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Thorns on the side

Tags: Brev,  No-Tongue Ted,  Jarlac

Short Summary: The bandits make camp en route to the Shire, and discuss their planned approach
Date (real-life): 2010-09-13
Scene Location: Eriador: between Bree and Shire
Date (in-game): Dec 3050
Time of Day: night
Thorny Path along the Brandywine

You're on the rather slippery southern bank of a frozen stream. The path alongside the stream is hardly wide enough to stand on, and thorn bushes pull at your clothes and tear at your skin. It is so dark here that you could hurt your face by just trying to look at your hand. You can't see a thing, but you can feel something like a shallow furrow running off to the south. The plantlife here seems to want you to stay; it's pulling you to stay here.

Obvious exits:
 North leads to The Dales of the Upper Baranduin.
 South leads to Abandoned Road - Northern Bounds of the Shire.

                      Dunland Time and Weather Forecast

Real Time is:       Mon Sep 13 15:17:01 2010
IC weather is:      Wind:  - Clouds: clear
IC Moon is:         Waxing crescent
IC time is:         Midnight <about 1 AM>
IC date is:         Sunday, Day 5 of December in the year 3050.


It is past the darkest hour of the night, and away to the east the winter sky has started to pale - soon dawn will be here. Until then, those abroad in the night must rely on the crescent moon to guide them. Its light is faint and fickle, and from the band of travellers making their way through bush and briar come muttered curses. A ragged and rough-looking assortment they are - men with varisized burdens on their backs, and a handful of ponies. At length someone up ahead gives the signal to halt and the murmur goes through the ranks: "Make camp."

Brev, who has fallen behind at the rear of the group, lopes up with something dangling from his left hand - the limp form of a half-starved rabbit. For someone who has demonstrated his lack of skill with a spear, he brings back small game with amazing regularity. Must have quite the knack with those snares. "Here?" the man queries nonchalantly, one brow lifting above the fading mask of bruises across nose and eyes that have earned him the new nickname of 'Ferret'. "Kiern, hope those bloody thorns are kinder than last night's."

[Graim(#20753)]     One member of this travelling band of disreputible sorts, near the back, is No-Tongue Ted, mallet of the Pony hanging from his belt. As the murmur to make camp sweeps through the ranks, He of No Tongue sighs quietly and lets his pack fall from his back with a 'thud'. He seems to be debating with himself whether or not it will be worth it to empty the pack when Brev questions and speaks.

    Ted turns cool eyes upon the other, miming sleeping before motioning to the thorns and someone screaming, followed by sleeping people waking up. Perhaps he means to say it will serve to let them know if anyone tries to sneak up on them. Or who knows?

Brev's swarthy features screw up in apparent puzzlement at the elaborate sequence of gestures. "If you expect me to sleep among yon thorns I'll do more than bloody scream," he mutters, scowling - but then suddenly one side of his mouth pulls back in a smirk. "But no complaints from me about our choice of camp. Got ourselves a nice little palisade here."

He lets his own pack slide down rather more gently than Ted's, dumping his miserable-looking catch beside it, then starts to poke around in the thorns for brush for the fire. He twists his head back as something occurs to him: "What happened to the other fellow?"

[Graim(#20753)]     A sigh comes from Ted, as if to say 'Of course it's a nice palisade, that's what I meant'. Then he just nods his head, beginning to empty out his pack. As Brev asks after 'other fellow', however, the No-Tonged One looks up, puzzlement upon his features as he tilts his head slightly to the side.

[Bagurat(#24847)] There is a small commotion from nearby, and the sound of raised voices. "I don' care if yer pretty little shirt got ripped by them thorns! Pathetic bandit behavor, to be whining o'er a coat." And soon enough the speaker comes into view: a tall shaggy haired man with finer clothes than most, and onward he walks imperiously through the gathering of thieves as they set up camp. Strides slow to a pause as Brev and Ted are espied, and Jarlac peers in that direction, his eyes narrowing above his hooked nose. "And what are yer two doin'? Why not make yerselves useful and set up some here tents?"

"Meant-" Brev begins to Ted, and shrugs, turning away. "Never mind." After all, he's hardly supposed to be keeping track of bandit numbers - which in the natural course of things tend to fluctuate.

At Jarlac's query he looks back over his shoulder. "Thought we'd need brush for the fire?" comes his swift explanation, in the singsong Common that marks him out as 'foreign'. But he scrambles back out of the thorny thicket anyway, half an armful of brush in hand and a few more twigs decorating the tangled mass of dark curls.

[Graim(#20753)]     Ted's eyes flick to Jarlac and he nods slightly, miming a fire, and the cooking of food while others set up tents. Then a group sitting down to eat. That gestured, he takes his mallet from his belt and moves to the thorns, tangling the weapon in the thicket and pulling out what is loose.

[Bagurat(#24847)] "Fine, fine," comes the snorting reply, and though he shrugs slightly, Jarlac does not yet turn his attention elsewhere. "Mr. No-words I've met before," a dirty thumb is jerked toward Ted, and then the eyes return to the other man. "But you, I don't know."

Brev sets down his load of brush beside the scrawny-looking rabbit. "Joined up in Bree," he offers by way of reply, straightening so that he can meet Jarlac's gaze. His stance is seemingly quite casual, though he's watching Ted out of the corner of his eye too. "Had a few property disputes with the locals. I'm good with locks, good with snares - good with plenty of things." He flicks a scowl in Ted's direction and adds in a defensive mutter out of the side of his mouth, as though he expected an addition to his story, "And enough said about the spear." Perhaps it's as well that No-Tongue can't speak.

[Graim(#20753)]     With a good chunk of loose brush upon his mallet, No-Tongue Ted turns back to Brev and Jarlac, an eyebrow arced at the former before he shrugs, moving to set what he has gathered in a pile, taking up a few loose stones as he does as well to place on the outside of the circle.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Shaggy-haired head tilting to the side in feign consideration as he glances the Dunlending over, Jarlac simple remarks, "I see." Folding his arms over his chest, he digs the toe of his heavy boot through the dirt for a moment, letting the silence drag on. Then finally he breaks it again, this time the corner of his mouth twisting into something of a smirking grin. "Then yer're useful, good. Don't suppose yer know who yer talkin' to?" His gaze flickers sideways briefly to watch Ted's efforts.

At that question Brev shakes his head, dislodging a few twigs. "Figure I'm about to learn that," he offers by way of reply, keeping his expression neutral.

[Graim(#20753)]     What could be a snorted laugh comes from Ted as he puts his mallet back on his belt, taking out flint and tinder to light the brush he had gathered, nodding his head.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Another snorting sound, and then follows the explanation; and it would be noticable perhaps that the accent resembles that heard in Bree. "Jarlac," says he, straightening himself proudly. "Known as the here 'Boss' of this lot. The one who pays yer all. And likely, provided this hobbit-land is as rich as I've heard tell, there'll be even more gold to be earned once we've finished. Then back on the road for Bree again."

"Boss," Brev repeats, ducking his head in what's likely intended as respect. "What's our orders for the hobbit-lands? Slip in quick and quiet, or fire a few barns?" He crouches down by the rabbit he'd brought in, pulling the dagger from his belt so that he can start to skin it. "And back to Bree? Thought I'd seen the last of that Kiernforsaken place." He grins wryly. "What's so important back there?" He flicks a surreptitious glance at Ted at that question; perhaps he's heard garbled mention of some personal interest.

[Graim(#20753)]     Ted grunts, perhaps to attract attention, nodding to the fire he has started, the miming taking it to buildings. His opinion: burn it all! That done, he moves to collect more dead shrubbery to keep the fire fed, though he pauses as he hears what is important in Bree. He turns his gaze to Brev, pointing to the Pony symbol on his mallet, then miming a short, self-important figure. Then taking the mallet to said figure's head.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Brev's glance toward Ted does not go unnoticed, and to accompany the latter's miming act, Jarlac supplies, "There's some unfinished business back in Bree. That, and I'm sure more thievery won't go amiss. Can't have too much money, eh?" He gives an unpleasant laugh. "As for the hobbit-land," the chief rubs his chin musingly. "I'd say stay nice and quiet in the start, just to poke around and see what's what. Then we can have some fun."

Brev's gaze sharpens as he peers toward Ted's mallet. "It's a horse," he comments by way of response. "You want to butcher some /horse/? Or - wait, did you mean a Dwarf? Going to off some Dwarf and take his pony?" One brow lifts above the bruised eyes, and he grins slightly.

Jarlac's words, of course, pull his attention back. "Sure, Boss," he acquiesces quickly. "Favour the quiet approach myself. Place is an orchard ripe for the picking, eh? Can't grow more apples by cutting down the tree."

[Graim(#20753)]     An irritated sigh comes from Ted, who rolls his eyes. However, he refuses to further elaborate on the matter, simply snorting as he returns to his fire with more brush and a few pieces of deadwood.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Jarlac nods, his eyes narrowing ever-so slightly. "So you know a little of this land then? The only information I've got about it, I heard from another of the lads. Said some fellow named Brev believes it to be filled with riches." The gaze grows a little sharper. "Well, he'd best be right about that. Don't fancy wasting my time on worthless rubbish."

Brev watches Ted's turning away, and offers to his back, "Should ask my brother 'bout that. He's good with horses." That'd be the dirty straw-haired lad who's rubbing the ponies down, then. Odd how looks don't always run in families.

The corner of his mouth twitches, ever so slightly, at Jarlac's comment. "The r-" he catches himself and amends, "the wretched hobbits are rich, sure enough. Just need to figure out the easy way into those damn tunnels of theirs." The twitching becomes a sudden flash of a smirk.

The rabbit is skinned, and he tosses it in No-Tongue Ted's direction. "Want me to fetch more wood, Boss?" He looks ready to leap into action.

[Graim(#20753)]     The No-Tongued One catches the rabbit and quickly sets it up to be cooked over the flames.

[Bagurat(#24847)] "Well, I'll let the tunnel problem be deal with by the others." The nasty grin returns. "Let some of the smaller runts try and squeeze in ter any small holes or whatnot." And then, Jarlac offers a nod. "Aye, could use more wood." He glances back toward Ted. "In the meantime, I've something to see ter. You two keep it up, eh?" That said, the leader stalks off into the throng, and not long after his voice is gone amid the other noises.

Brev ducks his head in assent and scrambles back toward the thicket of thorns. And if every now and then his head turns to watch Jarlac's progress - and to keep an eye on 'little brother' - what of that?

Date added: 2010-09-14 12:17:10    Hits: 113
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