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The jingling of the bell roused Tussle from his focus on putting exactly enough powdered nettle in the rouge. Too much, and the concoction would sting the lady's face, making her quite unhappy. Too little, and she would not get the redness of cheek she so desired, and she would again be unhappy. And if she was unhappy, his master would be unhappy. And his master would make sure that he was unhappy. Such was Tussle's life. He sighed again, wondering what had happened to the application he had eagerly handed over to a Pathfinder what seemed like ages ago.
The gentle forced cough reminded Tussle that someone had entered the shop. He looked up, and was a bit surprised to see a young human lad in noble's finery; this far down in Ordellia, wearing noble's clothing could get you pelted with rocks, or dung, or worse. Tussle wiped his gloves on his apron, thought it might be fun to shake the young man's hand with the gloves still on, then thought better of it and removed them. "Can I help you?"
The young man bowed, which Tussle hadn't been expecting, then asked, "Mr. Tussle?"
"I have this message for you, sir!"
The young man handed Tussle the message, looked Tussle up and down as if evaluating something about him, then spun about on his heel and left the shop.
The message did not help Tussle's confusion. "Greetings, fellow seeker of adventure! I am Sheila Heidmarch, Venture Captain of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge -- and the only such lodge in Varisia at this time. You have come to my attention as someone who possesses a certain amount of skills and interests that make you an excellent addition to a highly specialized team I'm putting together for a matter of gave import, not only to the Society, but to Varisia as a whole. Please report an hour before noon to Heidmarch Manor -- you will be compensated for your visit, but that reward will pale in light of the riches that await you should we come to an agreement on my proposition to you. I look forward to meeting you soon! Sheila Heidmarch"
As far as he could tell, she was offering to pay him to not work as an alchemist's apprentice in Ordellia, and that sounded significantly better than what he was doing now, so he abandoned the rouge, his gloves, his apron, and the shop, gathered up his "adventuring gear" consisting of a pack of traveling gear and his trusty pistol, then headed out.
He might have forgotten to tell his master that he was leaving. Or quitting. Or to have even checked the time to know whether it was the correct time to go. But such is the life of a gnome.
Tussle crossed the bridge out of Ordellia, past the infamous sawmill that had burned down in a blaze of righteous fire a few years ago, and on into Keystone. He knew his way well, as he'd been in Magnimar for several years (arriving just before that fire, and being ecstatic that he hadn't been blamed for it), then up through Lowcleft and onto the High road leading to upper Magnimar. Now this was a path he had never taken.
In fact, the moment he set foot on it and started trying to make his way up to the Capital District, two guards stopped him. "What's your business in the Capital District?"
"I have an invitation."
He showed them the invitation. Once they'd determined it was genuine, they looked for other reasons to detain him. "What's that weapon on your belt?"
Tussle was happy to tell them about his pistol, show it to them, go into details about how it worked, and otherwise convince them that they were better off just letting him move on. "Just try not to get into any trouble up there. Stick to the main roads, and go straight to the manor."
If he heard murmurs complaining about Lady Heidmarch letting any old riff-raff into Upper Magnimar, he certainly pretended he didn't hear them.
The Capital District was a dizzying assortment of massive buildings, far finer than any Tussle had ever seen, but passersby seeing an obviously work-hardened crafting gnome were happy to point him towards the crafting district, which just so happened to take him towards the Alabaster district as well. The craftsmen were more than happy to help him with more directions, until he came to the gate to the Alabaster district. Once again, he was stopped by gruff guards. Once again, he showed them his invitation. Once again, they complained about the sorts the Lady was allowing into the district, but there was nothing they could do. They assigned Tussle a young page to show him to the manor, and the page led him directly there. There seemed to be no other adventuring types in the district; everyone on the street was either a noble or a servant, so Tussle could see how he might seem out-of-place. The page led him to a large villa with an open front gate, told Tussle that he could go inside, and held out his hand in a strange cuplike manner.
Tussle duplicated the gesture.
This was apparently the wrong thing to do, as the page stormed off, irritated.
Tussle admired the topiary, the white gravel walk, and the huge lawn, but he was more interested in the job. He walked in the front door and was greeted by a lovely young halfling woman named Mary. She immediately knew who he was, smiled, invited him in, apologized that the Lady was in a meeting and he would have to wait a bit, and had a human butler named Giles bring him to a small waiting room with assorted furniture for small, medium, and large humanoids. Tussle grabbed a few snacks from Giles, clambered up onto the largest chair in the room, and waited.
PC Name: Tussle
Player: Impus Minor
Race/Class: Male Gnome Gunslinger (Pistolero)