Our band of misfits went West early in the morning to look for jobs in Sentriol. We arrived in the late afternoon and stood in wonder as we looked all around us at the suspended buildings and blimps. Almost every building hovered above the earth and the blimps were at heights not feasible to the common mind. An ear piercing hiss resounded from a large brass tube with doors on it. It had its own building and seemed to also levitate. People were walking onto it and sitting. The building was now empty. Then, it moved. “What the hell is that?” Uther glanced back, “It’s called a ‘train’. You know, for someone as smart as you claim to be, you really are easily amused.” I simply stared at the departing “train”. We wandered over to the city’s main square and looked for a job posting board. We finally located it next to a tavern. There were two postings, one was for the retrieval of someone’s lost cat, and the other was a colorful poster that promised adventure and “Treasure beyond your wildest dreams”. There was a small illustration of two cartoon-ish characters skipping happily into a cave. Thog suddenly spoke up, “THOG LOVE KITTY!” It was quite frightening. Uther calmed him down, “No, Thog, we’re taking the other one because it pays more.” Thog slumped over, “Aww, Thog sad…” And so, we set off to the listed address to accept the job.
We arrived at the address to find a large, elaborate mansion. Gold spirals adorned corners of windows and green magitek-enforced brick walls. Huge columns towered over the entrance, and we approached the front door. I noticed the small bell cord and tugged on it. The bell rang and a butler appeared, “What business do you ruffian have at such an estate as Huvering Heights?” We stood awkwardly for a moment before I responded, “We’re here to accept the job offer you posted on the job bulletin.” It was more an inquiry than a statement. The butler eyed us for a moment, “I see… Very well, I suppose you’ll have to do. Follow me.” He retreated into the mansion and we stepped in soon after.
As we entered the mansion, there were two giant marble staircases that led into a balcony which hung over the hall to the kitchen. The rooms upstairs were the sleeping quarters, to our left was the dining hall, and to our immediate right was a large office that was full of shelves with various books and accounts. The walls inside the office were white, and on the right side opposite the book cases, two tall bay windows with gold frames and green curtains, almost blocked entirely by stacks of scrolls and other miscellaneous office supplies, were drawn open to let in what little light could get through. As we stepped into the office, a disheveled but nonetheless aristocratic gentleman raised his head from a monetary report on his desk. “What are these that you have brought to me?” The butler straightened his posture, “They’ve come to accept your posting, sir.” The man behind the desk sat only slightly straighter as he inquired our names. I had pondered briefly whether or not to present myself as humble, but decided to go ahead and give my future title. “I,” I paused for effect, “am the Great and Powerful Balzac.” I gave a slight bow to take the edge off of my boastful introduction. The man sat still for a moment, then stood and inquired, “A peculiar name. Tell me, what guild or authority has issued you this title of, ‘Great’, and ‘Powerful’?” I hadn’t quite planned for that. I cleared my throat, “I work under no title but my own.” The man seemed unimpressed, “Well, you’ll work under me as ‘The Great and Arrogant Balzac’.” He turned to his next hopeful employee, “Who are you?” Uther provided as much enthusiasm as he received, “I am Uther, Uther Lightbringer.” Then he nodded towards Thog, “He’s Thog, but he’s not much for speaking.” The man sat back down and pulled out three envelopes with tickets in them, “The details are as follows: Tomorrow morning you’ll take the train to Keyrol. Once you arrive, I’ll arrange for a guide to escort you into town. Near the town are some ancient ruins. I need you three” he pointed and paused briefly to assure he was understood, “to go into those ruins and find evidence that suggest that magitek was used far before our time.” He stopped and thought for a moment before adding, “The more resources you bring, the more you get paid. The base payment is 300 gold. Now, go.” The butler swiftly moved to escort us out, and it was at this time that I noticed the strangeness of our employer’s request. He had said “you three”, but weren’t there four of us? I quickly glanced around to look for The Wanderer, but he was nowhere to be seen. I wondered if he had entered the mansion at all.
Uther, Thog, and I decided we should get our rest, and headed to an inn for the night. Tomorrow, finally, our journey would begin.