Chapter 3: Visage
In the doorway stood the man wearing the gold cloak. It was an exceptionally crafted piece of clothing, gold thread spun through violet fabric giving the man an elegant, almost royal look. His features were regal as well, as though he was a lord or a prince. Loran didn’t know why his memory had been jogged when he had seen this man in the lower passages but now that he was standing face to face with him, the connection was fading.
“Please, come in. We were just getting settled,” his voice was smooth and silky, every syllable purposefully and perfectly formed. “I’m glad you were able to find us, we had thought you lost in the labyrinth below.”
The group of six companions moved quickly through the streets of Thebes. The sun had fully set and the streets were shrouded in darkness with only a few lanterns lighting the streets. Loran stuck close to Façade, he didn’t completely trust the rest of their companions and he didn’t quite understand what he had gotten himself into. At least Façade knew what he was doing. They made their way towards the Mages Tower near the center of the city.
As they were walking, Loran took the time to study the others he was now traveling with. Two elves, a man and a woman all following one of the tallest dwarfs he had ever seen. Eldaran was wearing what Loran assumed were adventuring clothes, many pockets and buckles adorned his outfit and a long rapier hung from his side. It looked as though he was ready for pretty much any encounter and Loran was glad to have someone who at least looked competent on the outside. He couldn’t say the same for Vera, however. He was wearing a simple black cloak and he carried no visible weapons. Loran caught a glimpse of a tattoo on Vera’s wrist underneath the sleeve of his cloak. Other than that tattoo, he was fairly nondescript. Perhaps he was a monk or a pacifist, Loran couldn’t be sure.
The tavern was like any number of taverns Loran had frequented during his lifetime. The lighting was dim and his nose was overwhelmed with the scent of alcohol and overcooked food. There were a few unsavory characters loitering in the darkest areas of the room but most of the patrons were simple folk unwinding after a long day of work on the docks.
Loran took a swig from the ale in front of him, looked into the mirror on the wall behind the bar and sighed. A long and jagged crack ran the length of the mirror splitting his image in two. How fitting he thought. He finished off his ale and began to turn off his bar stool to leave. Before he fully left the stool, a group of three sitting in the back of the tavern caught his eye, two elves and a man in full plate armor. Now that was certainly an interesting combination of accomplices. Perhaps they were the individuals he was trying to find. He looked around for the barmaid thinking she might know who these characters were. Loran spotted her cleaning up the food she had just spilled into a customer’s lap. He shook his head and started across the room towards the booth the group occupied.