As Faith finished her food, the masters started to excuse themselves and leave. Mirelle the Peerless was watching Faith thoughtfully.
"Did you get that?" Mirelle suddenly asked.
"I'm sorry, did I get what?" Faith was confused.
"Apparently not," Mirelle answered. "I was testing for psionic abilities, like telepathy. The ability to talk without speaking out loud. You have a distinctive look about you and I wondered... but never mind. You can't fly, can you?"
Faith's eyes widened.
"No, I didn't know there were people who could fly even," she answered. "How would I test to see if I could?"
"If you could fly, you'd already know it," Mirelle dismissed the thought. "If you are ready, I'm going to give you your Union Mark before I have to leave for my afternoon session."
Mirelle got up from the table and stood behind Faith.
"I'm not sure what that means, to be honest," Faith hated admitting she was ignorant.
"Of course, dear. Not to worry, very few outside of the Adventurer's Union know what it is. The Union Mark is a small arcane rune I'm going to place on the back of your neck. It contains magic that will monitor and assess your health and abilities. The rune allows a trainer or spirit binder to inscribe a scroll with information about you for advancement or employment purposes. It will also grant you the ability to see the Union boards. Most importantly, it will preserve your life if you die in battle. It creates a soul stone if you are killed. Someone from the Union can then find your stone and resurrect you."
"If I DIE?" Faith was horrified.
"Well, yes dear, it happens. Naturally we all try to avoid it but should the worst come to pass, you can be resurrected and with time to recover, you will be fine. It's a powerful magic and some people try to get into the Union specifically for the Union Mark protection. The Mark only lasts for a short period of time; you'll need to visit a trainer regularly to have it updated."
With that, she murmured a few words and touched the back of Faith's neck. Faith felt nothing.
"Did it work?" Faith asked. She ran her fingers over the spot that Mirelle had touched but felt nothing.
"Absolutely," answered Mirelle who had picked up some scrolls and was now spreading them out on the table. As she waved a hand over each scroll, brown script began to appear on each one. After a few moments, she had six scrolls with identical writing on them. Faith saw her name at the top of each scroll.
"We'll review these at the assessment later, dear," said Mirelle as she neatly stacked then rolled up the scrolls. Faith was dying to know what they said about her but Mirelle tapped the roll briskly on the table to even up the ends, then swept away, taking the scrolls with her. "Don't forget to see Sigmund," she called over her shoulder.
Faith was now alone at the table with her dirty dishes. She finished off the last of her bubbling brown froth (which was in fact, pretty tasty) and picked up her dishes to carry them to the bar. Ingrid appeared from the side of the bar and took them out of her hands.
"I'll take those, honey," she said. "No need to fuss. You go talk to Sigmund and get settled."
As she talked she nodded at a middle aged man cleaning the bar. He looked up, hearing his name.
"She needs housing, Sigmund," Ingrid called out.
"Another one?" answered Sigmund. "I'll take care of it. Your name?"
"Faith Fayrehold," she answered.
He reached under the bar and pulled out a small, ragged tome held together with string. Placing it on the bar, he flipped through the pages, found what he was looking for, tapped a page, then closed the book and placed it back under the bar.
"Number eight is available. Follow me," he said as he walked around the bar and out the door. From there, he kept to the right, walking up small hill, past a number of huts and into a small cemetery then stopped in front of a wall covered with fishing net.
"That'll be yours up there," he pointed to a small hut balanced precariously on the roof of another hut and leaning against a hut to the left of it.
Faith wondered if he was playing a joke on her.
"Really?" she asked.
"Really," he said. He pointed to the net.
"You can climb this net to get to the porch or if you are a good jumper, you can jump on the roof of this one, then jump to the porch of that one. We like to put the lighter people like you ladies in that one because well, it's less likely to fall and it's safer for you. The bigger people can't make it up to that one very easily. Actually, it's a nice view up there if you don't mind the crypt...
You'll be staying there with the elf lady that also came in on today's ship- you probably met her already. So, there's a cot in there for each of you and that's pretty much it. Don't leave any valuables around. This one has a wood door, but it doesn't lock. Clean up after yourself and we'll all be good."
With that, he headed back to the Wavecrest Tavern and left her standing there, wondering how to get in to her quarters. She tried to climb the netting but her armor kept getting caught. She couldn't jump higher than a rat's head in her armor. She decided to take the armor off. She looked around to see if anyone was watching and seeing no one, dropped her shield and sword and started to remove her armor. After struggling with the various parts, she breathed a sigh of relief as she unhooked the last band holding the armor to her leg. She felt free! She felt like she could jump to the moons. A muslin tunic was all she had on over her camisole and shorts; she hoped no one was watching her.
With a quick hop and a scramble, she climbed up to the rooftop of the hut nearest her then from that roof it was a small jump onto the porch of the hut Sigmund had pointed out to her. He was right, the view was lovely. The little porch overlooked a peaceful cemetery with a large crypt built right into the side of the hill and beyond that she could see the sun glinting off the sea to her right. To her left, she could look over the small village square (which was more of a triangle to be honest) which curved and sloped gently down to the docks of the small harbor. As always, a light snow was falling and she could see large blocks of ice floating in the harbor.
She glanced down at the pile of metal and leather she had left on the ground and hoped no one would take it, but at the moment she was glad to leave it where it was. She turned and opened the door to the small hut and went in.