Chapter 5g - A Town in Transition

Garak nodded slightly at Tamrik's words and returned his answer quietly in the
"If my suspicions are right, everything is already decided regardless of the election and the people. If I'm right, we may be in a good position already."
celestial tongue He didn't know anything for sure, but several pieces of information seemed to fit well together.

Joachim then made his presence known. Fortunately, the man's useless wife was not yet present. Garak thought briefly about trying to drive the paladin further towards darkness, but for some reason instead used one of his feet to push back an unoccupied chair at the table. "I plan nothing at the moment---for now I only ponder."

He then returned to his meal, choosing to ignore the flurry of questions thrown at him. A few bites later, he stretched in his chair and looked deep into the paladin's eyes. Garak's eyes had always been dark, but now shadows seemed to dance about inside them. Just his presence alone seemed to make people around him uncomfortable.

But there was still a side to the assassin that was at odds with the stench of death and evil that hung on him. He glanced at Kohl, who had curled up on the floor next to his chair. The armored dog had changed in many ways since the battle of Saerb, and didn't seem to have the same bond they once shared. A hint of sadness crossed Garak's face for a brief moment as he stretched out his hand for the dog to sniff.

When he returned his gaze back to Joachim, his expression was dark once again.

"Your pet unfortunately lives again. His foolishness cost me five hundred platinum." It had been clear from the start that Garak thought very little of Roulguk and the AAGP. In fact, it was clear that Garak felt the entire AAGP compound should be razed and the members inside butchered for sport. But, he had given his word to the paladin that he would bring the creature back from the dead.

However, he had made no such promise for Harrod. "I thought about doing the same for the mage, but considering how he performed at the battle of Saerb and how easily he failed in combat a second time, I decided that he needed to be discarded and forgotten for now."

Garak laughed at Joachim's sudden burst of eloquence. "Politics are as they always are. Here, there are many hidden strings...some of which stretch far beyond the city's walls." He thought about the various dreams he had experienced recently. Garak knew that they were more than just something his mind made up. The images were far too realistic. What he couldn't figure out was the why of it all. There was opportunity for power, control of the region, and of course money...but was there something more...something bigger than mankind. The Order was formed to stand against the gods themselves. Was that fight becoming a reality?

The assassin fell into a deep silence as his mind danced through all the possibilities.

Tamrik smiled as well after Garak had given him his answer. . . Much to think about indeed. Tamrik returned his attention to the food set in front of him. It was good, slightly better than last time, however the amount of coin he dumped into this place last time was enough to pay for the place itself. He sat back enjoying the food, and surprisingly, enjoying the company even with Joachim "sneaking around."

Joachim and he had grown apart. . . What had first started out as a promising friendship, now boiled down to a relationship bonded by necessity. This caused Tamrik only a brief twinge of doubt about his new path, and than he thought about the equipment he now used. When he had become one of the fallen, he had nothing, was nothing. . . Now he was respected for his prowess in battle, not just a strong-arm, but feared for his uncanny swordsmanship. Life was good, and the only thing that he wished now, was that he could rub it in his father's face, the father who cast him out like garbage because he wasn't his brother.

Tamrik tried to restrain his anger, but knew it would be showing clearly on his face now. His knuckles white from the pressure he put on the cup. . . He stopped just shy of shattering the thing. His face returned quickly to smiling, and the anger passed. And this is why family makes you weaker. . . They always find a way to distract you from the good times.

"Great!" Joachim was all the happier, the mage wasn't of much importance. Just a mercenary that threw himself into battle for nothing but coin. He nether respected such men nor valued them in any other ways. A person without ideals was like a potato without a bike, just that a potato. Now Roulgok was something else... he was the link to an association that although partial seemed to spread a good deal of influence and other then that they seemed fine peoploids.

"So where is he at? Returned to the AAGP? I should pay him a visit ... eventually." The death and Joachims powerlessness connected to it weight heavy on the former blond man, who now wore but a shaved, head.

"Yeah, so anything new on Raz? Or did he drown in pleasure already fulfilling his life long quest? And what of the others? Gerwin is back here, but knows nothing worthwhile so far. Then again she was tired. Where is Lorem and so on?"

don't recall all details of gerwins quest should look it up soonish ... is Ara present? What time of the day is it? And overall do we have any direction?

Garak heard the questions uttered by the paladin, but his thoughts were elsewhere for the moment. Once Joachim finished with his endless questions, the assassin offered one of his own.

"I will answer you in a moment, but first Paladin, have you ever thought about being in politics?"

The assassin had an idea. He didn't like the feeling that things in Saerb had become so far out of his control. It was time to introduce a bit of chaos into the situation, and Garak had the perfect idea...

"What me? Oh no, I am but a humble servant of what is good and right... and further more interested in the good of society ... besides I wouldn't ..." Joachim felt short his happy smile gave room for one of introspection. If there was someone he trusted to have the right goal, well it was him. Besides the hydra that politics was could never really be defeated from outside, but perhaps from the inside? If one tried to tame it and make it move in his favour, perhaps the beast could be turned inoffensive or even serve the greater good. Besides he would have support from at least one group in Saerb, the AAGP, he was certain of that. Even though they where small he had grasped their power in more then just one situation...

Joachim looked at Garak still pondering and in absent voice finally answers the actual question. "No I had never thought of that ... until now."

Garak smiled. It wasn't his usual forced to be happy kind of smile, but one that was actually genuine. The motivations were unknown for his burst of happiness, but he didn't give the others much time to speculate.

His plan had already been somewhat formed, and Joachim's words were good enough to put it in play. However, he knew the paladin was somewhat distracted by all the questions he had asked, so first, Garak had to settle the man's mind.

"To answer your questions, your pet is safe and rests now. He will be awake soon. I haven't heard from Raz, but then again, I haven't been to the brothel."

With his answers given, the assassin gave Tamrik a wink and a smile, and then jumped to the top of their table. He began to speak loud for all in the tavern to hear. His voice was oddly cheerful for the dark tiefling.

"Good people of Saerb, I humbly ask for a moment of your time! I would like to introduce each of you to my good friend, Joachim Laross, noble paladin of light and purity. At the battle fought at the town's gates, he stood in the breach to defend the town with his on life, and was able to turn away many of the vile beasts with his blade and holy light."

The assassin uttered a few
casting minor image
arcane words, and suddenly an image of Joachim at the city's gates sprung to life a dozen feet about the tavern's floor. He had his sword in hand and was surrounded by a brilliant light. With a hand outstretched, he unleashed a beam of pure white energy at a charging orc, and it instantly turned into dust.

"Many foul beasts fell to the might and honor of Joachim during that battle. A few days ago, he was but a visitor to this great city. Since that time, however, the well-being of the kind people here have captured his heart. Just this morning, I have been given permission to tell each of you that Joachim has decided to sacrifice his own goals and desires once again by stepping up and announcing his intention to run for election as your mayor!

Garak smiled and motioned for Joachim to stand.

"I have had the privilege to travel with Joachim for many days. During the course of our journeys, this man has consistently stood for truth and justice. He valiantly has fought to defend those who could not protect themselves. His path is one of righteousness and honor."

Garak looked about the tavern briefly to gauge the reaction so far from the crowd.

"Good people of Saerb! Are you tired of the politicians holding their office only for their own benefit? Are you tired of politicians lining their own pockets with gold while you and your families do without? Are you tired of feeling helpless and defenseless against those that would cause harm to this city? Then stand up and join us to bring truth, justice, law, and order to this great city! Stand up and elect somebody who will put your needs first! Stand up and welcome my friend and the defender of Saerb, Joachim Laross!"

Just to make sure his speech had the proper final amount of cheer, Garak looked over at Karnak. "Good sir, in honor of Joachim's decision to run for mayor, let the first round of drinks be on me!"

The assassin then stepped down from the table and allowed Joachim to take control of the crowd. He bent close to Tamrik's ear and whispered something quietly in celestial.

Tamrik sat there open-mouthed. . . Joachim for Mayor??? I suppose there is no better puppet than one you fully control! As Garak ended his speech, and after the man spoke to him, he began to smile brightly, moving to Joachim's side and slapping him merrily on the shoulder. They're all yours, my friend! Go win their hearts!

As Garak reaches the bar, he quickly pays for however many drinks are consumed in the first round. He then ducks into one f the unoccupied side roomsand does his best to
Hide in Shadows (plain sight):
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 9 (Total = 48)
blend into the darkness. He then
casting message---can target up to 10 people
casts a simple spell and picks ten
avoiding Karnak and any guards or obvious mages
people that he can see from the crowd.

He tries to make his voice sound quite different from his own, and uses his spell to convey a message into the ears of each of the people, "Hey, that guy Joachim has my vote! He's a hero!" Garak hoped that people would think it was being said by somebody else in the crowd, and would result in many people in the tavern immediately speaking up to voice their support.

The assassin then remained back from the crowd to watch the results of his work.

Joachim just sat there with an open mouth not really believing what was happening and why. He watched Garak as he acted completely out of his usual way. In the spotlight. It surprised him even more as the thiefling spoke of their friendship. Good wasn't exactly the word Joachim would choose, rather like the friend you do not choose but have to stick with half expecting him to rob you as soon as he gets the opportunity to do so if not worse ...

Well anyhow ... wait what? Joachim didn't even know how to cast such a beam of light. And a mere peasant orc? Didn't he confront the vile mages directly? Where did this come from anyhow? Garak had become much more powerful then what Joahchim thought.

Him Mayor? It sounded strange but the paladin found a certain liking to the sound of it. Besides this town needed a proper hand to guide it's reins. The old mayor wasn't present during the attack and surely didn't put up anything afterwards.

And Garak seemed to quote Joachim in his own words. He was a paladin of good and with the good of people at heart, but somehow coming from him, it sounded a lot better.

Then Garak offers a round of drinks sending a frenzy into the room. Joachim got up himself. Surprised about the whole deal and not sure what to think he looks over to Garak, who ... where was Garak he had been there only a second before. Joachim coughs twice to catch the rooms attention. This was a minor speech and he would certainly get a bigger audience if this went on further. He didn't even know the terms to be a mayor, yet. However some words should be said no less.
"My candidacy comes as much a surprise to you as it does to me. However I can not ignore the fact that this town needs new leadership. A firm hand from someone who has seen much of the world and who knows the hearts of people. Who will put other prior to his own interest. As such a man I can not stand by, but rather have to accept the duty put onto my shoulders. I am not a man of to many words or of promises I cannot keep, but I am a man of action and I will NOT STAND BY AND LET SAERB BE OVERRUN BY ITS FOES." Joachim lifted his fist into the air triumphantly. After a bit he sat back down and looked over to Tamrik in approval.

Eventually he will engage in conversation with several other patrons in the room and speak to them trying to
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 1
These dice were omitted, altered, or moved: 1d20+15
Original Dice: 1d20+15
convince them to vote for him and tell their friends and acquaintances of his candidacy and vote on him too.

Well, well, well. . . I half expected you to faint about mid-way through Garak's announcement! Tamrik joked heartily with Joachim, showing him a genuine smile, ad laughter in his eyes. I'm sure that you will make a fine leader, as long as you allow your two best men do most of the talking that is.

Tamrik was pleased by this, politics was a fine way to bring a little spark of excitement to his life. He never wanted to rule himself, but seeing Joachim bumble through it would be worth a laugh or two! My friend, I am tired and must retire, but we will wake you up at first light to start coaching you about the is ad outs of politicking. . . And with that, he rose from his seat and walked upstairs to his room to wait for company.


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