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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Tales of Alder Vale -- Spring
Parent thread: Alder Vale Campaign Q/A
GM for this game: Ayrn
Players for this game: Reralae, Hammer, Astrid, Bodkin
    Messages in Tales of Alder Vale -- Spring
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Astrid
RDI Fixture
Karma: 31/3
600 Posts


life and limb

Fenir had been irksome most of the second day, he sat slouched on the wagon front wagon seat. the caravan was stopping for midday meal, when the briggands had came forth from the roadside. the verbal exchange between Weldon and the Raccoon Weldon had called Simon Crag had only added to Fenirs now foul mood.

“Trained scouts from the Abbey,” Weldon said sternly. “Might want to think your plan through again and back away. “

“Haha! Me!” Simon scoffed. “Back down from these three whelps! I don’t think so.”

(Fenir leapt down from the wagon his cloak swirling about him dramatically as he stood to near his full height and pulling his war axe from his shoulder.
"I suggest you listen to Mr.Weldon." Fenir growled low his shoulders hunching and flexing he barred his axe with a snarl. "i'd hate to be waylaid having to dig your graves in this fine weather.".... at least that's what he'd pictured in his mind.)

Fenir instead bit back a low growl and recounted the brigand bows Vs. their numbers, he didn't like their odds. he'd most likely be able to hold off most of the group nearest himself. yet the trained bow on Weldon stayed his hand.

he could hear the old Abbots voice in his mind.
"money is worthless to the price of a life, once taken it can never be given back. Money on the other paw comes and goes like the frost in spring"

Fenir slid from the front wagon, motioning for Dremmon to keep down and keep the beasts quite. making sure his cloak an bearing hid his great axe. Fenir stood hunched in the drizzle, he tossed two of his throwing axes to the ground.

"I'll not resist you, if I've your word on not harming the others. if its simply money you want..."

Fenir placated his hands as he slowly moved closer towards the middle wagon with a noted and pronounced limp on his left leg.

Fenir hopped that if he could get them to crowd one another enough, then if it did turn violent they'd have more of an ability to take a number out with a lunged or the'd bungle over one another if attacks were to come from multiple directions.


Posted on 2014-01-07 at 04:55:58.

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Signal received, Violet standing by to fire if necessary

The unmistakeable sound of Oltovian's voice resonated clearly to where Violet was perched in the trees. She nodded, although (hopefully) nobeast could see it. The others did sound prepared, so if it came to violence, then it would be soon.

Violet drew Catkin to full, the force required to draw sending a slight ache into her arm, where she still felt the slight chill from the previous night. Yet, when drawn at full length, the amount of strength needed to hold it was not so great. Such was the curious nature of drawing a bow, effort is needed to initially draw it, but it becomes less as it is drawn fully.

Using her knowledge of how to aim Catkin, Violet kept the bow aimed at the seemingly ringleader. If it came to it, a swift dispatching of the leader may give them cause to lose morale, which would put the group in a better position.

((OOC: If it does turn into a full out attack, targets in order will be ringleader followed by the archer followed by the brute. Violet is holding herself ready to fire at the first attack, but does not intend to be the first attack, just to make sure that she allows the others time to be ready first))


Posted on 2014-01-08 at 18:45:49.
Edited on 2014-01-08 at 18:46:24 by Reralae

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Killing me softly with his song...

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
At the Raccoon bandit’s demands, Oltovian stood up and faced his opponent. The otter could see Simon tightening his grip on his swords, worried perhaps that the scouts might actually try to do violence. The raccoon visibly relaxed though when the talespinner began his chant.

"The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole..."

“Haha!” Simon laughed. “Aachoo!” he sneezed, wiping his nose against tunic, before laughing some more. “The young pup means to sing us,” he sneered. His gang all laughed. Simon sneezed once more. “Listen, lad, keep your chants! We just want your...”

The sound of Oltovian’s tail suddenly thudding against the wagon startled the bandit leader, causing him to lose his train of thought.

"So drink hearty your juice or ale
We be champions of the Alder Vale
Forces of Good to prevail
As we journey forth in an Epic Tale..."

“Ha!” Simon laughed a little more nervously as the tone of the talespinner’s chant turned more ominously dreadful. The other bandits also shifted uncomfortably.

“Aw, come on!” said the stout bandit with the hefty axe. “Let just take what we came for and be done with this lot.”

“Wait,” Simon replied back sternly. “I want to hear him sing. Aaachoo!” The bandit leader sneezed and sniffled again.

"But now I sense Death on the Breeze
Invited by Your Sniffly Sneeze
There Be a Curse on Your Ragged Band
Death Be Now Close at Hand..."

With the raccoon bandits focused on the talespinner’s chant, Asher took the opportunity to put an arrow to his bowstring. Vi, still hidden in the trees, also nocked an arrow to Catkin’s string and drew it back, waiting for the right moment. While focused on his performance, Oltovian could also feel Weldon shifting slightly behind him.

“Le’s jus’ git ou’ o’ ’ere, Sime,” the raccoon flanking the bandit leader suggested. “I don’ like th’ look o’ tis lot.” He continued, letting his guard down.

“Hold!” hissed Simon. His companion drew his bow back, but did not take aim this time.

"You still have time to Run and Flee
Or You may choose to Stay and See
How Death Appears from the Clouds
Wrapping You in Deathly Shrouds"

Silence hung thick as a fog over those gathered. While the companions felt bolstered by Oltovian’s battle song, the raccoon bandits were visibly shaken, each looking with uncertainty to their leader on what they should do.

Fenir broke the silence, stepping forward and dropping his two throwing axes to the ground.

"I'll not resist you, if I've your word on not harming the others. If it’s simply money you want..."

Fenir placated his hands as he slowly moved closer towards the middle wagon with a noted and pronounced limp on his left leg.

“Ha!” Simon wore a sneer on his face, but his eyes were looking nervously around at his foes, noticing for the first time the mole boys had managed to arm themselves with pickaxes, and the squirrel and badger up front had moved into better positions. “Ha! Is this it, Weldon? Aaachoo! You think you can woo me with a little sing-song and a couple of coins? Ha! Aachoo!”

Master Weldon, who had been mostly hidden behind the otter, suddenly stood on the wagon bench. Standing behind Oltovian, only Weldon’s head could be seen above the otter’s. The mole swiftly brought his two forepaws up and over Oltovian’s shoulders, his paws armed with twin crossbows, both aimed at the bandit leader’s chest. “No, Simon. I mean to woo ye by force. Ye best be tellin’ your lads to be layin’ down their weapons. I ‘ear there be a reward for all ye up in Stormhollow. I be thinkin’ we’ll be lookin’ to collect. Be a fine piece of justice I’d say for all the time’s ye be harassing me and me boys.

“We be lookin for ye to surrender...” he said a little more loudly, turning to look at each of the bandits. “‘less ye all want to see the bard’s tale come true.”

Simon was truly stunned. He looked back to the badger with limp and the coins, and found Fenir now at his full height, a mighty axe gripped by his massive paws. He could see he was losing control of the situation, his own gang members whining and whimpering to flee.

“Ha!” Simon laughed, trying to pull it together. “I don’t think so, Weldon. We’re taking these here wagons and ... aaaarhh!” The bandit leader was cut out by a sudden pain in his leg hindpaw. Looking down, he found Vi’s arrow buried deep into his paw. “Yaoowww!” Simon howled as he dropped his swords to nurse his wound.

“Surrender!” Vi’s voice rang out from her treetop perch. Another arrow was already nocked and ready to fire.

With their minds and hearts filled with dread, the rest of the bandits had not the courage to resist. The pair of bandits looking to attack the last wagon bolted back into the ditch and plains from where they had come. The others tossed down their weapons willing and stepped back from them. Simon continued to howl in pain.

OOC: Wahoo! Your first conflict and no casualties!

Some notes:

1) Lots of 5’s and 6’s for you guys. Oltovian got a 6 with his persuade check to bolster allies and inspire fear in his foes. Asher got a 5 on his reflex roll to get his arrow ready without anybeast noticing. Fenir scored a 5 on his persuade check to fool the bandits regarding his false limp and hidden axe. Vi scored a 6 with her attack roll on Simon.

2) Simon is down on the ground with an arrow through his foot. His swords are still within reach of his hands.

3) Two raccoons are escaping. If you would like to pursue them, you may.

4) Four raccoons have surrendered. The weapons they had in their hands are on the ground.

5) This round of posts is simply meant for you to have your characters react to the conflict and indicate what they’d like to do in this moment. (i.e. tie the bandits up? Search them? Chase after the fleeing bandits? Attack the flee bandits? Slaughter the surrendered one? Tend to Simon’s wounds? etc...) The “big plan” is, of course, to continue on to the Quarry. Weldon will likely want to stop off in Stormhollow to collect on the reward for capturing Simon and his bandits.

6) I’m looking to post a major update on Monday, January 13, sometime after 9 PM EST.

Thanks for the enjoyable game thus far!




Posted on 2014-01-11 at 03:46:23.
Edited on 2014-01-11 at 03:48:12 by Ayrn

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Blades to the Throat

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
Oltovian leapt from the wagon, pulling his rapier and dagger free, advancing upon the fallen Simon to separate the bandit from his twin swords!

My father ... my mother ... died at the hands from ones such as these!
Oltovian glared at Simon, putting both his dagger (left hand) and rapier (right hand) to the exposed throat of the bandit, who mere moments before had threatened to rob the wagon train and the Abbey Volunteers with extreme force!

"Mr Weldon Sir! Does the bounty reward on Simon Crag specify his being delivered dead ... or alive?

"Both my parents were slain ... and I was left for dead ... when I was eight seasons young ... by bandits or vermin ... who had no value for the lives of others!

"I will end his worthless life now ... unless you sir have an objection ... to my avenging the loss of my parents ... from foebeasts such as he?"

OOC: Oltovian will spare the life of Simon Crag, only if Weldon responds to his question that a reward for his bounty will only be collected if Simon Crag is delivered alive!

Otherwise, the River Otter will slit Simon's throat, to help avenge the memory of his dead parents!


Posted on 2014-01-11 at 18:56:28.

Astrid
RDI Fixture
Karma: 31/3
600 Posts


law of the land...

"hold !" Fenir's voice was little more then a low growl, but it seemed to carry on the breeze. glaring down at the bandits before him. "move one hair and you'll have my wrath on you." he hissed as he stalked over to oltovian. Kicking simon's swords closer to the wagon and farther out of reach.Standing between Simon and Oltovain he spoke.
"Oltovain, my friend. I feel your rage, and my heart breaks for you. but killing this beast before you, will not make you feel venamance over your loss. He is unarmed, it would make you no better then that which you seek revenge against." Fenir looked questioningly at Oltocain. "my friend, let us bring these bandits to justice. not for reward or valor in praise, but so that they may be sentenced and see true justice by law, not by blade." Fenir looked pleadingly at those about him.


Posted on 2014-01-13 at 01:20:29.
Edited on 2014-01-13 at 23:55:32 by Astrid

Bodkin
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 5/0
33 Posts


Achoo!

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
Asher kept his bow loaded and resisted the urge to sniffle.

"I will end his worthless life now ... unless you sir have an objection ... to my avenging the loss of my parents ... from foebeasts such as he?"
"Oltovian, listen to Fen! Killing this sick desberate beast won't bring your barents back. It'll make you feel better for a little while but after that you'll feel worse. Besides, I'll bet nobeast at the Abbey would abbrove of such a thing."

Asher snorts and sneezes in a effort to make his words clearer but...

"Let's tie 'em ub and check their bockets. Fen, you got robe?. I'll keeb my eyes on 'em".

Asher noted the direction the other two ran in case he has to track them. He hopes he doesn't have to. He hopes some comfort and a warm, drying fire can be found in Stormhollow while the bandits and bounties are being handled.



Posted on 2014-01-13 at 17:34:59.
Edited on 2014-01-13 at 17:35:19 by Bodkin

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Weldon's response

The mole leapt down from the wagon.

"Ye friends be right," he spoke to Oltovian. "This beast ain't taken nothin' from ye, and killin 'im ain't gonna give ye back what ye lost. Let others, with clearer 'eads determine 'is fate."


Posted on 2014-01-13 at 21:55:36.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Spared by Weldon

I will not always remain at the Abbey, so only Weldon will be able to stay my blades, as I am a guest on his wagon!
The mole leapt down from the wagon.

"Ye friends be right," he spoke to Oltovian. "This beast ain't taken nothin' from ye, and killin 'im ain't gonna give ye back what ye lost. Let others, with clearer 'eads determine 'is fate."

Oltovian considered cutting the neck or face of the bandit to emphasize his disdain, as he withdrew the dagger from Simon's throat, but decided rather to pursue the two that had fled from the wagons mere moments ago!

"As you wish friend Weldon, but there be two fugitives who must answer for their misdeeds!"

Humming to himself, the River Otter set out to follow after the two fugitives!


Posted on 2014-01-13 at 22:14:32.

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Might as well catch up a bit

Violet was gliding through the air, her arms outstretched and her 'wings' fully spread, before she landed, trying to keep her path and where she landed not too conspicuous. She didn't hear all of what exactly happened, but judging by Oltovian's intended direction, it looked as though he was ready to charge after the ones that fled. Hastily, she quickly folded her 'wings' back in place, hidden under her shawl.

"Hold your reptiles, Oltovian!" Violet called, "They have a head start; charging after them won't let you catch up to them. They'll just keep running." She noted.

Violet gave a soft squeak as she noticed some of her 'wing' still visible, and quickly covered it up with her other hand, holding shawl and 'wing' close to her body. With that done, she looked up (if Oltovian is still there to listen), "For that matter, there is the possibility there's more of them back where they came from. I agree we should find out where they came from exactly, and we can pass that knowledge along, but we shouldn't be looking for trouble. We do have our mission after all. We can't help out Master Weldon if he encounters trouble if we get ourselves in trouble first."

Moving along, she went to where the two that ran had started, checking the ground to get an exact sense of what direction they were headed; her vantage point from the treetops would've slightly skewed where she saw them headed.

"I can track them and find out where their hidey hole is, perhaps see what there is to be found out." Violet offered, still looking at the paw prints in the mud.

Though, the more reserved half of Violet's mind wanted to be up in the treetops away from the deceptive ground... She wasn't really born to be on the ground that often.


Posted on 2014-01-14 at 03:52:59.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Respect for Violet

"Hold your reptiles, Oltovian!" Violet called, "They have a head start; charging after them won't let you catch up to them. They'll just keep running." She noted.
Of all his companions, it was Violet that Oltovian was prone to listen to in most cases, understanding that the 'Flying Scout' held a mutual disdain for bandits and vermin, more so than anybeast.

"I can track them and find out where their hidey hole is, perhaps see what there is to be found out." Violet offered, still looking at the paw prints in the mud.
Pausing to consider his choices, the Talespinner found her offer to be more than agreeable, given his alternatives in the face of the current circumstances.

"Please do so fair Violet," replied the River Otter, slightly bowing graciously before his friend, "I will return to the wagons and await your report."


Posted on 2014-01-14 at 04:11:28.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Short update

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, almost noon.]
The mole teamster sighed as the squirrel (and, perhaps, others) prepared to go tromping off after the fleeing bandits. “Cock sure of yerself, ye are, eh?” He sighed once more. “Well, go on, if ye must. Me and me boys will stayin’ ‘ere. Dremmon! Aidyn! Get some rope and tie these ‘coons up.” The boys scurried off quickly to obey their father.

He looked back at the Abbey companions. “Me and me boys be restin’ fer one ‘our, and not a moment more. Me be wantin’ to make the quarry 'fore evenin’ falls. Stay and ‘ave a bite to eat if ye like, or go chasin’ after ‘coons, matters not to me. But if ye not ‘ere within the ‘our, ye be walkin’ to rest of the way, ‘ear me?”

OOC: Just a short update to see where everyone is at:

1) Are you all going off to follow after the fleeing bandits... or atleast try to follow their tracks to see where it leads?

2) Are you staying for lunch instead?

You can assume that the surrendered bandits are all tied up securely prior to tracking or lunch, and seem quite disheartened. It is not likely that any of them will escape.





Posted on 2014-01-14 at 06:04:11.

Bodkin
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 5/0
33 Posts


Split

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, almost noon.]
Asher was torn between lunch, accompanying Vi, and backtracking the bandits.

“Cock sure of yerself, ye are, eh?” He sighed once more. “Well, go on, if ye must."
Asher set off after Vi with his arrow still nocked and anxiety on his face.

Weldon seems to have things under control here. I've gone without lunch before. Backtracking is optional. Watching Vi run off alone is a bad nut.


Posted on 2014-01-14 at 22:03:53.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Questions and Answers

Oltovian helped himself to the hospitality of a tasty lunch offered by Weldon and his sons, then seated himself where he could keep a close eye on Simon and his gang.

The Talespinner enjoyed the first several mouthfuls, chewing thoughtfully, before making a bit of cordial small talk with Weldon and his sons.

>>Insert response from Weldon and his sons<<
After cleaning his plate, the River Otter stood up, looked around rather indifferently, then drew closer to Simon and his captured gang members.

"You boys should be grateful that Mr Weldon convinced me to spare your lives!"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"Time for some questions boys and depending upon your answers, I may include you boys in one or more of my Tales!"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"You boys have any more gang members besides the two deserters the Abbey Scouts are tracking?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"You boys have a hideout, or are you all just vagabonds?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"You boys ever do any business around the Quarry or around Stormhollow?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"You boys have any rival gangs crowding your territory?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"You boys ever hear tell of the Legendary Owl named Shadow?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"There any place in Alder Vale where you boys are scared to show your faces?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
"Where do you boys figure the safest place is for you and your gang to hide?"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
Oltovian looked each of the captives in the eyes, as he withdrew his dagger and pointed at each of them, staring intently into the eyes of each captive, before sheathing his weapon once more.

"You boys better be thanking Mr Weldon that I spared your lives again!"

>>Insert response from Simon and his gang<<
Oltovian turned to Weldon and his sons, allowing a sly grin to crease his solemn features as he asked them, "You gentlemen have any tasty fruit drink that might wash away the distaste in my throat from the answers given by these boys?"

>>Insert response from Weldon and his sons<<
"Thank You Kindly Gents!"

The River Otter withdrew himself from the group, reached for something else to eat, then strolled to a better vantage point to quietly meditate upon the answers given by Simon and his gang, while awaiting the return of his fellow Abbeybeasts.


Posted on 2014-01-17 at 01:34:39.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Violet and Asher: Pursuing Bandits

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, noon.]
Violet and Asher start out quickly after the fleeing bandits. Following the tracks left in the softened earth, the pair makes their way along the ditch which runs alongside the road north for awhile before popping up into a recently plowed field.

The tracks lead them on along the edge of the field which increasingly is separated from the road by a widening, flat, limestone rock formation. While the scouts need to stop from time to time to ensure they are following the right tracks, they feel confident that they are still keeping pace with the bandits.

After about fifteen minutes, Violet and Asher notice that the tracks dart into a crevice in the rock formation, wide enough for two, maybe three, beasts to enter in side-by-side. The crevice descends into the rock formation about twenty strides west before jogging north again. At this point, the steep walls of the crevice are nearly thirty paws high, and the light of the day is dimmed dramatically. The tracks continue on north, but it is difficult to determine the path ahead as its twists it way onwards. The rocky ground is slick from the rainfall and, in some places, deep puddles have formed.

Ahead, the scouts can hear the sound of the claw and paw against the rock, but it is difficult for them to determine distance as the sound echoes off the rocks. Both Asher and Violet also take note, that should a foe appear at the top of the crevice, they would be hard pressed to find cover from any missile fire.

[Slightly east of The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, fifteen minutes past noon.]

OOC: Alright, Asher and Violet, from your present location (20 strides into the crevice), it will take you 10 minutes to return back to Weldon (assuming you are moving at a quick pace and are not waylaid).

Do you wish to...

a) Continue on through the crevice?
b) Turn back and head for the wagon train?
c) Something other?

Please confer with each other either by PM or the Q/A board and then put up a post with your reactions to what’s happened so far and your plan forward.

Thanks!
Ayrn



Posted on 2014-01-18 at 05:52:54.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Meanwhile... back at the ranch

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, noon.]
Oltovian kept a close eye on the five bandits, while the mole boys gathered wood for a fire and Weldon prepared some thick vegetable soup and dark rye bread with corn butter. The warmth of the food helped take some of the chill out of the otter’s bones.

“That was some yarn ye pulled out there, Oltovian,” piped up Aidyn after a few mouthfuls of the soup.

“Aye, it was, it was,” quipped Dremmon. “Felt me insides all warm up, like a fire was ragin’ in me ‘eart.”

“Aye! Aye!” added Aidyn excitedly. “Felt like a stout beast, like I could have taken on thrice as many beasts.”

Weldon, definitely proud of his boys, spoke more cautiously, “Aye, lads, it be a good tale, no doubt. But don’t be let no songs make ye foolhardy. Bolster yer courage? Aye, take courage where e’er ye can find it. But had the song not ensnared the rascals, don’t be foolin’ yerselves... them would ‘ave put couple of arrows in yer chests ‘ad them been payin ye any attention as ye went fer yer pickaxes.”

>>Insert Oltovian’s responses as you please... Weldon will likely say little in response<<
Having finished the soup and bread, Oltovian moved to his next planned task – a little interrogation of their captives.

"You boys should be grateful that Mr Weldon convinced me to spare your lives!"
The bandits, huddled together and bound, looked miserable. Simon looked worse than the rest, the pain from his wounded foot seeming to occupy almost all his consciousness. The others cowered a bit at Oltovian’s voice.

"Time for some questions boys and depending upon your answers, I may include you boys in one or more of my Tales!"
“I don’t want to hear anymore of your songs, boy,” spat Simon. “Leave us be.”

The others continued to huddle together.

>>You can insert a response here if you like... Simon will likely not reply to much<<
Oltovian begins by gathering the names of the captives: Simon; his partner, Gannon; the stout ‘coon, Mitts; and the two slender twins, Teddy and Terry. While Simon, Gannon, and Mitts are rather uncooperative, Oltovian finds the twins have looser tongues. He gathers from them the names of the two cowards who ran: the larger, Aldo; the thin one, Finn.

"You boys have any more gang members besides the two deserters the Abbey Scouts are tracking?"
“Oh yeah,” Terry nods his head enthusiastically. “There’s Hinton, and Hanson, and Carver.”

“And,” added Teddy . “There’s Kian, and Jax, and Alfie.”

“Shut up,” Mitts spat at the twins.

"You boys have a hideout, or are you all just vagabonds?"
“Oh, sure,” begins Teddy. “We place down in the Maze.”

>>Assuming some quizzical question from Oltovian like, “What’s the maze?”<<
“’e’s talkin’ ‘bout the limestone crevices and caves up north ‘here a ways,” Weldon states. “Ye’d barely notice it from the road, but there be a limestone formation that runs nearly level with the Mason. If ye walk o’er top of it, ye’d find deep fissures run down near thirty strides. All o’er... criss-crossin’ and windi’ throughout the rock.”

“He’s right,” affirmed Terry. “Easy ‘nough the get lost in there.”

“But the hideout’s just a right,” began Teddy. “Then a left, and a left again.”

“It’s not two lefts!” argued Terry. “It’s left, then a double right read.”

“He’s right,” agreed Teddy. “Double right, then a left, a right, and then a double left. Take you right into the clearing and our camp.”

“Shut yer lips already!” Gannon commanded them.

"You boys ever do any business around the Quarry or around Stormhollow?"
“No,” replies Terry. “No, sir. We just prey on folk as they come by here tis all. And we only come out when our supplies are low.”

“We ain’t killed n’ one,” piped in Teddy. “Honest!”

“Roughed a few folk up,” added Terry. “But none s’ bad they couldn’t travel on.”

"You boys have any rival gangs crowding your territory?"
Simon, Gannon, and Mitts remained silent. The twins looked at each other as if trying to think together before replying, “Nope.”

"You boys ever hear tell of the Legendary Owl named Shadow?"
Again, the twins gave Oltovian a quizzical look. Teddy finally asked, “Y’ mean, Shadow... like from the fables?”

“’Course, he don’t mean Shadow from the fables, gull-brain,” Terry retorted back to his brother. He looked to Oltovian for support, but found none. “D’ you?”

A slight nod from the otter indicated he did indeed.

Terry shook his head. “We ain’t heard nothing ‘bout that owl ‘cept what our ma told us when we was just kits.”

“He ain’t back, is he?” Teddy asked with a look of dread.

“’Course, he ain’t back, hollow-head,” Terry scolded. Once again he looked to Oltovian for back up... once again he found little. “Is he?”

"There any place in Alder Vale where you boys are scared to show your faces?"
“Our ma always told us not t’ go north o’ the quarry,” said Terry honestly. “Said there be wild beasts a plenty up there be happy ‘nough t’ tan our skins for rugs. And Shadow’ll eat y’ too, ma said.”

“Still,” added Teddy. “Wouldn’t b’ as bad as them swamps down south. Them toads cook up slaves on spits and eat them with mushroom gravy.”

Both of the twins shudder at the thought. “It’s unnatural,” added Terry

Gannon rolls his eyes and gives the twins a hard nudge.

"Where do you boys figure the safest place is for you and your gang to hide?"
“Beyond th’ maze?” asked Teddy. “I can’t think o’ another...”

“Gratch’s lair, maybe?” quipped Terry. “Got some good hidey holes in there, I bet.”

“Aye,” agreed Teddy. “Hidey holes a plenty, I’d say.”

“SHUT UP!” Gannon, Mitts, and Simon cried out together. The twins immediately went silent.

The otter suddenly withdrew his dagger. He pointed it at each of the five captives in turn, trying to search the eyes of each raccoon. Teddy and Terry shrunk back in fear, unable to meet the fierce gaze the Talespinner. Gannon and Mitts returned Oltovian’s gaze with empty stares. Simon met the look with eyes wild with pain, fury, and defiance, but he held his tongue. Oltovian looked the captives over once more before sheathing his weapon.

"You boys better be thanking Mr Weldon that I spared your lives again!"
The captive bandits said nothing in response, a miserable silence punctuating the otter’s statement.

Oltovian kept his stern face on until he return back to the fire. Giving the mole lads a sly grin, he asked them:

"You gentlemen have any tasty fruit drink that might wash away the distaste in my throat from the answers given by these boys?"
Aidyn handed the otter a clay jar. “Strawberry-rhubarb... one of Miz Olive’s last ones from summer’s past ‘arvest.”

Oltovian filled a clay mug with the sweet-n-sour juice.

"Thank you kindly, gents!"
Tearing off another piece of the dark rye bread, the Talespinner found a spot near the fire that allowed him to keep an eye on the captives and consider the information he had gained.




Posted on 2014-01-18 at 08:48:25.

   


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