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Unwelcome visitors, Part II

Tags: Brev,  Gidon,  Bartle,  Cleaver,  Thulion

Short Summary: In which Gidon's friends discover his plight ...
Date (real-life): 2010-07-18
Scene Location: Bree: The Chetwood
Date (in-game): June 3050
Time of Day: Evening
The Chetwood

The forest here seems darker and fouler, and the trees seem to grow crookedly at strange angles. There is a small stream through the forest here that runs east-west. To the east, the stream plunges down into the rank Midgewater Marshes, its clean water mixing in with the brown muck and mire of the swamps. There are several paths here that lead away into all directions, but the most well-worn of them leads to the west.

A small hut has been built into the woods; an anvil sits in front of the door.

Obvious exits:
[Bree Function Object(#106)->Brev] ================================== Bree Time ==================================
Real time: Sun Jul 18 14:37:27 2010
Bree time: Evening of Summer - June 1450
Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon

It has been a long, hot day. Now the shadows are lengthening, and the mysterious boughs of the Chetwood are alive with rustlings as the wood's smaller denizens wake to life. And something else ... the occasional sound of a soft footfall heralds Brev's approach. The man has a small rabbit slung over one shoulder, and a knife in his other hand, though he does not look as though he were expecting danger. Rather, on his features is a closed, private frown.

[Nob(#16122)] In the small cabin, it has been an even longer day for at least one person. Gidon spent an uncomfortable night tied up in the corner picking away at the knots around his ankles with the swollen, painful fingers of one hand. The immobile position his arms were tied in was extra hard on his bad arm, especially with the not-quite-healed break, and those fingers didn't seem to want to work. But he hadn't managed much of any progress at all before Cleaver decided it was his turn for the bed and woke Bartle up.

The heavier of the two bandits untied the boy, carefully making the rope into a sort of leash that he attached to one of Gidon's ankles, tying the other end to the bed frame. The lad spent the rest of his day limping around cooking and doing whatever else the two thought up. Now that dusk is falling, they are preparing for another night of robbery and mayhem. Gidon is squatting quietly in the corner, surreptitiously trying to loosen the rope around his leg and hoping they won't think to tie his hands before they go. And hoping they won't just decide to kill him and be done with it.

A little smoke curls out of the chimney and the door is shut. There is no sound from within.

The stocky, bearded fellow who goes by the name of Cleaver is arguing the point with his companion even now, in a low-voiced mutter that perhaps partly carries to Gidon. "-we going to do with the little git? Can't take him along, he'd slow us down. C'mon, this was /your/ idea." When in doubt, blame someone else.

As Brev reaches the clearing in the woods, his frown is carefully erased and replaced with a bland expression. He glances up to the chimney and the thread of smoke and pauses, one corner of his mouth twitching. "Suppose I'd better give the pair of them fair warning," he murmurs with a chuckle. He whistles nonchalantly as he approaches the door, and calls out softly, "Gidon?"

[Nob(#16122)] Bartle shrugs. "You was the one as said he could be a bargainin' piece. Hey, this here's a nice spot, we tie 'im up again, nice and tight, and stash him somewheres. Go do our stuff, come back..."

At the first sound of the whistling, Gidon's head comes up and he opens his mouth to shout, "BREV! Don't...!" But Cleaver has caught the motion and leapt to shut him up.

Brev pauses at the sound of his name, brows shooting up. For a moment there is complete silence, and then he shrugs, hoists the dead rabbit higher up his shoulder so that he will have his left hand free. Then, slowly and carefully, he lifts the latch and the door swings open, though he himself remains on the threshold.

Cleaver's chosen method of silencing is simple - a meaty palm across the mouth and a menacing wave of the axe he'd been polishing. Even as he moves he jerks his head to Bartle in a motion that no doubt means "Deal with it."

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's shout is muffled, and he opens his mouth to try and bite the man's hand.

Bartle is already up, and beside the door, his long knife held ready at his side. The door swings slowly open, and the bandit leaps at the figure on the doorway, stabbing up towards the man's gut.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's shout is muffled, and he opens his mouth to try and bite the man's hand, grabbing desperately for the axe handle with his good hand.

Bartle is already up, and beside the door, his long knife held ready at his side. The door swings slowly open, and the bandit leaps at the figure on the doorway, stabbing up towards the man's gut.

Surely Brev must be startled - the flicker in his eyes suggests that - but his reflexes have been honed by plenty of past conflicts. When the knife stabs forward Brev himself is no longer there, having danced aside at the last moment. Instead the bandit will find himself assailed by something unexpected - a falling rabbit. Brev waits for the distraction to take effect before launching his own counterattack from the sidelines. It is kick, not stab, as he tries to take Bartle's legs out from under him.

Cleaver, meanwhile, gives a muffled curse and grips Gidon's mouth tighter; a trickle of blood emerges from beneath his bitten palm. But the axe-haft is easily swung out of the way. "Oh no you don't, laddie," the bandit utters, raising his arm so that the axe-blade is against Gidon's neck. It lacks the precision offered by a knife, but maybe he doesn't care.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon stills, but his dark eyes are filled with hatred as he glares over the top of the hand clamped against his mouth.

Bartle staggers off-balance, when his blade hits nothing instead of the heavy weight of a man, and the rabbit dropping on his head startles him into a curse. It is at this point that Brev kicks at him. But the bandit may not be up to Brev's standards of fighting; he may be rather fatter than his cohort - but he has not stayed alive all this time because he has no skill. With what looks like sheer luck, he manages to evade the other man's kicking foot, and turn himself around.

Brev doesn't waste time worrying about the fact his kick didn't connect; rather he uses his motion to dance past, out of arm's reach. By the time Bartle pivots he is poised again on the balls of his feet. He grins at the other man. "Nice welcome - what's the occasion?" Then his gaze seems to shift to a point past Bartle's shoulder. "Ah, there you are." An instant later his dagger is arcing forward, aiming to slice Bartle's weapon-hand at the wrist.

Cleaver watches proceedings in silence, grunting in approval as Gidon stills, then loses patience and calls out, "Hold it! Or the boy gets it."

[Nob(#16122)] The woods are dim, but not yet dark, as dusk lays its long shadows across the land. In the small clearing where Gidon's home sits, a strange and unusual thing is happening - the Dunlending Brev is attacking another man! The door to the small cabin is open, but no lights are lit in there - not being dark enough yet to need them.

Bartle sees Brev's eyes look over his shoulder, and automatically, he starts to follow them, before shouting and yanking his gaze back. But it is too late; the Dunlending's knife has sliced a long shallow cut up his forearm. Swearing, Bartle switches his own long dagger to his other hand and slashes out with it.

As Cleaver shouts his challenge from inside the cabin, Gidon growls in his throat in sheer fury - but doesn't dare to move.

Brev freezes at Cleaver's shout, and the tip of Bartle's knife scrapes across his leather-clad chest. The Dunlending grimaces and slips his arm inside his jerkin as though favouring an injury. "Tell your friend to keep his knife still, then." The words are growled out, and there is a whiteness about the man's tight-set mouth that is not usually there. "What do you want?"

Cleaver doesn't dignify the 'order' with a response, merely, "Put the weapon down - nice an slow, mind - an' we'll all have a friendly little chat." The bearded bandit seems almost to be ignoring Gidon, though he has an axe-blade pressed to the side of the boy's neck. Perhaps the lad's stillness is taken for surrender.

[Nob(#16122)] "Ha!" Bartle gives an explosive grunt of satisfaction as he sees the 'injury' he has dealt the man. He doesn't attack again, only holds his long knife ready, circling around to get behind Brev.

Gidon's eyes slide sideways towards Cleaver, and then he makes himself sag, as if he is too terrified to hold himself up even. He whimpers, a stifled frightened sound beneath the hand that keeps him from saying anything.

Under the growling voices, the soft twang somewhere in the deepening shade of the wood would easily be missed. An arrow whizzes, cutting through the air, just overhead of Bartle and the Dunlending. Twang! it sinks into the trunk of a tree, reverberating for a few seconds. Thee woods remain still and silent; whomever is watching, waiting, perhaps warning... they yet keep to the shadows.

There is a flicker of what might almost be approval in Brev's eyes as he sees Gidon sag. He lets his gaze slide slowly to the right, in a tacit message. As Bartle circles behind him he steps limpingly into the doorway, taking a single step to the left, so that his attacker is at his side rather than his back. At the sound of that single arrow his mouth tightens further. All he says though is, "Just a moment. Got to catch my .. breath." And he bends stiffly, starting to set his dagger down.

Cleaver grunts as Gidon sags, and stoops forward over the youth in order to maintain his grip on the lad's mouth. "What do we want?" he echoes. "This place, for starters. Nice little hidey-hole. As to the rest - the little git's no interest to us. If 'twere up to me he'd be a goner. But since you seem to want the runt, maybe-" The words break off, startled, as the unmistakeable thunk of an arrow is heard. "Who's that?" he demands. "Wny, you lying, treacherous-" He lifts the axe-blade away from Gidon's neck to menace Brev.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon droops a little farther, making another whimpering noise in his throat; but as soon as the axe is lifted from his throat, he throws himself bodily at Cleaver's legs, biting, clawing, shoving.

Bartle grunts again. "At's right," he says. "Nice and easy, just go right on in...." He stops, staring open-mouthed up at the arrow still quivering over his head. Then he whirls around to see who is shooting - sees no one - whirls back and shoves his way into the house - either over or through or behind Brev.

"Curious," calls a man's voice from outside, towards the back of the house. "'Tis usually considered ill manners for guests to threaten their hosts." The voice seems to be moving around the perimiter, becoming clearer as it comes around towards the door. "One might think you were not, in fact, welcome."

Brev utters a single word of Dunael with the ring of an expletive; whether the cause is Bartle's unbalancing shove or Gidon's current actions, who can say? In the next moment though he has straightened up and with a quick flick of the wrist a small, innocuous-looking knife with a very sharp blade is sent hurtling in the direction of Cleaver's chest. He'll just have to hope that Gidon stays low.

Then he's grabbing for the larger dagger he had just set down - in that instant open and vulnerable to attack and seemingly uncaring of the fact. When the voice comes he does not glance up, but growls under his breath at the unseen and unknown, "Hurting my friends is never welcome."

Random roll: Brev rolls a 6.
Your action is SUCCESSFUL.

Cleaver's stocky body jerks at Gidon's unexpected assault. His response is a natural one - to glance down and aim a kick at the encumbrance. And thus it is that the little dagger finds a target, plunging into his shoulder below the collarbone. Not a dangerous wound by any stretch, but it does at least cause his grip on the axe to loosen ...

[Nob(#16122)] And Gidon grabs for the axe handle, wrestling to get it away. The kick connects solidly on his thigh, and he yells, but doesn't let go. The lad is unlikely to win this battle on even terms, since he is nowhere near as strong as Cleaver, as well as being hampered by an injured arm - but perhaps the dagger in the shoulder will even things out some.

Bartle is safely inside, and he shouts back out at the voice, "We was here first! He come attacking US!" He points to Brev, then realizes that the man is momentarily unarmed, and jumps forward, trying to stab the Dunlending.

A shadow looms suddenly in the doorway; a tall figure, swarthed in a dark cloak, eyes glinting from beneath the shadow of his cowl. His hood turns sharply towards Bartle and he darts forward, a hand snaking out quickly to grab the man by clothes, shoulder, arm... whatever he can reach... in an attempt to yank him off of Brev. "Enough!" His voice resonates in the small house, stern and commanding, yet not a yell.

Brev's reaching arm is halted by the blade of the knife, which opens up a long slash where one had been before, judging by the ease with which the leather of his jerkin parts. He says nothing at first, but hisses wordlessly, his swarthy features bleaching. After a moment he find his voice. "For Kiern's sake, Gidon, run! Who knows how many more of them there are?" He gives up reaching for the dropped dagger, instead using his left hand to pull another from his boot. Just how many daggers does the man carry?

Cleaver, engaged in a tug of war with Gidon for the axe-haft, kicks again. "Worthless git," he growls in the lad's direction - and then the shout comes. He reaches out his second hand to join the first, the struggle now fuelled by desparation.

[Nob(#16122)] "Can't!" Gidon grits out, tightening his hold as the axe is slowly but inexorably pulled out of his hand. His eyes are dark with fear and anger and adrenaline; he yells again as this second kick hits the same spot on his thigh. And all of the sudden, he lets go his hold on the axe entirely, maybe Cleaver will fall over backwards. Instead, the lad lunges for the dagger Brev has dropped. The rope around his ankle trips him flat, but stretched flat on the floor, he can just reach the hilt.

Bartle crows with triumph as he strikes home. But his delight is abruptly cut off by a gurgle as someone grabs hold of the back of his shirt and nearly chokes him. The fight isn't any longer two men against an unarmed and naked boy as it had been the night before; nor is it against an unsuspecting man - but against who knows how many armed fighters. Bartle twists to get away from the hand, fighting now to get to the doorway and away.

As Bartle twists and struggles, there is the unmistakable sound of tearing cloth, the grip on the back of his shirt suddenly releasing. The cloaked man throws down a large strip of cloth that once beloged to Bartle's shirt, and with a growl in his throat, whirls towards Cleaver. His right handmoving to clutch something at his left hip, he advances, menacing. "You best follow your friend, and right quick," he says in dangerous tones.

Alas, Cleaver does not fall over backwards, though the sudden release of pressure does cause him to stagger. He barely seems to notice Gidon's bid for the dagger; rather, his axe safely in his hands (he holds it two-handed now, for the blood is flowing freely from his shoulder), he barrels for the doorway. A pity it is that the doorway is blocked. He swings wildly, uncaring whether his axe hits his own companion, known 'enemy' or unknown newcomer. As it is, Thulion seems to be offering himself up nicely.

Brev rises from his crouch as Bartle is pulled off him, and glances wildly about. Does he recognize anything in the cloaked figure's voice or manner? Or, more likely, is anger's grip on him too strong to worry about enemies? As Cleaver charges forward he darts in for a left-handed stroke of his own, that final dagger flashing toward the bandit's side around where the liver would be. Not everyone's so eager for the uninvited guests' departure.

[Nob(#16122)] Bartle jerks ahead as his shirt tears and he is free. He races towards the woods, then turns and shouts back, "Cleaver! Let's get out of here!"

Gidon's fingers close around the dagger, and he shoves himself up - then falls back with a cry of pain. Used the wrong arm. After a minute, he tries again to sit up, more carefully, and seeing that Cleaver is fully involved with 2 men, he starts sawing at the rope tying him to the bedframe.

The ranger, for his height, is quick as a cat on his feet. He steps off to the side as Cleaver plunges for the door, a sharp sting of metal on metal in the air as the axe tears through cloak and strikes a half-drawn which protects the man's side. Thulion clenches his teeth, for the blow is still a hard one, but does not waste time; drawing the sword in full he tries to bring it around as Cleaver runs past, to strike with the flat of the blade just at or below his knees.

Brev's own desperate stroke falls short of its mark, thanks to the bandit's uncanny burst of speed. And whether by chance or design, any hope of another stroke is foiled by the barrier of Thulion's longsword. Instead he has to make do with words. "He doesn't deserve mercy," the Dunlending states angrily. The whiteness around his mouth is slowly fading - or perhaps it's just that his pallor is growing. A spreading stain of red mars the right forearm of his jerkin. "/And/ he's got my dagger in him. Did good work for that."

Unsurprisingly, Cleaver doesn't hang around to listen to the argument. His breath comes ragged from the force of that parried blow but on he ploughs, stumbling but not falling when the flat of Thulion's sword connects with the back of one laggard leg. Then, like his companion, he's through the doorway and away. At Brev's final protest he twist his bearded head back to utter a challenge: "Come and get it, then. You know where to look."?

[Nob(#16122)] Bartle waits for his friend, and the two of them crash off through the woods together. The last strand of rope parts under Gidon's knife, and he stands up - dressed in pants and a nice fraying rope anklet. His shirt is somewhere crumpled on the floor. "Brev?" he questions, limping painfully towards the two men, and mostly ignoring the stranger. "Are you.. you got cut. You all right? Let me look at it."

"Perhaps he does not," the ranger answers to Brev. "All the same, both of you look in need of medicine, and they can be dealt with later." He tips his head towards the door, meaning the bandits, as he sheaths his sword. "The pair of you cannot quite keep yourselves out of trouble, can you?" says he wryly, shaking his head, letting his hood fall back as Gidon comes over. "Come. Do you have bandages to bind your wounds? And water to cleanse them, or shall I fetch some?"

Brev's head turns at Gidon's voice, and clearly he notes the limp, for a black scowl spreads across his features. "Kiern, Gidon!" The muscle in his cheek is twitching openly, and his voice is rough. "What did they-" Then his mouth twists and he promises fiercely, "Anything they did to you, I'll do to them. Harder." He half-reaches out an arm, realizes it's still holding a dagger and with a grunt thrusts it back into his boot. His bloodied forearm is completely ignored.

At Thulion's words he turns his head back, fingers groping for the dagger, but then recognition dawns. "Lee. Well met. And I can look after myself. Just can't look after others." Again there is a roughness to his voice and he swallows, hard. "/Had/ bandages. Some herbs, even. Picked up a few ideas from some Elven herbwifeman." For a moment his features lighten, almost a grin, but then the dark expression is back as he looks to Gidon. "Did they trash the place?"

[Nob(#16122)] The lad turns his head, only now focusing on Thulion. "There's cloth," he says, his face and voice tightening with pain now that the adrenaline rush is over and he can start to feel all the various bruises he has acquired. "Ain't no water; they used it all."

Gidon looks around the room vaguely and shakes his head. "Ain't too bad," he says. "They come in th'night, I was sleepin'." He gives Brev a crooked smile. "Din't get much sleep after that, lyin' trussed up in th'corner. Din't hurt me too bad." There are rope burns around his wrists and ankles, crusted with dried blood. "Bigger feller, he made me cook stuff for 'em, bring him things, like that. Th'other one..." For a minute, he stops, a queer look in his eyes as he remembers some of the threats Cleaver had made over the course of the past day and night. Then he shakes his head. "He wouldn't let him though. I'm all right."

The ranger nods once, drawing out a small bag slung at his side. While Gidon answers the Dunlending, he finds a clear surface and sets out a couple of small rolled bandages. They are miraculously clean, given the man's condition. "Some cloth would be good as well, yes," he says. There is also a little leather pouch. "This," he indicates to Brev once the boy's account is told, "Has herbs in it that the... erm, herbwifeman," His lips almost twitch as he says it, as though there is something about the word that amuses him. "Should have tought you about. Could the pair of you manage a fire, so that we might heat the water?"

Brev notes Gidon's queer look and this time, freed of a hampering dagger, he stretches out his good arm to place a hand lightly on the youth's shoulder. "It's over now," he says after a long silence. "Right now you need healing," his gaze wanders to the part-healed arm, jaw clenching for a moment, "and rest and food - though suppose we should move you to town for a bit - and warn Honora ... Kiern," he sighs again, weariness in his tone, and for the first time he seems to take account of his own injury, for he looks down at his right arm hanging limply at his side.

At Thulion's words he simply nods. "Reckon we can manage that." Then follows a word not often dredged from his lips: "Thanks." And, with the ghost of a grin, he adds, "Hope you're less squeamish than Gidon here. Might need someone to help me seal yon cut." He jerks his chin toward his arm, then sighs again and walks in the direction of the woodpile.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon lifts his eyes to Brev's as the man puts his hand on his shoulder. After a minute, he smiles. "I'll get th'fire lit," he says. "I don' want t'go into town," he protests. Then his face goes blank - Honora! But he says nothing more just then, turning towards the fireplace, and bending down awkwardly. Over his shoulder, he says, "I ain't squeamish... but you c'n do th'sewing!" And he manages a grin.

The ranger chuckles softly, "Aye, then. I shall do the sewing," answers he, returning the grin to Gidon. "But, water," he says, almost to himself, as he turns and steps quickly out the door, breaking into a jog across the clearing.

Date added: 2010-07-19 06:02:00    Hits: 63
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