Felim collapsed into the snow, exhausted. It felt like it would be the last fall this time, his limbs stiffening and flesh numb. The adventurer had heard of natives that thrived out here, men who slew bears and made coats of seal fur. But who could build anything out here...?
Just as he felt light start to fade, Felim cast his gaze up to see the sky one last time. He was startled - or would have been, if his body had the energy - to see a furred hood and a leathery face with a toothless grin. "Ho there, brother!" it spoke. "You came to just the right place."
"Bristlebane ale. Tall."
Mathus looked up. He didn't recognize the man ordering, but he seemed the type: muscles beneath a layer of fat, a snarling expression with most of his teeth missing, fists like summer hams. "You want it in a bottle?"
"From the tap."
Mathus nodded. "This way," he said, stepping from behind the bar and into the back room, the "customer" following.
A fresh-faced young man sitting at the bar looked around, confused. "Bristlebane? Sounds adventurous."
"You couldn't handle it, son," an older man said from across the plank bar with a hint of derision. "It'd right kick your ass."
One of the Cosmic Era's most populous and vibrant cities, Novo São Paulo also has one of the widest economic gaps with an underside illustrating its crushing poverty.
"We came expecting a broken moon or wayward asteroids, but this... I don't think anyone's seen anything of its like. There's an astounding amount of material here. We're looking in the records, trying to match some of the artifacts, but there's nothing like it. I don't know what most of this does, but my God is it complex. We're looking at, at least, what, two decades of potential salvage, maybe more, then the cartography of the local moon for more. We're definitely here to stay."
- Phaeton Venator, recovered personal log
A rather large armed group slowly walks the road. Unless you get to see what they transport, you could think it is a caravan with expensive goods, or the soldiers escort someone important. But this is a prisoner transport, on the way to mines, criminals on their way for punishment.
The soldiers may be willing to talk, the captain will have a few questions on you and the road, but they will keep distance, and part soon.