Chapter 5g - A Town in Transition

   
"All the bigshots in town are running," Karnak answers in response to Joachim's query. "Couple of the old mayor's aides, some rich merchants and noblemen...I hear that Gillaume fellow is running as well, and seems to have built up some support among the populace lately."
"Guess they wouldn't mind seeing a powerful wizard running things - and he did fight during the recent attack..."

"I don't think the old mayor's ever turned up though,"
the innkeeper adds. "Wonder what happened to him..."
"If he was alive, he'd have turned up by now, I think..."


At those words, Garak addresses the gathered folk in the Inn, speaking boldly of Joachim's skills, talents, and apparent political motivations.
"Good sir, in honor of Joachim's decision to run for mayor, let the first round of drinks be on me!"

"All right!" Karnak exclaims, fervently motioning for his serving-wenches to spread some ale around the seated guests.
"I gotta say, you folk certainly didn't seem like typical passerby, if you don't mind me sayin' so - if you stick around to help us out, if that Joachim fella becomes Mayor....well, I'd certainly be much happier!" he says, looking ecstatic at this possible news.

"Hey, that guy Joachim has my vote! He's a hero!" comes a shout from somewhere in a corner of the room, and is echoed heartily by several other patrons.

Tamrik heard the cheers pop up around the room as he left. He looked back across the room, hoping to catch Garak's eye, but when he couldn't actually see the man, he knew that he was seen looking. The two of them might have a little work tonight in order to swing the vote.

He entered his room, it was much as he left it, he lit a single candle and sat and waited for the arrival of Garak.

Joachim looked around. He was left standing there alone in the room. Well alone in the sense that all those he knew had left him with a crowed he knew not what to handle to pursue their own business. Not very friendly, specially since Joachim did not know much what to do.

"Oh yes, my wife ..." he answers to someone in the room about something. "Yes we rescued her." And yet another one "She is sleeping, exhausted."

"Of course I have a firm hand." Joachim said almost offended by the question.

"No good sir, drinks won't be for free, and I strongly recommend you sober up a bit." he says as one of the patron hugs him wildly trying to do what not. "Now sit down, here drink this." Joachim seated the man at his table giving him a pitcher of water.

He continues to talk to people in the room about this and that, making
Diplomacy:
Dice Roll:
1d20+15
d20 Results: 3 (Total = 18)
campaign and trying to get some more
Gather Information:
Dice Roll:
1d20+3
d20 Results: 2 (Total = 5)
information about his adversaries.

Try as he might, Joachim cannot convince the locals to alter their drinking habits, as ale is clearly a much superior beverage to water. Plus, who even knows how clean the water is...
Though a few folk mutter about the Paladin's aversion to alcohol, many more nod in approval, clearly tired of the usual drunkenness and foolishness they've seen from past politicians. Unfortunately, they prove to be rather unhelpful in obtaining information about the other candidates in the race, besides that which is common knowledge.

Perhaps Garak is right, and the populace is entirely clueless as to what's going on...


Garak knows that Tamrik wants to speak in the other room, but if they were to have a chance in having their puppet, Joachim, winning the election, the assassin knew they had to gain control of the room. With an uncharacteristic smile on his face, the tiefling jumped to the top of a table. It was time to give the paladin a seemingly
bluff to see if Garak can convince the people listening to believe all his BS.
Bluff:
Dice Roll:
1d20+16
d20 Results: 10 (Total = 26)
much needed boost.

"Some men are blessed with a tongue of silver that can convince people to do things they would not normally consider. Others use tricks, lies, and deceptions to have things go their way. Joachim clearly does not have these skills with the spoken word."

The assassin takes a moment to let the crowd think on his words.

"However, our friend and protector, Joachim, has one thing more than the other candidates. Character. When other candidates would encourage each of you to drink to the point of incapacity so you could be convinced to do anything they wanted, Joachim instead is encouraging you to remain sober so he can talk with you about things that truly matter to you and the city. Instead of spending his time pondering about what to say to get himself elected, he put his own life in danger so he could cross steel with anybody that would threaten the safety of the city and its inhabitants."

Garak looked about the crowd once again.

"So regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Joachim's words about your consumption of ale, consider his purpose in making such a statement. He is not trying to control you, but rather encouraging you to keep your mind as your own and put thought to this election and who will truly work to the betterment of the city and its people. Joachim has my vote. I'm sure he would appreciate yours as well."

With the speech given, Garak jumped down from the table and waited to see if the paladin would be able to use anything he said to sway the feelings of the masses.

"Now I may be new to these affairs of politics and all, but I have served other cities before ..." Joachim coughs and continues his campaigning, although most likely the main talking would have to be done in the upcoming debate. Gilaume had something dirty to him, perhaps Garak could dig up something on him, the fellow seemed to succeed in specially such tasks. "... none less then Neverwinter among others, I decided to embark in a pilgrimage of good serving the places I came through. Eventually my way brought me to this town. It seemed a nice place and it's inhabitants were kind to me. What seemed to be a routine job here ended up being something else. When I heard that this town was running danger I could not stand by and let it be overrun. The reasons may be obscure, but a council of mages seems to be behind it all from what we have gathered."

Joachim let's the last sicker in, it was no secret Gilaume was a mage, and although Joachim didn't do it on purpose it seemed to fit perfectly.

"After the attacks I tried my best to rebuild your city. Before the attacks I even rescued some of it's residents from a vile creature that had taken them for abuse into the mountains. Let me ask you, who are these so called politicians, that let a town be overrun without act, it's citizens be abducted and who do not even care to show their face and run. What good is it to lower taxes when tomorrow you might be pillaged due to the lack of defence. What good is an administration that has proved faulty in the past. I will not promise something to some small group of interest to me, but I will take action for the whole city. I won't hide behind papers when the town is in need, I will stand and and fight in front of the gates, I will stem up the stones and piles to rebuild your homes, with you."

Joachim looks over to Garak. This politics business was a strange one and was starting to affect Joachim. In a hushed up voice he says to the somber one "I don't trust this Gillaume. What do you propose our plan of action should be? I have my share of speeches for now."

What time is it?
ooc

Garak smiled as Joachim found his groove with the new speech. You will do perfectly, paladin, the assassin thought to himself. He would help Joachim to get elected, and would do whatever it took, for having a puppet in such a place of power would suit his needs just fine.

The assassin nodded in agreement to Joachim's words and then gave a reply that was so quiet only Joachim could hear. "You worry about getting elected, Joachim. I'll worry about protecting your back." It was an odd thing for Garak to say, as it was the first time that Garak addressed Joachim with his proper name and in a polite tone. There was something different about the assassin...something in his eyes was more alive than he had been before.

Whatever it was, Garak felt it as well. He felt happy. Though Joachim would probably misinterpret it as the joy from something pure and good, Garak knew it was derived from getting to practice his new favorite thing: manipulating people. Perhaps there is something to pretending to be nice to people, he thought to himself. This way, I can get them to do whatever I need, and in the end, I will stand to gain everything.

He patted the paladin on the arm and gave him a smile. A few more words were quietly whispered in Joachim's ear. "I believe Tamrik needs my help for now. I agree with your opinion, and will make sure nothing bad happens to you. I'll handle the details...you just get yourself elected."

Garak took advantage of the crowd still wanting to talk with the paladin, and decided it was a good time to take his leave. As the tiefling left the room he shouted to the crowd. "THREE CHEERS FOR OUR PROTECTOR AND MAYOR JOACHIM!"

Nava

As the dark-clad figure rounds the final bend in the road to Saerb, she draws to a sudden stop. The destruction around the city speak volumes as to the recent unrest, and is substantial enough to give any traveler pause. Though it seems that the dead have been removed, the stain of blood tells the tale of a great battle, and the debris of war is everywhere. The figure takes in the scene for several long moments as thoughts and concerns race through her mind. Seeming to come to some conclusion, the figure resumes its trek towards the battle-scarred city.

Once inside, the reassuring hustle-bustle of rebuilding is a comforting din of life and renewal. The figure smiles faintly at the clamor, but it is a distant smile, brushing the surface of her pale features, but not reaching deeply into her persona. Clad in a long coat of a strangely shimmery dark fabric, jet-black hair and the dark clothing cause her pale features to fairly gleam in the overcast day. Only the flash of deep blue eyes relieves her gloomy facade, to those who notice her passage, but even the blue of her eyes is dimmed by a shadowy darkness within.

The dark woman makes her way through the commotion, keeping out of the main thoroughfare, and on the fringes of the busy scene. To those few who mark her, she seems to drift in and out of the shadows, in and out of the sight of onlookers, who blink twice and wonder at the trick of the light... The furtive nature of her progress is only heightened as the woman seems to continually check her surroundings. She makes no other sort of suspicious behavior, actively skirting around groups of workers and vendors, and avoiding even casual contact with others, but it is clear that the woman is at a heightened sense of awareness. If her trailing shadow is a bit murkier or thicker than normal, that too is shrugged off as a trick of the light...

After some time, the woman stops at the threshold of a tavern, seemingly at random. The Purple Mead Inn... The woman stands outside the tavern for some time. Her stance is oddly defiant, for a traveler choosing her lodging. She looks upon the building, then gazes about her at the crowded street, before returning her gaze to the inn. Her shoulders then slump slightly, and she looks once more at the swirling mob of people going about their business in the city. As if driven by some abrupt decision, she quickly opens the door and enters the inn. It looks almost as if she acts in spite of her own wishes...


OK, just a little intro post for my character. I will post IC actions within the inn next time.
OOC

Garak and Joachim continue their political speeches, and though the other folks in the Inn seem agreeable to it, their attention soon turns to other matters, namely their ale, their beds, and their companions. As interesting as the unlikely duo is, everyone tires of politics and long-winded speeches eventually, and the residents of Saerb are no exception.

In time, the pair finds themselves with little left of the audience, and even Karnak has moved on to prepare the Purple Mead Inn for tomorrow's business.

At some point in the discussions, the door opens to admit a
dark looking woman, eager to escape the cold of the evening outside. She enters quickly, closing the door behind her, and looks about the Inn. It seems a typical-enough tavern atmosphere, but for the presence of a large figure, heavily-armored, apparently in the process of addressing the room. Beside him, a smaller fellow in darker clothing seems to lend the man some support, patting him on the arm and smiling broadly. Clearly, these two were good friends...

"A lovely town in its autumn… I suppose you'll be sniffing around such charnel pits as can be found? As can be smelled." A pointed hiss in the back of Hadal's mind signalled the return of his fiendish familiar to wakefulness, even though he'd gorged it on dried meat and dirt to silence the damnable annoyance, not three hours earlier.

"Autumn? You make metaphors as though you were more elf than demon, Querricovoatus. But yes, of course I shall, as ever you ask inane questions when you could dredge your memory for magics," Hadal spoke to his left hand, which stretched strangely against the thin leather glove that concealed the evil triangular face of the symbiont, "Ein! Zwei! Sniff out the resting places of whatever it was came here in anger and left in peace. Or pieces." He commanded with a toothy grin, shrugging his shoulders briskly to unrest their burden.

Two strange black birds leapt from their disturbed perches and began to trace expanding circles in the red sky, examining the torn up and scorched earth. The nature of a homunculus was that its senses belong utterly to its master - Hadal saw what they saw and heard what they heard and his keener mind knew better what they knew - from it he determined that there might well be as rich pickings as Querricovoatus had suggested.

The spoils of war were not simply in what plunder as could be found, but also in what was truly spoiled - the flesh and bone of men and beast. A glut of it had nearly choked in the throat of this town, but the teeth had done a good enough job to swallow. A shame almost - that so many had died - Hadal had no need for such largesse of decay. But a few choice samples… he'd never dissected an Ogre…

He left the caravan he had doctored for as it made about the long chaos of entering a new town, accepting his pay and waving off the offer to stay on to the capital - the man was clearly desperate that he leave. Shallow, uncared for graves in such profusion would be far more useful to him than those thrice-damned temple-warded sepulchres and the greedy graverobbers that braved them. Then, of course there was also the request of the Order...

He walked briskly into town, feeling his legs burn from his eagerness to begin and weakness of constitution. The Purple Mead Inn would suffice - in truth, Hadal was tiring already from the short walk through the gates and as the sun was setting quickly, he had no mind to search further.

Despite his short stature - enough that most mistook him for a halfling - he had no trouble with the crowds. Much as an obviously insane man might be given a wide berth, so did - subconsciously - the townsfolk draw away from him as he approached, expressions of faint unease crawling over them as they spied his unlined face with its old smile and eyes hidden behind steel and onyx. Hadal was oblivious to it.

He dressed in a simple manner that rarely changed - wearing a robe of fine, unstaining, white cloth with almost invisible silver embellishments that matched his unkempt white-silver hair. Opened at the front, it revealed vest and trousers of black, and more significantly the belts of slender knives, arcane instruments and many pockets that shattered his terrible stab at normalcy. One hip bore a rod of dark wood capped in bronze, the other a slender iron wand with a smoky crystal at the tip.

With only some effort, he pushed aside the door and entered into the inn, seeing the last dregs of an uncommon crowd departing.




 

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