The Merchant City

Session 1

The First Day

I finally made it to the “Merchant City” that I had heard so much about in the early hours of the morning. Clearly this place earned its reputation as the center of this part of the world. Countless towers bristle from its hills like the sails of the ships in the harbor, and from its gates I could watch a constant flow of merchants in and out of the market. But its size only gives me more reason to be wary. Everyone has secrets, and a city of this size serves only to collect them. As such, I thought it wise to find another druid if possible so as to learn about the city from a friendly source. Knowing of the city’s many professional guilds, I asked for directions to the alchemist’s guild from a passing merchant to inquire about any druids who worked as herbalists. Upon following the man’s directions, I found myself at a rather bizarre arcanist’s guild. Apparently the merchant misheard my question in his hurry, and when I asked a passing paladin for new directions, he quickly refused my request. It’s really no wonder I hate cities. Fortunately I found the alchemist’s guild on my own and learned of a dwarf druid in the city, so I set out to his hut at once. He was a strange man, but I’ve met stranger and he was helpful in pointing me towards a few possible ways I could help the local guilds and perhaps earn some coin to ease my stay in the city. Taking interest in his story of a local cult worshiping a “bondage god”, I took to the streets to learn more. Stopping at a crowd listening to a preacher of the “chained god”, I learned that this cult was even more sinister than I imagined. This so called Church of the Bound God abhors all arcane magic and any magical races. Their message was unfortunately similar to that of Ulgrak Bloodstone, the man who destroyed my home, which obliged me to at least aid in casting them out of the city. Seeking out an opportunity to do so, I returned to the arcanist’s guild which I had fortuitously visited earlier; there, a gnome bookkeeper named Malcolm informed me that their guild had been searching for assistance with regards to the church, and I agreed to return the next day to learn more from their vizier. I returned to my inn for the night and had plate of braised leeks and sausage, as I always enjoy the food of a city over the meager cooking I can do at a campfire. While eating, I saw a surprising pair enter the room: the paladin who I had spoken with briefly at the arcanist’s guild and a genosi cleric. Recognizing the paladin and interested in meeting a genosi, I approached the two. Over a conjured pitcher of water (intended futilely to counteract the paladin’s pint of ale), I learned the two were Ander Hornraven and Aer, respectively. The two had apparently returned from a tiring day but were still looking for work in the city, so when I mentioned my potential job with the arcanist’s guild, they quickly (if not enthusiastically) offered to help. I’m happy for the help, but I have many questions about the two I would like answered. Why, for instance, are they sharing a room? -Ülthor Swordwind

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