Part 4: The Brotherhood
Update 4: The Brotherhood
I had been away too long from the Old Camp. I decided that my stay in the New Camp was at an end for the time being. I left the New Camp as the sun was setting and made for the road. The road had recently been cleared by Mordrag so I encountered little resistance.
Some ways from the New Camp I encountered a rogue camping by the road. He introduced himself to me as Aidan, a hunter from the New Camp. We chatted briefly and he offered to train me in hunting. I accepted, paying him a total of 100 ore for the knowledge of properly removing claws and teeth from beasts.
With daylight fleeting, I waved to Aidan and once again set down the path to the Old Camp.
The trip went smoothly. I arrived at the torch lit gate by evening.
I needed ore badly and I saw an opportunity to make some honest money. Black smithing. I approached the Blacksmith and informed him that I wished to work here. He said that he would be willing to sell me the proper gear to make my own swords.
I agreed and traded him 14 ore and some old weapons for a piece of iron.
He then told me the proper procedure. First you heat the iron in the forge. When it is fully heated, take it to the anvil and hammer it into shape. Cool it after that and sharpen it on the grindstone.
I sold my finished product back to the smith earning 10 ore in profit. I was now exhausted and aching.
I went to my fallen tower home and slept.
I awoke the next morning and decided that it was time to train. It didn't look like I was going to be leaving any time soon.
I decided to start my search for a trainer at the arena. I'd seen a man training fighters there from time to time and with any luck he would teach others as well.
"Do you train fighters?" I said approaching the trainer.
"Yeah but just not for fun. If you want me to train you, you'll have to pay."
He gave his terms: 50 ore, and only ore, and he would teach me how to properly handle a one handed weapon.
I agreed. I withdraw an ore pouch and placed it in his hands.
"That's a good decision! Before you can improve your technique, you'll have to learn how to hold your weapon right."
"Beginners often tend to hold one-handed weapons with both hands. Now, don't even start getting into that habit. It'll do you no good." Too late for that, I thought.
"Hold the weapon with one hand, blade up, and keep swinging it. You have to learn to harmonize your weapon's swing with your own movements. That'll make you faster in the attack. If you keep in mind what I've taught you, your fights will be more elegant and a lot faster in the future."
Eager to try it out on my own, I started to walk away. He stopped me.
"Oh yeah. One more thing: Some hits cause more damage than others! As a beginner you don't stand much chance of making critical hits. But the further you progress the better you'll get." I thanked him for the help, even if it was only verbal instruction, and left.
I practiced my swing outside for a while before returning back inside. I followed the wall to return to my home and was stopped by a shadow named Sly. He knew that I'd been exploring the Colony these past few days and told me to look out for a guard named Nek who may have defected to the New Camp. I told him I would keep my eyes open.
I saw another shadow some ways from Sly. He introduced himself as Whistler.
"I want to become one of you - I want to join the camp." That wasn't entirely the truth. I still was not sure who I would be allying myself with but more friends could never hurt.
"Looking for people to support you, eh?" Whistler continued, "If you want me to have a word with Diego you need to do me a favor. I want one of Fisk's weapons. He's one of the traders at the market place. He won't sell it to me. It's a broadsword with ornaments. I'll give you 100 ore to collect the weapon for me, but don't tell him about me."
Shrugging, I replied. "Okay, give me the 100 nuggets. I'll get the thing". This was going to be a piece of cake.
I approached the merchant in question, another shadow named Fisk. After perusing the weapons he had to offer for a few minutes I changed the topic by stating that I wished a weapon with more ornament.
"I have one you'll like. The shadow who wanted it won't be coming any more. That'll be 110 ore. Interested?" I groaned. Whistler didn't tell me I would have to pay from my own pocket. I took out ten more ore from my pouch and gave it to Fisk. I took the sword and examined it. It soon became quite obvious to me why Whistler wanted the weapon so much.
It was a well made weapon. Not very heavy but it was obvious that it could do some serious damage. It also looked quite good.
I returned with the weapon to Whistler. "Wasn't too hard, was it? Whatever. You do me a favor and I'll do you one."
I was on my way to talk to Diego when I remembered about Grim. He offered me a job to go recover a stolen amulet the day before. I asked him if the offer was still good. He nodded.
"Well, I'm ready to go - Let's get the amulet!"
Grim took me to a camp just outside the Old Camp. Two diggers sat by a campfire. Grim turned to me.
"I'm to send you regards from Bloodwyn!" Grim said as he wielded his club. The other two diggers rose and brandished weapons of their own.
This always happens to me, I thought to myself as Grim's club smashed into my side.
I had hoped getting beat up was behind me. I remembered why I left the Old Camp for the New Camp now. I can't keep going on like this.
I saw a Baal in the market place when I was speaking with Fisk and I was going to see if I could get some direction to the swamp camp.
Baal Parvez greeted me as I drew closer. "The sleeper be with you, Stranger. I'm here to guide you on the right path."
I knew the answer. I'd heard this several times now but I thought it would be quicker to go along with it. "And which is the right path?"
"The path of the sleeper. He alone has the power to set us free. The Gurus are preparing a great invocation in our camp. They want to get in contact with the Sleeper. So far he's just talked to us in visions - but now it's time to get in touch with him. We need as many supporters as possible for that. By focusing our spiritual power, we'll get through to him. Our camp is some distance away. In the swamp. I can take you there - if you want."
"Take me to your camp! I want to have a look at it." I didn't want to be in this camp right now and I'd not yet seen the Sect camp. It couldn't hurt.
"Very good! I'll go ahead. Follow me."
Parvez waited for me by the southern gate. After I prepared myself we departed. We followed the road past the ruins before cutting across the river.
Baal Parvez encountered some giant lizards which he dispatched with relative ease.
We then followed the side of the forest until we came upon another road. We followed the road down hill and into the swamps.
The Sect camp was in sight now. Baal Parvez stopped and turned toward me.
The Baal gestured downhill toward the gate. "Here we are. Down there lies the camp of the Brotherhood. Go through the gate and speak to my brothers. I'm sure you haven't come here for nothing. Ask for Cor Kalom. He's in charge of the novices and tutors. I'll go back to the Old Camp - there are still many infidels who need to be guided onto the right path." Baal Parvez turned around and walked back the way he came.
I walked toward the camp's gate but was stopped by a templar. He informed me that while guests are welcome, there are places I cannot go. I said I would not cause any trouble and he let me enter. Inside I was greeted by a member of the camp.
"I'm Lester. I take care of the strangers who arrive here. You're lucky you didn't talk to Baal Namib. No stranger is allowed to talk to the Baals."
"But what if I need to talk to your Master?" I said. How can I join if I'm not allowed to speak to the bosses?
"Forget it! I'm sure I can help you with any of your problems."
"What if I want to become a member of the brotherhood?"
"Cor Kalom decides whether you're ready to join the Brotherhood. But he relies on the advice of other Gurus. Baal Namib over there is one of them. First you have to prove that you're worthy and one of them will send you to him." I'll just have to do that then, I thought.
I changed the topic to something that had been on my mind since the New Camp. "What do you know about the weed?"
"Well, the weed's grown in the swamp. Of course it has to be processed before it can be smoked. That's what we novices do. The weeds have a tranquilizing and relaxing effect. They help you concentrate on the essentials and increase your awareness. We trade them for goods from the Old Camp and use it to gain new recruits as well. The result is, of course, that some people only join us for the weed. Well, at least they help us with the work in the Camp."
"Tell me about the Guilds here." I said to once again change the topic.
"The Gurus form the highest guild. They are the spirit of this camp, for they have great power. The templars use their spiritual power in battle. They have an indomitable willpower. You should NEVER get into trouble with them. As for myself, I am a novice. We pray to the sleeper and do all the work in the Camp.
"What can you tell me about the Sleeper?"
"The Sleeper is a divine creature. He causes visions - at least to the gurus. We pray to him, for he will give us freedom."
I smirked. That's quite an assumption. "And you believe that?"
"Hey, I've been inside the barrier for two years. Do you know how long TWO YEARS can be? You can't imagine what I'm willing to believe and do just to get out of here again! Is there anything else I can help you with?"
I shook my head and walked to the nearest gathering of people. I came across a novice lecturing some new arrivals. When he had finished talking, I initiated conversation.
"What are you doing?" I said.
"I am preaching the words of the sleeper to the novices. I'm still a novice myself but soon I'll be a Baal - One of the gurus. I've even spoken to Y'Berion. He's the chosen one. He told me if I worked hard, I can soon be a master myself. But I'm still putting that off. There's no rush - you understand? I can still become a master anytime."
"What's your task here?"
"I test the new substances developed by Cor Kalom in his alchemy lab with my pals here. This weed opens your spirit. If you take just the right amount, you can get in contact with the Sleeper" Sounds like quite a good job, I thought.
"I'd like to join your camp - can you help me?"
"You'd like to join our camp? That's good! Just wait... yes, I think I can help you. I'm not a guru yet but I have some influence in the brotherhood. You'd have to do me a favor. Have you seen Fortuno?"
I shook my head.
"Then go, see him and collect your daily ration. If you leave me all the swampweed he gives you, we're in business." Joru pointed down a path.
"I'll think about it" I replied.
I walked down the nearest path through the camp. I passed by several groups of novices. It would seem that here the main pastime is to smoke weed from water pipes. I asked a novice for directions and he showed me to Fortuno.
"What have you got for me?" I said approaching Fortuno's stand.
"Here, take three rolls of swampweed. It's Northern Dark. Good stuff. You can have more of it every day, but if you want more than your daily ration, well, you need to pay." I nodded, taking the swampweed and safely tucking them away in a pocket. I returned the way I came and headed back toward Joru.
I withdrew the three stalks of recently acquired swampweed and handed them to Joru.
"I have swampweed on me. You can have it" I said.
"Good!" He said, visibly happy to have more swampweed. "You must have noticed by now that none of the Gurus want to talk to you. You can change that by impressing them."
"How can I impress the gurus?"
"Baal Cadar instructs the Novices in the magic of the sleeper. If you want his attention, use magic. But don't give him the fist of wind! Send one of his novices to sleep or something like that. Baal Namib is over there by the main gate. He's one of the toughest guys. I think Lester may be able to help you with him. Speak to him when his master is away."
I nodded, understanding. If I wanted to join this camp It looked like I'd have to spend the next few days ass kissing gurus.
Update 4 supplements:
My trip to the sect camp
Sect Camp tour
Poll: Which camp should I join? Old Camp, New Camp, or Sect Camp?
A note about the sect camp:
The sect camp cannot learn magic over Circle 4. This will render the mage path rather useless. In this instance I will switch to one handed primary with slight magic back up