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Logs

Troubles come in twos

Tags: Brev,  Ollie,  Shaaknar,  Nurenhir

Short Summary: Brev is reminded that there are other reasons than trolls for which to avoid the Shaws
Date (real-life): 2010-05-23
Scene Location: Trollshaws, near Shepherding Village
Date (in-game): Yule 3049
Time of Day: Dusk

East Road - Near the Trollshaws

    The road here passes through rolling hills. There is hardly any difference between east and west, but the land seems to be rising to the west and dropping to the east. A small footpath leaves the road toward the south. You can see very little in the darkness, though you can sense tall shadows looming around you. Probably only trees...

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                           | Yfelwydan Time (YST) |
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** Real time is: Sun May 23 15:23:07 2010, GMT -8 **
Elendor time is: Twilight on a Cloudy Sterday, 2nd Yule 3050.

Note: It's nighttime out, so it's safe to wander outside.
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It is the season of Yule, when the days are shortest and the nights darkest. Already here in the forested lands known to men as the Trollshaws the light is fading, and beneath the tree-boughs shadows lengthen, each threatening to conceal something unpleasant.

Against such a backdrop the soft thump of hooves resounds uncomfortably loudly. A pony is making its way through the forest, a shaggy, rough-coated beast with its head down and a slight limp to its gait. Leading it is a man, tall and swarthy and with dark curls straying from beneath his hood. Brev - for those who know him would recognize him - does not look happy, and darts sidelong glances at the foliage with every step. At least he has a destination ahead - the lights of the Shepherding Village shine out as a welcoming beacon, and the scent of smoke drifts on the air. The pony lifts its head at the sight, and pricks its ears.

[Ollie(#15066)] There are other things in the woods besides orcs and wolves and bears. There are trolls... But Brev is lucky tonight - he isn't meeting one of these mammoth creatures. A stir in the cold air and three men step out of the trees - two in front from the right, one more from the left and a little behind. They are raggedly dressed, and one carries a short sword in his hand. The blade glints. He smiles, showing a gap in his teeth, and says cheerfully, "Good evening, traveler!"

Luck is a relative term. Brev eyes the trio suspiciously, the hand that is not holding the pony's bridle slipping beneath his own cloak. "Evening," he greets the speaker levelly. "Not sure it's a good one. Cold, I'll grant you." He pauses, gaze flicking appraisingly over each one. "Little late to be out away from shelter, don't you think." He keeps his voice casual, but his grip on the bridle surreptitiously tightens.

The pony, Mecsan, blows out a few steaming breaths toward the newcomers - but these are men and not mighty eagles. For him at least they hold no fear.

[Ollie(#15066)] The first man nods agreeably. "It /is/ late to be out from shelter, isn't it?" He seems even more cheerful than before, but the other two men are grim and silent, their faces thin and hard. "And cold, you're right. It's a bad night to be caught out on... " With no discernable signal, the other two draw swords as well, the metal ringing softly. "Give us what you've got and you'll be spending the night nice and warm by yon fires." All humor has left the first bandit's voice as he jerks his head towards the lights of the village. "Don't, and..." he doesn't say anything, merely lifts his sword a few inches.

Brev's right hand remains beneath his cloak; the left inches up the bridle, slips round the pony's neck. Aloud, he snorts. "Kiern, man, do I /look/ like I've got gold on me? What I've got you'd rather not have." Forced amusement and the flicker of a smile shifts to an undercurrent of warning. Casually, almost contemptuously, he adds, "You'd find better pickings round the lands of Bree. Fat farmers with barns overfull for their needs. Whereas here ..." he shrugs. "Heard the place had been trashed - again."

And then casual conversation ends as he attempts to heave himself up onto the saddle-blanket covering the pony's shaggy back.

Mecsan, who had sidestepped at the sound of ringing metal, snorts and shies.

Random roll: Brev rolls a 1.
Your action FAILS badly.

[Ollie(#15066)] "Whatever you've got, we want it," the leader replies. He takes a step forward, his blade up and ready - when the man next to him, who has been looking oddly uncertain, steps forward and whispers something. The leader checks, looking at Brev more intently than before. He sees the weak attempt to mount the pony, and his face takes on the uncertainty of his henchman. Then it hardens again. "Well, if he is," he says, not bothering to lower his voice, "We'll be doing yon snivelings a favor, keeping him from spreading it round them. Get him, boys!"

Brev's jaw sets as his poor horsemanship turns the mounting attempt into failure. Mecsan, clearly not in the mood for games, tosses his head and sidesteps away so that the man simply slides down his side. If nothing else, at least the motion has the effect of pulling Brev back from that outstretched blade. Brev mutters something in Dunael that is likely a curse as he regains his footing, and shakes his cloak clear of the right arm, which is holding a dagger. "Generous, eh," he responds to the sword-wielding leader in a tone that's little short of a sneer. "So - who's first for the pox then? Just one touch, all it takes ... They say even possessions can be tainted." The dagger-blade glints in the moonlight, almost pitifully puny against the sword. There's nothing puny about the speed with which he darts forward and past the bandit leader, blade licking out like a lapping tongue. If one means of escape has failed, well, there are plenty of others.

Brev rolls a 7.
Your action is SUCCESSFUL.

[Ollie(#15066)] But the two underlings have evidently decided that whatever this man might have isn't worth dying of the plague to get, and they fade back into the woods as silently as they appeared out of them. The leader parries Brev's attack and stabs back, then notices he is alone. "Go die of your pox then, and all those you touch!" he snarls, slashing once more at the man before dodging into the trees again himself.

Random roll: Brev rolls a 1.
Your action FAILS badly.

"Welcome," Brev returns, a forced smirk on his lips. He jerks, perhaps, as the sword flashes - certainly it has the feeling of having connected with something - but the smirk remains fixed in place as he watches the bandits' retreat, until it is replaced by lips pursed in a whistle.

Mecsan, who had been edging away from the swordsmen and toward the lights of the village, snorts and stamps a hoof unhappily, but at a second whistle he turns back to his master. Brev tucks the dagger between his teeth for a moment and reaches out with that hand to grasp the bridle, muttering filthy words in Dunael that are almost certainly obscenities, but his touch at least is soothing and this time the pony allows himself to be mounted. Only then, as Brev's cloak pulls back, is the long gash in the jerkin at his left side revealed. As man and beast make their way through the woods, they leave behind them the scent of blood.

[Shaaknar(#16331)] Alas, not the best of scents to leave behind...

There are more than just bandits in these vile woods, and even now there might be glimpsed a darker shape against the deepening twilight. From tree to tree it weaves a path, pausing occasionally behind a blackened trunk to peer out with a pair of unfriendly crimson eyes. The figure follows the mounted human, each step bringing it closer. Metal glints beneath a clawed hand, somewhere in the dark.

Brev is not attempting to look behind him. He grasps Mecsan's mane left-handed for long enough to return the dagger to his right, then leans forward over the pony's neck to aid his balance. "Fine time to be bloody independent," he mutters to the beast sourly in Dunael. "Just get us out of here in one piece, eh?"

Mecsan's walk shifts to an uneasy trot. Perhaps it is that dagger-blade waving around just on the periphery of vision, perhaps it is that sixth sense that allows beasts to scent danger. He snorts, loudly.

[Shaaknar(#16331)] The pursuer slips along in relative silence (for a large orc), and there comes the light rustle of leaves, and the snapping of twigs underfoot. Shaaknar frowns, muttering under his breath and fiddling his fingers over the hilt of a drawn weapon. At the words in Dunael, however, the uruk-hai's mouth deforms further into a smirking snarl.

"Foolish to be wandering the woods at this hour, manling," the creature calls into the twilight, his own words a harsh form of Common. "And a southern neighbor, by the sound of it. Ha! Think you're safe from us this far west?"

Brev's left hand tangles through the pony's untidy mane until it finds the end of the bridle-rope, and he shifts his grip to that, shoulders tensing. When the words come, he twists his head round to view the speaker, breath hissing out at the motion and the dagger leaving a snail-trail of silver in the gathering dark. His response is a grunt. "Trust me, don't intend to wander," he responds in that same Common, singsong in his case. "Got company waiting right up ahead." The jerk of his head indicates the Shepherding Village, though he does not look in that direction himself, trusting the pony to make its own way. "Neighbour, eh? Tell me more." The words may sound uncaring, but his eyes have hardened.

The pony, Mecsan, has only one response to the sight of the Uruk-hai - speed. The trot becomes near-gallop, and Brev is jolted this way and that by the motion.

[Shaaknar(#16331)] The pony increases its pace -- and so does the orc, obviously not wishing to be eluded so easily, nor so soon. Still, a sizable distance is maintained between man and -hai..for now.

Shaaknar scowls at the mention of company ahead, though it seems to also give him another reason to move faster. "Pity if you never got there," is the only given comment on this statement, and the Isengarder grips the broad-blade tighter. "Tell you more, eh? No, I think not. I'd much rather we talked with steel than with pleasantries -- always been that way during raids on your pitiful land back south. Missing some horses lately?" The uruk-hai shoots the pony a dreadful hungry look.

Brev's breath hisses out with each step the pony takes, and he seems to be slipping rightward on the saddle-blanket. Urgently he yanks on the bridle, snapping out a couple of words of Dunael. The pony neighs unhappily, but given the choice between obeying a familiar companion and facing an unfamiliar forest alone, he chooses the former. Reluctant and trembling, Mecsan slows a little.

Occupied as he is, it is some while before Brev can spare time or breath for a response. "You know, could be they're short of a few horses back in Dunland," he responds, mouth twisting in an ironic smile despite the fact there are beads of sweat on his brow. "Somehow I don't think they'd thank you for returning them, though. I really wouldn't worry about it." The words cease and his gaze flicks from orc to pony and back, as though measuring the distance. "Sure you want to talk? Might not be pleasant." The words are spoken with as much calm as one can achieve whilst trying to maintain a seat on a panicked pony.

[Shaaknar(#16331)] "Oh, I wouldn't be returning them," assures the orc, yielding a fanged grin. "More like giving it to a roasting spit and a fire. Of course, I'd invite you to along for a bite as well. Seems fiting, considering its your horse, and who knows? We might want dessert afterward." He gives another nasty smile, and then darts closer as the pony slows.

Metal flies as the orc-blade whirls up, tracing a cold trail of silver in the dark as the uruk-hai puts himself in range to strike; the side of the sword drifts for one of the human's legs that rests over the pony's flank.

Shaaknar attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 2 hp's by Shaaknar's attack...

Brev's own mouth sets in a thin line, his earlier mirth at an end. "Mecsan's not for the taking, goblin-man. That's not negotiable, by you or anyone." As the broad orc-blade flicks out, he leans away from it so that the blade no more than kisses the flesh of his leg. A mere scratch - for some reason his next breath is a snatched gasp. Gritting his teeth, he leans back toward the orc so that his own dagger-blade can return the favour. A quick jab in the dark, made more random by the pony's jolting gait, though he's aiming for Shaaknar's head.

You blindly attack Shaaknar with your Dagger...
Your attack against Shaaknar moderately wounds him!

[Shaaknar(#16331)] Leather armor doesn't do much against the flicking dagger, and it scores a long cut on the lower jaw, nigh the top of the neck. Shaaknar hisses, pulling aside a little and instead eyeing the pony; it afterall, is the one making the escape. Still running to keep up with the gait of the equine, the orc bring's the short broad blade down at an angle, this time aiming for hooved legs.

Shaaknar attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 15 hp's by Shaaknar's attack...

Of course, the pony's weaving motion makes targeting an awkward thing. Mecsan turns to round a tree just as the orcish broadsword slashes forward, and it is rider's leg rather than steed's that bears the brunt. No mere kiss, this: a deep gash in the flesh beneath Brev's torn trews can be seen. This time he utters a guttural cry of pain, quickly bitten back.

"I'd almost ..think.." the words are uttered breathlessly between the pony's jerks, "you didn't .. like me. Did I .. start this? And aren't I .. giving you the chance .. to run now?" He leans forward, his cheek against Mecsan's rough mane, and as the pony angles for the next bend in the path he lets his arm lash out blindly, at goblin head-height.

You blindly attack Shaaknar with your Dagger...
Your attack against Shaaknar lightly wounds him!

[Shaaknar(#16331)] "Don't like that pesky knife of yours," answers the Isengarder. "Haven't found out if I like /you/ or not yet," laughs the orc then, though he pants and rubs at a previously bandaged side. "I'd have to get a bite first, you see...and I am running. Just not away--"

The last part is cut off in a fresh growl, as the dagger leaves its mark a little higher than its prior given cut. And now, the uruk-hai's irriated red gaze it brought thither, upon that knife; however, he does not bring his own weapon up to bat away Brev's right hand. Rather, Shaaknar takes a feigned swipe at the poor pony's head, trying to stay close to the animal's side and herd it into the path of a fast approaching tree.

Shaaknar attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he misses!

[Nurenhir(#14756)]
The sound of the scuffle does not fall upon a deaf forest. A lantern light is uncovered, its bright beams shining between the trunks of twisted trees. Accompanying it are soft, steady steps, nearly unheard. It is an elven lamp.

"Bite?" Brev queries. "I'll give you a bite - of steel." As the pony, Mecsan, lunges away from the blade  he desperately tries to drag the stubborn beast's head round, away from the tree. He succeeds at the expense of turning, presenting the pony's whole broad flank to the attacker, and an involuntary cry leaves his lips as he yanks at the reins, feeling himself slipping. A few confused moments follow before he regains a stable seat on Mecsan's sweating back (the poor beast is by now terrified and trembling).

When a sudden wash of light glints through the tree-trunks, Brev's jaw tightens. "Told you before, you don't want what I have," he calls roughly back in that direction, letting his dagger lick toward Shaaknar's weapon-arm at the same moment.

You attack Shaaknar with your Dagger...
Your attack against Shaaknar lightly wounds him!

[Shaaknar(#16331)] As the pony and tree collision is avoided, Shaaknar's mouth parts into a snarl, which swiftly twists into a few garbled cursings as the Dunlending's blade digs a thin line over his right arm. The orc flings this hand downward, jerking the broadsword forward for the mount's exposed side.

The lantern light draws the uruk-hai's glare for a moment, and it does not improve his scowl. "Trying to scare me away with light? Ha..sorry to say it won't work. I'd hold my ground against the hated sun if you threw it at me." He thumps his leather-clad chest proudly.

Shaaknar attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he misses!

It is no particular testament of skill on Brev's part that Shaaknar's blow meets naught but air, but rather the fact that Mecsan has caught sight of the lantern and decided that it means safety. He is already wheeling away round the outflung tree-trunk and toward the light when the blow falls short.

Brev, finding himself moved out of easy dagger-reach, does not try to strike again. His swarthy features look oddly bleached in the pale lantern-light. "Wasn't planning to throw the sun. That lantern should do just as nicely - clingy stuff, lantern-oil is. Real bugger to put out when it's alight." He lets Mecsan go where he will; he can deal with the lantern-bearer when he gets there.

You forego your chance to attack.

[Shaaknar(#16331)] The pony bolts toward the light; and this time the Isengarder does not attempt to likewise increase his speed. Shaaknar paces a pair of steps, then slows to a halt and leans against a thick tree trunk as he massages his bandaged side again with his left claw. Crimson eyes narrow spitefully as Brev passes out of range, but the orc gives no chase -- clearly, he is not too thrilled on the thought of being aflame with lantern oil. With an angry mutter, he shifts himself to back away into the undergrowth.

Brev's head is twisted round so that he can watch the orc's actions, though given his inexpert seat atop the pony and the constant need to maintain it, it is likely he loses sight of Shaaknar as soon as the latter slips into the shadows. He turns his gaze toward the light then, dagger held at the ready - just in case.

When he reaches the lamp and its bearer, Brev starts in wordless surprise; then, amazingly, lets out a short bark of laughter. His voice drifts faintly back: "Kiern! Never thought I'd see the day I was glad to see a bloody Elf ..."


Date added: 2010-05-24 08:46:00    Hits: 90
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