Pavok sits back taking a long drink of the tea, kinda wishing that it something a little stronger then tea. He thinks to himself, "This is truly the path that the forge father has called for me, not only to help my new brother Arik but to save a land from true evil. The march has led me here and I am honored that you have so much faith in my abilites Torag. I only hope to prove myself worthy of you and my new comrades..."
The group can notice that Pavok goes a little quiet twisting his symbol between his hands with a determined look on his face. He looks around to the group in wonderment for a second then catches himself drifting off. He looks back to his employer, "My father always said you can leave a blade unfinished especially one that others close to you have invested so much into, so you still whatever help I can give. Also I do not need much in reward I already have recieved so much in the new friendship's I have gained and the new purpose I have been given." With that he pats Arik on the back, giving all his friends a confident smile.
Giving his friend a few minutes, Pavok excuses himself from the group and moves up to check on Arik. From the doorway he stops waiting to see if his friend wants to talk or to leave him alone. "Hows the view?"
"You can count on us, sir! Arik's gonna be alright, don't you worry not one bit. We're gonna do our best to put a stop to all this wrongness towards your people, I guarantee it! Like I said, we'll help ya!" Joe smiles real big and then takes a drink of the tea. "Mmm-mmm. That's some mighty fine tea ya got there! Whooo! Thanks!" He takes another drink.
"Listen, lad. This dwarf don't back out once he's taken on a deal. There's no way in the nine that I'm going back without finishing it. We're gonna kick some ass and save Aridia, and that's all I've got to say about it. The four of us've been through a lot, and seen a buncha people die, and that's not gonna be fer nothing." Ricdak downs his tea in one gulp, wishing for something with a bit more substance to it.
Ricdak nods to Arik as he leaves, and soon after, Pavok as well, but doesn't follow either of them out.
Yalandere smiles pleasantly. "Glad to hear it friends. I am still not sure if the four of you will be enough to turn the tide but we must at least try." He reaches over to a bag sitting not far off. You hear the sound of glass clanking against glass as he pulls it over. He pulls out three bottles of 300 year old wine out. "I was saving these for a special occasion. Since you agreed to help, this is your first reward. Come, lets make merriment while it is still a luxury we can enjoy. For tomorrow, the real work begins and our lives will be on the line perpetually throughout our time here."
Turval stands. "I guess it would be a good time to roast some goat legs for everyone too. I will prepare dinner. After much hardship, you deserve a good break before it resumes again."
They prepare food and strong drink. Turval also has a store of wine he breaks out too for any who want it.
I now give you, the players, this opportunity to roleplay and ask further questions.
Let me know when you are ready to move on. I will wait til this weekend but then I will push the game on from there. Or when you all are ready, whichever happens first.
Arik reappears several hours later and fixes Yalandere's eyes.
"The Forge Father has sent me to help you rebuild this land. I thought I came to redeem my brother and family honor, but I realize now that I have no say or part in my family's honor. Torag shapes us each from the stone. He did not shape my family together, nor shall we all return to the stone together. Thus, my honor is my own and Drugan's is his own."
He drags his eyes away from the demigod and looks in turn to Mac, Ricdak, and finally on Pavok before returning to Yalandere.
"I am sorry for being such a doubting grump. I was so frustrated, but I know now it is because I was denying my true purpose."
"If you will still have me, I pledge my honor to this cause and I will see it done or die in the attempt."
The beardless dwarf bows his head and waits with eyes closed.
Pavok smiles to Yalandere as he accepts some wine, "Trust me I have seen these men fight, they are worth more then any army of those mindless beasts. Could be the forge father it could be just fate that brought all us outcasts together, finding us all a new purpose."
He moves over to Arik, "I believe this path will lead us to your brother, and will show all that your the most honorable dwarf there is. At least the most honorable that I know! Sorry Ricdak but it's true, hehe." He gives his friend a salute.
Ricdak smiles gruffly at Yalandere. "Now you're talkin, breaking out the wine. Ya shouldn't have any worries, though. We're more than enough for the task we've got ahead of us. They're not gonna know what hit them," he says, taking his first bit of wine.
As Arik returns, he nods several times through his words on honor. After he finishes, he grins widely. " Now ye've got the meaning of honor, Arik. You needn't concern yourself with anyone else, it's yer own tale ye need be worried about. "
At Pavok's words, he chuckles. "Don't worry, lad, it takes more than that to insult the great Ricdak. You simply can't see my honor due to a lack of vision, seeing as how I've amassed so much of it," he says with a quick wink and a hearty laugh.
One more voice speaks out. "I too will also help. I have come to know each of these men as my friends and have come to consider this land my home also. Allow me to aid you as best I can." Samal the Lamia steps out standing taller and more confident than any of you have seen since she first appeared.
Yalandere is extremely pleased. "Good to have both you and Arik with us. We may be few, but I believe with skill and a good slice of luck, we will pull through and defeat our enemies."
There is much feasting and merry making as the night dwindles to a close. You are all given parts of the floor in which to lay mats for beds. You all have a pleasant nights rest.
The next day comes around and as you wake you see Turval and Yalandere busy pouring over scrolls and maps. Seeing you all awake Turval brings each of you bowl full of scrabbled eggs and veggies along with some warm goats milk. "Eat up" He says. "There is much work to do."
You all nourish yourselves and head over to the table where Yalandere and Turval are hard at work making plans. Once you are situated Yalandere points to several areas of the map, mostly on the west side and some areas in the north and south sides. "Our primary enemies are the Anubites that are currently plaguing the land. The aren't the only threat by far, oh no." He points to a spot in the center of the map, a large mountain. "This is Aridia. The land of mirth and where the life force Aradina survives on comes from. Without this part of the land, the energies that allow Aradina to remain livable in this sub plain will vanish and the land and all life in it will wither and die. Everything I had built and spent many lifetimes trying to protect will vanish. Aridia needs to be reopened and for that to be completed, this obstinate Genie war needs to end. I don't know yet how we are to do that but we need to deal with the Anubite problem first. The third problem is the rumors of Pharox lurking about. He is up to something. I can feel it. But again, it is an issue that will have to wait."
Yaladere pulls out several smaller maps showing the cities in Aradina along with many categorized numbers. These Numbers show the populaces, the number of settlements, how many Humans, half breeds, and genies, genies being the smallest numbers ranging in the hundreds over ALL of Aradina while the other two range in the hundreds of thousands. There are also notes on military strengths of each region and then broken down to each province within the regions. There are some reasonable numbers but nothing compared to what Yalandere has down for the anubite army. The notes show estimates and he has apparently updated it several times and each time a number was put down, it was scratch and a new larger number put down just under the prior. There is a long list of names two. Queen Aelssia's is among them.
"What we need is for the people to defend themselves. They have learned much from their genie protectors but this is the first time they've ever had to defend themselves. They are scattered, divided, and leaderless. We need to unite and train them. however, they are struggling with their own problems. I may not look it, but I am really old and have a fraction of my former strength. It seems the power of this land can only sustain me for so long. I cannot do more than run away now. You being the fresh set of feet need to help do the grunt work. I can, however, teleport you where we need to be. The first thing we need is to rally the people. To do that, we need to give them a leader. I volunteer for that role. As their "god", I will guide them to unite, but to get them to believe me, I must preform feats of service to them. That is where you come in. You will be my champions to do my bidding and aid my people. We need to start be fortifying the cities so they can stand on their own. For that, we need leaders. There are eight major cities in Aradina. Two in each kingdom. We need a ruler for each city, and then a ruler for each kingdom. Lastly, for the duration of the war, we will need a grand leader. Preferably, one of you or if you find someone more qualified. The second objective will be to settle the lands. This is mostly deal with disputes and aiding in the overall security of each kingdom. This may require several skirmishes against anubite forces to make the lands safe for farming and outpost building. Once each land is secured, we can launch an all out attack on the anubite forces and wipe them out once and for all."
Yalandere looks to each of you. "We have four kingdoms. Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire. We have to start somewhere, where is it you would like to begin our campaign?"
Earth region, marked on the west side of the map, the home of the Shaitans is where you all entered Aradina. The town Pavok and Arik helped is the furthest town of it's size west. One of the closest places to a large anubite forces. Their military strength vs the anubite base is set at 50:1 favor the anubites.
The realm you met the queen was the wind realm. Home of the Djinn. The north realm. You found her headquarters just at the border to the earth realm. It is one of five of the strongest allied militaries in Aradina.
"I agree, we have made a minor names for ourselves there after helping the people fight off a major assualt. I say after earth we make our way to wind since the Queen has our respect." Looking over his friends again, "Hope you all got a full belly cause I think it's going to be a long day."
Yalandere nods. Very well. We will head to Umbab first. It is the most scholarly city in Shaitan territory. Also it has the largest Shaitan and Oread Population in that region. The first thing we need to do is settle the city and establish governance. To do that we will need to find key figures and then do what we can to aid them into leadership of the city. We should start with the already standing governor. Ask him for work. See what he is doing about preparation for the anubite invasion. The people's opinion of him. If we don't need to replace the leader, that will save a lot of time. But many of the current leaders have limited war time experience and from what I have seen, most have not fared well in handling all the problems. Now, if you need it, I can test his character but I would rather one of you do it. Are any among you the type who can interact and judge a persons character well? If need be I will do this and you can simply do the grunt work but I would like you four to be involved as much as possible."[/b]
"I think we should consider the militia leader from Aisome, Hadule, as a candidate. He is one of the few village elders fighting againist the Anubinite hoardes and has been able to keep a few Shaitan around to aid them still, with there support he would have a great shot." Pavok suggests.
Yalandere grimaces. Aisome is dangerously close to many Anubite strongholds. I am not even sure it is still standing."
Turval who has his eyes roll into the back of his head speaks up. "They are still holding strong. Very strong. They have bolstered their numbers after their first victory and used the anubites gear to supply their "soldiers" The town has withstood a second raid but even though they drove off the enemy, they fared ratio wise worse than the first time. However, they are even better armed now then they were. A lot of infrastructure was damaged and many lives have been lots. Hadule still lives and is currently putting together a task force to do a counter offensive against the anubites. He is going to attack them soon."
Yalandere considers. "Since you believe Hadule is a valued asset, I think it would be wise of us to either assist him in his raid or talk him out of it. What say you?"
"I say we help him take the fight to those dirty rotten wretched Anubite folks! That way, they'll think twice about fightin' Aisome again. Yessiree! We'll be there ready and willin' to kick some Anubite butt!" He nods emphatically.
"If we gain him a huge victory againist the anubites, we can take that to the city and help influence everyone to put there faith him Hadule. Imagine if he could do all that with a small town, what he would be able to do with a large city. And with the returning god support we'll gain a huge ally. I am ready when you are Yalandere."
Yalandere nods. "Very well, I will teleport us to Aisome and we can meet up with Hadule there. Come, Gather around. You all gather around Yalandere and his stone eye radiates strongly. You feel a strong tingling sensation and are surrounded by lights. Suddenly the lights vanish and the tingling stops. You are now standing in the streets of a devastated Aisome.
Lots of property damage and random junk and anubite bodies laying about. Yalandere stands in the center of your little circle looking over the damages. You see people moving bodies around stop to stare at the people who just appeared out of no where.
Suddenly a man calls out. "Lords Pavok and Arik! Greetings!" The man who jogs up to meet you is none other than Haseed. The man you rescued from the scorpions upon your arrival into Aradina. He is outfitted in reinforced wooden armor and carries a spear, scimitar, and a few javelins along with a wood shield on his back. He looks much tougher than the screaming man he was when you first saw him. He continues. "By Daiga we are glad you have returned, but where are the other four. And who are these four new people. A Lamia? And another short man and now a tall one with a stone eye? What have you been through?" He gives you a moment to speak.
"Ahh Haseed, by the Forge Father you have become quite the warrior haven't you." He shakes the man's hand, then his tone goes a little soft as he talks about the other four. "It's a little bit of a story, but our group has suffer some casualties of our own, but we have also gained some new friends and allies." He pats Samal on the shoulder. "We'll fill you later my friend, we really need to speak with Hadule quickly. Do you know where he is?"
Haseed nods. "Hadule is planning to go after the anubites at their home base. It is going to be a fight many of us don't plan to return from. However, the goal is to completel put the enemy down and destroy their leaders. If you are here to help then our chances, then we have a higher possibility of success. Come I will take you all to Hadule."
Haseed leads you guys through the ruined town to whats left of the barracks. You notice a sizable gathering of men armed and wearing wood armor. There are even a good number of camel riders. This force is much bigger than when you first arrived. It is big enough to challenge the last anubite invasion you witnessed and prevail without even killing the leader.
As you approach Hadule sees you coming and grins broadly. "Pavok! Arik! It is good to see you! Is Mus'ad and Jen with you? We could use you and their help in our upcoming assault. We have had four successful battles against the anubites since we formed this militia and the time has come for us to go on the offensive. We have held against these monsters since they started to invade these lands. We are the front line into Aradina. I think we are still the strongest town left in the area. So many people have been coming to us for safety. So, are you here to help us? Offer advice? Whatever you have I'd like to hear."
"Hadule, we have a plan to unite the nation and defeat the anubinite army. We have seen what your leadership has done in the protection for this village and you kept hope in there heart. With that you have been chosen to be the leader of this kingdom, and before you say anything I like to introduce you to Daiga." He holds his arms to Ylandere.
Hadule has a look of disbelief on his face. He paces for several minutes continuing to look at Yalandere. It takes him a few moments to recover. Once he does he takes a deep breath. "Daiga. It is a honor to meet you. On the eve of our most important battle of this new era. I knew you haven't abandoned us. My lord" Hadule kneels before him. "My god. I am your humble servant ready to receive your divine insight."
Yalandere sighs briefly and regains his divine composure. "My humble servant, I have brought these, my champions to lead you to victory. Look to their guidance and aid. I will provide my support as well."
Hadule looks to the rest of you. "Champions of a god? I never would have guessed. So, do you have any guidance to offer for our invasion?"
Hadule looks somewhat embarrassed. "Not much of a plan really. The bulk of our force will hit the anubites head on while another smaller team led by myself and a few others will slip around behind the force and go for the leader. Anubites scatter without leadership, otherwise we are more than likely going to die. We have no idea how big their base is or how well fortified it is from within. We lost a lot in the last battle, we have no choice but to attack, our backs are against the wall on this one."