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Old Jan 9th, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Part 1: Cold Reception

A Cursed CrownThe Empyreal Crown, the most expensive piece of headgear in the world, sits glittering in the throne room in a glass box with no lock. Why would anyone steal it? It can't be melted down, no fence would sell it, and nobody in the world is dumb enough to actually wear it...

-- “Atop the Ruins” by satirist Edward Reese, 224 S.M.K.

Cold ReceptionIt was probably a bad idea, in retrospect. One more journey in the season, Gavril had said. Back home long before winter sets in. But the elements had a different idea of how things would go. An early cold northeast wind started on the third day out from the city gates, and became Gavril and his entourage’s constant companion as they journeyed south and west.

It was the first day of Chisan when they reached the village at the edge of the Great Swamp, but it felt and looked more like end of Kelarse. The low marshlands spread out south of the village’s hilltop were bleak and gray, and most of the standing pools were edged with gray sheets of flimsy ice. Still, the destination was nearer than home, and the decision was made to carry on.

The village, filled to bursting as it was with merchants who’d been caught by winter’s early arrival, was not keen on haivng Gavril, too, remain with them through the winter, though certainly no-one said that to his face, it was obvious. Nobles are a drain on the resources of any community, after all, and with a long winter ahead, the townsfolk were concerned about their stores. It was all he could do to top off the supply of food for his companion, and for once the fact that his own nutrient stream was… alternate was partly a blessing.

On the cold, crystal-clear morning of the second of Chisan, Gavril and Cordula prepared to leave, headed along the bleak-looking raised road winding through the swamp. As early as they left, though, they were the third group of travelers to depart on that grey, bitter morning.

The first group, a ragged trio of men with the weathered, greyish look of locals, had come looking for the aid of the local blacksmith, but one sight of Gavril’s fine carriage changed their priorities completely. A few coppers bought them the answers to a few questions, and these answers elicited sinister, gap-toothed grins. The three left well before dawn, leaving a bundle of battered and stained blades and a note for the smith, hurrying along the southward road to prepare a sinister welcome for a wealthy traveler somewhere nobility wouldn’t do him any good.

The second departure from that village, not much less ragged or seedy-looking than the first, was a group of Inheritance mercenaries - four men and a woman, just back in town from an unsuccessful attempt to find an old tower which was supposed to be not far into the swamp, which might have hidden riches from the Imperial era. A pouch of coin from an aggrieved local businessman who’d been relieved of his last wagonload of merchandise pointed this band after the first, and as soon as the quarry had departed, the mercenaries hurried out after them.

As Gavril and his two loyal associates clattered out of that small village, bound for the final village before the road itself was lost in the swamp, they could not imagine their good fortune - the brigands that were preparing a daring daylight ambush for the carriage were themselves being hunted.

The HeirGavril recently and on a whim bought a crate of old books that were being sold off in an estate sale. The book contained the “Tragic tale of the young master Ledric Cherand”, a scion of a family prominent during and after the Wars. The narrator is supposedly his manservant and page, Padden. According to the book, this account is as true as anything, and it took place in the spring of 16 S.M.K - only months after the end of the first War.

In the story, the pair leave the city, and several days out Ledric confides in his servant that he and the recently-vanished princess Celenni were lovers, and that she had fled the Capitol with her younger brother days after news of Alric’s death reached the city. He also tells Padden that she promised to meet him on the vernal equinox at an old guard-post on the Empire’s southern border, so that he could tell her of the events in the city and she could decide whether to come back or to stay in hiding.

As the story progresses, Padden begins to doubt his master’s sanity, as Ledric becomes erratic and obsessive as they near their goal. He wonders if Ledric is hallucinating, or if the young man has gone mad. They travel to, and into, the Great Swamp, and Ledric seems to know where he’s going. Eventually, they reach the old stone outpost, and Padden is surprised when people claiming to be Princess Celenni and Prince Raistin, as well as an older man who does not introduce himself, meet them there.

At the end of the story, Celenni and the other two retreat back into hiding, and Ledric purchases a house outside one of the swamp villages, just isolated enough that he can get clandestine visits without attracting attention. Padden returns to the city to lie about Ledric’s doings to the Cherand family, and then supposedly writes the story and expresses his intent to hide it until it is safe for the truth to be told.

Gavril is able to follow the account on a map - Padden includes enough details that, with a good period map, one can pinpoint the location of the meeting. If the story proves to be as truthful as it claims, then the village in which Ledric settled likely has some memory of the strange nobleman who lived with them for so many years. Finding out which village that was didn’t seem too difficult - there would probably be only a handful of candidates, but no villages in the area are marked on the old maps.

It’s something, anyway. Gavril has gone on expeditions on far less evidence before. Perhaps this time, he’ll get results...

 
 
 
The Empyrean Legacy
A “Shattered Inheritance” Game featuring:
Aethera Carramina Crowe
Humble Athena Gavril Dulmaric
Talula3ll3n Elizabeta DeVeyra
SophieValentine Damien Voss
Aeternis The Cowled Guy with the Scythe
A Chase at SunsetEvening of 2 Chisan, 294 S.M.K.
[Antigravity Outro - Starset I sometimes have music in mind when I plan a scene - this one, like the first scene of the last game, is one such. As I did before, I’m linking to that music when I used it, but I don’t promise to do that for every scene. If this is a distraction, let me know, I'll re-evaluate my sharing of my inspirations.

As an aside, the entire album this is taken from is amazing.
?]

Carramina, leading her horse, scrambles up onto the raised road just as the carriage rounds the bend. The shock of the sudden meeting brings both the carriage-driver and the mercenary a brief pause - it might have been a longer pause, but the sudden clamor of a dozen brigands crashing through the bog behind Carramina prompts everyone to act. The sun is still nearing the horizon, and neither Gavril nor his faithful associate are at their best fighting under its light - the decision to run is easy. Carramina mounts up and keeps pace - the carriage’s pair of horses can’t manage their full speed pulling that much wood and iron. A few long-shot crossbow shots whistle past the carriage and rider as they flee towards the village ahead, but there is no sign of pursuit. After a little while, the procession slows to a more reasonable pace, and as the sun’s lower edge touches the horizon, Carramina tells an abbreviated version of her story to a pair of pampered city-people who can’t even be bothered to stick their heads out of the carriage window.

The story is even more abbreviated when the pounding of hoofbeats heard from behind spurs the group into action again. The brigands have brought their horses onto the road - there are only eight riders (presumably that’s all the horses the gang had available), but they’re well-armed and coming fast. Haytham doesn’t need any instruction to spur the horse-team into a gallop. The brigands have pikes as well as crossbows - pikes which could be used up close to jam the spoked carriage wheels, and turn the carriage into a spectacular wreck.

The bandits fire a few haphazard crossbow shots at their quarry as they close the distance, doing little damage - most of the quarrels go wide or stick into the wooden walls of the carriage to no effect. Some of the bandits even manage to reload on horseback and fire second and third volleys, just as ineffective as the first.

With the bandits gaining slowly, the carriage rattles over another small rise, and the lights of a tiny hilltop village glow enticingly beyond - no more than two miles distant. The sun is setting slowly, but its slanting rays still rob the nobleman and his charge of their advantage - and with the carriage’s reckless speed, they’re doing all they can to avoid being thrown through the carriage roof by a sudden pothole.

It’s difficult to say if the carriage will be overtaken before the sun vanishes behind the hills, or if it will reach the comparative safety of the village before being overtaken by either darkness or marauders. The horses are tired, but their exertion will, one way or another, be over soon…
 
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Old Jan 11th, 2016, 04:20 AM
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It's evenings like these that make Gavril Dulmaric exceedingly grumpy.

On a normal night, he would be roused awake slowly by the setting of the sun and the enticing heartbeats of the two humans who served him. Tonight, it had been all wrong. No peaceful awakening, with the jostling of the carriage bouncing over the rough road and the surging tempo of those hearts. Twisting up in the cramped space, he cracked open the panel that provided access to his sanctuary hideaway, and peered out into the interior proper. An angry red line around the closed window warned that the accursed sun was still high enough to be a threat, but the interior provided the shade it was meant to. If the carriage smashed against a tree or overturned, he might be in dire peril, but remaining in hiding would not save him if that were the case.

"What is going on?!" He demanded of the sole occupant, his ward. Without waiting for the answer, he braced himself against the perpetual motion of the carriage to pull himself onto the floorboards and onto his knees. A flick of his hand drew the panel closed, the compartment once more hidden away. OOC: I assume. Will edit if that is incorrect.As the girl hastily answered, he fingered the hem of his jacket, eyes burning with thwarted fury. Time crawled so slowly as he waited for the warning itch in his awareness to ebb, heralding his freedom into the blessed blanket of night. Then, then he could teach the scoundrels the folly of assaulting their betters. But for now, he was trapped. Trapped and helpless, hoping his driver was skilled enough, his horses strong enough, to keep them ahead just a while longer.

His hands move to trace the sheathes strapped to his arms, the daggers hidden in the stitching of his jacket. How could he wait and do nothing? The longer this went on, the greater the chances of a mishap bringing an end to his sanctuary, and perhaps this entire quest. All the research, all the frustrated nights of empty leads- he would not be brought down by petty bandits when he finally had a lead that promised progress! The humans were skilled, especially Cor, but he had to turn his hand towards his own preservation now. Even if it meant a little pain in the short run.

He pulled out on of the Sisters and balanced the blade in his fingers for a moment, becoming reacquainted with the familiar weight, before moving to the window. Grasping the window's latch in his free hand, he braced for the pain to come, then in a quick motion pulled the window open and stuck his arm out enough to fling the blade into the oncoming riders, hissing as eager sunlight bit into pale flesh. Quickly enough, he withdrew back into the protective shadow and tried to think of a better way to stall for time.

 
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 07:05 PM
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As if the weather weren't bad enough, this day had gone from bad to worse in a flash. Mina never slept well in a town as desperate as this one had seemed, so she was in a poor mood when she and her companions had ridden out after the brigands. A job was a job, and it would be nice to change up the irritating monotony of the failed search for the tower. She hadn't determined yet if Black Tom had sent her out on this pathetic attempt at a treasure hunt because of those cutting remarks she'd paid him when he riled her up. He should know better, but then, so should she. At least she trusted the men sent along on her fool's errand, and that was worth more to her than the friction between herself and the Shadow Stealers' leader.

It was contemplation of this that had her surprised by the ambush laid out for the carriage. Cursing a blue streak at herself and the brigands alike, she set about returning fire and for a moment it seemed they might have the bandits on the run. The fighting went south fast. It was only with magical invisibility that she managed to slip away after losing one ally after the next. Her cursing had to be silent at that point if she meant to get away unnoticed, but the cursing continued. It seemed only luck that the bandits scattered before she could do anything stupid. Was it asking too much that whomever or whatever else was coming along the road was not going to be unfriendly?

It seemed that she had a stroke of luck after all, the carriage wasn't going to attack her for being present, though the brigands chasing them well might! Mina didn't have trouble keeping pace with the carriage, and though the thought of fleeing did occur to her, she wasn't going to abandon city-people to the brigands that she and her men had been tasked with routing. It was still her job, as far as she was concerned. So she loosened her reins and tied a rough knot in them so they wouldn't slide under Ebony's hooves and trip up the mare, guiding the well-trained horse with her knees so she could ready her bow, gripping two arrows in her bow hand. A single glance backward told her she had her choice of targets, so one arrow flipped to the string and fired away, the second quickly following it.

 
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Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 10:45 PM
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The ride had been long and nowhere near comfortable. They had almost made the decision to turn back, but really, that would have afforded nothing good. Instead the three continued on the ragged road.

Gavril’s words from the darkened section of the carriage startled her briefly, her reply coming calmly but curt.

“We have company, Gav.” Cordula glanced quickly out of the carriage window. ”Also, there is a lone woman riding along beside us. I cannot be sure, but I think she is friend, not foe… at least, has the potential to be.”

The young bard knew she had to do something to slow their would be attackers. The sun still shone on the horizon, and Gavril would not yet be able to lend his assistance. She reached into her kimono and produced a small bit of bone. Passing her free hand widdershins above it, she whispered the darkened words. The intent to illicit a debilitating fear amongst the riders.

 
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Old Jan 31st, 2016, 11:28 PM
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As the carriage thunders down the pitted and worn-out old road, with a half-dozen horsemen hot in pursuit, its two occupants lean out the window. One attempts a maximum-range thrown attack, then, with a strange hissing sound, retreats as quickly as he appeared in the window, where the other leans out long enough to speak the words to a spell. retreating just before a crossbow bolt ricochets off the wood paneling. The rider uncertainly keeping pace with the vehicle also fires an arrow

Gavril's thrown projectile finds its target at extreme range, lodging itself in the brigand's side just before the adjacent man's shoulder suddenly finds itself intruded upon by Carramina's well-aimed arrow. Both injured riders initially press on despite these harrying attacks from their prey.

The spell cast by the carriage's second passenger has a slightly more impressive effect on the bandits than the nonmagical attacks of Gavril and Carramina, however. Five of the bandits pull their horses up short and slow down, breaking ranks - including the injured pair. The other three, however, close in, urging their horses into one final burst of speed as the town's lights grow ahead. As the last limb of the sun slips behind the horizon, the three remainig bandits catch up to the carriage, only a few moments before the vehicle reaches the comparative safety of the town's gate. One pushes his panting mount to close with Carramina, the other two flank the carriage, trying to get their pikes to bear on the wheels.

Carramina recognizes the bandit who catches up to her - not by name, but she remembers seeing him leading the charge during one of the stubborn brigands' many attacks on her and her associates in their doomed stand on the high ground. This one, probably, is the leader - or at least a lieutenant.

 
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 10:29 PM
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Whatever the city-people had done seemed to have helped, though Mina hadn't been paying close enough attention to watch whatever it had been. She thought she'd seen a dagger in her peripheral vision, but it was hard to keep tabs on everything at once. Her arrows had hit, or at least one of them had, and that was all she could manage to keep in her focus, what with controlling Ebony's flight as well. The horse was all she could ask for, but the long day was beginning to wear on the mare, too.

Still guiding her mare with her knees, Carramina hoped the lights ahead were a town, not more unforeseen bandits as her earlier encounter had heralded. Two more arrows were pulled from her quiver and she gave the mare freedom to run while she turned in her saddle, firing at the bandit lieutenant. Mina didn't have time to waste watching to see how he fared, turning back to race onward into town as soon as she had fired both arrows.

 
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Old Feb 13th, 2016, 08:53 PM
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Elizabeta, ducking back to avoid the flying arrows, glances out of the carriage window once more, a satisfied smile crossing her lips as she sees the five bandits fall away from their onslaught.

”Gavril, there are three left. The sun is almost asleep…” The young bard glanced out the windows in turn, assessing the remaining threat. "I will take the one on the right side, Sir."

With that, the woman reaches beneath the carriage seat, producing a small but deadly crossbow. Shifting to get a clear line of site, she looses the arrow towards the bandit on the right of the carriage. With a click of the trigger, and a woosh from the cable, Elizabeta smiles as she watches the arrow fly straight for the pursuing miscriant.

 
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Old Feb 14th, 2016, 07:36 PM
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The bandit on Elizabeta's side of the carriage manages to stay in his saddle when struck by a crossbow bolt from inside the vehicle, but his response is to lift his spear and jab it into the thin wood paneling of the door behind which his attacker is hiding. The heavy iron of the spearhead punches through, but the only thing it injures inside the vehicle is the upholstery.

Carraminia gets two shots off before the leader of the brigands closes into striking distance with his pike - he seems to have discarded his crossbow. Of the two arrows loosed, only one strikes the man - the arrow still fouled loosely in his chainmail, surrounded by a dark stain, is only too visible to her darkness-piercing vision in the cold twilight.

The marauder's spear After damage reduction, 2 damagecatches Carramina despite her best attempts to dodge it at the last minute. The wound is hardly the worst the mercenary has suffered today, but the bandit seems intent on finishing off the troublesome mercenary, whether or not he recognizes her from the hilltop stand. There is murder in the lean man's eyes, as well as greed.

The third remaining rider, un-engaged, cries out to his fellows, deftly reversing his grip on his pike and stabbing it down into the back wheel of the carriage, just behind Gavril's seat. Despite the driver's weaving, the pike catches between the spokes, and the rear axle jolts to a halt for a sickening second, lurching the wooden vehicle toward the edge of the raised road. The pike snaps a second later, and a second jolt signals the wheel's sudden return to service. The vehicle weaves drunkenly for several seconds, but the driver manages to keep it barely on the road, and to keep his seat - Gavril's hired man has not for the first time proved that he is worth every copper of his salary. The rear axle is now emitting a concerning sound, the groaning of iron and wood whose tight fixings have been loosened or pulled free by the violent interruption. It doesn't take a cartwright to know how close the wagon's occupants were - and still are - to careening into the frozen bog.

"Stop foolin' around and wreck 'em!" The leader instructs his henchmen, swinging his spear at Carramina again to keep her from shooting him again. The bandit on Elizabeta's side of the carriage, the probable target of this order, pulls his spearhead free of the splintered door, and aims his pike downwards, readying himself for a repeat of his fellow's maneuver moments before on the other side.

The lights of the huddled village structures ahead promise shelter - in a minute at the longest, the carriage will pass between the outermost buildings on the road, and hopefully the bandits will break off before that happens.

 
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 01:03 PM
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The undead nobleman smiled wickedly into the gloom as he felt the oppression of the sun vanish like a pop of pressure. He was free, and now these highwaymen would pay for thinking they could get away with attacking his carriage. Turning the handle on the carriage door, he emerged from the side, holding on to the doorframe to keep his balance while he analyzed the distance to his prey, and the speed at which they were both traveling.

The sun had kept him helpless for too long. As he prepared to assault the man riding behind, the other shoved a long shaft into the wheel and the carriage jolted. A man of lesser strength and balance might have been thrown out, but as it was, Gavril's fingers dug splinters out of the doorframe as he held his place. "Slow the horses." He commanded towards his driver."We can't risk the carriage overturning. We'll have to engage." Feeling certain of his path, he crouched, building tension in the muscles of his legs. "It shouldn't take long." The last line was snarled in the direction of the bandit, and then he sprang.

 
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 01:08 PM
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Damn. This was going downhill fast, and she wasn't thinking about the slope. The scratch through her chainmail tore a red line across her side that was going to hurt later, when the adrenaline was no longer keeping her going so strongly. She was getting more desperate, which was concerning, because it told her just how poorly she was actually doing. If they didn't make it to the town soon, or get rid of the bandits, she was going to be in bad shape. And that was not something she was keen on experiencing, out in the wintry world on her own.

Her trusty mare was still charging ahead alongside the carriage and Mina gave a silent prayer for her fortunes not taking the mare from her today. Keotil, turn your eyes my way. Grant me your favor for a few minutes more and I will be eternally grateful. Once more she guided her mare with her knees as she reached into her quiver and retrieved two arrows, one going to the string as the other slid into her bow hand with the ease of long practice. As she turned, the bandit jabbed her with his pike and she had to shift in her saddle or take worse damage than she did. Resettling herself again, she fired both arrows at the bandit leader, hoping to do him enough damage to get him a bit further back. If he attacked her again, she could do little more for the cityfolk and their carriage. There was a chance she'd have to flee the combat, and that rankled. And that was if he didn't unseat her or worse. She'd be dead already if it weren't for her wild blood granting her some protection. It made her hard to kill, which her mercenary friends had teased her about it in the past, but it had earned her a grudging sort of respect from them. It would do little more than slow the inevitable if this battle continued much longer.

 
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Old Mar 7th, 2016, 10:51 PM
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Elizabeta dove to the other side of the carriage just in time. The sickening crunch of the wood giving way to the spear point echoed through the small space. The young woman breathed deeply and watched as Gavril launched himself out of the carriage. She smiled knowing that the bandit would not be long for this world.

She had to do something more, though. Even with her arrow firmly in his side, her attacker still advanced. ”Maybe I could Charm Personconvince him that I am his friend… get him to hold off further attacks until we cross over into the village.” she thought to herself. Elizabeta moved to the side of the carriage, leaned out, and with a wave of her hand and a gentle tone she cast a charm towards her attacker, tossing with it the instruction that he should hold steady and let them pass into the village without further action from him.

 
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Old Mar 12th, 2016, 02:39 PM
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"Got it, sir." Haytham calls back, pulling the reins to slow the carriage horses. The exhausted beasts slow without complaint, and, locked in their fight, Carramina and the bandit who is probably the leader pass the vehicle at speed, still locked in their close-range duel of arms. As they pass, Haytham picks his crossbow out of its place below the driver's bench and takes a shot at the bandit - the shot narrowly misses, skittering off the road-bed ahead of the combatants. Carramina's two arrows fare better, even though a wild swing of the bandit's pike to discourage her close-range archery strikes her, one shot embeds itself in her assailant's abdomen, but to his credit, the hardy bandit barely makes a sound despite being in what must be excruciating pain.

The lead bandit, wounded and almost visibly realizing that his duel with the mercenary is a side-show, and that the payoff for this costly fight has just slowed, seems to want to finish off the battered archer quickly. With a sudden shift in his grip, the bandit 6 damage after damage reductiongashes the side of Carramina's head, narrowly missing a blow which would have opened her skull and spelled the end of her career as a mercenary.

The bandit on Gavril's side of the carriage is caught unawares when the door swings open and the nobleman, emboldened by the sun's disappearance, leaps out to tackle the rider. He doesn't even get his blade to bear in time to wound his sudden assailant. He is in fact caught so completely off guard that he loses his seat in the saddle, and the entangled pair of combatants tumble off the far side of the bandit's lean horse, 5 bludgeoning damage and 1 cold damage for a fall while moving at speed. The bandit also takes this damage.bounce off the edge of the old road, and roll down into the frozen marsh below. Scraggly dead plants claw at the pair, but Gavril manages to hold onto his new prey until they come to a rest in the icy, cloying mud. The bandit managed too to keep his grip on his blade, and even the battering of the fall doesn't seem to have neutralized his ability to fight back. He struggles mightily against Gavril's hold, but is unable to break free.

As her boss goes out one side of the battered carriage, Elizabeta casts a spell at the assailant on the other side as he lines up a jab of his pike into the spokes of the rear wheel. The man suddenly seems to see things from the perspective of his victims, and raises his pike away from strike position. The magical charm seems to have him convinced that it's better for everyone if the carriage reaches the town ahead. The charmed rider slows his horse's gait to match that of the carriage, but it's clear that even a charm spell can't make him enter the village itself - most likely, he's a wanted man there.

"Boss, our new associate appears to be in peril." Haytham comments, dryly understating the situation as usual. "Shall I..." The manservant trails off, as if finally processing the sound of the carriage door heard banging open seconds before. "...He's gone, isn't he?"

 
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  #13  
Old Mar 15th, 2016, 04:13 PM
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Mina was well ahead of the carriage before she realized it, the bandit holding nearly all her attention but for a few glances ahead to where she was guiding her horse. Its one of those fateful glances which distract her long enough to take a blow to the head, an involuntary cry leaving her lips as she stows her longbow in her quiver and her now-free hand quickly goes to press the side of her head where blood is freely welling forth. She's a little disoriented by the blow, which tells her just how badly she's doing at this point. One more glance goes back to the carriage, seeming to be out of immediate danger from pike-wielding bandits, and that decides her. There's nothing more she can do here, not without risking what limited life she still possesses. If she passes out from blood loss and falls from the saddle, she wouldn't bet on waking up again. Who knew whether the bandit would turn back to go after the carriage or stop long enough to slit her throat just to be vindictive.

"Hah!" she cried to Ebony, kicking the mare to leap forward. One hand still pressed to the side of her face, she grasped the saddle horn with the other just in case. Sorry, city-folks. Nothing more I can do to help you. Not until those in the town ahead would be able to hear her shouts for help, anyway.

 
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  #14  
Old Mar 18th, 2016, 10:48 PM
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Elizabeta smiled darkly as she watched her Charmed bandit slow and take a second thought about sticking his spear where it didn’t belong. She hoped the spell would keep hold long enough for her, Gavril, and the other woman to cross over into the village.

At the thought of the other woman, Elizabeta moved through the carriage to the front window, crossbow in hand. She smiled over to Haytham. ”Of course he is gone, Hay. Hopefully he will make quick work of that bandit and make it back to us.” She surveyed the two riders in front of them and drew her crossbow.

One more good shot. she thought to herself. Between my and Hay’s arrows, it can be hoped that at least one will fly true and find purchase in the heart of this bastard.

She took a deep breath, lined up her sites, and pulled the trigger.

 
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 12:21 AM
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Gavril grinned darkly as he took the bandit off his horse, not minding the jostling of their fall nor the cold of the wet earth upon which they landed. He leaned in close to the bandit, giving a smug sneer. "Fool that you are, tonight is your lucky night. I don't have time to finish you, so if you are smart enough to run off with your tail between your legs, you might get to live." He released his grasp and gave the ground a shove, propelling himself to his feet, twisting around, and taking off after his carriage and those who still served a threat to it. With no need for breath, it was an easy thing for him to sprint forward moving as fast as his legs could propel him.

 
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