Morg, Castri, Vinara and Kelvor journeyed to meet up with the gladiators and try and convince them to wait to march until the rest of the army was ready. They found the gladiators assembled near the arena being addressed by the veteran gladiator Quick Wenzer. He was talking to the gladiators and encouraging them to leave Tyr early and march out against the army from Urik. Tired of waiting on the “fat nobles” and eager for action, the gladiators were clearly in agreement.
When Morg and his allies attempts to sway the gladiators opinion met with mixed success. While the crowd acknowledged Morg’s skill during the Festival of the Cooling Sun tournament and their fame at killing a tembo swayed some, most were not convinced that such a young gladiator knew more than the veteran.
Muscling his way onto the stage where Wenzer was speaking, Morg challenged him to a duel, to prove who was the superior warrior. A long and bloody battle ensued, with both combatants having their share of successes and failures. Morg’s rage kept able to fight, despite Wenzer’s more mobile style and precise strikes with his swords. Several times Morg fell as his legs were targetted, but each time he managed to get up and keep fighting. When both combatants were nearly exhausted, Morg dealt a powerful blow, shattering his axe and knocking Wenzer down. Mercifully, Morg allowed Wenzer to live, and the gladiators were convinced that the best course of action was to wait and fight with the rest of the army from Tyr.
While the others were off trying to keep the gladiators under control, Gwyn met with some of her contacts in the Veiled Alliance to discuss the matter of their divulgence. The hotly debated topic had been debated since the fall of Kalak but no agreement was reached. Many feared that openly announcing their magical ways would invite violence again them by the citizens. Others countered that in a free society they wouldn’t need to fear such reprisals and could do more good then they could as a secret society.
At her cell’s meeting Gwyn met with Jarvix, Kivrin and others to discuss their plan for going forward, hoping that if they could reach a decision, it might inspire the other cells to follow their lead. Gwyn argued that they should not be forced to simply survive as outlaws but that they deserved to thrive and work to change the opinions of common people. She felt that with the gladiators of Tyr as their allies (not knowing that Morg would be successful in his quest), they would have less to fear. She also suggested that if they publicly defended Tyr against the invading Urik army, that they would do well to show their good intentions.
Easily swaying her associates to her way of thinking, the group decided to go public and lend their support to the war effort. They meeting broke up and the members went to meet their other cells and spread word. Hopeful that the decision was correct, Gwyn left and went to meet up with her friends back at Free City Tattoo.
Voice of the People
On their way back to Free City Tattoo, the encountered a mob a people near their shop. The mob was listening to a human speak and as the group moved closer, they could hear his words…
People of Tyr, hear me! You are being deceived! In your blindness for freedom you have only traded one tyrant for an-other. Gone is Kalak the Murderous; here is Tithian and his lying council. Even now they lie and plot against you.
Were you not told that an army marched upon Tyr, intent on destroying you all? That if you did not rise up and take arms the evil King Hamanu of Urik would slaughter your men, torture your women, and enslave your children? Was this not the truth, you say? I tell you these were lies! Who among you has spoken to King Hamanu of Urik? Who among you has asked him why he comes to the aid of riot-torn Tyr? Only those, your councilors, who claim he is an enemy only those whose wealth and power is threatened!
King Hamanu comes not to enslave but to free you from your slave-lords. Even as far as distant Urik, he has heard the cries of the oppressed and injured and those cries moved him. Who among you feels safe at night from the gangs and thugs of our elected councilors? Who among you will speak out against this tyranny and stand against this unjust war? Resist injustice! Fight the true enemy!
Castri, having no patience for such speeches, loosed an arrow from his bow and struck the speaker dead. Stunned and enraged, the crowd turned towards the ranger with malice in their eyes and moved to attack him and his friends. Soothing magic from Gwyn stalled the crowd long enough for Morg, Castri and Kelvor to stop the crowd from assaulting them. However, it was only when the clothing of the man, named Puram, was found to be matching the robes of the Templar of Urik that Morg carried, was the crowd finally convinced that they were deceived by his speeches.
Although some were embarrassed by such deception most turned their anger towards Urik and many left the gathering to enlist in the army. Able to finally return to their home, the friends took a much needed rest, although morning would come far too soon for most.
Supply and Demand
The following morning the group traveled to the merchant district to try and solve the dispute between the craftsmen and the merchant houses. The Caravan District was in total chaos as tensions between the craftsmen and the merchant houses had reached new peak. The craftsmen, convinced that the merchant houses were gouging the prices because of the war, had blocked the doors to the merchant emporiums, trapping the merchant house representative Sintha in his offices, with only a handful of guards keeping him safe. Out from the storefront, the craftsmen representative, Turloff, could be seen standing on a wagon, haranguing the crowd.
Accurately gauging the mood of the crowd and the mercenaries (who were wearing the markings of the Red Cord), the party moved quickly to try and diffuse the situation. First going to Turloff, they listen to his accusations of the merchant house’s price gouging and the hardships that the craftsmen are having to endure. He reluctantly agrees to another meeting with Sintha, with the party as moderators.
It took more effort to get to Sintha, as the Red Cord guards were unwilling to let them pass into the emporium. Eventually the party bribed them to let them pass, appealing to their mercenary nature. Sintha was quite displeased at the intrusion and refuted all of Turloff’s claims, stating that is was an unfortunate reality of the impending war. With some convincing, he was convinced to meet with Turloff.
Their meeting was hot-tempered and filled with a great many accusations of corruption and unfair business practices. Eventually the party was able to find a compromise to the situation: Obsidian. One of the steepest cost increases was on the supply of obsidian, as Urik had stopped shipments and now occupied the dwarven village of Kled. Sintha’s merchant houses were forced to raise all their prices to compensate for the extreme losses they were having to take. The party agreed that they would work to secure obsidian shipments from Kled if Sintha would lower the prices somewhat.
While the rest of the group rested, Merric uncovered an interesting piece of news – the local House Tsalaxa representative recently received a message and shortly afterwards, started to make preparation to leave the city. Most thought that he was heading out to avoid trouble with Urik, but Merric wondered if they might be heading out to help deal with the treasure recovered from the Vault of Darom Madar.
Having no other leads on how to find the caravan after so much time, the group decided that they would follow the House Tsalaxa expedition and hope that it will lead them to their objective.