Upon returning to the Blue Hand headquarters, they were met by a figure they knew well enough. Or at least by reputation.
Gorn. An Azure Blade member and somebody to look up to.
Now Argent wasn't usually impressed easily, but it was good to learn that they had earned the attention of one of the more prestigious members of the guild.
"Wow Argent, don't you look like a whipped dog. Someone steal your beard?"
The man grinned. "Have a drink and relax.
For a moment he contemplated the thought of just ignoring the man. He was still upset by what they had just experienced. However, he had a dream to fulfill with his brother, and if he didn't use opportunities like this, they would never succeed in opening their own shop.
So, instead of sulking about, he did as the man had proposed; he relaxed, and was immediately glad for it. He had been building up tension in his full frame. He had lost his casual demeanor, his objective attitude. Those were things he should never consciously dismiss.
"Thanks Gorn. Please, tell me, was this all just a test? Or was it a task that needed to be performed anyway?"
A moment later he noticed that the half-orc approached and, in what he had learned was the man's etiquette, stated: "I am Uthgar. You have gained my respect as a warrior."
He faced the warrior. Then slowly nodded.
"Thank you, Uthgar. You are not too bad yourself..." he paused for just a moment, "when you're not getting me cut up by a common enemy." He winked at the half-orc, hoping the man would appreciate the jest and realize he had been forgiven.
He turned back to Gorn.
"I have to agree with Skit here, that I don't think there is much honour in slavery. I am too much of a merchant not to understand the benefits, but there are moral boundaries on making money, don't you agree?"
He was very interested in the man's reaction.
Posted on 2011-04-18 at 16:20:17.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
"Uthgar!" A voice calls from the other room. "Where is the half-orc named Uthgar?" A large man comes in, recognized by the rest of the party as one of the guild trainers, Betherin by name. The large man glances around the room, his eyes finally setting on the only orc-kin.
"Ah, you must be him. Rumor has it you're an escaped slave eh?" He comes to stand next to the half-orc, standing an inch or so taller, and twice as broad. He eyes Uthgar judgingly, watching his reaction, the way he moves, and his frame entirely.
Gorn takes a deep drink of his ale and truns to the Argent. "Honor or not, it is a legal business here." He hesitates for a long moment. "But just like any other legal business, there are ways to get around the rules, and even break them without any consequences if you know the right people. The man you recovered the slaves from was one such person. You know the way slaves are normally treated in these parts. He kills them for fun. Hunts them like animals. Believe me, as twisted as it may seem, you lot did those slaves a favor by returning them to their proper owner."
The room is beginning to fill up a bit as time passes. More of your guild mates are coming in from the field, as well as their more mundane tasks for the day.
Posted on 2011-04-24 at 03:10:00.
Edited on 2011-04-24 at 03:14:47 by Steelight
Argent nodded at Gorn's last comment. Perhaps the slaves were better off at their current place, rather than being hunted for sport, or on the run for government officials or other folks who'd retake their freedom if they decided to stage an escape. He would have to talk to his brother about it later. For now he replied:
"I suppose you're right. In all your time with the Blue Hand, have you ever had moral issues with tasks you'd been given?"
It was then that one of the guild trainers came forward, rather loudly, to find Uthgar. It appeared he was looking to size up the orc, and Argent decided to speak up before it would come to blows.
"Master Betherin, Uthgar here has proven he can hold his own in the heat of battle. I'm sure he'd be more valuable lending his muscles and fighting skills to the greater good of the Blue Hand than he would be hauling rocks for a slave-master."
Presuming this is after Uthgar's introduction now...
The half orc, who had been silently standing to one side, leaning against a wall, intentionally acted sluggish as his name was called in such a manner. With his one good eye, he looked at the man who had so carelessly called out his name, and when asked for acknowledgment, only a low growl was given followed by a brief pause and a slight and silent nod.
Uthgar wondered who this man was, how it knew his name, and why it wished to speak to him. No words would be given uttered from his mouth though, that was a waste of breath. If the man wished to let the half orc know the answers to these questions, it would tell him. If not, then life would continue.
The half orc did not budge from his position, neither showing submissive nor defensive body language. He was indifferent to this man, and though it was bigger then him, Uthgar was not very intimidated. When you live in the hostile sands for as long as he has, nothing scares you so easily.
Listening to the Dwarf vouch for him almost made the stoic Uthgar smile... almost. For a dwarf and an orc-kin to be so willing to work with each other was peculiar. However, Uthgar still did not speak, for it is against his nature.
Posted on 2011-04-26 at 16:13:39.
Edited on 2011-04-30 at 00:24:00 by Shades331
After thoroughly enjoying a much needed meal the half-elf excused himself from the dining hall without a word to anyone else. He quickly made his way to his room, ready to get out of these soiled clothes and into a nice bath so that he could relax this day away and put this disaster of a "test" behind him.
Posted on 2011-05-03 at 04:49:22.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
Betherin looks at Argent for a moment, then back to the half-orc, his eyes appraising the man before him.
"Hmmm... if he is as good as you say he just might do that." He looks to the ground and rubs his chin for a moment before looking up with a big grin on his face. He approaches Uthgar to within a step, looking down at his face. With amazingly quick hands for a man of his size he reaches out and grabs the half-orc pulling him from the wall. Instantly he claps him on the back and bursts into laughter.
"Yep. I'm bretty sure we can find a place for you here!" His voice and laughter thunder through the dining hall." Come with me. We'll get your room squared away. Then we'll see about getting you some new equipment that doesn't belong to merchant guards eh?"
(Betherin begins to lead Uthgar out of the room.)
The next several days pass without any significant incident. The following things occur during downtime:
- Uthgar receives all of the gear that is on his character sheet.
- All wounds are healed.
- You should all feel free to post any actions you wish to take in the 4 days of downtime.
On day 5 you each receive a message regarding your next mission. Meet in the same meeting room as you did last time. The message eludes vaguely to fulfilling your sense of honor through dishonorable means and such, but you all assume things will be a bit clearer after the briefing.
"Ah, I see you are all gathered. Good. I hate waiting." Gorn steps in the room with a smile on his face. The Azure Lord has decided to purchase a number of slaves. Due to your unique knowledge of these particular slaves as well as the merchant's cronies, your team has beens elected to make the trade."
He tosses a large bag of coins on the table before you.
"That there is about 1,000 pieces of gold. In 3 days time it will be nothing more than copper. Apparently magic has its uses after all. The deal must be brokered and the slaves safely back here within that time. There are about 20 slaves remaining from the group you "rescued" if the merchant speaks true. You may not be able to purchase all of them, but the more you get the clearer your minds will be. The meeting is arranged for tonight. You will meet the merchant himself at his compound and make the deal. Remember, this is slightly illegal, so try not to turn the place into a battle ground, unless your own lives are at stake. If you do the Hand will not protect you. Do you have any questions?"
Echario thought about the mission and the proposed plan for a moment, then a thought popped into his mind, "As much as I love a good prank, is it truly wise to be using a trick like this on someone who knows us from the delivery, and who knows that the Blue Hand is purchasing these slaves? I may just be paranoid, but that seems to me like it's just asking for some sort of retaliation when he realized he's been cheated..."
Posted on 2011-05-13 at 03:01:38.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
"Ah, you are assuming they will detect the ruse." He pauses a moment for dramatic effect. "When he receives payment, he puts it all in his personal treasury. He does not wait 3 days before doing so. Thus he will have no reason to suspect the source of the copper. Beyond that, the merchant himself does not know you. Only one of his six lieutenants has interacted with you at all, and he is the type that has his nose so far up in the air he likely didn't even notice who he was speaking to."
He looks across the table at the party.
"I won't pretend to know if there is another reason you were assigned to this mission. But I suspect that the Azure Lord wants you to know that your last mission was not without purpose, and that the Hand is more than just another bunch of mercenaries."
He pauses again, smacking his lips and leaning backa gainst the wall.
"But that is just my personal suspicions of course."
Posted on 2011-05-13 at 19:24:17.
Edited on 2011-05-13 at 21:12:14 by Steelight
Argent was very relieved to learn they were going to be involved in the picking of the slaves. This would further diminish the bad feeling that lingered in his system. And the chance to make the slave-trader look like an idiot was something he wouldn't pass on for his life.
"Very well." he said, "We should talk this over before we head down there."
He looked at Echo. They were going to need his natural flair in this kind of situation. He himself had the ideas, usually, but lacked the true skills of commercial deal-breaking. It was something he had to learn before he and his brother set up shop.
"I think you should do the talking. People have a tendency to listen when you speak. You might prove important in this situation. Is that alright with you?"
Uthgar was content to stay by the door for the briefing, he was at attention, but did little and said nothing. He had his own agenda here in the city, but considering this band had saved him, and the Hand had replenished his lost belongings, the half-orc was honor-bound to aid them until he believed his debt was repaid.