FKING C**TS I’LL GUT YER FKING S#!TSACKS!
The words were like getting kicked in the head. Malachi sat up so fast he pulled a muscle in his neck. He squinched his eyes and worked his jaw, but it was too late. The headache had already set in. Now standing up and working three fingers on his left temple, Mal gave his bound roommate a glare that would have sent a smarter, less-constrained man running. This idiot was content to suggest Mal should do something physiologically improbable with his sword. Flying cats, it wasn't even dawn yet! Mal kicked him with disdain before leaving the room, managing to draw a stream of oddly well-thought-out curses. He wondered if the man spent a significant portion of his free time inventing these things.
The others were rising now as well. Sehanine, Tristan, Relos, Calopee. All present and accounted for, and none of them with anything like permenant damage. They were all a little worse for the wear perhaps, but even Tristan seemed lively enough for having had a brush with death. On his way out the door, Mal felt the soft touch of Sehanine's magic straighten out the wrinkles in his pants and erase the bloodstains from his shirt. Even his mask got a little polish.
It was a little after dawn when Mal stepped out into the world once again. Whiffs of smoke drifted lazily through the air, catching the golden sunrise and turning it silver. Birds darted to and fro singing songs a thousand years old. Malachi threw up an arm and grimaced in the horrible dawn. A throng of locals had arrived to survey the wreckage each one armed to the tooth with what appeared to be hastily chosen implements from various professions, but Mal hardly had a chance to see that Isiah was the leader of this gang. He shut his eyes tight again and turned back to the farmhouse, massaging his head as he walked. He brushed by someone going the other way, probably Sehanine judging by the feel of her clothes. Perhaps today was not the day to play diplomat. Perhaps today was to be a day of rest and healing.
After some of the rough and tumble, and another helping of farmer's delight, Calopee slept like the dead. It wasn't until the quiet of the humble farmhouse was abruptly disturbed by the putrid mouth of their captive that she stirred from her deep slumber. Flashes of the most terrifying nightmare crossed through her mind in the dark hovel that was her hiding hole. Fraudulent memories of feisty goats and their devilish yellow eyes, always staring her down, brushing up to her, and nipping at her... Backside. A shudder passed through her, and her reality came back with a start. Where was she? In the house for sure, but why was it still so dark? She felt around the walls that caged her, only to lean against a cupboard door and fall out onto the simple floor. Right. She saw that none of the others felt a watch was necessary, and elected to stow herself away in the cupboards... She figured it was possible to go unnoticed in case another contingent of bandits came to determine the fate of the farm.
Groggily she rose to her feet and headed towards the door to greet the morning sun. Finding a nice spot in the shade, she sat down and fiddled around with her rock polishing kit and began her never-ending practice of creating skip rocks. She barely raised her head to glance upon Isaiah and his host when they came to inquire about the happenings of the night before. Better to let the silver-tongued Sehanine deal with them. She could learn a thing or two about diplomacy from the wispy enchantress.
Early Morning, Isiah’s Farm, Schell
The Favoured had again woken haphazardly, an unpleasant trend that one could only hope would not prove the norm. They were “heroes” now, not only merely in name, as their exploits at the farm seemed to prove the night before, and heroics usually required a good night’s sleep. Exploring the border being life and death before being rudely awoken by the incessant cursing of a bound criminal seemed the sort of thing that would take a toll if done repeatedly.
Their rising had been with good timing, and they spotted their concerned host approaching as they stepped out into the harsh light of day. Calopee, having extricated herself from a store cupboard before rejoining the others, was particularly concerned to see Isiah’s livestock seemed to have sensed their master’s presence, as the seemingly ubiquitous goat emerged from the wheat field with a friendly bleat towards the approaching townsfolk. Where the goat had been in the fracas the night before would remain a mystery, but there was no disguising the goat’s gaze as it turned toward the wee Halfling and definitely gave what could only be described as a wink.
Isiah seemed unperturbed by the decidedly unnatural machinations of the horned miscreant, his focus instead on the devastation wrought upon his home. True, his homestead itself stood largely undisturbed save a non-trivial searching, and the damage was far less than the bandits had possibly intended, but the shock of seeing the ash where his shed had once stood coupled with the collection of bodies and omnipresent blood stains seemed to reduce whatever he had originally thought to say to a stammer.
”Oh thank gods…I’d seen the smoke…I’d thought.” The remains of his storehouse still fueling a billowing pillar seemed to occupy his mind. ”What…what happened?”
The group seemed to retract from the question. Relos remained silent, he had vowed to protect Isiah and his lands, and though he had done so to the best of his ability, the damage to the property remained a stark reminder he had more to learn. Tristan brought the brim of his hat down to cover his face and Malachi simply turned away, making his way back to the hut as Sehanine stepped up to the plate.
"Sadly such things could not have been avoided. We had hoped to parley but that quickly proved impossible. They came bearing torches and had intended to burn this all to the ground. We stopped them. They were a nefarious bunch, and I am thankful that you and your boys escaped to safety.”
Isiah nodded absently as Sehanine paused. There was no doubt he appreciated the job done, but it was clear he was thrown by the results.
"Two of them really went through your hut in search of something. I wonder what it could be... The thug we have chained up inside didn't seem to know anything. You can talk to him if you'd like."
Isiah’s face remained fraught with confusion. ”I…I have no idea what they were…searching you say…” He walked absently towards the rubble that had once been a store shed, laying a booted foot on one of the few remaining charred beams, testing his weight against it. ”All I ever tried to do was work the land for an honest living…I cannot…I don’t know…”
As Isiah continued to gaze wistfully at the ash pile he had once owned, the ragtag local militia began making their way forward, one stopping by Sehanine as the others made their way towards Isiah.
”You say there’s one chained in the hut? One of the men that attacked here?”, he spoke with the sort of authority one put on when they didn’t know where their standing was in their conversation, ”We could take him off your hands to face the town’s justice.”
Across the lot, a pair of villagers approached Tristan and Relos, casting cursory glances over to the collection of bodies. The majority of the bandits’ gear remained piled beside them, the Favoured having left it aside save a few choice items. The villagers looked at their own armaments; one carried a well-worn meat cleaver, the other little more than a fire poker. One of them, a teenaged boy given his proportions and relatively smooth face, finally worked up the courage to ask his question.
”Beggin’ yer pardons, sirs.”, the man’s voice had the hint of a shake to it, ”…but were ya plannin’ on just…leavin’ those there?”
He gestured towards the collection of swords and armour, and his companion nodded vigorously before joining in the request.
”There’s not much we haf’, in terms of arm’ments ya’see.”, he held his fireplace poker up in a show of futility, ”…an’ the guard don’t haf’ much themselves…could really help us, ya’know, hold our own?”
Isiah turned away from the remains of his shed, striding back towards the group, seemingly having regained his composure.
”You’re speakin’ truth, you did surely protect the farm for my boys and I,” the man’s grin showed signs of returning, ”…and the fields are largely untouched, I’ll still get fair price for this harvest. I’ll have your gold in a day’s time.”
He began to walk towards his hut, catching sight of the ransacking inside. Shaking his head briefly, he turned to face the group.
”You’re staying at the Dragon, aren’t ya?”
(OOC: For the day’s updates and whatnot.)
"I... I have no idea what they were... searching you say... All I ever tried to do was work the land for an honest living... I cannot... I don't know."
It was clear that confusion and pain held the farmer tightly gripped, but Sehanine would not be letting him off so easily. Isiah might well and truly be completely ignorant of the intentions of the thugs, still the right questions might yield answers she desperately needed. He lived close to this land and very easily could have stumbled across something without ever being aware. Still. now was not the time to probe his mind. She would have to wait until he was no longer reeling from shock
"You say there's one chained in the hut? One of the men that attacked here? We could take him off your hands to face the towns justice."
The town's justice... It was the greatest of miracles that she did not erupt with laughter at the thought of such a farce. Rural hovels such as these rarely had the means to mete out traditional justice, and these humans utterly lacked the imagination or constitution for more unconventional retribution. Bartellus would likely find himself merely banished, and that would send his wagging tongue right to Jaron's ear. This was not something she could allow if the Fortune's Favored were to remain in Schell for any amount.
With a smile Sehanine laid a coppery hand softly on the farmer's shoulder, "Justice indeed must be meted out. Perhaps it would be best if we were there to escort him into custody. This man is dangerous." Her gaze hardened and seemed to burn into the man all the severity of her words. "Things are not what they seem. These vandals are not the cloaked riders of the sand dunes that you thought. They hale from around this land, and so we must proceed with caution."
Sehanine took a moment to look out into the distance in the direction of Jaron's supposed lair. If things kept on as they were, she and her allies would find themselves there within a fortnight.
"Among my people I am counted among the wise that must decide on such matters. I ask that you allow me to sit in council on this trial."
This, of course, was a complete lie. Her mercurial nature would haver surely driven a council of elders into a blood boiling madness, and beyond that, such matters were always left those who were truly ancient. Still, capricious as she was, Sehanine's life would stretch out through the ages and there was surely not one among these humans who could come close to matching her in years. This gave her a uniquely far-sighted perspective that would be invaluable now. Beyond that, she simply would not allow a council of hay chewing simpletons to wreak havoc in their ignorance. if not handled correctly, this trail could hand Jaron all that he wanted.
"Let one who sees the passage of ages offer you aid in this."
As talk began to turn to payment, Sehanine nodded in affirmation and quickly shot Calopee a subtle glance as if to say, watch all closely.
Posted on 2014-07-22 at 04:33:56.
Edited on 2014-07-22 at 04:34:29 by Nimu
Willow bark was bitter and it stuck in your teeth for hours, but gods it was just the cure for a headache. Mal had been fortunate that the old farmer kept a stock of the panacea in his cabinet, and he now chewed a cheekful of it. The daylight became less daunting as the pain in his neck and head quickly dissipated. Scraps of conversation drifted through the open door, and Mal no longer found the voices made his head turn inside out. Sehanine was bargaining for a place in their prisoner's trial, saying she was counted wise among her people. He scoffed at her lie, knowing he couldn't be seen or heard. A little of the bark flew out as he laughed and willow-drool ran down his smiling face.
Rejuvenated, Malachi wiped his mouth and headed once again for the door. He reduced his cud to a less noticeable amount by spitting into the sink as he passed. The two groups now seemed more at ease, the villagers having found nobody to fight. As The Argent Blade rejoined Tristan and Relos, a pair of ill-dressed folk armed with little more than household tools ran up to them.
”Beggin’ yer pardons, sirs, but were ya plannin’ on just… leavin’ those there? There’s not much we haf’, in terms of arm’ments ya’see, sn’ the guard don’t haf’ much themselves. Could really help us, ya’know, hold our own?”
Malachi looked to the weapons, and then to his companions. These boys were clearly more in need than any of the Favored, and something told him he wouldn't be in Schell for the rest of his life. This sleepy little place needed brave men. He spoke for the group, perhaps jumping in before the others could speak but also not really caring.
"I see no reason why not. In fact, I can do better than that. A place like this needs a hero sometimes but a protector always." The bark in his mouth kept the words from sounding as heroic as he had hoped, but he continued undaunted. "Bring yourselves and six others back here when the others have left, and I will give you a lesson on how to safeguard your city. Oh, and take the armor with you, I expect you to have it on when you return."
Posted on 2014-07-26 at 18:51:01.
Edited on 2014-07-26 at 18:54:40 by Schnozzle
From the comfort of the shade, the young Calopee Kindric watched the interactions of the townsfolk and her fellows. Sehanine masterfully spun the tale of the evening’s events, and though she didn’t lie, her voice was as velvety as ever when denoting the bad bits, such as the shed and ransacking that had taken place. Isaiah was bitterly displeased at the loss of his shack to be sure, though his offer seemed to stand through the test of this disappointment. Calopee ceased her polishing for the moment, and gently replaced her kit within her pack and considered the scene. He’d managed to wrangle up a good chunk of townies, and she wondered if they were to be given a cut of Isaiah’s harvest as well. Hardly seemed worth it, but she could see how the mind would fret at the site of smoke lining the sky above. What would have happened to these people if they had come across the raiders that her and her band tussled with the night before? A small grimace was the answer to her rhetoric. We had a tough time of things, outnumbered as we were she thought, These folks and their pitchforks would have been short work for these hardened murderers.
As Sehanine tried to maneuver her way into the proposed trial of the foul mouthed survivor, Mal was ingratiating himself with the common folk, giving away what little gains they had made from the spoils of war. ”Shoulda pocketed the gold when I found it." Still, it wasn't a bad idea to establish some modicum of efficacy in the town's militia. Perhaps she could teach the young ones the masterful art of stone throwing. That would be sure to keep them safe from any future raids. First she'd have to teach the kids how to sap their parent's coin purse. Nothing for free in this world. Why would you give yourself away?
With the gear being given away, and Sehanine bowing to mob justice in her own manipulative way, there was little else to do here but await payment. Seeing as the wheat was still standing tall, she didn't see that money lining her pockets anytime soon. Isaiah laid bare the question of the day - Where are we staying? She thought this odd, after all, hadn't he sought them out? She stood up and brushed the grass off her backside before approaching the farmer. "The Bearded Dragon, aye!" she replied, with a telling eye that darted towards the always suspicious Sehanine. "We'll be there contemplating the next chapter in our legend."
She'd wait for the others to make up their minds, and help escort the prisoner, be it to their base, or whatever posed as a cell in Schell, but mostly she was concerned with two things, where she could find more rocks, and what was to be done about the threat just beyond the horizon. If they didn't deal with Jaron swiftly, Calopee feared, he would be the one to make the next move. This was essentially the worst possible scenario for a small contingent facing off against a numerous foe.
Posted on 2014-07-29 at 02:53:31.
Edited on 2014-07-29 at 02:56:09 by Philosopher
”…but were ya plannin’ on just…leavin’ those there?"
No. No he hadn't been, if it came to that. Their little group could use the cash. Well, he assumed the others could. He had a bit left over from his previous.... misadventures. Still, it was arms and armor rightfully theirs after the ordeal of the previous night.
He smiled at the man. On the other hand, what need had they of so much metal? Most of it wouldn't see use, and trying to sell it in such a poor area, especially after they had asked for them, wouldn't do the Favored's reputation any good. Even if they did insist on repayment, they wouldn't get much but ressentment, and they had not the means to transport it to somewhere they might have more luck. No, Tristan had no objection to giving the whole lot over.
He drew the line at playing solider though. Or drill seargeant, or whatever the Masked Malfunction was offering. Tipping his hat at his companion he walked away, shooting a pitying smirk at the two men. They had no idea what they were in for. He decided he'd seek out the villagers dealing with the remaining bandit. He was interested to see how they dealt with him.
Early Morning, Isiah's Farm, Schell "The Bearded Dragon, aye!"
The diminutive Calopee's cry greeted Isiahï¿½s question after what, though it was only seconds, felt like a very long pause indeed. The farmer smiled and nodded, his face regaining a semblance of its initial warmth had at the reassurance that the ï¿½heroesï¿½ would be remaining in town and had no worries of the brief delay in payment. The look faded quickly as he once more surveyed the damage to his farm, but his spirits seemed slightly lifted, he was after all, still alive.
Near the remaining hut that served as a home to Isiah and the boys, Tristan and Relos had been joined by the exhausted looking Malachi, the group of them seemingly content to let the women engage in conversation with the hastily assembled mob. Their attempts at refuge were soon thwarted however as a pair of poorly armed militiamen approached, inquiring earnestly about the discarded weapons still left aside following the searching of the would-be raiders.
Tristan offered little input, giving less than a shrug of apathy as Relos appeared prepared to speak his part. As had become a sort of group tradition however, Malachi took the floor to give his thoughts before anyone else could.
"I see no reason why not. In fact, I can do better than that. A place like this needs a hero sometimes but a protector always." His speech was punctuated with tiny shreds of bark as his mouthful of homemade headache cure became slightly airborne with his words. "Bring yourselves and six others back here when the others have left, and I will give you a lesson on how to safeguard your city. Oh, and take the armor with you, I expect you to have it on when you return."
The two young men seemed ecstatic at the news, their voices barely able to contain their excitement as they babbled a slightly incomprehensible series of thanks and praise. Tristan, perhaps seeking to contain the well of snarky comments surely building inside him, quickly took his leave as Relos and Malachi led the men towards the armour and blades. He was not the teaching type, that role seemed better suited to those that had volunteered for it, and there was still the matter of Bartellus to deal with.
Tristan reached Sehanine at the same time as Calopee, both of them seemingly sharing the understanding that Malachiï¿½s endeavours to train the villagers was well taken care of by the man himself. Bartellus, and by extension Jaron, posed a different sort of problem, and how it was dealt with would most likely change a great deal over the coming days. Sehanineï¿½s saccharine voice met their ears as they approached.
"Justice indeed must be meted out. Perhaps it would be best if we were there to escort him into custody. This man is dangerous. Things are not what they seem. These vandals are not the cloaked riders of the sand dunes that you thought. They hale from around this land, and so we must proceed with caution."
It seemed the seductress was up to her normal wiles. Though what she said was indeed true, it seemed little more than a set up for what was about to come. Tristan knew the elf well enough to know that there were very few straightforward statements not followed by some trickery. He didnï¿½t need wait long as Sehanine continued.
"Among my people I am counted among the wise that must decide on such matters. I ask that you allow me to sit in council on this trial. Let one who sees the passage of ages offer you aid in this."
The man seemed taken aback by the sudden demands, his eyes showing a great deal of uncertainty at the proposal.
ï¿½Yer offer is of course appreciated, mï¿½ladyï¿½ï¿½, the man absentmindedly looking down at his feet while he spoke, ï¿½ï¿½and an escort is always appreciated, ofï¿½course...ï¿½
The man seemed to struggle with his next words, as if suddenly thinking better of them.
ï¿½ï¿½But this is a poor community, maï¿½am. We donï¿½t hafï¿½ perhaps what youï¿½d consider in this case. Housing this man even ï¿½til a trial would put a strain on this townï¿½ï¿½, his hesitancy was visible now, ï¿½ï¿½we sought to merely hang him by the neck ï¿½til dead. We canï¿½t allow any who would attack us another chance.ï¿½
The manï¿½s feet kicked at the earth awkwardly as he finished, barely able to look at Sehanineï¿½s face as he stood before her. His words did bring a thought to the heads of the Favoured within earshot however; there had been no sight of a jail nor guardhouse in their time in Schell, though there was a shoddily constructed gallows. Schell didnï¿½t appear to have much in the way of resources enough to be lenient, and frontier justice was one of the few deterrents to people with nothing to lose.
(OOC: See Q&A. Yay!)
Posted on 2014-09-01 at 19:34:22.
Edited on 2015-10-19 at 21:07:57 by Grugg
”Yer offer is of course appreciated, m’lady…,” Isiah began as he looked down at his feet with an uncertain apprehension. "…and an escort is always appreciated, of course… but this is a poor community, ma’am. We don’t haf’ perhaps what you’d consider in this case. Housing this man even ‘til a trial would put a strain on this town…”,
He paused and seemed to shrink with shame before her,"…we sought to merely hang him by the neck ‘til dead. We can’t allow any who would attack us another chance.”
The man hung his head and seemed unwilling to meet her violet gaze. By all appearances Isiah thought her some elven maid carved of noble ivory whose delicacy would be offended at such a brutal end. Truth be told, Sehanine had intended to keep Bartellus alive long enough to fit him into one scheme or another. Imagining punishments to keep the thug occupied until such a time had been most pleasant. Gelding still figured prominently in those imaginings.
Loosing Bartellus as a pawn would be unfortunate, but there were other paths they could take just as easily. A swing from the gallows would silence the thug just as effectively as any means she would imagine, and in truth one mere human life mattered little enough to her.
And yet you followed a boy child into this world and saved his life all those years ago...
Blinking, Sehanine let the memory pass and returned her focus to the here and now. New plots needed to be drawn and new pathways paved, she had little time for moral dilemmas and questions of self.
"It is unfortunate that such is the way of things," the fey elf spoke with a cool assurance. "For the loss of any life, even one such as his, is a tragedy. Yet you cannot allow one to roam free who would seek to do you harm. Surely this malicious thug will return only to blight you all again and again."
Sehanine paused letting a note of righteous glory bleed into her words, "We all shall stand beside you and see this deed done. Let us make ready and go forth."
Satisfied with her song the faery let the farmer go about the business of gathering Bartellus. There were still words that had gone unsaid, but she could wait until the morrow to pry any secrets there might be from the farmer. Catching Tristan's eye she smirked and ran a graceful finger along the tarnished bracer that covered his left wrist. A wicked twinkle began to dance in her eyes. Quests and heroics could wait until tomorrow. There were other old plots and schemes that could surely fill the day.
Cautious eyes and keen ears marked the various transactions between the Fortune's Favoured and the locals. Sehanine was spinning her web of lies, or so Calopee inferred. She could not imagine a society that thought of her as a sagely creature, such was her whimsy. She'd seen her fair share of trickery and blatant shenanigans since their crossing of paths, and that obsession with the chosen, Tristan, it could possibly make for a rift in their party's solidarity. Of course, if Mal kept given away their spoils, that could lead to harsh words, and by words she meant sticks and stones... Stones mostly. It looked as though this day would be a wash, what with Sehanine following the mob to 'justice', and Mal offering his services toward training the villagers in the art of fencing, and loud-mouthery. With that in mind, it would be an excellent time to head back to the inn, and polish out a new skiprock, perhaps two if she could manage it. It was incredibly time consuming, getting the proper plane and coat. Entirely worth it though. Those precious stones.
"March on with the militia if you'd like, Seha. I'm going to make my way back to the hall if there's nothing more." Turning to meet the farmer's eyes, eyes that were ever focused on appraising the ruins of his shed, the little halfling girl mustered up an impressive throat rattle to draw his focus downwards. Eyes slightly sharpening, she gave her best warning glare and finished off her thoughts with, "I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!" The slightest of smiles polished off the perhaps not so veiled intimation of threat, against all ye who would skirt out of a monetary transaction with her.
She turned on her heels and made her way back out towards the road.
It took just a bit of self control to keep the smirk off of Tristan's face. He didn't blame the man for being nervous in front of the she-elf. Having known her as long as he had though, he could read a bit deeper into her expression, especially when he wasn't the one she was trying to shut out. A flicker of frustration, a moment to process how it fit into her schemes, and then back to the cool disdain she offered.... well, everyone. And in the case, all hidden under a layer of haughtiness, backed by her usual confidence. No wonder the man was intimidated.
He allowd the smirk to form as she passed, trailing fingers along one of his bracers. Its about that time again, I suppose. He wondered if he'd be able to catch the attempt this time around. Probably not, as fuzzy as his thinking had been lately. He'd have to be sure to get them back quick this time.
Feeling no need to see the man hanged, Tristan turned and followed after Calopee, tipping his hat at the villagers as he did so. He'd had little chance to interact witht he smallest of their number, and he felt it was about time to take her measure. If nothing else, it would be more interesting than Mal's Bootcamp.
Besides, he needed to start sounding out the group. It was time to be moving on, and he had a feeling a few of them would disagree.
Tristan was halfway back to the Bearded Dragon Inn when it hit him. He actually froze in mid-step, and was infinitely grateful that none of the others, especially the witch, were around to see it.
It would appear, he thought to himself, that dying really hurts one's focus. He could think of no other reason he'd been so slow on this particular uptake. He'd intended to find the halfling and begin mulling over possible destinations for their inevitable departure. He had not planned to seek out this Jaron person, nor stay and defend the town from him. He wasn't being paid enough for that kind of give-a-wic. He'd paid no thought as to whether this person would continue to opress the town (if thats what he was doing), rob them on the road, seek them out for revenge over his minions, or ignore them completely.
And really, that was the sort of information he liked to have. Tended to keep one alive, mostly.
Tristan turned and muttered darkly to himself. There was no guarantee that the locals would know anything, but he'd be damned if he'd die for not remembering to ask a few questions. He'd work the whole town if he had too.
....except Maud. He'd face ambush and retribution to avoid that particularly vexing old crone. Not that he'd ever admiit it.
The issue of the Favored's departure would have to rest awhile longer.
(((OOC: I finally remember that I have a thing I need to do. All of the information checks I can make about Jaron, please.)))
Posted on 2014-10-25 at 04:50:42.
Edited on 2014-10-25 at 04:58:00 by Chessicfayth
Malachi paced out an area for his pupils and found a spot near its center where he could meditate. The thought of helping the little town in a lasting way filled him with joy; it felt good to do good. In the dusty midday sun, Malachi traced the actions of the maneuvers he would teach them. The basic work of the swordsman would aid them well, but to these he could add a little of the old blade magic. These he chose carefully. None of them channeled darkness as he had learned. Even though he himself used it as both shield and sword, Mal would not teach it to another. Such magic could catapult a young mind into a life of dishonor, if not outright villainy.
He thought for a moment how he must look, practicing the art in the middle of the dirty field. He smirked and continued his slow pantomime. How to blind an enemy with an attack. How to find holes in an opponent's guard by carefully watching his moves. How to resist an attack against the will. How to counter a charge. If each young man learned but one of these, the town was to be well protected.
[[Blistering Flourish. Moment of Perfect Mind. Sapphire Nightmare Blade. Counter Charge.]]
Early Morning, Isiah’s Farm, Schell
Deciphering the capricious Sehanine was an art that few had time to master, and the leader of the hastily formed townsfolk miltia was decidedly behind the curve. The man’s initial reluctance to reveal the nature of local Schell justice was met with instant agreement from the sorceress who, it would seem, had already moved on to some future wile. Casting a knowing eye at Tristan, the fey-elf went with the group, Bartellus in tow, as they began to return to the town. Calopee, having made absolutely certain that Isiah had a complete understanding of their agreed payment timetable, followed the group though decidedly apart from it. Her assortment of specially crafted stones had been diminished in the fight the night before and some downtime afforded her an opportunity to replenish as she began back towards the Bearded Dragon.
Back in the clearing by Isiah`s home, Malachi prepared for his newly assumed role as mentor to Schell’s military. While Relos watched from a resting place against the wall of Isiah’s hut, Malachi rehearsed his forms, focussing his talents and bringing to mind techniques that he hoped would inspire the young men of the town. His reverie ended as he spied a group of young men approaching from across the farm, their new armour ill-fitting but serviceable. Mal turned to face the group as Relos stood and joined him. While it seemed unlikely the Favoured would stay in Schell forever, if they could teach anything to these young men their presence would have a positive impact on the area, and that was what heroes did, after all.
Tristan had initially headed out with Sehanine and the townsfolk, only to stop dead in his tracks as a realisation struck him. Word of the Favoured’s actions was spreading, and this Jaron fellow Bartellus spoke of would surely hear about the events at Isiah’s farm. How he’d react to that news was something Tristan couldn’t predict yet, indicating that perhaps a little investigating was in order. The idea of being waylaid on some country road by a vengeful criminal was less than appealing, and Tristan decided any information as to the extent of Jaron’s reach would be beneficial.
Midday, Isiah’s Farm, Schell
Mal and Relos went through the motions again, demonstrating technique after technique. The villagers they were teaching hadn’t grasped the concepts completely, and it was doubtful any of them had the ability necessary to replicate any of Malachi’s “blade magic”, but they’d at least stopped trying to use shortswords as bludgeoning weapons. Tristan sat nearby, not participating in the training but questioning a few of the locals while they rested between techniques. As the sun reached its highest point Mal called the training to close. Between the battle and lack of sleep exhaustion was starting to settle in to all those assembled, and the men seemed to have improved significantly even in the short time they’d had to learn.
As they prepared to depart, one of the youths made his way back over to Malachi and Relos, giving his thanks and appreciation for their lessons. Mal couldn’t help but notice a strange look in Relos’ eye as the young man dashed off to rejoin his companions; the paladin seemed to have quite enjoyed helping the locals learn to protect themselves. He didn’t have much more time to give thought to it as a clanging sound rolled over the fields, emanating from the town centre. Something of significance seemed to be occurring.
Sehanine stood amongst the townsfolk as they gathered at the poorly constructed gallows in the town centre. Bartellus, mercifully gagged so as to not offend any ladies present, stood with the noose around his neck as one of the townsfolk read an accounting of his crimes. While the man droned on, Sehanine’s eyes scanned the crowd. Isiah was in attendance, and they briefly made eye contact before the man turned his sight quickly back to Bartellus. None of the rest of the Favoured seemed present, though Tristan did pass-by speaking to some locals before passing again in the opposite direction with great speed as he was seemingly pursued by a slow if persistent old woman. An audible snap brought Sehanine’s attention back to the gallows as it seemed Bartellus’s time had finally come.
The crowd dispersed as the day’s “entertainment” came to an end, and without much else to do, the elf made her way to the Bearded Dragon, joining Calopee who it had seemed had spent much of the day under a table polishing a bag of rocks in one of the rare occurrences where that wasn’t meant as a euphemism. They were soon joined by the rest of the Favoured, Relos and Malachi making their way back from the farmland and Tristan ending his investigations as he’d finally eluded his crone-like tail. They sat in silence a while, tentatively drinking the round of ale Argos had brought over to their table with a smile.
More and more the tavern emptied as the hours passed, and eventually the group made their way to their lodgings and bedding on the second floor. For the first time in two days they made rest in actual beds. Considering the events of the previous few days, they deserved the rest.
Morning, The Bearded Dragon, Schell
Daylight streamed through the Inn’s windows, though this time it was met with much less contempt as a full night’s sleep had done wonders for the group’s aches. Calopee was the first up to greet the day, preparing to receive her payment as promised. A quick look out a window confirmed Isiah was approaching the Inn, as well as confirming that a few goats remained penned across from their lodging, and as was becoming customary, seeming intently focussed on staring silently at her as she peered out at them. Any other Favoured still sleeping had that swiftly brought to an end as Argos threw open the door and entered with a bluster and energy that seemed quite unbefitting of the hour. A smile split his hairy face as he roused the group with his announcement.
”Isiah’s here t’see you.” He paused a moment. ”Says he’s got your reward. Maybe now we can talk about that tab? Bahaha”
Unsure exactly whether or not the large man had been joking, Fortune’s Favoured nevertheless followed their now loudly guffawing host downstairs where the decidedly happier Isiah sat at a table, a handful of burlap sacks beside him on the bench. His tanned face seemed to light up as the group joined him and he quickly got right down to business.
”Got a good price t’day, and as promised,” Isiah placed the sacks on the table, ”…half. Yer reward. Me an’ the boys can’t thank you enough.”
To each member of the group a sack was handed, with Relos handing his back to Isiah despite the man`s dogged insistence that it was the paladin’s by right. Relos would hear none of it, and Mal saw a familiar look in the half-elf’s eye as Isiah was finally convinced to keep his gold. Relos seemed in an odd mood still as the farmer stood thanking the group once more before making his way out of the inn.
For a moment it was silent before the boisterous energy of Argos’ voice flooded over the group from his place behind the counter.
”So…just gonna sit there…or do you want a drink?”
(WE ROLLING. See Q&A? Maybe? Yes.)
Breakfast of Champions just means a Champion is eating it.
Tristan sat at the bar, grinning in anticipation of the coming converstion. It was certain to be interesting, whatever else it was. He weighed his gold for a moment, then pulled out thirty pieces to put with the rest of his gear. He sat the slightly lighter pouch on the counter. "This should settle our group, and take care of breakfast besides." He had drastically overpaid the man, but that was the point. One of the three people in a town you always made a point to keep happy was the inkeeper.
Turning his smile upon the others of the group. "We've much to discuss, and personally, I'd rather not do it on an empty stomach."
(((OOC: Exactly what it says on the tin. Will also post in qna)))
Posted on 2014-10-28 at 05:27:40.
Edited on 2014-10-28 at 05:31:32 by Chessicfayth