Cries from the streets… Confused masses fill the paths… Screams ring out…
“Something is wrong with the sky!”
Some people are complaining “Where did the sun go?” Others point to the sky, directly at the only sun they can see, while those who can’t see it nor its light are denying their claims. Suddenly, those who cannot see the sun look to the north-east, where they see another sun rising.
People from both groups start pointing to the skies again, towards orbs of light falling to the ground. One lands outside of a major city, and strange beasts begin to march on it, killing many guards before they are taken down.
That night, which some swear is day (these people are those who see the new sun), another catastrophe strikes – this time, the moon seems to be shattering.
Two dragons appear at the capital, Domburrarth, to talk with the government and scholars found there. They tell the king troubling news, which is kept secret from the populace to avoid even more mass panic.
In Chynurrorth, a small village, several people have just been summoned to the town hall, called together to take care of a more immediate problem – there are some groups of orcish raiders only two days from town, and they have performed raids on similar villages, becoming even bolder since the cataclysm that changed the skies, now even taking women and children in broad daylight (It is almost always broad daylight for someone now).
The mayor stands before the 6 people she has gathered. Mayor Maeralya is an elf late in her third century, and has been in office for an entire decade. “Now, you lot may not know each other, but I can tell that you are good warriors and we have a problem only warriors such as yourselves can fix. Orc raiders have become a rather persistent pest since the cataclysm last week. From what we can tell, they are currently about some two days southeast of here. If you could eradicate them all, I would greatly appreciate it, as would all the citizens. You will be rewarded for your efforts, in addition to whatever else they have.”
Nearest Neighbor: Peoldrientioss (3 days Northeast), Sedessan (3½ days west) Population: 253 (Mixed) A quiet, low key bar, the Running Horde is one of the only taverns in town, along with the Leaping Stag, one of the only places to restrict access based on race, allowing only elves to enter. Chynurroth is a village of mixed races. One of the most racially diverse places in the country in fact. It is a gathering place for many cultures and, placed between two towns, Peoldrientioss and Sedessan, it often sees traders walking through its gates with strange and exotic goods.
Kayn is rather short for a human, barely standing five feet tall. He wears dark leathers and wears his pistol and rapier with pride. The pistol itself is embroidered in gold filigree that attracts the eye nearly as much as the man does himself. His long ashy hair is done up in a bun, and his grey eyes are intent on the Mayor as she speaks. When she finishes, he seems rather taken aback, "You mean to say we can keep the orc's slaves?" He nods thoughtfully, "Your will be done."
Things had become tense across the world, between the recent cataclysm in the skies and the subsequent raids from the barbarian tribes that decided to take advantage of the chaos that was created. It was at times like these that civilization needed warriors, and it needed them fast. Thankfully for the town of Chynurrorth, multiple such warriors had recently gathered at the town for reasons of their own.
The Sparrow, a gnomish traveler who had been initially perplexed by the supposed arrival of a new sun and disappearance of the old among others, now stood in his old watchman's uniform with six complete strangers before the elven mayor. His rigid posture doesn't even falter when the human next to him gave the asinine suggestion of keeping the orc's captured slaves for himself at the end of the mayor's briefing, even though he wanted to snap at them for it. It was imperative that he upheld appearances before persons of power, after all.
Instead, his response was more mental in nature. He reached out Kayn and forged a telepathic link with him and gave him a warning by those means instead. "I would recommend keeping those types of thoughts to yourself, comrade. The rest of us would like to get through this meeting with a job at the end." The human hadn't heard his voice yet, so the Sparrow was certain that he wouldn't be able to connect the dots quite yet.
Yvertal stands next to the others, carefully scanning the general area. He about the average height of a human and looks as if that's what he is, though that's only half true. One look into his pupil-less eyes tells you he's no ordinary human. Yvertal seems to carry himself with general pride with a small bit of caution. On his back her wears a long brown/black duster which underneath you can see the chest holster for his weapon as well as twin curved hilt shortswords at his sides. His short, messy black hair connects with the short beard in which dons his face. He looks around at the others wanting to get a better idea of who he's going to be working with on this new mission. [Perception 6]
Reacting to Kayn's reply Yvertal says:
"No we aren't keeping slaves. Why in the Hells would you suggest that as even an option?"
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"Go then, there are other worlds than these." -Stephen King, The Gunslinger
Kayn puts his hands out innocently, "I am merely saying that the terms of her order of eradication must be fleshed out more for clarification of rewards met upon completion." He turns back to the Mayor, "We are to put our lives on the line for you and your people. As such, defining the terms of our rewards would make for a more eager crowd of..." He looks the others over, "Mercenaries."
"We have identified ten individuals, though there are likely several more. As for how long they've been around, since about two weeks ago. Beyond this, I cannot tell, for I do not know. As for money, the reward is 200 gold apiece, no taking no for an answer."
"Only ten confirmed?" the Sparrow inquired, using his natural voice. "With all due respect, that number seems awfully small. Seeing as most orcs aren't all that stealthy..." He trailed off, an idea bubbling up in his mind. "Men, either these were an advance party, or they are more powerful than the average orc. It is best that we stay on our toes once we're out there."
"As my new friend here has so rudely refused your gold and insulted your town by citing it as a place of squalor, I feel I must apologize." He glares over at Yvertal, "He meant no disrespect, I'm sure."
Gwyn had been in Chynurrorth for less than a week. It was longer than she had stayed in many towns, but the falling stars had made her nervous. The rogue had gone to an inn that had heard whispers of her story, and she found herself in a free room just as she always did. Naturally, the rumors only spread, so it was no surprise when she received a note from the Mayor requesting her presence.
What was surprising, however, were the five other individuals that stood before Mayor Maeralya. The genasi couldn't help but size them up as the elf implored them for their help. The human (dark, brooding, not a very nice person) spoke first, instantly causing her to raise an eyebrow. If she was going to be forced to work with someone who considered slaves to be a fair reward, they were going to have problems.
The... well, he definitely wasn't human. Gwyn had never encountered an Aasimar before, so to her, the ranger just looked... off. The man in the duster, the rogue decided on his description, was the first to object to the first man's proposition. The folk hero hesitantly placed him in the semi-trustworthy category, although she did not know much about him yet.
Trying to move on from the slave debacle, a gnome was the next to pipe up. He seemed to be thinking ahead, which Gwyn could appreciate. The fact that his face was obscured by a peculiar mask was off-putting, but she liked that at least one person was thinking about the specifics of the mission. The masked gnome was thus placed in the same category as the man with the duster.
That just left the black dragonborn and the only other female in the room, a half-elf. The half-elf had a similar stature as Gwyn, with short, tousled hair. The genasi couldn't help but hope that the woman would be good to her; she could use a friend. The draconian stood tall, his black scales glinting underneath his even shinier chain mail. With little to go off of, she assumed that the only real problem would be the human. In her experiences, dragonborns were usually at the very least good citizens, if a little proud.
But Gwyn had no problems with pride, as she knew very self-confident as well. Tall and slight, it was easy to tell that the rogue was a windsoul. With characteristic blue skin and long hair seemingly made from the wind itself, the air genasi took pride in her ability to draw looks. "Enough with the squabbling," she spoke up impatiently. "I cannot speak for these others you've gathered, but I would be happy to help with your orc problem. Anyone who wishes to join me will liberate any slaves found." Gwyn gave a pointed glare at the human, and then quickly moved on with a happier tone.
"200 gold pieces is more than reasonable, Mae," the rogue turned back to the Mayor, already forgoing honorifics in favor of a nickname. She flashed her famous smile, one that always seemed to open door for her. "I'd appreciate it though if we could get some of that upfront, though. Orcs are nasty, and I'd like to be able to stock up on supplies, maybe even be able to afford to silver my rapier."
For a moment Yvertal loses control of himself has he sneers at Kayn. He seemingly starts reaching for his gun "Why you word-twisting son of a -" then freezes halfway as Gwyn cuts him off.
With an effort, Yvertal moves his hand away from his chest holster and takes a deep breath, doing his best to make that malevolent voice in the back of his mind shut up enough for him to get back in control. If the wind genasi hadn't intervened he might have done something he knew he would've regretted, and more so would've gotten him in more trouble than he would want to deal with.
Yvertal looks at the others and bows slightly. "Pardon my rudeness. I was out of line." He then moves to the nearest char and sits down, listening until he is addressed again.
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"Go then, there are other worlds than these." -Stephen King, The Gunslinger
"Or perhaps a writ of discount to the many fine establishments in your town," Kayn chimes in on the heels of the Genasi. "It would be nice to be able to gather the supplies we need at a reasonable price backed by the glorious mayor's insignia. Not only would it allow your reward to remain within the town's coffers, it will benefit us in our mission to rid this fair town of it's evil orcish infestation." Kayn seems to purposefully ignore the outburst by the troubled 'human', preferring to keep his focus on the negotiations.
"Unfortunately, we have only a couple of vendors who would accept that you have a discount; the General store, the Grocers, and an equipment store. Nothing with weapons or the skill to silver a blade, I'm afraid."
Maeralya looks at Gywn with a look that says she is sorry that the town doesn't have what is requested.
"Unfortunately, we have only a couple of vendors who would accept that you have a discount; the General store, the Grocers, and an equipment store. Nothing with weapons or the skill to silver a blade, I'm afraid," the Mayor replied, looking downright apologetic. "As for up-front payment, I can do 25% up-front?"
"Mae, darling, I completely understand," Gwyn smiled, seemingly ignoring everyone but the elf. "Your town is so lovely though, I'm sure we'll need to make a stop at one of those establishments anyway. At the very least, I'll need some rations." A writ of discount would certainly come in handy, even later down the road. "25% and a writ would be just perfect." The genasi took another step forward, holding her hand out to the mayor. "We'll get rid of those pesky orcs in no time."
Roberta, who have been ignoring the conversation up to the point where she heard reward and gold. "I'll take it! More money means more good in this world - for me and um... people who actually need help! What do you say, Mae?" Roberta started edging ever so carefully forward until she was almost touching the mayor. After remaining for a few seconds, Roberta drew back.
"Well, if you are looking for a local discount, I can sign off a writ for 10% off of everything you buy in town. I'll reduce the coin given to 150 gold, and give you one third up front if you want the discount."
The Mayor looks disgustedly at Roberta, as she rummages around in her desk for a bit of paper.
"Slavery is illegal in this country, Roberta. I already said that the slaves, if any are there, are to be set free. Thinking about it, a 10% discount is a bit low. How about upping it to 25% off?"
Kayn coughs a bit as Roberta speaks, "I believe what she is saying, if a bit bluntly, is that the people of your town should come first. There was no mention of them in your request to annihilate the Orcs. To act disgusted by her assertion, when in fact the Orcs have been stealing women and children from all over, and to not put them as the top priority for this mission is an odd choice. Forgive us if your sensibilities are offended, but it really is an odd choice for a leader to make when calling for help." He looks at the others around him, "I should think they'd have caught on to that fact as well."
"Now from what I've gathered from my stay in this lovely place, it thrives on the merchants that pass through it. That means these orcs are threatening trade, which means this issue is much larger a threat to your town's financial stability than you're letting on."