Faith and Is'kel decided to find their trainers while Malut was doing his paperwork.
Faith found the monk trainer sitting cross legged on a rug in the plaza. He giving a lecture to two monks who knelt in front of him. Faith decided she wasn't in the mood to sit through a class at the moment so she did not approach. Is'kel was in a similar boat. Her trainer was seated on a rug as well, giving a performance. Loud conversation and the occasional yell was coming from a building behind the bard trainer, a low building with a wide stone tower behind it.
"That must be the Forum, want to check it out?"
"You know, my head still hurts. I don't think I can handle the noise. I'm going to find my quarters and meditate for a while," Is'kel told her as she pulled the sparkly wayfinder from her belt and flipped it open. Faith glanced at it and pulled her own wayfinder out to compare.
"I think we are roommates," Faith showed her the tiny yellow arrow pointing in the same direction as the one on Is'kel's wayfinder.
"That makes sense," Is'kel said. "I don't imagine either of us wanted to stay in the Tenements or the tavern."
"That makes it easy to meet up later, then. Hope you feel better."
Is'kel took her leave as raindrops started to fall. A light rain pelted the plaza growing stronger and people were moving under the portico of the Union Hall. Faith made her way into the crowded Forum building.
The noise in the small gallery was deafening. Faith found it odd that many of the people in the Forum seemed to be talking to themselves... at least she couldn't see that anyone was listening. A warforged stood at the double door in the back of the room.
"Esteemed members only on the main floor, junior members may sit in the balcony to the right or the left," he directed.
Faith took one of the side doors and climbed the narrow, curving staircase. It opened up into tiered seating lined with benches. The balcony extended all the way around the octagonal room, allowing viewers to pick which stage they wanted to sit behind. The floor held five stages and on each stage, someone was talking about a different topic. Members roamed around the center of the room, stopping to listen when something caught their attention. They would then yell answers or suggestions to the person on stage. Faith recognized the angry halfling from earlier and sat behind the stage he was on.
"And I'm telling you, that is how it happened! Wolfwhis..."
He didn't get the name out before a minotaur guarding the stage turned to look at him.
"Policy," he grunted. "No names."
"How in the heck am I supposed to warn people about this guy if I can't tell them who he is? As a member, I'm supposed to have a voice in these chambers with my peers," asked the frustrated Mr. Blake. "This is just insane."
The minotaur shrugged and lapsed back into silence.
"So, if you run across a wizard from Aundair, wearing purple robes, whose name starts with W and is in the guild, 'Wild Magic'...."
The minotaur shook his head.
"This is the stupidest policy ever! Why can't I tell people how to avoid this jerk? Is he paying the Union top dollar or something? You are all corrupt!"
This time, the minotaur glanced up, then walked to the back of the stage and opened what looked like a barn door. Then he stepped to the side. The yelling had attracted an even bigger crowd of onlookers on the main floor and they were muttering among themselves, looking excited. Some of them started looking up at the ceiling.
"Answer me, you side of beef! Who's paying you off?" the halfling shook his fist at the minotaur.
Whatever he was going to say next was frozen on his lips as he was suddenly engulfed in a greenish-yellow gelatinous cube. It dropped silently from the ceiling, squarely onto the stage below. It was big enough to engulf a couple of minotaurs, if it had chosen to do so. Faith glanced up at the roof high above but couldn't tell where the cube had been before it fell. A cheer went up from the floor below.
"Cubethulu! Cubethulu! Cubethulu!" the members chanted.
The cube rotated with the halfling struggling inside of it and went through the barn door. The minotaur closed the doors behind it and called out, "Next."
"Oh, that's terrible," Faith said out loud. "What was that?"
"A gelatinous cube. Don't worry lass, e'll be right as rain," said someone sitting behind her. "'Appens all the time to those who hasn't taken the time to apprise themselves of the rules. Cubethulu'll spit 'im out and e'll be suspended for a while, but no permanent 'arm'll come to 'im."
"What did he do, exactly?" Faith asked the old dwarf.
"Well, the Forum's not a place to come to air your grievances with individuals, ye see, even though people says it is. Ye can complain all ye want but if ye start naming names or trying to sully the good name of the Union, they make sure ye can't talk for a while. Seems a mite harsh, but people do learn fast. So fast in fact, that it's been a while since we had a good cubin'. Ye're lucky as you got to see it," the dwarf chuckled.
Faith had never seen a cube before and guessed she probably was lucky to see a domesticated one before she ran into a cube in its home environment. Wherever that might be...
A human male had taken the stage next and was earnestly expounding to the crowd.
"How can we affect change in the Union if we have no say in how the Union is run?" he asked the audience. "Our wants and needs are not taken into account! Who's making these decisions? Is this not an organization made by adventurers, for adventurers? That is what they would have us to believe, but the truth is someone is making decisions for all of us without our input!"
The audience muttered and shifted. A couple looked at the ceiling.
Faith heard a faint "ding" close by. She realized it had come from her wayfinder, so she opened it up. On the lower disk, gold letters appeared.
Twila Blackgrove: Where are you?
Faith hadn't tried to send a message yet and didn't want to do it in the crowded Union Forum, so she headed back outside. The rain had blown over and the sun was shining. She pushed the buttons on her wayfinder as she walked, saying "Twila Blackgrove" but it didn't seem to work.
"Boo!" said Twila. Faith jumped. Twila laughed. She and Malut were standing right next to Faith- she'd wandered out of the building and right up to them without looking.
"There you are! I just finished my paperwork. Where've you been?"
"I was listening to the talk in the Union Forum."
"Phhhht. Bunch of ancient adventurers who sit around talking about the old days and how things used to be better," Twila sniffed. "Or worse. Or better because they were worse."
"It was kind of interesting. I saw a guy get cubed."
Twila and Malut were both impressed.
"Really? Most people know better than to make the Cube mad," Twila said. "Anyway, I've got to go buy some thieves tools, do you want to come with me?"
"I'll come," said Faith but Malut shook his head.
"Going to rest. See you at dinner?"
"Sure. Where do you want to eat?" Twila asked. Malut and Faith both shrugged, not knowing the city. "Let's meet at the Phoenix Tavern at dinner time. It's under the Lordsmarch Bank. Here let me show you."
She grabbed Malut's wayfinder (he had gotten the tan hide-covered wayfinder) and popped the lid. Touching the map, she slid the image around a little, then tapped a spot.
"That's the bank. Go to the door on the side. Nice wayfinder, by the way."
Malut grinned. "I like it."
He stroked it a little, as if it were a pet. Faith and Twila laughed at the affectionate look on his face.
"I've never seen anyone bond with a wayfinder before," joked Twila.
"All wayfinders are bound. The lady said so," said a confused Malut.
"True, they are," Twila decided to let it go. "We'll see you later."
She grabbed Faith's arm and headed over the curved bridge toward the big red tent.