Taal’s sacred city comes to life as you take your fist steps out onto the streets of Talabheim. Indeed, the looming walls of the Taalbaston dominate much of the city’s life — for the closer you live to the wall, the poorer you’re likely to be. In fact, the poorest live within the wall itself in a series of crudely hacked out caves and passageways known as the Ratholds.
You cannot help but notice the hordes of liveried servants that scurry past you carrying sheaths of documents back and forth from the center of the city, the Law Quarter. It squats like an ominous grey toad as the heart of Talabheim.
On a street corner, you hear a man declaim loudly he has business in Taalagad that must be doing poorly without him until a friend hushes him.
A pair of Dogfaces patrol the front of a shuttered inn forcibly closed because too many of its patrons were diagnosed as having the Grey Ague. The Sabine Rose, a bloom sacred to Shallya, is pinned over nearly every doorway.
And there is no laughter to be found that doesn’t die quickly. Crellion fights back a cough, tightens his white wolf cloak over his head.
“I haven’t asked your business,” says Eladio, “but I can offer my assistance around the city for a cut of your take — assuming that’s what you’re here for.”