Adventurer’s Overture Chapter 1 Part 5

The Adventurer’s Guild, either as a show of wealth or just to differentiate itself from its neighbors, was made almost entirely of thick dark wood not native to this region. It had large, heavy double doors that were both engraved with the adventurer’s crest. A staff, a bow, and a sword, all crossed against each other like an odd flowerlike arrangement in the center of a diamond.

Dropping from the low hanging edge of a roof to a store that, from the look of its sign, sold armor, Amber landed with a very soft thud as she took in her surroundings. She glanced at the amount of people before sprinting across the street. Thankfully there was much less foot traffic here than there was on the larger main street, so she managed to get through unscathed. In a stroke of luck the door just opened when a man in leather armor stepped out. She dashed right by him, giving a soft thanks.

Stopping, she leaned forward to steady herself, her eyes looking down at the rich green rug. She gazed upward, wide eyed at the interior. She’d known the building was three stories from the outside, but it didn’t really show how grand it truly was. The first level was composed of the same dark wood, but the floors were almost wall to wall with deep green rugs with the only exception being the area right in front of the door. Looking back she saw a mat made of dried woven weeds on which an entering adventurer could rub the grime off their boots before stepping into the room. Oh, what a practical idea. Though not one someone at her home would ever use. Her eyes roamed back over the tapestries set in different colors against the wall, covered in emblems she didn’t recognize down their length all the way to the stairs and to the next level. The front room was two stories high with the second story visible over a banister behind which were rows of tables with people cheerfully eating and drinking.

“Oh hello there, are you here to post a request?” Turning her head, Amber met eyes with a receptionist holding a stack of papers.

“No, I’m here to register as an adventurer,” Amber said.

The woman smiled, “Alright, one moment.” She walked past Amber to the far side of the room which was dominated by a large board covered with papers. Amber gazed up at the board as she trailed behind. Some of the papers had pictures of monsters on them with the rewards listed in large text. Most of them were text only, though she couldn’t read most of those from this angle. The woman called, “Do you want me to get you a chair for you to work on?”

“Sure, thank you,” Amber replied.  The woman pulled out a stool by the front desk, gave her a few papers, and offered her a pen. “No thank you, I have my own.”

Bearing down on the stool, Amber quickly went to work filling out the information as she went through the form.

Name: Amber Doxle

Age: 15

Main Weapon: Bow

Skills: Scouting, Stealth, Tracking, Foraging, Ranged Combat

She paused as she came to a part she didn’t recognize. “Party registration?”

“For people who come in groups,” the receptionist said from her place behind the desk as she went through some papers. “We make sure they register so we have it on file that they’re working together. If you happen to find someone you want to form a party with, just list their name on the paperwork and have them list you.”

“I see,” Amber said as she skipped that section entirely and continued down the line finding another question, city of origin. “Do I have to fill out all of this?”

“No, mostly we just need your name, age and general skill set so we can direct you to a group looking for someone with more specialized skills.”

“Alright, I think I’m d–”

Her voice was cut off by the slamming of the front door as a party of three entered the hall. It looked like a lizardkin in leather armor, a human in a robe and at the front, a dwarf in plate armor. “Oi! We just finished out that quest. Can we get our reward now?”

“Just one moment,” the receptionist said, “I have to finish signing up this new adventurer.”

“Which one is that?” The dwarf’s gaze scanned to the side before it fell onto Amber who was looking at the trio, particularly the dwarf’s armor. It was well made and reeked of magic. When their eyes met, the dwarf let out a belly laugh, “This a joke here?”

“Excuse me?” Amber said, her body rising as her voice did.

“Ya heard me, didn’t ya?” The dwarf turned to look at their party, “This one an adventurer?”

“Yeah, I’m applying to be an adventurer. I’m trained. Why, do you have some sort of problem with that?”

The lizardkin mumbled something to the human that Amber couldn’t hear before the dwarf turned back to her and said, “I don’t have the problem, but don’t you think you’re a wee bit underqualified there, lass?”

Amber’s eye twitched.

“ I know as the guild master it is often my responsibility to break up brawls between adventurers in this hall, but I must say this is my first time breaking up a brawl between an adventurer and someone who had yet to even sign up.” A large man sitting behind his desk looked over the pair of them as they sat. Neither Amber nor the dwarf met his eyes. Amber was looking down, biting her lip and clenching and unclenching her hands. “Now I’m a fair man, so I’ll let you both off, though why don’t we go through this from the beginning. Now let’s see, as Elgor tells it, you, Glenn, taunted Miss Amber here about the legitimacy of her becoming an adventurer, is this correct?”

“Aye.” Glenn the dwarf nodded.

“And in response, Miss Amber jumped off a chair and, let’s see, bit Glenn here in the face? Is that correct.”

“It is.” Amber reached up and wiped away the tiny bit of blood that still remained on her lips.

“Then you, Glenn, grabbed Amber and threw her with such force that she ended up flying across the guild faster than Marcus whenever the debt collectors are on his tail?” the guild master stated. 

“I doubt any of us can move that fast,” Glenn chuckled.

“Which just so happened to be when I opened the door from the back room and had to side step while she flew past me and into one of the bookshelves,” the guild master finished.

Amber winced, stretching her back and reflexively feeling what was no doubt a gigantic bruise forming from her shoulders to her bum.

“So do you have anything to say about what happened?” the guildmaster continued.

Both Amber and Glenn began speaking at the same time. The guild master held up a hand, “I meant one at a time. Glenn, you first.”

“I don’t think you can really blame me as I didn’t throw the first punch.”

“Like it would matter, I bet you punch like a woman,” Amber said.

“Well that would be quite appropriate as Glenn is a woman,” the guildmaster said.

Amber blinked and looked at the dwarf, “They have a beard!”

“Aye.” Reaching up, Glen took off her helmet to reveal neatly braided raven hair, though only coming from the top of her head. 

Amber looked from Glenn to the helmet, which as it turned out, had a beard attached to it. “Why does your helmet have a beard?”

“T’was my grandfather, he couldn’t grow one after an unfortunate encounter with a dragon. So he had one added to his helm as a way to show off his dwarven pride.”

“Oh, but wouldn’t that be really easy to light up?” Amber said.

“Would be, if it weren’t made of yeti hair,” Glenn said.

“How many times has someone tried?”

“In general or daily?”

“Daily?” Amber said, a bit confused.

“You’ve been here long enough, haven’t you seen Solmon the Drake?”

“Been here long enough? I just got here.”

“You got into a brawl didn’t ya? That means you’ve been here long enough.”

“While this was a nice little history lesson, is this issue considered resolved?” asked the guildmaster, “I wouldn’t want this bad blood to scare away our new applicant.”

“I suppose so. Lass here at least has the guts to throw herself into the fray. That’s most of what ya need to be an adventurer.” Glenn reached out to Amber with a gauntleted hand but thought better of it. After removing the metal glove she reached out her hand again. “It’s good to see new blood in this guild.”

Amber grabbed the hand, which swallowed hers completely. The hardy shake Glenn gave her nearly pulled her off the chair. 

“Thanks, I guess.” She shook her arm, which tingled a bit from the rough treatment as she turned toward the guild leader. “I didn’t mean to lose my temper, I just….”

The guild master waved her off. “Just don’t cause too many problems in the future. Can’t have adventurers causing problems all the time.”

Amber nodded as she jumped off her chair and looked at the female dwarf who opened the door for her out of the office. “So you’ve been here for a while then?”

“A little bit, aye, did you have any questions?”

“Yes, what do you suggest? I don’t really have a party. So what do you think I should take for some requests I can do on my own?”

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