Through the streets of Absolom one day walked a woman, not too different in appearance from many noblewomen. She was slight and thin, smartly dressed with black leggings and boots, contrasting with a long-sleeved top of white and gold colored material. She wore black gloves and on her waist rested two sheathed daggers, though judging by the looks of the sheaths, they were perhaps more ornamental or ceremonial than for practical use. A cloak adorned her shoulders, intricately embroidered and matching her white and gold top.
The well-dressed noblewoman’s fingers rested on the rolled-up parchment in her pouch, fiddling with it as she made her way through the streets of Absolom, seeking a place nearby where she could study the parchment’s contents without scrutiny from others. But she didn’t want to make her way all the way back to the inn where she was staying just to read a piece of parchment. She knew after reading it she would likely have to venture right back out again. Instead, she decided she would simply find a place where she would be ignored.
The sun was out in force today, pounding the city with bright light. Not a cloud in the sky. Crossing into one of Absolom’s poorer districts, she strolled under an awning and ducked down beneath an unattended cart, covered by the shade from any casual observers walking in the bright sunlight. Moments later, out of the shadows stepped a woman who seemed to have been put through the wringer backwards and forwards. Her hair was the same, if roughly tousled and tangled, but her face was covered in dirt and her clothes were of a peasant’s quality. Gone were the daggers, stowed now within her pouch. The cloak was turned around, the previous inside now exposed and revealing a worn and ratty cloak. Back in the sunlight, the young woman sat down in front of a nearby building, not noteworthy to the eyes of passersby, and pulled out the rolled-up parchment from her pouch.
The parchment, given to her by Minerva, one of the secretive leaders of the Pathfinder Society, had only a map on it. Examining it in the light, she recognized the region immediately: northern Andoran. The winds had taken the young woman to a few places before, but this was not one of them. A detail section of the map expanded on the location, and described the entrance of a hidden temple. But it was the crest upon a drawing of the temple’s entrance that caught her eye. Her eyebrow arched as she realized that must be why Minerva had come specifically to her.
Rolling up the parchment, she stowed it in her pouch, and got back to walking. This time she aimed to search the city for some people whom Minerva had claimed to be familiar with. The elite Pathfinder had even suggested the young woman herself may have seen them before, reminding her that they had been seen with the girl who had practically turned more than half of Absolom upside down on Jester Cap.
Frankly, the young woman had wanted to follow the strange girl and observe her. The girl had triggered the natural curiosity inherent in the woman’s kind. But, she thought, this could be just as interesting. And it could lead to some amount of fame as well.
Walking through the streets, she glanced about for onlookers. When by chance she happened to be out of all line of sight of all other people for a moment, she grabbed the corner of her cloak and passed it just in front of her face. In an instant, the peasant girl was gone and the sharply dressed noblewoman strode confidently through the streets again, her face clean and her hair neat, the cloak’s ornately decorated side again facing outward. Pulling her daggers from her pouch, she affixed them back onto her belt.
Following the directions Minerva had given her, she went off in search of the Pathfinder’s acquaintances, by way of locating a recently sold airship.