Story of the State – The Roadside Inn, Part 2
This is the Second part of the story, The Roadside Inn. Part one of this story can be found here. We hope you will enjoy reading these story articles as they are released bi-weekly! Check out our first story, One Last Hurrah here!
The Roadside Inn, Part 2
The barkeep got a bottle of wine for them and put it on the table, the Repossessor grabbed it and poured a glass for the both before they continued. “So how do we beat them?”
“I don’t know” The Oracle answered. “I don’t even know what they are yet. If they are the Spawns of Sulphurs from the story, they are nigh unstoppable. In the story they can only be injured by black steel, weapons infused by magic, like the Flamecloaks can do with their capes or by actual magical attacks and both of us know of unusual all of those are todays”
“So let me guess that all of this happened in the age of magic then?” The Repossessor interrupted. “Because now there isn’t really a lot of mages left in the world, I know of one that is still alive, that is you” they finished as they pointed at the oracle.
“I would guess that the age of magic was the end of their reign, so if we say that story is true, they history should be that they came first, than the age of magic, followed by our latest era of uncertain peace under the black queen” The Mirror oracle responded, ignoring the comment about magic. “we both know that the Black Queen ordered you to murder every known magical bloodline in existence that had the potential for physical magic without artefacts. Could it be that she knew about these creatures?”
The Repossessor looked questioning at the oracle. “So I’ve murdered all of the people that could possibly help us? Fantastic!” they exclaimed with great irony. “And if she knew about them, why murder all the magical bloodlines known to man?”
“Maybe they feed of magic or the existence of magic? Like we need to breath, they might need magic to do the same thing?” She responded.
“That would be a cruel idea, that the only thing that could harm them was the thing that kept them going!” The Repossessor laughed to themself. “Anyway, knowing what the queen knew or didn’t knew won’t help us, but we at least got a goal in this, gather all the magical bloodlines, get our hand on all of the already forged Black Steel weaponry and we got ourselves a force that will be able to fight these creatures!”
“That doesn’t sound like a reasonable approach to this, someone must know more about these creatures than we do and that can tell us if this approach would work or not.” The Mirror Oracle said before she sipped some more from her wine.
“So what is?” The Repossessor quickly answered? “Studying them from afar?”
“No, but… facing them head on without any definitive weak points doesn’t sound very smart either” she scoffed back at them. “Shouldn’t the plague lands be the best point to start? That is both where the most known magical bloodlines lived and is the oldest state in the empire? If anyone knows something it should be them.”
“I think you are missing something.” The Repossessor said sarcastically, and before the Mirror Oracle could answer they continued. “Like me murdering the leader of the entire state? Because they were of a magical bloodline?”
“That should be a minor issue as we can describe what happened at the capital, and the war of scarlet and black was over a hundred years ago. They should be able to look the other way with this, we have a bigger crisis than a century old squabble right at our feet.”
“I don’t think they will see it that way, they are still the unruliest state in the empire, just the sight of me within their borders would most likely spell a diplomatic disaster.” The Repossessor answered as they looked at their glass of wine, followed by quickly emptying it.
“But we will need their help to solve this issue, we will most likely need every state in the empire for any of this to work.” The Mirror Oracle said, while looking at the Repossessor chugging down the last of the wine.
After that they fell silent, both knew how improbability of gathering all the states without the Queen, even with the queen if would have been almost impossible. Doing it without her, might as well been a folktale or an old legend itself. Humans don’t work well together.
The Mirror Oracle poured up another glass of wine for them, grimacing and breaking the silence. “What we could do, is to gather those we know that can help for now, aren’t you friend with that bard that is part of a magical bloodline? You mentored him for some years when you were younger and never told the queen about him?”
The Repossessor looked up from their wine glass, stupefied, confused, exclaiming “You want to make a list of all the people you and I know that can help with this?” They laughed before continuing, “Every person from a magical bloodline and everyone with a Black Steel Weapon? This is going to be a short list, but yes, I know a Bard like that, calls himself the Bronze Bard and can use glamer magic if I remember the name correctly. He can make stuff disappear and appear to be something different then they really are.”
“That could be useful to get in and out of places, to find both magical bloodlines and black steel weaponry!” The Mirror Oracle exclaimed, happy over the usefulness of this man.
“Do you want to know what the problem is? Finding someone that can use glamer magic.” The Repossessor sighed. “But let us continue with the list, who else do we know?”
“Doesn’t the Iron Banner have a bladed top made out of Black Steel?” The Mirror Oracle continued. “Getting ahold of the Iron Squire or the Iron Champion for this should be no big problem, it is both close to where we are now and the Steel Sanctuary has been very close, diplomatically, to the Queen for the last century.”
“Could work” The Repossessor answered before both fell deep into thoughts.
“Shouldn’t every soldier of the Flamecloak Inquisition be a viable soldier?” The Repossessor said after a moment passed.
“To risky putting them together with anyone with a magical bloodline, their job is still finding and eradicating magical bloodlines.” The Mirror Oracle rebuked.
“Yeah” The Repossessor said as silence, once again fell over the inn. After another moment of silence, The Repossessor sighed, followed by a smirk as they looked up to the Oracle. “You know about the Silver Hunter? Known to control most of the mines of the steel sanctuary?”
The Mirror Oracle looked at the Repossessor, with dismay in her eyes, followed by a light giggle. “Well I guess he was right all along then? A danger that we couldn’t even start to comprehend did appear, at a time where we had let our guard down! But he doesn’t have black steel weaponry. He could never afford that with the amount of work he put down on fortifying and isolating his stronghold.”
“He could afford it, he even mines it himself within the Forge Mines when they find it. Every single one of his bolts has their tips made from the material, while also being reinforced by it.” The Repossessor answered. “Only three known veins in the world, two at Stone Hold and one at the Halls of the Hunter.”
The Oracle laughed again “Well the ramblings of a madman might even make this trip enjoyable, if we can convince him to come.”
“I don’t see that convincing the man that is hunting unknown, monstrous threats, as hard to convince hunting down unknown, monstrous threats to be entirely honest.” The Repossessor said as they shook their head. “I think that is the one person that will actually come, fully, in both body and soul”.
“So with us, that makes five of us?”
“If we can convince every single one of them to come with us on a journey to fight creatures we know nothing about and that we have no idea how to fight, Yes, that makes five of us.”
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