- Shining Star, mandragora sorcerer-priestess of Nyahré.
- Father James, human disciple of the pidgit-folk.
- Hundred Wings, Father James' familiar spirit bound into a bodies of dozens of ravens.
- Willow, human treesinger raised in Taira.
- Amos Burnham, a human from Earth.
- Elaphe, a chuzan junior member of the Black Rose.
The party rode down the ramp around the pipe and spoke to the tower town guard, who waved them through after making they bound their weapons in their sheaths. Elaphe tied an elaborate knot shaped like a rose, causing one guard to take a step back, but then they were allowed to enter. They were in a crowded square, with a tea house on one side under the sign of a roaring lion next to a large public notice board, which Amos immediately went to look at. In Floral, Muskalan, Sarasan, and other languages the party didn't speak among them, there were calls for companions to go into Etemenanki and find treasure, advertisements for businesses, and a call to find a missing child. There was a notice for mercenaries to come to Fontina, and a note half-pasted over it warning mercenaries away and saying that something suspicious was happening there. They took note of a bounty on some gigases that were lairing west of tower town as well as the standing bounty on putting the dead to rest in the ruined parts of the city, and then entered the tea house.
It was quickly obvious that they'd fit right in. The ceilings were high and there was a roaring fire in the center of the room. In the back was a blonde human woman, drinking by herself, and to the left of the entrance were two kremlings and a heavily-muscled frog person playing some sort of dice game. Two starfolk
were drinking next to the fire, while a couple tables over a man dressed in a toga with feathered white wings and shockingly purple hair sat with his head in his hands. And behind the bar, wiping down the surface, was a lynel
Willow ducked out to invoke a quick ritual and returned, his skin shining and flower petals falling from the air around him, and bargained for their stay. The lynel was unmoved by his beauty, however, and they handed over the money for a week's room and board as well as stabling for their mounts. After a quick dinner and ice-cold mushroom beer chilled by the lynel's touch, Elaphe went up to their room to rest, Father James went outside to earn some cash through palmistry, and Willow went over to talk to the winged man. He blearily looked up when Willow approached and gladly told his story: his name was Hemah, and he said he had been cursed by a "vegetable wizard" during in invasion of the "kingdom of the sky," and in response he had been exiled. He hadn't found anything that could break the curse and eagerly seized on Willow's suggestion that he could help, and he called Shining Star over. She quickly determined that the curse on him was not demonic in nature and couldn't easily be broken with her sorcery, but thought that it might be worth asking the starfolk.
As Hemah slumped back onto the table, Shining Star bought drinks for the starfolk and introduced herself as a priestess of Nyahré. One of them spoke Muskalan, and excitedly--and slightly drunkenly--greeted her. In response to her questions, he said he was just a farmer, but that Kimé, the other starfolk, was a guardian-in-training and may be able to help. They gathered around Hemah, but Kimé's efforts were also in vain, for now. Shining Star asked the lynel about libraries, and he said there were various private libraries in tower town and their best bet would be to ask a sorcerer, so Shining Star made a note to do that in the morning. She bought another round of drinks, and as thanks, Kimé cast a spell that cleansed her of all the dust and grime of travel.
As Hemah continued his melancholy and Shining Star talked with the starfolk, Amos slipped out to walk the streets. He saw mostly shops and residences, though he took note of the building with a blazing sun and sand as well as the faerie, the universal symbol for a healer, on the shingle. The neighborhood had the feel of a boom town, all excitement and hope, and it wasn't as run-down and fearful as Rockfort or Gyere had been. He nodded at Father James as he passed him, and eventually made his way back to the tea house.
While he was gone, Willow took a seat at the back of the bar with the woman. After he introduced himself, the woman questioned him, asking him something in Latin, and then asking if he was from Egypt or Libya, and who had been the tribunes when he left. After some back and forth, Willow established that he was from far in her future, from a land beyond "The Pillars of Hercules," and she said that she had been born to freed slaves and made a life for herself in Egypt until the conflict between Marcus Antonius and Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus forced her to flee. She lost her way in a sandstorm and wound up in Agarica. She said her name was Valeria, and Willow suggested that Amos had an interest in her. She took it in stride, and Willow took his leave. She also briefly talked to the lynel and learned that, while lynel do not give their names to those outside their tribe, people called him Old Lion and he thought it was fitting.
After meeting up at the tea house, the party went to sleep. The next morning, Father James's wounds burned with a dull ache and red lines were extending from under the bandage up his side, so he knew he needed immediate medical attention. Amos told him about the healer he had found, and after breakfast, the party left the tea house to attend to their missions. Shining Star and the two starfolk went to find a library; and Elaphe, Willow, and Amos went to a market to get appraisals on the Imperium coins from the ziggurat and the crystals they had found in the vampire's lair. Elaphe also bought some potions from an alchemist that promised to increase the senses.
Father James went to the healer after borrowing some money from Elaphe. He attempted to ingratiate himself, but the healer, a white-furred chuzan with shining golden eyes, was incredibly brusque, poking him in the wound, shutting down all his attempts at conversation, and demanding full payment up front. When Father James paid, the healer ordered him onto cot and began chanting. His hands glowed, stronger and stronger, until it filled the room and Father James could see the veins in his eyelids, and the the pain in his wound suddenly vanished. A few more incantations and flashes of light, and the wounds were almost entirely healed. Father James thanked him, but the healer hurried him out and, with a quick "Tell your friends!" closed the door behind him.
Next time, Etemenanki! Or maybe hunting gigases, since Elaphe's player is keen on that. Anything that's corporeal, without a lot of supernatural might, and will bleed when he stabs it.
I like the games that take place in larger cities because they let me show off more of the cosmopolitan nature of WotMK. I deliberately tried to avoid the D&D approach where everyone lives in their isolated kingdoms and there's no cultural exchange or immigration. Tower town especially is an adventurer's dream with a giant megadungeon right next door, so people from all over come there. Like fallen starfolk--Shining Star's player has made it a mission to get them back to the Star Road--or frog people.
I've got a map of part of the tower I've been waiting to use for over a year, so I expect the party will go hunt gigases. We'll see!