After surviving the attack, you and your comrades catch your breath in a market square. Enfys fumbles for a cigarette, curses in Termali and throws the box across the deserted street.
“So,” she says, “What the fuck do we do now? Declan’s been captured along with the rest of our cell, our home base is in ruins, we have no weapons or supplies and I need a fucking cigarette.”
Enfys slumps into a seat against the wall and starts fidgeting with a knife.
Myran turns to you with a serious look on their face. They sigh and say “She’ll be okay. We should go pick up some cigarettes for her, though. Walk with me.”
Myran leads you down a thoroughfare and continues talking. “I should explain to you what we’re looking to achieve for Irythan. You’re Paragons, so you know we’re looking to end the scourge. You need to know how. For centuries, the Paragons have been seeking out pre-scourge knowledge and safeguarding it from the bastion inquisition. We’ve been looking for a weakness we can exploit in a war against the Arkali horde. We don’t know what that weakness is, but we know that their ability to coordinate in large numbers as if they were a small strike team is what gives them their edge. They’ve also shown a remarkable ability to adapt. Every time we find a tactic that works, that tactic becomes useless the next time we fight them.”
Myran hands a vendor ten coppers and takes a box of cigarettes from his stall.
Myran continues: “Finding a weakness is one struggle. The other, which is arguably more daunting, is to build an army. How to build that army has been a subject of debate among the Paragons ever since our post-scourge founding. Many of my comrades believe the best course of action is to unite the armies of humanity for a great march south of the wall. Another number of us believe the best course is to inspire those who are oppressed to fight for a new world. Enfys and I are among that number. The Scourge was created by men who sought to wage genocide on the Orcs because they thought themselves better. The powerful will always find reasons why they need more power and they will always take shortcuts that end in tragedy. The scourge may be the most recent calamity, it was not the first and if we allow the present power structure to persist, it will not be the last. Apocalyptic events come in cycles and ending the scourge is meaningless unless we end that cycle.”
Myran stops and looks you straight in the eye and says: “Unfortunately, we have lacked the ability to inspire the common people or to unite the six nations. That’s why your arrival is so significant. You represent humanity’s stubborn will to survive and you are a symbol of hope for the future. That kind of symbol has more power than the largest army in Irythan. You could stabilize nations or bring empires crashing down. You know where I stand, but the choice of how to build an army falls to you.”
Myran walks over to Enfys and lights her a cigarette. Enfys take a lungful and embraces Myran like a sister.
She sighs and says “Thanks, Myran. I’m sick and fucking tired of losing good people in raids.” She takes another puff “Now, about the question I asked on tobacco withdrawal. The fuck do we do now.”
If asked, Enfys and Myran will both recommend a rescue mission for those captured by Fask soldiers.
Enfys says “I say we hit them on the road. They’ll need to pass through Druid’s wood. It’s the perfect place to set up an ambush. I’ve been on a forced march at Fask spearpoint. There are always deaths.”
Myran says “We should break them out of prison. It’ll give us more time to plan an attack and we may be able to pull a mass break-out like we did at Gorch’thul. Plus, if we want to hit them on the road, we’ll have to take a shortcut to pass them. It could get us killed.”