Orianna threw an amused look at Nikola. “You said it, good luck explaining it now.” She adjusted her cloak and glanced at the others with undisguised curiosity. “I gather this is the first time you’re visiting a bigger city?”
The loose clustering of people waiting to get into the city moves at a reasonably quick pace as the guards examine cargo and dispense permits. Eventually, you make it the little booth near the front gate. It's manned by a bored-looking clerk with ink-stained fingers and sleeves rolled up his thin arms. He has a sheath of paper in front of him, weighted down by a large, polished chunk of stone, and an incredibly intricate stamp of some kind, which he can apparently activate to cause it to spin and rearrange itself into a variety of shapes. A grizzled veteran stands nearby, her own expression of bored disdain so intense as to make the clerk look like he's having a blast.
"Welcome to Lystentum," he says, his voice mechanical and rote. "What is the purpose of your visit, and what permits will you require?"
Elaine smiles broadly at the veteran, then gives the clerk a more diplomatic, but still warm, smile.
"Hi. I'm Elaine. Singer, player, Wire Artist. I'm traveling, and what permits do I need to entertain?"
“Basically, yes. If you’re still unsure about what you’ll do in Lystentum, you can acquire permits at a later time.”
Orianna turned to the clerk and guard with a charming smile and a cheery disposition. “Busy day, huh? I’ll rest and resupply... then maybe take on a position as a guard in a caravan leaving the city.” She shot a glance at Nikola, arching an eyebrow as if challenging him to badmouth caravan guards again. “What opportunities will present themselves today remains to be seen, but I know my way around the city already. Worry not, I’ll get the appropriate permits as needed.”
"Oh, the innocent.. If I didn't owe you beer I feel like y'all would be absolutely wonderful to be around for a night. And for you, my monkish friend, I'll cover your entrance permit. I'd like to hear more about that umbrella. And for the rest of you, Lystentum has plenty of opportunities, both for good and for ill. Keep an eye out, and remember to get your permits before you get down any rabbit holes."
Looking at the clerk, his voice takes a tone clearly showing he has answered thse questions before...
"I'll need a level 1 crafting and a level 2 gambling. And..."
With this, he stops and looks around at the new arrivals.
"Uh.... I'll also need the grey one third from the bottom. Level 1 will be fine on that."