The group of adventurers stood in the streets of Xylon, right outside the stables near The Pilgrim’s Rest. Each of them had their own missions to get to.
“I guess we make our separate ways,” Sigthyme said.
“I guess so,” Riffen said.
“Look we don’t have to just say goodbye now, right?” Juniper replied. “We are all in town for at least one more day.”
“Right,” Tak said.
“We can go about the city on our own and meet back at The Pilgrim’s Rest for dinner tonight,” Juniper said.
“Sounds like a great plan,” Sigthyme said.
“Grace, you’re with me right?” Juniper asked her.
“Yup!” Grace smiled.
“Great, let’s go,” Juniper said and Grace and her peeled off from the group.
“I’m going to go talk to the city guard. They must have seen Lillian,” Riffen said. “See you two later tonight.”
The three of them split leaving just Sigthyme and Tak by themselves.
“Well, big guy. I guess it’s just us now. What do you want to do?” Sigthyme asked as he turned towards Tak.
Tak’s eyes watched Juniper and Grace disappear into the crowd as they made their way deeper into the city.
“Uh, Tak?” Sigthyme asked. “What are you looking at?”
Tak blinked and looked down at Sigthyme.
“Nothing,” Tak said bluntly.
“Sure,” Sightyme said. “Did you want to go deeper into the city?”
“Too many people,” Tak said shaking his head.
“Alright. Well we talked about finding an adventuring party to join up with once we arrived here, right? There’s got to be a few groups around here that slay monsters and find treasure.”
Tak looked at his war hammer and gave a slight smile.
“Slay monsters,” Tak said.
“Maybe keep that thing in a less scary position,” Sigthyme glanced at the hammer. “The guards were already unsure of you and that hammer probably won’t help with that.”
Sigthyme picked up on the fact that other travelers and the citizens were shocked and surprised to see someone like Tak in their city. Nearby guards were on edge as their eyes didn’t leave Tak.
“Not good with people,” Tak said.
“Don’t worry. That’s why you’re with me. I’m the talker and you’re the muscle,” Sigthyme said.
“Great! Now let’s go see if we can find some monster hunters!”
Sigthyme and Tak traveled along the outside edge of Xylon, making sure to avoid the large crowds that occupied the more central parts of the city. Eventually Tak and Sigthyme found a food vendor on the North-Eastern part of the city. They ate a light lunch and talked with the owner. Sigthyme used his quick whit and a wink to figure out that there are three main adventuring guilds within the city: The Robinhearts, The Pact of Thorns, and The Titan’s League. The owner suggested that newcomers like them might have the best chance with The Titan’s League which was always looking for adventurers and monster hunters.
“Hunt monsters!” Tak said.
“I guess it is decided then. We’ll meet with The Titan’s League,” Sigthyme said.
Sigthyme thanked the food vendor and left a few silver as a thanks before they made their way toward’s the Titan’s League.
Tak and Sigthyme found themselves outside of a stone building with a statue of a beast emerging from above the door. The creature had three heads: one of a goat, one of a lion, and one of a dragon.
“Look, Tak. That’s a Chimera,” Sigthyme said.
Tak looked up at the statue.
“Chi…chim… What is it?” Tak asked.
“They are creatures that I’ve only heard about in stories. They are supposebly very dangerous. It can bite, slash, gore, and breathe fire,” Sigthyme explained.
Tak gripped his hammer’s hilt tighter.
“We will fight it,” Tak said.
“I don’t think so, Tak. That thing would kill us and eat us before you could even say it’s name.”
Tak’s brow narrowed.
“I could fight it.”
“Sure, big guy. Anyway, we don’t have to. It’s just a statue of it mounted above the door. It’s not the real thing,” Sightyme said. “Now let’s go inside.”
Sigthyme walked towards the wooden door and began to open it. Tak gave the Chimera a glare before he followed in behind.
They made their inside to a large, open room that had a fire pit in its center. Right now it was just a few burning embers, but Sightyme thought that this could serve as a large source of heat or a large cooking station. They began to approach the pit, when they heard a voice from the back of the room.
“I told you, Niko. I don’t have your basilisk venom yet.”
An older Dwarvish man emerged from the back room, but stopped when he saw Sigthyme and Tak.
“Oh. You’re not Niko,” He said.
“Uh, no we’re not. My name is Sigthyme and this here is Tak.”
“Ah, a Goliath. I haven’t seen one of you for such a long time. Not since I was leading a hunting party in the Gaea foothills. Joined up with a clan to hunt down a Roc that was terrorizing the nearby town. Great times,” The Dwarf let out a belly laugh.
“Rock. Like rock?” Tak asked while making a small cupping gesture with his hands.
“No Tak, not like a stone. Roc as in a large bird,” Sigthyme said.
“The largest you’ve ever seen. Beak that can pierce the toughest armor and wings that blow up winds so strong, it can topple houses,” The Dwarvish man said.
“And you fought it with clan?” Tak asked.
“Aye. Brought it down and we split the bird evenly. I got the feathers which were worth their weight in gold while the Goliaths got the meat and bones. I took the beak and fashioned it into a shield while the eyes went to some hag who used them to brew some potions or something.”
The Dwarvish man scratched his head.
“It has been some time since I told that story.”
He spoke until his words began to trail off.
“Ummm…Sir. Are you in charge of The Titan’s League?” Sigthyme asked.
“Oh how rude of me. The name is Noruid Loftholder. I’m the head patriarch of The Titan’s League. Started it about fifty years ago just as Xylon began to strike gold. Now I run the place, recruiting the best of monster hunters,” Noruid said. “Is that you two are here?”
“Smash!” Tak raised his war hammer, nearly hitting one of the roofbeams.
“Ha ha! This once is excited,” Noruid said.
“Well, Sir. We are both interested in joining an adventuring group. One that will lead us to fame and fortune,” Sigthyme said.
“Fame and fortune. Now you sound like one of those try hards over at The Robinhearts. All they care about is being the center of attention and having gold thrown at them like they are some fate-touched heroes. Back in my day, it was all about the thrill of the hunt. Monsters would rampage across the land, and it was up to us to take them down!”
Noruid began to choke over his words and started to cough. He pulled a crumbled up handkerchief and began to cough into it.
“Excuse me,” He mumbled.
“I didn’t mean to offend. We also care about hunting monsters and the glory of the hunt,” Sigthyme said.
“Sure, sure,” Noruid said.
He looked over at Tak.
“This one knows what it is like to live out in the wild with only the stars to keep him company. Pressing your ear to the ground so you can hear the beast coming from miles away, aren’t I right, Goliath?”
Tak looked over at Sigthyme, who just shrugged.
“He wants to fight tough foes and feel the glory of overcoming his enemies and pulling victory from the jaws of a ferocious beast,” Noruid said. “But why are you here?”
“Like I said, Sir. We are both interested in joining The Titan’s League,” Sigthyme said.
“Well you’re lucky that we’ve got a few open bunks,’ Noruid said. “Both of you may join if you wish.”
“Smash monsters!” Tak said with a large smile plastered on his face.
“Thank you, Sir,” Sigthyme said. “If I may ask. Why are you down a few people?”
“I sent a group of six up The Vern Road to check out reports of Treants near Augendale. Haven’t heard any word of them for almost a week now,” Noruid said.
“Is it normal for members to go missing like that?” Sigthyme asked.
“It’s not unheard of. Hunting monsters is dangerous business, but our clients pay well to keep the beasts at bay. If we don’t hunt them, they will continue to spill into our towns and cities until the wild will reclaim the cities.”
“Yeah I guess that makes sense,” Sigthyme said.
Noruid turned back towards the door he emerged from.
“Could be those damn Elves again…” He muttered to himself, barely audible to Sigthyme.
“What was that?” Sigthyme asked.
“Your trial will be tomorrow,’ Noruid said loudly. “If you pass the trial, you will join the ranks of The Titan’s League.”
“What if we don’t pass?” Sigthyme asked.
Noruid just laughed as he left the room.
“I guess we have to pass,” Sigthyme said.
“Easy,” Tak said as he flexed his muscles.
“Yeah, easy for you to say. Come on, Tak. Let’s head back to The Pilgrim’s Rest. I wonder what the rest of the group has been up to.”
Tak nodded and they left through the front door.
Again Tak gave a glare to the Chimera before heading back towards their resting place for the evening.
It was almost time for supper and the group was going to eat together one last time before parting ways.