Sleet's Fall Pass, Drakesrift, Central Nohr
September 7th, 1495 AC
Even against the fading shimmer of the summer's last days, the famous Gates of the Carathians, so prominent in stature that the narrow Sleet's Fall Pass1 did seem to divide the town in two, did relegate the season to little aside from the day's scant sunlight. A constant wind emerged from the northern passage, beckoning from the peaks unto the lowlands of the town, each burgeoning blast like a blare of frostbite that blistered to the bone. An overcast, craggy sky painted the morning's luminescence in her famous Nohrian fuchsia, a deep violet swirling amidst the greys and oranges of the dawn's break making shadowplay unto the twilight sky. Her faint incandescence paints the totality of Central Nohr in her titular glum-plum drape, and even as one makes their way inside domicile or office do they notice its presence in its absence. The sheer domination of it is utterly totalitarian, and the frigid winds that e'er propel from the Carathians - from Windmire, from a continent away - calls unto her oppidians as Nohr's own gelid beacon.
Nohr had not for want in her Southern expanse the siren of bird-call in the morning, yet atop her Upper partitions, where the mountains stood so great in poise that even eagles could not dare roost, but along her depression and in such urbanite of settings did little aside from crows gather. In her absence, Man has most graciously taken upon himself in his own habitat to reignite the tradition set forth by Mother Nature. Throughout the outermost boroughs of the city, where her denizens rose from their hearths unto the break of her twilight did the bands of working men sound as birds' forenoon siren. Working men and seaming women ruptured unto the streets, gathering first in duos, then unto trio, then quartet, then gang until dodecad rise forth in song as the broke the silence of the morn. A faint hum of folks' chanson reverberated through the air, even amidst the hustle and bustle of Nohr's ambient drone. Hooded clergy2 - so silent, yet so salient - roamed the streets in their phlegmatic quintets, clasped together in hands and robes while they fill the air with faint murmurs, whispered prayers and silent offers of penance. Each of them clutched their violet chaplet, dangling from scraggly, spidery fingers, where the icon of the Dusk Dragon danced in sway for each and every motion.
These are the sights and sounds of Drakesfoot - housing of the local Mayor and one of the few passes to and from Upper Nohr, and all of the mercantile guilds as should rightfully accompany its gods-given blessing. It was a busy place - certainly not from lack of opportinity, with Fort Drakefall nary a few miles away and the main connection between the lowlands of Farion and Great Carathia. She was invited with a thousand new guests every week - and certainly did she show hospitality, welcoming her guests invited or no in equal measure. Hers is quite the metropole, possessive of a distinct beautiful sadness which so endeared Nohr to the insightful soul, and t'was where the Kellers did possess domain over the Free City.
He deftly maneuvered, and muscled for place, and winded and weaved throughout the carried crowds of Nohr's rising denizens as they mingled in the street. Each step slithered himself along the winding roads in simply dizzying matter, like the undulating waver of a pendulum kept in metronome by storm. The courier - Johannes, as he was called - had awoken far, far earlier in to the day from the Keller Estate, some many miles away from the town proper, and had ran under such urgency that even the darkness before the dawn was not detriment enough to deter his delivery. Johannes was a scrawny sort - almost cadaverous to such degree from which his tunic more draped from his haggard frame than it did fit - and to no such end did he ever once deny it under pretense that it was but how he was made. Such a thing was immensely valuable in his line of work, after all, for Johannes never once did complain of never being able to fit between paucity of space that was so common throughout Nohr, whether above or below the earth as so did Nohr's anthropography continuously shift.
As Johannes navigated himself from the coursing crowd of the bustling morning, he breathed a relieved huff, then dug to his side after a quick glance to his sides. The courier clutched his satchel, his spindly fingers padding around in his baggage, feeling for the familiar outlines, and sighed once more in relief as the silhouette of his orders and missive3 reached his fingers. He hadn't the fortitude within him to dare wonder whatever was to come had he been the victim of a pickpocket or a mugger - not with the urgency by which Lady Keller had instructed unto him. And all truths be told, Johannes himself slightly wondered why so important of missives did receive so little aside from his own handiwork. There was pride, of course - and even in the shimmer of Nohr's frigid mornings did his face so burn with the thought - and Johannes had much to be proud of in his professionalism of practice. And, he presupposed, perhaps there might be some value in the discretion with which a mere, single courier to deliver such missives to their company in tow. There were more details on the affair, he faintly recalled, but the inklings avoided him as he took his time to more carefully measure the winding alleys of Drakesfoot. Such gossip was ill-suited for his position, at any rate: Best not to go blathering on and misrepresent the Lady, after all, and there was so much more to discuss than whatever could be enclosed by a few simple letters.
And as he mulled and drew his breath, he wondered: Just where were all of the Silver Hawks, so early in the morning?
1) Places and locations are highlighted in blue. They are typically nearby, though they may also be illuminated when done in reference to a location of particular note.
2) Persons of interest are colored bright green. They typically are those with key plot elements tied to them, and will usually dispense quests, information, services, or other useful tidbits.
3) Key items, interesting objects, and other articles of import are outlined in bright orange. Whilst not everything not outlined in orange cannot have some manner of utility, those in the color are of particular interest.