Now that the group had made their way inside Xylon, Riffen was set on his mission to find Lillian Evergreen. His closest friend, and Captain of the Frost Haven Royal Guard, had fled the city of Frost Haven after a night of drinking and studying in the library. During this, Riffen had confessed his love for her which caused Lillian to leave in the middle of the night. Now Riffen had left Frost Haven and traveled with the group to Xylon in order to find Lillian Evergreen and bring her home.
Riffen left the group outside The Pilgrim’s Rest and made his way towards the city gate. He was sure that the city guards would have the information he needed so he could find Lillian within the large city.
“Excuse me,” Riffen said as he approached a Dwarf Woman.
The woman turned to him and looked up to meet his eyes.
The Dwarf was adorned in shiny, iron armor with blue adornments, a Dwarven Ax, and a shield which showed Mardrec’s crest. Three interlocking hands forming a triangle of arms.
“Yes?” The Dwarf asked.
“Hello, I’m searching for someone who might have entered the city over the past couple of days,” Riffen said.
“You’re going to have to be a lot more specific than that. People come in and out of the city all the time,” The woman said.
“Her name is Lillian Evergreen. Human woman with dark, black hair. She is about my age and height. Riding by herself on horseback. She…”
Riffen hesitated to give out too much information. Anything he said could be drawn back to him and he didn’t want to bring any unwanted attention to himself. He was a royal in a new city. He wasn’t sure if he was safe here.
“Well she doesn’t sound familiar. But I can ask around among the other guards. With multiple gates to the city and rotating shifts of guards, its possible she entered without coming into contact with me. Again, lots of people coming in and out of this place,” She said.
“What about inns and places to stay in the city?” Riffen asked.
“Well there’s The Pilgrim’s Rest. It’s the closest Inn to this gate and serves mostly travelers and newcomers. There’s The Golden Hare. That’s a place for rich diplomats and other expensive types. There’s White Hat. It’s a mid-level bar that will serve whoever walks in. That’s near the Eastern Gate. Also there is Dust Rock. That’s a local watering hole filled with miners after they get off work. You can find it on the Western Part of Town,” The Dwarf explained.
“Thank you so much,” Riffen said.
As he turned, the Dwarf reached out her hand and grabbed Riffen’s wrist.
“Wait a minute,” She said and Riffen stopped.
“You came into the city with a group of other adventurers. And you are searching for another newcomer to our city. I’m just wondering what your purpose is in the city,” The Dwarf said.
“I’m searching for a friend who ran away from her life to come here. I’m just trying to find her and take her home,” Riffen said.
“But not against her will, right?” The Dwarf’s eyes narrowed.
“No! No! Of course not!” Riffen said.
“Good. Don’t cause trouble,” The Dwarf said releasing Riffen. “Good luck on your search.”
“Thanks,” Riffen said rubbing his wrist.
He turned and began walking through the city towards the western part and The White Hat.
As Riffen walked through Xylon, he thought about the crest he saw on the woman’s shield. The crest of Mardrec. The three arms interlocked which symbolized togetherness and unity. Mardrec emphasized both unity and diversity as their strengths and just looking at Xylon would tell you that. The city was large and diverse. Riffen saw Humans and Elves walking through the city as well as Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings. He was surprised to see an occasional Half-Orc or Tiefling walking the streets.
Riffen was a Half-Elf that stuck out like a sore thumb in the Human Kingdom of Soulon, but here, he blended in nicely. No one cared if he had pointy ears because lots of people had them and some people even had red, blue, or green skin.
A brief thought crossed his mind that it might be nice to live in a place where he could blend in instead of stand out, but this thought was followed by another. He felt a pain in his stomach. He missed home. He missed his father and mother. He missed the snowy ground of winter and the large, pine trees surrounding Frost Haven. Riffen thought about staying here but he knew he had to make it home.
After walking through the streets and talking to some of the locals, Riffen tracked down White Hat Inn on the Eastern part of the city. Over the door hung a sign which was a pure white top hat and a Elven Bard sat outside and played its lyre for coin.
Riffen walked past and entered the bar. The bar was currently empty of patrons, but there was an older human man wiping down the bar.
“Hello traveler,” The bartender turned his attention to Riffen. “What can I do for you?”
“Hello. I’m looking for someone who I believe may be staying in your Inn,” Riffen said.
“Well I do have a few rooms that are occupied at the moment,” The man said.
“I’m looking for a human woman with black hair. Wearing good armor and probably stored a horse as well,” Riffen said.
The man looked Riffen over and Riffen saw a hint of a furrowed brow. His eyes seem to dart away from Riffen for a brief moment.
“I’m sorry Sir, I don’t know who you are talking about. Wish I could help,” The bartender said.
Riffen took a few steps forward towards the bar and rested his elbows on the bar.
“Please if you know anything, it would be really helpful,” Riffen said.
He reached into his bag and pulled out a scroll that Thrix had given him when he was leaving Frost Haven. Riffen unrolled it and showed the bartender the scroll.
“I am a diplomat from Soulon and this person is a war criminal that is hiding out in the city. She is a danger to you and everyone else in Xylon. If she is here, you need to tell me,” Riffen said.
“War Criminal?” The man’s eyes went wide.
“Keep your voice down,” Riffen said. “This is a matter of Soulon and I’d rather handle this without scaring people and causing a huge scene.”
“Right. Uh… There’s a woman here that sounds like the one you described. She got here yesterday and rented out a room for a week,” The man said.
“Where is she now?” Riffen asked.
“I saw her leave about an hour ago. I believe she was heading towards a Blacksmith.”
“Tell me where this blacksmith is,” Riffen said.
“The Ironfang Forge. When you leave here, you’ll turn right and head down the street. It’s six buildings down. You can’t miss it.”
“Thank you Sir, I appreciate your help. Remember to keep this between us. I will handle it,” Riffen said.
Riffen stuffed the scroll back into his bag and left to go find Lillian.
Riffen made his way down the street and saw a sign overhanging a building. It was a wolf with flames on the sides.
He entered the shop to see a large forge burning and two people standing next to it. One of them was was a Dwarven man wearing a smock and covered in black soot and coal dust. He had a hammer in one hand and a piece of heated metal in the other.
The second person standing near the forge was a woman that Riffen was familiar with.
They both turned and saw Riffen standing in the doorway.
“Hello -” The Blacksmith said.
“Riffen?” Lillian interrupted. “What are you doing here?”
“You know this man?” The Blacksmith looked between Lillian and Riffen.
“Yes I do. Excuse me,” Lillian said.
“Lillian-” Riffen began.
“Outside. Now,” Lillian said grabbing Riffen’s arm.
“Miss. What about the shield?”
“Keep working on it,” Lillian said as she dragged Riffen out of The Ironfang Forge and out into the streets of Xylon.
Header Photo Credit to Dafne Ekler (@By_dafne)