Chapter 1; Dreams of Mortality Lost
The mists of memory cleared from his mind as they usually did and he could see the road beneath his feet once again. He knew in the back of his mind that this road would take him to the great city of Ormazahd. Once there he knew also that he must go immediately to the Mage’s Guild to speak to an Sorcerer named Kisis Atrius.
As he approached the city he had no problem getting through the gate. The guards took one look at the summons that was sent to him and quickly rushed him through the paperwork needed to enter the city. With directions from the guards he wandered into the vast sea of bodies that flowed down every street and ally as far as the eye could see.
Following his rogue’s instinct he found himself in the Grand Bazaar. After listening to the pitiful excuses for bards around the square he decided to show them what a real bard was. Finding a highly visible spot he stood over the crowd and began to recite an ancient elvish poem that his aunt had taught him. He began to draw a crowd and at the end of the recital a few copper interspersed with silver appeared at his feet. Scooping up the generous offerings he began to prepare for a musical follow up but didn’t get a chance.
About the time he was ready to begin playing, a town constable appeared out of the crowd and informed Goldwin that he must have a permit to play in the square for profit.
Slightly upset Goldwin was forced to pack up his belongings and move along on his business.
“Oh well,” he thought,” I still need to report to the guild and then, find a room for the night.”
It was high noon and the streets seemed busier, if that were possible. Wandering through the city he came upon another gate. He was stopped and asked to sign his name before he passed through. He asked where the Mage’s Guild could be found. The guard pointed down the road.
He thanked the guard for the information and passed through the gate. The city seemed to become more elaborate as he walked down the main road to the next gate. Upon his approach to the next gate he stopped and signed his name again and this guard pointed to a hill just passed the gate. On top of that hill was a great, twisted tower that appeared to have grown to its current shape. It’s size was rivaled only by the actual castle where the Overlord of Ormazahd held court.
Hesitating only a moment to catch his breath, Goldwin began the climb to the guild house and he began whistling a tune he ad picked up somewhere.
The structure seemed only to grow larger and larger as he neared it. This, he supposed, was for the dramatic effect on those who might disturb the old dusty mages and sages from their similarly conditioned tomes and scrolls. Goldwin was never much of one to set still and study anything for very long. His instructors had tried to find anything that would hold his attention as a child. Finally a troop of bards traveled through his Father’s Duchy and stopped long enough to infect Goldwin with a wanderlust that, to date, had never let him settle down for more than a month or so. Of course, his father was furious when he found out that his youngest son wanted to wander across the country side and frolic with the common people. His mother, however, decided to let him learn music and poetry from her elven culture and hired a tutor for just that task.
His older brother, Grimble, was always his fathers favorite anyway. He was the son who would inherit the throne one day. Goldwin’s father simply forgot about his roguish son and began to concentrate his attention on his heir. Typical to his short lived race he was a very single minded individual.
Returning to the task at hand, Goldwin found he was standing in front of the door of the guild and looking a short but well armed dwarf, eye to forehead.
“What might ye be lookin’ fer here yung’n?” the rough looking fellow said in as civil a tone as Goldwin had ever heard a dwarf use.
“I was summoned to this place to meet with the Sorcerer, Kisis Atrius. Can you please advise him that I have arrived.” Goldwin’s melodical voice seemed not to ease what tension was present in the eyes of the dwarf at the mention of the sorcerers name.
“Ye’ll have to return in two days time ’cause the high whach’ye mcall’em, Kisis, ain’t see’n nobody t’day.” the dwarf grumbled.” ‘Sides rest of y’r group ain’t arrived in town yet.” he added.
Group? There wasn’t anything in the message about any group. Oh well, one could never figure out what a mage was truly planning until he decided to tell you. Next on the agenda, a room for the night.
“Where am I supposed to sleep while I wait for the rest of this ‘group’ to arrive? I haven’t enough coin to rent even a gutter in this town, let alone a room.” Goldwin hoped the dwarf was fooled by his lie.
Eyeing the young half elf suspiciously he said,” I’ll see what they have to say ’bout that. Stay here.” The dwarf turned and entered through a smaller, dwarf sized, door in the larger one and slammed it shut. Goldwin heard a flurry of clicks and clacks and then silence.
About fifteen minutes later the dwarf returned with a young man who held a small box in front of him.
“This boy’ll lead you to an inn. He’s enough coin to get y’r room’n meals fer the two days ye’ll be wait’n.” The boy bowed slightly and began to descend to the road below. The dwarf just mumbled something and went back to his post.
Goldwin gave the dwarf a deep, flourished bow and turned to follow the boy, whistling a light marching tune taught to him by a dwarf he once knew.
Passing through the gate below was much easier than the last time. When the guards saw the boy approach they cleared a path for he and Goldwin. The ‘rabble’ realized what was happening as the boy passed and held their breath until they saw Goldwin. Obviously not a mage they assumed him to be some noble and bowed or curtsied appropriately. Not knowing what to do Goldwin picked up the pace.
Through the winding streets the boy lead until they reached an inn with a sign depicting a golden unicorn, proclaiming this to be the Inn of the Gilded Unicorn, suspended above the entrance. The boy entered and Goldwin followed suit. The boy must have been recognized for when the duo entered the room the bar grew quiet. After a few moments, since no one recognized Goldwin, everyone returned to their unfinished conversations and drinks.
The page walked directly to a man who appeared to own the establishment. To this man the boy handed the coffer and a scroll that materialized from the folds of his robes. Then the boy turned and left the inn.
The man didn’t notice the page leave. After reading the scroll and inspecting the contents of the coffer he threw a key to Goldwin. Without a word the man disappeared into the back, coffer and all.
The tag on the key displayed the number four. Ready to relax for awhile Goldwin retired to his room to freshen up and ready himself for an evening of roguish delights.