The Blood Of The Lion

Day 00 - An Introduction

Lelouche Lunarsphere wakes up at the inn at Ramshire, and heads to the pier looking for transport to new lands. Scanning the area for ships that are heading across the sea, he notices a pirate captain that he reneged on a deal with some time ago, and decides it would be best to disguise himself. Using Prestidigitation, he create an illusion portraying himself as an older man, in the likeness of a friend. Approaching a nearby boat captain, he requests a spot on board, declaring that he doesn’t care where he ends up and only seeks adventure. The captain, explains that his boat is heading along the eastern trade winds, through Maraketh and onto Eros, a kingdom across the sea. Lelouche agrees to the fare, handing the man 40 gold pieces. The captain tells him that one of his men will lead him to his quarters when he gets on the boat, and that they’ll be setting out just a few hours from now.

Having a bit of time, Lelouche relaxes on the pier. Nearby, he overhears an argument that seems to be occurring between a boat captain and a vagabond. Lelouche approaches as a man steps between the captain and vagabond, assuring that the issue can be settled without violence. The captain insists that he’ll call the guard on the vagabond thief, but the man offers to pay for the crate the vagabond had attempted to steal. The captain demands to be paid immediately, realizing it will save him time since he would have had to sell the contents of the crate anyway. The man pays him for the contents and hands the crate to the vagabond, making him promise that it will go to feed and house his family, before sending him off. Turning around, he introduces himself as Jansen Freidh, a traveling cleric looking to return to his home country.

The two of them board the boat and begin to discuss their individual adventures. From one of the living quarter rooms, they hear a deep, Dwarven snoring. A number of days later as the ship sails over the eastern sea, they meet the source of the noise in the mess hall. Among the sailors, a battle-hardened warrior Dwarf stands out, drinking glass after glass of mead and shoveling down his food. Lelouche attempts to be friendly but inadvertently challenges the man to a drinking contest. Having been drinking long before the contest, the Dwarf loses in stunning fashion, passing out on the table without ever introducing himself. Lelouche and Jansen drag him back to his room, as indicated by a nearby sailor. They leave him on his bed and head back to their own quarters, confident that they’ll have another chance to make friends with him in such a confined space.

The next day, the boat docks at Maraketh to complete a few trades. Heading to the main deck, Lelouche asks the captain about the remaining journey. The captain assures him that they’ll be setting off for their final destination of Eros very soon and they’re only a few days away. Lelouche and Jansen meet up with the Dwarf, who seems to remember them and introduces himself as Orik, a warrior from the Dwarven Underlands. The three men get to know each other as the ship sails, eventually reaching Port Giles, a trade city in the northwest of Eros. Attempting to retain Orik’s interest, Lelouche suggests they all go out for mead, and offers to pay for the first round.

A nearby dock worker directs the three men down the port to the taverns, where travelers and sailors meet while docked to share stories. He assures them that the taverns of Port Giles have only the best mead, as men of the sea accept nothing less. They enter the first tavern they see, and it seems every inch of the place is filled with sea men, a welcoming sight. A man drinking along in the corner stands out, draped in a green cloak with a scythe leaned up against the wall. Sensing a kindred adventuring spirit, Lelouche leads the group to sit down with the man, who welcomes them to join. He introduces himself as Falx, a wandering druid looking for opportunity in Eros after hearing they may be in the middle of a turmoil of some sort. He is searching for more information about what is happening, and agrees to accompany them until their interests lead them in different directions.

The group finishes their drinks, Jansen turning his down and offering it to Orik, who drank it down with a fervor and enthusiasm that only a Dwarf could muster. They leave the tavern and head to buy a map, recognizing that their first order of business should be to acquire information about the land they find themselves in. Walking through the market, they smell the aroma of various meats, they hear the metallic collisions of weapons being tested before being bought, and they hear the numerous vendors yelling prices for their wares. Eventually, they find a man selling maps of nearby lands, and they ask him for a map of Eros. He assures them that he has quite a few, and shuffles through a number of large scrolls, pulling out four to display.

While the others decide on whether they’d like a map, Orik manages to steal one from the table. He declares that he doesn’t need a map and walks away, opening the scroll when he reaches an appropriate distance to be out of sight. Falx buys a map for 1 gold piece while Lelouche and Jansen decline. They share the map, meeting back up with Orik and seeing that he has acquired one as well. Falx bonds with Jansen over their mutual desire to do good in the world, though Falx admits that he also seeks a reward of some sort for his actions. They decide that the best way for Jansen to help his home town is to find opportunity in this country and use it to raise funds before returning.

They open the map and begin to study it’s markings. It is crude, but lays out the positions of all major towns and cities, including the three castles in the kingdom. There are separation lines outlining three near-equal parts of the kingdom, but no indication on the map of why it is split in that manner. Finding themselves in Port Giles within the western-most portion of the map, they decide to head to the nearest city, marked only as Warren Tower. The distance markers on the map are in a measurement type that no one in the group has seen before, but they all agree that with no markers in between them and the city, it must be within walking distance for adventurers like themselves. They also note that one of the cities, Castle Valoris, has markings on it’s north side that aren’t explained, the ink being a different color than the bold lines that circle the other cities. They decide it would be best to ask questions when they arrive, and they head south toward the edge of the marketplace.

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