Thursday, August 27, 2009

No way to run

Mendez also tries to get information on the black cloaks. He wanders down the streets and visits the inns and pubs in the hope to get some information. he finds out that the people fear the black cloaks but more because they don't know anything about them. The yseem to be coming through for one and a half months now. They stay for 1 or 2 nights in one of the inns (Lately only in the inn they are staying at) and then leave again towards the mountains. A few people who dared to follow them stopped the search after one or two days because they were too scared in the mountains. One fight between them and a bully in one of the inns ended quickly with the death of the bully and the different versions of the story about what exactly happened range from a normal fight to magic raining down on from the sky.

Just when he walks down a smaller alley Mendez suddenly finds himself in front of two well-trained guards who are blocking his way. Where is Thes-Hiss when you need him! Looking at the size and armour of the guards, Mendez decides to better walk back and turns round. Two more guards step out of an entrance behind him, completely surrounding him. "Somebody wants to talk to you!" "Well, and he couldn't just ask?" While one of the guards pushes him forcefully into the next door, Mendez hates himself for his witty reply. He find himself in a smaller room without windows and just a candle illuminating the sparsely decorated room. Next to the table a well dressed guard, probably a captain, is looking at him.
"What do you want?!?"
The man stands up and walks towards Mendez. Two of the guards behind him block the door, making it impossible to escape without a fight. And Mendez doesn't rate his chances very high.
"Let me introduce myself. I am Onol Thul, Commander of the royal army."
Mendez tries to reply something but gets interrupted.
"And you are Mendez, I know. I also know that you are here with 4 other mercenaries escorting a group of the black hoods. You are staying at the inn in Hunters Alley where your sorcerer is guarding your clients who haven't left the room. You see, I follow every single one of your steps."
"What do you want from me? And why are you doing this? We have done nothing wrong!"
"True. That is the reason we are speaking to each other here and not in the prison. Where are you bringing the black hoods and what is their mission?"
"Why should I tell you about our clients? So far I don't see a reason to cooperate with you!"
After a sign of the commander, the guards leave the room and close the door behind them. "Perhaps we started on the wrong foot! I'm not accusing you of any crime. Yet. But I like to know what's going on in my town and I had to speak to you without your client's knowledge. See, I think people who are running around in dark cloaks normally have something to hide. I want to know what it is!"
Mendez doesn't feel immediately threatened but still rates his chances to just walk out of here unharmed rather low.
"Well, that makes two of us then! We just escort them, we know nothing about them. Only that they need escort into the mountains. On the way from Febril where we met them, they haven't given away any information regarding the exact aim or purpose of this journey. I don't even know how they look under these cloaks!"
"Interesting! The same answer as all the other mercenaries gave me. See, I have enough problems with the orcs in the north. I don't need any more right in the middle of our kingdom"
"But I heard in the pubs that you defeated the orcs in the last battle and that the king has ordered a week of festivities?"
Mendez can see anger building up on the commander's face.
"Yes, our glorious battle against the orcs! True, we attacked the fort of the main orcish army and we defeated orcs. But these orcs weren't the well trained elite troops we've expected. They were new recruits, but many of them. It was a gory battle and we lost many good men. Nobody knows where the main army went but the survivers we interrogated reported that the orcs drafted every able man. They are preparing for a big battle but our king decided that we were victorious and prefers to celebrate!! He even denies me the ressources I need to rebuild our army quickly because there apparently is no threat any more!"
He takes a deep breath and Mendez can see him trying to suppress the anger.

After a few moments pass, the commander continues. "One of my men recognized your group as the liberators of Seawell. Apparently you seem to have a good reputation so I wondered why you got involved with these characters. I would like to offer you a deal. You are heading into the mountains where most of my men don't want to go since many never came back from scouting missions. I nevertheless have reports that orcs moved into the mountains from the north. I would offer money for information on the black cloaks or orcs should you encounter them. I'm gathering the army near Gom Dalat, officially for the celebrations. I would prefer a preemptive strike if the orcs are gathering in the mountains to attack us. If you can give me information on their whereabouts you would be a local hero and would be rewarded."

"So you would pay us if we can give you strategic information and if we never come back you wouldn't have lost any more men. How clever. What if we decide not to cooperate?"
"You are free men and I have no charges against you. But let me tell you that if you decide to withhold information from me and things turn ugly, I consider you part of the bad guys.You are free to go."

Mendez walks towards the door and opens it. The guards step aside after a quick look at their commander. Just before Mendez can walk out, the commander continues.
"One of my men will follow you into the mountains as far as he dares. Should you have information on your destination or on who the black hoods are, fall back alone and he will approach you. Good day!"
Without turning around, Mendez walks back to the inn.


Hedzor said...

Well I'd say we've got good news for them!

Insanodag said...

"You are free men and I have no charges against you."

- How funny!