Chapter 2 - Of Dust, Of Death, Of Darkness

Garak sat in silence and ate his breakfast. It was an odd meal, but it was food, and he had certainly eaten worse before. The fighters, as usual, began to bicker about who was tougher and who could handle more punishment along the road that they were traveling.

No response was given to their banter. Instead, the dark assassin cleaned his weapons and armor, and then strapped them on in the appropriate places. He placed his packs on his horse, and brushed out the dirt from Kohl's fur.

It was all part of his routine. He always made certain that his equipment was kept in perfect condition. His appearance was immaculate as possible as well. Garak was a lot of things...but most of all, he was a professional.

He was ready whenever the rest had figured out how fast they would ride this day. Garak thought it funny that they were worried about how hard they would ride...after all, it was much more a strain on their animals than it was on them.

He didn't care. In the end, they could all die as far as Garak was concerned. So long as he was accepted into the Order so he could begin his campaign of wrath against the gods. Petty little arguments like travel plans mattered little to the assassin in light of his true goals. Many things mattered little by comparison. At this point, Garak would happily kill his best friend if it meant he would learn something that would help in his battle against the gods.

As he waited, dark thoughts consumed his mind. His face twisted with hateful and evil expressions as images of what he would do to future victims danced as visions in front of him.

It then hit Garak. He had not yet thought about killing Joachim. The dark one then nodded to himself. He had now officially thought about killing the paladin this day. It made him feel warm inside for many reasons...

Joachim did the impossible ... he could even take a nap after such adrenaline. The tall and strong figure sure was everything but normal. As hot as his head could get in few time so could it cool down as quick as it heated. Though he could have used a dew more hours of sleep he was not able to fall into deep slumber and as the smell of roasted reaches his nose his stomach gives signs of hunger. His eyes open and confused he lurks to his soroundings. Not realy sure if the combat was dream or reality he gets to his feat fidning a notion of reality once he stands.

Watching the group gathered having the morning food he walks up to them and without a word he simply setles next to them still showing signs of sleep. Grabing a pieces of scorpion he twists his mouth. Food is food ... and well he took a bite. "Better then I expected!" munching he sits there for a while contemplating the others.

As if struck by the though that garak would kill even his best friend Joachim suddenly starts thinking of the coldness this man showed. Probably he would kill without any regretts what so ever if it resided in his plans to achieve one goal.
With that came another idea, would he be able to kill a loved one? Perhaps he did not have such, even though. His dog? He seemed to show a lot afection to this animal. Joachim himself did not belive animals were more then mere machines, they had no soul. Nothing but machines, like the advanced clokworks he had seen in the wizards house in Neverwinter, when he was obligated to escort him to the palace, not a nice memory. But then there was no soul at all. Only the gods were imortal the rest was doomed to perish...

Gloomy thoughts crossed his mind as he thought of Garak and then took him away on more filosofical questions. Then he became hisself again. getting up he got to his armor, polished it quickly and lay it on. Shouldering his Sword and packing the rest up onto the horse he had choosen whose name he lost again in thoughs. He stood there ready to part. He did not feel like talking. He needed sleep ... or felt like he did.

The second day's ride is much more productive than the first, and the group makes good time.

It is not, however, uneventful, for you are constantly aware that this barren place nonetheless supports life. To the South, Raen's reports of shapes prove to be correct, as occasional shadows and forms shuffle back and forth along the horizon. The the West, the ice floe was as silent as ever,

Fortunately, there are no more tumbleweed sightings, but precautions are taken anyway. Ara's usual charms and enchantments soon spring into being, though her efforts seem more forced this time, and the magical barrier seems significantly larger. The thin woman then rests, too tired to look for food, and not keen on wandering out alone either.

"Could I have a peek at that trinket you found?" said Zetroc, idling up alongside Raen and Delphine, who had placed her bedroll next to Raen's. His words oozed curiosity, and he stared daggers into Raen's backpack. Delphine looked up as well, her interest piqued at the man's words. Several other pairs of eyes glanced in their direction, but quickly turned away.

Raen's eyes locked with Zetroc's for a moment, trying to
Sense Motive Check:
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 20 (Total = 23)
guage the man's intentions. Raen pulls the crystal item from his back pack,where it is wrapped safe. He doesn't truly consider the thing his anyway, purely keeping hold of it in case it proves of some worth to the group.

"Here," he says, handing Zetroc the item. After a moment, he asks "What do you make of it?"

Somewhat much more energetic than the day before Joachim arrives at this camp site. The journey of the day had been less tiring and probably tomorrow would be even better. It was only a matter of getting used to the desert. In fact he enjoyed it now almost, of course he missed his wife and he thought of leaving the party often trying to ride back to meet her, they were after all not so far away, yet, and they could settle down eventually somewhere, but his spirits came back to him and he threw those ideas into the back of his mind for a while. The horizon was enchanting and rarely had he believed to see such beautifully sun sets and rises as in the desert. It was not by chance that there were many who would dare the dazzling heat there was a huge reward for this overcoming of natures harshest lands, Isolation and through that protection, and magical pictures ...

As they stop he gets of his horse and readies himself for sleep once more. As he is out of his armor he hears the words spoken. This object had caught probably everyone's interest and only after this days ride it could now be easily appraised. Moving up to the other men he watches anxiously to discover what would come to sight.

While the others were all in awe of the object in Raen's pack, Garak walked to the edge of camp and looked out to the horizon. Kohl padded along, a silent companion. The others were hopefully not so consumed by their treasure that they forgot that they were in dangerous lands.

During their journey that day, movement had been seen at times, though what it was exactly remained a mystery. However, it was enough to keep the assassin on guard more so than usual.

While watching for signs of trouble, Garak laughed quietly to himself. For a fleeting moment, he imagined burying Joachim chin deep in the sand and then flinging stones at his armored head with his sling. The sound of the stone hitting against the hard metal of the paladin's helmet would send Garak into a state of happiness. Perhaps some of the others would even join in the fun...

Well, maybe not yet...but eventually...perhaps.

Tamrik, not for the first time, comes out of his daydreaming. Realizing how far they'd come, He finally relaxes a little, and lets out a deep sigh of relief, as he finally breathes normally. "Sorry for not seeming here, I've been thinking a lot about the past I left behind."

"Perhaps if your past is anything like Joachim's wife, then it is best left behind?"

The words were cold, but there was a hint of something else in his words that were directed towards Tamrik. Perhaps compassion?

Couldn't be.

This object was in fact interesting the shape, the reflection it did in the sun ...

The line of though Joachim was pursuing was cut of by words. Tamrik yes his past sure was something that interested the paladin, those of his kind were known to be great warriors of light. After all this stranger had caught his interest and was something near to a friend, or at least someone he trusted. As this ran through his mind ...

It took him some seconds to realise what had just happened, and whose words were those and at whom they were directed and who they did insult. In the blink of an eye Joachim had turned furiously he was looking at the speaker of this last phrase. He inhalated deeply and tried to breath slowly in order to maintain calm.

"I beg your pardon?" his voice was clearly slightly shaken and his head getting a little reddish, which combined with his blond hair gave a somewhat funny picture of this man. He had clearly understood the words since they were spoken in an good audible voice, but still it he seemed to think that he was doing a good thing in ignoring this clear insult, or was it not an insult, was it meant in another way. He couldn't ignore the fact that in fact his wife was not the strongest and sure wouldn't stand a chance when greater dangers raised. Still ... this comparison with the past gave all this a very insulting touch which Joachim did not at all like.

Raen rolls his eyes as Garak's comments so obviously barbs Joachim. Not again, he thinks to himself. He shoots a look at Tamrik nearby to echo the thought. But they have to sort it out between themselves, otherwise it will run deep and dangerous, and last forever.

Still, Raen stays close by, and alert, in case either of them decide that words are not enough and blood has to be spilled.

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