Chapter 5g - A Town in Transition

It took Garak no time to react. Where there was a creature like this, there was hopefully treasure...or at least bodies to be looted. "Joachim, time to win your campaign and save the city again!" He didn't wait for the paladin to react, but instead bolted for the door and
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ran directly for the gates. Just prior to getting to the gates, however, the assassin blended into the shadows and approached cautiously so he could gauge the situation before getting involved.

For the sake of his puppet getting elected, Garak would allow Joachim to make the initial approach and kill, but the assassin would certainly do everything in his power to lend all the needed aid from the shadows. Once in view of the source of commotion, Garak carefully moved forward to avoid detection, and began to
starting observation time required for assassination attempt.
observe his target

A tamed monster? Surrounded by town guards? Bah, perhaps the weight of all that chainmail in its belly will give it indigestion and it will leave." Hadal frowned. It would not ordinarily be something he involved himself with, however he had just stated his profession, so it would be bad form to then ignore the guardsmen as they were perhaps liberated from their limbs and non-essential organs. It would then require some attention, preferably from a goodly distance.

"It behooves me to wonder whereupon the notion that any particular monster so brazen as to approach ground so soaked with blood so recently should be hostile, however as a doctor I must attend to the wounded as some foolish oaf undoubtedly will posture or preen or provoke and be duly exsanguinated. Yes. I suppose I must. Though I believe my tank of human blood is rather low and generally unsuited for..." Announcing his intentions to the table, which slipped into a private murmur towards the end, Hadal reluctantly slipped off of his chair and departed the Inn.

Nearing the gates, he searched for a means of observing while remaining out of immediate danger - to stand upon the wall, perhaps, otherwise at a good distance.


As the somewhat awkward conversation is interrupted by the stablehand's shocking arrival, Nava too finds herself distracted. While her tablemates begin to react in various ways to the disruption, the pale woman remains calm for several moments, as she considers her options. Nava is not one to rush off headlong into danger, nor is she a thrill-seeker. However, her desire to start fresh is still a powerful motivation.

Coming to her decision, she tentatively offers to accompany the investigation of this startling new incident.

"Well, it seems the string of misfortune continues for your adopted city, Master Joachim. As a good faith offering, may I be of assistance? This commotion may be nothing but rumor and exaggeration, but there may be some kernel of truth - and threat - to this story. I would be glad to offer what aid I may, if it would ease your suspicions."

Having very little by way of gear or equipment, Nava rises and joins Hadal and Joachim as they follow after Garak. As the they approach the source of the disturbance, Nava slows a bit, and lets the paladin take the lead. She wishes to make a good showing for herself, but is in no rush to put herself immediately into harm's way.

Kesendaran, the new arrival

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What can be seen at the gates is... awkward, to say the least. A throng of people already milled around a ring of polearms held by a row of city guards, standing straight and not allowing anyone to get any closer. Above the crowd murmurs and shouts, now and then can be heard a loud roar, something wild and indistinct, but surely fierce. The sounds of a whiplash-tail can also be heard striking the ground, almost as if whipping the sound itself. Arranging a higher place to watch from, the scene explains itself.

In the middle of the ring stands a large beast, held in two powerful legs, with long neck and long tail, with two small paws as anterior limbs and a fine and sharp set of teeth, showing to anyone who wanted to get close. The beast is restless, waving its head left and right, its pupils very wide and saliva starting to drip from its mouth. Its tail also lashes left and right, getting very near the ring of guards, though they have already adjusted their distance so not to get hit. A smaller circle encompasses a man with a serious bleeding injury, what seems like a but of its shoulder ripped off, crying for help, for a physician. In the middle of the bigger circle, the chief of the guards seems to be trying to chat with the rider, though unsuccessful for now.

The rider of the beast is odd too, if not more than the mount. It vaguely seems human, humanoid at least, wielding a spear not-threateningly at his side. Most of his body is covered with a strange cloak, made of snake-skin, with a strange glow to it. The scales seem... unnatural, somehow. His head is uncovered and you can see its hair - is it hair? - that seems like thick vines, adorned with dead leaves and... is that beetles crawling around in it? Another thing that calls for attention is the fact that he, the mount and the spear are adorned with several hanging bones that make noise against each other and even some small skulls, resembling several animals. As he twists his head to look around at the entourage, one can see his skin is.... greenish? ... but he definitely has a human look about him.

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He eyes the crowd around him, as if searching for something. He had arrived before only to be almost attacked on the spot, if it weren't for the quick reflexes of Ghar'ra, to grab that human and throw him out of the way. Kesendaran was quite amused inside, watching the reaction of these people, not knowing what he was, yet already taking him as an enemy or an abomination to be taken down. It didn't take long for the guards to surround him and prevent him from advancing further into town, until someone came to decide what to do about him.
So it's been a few minutes with the guard chief asking him what was his business in town. Kesendaran had given him a questioning look for a while, then inspected the crowd and the building beyond. A city. He had never been in one and the size of it was quite something. However, nothing to be compared with his home, Archwood. Under his breath, he seems to speak, though none can hear with such loud noise coming from the crowd.

"I demand you to speak your intentions, right now, else I'll order my subordinates to throw you in jail and to take care of that beast you ride around!! Answer me, civilian!! The chief tired to get closer, but Ghar'ra quickly thwarted the attempt with a fierce show of his five inches long teeth.

Finally, the rider decided it was time to interact with these strange people around him. Caressing the huge lizard near the base of its neck, the beast seems to calm down almost immediately, closing its mouth and ceasing his lashing, though his eyes stay aware of every single movement from the humans. Kesendaran coughs to clear his voice and then addresses the guard.

Greetings. Them people be distrustful o' me, but I assure no harm be comin' from me or Ghar'ra. I be Kesendaran, representative of them Archwood people. Is the Mayor available, mon? He manages a bow of sorts, as much as he can while still riding the beast. His speech is somewhat rolled in his tongue, as someone not used to speak much, and his voice has a rasp to it, the same that people that are sick of the throat seem to have. However, he bears no signs of disease save, maybe, the colour of his skin?

I do not have yet a picture of him, but imagine a male version of Aunt Dalma, from the Pirates of the Caribbean. That should give you a fair idea. Also, picture of the beast:

From out of the darkness came a few arcane words, uttered by an unknown presence and heard by none due to the chaos at the gate. The next words that were uttered were heard only by Kesendaran, a voice coming out of nowhere and touching only his ears. It was frankly a waste of magic as far as Garak was concerned, but he knew that a quick and peaceful resolution of this situation would help Joachim considerably in regard to the election the next day. Knowing that he would have to be nice almost made the assassin get sick on the spot, but it was for the best in the end.

Garak waited for the other's response before he made his presence known. However, he did continue to creep forward, using the shadows to their fullest potential as he made his way closer to the gates and the ring of guards. When the guards and the rider first spoke, Garak could only hear the tone of the voices used. It appeared that the guards were ready for a fight, but something about the rider indicated he was not interested in aggression. Time would tell. Either way, the death of the newcomer or a calming of the tension, Garak would do what he could to help the situation and gain favor for Joachim.

Kesendaran's head whips right and left as the voice whispers in his ear, though he saw no one close enough to do it. His eyes quickly scanned beyond the crowd, searching for anyone that might be just out of sight. None the less, he answers the voice. A quick look at the man's face and one can see he is not as startled as would be expected; it just caught him unprepared.

I be 'ere only ta talk. Mah people be needin' more space and I've been sent ta ask fer it.

He whispers, and thus the guards only see someone talking under his breath. As he has done it before, they probably will think he is one fuse short.

With the words whispered to the newcomer, Garak stepped from the shadows just a couple dozen feet away from the guards. To the rider, the assassin seemed to have materialized out of pure shadow, for he had not been hiding behind anything. Now visible, Garak approached the ring of guards. The tiefling carried no weapons, and wore simple black leather armor that seemed to absorb the light around him. His eyes were lifeless black orbs that matched the ash color of his skin.

"Captain! I am Garak who travels with Joachim Laross, and who defended these very gates with my own blood. If I may be so allowed, would you ask your men to stand down, back away, give me room to tend to your wounded, and speak with this newcomer? Even my appearance is quite different from any other in this city, but I've demonstrated numerous times that my desire is only to help the city and its people. I ask you to not judge this rider only on his appearance. I sense that his intentions are peaceful, but I assure you I will utterly destroy him and his mount should he decide to even have a thought about harming the city. Of this, you have my word."

He did not wait for the captain to answer, but instead moved forward in hopes of at least being allowed to tend to the wounded. "Let me through! I can heal this man's wounds!" If so allowed, Garak used his healing belt to help the injured guard.

In hopes of taking control of the situation, Garak called out to the strange man on the beat. "Rider! As a show of trust, let me have your weapons so we can speak without threat of conflict."

Kesendaran suddenly starts to laugh, a coarse and rasped laugh, at full lungs, slapping his thigh even. As he sees the tiefling piercing the crowd to heal the wounded man, he comes down from his mount and pats it on the neck, calming it. He watches with serene eyes as he approaches and then nods at the request.

Yus. I 'ave no need o' them inside them walls, I believe? But return them ta me unbroken, if it pleases ye. Them be dear ta me. He hands over the spear, as well as three smaller javelins. Garrak notices he still carries a small handaxe, though it seems too small and unkempt to be used as a weapon. Kesendaran holds the reins of the lizard, sweeping his cape slightly, showing the rest of his body.

He is a well fit man, his body used to physical endurance. His legs wear nothing but a skirt-like piece made of pelts that covers his knees. His torso is all covered with pelts and, on top of them, numerous vines spread around and entwine, effectively making a kind of protection that extends to his arms and his thighs. All the vines seem to be coming from somewhere around his neck, where a choker made of said vines seems to be resting. He has several necklaces all made of bones, teeth or claws of wild animals, and a string of small skulls hanging from his belt, besides all the panoply of gear of a travelling person: backpack, saddlebags, food, etc.

Who be this Joachim? I know no person inside them walls. Ye must show me the ones I shu'd speak wit'. Again he bows, this time to the tiefling, a mirthful smile playing in his lips.

The guards seem surprised at Garak's sudden entrance, but as a few of them have heard of his work with the others of his party, and combined with the stranger's mounts sudden lull in seeming aggression, they allow the two to have their talk, focusing more on preventing the odd fellow's uninvited entrance into the city.

Bringing the small group of guards away from the monster's now-still tail, they form up by the walls, just in case this Garak fellow fails to calm things down...

Garak finishes his work with the healing belt and asks the rider to remain where he was while the guard was moved back to a safe position.

Once the guard was in the hands of his fellows, the tiefling once again approached the rider. He nodded when the other turned over his weapons. "I have a few toys myself, and cherish every one of them. I will treat your weapons as if they were one of my own favorites." Garak was as evil as they came, but his word was usually something that he kept. In this situation, it was of benefit for him to earn the strange man's trust, so he carefully set them on the ground next to him where they would be out of the reach of Kesendaran but also would be unharmed.

"Now then about your needs. Joachim is one with whom I travel and should be along shortly. We arrived to this town and have decided to see to its proper protection and prosperity. As you can see, we have earned the trust of the guards, so be advised that I will do everything in my power to ensure their trust is not misplaced." It was of great significance that those in the city thought of Garak as an ally, for much of his recent wealth was gained due to others thinking he was trustworthy.

"As for the needs of your people, where are they now? I cannot speak for the leadership of this city, but I suspect that something can be worked out so all people involved can be happy with a resolution."

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