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Silver Chain and Red Tape

Areon’s Journal

Kythorn 29, 1373, The City of Doors

Rosorc started heading up the street in search of an inn, and the rest of us quickly fell into step with him. We came upon a building that had a bed crudely drawn on the sign, and when we poked our heads in we saw rows of beds lining the walls. It looked worse than any normal common room, and we decided that it would be best not to stay in such a run down (and smelly) place.

We headed back out and up the curving street. Shortly after, a gnome offered help to William for finding an inn, which was several “alleys” over. We convinced William that we could probably find our way on our own, and left without taking any help from the gnome.

We did note a huge black spider-shaped building, and though I was not sure, it looked to me like a building that would be dedicated to Lolth. I was not exactly interested in heading that way, and neither was the rest of the group, so we headed away from the building.

Shortly after we left the gnome, we came upon a horrific sight: A zombie standing in the middle of the street. Theona and Rosorc decided that they would inspect it, but I did not want to get to close. The zombie was covered in tons of papers, just nailed or stapled to its rotting flesh. Theona said that most of them were just notices. It appears that the zombie was a bulletin board. While we were standing near it, someone said ‘I wonder where we could find an in,’ and the zombie pointed back in the direction we came. We then asked it where we could find a nice inn. It pointed up. This led me to notice the strangest thing about this city.

I looked up and saw above us…rooftops. It was almost like I was looking up into a mirror through the fog. I could tell that they were not the same buildings, however, as even from the distance (up?) I could tell they were nicer. I am guessing (because of the upward curve that we were walking on) that we are in a city that is in the middle of a ring.

When Deitricha realized how we were situated, she began to freak out. I suggested that she hang on to someone else and not look towards the center of the ring. So Deitricha held on to different people in the party (depending on who she was closest too). Theona also helped out by passing around a flask of ale.

Once Tassar had finished the ale he threw the empty flask at a drunk, who was calling for a swig from a nearby alley.

Our travels took us out of the grimy slums and into an industrial area, and after a short while, into nicer surroundings all together. We found an inn with baths available (called “The Alabaster Mermaid”), for we were all still covered in blood from the Hells, save Tassar, who had been carried over most of them.

I knew we all really wanted to get cleaned up, so I paid for our baths. Theona took a room to herself, Rosorc and William took one and Deitricha and Tassar bolted into the other. I had no intention of crowding in with Rosorc and William; I figured Deitricha and Tassar were doing something private, and I figured Theona would have been offended had I invaded her privacy, so I waited for one of the available baths to clear out before I went in to clean myself up.

After I had I returned to the main inn, where we bought dinners and picked at each others’ meals trying the food that were popular to this plane of existence. I was feeling a little beat, and I wanted some time to think, I paid for rooms so that each of us had a place to sleep. There were six of us and each room could fit two of us, so I got three rooms, assuming that we were comfortable enough with each other to share rooms. I guess that fighting to keep each other alive isn’t a companionship builder, as I heard some grumbles about room sharing. But if no one like it they can just buy their own rooms. I am more comfortable when not in and inn anyway....

Not long after I had retired to my room, Theona came in and asked me if I would mind splitting up the coin that we had found before we bounced ourselves into Hell. I agreed and we did, then I returned back to the same room. I was surprised to see Theona come in once again, but when she dropped her stuff and hopped onto one of the beds, I realized that she had chosen to stay in the same room as me.

We spent a few minutes talking, and decided that we should go out and sell the magical items we had acquired after we had rested, since our rest took little time compared to our companions. We rested, and left early; it was still dim outside when we left the in. Theona left a note with the clerk at the front desk, so that our companions would know where we had gone.

The market place was entirely to crowded for my liking, but Theona passed through it like a deer through the brush of the Cold Wood. We managed to sell everything we had intended too, getting hopefully exactly what it was worth.

As we were heading out of the market I saw a small blue cat for sale in a cage entirely too small for it. When I took a closer look I realized it was a tressym, a winged cat which has an amazing intelligence. I knew immediately that it shouldn’t be trapped the way it was, so I drug Theona over to the stand and bought the animal. After I bought it I let it out of the cage and tried to cast a spell that would allow me to talk to it.

My father told me that once I was powerful enough, I would be able to cast a few simple spells that would make my travels as a ranger easier. I thought that it would be a good time to try, and I did. I wasn’t sure that it would work, and the tressym just stared at me for a moment. Then I felt a little different, like I had something I wanted to say even though I did not have any idea what I should be saying to a tressym. Then she spread her wings and said, “This feels so much better to be able to spread my wings. Thank you!”

I realized that my spell had indeed worked, not sure how long I had left I asked the tressym if she had a name. She said that she didn’t, so I told her that I would need to think about it, but I would give her a name.

I also remember my father telling me that once I could cast spells I would also be able to ask an animal to become a companion of mine. He told me that the animal would be bound to me by divine power, and it would be able to help my work, whether as a scout or a protector.

There was something about the animal that I found amazing to me. I know that I am partial to cats; my mother has a small black housecat that she named Kismet, and my father has a panther that he named Malnamé. But this cat had wings and was blue, not black like either of my parents’ cats or even a normal color for the woods. But all the same, I felt that I wanted this cat to be with me for more than just a few days, until I could return it to a more normal home.

I asked the tressym if it would like to be my companion, and to my amazement she decided that it wished to be. I know she was very happy to be free of the cage that was entirely too small, and she was probably free of a horrible fate also (seeing as the sign on the cage said “Tressym: the next best thing to chicken!”), but I wasn’t sure she would make that kind of commitment to someone who she had just met.

We returned to “The Alabaster Mermaid” and collected the rest of our friends, who were now up and about. After we ate a quick breakfast we gave everyone a share of their loot, we headed back to the market for yet more spending! After an hour or so, everyone had bought what they wanted.

We then left the market and headed for the clerk ward in search of the Hall of Records, so maybe we could find a portal out of this town and back home. The clerk at the Hall of Records directed us to the Hall of Information. The clerk at the Hall of Information, directed us to the Office of Portal Registry, and the clerk in the office, a human named Marxel, gave us a huge stack of papers to fill out.

I set to work on that, with Deitricha reading over my shoulder and helping me to answer the questions. I finally got finished and turned in the paperwork, paying the five gold processing fees, and the clerk informed me that they had closed and we should come back the next day.

I admit I had spent most of the time playing with my new friend, who I had decided to name Nianque. But Theona and I had been sticking together most of the time since we had arrived in this strange city. On our way back, I saw the young boy coming with flowers, and I knew something odd was going on…

He called her “Lady Theona” and gave her a bundle of roses with a mithril chain wrapped around them. She looked at me as if I had gotten them for her and showed me the card. “…from a friend…” I know we were both looking at each other very oddly. She was looking oddly at me because she thought I had gotten the flowers for her, and I was looking at her oddly because I couldn’t figure out who would want to give Theona flowers. Then Rosorc was there, braiding the chain into Theona’s hair. Well, I realized who sent the flowers, much to both of our amazement. Theona seemed upset, and I think that she made an impression on Rosorc that she had not intended to.

We returned to the inn, and Rosorc invited Theona to have dinner with him. I recognized that he intended to have dinner alone with her, so I paid for another night in my room and went up to rest. I was happy to have the time alone as well, as spending so much time without seeing any nature is kind of depressing.

Not long after I had been in my room I heard something small hit the window. Then I heard it again. The noise continued I ignored it at first, until I realized that it had to be someone trying to get my attention. I went and opened the window…which oddly enough had little splatters of blood all over it. I opened it, expecting a prank, and down below was Theona. I could see her hands and forearms were covered with blood, and I realized that the vine that covered the walls was a security device as well as a decoration.

She asked me for help with Rosorc, though I still don’t know why. She is far more intelligent than I am, and she is the one who deals with people all the time, not me. I told her that I didn’t know what kind of help I could be, and she left the alley, even more upset than she had come into it.

She never returned to the room, and I guessed that she must have decided to sleep in her own room this night. I hope she is not angry at me, but I don’t know how to deal with people. I suppose I might have been able to deal with a wolf, but then again, I’m sure she could have too, as it wouldn’t have been romantically interested in her.

I tried not to think about it too much, though I did leave the window open so that Nianque could get in and out. I don’t want her to make a mess inn the room! But I had an uneventful night, and the next morning went down and waited for everyone to assemble so we could return to the Office of Portal Registry, and hopefully get home.

Everyone but Theona had met up, and we began to wonder where she might be. Deitricha decided that she would go find her and after a little while, she returned with Theona, who looked very upset.

We headed back to the Office of Portal Registry, and were greeted by a different clerk, this time not a human. I was worried that we would be filling out paperwork once again, but he managed to find the file we had filled out the day before and gave us the information about a portal that would take us back to Silverymoon or to Toril at the very least. It was an intermittent portal, and only worked every 32 days. Of course, today was the day it was working, so we had to hurry! We also found out that we would need a black rose to make it work, and Rosorc said he knew of a place where we could find one.

We hired a boy named Bob to guide us to the portal which was in the Hive district. Rosorc got a black rose and handed two red roses to Theona, who blushed, and looked very upset, though she did not say anything. I wanted to say something to get her to smile, but I couldn’t think of anything to say. I don’t know that she really wants to talk to me though, after the way I treated her last night. She has not said anything to me today. Actually, she hasn’t even looked at me. I hope I can do something to make up for last night.

Bob stopped near a hole in a wall, and said that he dared not go any further, we thanked him and headed down into the depths. This place still has not made me any happier. It is less crowded, but there is not any open space.

After a few minutes of following the twisting tunnels, we came upon four zombies that had no paper attached to them, nor did they seem to have any interest in giving directions. Rosorc charged two that were further away, but two moved forward to block the rest of us from moving out of the narrow hallway we were in.

Tassar attacked one of the zombies, and I fired two arrows at it, though only one of them hit. Tassar finished it off and managed to get out of the way enough that I could pull my greatsword and help him in melee. We quickly killed the other blocking our way, and discovered that Rosorc had killed two others clearing the room of enemies.

I was sure that we would be facing more before we found the portal, and hopefully we would be able to make it out in time….

Posted by Tim on April 11, 2004, 18:31 | Areon’s Journal