At Maeda's school house, finding the teacher was easy; there was only one long hall, with a few shelves where the children stored their own belongings in named holes. Next was the classroom where Maeda
was showing the students a map of the Frontier, using illusion magic to create a large translucent map for them to see. "Here children, the Frontier Town is in the Grandall Empire. The town pays taxes to the empire yearly in order to maintain support and supplies from outside of the town. That being said, because we're so far away from other towns or cities, the Grandall Empire doesn't really have many soldiers or people here in the Frontier Town."
Maeda waved her hand at the illusion to zoom in over the town itself. "That's because of these great mountains that separate our town from the rest of the empire. It took many brave people to cross these mountains and build a road up to here, but because no one knows what's on the other side of the mountains, no one from the Empire wants to move here. But thanks to the mayor and people like your parents, we now have a nice little town here, and when you grow up to be rich and successful people, you could help make this town even better."
Maeda said with a motherly tone which made many of the students start asking questions. She took them all in stride, answering ones that were actually important but also indulging in their childlike curiosity.
One of the children, a dwarf from the looks of it due to his notable beard, asked about the monsters around the Frontier. This was when Maeda looked a bit mournful as she changed the illusion to show off various "monsters" around the Frontier Town. The first appeared to be a troll; it was a sickly green looking creature with long, gnarled claws, messy hair, and clothed with only a single loin cloth. The next creature was a some sort of hag; she had hair like seaweed, fingers that curled into talons, and a sickly looking demeanor. And lastly, there was the rotting form of a zombie, armed in the ruined armor of the local militia and wielding a longsword. "There are many monsters out here in the Frontier. One of the most dangerous monsters are trolls; these large, green giants are very strong and like to eat people like you and me. Worse, even when you attack them, they can quickly heal their wounds. However you can beat them if you use something like fire. Then there are the hags, evil witches who live in the forest. They use evil magic to corrupt the animals and spirits around the Frontier, or can even use their magic on you! They take children like you so they can eat or use for their dark rituals. Which is why you shouldn't go into the forests by yourself; they're always watching and waiting to snatch little children up!"
This got a terrified cry from the students as Maeda motioned for them to calm down. With a hint of magic.
Finally there was the last creature who one of the students asked about, correctly guessing it to be an undead. "Indeed, this is an undead. This one is specifically a zombie, a type of undead who still has flesh and bones. Undead are created by necromancers, people who use magic to control life and death, often to torment and attack people. But Undead are also created when a dead body isn't properly buried. When someone dies in this world and they aren't given a proper burial or cremation, there's a chance that their bodies will come back as a zombie, attacking anyone nearby. Because of how dangerous the Frontier Town is, a lot of people have died before we could get a chance to bury them. Some of those people were folks who lived in these lands long before we came here, but who's bodies still roam. That's why we have the paladins of Pharasma here in the Frontier Town to help tend to the people who died, and to fight the undead."
The children had many more questions, and once Maeda answered them she dismissed the children to go eat lunch. Next she lesson was going to be about geography and the lands around the Frontier Town. It was only after class was over that Maeda noticed Livia. Dismissing the illusion the arachne adjusted her glasses and bowed her head. "Greetings! I'm sorry for not noticing you at first, my name is Maeda, I'm a teacher here in the Frontier Town. You look a bit too old to be one of my regular students, but a bit too young to be a mother. How can I help you?"@Rune_Alchemist
The young man chose subtly to escape the hawks. He sneaked on pass them, and for a while it seemed to work. They were so busy engrossing themselves in their meal that they likely wouldn't have paid him too much mind even if he didn't try to be sneaky. However there was only one problem; these they were relatively small creatures themselves, they had quite an appetite and were far too efficient in tearing apart the fox carcass. There was nothing left but fluff and bones by the time they finished eating the unfortunate creature, literally seconds after Ethan was only ten feet ahead of them on the path towards the village. They raised their heads and looked around, then suddenly their eyes were on Ethan.
If he ran now, he might be able to outrun them. Perhaps if he ran somewhere deeper in the forest, he could hide from them again. But surely, these were only two birds. Perhaps he could defeat them using a stick or even his bare hands. How hard could these two bloodied birds of prey be?@Searat
The dwarf chuckled. "You know you could just ask for my name? I'm Ashley Blacksteel."
The dwarf smirked and hefted her hammer onto her shoulder. She seemed a bit curious when Kael mentioned he was looking for his father, but then he changed the subject about the temple so she spoke about that instead. "Ah, a squire or initiate? I know we've got a lot of paladins and knight errant types who came to the Frontier to experience fighting evil or some such. Unfortunately, this temple is focused more on Torag's services and practices, namely in industry and smithing. Now don't quote me on this, but I'm sure we can still accept paladins so long as they follow Torag's teachings and uphold his ethics, as well as have the abilities of a paladin. Buts as for training to become a paladin here?"
The dwarf scratched her chin. "Well I suppose you could learn Torag's teachings and the spirituality here. As well as a way around the anvil. Maybe even a little magic. But as for the physical, martial training, you'll have to work with the garrison for that. I'm the only martially trained member of the temple here and well... I'm still sharpening up my skills at the Garrison myself."
However instead of seeming meek about it, the young woman puffed out her chest and pounded her chest with a closed fist. "That being said, I'm arguably the best trainee at the garrison. Stick with me and you'll be a paladin in no time. Consider me your senior."@Guy0fV4lor
Reaching the Salt Lake took some time, but soon enough Antaeus had arrived, following the trail left behind by the White Stag. The Salt Lake, sure enough, was devoid of much plant life around it; not even algae grew in the high sodium content waters. The trees ended near the shoreline, but fortunately for Antaeus there was still some sort of a trail to follow; deer tracks. While it was almost impossibly to see which one was the White Stag and which one might've belong to another stag or deer, he would at least know that the trail continues through the lake. Perhaps the Stag wasn't alone. Or maybe more deer simply followed after him. But aside from the trail, there wasn't much else for Antaeus to see even as he actively looked.
There was the salt lake, vast as it was, and in the distance he could vaguely make out the stream that brought the sediment and water into the lake. The ground here was somewhat rocky, not so much that footing would be poor, but rocky enough that he could pick up a sizable stone. Nothing he wasn't unaccustomed to working in the mines. And as far as threats, none that he could see from his hidden vantage point. If there was one double-edge sword when it came to the salt lake's lack of vegetation around it, it was that the lack of cover for prey also meant a lack of cover for predators. If Antaeus would go out alone he would have no where to hide, but anything that would try to come after him would have to either be moving very fast, or reveal themselves before they could get the jump on the young man.
If he had focused back onto the potential trail of the White Stag, he would notice that the foot prints become more erratic somewhere in between the forest edge and towards the lake. He couldn't discern much more aside from that where he was standing, so now Antaeus needed to make another decision; continue on the stag's trail, trying to investigate and follow where it went, or give up on this hunt and find easier prey. The choice was his.@Zeroth
The young half-orc nodded towards Katherine. "Name's Katalmach. Guess I'd be seein ye around, lady."
And so the two parted ways. The orc named Katalmach headed off towards the town gate to leave towards the forest while Katherine made her way to the Drunken Dragon. Finding it would be easy enough; their business board depicted a large winged dragon pouring ale down it's maw from a large wooden barrel. As she entered the Drunken Dragon was certainly not as classy as some city taverns, but it had a certain rustic charm, fitting considering that the owner was a halfling with a half-elf helping with designs. It felt less like a tavern and more like someone's living space, albeit with a much larger common area with an excess of tables and furniture. The bar keep, Sips, initially seemed rather ornery for some reason but immediately brighten up when Katherine ordered some rum. Using a rolling pin he had on hand he easily grabs a clean mug that was above him and filled it with the current rum on tap."Seigbrau, the rum of victory. That'll be seven coppers. As for a local guide, I suppose you could always head up to the garrison and look for one of the hunters. They have a good lay of the land, though it's not usually their business to guide newcomers. Maeda is the local teacher and is pretty knowledgeable of the area around town. You seem like a smart lassie, bet you're into magic and the like too. Maeda would definitely help you there if she's not busy with her students. Let's see... Ah, there's Dormic. An odd fellow, for a human at least, but he's got some sort of druidic attunement to the land or something. Whatever his deal is, he'll know his way around and unlike the first two, he has much more free time. I think I saw him leading the last group of visitors towards Town Hall. I suppose you could try to talk to his friend Ntaj too but... Well, poor lad, he's a bit slow in the head. But he definitely knows his way around the wilderness and between the two, Ntaj could probably fight off a bear if all you need is someone to protect you. He's right over there if you wanna chat with him."
Sips pointed towards the strange looking man sitting on the stage. The term man being used loosely here, as Ntaj appeared to be a bipedal, anthropomorphic turtle. He was just sitting on stage fiddling with a complex looking string instrument. None of the other patrons were paying him any mind as he was repairing his tool, and shortly after he finished he started playing a song
, kicking his feet against the stage to provide some sort of percussion. Someone must have asked him to play a song because shortly after he started two men stood up and walked to a table, ripping off their tattered shirts to have a very intense card game. There was a lot of shouting of names and what may or may not be spells of some druidic nature. People shouting about lightning bolts, dual color lands, and accusations of mana weaving. It was very passionate.@Pyromania99