Chapter 4 - A Fork in the Road

 
The visit to Guillame had been very fruitful for Lorem, since while browsing through his catalogue, he had come upon a set of items and enchantements that complemented with the others commissioned to the blacksmith would help him on the path he had chosen to take... It was always instinct. He was trying to make himself basically autosufficient, a trooper, a survivor, a sniper... Why, he didn't know. He just felt he had to do so. He would have to wait for the money from the sell of the robe to do so, though.

Then, Ara came. With her, bad news. A little army of orcs, goblins and ogres ammassing in a valley ready to attack them. He cursed, but the fact that they had gates... They had a chance. "... If we have the advantage of the gates and walls... We might have a chance. Going after them in the valley would be suicide... The best thing would be to get them on the bridge, actually. My proposition, friends, is that we fight. I say this because... Well, Garak, I'm positive that you are the only one who would be able to get out of the city safely. Maybe me too... But not the others, and we will not be able to evacuate an entire city in so little time."

His mind was already going into overgear, thinking of everything they could exploit to protect the city. "Alright... First thing, we need more allies... And I think I know who we could ask. Joachim, I want you to contact our friends in the AGGP. I'm sure that they're willing to help us. Make them think about what would happen to their reputation if their saved a city from their own kin. Also, we need to see if there are any other mages in the city who we could ask for help. We need some serious firepower, here. How does the proposition sound this far?"

Garak doesn't like how Ara is once again telling them what to do, and likely would be disappearing herself without helping.

Regardless, the rogue has some unfinished business with the other party members. He produces a sack of platinum coins and pours it on the table. "This is from selling the two spellbooks. It's 3,000 platinum...or 600 for each of us. The magical diary that is locked remains as such. Gillaume couldn't figure it out but suggested we find the owner." He begins to sort out the coins into five equal stacks and then puts his share into his pack.

This gives Garak time to think about the coming attack. While he cared little for the safety of the town, an army was led by somebody, and to attack a town means that somebody had power and wealth...both of which Garak wanted more.

He knew that Raz would want to protect the city because of his ladies. Joachim would want to defend everything against anything, and would likely add this good deed to his long list of titles and deeds when he made his next introduction. Lorem would step up because it was the right thing to do...at least in Lorem's mind. Tamrik would be indifferent. Garak of course was thinking of ways he could take advantage of the situation...such as waiting for the attack to start and then looting the homes of the wealthy while they were distracted by the attack--maybe even steal back the royal robe while Elmer was being run off by ogres.

He held his tongue for the moment...taking that time to think it through. They would expect him to say something about helping to destroy the town or not caring about anybody. However, Garak was beginning to settle into his role within this group the Order has placed him. If the Order needed their help, he would step up. Not because of some sense of morality, but because he had given his word to the Order. A cruel smile briefly crossed his face. He could easily break his word, but this time, he had given it honestly. Beside, the Order had given him the means to obtain so much already. The promise for more in the future was a given.

The assassin was quiet for a moment.

"I say we fight." Garak looked to the others. He had thought against waiting to speak. "I have power over shadows and can create many distractions. I can also easily sneak within their ranks to gain information or destroy their leader. I'd suggest a varied tactic approach to this one. Raz and Joachim...you have great ability with standing toe to toe against an enemy. Lorem, you have your bow. Tamrik, you are a great skirmisher. Regardless of our past and our many differences, our abilities as a collective are perfectly balanced. Between us all, we can surgically eliminate any of their force that separates from the main body. Once the outliers are eliminated, we can strike at their core." Garak laughs. "For me, it seems that taking the fight to the enemy is the only way we're going to go. Anything else doesn't fit with our style." He laughs again. "Besides, I doubt anybody would entertain my idea of taking this opportunity to loot the town."

He looks to the others to judge their reaction.

"If they are marching this way now, they will have skirmishers and scouts out front. If we move quickly, we can take them down before they reach the gates."

"So... We take the fight to them... What worries me is their numbers, though..." Lorem rubs his chin. "The ideal would be if we could set up an ambush... I'm curious about this bridge." Lorem thought about it. They couldn't cross the bridge all together. "If we caught up to them before they crossed the bridge, we could take them out bit by bit without great risks... Again, it would be great if we had more mages, in that case."

"An ambush at the bridge makes sense. Perhaps we could get there in time to somehow ruin the supports on the bridge so it would fall under our enemy's weight...but not our own."

He thinks again for a moment. "But, in regard to an ambush, I say we first cross the bridge and try to eliminate any of their advance forces. When we've done all we can, we retreat past the bridge. The enemy will charge forward thinking us to be defeated, and then that is when our ambush unfolds. While the enemy is trying to cross without a bridge, we fight with ranged weapons. As they advance, we move back until we take a position at the city gates."

Joachim had attended Gillaume shortly before as well purchasing a share of his new equipment as well, so it was to no surprise that he met Garak and the others just as he was heading there, it took him little time and negotiation to get him a fair share of the equipment he wanted. He rapidly asked Gillaume about some enchanting he would need further down the road as right now he lacked the monetary back up. He gave a quick look over the things the others had purchased. They surely had stocked up good... he himself was not to bad of ether. If only Gerwin could see him now? Something bites the paladin, he had just spent enough money to buy the whole village he had been born in. No Gerwin would be mad for sure, but he needed to stock up so he could fight what ever was coming.

Before he knew it Joachims fears were confirmed, a whole army was coming. This seemed like great news for his planning. A small portion of self satisfaction comes through and Joachim smiles.

Right now he is seated his
I take it we are still in the same day as the arrival back in Saerb, so Joachim does not have Elvira or the silver keen sword back, what time of the day? Did Joachim have the time to go to the AAGP to take back the hobgoblin? Can I assme we are back to full HP? if not how do I threat wounds inflicted by Tamrik?
newly purchased Greatsword in front of him. For those who look a bit more carefully at the Paladins appearance little has changed since they had last been together. He wears a necklace now as well as a ring other then that of his marriage. On even closer inspection a leather belt is found around his waist.

His arms crossed on his chest the only movement the paladin makes is that of his eyes as well as his blond moustache. He takes in the reactions of the others. He would not act hasty no he decided to be thoughtful. He only had to focus!

He eyes Garak, of course he was interested in befit, he had stated so before. "You knew of this Garak?" Joachim asks "Or what was the topic you wanted to discuss with us and needed haste when we arrived in town? Pardon my distraction and greed in going shopping before returning to the topic you mentioned, I assumed it could hold as everyone was interested in it all the same, now I see I acted wrongly. Garak did you know about this invasion?" are his first words. His look stern and without any sight of emotion.
He had heard about Lorems words. And knew they should prepare for a battle and plan things in advance, but first he had to get rid of things that might pop up along the way and be a threat to coordinated work.

Then as this was said he proceeds with what had been on his mind. "Ara you spoke they were in an valley, would there be any way for us to create a rockslide or simmilar there? How well do you know the region? I am sure there is someone under your influence that might help us out so we don't spend time in vein scouting the area. Also was there not some sort of plan to flood a near by river or to divert it's flowing? Was it perhaps through that very valley?" Joachim throws up through ideas that had come to his mind as he heard of the army within a valley. The masses of water were lethal. "The idea of the bridge would only help us gaining time as I am sure the army would find it's way around. But this time might be very well what decides this battle in our favour, the city would be prepared and the mayor might be convinced so it is not taken lightly." Joachim pauses for another moment. Then he stands up already having decided what to do.

He was a man of action, thinking about things or not, he needed to do something rather then sit around waiting.

"I will head for the AAGP as Lorem suggested, I will urge them to mobilize and aid the towns guard as soon as possible, I would ask someone else to tell the major about this as well, that his troops might be aided by goblins, so that in case of combat they don't suddenly turn around and start killing their own troops. Also I will ask them to send someone with some knowledge with us in case Ara does not know such person. I will then ride with Artax to the valley to survey the situation, I would like you Garak to join me as I am sure you have ways to make me and the horse undetected by sight and it is the fastest way to get you over enemy lines where I trust you to be the most useful to us, both gathering information and assassinating any commanders or generals they might have. Causing confusion and giving us further time, perhaps enough to bury their lot under a hill slide or masses of water...." Joachims words are spoken confidently. He stood now looking at his fellow party members.

"Is that okay for everyone?" Joachim asks to see if there were any critics, suggestion or other interventions to his personal plans.

A blue glare of determination in his eyes Joachim finishes his speach.

"For one thing I am sure, this town shall not fall to invading troops for as long as I can stop it!"

Garak shakes his head. "I knew nothing about this attack. My information concerns Saerloon and the mages there that work against the Order."

He nods at Joachim's request. "Let's ride. Time works against us."

A brief look around at the others indicated that the party was ill-equipped for a battle such as this one. "I am heading to the smithy first though. My usual armor and new weapons won't be ready until tomorrow, and I need to get some temporary armor."

"Goblins, Orcs and Ogres? That's all?" the priest of gluttony and lust says, unsure about what all of the fuss is about. He wasn't afraid of the scrawny orcs and goblins, although he grudgingly agreed that an army of ogres could cause some difficulty.


'Jojo -- I'm a bit confused. There are gobbos along with the orcs and ogres. Why do you think the gobbos at the AAGP would fight with us against their kin?"


Pausing for a moment, the heavily armored priest takes a swig from his newly filled skin of holy water. As the powerful alcohol coursed down his throat, a thought came to him.

"What would cause them to join together in an army? I mean, they are all pretty stupid beasts. Somethings gotta be controlling them...
We just find out who is controlling them, kill them -- and the gobbos and their friends go scampering back to their hidey holes.

Now where did that girl with the scrying ball thingie go."

"Damn, Garak. You're right." Lorem cursed their bad luck. While he had his old armour, his weapons were at the smith. He was currently weaponless. "I guess we will ask them for some temporary substitutes. Good ones. We're spending more than 100.000 GP there. No letting them know that we need them desperatly."

"Hey -- if you're interested, I've got Tom here.

I was gonna get him all pimped out, but I'm waiting for the money to come through. Yer welcome to use him if you want"
he says, proffering the greatclub.

Garak removes his efficient quiver from his hip and hands it to Lorem. "That is loaded with a masterwork short bow, sixty arrows, eighteen javelins, and four long spears. I'm better up close and personal. The quiver weighs almost nothing, and it will produce whatever you need when you need it. I bought mine from Elmer. You should pick one up yourself. Keeps everything you need in one spot without weight, and it keeps the arrows silent when you're moving around."

Lorem had earned a bit of the assassin's respect. Perhaps his offer would earn him some favor back in the future. Garak had decided to approach this group as he had any other professional engagement in the past. He didn't have to like any of them, and he certainly wouldn't call them his friends, but the success of the group would result in his own personal success. Thus, he would help if he could...sometimes.

"I will pick up another bow and arrows along with some armor from the smith."




 

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