Tales Of The Chosen "Heroes"
As Kuran was giving his equipment a final once over he could see other adventurers gathering at the edge of town. They all formed up into small groups, discussing plans and strategy. He could see Darrin and Helm among the rest of them formulating a plan.
An adventure around forty with a large bushy mustache began to announce to the adventurers. “Alright everyone, I just spoke to the guilds executive! So, listen up if you want know the details of this quest!”
All the adventurers began to surround the man as he began to explain the rules.
“Alright! According to the guild, the caravans that headed into the city today were attacked at seven different areas on the trail. The attackers were chaos worshippers and have stolen government supplies and have killed and likely kidnapped many of the caravan travellers.”
“Chaos? How did an entire group of chaos wind up near the city unnoticed?” A blonde armoured woman asked.
“The guild doesn’t know yet. They are looking into it. What we need to do is deal with the chaos warriors.” The veteran said.
“Who cares how? We’re adventures, we get paid to fight not ask questions.” A lean dirty blonde-haired adventure armed with a sword staff said nonchalantly.
“Well, unlike you, I actually think. So, knowing the reason for chaos being near us is important.” The blonde woman shot back.
A couple of chuckles could be heard coming from the onlookers.
“Ouh, I’m sorry that a handful of half naked crazies are going to give you nightmares.” The swordstaff user taunted.
“Hey, both of you! Enough bickering! I haven’t even explained everything yet!” The veteran chided both. Who both in turn stopped bickering and listened.
The veteran continued on, “Alright! From what we know the chaos do not have a real base, but instead separated their forces into seven small camps each one attacking a different part of the caravan. Each ambush party was comprised of roughly two dozen men. So, in total there are roughly a hundred and fifty chaos warriors that attacked.”
Murmurs began in the crowd upon hearing the number of assailants. While that was consider an extremely small army, it was alarming that this many had gathered together. Fervent chaos worshippers were extremely uncommon in countries like Acrary, especially near large cities, they tended to reside further north. Yet, seemingly out of no where here stood an army of chaos right outside of Esterwood, the city of adventurers.
Of all cities they could have gathered near they chose one of the worse ones. Kuran thought. Esterwood was named Acrary’s city of adventurers for one simple reason. It held the greatest number of active adventurers in the entire country. That coupled with the standing army to protect one of the countries largest population of citizens made the city a difficult target.
Yet less then two hundred chaos worshippers that shouldn’t even be in the country have camped outside of the city. There was no way that they could attack the city directly. So why are they here? Kuran pondered. Though he doubted that he would get a proper answer anytime soon. I suppose focusing on dealing with them is more important right now.
Kuran focused on listening to the veteran’s speech.
“It is believed that one or two magic users are also in their mist, along with a chieftain. The cities militia will be aiding us on this. They will be dealing with guarding the main roads as well as dealing with any chaos camps found.” The veteran explained this as a man in official military uniform approached him, the veteran began to gesture at the officer. “This is Captain Monroe, and he is in charge of the military task force. He will further explain what we will be doing.”
Captain Monroe nodded and addressed the crowd, “Thank you Mr. Dale. I am Captain Monroe, as Mr. Dale has explained, the military will oversee this matter. As adventurers you are tasked with finding and dealing with any small groups. You will be paid depending on the number of chaos you dealt with as well as if you recover any supplies or find any camps.”
The adventure with the sword staff piped up, “What if we deal with the camp?”
“While I would recommend against it. If you are indeed successful, then you will be awarded for clearing it out.” Captain Monroe admitted, “Bonus will also be given for the chieftain and the spellcasters.” Captain Monroe explained. “However, I heavily recommend dealing with chaos with caution.” Giving a stern look to the swordstaff adventurer.
The adventuring simply grinned and gave a nod. “Works for me.”
“Now you adventurers will be tasked in exploring the forest, squads of soldiers will be also scouting the areas, soldiers will be patrolling road so make sure to indicate them when you enter or exit. There is a chance that you will encounter survivors from the raids, you will assist them as well.” Captain Monroe standing straight up spoke louder, “I wish you all luck and be safe out there.”
As he finished his speech adventures started to leave and head out the main gate. Discussing with one another and reading their maps trying to chart their path through the forest. As Kuran himself began to leave he heard a small commotion back where Captain Monroe and the veteran were.
A small group of people had approached them and seemed to be agitated, they di dn’t appear to be adventurers. Curious Kuran moved closer towards the group trying to overhear their conversation.
A tall, bearded man with a goatee, well kept clothes, haired slicked back and covered with a bowler hat seemed to take charge of the group.
“Now sir, you have yet too answered my question. Where are the survivors?” The man pressed Captain Monroe.
“Sir, I understand your concern, but citizens are not privy to this information. This is a government matter.” Captain Monroe tried to explain.
“Captain, I understand that there is a level of secrecy that you must have for these situations. But our people were apart of the caravan, and they still aren’t here. We just want to know if you have any idea where they are now.” The man pleaded.
The veteran adventurer spoke to Captain Monroe, “Maybe tell them what you know. They have a right to know.”
“Thank you, kind sir. Please Mr. Monroe, listen to your friend. Just a bit of information will go long way. Blake here has a wife and son that were on end of the caravan, and apparently it has been attacked.” The man said as he gestured at another man.
The man, Blake, stood there with his dirty blonde hair and a stubble nodded his head awkwardly. “I just want to know where they are.”
Captain Monroe shifted his feet uncomfortably, took another glance at the veteran who nodded his assurance.
Finally, Monroe relented, “To be perfectly honest, we can’t be certain on their location. We are aware that there are survivors from each attack. Some have made it to the city, however…” His voice trailed off.
The leader pressed, “However?”
“However, there are still some that have not arrived. We aren’t sure where their whereabouts are, only that they are somewhere in the forest. The people heading out will be on the look for them.” Captain Monroe gave another brief pause, looking through the group.
Kuran himself gave a good look of the group. The group in front of Captain Monroe were all human, however they differed in age and shape. They all seemed to follow the bearded man, obviously with the way he was talking he was the leader. He noticed a few of these people seemed well built and armed. Rather dangerous for some citizens. Kuran noted.
Captain Monroe seemed to come to a similar opinion as Kuran. Though seeing that they weren’t posing a threat he did not dwell on it. Captain Monroe continued, “But if they are at the end of the caravan trail as you say, it may be unlikely for them to make it here.”
“Oh, please! That won’t stop Shawn and Lawrence!” A younger copper haired girl stated.
“Young Alison, your vigour commendable, but right now is not the time.” The tall, bearded man chided her.
“But Mr. Oskar! He’s treating it like they’re already done.” Alison complained.
“Alison, the good Captain Monroe is only expressing his concern. No need let your emotions get the better of you.” Oskar assured her, who in turn quieted down. Oscar then redirected his attention to Captain Monroe. “I apologize, our young Alison often says what’s in her mind. But she is right, we can’t just give up on our people.”
“It’s understandable, I’m also at fault for bringing that thought up. But to be realistic their chances are low. We will try to get to them, I promise.” Captain Monroe said.
“Would it be alright for a few of us to join you on this escapade.” Oskar asked.
“None of you are adventurers. I can’t just allow it.” Captain Monroe replied.
“Please captain, we can’t just leave them alone.” Oskar pleaded.
“As a military officer I can’t allow you participate unless you go through proper procedure.” Captain Monroe said sternly. “No exceptions, I’m sorry.”
Oskar seemed to be contemplating something before Kuran interjected.
“What if I bring them along?”
Everyone turned towards Kuran, who was now only a few steps away from the group.
“Who might you be?” Captain Monroe asked.
“My name is Unmei Kūran, a level four adventurer. Would it be alright if I were to bring them along?” Kuran said.
Captain Monroe pondered for a moment, “Well, you wouldn’t need to go through any additional procedure as you aren’t part of the military.” He then turned to the veteran adventurer and asked, “What do you think?”
“Well, there is nothing stopping them from following an adventurer. But they would have to be your responsibility if you bring them.” The veteran said.
“That’s fine with me.”
“Then I see no reason why you can’t.” The veteran said.
“Then Mr. Oskar, you are free to join Unmei over here. All of you stay safe and good luck.” Captain Monroe said before he turned to leave.
“We will Captain Monroe and thank you kind sir.” Oskar said.
Once Captain Monroe and the veteran adventure had left their view Oskar turned back to Kuran and addressed him, “I should say my thanks to you as well Mr. Unmei.”
“It’s no issue, I wanted to try and get as far in as possible.” Kuran replied.
“Huh, quite the thrill seeker. Well, no complaints from me.” Oskar said. “Now if you don’t mind let me organize my group a bit.”
Kuran gave a single nod before heading down to the main road leading to the city. Most of the soldiers and adventurers that had been milling around had now left for the forest leaving the area baren.
Oskar now addressed his group, “Alright, Mr. Huber, Mr. Tulgant I require your assistance. Mr. Maleth, Ms. Brackenreed, keep the folks safe, and find a proper place to stay. It may take a day or two for us to return. I am relying on you two.”
A tan man nodded his head in understanding. While young woman with beet colored hair gave Oskar a shining smile, “Don’t worry Oskar you can count on me.”
Alison complained, “Wait why can’t I come?”
“Hush now Alison, listen to Oskar.” The lady chided her.
“Alison, right now we can’t have everyone join us, we need to set up a base. You stay with the group and help set up. Right now, they need you.” Oskar said, indicating towards another girl who seemed to be standing in a daze.
Alison gave a begrudging nod and quieted down. The young woman then began to lead the rest of the group back into the city.
Kuran waited as the remaining trio approached him. Oskar was joined by Blake and another large man with soft eyes and deep walnut coloured skin, presumably Mr. Tulgant.
“Thank you for waiting for us Mr. Unmei. Let me properly introduce myself, my name is Oskar Leo.” Oskar said before gesturing towards Blake, “This here is Blake Huber, his special lady is unfortunately one of the people we are trying to rescue.”
Blake awkwardly fidgeted his shoulders as he nodded in recognition. “You don’t need to bring it up.”
Oskar gave a small laugh, “Ah, you are almost as bad as Shawn when it comes to expressing care for others.”
“It’s not like that.” Blake mumbled. “Can we move on?”
“Of course, this big man overhear is Charron Tulgant. Despite his appearance he is a very kind man.” Oskar indicated the unnamed stranger.
“Pleasure to meet you sir.” Charron gave a friendly smile.
“It’s good to meet you. I am responsible for you all, so don’t do anything that will get me in trouble.” Kuran said.
“Oh, do not worry sir, we will be on our best behavior.” Oskar said.
Kuran gave a nod before turning towards the main road. “Alright, let’s move.”
Let’s see just how dangerous these chaos worshippers are. He thought as he began to move. The sun had only just risen to its peak and there was still plenty of time in the day for anything to happen.