Genesius flushes after hearing the merchant's question. "Well, we've heard of goblin raids along the road to Sursi, but when someone says 'war', I actually think of a full-scale war." he says slightly defensively.
"This is worrying though. We knew of a few goblin raiders, but we didn't know there were hordes..."
Genesius sighs and shakes his head. "Great. First a time rift spitting out self-replicating germs near Sursi's western border, and now hordes of goblins assaulting Sursi's northern border. The flow of refugees has been disrupted too, even with these two problems. I guess this excursion is gonna be more difficult than I thought."
"I must confess, I too had underestimated the degree to which the goblins had spread. I usually pay little mind to rumors, after all; they tend towards the outrageous and overblown."
Mar turns to Genesius. "Troubled times breed opportunities, though. Perhaps we could... help to do something about the goblins once we are done with the germs?"
Mar turns back to the caravaner. "Well, its only fair for us to explain our purpose. There is on the western border, as you may have surmised from our comments, an expanding problem, one that we have been tasked to solve. This problem has likely left the western border in need of supplies to replace those lost to the temporal intruders, but all that we know for certain is that last we heard, the problem was rather severe."
At Mar's words, Genesius' trademark grin reappeared on his face. "Opportunities, eh? I was thinking the same thing myself. It's not like we have to return to Estark right after we're done. I wouldn't mind a detour to the north."
Turning to the merchant, he then said, "Well, now you know our objective. So, if I may be so bold to ask, do you happen to have any spell gems for sale in this caravan? Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't ask, since I was under the assumption that all I'd be doing is helping remedy the germ problem. However, since we're probably going to goblin infested areas anyway, I'd like to have a little more firepower."
The merchant lets out a small curse saying, "If there is trouble on the western border then the supply line we were relying upon may be broken..."
He thought for a moment and mumbled to himself saying, "We may not be able to fully restock then... Wont be able to make it all the way north... Those men need our weapons and armor..."
He seemed completely lost in thought as he was going over the logistics in his head before he finally sighed in frustration. As he turned he jumped ever so slightly at seeing the two mages still in front of him. He had apparently forgotten about the two of them as the logistics problem he was now facing had taken priority. Recalling the last question asked he responded saying, "Sorry, forgive my tangent there. No, I do not have spells to sell. My caravan has food stores, weapons, and armor intended to reinforce the northern forces."
"No spells, huh? Well, that's alright. I'm sure I can make do."
Thinking about the merchant's logistics problem, Genesius said, "I wish we could help you with your logistical issues, but I can't think of anything we'd be able to do to help."
Mulling it over some more, he continued, "If the flow of supplies has been interrupted, then I think the best course of action for us two is to hurry onto the western border and remedy the situation as fast as possible. Then we'll be able to help get goods flowing through the supply line again."
"I don't know what my partner thinks though, but if you have any other ideas on how we could help, I'm all ears."
Mar nods his head in agreement. "That is my view as well. While haste does make waster, in this case it is likely warranted. Any help that you could give us would be appreciated, and would likely allow us to better clear the troubles on the western border."
The merchant nods in agreement at Mar's comment saying, "The best I could do is allow you two to travel with the caravan to the western borders. We're perhaps a day's ride by horse from the town you mentioned."
"Very well. Bring these two a hot dish and cot each." commanded the merchant as he rose and made his way to the back of the tent.
Before stepping out he turned back to the two of you saying, "Enjoy your meals and get your rest. We break camp at first light."
With that the merchant slipped past a flap and went off to bed. A few minutes later a manservant in his mid forties approached the two of you bearing two bowls of a pleasant smelling vegetable beef stew and a loaf of bread for the two of you to split.
In a deep gravelly voice the manservant asked, "Hot tea to go with the stew, sirs?"
"Oh, I couldn't agree more." he says as he consumes his meal.
"I spent less than a day in Estark and have already heard some of the wildest rumors about what happens along the roads to the city. If half of them are true, it would seem Estark is a magnet for interesting characters."
The rest of the camp was quickly growing silent as the evening passed and fires put out. While the two ate their meal, the manservant from before brought to cots into the main tent. There he made two makeshift beds with blankets to help act as cushions. Then turning to the mages he asked, "Will there be anything else tonight, sirs?"
When you are ready for sleep just indicate so and we will continue the story from there.
Whoops. Sorry bout that, somehow didn't see that there were more posts.
Mar had finished by the time the manservant returned, finding Mar waiting with the tray. Once that is taken care of, he carefully makes his way back ot the back of the tent, and settles down for the night.
The rest of the night passes quickly by without incident. Soon the morning sun rises to the sound of the camp being broken down in preparation for the journey to Sursi. The manservant had returned at down to wake the two. As soon as they appeared coherent he said, "My master has requested that you two travel with him on his cart."
The black haired youth slowly rises upon hearing what sounded like words, his hair an absolute mess. "Hunh? Wha...? Um, yeah, okay, just...gimme five more minutes..." With that, he begins to slide back down onto his bed.
Once he said those words, however, Fevvers immediately flies into the tent and began pecking Genesius' head, screeching as loudly as she can.
"Ow, ow, owowowowow! OW! Alright! I get it! I get it! I'm up, I'm up! You don't have to be so rough, Fevvers..."
Satisfied with his response, Fevver once again perches herself on his shoulder, ready to begin the new day.