After traversing through dimensions, fighting against ghosts and fire elementals, meeting a goddess and foul creatures from the farthest corners of the multiverse – Team BAJA was reunited finally in the city of Lastil-Taswell. Old friends are reunited, along with a new dwarf companion named Gilda. To their surprise, five years had transpired from the day they left for Nim Rock, leaving many members of the team concerned and worried. A storm was brewing in the Twinned City, Gilda’s gem brought them all together for a reason, and the Gems of Azuroth continued to be the center of all their fates. 

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The afternoon breeze from the docks danced and greeted the marketplace near the Sapphire Square, the various denizens of Lastil-Taswell which composed mostly of humans, half-elves, half-orcs, and dwarves, went about their business as usual. The human wizard, Arcaelus, stood stunned with the newspaper in his hands. Five years. The words still felt fake, as if they could not have traversed through such a length of time without some great magical influence. He looked back over at the armored dwarf, and asked her once again about the trinket she wore around her neck before noticing that the fragment had grown larger since their first introduction. The dwarf commented and related that the trinket occasionally brought her to places, but only recent did she realize that those places were often in different time periods. Arcaelus suggested that it was probably best to not taint the timeline, their adventures might have had dire consequences.

The halfling assassin, Rainer, grew impatient and anxious upon learning of their five-year absence. He could only fathom the possibility of Timeaus Randor’s fury and rage for such a long absence, worse from any former associates from the Nest of Shadows. Rainer suggested to the group that they find a place to rest soon, they were starting to draw attention after the loud uproar from the goliath barbarian’s inquiry about the future from Gilda. She promptly refused, of course. Aydan did her best to conceal her large antler-like tiefling horns, but the sorceress was not adept with such deceptions. Jimmy Moon transformed into a sea eagle to oversee his friends and keep watch of any possible dangers, the half-elf was elated to be back in his hometown but equally dreaded the upcoming conversation his father, Lord Galenodel.

The streets and back-alleys of the Twinned City had not change within their absence, Rainer navigated through the corners and shadows with relative ease. Most of it was memory, and the rest was instinct. The large tree that made up the Elven city of Lastil provided the city with shade against the beating sun. Jimmy couldn’t help but take occasional glances at the large tree city, recalling memories of his youth with his father and the lessons he learned of the streets from his mother. After avoiding a few close calls, the team arrived in front of a seemingly worn out shop with boarded windows. The group initially went for the boarded up door, but Rainer stopped them and instead pressed on a panel opposite of the window, the sound of gears and wood snapping into place revealed a hidden alcove. Rainer welcomed his friends into his abode, once the coast was clear, the doorway slid back and once more became a regular part of a wall. Inside the group discovered a set of stairs that lead to a large opening with several benches and tables, many of them were adorned with weapons, leathers, a poisoner’s kit, and some adjacent doorways to makeshift bedrooms. A small window offered some light, Rainer lit several lanterns as the group made their way into the safehouse.

Rainer offered some of the spaces for resting, there were two rooms with some beds and another side room with some hay for either Brightiron or Jimmy if they so desired. Once the group got themselves settled, the halfling believed it was best for them to lay low from any unwanted eyes. There was no telling what the state of the world or even the city has become in their time gone, and the halfling knew he could only rely on one person. He left the group to settle down while he went off from the bustling streets within the Onyx district and headed back to the Sapphire district. Rainer had to see an old friend, the most direct path was still relatively safe but just to be safe, the halfling went down into the Taswell’s sewers and arrived to a seemingly boring-looking shop at the end of a street corner. The building had aged vermilion paint chipping off it, with grey roof tiles that needed to be replaced. One of the windows at the upper floor was broken as well, the place smelled of rotting fish, animal leathers, and the foul smell of burnt metal. Rainer walked over to the under-cellar, carefully treading down the stone steps to the open doorway. Once inside the halfling felt at ease, the smell of burning candles, the wooden casks that covered the walls, and the distinct sound of ruffled papers and pens. Rainer casually strolled up to a tall desk with several piles of paper, at the end of the desk was a halfling at least a decade older than Rainer, streaks of grey hair could be seen on his right side. He was rather stout and wore a simple merchant’s shirt, the halfling looked up with a bewildered gaze at Rainer.

“Hello, Dodger. It’s been a while,” Rainer said with a grin.

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