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Ace and Ashe woke up a little after dinner time. The sun is about to dissapear to the west as they walk downstairs.
They spot their new allies sitting at a table waiting for them. Talking and drinking a little while waiting for them. To their surprise, Lei Grall is among the group. As they reach the table, Humffrey finish his story, "...head to toe coverred in some stinky green slime. That was so disgusting that my partner could not hold it up and fled the scene. Oh you woke up finaly eh? Hope you had a nice nap ."
The dwarf wink at the two heroes.
"Alright, lets talk some more serious matters. What do you guys plan to do now?"
Looking at Humfrey with a strange expression, Ashe replies. A nice nap? Ashe shakes his head, It may have provided me with the rest I needed but it was not nice. My sleep was plagued by the strangest dream. I was in a temple and witnessed the torture and massacre of an elven paladin upon an altar. I stood there, ignored completly by a Bane priest who sacrificed the poor elf and I could almost feel the man's pain as if I were the one being tortured.
It must have been the temple we just cleared of undead. The sacrifice was being performed on the obsidian altar and the tample was in much better repair, even the statue of Bane was whole.
The priest of Bane continued desecrating the paladin's corpse and I could perceive the elven soul being sucked into the altar. The scene continued, with the dark god's priest completly ignoring me. Suddenly, it felf as if I was being watched so I whirled around and in front of me stood the Paladin's ghost. It was almost as if he was trying to gauge my reaction to all this and finaly he spoke,
"Well met Ashe. I am Sel'than Natura, paladin of the war path, protector of Dol Dorn."
He bowed slightly to at this point.
"I extend my gratitude to you and your friends for freeing me and all these other poor souls from this abominable place. And yet, I am about to ask even more of you. I am stuck here, between this world and the next one, unable to move on to the afterlife. I am pretty sure of the reason for this. You see, while I was alive, I was on a life quest."
He came closer and sat on the floor beside me.
"I donít really know how long it has been, but a long time ago. I believe the human calender year was 383, when the elven king Ilthaden Moonsong of Yarten was attacked on its way back from a diplomatic event. I was there in charge of its protection with Fastin Sourvine. That fight was planned and the enemies were too numerous. We failed and the king was assassinated. I was left for dead, depleted of my family heirloom, like everyone else, but I did survive, by Dol Dorn's will no doubt.
I was the one to bring back the news of the attack and the deatrh of our king. After that failure, and the loss of our family gear, we and the Sourvine family lost our positions as the realm's protectors and guards of the king. I took it upon myself to restore my family's name. For that, I needed my family hierloom, which possessed the strength of all my ancestors. So I started to look for them. My research took time and after a few years, I finaly managed to locate one of them, or so I thought. I came here, to this very temple, but the man I faced, one of the same ones that attacked us before, was simply too powerful and I was defeated. After that, he used me for his foul rituals to his dark god, Bane, and my soul has been caught, with all the others here for all this time."
He looked sad and still tormented by all this as he recalled it.
"But now you freed us all, but only I remain. To me, it must mean that my life quest isnt completed, my task in this world. I donít know what happened to my family, but I doubt they restored our name in its rightful place. Also, I can barely sense my god's presence anymore. But as I look at you, I can sense Dol Dorn's blessing upon you, I can hear his voice through you, if only barely. I cannot do anything while caught here... But you can. So I ask you, who has the same faith as I do within your heart, the blessing of the war god: Would you continue my life quest, to restore my family name and honnor?"
I replied with a "yes".
"Very well then, I then grant you the name Natura and all my own titles. You should be recogninsed as such and respected such, Ashe Natura."
The elf rose and placed his hand over my forehead.
"Let your training begin."
From there, everything was weird. It felt as if years were passing and that I received some training. I'm not sure if he was teaching me or I was simply reliving his life. Nothing was crystal clear, but I realised that I knew a lot of his life and his god, which I had never heard of before anywhere. Still one, thing was certain, I am still myself, the same person, in control of my life, but with a new goal, a new desire.
As I awoke, I felt a bit dizzy, still unsure of all of this. My old divine allegence is still there, but now I feel another calling, a voice calling in my very soul that I have never heard before. The voice appears to be very far, as if it is muffled by something, but I can hear it.
As Ashe finishes his long story, Ace gives him a grin. Well, it seems we've yet another task to complete! I will be happy to help you, but I think Bord-Eau needs us more right now. You can resist the Knight's call, right?
Looking first to Bolerum, It is certainly possible that this may infact relate directly to the war we fight now. I am not familiar with any of the names that the knight made mention of. Turning now to Ace, Yes, it is something I want to do, but there is no compulsion that will force me to perform the quest.
The elven maiden knowing that people will look at her because of her race reply immediatly, "I dont know anything about that story. I am not even from the elven kingdom, so I cant really help you there."
"Besides enjoying destruction, the greenskins were after food supplies. Maybe it's tactical to destroy this city, but maybe they have suffered the same bad year as most farmers. A bad growing season means wild things grow less as well, which means wildlife doesn't thrive. Even if the greenskins are perfectly nomadic hunter/gatherers, they would be suffering food shortages, and if they have real farmers among their numbers, then even more so. They haven't attacked here since the food raid, and even when the soldiers left the walls to sortie forth, they didn't bother making an attack. The first rule of siege warfare is to take advantage of such opportunities, and they didn't, which leads me to believe they do not want the city itself."
Marius muses into his mug, unsure exactly of what to do. Civilian life was very different than military life. Had he been inactive this long in the military, some colonel would have given him new orders by now.
"Seems we have a few options. Do as Ashe's Knight commands, and restore his heirlooms and family honor; Go out into the wilds to try to track down and rescue the men that stayed behind to guard the wagon train's escape, or find the source of the greenskin's attacks. I think that finding the men that stayed behind is the proper thing to do, though to be honest, the appearances of a siege may be all that is keeping the lower classes here from rioting. It is them that will bear the brunt of food shortages, not the nobility."
Yes, those would appear to be our major options. I do have some more information that I gathered before I headed off to rest. This is purely gossip but it may prove useful.
A thieves guild has been forming in the port district, apparently they are only acting in that district. Many people are attribuating most of the crimes around to them, but I get the feeling that this is mostly bad mouthing from the people. I am sure that some of it is their doing, but some of it feels like exxageration. Some people even say that they are in league with the goblins.
Two months ago, an emissary from Torres came to Bord-Eau to negotiate and buy food for the capital city. He negotiated a lot with the city and even some with the merchants. He managed to buy a bit, but not enough for his tastes and apparently he stayed here and was still trying. Some rumors says that he defended the north-east gate by himself and some respect among the commoners for him is starting to grow.
The Krom-Dac dwarves are allies with the goblins is another rumour. Most of the enemies were using weaponry made by one of the Krom-Dac dwarf family. I have also did seen the mark. The alliance part is mostly based on assumptions because of the weapons more than on actual facts and real knowledge.
Word is already on the street about the stolen food. Most people say that the city's supplies are now so low that the city wont hold long with what is left. The initial panic has been replaced by a simple grimness now.
Bord-Eau refused many times in the past to form an alliance with Torres. They always cliamed they didn't need their protection and prefered not to be governed and to owe them taxes. The people in the city are starting to complain about this and would prefer to have the suppoer of Torres. Fingres are pointed at the city council right now, claiming it is their fault.
Yesterday, the boats were grounded and ordered to stay in dock. No boat can leave until further notice. No reason has been given for this.
Rumors about Ace and his allies who defended the north district are also cirulating among the populace.
"Our dear druid friend here works for the Emissary, a nice gentleman, Sir Whitehand. It seems we can focus within the city, or without, but trying both at one time would be futile. It seems to me that unless there is food loaded on those ships that was somehow secreted away, there is no point in focusing inside the city to solve the imminent problem of starvation. We must break the siege, and find a way to get foodstuffs into the city."
I've a number of appointments to keep this evening. First, William Brasseur, the head of the city guard. Next, a friend of mine named Zorana is going to give me an update on a matter I asked her to investigate. If any of you would like to come with me to visit Brasseur, feel free.
Nodding at what Marius says, Yes, getting food into the city is of the utmost importance but where would we even be able to get the food? The enemy has been destorying and looting all the farms for miles.
The question of the ships is an interesting one though. It strikes me that they may be attempting to prevent someone from escaping the city. If we can capture that individual it may provide us with the information that will enable us to be of greater help to the city.
Turning to Ace, My current sources of information are unreliable at best, I would gladly accompany you as I may be able to find out more information.
"Seems to me the raiders must have their own supply line to get their takings back home. Taking out their supply would weaken the raiders next season and relieve the oncoming famine. Also, we'd get to fight!"
Lei Grall join the discussion, "In fact Marius, I think we can do more than one option. I am actually going to look for Eliael, Baldric and Tam. I owe them that much. I was planning to go alone, to scout the area and locate where they are first, and then either help them escape or come get help to go free them. Humffrey did convince me to bring him along, for extra security and possibly more chances to be able to free them right way when I find where they are."
You all notice that she keep the fact that they could well be death, trying to stay positive. Humffrey add, "I am more at ease outside the city anyway and she would need the help. I dont think we should all go. Not to insult anyone, but most of you guys arent really discrete when it comes to scouting. I'd need one fo the wolves we've got though, so I can keep up with her and flee if need be."
The elf then continue her reasoning, "If.... when we locate them, I'll have you informed so you can help us free them if can't by ourselves. This way, you guys can help the city with the food. As you mentionned, food is the real problem right now.
I know nothing about food within the city, but I know the enemy bring what they took into the Green forest. I didnt scout in it, but I have seen them bring some there, and Sir Whitehand got informed me that it is where they brought what they took in the city two days ago. They look like they are setting their camp there."
Taken aback by the brash outburst from Bolerum, Eager to fight are you? One should never rush blindly into a fight if one can avoid it. We should do everything in our power to garuntee the outcome of the fight before we engage in it.
This plan is not without risk to you Lei Grall and Humfrey, are you sure you wish to do this? If you are it would allow us to learn what we can and to know where we are going before we set out.
The elf nod, "I already decided to take that path. I'll search for them, not for the food though. If they tracks lead me to some food, 'Ill also let you know, but you shouldnt count on me for that until I found out what happened to your-our three friends. I am actually ready to go right now."
Clearly you are resolved to go then. Good luck and safe journey. Turning to the others. There is no point in setting forth from the city until they manage to send word to us. Let us see what we can learn and what assistance we can provide here in the meantime.
Ace nods to Lei's proposal. Thank you, Miss Grall. Baldric is one of my oldest friends, and Tam and Eliael are good men. I would come with you, but I fear I would only slow you down. Plus, I think my talents are best used here, in the city. It will ease my mind to know that you and Humffrey are on the case. When she and Humffrey leave, Ace shakes their hands and then he turns towards the door, wincing a bit as a partially healed sword wound in his side protests being stretched. Alright, I'm off to pay Brasseur a visit. Anyone care to join me?
You all eat the very light dinner served by the Inn. Lei Grall stand and nod to you, "May Melora protect you all. Are you coming Humffrey?"
The dwarf follows her, "Take care guys, I'll see you later."
When you all are done, Ace lead the group to the district militia headquarters.
One there, the front desk soldier recognise the sorcerer and bow to him, "Nice to see you again. The captain is expecting you." He extend his arm, pointing William's office door, which is open.
As you reach the captain office, the scarred man look up, "So you're finaly back. And from what I've heard, you've done even more good deeds for the city."
Ace can see that the man look in better shape that the last time he saw him. He still look tired, but not exausted and injured anymore. "So, what happened to you? I can see you've made some new allies, but where are the others?"
Monique tries to put some things together, using new knowledge of the ancient Elven paladin. Perhaps some clues towards the Chest would be forthcoming?
[spoiler]roll history check (1d20+10) trying to see what those names mean, where that temple could be, erc[/roll]
"Well, 'ello, there ser. Sorry ta jus' barge in 'ere. D'you know anything 'bout the troubles in th' ports - what with the new guild an' th' ships being dry docked - or is there someone else I can ask?"
Thanks Gigi Digi for the avatar.
Last edited by NotScaryBats : 11-30-2011 at 06:48 PM.
The militia captain look turn toward the young bard. He tilt his head and reply, "Well met miss....? As for the boat being held up, the order comes from me, well the initial idea was mine and it have been accepted by my commander. Since you seem to be with Ace, I,ll give you the real reason."
The captain look at Ace for confirmation that he trust these people m then keep going on. "It seems there is some thieves in the city allied with the goblins. We think that some of the food is still in the city and to make sure that it isnt shipped away, we are keeping the ship until we find it."
In response to Brasseur's question, Ace begins to explain. Well met, captain. Eliael, Baldric and Tam are unfortunately... missing in action. We left them with a group of farmers heading towards the city, while we branched off to make a stand against a group of lizardfolk. We destroyed them, but a goblin escaped; we followed him to another group, which we split up and eradicated. We were slowed in rejoining them by a group of giants and some troll-bloods; were it not for Marius and Monique, here, I am quite sure we'd all be dead from that battle. By the time we caught up with the farmers, my friends had made a noble stand of their own; we don't know their fate, but they slowed the orcs enough for the farmers to escape, saving countless lives. Our friends Lei Grall and Humffrey have left the city in search of our companions. Ace refuses to mention the possibility that his friends are dead. When Monique broaches the topic of the ships, Ace interjects after Brasseur's response. Do you mean the thieves' guild that has run in the city for some time, or this a new force? Because I am... inclined to trust the established thieves. They may have a dishonest line of work, but they love this city very much. Tam trusted... trusts them too. Could you perhaps set those ships to fishing? That might help alleviate some of the food shortage.
"It seems to me that the easiest method of finding out the information we seek is to capture some goblins and orc, until we find one that knows something. Interrogation is part of war, and I think we need to gather as much information about the enemy force as possible. One goblin will lead us to another, who will eventually lead us to the rats in this city." The warlord smiles grimly. "Besides, when has killing a goblin ever been a bad idea? I don't suppose any of you speak giant or goblin?"
Chagrined, the human looks at Ashe. "You are right to think that I am eager for battle. Kord's sacred violence burns in my veins. Each day I live brings me a step closer to an unnatural death by old age or illness. Adventurers such as we are better suited to action than to ... city matters." He obviously isn't thrilled with the less straightforward variety of adventure.
He then volunteers to Marius, "I speak the language of the big folk."
If there is still food stashed somewheres within the city, liberating it would do much to enable the city to hold out against the goblins and their allies. We would be able to take a more measured approach and not be as reckless.
William face show sadness as he learn of Eliael, Baldric and Tam fate. "Pelor's Sun, I hope they made it ok."
When it comes to the thieves subject, a suspicious and unsure look appear on the captain, "I am not sure it is the thieves guild directly, but it wouldnt be out of their line of work. Even if they are not in league with the goblins, their records are not really clean you know."
The captain shurg at Ace boat idea. "I can suggest it to my commander, but I am not sure it is a good idea. These ship captain wont want to relinquish they boat and if we let them out of the docks, what will stop them from simply fleeing."
To Monique proposition, he nods, "I'll keep that in mind miss, but we do not have any idea whom is behind this right now."
The man nod to Marius, "Of course slaying these pest is a good thing, that is why I offer 2 GP for their left ears. We also manage to cature some, but we have not yet been lucky. Even the one that appears to been some sort of leader didnt knew much about all this. Their mission was to get the food and not kill the people, at least as much as possible. We think their goal is to starve us. The more people to feed, to quicker we will start to feel the siege effects of starvation.
An other thing that we learned is how they got here. Well it is still unclear, but from what we understand about their vague description, they have been sent here by some magician via magic. I know nothing about magic, but it would appear that some sort of magical circle sent the goblins troops right into some ruins in the forest.
Other than that, we didnt learn much."
Captain Brasseur look at Ashe hopefully, "It would sure help, but we have no clues as where it could be, if still in here. We passed the words that we offer some reward for the stolen food, but no one came to us."
"Siege tactics are only useful if you want to capture a city, if you just want to burn it down, you don't need to play the waiting game, or steal food supplies. The question we have to ask ourselves is who benefits from this city starving. I wonder what sort of political pressure has been put on the city lately. A political enemy would be the most likely candidate for this kind of pressure, as it seems clear the goblins didn't come halfway across the world to plunder some food."