New City, New Life

Hama Valon, the city around the Grey Tower.
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Welcome to Hama Valon! The aptly named 'mountain guard' is the city that has grown up at the gates of the Grey Tower at the western edge of the Two Rivers. Like all cities, there are quiet quarters with pleasant inns, such as Elman's Creek, which used to be the nearest village when the Tower was young, but was absorbed as the new city grew; its Band of Brothers Inn is still a favorite relaxation spot for many of the Tower's denizens. And again, like all cities the world over, there are less pleasant places--narrow, nameless streets that house hells and other houses of ill repute. Most of the city falls somewhere in between, with hawkers crying their wares in the streets, respectable shopkeepers ready to serve you, and petty cutpurses happy to follow you.

Novices, Soldiers, and drin'far'ji must be accompanied by a chaperon when outside Tower walls or they risk being picked up as runaways and duly punished.
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"The Dragon Reborn"
Posts: 82
Joined: November 19th, 2021, 4:41 pm
PC: Darthalien
SC: Illanova Restrov

New City, New Life

Post by Ashfalcon » January 22nd, 2023, 12:31 am

Illanova Restrov looked around the crowded street and smiled. "Well, you were right," she said. The city was perfect for starting a new life. There were people here from all over the Westlands, dressed in everything from almost-rags to lordly finery. The market square was loud with the strident calls of vendors and the ubiquitous rumble of bargaining, some of it quietly insistent and some of it very loud. The two of them didn't stand out at all.

"Of course I was right," Birno grumbled. "I do research so I can be right." He sounded bitter, but that was probably the headache; the renegade Asha'man hadn't had a drink in seven days. Travel and sunlight had done him some good -- he actually looked healthier than Illa ever remembered seeing him -- but sobriety didn't sit well on him.

In truth, Illanova wasn't sure why Birno had come along with her. She'd only met him a few months earlier -- well, a few months and a year, for him -- when she'd come to him in Whitebridge to learn how to seek supernatural aid for some much-needed revenge. At the time, he'd been thrilled to share his research, discuss strategies, and make plans. Then, when she returned a year later -- which had seemed a matter of days for her -- he'd been shocked and finally relieved to see her. He'd spent the better part of a week writing down everything she could remember about the inside of the tower and what had transpired there, but that had seemed mainly a scholar's burning curiosity. He hadn't asked to share a bed or shown any sign of romantic interest, he'd just... packed up and come along to see her safely to Hama Valon after she'd finished her business in Tear. Guilt? Or maybe just friendship?

Illa wasn't sure. She didn't have much experience with either one.

"How about that one?" she asked, pointing to an inn that lay halfway down the next street. It looked like a good place, not particularly fancy but not run-down either. A sign proclaimed it the Band of Brothers Inn, and a man in a black coat was just stepping out of the front door.

Birno paled. "Somewhere else," he said, and turned away.

"Is there something wrong with it?" Illa followed him, puzzled.

"That was an Asha'man," he said. "A real one. I don't-- I can't--"

"All will be well," said Illa. "Do you think he's from this Grey Tower you keep telling me about?"

Birno slowed and drew a deep breath. "Possibly. Probably. Yes." He glanced over his shoulder and took another. "You're right, nobody here is likely to bundle me off to the Black Tower for a court martial." He drew another, more normal, breath; then he added, "Thank you."

"You could stay, you know," Illa suggested. "You keep telling me how I should join the Grey Tower, but... maybe you should, too."

"I'd have to quit drinking," Birno objected. "I mean, not entirely, but..."

"Is that such a bad thing?" asked Illa. "Is the drinking doing you any real good?" She regretted those words the moment they crossed her lips -- they sounded far too close to accusatory -- but Birno just shook his head and smiled sadly at her.

"No," he admitted. "I suppose it isn't." He drew himself up, and carefully straightened his coat. "Very well, then. One more night of comfort, and in the morning we'll present ourselves and see what happens next."

OOC: Illanova is my new PC, a drin candidate; Birno Highgate is an NPC, probably (but just barely) suitable to be inducted into the Brown as a full Asha'man. Realistically, he'll probably have to do a token stretch as a Soldier and then a Dedicated, just so the Tower can get a better feel for him before they recognize him as a full Asha'man.

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