Part 1: The MenaceFull video
A single prisoner altered the fate of hundreds.
But he paid a high price for it.
He defeated the sleeper
Destroyed the barrier.
But while all the other prisoners escaped, he remained behind in the rubble.
It was I who dispatched him against the sleeper.
Now it is I who brings him back from there.
He is weak and has forgotten much, but he is alive.
Chapter 1: The Menace
For two long weeks I laid there beneath the rubble, falling in and out of consciousness. Every day I felt my life slipping further away. As soon as I'd given up all hope I began to feel my body tingle. I could feel the magic flow through me. My vision went black.
The smiling figure of Xardas suddenly appeared before me. "There you are again! I never thought the two of us would meet again."
I was no longer in any immediate danger but I still ached. I rubbed a bruise on the back of my right arm. "I feel like I spent three weeks lying under a load of rocks."
"Well, you did. Only the magic within your armor kept you alive. I had feared I might not be able to rescue you from the debris of the temple. But enough of that. You're here now. There's a NEW threat that we have to deal with"
I knew my rescue would come with a cost. I sighed. "At least we have enough time now. I did it. The sleeper..."
"...has been banned." Xardas interrupted "You vanquished him, so much is true - but it is not within our power to stop the war that ensues now. With his final, furious scream, the Sleeper has set into movement the armies of darkness. It was an order to all evil creatures. A word of power that they were all bound to obey. His last order was: COME! And they came. All of them. Even the dragons."
My eyes widened. I'd heard stories of dragons but they had always just been tales to me.
"They are creatures of ancient power. I can sense their presence - even here." Xardas continued "And they have gathered an entire army of lowly servant creatures around them."
"Where is this army now?" I asked, hoping that Xardas' definition of 'close' differed from my own.
It wasn't. "The army's camp is not far from here, in the valley of the mines near Khorinis, and they are getting ready to attack." Xardas continued heaping on the good news. "But that's not all. There is yet ANOTHER threat of which I have learned only recently."
The necromancer quietly left the room for a moment and then returned with a crumpled note in hand. "After the fall of the barrier and the banishment of the Sleeper, Beliar's wrath was growing even greater. A mighty artifact, so it is written in the old scriptures, will be brought back to this world when the god of darkness sends his henchmen out to search. This search has long since begun. Beliar's henchmen are desecrating the oldest shrine of the gods. The guards of these holy places have awakened and their wrath makes the earth tremble. Every powerful magician on this island could sense this wrath. And some of them have certainly begun to face the threat. You must become their ally. That is the only way to stop Beliar" (VIDEO)
I stood before Xardas, unsure exactly what I could do. An army? Dragons? Agents of Beliar? It was difficult enough when I was a fire tossing magician against a slumbering demon. "What can we do?" I asked weakly.
"This time we cannot handle it by ourselves. Only the power of Innos can help us against those dragons. A group of paladins is stationed in the city of Khorinis, not far from here. They posess a powerful artifact which could help us defeat the dragons. They call it the "Eye of Innos". You need to get hold of this artifact. Tell the paladins about the threat. You MUST convince their leader to support us. And once you have talked to him, you need to find the artifact of Beliar. It is the counter piece to the Eye of Innos. It must not fall into the hands of evil.
He made it sound too easy. "Why would the Paladins give me the eye of Innos?"
"Because you are the one who is destined to wear it."
"How can you claim to know that?
"There are a number of reasons, the most important being: you have defeated the Sleeper. If you weren't a favorite of the Gods you'd be dead by now."
"Let's assume you are right and I'm destined to wear the eye of Innos. How would the paladins know that is true?"
"The Eye itself chooses the one who may wear it. Once you get hold of it and put it on, the paladins cannot doubt your words any longer." Xardas had an answer for everything.
"I'll need weapons" I said, longing for my old weapons and armor. The idea that I would possibly never again harness the cleansing fire of Innos or recover a robe as spectacular as my last one was depressing.
"I can only give you whatever little I have here. Look around in my tower. Anything that looks useful to you, you can have." I hoped he remembered to keep a spare set of magic ore armor for It would make the next steps much easier.
There was no point in delaying the inevitable any longer. "How can I get to the city?"
"Just follow the path from here through the mountains. The city is large. You cannot miss it."
Since Xardas said I could take whatever I wished from his tower, I made sure to do just that. On my way to the main ramp I spotted a large, thick branch sitting atop his pile of firewood. It looked sturdy so I took it and strapped it to my side. At the very least I would have a reach advantage over most animals.
I decided to check the upper level next. This new tower was almost exactly the same as his old tower within the penal colony. On the highest level of the tower I found a library. I perused some of the books but most of it was of no use to me.
There was a chest up there, however. I opened it with a key on the table and took a dagger, a potion, a light scroll, and some coins as my prize.
I decided to get a good look of the surrounding area before I ventured outside. As I was on top of the tower I decided that this was a swell time to do so. After turning a corner just outside the library I came face to face with a statue of Beliar. Why Xardas had this up here I did not think to ask. For the moment I ignored it and made my way to the edge of the tower.
I peered down into the forest below. There was nothing of much interest except for what looked like a camp fire. I made note to check it out when I had time.
There was nothing else for me in the top two levels of the tower so I went down to the main entrance. In the room where I'd found a demon in the penal colony, I instead found a good deal of alchemical herbs. I had no idea what to do with them, but I took them nonetheless. Another chest was also found down here. I took the contents, which consisted of more gold, scrolls, and another potion.
I stepped outside the tower and took a deep whiff of the fresh air. It felt like forever since I'd been able to do that. A dirt path led away from the tower and if Xardas was correct it would lead me directly to the city.
A lone sheep wandered close to Xardas' tower. I looked at it for several minutes, unsure whether or not I would get in trouble for killing it and eating it. I decided against it and continued on.
Two small waterfalls were off to my left so I took a short break to take in the view. Despite the sound of the water falling into the lake, I was able to pick up a growling sound just a few feet away. I unstrapped my club and walked slowly toward it.
It was a goblin! The vile creature managed to nick me before I came to my senses and struck it. It fell in a few blows. It seemed I made the correct choice by taking the big stick. I made a mental note that large sticks worked well in beating things to death.
After striking down the goblin I explored the surrounding area. A small dock led down into a cave. I followed it in an effort to put off meeting with the paladins as long as I could..
Inside I found more goblins. Three or perhaps four of the beasts huddled around a
camp fire. I intentionally drew them toward me and smacked them down. The shear numbers of the goblins slightly overwhelmed me, enabling them to get in a few cheap shots. Yeah, that was why they almost killed me.
As I continued exploring I found yet another exit, this one leading into the forest below.
I advanced down the natural ramp slowly. Along the way I encountered a few skeletons still clutching old potions and scrolls. I took them, along with a handful of healing herbs that were growing nearby.
At the bottom of the earthen path I saw what slightly resembled a minecrawler. I backed away slowly but it did no good. The creature attacked and I was forced to defend myself.
Up close it became apparent that this was no minecrawler. It was, however, another sort of large insect-like creature. I cringed. I'd hoped the extent of the big insect creatures remained in caves within the earth. The big critter looked tougher than it was. It managed to cut my arm with its large pincers but aside from that It went down slowly. I was beginning to really like this stick.
I saw a campfire in the distance and, ready for more goblins, I cautiously advanced toward the source. When I arrived I couldn't barely believe what I was seeing: Lester!
Lester jumped to his feet, apparently the shocked feeling was mutual.
"Lester! How did you get here?"
"Is that YOU? - Really! Man, am I glad to see you." I said, smiling.
"That was a crazy escape. After the barrier exploded I wandered around the area for awhile in total confusion. Then I spent days fighting my way through these woods until I finally found this valley here. Diego, Milten, and Gorn are still in the Valley of the Mines. At least, I think so."
"How long have you been hiding out in this valley?"
"I don't know exactly." Lester said. "A week, maybe. But there's one more thing: When I came here in the evening, I took a look up on the mountain - there were only a few trees there. And when I looked the next morning, that tower was there. I could have sworn it wasn't there before. Since then I haven't left the valley."
"You mean Xardas' tower?" I said, completely disregarding the necromancer's wish to remain anonymous. "I knew he was powerful, but creating a tower just like that..."
"Xardas the necromancer?" Lester said distrustfully "He lives in that tower? I don't know if I like that..."
"Don't worry" I reassured him, "He's the one who rescued me from the Sleeper's temple. He's on our side." Not liking where the conversation had gone, I changed the topic to be about Lester once again.
"After the Sleeper was defeated, the entire Brotherhood lost their minds. Without their master, they were all just empty husks."
"And you? What about you?"
Lester sighed. "It was the same for me. I had nightmares and even hallucinations. But once my head was more or less clear again, I ran for it."
"Once I thought I saw a huge black shadow pounce on a group of fugitives and burn them all up in a giant cloud of fire. At that moment, I really thought a dragon had come to kill me."
"Did you see anything else?" I inquired.
"No - I took to my heels and ran!"
"You need to tell Xardas about the shadow. It could be important."
"You don't think it was my imagination? You mean there was really a..."
I finished the end of his sentenced attempting to sound as confident and fearless as I could. "...dragon. Yes."
"You're getting into the thick of it again, am I right?"
I nodded sadly. "I shouldn't say in the thick of it... not yet."
Lester sighed. "Well good, if it's so important then I'll go see him - but not now. For the moment, I'm going to rest. I'm still exhausted after the escape from the penal colony. I think you've got big plans. I'll see you later at Xardas'"
"I'm on my way to Khorinis! What do you know about the town?"
"Khorinis? Well, it's a seaport, nothing special. Why do you ask?"
"I must go and see the paladins who are said to be in town."
Lester laughed. "Really? Hah. They won't even let you into the town, and certainly not where the paladins are."
"Do you have any suggestions how I could get into town?"
"I certainly do. I worked for an old alchemist named Constantino some time ago. He has great influence in the city, and he's instructed the guards at the gate to let anyone through who can sell him rare herbs. So it's quite easy, really. You collect a large bunch of the plants that grow here all over the place and then you pretend you're working for Constantino, and in you go. But don't just collect a mix of this and that. The guards aren't all that bright and they know nothing about alchemy. The bundle needs to look good to them if you want to get through. I think that 10 specimens of the same kind of plant should do the trick."
"Thanks for the hint!" I said as I waved goodbye.
I rejoined the road by Xardas' sheep.
Walking down the path toward town, a young wolf attacked me. I beat it down with my now rather gory stick and continued on my way after picking a healing herb from a nearby patch of grass.
The road to town wound through a small, natural cave. I stopped at the entrance when I saw what was occurring inside. A man was busy defending himself against some Goblins.
Once the coast was clear, I rushed in and feigned concern.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
The fighter grumbled to himself as he cleaned off his weapon. "Damn. I don't know where they're all hiding. You kill one, and shortly after wards they're all back again." He paused and turned to get a better look at me. "Wait a moment. I know you. You're the fellow who was constantly begging arrows from me in the Valley of the Mines."
I nodded. "Your name is Cavalorn, right?" I remembered him well. He had a cabin
in the wilderness near the Old Camp.
Cavalorn looked pleased. "Ah. I see you haven't forgotten me after all we went through in the cursed colony. Where are you heading?"
I gestured down the road. "To the city."
The hunter laughed. "Well, well. To the city, eh? You may run into problems with the guards. They aren't letting anyone in any more, since the area here is swarming with bandits. In the past few days, one of those former psionics from the Valley of the Mines came by here. He said he constantly goes in and out of Khorinis. He went into the valley below the big tower. There must be a way in there somewhere near the waterfall. Maybe you should talk to the fellow."
I already had talked to Lester, but I didn't feel the need to correct him. Instead I changed the topic. "Interesting armor you're wearing. Don't you belong to the Shadows any more?"
Cavalorn looked surprised. "Shadows? They haven't existed since the fall of the Barrier. The moment we could finally leave the Valley of the Mines there was no reason for me to stick with them. Now I work for the Water Mages. I belong to the 'Ring of Water'."
"Tell me more about the 'Ring of Water'!" I replied.
"I'm not really allowed to talk about it. All I can do is send you to Vatras. He is the representative of the Water Mages in Khorinis. The best thing would be to talk to him. Tell him you come from me. Maybe he'll take you on as one of us. We urgently need more good people..."
It seemed odd to me that Cavalorn would work with the Water Mages when the Old Camp stood against them. "Weren't you and your people enemies of the Water Mages back then?"
"Those crazy old days are over. There isn't any more 'New Camp' or 'Old Camp'. No that the penal colony no longer exists, everyone is on his own. Most of us former prisoners are still being hunted. The Water Mages were able to get my sentence commuted and now I can move around freely."
"Then what are you doing here?"
"I'm sitting tight. If it hadn't been for these damned bandits, I wouldn't be here."
"What was that about bandits?" I asked.
"Have you slept through the last few weeks?" I supposed that I had but I didn't say that aloud. Cavalorn continued. "I'm talking about all the riff-raff from the penal colony that are making themselves at home here int he area. Plundering and murdering for all they're worth."
Cavalorn sighed. "I guess I'm lucky they didn't kill me. I let down my guard for one moment and they clubbed me from behind. No idea how I'll get my stuff back now.
"Can I help you with the bandits?" I inquired.
Cavalorn looked me over with unease. "Maybe. But as scrawny as you look, you surely haven't held a proper sword in your hands for weeks. Well. I don't have any choice but to take your offer. My time is running out. So, pay attention: Down this path here, you'll find one of those filthy holes in the ground that bandits like to hide in. The fellows there are the same ones who stole my stuff. Let me know when you're ready and we'll nab the rabble."
I suddenly remembered that I was ill equipped for such a venture. "I need new weapons" I told Cavalorn.
"Those swine haven't left me much. I can give you a wolf knife. Will that do for now?"
I took the knife and looked it over. "You call that a knife? But what about healing?"
"I still have 2 healing potions here. Interested?"
"Sure. Give 'em here." I eagerly took the potions and looked over my belongings. The wolf knife had a short, sharp blade with a hilt that had a knuckle guard. It looked like it could do a bit of damage but it lacked the reach of my stick.
I looked back to Cavalorn. "Let's mix it up with those guys" I said.
"Sure thing. Just keep my back clear, okay? Now they're in for a nasty surprise."
It was only a few feet down the road when we encountered our first bandit. Cavalorn dealt with the highwayman and I watched his back.
After the man was dead, I quickly searched through his things. From his belongings I took some rum, a loaf of bread, lock picks, and a rolled up note. I only managed to catch a quick glimpse of its contents, but I swore I saw a sketch of my face. I made a note to look at it more closely when I had time.
To the left of where we encountered the first bandit was a set of stone stairs leading into a cave. Cavalorn led the way into the cave but inside we found more of the bastards. As Cavalorn dealt with the bandits, I couldn't help but think how much easier this would be if I hadn't lost everything. I would have waltzed in here, snapped my fingers and incinerated this entire band of thugs. I continued with this line of thinking as I stood uselessly behind Cavalorn.
When the last bandit fell, Cavalorn turned to me. "So, that's done. Hah. They shouldn't have messed with me. Then I can finally fulfill my mission. I've lost too much time already."
"What sort of mission...?"
Cavalorn said something about getting into the city to himself, but I could not make out the rest. He sighed. "I don't know how I'm going to get all that done in time."
"What about me?"
Cavalorn looked me over again. "Mmh. Why not? You could take the letter into the city. Then I'll have a bit more time to take care of my equipment. One of the bandits must have the letter in his pocket. Take it to Vatras, the Water Mage in the city. You'll find him in the Temple of Adanos. He preaches there all day. Tell him that I wasn't able to get it done. And if he asks where I am, just tell him I'm already on the way to the meeting point, okay?"
Cavalorn turned to walk away but hesitate. "Oh, yeah, one more thing. First buy some decent clothes from the farmers. Otherwise you may be taken for a bandit. Here's a couple of coins.
With Cavalorn gone, I searched through the bandits things. The leader of the bandits had a key that unlocked a nearby chest. Inside the chest I found the letter that Cavalorn was looking for. I took some more gold, a rapier, and some food as my reward and returned to the road.
Just past the bandit's cave, I came to a shrine of Innos. I took all the offerings that had been left by passersby and offered a quick prayer to Innos.
Just past the statue I could see a farm, with one of the farmhands tending to a small herd of sheep.
I tried to pass without incident but he stopped me. "Hey, stranger! I saw how you came out of the mountains. You can be glad you didn't come by here three weeks ago. We would have taken you for an escaped convict. And we made short work of those!" I laughed nervously as Maleth continued speaking, eying me with distrust. "You look completely done in. What do you want here?"
"I was attacked by bandits in the mountains." I explained.
"Those filthy rabble!" the farmer exclaimed, "They were probably the same bastards who took one of our sheep last night! You had terrific luck. Most people don't get away alive."
I grinned smugly, puffing out my chest. "Those bandits won't trouble you any more."
"Why? Are they dead?"
"They picked a fight with the wrong guy." Obviously I had meant Cavalorn, but there was no reason the farmers needed to know that.
Maleth handed me three bottles of wine. "Thank Innos! Here - it isn't much but I want you to have it. I'll tell the others about this!"
I nodded and thanked him. "I'm on my way to town."
"The way you look, you'll have to bribe the guards to get in. And you have to know what they want to hear. And that would be? Well, for example, that you're from Lobart's farm and want to go to the smith in the city. But that won't do any good. You don't look like a farmer. "
"I see. I need better equipment."
Maleth nodded in agreement. "I can imagine. But I'll tell you right now: we don't have anything to give away! If you can pay for what you want, Lobart will sell you something. Otherwise, go to him and ask him if he has work for you."
"Where can I find Lobart?" I asked.
"Well, on the farm, of course! The farm belongs to him! And don't try messing with him! He's thrashed a lot of tramps and thrown them off his farm."
I looked around the farm a bit and saw a man standing near the farmhouse. Assuming that this was Lobart, I went up to him.
As I approached, Lobart yelled tome. "Why are you hanging around on my land?" He looked me up and down. "Whose side are you on? The rebelling farmers or the King?"
I nervously stuttered and mumbled for a moment. "I don't understand..."
"What?! Don't mess with me, boy! I want to know where you stand! So, who are you for?!"
"I'm for the peasants!" I said, hoping that I had chosen correctly.
"Ha! That damned warmonger Onar will drag us all into the grave! What do you think, how long will the paladins just stand by? After what Onar has done, the whole city is in an uproar."
"What's going on here, anyway?" I asked. Xardas hadn't mentioned any of this.
"Don't you know what's going on? Boy, where are you FROM? We're on the edge of a civil war! Up till now all the farmers look at the tribute to the city as fair taxation. But since the paladins have come to Khorinis, the city guards visit us more and more often - and little by little, they're taking everything. If it goes on like this, soon we won't have anything left for ourselves. Some farmers are starting to rebel! Onar was the first of them!"
"Tell me more about this Onar..."
"Onar is the biggest farmer here in the area. He has broken with the city. They say he's hired mercenaries to keep the city guard off his back. Can't blame him. In any case, no royal soldier dares to set foot on his farm any more."
"Who are those mercenaries that Onar hired?"
"I don't know much about the fellows. Supposedly a lot of them are former prisoners from the mining colony. Everybody knows what you can expect from them."
I wondered whether or not any of my buddies from the colony had joined up with them. I decided to change the topic.
"What about you? Whose side are you on? Peasants or King?"
"I'm too close to the city to really have a choice. But I'm glad about that. I wouldn't know how to decide. The king is bleeding us dry, and Onar sets his mercenaries on anyone who wont' join him. Whats why most of the other farmers are still undecided, but sooner or later they'll HAVE to choose one side or the other."
I had no response to that, so I changed the topic once again. This time in regards to employment. "I'm looking for work."
Lobart tapped his chin with my pointer finger. "I can't use another farmhand. But I could offer some work to a day laborer. What I mean is, you can lend a hand in the field. And there are certainly a few other things to do around here. I could pay you with gold. Or give you a few decent things to wear. The things are worth a fair bit. I can't give them to you for nothing, but I can sell them to you cheap, if you work for me. By the looks of you, I should say: take the clothes. Anyway - the small turnip field next to the barn needs to be harvested. "
"All right..." I said and slowly walked toward the field.
About two dozen turnips grew in seemingly random places in the field. For the next few minutes I harvested them as best I could.
I took the large bundle of turnips back to Lobart.
"Hey, you're not all that worthless after all." he said, "Take them to my wife in the house and tell her to cook them."
"What about my pay?"
"I can give you five gold pieces or sell you the clothes for cheaper. What's it to be?"
"Make me a better price for the togs!" I decided.
"Good! I'll give them to you for 10 pieces less."
"Have you got anything else for me to do?"
He shook his head. "I don't, but you can ask my wife or the boys in the field. Maybe they need some help.
I walked into the farmer's home and approached his wife. Handing her a sack of turnips, I said "I've got a few turnips here for you."
She laughed to herself. "Great! That should be enough to fatten those guys up. Since you're here anyway - I saw a traveling trader pass by here a few minutes ago. I think he stopped on his way to town. Go to him and see whether he's got a decent frying pan for me."
I wasn't about to pay out of pocket for this dirty woman to have a frying pan. "Give me the gold and I'll go see the merchant for you." I said.
"Are you saying I can trust you? Just don't go spending the money on booze, do you hear?!"
I followed the road off the farm and quickly found the merchant that she had wanted me to meet. He looked up at me as I approached. "Who do we have here then? You are on your way to the city - am I not right?"
I nodded. "Hm! You look like a fugitive! All fugitives are headed for the city. You could even be a former convict from the mining colony. I don't care where you come from. But I believe I have an interesting offer for you..."
"What do you have to offer?"
"The way you look, the guards will never let you into the city. I can help you get into the city. I have here a small piece of paper. With the royal seal and the governors signature. A pass. With this scrap of paper in your pocket, you can run about as raggedly as you please, and the guards will leave you alone. Interested?"
I was skeptical. "There must be a catch to this."
"No. No catch. You will merely owe me a favor."
"How will YOU get into town?"
"The guards know me." he said, "I will simply tell them that I have lost my pass."
I told him that I would consider his offer and walked back onto the farm, completely forgetting why I had gone to see him in the first place.
I had ideas on how to get into the city but I was not yet decided on what I'd do. I found another farmer in one of the fields and asked whether or not he needed any help.
"And how goes the work?"
"The same as always. A lot to do, not enough money, and with a bit of bad luck the orcs will come through tomorrow and burn down our farm. The king's paladins have occupied the whole city but I can hardly believe they'll move their butts out here when the orcs attack us."
"Can I help you? I'm looking for work."
He gave me the once-over. "Do you know anything about working in the fields?"
I shrugged. "What is there to know?"
"Ah! In that case... I think we're find here, thank you. If you want to work for Lobart as a day laborer, I can only warn you. He pays people like you really miserably."
"He offered to sell me some clean clothes cheap if I help out on the farm."
"Hmm. I don't have anything for you to do, but you can bring me and the boys something to drink. Fetch me a bottle of wine and I'll tell Lobart that you were a real help to us." Vino laughed to himself.
I just happened to have that Maleth had given me not long ago. "Here's your wine." I said.
"I'd better not ask where you got it from, eh? Who cares? Thanks, anyway. Lobart will only hear the best about you."
I couldn't find any more work on the farm so I decided I'd go try my luck at the city gate.
On the way, however, I was stopped by a strange looking man. "Psst. Hey, you. Come here." he whispered to me as I passed.
"What is it?"
"On your way to the city? And really busy, too. Listen. You look like a smart guy to me. I bet you'll go far in life. You're certainly nobody's fool. I could see that right away. Say, you'd probably like to earn a couple of gold coins wouldn't you?"
I nodded. "Are you hiding from someone?"
"Of course not. What nonsense. I just enjoy standing among the trees so the wind won't blow right into my face. But what about you, now? Do you want the job?"
"You don't look like someone who has gold."
"Well, I certainly don't move in the same circles as a gentleman like you. But you won't refuse my small contribution to your surely considerable fortune, will you? What do you say? Can I count on you?"
I shrugged. "Why not?"
"You'll have to forgive an ignorant old seaman. I'm a stranger in these parts and I don't really know all the rules. So I had to find out the hard way that traveling strangers aren't welcome in the harbor city. Now I'm standing here with no idea how I'm supposed to get into the city. I have some extremely important business to conduct and my client won't tolerate a delay, you see? You'll help me find a way to get past the city guard, won't you?" I told him I'd be back when I'd figured something out. First, however, I needed to get myself in the city.
I walked toward the gate. Two militiamen stood on guard outside while a paladin just inside.
I walked toward the gate acting as if I lived there and passed through often. The guards saw right through my brilliant ruse. "YOU aren't getting in here, my boy!" he said, pointing at me.
"Why not?" I asked.
"As ragged as you look, you're sure to cause nothing but trouble here! We've got enough rabble in the city. We have no use for people without money."
I decided to try telling the truth. "I need to see the leader of the paladins! I've got an important message for him!"
"Oh? And what important message might that be?"
"The city will soon be under attack!"
"What? By whom? The orcs? Have you seen our army?"
"No. but I know that it's led by dragons!"
"Sure! And my grandmother advises the orc generals. You don't think we'll let you carry an old wives's tale like that to Lord Hagen! Scram!"
Lester and Cavalorn were right. They weren't just going to let me in. I once again reminisced of my old equipment. Had I come to the gate dressed as I once did I would have been immediately ushered before the Paladins. I sighed and tried to get such thoughts out of my head. I needed to think of a plan to get inside: The guard heavily implied that a bribe may give me access, Lester had told me that I could sell plants to get inside. Maleth told me to try pretending to be a farmer to get inside. Canthar's free pass would get me access, but he'd need a favor in return. Otherwise I could attempt to sneak in somehow. I needed to think it over.
Update 0 & 1 information: A small vote is required for progressing. This decision is minor.
I'm hoping to do more such decisions in the future. More than my Gothic 1 LP, at least.