The group packed up camp, having arrived within sights of the mysterious city of Bitzaron the night before. Was not long now until they would hopefully find answers to their questions, knowing that this was their only current lead thanks to Farlow they had met a few days prior.
Raucer flicked through their notes on the communications device Farlow had gifted to them, searching for some hint on who their contact would be in Bitzaron. Eventually she found it, a name. Looking up from the device, she met eyes with Alita who was eagerly awaiting some new news. "I believe our best bet would be to seek out a merchant by the name of Bikk. It says here that she is part of a merchants guild within the city - which means..."
"She should have information or at least further contacts." Alita finished for her. Her keenness to get going and gain answers was not being hidden. Raucer nodded in agreement.
"Well then, what are we waiting for?" Orchid clapped his hands together "Let us head out!" He started down the path from the hill they had camped on, a path clearly made by wandering animals who frequented the area. Haren'ae took up the rear in case anyone lagged behind, also as a means to restrain himself from outpacing the group.

The view of the city was amazing in the early morning light as the group descended the hill - a giant natural and jagged stone tower rising from the center of a still lake which reflected the sky and the tower perfectly; almost creating the illusion that the tower was floating in a void. The tower was glittering gently with lights from various buildings and streets which rested among the peaks. The group were heading to the only access point by land; an extensively long bridge which connected the rocky tower to the mainland.

As the suns rose to a noon position in the sky, the group became closer to the bridge and were able to see just how huge the structure in the center of the lake was.Bitzaron was certainly larger than any of them had anticipated and were awe struck by the sheer size. How no one from their clan had attempted to enter the city before now was a mystery to them as the city itself is certainly hard to miss once you are in the correct area.

"Well, that may put a damper on things..." Orchid said aloud, gesturing ahead to the bridge spanning before them. Placed there were a pair of armored guards and they appeared to have closed a gate this side of the bridge.
Squinting as if it will help to see better, Raucer announced "there is a gate on the other side as well. Are we sure it is open to the public...?"
"One way to find out!" Alita declared, moving forward to speak with the guards.
"Wait" Haren'ae called out to Alita before she got out of reach, nodding at a hurrying strikingly striped Tsabhua "Look"

The Tsabhua was dragging along a cart which appeared to have a broken wheel, and was struggling with it. The clothing worn was similarly striking but of an unfamiliar design, though it held similarities with what the guards were wearing.
"They appear to be a resident of Bitzaron, and the guards are not helping... we should render aid - they look like a merchant. Maybe they know Bikk?" Haren'ae continued, moving forward at a brisk trot to reach the merchant and offer help. Orchid and Alita were quick to follow as Raucer brought up the rear.
"Can I help you?" Haren'ae asked, a hand over his chest. "You appear to be struggling."
"Oh my! Yes please do!" The Tsabhua exclaimed loudly, dropping the cart unceremoniously to the ground. "This wretched thing broke on me so I missed the opening last night. My sister would hide me if I missed another night." She looked at the group then "Oi, you do not seem to be from around here. We are getting a lot of new faces around these parts since Bitzaron finally opened their gates! Where do you hail from?"

Alita hesitated a moment, unsure if they should reveal where they were from. Orchid, however, did not have such thoughts "We are from the Clan of Or'sol, a bit of a journey from here. The other side of The Plains."
"Ah, The Plains! I love passing through there. It is easy enough traveling when the grass does not clog up your machinery." the Tsabhua laughed haughtily, as if memories of her own misfortune seemed to bring her great amusement.
"It was our first time there" Orchid continued. "Though I did not stay long since my destination was here. Myself and Alita are also merchants and could not pass up an opportunity for new trade partners."
"oh ho ho! Merchants you say!" she appeared very interested specifically in Orchid and Alita now, almost forgetting Raucer and Haren'ae existed despite those two being the ones struggling currently to find a way to half carry the rather heavy cart. "I myself am one, part of the Traders Guild of Bitzaron and everything! The name is Bikk." She nodded decidedly, reaching out a hand in greeting.
Alita took her hand and shook it gently, distracted "Bikk, you say? What a coincidence. We were actually looking for a merchant called Bikk. Farlow sent us..."

Bikks brows furrowed gently and she looked around as if expecting someone to be eavesdropping despite them being out in the open, and still not within ear shot of the guards by the gate. "Farlow you say?" her voice lowered almost to a whisper. "And pray tell, what does Farlow want this time?"
Alita shook her head, releasing Bikks hand "Nothing, as far as I am aware. We seek answers, or clues, or anything really. We suspect..." Alita dropped her own voice here "well, we are suspicious of The Department and want to know what is going on. Strange reports are reaching us and yet.."
"And yet you are being told to ignore them, and turn them in. Am I right?" Bikk interrupted.
"Yes!" Alita almost yelled, excited that someone else finally seemed to understand the implications.
"Okay okay. Keep it down a bit. But yes, Bitzaron has timed the opening of its gates through no coincidence. Come, I need to show you something..."

Bikk led Alita, Orchid, Haren'ae and Raucer onwards, a strange seriousness about her despite her earlier jovial attitude.

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A strange city on the water
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"There are wandering traders near Bitzaron and you're sure they have something of value. "

DA Submission

Submitted By Or'sol for 2022.S2-FtC.M8Location: The City of Bitzaron (Mireh)
Submitted 5 months ago Last Updated 5 months ago
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