Cities always make me nervous – for about the first ten minutes. It’s an adjustment period, those ten minutes, of coming away from the quiet serenity of the monastery. I have spent almost equal time in my life between cities and the plains, both of which have made me who I am.
Pact is no different from any city, except, perhaps, that it’s bigger. There are cutpurses lurking around every corner, shops filled with shiny things that I can’t help but wish I could examine more closely, and there are buildings taller than anything but the mountains.
I step off the boat and let Basil stretch his legs (and I think, for his own amusement, he is stretching his jaws, too) while I help Clarke get the cask off of the ship. It is the oldest and finest wine, casked in the year of the kings’ birth, brought here as his birthday gift.
A half-elf walks towards me with what looks like confused intent. She introduces herself as an oracle, and says that she’s supposed to meet me. Oracles are the oddest sort – they always have to do things, and it eeks me a little to imagine that little of free will. She says she saw me in her dreams, and as much as I understand spiritual journeys, I decide that we can spend a little time together, but one step wrong and Basil will have a bite.
We wander through the city heading to our respective locations (after I bought a GOOD map), until I tell her about the Tower of the Archmage, where the University is, since it’s too far for her to see. The sight of it next to the Keep is beautiful, but she seems distracted with the idea of going into the tower – specifically the roof. I tell her I’ll take her there later.
I drop off Clarke, the cask, and my good welcome to the church, then met back up with the oracle. She walks into the place without a trouble, but I guess a tiger and a druid walking into a wizard’s house is a little unusual, so the guards pulled me aside. They asked me about fixing a door, and there was a fair bit of confusion over what kind of druid I was, but when I told them I was with the oracle, they let me through.
Has anyone ever said that there are too many steps in places with mages? Because there are. Billions of steps, and even my strength wasn’t enough to keep me going without some breaks. In their observatory, a few of the “mages” told us about the door – how there had been an alchemical explosion that ruined the door and destroyed their store. We ask about getting to the roof, and it turns out we need “staff” to get us there. The oracle decides we should keep walking up anyway, so we do. For a while. And then, I give up and decide to go back down to look at the results of the explosion.
Partway down, I see a shiny thing off the stairs that grabs my attention – some sort of magical elevator with halfling and a human in it. I grab their attention and ask if we can use the elevator to go up to the roof. The halfling agrees, so long as we do some work for him helping restore their inventory that got knocked around by the explosion. It affords me a chance to investigate, so I agree without hesitation, and we go get the oracle.
So after all this trouble, we finally get to the roof – the windy awful roof – and after a little bit, it turns out that we’re there at the wrong time to fulfill the oracle’s vision.
I guess we’ll try again tomorrow.