3 Pharast – Late Afternoon
Thorn River; Hex D4
The dreary grey sky from the day before persisted and sometime around midday it started to snow. The flakes fell gently and sparsely, and the weather gave out before it had a chance to do more than leave a thin dusting for the horses' hooves to leave a trail in. Nevertheless, the whole day remained cool enough to drag cloaks out and keep them well closed. It had been a warm early spring so far, but it was far too early to say that winter was entirely done with.
On the directions provided by the captive bandits, the party rode south west into the Narlmarches for the better part of the day. On the way they passed a trapper bound for Oleg's, asking after a man named 'Breeg Orlivanch'. Since they couldn't say that they had, he left them to their business, commenting that the man in question owed a fair amount of money to several people in gambling debts.
Other than startling a few elk ruminating over some tough winter grasses, they encountered nothing else for the rest of the day. The forest floor was still covered in a thin layer of snow that hadn't quite been melted entirely away, thanks to the cover of the hibernating trees, but already the boldest of new growth was beginning to test the encroaching spring.
Toward the latter half of the afternoon they came upon the Thorn River, named for the abundant thorny plants that grew along the riverbanks on both sides. From there it was a simple matter to follow the tracks in the soft dirt downriver to a shallow point in the river that could be easily forded.
The aptly named Thorn Ford Camp was, assuming the ex-bandits' directions continued to be as reliable as they had been thus far, to the north along the path leading from the ford, criss-crossing with a thin stream branching off the main river.
At the sight of the path the group grew serious and their chatter died down. The camp was said to lay no more than sixty feet north of the ford along the path. They were close enough now that excessive noise might give them away.
(You have your choice of attack plan now. You're still upriver from the ford somewhat, since you want to have time to plan and equip outside of the area they might accidentally bump into you. You can ride straight up the path, look for the camp (reportedly hidden from the path but you'll know where to look for it), come up with some kind of stealth mission (none of you have much training in sneakiness I note, though, could be dangerous), or even infiltration by pretending to be bandits (it could work in theory, but I wouldn't count on it given that the camp is relatively small), or something else that I hadn't thought of but is no less than crazy enough to work (or fail hilariously).
For Zeran's plan, I can't say which is most likely to work, but I'm going to operate unless told otherwise, underthe assumption that the fuse plan was chosen, being the best bet to light and ditch the keg safely while still being economical with party resources.)
Now for something completely different... wait, we did this battle before, too?
Kressle sat on the log bench, staring into space while tossing her one axe into the air and catching it by the haft. It had already been three days—they should have been back by now. Wondering where they were was beginning to grate on her patience.
“What are the odds you think they took the loot and ran?” Osha asked. Kressle stood up, still flipping her axe. She'd heard enough of this question already. She paced around to the far side away from her two thugs.
She wasn't far enough to miss the reply. “Then Happs is even stupider than you are, Osha. He may not be bright, but he knows between the Stag Lord and the Swordlords of Restov there'd be no where left to run to.”
No, Kressle knew Happs was no great thinker, but he knew better than to turn against her for no reason. He was bloody tough and a good woodsman, too, so there was nearly no chance the party had been overcome by some wild animal. That didn't leave many options left, and unless it they were so late because they'd run into a lone, plump merchant's carriage, none of them looked good.
She threw her axe into her favourite stump, striking it with practiced force that it stayed haft in the air without getting stuck.
“If they're not back by this time tomorrow,” she said, “pass the message around for the men to stay in camp until further notice. I want everyone in full force.” The two looked at her. It was beginning to dawn on them how tense the situation might just be.
Just then the sentry called. It was Lady. “Horses approaching from the south! They're back!” A layer of tension fell off her men's shoulders. The next words completely ruined the effect.
“Wait, that's not Happs—intruders! Get up! We're under attack!”
With Zeran leading the charge, the plan was to ride in fast and hard, toss the keg into the middle of them, and close them in until the fuse ran down. He held the keg under his arm in one hand and the reigns in the other. Behind him rode Miguel and Kyrie, with Krii taking up the rear on Vilify. Frodrick rode the right flank, guiding Jargon with his knees in order to keep his hands on his lance and shield and keeping a clear charge between him and his enemies.
As all good plans must, the moment it crumbled on contact with the enemy. The five rode up the path and saw the two large wooden logs to the right of the path they had been told to look for. Zeran raised the keg high and prepared to give Krii the signal to ignite. Things never quite developed that far.
Frodrick saw it first, then Krii a moment after. No sound they could make would come fast enough to warn the others. No sooner had they spotted the sentries in the trees than the forest filled with a deafening sound.
Miguel, being the closest, was the only one to see the stone fall from the trees. Whether lady luck though to bless the party or damn the bandits, the throw fell far short of its mark, but even outside the radius of the thunderstone the sound was immense. On Zeran's side, an arrow sprouted from the ground a few feet in front of his horse.
Immediately both men's horses spooked and reared into the air. Both managed to keep their seat in the saddle, but both horses remained unruly, eyes rolling and ready to bolt. Through the bushes two more bandits could be seen approaching.
The woman with the bow atop the right watch post loosed another arrow from her bow at Zeran. It struck him in the thigh but didn't bury deep into his flesh (-2dmg Zeran 8/10). From the left post, meanwhile, a rope ladder dropped and the big man who threw the stone dropped down to ground level and drew his short sword.
Zeran's steed had more than enough of this by this point—the gunslinger lost control of his horse and the frightened beast bolted, jumping across the small stream that criss-crossed the path and up the road north, carrying Zeran holding on tightly.
Miguel's horse, not to be outdone in an flee-off, quickly broke his master's control and bolted after the other two, tossing Miguel in the saddle like a sack of potatoes. Vilify, deciding to quit the scenario for his own reasons, turned and cantered back the way they came, as his master had already dismounted and was in no position to debar his progress.
Krii, having had the foresight to dismount at the first opportunity, waded across the small five-foot wide stream, reflecting briefly on myths about running water. He came up on the other side between Frodrick's and Kylie's horses, shielded by both of the warriors from the immediate attention of all aggressors, and cast a protective spell on himself. (Krii - shield)
For Jargon's part the steely war-trained mare was scarcely alarmed by the proceedings, but Kylie's horse began to grow nervous, so the farm girl decided to dismount while she was still ahead. She dropped down off the right side of her horse into the stream and took up a defensive posture next to Krii on the bank.
With Miguel and Zeran gone there was more than enough clearance for Frodrick's lance, and he spurred Jargon into a short charge of no more than twenty feet, ploughing through the river and sending up a tide of water in all directions. With a brief moment's adrenaline-fueled exhilaration, the charge ended with Frodrick's lance impaling the black-haired watch post bandit through the right shoulder. (-6dmg Sentry-A Bloodied) The big man's face twisted, but he didn't crumple under the force of the attack like Frodrick might have hoped.
Sentry-B: On post, elevation 20ft.
This here is a blank map of the bandit camp. Just like the last time, ignore the wagon, it's not actually there in this scenario. The party approached from the bottom left along the path, with Zeran and Miguel now sitting at the very top. The bandits close in on the road while K2 still shoots.
(Hehehe, well that went differently than planned. Of course, there were a lot more unknown variables than there were the last time. You can't have your plans going the way you want them -every- time, that'd just get boring. Anyway, you'll notice there are like four bandits total so far that you see, as opposed to the some 8-9 odd that we ran into in Kingmaker Retro. I'll let you wonder about that on your own.)
Posted on 2013-03-09 at 07:30:31.
Edited on 2013-03-09 at 19:39:27 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Thunder and lighting very very frightening!...to a horse.
Zeran managed to wrestle his horse back into line cursing and swearing the entire time. His thigh hurt, he was bleeding and he was pissed right off. "Alright, someones going to die." He swore under his breath as he hopped off his horse. "I'll be back for you Matilda don't you dare run off anymore!" He teased before whistling to Miguel. "oi! We gotta get movin'!" He hollered taking off at full run. Froderick had charged and it was a sight to behold, the bandit didn't fall however so this was a bit of a downer but not that much. The bomb in one hand Zeran drew his gun with the other and kept at the pace. His mind was running on high alert, adrenaline coursing through him and the pain in his leg vanished for now.
As he got closer to the group he whistled again and waved at Krii shouting. "I'm coming right for ya! Get yourself ready!" He held the barrel up to indicate what he meant. Things hadn't gone as planned exactly, but by Hanspur he was going to make a bigger boom then that stupid stone did.
((Owen knows what I wish to be done, and I shall simply post as it progresses XD))
Except that Kressle is entirely uninjured, the battle is looking up... for now.
Frodrick yanked the tip of his lance out of the sentry's shoulder. “Kressle you cowardly whelp! Get your scrawny ass over here so I can show you the true use of an axe!”
He spotted a bandit woman with a sword rushing from the bushes. She wasn't Kressle, he could tell on a glance. He pinwheeled the lance above his head for clearance and thrust it at her as she ran up behind him. He caught a bloody scrape along her thigh, partially puncturing the leather cuirass she wore. (-3dmg Thug-B Yellow).
She wasted no time thrusting her sword at him which he easily brushed aside with his shield. Several feet behind her another man, this one blonde with a short ponytail, rushed in carrying a sword (moved too far to attack this round).
The wounded sentry saw his chance, with the dwarf's attention directed two different ways. He stepped in and drove the point of his sword at Jargon's flank, but she side stepped at the same time he thrust, dealing hardly a glancing blow to her armour.
Zeran and Miguel managed to regain control of their horses, now that they were outside the battlefield. Zeran, anxious to get back on track with the plan, dismounted quickly, leaving Miguel behind as he ran with the keg under his arm.
He was just drawing his pistol from his belt as he moved when he heard a voice from his left.
“Hey, pretty boy!” Zeran turned sharply in surprise just a half second before a thrown dagger struck him, buried almost to the hilt between the plates in the armour over his belly (-7dmg Zeran 1/10). “Catch.” The same voice cackled with sadistic glee at the shock and pain on his face.
Kressle was shorter than anyone quite pictured, but it was undoubtedly her. She held an axe in her other hand, that hadn't thrown the dagger, and obviously counted most of her weight in muscle.
Miguel, still dismounting looked up sharply at Zeran's outcry. Filled with sudden urgency he almost fell off his horse in his haste to dismount. He ran between Kressle and Zeran and swung his saber, only for her to easily side-step the attack.
“Sorry,” she sneered. “I didn't mean to kill your boyfriend without you. Don't worry, you'll be together in the end.”
Around Frodrick Krii and Kyrie went into action. Krii crossed the stream again for a clear shot at the sentry bandit with the black hair, and released a crackling arc of electricity at him. The man groaned in pain and growled a handful of invectives about the parentage of sorcerous individuals, but his breath came laboured and he almost doubled over. Insults about breeding aside, he wasn't in a fighting mood anymore (-3 Sentry-A Disabled)
Kyrie for her part ran into position to flank the woman that now flanked Jargon and Frodrick. With a single powerful blow of her spade to her chest, she knocked the breath of of the woman and threw her to the ground. She didn't get up again after that (-8 Thug-B Dying).
Frodrick cast a quick glance about himself. Only one of his attackers remained even able to fight at all. He quickly decided to leave the last one standing to be dealt with by his comrades. The dwarf spurred his mare, directing her with his weight into the bush even as he commanded Jargon to defend Zeran.
Instead of riding to the attack, Frodrick found it more suitable to do as he was trained to do—protect others. He rode in and harried Kressle with his lance, forcing her to react to him and giving Miguel a chance to defend himself better (Aid Another).
Noticed only by Kyrie, the third and last remaining bandit (Thug-A) raised his sword to strike Frodrick as his back was turned... but then seemingly thought better of it.
Frodrick 13/13 –
Jargon 13/13 –
Krii 8/8 – Shield (2/10)
Kyrie 13/13 –
Miguel 9/9 – Combat Expertise +1 Dodge AC, Aid Another +2 AC
Zeran 1/10 – BAAALLLLSSS, 6 shots remaining
(Hey, guess what? Ian was right about you two being in grave danger. That was a dagger she just threw for damage on par with a longsword. Also I know the aid another was for Zeran, but given that he's actually almost wedged between Jargon and Miguel, the bard is the one in the most danger right now.
PS. I rather love how quickly a battle post can get done when people are actually on Skype to tell me stuff XD)
Posted on 2013-03-09 at 22:49:05.
Edited on 2013-03-09 at 23:13:07 by Sibelius Eos Owm
The problem with a shield is that it can't protect if it's not in the right place to do so. Kyrie gritted her teeth. Maybe she should have gone after the others on horseback in the beginning. That would have put a defender on both fronts.
Two left standing on this side. One she couldn't reach. That one would have to be for the others. Before she left Krii to dash after the others, though, she'd do her part to make it as safe here as she could.
Kyrie turned to the last bandit in reach of her, and bringing her shovel forward in a side sweep with the flat of the spade. She just hoped that she'd reach the others in time.
( blaaaaaaaaah, do not like the positioning here )
Zeran grunted, his sixth sense kicked in and he dove for the ground hoping that whatever told him to 'get down' would save him from it but it was to little avail. "Sunva Bitch!" he cried out loving that he had gained a dagger although it was in his belly. He heard what the bandit woman had to say and simply grinned, a witty one was she? Most excellent he could die grinning at least. "Thanks for the compliment love, can't say the same for you or Happs though, which if you was more desperate for a F**k is beyond me but that doesn't matter now. Care to join him in the hanging jig?" He grinned nice and wide pointing his gun directly at her. "Thanks for the dagger you can have this in return." He pulled the trigger and hoped to Hanspur the bullet connected, he put his anger and pain behind that shot.
His retort and parting remark done he quickly rolled back to avoid her next swing thanking his lucky stars that Miguel and Froderick had come to his aid, was good to have friends it seemed. On his feet again he shouted to Krii. "I'm not stopping my friend I'll be there shortly, I couldn't keep a lady in waiting though." He flashed a grin and wink to Kressle before continuing his mad dash to his friend with the lighter.
((Owen knows whats happening here, pretty much dove to prone, 5-foot stepped [the roll] on my feet, and continuing with previous plan, my shot is in there somewhere with 1 grit to add +4 damage.))
Alright we got her on the run! ...right? I can't tell, she's still at full health.
Zeran closed one eye and did his best pistol-wielding squint and took aim at Kressle. Miguel was standing too close for a clean shot—he had to adjust his aim to avoid the chance of possibly striking the man who came to his defense. He responded to Kressle's taunt and prayed for success to follow up his bravado.
The Water Rat god of the river was not in a benificent mood today, it would seem. Whether for overcompensation or the natural scatter of the advanced weapon, when he pulled the trigger and the flint hammer descended on the combustion chamber, the ball flew wide of its mark.
Not to be deterred for long, he popped to his feet with a pang from his belly and started to step away. Frodrick's gruff voice made him pause.
“Focus, boy! Get off the barrel and keep shooting!”
Kressle laughed at Zeran's commentary. “Maybe I'll keep you alive, then. I'll need someone to replace Happs now that he's run in over his head. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll learn to enjoy it, in time.” She drew her second axe from her belt.
“But first—the competition.” She struck with such ferocity and zeal, Miguel barely stood a chance defending himself. (-8hp Miguel 1/9)
Across the field of battle, down the path, Krii couldn't help but hear the bandit muttering some choice words. The sorcerer was livid. What the hell did a simpleton like this know about his family, anyway?
The man, clutching his shoulder to try to stop the bleeding, hobbled away to the north. It was a simple matter for Krii to close the range he would need. He brought up his fingers and summoned another sudden jolt of electricity, arcing across the stream to fell the man (-2dmg Sentry-A KO). At least one wouldn't escape to wreak his evil ways elsewhere.
With two down and more pressing matters to tend to, Kyrie ignored the blond man, the last still standing. He wasn't doing much, anyway—merely running back in the direction of the camp. With bigger fish to fry on her mind, and the cries of pain of at least two allies, she beat a hasty advance, arriving point blank in front of Kressle just as Miguel was stepping back.
With no time left to think, she merely acted. She drew upon the energy granted to her to smite the wicked and lay low the cruel. She was not the kind of holy avenger to cleave the finishing attack—it was more in her nature to use that divine energy to protect.
From Kyrie spread a defensive aura, protecting all around her from Kressle's powerful blows, creating a bubble of protection out to ten feet from where the girl stood.
With a quick word of command, Frodrick redirected Jargon's ward while dropping his lance to the ground. It was bloody well time to get bloody. He took his axe from his belt and dropped from Jargon's military saddle to the ground, phsyically interposing himself between Miguel and Kressle while the bard quaffed his healing drink.
Kressle grinned at the dwarf. “Ooh, I'm getting popular am I? No matter, I'll cut you down as quickly as I did the other two.” The woman was apparently undaunted by the mounting numbers against her.
She called over her shoulder to the rest of the camp. “To me, ya bloody curs, this isn't over yet!”
Frodrick 13/13 – Bastion Aura
Jargon 13/1 3 – Bastion Aura
Krii 8/8 – Shield (3/10)
Kyrie 13/13 – Bastion of Good +3 deflection AC
Miguel 8/9* –
Zeran 1/10 – 5 shots remaining, 105 powder
Kressle: Uninjured – Bastion of Good Target
Sentry-B: ???, elevation 20ft.
(Oh yeah, and Jargon move around so that she could protect Miguel's flank. He's now basically saved on most sides of him. Both Frodrick and Kyrie give soft-cover to Kressle against Zeran, but he's gotta reload long before positioning becomes an issue.
Oh yeah, for posterity I took Kyrie's posted actions over Skype rather than as shown above at last check)
*Looks like I wrote Miguel stepping back, but I completely forgot to put in the damage he healed from the potion. (+7dmg Miguel 8/9)
Posted on 2013-03-11 at 07:29:59.
Edited on 2013-03-12 at 01:38:06 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran chuckled, he was rather enjoying himself what with this bantering back and forth with a clearly mad woman who had made him lose more blood in one go then he had his entire life. The bomb was done and he waved a 'Forget It' to Krii hoping he understood. The downside to his weapon was that it was slow to reload unlike a bow or crossbow. Stuffing his barrel into a pocket he followed the motions he had trained into himself and began reloading his boom stick.
"Sounds like a wonderful plan darling, but you really must stop sticking knives in me then. You'll have a hard enough time bringing my sea monster to full mast without me losing blood." He retorted grinning. His friends gods bless them had come to his aid but now they were actually providing some cover to that ax wielding Kressle lady. As he worked he carefully stepped to the side to give himself a clearer shot his muscles tense ready to dive to the side should she think another dagger would make an excellent addition to him. "Now would you be so kind love as to simply hold still for us? Would make things much easier then you already are." His voice dripped with some sarcasm as he waggled his eyebrows at her, he had a bad habit of flirting even when he was wounded so badly. He just hoped his shirt wasn't to badly stained after, he liked this particular shirt under his armor.
I told you it would happen exactly like this. I'm a little sad I didn't get to cut more... =3
Zeran chattered with Kressle idly, calling over his companions as he withdrew his ramrod from his pistol and clenched it in his teeth with the keg under his arm. He transferred the gun to his other hand and popped the cap off his powder horn. Half a shot in the pan and half down the barrel itself, he closed the pan and rotated the flint back into position. Finally he took the lead ball and dropped it down the barrel, hammering it in fast with the ramrod.
His companions valiantly came to their defence, but now they were an obstacle as much as a shield. He had to manoeuvre himself around to the other side of Kressle, a spot far enough away that he would have room to run if she came after him again—and hopefully room to duck if another dagger was forthcoming.
Kressle turned to Zeran, now standing in the open to her right. “Don't worry, honey, I'll come see to you soon enough.” She swung her axe at Frodrick. The blow rattled his shield arm and left a small scar in the wooden surface, but the shield emanating from Kyrie took the force right out of the attack (-3dmg Frodrick 10/13).
The bandit leader turned to Kyrie. “So this little deal here is your doing, eh, girlie?” She swung her other axe suddenly, forcing the girl to take a step back. “I guess that means you nominate yourself first to die.”
Kressle took a step backward, closer toward Zeran but still too far to attack. “Come and get me, then, if you can,” she gestured Kyrie to come in. Zeran, not far behind her, stood outside the radius of Kyrie's protection.
Still working to catch up with the rest of the fight, Krii could almost hit Kressle with his spells from where he ended up after finishing off the big sentry man. Where he stood on the road behind his allies, however, he faced the same wall of backs that Zeran had. Rather he quickly decided on an off-road route, and slipped through the gap between the two massive logs laying on the side of the road. On the other side he followed the log along, using it for cover against Kressle, until he came to the far end.
He fixed his eyes on Kressle and called up the energy within himself. Krii thrust his hand toward the bandit chief and, with care not to hit Jargon standing closest to her, unleashed a coruscating bolt of violet energy at her. She couldn't dodge fast enough and she was struck full on in the side. Half the strength seemed to leave her body at once, apparently drained by the effects of the spell. (Kressle -4Str)
Miguel saw the tide of battle shift clearly in favour of the Greenbelt Charter party. The first hit in no doubt several to come had been landed on Kressle. Though she was still unharmed, her strength was failing her. The blond duelist found words leap to his throat, spilling out into a song. After the first few notes rose tentatively into the air, the magical force he was capable of summoning from his virtuosic soul redoubled the strength of his voice—and with it a subtle pulse of magical zeal and vigour inspiring his companions to fight well and strike true.
The first strike, predicted by Miguel's song, followed immediately after. Answering to Kressle's challenge, Kyrie stepped forward, with a mind to keep everyone in range of the bandit leader inside the shield. She knew that if Kressle hit her, the shield radiating from her body would do little to protect her from the brunt of the damage the vile woman could do.
Summoning the width and depths of her courage and righteous indignation in her body, the farm girl turned guardian warrior swung her shovel into Kressle's side, the same side that Krii hit. Kressle at once rolled away from the attack, which connected hard with her armour. Kyrie felt a meaty thump rattle through her weapon—it wasn't a felling blow, but it had cost the sadistic woman. (-10hp Kressle—Yellow)
Kressle reeled for half a step, spitting an unkind word back at Kyrie. Frodrick didn't give her time to respond.
“Oi! You!” Frodrick shouted at Kressle over the growing din. “Keep yer eyes on me, girlie, never you mind the rest o' them. It's me first, axe to axe.”
Frodrick's axe, fueled by the strength of his conviction in taking down Kressle and the half-forgotten dwarven zeal for battle in his blood, swung true. The sadistic woman had just enough time to realize she couldn't get out of the way fast enough. Her face when pale and she released a gasp of breath as she collapsed, blood pouring from the axe wound in her side, opposite the bruises from Kyrie. (-9 Kressle KO)
Kressle: Unconscious, Dying – Bastion of Good *Target*, Challenge *Target*, Weakened -4Str (1/2r)
Sentry-A: Unconscious, Dying
Thug-B: Unconscious, Dying
(BATTLE END—wait, what? You mean there are still two bandits running around? What have they done recently? Oh? They haven't done anything since two rounds ago? That sounds worth looking into. Perhaps that's the next step.
Also, I don't know much about black powder, so I'll say what the hell, you can salvage the loaded shot and the powder both. Or you can discharge it into Kressle's unconscious corpse, that would work, too. Coup de grace. I can't think what else to say in this here so I'll let the discussion commence in the proper fora for that.)
Posted on 2013-03-12 at 04:01:01.
Edited on 2013-03-12 at 04:02:20 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Check, and Mate. I love it when a plan comes together.
Zeran laughed heartily before coughing up a small amount of blood and cursing. "Laugh after your not birthing your stomach." Staggering to his feet he turned to his companions and grinned stifling a chuckle. "Froderick, I owe you a drink, Miguel, I owe you a drink. Kyrie, I don't know if you drink but if you do I owe you one or at the very least a hug just uh." He motioned to the dagger. "After we get this little problem taken care of of course." He was looking a little pale by this point but adrenaline was still coursing through him. He turned to Krii now and bowed slightly. "And a thanks, and drink, to you my friend for that most excellent demonstration of magic."
He focused on Miguel again for a second and shook his head to clear his vision. "Miguel, could you be a pal and bring Matilda back around with you? We still have some unfinished buisness to take care of." He turned and eyed the last two possible combatants they had to deal with. One was that woman who had shot his thigh with her bow, he simply must congragulate her on an excellent shot and the other was the blond haired guy. "Oi! Both of you Put your weapons down and come out here so we can discuss this like civilized people and not have to murder you. You are out numbered and out gunned without your leader to rally behind!" He shouted raising his pistol aiming it for the woman in the tree and narrowing his eyes as if focusing his aim. He didn't pull the trigger quite yet he simply wanted to scare them down.
((Intimidation attempt to try and get then to lay their arms down and talk.)))
Posted on 2013-03-12 at 04:29:11.
Edited on 2013-03-12 at 04:38:36 by Zeakol
Time to find the loot and deal with the prisoners.
"Mercy, milords!" The blond man called. He tossed his sword on the ground and laid down his bow. "We surrender! We bear the Stag Lord no more loyalty than that woman could force us into."
After the skirmish on the road, the man had evidently retreated to the watch post over the camp, the very one which held the remaining sentry. He now raised his arms in the air to show he had no further weapons.
The woman in the post was not easy to spot at first, but she cautiously stood up, having attempted to escape notice by taking cover. When she saw Zeran's pistol aimed at her she redoubled her caution, but betrayed no fear. She pointedly removed her sword and sheath and threw them down from the post, then laid her quiver of arrows down. Finally she lifted the rolled rope ladder and showed it, lest anyone be alarmed when she dropped it over the edge to climb down.
She joined her companion at the bottom, standing a few feet behind him to one side. Barring any sudden returns of the four bandits still unaccounted for in the field, the camp was secure.
The woman's fists were knotted into tight balls. "What are you going to do with us?" she asked.
(With the possible exception of tying up a couple details in terms of expiring spell durations (Kressle's STR pops back up to 16 at the end of Krii's turn next round, not that it would save her) and miscellaneous other details, initiative order can probably for the most part be dispensed with now, merely keeping in mind action economy.)
“I owe you a drink…”
Frodrick shook his head at the statement. “I think I catch yer drift there boy, but where in the nine hells be ye buyin’ these here drinks? Oleg might have some, but you be talkin’ like we are in some sort of city and we be drinkin’ buddies. We ain’t got time to drink – too much work to do. And I have given up on the stuff since I lost me clan. The drinkin’ of mead and ale is to be done with family and loved ones in times of great joy and celebration. We may have had a small victory here, but the fact that you be spewin’ life blood after a fight with coughs is no sign that all is well. We got a long way to go yet before we can settle into some sort of sense ‘o security.”
“And don’t be thinkin’ that just cause I be helpful and nice be meanin’ that we be friends. I give the lot of you young surface folk as much trust as I need to be, but true friendship with a dwarf takes generations of your lots’ time to secure. No offence, but we just met. I trust you with my life, and in turn you trust me with yours. Plain and simple.” ”What are you going to do with us?” The human female asked. Frodrick walked up to her shaking shield his arm. That Kressle was a rather strong for a human, his arm was going to hurt for days.
“We ain’t ones for killing folk who wish to start anew there lass. We gave the same option to y’er companions that were raiding Oleg’s the other day: stay bandits and be executed, or make amends as prisoners for a time and we let ye go. If ya choose the latter option, I will add that we will give you some skills that could either aid us as we work on our mission, or you could use to make a life back in the civilized world.”
“Y’er companions at Oleg’s thought that most o’ you were salvageable aside from Kressle. I ain’t one of hypocrisy, and so give you this one time offer to fix y’er mistakes and make something of yourselves. Take it or leave it!”
Presuming they would rather live than die.
“Good choice. I personally don’t like killin’ outside the confines ‘o battle, but I ain’t one to hesitate if it be needed either. Now then. First thing you can do is tell us if everyone here is it for this camp. I be particularly interested in one named Gavril, who as mentioned to be a black smith. Also we be hearin’ that someone named Luke is of fairly good character – he be havin’ a good word from Stefan. Also there be mention of an Adel and a Gregor. I be guessin’ that all of you, but if not, let us know now – we will find out when we get back to the fort, and if I find out yer lying, well, I say we will be getting off on the wrong foot. Mainly the one that will be so far up yer ass you’ll be suckin’ the s*** off me boot.”
The battle it seemed had been won Krii had again come out with nary a scratch on him though having fought this time felt much better for it.
" Heh forget about the drinks Zeran worry more about yourself "
Krii said somewhat coldly as he made his way back over to the water he had crossed so many times and dug into his pockets and tossed a few coins into it muttering a few words before crossing it once more to the side that the camp was on and making his way up to it. He wandered around it peaking in tents taking not of various items and alike before making his way and sitting infront of the fire pit, he left the others to deal with there captives hopefully they were worth the trouble there was no use in argueing about it though that ship had sailed back at Olegs.
Zeran dropped the good humor now the dwarf wasn't having any of it and Krii was being moody. He didn't care to chase for answers now or perhaps in the few days. "Alright then fine, I'll drop the friendly and keep it business then. If today is any sign of my luck to come you'll be burying my corpse before I can even start hitting that point." Looking mostly fine if a bit grumpy and pale he followed after the dwarf. Muttering something that sounded more like guttural gurgles then anything (Undercommon If Anyone Can Speak It I'll Post Something For Entertainment.) and catching himself doing so he zipped his lips.
He was limping slightly by this point but he wasn't in any danger of keeling over dead he felt, or so hoped his body wasn't lying to him. "Shoulda stuck to myself if this is how 'good honest' folk treat others. Bah I'm just grumpy." He breathed out under his breath to himself before stepping past Froderick and up to the woman. He stared at her good and hard and nodded. "Nice shot with that bow, I couldn't have been an easy target I won't hold it against you but you can start working your debt off by simply helping me get onto my horse and making sure I don't fall of it. After that? You'll have chores and work around Oleg's but you'll also be helping me walk around if I need it. That bitch got me good and in a nasty spot at that, hurts not so much having a gaping hole in my gut but when I turn or bend."
He held his hand out to her and smiled slightly. "Names Zeran by the way, trust me love I used to be a small time brigand myself before I signed up with this lot, better to clear your name and your head so you can live a life free of servitude to idiots like." He motions with a nod to the downed Kressle. "And avoid similar ends, now come on our singing friend there can show you to my horse I have some unfinished matters I need to attend to." assuming she shook his hand simply to try and not provoke more hostility towards them.
He turned to leave glancing back still smiling slightly. "Before any of you get the wrong idea about her helping me my intentions are honest and good. My matters of that nature already belong to another and I won't betray her." He chuckled and coughed again, no blood this time probably a good sign. He would get to know the other former bandit soon enough but right now he just wanted to finish his matters so he could rest to a presentable state and then ask after Krii if he remembered.
Carefully making his way back to the downed Kressle he shook his head. "We could just leave her, hang her here in their camp or even just tie her up for whatever beast might come along looking for an angry snack. But I feel this is more fitting considering I didn't get a chance to give her my gift earlier." He wasn't looking like he was joking, favoring his not injured side he crouched down and put his gun to her temple holding it so the powder wouldn't run out and, pulled the trigger. Bang, squish done. Sighing he stood up ad twirled his pistol before holstering it and shaking his head. "If any of you object to my doing that." He motioned to the dagger in him. "Then talk to pointy her, that woman was evil and would slaughter us if given the chance. I'd rather not take it."
With that done he turned to Kyrie and pointed to the dagger. "Mind taking a look dear? I kind of don't want this thing in me anymore." Assuming Kyrie is able to assure him removing the dagger won't make him fall over. Zeran smiled gently and leaned in gingerly giving the girl a light hug, just arms since he was covered in his own blood. "Thanks, I don't know much about medicine but I do know when something like this happens you leave the offending object in so you don't bleed as bad." With that taken care of he rips his shirt off and fashions it into a crude bandage wrapping it around his mid section to give him further confidence he won't be carrying his stomach back in a bucket. He looked very good, except for a decent number of scars along his back and a few on his front he would have been a prime example of human sex appeal in a male. Sadly he did bear the signs of a rough life as it where. "Perfect luckily I have spare shirts." He redonned his armor carefully 'just in case' and waited for Miguel and his new assistant to bring his horse as he leaned heavily on the leg not on his injured side.
Posted on 2013-03-13 at 01:33:50.
Edited on 2013-03-13 at 01:34:14 by Zeakol
Hmm... for some reason I'm pretty sure there are details I'm just not remembering...
3 Pharast – Late Afternoon
Thorn Ford Camp; Hex D4
“Hell,” said the blond man, rubbing a hand through his hair. “That's better than I expected. Better than anything we had here, anyway.” The woman didn't say anything, but the hard edge went partly out of her body language.
“I'm Luka,” he told them, “and this is Adela right here. Gavril is out of camp right now on patrol. He should be back in an hour or two—the sun's close to going down already.
“I don't know what Stefan would have wanted with Gregor, but that's him you rode down with your lance. The other is Osha, if you care. Neither especially pleasant folk.”
"Nice shot with that bow, I couldn't have been an easy target.”
The dark-haired woman named Adela stepped forward to Frodrick, purposefully but without open hostility.
“Here,” she said. She dropped something small and round into his hand. When he inspected it, he recognised the runes and glyphs that marked the small stone as an alchemically treated weapon called a thunderstone, much like the weapon that had detonated near the party on their approach. With this tool as a last-ditch weapon she could have done possibly serious damage to Zeran and perhaps deafened anyone else in the blast. It wasn't a perfect plan, but it might just have been enough to buy her an escape.
(Adela and Zeran)
Adela consented to helping Zeran, albeit silently in contrast to his adrenaline-fuelled rambling tongue. She attended him with a neutral, guarded expression. At one point she did take the opportunity to roll her eyes when the gunslinger wasn't looking, in response to his comments of getting the wrong ideas.
Meanwhile Krii went about finishing off the felled Gregor with his sickle (Gregor Coup, Dead) and then Zeran took the time to unload his shot into Kressle's head (Kressle Coup, Dead. We can probably assume Osha the same, since it would just be unprofessional to leave them mortally wounded without finishing them off).
Luka showed the party where the camp's loot was stashed, beneath the mundane supplies piled at the foot of the tree supporting Adela's watchpost (see Q&A).
With daylight hours quickly dwindling it was approaching time to make camp for the night and settle down to rest. The clearing formerly known as the Thorn Ford Camp suggested itself for these surfaces, but the captives warned that the ranging bandits might come-and-go without warning, so a watch would be prudent. The only one expected back tonight, though, was Gavril, the former blacksmith.
(I gave you your loot for free on this one since there were folk nearby to point it out. Keep in mind that if there is hidden loot you still have to find it if you want to seize it. I'll try to point out possible locations of loot since obviously you can't see everything, but it doesn't hurt to specify you start searching in certain locations. That said, don't panic. If I remember correctly, hidden loot isn't really that common.
Also, I don't know how many people Kyrie can tend to at once, but I assume at least two shouldn't be over the limit, so Frodrick and Zeran both heal x2 tonight, wherever you sleep)
Posted on 2013-03-13 at 08:02:53.
Edited on 2013-03-15 at 00:32:00 by Sibelius Eos Owm