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    Default Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    NEW THREAD, NEW CHAPTER






    Haligoth
    Capital of Qwermish (South Shore)
    3 Earth Wakes [April], 431 AC




    The spring winds were low, making for a terribly uncomfortable and smelly journey east across the New Sea. You understandably spend the majority of your time above deck, making smalltalk and generally trying to keep busy despite the limited space. This includes debating the various seabirds you spy from a distance and making up stories about other ships you pass. While the features and attributes of various vessels are beyond you, the various flags and pennants they display make for interesting (or at least imaginative) discussion.

    On the third night, sailors furl the sails with various lights visible from a nearby shoreline and wait out the night, assuring you the ship has entered Haligoth Bay and that they’ll drop the lateen rigging in the morning and make good time to the city.

    Spoiler: Haligoth coast
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    By midmorning the crisp air smells of pine, and the dark seawater has lightened to a glorious light blue. Haligoth itself lies due north, and its red-roofed buildings spread across a swath of coastline. There is an astonishing array of watercraft before you; great merchant caravels, plucky old cogs, galleys from nearby coasts, longships from Schallsea, and everywhere are hundreds of fishing boats of every conceivable size and shape. Once safely moored, the ship becomes explosively busy, the sailors either rushing into the city to enjoy leave or working hand-in-hand with a swarm of stevedores who erupt from carts and carriages along the quay.

    Your first impression is jarring. You have spent a lot of time in ancient Solamnic cities and Garnet, all fairly clean and orderly, with a certain sense of purpose and similarities of structure and style, but Haligoth is wildly different. For starters, it smells worse. Whatever secrets of sewerage the great Solamnic cities use (of which you only got a glimpse in Caergoth and didn’t investigate further) they certainly didn’t share, including flushable privies. At one point you actually see a great creaking wagon into which men wearing heavy aprons are dumping the contents of chamber pots waiting in doorstep boxes. On the wagon’s side is a flat wooden plate bearing the image of a fly. It’s also far louder, more crowded, more chaotic. People of every description shuffle about, asking for directions, or arguing, or trying to sell things. The locals wear baggy tunics and trousers, or rather shapeless dresses, with heavy belts at the waist and equally formless floppy hats. Their language is familiar – Estwilde – which you heard Lady Attebrooke and her soldiers speak, though you do hear common around the markets and squares. A middle-aged man plays a fiddle, singing with gusto as passersby drop coppers into a kerchief at his feet.

    Spoiler: Haligoth streets
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    The makeup of the party suddenly feels socially inverted, as few give Grayshore or Valorean a second glance while gazing at the elf-blooded Sorawyl as a real peculiarity.

    The docks are still within eyesight of the Flounder’s Founder, a broad three-story tavern/inn pointedly lacking any nautical theme except the blade sign above the door depicting a dead fish. You leave your letter with a frumpy woman missing a front tooth and a certain impatience with those who force her to speak common.

    And then you are left standing in a strange new city with every option open before you…



    Spoiler: Erendriel
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    Erendriel sits in a rustic and somewhat dirty tavern in Haligoth, wondering vaguely how to came to be here and just how he was going to go about his plans. From what he’s read, Qwermish is the most civilized province of Estwilde and certainly the best place to start searching for forgotten ruins and secrets. It’s not a great plan, but after years of quiet and orderly monotony, getting back out into the world is a challenge. He sips at his beverage and is thankful that the building has plenty of open shutters, as the sunlight at least allows him to scribble distractedly in his book. What to plan, what to plan, what shall he do?

    A strange group stands before him near the bar, certainly not locals, and seemingly in a debate of some sort. Just more travelers, Eren thinks, another stop along the New Sea for restless wonderers. His eyes turn back to his tome and stop. Where his writing ends has appeared words in an unfamiliar hand. … Join them.





    OOC: A friendly reminder as this is now the central location of the campaign - Qwermish is essentially Croatia/Slovenia. So always bear that in mind for appearance, flavor, and language.
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    The sea journey was possibly the worst such experience of Valorean ‘s life. It was with a thankful heart that he stumbled off the ship and onto the Haligoth docks. The smells of the city did nothing to endear it to the draconian as they made their way to the nearby inn; nonetheless, it was a new place with new opportunities.

    “Grayshore,” Valorean asked when they had a moment. “If I may return to a previous topic of discussion, do you think it would be possible to find one of your priests or holy men here? I am still interested in learning more about your faith.”
    Last edited by q785921; 2019-06-26 at 09:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Erendriel Half-Elven

    The half-elven man was looking distracted, just doodling and scribbling in the old book (idea for a novel, some sketches, cliff notes versions about some Kender rumours). Going in unorthodox direction still seemed like a good idea. Visiting that Kender village didn't amount to much except lost valuables and tales so outlandish he was almost convinced the whole village was pulling a prank on him. South Shore's Kender density at least was much lower if nothing else, so that was already one point in its favor.

    Still, Erendriel hadn't yet found anything promising. Of course there were plenty of tall tales if one cared to listen, but nothing that would really help him. He'd noted everything down nevertheless. Local myths and legends had historical value as well, and it'd be shame if it was lost to time. Chronicling the legends of South Shore wasn't the big thing he'd been looking for though, but he wasn't getting impatient yet. The book laid out on the table in front of him was surely a sign of something big.

    Eren was taken out of his pondering by loud noises across the street. That old lady sure had problems with travelers, he idly thought, turning back to his book. When he noticed the words there, he pressed his quill so hard against the book the tip broke. Now this was a sign...

    Still perplexed, he stood up, quickly gathering his belongings, and setting his tome to hang on the leather harness from his waist. He took another look at the group, and they certainly were an exotic bunch. A Solamnian, another half-elf, a Draconian (oddly enough wearing Mishakal's symbol) and someone Eren guessed was from one of the nomadic tribes. Not just regular travelers, it seemed...

    Eren started making his way towards the travelers. "Greetings! If I'm guessing correctly, you've just arrived in this lovely city. I'm a traveler as well, though I can recommend a very reasonably priced inn if you happen to still be looking for one."

    "Now, I do apologize for suddenly intruding, but you happened to catch my eye, and I couldn't help but wonder what your business in Haligoth is." Well, that was natural, Eren thought to himself. Still, he didn't want to just say that a book told him to go join them. It was hard to contain his excitement in fact, but he did his best to keep his face pleasantly curious.
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Well now, it's nice to see another half-elf! And I don't know about 'lovely city' just yet, but I suppose one must get used to the smell eventually...

    "Oh, we have our reasons..." I equivocate. Then, noting the old, red book on his belt, I say "I, for example, am here to practice my wizardry and refine my skills as a mage. Are you, perchance, also a scholar of the arcane, stranger?"

    Assuming he pauses before answering, I take the opportunity to stand, curtsy and introduce myself. "Lady Sorawyl Kassonor, at your service. What may we call you?"
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    The last time Jason had been on a boat, he had nearly been killed by a mad priest of Zeboim (as if there were any other kind!), so honestly, he found this trip fairly pleasant by comparison, at least from that perspective.

    He takes in the city, and seems to like it. It may be chaotic, but in a strange way, he found that comforting. The rigidness of Solamnia just held too many bad memories for him.

    Upon meeting the half-elf stranger, he nods and offers his hand. "Well met. Jason Barker. And yes, we did just arrive. As for why, well...a number of reasons, I guess. To learn, to work, and hopefully to do some good. Oh, we're also here to meet a couple of people. Lady Franchesca Attebrooke and Mage Aimie Westfield. Don't suppose you've ever heard of either of them?"

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    “Greetings,” Valorean said as the half-elf approached and made his own introductions. “I am Imbixtellrhyst Valorean, Cleric of Mishakal. “As my companions have explained, we are recent arrivals here. Are you a resident here? Perhaps you can provide us some news on the going’s-on in the city.”
    Last edited by q785921; 2019-06-27 at 12:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Erendriel Half-Elven

    "Erendriel Half-Elven, at your service", Eren says, bowing lightly at waist. "Eren will do just fine though."

    "I am something of a scholar myself, but my interest is mainly in history. The tome is something akin to a wizard's spell book, though I believe I am closer to a mystic than a wizard."

    "I'm afraid I haven't been here much longer than you, and I haven't really heard anything useful about current goings. I've mostly tried to learn about history, and even that hasn't lead to much. South Shore has been dreadfully neglected by researchers so far, and I'm here to fix that error. Plenty to be discovered by a curious mind, I believe. Now if you do want lesson about the architecture, I can help with that."

    Eren turns to Jason. "I haven't heard of the two ladies in question, are they your employers? Would you mind if I tagged along to meet them? I came to do research, but I haven't found any leads so far, and I could use the extra steel and connections."
    Last edited by Majin; 2019-06-27 at 10:38 AM.
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    Darrik Proudfoot, Kender ranger by Gorgon_Heap

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    "A mystic? You use the power of the heart, like Goldmoon did?" Jason asks, surprised and intrigued. "Did you study with her students at the Citadel of Light? I've never met one before, but I always wanted to see how they can heal without the power of the gods. Anyway, no, they aren't our employers, just friends we've worked with before. Well, they might have a job for us, I suppose. Or at least can help direct us to someone who will have work. I have no objection to you tagging along, I'd be interested in hearing more about mysticism."

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    This historian seems respectable enough. "I am in favour as well. I see no harm in adding one more to our party. And if you can recommend an Inn, that would be welcome too.

    Jason, do you know where we might find Lady Attebrooke and miss Westfield?"
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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Valorean perked up at the mention of Goldmoon. She had been responsible for bringing Mishakal back-and the rest of the Gods-back into the world.

    “Goldmoon is a personal hero of mine, and I am also curious about mysticism.”
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    Initially, Grayshore says nothing as the half-elf reaches the group, preferring to leave those with a more natural command of the language to do the talking. Scanning the crowd, the Abanasian keeps half an ear cocked to the conversation, even as she mostly devotes her attention to glaring at any pickpockets interested in her compatriot's purses. Even, however, as she shoos away a kender with a somewhat manic gleam in her eye, the conversation turns to her island and Grayshore's attention is suddenly caught once again. Turning back to the group, she abruptly breaks into the conversation, not even bothering to introduce herself to the Eren.

    "If you are from the Schallsea, what news? I would know if much has happened since I departed." Keenly focusing on the figure in front of her, she looks him up and down, analyzing him with a slow patience. After all, it would not do to blindly accept another's company, in this seedy city, known for thievery and vice...
    Last edited by Mr. E; 2019-06-29 at 03:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    "Fantastic", Eren responds and starts moving with the group. These strangers were here for a purpose, perhaps that's why the book had pointed them out. "Lead the way then."

    Eren shakes his head lightly as the others start speaking of Goldmoon. "No, unfortunately I haven't had the chance to visit the Citadel, and haven't really trained formally. I've only had these powers for a little over a year, and I'm mostly self-taught. I'm not sure if comparing myself to a mystic is accurate, but I'm certainly not a wizard or a cleric. It could be wild sorcery as well. It is tied to this tome, and I think it is much more than something another mage may have crafted."

    The half-elf glances at Grayshore, as she speaks for the first time. "No, I don't really know about the happenings in Schallsea, and I apologize if my introduction was misleading. In fact, I am from Palanthas. But I don't think I caught your name yet, miss...?
    Last edited by Majin; 2019-06-28 at 05:06 PM.
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    Darrik Proudfoot, Kender ranger by Gorgon_Heap

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    "Oh, I see," Jason says, clearly deflated. He attempts to recover with, "But a primal sorcerer...that's interesting, too."

    He clears his throat and turns his attention to answering Sorawyl's question. "I remember Lady Attebrooke said she was billeted at the castle, and Mage Westfield said she had a suite at the Haligoth Arms. Since we are looking for an inn anyway, perhaps we should start with the latter?" he asks.
    Last edited by JadedDM; 2019-06-28 at 08:31 PM.

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    "Ah," Grayshore says as Eren demolishes her hopes, and sighs slightly, before shrugging her shoulders slowly. In response to his question, she pauses for a moment before replying. "I am Grayshore, daughter of Summerblossom, of the Que-Tev village, of the Que-Nal tribe." It is a slightly formal introduction, admittedly, but her mind is once again, elsewhere, occupied by another pressing question.

    "I, ah, must ask: if you are a primal sorcerer, does that mean you, ah, are prone to, how-shall-we-say, uncontrolled, ah, outbursts of magic? I must admit that what I have seen of such, uh, mages was impressive, but..."

    Grayshore makes a vague gesture with her hands, wondering how to tactfully query whether the slight half-elf in front of them was one hand gesture away from accidentally transforming the group into chickens, or something. Strong in her mind is one of her early sailing experiences, involving a passenger of a similar nature, the cook, and a near infinite quantity of frogs...

    Wrenching her mind away from such matters, she turns briefly to Jason. "I think that inn is up on the rise," she says, pointing to the left and dredging up year old memories of the town layout, "but we should probably not trust my directions."

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    I share Grayshore's concerns. I watch Eren closely for his answer.
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    "Pleased to meet you." Eren racks his brain, trying to recall if he's ever read of that tribe. (History: (d20+7)[23])

    Eren shakes his head, a little smile creeping up on his face. "Hah, nothing like that. As someone who calls himself a scholar I should be more ashamed to admit I haven't really done much to figure out the what the source exactly is. I've just been more concerned with how it works, and what I can do with it. My magic is quite controlled, I honestly feel like I am a wizard, except it's all instinctive, rather than learned. I did get to skip years of study on the subject, which is why I don't feel comfortable calling myself one. Perhaps it's best that those more learned in the subject than me decide the label."

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    @Gorgon: does the inn Grayshore's pointing at happen to be the same one Eren's staying at?
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    Darrik Proudfoot, Kender ranger by Gorgon_Heap

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    "Hmm, well...primal sorcery, high sorcery...I guess it's all the same to the Conclave in the end," Jason remarks. "So long as you take your Test and all, they probably won't care much. Right, Sorawyl?"

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    "Hmm. I am not so sure the great masters of the Council see it that way. But as long as Erendiel can control his arcane powers, we should not have too many problems."
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    "Perhaps we should continue this conversation as we walk," Grayshore suggests, now that she is certain that the party will not suddenly be turned into chickens. "I suspect that we will lose our purses if stand talking in the street till the sun goes down."

    Gesturing to the rest of the group, the Abanasian begins to stroll down the street, heading to where she thinks the inn ought to be. "If I may, who are the, ah, conclave, exactly? I understand that they are wizards of significance, but I am not familiar with the, ah, nuances of wizardry hierarchy. I must confess," she continues, with a faintly embarrassed shrug, "that the closest I have come to high mages was the hedge wizard who taught me common." Grayshore pauses, before realizing that this is technically not true, and possibly slightly offensive to one of her companions.

    "Oh, and the lady Sorawyl, of course..."
    Last edited by Mr. E; 2019-07-01 at 03:53 AM.

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    Valorean listened with vested fascination. The life mages chose fascinated him. The Test made theoretical sense, but it baffled him that their organization worked so closely with the apathetic and the evil.
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    I smile at Grayshore. "No, you may have been right the first time. If your hedge wizard language teacher had passed their Test, they would have been closer to the high mage than I. And who knows? Maybe we will need to sleep under a hedge at some point during this trip." It's not impossible, if we end up on some kind of quest out in the countryside, or something.

    I can explain a little about the Orders and the Conclave, if the others are interested. "The Conclave are the leaders of the high sorcery; the greatest and often most powerful wizards in Ansalon, who govern all high sorcerers and administer our laws. They number twenty-one, seven from each Order, so as to ensure balance between the Orders."

    If Valorean questions the alliance between the Orders, I would defend it. "Wizards of all three Orders have to stand together, since there is so much ignorance in the world that, if too many evil arcanists abused their power, it is likely that the public would turn on all of us regardless of the source of our power. By bringing the three Orders together, we can prevent the black robes from spreading too much chaos, and force the white robes down from their high horses when the situation demands it. Ensuring a balance of forces benefits all magic users in the long term."
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    Haligoth


    Within an hour you have arrived in center city, where the architecture, streets, and smell are only marginally better. Haligoth Arms is an impressive five-story structure with large windows and exterior moulding and decorative columns, giving it a Solamnic flair. A doorman with thinning hair and a blue doublet frowns mightily at your approach, taking in your weapons and sea-salt crusted clothes. In accented common, he asks, "May I help you?" in a tone that indicates he very much wishes the answer to be "no."
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    "Two questions, good sir," Jason says to the man. "First, do you have any rooms available? Second, would Aimee Westfield be in? She told us she could be found here."

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    As they waited, Valorean found that he was looking forward to seeing Ms Westfield. Their brief encounter had left him intrigued; he was the most fascinating person he had met in a while.

    To Sora-partially to distract himself and partially out of genuine curiosity-he asked. “If I may ask, what was your Test like? I’ve heard varies accounts.”

    Those accounts mostly discussed the terrible price mages paid for their power.
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    I'm happy to let Jason deal with the doorman. He knows Westfield while I don't, and I'm not exactly looking the part to bull over him with noble privilege right now. I do consider casting prestidigitation to clean our boots before we walk in though...

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    "Ah, I have not yet taken my test. That was why I have been introducing myself as an 'apprentice' wizard." And why I wasn't offended by Grayshore's previous remarks. "I am not lying when I say that my purpose for travelling is to refine my skills - I would not put myself forward for the Test until I knew I was fully prepared."
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    "Two questions, good sir," Jason says to the man. "First, do you have any rooms available? Second, would Aimee Westfield be in? She told us she could be found here."

    "There are, but we cater to an elite clientele." He waits for recognition of whatever he means by that. To your second questions, he says, frowning even more deeply, "And whom do I say is calling unannounced?"
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    "What, is steel not good enough for this place?" Jason asks, annoyed by the man's attitude. "And I am Jason Barker and company, here at Miss Westfield's open invitation to visit."

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    "What tales I've read of the test... It seems very brutal, though I'm sure there's a reason for it. There was a brief period I wanted to become a wizard, but then I met someone who'd passed the test... And just looking at him was enough to change my plans." Eren shivered at the memory of the mage.
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    Darrik Proudfoot, Kender ranger by Gorgon_Heap

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    Haligoth/The Haligoth Arms


    Intentional or unconscious, Jason’s bearing and tone changed, becoming very much the sort of person accustomed to being differed to. The doorman immediately identifies this and judges that even if it’s only an act, he’d better play it safe and at least allow you all in while he sends a runner to Aimie Westfield’s room.

    You are left in a large and highly decorated common chamber featuring a large painting of racing dogs. The décor and furnishings are unusual and must be in some high Qwermish style. The boy returns minutes and informs you your host will be down shortly and a girl comes along offering refreshments.

    You’re not certain what constitutes “shortly,” but a good twenty minutes pass without any sign of her. That is until she is quite suddenly standing among you, having appeared from nowhere. She’s radiant; all rusty curls, gleaming white dress, and a broad smile. Her accent is blandly Solamnic. “Good afternoon, my adventurous friends. So good to see you again. I’m sorry to keep you waiting, but you caught me slaving over my cauldron and I can’t be seen in public in such disarray. I see some faces have changed – hopefully not through some magical accident. Hahaha! Jason, you look dusty but fit. I very much approve. And who’s this, a lady of society, and another practitioner of the Art, I see. A pleasure, madam. Wherever did your Kender get to? He was so very funny. And who are you, sir?

    “I’m afraid I haven’t the time to entertain you for long just now, but you’ve come all this way so the least I can do is allow you to join me for drinks and a light lunch in the tea room. Here we are. Oh don’t mind the animal heads – it’s actually called the Hunt Room, but I have no use for hunting or heads so I call it the tea room. I’m sure it’ll catch on once I’ve soundly enchanted the staff. Hahaha! I’m sure we’ll find time for a proper evening of chitchat in the weeks to come but I’m very busy just now. But here, help yourselves and tell me of your journey and ask what me you will.”




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    Default Re: Ansalonian Adventures IC III

    Grayshore does not, she must admit, feel entirely comfortable or suitably dressed in this setting, which is long on carpet and plush fittings but short (in her mind, at least) on comfortable chairs. In the twenty minutes, she samples at least two of them, before eventually settling for standing by the window in frustration. The food samples are bizarre as well, too small to really do anything, except remind you that you have not yet had a full meal.

    Eventually, and thankfully prior to the end of Grayshore's patience, Ms. Westerfield swaggers into the room, before completely ignoring both her and Valorean. This, Grayshore admits, is entirely in character, as both her and Valorean lack (or at least, Grayshore prefers to assume so) his, ah, assets. Still, as a morsel of comfort, it was not as if they needed to remain in her company for any longer than necessary.

    "Good afternoon," Grayshore says politely, shuffling her previous train of thought aside, "Darrik left us before we crossed to Haligoth. He was called away on, ah, business relating to his faith, though I know not the details. Our new companions are Eren, a chronicler, and the, uh, Lady, ah, Sorawyl." It occurs to Grayshore that she does not understand the ranks of nobility to know if she has described the wizard's title with sufficient accuracy, and looks in Sorawyl's direction, hoping for rescue by one with a better grasp of etiquette.

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