Corpse of an Empire - IC
You are going to be heroes. This much you already know. The people that you pass on the streets, the good ones, the ones who threw off the oppressive chains of the fallen Empire and freed themselves... they tell you that you are going to be heroes. Legends to remember, to write tales and songs and epic poems about, to sit by the hearth and discuss. Someday, that all may come true. But for now, you are the ones who must decide your fate.
City states now have emerged from the rubble of the war. The land of Asmosa lies scattered with these powerful provinces. To the south, the Mortas Sea swallows travellers who dare to venture into the deep, dark waters. The Black Swamp the to south-west is known for a population of mysterious lizard-folk, said to be feared by the old Empire. Belough, the state to the south-east, is the largest and most stable, having kept human control after the collapse. It is a military state and does not take kindly to foreigners. The rest of the states, however, remain independent and often fight over land or power. Through all of this chaos, from the ruins of the empire to the modern freedom and fighting, comes a far larger threat than instability. Zarak, goblin King and Overlord, has sworn to take the land of Asmosa for his own, wicked, corrupted ways. He is backed by the goblin army, many Orks, and some giants from the mountains to the north. They have much in size and strength, and while most spend their time toiling with everyday problems, you, brave adventurers, have noticed this uprising. You need to stop Zarak, at all costs, before he can take over. But... where to begin?
Here you are, would-be heroes of Asmosa, staring at a wrinkled map on a table of the Three-Legged Lion, a tavern in the small town of Boak, right in the heart of Chal. You have the land, the will, and the weapons to do what you must. Where to begin?
Sharphorn says: Friends, we can't fight Zarak's entire army by ourselves, we need to find out his weak spot and hit there, any ideas?
"Yer right boy, the goblin's number in thousands our only advantage is brains! we could gather a small force of mercenaries but that will cost quite a bit O'coin, coin that we don't have." Thorgili said leaning back in his chair and taking a slug of ale.
Rather than staring hard at the map like her two allies seemed to be doing, Runa's eyes drifted over to some of the other patrons belts, specifically the small bags hanging from them. A few of the patrons had already realized that their purses had been snatched, muttering a few curses when they became aware of the fact that their belts were lighter than before. Most of them were still rather blind to the fact that they were now unable to pay for their meals, their coins now sitting in Runa's own purse. She had been picking their pockets shortly before her friends had arrived, bringing her own amount of gold up to where it was at the moment.
The creaking of the oak chair Thorgili was sitting on as he leaned back drew her attention, eyes darting around for a moment before she realized what exactly she had heard. Knowing that she should probably at least try to pay more attention, she scanned the map again from her perch on the stool she had confiscated from the bar, frowning slightly over the notes on the side scrawled hastily that listed what they knew of Zarak and his forces at the moment. "Well, if Zarak has thousands of goblins under his command, then a small group of mercenaries won't really cut it, will it?" she said, scratching her head for a moment. "What if we went and tried to get the aid of the Belough province? They're the strongest military state left, right? We might be able to convince them to help."
Sharphorn's eyes become red and he roars with fury.
Belough government maybe friendly to you, my human friend, but they will have me and Thorgili in shackles the moment we pass through the border,
says he with anger, towards Runa.
After calming a little and coming to his senses, Sharphorn adds:"And that will be a cold day in inferno, before I do anything that will give power to those slave owners! "
"Aye I'd Much rather give em a taste of shot and powder than kneel to their whim!" Thorgili yelled stamping the butt of his rifle against the tavern's floor. "Besides my folk are much better suited for battling goblins and orcs we've been doing so since fore you men folk walked the earth. But perhaps we can get allies, nay from any sellsword or human state, but the lower classes if we can incite a slave revolt in perhaps then we will have men enough to challenge the Zarak's regin." Thorgili recommended as he fiddled with his beard and pointed to several small mines and slave camps " We perhaps could start in one of these spots from what I hear they have small garrisons in troops which are vastly outnumbered their prisioners.
"I agree with you Thorgilli, dwarves can be trusted, and are excellent warriors!" , says Sharphorn with confidence.
And then adds quietly so only Thorgilli and Runa can hear him:"It may be helpful to use Belough's military straight to our advantage, but we must do it in such a way that they won't suspect it,
otherwise we won't be able to get rid of them afterwards."
Sharphorn becomes quiet for a while and lay his horns against the wall, like he always does when he thinks,
after few minutes he says to Runa and Thorgilli the following words:"Friends, if you agree with my thoughts, I have a plan that will do both,
send Belough's army against the goblin king and help us to free some slaves, what you say?"
"You say that like I would let them," Runa muttered, eyes shifting around the small tavern nervously. Did Sharphorn and Thorgili have to be so loud about it? It wasn't really that they would get in trouble for what they were talking about, or that it would blow their plans, it was just that Runa never felt comfortable having any attention on her whatsoever. Part of the thief lifestyle, she guessed. "Asking the dwarves is fine, but I don't think we should try and free all the slaves in Belough. That would just be fighting a double-sided war, right? I know from experience that you don't try to pick another mark with your hand in the first guy's pocket. It's just a bad idea, and you'll get caught every time." She was hesitant over what Sharphorn's plan would entail, but she nodded anyway. At least she could hear what he had to say before deciding whether or not it sounded like a good idea.
"Oh, Runa, my long time friend!", says Sharphorn with a respecting look in his eyes,
"Of course you won't allow them to hurt us as long as you're alive, I just afraid that if you arrive to Belough accompanied by two non-humans,
and try to protect them, you won't stay alive for long.." Sharphorn then puts his big hand on Runa's shoulder and adds:" I trust you with my life, and I know that if not for all the food and medicine you stole for me when I was recovering after the underground fight's in the old Empire, I probably wouldn't be alive today, but even a huge Minotaur can't stand alone against 10,000 soldiers, and you want to protect us by yourself against all Belough's army.."
At this moment Sharphorn inspects his surrounding to make sure nobody is listening, he makes sure that all the doors and windows of the room are closed, and then says as quietly as a Minotaur can:"It would be a lot better to trick those arrogant slave owners, they are just arrogant enough to do stupid things if provoked in the right manner.."
Sharphorn then turns towards Thorgilli and says:"My old time friend, wouldn't you agree with me?"
Sharphorn continues with even quieter voice:"Belough don't care if all the non-human around them die, they only care about the humans, but if we forge a document that was supposedly written by Zarak, where he declares war on the human empire and disrespects their government, and then ruin some of Beloughs posts and put Zarak's flag on them,
that might just provoke Belogh to send an army against the goblins!"
Sharphorn becomes quiet for a moment and looks at Thorgilli with a smile, and then says very quietly:"When most of Beloughs army will be away fighting goblins, their slave guarding posts will become weak enough for us to overpower few closest to the border, and free some dwarves. Those dvarwes would probably be glad to join our guerrilla army, what you say? "
The conversation was interrupted as the tavern door burst open. There was a few muffled screams outside, and a wild-eyed Elf woman stood in the doorway, clutching a small child in her left hand. "Please, somebody help! Houses are being burned to the ground!" she cried, sobbing and picking up the child.