Chapter 5g - A Town in Transition

Chapter 5g - A Town in Transition

Chapter 5g - A Town in Transition

Too long departed from the comforts of the city, none raise an objection at Ara's thoughts to promptly return to Saerb. Though they had all come to the Archwood Forest for different reasons, it seemed as if none had found what they were looking for, instead met by only despair, heartbreak, and pain.

Gerwin had traveled here for training, directed by Aleru from the Order's stronghold to find the druid Adiari...and received only nightmares for her efforts, nearly losing her life in the process. Had she really ever trained with the woman, or was it all just some horrible hoax? And if so...what did Aleru know?
Ara journeyed here for reasons of her own, though all knew it involved her friend Adiari. Although she had managed to save Gerwin from the witch that had taken Adiari's place, she was no closer to finding out what had happened to the woman, or even if she still lived. And now, thanks to her directives from the Order, she must leave the Forest before completing her task, in order to see the group's mission continue. Whatever it was...

And the Party had come here, strangely enough, thanks to a strange message heard only by the Paladin Joachim, directing him to the Forest in order to save Gerwin. When they finally got their, they had almost met their end at the hands of some horrible tree, although Roulgok and Harrod were not so lucky, departing this world thanks to the black magic of the evil Night Twist.
When they finally found Gerwin, of course, there was nothing left to do, as Ara had already rescued the poor girl herself.

Thus, with two of their number dead and little to show for their efforts, the group stumps back towards Saerb, wondering what was to come next...

Their arrival at the Gates was bittersweet, as all remembered the first time they had passed through them. Saerb had been innocent and lively then, unaware of what horrors their future held, yet now the ground was stained with the blood of dozens of creatures, everything from Men to Goblins to Orcs, painful reminders of the massive battle that had occurred here just a scant few days ago.

Scuffed and dirty as they were, the Guards hesitate at first, but once recognition sets in they quickly move to open the Gates, allowing the "heroes" back into the city...

Inside, things are slowly returning to a semblance of normality. Nothing will ever be as it once was, of course, but now there is no more chaos and anarchy in the streets. The City Guard has been re-staffed to a respectable level, drawing from among the strong youth of the city eager to make their mark on this new society, and merchants are slowly starting to trickle out onto the streets again, each day seeing more and more carts and stands reappearing throughout Saerb.

There is, however, an air of underlying tension and paranoia that seems to run among the populace, each man wondering if this day would be his last. Many still had no idea what had caused the attacks, and the attempted invasion, and feared further incidents might occur - in fact, some spoke of it with certainty, determined to bring down the spirits of those around them to match their own sour demeanor.

Among all of this, however, one positive of note - the replacement of the Mayor, something long-overdue in the minds of many of Saerb's citizens, was now coming to pass. Obviously nobody wanted it to happen like this, but it provided the city's residents something to look forward to in the days ahead, a fresh start desperately needed by a populace looking for answers.
Answers that they would, in all likelyhood, never receive...

Joachim could not believe his luck. So as his wife. They had mounted Artax which under the additional weight seemed not very happy. Perhaps a little jealousy as well. With an excuse and after Gerwin had told her tale to all presence Joachim decided he would take his wife away from that forest as quick as possible. That said he did not care much on the groups opinion and just told his wife to leave it to him, when she looked at him. He said his farewell for the moment and flew of and away.

He headed straight for Saerb arriving before Ara and the others. He set straight towards he inn and here went straight to the room, which key he still held. The door closed and Joachim was at last alone with his wife. Much had been said many tears as well, much more was to be told. Joachim had to share his events and adventures. In the end both were just glad to be reunited once more.

It had been an interesting few days. Garak had returned to Saerb to raise a couple party members from the dead. As it turned out, he decided to follow through on only one. The mage Harrod had proven himself to be weak and unworthy of even a copper's worth of effort to help him. So the dead mage continued his non-existence comfortably within the assassin's magical bag. Garak thought about burning the boy or otherwise disposing of it, but he felt the only way that Harrod would remain dead for certain was to keep him within his control.

The rest of Garak's time had been spent trading with a few of the shop keepers and learning about the growing amount of chatter regarding the new leadership of Saerb. What he had learned was of great concern. One who Garak had once thought to be a reliable business associate had now proven otherwise. He vowed to do his best to ruin the man's future.

Tired, hungry, suspicious and confused, most of the group finds their way back to the Purple Mead Inn, whose proprietor is all too happy to see them return, knowing they always brought plenty of coin with them....and ate and drank like there was no tomorrow, for that matter, all the better for his business.

"Pleased to see you all again!" Karnak exclaims, watching as Joachim and Gerwin stride wordlessly to their room upstairs.
"Can I interest you lot in some supper?" he adds, motioning for his wenches to begin preparations to serve the group, assuming an answer in the affirmative.

"Ale's on the house tonight!"
the innkeep continues, clearly in a festive mood. "Tomorrow's a big day!"

Please let me know in your private threads, or in the OOC thread, whether you will be continuing with your existing characters, or creating new ones, or something else entirely...

Tomorrow? What could be different about tomorrow??? Tamrik appeared confused, having not been from around Saerb. . . His memories of this town, however, were good! He looked around the Purple Mead Inn, and was surprised at the lack of words spoken from the normally vocal Joachim. He and Gerwin must need a little more time to get reacquainted.

Tamrik was exhausted, his clothes were dirty, and he desperately needed to clean his face, hair, and pretty much everything from the long road, and many battles. His cloak was dirty and he almost contemplated selling it to get another, but he snickered at himself for even thinking the thought.

He waited for Garak to arrive back at the Inn, sitting calmly in the front room of it. . . He hoped he wouldn't wait too long.

"What, haven't you heard?" Karnak replies, giving Tamrik an odd look. "Tomorrow is the election of the new Mayor, easily the highlight of the entire year!"

"....well, besides that near-invasion a couple of days ago, that is..."
he adds, glancing around somberly.

"So who do you think will win?" he asks, stopping his idle wiping of a perpetually-dirty glass for a brief moment. "Seems like I get a different answer from everyone I ask - that shows just how close this thing is!"

Garak eventually entered the inn, just a short bit after Tamrik. He took a seat next to his associate just as Karnak asked about the election. The assassin chuckled a bit, his opinion clear on the matter without saying more. "There is much deception and trickery at hand. This won't be an election so much as a show for the public so they do not see the hands working in the dark to ensure things work out as they have already been ordained."

His words were quiet such that only Tamrik and Karnak could hear. He paid careful attention to the reaction of Karnak. The innkeeper likely had heard many pieces of information, so Garak was curious if his words would illicit any particular reaction or offering of a deeper conversation.

It had been some time since Garak had heard from Gillaume. At one point, Garak had killed on behalf of the green-robed mage. Now, he understood that he had likely been but a well-paid pawn, and now the green one likely could take over the city without any resistance. It would be interesting to see if the motivations for such a suspected move would rise to the surface.

Tamrik hadn't heard about the election, nor did he truly care about the politicians who stood to gain from this endeavor. My lands were ruled by a council of elders, so this concept is, well, senseless to me. To me this notion seems as though it would be as corrupted as the average cut-throat's soul. Whoever is more popular with the people will become the 'mayor,' not the person most suitable for the job. Tamrik spoke with little emotion, not truly caring about the subject beyond what gain could be made from it. He and Garak had made more than a few coins in this town, and only wished to see what had changed in the few days that they had been gone. His curiosity was boiling over as he spoke softly in
Have we anything planned in this town, I think we could use this election to our benefits if we can find a candidate that could look after our best interests..

Tamrik sat back smiling, knowing that he was likely not understood by any other than Garak. He took a sip from his mug, the ale was as poor as it was last time, but he didn't complain. . . It was free.

"What vile are you planning this time Garak" Joachim stood happily smiling just behind Garak. A friendly face. For certain he had heard the last words if not the whole conversation. The paladin's new acquired stealth being owned to the lack of something else: his armor. An explanation soon followed as to why. "Poor 'win, that forest really got to her. I left her sleeping, I for that matter have way to many of thoughts going through my mind." For some reason Joachim contained himself and did not speak nether about the wicked forest and the witch there in, nor the circle of mages that seemed menacing, nor the gods and dreams of them, both he and his wife seemed to share, that seemed to play a great role in all of this as well. It was to much for Joachim to leave alone and awake. He for his share was glad his wife was alive, but her sanity lay somewhere he knew not. Likely the only thing keeping her strong was the fact she herself was a woman and trained in strengths comprehensible for men. Then again she was a woman and for that somewhat insane in her own way.

Joachim for his share was plagued by thoughts and could not sleep. Happy no less and in a to good mood to wish to pursue his usual culprit and accused. His words were clearly rather meant as a joke in fact it almost seemed as if the paladin addressed the man with many faces as a friend. The same with Tamrik. They'd gotten past many problems together and his position towards them had been far from ideal, but somehow they managed to work together pretty well and for what that was worth he considered them friends. So Joachim was just glad he could sit with them for a change.

He ordered a drink for himself and was updated on the elections. "The old mayor was missing wasn't he? Did he ever turn up?" he asks Karnack and then "So, who is running anyhow? How come this is the first time I hear of this, it is a big event and the invasion was quiet subtle, well them arriving anyhow."

To his brothers in arms the topic was another. Tamrik he had spent most time with so he already knew the news, Garak on the other hand ... and this was also another thought that plagued him. Slightly agitated and plagued by guilt of his own comfort in front of that of his follower "Roulguk! Did you manage to raise him from the death? Is he well of? Where is he? Did his mind suffer?" Last was asked since Joachim had no idea what happened to one once one died and in any case Joachim certainly hoped his companion had been returned as a ghoul or such vile creature. "Also what happened to ... that mage ... that served the army?"

And last "Have you found out anything else we should know? I mean about this politics, the one and most evil being of them all, impossible to slay and most murderous of them all, impossible to ever fully grasp without fear of being played, the one that twists and turns the rules to the tune of it's tongue so far that they even end up contradicting themselves..." Joachim had finished his pint by now and was starting to get somewhat poetic.


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