Tales of Auriga

00: Prologue

A mysterious gift.

As the customs officers of Nyrinis usher you through the massive entrance gates, you once more unfold the parchment letter you received almost a month ago.

It feels like the hundredth time you’ve done this; tenderly pulling open the rigid paper to reveal the elaborate calligraphy scrolled upon it. The lettering are almost as curious as the arrival of the message itself; squarish, almost mechanical lettering written by a seemingly unsteady hand.

“Your presence in Nyrinis is requested. Make haste to ‘Under the Vault’. Look for Jih’zdar En Moroq. He will guide your way.

I have included a small gift as a sign of good will. Make haste. There will be more to come."

The letter still shows the marks from where a large coin had been placed within. You retrieve the dust coin from your satchel, and admire it’s unique markings. On one side, it shows a flat, emotionless mask symbol. On the other, a six-fingered hand or claw.

You’ve never seen such a coin, and nobody you’ve asked could recognize the mark. But the worth of the coin alone would have brought you to Nyrinis if the mystery of the letter had not.

The gatesmen had been kind enough to inform you that ‘Under the Vault’ referred to an Inn near the exit of the Gate District, and the winding stone streets lead you through the crowds to the entrance with little delay.

The run-down, wooden structure of the single-storey Inn is far from impressive, and the common room you step into is even less impressive. A smattering of human patrons are scattered around the large room, gathering around rotted and broken wooden furniture.

As you look around, you are immediately drawn to a table near the back of the Inn. Sitting at the table is a dark-skinned man – probably a Roving Clansmen, you think – draped in dark red and yellow wool. He is somewhat unremarkable, and you would probably have missed the man, were it not for the large coin he spins in his free hand. The coin has an unmistakable mask-like marking on it’s face.

As the man looks up at you, he notices that you are also holding such a coin. He nods, impassively, and gestures for you to sit. You’ve found Jih’zdar En Moroq, it seems.

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