In the grim cyberpunk world of the 22nd century real life sucks. So people use neural nano-interfaces to escape to the vibrant fantasy worlds of DMMO-RPGs. For years the most popular of these was YGGDRASIL, but it slowly lost momentum and by 2138 is being shut down. Three friends log in to face the last minutes of the game together, completely unaware of what will happen after it ends.
The city is built in three concentric districts, an outermost military district, an innermost administrative district, and a more traditional city district with housing and industry. The guards directions take them to the middle district and past several open air marketplaces before depositing them in front of a pair of old west style saloon doors.
He notes the locations of the marketplaces - they can be good for gossip - and leads the way into the building, pausing once Soreiyu's through to look around.
The windows are closed, and so the interior is somewhat dark. People who were used to the light outside would probably not be able to see their hands stretched out in front of their faces. However, as Kuchinawa and Soreiyu both possess darkvision this isn't an issue.
The inside of the building is quite spacious. The first floor is a dining area, with a counter further within. That counter is backed by shelves that contain dozens of bottles of alcohol. The door beside the counter most likely leads to a kitchen.
One could see the scattered customers within seated around several round tables. Almost all of them are men, and the promise of violence hangs heavily over them. Everyone’s attention is on Soreiyu. They look at him as though they are sizing him up. The only person who does not pay attention to Soreiyu is a woman seated in a corner. She stares intently at a small bottle on her table.
He's pretty clearly primarily a spell-caster, one that carries himself with confidence but not arrogance. Someone who knows he can survive in the wilds, but won't be picking fights.
Kuchinawa carries himself as someone more quiet - halfway between adventurer and scholar, probably has experience with delving into dungeons for the architecture and not the treasure - but out of the two as the one making decisions. He'll approach the bar, first, to see about securing a room for the night.
A voice like a broken bell calls out; “A room, huh. For how long?”
He's not particularly nonplussed at the innkeeper asking before he could initiate. "We'd like to stay at least a night, but might stay up to six," he says. "Which it'll be we'll probably know by tomorrow midday."
"A night is five coppers. The food’s oatmeal and vegetables; meat’s an extra copper. Might be getting days-old bread instead of the oatmeal. That said you know we mostly serve adventures, not that I'm going to turn down money from foreigners or anything."
"I'm writing a travel novella. 'Adventurers' are usually a good resource for stories. Five coppers is acceptable."
Soreiyu, meanwhile, is looking around - and notes that almost every patron has a small metal plate on their bodies, usually on a necklace.
"You know whats good for getting stories out of adventures? Offering them drinks."
"I'll keep that in mind."
A man stands up and waves you over to his table were he sits with several other men, all wearing silver plates.
He'll pay the bartender for a night then wander over. "Hello!" he says, smiling. "I'm Kouta. This is my friend and assistant Susumu. We're travelers from afar."
“I’m the leader of the Swords of Darkness, Peter Mauk. That fellow over there is the eyes and ears of our team, the ranger Lukrut Volve.”
A leather-armored blond man nods in acknowledgement, and his brown eyes seemed to have a spark of delight in them. He's slender and long-limbed, kind of like a spider, but his lean torso is wiry and muscular.
“Next is our magic caster and the brains of our group, Ninya, The Spellcaster.”
“Pleased to meet you. ...But Peter, can you not use that embarrassing nickname?”
"Eh? But it’s a good one."
As this happens the final party member just keeps sitting there drinking and smiling.
"Please to meet you all," he'll say, and Soreiyu will nod, too.
"I see you're not from around here. What kind of stories are you looking for?"
"Well, our main area of interest is how this land differs from ours, but that's harder to encapsulate in a single story. The strange, the unusual, the shocking, all make good tales - or the prosaic and everyday, but for those we'll usually talk to everyday people."
"We'll there's the time nobles kidnapped my sister."
"If you don't mind sharing, that does sound interesting!"
"It was a perfectly normal day, my sister was out working the way she always had since Mom died. Then that bastard past through our village on the way to here and told he she was coming with him whether she wanted to or not. I've been trying to find her since then, but that was while slavery was still legal so I think she's been sold off."
"I've had a few contacts throughout my travels, I can try to find her? Stories should have happy endings, or at least satisfying ones."
Or he can get Soreiyu to scry for her.