled pub. Her keen green eyes scanned the crowd quickly. They seemed to almost glow in the darkness. There were people of all different races present in the pub – “must be all the adventurers,” she thought. There were tons of humans, several dwarfs and Halflings, several other elves, and a couple half-elves – just on first glance. The only open seat in the bar was at a table where a half-elf and a shady-looking dwarf sat. As she walked over to their table, Kali unfastened her gray traveling cloak. Even in the dimly lit bar, her cloak shimmered, as the elven material it was made from was able to catch the light, as well as keep her protectively camouflaged. Walking up to complete strangers was completely out of character for her, but she reasoned that as she was alone in this city, she could use some friends, or at least learn some information. She hesitantly approached the table and asked, “Is anyone sitting here?” Without waiting for a reply, she sat down and said with a smile, “Hi, I’m Kalika. Wanna buy me a drink?” She was aiming for funny, and wasn’t sure if it went over well with the guys or not.

The Tavern: As Kalika settles into her chair the tavern resumes its bustling chatter after surveying the newcomer. Plenty of drinks and stories are shared friends are made and from the looks of a game of darts a few enemies are being made as well. Most likely due to the money changing hands over the game. Introductions can be made easily in this festive atmosphere. “so I clobbered him and took my chair back!” “AHAHAHAHA” “Anyway, nobody ever suspected it was his brother the whole time!” “I swear! as long as my arm!” “ALE!” :burp: Everyone seems to be excitedly waiting for the assembly tomorrow and are enjoying their time off.

Nathan meanders into the bar with Alton nearby. His eyes take a few seconds to adjust to the dim lighting as he looks around for an open seat. He sets his cloak in one of the open booths and nods towards the waitress. “A pint of ale if you please…” he asks upon her arrival. After she returns with the pint, he begins to sip down the frothy brew and starts his usual eavesdropping. Eavesdropping has become one of Nathan’s favorite things to do since traveling across the nations is usually a very lonely trek. He welcomes the company of Alton and feels a little better knowing that he wasnt the target of Altons blatant thievery. To each their own though..Not really Nathan’s style but he was never one to judge. The long day begins to set in on Nathan as he takes another swallow and begins to stare off into space, listening to the conversation around him. After taking in some conversation he walks around the bar, mingling, watching Alton has he hustles some gents at the dart game and even stops by the one group who made the comment ‘Anyway, nobody ever suspected it was his brother the whole time!’. He asks a few questions to see if he can gather any more information about the adviser and the history of the whole affair. After that he returns to his table, casually making sure another mug full of ale has arrived at his table. He licks his chops and considers ordering dinner when the long haired, woodsy looking elf walks in. The resemblance is similar to that of her mother but then again most of the elves look the same. Much like those darker fellas that work in the fields. (haha) When the elf suddenly turns toward his table he lowers his head and stares into his glass, haphazardly reaching for a nearby menu… Nathan listens to her as he greets her in that sweet elven dialect that he rarely gets to hear… and proceeds to choke on his beer and spit it back into his glass when she asks him to buy her a drink. “Not really shy are you miss…?” He questions. “My name’s Nathan, and you best be sure to watch out for the little halfling over there playing darts. He’s Alton..and a friend of mine” He pipes assertively as if having a halfling as a friend was something to be proud of…

Alton enters the bar with a spring in his step. He marches straight up to the bar and plops down in an empty seat. He chuckles to himself as he fingers a few of the new coins. He looks over the bar, just a bit below his eye level, and exclaims at the bar tender,” Me and mys half-elf friend are going to need two of your best drinks.” He nods excitedly. After ordering, he quickly surveys the rest of the patrons. Certainly drunk, but certainly not rich enough to rob. He sighs and listens to the talking. It takes him but a few minutes to notice that darts are being played for money in the corner and he attempts to wiggle his way in. Silence strikes the bar, and Alton turns his attention to the door and watches the elf enter. He ponders for a minute and then notices she sits down next to Nathan and his empty chair. The Half-elf knows even more people in the town! Perhaps befriending this stable man was a great idea… After playing darts, he attempts to introduce himself. “Hellos, Lady elf. Names be Alton. Halfling by births. Sewer cleaner by trade. Pleasure is to meet yous.” He grins while quickly measuring up her net worth and extends his hand in greeting.

Kalika was about to ask why she should watch out for the halfling when he approached and extended his hand to her. She surveyed him, saying, “Hello, Alton, I’m Kalika. Your friend Nathan and I were just making acquaintances.” Then she turned to Nathan and said, “I’m sorry for just busting in on you like that. I’m not used to being around this many people and figured I should at least try to introduce myself to a couple people. So are either of you from around here? Do you know what the plans are for tomorrow? Have you heard anything about that Dinotario they carried away earlier -” Kalika suddenly stopped talking and blushed. She was nervously asking tons of questions since she felt so out of her element… crowded bar in the middle of a bustling city… not exactly the woods, was it?

The introductions continue and the activity in the bar rolls on into the night. Drinks are shared and the patrons begin to thin out. The three adventurers enjoy a few drinks together and quickly become acquainted. Stories are swapped and tales and told. (feel free to do this later or now if you want) suddenly a voice peels through the crowd apparently directed at your table. “YOU! You took my money!” The voice belongs to a man dressed in a blue and grey tunic with brown wool pants and soft leather riding boots. He is holding a dark green cloak and a travelers hat. A dagger is stuck in one boot and a pair of gloves accompany an open purse at his belt. Apparently he is one of the men who was playing darts and in the process of closing out his tab discovered his purse was significantly lighter than it should be considering he WON the dart game. “It had to be you! You were the only one who smiled when I beat you! Give me my money back!” He is obviously drunk and appears to be staggering slightly and slurring his words a bit. He lunges for Alton and knocks the table over as he reaches for the halfling.

Mes! Steal Money!. Not possible. I am a sewer cleaner from the north,” Alton exclaims as the man points and throws his complaint. Something glints in Alton’s eyes quickly, and you realise that he as a certain facination with causing and getting into trouble. Maybe, perhaps, he did take it, but he’s never going to admit it. Just then the man lunges at him, Alton jumps quickly out of the way easily avoiding the drunk and awkward man. He has a grin on his face, he has either been in this position before and has experience to back him up, or he’s quite insane. “But say look at the time….I think I should be leaving.” With that line he winks at Nathan and the elvish lady makes his way quickly towards the door. “I meet you tomorrow half-elfs and lady elfs. Don’t worries…I’ll find yous!”

Kali jumps up from the table just as the man lunges at it and knocks it over. She stands, her green eyes fixated, watching horrified as the drunk man reaches for Alton and then as Alton avoids his attack and flees from the bar. She turns to Nathan and says “Now I see what you were warning me about. I can’t believe you called him your friend.” Then she thinks to herself, “this is why I usually avoid citys like this and people like that. I hope I’m not going to become associated with him…” She grabs her cloak and throws it over her shoulders, the gray fabric shimmering as it flies through the air, but then somehow allowing Kali to blend into the dim background. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at the assembly,” she says to Nathan. Then checking the straps on her leather, lace-up boots, she leaves the pub and heads toward her campsite in the woods. “Hopefully Nailo will be there waiting for me,” she thinks to herself as she hurries along the deserted city streets towards the woods.

Nathan chuckles at the hilarity of the situation. Alton finally getting what he deserves and then blantantly avoiding the conflict. Since Nathan was seen with Alton for much of the evening and shared some laughs over at the dart game, he decides its best to be on his way. As the bar enters an uproar, he grabs his posessions and motions towards Kalika and the exit. He side steps the man on the floor and makes his way into the darkness of the night. He quickly takes a turn down the alley nearest to the bar and waits to see what might come spilling out into the street after them. Alton and Kalika can take care of themselves but he surely doesnt want to be followed back to his occupancy. Assuming no one follows him outside, he enjoys the evening by traveling down some of the streets, greeting fellow travelers. He stops by the stable to spend a few times brushing his donkey Jack and eventually makes his way back to his room to prepare for the next days events. If Kalika or Alton manage to turn up during the rest of the evening or after the barroom incident, Nathan obviously takes some more time to get to know them and swap manly stories.

The bar seems to be in an uproar about the disturbance but nobody makes a move to stop you from leaving. Apparently it is just a booze fueled ruckus and a reason to be louder than normal. The chilly autumn breeze greets you as you step into the night and make your way away from the bar. As you are making your way to wherever you plan on lodging for the night you notice three men walking back the way you came. They are all wearing blue and grey tunics, green cloaks, sturdy boots, and travelers hats. They appear to be talking amongst themselves. ”...Fourth time in a month. I think he cant handle the big city.” “its orders, lets just find him and bring him back like we were told.” “fine but I’m not grabbing his arms this time, last time he nearly flipped me through a window!” The group moves along and their conversation soon becomes unintelligible. The night is aging rapidly and the assembly is tomorrow. Sleep beckons.

When I get back to my campsite I’m going to spend some time with my panther, Nailo. I guess its not technically a campsite… I’m just staying in the woods… where do elves sleep? trees? Then, since I’m an elf, I don’t have to sleep, but I will meditate for 4 hours. I also need one hour of prayer to Obad-hai to get my spells. The spells I’m going to meditate for are: 3 lvl 0, 2 lvl 1, 1 lvl 2, 1 lvl 3. Lvl 3 – Summon Nature’s Ally 3 Lvl 2 – Wood Shape Lvl 1 – Cure Light Wounds, Obscuring Mist Lvl 0 – Create Water, Detect Magic, Know Direction

I would also like to rise early and use my search ability to look for gems, shells, or anything of value to me on the beach.

Nathan makes his way back to the Inn, checks on his donkey and then retires for the evening after a brief check of his gear and such. After finding everything in working order he takes a long time to fall asleep thanks to the swirling thoughts of tomorrows activity in his head. He plans in his head as he lies there to pay off his room and board fees, get Jack from the stables and make his way over to the assembly area a little early after a hot breakfast.

Alton shuffles out of the inn into the darkness and quickly becomes untraceable. He spends his night searching for a dry sewer to sleep in, he spreads out a table cloth he liberated from the earlier tavern and kicks aside the trash and leaves. He hardly sleeps that night instead he lays awake pondering tonights occurances. He grins as he thinks about his earnings tonight, but most importantly, he thinks about the two strangers that he met in the bar and street. The half-elf seemed nice enough, and didn’t seem that put off by his shinangans. However, the elf seemed to be a bit agast at his thievery, but he’s gotta live some how. In the morning, he gets dressed and ensures his dagger and crossbow are ready for him at any moment.

You spend the dawn hours searching the beach but there is nothing of monetary value in the sands. You do however find several attractive shells and sand polished stones. The deep purple hue combined with the white in thick bands. Your panther enjoys your company for most of the night before taking her leave to hunt.

The night passes with ease for the three of you in your respective locations and the city seems to be in a peaceful slumber. The night drifts away and dawn is soon upon you. The city comes alive with the rising of the sun and vendors soon begin hawking their wares all over the market squares of the great capital city of Freeport. Housewives and hired help are busy shopping here and there for their daily necessities. Ships sail to and fro in the bay and the noise of the dockworkers drifts into the city on the sea breeze. Midday soon arrives and the traffic moving towards the amphitheatre begins to increase. Most of the people you see are common townspeople coming to hear what the royal spokesman has to say. Others you see are plainly adventurers for hire, their weapons and armor in varying degrees of quality and use. Most of these people have sharp eyes but some are jovial, like they are going to see a sporting event. When you arrive at the amphitheatre (I assume you go there) the seating is rapidly filling. The adventurers are afforded a section towards the stage while the townsfolk seat themselves in the sloped portion of the stadium.

Kalika returned to her camp from her morning stroll along the beach, admiring her newly found treasures along the way. She’d found a couple smooth rocks and several very pretty purple and white shells. ‘These shells would make wonderful jewelry.” she thought to herself. She dressed for the assembly, wearing tradtional elven clothes of a black cloth dress, her gray/translucent/comoflauge cloak that she had inheirited from the woman who raised her, Mae Rose, and she laced on her leather boots. She combed her long black hair and washed her face. The entire time, Nailo, her panther companion, never came by. ‘She must be out hunting,’ Kali thought to herself while packing up her camp and hiding her bag in the trees. Once she was finished, Kalika headed down towards town. Even though the city was alive with activity and the streets were crowded, Kalika found she was still a little early to head into the assembly, so she browsed through several shops and then stopped in the local inn to talk with other adventurers and hopefully find the half-elf from the night before. He seemd to be a decent fellow, even if his companion was shady. “But,” Kalika thought, “Alton was nice enough, and as long as he doesn’t steal from me or cause me too much direct trouble, I don’t mind him. He seems to be a nice enough guy.” So Kalika walked into the inn and took a seat at a table. She had about an hour to kill before heading over to the assembly.

Nathan awakes early in the day as the sun begins to rise over the eastern shores. He readies himself for a full days worth of events by packing up all his belongings in the most sensible and organized manner. He decides that most of the heavy items will stay with his donkey to lighten his burden except his weapons and armor which might be necessary. He starts off by putting on his casual attire and heading downstairs for some morning porridge. The warm oatmeal warms his innards on this cool autumn morning. He eats his bowl clean by himself and then casually walks back upstairs, sending a passing word to the innkeeper “big day today sir!” He straightens his room, to leave it like he found it and washes up in a small wash basin. Bathes are rarely available and this might be the last one he gets in a while. As he cleans up his hair and nails, he ponders the possible meaning of this assembly and what the king might need adventurers for…

“was someone kidnapped? maybe it was a princess?! nooo why would he need all these people. The kidnappers might just contact the king directly for ransom…hmm possibly something has been stolen. Quite the object if it necessitates this many people to search for it. Must be very valuable! I wonder if its every person for themselves or if this is some sort of team event. Perhaps I am way off base..for all i know were about to be stretched from the gallows for being in town with weapons during an assembly. Or maybe a series of events pitting adventurers against each other! Who knows...”

As his mind wanders he dries off and gets dressed. His attire is composed of decoratively styled brown calf high boots, typical brown pants, a lacy frilly white shirt which is partially hidden by his thin metal chain-link vest. Over it he wears a heavy gray cotton vest, meant to conceal the armor that lies beneath it. On his belt he sheaths his weapons and usually carries a medium sized green canvas backpack. (more details to come later since i cant remember all my descriptions here at work)

Nathan assembles his things and, with a significant spring in his step, makes his way over to the stables to pick up his “horse”. Jack is obviously quite excited to see him with all his belongings, which typically signifies Jack’s departure from the caged environment of the stable. Nathan pets him gently and greets him with whispers of long and eventful journeys. He securely fastens the saddle bags and loads up Jack with some non essentials such as his rope, tent, and a few days worth of feed for jack when he cant find decent grass. The donkey holds his head proud as he exits the stable, obviously showing off for the horses and other such animals stabled there.

They make their way through the crowded streets and even stop at a few stores to browse through some of the sale items and interesting goods. Nathan is specifically looking for a new traveling cloak as his has several snags and pulls from his “off the beaten path” travels. “I think i should go with burlap…maybe canvas…i don’t really know Jack…then again what do you know about traveling cloaks?!” Jack snorts in agreement…”what i really need is something of elven quality. That stuff is so hard to find and when you do it costs 2 years wages! Only a few gold pieces in my pocket and the money i did have before leaving home was spent on all this traveling gear. Oh well, well find something someday!” Jack snorts again…but clearly not as optimistically as before.

The two make their way towards the assembly area and Nathan posts Jack up near the entrance of the assembly location. Much of the day was wasted in shops and stores and the time has finally come to assemble. Nathan makes his way down towards the front of the seating area, hoping to be as close as possible to the kings words so as to hear them more clearly…for every detail may be most important! As he waits for the assembly to begin he glances around, looking for familiar faces. Unfortunately his friend from last night has yet to turn up and even if he had, spotting someone so short would prove difficult in such a crowd…

And what about that elven woman….. perhaps she will turn up as well…

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