Friday, April 3, 2009

A Town called Malice

Bodush, Durin and Eolar enter the main room to find a meeting of grim looking men. General Oolf, at the centre, is a tall but painfully thin man. A whispered message from the one eyed guard causes the conversation to cease and General Oolf beckons the adventurers forward.
“I hear that despite your protestations, you’ve helped our cause anyway and killed several dozen of our dreaded enemy.”
General Oolf dismisses his men and invites you to sit down.
“As you know, the war is going badly for us. We are outnumbered and outmatched. It is only due to the help we’re receiving from the priests at the far end of this land, that we’re surviving at all.”
On seeing Durin’s confused face, General Oolf tells the story of the recent history of this land.
“Twenty years ago, this town was called ‘Alice’ after the first founder. Everyone just calls it ‘Malice’ now. The Monastery at the end of the land was run by peaceful Monks and the Fort at the top of the mountain was ruled by the clerics of Wee Jas. Neither group interfered with us or our day-to-day lives. They were more concerned with their own endeavours.”
General Oolf stops for a moment and sniffs.
“Then the War Priests of Erythnul came. They stormed the Fort, over running it very quickly and all the fat and complacent clerics of Wee Jas were executed. Obviously the town elders were concerned and went to the Monks for protection. A group of them went to the Fort and confronted the new arrivals. There was a brief battle and the War priests of Erythnul realised that their losses would be great if they continued.
Things returned to normal for nearly a year and we all relaxed. After all, what did the clerics in a mountain fort more than a days travel away have to do with us?
Then one day a solitary Monk betrayed us all. Some say he was mad, but whatever the reason, he joined the evil clerics against his own people. He led them and a mighty demon through secret passageways and attacked the Monastery by surprise. The Monks had no chance and were all defeated, mostly in their sleep. The evil clerics killed all the survivors.
Our lives were transformed. Struggle after struggle, year after year. We became little more than slaves, but that wasn’t the end.
The mad Monk trained with them and soon learned the path to Erythnul. He grew in power for years until one night; he killed the very people he’d helped, every priest of greater seniority than himself.
After that he declared himself ‘Lord Catidsis’ and we were forced to toil for him and his underlings.”
Eolar looks confused. “But that doesn’t explain why this land is divided, Black North and White South?
General Oolf grinds his teeth and continues. “Lord Catidsis ‘encouraged’ it initially. He spread lies through our community and although I’m ashamed to admit it, it was easier to hate each other than to stand up against the mad Monk. It started out foolishly, ‘You stole our cow!’ or ‘You’re holding back grain for yourselves!’ and then a boy was killed. From then it’s just been a case of escalation. Soon the town became divided by the river and hatred. All the while, the hatred being fuelled by the War priests of Erythnul.”
Bodush scowls but says nothing.
“Don’t judge us too harshly. We have lost this pointless war. It is only the medicines being supplied by the evil priests that enable us to survive at all. We don’t want to fight but we can’t surrender. The Black soldiers would slaughter us even under a white flag.”
General Oolf looks up at you through defeated eyes.
“The Monastery is just over a days walk from here. If you don’t help us, we’ll be stone cold dead before winter comes.”

11 comments:

Joebroesel said...

Eolar looks at the assembled guards.
"General Oolf, St.Cuthbert has led us here and for a long time, I wasn't sure what our task would be. I can now see part of the plan HE laid out for us."
Facing the general directly he speaks in a low but determinate voice.
"You said you are dependent on the evil priests for medicine although you know they are the source of misery in this valley. We can provide you with medicine and what you need. I have many clerics and healers under my command, they will provide you with the help needed if you turn away from the priests."
He takes a deep breath
"I wanted to stay neutral in this mindless fight and although St.Cuthbert has led us to this side of the valley, my followers and me won't join you against the black army. We will, however, remove the evil influence. With your help, my companions and me are going to drive away the priests of Erythnul.
Afterwards, we are going to help you to unite the valley again and restore order. This meaningless fight went on for too long!
If you want help, you have to agree to stop the aggression towards the black army. If you turn this offer down, we will leave at once."
Eolar stops and opens his arms wide, revealing his red and white vestments.
"With our help you have the chance to stop this war and turn this town into Alice again, the peaceful place it once was! What do you say?"

Mendez said...

General Oolf gazes up at the arrogant half Elf. “Stop the aggression? Haven’t you been listening? We’re just fighting to stay alive. We’d flee this land if the Black dogs would allow it.”
The old man stands up. He towers over the three adventurers. “If you drive out the cursed Priests of Erythnul and guarantee our safety, we’ll gladly lay down our arms.”
His blue eyes start to cloud. “To see things grow again. To live free and without fear. This is all we crave.”

Joebroesel said...

Eolar answers calmly "As I said, we will help where we can to alleviate the misery your people are in. This includes defense against attacks if necessary. I did not demand that you give up defending yourself, but you have desist from attacking. One side has to make the first step and has to break away from hate.

Eolar looks around in the room and then lowers his voice so that only the general can hear him
"Our main task is to defeat the priests. Can we speak to you alone or do you trust all these men completely? Nothing of what we say now must reach the ears of a spy!"

Mendez said...

General Oolf looks around him and gestures his men away."These are good men, but trust is a hard thing to find when people are starving."
Then leaning back he says, "Of course you realise that General Sorel, the leader of the Black army already knows you're here. Your less than subtle encounter with their guard post would have alerted them not only of your presence, but you prowess too. I've no doubt that they've already sent a runner to the Priests of Erythnul. Any hope you had of a surprise attack is gone."

Joebroesel said...

"That we are going to attack may be of no surprise, but that doesn't mean that the how is already known to our enemy. When you told us about the fall of the monastery, you mentioned the mad monk came through a secret passageway. Do you know if it still exists and where it leads? We also would need the layout of the monastery, the number of priests, daily schedule and a description of the area around it. We have one day to prepare! On the second, we are going to attack.

Send word to your men that we are going to attack the black side by crossing the river on the first light of the second day. No doubt they pick up on that through spies. This should force them to gather their troops in preparation for a trap and keep them away from the monastery. The priests might want to gather their full force at the monastery awaiting our attack! We have to split them up by setting up a diversion. The place is of your choice since you know the land and can choose a likely location. As soon as the monastery falls, the other part of the army will most likely surrender.
Can your people gather at a safe place which is far away from both battle grounds? I will send my followers there to set up a camp for wounded. We could also gather them at the mountain fortress but I have to negotiate that first.

Do you agree with this plan or is there anything you want to add or change? You know the area well and we need your knowledge. How many men at arms do you have left under your command?

Mendez said...

A plan?
Don't tell Thesis.
;)

General Oolf doesn't know where the supposed tunnel is.
He will move his people out of harms way.
He will risk his few remaining warriors as a distraction, but will not send them into a real battle.
Wer's still got two days reincarnating the remaining dead refugees. (It would be frowned upon by Lady Lesyeux and Ortos if she left and risked her own life before bringing those few remaining back. The dead don't want to wait.

Joebroesel said...

Don't worry, I prepare "command" especially for Thesis :P

There should be one day reincarnating left:
2 days after the worm battle but w scouted already one day.
From the posts it should be the night after the first day, so one day remaining for Wer?

Mendez said...

OK then.

Joebroesel said...

We also should have found 10000gp each in the barn that burned down?

Mendez said...

Nice try.
:)

Joebroesel said...

The first one was so easy I thought I could ride that wave ;-)