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Battling the bandits

Tags: Bandits,  Brev,  No-Tongue Ted,  Shirky,  Frarin,  Natter,  Bolosi,  Folli,  Horgor,  Broddur,  Jarlac

Short Summary: On the road from the Shire to Bree, Dwarves and bandits have a reckoning ...
Date (real-life): 2010-09-30
Scene Location: East Road - Foothills
Date (in-game): January 3051
Time of Day: Evening (dusk)
Weather: Clear?

East Road - Foothills

You are not too far from Bree now, as looking east you can see rising smoke from the chimneys in the community. You stand at the top of a rise, amongst a jumble of foothills which scatter up fron the southwest. There lie the Barrow downs, and the comforts of Bree are much more attractive than passing such an infamous and dangerous place. But continuing west you will eventually reach the Shire, where things will certainly be peaceful and easy.

Obvious exits:
West and East


Evening is drawing on, and the lands east of the Old Forest are swathed in waves of mist. It rolls northward from the Barrow-downs - cloaking, clinging, drenching ... Somewhere to the east lies the town of Bree, its lights already twinkling. Somewhere to the west lies the pleasant, albeit rather muddy, enclave of the Shire. And here between them the road stretches out flat and inviting.

The bandit group that had been plagueing the Shire is returning eastward with their ill-gotten spoils in tow - perhaps not as much as they would have wished, but enough to fill the backs of several ponies. They are somewhat to the north of the road, having skirted the Old Forest, but now they are setting their sights on the Road, tempted by the promise of swifter passage. They are trying to move quietly - but of course feet tramp, ponies stamp and every now and then someone lets out a muffled curse.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     One of these bandits is No-Tongue Ted. Unfortunately, he can't curse; he has no tongue. Instead, he trudges along in grudging silence, one hand resting on his stolen mallet (with 'Return to NOB, Prancing Pony' burned upon it), the other hanging freely by his side. His eyes stare ahead.

[Bagurat(#24847)] One of the muffled curses comes from a dirty haired fellow upon one of the flanks of the group of bandits. Shirky's hands are busy fiddling with a sizeable sack, and he pulls out what appears to be a fancy cracked plate. He scratches at the damage irritably. "Broke me new plate I did," the man huffs to himself before shoving it back into the bag.

[Frarin(#16183)] Along the road and coming from the east is a small company of travellers. Or rather, as the group draws closer, a small company of ponies and only one traveller. Three of the stout little beasts are there in total, two laden with all manner of packages and bags, many of which clink and tinkle as the ponies walk. On the third and foremost is a dwarf, a stocky fellow whose features are almost entirely concealed by the thick grey cloak that is wrapped about him, the hood drawn up against the soaking mist. To some perhaps, the straggly brown beard that protrudes from the dwarf's cloak, although sodden, may be recognizable as belonging to Frarin the (rumored to be) fabulously wealthy silver merchant and aid to the dwarf lord Bifur.

On plods Frarin and his train of ponies, as if settled in for a long journey back to the Blue Mountains.

Following No-Tongue's silent lead is one fellow with the opposite disposition; the tall, lanky figure of one they call: 'Natter' walking along doing just that: nattering.

"I tells yer, No-Tongue," says he, almost philosphically (though such a word is perhaps too sophisticated in this case), "if it weren't for the fact that them little hole-rats were so small, they'd be worth keeping around as servants. What do you reckon?"

     Crouching behind the sentinel-like wall of trees on the very edge of the forest, peering out onto the road below, is the dwarven militia, and any other noble warriors who have promised to lend their strength to a good cause. A dozen or so in number, all carry gleaming weapons and are armoured whichever way they prefer- some wear battle-worn chainmail, others iron plates. Bolosi and his two cosest companions, at the head of the pack, wear only thick fur hides.

 Bolosi, a bulky dwarf with a formidable stature and piercing blue eyes, peers cautiously around the tree as he watches the band of brigands draw level. His grip around his battle-axe grows tighter. Beside him the fiery-bearded Folli also observes, his eyes filled with contempt for the ragtag group of ruffians. And on his other side, fingers curled around the handle of a longsword, is the unusually tall dwarf Horgor.

 All three maintain a grim silence as they watch their friend Frarin approach the brigands alone, as previously planned. The other dwarves, many past friends of Bolosi, glance at him frequently, awaiting the command to charge.

 It doesn't arrive. Not yet.

Brev is limping heavily and has been for several days. His tattered brown cloak is held tightly enough about him that it's hard to discern the truth or otherwise of the tale he told about stumbling on a jagged tree-root. As the faint sound of jingling reaches his ears, his eyes narrow.

Ignoring all mutterings about plates he hobbles his way toward the front of the group, by dint of using his spear-shaft as walking staff, and nods ahead. "Reckon," he answers Natter, "we've got company." He seems to have found a flask of something or other potent - the fruity smell suggests good Shire brandy - and he angles it to his mouth before holding it out to Ted and Natter. "Want some? Not too much - Kiern knows I'll need it. Don't feel too good."

[Seregarth(#19338)]     No-Tongue rolls his eyes before he turns to look upon Natter, an eyebrow slowly arching. He shakes his head, then, and grunts, turning to look back upon the Road. Not much of a conversationalist, Ted, unless he does one of his famed mime acts (well-known throughout banditry!).

The old miner Broddur is one of Bolosi's company tonight; unlike his leader, he is not patient. "How much longer?" he mutters through his ragged, fire-thinned beard. "Got a stone the size of a troll's fist diggin' a hole in my behind."

[Bagurat(#24847)] And at the fore of the outlaw party strides a tall shaggy haired fellow, and judging by the he peers down upon the others and the clothes he wears, this is their leader. Jarlac's head turns as Brev moved to the front nearby, and he squints ahead through the mist toward the shapes upon the Road. "The lad's right," he grunts over his shoulder, waving a hand as if the hush Natter's blabbering. "Someone's comin' this way. Quiet now, and let's take a look."

[Frarin(#16183)] On plods the little group of ponies on the road. They are drawing closer now to the bandits, though Frarin seems not to have spotted them, north of the road as they are. His head is down, as if to better allow the rainwater to dribble off of his hood, though now and again the perceptive may see him lift his head to look down the muddy road before him. But to either side his eyes do not seem to go.

Natter's eyes swivel to take in the surrounding countryside at Brev's warning, though after squinting into the darkling horizon he shrugs and waves it away; though his hand does snatch at the flask. "Oh, shush now Jarlac. There ain't no-one out here for miles. Who'd be out here, other than them fat little hobbit-folk, and we're not about to get worried about THEM, are we?"

He takes a long, self-satisfied draught of the brandy.

     Under the cover of the forest, a few of the gathered dwarves give low, nervous chuckles at Broddur's comment. Bolosi glances at him, holding up a hand as a signal to wait. Folli doesn't take notice, his fearsome eyes fixed on the scene below. Horgor doesn't laugh either- but then again, he never does.

     The red-bearded Folli leans close to his captain. " Now? Look, they're distracted.

     Bolosi shakes his head. " Not yet..."

[Seregarth(#19338)]     Ted keeps quiet, eyes flicking about, finger running along the head of the mallet. He grunts again, then, looking to Jarlac with a shrug.

Brev glances down at his empty hand as the flask is taken. "Who's worried?" he retorts to Natter. "Hardly sounds like an army. If it's hobbits you can keep one." He falls hastily silent as though remembering Jarlac's order, and jerks his head in that direction. "Give the boss some too?" he mouths to the talkative one.

Dropping to a crouch, he moves toward the crest of a little knoll and squints through the evening mist at the road. "Three ponies," he eventually murmurs, holding up the fingers of his left hand. "One walker. Looks ... short?" That assessment is uncertain.

At Bolosi's response Broddur makes a growling noise in the back of his throat, rather like an irritable badger, and shifts position, rubbing angrily at his rear. A twig cracks, though it is lost in the general sounds of birds coming home to roost and small animals emerging from their holes to feed.

[Bagurat(#24847)] "Worried, pah," snorts Jarlac in response, seemingly annoyed a bit at Natter's continuing words. "See, Mister Mute here," he whispers and points to Ted, "I like. He knows how ter keep his mouth shut. Now shush."

Again the ruffian chief peers ahead in effort to better discern what makes its way along the path. "Only one?" he asks with a mutter as if doubting Brev's deduction. "Yer sure?" But then he grins nastily. "...wonder if he's lost."

Logoz laughs aloud in defiance of the orders, and tosses the flask to Jarlac before placing his hands on his hips. "Short he says! Well of course he's short! He's a bloody hobbit! What did I tell yer, eh? Come on, I'll put this little blighter to rights..."

And with that the talkative bandit strides forward to stand square in view. "Come out, you little rat. I've got some cheese for yer!"

     Again, up beside the ambush party, Folli gives a low growl. " Bolosi, they're getting close..." The stumpy dwarf, his beard a matt of fire, holds a rather large hammer in one hand and, by the look of his powerful shoulders, one may guess that he can do a considerable amount of damage with said weapon.

     But the larger dwarf shakes his head, his faced calm yet focused. " No. Not yet..." The other dwarves shuffle nervously.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     The No-Tongued one pulls his stolen mallet from his belt, hefting it once or twice before he glances to Jarlac, jerking his head in the direction of Natter. Follow and help? Or, here he swings the mallet, knock the fool out? Which 'fool' isn't quite clear.

[Frarin(#16183)] As the solitary dwarf and his three ponies draws yet nearer the ruffians, they seem to slow. And then Frarin abruptly seems to be awoken out of his idle plodding, for the dwarf twists in his saddle, hood angled downward as if to look at the ground under the pony he rides. He does this for a few seconds, then gathers up the reins of the lead pony and pulls it to a halt. Then the dwarf sweeps back his hood and dismounts. Still paying little attention to his surrounding, Frarin kneels and pulls up a hoof of the pony he has just dismounted, as if the little beast has picked up a stone or some other piece of the road that has hobbled it.

It is as the dwarven merchant is thus kneeled that a shout from a distance brings him to stand again. Dark eyes peer into the mist and seem to find the party of bandits to the north for the first time. Yet Frarin does nothing for a second save to set his hand against his brow, as if trying to determine whoever these men are.

Brev shrugs at Jarlac's question. "See for your-" The words break off as Natter steps forward, and he groans, trying to edge back from the rise. The motion is slow, and it's clear the awkwardness is real not feigned. Must have been a very big tree-root ...

Broddur does not shuffle. Instead, with great dignity, he rises from his crouch just long enough to aim a swift kick at the offending rock. It does not move, and the old miner is left with twice as much frustration to vent and noone to vent it on yet. His pick twitches in his gnarled hands.

     The fiery Folli glances to Bolosi once more, opening his mouth to speak. But the bulky dwarf captain lifts his hand again, this time clenched in a fist as he watches the scene below. The eyes of the dwarven militia rest on that fist, their cheeks flushing as they wait for it to fall...And signal the attack.

     One particularly calm dwarf gives Broddur the honour of a little chuckle.

[Bagurat(#24847)] "What's the matter with yer?" inquires Jarlac when he frowns at Brev's unsteady movement. But apparently, he isn't overly concerned with the answer, for swiftly enough he shifts his attention as Natter shouts out. "Blasted -" the chief begins, scowling slightly, but then he beckons to No-Tongue. "Come on. Might as well get a closer look. Doesn't even look ter be armed." He snorts again, and starts over the rise. "Ho! Yer lost, traveler? Here, we'll help yer find yer way..."

Meanwhile, Natter's carefree demeanour takes a little souring, and he raises his hand to rub his temple with a light frown. "Cor, Brev," says he, ever so slightly slurring his words. "You didn't half nick a strong brandy..." As Jarlac takes the lead, Natter leans his weight lazily onto one foot and seems to blink tiredly.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     With a nod, Ted follows after Jarlac, slipping his mallet back under his belt for the moment. He glances briefly at Natter, and shakes his head; if he had one, one might get the impression he would be clucking his tongue.

"Told you, some bloody tree-root tripped me," Brev growls under his breath, scowling blackly. Sounds a bit odd ... but then odd things happen in the vicinity of the Old Forest. Why, didn't one of their number go missing round thataway?

The Dunlending winces as the flask of brandy sails past Jarlac to land in the bushes, and his gaze marks the spot where it has fallen. "Someone can't hold their drink, eh?" he taunts Natter, and then with a grunt pushes himself back to his feet. "Save it for your betters then," he retorts. As he passes the place where Jarlac had stood he retrieves the part-spilled flask, and seemingly takes another swig of what's left himself.

     The dwarven militia lists their hackles, some creeping forward in order to prepare for the dash forward. Eyes remain on Bolosi's hand, but it does not move yet. The leader's blue eyes are fixed dead ahead- on Jarlac.

[Frarin(#16183)] "Ho there!" Frarin returns to Jarlac's greeting, lifting a hand at the Helpful Stranger. "Nay, not lost, just returning home. Damnable road keeps throwing stones in my team's hooves." He waves a frustrated hand at the three ponies behind him, frowning hard.

Then the dwarf points in the direction of Bree, as if offering his own helpful advice. "Tis been poor trade in Bree, if that be where you're headed. There's not a soul will risk buying a single of my goods, what with these bandits the town's in uproar about. Everyone's afraid they'll be robbed soon as they set foot on the road. So don't expect any trade in Bree, if that's your purpose."

Broddur's response to the chuckle is a surly scowl. "By Mahal's beard, I'll teach yon rock some respect!" he mutters. /His/ gaze is fixed not on Bolosi's lifted fist but the stubborn piece of stone. Distant snatches of Frarin's conversation float his way, but he pays the rise and fall of voices no heed.

With a growl, Natter whirls upon Brev and marches forward, waving an angry finger close to the Dunlending's nose. "Listen you! I can drink a dozen dwarves under the table! Just... jusht wash't expecting it to be shrtong, okay?" He blinks then, as though struggling to concentrate, ere he glances back toward Frarin.

"There's one now... maybe he's got shome better stuff?"

[Bagurat(#24847)] The ruffian leader simply nods to Frarin's explanation, offering a crooked grin that appears rather fake. And he motions behind his back as if to tell Ted, Brev, and Natter, or anyone else of the outlaws who can see it -- Get on closer.

"Bandits, eh?" Jarlac's ugly smile twitches as this last piece of information. "Well, that's a pity. But we ain't lookin' for trade, you see." He peers at the ponies trailing after the one the dwarf had been riding. "Yer struggling along with all them goods. Mind if we...relieve you of some? Might be easier on the ponies' backs, see."

[Seregarth(#19338)]     Ted moves closer towards Frarin, a grin of his own upon his face, nodding in an agreeable manner to the ruffian leader's offer, as if it's the most sensible thing in the world for them to do.

     That's when the hand falls. The dwarven militia, with the possible exception of the distracted Broddur, react immediately. Weapons lift. Legs extend. Eyes light up with the fire of battle. And, with the speed only dwarves can muster on a battle charge, they break from the forest edge.

     Bolosi leads, his powerful bulk driving him on. The shorter-legged Folli is just behind, Horgor at his side. Axes flash, hammers brandish, and Horgor's sword catches the light.

     As Bolosi moves, he lifts his axe high in a salute to the evening sky and, filling his lungs with as much air as he can hold, he lets out a bellow. " BARUK KHAZAD!"

     The ambush has begun.

Brev recoils automatically from Natter's pointing finger, and some of the flask's contents splash on the cold ground. "Fine," he manages in response. "Why don't you go and see. Save me some, eh?" He's not slurring like Natter, though he is starting to shiver a little. Mind you, it's a cold night.

He starts to hobble obediently down toward Jarlac and Frarin; those others of the outlaw group who are watching (in other words, those not moaning about broken goods or their poor sore feet) do likewise, pushing past the limping man in their eagerness to relieve the ponies of their tiresome burden.

And that's when it happens. At the shout, Brev jerks suddenly upright, his spear lifting in his right hand and his left already groping at his belt, the flask discarded.

[Frarin(#16183)] "What?" Frarin returns, peering at the bandits as they suddenly seem very keen on coming closer. "Ho no, I don't want trouble," he says, holding up both hands. "I'll just be on my way, if you don't mind." He begins to turn, as if to grab the lead pony by the halter and make a very quick departure.

But at that exact moment, a rumble suddenly trembles through the ground, following shortly by a cry that rips through the heavy mist. And then the innocent, unarmed merchant is throwing off his sodden cloak, allowing the gray light to glint against a blue-tinted war hammer. "But if you're looking for trouble, then by all means," he calls back to Jarlac, bringing the hammer to bear. And with no war cry at all, the merchant begins to pound through the mud towards his bandits assailants.

Natter too follows Brev, swaying ever so slightly, until all of a sudden the dwarves busrt into view! "Bloody hell..." he says quietly, frozen in place at the sight, until as he attempts to turn around and flee he trips over his own feet. Down he goes into the ground, scrabbling wildly, and snatching up a club from his belt.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     Oh, of all the times that Ted could still have a tongue. From the way his jaw is moving, he's either gaping like a fish out of water at the sudden ambush or he's swearing up a storm. All that comes from him, of course, is silence. And a little spittle. In the end, though, he shucks his pack and pulls out his mallet. Against armoured and armed Dwarves. Yes, this will turn out well!

Broddur does not see Bolosi's hand fall. There is a couple of heartbeat's pause - and then he suddenly realizes that he is alone ... and that he has been left behind. Roaring wordlessly, his legs pump furiously and he charges after the rest. "Right, now. Who's first for the gutting?" he enquires of the air, adding in a mutter, "An' don't any of you lads dare take 'em all out first!"

     " KHAZAD AI MENU!" Comes the reply from the charging dwarven warband. And at the sound of those words, all are enflamed, moving faster than one would think possible. They hit the bandit line with a vengeance. Bolosi leaps forward, swinging his axe with a mighty bellow at the nearest bandit- who, flailing deperately, lifts his pointed stick in a meagre defence. It is smashed from his grip

     Folli is next, pouncing to the bandit's other side and swinging his hammer with a shriek of fury- it crunches into his knee, the young man dropping with a whimper. And that's when Horgor steps up and, with a calm, efficient thrust drives his longsword through the bandit's belly, impaling him on the iron blade.

     He slides it out, and the man collapses.

[Bagurat(#24847)] "What--?" it is Jarlac's turn to ask, and he blinks, taking an involuntary step backward in surprise as the innocent traveler reveals his weapon. And then his shaggy head snaps round as there is suddenly a series of short dwarven legs pounding their direction. For a long moment the words the ruffian chief produces are unintelligeble cursings, and then he stoops over quickly; a glint of silver as he yanks a knife from his boot. "Yer, yer planned all this?" he snarls, pointing an accusing finger at Frarin.

Meanwhile Natter has managed to regain his feet, and with club in hand he stands at the back, watching no doubt for a chance to enter the fray. Despite, you know, many a chance going to waste while he 'waits'.

At the thud behind him, Brev turns in startled reflex and the butt of his spear whips out in an injudicous arc that may well connect with Natter's club. After all, isn't the Dunlending known for his lousy aim?

With a grunt, Natter catches a spear-haft in the shin courtesy of Brev, and he hops around angrily. "Watch what yer doing, you woolen-headed dolt!"

[Bagurat(#24847)] And there are shouts and cries from the other bandits as the ambush meets them; blades and clubs and other crude weapons are brought quickly to bear where they had been hidden prior. But the outlaws in the rear dither uncertainly, and o so courageously some of them glance about as if tempted by thoughts of flight.

[Frarin(#16183)] "Aye, just the same as a few more of your friends in the Chetwood," Frarin growls as he nears Jarlac. "Fancy your hand at paying me back?" Yet the silver merchant seems little given to speech in the heat of battle, for he allows little time for the bandit leader to respond. Instead the heavy mallet of the blue war hammer flies out, splitting a wide horizontal arc that crashes towards Jarlac's hip.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     Ted slinks away from the main area of combat. After all, one must flank the enemy! Yes. That is what the No-Tongued is doing: flanking the enemy by running away from them, looking over his shoulder. Unfortunately, this takes him right into the path of Broddur; and, not looking, he runs smack into the Dwarf, falling back onto the ground.

"Sorry," Brev mumbles at Natter's curse. "Bit crowded round here." Indeed, Bolosi's Dwarven comrades are not shy of hacking, stabbing or crushing anything unfortunate enough to stand in their path. He moves clear of Natter, eyeing the melee thoughtfully.

His cloak is still tight round him, though he jerks at the neck to loosen it a little.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Indeed there is no time to respond with anything more than a pained yelp as Jarlac receives a fast hammer to the side, and he stumbles for a moment off balance. "Think I'll take yer pretty little mallet as a trophy along with yer goods," grunts the bandit leader, taking a pace nearer again and jabbing his knife for Frarin's weapon arm.

     Bolosi annd company are now entwined with the bandit party, the battle raging. The bulky leader stands in the centre of the pack, his flanks covered by both Folli and Horgor, wielding twin axes as he swings and parries with relentless fury. One of the ruffians leaps at him with a howl, jabbing towards his eyes with a spear...But the dwarf deflects the blow with one axe, bringing the other arcing around to crash down on the head of the wooden weapon, splintering it.

     The bandit recoils with a yelp, but Bolosi pushes forward. CRACK. The blade of the axe connects with his jaw, a sickening snapping noice occuring as the ruffian dalls away. But then more are upon the dwarven captian, and he's pushed back as he defends with all the speed and dexterity he can muster.

Broddur, coming late to the fray, is brought up short by Ted's sudden charge. As the man's buckling knee catches him in the stomach he tumbles back with an 'Ooof' of breath. Groggily he clambers to his feet, flinging his miner's pick forward with little finesse but much enthusiasm toward whichever part of Ted happens to be nearest. "Nicely volunteered," he grunts in doing so. "First for the gutting. If I make this nice and quick, should fit in two or three more of you rats."

As Bolosi thunders into the fray, Natter's eyes narrow upon the burly khazad, and sith soft steps he steals forth; club held high above his head. And just as Bolosi's back turns toward him, the talkative bandit snickers darkly and picks his moment. His club comes whistling down as though to crack the Dwarf's noble brow!

[Frarin(#16183)] "Big words from someone about to die," Frarin grunts back. The bandit leader's quick knife is far faster than Frarin's heavy hammer and the blade scores a long thin slash across the upper part of the dwarf's right arm as he seeks to redirect the momentum of his own weapon. A grunt does the silver merchant give, but it does not stay his hand as the blue war hammer flies again, the mallet now aiming for Jarlac's outstretched knife hand.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     A gurgling sound comes from Ted, a yelp perhaps?, as he scrambles back from the Dwarf with the vicious looking pick, thankfully avoiding it before it burrys itself into a rather, ahem, delicate portion of anatomy. The No-Tongued one stares at the pick before gloring at Broddur; scrambling to his feet, he swings his stollen mallet at the Dwarf's face.

     Bolosi deflects and parries backing off...When he catches something rather large swinging towards him out of the corner of his eye. A low growl escapes the warrior's lips as he realises it's too late to block. Swivelling his hips, he desperately attempts to twist out of the way of the blow- but he's not quick enough. However, he does succed in moving his head out of the firing line, the momentous club crashing down on his shoulder.

     The leather armour cushions the blow, but the dwarf gives a grunt as he steps back to regain his balance. He feels pain shoot through his shoulder; A fractured bone perhaps. But ignoring the pain, as soldiers do, his eyes fix on Natter. And he gives a grimace, retalliating with a vicious kick towards the bandit's ribs, designed to send him tumbling backwards.

[Bagurat(#24847)] But this time Jarlac is fast enough to avoid the wrath of the war hammer, though it does score a graze over his knuckles, and he frowns. "Ain't gonna die by someone as shorter than me, that's for sure," the chief supplies, straightening himself up to show off his height. Grinning crookedly once more, he swings the dagger for the dwarf's thigh.

Natter's eyes open wide as his club misses his intended mark, and perhaps some effect of the brandy has cast a drowse upon his limbs; they are sluggish to respond as Bolosi's foot comes flying in. But Men have the better of Dwarves in height, and as such the boot of the warrior'khazad reaches only his hip, though this is damage enough for the ruffian.

Edging away, wincing in pain as his free hand massages the bruised hip, Natter grunts out to his opponent. "Need a stool, long-beard? Then we might see eye to eye after all..."

Brev seems to be lost in the confused mess that the combat has become. Standing tall as he is, he presents a clear target and finds himself having to dodge aside from a wildly swung club from one of his 'own' as well as duck down beneath the flash of a Dwarven axe. That axe seems likely to return for a second swing, but then there is the ring of metal against metal - seems that particular Dwarf has found another challenger. In the momentary respite that follows, the Dunlending's gaze lights on the tall form of Jarlac. Planting his spear in the ground before him, he switches the little knife he'd drawn from left hand to right, pulls back his arm and throws. After all, there's lots of knives flying around in a battle.

Broddur's pick, failing to find flesh, finds the frozen ground instead, burying itself a few inches deep. Broddur is used to this by now and bends to yank it free, the motion taking him beneath the swing of Ted's mallet. "What, got nothing to say for yourself?" he challenges. "Cat got your tongue?" And then the pick's free; since he was bent anyway, he sends it in a low blow that aims to pin Ted's foot.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     Ted pulls his foot back quickly, shaking his head. He gives an open-mouthed grin to the Dwarf, revealing his rather noticable lack of a tongue. Instead, he swings his mallet down towards Broddur's head.

[Frarin(#16183)] Frarin looks less than impressed by Jarlac's height, as if having barely noticed the difference at all. Indeed, the brief look that the dwarf gives to Jarlac, looking up at the bandit leader from under his brows, seems to say dryly - Son, I've fought bigger things than -you-. But he does not utter these words, instead concentrating on batting aside the flashing knife that slices in towards his thigh. The blade is detered, but only barely, and rather than attempting to bring up the heavy head of his hammer for a renewed assult, Frarin uses the bottom haft of it instead. The blue handle shoots forward, aiming to catch Jarlac square on the nose.

     Bolosi gives a grunt as his boot connects with the ruffian's hip, but does not stop there. Following through, he whips one axe up in an arcing motion, as if to strike his enemy on the jaw...But it's a feign. As the axe gleams towards Natter's face, the other one arcs low, attempting to slice open the bandit's thigh.

A feint it may be from Bolosi, but it does its work well enough; Natter whirls backward in fear of the uprising axe blade, and it is his extravagent reaction that saves him from the second. The lower axe whistles by, slicing naught but air this time, but Natter's clumsiness and the effects of the brandy leave him seemingly off-balance...

Broddur's head is, thankfully, protected by a stout Dwarven helm. As the Dwarf struggles to regain his balance after the failed swing, he manages to pull sideways enough to avoid the worst of the blow and that stout helm does the rest. There is a *clang* as the stolen mallet meets steel, and then the weapon slides down to glance off the Dwarf's broad shoulders.

Broddur stumbles a little as though groggy, but then he recovers himself and sends a vicious sideswing toward his dumb opponent, aiming to sweep the legs out from under him. "No fun when they don't talk," the old miner grumbles dourly.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Two things happen at once; the ruffian chief earns a hard pretty handle to the nose, and a sharp pain from behind as Brev's traitorous knife finds it mark. Another string of muttered curses flows eloquently from Jarlac's mouth, which he is now spitting blood from as it drips from his broken nose.

Wordlessly now, he takes a step away, still keeping his knife at the ready. He takes the moment to survey the general scene, and clearly it does not please him judging by the expression upon his face.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     The No-Tongued One, Ted the Mime, Ted the Terrible, either does not see the sideswing of the pick or is too busy bringing his mallet up for another strike. Fall does Ted, striking the ground hard; his mallet bounces out of his hand and away. Dazed is Ted, shaking his head as he tries to get up once more.

          Bolosi's momentum continues as his blow sails through the air, his swinging motion continuing as he, stepping forward, lifts the blade high above his head, like a blacksmith about to swing his hammer...But it's another feign. The dormant axe whips out from his side, attempting to shatter the brigand's kneecap- and as it does, the hovering axe swings down, cutting through the air towards the ruffian's mallet-wrist, completing a deadly one-two combo designed to incapacitate his opponent.

[Frarin(#16183)] Frarin's brows stitch together for a moment as Jarlac is clearly struck from behind, but by what? Ah yes, that knife sticking out of his back is probably the culprit. The dwarf's eyes narrow in momentary confusing as the bandit leader steps away, as if Frarin is looking for the source of the thrown knife. A knife-tossing dwarf? Not likely.

"Not looking too good, is it?" Frarin taunts, returning his attention to the bleeding Jarlac. The merchant's face is grim. "Bree won't hang you though, so tis here that you and your lot die. Run if you like, but it shall not avail you for long." He seems to pause in order to give Jarlac a choice.

It's pure chance that Ted's bouncing mallet should on the rebound strike Broddur's kneecap. The Dwarf grunts in pain, stumbling a few steps. "Stay still, you! I'll show you what for!" he threatens, sending the flat side of his miner's pick swinging in the general direction of Ted's head. "Do we want any of 'em alive?" he calls into the fray without looking round, seemingly quite forgetting that his fellows are as preoccupied as he is.

[Frarin(#16183)] "Not a one!" comes some dwarven voice from amidst the fray in reply to Broddur's question. The shout is followed shortly by the distinct cry of a man in pain.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     The No-Tongued One gets up... just in time to be smacked on the head by the flat of the mining pick. His head twists around; is that a sickening crack? Whether there is one or not, Ted slumps back to the ground, not moving.

Woe betide Bolosi's efforts, for as fearsome as they are they are designed to face a more capable opponent. Natter himself crumples as the flat of the axe bashes into his leg, and falling to the ground at once he escapes the wrath of the more deadly strike. Wailing painfully, one hand clutching his knee, the other flails his club out frantically in a bid to ward off the mighty khazad.

Brev has by now ducked down, not eager to draw anyone's gaze. Of course, the canny might realize that of the various persons in that direction, he's the only one not currently engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

As the ringing Dwarven shout falls on his ears, he ducks down low and starts trying to crawl away as quietly as he can. It's slow, hard going given his hurt leg.

[Bagurat(#24847)] Indeed, the thrown knife is a troubling matter, and Jarlac decides to use Frarin's cease in attack as an opportunity to grab at the pesky projectile. After a brief awkward struggle, he manages to pull it free, though the hand that clenches it is covered in new blood. And with the snarl, the outlaw leader tosses the dagger to the ground.

"Not for long?" asks Jarlac with a quirk of his eyebrow. "And why's that? Yer gonna hunt us all down, whoever flees?"

"Right," Broddur replies cheerily to his fellow Dwarf. With no more ado he lets the sharp tip of his pick hurtle down toward Ted's throat, showing a fine disregard of whether the unfortunate is live, dead or something inbetween.

He's distracted, though - his gaze is caught by the discarded mallet that's responsible for his swelling knee. "It says here ... Return to N-O-B, Prancing Pony."

[Frarin(#16183)] "Aye, and why not?" says Frarin, without humor. "Tis only as much as you deserve. Tis only as much as you yourself have given." No more time than that does the merchant give the bandit leader to make his decision, for before his last words have even left his lips, his hammer is swinging again. This time, however, it is the cruel spike of the hammer that flies, rather than the mallet, and it now crashes towards Jarlac's knee.

[Bagurat(#24847)] But it seems not all the bandits are as ignorant of the Dunlending's sneaking. One of them, who has recently been pushed back by a khazad attacker, wins a moment free from further strikes to turn his head about. "Eh, where's you agoing? Coward, pah!"

"Same place you should," Brev retorts. "Too many of them ..." He lets his spear swing wildly toward his fellow bandit's attacker, the motion lifting his cloak. There is a scrap of red cloth caught in it near the throat.

Enough of such trivialities, though. Night is coming, the light is fading and it's time to be gone. He resumes his backing away, spear hefted warily to fend off any strokes that come his way.

[Bagurat(#24847)] For an instant Jarlac does not reply, but then he snorts. "Well, yer'd not find it easy to sniff me out and track me down. Won't get caught that easily --" But alas, he does get caught easily -- by the spike of the returning hammer.

The bandit leader staggers, gasping in pain, and if he had been considering flight previously, it is no longer likely an option. Down he goes, for the ground, clutching at his knee, while his other hand slashes out blindly for his attacker.

Of course, not all the bandits were engaged in this wild combat. Some of those on the fringes have chosen the sensible option of flight.

And what of the stolen goods? The bandits' baggage ponies are gone. Frightened by the sounds of combat, most likely. One of their handlers is lying in a crumpled mass, out cold with a hoof-mark on his head; of the other, the straw-haired lad Brev claims as 'brother', there is no sign.

[Bagurat(#24847)] The other outlaw actually yields a grin at Brev's assistance, and with a nod of agreement, he takes off after the Dunlending. He glances over his shoulder now and then in case anyone takes sudden note of their absence.

     Bolosi's second blow, designed to finish his enemy, felt nothing but air- but that was unexpected, and as the bandit falls at his feet, the dwarf's momentum carries him relentlessly on...Before the ruffian's flailing blow catches his own knee. The khazad warrior's eyes widen as he is brought crashing down, his heavy frame hurtling down towards the outlaw's ribs...

[Frarin(#16183)] Blind Jarlac's attack may be, but successful also. Frarin is stepping closer to the bandit leader to finish him off, even as his hammer sends Jarlac crashing to the ground. And it is as he thus steps that the wildly flailed knife cuts into Frarin's ankle, indeed almost his foot. It cuts through the leather of the merchant's old boot and causes him to stumble with an angry curse. Already a scatter of blood joins the muddy road. And without a word in return, Frarin brings his hammer around again, aiming the mallet square at Jarlac's chest.


The weight of a dwarf is not to be sniffed at, and as Bolosi's hefty frame lands upon Natter the breath is squeezes from the bandit's lungs. Lying there, panting as best he can under the figure of the warrior khazad, Natter seems out for the count.

[Seregarth(#19338)]     Ted is dead. Woe, for the No-Tongued shall not stalk the lands any more!

[Bagurat(#24847)] Jarlac's knife actually hits, but little does he get to revel in this fact. For down plumges the hammer head anew, and an awful sound of cracking ribs would tell its aim to be true. The nice fancy stolen clothes are adorned with more blood, a pity. There is an odd strangled gurgling sound, and the ruffain leader looks for a moment that he is about to say something. But he does not, and with a thud the knife falls from his hands. He does not move again.

     Bolosi gives a cry as he ccrashes down- but lucky for the hefty dwarf, the brigand's fleshy innards cushion his fall rather excellently. Grunting, he clambers to his feet, glaring down at the enemy beneath him...Who seems to be incapacitated.

     Perhaps, if this were an honourable battle, he would have left it at that. But he knows that, if he does not put an end to this mischief now, the unconscious brigand will one day harm another. And so, lifting his favoured axe, Bolosi prepares to bring it slashing down on Natter's neck...

     When a shrieking Folli is pushed back into him, and the two Khazad warriors go stumbling backwards. Within moments, six or seven bandits are racing towards them, cursing and shouting as they slash out.

And Natter just lays there; whimpering at whiles.

[Frarin(#16183)] With a wince at his profusely bleeding ankle and a grimace at the dead bandit leader below him, Frarin pulls his hammer from the ruin of Jarlac's chest and takes a moment to stare down at his defeated opponent. Then the merchant turns away with a snort to rejoin the fray.

Limping now, Broddur picks up the mystery mallet and turns to survey the scene of combat. Clearly the Dwarves have the upper hand - the only ruffians within his range of vision are dead or dying. Equally clearly, the fight has not been without its cost. Battered limbs, bleeding heads ... none of Dwarven kin have escaped unscathed. He heaves a heavy sigh ...

And then come the sounds of shouting and cursing. With a gleeful yell, Broddur hobbles over toward the new battle. "The Dwarves! The Dwarves!" he shouts. Waving pick in one hand and Nob's mallet in the other, he too joins the fray. Soon the Dwarves will have their victory.

     Suddenly, Bolosi and Folli are fighting side by side, just like the old days. The recover pretty swiftly ( a violent death an interesting incentive to) and lash out like cornered anaimals. Bolosi's axe swings ripping through the belly of a charging ruffian- he collapses onto the ground, heaving. Folli gives out a furious battelcry, swinging his bloodstained hammer down, crushing a bandit's kneecap. The outlaw falls with a cry of agony, and the red-bearded warrior's hammer clatters down on the back of his head.

     But then there are more enemies, apeparing all around them, and the grizzled soldiers are pressed up against each other as they defend furiously. A blade nicks Bolosi's cheek, a hammer thuds onto Folli's armour. And that's when Horgor appears, rallying half a dozen Naugrim. With bellows of rage they crash into the bandit pack, and within moments, the outlaws fall. Blood sprays. Weapons slash. Steel meets bone.

[Frarin(#16183)] And later, when the bandits have all been felled or have fled, Frarin is picking through the bodies - looking for a red kerchief perhaps? - when he comes again across Jarlac's very still body. The knife in the former bandit leader's back is pulled free and eyed by the merchant. "Dwarf make, that is," he mutters to himself thoughtfully, before wiping it clean of blood and pocketing it for later inspection.

Date added: 2010-10-01 05:41:25    Hits: 74
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