Part 6: Pledging Loyalty
Update 5: Pledging Loyalty
I woke up at around 8 am the following morning. Today, my sixth day in the colony, I will have decided which camp to join. I would also settle the matter of Diego's list.
I had little business in the camp this morning so after breakfast I set out to the north, following the map that Graham had provided some days ago
I crossed the guarded bridge leading to the Old Camp. The map showed that I need go through the forest that lie ahead. Just inside the forest I encountered a bloodfly. I swiftly dispatched it and continued on.
Just past the bloodfly was a cave. It looked like my only way through. Inside, was a family of molerats minding their own business. I attempted to pass through unnoticed but I had no clue. I was forced to kill the creatures.
On the other side of the cave was a field, where some scavengers hunted for food, and a rocky area to the right. I took a quick detour to hunt the scavengers.
When the scavengers were dead I continued to the Old Mine, which was straight ahead of me.
The mine looked deserted outside. I examined the area thoroughly before proceeding. I found a mining pick and little else. I went inside.
Just inside, I encountered an old camp guard named Drake standing watch. I approached him.
"Can you tell me anything about the mine?" I said.
"Well, the part we're standing in now is the main shaft. A system of catwalks takes you down to the bottom. And they're digging for ore everywhere. But you need to be careful. There are many minecrawlers down there as well. Right at the bottom is the smelting place. We're smelting a part of the ore to use it right there."
"What do I need to look out for in the mine?"
"Minecrawlers, mainly. Dangerous beasts."
After hearing what Drake had to say, I now wanted to be gone as soon as possible. I'd heard that Ian tended to be at one of the bottom levels of the mine so that was where I went.
Drake wasn't kidding when he said the mine used a system of catwalks. I walked down a catwalk which soon ended
From there I climbed a ladder down to yet another catwalk. A digger laid against some supplies while an Old Camp guard stood watch at a nearby chest. I had no desire to bother either of them at the moment. I ignored the two of them and went down the catwalk behind the guard.
The next catwalk down seemed to lead to a storage shed of some sort. Inside was a guard standing watch over some chests. I climbed the ladder off of the catwalk and made my way over to a small building with several members of the new camp standing around it.
A digger stops me as I try to pass.
"A new face. Have you ever dug ore, boy?" I shook my head.
The digger looked old, older than most of the other prisoners that I've seen here. "Have you been here long?"
"I've already been here 10 years. Believe me. I've learned and experienced quite a lot. I've encountered many dangers and managed to stay alive. In the old times, when we worked in the abandoned mine, which is deserted now, and the supporting beams collapsed..." Grimes stopped himself. "But that's old stories."
"You must have heard many escape plans as well."
"Listen, boy: I know you want to get out of here - but forget it. You better forget the thought of escape. I saw the faces of those who tried to get out of the Barrier. Don't make the same mistake, the Barrier will stop everybody."
"I don't want to dig in the mine for the next ten years of my life!" I said. There was no way I was going to give up on escape.
"No, you won't. Perhaps you'll be one of the real big shots, who knows." If I did not escape that wasn't a bad second choice. "You'll work your way up but no matter how far you get, the Barrier will stop you."
"Good luck" I said, having heard enough.
"Same to you, boy, same to you." Grimes replied, as he picked up his pickax again.
I walked up to the guard standing by the table. "Are you the foreman Ian?" I asked. He said that he was.
"Diego sent me. I'm to collect the list."
"Alright, here's the list. Tell them to hurry up with the deliveries."
Now that I had the list I came for, I quickly left the mine.
I rejoined the path back to the Old Camp when I left the mine. I paused and thought of something. Diego mentioned that the New Camp would want to get their hands on the list. The Old Camp had done nothing but treat me badly and beat me. Why would I help them? I turned around and rushed in the other direction to the New Camp. Surely they would reward me.
I wanted to arrive before nightfall so instead of following the path through the valley I opted to instead follow the river.
As expected, it led me right to the lake outside the New Camp's rice farm.
I followed the road through the farm when my good friend Lefty stopped me.
"You're in luck! I'll give you a second chance" He said.
I did not wished to be punch so I agreed to give the peasants water this time. Lefty sent me to The Rice Lord.
"Lefty sent me. I'm to bring the peasants some water" I said as I approached the Rice Lord. He gave me a dozen bottles of water to disperse among the peasants.
It took longer than I expected. The peasants were spread out quite a bit and I needed to recover the empty bottles when they were done with them. One of the peasants,
I returned to Lefty having completed the task. "Well done! You're useful for something after all. I think this is exactly the right task for you. From now on, you'll do this every day. Go on with it right now." What had I gotten myself in to? By going along with his demands I had somehow volunteered myself to do that every day. There was no sense worrying about it. I had to get this list to Lares'.
Lares' guard, Roscoe, once against stopped me as I tried to enter. "I have the list of requirements for the old mine" I said.
Roscoe looked impress. "Not bad. How did you get it?"
"Ian gave it to me" I said.
"You got a nerve! So they sent you to test me, did they? Thorus must already be going mad, I'm sure."
"Diego gave me the order."
"Diego does what Thorus tells him to. If I knew him, he'd die laughing if he knew that you were here."
"Can I get in there now or not?" I said, growing impatient.
"Just go in. Lares won't believe his eyes."
I went inside and took out the list. "I have a list of requirements for the old mine on me." I said to Lares.
"No! I don't believe it. I must say you do seem to have a nerve." I handed the List to Lares.
"Indeed! D'you know what we're going to do with it? We'll add to it and you'll take the list back to the old camp! Then, when they deliver the stuff to the mine, we'll mug 'em and take the lot! It won't take a minute...Hah!" Lares wrote some more entries on the list and returned it to me. "Here's the list. You know what to do."
I asked whether that was enough to let me join and Lares said it was not. It looked like there was a bit more I would have to do to become a rogue. On my last visit, I recalled Lares mentioning that he would like to have the profit from Baal Isidros who was staying in the bar. That was where I would go next.
I managed to bribe a bouncer to allow me entry. It cost me a hefty sum of 100 ore.
Once inside, I confronted Baal Isidro.
"You don't look very happy" I stated.
"I'm not! I need to get rid of a whole pile of weed" He slurred back.
"You're here to sell goods from the sect camp?"
"Yes. But I just can't be bothered."
"I could sell the weed for you - for a consideration of course."
"Forget it - I'm not as drunk as all that. You'd just go running away with it."
I then took the time to inform him about Baal Kagan seeking to remove him from the camp.
"What? The sleeper have mercy on me! I need to get rid of the stuff."
"Think about it - give me the weed and we'll share the profit."
"Oh man. I need to get rid of the stuff. You wouldn't try to make me look like a fool, would you?"
"I give you my word." I lied.
"Good. Here's the stuff. You should get at least 400 ore for it. That will be 200 ore for each of us. I'll be waiting here. Come back as soon as you have the ore."
I spent the next hour or so selling the weed to the odd rogue. The armor maker Wolf bought about half of it from me, while the other rogues bought the rest. I returned to Lares with the profit.
"I have the 400 ore." I said as I gave him the pouch containing it.
"Good! Very good. I believe that should be sufficient now."
"Is that enough for me to join you?"
"I should say so! And I've even got a present for you. A better armor. It's not much, but you've earned it."
"And what am I supposed to do now?"
"If you want to make yourself useful, go to Mordrag and help him with this sect business."
That would have to wait. I needed to get this list back to Diego before word of my joining the New Camp spread.
I rushed over there immediately, arriving it a few hours after the sun had set.
"I have the list from Ian"
"Well done! That'll get you a few brownie points."
It was too late to go back to the New Camp so I went to the fallen tower that I had called home for the past week.
It was possibly the last time I would sleep there as I doubted they would take kindly to a new camp member living among them.
Update 5 Supplements: Video showing my trip from the Old Camp to the Old Mine and the route I took to the new camp. View it on Viddler or download the original