Part 2: Local Heroes

"Much as your ersatz newlywed antics amuse me, there's actually a bit of a point in both your arguments." Veritas poked at the two. This was not the time. "We WILL become a target, and at the same time we MUST provide the townspeople with the illusion of safety. I can actually understand the need for watching ourselves in our sleep, too. Still, those who have been a thorn in this town's side have used stealth and secrecy to that end; it's unlikely they'll attack us in broad daylight, so I suggest we lay a trap of our own. What if we patrolled the town during the night instead of during the day? That way, we rest when we're at the peak of safety, and the very townspeople we're helping protect may aid in being our eyes and ears. Besides, from my understanding, thieves and their ilk actually work during the night."

Saitylvaness Sylvari The Knight of Stars

"The way I've seen you lumber around a battle field and swing a sword, perhaps you should walk around town like that! It certainly couldn't hurt your chances of success in a fight!" Sai crossed her legs and folded her arms over her chest. A fallacious argument? HA! Being rude was one thing, but insulting her intelligence was quite another. Sai's temper began to flare. It was quickly becoming obvious to her that Aegon was little more than a coward and an imbecile. Her previous impression of him now reinforced, she was more than happy to continue her critique. "You're only saving grace is that despite your obvious mental deficiency, you somehow managed to learn magic! And even that is rudimentary at best! I can honestly say I'm ashamed to call you kin! I've met Orcs with more manners than you!" Sai could hardly believe she was acting out in such a way not only in front of the others, but the Sheriff and Mayor as well! There was just something about this man that infuriated her to no end! Finally calming herself she closed her eyes for a second. "My apologies, I think perhaps the events of this week have been weighing on my mind a great deal more than I care to admit."

"An interesting theory Veritas, but you're forgetting something. The first raid was during the day. With as much chaos that was caused by that attack why wouldn't they continue to do so? If their goal really is a campaign of terror, it makes sense to attack during the day, when people feel the most safe..." Sai looked down slightly, her eyes seemed to gloss over slightly. The earlier edge in her voice all but fled, she spoke softly. "When an enemy strips you of your greatest advantage, it makes every moment all that much more terrifying..." A visible shiver ran down her spine as she recalled the horrible events of the drow raiding party.

"It's a good point, but remember, the first raid wasn't merely in broad daylight. It was also in the eve of a festival. The attack was repelled as well, and we are now within our guard. A repeat attack would require a larger force than the first, and the method used to sneak into town can't be used twice at this point. The element of surprise is gone, and with it the advantage of the enemy, as long as we remain here. That's why the Sheriff is off on his own to request reinforcements, instead of sending us off to do the same, wouldn't you agree?

Speaking of reinforcements Sheriff, have any volunteers surfaced since the raid?"

Aegon blinked in disbelief as he mentally ticked off boxes. Ignoratio elenchi. Ad hominem. Abusive fallacy. No True Varisian. This woman may be well-versed in the blade, but she clearly had neglected her rhetoric. Of course, he'd not had the benefit of formal schooling, but you tend to read whatever's available to you on the road, and he'd read Morgo Belenthal's Logic and Rhetoric from cover to cover at least a dozen times.

He turned to Shalelu, the Mayor, and the Sheriff. "It seems we are in agreement that the town needs our help, but not how to give it. What do you think would be best?"

Gozzik Redknife

Gozzik watched the others argue amongst themselves, after being asked to stay for a couple days. If they couldn't have a civil conversation when matters of little import were being discussed, what hopes did they have of keeping it together for however long the sheriff wanted them to hang around?

"If this is the much-vaunted wisdom of the elves," he commented, "Then you could learn a lot from the goblins. At least they knew how to fight a common enemy."

Shaking his head, he turned back to the sheriff and mayor. "I think we are going to stay, although clearly we can't be expected to stay too close to one another. I hope you didn't intend for us to patrol as a group."

Tom o' the Six Strings

Brego sighed at the elves. For beings that were old enough to have been his great great grandparents they prattled and pecked like pubescent children just finding out why the opposite sex was appealing. More importantly, and jarringly they were doing it in FRONT of their employers...

Brego turned towards Gozzik with a sardonic smile "Yes indeed master Redknife, it is hard to imagine how they lost an entire empire with their clear sense of teamwork" he said turning to the Sheriff "I do apologize for their behavior Master Hemlock, in the future they will not have such disagreements, at the very least not in public" he said with a slight bow "We will do as instructed and keep visible and on the look out for anything amiss"

Brego would give a glare towards Sai and Aegon, it was somewhere between angry and frustrated "I will speak to you two later" he said without his usual honeyed words

Starting to show your true colors at last, Tom? Veritas thought quietly to himself.

The half-elf considered for a moment. "Actually, we could just have the two of them patrol together until they resolve their differences. It's a tried and true method. Of course, someone should go with them to keep it from coming to blows...

Master Gozzik, Tom, what do you think of the idea to swap shifts?"

"Oooh, pick me! Pick me!" Jan commented with a clearly faked enthusiasm at the half-elf's suggestion to send the two elves together. Her grin was genuine, though.

"Okay, maybe I would be the wrong choice, considering I would just stoke the embers, ply them with alcohol, and watch the explosion, whether them coming to blows or going to their room to finish their argument in bed."

"Okay, so we learned that elves are pretty much the same as other people and can hate their fellow elves with the same passion as other races do. Though I have to ask, in elven terms, how old are you two? Just out of puberty perhaps? You both are acting like teenagers." Jan chuckled at that, and her own private joke. Out of puberty? She had just barely went past the experience herself.

"That aside, have you all forgotten that the town STILL have guards posted? They do run their patrols, day and night, I guess. And we had just been asked to keep up the morale, so patrolling in the daylight might be more to the specification of the job, anyway." The fake-woman continued her reasoning, looking at the Sheriff for confirmation for her implied question.

"Not to say that going out at night is bad idea. Splitting up seemed to be a great idea, I guess. I'm more of the night-owl myself, and the people back at the Kitten and perhaps the pubs and bars would be amenable to seeing a patrol that they recognize." Jan concluded her opinion with a smile.

Gozzik Redknife

The child-like halfling raised an eyebrow at Veritas's comment; clearly the idea of one who looked like a human child babysitting a couple of immature elves didn't appeal much. "That's a good idea, Veritas. Splitting off in pairs, and leaving the two of them to it." I only wonder how much attention they will pay to their surroundings, rather than each other; hunters that spend their time in talk never spot their prey. But then, that's probably the intention, here.

"That sounds like a very good idea, actually."

Sandpoint Town Hall

"There is no need to apologize for your behavior. I understand that everyone's emotions are running a little high right now," the sheriff calmly stated. "Hell, just this morning, I nearly made one of my newest guardsmen cry when I ripped into him for being five minutes late to his post. After thinking about it, I realized that my temper was misguided, and that this man had plenty of other worries on his mind, so I offered my sincere apologies, and we moved on," he explained, hinting that you all might do the same.

Shalelu Andosana was not surprised at the bickering between the two elves; she had seen it all before. While humans often viewed her people as carefree and whimsical beings, she knew that they could also be supercilious and self-absorbed, sometimes even annoyingly so. It was part of the reason why she herself had departed her homeland for a much simpler life. These two seemed harmless enough though, and probably had deeper reasons for their behavior that had yet to surface. It was also mildly amusing to Shalelu how neither seemed willing to concede the last word to the other. She wondered how long this had been going on. There were other questions on her mind as well, about all of these strangers, but she decided to save those for a different time and place, as the sheriff needed to be on his way in short order.

"Anyway, Jan is right." Belor Hemlock continued. "I'm not literally asking you all to patrol the town. There are guards for that. Just keep a constant presence. Go about your daily lives as you normally would. Roam the town, talk to the people. Visit your favorite places. Just be seen; that's the most important thing right now. And if by chance you should notice anything out of the ordinary, then I trust you to handle it. the sheriff concluded with a vote of confidence. He then stated that there was little time to waste on his part, and that if there were no other questions, he must be going.

* * * * * * *

On the Streets

As the meeting dispersed, and you all went your separate ways, or headed for the Dragon to meet with Shalelu, Brego was approached by a familiar figure. "Oh, there you are, Tom. I've been looking all over for you." The lovely Shayliss Vinder stopped the minstrel in the street. "I sure could use a man's help right now, and my father... well, he's too damn busy worrying about Katrine and that idiot Banny Harker down at the lumber mill," the girl explained, looking as helpless she possibly could. Shayliss' long curls cascaded over her bare shoulders, and her sleeveless sundress stopped just above her knee. The low, afternoon sun shone through the thin material of her dress to highlight her impressive figure as she folded her hands in front of her and shrugged.

Earlier in the day, when Brego had visited the general store, the young lady had answered him by saying things like,
"Oh, I'm sure you get tons of letters like that," and she had continued playing coy while Brego browsed the aisles, with her father stocking shelves in the storeroom the entire time. Now she approached "Tom" alone, and appealed for his help. "You see, we've got a rat problem in the basement of our store. Why, just this morning I'm sure I saw one the size of a dog down there. Now I'm supposed to go down there to do some work, and my father's nowhere to be found," she pouted, batting her eyes at the handsome young hero. "I thought that... well, I thought that maybe you could come over and give me some help? I don't know what else to do."

* * * * * * *

The Rusty Dragon

The afternoon skies had cleared considerably, providing an expansive, light blue canopy interupted briefly by small puffs of white clouds, and as you approached the now-familiar tavern, you couldn't help but notice the large eagle perched atop the rusty weather vain that stood high above the building. Inside, you would find Shalelu seated at a table enjoying a hot meal of spiced boar ribs and roasted vegetables, and chatting with Ameiko Kaijitsu. As you entered, the elven huntress invited you to have a seat, and the hostess got up to fetch you some drinks.

So, I've been learning a little more about you all, I hope that you don't mind?" Shalelu asked, not wanting you to feel awkward that she had been asking around a bit. Her impression of the two elves was still unclear. It was unusual to encounter one of her kin inside of Sandpoint, but two at once was almost unheard of, but Shalelu was thrilled at the chance meeting, and she welcomed the opportunity to find out more about them, and share a little of her own story as well.

"So I hear that you are on a journey from the Tower of Stars, on the outskirts of the City of Emerald Rains," she noted, turning to Saitylvaness. "I have been there several times myself, to the ouskirts of the city, I mean, not the tower itself," she added. "I have witnessed some of the worst of the fighting as well, unfortunately. One day we shall see the twisted elves of the Darklands defeated, and the great city returned to its proper splendor," the huntress swore, referring to the ever-present hope to reclaim Celwynvian from the drow. "I spent my early years in Aresmeril, and made my way through Crying Leaf many times, although I left the Mierani region at a fairly young age to seek a path of my own. I have heard of you and your fellow bladesingers. It is rather surprising that we have not yet met in person..." Shalelu pondered aloud. "...But I am overjoyed to have that opportunity now, mellonamin
"my friend"
." The elven ranger was touched by Sai's delicate nature, and moved by her passion, even though her temper was somewhat erratic. Still, meeting a fellow native of the Mierani Forest so far from that corner of the world was a rare treat, and Shalelu was intent on getting to know more about the wandering blademage.

"And what about you, Aegon Skye? I have heard very little about you other than the fact that you arrived as part of a Varisian caravan, but you don't look very Varisian to me," Shalelu asked of the enigmatic, elven swordsman, intentionally drawing a contrast between the easily offered backgrounds of both herself and Sai, and his own mysterious past. "Where is your place of birth, if I may ask, and what path has brought you to this land?" Her first impression of Aegon was that his intentions were good. His dismissive nature while he argued with Sai at the Town Hall was disturbing in its own right, but seemed to be no more than a harmless flaw of character, but there was something else troubling about this one. Shalelu hoped to get him talking.

"And yes, Aegon, Eleniel is a Harpy Eagle, the huntress explained, calling back Aegon's question from earlier in the day. "You'll not find her species anywhere outside of the
In our own world, the harpy eagle can be found in tropical parts of Central and South America, so in Golarion"s Inner Sea region, I placed them in the rainforests of southern continent, Garund
Mwangi Expanse, but I was fortunate to find her with the help of a good friend."

"And speaking of wild animals, Master Gozzik..."
Shalelu continued, turning her attention to the halfling warrior, "...I understand that you're an animal lover as well? I've been told that you're often seen riding your horse around town in the evening," she inquired with great interest. The elven huntress had heard enough about Gozzik to earn the brutal swordsman her immediate respect. "I have spent some time on the high plains among your people," she mentioned. Unlike many others, Shalelu was referring not to his dimunitive stature, but to his status as an adopted member of a Shoanti tribe. Switching to the language of those native people, she continued," "Thusfar, I've only made contact with the Lyrune-Quah and the Shiikirri-Quah. What is the name of your clan? And is it true that you've ridden all the way down from the Storval Rise alone?"

* * * * * * *

Ameiko returned with refreshments for the table and took the opportunity to greet some of her friends. "We sure did a number on that Foxglove fella', didn't we, Jan? Almost makes it worthwile to put up with all of that leering. That guy may be a good tipper, but he sure gives me the creeps!" she said to the Chelaxian schemestress, noting her appreciation for the extra income that came as a result of their little business arrangement. "I hear those girls wore him out pretty good? No surprise either; I overheard him sending one of his manservants down to the Hagfish to pick up enough flayleaf to down a horse. He's lucky that boy came back alive" she added, revealing the aristocrat's apparent weakness for the intoxicating and addictive hallucinogenic. "Anyway, I hear you're not at the Kitten anymore. What gives?"

"And I see that you're still in town too, Veritas,"
Ameiko teased, shooting the mystic a grin and a knowing look that said she was not at all surprised to see that he had found yet another reason to wind up at the Rusty Dragon. "Shouldn't you be out wandering somewhere by now, searching for purity by way of persistant face punches?!" the saucy server joked, purposely trying to push his buttons. She meant no offense to his principles, of course, but Ameiko just wouldn't be Ameiko if she wasn't poking fun at somebody.

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