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Talos: City of Intrigue and Adventure!

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 Chapter 1 Opportunity Knocks

 

Talos, a city brimming with opportunity, gold filling it's streets, available to the brave, the bold, those who are willing to take it. That's what the stories said. You have found the reality to be somewhat different. The recent mithral and mining boom have led to wealth for some; the nobility and the established merchants. The rest of the population is still as dead poor as they have always been. Add to the fact that hundreds, if not thousands or foreigners have flocked to Talos, chasing stories of fabulous wealth and fame and it seems that for every success story there are dozens more of people ending up penniless and broken spirited, buried in a pauper grave (or worse is some of the stories are to be believed).

 

That is why you are here: The Vangyarian Axe. A small tavern nestled amongst a set of dilapidated buildings near where the Narrows, Old Town and the Docks meet. A small, comfortable place, it is run by Sigurd, a Northman who came here some time ago and gave up the sea and adventuring to run this watering hole. The food is nothing speak of, but the beer is plentiful and not watered down. Sigurd brooks no trouble in his establishment, the axe that is the taverns namesake hangs behind the counter to remind those who would not heed other gentler warnings.

 

Your coin running short, you have decided to band together with others in similar straits, looking to find work or an opportunity. You each spend your days out in various parts of the city, looking for work or rumors and meet back at the Axe to share what you have learned, or to wash away another day of dead ends with several tankards of foaming brew.

 

The first bell of evening sounds as the first members of the group arrive to take seats at what has become your regular table.

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Nivin sauntered into the tavern in time to hear the dwarf call for ale. “Better make tha’ ale fer t’ table, Sigurd,†he said, laying a couple of silver pieces on the bar, “t’eres a few o’ us coming.â€

 

He took a seat at the table. “Ev’ning, Thromdor.â€

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Sigurd nods and fills two clay mugs with his dark ale.  He looks down at the mugs, shoots a considering glance at your table, and goes back to the cask to fill a pitcher.  He then approaches your table and leaves the pitcher an mugs there.  As you see the condensation beginning to form on the sides of the pitcher, you wonder how he is able to keep the beer cool during such a warm summer.

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Walking away from the docks, Brig smiles as he bounces a small sack of silver in his hand before putting it in his pocket. Betting always made his day, especially when he won. Arriving at the tavern, Brig kicks open the door and boisterously shouts, "Sigurd! Ale and food for my compatriots." As he passes by the bar, he places some silver on the counter and continues to the table.

 

"Hail dwarf and little one. Any news?"

 

//out of character:

Brig stands at 6 feet tall, with dark green-ish skin and black hair in a pony tail. He has one noticeable tusk on the right side of his mouth and dons a purple hat (good majority of the time). The visible tattoos are of a female human on the left arm and a ship on the right arm. Standard leather armor and sailor pants and boots. 

Edited by pcktlnt

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Nivin snorted. “Cert’nly not t’ poor fool I was guidin’ t’day. ‘e wanted t’ go somewhere no ‘ne else’s diggin’, fig’rin’ it’d increase ‘is chances. Wouldn’t list’n when I point’d out tha’ t’eres a reason e’ryone else’s diggin’ in one spot,†He shook his head, “Felt sorry takin’ my share. Unless ‘e gets a spot o’ luck soon, ‘e’ll be in t’ gutter before week’s end, ‘n’ I’ll be out of a job.â€

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"Hullo, all! Blessings of bright Heironius and all the gods upon you - and you, barkeep, and ale and cheese and a little of that goat, if you please!" The man who tromps down the stairs and over to your table grins cheerfully at everyone in the room as he strides over to the table.

 

"Niven! Brig! Dwarf! Good to see you all well! I apologize for my tardiness - I felt it necessary to spend a little more time than usual in my prayers, this morn, and my sword needed a good polishing..." He slaps the haft of the weapon, oblivious to any innuendo, before continuing.

 

"So, how goes the morning? Any plans for the day, or shall we need to seek our fortunes as the gods will it be?"

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Judas, the strange, silent, Half-Orc flows across the tavern like a shadow, missing the other patrons by mere inches, his gaze never leaving the floor. He takes his customary seat at the edge of the table, and nods silently to his current associates, while raising his bony hand in a call for food and water. He places the pouch containing his daily healer's wages on the table without a word, as a shared offering.

 

His silence is, as usual, slightly unsettling, when coupled with the burning intensity in his red eyes.

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The tavern slowly starts to fill with it's usual mishmash of customers.  A a pair of sailors from a newly arrived merchantman, tradesmen from the less than reputable side of town, even a trio of young bravos, scions of some of the lesser noble houses, slumming it.  All remain on fairly good behavior under the watchful eye of Sigurd.

 

Sigurd's wife comes out of the kitchen to serve food as business picks up.  A sturdily built woman, you gather that she is a local and the main reason that Sigurd has left is wandering ways.

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Horrik arrives late and ducks through the crowd.  Standing head and shoulders above most of the crowd he easily catches Sigurd's eye and calls across the room, "Sigurd, ale and anything you have left of dinner.  Please!  I hope there's something left, I am famished!"  Horrik hooks a chair with his foot and drags it over to the table before pouring himself into the seat.  "Apologies friends for my tardiness.  I was with a young boy, and I could not get his fever to break.  He was barely alive, but he had a Warrior's heart and fought for his life with every ounce of strength."  Horrik unconsciously touches the amulet of Kord around his neck.  "By Kord's will, he will live to embrace his warrior's spirit!"

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The tavern continues to fill with customers.  The beer flows and smoke from pipes and hookahs circulates.   

 

After a while, a man enters, his  manner attracting your attention.  Dressed in well kept, study work clothes, he enters purposefully.  Pausing inside the door to let his eyes adjust to the now hazy light in the tavern, he spots Sigurd and winds his way between the table.  Sigurd seems familiar with this man and clasps forearms with him in greeting.

 

You table is too far away to overhear their words, but the man seems to asking something, as Sigurd is shaking his head in negation. After a few more minutes of conversation, Sigurd looks at you table and signal for one (or all?) of you to approach.

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Nivin nods his head in Sigurd's direction.

 

"Looks li' Sigurd 'as a fella 'e wants us t' meet. Shall we?"

 

With that, he downs the last of his ale and heads towards the barkeep.

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Horrik catches Sigurd's signal and rises, draining his tankard in a single fluid motion just as Nivin does the same.  

"Friends, it seems our host has need of us.  I shall return shortly."

 

He rises and cuts a path through the crowd, not a soul seeming to impede his way.  As he passes through the crowded tavern, Horrik appears to greet or be greeted by everyone as he passes.

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"Jeren, these are some of the people I was talking about.  May I present to you Niven and Horrik."

 

Jeren nods in greeting.

 

Sigurd continues.  "Jeren here is a former employer of mine, from before I went into business for myself.  He has done his best to lure me out from behind my bar once again, but my wife would skin me alive were I to take up my axe again.  So he asked if I knew any trustworthy souls who might be interested.  I told him that you lot seemed somewhat so"; he smiles at his little joke, "and was looking for work."

 

Jeren speaks up at this point.  " I run a small mining interest in the Kolbani Foothills.  I was looking for mithril, but managed to strike a vein of silver ore instead.  We also pull some gemstones from the ground.  I came back to Talos to sell my goods, pay lease fees and resupply my mining camp.  The first resupply shipment I sent out was attacked by bandits.  Teo of the drovers I hired were killed and the others managed to escape.  I've manged to get a second set of the materials I need together, but do one will trasport it out to the camp unless I am able to hire protection."

 

Jeren look back and forth between Niven and Horrik as he makes his pitch.  "I've had to use pretty much all of my remaining capital on supplies, but I've been pulling a steady amount of silver out of my claim.  I can pay you your wages in silver trade bars and uncut gemstones out of what is stored at the camp."

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