Four strangers wander the streets of Sandpoint. Each one here for their own reasons. The day goes on like any other, people wander about from place to place, going about their lives. A disturbance in the streets draws everyone’s attention as a young cart driver temporarily loses control of his horse team. The beasts whinny and rear fearfully, as if some foul scent has caught their nostrils. A young half-elven man steps out onto the street to calm the animals and soon brings them back under control. The driver thanks the half elf for his assistance and drives his team on.
A pale woman, clad in armor makes her way down the street. Something in a nearby window catches her eye and she stops to looks. Inside she spies a wide brimmed hat, which swoops dramatically from a downward curve on one side to an upward curve on the other. A large b;lack feather, no doubt from some mystical beast adorns the hat and complements the red crushed velvet well. Her instincts screamed at her. She had to have it, and a short conversation with the store owner later, it was hers.
A young halfing sits on a barrel near an alley. Enjoying a simple lunch of bread and water, she idly breaks off a small piece of bread and offers it to the small mouse sitting comfortably in her breast pocket. She spies a woman exiting a small clothing shop, proudly displaying her gaudy red hat. Disdain fills the halfings heart. A silent rage against those who spend simply for their pleasure when there are so many more who can barely afford the most basic foods. She finishes her meal and walks away, fuming. She finds her way to a sideshow. A small house promising to show it’s guests “the true horrors of Taltos.” Needing something to distract her, she fancies a go.
Inside she finds paintings telling the history of Taltos. A small series tells of the great Hakiri Empire, which once claimed Taltos as part of it’s empire. The paintings told the story of how the Hakiri would bury their dead kings in “the great garden,” so that they may enjoy it’s beauty in the afterlife. The paintings show the corruption of the Great Necropolis, a sprawling city dedicated to housing the bodies of ancient kings and their warriors. Now it is a dark place, ruled by the restless dead.
A second exhibit tells of the man-eating lizardmen to the west. The savage Reptus. A single painting displays a crowd of the lizard folk attending a sacrificial ritual, as a priest atop a great pyramid rips the heart from a human and offers it to it’s ancient gods.
The last exhibit is curtained off from the others, guarded by a sign declaring it’s gruesome nature. Unfaltering, the halfing enters. She is greeted by a series of paintings depicting the fall of Denelspire. Men, women and children lay at the mercy of the darkspawn, who torture their victims with sadistic glee. Their alabaster skin mottle by the blood of their victims. After this final display, the halfing needed a drink.
At a crowded intersection a young maiden with fair blue hair stands listening. In the crowd ahead of her she watches a madman rant and rave about the coming evil. Creatures from the deep who will one day rise up and reclaim the surface. She gets closer and listens to the mans speech. She inquires as to his acting troupe and if he were performing. The lunatic pays no heed and continues to warn those around them.
Evening. The half elf man makes his way to the Fiery Grog Tavern to find food and rest for the night. On his way he spots a half orc thug browbeating an old man into buying his wares. Not wishing to cause any trouble, he continues on to the tavern and makes his way inside.
The tavern is roaring with life. In the center stands a large glass water tank, inside a beautiful merfolk performs a hypnotizing ribbon dance. Patrons from all walks gather here to enjoy good ale and company. The bartender calls out, looking for those who wish to take the Fiery Grog Challenge. A blue haired woman accepts, as do a pale woman with raven hair, and a halfing woman. They introduce themselves as Callie, Hikari and Fayella. The barkeep produces three mugs of a foul smelling, viscous liquid. He strikes a match and lights the liquids on fire. Round one.
Hikari, unaccustomed to the liqueurs of this foreign land, immediately spews her drink on a nearby half elf. The other two women finish their drafts. Callie finishes the second round, while Fayella seems to of had enough, as she falls drunkenly to the floor. The final round, only Callie still stands. The bar grows quiet as everyone’s eyes fall on her. She tilts the mug and slays the contents within, declaring her victory with a mighty belch. The crowd erupts.
Hikari apologizes to the young half elf. He introduces himself as Fenric, and the four find their way to Hikari’s table. With dismay, she realizes that her hat, which had been left at the table, is nowhere to be seen.
The dancer finishes her routine and exits the tank. She walks to the stairs up, but is accosted by some drunken dwarves. Callie steps in, trying to defuse the situation, but the dwarves only leer and jeer. Hikari and Fayella aid her. Callie’s suggestions fall on deaf ears and the lead dwarf throws a punch. A brawl breaks out. The three women against the four dwarves. Fenric leaves to find the bouncer.
Outside, the half orc bouncer seems uninterested, seeing as how the patrons kept to their fists and used no magic. Fenric goes back inside to try and aid his new friends. Inside, the fight escalates. The fighters trade blows, but no one has fallen. Beset on both sides, Hikari reaches for her sword. Before she can draw, a faint mist drops over the fighters. As drowsiness takes over their senses, the fighters slump to the floor. Confused, Fenric looks behind him to spot the source of the magic. It seems the bouncer finally decided to step in and prevent the violence from escalating.
end part one