In every dream
Lies the possibility of a nightmare
Will your hope turn to despair
And lead you down a path you cannot return from
No fate is set in stone
Until the moment it becomes too late to change
Froura. A city that is always changing. While not as crowded as the early days of the appearance of The Dungeon a steady stream of outsiders came to the city every day. While the majority of them were merchants, or travelers drawn there by the intrigue of the dungeon and those who delve it, there were many still who came to attempt to conquer that place. Despite that none had come close to this day.
"It's rather sad, isn't it?"
"What is, my lord."
The mage looked out their window. Watching as people, travelers and otherwise, spilled through the streets. "They go about their lives without knowing anything. And they will end their lives much the same." A small, sardonic, smile. "Though perhaps it is us who know who are the truly sad ones. How goes the preparations?"
"No change. That is to say they go well."
"And the other families?"
"No sign of any interest from them."
A sigh. "As usual. It was the intention yet it still is disappointing."
A dismissive wave followed. "Continue at the same pace. Let them flail about in the dark. Time is on our side. None of them will reach The Spark. Not before we finish. And then it will not matter."
They slumped back and tore their gaze from the window. "And then this sad scene will finally end."
The young lady, mage of the Fereis family, woke in the early hours of the morning as usual. Though these past few days have been somewhat different than the norm.
She had met and joined up with a pair of rather surprising individuals. Up until now she had traveled into The Dungeon with members of the Fereis family. And even then usually not for long. Yet now she would be in the company of strangers. Commnofolk at that.
This was something her mother very clearly didn't approve of.
Which was, once again, the topic of discussion, if one could call it that, at the breakfast table. The long table seated several other Fereis family members. Though the head of the family was absent. A usual occurrence as the young man hardly ever took meals with the rest anymore.
The room itself was rather grand. Tapestries lined the walls and a great chandelier, candles lit with blue flame, hung above the table. Which itself was a massive thing. Dozens of seats lined either side. Though only several of them were filled at the moment. A contrast that, perhaps, spoke to the abundance of wealth even the smallest of the major families had.
Her mother's voice was kept low, attempting to avoid the attention of the others, but the sharp tone carried despite the volume. "I will say it again. I do not approve of you going off with some rabble. You must explore The Dungeon of course, it is the duty of ever member, but do so with the family. It may be slower than some of those foolhardy 'adventurers' but it is the way we have always done things. You won't have this option to be so carefree once you're the h-once you're older so I do not see why you would break from the tradition now."
There was a sour look on her face and the woman's eyes flicked over towards the chair at the end of the table. Which was where the family head would sit. When her gaze went back to her daughter she let out a sigh. "I wish you would avoid those others, Estellise, I truly do."
The Drooling Dragon. It was a rather uncouth name for an establishment. The sign that hung outside its door even more so. A fat dragon, sleeping on a pile of stones, with a waterfall of drool dripping down its face.
Despite the name, and the sign, the beds in the rooms that made up the upper two floors of the large building were rather comfortable. For most travelers that is.
Christopher woke up in the morning to the noise of people outside. Even from the third floor, which contained the rooms reserved for those planning to stay more than a few nights, he could hear the voices coming in from the small window above the bed.
The sunlight shining directly on his face didn't help matters.
Nor did the dry heaving he could hear from the neighboring room. Belonging to someone who most likely had spent too long in the tavern last night.
Once he made his way down to the ground floor he would find the tavern nearly empty. Only the most dedicated, or most downtrodden, of souls tended to come to the tavern this early. So it was mostly those who rented rooms. Eating the rather simple breakfast the bar owner provided them.
Most of those that were there that morning were sat up at the bar itself. The many tables were empty. The stools having not even been put down on them. In the corner the small stage was even more empty. The musicians that usually used it wouldn't come in for a few more hours.
There were several spots where, instead of the usual tables, there were areas set up for various games of chance, skill, and strength. Though those too, this early, were empty. Barring one table where two large men arm wrestled. Neither giving the other an inch despite the strain that was clear in both of their faces.
The bartender noticed as Christopher made his way down the steps and gave him a nod. The man was rather tall. Standing at six feet even. Though his fine, for a commoner, clothing covered his body well they still strained at places due to the muscles that hid underneath.
His name was Hector, Christopher had learned, and there were a wide variety of rumors about the man. The most prevalent and wild of them being that he had once been a mercenary and on one job had knocked out a dragon with a single punch.
"Mornin'." He called out. His voice low and unassuming yet strong. "Did you slept well, kid? I know Donald had a late night. Hope he didn't wake you." Hector nodded to a nearby empty barstool. "How about you sit down and I'll get you a bite to eat."
The Riverside Church, as its name implies, was a church located near a river. More specifically the river that ran across the city near its center and cuts the area in almost two sections.
It was a smaller church, able to hold only several dozen faithful, but Lana had been directed there because the priest who took care of it was known for helping out travelers down on their luck free of charge. As long as they were willing to do some minor work around the place in return.
The room she was given was small as well. Hardly more than a closet. But it had a bed, and a small, simple, table where a candle was set. As well as a rather large, circular, window that she could see one section of the river from.
There was a noise. Something creaking. It wasn't unusual for a building like this to have such noises but these seemed somewhat louder than normal. Which was odd as, until the priest comes in later in the day to set up, there shouldn't be anyone else there. The priest's home was nearby but not attached and there were no other guests.
Whether the noise prompted the girl to get up to investigate right away or not she would find the place empty.
Though a door leading to the graveyard out back was partially opened.
Before she could check, were she inclined, the main door opened and the priest walked in. He was a short man but still fit despite his age. His head was bald and the only hair he had left was a neat mustache, still mostly black but greying, and he wore heavy robes whenever he was at the church.
His grey eyes looked inquisitive as he saw Lana up and about. "Good morning, child, is something the matter?" He then noticed the door on the other end open and a smile crossed his face. "Ah, I see she has come earlier than normal. If you were worried about that no need to. It's my daughter, you see, she tends to visit this place. Though usually not at this time. You've been here a few days now but I suppose you never did meet her. If you'd like to say hello you're free to. Though, I could use some help setting up for the sermon later, if you don't mind."