As the first month of summer comes to a close, Alistair puts all of his belongings into his mage dimension, except a single knife he wears on his belt. He takes the key to his room where he has stayed these last several years down to the buildings owner, and heads out through the city. He leaves the harbor district, and follows the outer ring of the city until he gets to the main road out of the city, and walks until he finds another road out, not wanting to take the obvious path. As he leaves the city, walking past farmhouses and barns instead of through the tight packed streets he had become accustomed to, he slowly relaxes, and begins to look around at his surroundings with interest instead of caution.
And then a woman appears in a swirl of smoke in front of him, stumbling. She's in foreign armor, a sword strapped to one hip and an odd circular weapon to the other.
She gets her feet under her, glancing around sharply.
Alistair takes a step back, startled.
He rather suspects that her arrival is much like his own, though she does not seem to come from at all the same native land as he does.
"Where is this?"
"Well, we're just outside the city of Rochdale. If I'm correct, you have no idea where that is. Were you trying to go somewhere?" He wasn't when he landed here, but she doesn't appear to have just woken up, so her circumstances are probably different than his.
"No. I was in a fight."
"Huh. Where were you, before you ended up here? Did anything weird happen in the fight before you came here?" It would be really weird if this universe was just stealing people at random, but would it be weirder than people sending their opponents to other universes? Unless he's wrong and she's just from another part of this world and got unexpectedly teleported. What questions will answer that....
"What, if anything, do you know about magic?" he asks, a moment later
"Well, I was fighting a god. Unexpected things happen sometimes. And magic is used by witches and shamans. I don't use it."
"Fighting a god. Huh. Well, that pretty much confirms that I am right. You are in another universe." He seems incredibly smug about being right. After a moment, he realizes that he hasn't introduced himself and the smug look is replaced by mild embarrassment.
"Uh, I'm Alistair. What's your name?"
"I'm Xena. Another universe?"
"Another universe! Different people, different places, different magic, different gods, pretty much everything will probably be different! I have no idea how to get you back."
"...Huh. That is - stranger than I'd been expecting."
"It's pretty strange at first. I like it here, but maybe you won't. What other questions do you have? I might be able to answer them." He looks around to see if anyone is coming, but since they seem to be alone he doesn't bother to move them out of the road just yet.
"Well, I suppose 'what does one do for money' around here wouldn't go amiss. I'm going to need to eat eventually."
"Well, working the docks gets you some money. Generally, if you go into the poorer parts of the city and ask for work, someone will have something that needs doing. Or you could look for jobs escorting merchants, since it sounds like you're good at fighting. If you prefer to stay away from large settlements, I hear that you'll get a bounty if you kill the creatures that wander the wilderness and tell the nearest town about it, though this is my first time heading out of the city. That's what I'm planning on doing while I travel, to keep from running out of money." He doesn't mention that the money he has so far was gotten by stealing, it's frowned upon by most people most places and not the best to admit to.
"Bounties sounds like it'd be the most my speed."
"Well then, it sounds like walking away from the city and into the wilderness until you find something that needs killing is your best bet! You're welcome to come with me if you like." The city is still easily visible behind him.
"I might for a time. I'll need more information about this world, if nothing else."
He begins to walk away from the city again. "What sort of information? I've been here a while, and am from a different world myself, so I imagine I'll be able to help you out decently"
"Who I should expect violence from if I piss them off. What the laws are. Who rules where. How much warning I can expect about laws changing. That sort of thing."
"Violence from...mostly just criminals, really. Probably also mages, they aren't likely to be violent for no reason but they vastly outpower anyone without magic if they do decide to get violent. Laws- don't steal, don't attack people, don't kill livestock that doesn't belong to you, don't bother guards with anything that isn't a crime, don't start a riot or do anything that looks like starting a riot. You're in the Kingdom of Tendren, The border has guards on every road who'll tell you you're leaving, but I don't know much about neighboring country. The Kingdom of Tendren is ruled by King Delmon, and then different duchies are ruled over by different dukes. The laws stay mostly the same as long as there's one duke or king in charge, and and they don't change out very often." She may at this point get the impression that he doesn't pay particularly careful attention to the laws or rulers of the place where he lives.
"Any way criminals and mages tend to distinguish themselves?"
"Mages tend to wear blue robes, with various patterns depending on their jobs- if it's mostly white with some blue embroidery, that's an apprentice, they won't be very powerful, If it's blue with white trim and embroidery that's someone seeking out mage kids, and they won't start a fight unless you interfere with that, anyone else is both way more powerful and more likely to start a fight. Criminals mostly distinguish themselves by doing crime, but if there's someone carrying a weapon and being obviously avoided, they're probably a threat. Anyone ambushes you on the road or something, they're a criminal. Do criminals where you're from tend to visibly distinguish themselves?"
"Warlords and their top lieutenants tend to mark themselves, yes, though how much they could be said to be 'criminals' versus 'a very violent government' is debatable."
"That definitely isn't the sort of problem there is around here. I could give you more specifics if you were headed into Rochdale, but criminal groups that do mark themselves try to do it discretely enough the city guard can't use it to round them up, so it varies by city, and most criminals acting on their own don't mark themselves."
"That's fine, then."