After a few minutes, Georgar asked “Anything particular you wanted me to do with this rock?” I can keep waiting if you wish, but did you have anything else in mind?"
Half an hour later, Georgar began to smile.
With Geogar occupied holding the bolder with both hands, the guard quickly took a step back and in a split second of making Geogar believe he was backing away, he sucker punched him with gauntlet equipped, staggering him before he could react, hopefully hard enough to make him drop the rock he was carrying out of a loss of balance and ideally dropping it on to one of his own feet, injuring him.
In that tiny time window, either Geogar being just as any mere mortal and dropping the rock to catch his balance, Ara would swiftly make a grab for his only sword left to pull it away and disarming him completely.
If Geogar did not loose balance and did not drop the rock, he would have been staggered for a moment, still holding the rock with both hands, and unable to stop Ara from going after his last sword either without letting go of it and dropping it on to his own feet.
OOC: Now, you decide what realistically is most likely to happen.
Georgar slightly staggered, even his reflexes were not prepared for the sudden attack, wheezing slightly. Then seeing that their manner was definatly hostile, he whirled around bashed the guard with the rock, and rolled backward, praying there wern’t more troops on the way. “Good test. Did I pass? Well here’s mine. You get to decide whether you can attack a man who asked for your hospitality, or we can both die, right now. You first, and me sometime later, after I bleed out, after killing 30 of your guards. Your pick.” Then he noticed that his sword was missing, and he felt a small stab of fear creeping through his spine…
Ara took a step back from all the commotion with Geogar’s sword in hand, giving it to one of the guards who just rushed in to take it away. The guard that got bashed with the bolder fell to the floor injured but alive, with another helping him recover. With a multitude of guards around the room, Ara attempted to calm the deceived human, ‘‘Calm down now, I only wanted your sword like I did outside, I’ve nothing to gain from taking your life.’’ he smirked, ‘‘You are tougher than you look, most would have dropped the rock, I’m impressed.’’
Taking a seat on his throne that was positioned front and center against a wall at the end of the grand hall he relaxed, the guards lowered their weapons again, and Ara signaled Geogar to approach, ‘‘If you wish to speak now, then I am willing.’’
Startled, but grateful to be alive, Georgar sank onto a nearby couch.“If you don’t mind, ask next time before you do that. I thought I’d have to kill both of us.” He motioned outside. “Could you send some men to retrieve a package I left at the foot of the mountain? I have a gift for you.” “King Muzwall send his regards by the way”
‘‘Hold up now…’’ Ara interrupted in confusion, ‘‘I thought you came through here on your way to Ebongrasp?’’ he asked as he waved to his steward who was fearfully watching the unfolding events from a balcony overlooking the hall on one of its sides.
" I was looking for them, but since I found you first, it doesn’t matter. I wish place my men and myself at your disposal. We are well trained, and we’re experianced. Do you accept? We don’t charge much, and we would love to fight alongside you."
‘‘A moment ago you acted as if you were going to tear out the hearts of the entire garrison here with your bare hands, and now you offer me your services and wish to fight for me? Is this a jest?’’
Meanwhile, a currier was dispatched by the steward to pick up the package Georgar mentioned.
“No, its is no jest. The only reason my previous intentions were hostile is because you were wishing to disarm and capture me. I admit you went about it very skilfully.” Georgar inclined his head in a small bow. " But first let me introduce myself. I am Commander Georgar Shocklord, commander of the Grimguard, lord of the Winterkeep, and Ranger of the North." Georgar waited a moment, then went on,
" I have recently left the Northern Realm, wishing to rule my own lands in peace. You know the same desire, I think. But I am different than you. I am at home on the battlefield, and I wish to find a man who I will give me a pact of alliance. I propose that we enter into a pact of mutual agreement, in which I am duty bound to fight for you in times of war, and in return I wish only for the supplies and coin to finish re-building my home. I had a recent encounter with a dragon you see, leaving my home in ruins."
‘‘Heh, it would do you good to remember that ‘‘test’’ trick when someone visits your domain and refuses to disarm as you ask.’’ he giggled, ‘‘Next time, just do as we say please…’’ he added.
‘‘It is a pleasure, Commander Shocklord.’’ Ara greeted him in return with a respectful bow as well, ‘‘I however am Ara’Gottix vas Zha’til, Lord Protector of Kleriel, and it is I who’s usually tasked with entertaining foreign dignitaries like yourself. Nothing as grand as being ‘‘emperor’’ I’m afraid.’’
" My apoliges then, Lord Protector, and I hope your guards recover. I may have killed one or two while crossing the border, and I thought they were robbers. I’ve never seen a Keelish before." Georgar grimaced. “But tell me, what do you think of my proposal? Next to the Ebonsgraspian troops, my men and I are some of the best soldiers in the world.”
Ara thought for a moment. Having a mercenary band bound to the imperium would be handy should there be any foreign aggressor, especially in these turbulent times. But he had bad past experiences with employing human mercs to do his work for him, the last one caused the imperium the loss of one of Ebon’s captured priced artifacts, and then there are the even worse past experiences with forging alliances with humanity at all. Maybe a straight forward agreement isn’t the best idea, maybe he should test what these people are made of… a real test this time.
‘‘I witnessed your skills first hand, though as I hear, they have been hard earned and ironed to perfection through great trials, I’m not so sure about the rest of your people though. How about you prove yourselves to me first, and if everything goes well, then we will see about working out an agreement?’’
“Sounds good to me. But forgive me, what sort of trial do you want us to under go? The last one I thought was going to cost me my life…” Shocklord narrowed his eyes. “I can tell you first off, if you want something stolen, I would do it myself, for my men do not specialize in stealth. They are rather expert archers and knights, and I would trust the with my life.” Georgar drew breath, and then continued:" I have 500 knights who can destroy any main army you pit them against, and 150 Rangers, quite a few of whom I trained myself. They are masters of both sword, bow, and shield."
‘‘No traps this time, it will be a real test with no trickery involved, on my honor.’’ he swore to the man, ‘‘I do not want anything stolen, even if there was once an item of interest I craved, it is beyond anyone’s reach now. No. What I need you for has less to do with stealth and more to do with search and destroy.’’ Ara began to explain.
Meanwhile, the currier retrieving Georgar’s package had returned to the castle and had brought it to the steward. The steward took precaution and opened the package to check its contents before bringing it to Ara.
‘‘I need you to seek out and eliminate a group of bandits…’’ Ara continued to explain to Georgar, ‘‘These aren’t just any bandits, mind you. They are the remnants of Emperor Inceptus’ elite guard who still say serve him in his rage to have revenge upon the world. You being one of the reason for Altor’s fall would be a good piece of poetic justice if you were to bring them down.’’
“I accept. All I need to know is where they are, and how many. My men and I will do the rest.” Georgar spoke solemnly. He had fought with and against these men before, but he knew that there would be know problem.
“Ah thank you” as the steward handed him the package. Georgar drew a long two-handed sword from the packet. " Here, as a token of peace, is a gift for you. I made it myself. It will withstand any blow, and it should serve you well in defense of your life." handing it to Ara’Gotix.
‘‘They are in and around our province of Duskwind to the north. As for where they are exactly and how many, we don’t know, or this wouldn’t be a search and destroy mission, would it?’’ Ara replied somewhat sarcastically. ‘‘They seem very fond of interfering with our operations in the region, they work with hit-and-run tactics, and have been a thorn in our side for a while now. I say their time has long since passed.’’
"Very well, we hunt bandits. Do you mind if borrow a horse? It will make for better traveling on the road home. Or I can send a crow with a message telling my men to meet me there. " Georgar got up, and swayed on his feet. “Forgive me, I’m a little tired. But, no rest for the wicked, am I right?” He grinned tiredly.