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Ranger About Town

Short Summary: Gidon, Nauthcel and Thomas have a chat
Date (real-life): 2010-09-11
Scene Location: Bree
It is the first snowfall of autumn - and has had rather the effect on bree of a kicked anthill. People swarm everywhere! Some are hurrying to get the last of their wares to market before winter sets in, some are hurrying to buy supplies, some are simply enjoying the snow - and it is beautiful. Fat fluffy flakes that float down from the sky and cover up everything dirty and sordid. And it's not so terribly cold either - possibly this snowfall will be the last for some more weeks, with fair weather setting in once more.

Clusters of folks stand around talking loudly - snatches of conversation can be heard. "This'll stop them bandits, you'll see!"
"Go somewhere's warm, they will!"
"Why my Johnny..."
"... beat him up!"
"I don't believe a word of it!"

A young Bree man wearing a much-too-large cloak and with bruises adorning his face, comes out of the general store - Gidon seems to have run into something unpleasant - unless he bumped his face in the dark!

The young Bree man is not the only one to be shrouded in a cloak. To the locals, his name is Neal and recognized as one of those 'Ranger' folk. He quietly moves among the crowds absorbing snippets of the conversations about the recent town happenings.

"Pah, they won't.."
"..no potatoes? What am I supposed to do without potatoes?"

Gidon glances up as his path takes him near the ranger, and he nods a silent greeting; his eyes are wary and uncertain - he hesitates as if he will say something, then evidently decides not to.

The grey gaze of the Ranger continues to scan over the crowds and finally come to fall upon the beaten man. As a small nod is offered, the tenor voice of the man comments, "You may want to put some salve on those marks. It will help them heal faster."

Snow? Many of Bree's shoppers are shivering, throwing dark glances up at the sky. But someone is clearly delighted. From the direction of the alley leading to the Big Field, a lonely snowball sails in search of company ... It lands *splat* against the window of one of the stores.

Gidon looks up again. "Don't got none," he says. "Ain't too bad." He looks to be about 16, with darker, straighter hair than most Breefolk, and slightly paler skin. But only slightly. He starts to smile in thanks, then stops, wincing.

A stout, red-faced woman pokes her head out from the sewing shop. Her angered gaze falls on the disreputable-looking form of Gidon - and talking to a Ranger, no less! "You!" she begins, but then a little hobbit-girl tugs at her sleeve. "It was that way, missus."

There is movement beneath the cloak of the Ranger, which stops when he first hears the impact of snow on glass and then the woman yelling. There is a slight twitch at the corner of his lips, the fades back to a neutral expression as refocuses on his task. A worn hand appears from under the long fabric containing what looks to be crushes leaves of a foreign heritage. "Make use of this," he suggests softly.

The red-faced shopkeeper, stopped in her tracks, turns her filthy stare on the alleyway instead. "Any more of that nonsense and I'll - I'll-"
From within the alley comes a muffled choking and a plaintive sounding, "But I didn't mean to ..." The words fade into silence as though the speaker were being dragged away from trouble by a wiser companion or two.
The shopkeeper watches for a moment or two, and then with a "Hmmph" in the direction of Gidon and his companion she steps back indoors.

Gidon glances around as someone yells, his shoulders stiffening under his cloak. Then he looks back, shifting the bag he carries in one hand to the other - it is a rather awkward motion, but he handles it deftly - before holding that hand out for the leaves. "What are they?" he asks, scrutinizing them carefully. "Ain't seen nothin' like that 'round here."

"It is a special mixture, one that will do better than any other around here," replies Nauthcel with a small grin. He then adds, "But I wouldn't spread it around. Others may be wary of your interactions with me."
In a change of subject, he asks, "So how did you get so ravaged?" While the question is said in a non-chalant manner, the grey eyes remain scrutinizing.

Gidon snorts. "Already don' like me too well," he says. There is no bitterness in his voice, just an accepting. He has lived all his life being not-quite-accepted by the townspeople.
And though the ranger's question is asked casually, the young man's eyes fly to meet his, startled and guarded. Carefully, he says - and does he raise his voice just a little? - "Was them bandits. Stole m'money, too." A shadow of something like grief in his eyes before he closes them a moment, takes a breath and adds, "Brev..."

The Ranger nods slowly before asking, "So what made you one of their targets? I have been hearing rumors of them since being in town and nothing positive seems to be happening to stop them." He then inquires, after a moment, "And who is Brev?"

"Brev..." Someone catches the name, and hisses it. Gidon looks around, anger leaping to his face before it drains away into defeat. "He's m'friend," he mumbles.
"Some friend!" says another man, near enough to hear.
Gidon doesn't respond to that, but his look at the ranger is a mixture of complex emotions - guilt, shame, anger, despair, and oddly enough a little flicker of hope. He hesitates, then answers the man's other question. "Was out in th'woods. Huntin'." A glance at the crowd - all too avidly listening - and he jerks his head along the road. "Come yon?"

The man listens intently to the insight given by the Bree citizen. With a nod, he turns toward the road gestured. "And he did nothing to provoke the bandits? It seems odd that they would go after an armed hunter. I imagine he is good with a bow and knife."

The crowd doesn't escape the notice of the Breeguard. Ever vigilant, this force of justice, they send in crowd control: The 14-year-old Thomas, in a cracked and ancient vest of studded leather and a helmet that keeps slipping down to cover his eyes so that he contantly have to shove it backwards.
"What's going on here?" His voice squeaks.

Gidon shakes his head, but he seems reluctant to say anything else here, where everyone is listening. But the listeners are not so slow. "Brev? He's one of 'em! Never done no good, rotten furriner...!" And more of the same.
Each word hits Gidon like a blow, and he is finally goaded into shouting back, "S'better'n any of you!" His eyes find Thomas, and for a minute, he is halted by sheer astonishment, mouth gaping open at the sight of the younger boy.

The jeering that is received through mention of the name causes Nauthcel to raise a brow slightly. Before he asks another question, his attention follows the gaze of the other man who seems to focus on the young boy. In a small whisper, he asks, "Guard of sorts?"

"I'm a Breeguard now," Thomas says proudly, catching Gidon's look at him. "You can't threaten me no more," he brags, thrusting his shoulders back to stand proudly. This is somewhat ruined by his leather vest, which, being two or more sizes too big for him, has crept up around his neck, so that his smallish head seems to poke out of it.
"I don't care if Brev -did- say he was sorry when he stabbed me. We're going to hunt him down and bring him to..uh...uh...justice." Right.
The Ranger, finally noticed, gets a cold look. "And then we're gonna clear this town of outsiders. Breeguard. We keep the peace. An' all. That stuff."

Gidon's face is still and expressionless, though his dark eyes are angry. Equally softly, he says to Nauthcel, "Heard he wanted t'be - made 'im a prentice, or somethin'." He turns away from Thomas, ignoring the younger lad's accusations and bragging.

To Thomas, the Ranger says, "I would be careful with such actions. You may end up closing out friends and keeping in enemies." Reaching out to place a hand on the departing man's shoulder in order to stop him, Nauthcel continues to speak to the guard. "What have you heard as of late about the bandits?"

"Enemies? Only enemies we got here are all outsiders," Thomas sniffs, looking at the hand now placed on his shoulder. Being 14, though, he only scowls a little so that the Ranger's hand remains there.
"I was there when Brev and them bandits burned down that farm. Tried to stop 'em, but they knocked me down and then..." Thomas gives a little shudder, "one of them bandits was hitting at my head, and then there was Brev and I got stabbed in the back and the barn burnt down and the farmer thought I did it but the bandits got away. And Brev, he was odd, saying he was sorry and all but running off with the rest of them."
"What are you wanting to know for anyhow? You're a part of them, I bet!" he accuses the Ranger.

Gidon stops, and turns to glare at Thomas - his mouth pinches tightly shut as if to keep words back, unsaid.

At the glare, Thomas points to Gidon. "_He_ knows where Brev is! and them bandits!"

With the scowl, Nauthcel lets his hand drop to his side off the boys shoulder. Yet, his own visage takes on a harder contenance at the accusation made by the guard. "You know little about me, but accuse me to be of evil intent. You are also quick to point at others as if you read their hearts." The ashen eyes of the man do not depart from the boy.

"But...but...everyone says things about you Ranger folk!" Thomas objects, once he has managed to close his mouth, which has dropped open at Nauthcel's words. "Whispering an' stuff..." he says, drawing back a pace from the Ranger's stare. "An...he -does- know where Brev is! Even Ernie says so! I think....I mean..."
"But I saw it all. Watched them burn down that barn and all for some potatoes!"

"I don't know where he is," Gidon says. He gives the ranger a look that is strangely intent, then turns away. "Got t'go," he says gruffly. "M'livin' in town." He tucks the herbs the man has given him into a pouch at his waist. "Thanks." And turns away - ducking through the crowd, he is gone.

Date added: 2010-09-12 16:02:47    Hits: 120
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