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(Archive) For hire ...

Tags: Rinadan,  Imladech,  Brev

Short Summary: Brev finalizes the details of his employment with 'ranger' Rinadan (Imladech)
Date (real-life): 2010-11-11
Scene Location: Shaws: Shepherding Village
Date (in-game): May/June 3051
Time of Day: Evening
Shepherding Village

This is the home of a small, proud, and independent people who live primarily by herding sheep in the open lands south of the Great East Road. Once driven from this region by troll depredations, they have returned and appear to be prospering, perhaps because they can also profit by trade on the Great East Road.

Or rather.... we should say it /was/ the home of these people. The many sturdy houses and smaller huts clustered on a hill here have mostly been burned. Some are yet standing, more are nothing more than charred timbers. Once, they were safely ensconced behind a deep ditch and wall. The ditch is filled with the ashy ghosts of thorn bushes ... and the gate hangs crookedly, black as charcoal.

But a stone wall is being built by a group of industrious dwarves, and many of the buildings that were still standing have been repaired. The village is now a mixture of the charred, skeletons of houses, and shiny new ones.

A long, low, smoke-stained building, sprawling along the hillside below the caravanserai, appears to the south. Its thatched roof has miraculously escaped burning - though there are black patches across it. Thick lead-paned windows are dark. A group of industrious men and dwarves and a few elves are camped in the open area.

Obvious exits:
Gathering House, Caravanserai, and Great East Road

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IC time: May/June 3051                          
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Another day in the Shepherding village is drawing to a close. The livestock have been brought in for the night and the homely smell of woodsmoke fills the air, the straight column from the Gathering House mingling with the curling wisps thread their way from beneath the thatched eaves of other buildings.

The southerner, Brev, wanders between the huts seemingly at random, but his feet are taking him steadily closer to the dwelling of the tall, pale man - easily marked by the fact that it is often guarded. He halts before it to enquire, "Your Captain around? Wanted a word or two about where my path might take me ..." His manner is casual, his tone easy and unworried - perhaps the new jerkin of studded leather he wears has something to do with that. Dark and travel-worn though it may be, it is in good condition and a better fit than the old one to his thin frame. Most importantly, it does not bear any telltale patching at the back.

"Aye." One of the men replies, about to call out when the door opens revealing Imladech. All the signs of his former sickness have left and he is tall and strong again, he too is dressed now in a leather jerkin as though anticipating some conflict or another. He smiles as his grey eyes light on Brev and he steps closer, "Ah, I've been meaning to seek you out, sir." He says in his slightly strange accent, the words proper and courteous.

He nods to his men and they wander off, finding other things to distract themselves with while the two talk. Imladech sits on a nearby log, gesturing for Brev to do the same if he wishes, "But, it seems you had a question for me, first?" He asks.

Brev's lips twitch. "Decided that a guide or two might not go amiss, eh?" His own Common is sing-song, his accent distinctly rougher than Imladech's cultured one. He glances to the log, shrugs and perches himself on it. "Oh, my queries are simple enough. Are you hiring, what's in it for me and my partner, and when were you thinking to leave? If we're Dunland-bound, need to pick up a few supplies in Bree first. Sides, I've got a young friend to see home again." He glances up at Imladech, his expression bland so that it's hard to tell what he's really thinking.

He is alone now, but he's been seen about the village with two others: a youth with a crippled arm and a blonde-haired teenage girl who must be at least a decade his junior. Whether it's these pair he's naming as 'friend' and 'partner', who knows?

"It might come in handy." Imladech replies, not giving much eagerness away either, "But I have been to those parts before, and we would probably manage. But, it would be useful." He shrugs, "My plans are relatively simple at the moment: I wish to build a company of men about me, and we will travel selling our skills where they might be appreciated. Mercenaries, yes, but I hope to progress further than that, to find a worthy fight, to earn some recognition and status and build ourselves a name and - who knows, some land?"

He opens his arms expansively, as though indicating the Shaws and all around; and there is a dark gleam in his eye, "There is danger here, but it is a backwater, it is nothing. There are kingdoms out there with real wealth, and real strength - Dunland, I hope, is only a start." The tall Dunadan allows himself a genuine smile, the darkness in his eyes veiled behind their brightness for a moment, "But, I am not a nanny, nor a farmer offering rides on his cart - if your friends come, they must do their bit. As for pay - we split our winnings evenly." He says simply.

Brev listens, his gaze sharpening at the mention of trading mercenary skills. For a moment it seems he is about to speak - but then the Dunadan continues and he subsides. For a little while ... Suddenly he lets out a snorted burst of laughter. "Wealth and strength. Kiern, you'll find neither of those in Dunland. Just mangy curs squabbling for the scraps beneath the table. Fighting aplenty, though, every man of power wants what's his neighbour's. Suppose I could spin some tale to suit ... You might even get a title out of it, they're free with them to those of noble birth." His lips curl in what's almost a sneer, but it is a fleeting thing.

And then he shrugs. "Sounds like you're offering little enough save the winnings of an early death. I'm a practical man, I don't give something for nothing. Gold's no interest to me - my folk don't use the stuff - but even I can't live on air. So, for myself and my partner: living expenses and the protection of the group in return for guidance, use of Dunael and the strength of our weapon-arms. /And/ a share in the takings. I'll contribute to the pot, too, while we're far from settled lands, I'm a fair hunter. Who knows, I might even have other skills." He gives a crooked smile. "Deal? Or shall I look elsewhere for employment? Heard there's Dwarves heading east ..."

"As I said," The one calling himself Rinadan replies softly, a hint of edge in his voice--though whether it is something Brev said, or mention of the Dwarves, he gives no clue. "Dunland is only the beginnings, I should hope. One small block in the building. Have you ever crossed those mountains? There are kingdoms worth talking about further south - kingdoms, as you no doubt know, against which the men of Dunland could not stand." He smiles, shrugging, "I hope to inspire you, I hope you will follow me - but, for now, if you are willing simply to join for a share in the winnings that will have to do."

The tall 'captain' sits back as though feeling the negotiations done, "Tell me - it is Brev, is it not? What grudge do you hold against your people?" His eyes hold a cheeky sparkle, "Perhaps I tread ground I ought not, yet I will try my luck. A leader must know his men."

Any hint of movement at the corners of Brev's mouth ceases as the one known as Rinadan speaks. "These mountains yonder?" he queries, gesturing vaguely eastward. "Aye, I have," he states coolly. What other mountains could there be, after all?

 "And Kiern, but you're one for assumptions," he adds, lips pursing even as a jerk of his head gives the assent to the name the other has spoken. "Who says I hold any grudges? I simply look out for myself - always have. Noone else left to do it for me." He shrugs, as though it were unimportant. "I pity them. Most of the land's too poor to farm, and what the goblins don't wreck the wars do. Clan against clan, for no more than whim of those who think their breeding gives them the right to toss lives away. Even my sainted Da-" The words end in a snort, their speaker either unaware or uncarng of any grudges he's revealed.

 He looks up then, amber eyes weighing the one before him. "I'll follow your orders, sure, Captain." Was that the slightest twitch at the corner of his mouth, the faintest curve of a smile? "But my trust can't be bought, it has to be earned. We'll see. Meantime - think on what I said about noble birth, eh? Gold'll get you nothing in Dunland. Power - or its seeming - might. With that pretty voice and haughty bearing you could be a noble's son - king's son, even. Don't they have some fancy name for that round here?"

"A prince?" The captain asks, an attempt at a smirk turning into a sad smile, "No, I do not deserve that title - but we shall see when we arrive. As you say, respect must be earned - whatever you think of your people I doubt they will accept me just because of my pretty voice." Imladech laughs, but then studies Brev solemnly, "Your story must be a tale to hear. My name is Rinadan, as you no doubt already know." He rises to stand, "If you will join me, then I think I am just about ready to move. Tomorrow we will head for Bree, get what provisions we need, and be on our way. There are twelve of us so far, a humble beginning. Some I trust more than others, but it is difficult to find adventurers with pure motives in these parts." He looks sharply at Brev, "I hope you are one I can trust." Then a shrug, brushing it off. "Any more questions?"

Brev quirks one eyebrow at Imladech's reaction. "Who said anything about 'deserve'?" he queries lightly. "Though suppose I deserve most of the names I've picked up." His lips twist in a wry grin. "Anyway," he shrugs, "it was just a thought. Claim some authority, help them out of some trouble or other and they're like to return the favour. You can muse on it while we travel."

As Rinadan stands, Brev does also. "No more questions," he answers off-handedly, brushing aside any question of trust - or motives, come to that. Is the goal of simple self-preservation considered 'pure'? "My partner and I will join you, captain - and young Gidon can travel with us back to Bree. Don't dismiss the lad, he's the best tracker this side of the Mountains - not that we'll have much call for that, I hope."

He brushes bark and moss from his trews and turns to go, giving Rinadan a smile and a nod, but then he stops to look back. "One more thing. My partner's quite the looker," a flash of something akin to possessiveness clouds the man's features. "Warn your men off. Else they might find out just how many creative ways there are to use a knife." His eyes are hard. Before Rinadan can respond to the warning - or issue a counterthreat of his own - Brev is gone.


Date added: 2010-11-21 15:10:32    Hits: 69
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