The Tiran Wars: Liberty, at all Costs

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua wrenched his eyes away from the skeletonized corpses and went to help Thorin and Ral carry the mage. "I can't believe this...this is simply unbelievable...that they would animate corpses..." he shook his head. "This is madness. How is it no one saw how corrupt the magi were until just recently? Surely they didn't become like this overnight??"

(not too much for me to add atm...hopefully the next post will be larger)
 

DeletedUser28032

"That is but the tip of their power and there are no limits to their evil" Mei mumoured quietly, her already pale complexion turning nearly completely white, the fear and revulsion at what she was seeing was making her feel ill as she averted her eyes from the bones littering the ground.
Upon first realising that blood magic was to blame for this evil she had tried to flee, to return to her village and hide only to find her way blocked by the sudden arrival of the Norseman, now she stood amongst the soldiers battling keep her nerve "We should kill him...he is a danger to every living thing whilst he still breaths" she said with the certainty of one who is truly sure in their beliefs "...we must kill him....then burn the body...it is the only way" Her master had spoke of the evils of blood magic and its immense power even a lowly apprentice was capable of wreaking unspeakable horrors using its dark powers, there were defences against the effects of blood magic but her master had yet to teach her when he had died at the hands of the Magi, she would have to find away of learning their mysteries if she were to stand any chance of combatting this evil by herself.
 

Peril

Everyone could see the fist sized bruise that Alexandria had been sporting for awhile, she'd had it there, covered by her hair unless one looked closely, since Lord Belfast's hand struck her and caused her to lose her footing and tumble down a large staircase in the grand hall of his estate. The battle and then the great wind that had preceded the capture of Lucas and Rael had displaced the carefully placed strands of hair, which she used to hide many of the injuries inflicted upon her. At this point Alexandria didn't care anymore, it was all too much to fathom, but then, something that the swordsman said brought her from her inner musings.

"This is madness. How is it no one saw how corrupt the magi were until just recently? Surely they didn't become like this overnight??"

Alexandria spoke up then and in her foreign accent, told of the Tiran Magi "No, Joshua, they did not. It is said that, at first, the Magi here in Tiran were an order that sought the betterment of all mankind, but as you can see this sentiment did not last. Over the centuries the magi of Tiran became involved in it's politics and it came to turn it's back on the people and focus more upon affairs of state. They used the powers god gave them to enslave those who opposed their will. One extreme lead to another and now, nearly two thousand years after the first magi swore to protect the people, the same order now uses their powers to keep the masses huddled. They create laws that label magi not under their control as illegal, they put this poison inside songs, upon posters and even in religious texts. That is why we must fight them, this evil cannot go unchallenged, or soon it will be too big to fail."

Ral sighed under the heavy load, as his decision to bring the blood mage in was questioned. He simplly dropped the mage, allowing his head to smack painfully into a rock jutting from the ground. Ral looked at each of his companions "If we do not interrogate this mage then there is no possible way for us to know where Lucas and Rael have been taken. If his use of blood magic is feared, then I say we silence him, but passing this opportunity to acquire the information that we need would be a shame."

Ral lifted the mage's robes from his pale legs and tore the mage's shoe and sock from his foot. Turning he folded it into a ball and pinched the mage's nose closed until he opened his mouth "If he can't speak, he can't use his magic, will this suffice?" Ral asked, holding the gag before him for the companions to see.
 

tigermite

Thorin nodded at the guerilla's motion of gagging the magi. that would suffice for now.
he continued to drag the now-gagged magi back to the camp.
but even so, Thorin still did not agree with taking the magi for interrogation. the mental connection with the magi's master was still there, and could be the death of them all.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua looked up at Alexandria, his eyes harder than anyone in the group had seen them before. When he spoke, his accent was heavy to the extent that it was difficult at times to determine where the spaces between words were. "Politics is not an excuse. Not everyone working for the State...whatever state that may be...is corrupt." He closed his eyes for a moment, then relaxed. "I apologize...I..." he trailed off, unsure how to continue. He remained silent through the working out of the increased security measures with the mage he was helping to carry, his mind miles away.
 

DeletedUser28032

A sombre mood had fallen over the rebels as they made their way back to camp, they had lost many men in the fight against the animated dead only to then have their heroes and generals snatched from under their noses.
Mei trailed the collumn on foot more from having nowhere else to go than out of any sense of loyalty to the rebels cause although if the enemy were truly practising blood magic then she fully supported them and yet she couldn't understand why her destiny had sent her upon this path.
A little way in front of her she could see the Magi as he was carried by Ral, Joshua and Thorin although two of them had shared her sentmiment over keeping the blood mage alive they had gone with the lordlings decision "What will you do with him once we get him back to camp?" she asked them curious as to their course of action "Perhaps i could be of assistance?"
 

Peril

Breathing heavily, Ral looked back at the mage Alexandria had taken a liking to. To tell the truth, Ral hadn't thought of it, he assumed that the rebels would interrogate the mage and then, after he had served his purpose, sentence him for his crimes. It was understood by all decent folk that blood magic wasn't just a crime against a nation or creed, but against all of humanity. When there was the threat of a blood mage, Elves, Humans and dwarves of every religion, creed and country banded together to defeat the evil. Surely with the evidence that this mage offered the rebels would be able to garner the support of other countries, those free of Tiran's iron fist.

"I believe we should keep him alive. Do not mistake my wish to spare him for mercy, if he steps out of line I shall shove my sword through his throat myself." Ral said "With a talking blood mage, we could illicit aid from other kingdoms, everyone knows the kind of evil blood magic brings with it."

The companions were nearing the rebel camp, they were a few miles out when Ral called for a stop. He dropped the blood mage to the ground and spoke "Thorin, you make a point, we cannot bring him to camp. Therefore I say we send one of the surviving rebels in to get the officers that are remaining."

Ral motioned for one of the rebels to start running, and he did. Then, the companions waited.
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It was not long before three horsemen thundered up the path, their riders pushing them beyond what was humane or prudent. The horsemen pulled heavily upon the reigns as they neared the companions, standing in the middle of the trail. Hooves dug great furrows into the trail, as the horses skidded to a stop a few feet from the unconscious blood mage.

The three riders were the three remaining generals that Lucas had appointed. Each held one of the dragons, each held an equal share of the remaining rebels in their control and each had the lust for power in their eyes. None of the horsemen looked at the companions with anything but desdain, for they fell under the direct orders of Lucas and Rael, none other, that made the companions either an ally or a foe.

Bryant Remerand, one of the generals, stepped from his mount and approached the blood mage, his sword drawn "It was good of you men to bring this one back, we have been informed that this is a" Bryant visibly shivered, even in his armor "blood mage."

Another of the generals, Rovare Versche walked his horse towards the mage. He looked down at him "We need to move him to one of the caves that Lucas had marked for a dragon, that's the only way we can keep his life a secret from his Tiran overlords. The stone interferes with their mind controls."

The third general simply nodded and said "Where is lord Fenren and Rael? Are they bringing along the wounded?"
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua disliked the generals. It was all too clear that they were not tightly bound to the guerillas...if he had let things go differently earlier in life...but he had not, so there was no point in dwelling on it. "Lucas and Rael were taken somehow. We are not sure exactly what occurred, and that was another thing we were hoping to ask the mage." His part done, he settled comfortably into the background, choosing instead to turn to the friendly mage he recognized from the wagon. She looked white as a sheet, obviously more traumatized by the ordeal than the rest of them. "Are you ok?" he asked, concerned.
 

Peril

All three of the generals exchanged glances, as their faces paled, the space between the three generals seemed to widen by miles, as the realization sat in that their leader had been taken. Maybe it was the way that they ever so slightly leaned away from each other, one of them grasped the hilt of his sword a little tighter the other began to slowly back his mount away.

"We must not let this get out, we must keep this a secret from the men, otherwise they shall all leave." Rovare said, turning his mount "Put the mage on, I shall take him."

Bryant's face went from disbelief, to grief and then, when his comrade suggested taking the mage, anger. Standing, he drew his sword "Rovare, you shall not take this oppourtunity to strengthen your grasp upon leadership. I swear I would strike you down first."

"You're a fool, Bryant, driven mad by the loss of Lucas and Rael!" Rovare shouted back down at him.

Bryant didn't speak, he simply smacked Rovare's horse in the rump with the flat of his blade. The horse, startled by the sharp pain in it's backside, too off down the trail, Rovare grabbing desperately for the reigns, to pull his mount to a halt.

The third general unsheathed his sword and held the point at Bryant, as he advanced angrily upon him. "I have no wish to harm you, Bryant, but I shall if you force me. The mage was captured by Lucas's personal forces, therefore the mage is theirs, agreed?"

The air was let from Bryant and he sagged on his feet "Yes, agreed. There is a cave close to here, we shall take the mage there. Then, let them do with him what they will."

The two remaining generals, Rovare having regained control of his mount simply continued down the trail towards camp, guided the companions to the mouth of a cave, inside there was a small campsite.

"This was Lucas's personal domain, he would want you to have it." Bryant said "This is neutral ground now, since all know it's location it is private information to none. I pray we can reconcile our forces before Tiran sends another attack."

Norman Ransile, the final general, spoke up then "We shall leave you now. I understand you have personal effects at the main camp, I shall have them sent to you. I would suggest that you begin the interrogation immediately and to keep the information you gain close to your chests, now that the gule that held our loosely knit organization together is gone, none can be trusted. Goodbye." Norman turned his horse about and rode away, Bryant followed him a moment later.
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Ral, with the help of Joshua and Thorin, moved the mage towards a post that had been sunk deep into the stone of the cave. He looked about for a piece of rope or chain, something to tie the magi down with, luckily there was a dirty shirt laying upon a stool near a fire pit. Tearing it into strips Ral tied the mage to the post by his hands, he made sure to tighten the bounds enough so that it would hurt him to even struggle against them.

By the time they were finished, Alexandria had already stoked up the fire so that it bunrt high and bright. She had looked about and found where Lucas had kept his food stores, he ate simply, like the men, but what was there was of good quality. She speared a few plucked birds and put them over the fire to cook.

Sitting down heavily, Ral shook his head "I can't believe all that has happened. What do you all think we should do now?"
 

DeletedUser28032

"Yes... I'll be ok, thank you it's just that i never thought anybody could so...." Mei flailed around in her mind for an appropriate word to describe the horror, fear and disgust she felt towards the blood mage and his kind and failed "...I realised when i signed up that there would be bloodshed but i never dreamt that i would encounter such...evil" she said casting a look of revulsion towards the blood mage as he hung between the two men holding him up.
A hissing of steel and the raised voices of the three generals abruptly brought Mei's attention back to what was going on before her as the three of them fought amongst one another over who should take ownership of the mage "You see he doesn't need his magic to corrupt those around him" he whispered to Joshua as one of the generals bolted past, leaving the other two with sword points at each others throats although thankfully common sense prevailed and no further bloodshed came to pass.
The small group of rebels and their prisoner arrived at the cave that had been Lucas' home after a short walk. Whilst the others were binding the prisoner to a large stake, Mei decided to explore the caves dark interior where upon she found a short passage leading into a small chamber adjacent to that of the caves main area. Although she didn't have any trouble herself in passing under the low ceiling she knew the "boys" would risk cracking their skulls on the hard stone if they were to come this way. The chamber was small, no bigger than the inside of a tent and made smaller by a pool of icy blue water covering its floor, no doubt this was where Lucas had fetched his water Mei thought to herself as she dipped her fingers into the pools icy stillness.
Muttering a few words Mei watched as the small tendril of water rose from out of the pools surface only to collapse in on itself, she'd never been very good with water....Fire had always been her thing.
Leaving the small pool behind her Mei returned to the others to be greeted by the aroma of roasting foul and Ral's question "I say we stay here long enough for our things to arrive and then leave....you saw how they were around him how long do you think it will be before someone comes or is sent looking for him" she said taking a place by the fire, the warmth felt good against her skin, gently moving her fingers she watched as the flames danced and flickered to form intricate paterns and figures "So whose going to interrogate him?" she asked her eyes never leaving the flames as tehy danced in front of her.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua nodded somberly at Mei's response, his eyes locked on the fighting generals. Always...ALWAYS, this was the result of politics. He never wanted to be involved in politics...and yet it seemed that it was his destiny. Sumberged in his own thoughts, he remained quiet as they transported the mage to Lucas' cave.

Once there, he settled comfortably against the wall, still standing. He watched as the others tied the mage to a pole, and remained quiet at Ral's question, letting Mei answer. When she asked who would interrogate the mage, he spoke up. "I don't wish to do the majority of the questioning, but when the rest of you are done I have a thing or two to ask."
 

Peril

Ral looked around the campfire at his companions, Mei, Joshua, Thorin and the small brownie. None of them seemed eager to do what came next, neither was he. It was only right that he did the ugly that was to follow, he had insisted on the mage's capture, this wouldn't be a problem if he had simply executed the mage, as his friends had advised. This was all upon his head, so he stepped forward and said "I shall do it. I have a certain" Ral let the words hang for a moment, before saying it aloud "expertise in cruelty. This was my doing, so I shall take it upon myself to do so."

Standing, Ral took the sword from his shoulders, sheath and all, and gave it to Alexandria. She gazed at him meaningfully, as she hugged the sword to her chest, but she said not a word. Instead, Alexandria watched him take a small blade from his belt and walk to the mage. Ral cut the blood mage's bonds and hauled him towards the back of the cave by the collar of his tunic.

Ral found the adjacent room that Mei had went into momentarily, it was out of the firelight and out of eyesight of those sitting around the fire. This felt wrong to Ral, he had rejected this when he chose his love for Alexandria over his duty to his family and country. He just couldn't find a way around doing this, it was something he had brought upon them, so it was he who had to fix it.

The mage was heavy as Ral grabbed him and picked him up bodily. He hit the mage's head against the rocky side of the pool, accidentally, before taking him by his hair and dunking his head underwater. Coming to life in a big way, the mage flailed his arms and legs, the ice cold water had awoken him.

One of the less publicly known academic courses of officer's training was learning, in great detail, the nuanced art of interrogation. Knowing when to talk and when to be silent, when to use physical violence and when to destroy someone emotionally, these were all things Ral had easily grasped during his training, something inherited from his father he supposed.

Sputtering and choking upon his sock, the mage surfaced. Ral didn't give him a chance to regain compsure, he turned the mage around and stared into his eyes with a murderous look. "Allow me to be clear on this, blood mage, you will tell me what I wish. Begin to speak the words to a spell and I will hold you under the water until you quit kicking, do we understand each other?"

The mage nodded, his eyes wide with fear. There was a lot of screaming for awhile, after that.

A half an hour after Ral had taken the mage out of the firelight, Ral called out to the swordsman "Joshua! If you wish to speak with the mage I suggest you come quickly." What was left of the mage was hardly recognizable. And Ral felt dirty, he imagined that he felt like his father.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua couldn't help but feel sorry for the mage...he was obviously the enemy...but this interrogation sounded just as much as torture as extricating information. He kept his head down though, looking up only when Ral returned, looking sick, and told him that he could have his turn now. Nodding, he left his position on the wall and passed over to the mage.

(I'm going to do the actual section through PM to Peril. I think it'll give away too much if I just do this here.)
 

DeletedUser28032

Mei sat on the cold stone floor, hugging her knee's up against her chest having felt a sudden chill coming in from the caves mouth, the sun already beginning to set behind the distant hills.
She stared into the flames not daring to meet the eyes of the others as the screams came from out of small chamber that she'd found only moments ago, the portion of roasted meat cooling in front of her as she suddenly found herself without an appetite.
After what seemed an eternity the screaming stopped and Ral re-entered the chamber, a haunted look upon his face as he called to the Joshua summoning him to the small chamber, no doubt to inflict more pain upon the mage in the pursuit of answers "What did he tell you?" Mei asked Ral her curiosity over coming any reservations she may have about the methods employed to gain the answers.
 

Peril

Ral sat down at the fire. He looked down at his hands, they were covered in the mage's blood and a great splatter was across his face, he'd smashed the mage's face into the stones when he initially fought back. Wiping his hands, as if with an invisible handkerchief, Ral looked at Alexandria with tears in his eyes, he heard once again the sound of his father's fist and the cries of the bard, the night they had fled. He tried to blinked away the tears and hung his head in shame, in his mind he had turned into his father and she would soon be gone and it cut Ral deeper than any blade.

Before his tears began to come in earnest and he curled up like a little baby, Sun Mei saved him from making a fool of himself by asking a question.

"What did he tell you?"

Ral let out a great breath, trying to steady his voice. Looking at the mage Ral said "It is as we feared, Lucas and Rael have been taken from us. Luckily this mage was the second in command, so he knows they've been taken to the capital, no doubt to suffer the same fate as this blood mage will. Also, there is a great battle coming, there is an army of at least two thousand marching on us, they will be here within two weeks. The mage isn't long for this world, blood mages are exceptionally powerful, but they sacrifice themselves slowly for the magic, he was quite fragile, he will bleed to death-" Ral's voice cracked momentarily and he stayed silent as he regained his composure "He will bleed to death before morning, unless one of us can heal him, if we kept him alive we could present him as proof to other countries and lords of Tiran. Above even countries and creeds, the threat of blood mages, especially as powerful as the ones here in Tiran, would unite all of the world against them, we could use this to our advantage."

Looking around at his friends, Ral spoke again "I do not know what to do now, I will leave it to you, friends. There is a hot spring in this cave and I must wash, make your decision, I have no say in this." Ral stood and walked back into the cave, passing Joshua and the mage on his way deeper into the cave.
 

DeletedUser28032

"I will see to the mage" Mei spoke rising from the floor once Ral had left them to clean himself up and Joshua had left the chamber leaving the mage alone with his injuries. Walking over to where Lucas had kept his food stores Mei helped herself to several items including a bottle of whiskey before heading down the passage to the chamber in which the mage lay beaten and bloody causing Mei to supress a gasp of shock at the sight of him, one of his arms was broken and by the sound of his ragged breathing so were some of his ribs, it was hard not to feel sorry for him but Mei reminded herself of why he was here as she sat down on the cold stone floor, pulling a small wooden mortar and pestle from out of her bag and preceeded to grind up several of the ingredients including a handful of herbs she'd had in her bag already, she worked in silence unsure of what to say to the bloodmage before her as she added some of the whiskey to the mixture of herbs "This will make the pain more bearable whilst i deal with some of these wounds" she said holding the bowl out towards the mage who flinched away from her in fear.
Smiling in a reasuring way Mei placed the bowl to her own lips and took a small sip of the bitter tasting mix "See not poison" Bending over the mages prone body Mei placed the bowl to his swollen lips and gently helped him to drink some of the mixture before beginning to clean some of the wounds with water taken out of the pool "So by what name would you like me to address you?" she asked kindly as she examined his wounds, there were a few questions she wished to ask the mage however she had decided that a differant approach would be required in order to get the answers she needed "I am afraid that some of these wounds are going to need stitching" she apologised, there was nothing she could do about the broken bones but one of the few things she had learnt from her mother was how to sew.
 

tigermite

Thorin sat in a corner of the cave, listening to the crackling of the fire, pondering a course of action, finally he spoke; "if Mei can keep the mage alive, then we should try and head for the north-western border, if we can cross the border, then we'll be with the dwarves, so we can try and get some support from them, but even if that doesn't work, my people took up refuge with the dwarves after the orcs took over my homeland, so i could try and rustle up some support from them."
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua had his answers, and he swept out of not only the place where the mage was, but the entire cave, not talking or even looking at anyone. Once out of sight, he slowly sat down and took off his hat. The news the mage had was better than he had expected. Not ideal...but better. It gave his hope justification...not all was lost yet. Tears came to his eyes but he pushed them away. It would not do to cry at this stage.

After a moment he stood and returned to the cave. He sat down without a word, and stared into the fire. When Thorin suggested that they head northwest, Joshua shook his head, then hesitated. "I...am torn." he admitted. "I wish to head home, southwest to Jehanna. However, going alone into what has become enemy territory would be tantamount to suicide. We would need allies to liberate them. However, if we did manage to free my homeland, I have no doubt that we would obtain their full support. The might of a full legion of Swordmasters would be helpful indeed to liberate Lucas and Rael from the Capital. I will say this though...the main body of this Guerilla army...I don't trust them anymore. The generals were supposed to be the most loyal...if they turned that quick, what would the rest of the army do? No, I say we create our own force with people from our homelands. A force that we know will not turn...not a band of mercenaries, but a group that is truly dedicated to taking back our continent. The generals made it quite clear they think us separate from their legions...I see no reason to stay. So! What say you all?" Joshua almost smiled as he settled back down. He was using more and more of his long rusty talents lately...he hadn't had to give a speech since...he didn't remember when.
 

Peril

Ral continued into the cave, his thoughts and self loathing only intensified with each step he took. Jabbering demons flew out of the shadows of his mind, beating themselves against the inside of his skull, a headache began to form behind his eyes, which were tearing up.

His mind drifted back across the years, to the day he had first seen the bard. The anguish in his skull intensified, as he spotted a burning torch up ahead that lit up the natural pool of hot water. Once again, Ral watched as a carriage pulled up to his father's estate, a few armored guards riding in file behind it and a well dressed driver holding the reigns. In his mind, Ral looked on as the driver jumped from the driver's seat, producing a stool and sitting it down in time for a high heeled shoe to step down onto it. Ral stood next to his father, at the top step of the great staircase that ran to the front gates of the estate.

"Son, this is a special guest of mine. She is a bard." Lord Belfast said, as he stiffened his posture and clasped his hands behind his back "I have asked her to entertain at the party we are holding for foreign diplomats we've had."

"Bard's are not entertaing, fathe-" Ral's breath caught in his throat, as he first beheld the bard. She wore a tight fitting dress of forest green, it had gold stitching around the neckline, which was cut low, but not improperly so. Her eyes flashed with a vibrancy that made Ral's breath come ragged and her red hair was cut short around her chin.

Ral could only sputter a response, as his father took the bard's profered hand and introduced her to him.

Now, standing in front of the pool of steaming water, Ral let his tears overcome him and he sat a steadying hand upon the stone lip of the pool. He allowed his tears to flow until there were no more to shed. He felt empty, used up and above all tired. Ral reached down and unbuckled the belt that would have kept his sword upon his hip, if he had not left it with Alexandria.

Ral got undressed and folded his clothing and chainmail next to his boots on the edge of the pool. His head still throbbed and if he had any tears left, he would still be crying, but as it was all he could do was step into the pool and sit down in one of many grooves that were perfect to sit in.

He scrubbed his face and hands furiously, as if he could somehow wash away his sins in this manner. Ral continued for quite awhile, long after the mage's blood was scoured from his body, he still felt dirty, as if he had blood upon his soul as well as hands. Ral looked down through the steam and water at his hands "It's true." he said quietly.

"No it's not." a familiar accented voice said.

His breath died in his throat, just as it had the first time he laid eyes upon her. Tears leapt to his eyes again, though he'd believed he had no more to shed. Ral looked through the smoke given off by the torch and the steam swirling through the air, Alexandria stood there a few feet from him.

"How can you stand to see me? I have done what I swore not to. I have betrayed you. I'm like my father, just wrapped up nicer. Why do you stay?" Ral said, steadying his voice.

"Your father was a cruel man who enjoyed seeing the pain upon his victims' faces. He enjoyed what he did, to me, to every one." Alexandria's accent was soft and reassuring upon Ral's ears. "I stay because I know you, I see your soul and it is not as your father's was. You are not him, you are kind and caring."

Alexandria's hands shook at her sides and her voice trembled, just as Ral's would if he were to speak. The hair around her chin rustled slightly, as she swallowed hard to get her jaw to stop quivering. Her hands still quivering from emotion, she reached up to her shoudlers "I stay because I love you." she said, as she pulled upon the clasp that kept her mail in place. As the chain hit the floor, she lifted a leg and stepped into the pool.

If one were standing in the shadows created by the stone columns of the cave and watching the pair in the pool, one would be able to see a single, and final, tear trace it's way down his cheek, before they embraced each other tightly and the steam and smoke swirled about them, obscuring them from the world and it's trials.
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Ral and Alexandria returned to the fire together an hour after Ral had left. Anyone looking closely would notice that his steps were sure and his voice deep and confident once more. Ral and the bard sat down next to each other at the fire upon the log that served as a bench close to the fire. There was no blood splatter across his face, his hands were clean, as they rested in Alexandria's grasp. Ral felt better.

Looking around, Ral could tell the companions had discussed what the party should do next. "I can tell by your faces you haven't reached a decision. What do you think?"

Ral noticed that there was one of the small birds left upon the spit above the fire. He took it and ate, as the swordsman and Thorin stated their arguments. To tell the truth, he was stumped. They were in the wilds, an equal distance from everywhere and close to none. He shrugged his shoulders, as he spoke again "It is true, we have no friends in this camp. Swordsman, your homeland has great ships that travel quickly, am I correct? If we liberate your home first, we could make spectacular time on our way back to the dwarves and norsemen. One thing is true, there are three dragons in this area, and a great army marching on them, we must either leave soon, or fight alongside these mercenaries."
 
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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua nodded. "Jehanna is the farthest southwest country in Tiran, putting us on the sea. Despite the fact that it's almost all a desert, we still have one of the largest fleets in all of Tiran. The vast majority answer only to the Queen and the Royal Guard. When Jehanna Hall was attacked, I am positive most or all of the guard was killed. It is fairly common knowledge that the Queen is a prisoner, so the fleet will not be moved.

If we choose to head to Jehanna, there are a couple things that you should know. First, we have to liberate the Hall before we go after the Magi Tower. If we go after the Tower first, the Magi will kill the Queen. That would send the country into political uproar, as the only heir to the throne hasn't been seen in ten years. It is common knowledge, I think, that he ran away that length of time ago, and no one has heard from him since. If we are to gain their aid, we must not let the Queen die. Second, no map accurately places Jehanna Hall. It is at an Oasis, and all of the Oases are hidden or protected somehow...the one that the Hall is at is both. Fortunately, I know where the Hall is, so I'll have to guide you once we hit Jehanna...it IS in the middle of the desert, so we'll need to stock up before we get going."

Joshua hesitated, then continued. "Finally, if we are to head there...we'll be passing near, if not through, some of the Southern Kingdoms." He glanced guiltily at Ral for a moment, then added, "so we'll have to consider if that's worth the risk." He sighed, then looked at each of his companions. "I will accept your decision either way, but should it come to a vote, I vote we go there."
 
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