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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Glaffin coughs into a fist to try and get Indrys' attention, "And the location of the camp itself. Without that, we won't find those hostages." He mumbles loudly enough for the grey elf to hear. There'll be enough time for one more question, he hopes, or else they have to go back to the uncivilized approach. While Glaffin is strangely willing to threaten this bandit, he knows that it won't amount to much, and he's not as willing to actually harm another in cold blood as he's claimed so far.
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  2. - Top - End - #212
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    "Yeah, I suppose... There's an undertaker in Seabreak, actually. Dunno how many families we'll find, though, if you want to go looking. Most folk I know don't care to be associated with bandits." Adrian had torn his eyes away from the hill and associated bodies. "What were those other options you mentioned, sir?"


    1

    "The camp? Just the four men we left to guard it. Wouldn't suggest we try and take it if there was much more, would I?" The bandit was still speaking slowly, his voice measured, his eyes glazed over. The spell the elf had used was helpful, but it did have a few drawbacks. "It's over the hills. That way," he said, pointing at the horizon. "I could show you. Easier that way. We put it away from the trees, on purpose."

    "The hostages..." Here, he stalled, looking for words. Even with the spell, there seemed to be a few things he was reluctant to talk about. "Gone." He finally decided, "weren't to do with me."
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  3. - Top - End - #213
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Alec almost latches onto that and asks if Adrian is from this little village, but he's too off-topic as it is.

    "Ah, right. Sorry, Mister Cooper; sometimes I ramble. As I said, the first option is to let the law in Seabreak decide. The second is for you to make amends with Mister Tallhelm himself. He can always use good workers, and you've got the hands of one of those. You could make a rotation with his caravan, following his route north along the coast until we come right back here. You'd be provided for, of course; you won't go hungry. You'd see the world, or at least a nice piece of it. And if you keep your eyes open, you might find yourself learning the merchant trade." Or a different one, perhaps.

    "I don't mean to push you one way or another, but that sounds like a better choice to me than prison. I hope you'll think about it while we go to find your friends."

    No matter what Adrian chooses, Alec can be satisfied. Yes, he'd rather help the young man himself, teach him what he can while they travel and keep an eye on him, but jail wouldn't leave him too far off the mark. Seabreak unfortunately probably doesn't have as many iron-hard criminals as a larger city, which limits the education somewhat. Still, it'd stiffen him up, pass on some useful skills, and toughen his outlook on the world. But Alec would prefer to ease him into all that and give him a friendly mentor; believe it or not, kindness does matter.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Indrys pauses, his eyes narrow with trepidation, staring out of his face like two gold slits. "What do you mean, they're gone?" he asks, and his voice is harder, now, instead of soothing. The bandit feels it like a drill inside his mind, pressing and scraping against his psyche. "What happened to the hostages?" If the worst has happened... what will they do? What could they do?
    Last edited by Sophistemon; 2012-07-11 at 12:23 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #215
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Glaffin's fingers tighten painfully over the hilt of his new dagger as the bandit's words reach his ears and his heart drops to the pit of his stomach. Gone could mean a lot of things. Dead, sold as slaves, or even escaped, although the last is unlikely given this bandit's demeanor while under the effects of the spell. The dwarf says no more for the moment, not wanting to disrupt any more information they might get that could lead to the truth.
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  6. - Top - End - #216
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    "I'll think about it, for certain, sir. I'd like to ask my friends what they think about it, too. When we find them, that is." He wasn't saying it, but the 'if' hung in the air, unpleasantly making itself known, like a bad smell. Adrian knew he might not find them.

    "Shall we go now, sir, or are we waiting for someone?"


    1

    "Well, you see..." The spell hadn't worn off yet, Indrys noticed. It didn't usually last for very long, this particular enchantment. They must have been lucky, or the bandit just had low resistance to this sort of thing. Whatever the case, he was still talking, even if he didn't seem especially comfortable with that fact. "They weren't co-operating. We were just going to hold them for a while, as leverage on the kid, but one of 'em was stubborn. Kept trying to get loose. The boss, he don't take kindly to complications. Or..." Some memory stirred, and the bandit's monotone faltered, for a moment.

    "Well, he didn't. Shot 'im with one of the crossbows, then the other so as nobody would hear the screams. For help. He said we'd tell the kid they'd escaped, run off without him. Get him to stay with us easier, if he even came back. Some of the other lads buried 'em."
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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Thorus thumbs his nose, unperturbed. He glances around to make sure the kid isn't within earshot. "Well, still got the gold, at least. Wouldn't want that to go to waste." He didn't really care about the fate of the hostages one way or the other, but hoped he didn't have to be the one to break the news.
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  8. - Top - End - #218
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Well, that was received more calmly than he'd expected. Alec has to admit that he's pleased with Adrian's relative composure. Maybe he had time to get himself together while in the wagon.

    "We're waiting for him, actually," he points to the surrounded prisoner. "As you may remember, some of my friends can be persuasive in their own ways, so they're asking the survivor about the camp, likely its defenses, and such. Although, anything you remember would be helpful as well."

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Cecily frowns at the implied 'if' and looks toward the group surrounding their prisoner. She doesn't like this situation where there are still more bandits and there are prisoners to think of too.



  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Adrian shook his head, walking slowly in the direction of the little group around the bandit. "I haven't seen the camp, sir. I knew they had it, but I was never taken there."

    The bandit didn't notice his approach, even when he had drawn level with the others. Adrian spared him a look, hanging back outside of the circle of people around him. He didn't go too close, only looking for a moment, before turning away and hurrying back into the shelter of the wagons, where he could observe the battlefield, but not the living prisoner. The bandit said nothing, still held under Indrys' spell. Without questions to answer, he wasn't going to be voicing opinions.
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  11. - Top - End - #221
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Alec watches him go, but doesn't follow. Sometimes people need space. He does consider pushing Adrian to confront his fear of the highwayman, but the adolescent has done so well with the battlefield that he thinks it's enough for now.

    So as to not disturb the interrogation, Alec nudges whoever in the group is furthest from the prisoner (probably Glaffin or Thorus). "What do we have so far?" he asks.

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Thorus looks at Alec and says "Our friend here told us he's still got some wealth stashed away in the hills. We were gonna go liberate it." He glances around to make sure Aidan is out of earshot. "His buddies also killed the kid's, uh, companions. Shot 'em back at their camp." He thumbs his nose, seemingly indifferent to the subject matter.
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  13. - Top - End - #223
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Alec blinks, more at Thorus's demeanor than the news. He files that information away for later use before thinking about Adrian's friends. Honestly, this suits him pretty well. It saves him the daunting task of quietly seeing to it himself; whoever the other travelers were, they obviously didn't do a good job influencing Adrian to the pirate's liking, and their continued presence might give him a reason to stay in this area, neglecting Tallhelm's offer. Now those ties are severed. That doesn't mean, though, that he isn't sympathetic to how the boy'll take this news. Losing people never gets easy, no matter your outlook on death.

    "I think we should verify the truth of this before we tell him. Do we know where the camp is?"

  14. - Top - End - #224
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    Thorus gestures vaguely into the distance. "Over the hills somewhere. Didn't say where, but he was gonna take us there." He sniffles from the dust. "I don't hafta be the guy to tell the kid, do I?" he says, less out of concern for Adrian's well-being and more out of a desire to avoid awkwardness.
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  15. - Top - End - #225
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    The elf's mouth dries to parching, and his tongue sticks in place so that he can't speak for several moments. "Dead," he murmurs. So, then, there was no heroism here to be had. The battle had resulted in the death or serious injury of some of their number, and there were no longer any hostages to rescue. This was not at all like storybooks. It was a great deal more... viciously depressing. But it wasn't just that, of course. His voice has been the loudest advocate of seeking out the bandits and engaging them in combat, and he had then been among the most useless of the combatants when the blood began to flow. He looks up at the others before lowering his eyes, ashamed to face them. "I'm sorry," he explains. "I was... away for a second. Do we have any further questions for our prisoner, here?" His mouth twists down into a sneer. "If not, we should get to dealing with his comrades. His presence offends me terribly." He stands, then, so that even his minimum elf-height towers over the sitting prisoner. "We know where the camp is, where the treasure is buried, how many people are guarding it, and that they no longer have any living hostages."
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  16. - Top - End - #226
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "...No, I think the news should come from someone else," he agrees with Thorus. Anyone else, really. "We can decide that once we've confirmed the deaths. Our informant might be lying, or simply wrong. But yes, I think we have enough to go on for now; let's take a few horses and have a look at the camp. Who plans to go?"
    Last edited by Blarghy; 2012-07-24 at 09:52 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #227
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    Glaffin comes back to the conversation at this point, "I doubt he'd be lying with the mojo our Indrys worked on him, but you're right. Those four up in the camp are loose ends anyway, so we should tie them up, and see what we can find about the hostages, dead or not." The craftsman nods once with finality, and walks over to Indrys, reaching up to put a hand on his shoulder.

    "We should take six or more, from anyone who still has fight left in them. Any less than that would be near to even odds, and we aren't as fresh as they'll be, even if we can catch them unawares." Even as he speaks, his eyes convey something more to the grey elf, a silent question tinged with a bit of concern. He needs to know that his unexpected comrade will be fit to fight, mentally, before he's ready to charge in. As cold and callous as it would be, he saw Indrys falter because of a wound once, and if it happens again at a critical moment, Glaffin must be ready for it.
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  18. - Top - End - #228
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    It's at about this time that the bandit stirs, eyes clearing as the elf's spell wears off at last. Shaking his head, the man muttered to himself. "Get a grip then..."

    "Sorry," he said, looking back up at them. "Think I dozed off, or something. You, uh... you still want directions? Figure I got a better chance of leniency if I cooperate, right?"
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  19. - Top - End - #229
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Not really, Alec replies internally. Given the news this bandit has just delivered, he doubts the man's future is bright. Not that Alec feels concerned; if he could manage it without jeopardizing his standing within the caravan, he might just let their prisoner go free, but for now he's in less forgiving hands.

    "I'll ready the horses and find a guard or two." And he leaves to do exactly that. The horses, he fits with empty saddlebags; as Tallhelm said, they're for carrying any cargo, not for riding over the rocky hills. Alec also packs some spare reins in case they find the other horses, before he looks over the caravan for the least bloody guards. Of course, during the process he keeps watch on Adrian as best he can.

  20. - Top - End - #230
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    The elf looks at the cleric, and then casts his eyes aside, embarrassed when he understands the hidden meaning. It takes several breaths before he can speak. "Your worry is not... unwarranted," he says. "My earlier failure was brought about by a tactical error caused by overconfidence. Please believe me when I say that I have been properly humbled." His hand reaches down and massages the still-aching wound on his thigh. "Such a thing will not happen again, sir."
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  21. - Top - End - #231
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    Thorus nods his head. "Aye, I'm up fer it. I'll come along." He still had plenty of fight left in him today. He holds his head high, looking down to the bandit and answers "That was the idea." and plants a hand back on his morningstar. Thorus was unsure of what to do with the bandit once they had extracted what they wanted from him; he figured they would burn that bridge when they came to it. Which, he notes with slight amusement, may or may not be entirely a metaphor.
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  22. - Top - End - #232
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    Glaffin seems grateful for the reassurance, and softens his expression so that Indrys can see he didn't mean anything by it. Then, he turns to the bandit with a fair approximation of a grin.

    "Here's what I can do for you. We'll let you lead us to the camp, gagged, with your legs bound so you can't run, and with bows trained on your back so you'll think better of it. Once we get to the camp, provided you don't try to alert your friends there, we'll be looking for something. If we find it, you'll get your freedom, deal?" Glaffin feels a sinking, hollow pit in his stomach as he speaks, knowing that he's openly decieving the man by hinting that there's even a chance at freedom waiting for him. If what he said under hypnosis was true, then they wouldn't find the hostages alive, and "deal" would be void. It was vile, in his opinion, to decieve a man like this, but not nearly as vile as giving him no chance to redeem himself for his unredeemable actions.

    Actions that, however unwillingly, Glaffin had also partaken in today.
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  23. - Top - End - #233
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    Laelaer sees the others preparing to move out and makes her way over. She checks her weapons as she walks, making certain she would be ready for whatever they would encounter. The drowess was not going to be stuck as a rearguard this time. She wanted in on the action. She wanted blood.
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  24. - Top - End - #234
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    "Alright, yeah. Though, how am I supposed to walk with tied feet? Unless you plan to put me on a horse..." The man sounded as though he thought that unlikely.

    Adrian, happy for a distraction, had followed Alec. From the looks of things, most of the outriders were in no shape to help, but those who had stayed in the wagons were fine, for the most part. "How many horses are we going to take?" the boy asked, walking carefully up to one of the large animals. The horse snorted at him, swishing its tail.

    "Good question," put in one of the guards. "That was a big group, to take on a caravan like ours. Ehrlson and I figure they got a lot of loot stashed away."
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  25. - Top - End - #235
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    "That's a happy thought," Alec smiles slightly. "But we know the camp is guarded, if lightly. We shouldn't take so many horses that we can't control them all while still defending ourselves. You should come along, Ehrlson too; we could use the help. Once we clear out the bandits, if we find too much plunder to carry back, I'm sure Mister Tallhelm will be glad to send us for a second trip."

    He sets about equipping the mounts, then considers Adrian. Putting him in charge of a horse probably isn't the best idea when they're away from the wagons, but teaching him to care for the animals shouldn't lead to harm. He'll either try to run away at some point, or he won't; knowing how to put on a saddle probably isn't going to be the deciding factor.

    "Have you ever worked with horses before? You don't look too comfortable around them," given his cautious approach.

  26. - Top - End - #236
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    "There'll be enough slack in the rope between them for you to lift your legs, but not enough to run with." He's thought this through, although there's no way of telling if it will work in practice. Hopefully, a bow or two to his back will keep him deterred, even if the rope doesn't.
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  27. - Top - End - #237
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    Thorus scratches his chin. "I'm thinkin' we can just go back fer more trips. Chests ain't goin' anywhere, after all. Not that I'm implyin' anythin', but we gotta make sure somebody ain't takin' more than their fare share, too," he says, having just been contemplating how to pull off such a thing. He eventually decides to wait and see the loot to see if it's even worth the effort.
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  28. - Top - End - #238
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    "Alright then. Let's just get this over with..." Unhappy, but not able to do much about it, the bandit nods in Glaffin's direction. "Ready when you are."


    1

    "Happy to. First crack at whatever we find, right? I'll fetch Ehrlson." Leaving Alec and Adrian alone with the horses, the guard left to find his friend. The boy had raised his hand to the horse, gently rubbing its nose.

    "I've not worked with them much, no. Sir," he added. "These ones are friendly enough though, right? I mean, they don't know me." Alec knew, from experience, that it didn't matter much. Tallhelm had foresight enough, or had been doing this long enough, to own horses that were comfortable working with unfamiliar faces. Adrian, of course, wouldn't have had any way of knowing that.
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  29. - Top - End - #239
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    Cecily seems quite disturbed to hear that the boy's friends were dead. Disturbed, and angered too. The thought of those bastards killing them is enough to make her blood boil. Her twists her grip on her new bow, making the decision to go with the others. She wants to see that those remaining are punished for this crime.



  30. - Top - End - #240
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    If you were to ask Indrys, he would say that the bandit deserved nothing more than to be dragged behind the horses by a rope around his ankles... but nobody asked, and so he keeps that opinion to himself. Simultaneously, his opinion of the dwarf, Glaffin, is only becoming increasingly positive. That the cleric would show such concern for the young elf despite his previous failures was... nice. He became resolved to speak to Alec and Laelaer about bringing Glaffin into their fold - though of course he didn't need the pirate's permission, or the dark elf's, it would be at least prudent to give them a fair warning that he was planning to expand their enterprise. Besides, whatever three could do, four could do better, wasn't that so?

    He shakes his head and clears his thoughts.

    "I am ready," he says.
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