Nuras, a pleasant little town, sits between two similarly small towns, nearly a week's travel to either. This quaint town is regularly visited by its founding dragon, Nuras, a green-scaled beast of a dragon. His visits have become far more frequent since the Disaster of the Sky.
Its been near exactly three months since stars started falling from the sky, a second sun appeared in the sky, and the moon began to shatter. It's been nearly as long that reports of beasts made of the same substance were leaving the stars, and attacking whatever they see.
Regardless of the horrors affecting the world, most people are able to continue a relatively normal life, and on this particular day, Aesday, first of Fliash, the taverns are as rowdy as ever. Outside the Wandering Mountain, one of the quieter, low-key bars, a hiring board for the city council to hire travellers holds several jobs, most all but the simplest tasks marked as "Approach the Council for Details." One in particular stands out, however, as it seems to have been ordered placed by Nuras himself.
Four individuals are each walking their own paths to either visit the Wandering Mountain or to look at its hiring board, each within eyeshot of the tavern. The fates of these four individuals will soon meet.
Danvi was about to step into the Wandering Mountain when he caught a glimpse of the hiring board outside. He approached less out of need and more out of curiosity- after all, what better place to start learning about a town than a notice board?
Scanning through the jobs, only a few seemed out of the ordinary. The odd foraging request here or there, but mostly escort jobs or guard work. The one that really caught his eye, though, was the one with “see council for details” written on the bottom.
“Hello there,” Danvi murmured, tearing away a small informational slip on the bottom of the page. Looking it over, he walked away from the board and into the Wandering Mountain.
Now, Danvi is a bit of an eye-catcher. For starters, his dark hair is streaked with light green highlights that appear to grow naturally. His eyes are the same shade of green, and his skin has a similar sheen about it. Strapped across his back is a large black bundle, tied with care and precision, with elvish glyphs sewn into it. Hanging on his belt are not one, but two daggers, alongside a rapier. If you looked at him closer, you would see that he had two more daggers stuffed in his boots. Otherwise he looks quite ordinary. He wears typical travelling clothes, though they tend towards darker colors.
With that description out of the way, Danvi stepped up to the bar to order a drink.
Headed into town is a gaunt looking human. He is tall, a little over six feet in height, and appears to be mostly skin and bone. His pale face seems nearly featureless, the bald head bereft of any hair, including eyebrows or beard. Deep bags sag beneath his dull grey eyes as he looks about the unfamiliar town. If it weren't for the faintest glint of life behind that dull appearance, one could mistake him for a corpse.
He steps up towards the tavern, his long dusty grey robe flowing slightly to show his sandals letting long yellowish toe nails creep out in need of cutting. Tied to the leather cord of a belt are a pair of sheathed daggers, a leather pouch and a strap with a crossbow, light. What makes his travelling method different is rather than a pack he has a rope tied around a chest he carries over his shoulder. The astute of vision would spot around his arm is a leather wristband with a small pinkish-white crystal embedded into it. As he steps forward, an eerie feeling follows him.
He steps through the doorway to the tavern, looking around the room and his dull eyes attempt to take in the scene and assess this alien environment. He quietly steps into the room, pulling the chest on his back, and steps towards the noticeboard. He seems to read over the messages there, though it is unclear if he is processing any of the information. After a moment, he mumbles a word; "Nuras...". He then proceeds to walk towards the bar, reaching into his pouch and producing a single silver piece. He places it on the bar. "A drink, if you please." His croaky voice asks the barkeep. It is as if he is does not speak much, or hasn't talked for a very long time, leaving his throat parched.
False Life:8 temporary hit points for 1 hour. He can cast this at-will due to his Fiendish Vigour eldritch invocation.
Interesting, Raviel thought as he observed two individuals take heed of the jobs board just outside the Wandering Mountain tavern before heading in. Raviel stood a short distance away, having read the board and contemplating on taking a job when he had noticed the individuals arrive. From his vantage point it seemed they both showed interest in the same job he had. The job offered by Nuras, the namesake dragon protector of this town.
This seemed a sign and there was a tingle in the back of his mind. The decision was made. He enters the tavern and seems them both at the bar. Raviel pays no mind to the occasional glance - his hooded robes would have been overlooked in his home town but here they clashed with everything. They were a solid blue in colour with silver highlights, unusual colours for commonfolk in this town it seemed. and rather ornate compared to common clothing. Or maybe it was his staff? A long quarterstaff, the bottom clacking on the wooden floor, made of deep red mahogany with arcane-looking etchings with a wooden orb at the top - simple, useful for bashing and as a focus for spells. Or perhaps they noticed his left-hand with blue-crystal ring, also a focus for his magic, and a leather wrist wrap with a small diamond - a component for casting a specific spell he knew. These all scream affluence which used to be a mark of pride for him but now he wished he had ways to conceal it all. Then again it could also be his long white hair or maybe Talon, the hawk on his shoulder. In any case he stuck out like a sore thumb but hopefully nobody here was foolish enough to pester him.
With a confidence in step he made his way to the bar, and ensuring he says it loud enough for the other two to hear, he asked about the job offered by Nuras.
((For DM: prep-stuff
Portent Feature: rolling the two d20 dice: die 1 11 and die 2 10
The gaunt man seems to turn his head slowly to look at Raviel. They seem almost exact opposites in attire; one in the dullest drabs of cloth and the other in ornate azure gown. He seems to have some interest in the conversation that is about to ensue, while waiting for his drink.
Riot marches into the town and politely waits for people to make way to the board. It scans over the board looking for things of interests or something that can award it greatly. He lingers on the 'see council for details' and takes a mental note of it. A dragon is asking for help, reward should be great. He looks over to the tavern nearby and marches to it.
He enters the tavern, his bronze body a bit dirty from travel and wear. His armor is fashioned for simplicity and defense, as even the helm upon his head had no holes, just slits where his face should be. He has a shield upon his back and a longsword at his side. While he does stand at an imposing 7'10" feet, he seems to be passive and watchful. He steps out of the way of any new patrons as he surveys the tavern. He locks onto the long white haired man as he spoke, talking of the same job he took interest in. He walks slowly up to him, making himself loud enough to hear approach. He looks down to the man with glowing orbs of yellow behind his slits, "Pardon, may I ask if you the one I seek for the inquiry with the council?"
"Hey, I'm interested, too," Danvi said, sliding over to the wizard and the warforged. Nodding at Raviel, he continued, saying, "Though I don't think that this man is the council. At least, not the whole council." The elf tossed a silver coin into the air before catching it and placing it down on the bar. Danvi turned to the barkeep. "I'll just take a mug of your cheapest ale."
The owner of the Wandering Mountain, a goliath nearly 8 foot tall takes the coins as they are placed on the bar, and shortly produces two mugs of ale.
"You are inquiring about the job Nuras himself requested be put on the board? He ain't said much about it, nor've the council. Half the folk who apply get turned down without even bein' told what the job is, and the others who apply ain't permitted to say. Gotta be somethin' big if they're keeping it this hush-hush. I will say, you lot look like you're the sort of people they wouldn't turn away for it though."
The gaunt man looks to the tankard of brown liquid and the foam layer atop it. Ale, he thinks. This is a common drink for people to imbibe. I should at least try it.
He takes a careful sip of the drink, letting it sit in his mouth to sample the foreign flavours and identify whether it is a more favourable drink than what he is used to. He listens to the owner as he speaks to the others about the job. After a brief moment of self-reflection, he attempts to enter the conversation. "If you are perhaps wishing to speak to this Nuras about this request, a group may be more favourable than going alone. If you permit, I will accompany you."
He looks over each of the people in kind. He has met other humans before, and one dressed in such rich clothing must be some sort of noble or magician. Then to the green highlights of hair on the next person, something that seems unnatural but in a world with magic and the stars beginning to vanish it could just be commonplace. Finally to the person made of wood and metal; this is something completely new. However, it could be another common thing in these parts, so he feels it best not to ask the questions in such a place.
The staff were busy but the owner was coming over, Raviel waited for the opportunity to repeat his enquiry with him. Heavy, very heavy footfalls are heard behind causing Raviel to turn as witness the approach of a large being made of metal, wood and magic yet sentient.
Warforged, Raviel thought to himself. I read about these but have never seen one and it's approaching me? Fascinating.
It spoke, quite politely. Raviel replied, "I am not but I am enquiring about the same job."
The man with green in his hair then included himself in the conversation. Excellent, the simple trick worked. "I know," Raviel responded to the man, "but getting a feel about a job post is wise before applying and where better to ask than a hub of gossip like a tavern, especially one with the job board right outside its doors?"
The Goliath owner's attention could finally be caught. The answer obtained from him was puzzled. "They're being that selective? That must mean it's rather important, probably dangerous. Interesting."
The gaunt grey-robed man made the suggestion of a group and Raviel nodded in agreement saying, "I agree. It would be best to enquire with the council together as a group. If the mission they have is dangerous than a group is more likely to be chosen than an individual. I would welcome anyone's assistance."
Raviel smiled and looked around this little group. They' seem capable, he thought,.
Riot inspects the newcomer with green streaks, glancing over his equipment and general body language as he spoke. He looks back to the owner of the tavern as he addresses the group. He looks over to the other members of said group and nods, "I shall be willing to assist you in this matter, if you will have me." He says as he stands at attention before the man with white hair. Programming it with such codes for conflict, policing, and general patrolling has made Riot not suited for adventure's rules but open to learn from it. He seems eager to listen and follow but does seem a bit oblivious.
The gaunt man glances over the trio again, this time assessing the equipment and weaponry on them. "So my assumption is you are a magic user."His raspy voice says to Raviel, then to Riot. "I am unsure about your body, but you seem like a capable warrior, and ..." He looks to Danvi, seeing the unarmoured look with blades."A duellist perhaps." He attempts to clear his throat, though it doesn't change his voice's tones, still dull and raspy. "You can call me Jethro. I have some access to the arcane." He says, his tone somewhat self-confirming.
At least, I believe that is my name, he thinks to himself.
The goliath chuckles at the conversation's evolution from his comments.
"I think you'll find that going as a group will be neither boon nor bane. A mate of mine went and applied with one of his mates. I'd say that the two of 'em would be evenly matched in a fight, but they only took one of the two. Even if you all went individually, I'd say you'd have the same chance, not that it hurts to apply as a group. Regardless, if you do make the cut into this little militia they seem to be building, be careful, yeah?"
At this moment, one of the nearby patrons stands up, mug in hand. The slightly portly human, while definitely drunk, looks like when he's sober he'd be nice enough. His speech slurs slightly as he speaks, but he remains legible.
"Bah, don't bother applying, Nuras is insane. He's gonna drag up that 'militia' of his up to the top of his mountain and try and send the poor bastards to where the stars come from, not that he'll be able to succeed."
"You been listening to Old Cynthia, huh? You and I both know she's fulla shit. Not one of her rumours have turned out to be true, and not one of them ever will."
"And how'd you know that, you some sorta psychic, mate?"
"Nah, she's senile, and she tells mam all the rumours she plans to start, which mam then tells me when I get home from work."
Raviel listens to the conversations unfolding with keen interesting.
"If Nuras wants people to investigate the stars that's even more of a reason to apply," Raviel says with a smile. He turns to the owner, "Can you give me directions to the council, please? I am new in town."
Going to where the stars are coming from? That would save me a lot of trouble, Danvi thought, standing up. "I guess that settles it for me. I'm in." Seeing as how the rest of the group had already asked for directions, Danvi downed his mug of ale quickly, ready to head over to apply.
A piece of a star sounds interesting to bring back. Riot muses to himself for a moment if his dragon protectorate would have something like that as he follows the group. "Shall we introduce ourselves right now then? Seeing as we will be presenting ourselves as a group. My designation is Riot Control T8-H3, but I am fine with Riot."
"Council's three streets over that way," the goliath points as he speaks.
"I wouldn't listen to Davy here, he's been listening to a senile rumour-monger. The odds of Nuras tryin' to drag a bunch of people into space are so slim, you couldn't fit a hair through it. I'd not be surprised if he's tryin' to hunt some of them starbeasts though."
As Danvi and Jethro finish their drinks, the goliath picks the mugs up and puts them behind the counter before grabbing a cloth and turning back to the mugs.
"Be sure to visit the Wandering Mountain again, we always welcome more patrons."