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Trainee Thomas on the beat

Tags: Brev,  Thomas

Short Summary: Thomas encounters a suspicious stranger in the Animal Market and decides to bring him in for 'questioning'
Date (real-life): 2010-10-05
Scene Location: Bree: Market East
Date (in-game): February 3051
Time of Day: Morning
Bree Market - East

This part of Bree is known simply as Market East. The street here runs east and west, with east leading to the Great East Road, and west leading to Market South. There are shops all along the north side of the street, while to the south is a collection of pens, corrals and watering troughs. Night has fallen and little can be gleaned from the pale light of distant lanterns. A few men scurry about on their business, gone as quickly as they came.

It is winter and the animals have been taken home. The corrals are empty, the watertrough filled with snow. A wooden sign with last fall's prices chalked on it is nailed to a post.

<OOC> Type 'mhelp' for help with the Animal Market pricelist.

Obvious exits:
 West leads to Bree Market - South.
 East leads to GER: Centre of Bree.
 Barber Shoppe leads to Barber Shoppe.

================================== Bree Time ==================================
Real time: Tue Oct 05 14:33:55 2010
Bree time: Early morning on Hevensday of Winter - February 9,1451
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous Moon

Breelands Weather                               
The winter air is cold and dry around you. 

It is a grey February morning, and the wind that whistles through the marketplace, picking up odds and ends of straw and redistributing rubbish, is bitter. It's early as yet, which probably explains why few folk are up and about. One, though, a stooped figure leaning on a staff and huddled deep within a plain grey cloak, is currently speaking to the market overseer. "-afford to feed 'em through t'spring. Bain't no law 'gainst selling?" The words, which have the slow inflection of the more countrified Breelanders, raise in a wheedling whine.

It seemed such a simple idea - putting the spare ponies up for sale in Bree's marketplace. But one party in the scheme knows little about horses, and the other little about market forces. Clearly it had not occurred to the would-be pony salesmen that the animal market might be closed at this time of year.

Huddled in a cloak, insignia of the Breeguards emblazoned on one shoulder--whatever that insignia happens to be--Thomas wanders distractedly through the marketplace But..ponies! And for sale! He hurries that way, just in time to hear the whined words. "Pardon?"

The grey-cloaked figure turns at the sound of Thomas' voice and hobbles a couple of steps forward, leaning on the staff. "Got a brace o'ponies t'sell," comes the explanation. "'T bein' a cruel winter an' all ... you be wantin' one? Good strong fellers, see?" And he yanks the lead rope to pull one of the ponies forward. The pair of animals are basically unremarkable, with no memorable features or visible branding; if anything, the only thing that one might notice about them is a faintly dispirited look, as though they have seen hard usage before.

"And I told you, the animal market's closed," the townsman facing the pony-seller begins, then glances at Thomas in relief. "Why, trainee Thomas! A fine morning to you! Perhaps you'd care to see to the gentleman here? I'm a busy man, you know." He starts to sidle away, clearly desperate to turn the problem over to someone else.

Thomas, who has taken to walking about with a stout staff now that he is a Breeguard trainee, leans upon the staff as he nods to the townsman. "Can do that, sir," he says, then looks to the ponies. "They seem a bit tired," he notes, putting out one hand to try to pat the nearest pony on the nose. "But the animal market's closed. You got to fatten 'em up for the spring. Rest and feed 'em good."

The townsman who's acting as market overseer is only too glad to leave the scene. Off he bustles, muttering under his breath about 'stall fees' and 'opening hours'.

The pony stands placidly under Thomas' pat, and does not nudge the trainee guardsman asking for food as might many a beast. The stranger who's holding the rope ducks his head, letting the hood fall even further over whatever features he possesses. "An sure ye're right, sir. But times is hard, can't afford feed. Right cruel t'let them starve, t'would be." There's something odd about his voice ... like and yet unlike that of the Breefolk. It's also a little hoarse. Must be the cold, cold morning.

"You can't let ponies starve!" Thomas cries, indignant suddenly. "Why, you'll just have to...to work! That's right! Put yourself out for hire and pay Nob to stable them in the Pony for you!" A little crease forms on the boy's forehead. "Where are you from anyhow? Not from here, are ya?"

A sudden muffled sound comes from under the hood. It ends as a cough, though it starts off suspiciously like a snort. "There be work needin' done? Folk as'd pay a poor ole feller like meself? Come in from round east. It be a cruel, hard place, cruel hard ..." The words trail off in a shake of the head.

The second pony has turned its head in the direction of the main, southern market and nickers softly. Without thinking, the grey-cloaked 'poor old fellow' lifts a swarthy hand to pat its neck - a hand that is strong, calloused and remarkably ungnarled for one so bent.

"I don't reckon Nob'll be wanting to give a job to a stranger who...who doesn't show his face!" Thomas says, now in an accusatory tone as he sees the man's hand. "Who are you?" he demands. "I'm....I'm a...a... Breeguard.....(much much softer...) trainee..." He half brandishes his staff. That is, he stops leaning on it and picks it up to hold it with two hands.

"No, I don't reckon he would," the stranger agrees, dropping something of the heavy country accent (it is, after all, as hard to understand as to speak). "Me? Just a visitor passing through. And yon little beasts /are/ for sale even to a Breeguard."

There is no visible reaction to the brandished staff.

"Well...." Thomas considers, looks around nervously, then stares back at the hooded man. "We be wanting to talk to strangers...officially so. So...you need to come with me. Yes, that's it."

"Really?" The end of the word lifts in query, as though the speaker were arching a brow. "And if I don't find myself in the mood for coming?" He pulls at the lead rope of pony number one, trying to yank it back away from Thomas.

"I...I...got this stick!" Thomas says, finally remembering the staff. Not that he actually does anything with it, other than to point out that he has one. But he does hold firmly onto the rope. "We're just talkign to folks...all folks...what you got to be scared of that for? You hidin something?"

"And a very nice stick, I'm sure," the grey-cloaked figure replies placatingly, disappointedly uncowed by the Breeguard's might weapon. "Can talk out here. Everyone's hiding something - like you. Wouldn't be trying to steal my pony, would you laddie?" He limps a step closer to the other beast, so that he's leaning against its side.

"I'm a Breeguard trainee!" Thomas snorts derisively. "I don't steal! And you...you are..suspicious! Yes, a suspiciously strange person here, trying to sell ponies! YOu're coming with me!" He lunges, reaching out of Brev's wrist.

Lightening-swift, the grey-cloaked stranger pulls back from the lunge, the staff in his own right hand raised as though to parry any further blows - but there is a price. As he steps back unsupported onto his left leg the man hisses, his entire body jerking, and the hood falls back from his head, revealing swarthy features that are now once more clean-shaven and even respectable (thanks to Caoimhe), but no less recognizable for that. "I might consider it," Brev responds to the trainee, lips twitching, "if you weren't trying to impound my goods."

The first pony, now that its rope has been dropped, starts to backstep, head tossing as it looks for an exit direction. Humans and their conversations mean little to the beast, but the sight of raised sticks certainly does.

"Brev!" Thomas shouts in recognition. The ponies are forgotten as he steps forward, but he's hesitant to use the staff, still. "I'm not taking anything of yours. But the Breeguards want to talk to you!" he demands.

"I'd imagine so." The man's tone is dry, and he's recovered his posture. He stands straight now, with little indication of the lame leg that had betrayed him a moment ago. He's still got the second beast's rope, and he twines his left hand firmly about it, for pony number two is sidestepping nervously, little happier with the scene than pony number one. He eyes Thomas in silence for a long moment, as though debating fight or flight, then smirks suddenly. "Might as well get it over with." For a thief who's surely facing months if not years in a Breeguard cell, he sounds remarkably unworried. "What /exactly/ did you propose doing with those ponies?" he demands; then out of the tail of his eye he catches sight of pony number one clattering away through the marketplace. "Kiern!" he mutters angrily.

"Kiern? what's a kiern? I...uh...stables. In the Pony. Get them fed and all an..uh...right." Thomas's lips twist as he comes up with this idea but not the money to stable the poor beasts. "And then..uh...we'll talk to the Breeguards. I'll bring ya in," he says, proudly. "But first we're going to catch that pony." And, having so stated, he turns to head that way.

Even before Thomas has finished speaking, Brev is starting to limp after the retreating pony, which is trying to thread its way between the barbarshop and a stack of empty crates. There is a sudden loud clattering. "Kiern's-" he begins, turning his head, then snorts. "Think of the filthiest word you can, it'll do as translation."

When Thomas volunteers to catch the pony Brev does not stop him; the hampering limp may have something to do with that. Though surely he could scramble up on pony number 2 and make a break for it? He doesn't, however. Instead, as he watches Thomas do the hard work he murmurs, the corners of his mouth twitching, "Ah, the valiant Guardsman. Eh well, guess the odd free meal and somewhere drier than a field to sleep in won't go amiss. Even if the accommodation /is/ rather cramped ..." Softly, he chuckles.

Somewhere along the way, Brev eyes his young apprehender and offers, managing to keep his features almost solemn, "Some free advice. Next time you want to stop someone with that," he indicates the staff, "don't aim for the wrist. Too high a chance you'll miss. Try a jab for his middle. After all," he pauses, letting his gaze shift to where Thomas's own midriff must lie beneath that ill-fitting leather armour, "a man's got two hands, but only one stomach ..."

With that unsettling remark made, he limps dutifully onward, docile as a lamb - for now.

Date added: 2010-10-07 17:35:54    Hits: 62
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