The city of Aderann is the shining capital of the Kingdom of Aenn. With two octoganal walls protecting it and guards stationed at several points within the inner city, it is perhaps the most well-defended place in the surrounding regions. Our story begins, however, in the Outer City, where despite considerable development over the last hundred years one can still find a fair amount of slums, with pockets of black market salesman and thieves' guilds scattered throughout. Merchant's Row, in particular, is a hub for these kinds of activities; it offers a combination of ludicrous scam artists, seedy taverns, and folks who have fallen on hard times.
It is late morning in the capital city. There are only few clouds in the sky, and Merchant's Row is bustling as people go about their daily lives.
Faedi Leaffinger, an elf cleric with a strange and otherworldy appearance, and Raven, her silent ranger companion, are sitting at a table at an inn & tavern affectionately known as the Greasy Goblin. It's a less-than-tidy establishment, with a gruff and sullen bartender sitting at a long bar, a small and shadowy pair in the corner, and a burly man who looks like he could easily have orcish blood in him getting thoroughly wasted. Fae approaches the bar and asks for a piece of bread; the man looks her up and down, noting the way she slightly shields herself under her hood, but simply nods and charges her two copper. She hands him the money; he goes back through a nearly imperceptible door (it is painted and flush with the wall), retrieves half a loaf of stale bread, and tosses it on the bar for her. She's immediately insulted, and questions why he only gave her half a loaf of bread that isn't even fresh. He shrugs and conveys that that's what she gets for two copper. She huffily storms out of the tavern, displeased with the service and hoping to find somewhere better to stay the night. Raven follows silently.
jfkld;sjfa awakens in an upstairs room of the Greasy Goblin, his wolf sleeping comfortably in the corner. He and his animal companion walk downstairs and look around the room, noting a slim, elvish-looking girl argue with the bartender and then huffily storm out, an elf ranger following behind her. He, too, notes the shadowed pair in the corner and the brutish individual chugging ale, but pays them no mind. Instead, he goes to the bar to order breakfast for himself and his wolf, but at the bartenders attempts to charge an extremely high rate for such meager service, decides to take his business elsewhere. He exits the Greasy Goblin and begins to contemplate where he ought to go for food.
Jager Warstock enters the capital city of Aderann at the southwest gate. He immediately approaches a guard to ask directions; however, the guard only gives him a confused look at the vaguely Germanic language spoken. Jager then in very broken common asks where he could find good ale in this city. The guard points him to the Greasy Goblin as the best-known tavern in the Outer City, but also cautions that no tavern in the Outer City is a good tavern. Jager takes his advice into account, and makes way towards Merchant's Row and the tavern therein. As he walks, he is approached by a beggar woman who hassles him for food before wandering off while mumbling something about "these damned foreigners out of Entille…" Then, as he approaches Merchant's Row, he decides to stop at an apple merchant's stall and request one. The merchant attempts to charge him 1sp, but after some discussion and failed pitches settles on 5cp. That settled, the foreigner goes about his business with apple in hand, working his way up to the aforementioned tavern.
Duncan Dunhallow wanders from the south end of Merchant's Row. Essentially he is merely looking for anything of interest; he has journeyed to the capital of Aenn all the way from Entille and is thoroughly convinced that the entire place is a shithole. As he wanders northward, he observes the milling peasants and lack of guards, as well as more than one dark alley with a leather-armored man standing at the entrance. He is not interested in pursuing anything here, not wanting to get his little sorcerer self murdered, and proceeds all the way to the Greasy Goblin, where he sees a group of elvish-looking folk exiting to go about their business.
The dwarvish fighter Thorgrim Ironfist approaches Merchant's Row from the north after stabling his severely overworked pony. He approaches the first merchant he sees, a man selling apples as well as odd, colorful potions that he attempts to garner interest for much like a drug dealer. Before he can finish his pitch, Thorgrim merely walks away and asks the next merchant for the best place to buy ale in these parts. The merchant, of course, points him to the so aptly-named Greasy Goblin, and the dwarf waddles his way southward on his mission to consume all the ale in the kingdom. As he approaches the tavern, he too sees the cluster of elvish people just outside the door, but decides to ignore the bunch in favor of ale. He does however, get shoved by a beggar woman and bumps the ranger, who is quickly on guard as the elvish cleric backs up nervously. Thorgrim utters a plain apology and the elves make no response, but turn back to their own conversation.
Faedi and Raven are in search of a nicer inn where they might be able to purchase a room for the night; after some discussion, and not being entirely happy to talk to strangers, they decide to look on their own whilst sticking to the shadows whenever possible. They become somewhat distracted, however, by the following sequence of events.
fdjfslkd hopes to buy some apples for him and his wolf. He approaches YET ANOTHER apple salesman, who after a lengthy pitch about the beauty and deliciousness of Hearthglen apples tries to sell him half a dozen for 7sp. Before fdksjfk can try to haggle him down or exclaim any sort of outrage at the incredibly high pricing, the sorcerer Duncan walks up and interjects to express outrage of his own. After quite a bit of argument between the three, Duncan decides to bluff his ass off by posing as a health inspector. The apple merchant has no idea what a health inspector is, but is made sufficiently uncomfortable by the presence of such authority. It is then that Jager, standing at 6'3", approaches and casts an even more uncomfortable presence. After yet more argument and an intimidate check or two, the merchant ends up charging fjkdlsjf 12cp for the six apples. That settled, Duncan then turns on the apple-hoarding druid, questioning his purchase. The druid simply explains that it's two for him, two for his wolf, and two for later. The sorcerer thinks this is stupid, but doesn't know enough about wolves to comment on their dietary habits. Meanwhile the dwarf has purchased some ale from the Greasy Goblin, exited, and then waddled up to the very loud group. He is now tipsily listening in, while sipping contentedly at his half-gallon. Jager backs away from the commotion, not wishing to participate in this argument. Thorgrim comments on Duncan's cloak, which he continuously refers to as a cape, and in the midst of the ensuing argument decides to give it a powerful yank, at which point the sorcerer gives him a good scolding. The elves have observed parts of the conversation, but are more interested in finding a better place to spend the night. As they approach a merchant to ask for advice on this matter, Jager is spotted observing the sorcerer, dwarf, and druid with notepad and pen in hand.
The merchant that the elves have approached seems to be a struggling artist, attempting in vain to sell painted leaves. Raven has, at Fae's request, taken it upon himself to be the mouthpiece of the pair; before he can speak, however, the merchant begins excitedly pitching him the product so neatly and carefully layed out at his meager stand. The ranger listens for a while, clearly disinterested, but is urged to take a look at the promise that the merchant will point him to the nearest and nicest inn. This sales pitch goes on for quite a while as the other characters continue to have quite strenuous interactions.
Duncan is the first to notice Jager taking notes on the group. He sarcastically strikes a pose, and as he does so Thorgrim goes again to grab his "cape." He decides against it, however, and instead turns to the druid. "Is that your wolf," he drunkenly asks.
"Um, yes. What of it?"
"Can I. Can I ride it?"
The druid starts to make a comment about how the size of the dwarf and the size of the wolf are not compatible for this task; the dwarf, however, ignores him and begins to approach the wolf. He is quickly distracted, however, by the sorcerer's desire to create a bit of chaos. Duncan leans down and tells the dwarf that the extremely tall human is… trying to draw him naked. Without questioning this in the slightest, the dwarf immediately goes to bull-rush Jager. He succeeds, and Jager is knocked back into the wall of the Greasy Goblin, taking 1 non-lethal damage.
The elves look on, extremely confused by these strange and very loud individuals. As they've been watching this, they haven't noticed the struggling artist's continued pleas for them to buy just one leaf. He has continuously been lowering the price from 1sp to eventually 1cp. When he finally catches the attention of the elves again, the ranger accepts, partially out of pity and partially to finally hear where they could go for a nicer place to rest.
They are directed to the Greasy Goblin, the best tavern and inn in the Outer City!
Extremely dismayed, the pair part ways with the leaf salesman. Raven begins to wander south in search of a nicer place on his own, but Fae is distracted by the commotion of the other characters. As she is watching in confusion and fascination, she does not notice her hood slip from her head, revealing her stark white hair and extremely pale blue eyes. fdjklsj, however, does notice this, and leaves from cheerily watching the dwarf act drunk to offer the elf girl an apple. She does not respond to this, unsure what to say and not really wanting to talk to anyone new. The ranger returns just as this exchange is happening, and steps defensively in front of Fae. fjkdljs pulls out another apple, just as friendly as before. Faedi conveys that she is not interested, and the ranger merely turns his silent back on the half-elf. However, just as the elves are about to depart, the sorcerer turns his interest from the drunken dwarf and the displeased foreigner to question the elvish individuals, in complete earnest, about the presence of an "elf convention" in town. Faedi is incredibly displeased with this conversation, and none of the three deign to answer this. Duncan then tries to bond with them by lying and saying that he, too, is an elf. However, his bluffing skills aren't quite as up-to-par as earlier, and the druid dubiously questions him in Elven, to which he replies in Sylvan. Unamused, the elves are once again ready to leave when the bunch is approached by Jager, who after being offered a piece of moldy cheese by the drunken dwarf has had it with this part of town. He asks in yet more broken common where he might be able to find a "not local establishment," where he can drink ale in peace. It is just then that Thorgrim, sad that he could not make amends with his moldy cheese, approaches the tall human with yet another half-gallon of ale that he has just purchased from the Greasy Goblin for another 1sp. After some hesitance, the foreigner accepts the ale, sniffs it distrustfully, and takes a small sip. He thinks it over, then gruffly thanks the dwarf.
Yet again, the elves have had it with the nonsense spouted by these people, and are ready to once again be on their own. However, their departure is interrupted as a dark shadow passes overhead. They look up at the sky to see the silhouette of a small dragon, briefly blocking out the sun as it flies ominously at about 120ft over the capital city. Panic has begun to set in amongst the people; beggars, merchants, and commoners alike are seeking shelter and darting to and fro along Merchant's Row. While Thorgrim insists that they go and kill the thing, and Duncan casually notes that it is a young red dragon and begins listing off everything he knows about the creatures, Faedi and Raven are cowering against a wall and Jager and fdjklsdjf make way for the Greasy Goblin in hopes that it contains a basement that can be used as shelter. The characters begin to lose themselves in the commotion of the panicking Outer City; fear begins to set in over what this could mean, not only for them but for the kingdom itself.
(Note: Until James White can get back to me with his character name, he will be affectionately known as fjkdlsjfksldjfkljkldsjfkls XD)