Chapter 4 - A Fork in the Road

At Joachim's words of Garak joining with the bandits, his eyes narrowed, and his hands flexed into fists. "Paladin, if you so much as ever insinuate again that I would join a bunch of talentless bandits, then I will open your body in such a way that the greatest magic in the realm will never be able to identify you ever again. Are we clear?"

His words were blunt, cold, and full of evil intent. It mattered little what others thought of him, but Garak held himself out as a professional. His actions were always taken after careful consideration of the facts, and he always had a plan. Bandits were the lowest of life to Garak, and he would not allow anybody to compare him to such vermin.

"...further, don't even think of retaliating with a pathetic threat of your own. If you want to take this discussion any further, step outside, and I'll gut you now."

He stood there and waited for Joachim to react. This time, the assassin would not back down. It further infuriated him that Joachim would appear to be so holy and pure, but then make statements about torture being ok and judging others without any facts; especially since the night before Joachim was so worried about what was going to happen to Sigphan...a clear enemy.

Thoughts began to enter into Garak's mind once again about how he would drive Joachim to the point of insanity. That thought alone allowed a momentary smirk to cross the assassin's face. Only Garak knew the reason for it, but any looking at him could easily spot the expression.

"That is a good suggestion!" Joachim replies. "While Garak takes care of means of transport, you get your mount I suggest Lorem, Tamrik and myself pay them another visit perhaps to achieve some information, that in the hope that we find any of them awake at this time... but since their friendly leader seemed to be having a nap ... we might as well be lucky!" He himself would probably never have remembered such a suggestion. "I mean we would waste less time that way ... and time is something we have not much to waste." Joachim looks to Ara and Duadain "Will you be coming along with us? Or is this task ours to carry out alone?"

€dit: Turning to Garak the paladin smiles at him not paying any attention to the cruelty of the words said nor to the chalange. "Friend I believe it is of bad taste as well to consider one selves part of such lowlifes ... what I was suggesting was nothing more then the simple infiltration. If the suggestion is fact enough to enrage you I beg your pardon, but I myself will not allow it to be spoken in such manners to me out of thin air." Joachims mouth became a thin line under his moustache. He did not like the way the other was reacting but took it not to seriously himself being under the rush of adrenaline ready to depart at any moment. As the man smiled he assumed he had but understood he had been wrong to over react and left it as it was. They had no time for little querells among them not when Delphine was in danger.

well a small split of 3 posts would do no harm :P

So, Joachim, are you trusting me, or trying to keep me under your thumb, my friend. You've said no words to me, and looked naught in my direction since your outburst, and attempted murderous intent upon me. Tamrik eyes the man, waiting to judge his response. His time with Garak has given him a better idea on how things work, and how to judge a person based on body and speech.

Before Joachim can respond, Tamrik continues. We all must work together. Each of us have their uses, our own unique talents. Joachim, and Lorem fight well, Joachim especially up close, and Lorem from a distance. Garak lurks in the shadows, while Ara blasts away. Raz, well, he is a healer of sorts, and of some use when we need to squish somebody. I neither lurk, nor fight well in close encounters. I manage the fight around me, and fight accordingly, depending on the situation. We need to allow each person to do things in there own manner, without allowing one's morals from getting in the way. Joachim, I need you, my friend, to not judge Garak or myself as evil, but a member of this group. We are no less important to the group than you believe yourself to be. Tamrik takes a few deep breaths, knowing Joachim to want to but in he holds a hand up.

On the other hand, I do think we should have investigated Zetroc's disappearance back in the Ice Flow. We all dropped the basket on this one. Now we must reconcile that mistake. We must only assume for now that Delphine went on her own accord. If we go into this thinking she is a captive, we could easily be taken by surprise and than we will all be killed. If we are not worried about those around us, our own lives should be more important. Let us make our arrangements, Garak and I will take care of the transportation, Raz, Joachim, and Lorem should finalize the investigation. Ara, I cannot choose your path, it is yours to walk. I want no complaining, we must each do our parts, to the best of our abilities. Tamrik finishes, feeling very much like a preacher, and not exactly disliking the feeling of leadership he holds. He can only hope that the others will listen, and that things are resolved for now.

Tamrik spoke well, and he spoke the truth. For that, Garak respected him. It was far from a friendship, but the assassin decided at that moment, that Tamrik would be the last to die.

"When we arrive with the horses and wagon, be prepared to move fast. We won't have time to spare."

Garak did not mean that they would have to hurry to catch the bandits, but would rather have to move fast so they could prevent the local law from catching them with their stolen transportation. It made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that these do-gooders would be happily and ignorantly accepting stolen property. In fact, he almost even cracked a smile. Almost.

Sorry...I couldn't resist posting something that would show just how cruel and evil a bastard Garak really is.
ha ha ha

Upon mention of their adventures in the Ice Caves, Ara breaks her silence, speaking with strange serenity to the rest of her "attendants."
"Back in the ice caverns, we all failed...not only to protect our companions, but also to treat them with respect. For that, we are all equally at fault, myself included. Now we see the results of our mistakes, and we must once again deal with them," she sighs, leaning back against the wall.
"While I do agree that Zetroc is likely in some way responsible for Delphine's disappearance, I doubt she went of her own will...but as you said, anything is possible. Thus, we must make preparations, as Garak mentioned."

Running her left hand through her dark hair, Ara leans forward off the wall, adjusting her robes.
"If your relations with the AAGP are as good as you say they are, then perhaps a return visit is warranted. If they will not help us, at least they could provide information on the area, or even on the ancient kingdom itself..."
"Tamrik and Garak will round up sufficient equipment for the trip, and I trust that between them, they can account for most of the necessary goods. As for myself, I will accompany you on the trek, but not immediately. I need to speak to the Order once more, see what arrangements can be made..."
she adds, clearly unhappy.

"When you reach your destination, leave one of your Necklaces in a safe, hidden place. I will scry out its location and come join you. Make sure that you leave it outside, as the power of my scrying spell weakens underground, in big cities, or in large complexes and structures."

"Jojo, Lorem... Wanna go with me to talk to our goblin buddies?" the priest says, standing up from his seat as he prepares to make his way out the door.

With his words of warning given, the assassin looked at Tamrik, nodded, towards the door, and headed out. He figured that there would be several merchant wagons around town, or maybe even a few at the outlying farmer homes. Perhaps Tamrik would have a few ideas as well. The primary goal was to get a wagon and enough horses for everybody to ride either on a horse or in the wagon. His secondary interest was to do so without ending up back in the prison under less favorable terms...especially since he had killed two of the prisoners during his interrogation of Sigphan...

Hearing no other objections or comments, Garak and Tamrik once again splinter off from the others, though this time of their own accord. Joachim, Lorem, and Raz depart as well, leaving Ara alone with Dudain. Upon exiting the temple, you once again steal a glance over at the halfling, who as succeeded in conjuring a large loaf of bread. Smiling, he takes a huge bite of the soft bread, only to pass right through it and clang his teeth together sharply.

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