The last of the kobolds slumps lifeless to the floor of the subway car. "That was a close one," you think to yourself as you catch your breath. "How could I have been so careless? The next ones to follow me might have something worse than daggers ... " You sheathe the blade and look around, but none of the other passengers seem to have paid any mind to the melee battle that just occurred in their midst. If anything, they're mostly just agitated at the fact that the train still hasn't moved. One gentleman in particular sighs and mumbles an epithet — clearly, his destination is far more important than everyone else's, and no one can understand the extent of his inconvenience. (Roll D20 WIS check at +3 to resist giving the guy a look that says, "We're on this train too, jackhole.")
Turning your attention back to the slain kobolds, you quickly search them for any clues. (Loot: $11.00, Potion of Minor Healing.) One of them has a small token in his pocket, some sort of talisman. You drop it in your belt pouch just as the train crawls back to life.
You briefly consider keeping one of the kobolds' Mets caps, but really, are they any more likely to hold onto the division lead this year than they were last year?
At last, the train stops at Bowling Green. The doors open, and the now-familiar unfriendly voice makes an announcement that several of the passengers were dreading. "Attention passengers. Due to an earlier incident, this train is being taken out of service." The collective groan drowns out the rest of the announcement, which unfortunately includes any information about what you're supposed to do now.
A tide of people sweeps you off the train and towards the exit, past a transit employee who, against all probability, is singing "Good morning" to the grumpy throngs. You head up a wide set of stairs, once again opting against the ensorcelled self-moving stairway. "Powered by demons, for all we know," you mutter. The stairs lead up through a glass & steel canopy, depositing you into a plaza. Your feet stop, because your eyes can't help but look around — and in particular, up.
You're at the foot of what appears to be a canyon of buildings, reaching into the sky farther than the tallest trees back in Owlsong Forest. The canyon ends at a round park circled by an iron fence, with a fountain at its center. Below that is the plaza, bordered on its other side by a grand, white building with stone steps and columns. It appears to be a museum dedicated to indigenous cultures.
All around you, people swarm about their business, brushing past your shoulders. Most are in suits. "How strange I must look in my cloak and hood," you muse. And yet, getting their attention turns out to be harder than it looks.
"Excuse me? Excuse me, sir? M'lady? Hello? Can anyone tell me where Union Square is? The train died or something, can you tell me where I am? Erm, hello?"
Finally, a man in a stern suit & tie pauses, and regards you with an arched eyebrow. "This is the Financial District," he says flatly. "You need to go uptown." Before you can ask how to get uptown, he's off.
Unsure what else to do, you head past the park towards the canyon.
You are lost among the winding streets of the Financial District. Roll a D20 Streetwise check at -2 every 5 minutes. SUCCEED 3 consecutive times — Turn to page 118. FAIL 3 consecutive times — You are back at Bowling Green and must begin again. At each check along the way, roll a D10 to determine encounters:
- Large brass monument of a bull that seems to attract worshippers from around the world
- A white-columned edifice that houses a financial market of considerable magnitude
- 2D4 fruit vendors
- An old church with honored burial ground (2% chance of non-hostile ghost encounter)
- DEX check! Nearly run over by bicycle messenger
- 1D4 guards in heavy blue armor, advanced weapons at the ready
- An unlimited number of markets selling lunch, spaced every 50', each charging an extraordinary amount for what looks like a pretty straightforward salad
- An entrepreneurial gentlemen selling watches on a folding table
- Phase-shifting dire werebeetle (Turn to page 48.)
- 1% chance of protest rally, automatic FAIL on Streetwise check while you find a way around
Finally, a lucky break. You happen upon the Whitehall subway station, and judging from the map by the turnstiles, these trains go right to Union Square. (See page 61 for subway entry rules.) The stairs descend quite a ways into the earth, and right as you get to the uptown platform a train festooned with a big yellow 'R' lumbers to a stop. You hop on and grab a seat. "Any kobolds this time?" you half-joke to yourself. Thankfully, no. But the thought reminds you of the kobold's token, which you dig out to examine. About an inch around, it's engraved on both sides — one with a snowflake, the other with a star.
Before long the train pulls into Union Square. You make your way along the green-painted platform and head upstairs, emerging in a foyer near the turnstile. Looking around to get your bearings, a swish of movement catches your eye ... was that a cloak you just saw? A few steps later you see it again — definitely a cloak, and a leather jerkin. Not a regular city denizen. Whoever it is, she pulls her hood up just before you get close look at her face. She heads down the hallway, away from the turnstile. You don't think she saw you, but you're not sure.
You could follow her, but Brennick isn't going to wait forever, and if you don't meet up with him now there's no telling when (or how) you'll find him.
-Brennick will want to know who that is. I follow the hooded stranger. Turn to page 73. -If I don't find Brennick, I may not live to see another sunrise. I head to the surface. Turn to page 81.