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  #376  
Old Sep 7th, 2020, 12:00 AM
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Tambovsky, human fighter
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It was a charge!
It was a retreat.
It was a full-force assault!
It was a pell-mell escape.

Whatever it was ... it was exhilarating.

The troll might be satiated from his meal of fallen humans, orcs and goblinsóbut that didn't slow him down. His leap forward would have been magnificent to watch, if Tambovsky and his friends weren't the target of that leap.

Tambovsky had no idea if he would survive the troll's rush, but he savored every second of the wind rushing past his helmet, the sound of the troll's incensed howling, and the vibrations of a ground shaken by the monster's dogged pursuing strides.

"Now this is a battle!" he shouted to Lady Danicea as the two of them urged their mounts to close ranks with Owain and Sherrock.

The goblins had to be watching this. They had to be aware of what was coming toward them. But Tambovsky had no idea how they would respond. Scattering would be the best strategy for them to face the troll ... but if they did that then Tambovsky and his friends could easily pick them off from their mounted positions. Forming a spearheaded shield wall at the entrance of the bridge would be the best way to counter the mounted charge ... but that would leave them hopelessly arrayed in a bunch and vulnerable to the troll if Tambovsky and his friends broke their wallóand by the blessings of the Four Saints he would break their wall.

Shield up, legs pressed into his mount and the reins gripped in his teeth, Tambovsky realized that he was now somehow in the lead. He leaned into his horse and circled his sword arm in anticipation of striking a blow. In only a few seconds, he would meet whatever the goblins had in store for him inside the bridge. And in only a few seconds, they would discover what he had in store for them.



 


 
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  #377  
Old Sep 10th, 2020, 06:03 PM
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"Of course" Jol reassures Pat, not quite sure where the halfling is going with this. "Many survive the plague. There is a better chance if the afflicted is young and otherwise healthy, or near an abbey or monastery where the monks can provide healing, of course, but even without these things many survive. Why do you ask?"

He nods at Soskia's words. He doesn't really trust Pat either, if truth be told, which he feels is not an entirely unreasonable position to take. It was, after all, only a few minutes ago that the halfling almost stabbed him to death.

"I agree - most assuredly, we should not act without discussing this further with our new companions. They should be back soon. It is only a short way to the old inn. No doubt they they are having a relaxing and pleasant ride in the morning sun while we wrestle with these tricky decisions."

Jol chews thoughtfully on a piece of sausage he acquired earlier while he muses on things. It needs more pepper and a little less salt, he decides. But overall, not at all bad.
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  #378  
Old Sep 11th, 2020, 01:54 PM
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The RidersTambovsky could hear a deep huffing sound behind them. He didn't have to look to know it was the troll. Up ahead he could make out the top of the covered bridge just around a bend in the road. Lady Danicea was beside him, riding full out, face pinched in grim determination. As they round the bend, she draws her sword, holding it low against the horse' flank.
Behind them came Sherrock and Owain. Owain heard the troll huffing as well and noticed it had slowed somewhat, changing it's stride from a full out charge to a measured pace. Owain instinctively knew the troll was set on a long run, waiting for the horses to tire. Glancing back, the troll grinned at him and stuck out it's long tongue, like a snake scenting the air. The hunger in it's eyes was like a physical force, grasping at Owain and Timber. Sherrock looked up and behind them for a moment, then knocked an arrow, riding with his knees guiding the horse and slowing just a bit.
The four of them come pounding around the bend, clods of dirt flying from their hooves as all the horses dig hard for traction and speed. They can see the goblins covering the road, some on the roof, more off to the side. There are probably thirty to forty goblins in view. Most of them are in the road, just before the bridge, gathered in a large circle. Two of them are in the center, fighting one another with knives. Each has one knife and their free hands are bound together leaving about three feet of space between them. Yeee! Yiiiippp! Ahh!The goblins start screaming and running about, some bumping into each other, some slipping down the bank to the river and others heading for the bridge in an attempt to climb up and off the road. Sherrock fires an arrow. Tambovsky feels it fly past his ear and hit and kill a goblin. Owain follows up with a shot of his own, killing another goblin. The goblins starts shrieking in fear, they have now seen the troll!
Tambovsky swings down, his sword clanging off a goblin helm, sending the small creature rolling across the road and into the ditch. Lady Danicea stabs at one, but it ducks, avoiding her blow, only to get trampled by Timber, as the four of them ride onto the bridge, and over to the other side, moving to fast for the goblins to attack them. They ride up the hill for another thirty yards before stopping when they realize they are no longer pursued by the troll.Turning to look back, they see the troll has already torn one goblin apart and has grabbed two others, biting into one goblin's skull and killing it, while the other goblin by it's feet and swinging at the rest of the goblins like one would use a flail.


JolPat has left, returning to the room he shares with Saya. Once he leaves, Soskia breaths out a sigh of relief,He is so small and yet he terrifies me. Just looking at him, you would expect I could kick him to pieces, but I wouldn't even try, there is just something not right about him. I have met many halflings, and he is not like any I have ever met. Thank you for staying with me Father Jol. Would you look at these for me, perhaps you could read them as well?Soskia hands Jol three scrolls, one of them tingles with divine magic from a priest of Silvanus, the other feels slick and itchy. It also has divine casting on it. The third is an actual letter, no enchantment upon it all. It is written in poorly formed Greek. The scroll from Silvanus has four spells on it and was written only a few days ago. The second scroll is a foreign diety of dark disposition. Just touching the scroll lets Jol know these spells have evil intent.
 


OOC-Owain and Tambovsky took no damage that round, Jol roll for Knowledge to read the "Greek." Unless he already knows greek.
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  #379  
Old Sep 13th, 2020, 01:55 PM
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Jol watches Pat leave without answering his question. Not that he really expected the unpredictable halfling to do so. He nods in agreement with Soskia.

"I know exactly how you feel" he says. "I too have met many halflings, some from far flung places. I met one from Albion once, who came from a place called the Shire. He claimed it was the same Shire as the one from the legends, if you would believe such a thing. He told me many tales of his homeland, in the days I knew him. But of all the halflings I have met, I have never encountered one like Pat. He terrifies me, the same as you. But, you know, Pat has qualities to admire, too. For one, he is fiercely loyal to Saya, above all things. He would give his life for her. I cannot believe a person who would do that can be all bad."

He shrugs, and takes the three scrolls Soskia hands to him, clumsily leafing through them as he attempts to juggle them with the remains of the sausage he was eating.

"Hm, this one contains blessings of the Church - two to aid in healing, and two for use in combat, of particular value against the walking dead. Interesting. Let us see what this second one is...Ach! By the Creator!"

He suddenly drops the second scroll on the floor, as if he had just discovered he was holding a burning coal. The last piece of sausage goes down there with it, he notices with some chagrin.

"My apologies. That one has ill enchantments. Let us leave it down there for now. Where did you find it?"

As for the third scroll, Jol thinks that he recognises this language, that it is one that he was required to study many years ago, before he was ordained. It is the language of Byzantium, he is fairly sure. He recognises a few words. But it has been such a long time since he studied Greek, and he was not a particularly dedicated student...

OOC
Rolled a 14 over in the Tool Shed, not sure if that was a glorious success or a dismal failure. Jol has Knowledge - Arcana (+4), Knowledge - History (+4) and Knowledge Religion (+6), if any of these is appropriate here.
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  #380  
Old Sep 13th, 2020, 03:29 PM
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OOC-Since Jol is alone, I am posting for him. Also adding up experience and it looks like our heroes may be leveling up!

IC-Soskia is shaking her head and shyly smiling at Jol. Jol can tell that what he said has eased her some and made her happy. Something he gets the impression from her, hasn't happened often in her life. After looking over the first scroll, he looks up to see Soskia holding a plate for his sausage and a goblet of wine. A spiced cabernet sauvignon with a deep red color and rich flavor. There is some fine wine in this Chancellery.
When he drops the second scroll, Jol and Soskia both watch it roll to a stop, then eerily roll again to stop with curled page ready to be opened. Jol senses the magic emanating from the scroll and he notices Soskia's eyes have a glint to them, like she can see the magic and it is now reflecting in her eyes.
Some of the symbols are quite familiar to Jol. They are an old form of greek script. This scroll was created by priests of Ares, an eastern Greek god of war and slaughter. A god of extreme malevolence that could rival any demon cruelty. Jol also remembers reading mention of Ares being a god of War for Fire Giants.
Jol leaves that scroll on the floor for the time being and examines the other. It is a letter, written in a strong hand. Jol can tell that by how deeply the quill was pressed into the parchment. It is paper too, not fools scap or hide, but actual paper.
“Nepotian, your time is running short. The Flame Spears have gotten closer than expected. You must move the relic as soon as possible. Perhaps use our contacts in the Daughters of the Mayflower to aid in this. Laimon has gathered a large number of humanoids near Blaud Hill. He may offer some protection against the heathen Thracian witch and her Griffon allies. She too is closing and has proven more formidable than expected. She is aided by some mercenary group called the Sea Griffons. Find out more about them if you can. Take the relic to Gelduth Black Turret, not Saint Marin’s. Lady Tailtu escaped our Zhizdra’s trap and has returned to the Frost March and St. Marins. We don’t know her current whereabouts. Laimon has also made entreaties to the Split skull orc clan. He may have even already formed an alliance with them. He said he has some success against the Clergy at Blaud Hill and expects a victory over them soon. Take care, be well, hope to see you soon my love, Priscian”
After perusing the letter a second time, Jol is certain this is an older form of Greek/Byzantium that is no longer used. Jol has heard of Laimon. He has actually seen the necromancer a time or two…Jol feels a shadow cross his heart at those memories. Then it suddenly passes and he feels like a warm sun is shining down on him. He looks up to see Soskia’s eyes, still glinting with enchantment, looking worriedly at him. She has cast another spell, a protective one over him and she doesn’t even know it.
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  #381  
Old Sep 15th, 2020, 10:20 PM
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Just an easy morning ride
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Owain sat leaned over Timber's neck, his body shaking with uproarious laughter as his mount stamped at the ground and snorted protests wondering why they stopped. "Did you see their faces!?!" the barbarian managed to call out to nobody in particular between laughs "They were climbing over one another to get away!" He raised his head and wiped tears from his eyes before looking back at what was left on the bridge. "Now that was fun, Tambovsky you maniac!" Owain was smiling ear to ear and still letting giggles slip out here and there.

The barbarian took several deep breaths before speaking again. "Shall we ride on to the inn and worry about this mess when we return? I say we let the big guy tire himself out on these poor goblins before we try messing with him again." Owain shrugged "Or, we could try burning the bridge with the troll in it. Anyone know of another route back?" He scratched his head as he watched the troll pummeling at the twitching pulp that was once goblins.

 
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  #382  
Old Sep 16th, 2020, 12:35 AM
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Tambovsky, human fighter
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"I trust your first instinct," Tambovsky replies to Owain. "While they are engaged in spilling each other's blood, let's finish our original mission. Perhaps we'll find new allies. With even two more mounts, our odds would greatly increase when we return to face the troll. Or ... perhaps we'll find a new enemy and can lure them back to this fight. It looks like the troll might require new opponents shortly."








 
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  #383  
Old Sep 17th, 2020, 02:29 PM
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OOC-I moved Jol's story line to the Misc thread for the time being, rather than keeping a disjointed thread since the party is split. If that doesn't work for everyone, just let me know.

IC-Sherrock joins Owain in his laughter,Nothing like watching goblins scuttling off to make your morning.Lady Danicea doesn't join in the mirth. She is catching her breath and watching the troll with some trepidation. She is looking to Tambovsky and her face brightens when Tambovsky mentions the Inn. Yes,she says,Tis our accepted duty to aid those in need. She turns her horse and starts a slow trot up the hill, only looking back to make sure the others followed. Sherrock is looking at Owain and making kissing faces at him and raising one eyebrow as he does. Sherrock doesn't say anything though as he too heads up the hill.
The troll, for its part, watches them leave, only too happy to spend the morning feasting on goblins. The troll has already caught and maimed eight of them and killed four more. The rest of the goblins have fled up river. They can see the small figures running through the tangled roots and tall grass, no sense of order what so ever. There is close to forty goblins fleeing, even more than they had first suspected.
Another twenty minutes of riding gets them to the next crest in the hill and from there they can see the roof line of the Inn and what looks like a barn. Lady Danicea slows her mount and slips down to her feet without letting the horse miss a stride. She pats the horse on the neck,My mount is tiring. She is not used to this much work. I am going to walk her, help her cool down before she founders. How are your mounts doing? Sherrock gives a soft kick to his horse and rides forward, nocking his bow as he does. Orc,he says to them and points into the grass on the side of the road. There they see a large urok lying dead with a spear through his back. Ten feet farther up, two more, smaller orcs lie dead as well. One of the orcs head was split open by a heavy sword or an axe. They can't tell how the other orc died. Flies and small beetles have covered all three bodies and blood has blackened the grass where they lay. Owain doesn't have to dismount to see the tracks of half dozen other orcs, running through the grass, heading north, away from the road and the Inn. Sherrock holds up his hand for silence and points up towards the Inn. They can now see the top half of the Inn and the barn loft with a silo next to it. They don't see anything, but they can hear the murmur of voices in the distance.

OOC-roll for spot and listen and move silently if you want to sneak up on the Inn.

Last edited by Rasgorn; Sep 23rd, 2020 at 02:08 AM.
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  #384  
Old Sep 18th, 2020, 11:06 PM
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Tambovsky, human fighter
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"Let us pause and wait here, my Lady," Tambovsky says to Dancea. "We do not have the stealth of Owain and Sherrock, and it is best here to follow their lead."




 
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 11:05 PM
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The inn over the hill
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Owain was smiling and shaking his head as they left the goblins and troll behind. He followed Lady Danicea over the hill towards the inn where Sherrock had spotted movement earlier. It was a pleasant ride to the crest of the next hill with a distinct absence of trolls. When they were close enough to see the roof of the inn the Lady dismounted to walk her horse the rest of the way. Owain was about to boast on Timber who could've run all the way back to the chancellery before tiring when Sherrock readied his bow and said 'Orc'.

Owain saw the bodies on the ground, buzzing with flies and beetles, blood dried on the surrounding grass. He also saw the tracks left behind as their surviving kin fled north. Sherrock held up a hand and pointed to the inn. He's picked up on something. Maybe the ones who dispatched these orcs are still around. Or whoever preformed that grim work on the bridge. Quietly, Owain slipped off Timber into the grass. He did Listen: 8hear a faint muttering that could've been voices.

He Move silently: 14crouched low in the grass and carefully followed Sherrock closer to the sound. Owain Spot: 22focused his attention ahead to find out if whoever was here talking was friend or foe.


 
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  #386  
Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 02:58 AM
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Sherrock's mount instinctively went to Timber. The big stallion nipped it's mane, encouraging and guiding it over to Tambovsky. Timber walks up to Tambovsky and snuffles his cheek and licks his chin, then chews Tambovsky's hair for a moment, before nipping at Sherrock's mare again. Lady Danicea stops, lets out a sigh and takes in a weary breath. That is a good plan Tambovsky. Again I thank you for kindness and guidance. You have an uncommon talent for planning and thinking in chaos. Sometimes I get so lost fighting, I see only my foes before me and little else. I have to get better at seeing the field as you seem so able to do. Is that something you can teach me?

Owain slips off Timber and watches the stallion lead Sherrock's mount over to Tambovsky and Danicea. Sherrock lets out a low, black grouse call, a bird common to the moorlands of Wales. Sherrock is pointing with his bow hand and holding his ear with the other. He then crouches down and starts moving farther to the right, staying in as much cover as possible. They keep moving until they are more than two hundred feet from the road and they crawl under an old, worn fence, covered in black berry brambles. Owain can now see the Inn and hear human voices and a slower speaking voice with an odd lilt to it. It takes him a moment to recognize it is a dwarf speaking.
Owain still cannot make out what they are saying, but they don't seem harried or alarmed. The voices sound tired and weary and worn down. Owain and Sherrock crawl to where they can see the whole Inn, the large garden out back, the barn, the silo, and two corrals, one for the Inn's horses and stock and one for guests. The guest corral is empty. The Inn's corral has six black geldings pacing about. Owain can see the harness streaks across their withers and rumps. Just inside the barn is a man with dark reddish brown hair and green eyes. He is a little short of six feet and has a lean, muscular build. His shirt is off and Owain can see he has been sweating. He also has a dark bruise on his left collarbone. The man is kneeling in the dirt next to an elegant looking carriage of dark mahogany. It looks like he has just finished putting a wheel back on the carriage. Owain can see a spear and shield and shirt of ring mail piled against the wall near the man. As far as Owain can tell, the man is alone. Sherrock looks at Owain, raises one finger and points at the barn. Sherrock then points back towards the front of the Inn, where they see three men dragging orc corpses out to a ditch on the far side of the road. All three of them are young and exhausted looking. One of them looks like a novice or young monk. Standing next to the well is another young man in half plate, covered in orc blood. He is drinking water from the ladle and talking to a young woman wearing studded leather and skillfully holding a loaded crossbow. Owain notices there is an arrow stuck in her leggings, but she doesn't seem to notice and is not walking with a limp. Over on the front steps of the Inn is a dwarf with a scar cutting through his left eyebrow and down his cheekbone. The dwarf is drinking an ale. The dwarf wears no armor and carries only a large butchers knife tucked in his belt. Near the corner of the Inn, standing in the half shadow of a pillar is another man. Owain instantly stiffens, sensing this man is a professional soldier, unlike all the others. The man is using the pillar and the shadows to hide himself. His vantage point gives him a clear view of the road and of Tambovsky and Lady Danicea. He can also see to the barn door and the man working on the wheel.The soldier easily holds a loaded crossbow and his eyes warily move back and forth, stopping every now and then to watch Lady Danicea and Tambovsky approach. Sherrock looks over at Owain and holds up five fingers, then snubs one down for the dwarf. Owain realizes Sherrock has not seen the mercenary.
Lady Danicea takes the lead and she Tambovsky walk the horses up to the Inn. When they get close and the further they walk into the yard, the smell burnt wood and oil and the three young men hauling orc corpses stop and look at them, a forlorn expression on their faces. They all look at each other, clearly not knowing what to do. Tambovsky sees the man and the woman at the well and the dwarf on the steps. The woman by the well, slowly brings her crossbow up to her waist. She doesn't point it at them, but Tambovsky knows she would have a shot at either one of them. The man next to her wears half plate with the symbol of St. Dinadain. Tambovksy would recognize him as either a cleric or a paladin. That is if he hadn't stolen the armor from one. The paladin sets the ladle down and starts walking towards them, as does the dwarf.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 08:14 PM
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Tambovsky, human fighter
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Tambovsky inwardly smiles and shakes his head at Lady Danicea's actions. She is, he has realized in only one day, a bundle of contradictions kitted in armor.

No other noble that Tambovsky knew would have the grace to acknowledge that a low-born soldier had a better idea ... and then to apologize? That was unheard of.

But then, just as soon as she had deferred to his plan of staying behind and allowing Owain and Sherrock to survey the area, she nonetheless walked straight up to the inn—just as nobility would—expecting to be greeted with respect and reverence.

Well ... so far it was working.

"My name is Tambovsky of Lopatyn," he begins. "It is my honor to travel with the Lady Danicea de Vivor. We are escorting a group of holy friars and have taken refuge in a village below. We—and two companions who are scouting around this perimeter—have fought our way through goblins and a troll to reach this area. We are seeking out allies to fight off the goblins ... as well as a host of undead which have laid siege to the region. I do not know if we have found allies, but surely we have found great warriors," he adds as he points to the bodies lying around the hill. "Tell us, what is it that you fight? What brought you here?"





 
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 11:41 PM
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Watching the watcher
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The man and woman near the well looked capable enough and the big man fixing the wagon could surely hold his own but the one watching everything from the shadows, he was the one to worry about. He was a killer, much like Sherrock and himself. Owain shook his head and pointed to his eyes. He held up one finger for Sherrock and pointed to the sellsword with the crossbow.

He readied his own bow but continued to watch as Tambovsky and Lady Danicea approached the inn. If things turned sour he intended to kill the watchman first. The others would be able to handle the two near the well and the young men didn't look like they had much fight in them. Big dreams of glory and songs of battle in their heads, yes. But they looked tired. And so did the big shirtless man.

So he watched the shadowy mercenary and waited to see what would happen.

 
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 02:49 PM
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Tambovsky and Lady Danicea walk up and as soon as Tambovsky starts talking, he sees the look on the three young men change. One of them actually smiles and looks back towards the paladin. The other two don't smile as they put their heads down in front of nobility. The sense of order, of knowing what to is expected of them, has settled them some. They still look worn and dazed, but not quite as pathetic.
Lady Danicea steps up next to Tambovsky and is about to say something, when the dwarf, not the paladin, addresses them,What town? I don't see a town on the other side of this hill?The dwarf is now standing on his tip toes, holding one hand over his eyes to shade them, and looking down the road. Tambovsky doesn't have to turn around to know the dwarf is not going to see anything. Not even Sherrock could see the covered bridge from here. It had more to do with the curve of the land, than distance.
The paladin had been about to address them, which was proper fitting his rank. When the dwarf spoke first, the paladin glared at him, a helpless anger on his face slowly turning to resignation. The dwarf is still looking as the paladin says, I am Danse of St. Arn of Tambovsky of Lopatyn.Danse smiles,You and I are a long way from home. I am originally from Riga.Tambovsky would have figured that out by the slight accent of the man. The dwarf has now stopped looking and turns to stare at them again,I am Thugnarst Boarsplitter, a butcher by trade. I have never actually killed a wild boar, never actually seen one alive. They are already dead by the time they get to me.Lady Danicea looks to Tambovsky. She has no idea what to say to the dwarf. Tambovsky can see she is wondering why the dwarf is even talking to them about such things. Danse seems to be thinking the same thing. Lady Danicea interrupts the dwarf, who doesn't seem to mind,Danse, could you have some wine and clean towels brought to us. The captain and I would greatly appreciate a chance to clean ourselves. Perhaps a glass of wine or cool cider with cakes could be brought as well. Before Danse can answer, two of the young men set off running for the Inn. The third one, who smiled, bows and says,As you will M'lady.He too then runs for the Inn. Tambovsky sees Dance look resigned and sigh at having lost all control. The woman with the crossbow standing by the well hasn't moved. She is just watching them.

Out in the bramble, Owain and Sherrock see all of this and they hear the conversation. Without looking at him, Sherrock whispers to Owain,That dwarf is rather touched, don't you think? Owain was watching the man in the barn. As soon as the man heard voices, he started dressing and armoring himself. While watching the man, Owain sees a slight movement in the garden. He is not sure if it was the rustle of a small wind among the dead cornstalks or something moving them on the ground. Sherrock saw it too and he taps Owain on the shoulder,Do you want to sneak around the barn and come at the garden from the other side, or should I. Or we could just stay here and watch Tambovsky, see what next he's got going in that brain of his.Sherrock is smiling now, almost laughing.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 01:13 AM
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Tambovsky, human fighter
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"My Lord Danse," Tambovsky acknowledges with a bow. "With Your Grace's permission, and with Yours, My Lady Danicea, I shall leave you as peers to discuss affairs and mutual interests while I—simple soldier that I am—would listen to the tales of this reputable Thugnarst Boarsplitter, as well as those of my other fellow comrades in arms," he concludes with a second bow and a glance at the woman with a crossbow.

"And our two comrades might arrive at any time," he adds. "Please do not be alarmed. A Welshman and an elf. Fierce in battle, but noble in peace and friendship."






 
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