Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Traveller's Guide to Faerun: Furthinghome, Aglarond

Climate: Warm Temperate.
Terrain: Dense Forest, Rocky Coast, Hilly Farmland.
Population: Mostly Human, Some Half-Elf.

I arranged transport with a passing merchant as soon as possible, packing the bare minimum- some field rations, some coin, and a rapier.  Most of my new friends turned up to see me off, though Lynne was absent; one of her friends told me that she was upset, thinking I would be 'different' from other men which frankly shouldn't be a surprise as I'm not human.  The friend looked at me with an expression of horror when I told her this, then walked off shaking her head.  Truly there was much for me to learn about humans, and with this thought in mind I headed off to the nearest city.

On the road I attempted to curb my enthusiasm, though there were so many extraordinary sights.  When the
My first companion!
clouds had cleared the rolling hills were a beautiful green bathed in the golden light of the sun.  To be honest I am surprised the merchant put up with my incessant questions!  He was a likeable man; a human.  One of the first lessons I would learn is that one should always state a person's race in Faerun, as there are so many varied species and everyone seems to bear some resentment against the others.  The merchant told me his name was John, and that he was born in the town to which we were headed- Furthinghome, on the Aglarond coast.  He then gave me some tattered robes with a cowl that would cover my face, saying that the humans of the city were distrustful of other races, especially ones that looked like they might be elven.  He also told me that despite my desire to explore, I should stick with him as we wouldn't be staying long.  He just had to make an exchange then we would be on the road to Velprintalar; home to a powerful mage who should be able to tell me how to get home.  Finally John had a warning- if we did somehow get separated then I should avoid Thay at all costs.  It was a land beyond the mountains behind us, and he warned that if I ever encounter a wizard dressed in red then I should avoid them, as I would most likely be kidnapped and experimented on in a tower somewhere.  I found this hard to comprehend- humans seemed to have such varied personalities.  The majority I had met so far were friendly, but then there was Lynne's unusual behaviour, and now the stories of these horrible wizards!

As we approached Furthinghome I heard a somewhat familiar sound, and sure enough there were tens of peacocks roaming the countryside!  I had seen peacocks before in Djinni zoological collections, but I was unaware they were wild here.  Sadly John had to point out to me that they were not in fact wild, but had escaped from a local dilapidated estate.  I made a mental note to explore this estate, but I was soon distracted as I caught a salty smell on the wind, and as we passed one last hill I was met with yet another
Such beautiful greys!
spectacular sight- the sea!  Like a combination of land an air, it had the same sort of blue as the sky but looked more... solid.  Yet at the same time, not as solid as the land due to its constant movement.  Of course, now I look back and laugh at my naivety, but back then it was simply too much for me- I almost fainted from the experience, but instead I entered a trance-like state, fascinated with my surroundings and paying no heed to the man asking me questions- one of the city guard.  Luckily John covered for me, telling the guard I was a relative and had been 'touched in the head'.  Thankfully I felt a little more comfortable inside the city, as it was reminiscent of the Djinni cities back home, though the architecture was much less grand, consisting mostly of weathered wood and stone that hadn't taken kindly to the salty sea air.  We followed the main road into the centre of the city, John pulling me along as I was getting distracted by the sounds of seagulls and smells of the countless spices being sold at the stalls that lined the street.
'Here we are, Old Furthing,' said John, 'I have business to attend to, so I shall meet you back here at Highsun in two days time.  I've already booked us lodging at the Beached Mermaid by the docks.  Now I'm already late, so see you soon!'
I turned to tell John I had no idea where 'here' was, or even what 'highsun' is, but he had already gone.  I was alone in this city.
Type: Large City, Small Trading Port
Population: Mostly Human, Few Half-Elf
Reputation: Wealthy, though slums harbour anti-elf extremists
Imports: Exotic Goods
Exports: Fish, Timber, Herbs and Spices

I remained calm, and decided that I may as well have another look at the sea whilst I had the chance.  Presumably that was where the docks were as well, as my only previous experience of docks involved airships.  Before I knew it I had spent the rest of the day just sitting on the docks, watching the sea and the sunset.  The next thing I learned was that humans have very poor night vision- as I looked for the Beached Mermaid several careless humans bumped into me before running off.  Eventually I found the inn and told the landlord I was with John the merchant.  He said he had been expecting me, though there had been no sign of John yet, and I was shown to my room.  It was possibly the earliest night I'd ever had, and it pained me to be missing out on the drunken revelry below my room, but after the days I'd had I was in need of well-deserved rest.

Morning came, and the first thing I noticed was that my door was open- I must have forgotten to lock it in my overtired state.  I headed down to the bar, but other than a few unconscious men littering the bar it was empty, so I set off to find some food.  It was early in the morning, but the city was still bustling with activity as market stalls were already peddling their wares- mostly exotic items, and things made to look exotic.  It was at this point I realised I had no money to buy food with, despite being sure I had some the day before.  This didn't bother me too much, after all that's what field rations are for- though I would have to find some money somewhere, which meant finding work.

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