Rock of Faith

Angel's Eye View - The Longshots pt. 1

More trouble for the mortals

Zahariel stared out at the darkness. She pondered the fascination that mortals had with the night, and the ties to evil that they associated with it. In her experience, evil didn’t have limits, and often it lives right inside the mortals that were so scared of it. As she continued to watch the night slowly turned to day, with the town in the distance slowly picking up activity.
The sun sat at a position in the sky which she had heard described as “a gentlemanly hour” when she noticed Father Ellis coming out towards the church. Her church, as she had come to think of it. Once, it had been at the center of the town, but over time the shifting of the river, arrival of the meteorites, and various other factors had moved the town away. The other buildings in the area had all been torn down for the building materials, but something – possibly a faith long lost or a superstition – had stopped them from tearing down the church.
Father Ellis completed his walk out to the church from the town, and Zahariel dropped from her position on the roof to greet him. “Father – what brings you out today? I did not expect you until Sabbath.”
“There’s trouble in the town, Wielder of Truth. I came to seek your aid.”
“What is the nature of this trouble?”
“Bandits have been hitting local farms and supply wagons”
Zahariel stared at him blankly for a long moment, before she shook her head. “That’s a mortal issue. Can’t the human law deal with this?”
“Perhaps they could – if they were competent. Remember, not all evil rises directly from the Pit. It exists in the hearts of men as well, and your duty doesn’t just involve the dispatch of evil, but the protection of good. The good of the town will suffer from these evil men, and I fear that the new sheriff will be powerless to stop them.”
Zahariel’s mind retreated in on itself as she pondered the Priest’s words. The new sheriff – the scared one – was of interest to her in his own right. How the scared one became the sheriff in town still eluded her, but the doings of the mortals could never be fully understood. Still, he was one of the group that she needed to follow. She still didn’t know exactly why she was here, but she knew that this town had a vital role to play in the coming struggle between good and evil, and that one of the members of this particular group would be the fulcrum.
Father Ellis was still talking while Zahariel thought this through. “I’ll look into it” she cut him off, and began the walk into town. It didn’t take long before she found the “watering hole” where the members of the group would congregate for something like this. The scared one was there, already explaining the situation to the Seeker and the Enigma. The Wanderer, as usual, was absent.
“The mayor needs us to deal with a situation at the prison. Apparently some group calling themselves the Longshots has staged a jailbreak – only instead of everyone running, they slaughtered the prison staff and now are using the prison as their base of operations. They’ve been hitting the local farmers and all the supply wagons coming into or out of town. There’s at least 20 of them in there, so we probably can’t just walk up and force them to back down. We’ll need to figure out a few things, maybe get some backup before we try and tackle this problem head-on.” He cast a knowing look at Zahariel. “No one goes into the prison until we’re ready.”
The mortals talked amongst each other before deciding on their courses of action. Zahariel caught that the Scared one and the Enigma were going to work on gathering additional forces, each in their own particular way, while the Seeker was going to go and scout the Prison. With no immediate task set before her, Zahariel returned her interest to the Order of Zarkon. The Order seemed to be deeply involved in the town’s workings, and might have some valuable information about what was going on. She wandered through town to the Order’s hospice, and with a slight bit of subterfuge, found herself in a restricted area. Quickly thumbing through a few files, she found numerous references to Zarkon as a terrestrial being, not just the false god from the imaginations of his followers that she had previously thought him to be. More interesting, was the file she found with details on the Scared One, and a bounty placed on his life by the Order. After gleaning some further insight into her companion, she slipped out the window and was gone.
The others had been busy in her absence – she noted five strangers who had joined the group. It briefly crossed her mind to ask why these men were going to assist, but ignored the impulse as mortal reasoning never seemed to make much sense to her anyways. They all carried deputy badges, and she noted with a trace of satisfaction that they were enchanted with some form of protection. The work of the Enigma, no doubt, and it reassured her that he had some concern for his fellow mortals. Perhaps his harnessing of unspeakable forces might not be completely evil.
She listened with a detached mind, pondering the notes she had found and this new insight into the Enigma, while the Seeker recounted his findings for the group. The others hatched a scheme to poison some supplies and have the bandits steal them for themselves. The group assembled the required materials and obtained a wagon, then set out with the Scared One and the Enigma driving the wagon, while Zahariel and the Seeker followed at a long distance in case there were any trouble. The plan went relatively smoothly from Zahariel’s perspective- the bandits attacked, and the two on the wagon put on a very convincing show of trying to escape and crashing their wagon in the process. When the dust settled, it appeared that everyone in the group had survived relatively unscathed, so Zahariel turned her horse back to town and awaited the next development.

Comments

  • The badges have the following aspect: Bullet-attracting, one free use for its wearer.
Solidhavok

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