Faith gathered up the pile of steel and leather from the ground where she had dumped it then followed her new friend across the village square. They approached a man who was having a heated discussion with a fierce-looking dark-skinned half orc over a greatsword.
"You know it's worth more than that!" the half orc was saying.
"Well it may be, but it's not worth more than that here on Korthos. I'll have to take it to Stormreach or Sharn to sell it and I have no plans for a sales trip anytime soon. Two plat, that is my final offer," said the man.
"Grrrrrrr!" the half orc growled in frustration. His brown mohawk bristled as he shook his head and his large tusks looked menacing. The left tusk was broken off just above his lip, with a jagged edge that looked sharp.
"I should take it to Stormreach and sell it myself! That's robbery."
The man laughed.
"Isn't that how you got it in the first place, Malut?"
The half orc glared at him dangerously. Then tossed the greatsword on the ground.
"Just give me the money," he demanded.
The man dropped two platinum pieces into Malut's wide palm and Malut made a fist and shook it in Dax's face before stomping away towards the Wavecrest.
The man turned his attention to the two girls.
"How can I help you ladies today? I'm Dax Boon. Are you here to buy, sell or repair?"
"We are selling," announced Twila who had brought a few things out of her pile. "We'll buy later when we know what we need. Go ahead and take care of my friend first- her stuff is heavier."
Faith had set the armor on the ground along with her longsword and shield. She felt like she ought to return all of this stuff to Cellimas and her party, but knew they had given her the stuff that not only would protect her best but were also things they did not want to carry. They liked to travel light. She felt a little abandoned by them at this point as well, so she decided to sell it all.
"How much for all of it?" she asked.
Dax picked up and inspected each piece she had brought him.
"These have been used recently and are in need of repair," he said. "I'll give you 4 platinum pieces for the lot minus 2 platinum for the repairs. Total of 2 platinum."
Faith needed the money. She nodded and Dax handed her the shiny platinum pieces. She placed them in the leather bag at her belt. She had no possessions but the clothes on her back and the money in her bag... but she felt free.
Twila finished her transaction with Dax and said,
"It's about time for the assessment. You ready?"
"I guess so," said Faith. "I'm not sure what is going to happen..."
"Ah, well, I've been assessed before. Basically, the are going to look at your strengths and weakness to see what you would be good at, if anything. They'll also look at your alignment to see if you fit. Your alignment is basically your ethics and your morals, you know, do you follow the law or not and do you think more about yourself or more about others."
"You've been assessed before? What happened?" Faith asked.
"That was a year ago. They told me to work on my dexterity and my health before I could be accepted. I'm back for another shot..." Twila looked worried. "If I don't make rogue this time, I guess I'll have to go be an entertainer. But I don't want to. I want to be a spy, an assassin."
"You'll be fine, I'm sure," Faith tried to be reassuring but she really didn't know. She looked at the elf girl with new eyes... an assassin? Who would she assassinate? Weren't most of the political intrigues over since the War had ended? And what about herself? She didn't even know what she wanted to be, much less what she might be good at.
She followed Twila to the entrance of a three-story building on the west side of the square. Twila knocked and someone inside said, "Come in," so they did. Inside the Korthos masters were seated in an open room at two tables that formed an L-shape. A couple of chairs were placed in front of the tables and Garant the Wary motioned for them to take a seat there.
"Miss Blackgrove first," announced Garant and the assembled masters shifted the parchment in front of them to look at Twila's assessment. "You are applying to be a rogue, correct?"
"Correct," answered Twila, her chin slightly raised.
"Chaotic Good alignment," noted Waysmith Dern, the master scholar. "That should be fine."
"Dexterity is still a little low," said Solac the Brawler. "But it is possible to build dexterity with experience, so I will approve."
"I don't know if her intelligence will qualify her to become an assassin," put in Waysmith. "But like Solac says, with time and experience she can increase her intelligence so I too will approve."
Garant the Wary addressed Twila directly.
"Miss Blackgrove, why do you want to be a rogue?"
Twila squirmed a little. She looked painfully nervous and it was contagious. Faith felt herself growing more nervous as well.
"Master Garant," she started, "all I've ever wanted to be was a rogue. I feel that I am well suited for the physical and mental challenges of being stealthy as well as the skills of detecting and disabling traps. The whole career was just meant for me; I'm excellent at gathering intelligence and moving about undetected."
Her pleading eyes were as big as plates. The masters moved closer together and spoke to each other in quiet voices. The girls could not hear what they were saying.
"Any other comments on this candidate?" asked Garant aloud. He waited a few seconds. "No? Miss Twila Blackgrove, welcome to the Adventurer's Union. Please see Jund Berglen to begin your training. Take this scroll with you to give to her. Jund likes to train in the Korthos Cemetery, so..."
"I know, I know where she is!" cut in Twila, beaming from ear to pointy ear. She jumped up and grabbed the scroll off the table. "Thank you, thank you so much! You won't be disappointed."
She ran from the room, slamming the door in her haste. The masters mumbled and looked disapproving.
"On to Miss Fayrehold, who has not applied for a specific career. Miss Fayrehold, would you like to request a specific class?" he asked Faith.
"I would like to not wear heavy armor," Faith said a little meekly. They all laughed.
"You do get used to it, my dear. But let's look at what you are best suited for," chuckled Braam the Stalwart.
The assembled masters spent what seemed like a very, very long time reviewing the sheet with Faith's name on it. She felt a bead of sweat roll down her temple. Why was she so nervous? It's not like she didn't have other options. She could go be a scribe in the Twelve like she had set out to be. But now that she was here, she wanted to be a part of this. She wanted to see the world, explore places unseen by others for centuries, be respected and powerful. She wanted to be good enough to be accepted. She wanted to be an adventurer.
"So, you are lawful and good," started Garant the Wary. "You have decent wisdom and dexterity. Your constitution is acceptable and your strength is fair. With some work you could make a decent paladin, ranger, cleric or monk."
"Are you religious?" asked Mirelle.
"I would say I am spiritual," Faith answered. "My grandfather always taught me to believe in the good in people and in the world. But we never focused on a specific organization."
"Monk," the assembled masters said in unison.
"My dear, if you accept the calling of a monk, you won't need to worry about heavy armor in your career," Braam informed her.
"I would very much like to be a monk," Faith said brightly. The masters laughed.
"Take this to the monk trainer. See Valenie Tscherie, he's an elf who usually does his training next to Heyton's Crypt in the cemetery. And welcome to the Adventurer's Union," said Garant.
Faith picked up the scroll that contained all of her vital information and the stamp of approval for her monk training and smiled at the yellow warforged.
"Thank you, sir," she replied.