Well, a positive ! An excellent sleep last night. My door was not broken down, the window-bar remains intact, my worthless possessions are still in my possession, and my throat was not cut !
Both breakfast, and lunch, were of decent quality. I may yet retract my first impression of Callia, but further investigation is pending. Notably, regarding the quality of drink in the local taverns. I might conduct this research later tonight.
It is mid-afternoon as I make this entry, and I am back from a sojourn around the more traveled streets of this town. I am an outsider here, and will therefore be seen as an easy mark for rogues and thugs. It does not help matters that I am unarmed, but if I am not appraised as a St-Jude alumni then such goons would not know my vows of pacifism. I carry a quarterstaff only as a walking stick, but it looks like it could cause harm. I tried to carry myself as if I was a monk, while out this morning.
I mentioned that this is a walled town. The gates of Callia are well-defended posts. On arriving yesterday I was questioned at length, and had my gear searched. I had leather armor in my pack, terribly sweaty gear to wear in this weather and so stored away only for evening and overnight wear. The hard-faced guard overlooked the armor and my healing-kit and mundane traveler’s gear. I gave him my name and profession. He wasn’t interested. I said I had come to find work as a healer, and was looking for adventurers or the like. He muttered something about a recruitment, and pushed me along so that he may intercept a cart of goods in the queue behind me.
On my walk today, I learned a considerable amount about the workings of Callia. I kept watch for keen-eyed merchants; at the price of a few silver for a handful of fruit or a stock of dry rations, these streetwise vendors gave information for free.
Callia is run by Guilds. How many guilds, or how extensive they are, not one could say. The impression was that all business –import and export, security, commerce, and licensed adventuring- was administered by one of the shadowy Guilds of the town. Tomorrow evening is to be one particular guild’s recruitment banquet; invitations open to any of the unaffiliated public who believe themselves of use and skill. It did not sound exclusive to martial fighters, so it stands as my best lead toward employment.
Weapons and armor are severely restricted in this town, by order of the ruling elite and enforced by their militias. Metal weapons of quality are banned, and metal armor is rare; as I heard this I began to notice that armaments were conspicuously absent around me. Back home it was so commonplace to see neophyte adventurers strapped up with a cartload of blades that I am surprised I did not notice sooner. Those farming or crafting tools which may double as a weapon skirt the ban, but these are of inferior quality and are carried only to suggest deterrence.
Between the Guild influence and the strict laws imposed by the ruling authority, I am beginning to sense the source of quiet discontent in the faces of people I passed in the streets. And I notice the sashes and sigils of guild memberships, on more and more people when I look to notice.
As I look over the words I have written, I wonder if I might simply stay in tonight instead of venturing out alone to a public house. If the Guilds rule this town, they may also hold sway in other towns –perhaps all of the territory of Ælim- and it would not do me well to accidentally get on their bad side.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
2nd Day in Callia, territory of Ælim.