Chapter 4 - A Fork in the Road

Originally Posted by leova View Post
"Then again, most bandit groups are all the same - all they want is coin, killing, and copulation,"
"Stop trying to romanticize the life of a bandit."

"And following them isn't necessary. Give me one of the bandits -- alive or dead -- and I'll get your answers."
he says, making a note on a few spells he could contemplate as he was lifting his mug this evening.

"A coin." he says, the wheels in his addled mind churning. "Did you get a coin from the brothel?"

"Sounds like a good plan... As long as we rescue our comrade in the process. And I'm talking about Delphine." Lorem said, passing a hand through his hair. "I don't know about you... But I'm getting pretty tired of this. We can't lose someone every time we go somewhere." He crossed his arms, thinking back at the ice cave and the 'disappearance' of Raen... Now Delphine. "I mean, how can we expect to do our job if we can't even protect each other in the process?"

"Remember that Zetroc was once part of our company and nobody was too upset when he left...or when the half-orc was killed. In fact, nobody suggested that we go track down Zetroc at was not even remotely discussed. We have to consider the possibility that Delphine left voluntarily as well. It would be unwise to dismiss that possibility."

Garak could care less about any of the people in the company past the point of where they provided him with a benefit. He knew that they were all useful in their own particular ways, but useful people were easily found and recruited, so each person in the company was expendable to the assassin. However, if they were going to be storming a bandit hideout, Garak knew that there would be much treasure to be gained, and he would need several arrow catchers to take the brunt of the fight. He felt that those in the room would be loyal, so for now, they gave him reason enough to stick around and not proceed forward with other henchmen...

Raz's comment about essentially torturing a bandit brought up a thought to the assassin. It wasn't that Garak cared at all about fairness. Clearly, Sigphan learned very well the true meaning of evil just the night before. However, the assassin wanted to make a point clear so he would not have to listen to a bunch of over zealous do-gooder talk in the future.

"Tell me, if it had been myself that suggested I use whatever techniques necessary to get information from a bandit, I would be labeled as evil. However, since Raz made the suggestion, and since it involves a piece of tail, nobody even takes note."

He looks at everybody to see if they even understand his point and then looks back at their informant. "Anything else? If not, I will go acquire some horses and a wagon. Give me an hour and meet me north of town."

Joachim swallows any comment he would let out at the mention of questioning someone under the loss of his fingers. But like had thought of before, in love- and warfare there were no rules. The question was to what point this was becoming a war or already one. War should be stopped when possible ... and if it were not one another thought arose with the drastic mannerism, also did the blond knight not like the easy way Dudain spoke about cutting of someone's body parts. The other strange thing was this Zetroc. It definitely rang a bell, but he did not recall from where at this point hoping conversation would eventually give him some more clues. Then there was the detail of the kidnap... If the men went in and bought women why would they want to kidnap another one? It sure would bring them only trouble besides they had no guaranty that this last one would not speak elvish for what ever purposes she held in her destiny. "So why on earth would they take Delphine! What in the realms did they do to her! We must pursue as soon as we can, no minute can be lost when dealing with the life of someone in need!" Joachim's speech had gained a tone of enthusiasm with the clear worry that spoke from underneath. He looks to Raz "Yes my friend we shall rescue these poor misplaced beings. But let's not judge this Zetroc yet ... he shall be punished for his crimes but death is probably not a fair verdict."

Joachim watches Garaks comment with much interest. He shivered at the thought of the bandits being led to a slaughterhouse and thrown into the grinding blades of a butcher, it was not something that made him feel to good about someone, but what mattered was not the way in which Garak expressed himself but the idea behind his words, which what Joachim understood was, that all bandits had to atone for their crimes. As the man gives the idea for a rescue mission Joachim nods in agreement but adds his remark "Yes we shall let one escape, there is no sense in trenching the road in blood for credibility, it might in fact be much more effective to capture a group of them and tight the ropes to light on one of them for you to follow, or to reveal you as a traitor amongst our side in search for power and wealth that wants to join their parts..."

Then it rang, as Lorem mentioned the loss. The icy caves came to his mind. They did in deed loose two of their companions there. One trenched in blood the other disappearing with his corpse. He had not had the time to get to attached to them indeed, as Garak was kind enough to mention. It even went so far that after only a few days he had completely washed them from his mind. He felt guilty. Now there came up another option Zetroc was seeking vengance on Delphine, this forced them to hasten even more for her life was certainly in danger. As for the option of Delphine following of her own free will it seemed unlikely to the man in silver armor. "Yes Garak haste is of need. Be not mistaken I do not agree with torture, but if it is the only way of achieving the higher goal of righteousness it is a price to be paid and eventually one might judge himself for it when the time is right."

"Garak, that's because nor Zetroc nor the half-orc stuck around us for long and they weren't exactly 'friendly'. Delphine has been nothing but friendly with us. Zetroc threw a tantrum because we didn't stop praying for a body while we tried to understand what had attacked us or why or if there were more coming. He acted stupidly, but we know that he indeed left of his own will. With Delphine... We do not know. As for torture..." Lorem shrugged his shoulders. "Honestly, I don't like the idea of doing it, but I do not think of it as an 'evil' action, on the right subjects... But further discussion and we're just discussing semantics. And it's not about 'tail'. It's about the relationship. It if it was about not having anything pretty to look at, we would have been alright with Ara only, right? ..." Lorem suddenly realized what he had said. "Ehm, so, a horse and a wagon?

"Yeah, it's not just about tail. It's about MY tail. the bastards absconded with girls from MY Queen's Honey and also Delphine. I can tell you that Delphine ain't for sale -- if she were, I woulda dropped some coin a while back.

And who said anything about torture? I was plannin on using magic. Just get me a damn body -- live or dead -- and I'll get your answers. Now, we may need to do a few things to get a live one to talk -- I've heard this waterboarding stuff works pretty well, but I think we can stop well short of torture."

The priest pauses, a bit out of breath. Taking a quick squirt of his 'holy water', he collects himself. "Now I'm off to get Shelpindor. Poor beast has been in the stable way too long. I'll stop by and get me one of those fancy coins too. If we can figure out where it came from, maybe we can figure out where to find the bastards."

"As a matter of fact, I did retrieve several coins from the owner, who was more than willing to share after we had a private chat."
Reaching into his tunic, he pulls out a handful of small golden coins, handing them to Ara and the others.

Ara, for her part, stays mostly silent, but does take notice when Lorem compliments her. Flashing the tall fellow a quick glance, she then turns back to the matter at hand, giving the coin a final glance before pocketing it.

Dudain listens intently as the group discusses their situation, half of the party already planning to slaughter the bandits and divvy the loot.
"I can give you but a little more information, as that's the extent of my knowledge. If they took her into the mountains, they must have temporary camps along the way, lest they be forced to sleep on uncomfortable rocks. And knowing the sort of folk that bandits tend to be, they'll to everything they can to avoid a night on rocky ground," Dudain states.
"If I were you, once you get to the peaks, I'd look for the most comfortable place around. Chances are, that's where you'll find your bandits, and your old buddy Zetroc."

"Understood. We thank you for your time." Lorem says with a nod, his embarassment forgotten in place of thinking about the information gotten in those last few seconds. That probably means that we will have more chances of running into them at night time... And that will get to our advantage even further. They will not expect someone to follow them, I guess... He gave another nod of acknowledgment. "Alright. I think we should go pack up and begin our voyage. They have some advantage on us, after all."

Joachim taxied the coin interested. He looked at the runes then handed it over to someone else or back to the one he had gotten it from. "Well back then I heard a tale from an old man, he was all about when he was young and treasure was not hard to get and everyone was respecting to the elder and paid a just price for a tale, he and some of his fellow travellers set out to capture and young dragon in the name of some good cause, if you ask me they just did not want to do some honest work and were trying to skip it, went up to the thunder Peak Mountains, were they foundthemselves among a huge set of adventures and close death combats... rubish if you ask me, but what I retained from his tale was that they found a sage who told them something about something like a goblin kingdom he was tracking down which was supposedly raided nearby villages and towns until one day they simply vanished from sight ... I now this sounds a bit off what would be resonable in a dreamed up tale, but I later found other tales matching ... far not as detailed as the words the old man made me believe were true but essentially telling the same thing." he points at the coin "And as mad as it might sound to throw this up ... I mean ... those symbols sure do not look human to me ... I mean they might be those of the goblins. It might even be that Zetroc and his fellows found an old treasure room if the tale is true, or something" Joachim is clearly enthusiastic about his discovery.

"Well folks lets not waste any more time! We know where we are headed and what to look out for ... no chance we'll miss them!"

hehe betcha 10copper we'll ride strait past them!

"Hell, we just broke bread and lifted a mug with the boys at the AAGP. If you think the little buggers might be able to help us, let's go talk to 'em first." Raz suggests, thinking that the coin might help provide a few clues.


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