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Elric / Masked Marauders

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:10 am

She was mocking him! That really annoyed him and with a sneer he shut up. Granted it was a long shot, and he knew from his scouting that she was quite enamored with her companion... but still, what's life without a 'little' hope... If she didn't fall for his charms, so be it... but 'mocking'? That bothered him. Then to add insult to... well, more insult, she was robbing HIM!! He winced as she took his Amulet of Dramatic Death.... he didn't like to remember what he'd done to acquire that particular piece....

Llurella grinned through the pain as she watched her scorned brother pout. She saw the healing flask tossed into a pile and mentally counted the steps to it. She weighed the options of attempting escape, but didn't like her odds. Though with the constant pain of her broken and bound arm... she was almost willing to try!
One good thing made its way through the fog of pain. The priestess was keeping her brother's loot separate from their own... That would make it easier to find the potion,

She groaned in pain as the priestess started searching her. She may have been exaggerating a bit in hopes of invoking a little priestly mercy, but the shoulder was quite broken and she wasn't exaggerating much. She winced as Ashara took all the darts she had in her belt... then the belt itself! A 6' length of chain, she had used it as a weapon in the past... but only when truly desperate. Those ended up in the same pile as her sword and dagger. The first dagger may be lost to the forest by now...

As Ashara was dropping the eight tiny weapons into the pile with the others, a familiar voice called through the branches.

"Are we starting a dart collection?..." Elric sighed as he walked into the quickly made camp. The ring would have warned him if she'd been in trouble, but he still didn't like leaving her in such distasteful company. Add in the fact that he'd had entirely TOO much trouble finding the camp, and he'd been starting to get worried.

"Looks like you kept hold of your guests... I lost mine. Tracked him to his camp, and then nothing... " He walked up and ran his hand over her armor where the thief's sword had scored a solid hit. "You ok?"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:09 am

Upon hearing his voice, Ashara shut her eyes in relief and breathed out all the anxiety that had been collecting since Elric first ran out of sight. She looked down at her side beneath her arm when he drew attention to the wound, but the line of blood had long since stopped flowing.

"I'm fine... Gave better than I got," she smiled weakly up at him. "I'm concerned about losing that wizard, but he didn't seem too keen on sticking around when their plan went awry. Still, I've got Inner Sanctum prepared for the evening, so we won't have to worry about any external threats...just the ones we've brought inside with us..."

The Inner Sanctum ward had quickly become one of the priestess' favorite traveling spells over the week between Griffon Hill and Ashabenford. Protecting against scrying, psionics and any kind of magical entry including teleport, the spell also allowed no access to or from other planes or dimensions. The twenty foot diameter area blended itself seamlessly into the background of any terrain, subtly altered the senses of any creature incoming so they wouldn't see or smell or hear anyone inside the ward, and even caused nearby creatures to subconsciously avoid entering the area. All in all, it afforded them both a good night sleep without fears or concerns from the outside world. Unless it rained... It didn't stop rain...

"What about you, Melamin? Were you injured at all?" More out of habit than necessity, the priestess began carefully checking her husband over. "'Bait' over there says he was just trying to SAVE us by robbing us blind. Apparently we were overheard at the Hart..."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:34 am

"Oh..." The half-elf's eyebrows shot up. "I've never heard that one before... Though we've also never been met on the road quite that way before..." He knelt over to examine the one Ashara affectionately referred to as 'bait'. Irlon wilted a bit under the half-elves undecipherable stare. Women he would deal with... husbands, those he had less luck with.

Elric wasn't sure himself what he wanted to do... Either punch this letch in the face... or burst out laughing. After all... the fool had been through a lot today. He'd let himself get stabbed just for a chance at a kiss from Ashara... he couldn't blame the man for that... As he ran through the battle that he'd seen... he couldn't think of anything that 'bait' here had done that would have earned him that split lip either... So whatever slight he'd caused, Elric was fairly certain he'd paid in full. He looked back and at his wife and raised an eyebrow.

"Looks like you've been busy, did they give you any more trouble after I left?" Seeing her still searching for wounds, he quickly put her mind to ease. "He never came close. I'll admit, I've never been attacked by a bow and a halberd... but I didn't even tear my coat this time."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:58 am

Ashara nodded and smiled warmly, glad not only that Elric hadn't been hurt but that the Regenerative Heal spell was still in place. They'd need it where they were going...

"Halbred in the forest, is an interesting choice. From the sound of the crashing he was wearing metal armor as well...very sneaky," she chuckled, ignoring the irony that she also wore metal armor. The difference was that she wasn't trying to ambush innocent travelers... "I suppose that was in his favor this night. They are definitely an intriguing bandit troupe, and I have to admit that their plan however misguided, wasn't a terrible one..."

Grinning, she squeezed Elric's powerful shoulder and moved back to the fire to cut up vegetables for the stew.

"No, they didn't give me any additional trouble," she admitted with the tiniest hint of a wince. The low moans of the injured woman were getting to her and in spite of herself she even felt slightly guilty for punching Bait in the face. Ashara attacked the potatoes to vent her frustration, realizing that she wouldn't be able to avoid healing the siblings before getting any rest tonight...

"That one," she pointed the tip of her knife at the man tied to the tree, "got a bloody lip because I didn't like the thought that the last thing his mouth would touch today would be mine." A bit of potato slid off the blade as she suddenly felt the need to wipe her own mouth on the back of her wrist.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:32 pm

Elric nodded his head. "Seems legit to me." He leaned over and gave her a kiss and chuckled. "A little something for your mouth too... Don't want it to feel neglected!" His face became serious as he considered what she'd said.

"He was an unusual bandit... I don't think he was armed just for us." Halberds were decent weapons... but not against normal people. Well.. not unless you have a LOT of them. They worked better against bigger creatures, the kind you wanted to keep distance on. "I got the feeling he was backup in case they ran across something scarier than just us..."

Annoyance practically rolled off the half-elf as he remembered the chase through the woods. "I can't believe a bruiser like that in full armor got away from me... Knowing the woods is one thing..." he shook his head, "It shouldn't have happened."

He looked back at the two they did catch. "What are we doing with them anyway... Leaving them tied to trees, like we did in Tethyr... Well... the rest of us did in Tethyr..." He forgot Ashara hadn't quite been... herself on that journey, hadn't even been conscious at the time they took care of 'the King's Men'.

The bandits that time had already fleeced them once, just because the Champions hadn't felt like dealing with them... The second time??? They left the highwaymen tied naked to the trees and sold their gear at the next town they came to. They even met a new friend in Matilda the gnome...

"I hate the idea of taking them all the way back to town..."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:10 pm

"...and lose two more days because of them," she finished, nodding in agreement. "That is certainly an option! My only concern would be that th---" Ashara turned toward the two bound bandits who were intently listening to the Everdawns discussing their fate, and dropped a globe of Silence over them.

"Right, as I was saying, my only concern would be that their two friends would come back for them and they'd be right back on their road to banditry. But, there's nothing that says we can't deal with them on our way BACK from the city... A lock of hair from each of them would be enough to track them down."

The priestess spooned up a bit of the broth and blew on it carefully before taking a taste. After a moment of consideration, she pulled out a few more herbs from her pouch and tossed them into the pot.

"There are also some magical means of getting them back to town," she continued. "Tomorrow I could pray for a couple spells that would send them on a Quest to head back to Ashabenford to deliver a note, explaining the entire situation, to the Riders of Mistledale at the Barracks. Or..." Ashara shifted her legs beneath her and sighed. "Or I could take them back with me tonight..." She was quiet a moment, gauging Elric's reaction. "I have Wind Walk prepared. I can take these two with me, either conscious and bound or unconscious and bound, and I could return to you before dawn tomorrow... Inner Sanctum would ensure that you wouldn't have any unwelcome company, but that still means you would be spending a night alone in the forest..."

Ashara shook her head in resignation. None of the options appealed to her, but they could hardly just kill the rogue siblings... So often the right choices were also the most difficult and inconvenient ones!

"So our options as I see them are... One, leave them tied to these trees and just set off in the morning, possibly tracking them down on our way back. Two, letting them go their way at dawn, with a warning, again...possibly tracking them down on our way back. Three, using some potent Charm spells on them in the morning that will hopefully hold and send them on their way back to Ashabenford. Or Four, I could Wind Walk them back to town tonight after dinner."

One look in Elric's eyes was enough to tell her that he wasn't crazy about any of those options either.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:39 pm

"Hmm...." he weighed the pro's and con's in his head. "Probably the 'best' option is the wind walk one... Gets them out of our hair immediately and wouldn't waste any spells for tomorrow... but honestly, I don't like the idea of separating this close to Cormanthyr..."

There was always talk in town about people who'd entered the woods and were never seen again. Probably because of people like 'Bait' and his friends... but if they got separated and something happened to one of them, it was a little too easy to see the other charging into the forest a little too carelessly searching for them... Or in this case him.

He looked back at the two prisoners, and just shook his head angrily. "I think I'm more annoyed at them interrupting our journey then I am about the attempted robbery. The only thing they actually stole was a kiss, and that's been paid for! Though... perhaps a little lightly," he winked at his wife. "I think you undervalue your kisses... I think it should have cost at least a black eye to go with the split lip... maybe two!"

He sighed softly. The choices were either, Split up now... or waste potentially life saving spells on these two in the morning... Neither sat well with him.

"What do you think... you've talked with them more than I have... do you think they've learned a lesson? Their trap was pretty much a complete and total failure, and now their spending at least one night tied to a tree... "
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:14 pm

The smile that spread across Ashara's face shone with pure adoration for this man that had become her husband. Kil'ral. Powerful heart. It was as true today as it had been nearly a year ago when she'd created that ring for him. Elric's mercy and ability to forgive those undeserving of forgiveness was at the top 'the list' of virtues that so impressed the smitten young priestess...and it was becoming a long list...

"No, I don't believe they've learned their lesson yet," she finally replied, "but perhaps these two would be more impressed with a bit of unexpected kindness from their intended victims. We can give them something to eat and then I'll patch them up. I don't think I can leave that one's shoulder like that all night." Ashara gestured to the woman, whose eyes widened slightly as she realized she was being pointed out. No doubt she was assuming the worst.

"If you agree, I can take a lock of hair from each of them and we can let them off with a warning after they observe Dawnmeet tomorrow, of course." The priestess chuckled at the thought of the bandits having to sit there and listen to her praying aloud that they find a new and more honorable path to set themselves upon. "When we're done in Myth Drannor, maybe we drop in on them. Quite suddenly of course...see if they've taken up their old bad habits. That could be kind of fun," she grinned.

"Ahhh...and as for the going rate on kisses," she began somewhat sheepishly, biting her bottom lip, "while I did hit him in the mouth, that wasn't the only place I hit him... He's paid in full, I assure you..."

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Llurella/ Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:27 pm

Llurella watched the two discussing their fate in silence. NOT the kind of situation she wanted to be in. Her brother strained against the ropes, but the knots were well done. Irlon would be generally useless, Unless he remembered 'his' coin...

The way the half-elf was looking at Irlon and laughing, it may not bode well for them at all... She decided then an there that healing or no, she'd HAVE to try to escape... even if she failed... She couldn't just sit there and hope the others would stage a rescue, nor could she just sit and wait for these two to finish them off.

Silently she planned it all in her head. Step one: Wait till they slept... Odds are good they'd take standard watches... and with only two, they were bound to be long and dull. Hopefully whoever took the first one would nod off after a few hours. Either way, One would be easier to deal with than two.

Next... use her rope cutter. For years she'd carried a round piece of steel carved to look like a standard Silver piece. The sharpened edge had cut through bonds before and she always kept it hidden in her armor. She'd been concerned when the priestess was searching her, but fortunately her mind seemed divided between anger at her brother and concern for her missing man. The coin had escaped much more thorough searches than this one had been...

Once the bonds were cut... She sighed silently. Once the ropes were gone, it would be pure improve. She wanted to get away into the forest, Get that healing potion of Irlon's, and MAYBE even Irlon himself. In that order... What she could get away with, she wouldn't know until later...

****

Outside the globe of silence, a laughing Elric wiped a tear from his eye. "Yeah, I'd say he's paid in full... " He chuckled a bit more, as the tension of the battle melted away.

"Let's just do that..." he said with a grin. "I'm not comfortable with any of the other options. Everything either involves splitting up, or using spells, and... I don't know... I just don't think it's a good idea right now." He looked back at the two tied up and wondered what the ramifications of just letting them go would be... Would they become better people? Or would someone else eventually pay the price for their 'mercy.'

"Naturally, killing them isn't even an option... and with the stories I've heard about Cormanthyr... Even leaving them tied up helpless may be about the same thing..."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:03 pm

"I agree completely," she nodded. "I would feel terrible and completely responsible if we came back this way only to find parts of them still lashed to the trees..."

After a brief shudder, Ashara banished the visual, and smiling, offered Elric the spoon she'd been stirring with. "If you don't mind watching the stew for a few minutes, Love, I'll Ward us in for the night and see about securing our guests!"

The half elf was always happy to volunteer for 'dinner watch', and as the priestess rifled through her pack for the items she'd need to create the Ward she couldn't help but grin upon hearing the expected slurping noises as her husband ensured that the quality of the meal hadn't yet been compromised by his time on duty.

Items in hand, she dismissed the Silence spell that the bandits had been engulfed in and paced out a distance from the fire, where she would begin the creation of the Inner Sanctum.

She sighed softly as she passed the pair. Whatever intentions the siblings might have had, Ashara felt sympathy for the poor woman who was so obviously in agony with her crushed shoulder. It would have to be fixed soon, but it was best that the camp was made safe first...and quickly...in case the two escapees decided to come back for their partners in crime. Unlikely, but that wasn't a chance she really wanted to take.

"If you'll give me only a few more minutes I'll Repair your shoulder," she said, addressing the bound woman, " and then we can talk..."

Leaving it at that for the time being, the priestess lit the incense in the small brass burner she carried and began her circuit around the camp. Once that perimeter was secured, she switched out the incense and began a new Ward. This one encompassing a much smaller area, encircling the bandits alone.

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Irlon

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:50 am

Irlon had been trying to communicate with his sister and wasn't sure if the silence made it easier or harder. A shift of the eyes, a raise of the eyebrows, a lot could be said in just a glance. Especially if you knew the other person well enough. She was in pain, he could tell that. Also she was quite mad at him for some reason. He suspected she had a plan, but he didn't know what, he just had to wait for her signal.

Suddenly the silence was gone, and the pretty priestess promised to fix Llurella's arm... Unexpected to say the least... Perhaps they wouldn't be outright killed, but whatever fate they did have in store for him he wanted no part of. He shifted uncomfortably against the tree remembering the pain he'd already suffered from her.

Irlon watched her circle the camp, while trying his hard to just 'watch'... and not be mistaken for 'leer'. She was obviously trying to cast something... Circling the whole camp like that he assumed it was some kind of protection circle... His eyes widened as she started a new spell around just the captives.

The rogue had limited knowledge of spells... Mostly from his time spent with Ilueth. Not all the time spent with the sultry wizardess was 'unpleasant', but he never let himself forget what a cold hearted beast she actually was. Any spell she cast ON a person, was more than likely going to kill in as painful a method as she could think of at the time.

"What... umm... What are you doing over there..." He asked in what he hoped would be taken as a respectful tone. When one thing didn't work out, he was willing to try something else.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:43 am

A minute of silence passed between question and response as Ashara finished her casting.

"I simply secured us for the evening," she answered honestly as she knelt down beside the woman with the shattered shoulder. "The outer ward will protect all of us from anything seeking to get in, and the inner ward around you and your sister will see to it that you both stay put for the evening and don't try something silly."

Her eyes met those of the injured rogue and realized that the discomfort she saw within them was not from pain alone. "We've decided that we'll let you both go on your way tomorrow after Dawn," she stated, attempting to alleviate any fear of bloody retribution for their assault. "It would be easiest for everyone involved if we could just settle down for a meal together and if we're really lucky, that extremely attractive half elf there by the fire might grace us with a song." Ashara grinned, having given the indirect compliment quite loudly enough for Elric to hear. She didn't need to turn toward him to know that the tips of his ears were turning beet red.

The priestess winced after a quick inspection of the damage that needed to be Repaired, then pulled her glowing holy symbol fully from beneath the scarlet cloak. "Look...," she began, leveling a stern gaze at the woman. "I'm going to need to unbind your arms so I can correctly mend the bones in your shoulder. If you threaten or attempt to harm either of us in any way, the fist of that extremely attractive half elf will be the last thing you see for a few hours. Can I trust you to stay still while I take the pain away?"

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Llurella/ Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:47 pm

The extremely attractive half-elf in question looked up from the stew and nodded in agreement to his wife's threats. Though he 'ceretainly' wasn't shirking his duty at 'dinner watch,' his eyes narrowed just a bit, as he watched the rogues for any poor decision making skills.

Llurella nodded eagerly, willing to agree to anything for the promise of Healing... Irlon was more confused than anything else. His gaze kept switching between the woman and the half-elf not really sure what to do.

"You mean... we just get to go free??" he finally asked in disbelief.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:30 am

Large, hazel eyes shifted briefly to the speaker as Ashara carefully unbound the woman's wrists and moved behind her to start working on mending the broken shoulder.

"There was a period of time in my life that will...haunt me...for the rest of my days," she began softly after a moment of contemplation. "I time when I hurt a great many people..."

She could feel Elric's eyes boring into her, though her back was turned to him. It was for her husband's benefit that she chose not to tell any details of her time under Cyric's Curse, but even so she could sense his discomfort at the topic. Confiding in him after one of her nightmares or when the dark thoughts deepened, was one thing. Telling a complete stranger (and one that had only a short time ago tried to kill them, at that) that she had once been a murderer who'd never been brought to justice? That was another matter entirely... He wouldn't stand for it. Not with these two... It wasn't even until after the wedding, that Ashara was finally able to convince him that she had to tell her parents!

She glanced over again to the curly haired bandit and smiled gently while she worked carefully at his sister's shoulder. "It was in those darkest moments that someone came for me. A man that could see that there was still good in me in spite of all that I'd done and it was through him and my friends and Lathander himself that I was given a second chance. I can never undo the wrongs I've done. As much as I wish I could..." A strangled sigh escaped her lips as she fought off the shadows of shame that danced at the edges of her mind. "But I can seek to make myself a better person. I can do good and try to bring light and hope to the lives of those who need it. Though my life is moving in a different direction now, I still feel the weight of the guilt from time to time but it helps me to never forget that I've been given a great gift... One I've neither earned nor deserve.

"Do you still feel guilt over things you've done on this path you've found yourself upon?" The priestess turned to him suddenly and held his gaze. "I pray that you do... It means that hope is not lost! If you choose to... If you're given the same gift I was given, you can make a new beginning for yourself. A new life..."

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Elric / Irlon

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:08 pm

Elric's turned a dour face back toward the stew and stirred it a few more times. A cold chill that had nothing to do with the weather went down his spine as she told her story. He hated when she told other people... any of it. Least of all these two... If they smelled some kind of reward... or bounty?!?

He wished she'd just forget that time of her life. Having lived the memories himself he knew it wasn't possible, but they could at least try! He sighed softly. Her 'Second Chance' was a personal testimony of their god's ideals... He knew that. How could a Morninglord not share that kind of story... At least she kept it vague. Who didn't have 'regrets.' Regrets did not automatically mean 'possible bounty for murders unsolved...' but that's the way it sounded in his ears. Add in the fact that consistently dwelling on that past had to be a contributing factor in the ongoing night terrors... He really wished she could forget the whole incident.

The half-elf looked back at their two prisoners... actually at what point do they stop being captives and start being guests? Probably when they untied them completely he decided. He tried to study their faces, wondering what was going on inside those minds... The woman's expressions were clouded from the pain, even under Ashara's healing touch. The man however... his expression was peculiar. Elric was no actor, but if he had to judge... he'd say equal parts wariness confusion and fear.

Neither made a sound in response to the Morninglord's entreaty. Irlon tried to wrap his head around what was happening. The spells she was casting... the threats to behave... that led him to believe that they meant to kill him, well... he had to admit, if they WERE planning on killing them... why wait. For that matter why fix Llurella? No, their lives were probably safe.... but what then? Turning them into the authorities? They were a good two days out from town... The idea that they were just going to be let go... he couldn't wrap his head around that. Neither the idea of mercy, nor the fact that the priestess was some kind of villain. Thinking back on all the wrong he and his companion's had done... no, the young woman in front him didn't understand true wrong-doing.

Guilt? How long had it been since he'd thought of that?? He'd hurt people himself.... killed more than a couple. Despite what he'd told her earlier... People didn't often surrender their hard fought gear, and more than one pretty neck had been opened to his knife... Not something he was proud of, but by that time it had been self defense. At least that was how he'd slept at night...

He raised his eyebrows and in a bitter voice. "New lives don't grow on trees... What kind of sins do you think you've commited that were so easy to forget?"

A loud bang of spoon on pot startled the thief as the half-elf's voice interrupted loudly with a strained tone. "Dinner's seems about ready..."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:14 pm

"Easy to forget?" Ashara's voice cracked. With shoulders now slumped heavily under the familiar yoke of guilt, she quickly finished patching up the female bandit and gave her instructions to move that arm around to work the residual pain from it.

She tried to ignore the flashes of memory that played out in her mind. The faces of those she murdered. The innocents that she tortured simply to sate her lust for blood. The broken families that were left in her wake... Ashara realized then that it was going to be a difficult night, as there were always repercussions for dredging up these particular memories. Maybe Lathander would grant her another dream of the Endless Dawn... She prayed that would be the case, for the alternative would not be pleasant.

"You don't just forget," she said to the bandit brother as she angrily fought back tears, "and I'm not asking you to share your sins, and I'd appreciate you not asking me to share mine... I'd rather not relive them. Believe me, there's nothing easy about creating a new life...at least not at first, but there is true happiness to be found on that path."

Trusting in the Wards and bound ankles to keep her patient put, the priestess slowly turned back toward the fire, the waiting meal...and an irritated husband.

Ashara knelt down beside him and carefully ladled the stew into four bowls. "Please don't be angry with me," she whispered, keeping her glistening eyes on the meal in front of her, "I'm just trying to help them... I just want to show them there there's another way."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:00 am

"Amin Sinta..." <I know...> Elric whispered back gently. "I'm not angry, just concerned..." He nodded back to the thieves watching them nervously. The woman was flexing her arm gingerly. He'd been healed enough to recognize the general ache she'd be feeling right now, and the gratitude that it wasn't so much worse... The man however knew he'd just said something wrong. The look on his face was panic. Elric figured he was concerned if he'd just shot down his chance for freedom...

"They're helpless and they're scared... Uumaya sana sen beth a'corm...<Don't take their words to heart...>"


Last edited by Elric on Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : hmmm.... needs more Elvish...)
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:26 am

Ashara smiled weakly and nodded in assent, brushing her hand against his as she picked up two of the bowls stew to bring them over to the bandits.

"It's not much, but it's hot," she explained with a half smile as she placed the bowl and a spoon next to the woman, who was still wincing slightly as she rotated the newly healed shoulder. "You'll have to excuse us for keeping you both tied up for the evening, but...circumstances being what they are, I think you can understand."

The priestess moved over to the man and knelt next to him as she set the meal down at his side. Tied up as he was, she would have to feed him if he was going to eat, but she didn't think that would be necessary now. She hoped it wouldn't be necessary. Perhaps she was mistaken, but she felt that the actions taken by herself and her husband had exposed a chink in his armor and she wondered if he was ready to confront the shadows in his own life. Probably not yet, but you just never know how a simple, undeserved kindness might affect the course of a person's life. Ashara guessed that she'd found a sensitive spot when she asked about his guilt, the way he'd raised a wall of hostility at her prodding, and she was glad of it. It could mean that he wasn't as far gone as she feared... His much quieter sister however, made her slightly more nervous.

"I promise, we mean you no harm," she said in an attempt to assuage the fear in his eyes, "and you'll be released after Dawn prayers in the morning." The bandit flinched as the priestess reached out to him but he couldn't get far. She swept her thumb over the cut on his lip, whispering a single word of healing that sealed up the wound.

Moving around to the other side of that tree, she left his feet bound as his sister's were, but freed his hands from the ropes so that he might eat his meal with some dignity.

It was a risk, certainly. One she believed was worth taking in this case... Time would tell. She picked up his spoon and put it in the dumbfounded bandit's hand.

"My name is Ashara," she offered, before returning to the fire to retrieve her own meal.

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Irlon /Llurella

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:37 pm

The man held the spoon for a moment, not sure what to do. Finally he replied, "Irlon... and that's Llurella." He twisted his head toward where she was and was faced with a hard glare. Apparently Llurella still didn't trust their captors... maybe she was right. But they were being fed, and they had already been healed. He didn't know much about Lathander, but he thought the morninglord was a goodly god... and either way the priestess didn't seem like a liar.

A dull ache spread through her arm as Llurella rubbed her shoulder. That cut out the need for the potion at all. She tried to drown out the sounds of her idiot brother giving up their names and making nice with the woman. She may have healed them, but it was her that caused the injuries in the first place... Apparently Irlon had forgotten that.

She stretched and twisted as best she could. her arms were free again, but she was still facing a tree and her legs were still wrapped around the tree and bound. She might be able to reach her ankles and cut the ropes... one of the benefits of being limber. Still it was not a comfortable way to sit, and she could feel the muscles cramping up on her. If she WAS able to free herself, it wouldn't be as fast a run as she'd wanted...

What really concerned her was the spells cast. The priestess designed them for the rogues, so they couldn't be anything good. She had no way of dispelling them, and since she didn't have any skill at magical traps, they were going to be a problem.

With as sweet a voice as she could muster, she addressed the priestess. "Thank you soooooo much for the kindness you've shown... We REALLY don't deserve it... " She spun her head around the section of camp she'd seen Ashara ward. "We really deserve to be hit with... ummm... What was it these spells do??"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:06 pm

The priestess eyed the bandit as she spouted her poor attempt at sincerity, and wondered if this night wouldn't be going by as smoothly as she'd hoped. Unfortunate as it may be, her mistrust didn't come as surprise. It likely wasn't often that the siblings shared a meal with their victims, and she was probably horrified at the prospect of being at the mercy of those they'd wronged...

"Oh, it doesn't much matter what the Wards do," Ashara answered between bites of the mediocre stew. "It's not as if either of you would actually risk leaving our cozy camp when we've already stated that you'll be set free in the morning." The woman opened her mouth to speak again, but was interrupted by the answer to the obvious question she was about to ask. "They will have to remain up though, for all of our safety. I mean...you did try to harm us once already today and certainly we can't be faulted for taking a few precautions!"

An uncomfortable silence descended and the only sounds to be heard were the crackle of the fire and the scraping of spoons against wooden bowls.

"Excuse my curiosity," she began again after a few moments of watching the pair, "but looking at the two of you, I have a hard time believing that you simply fell into banditry out of necessity. Do you really think the reward is worth the cost?

"Or maybe it's the thrill of it you enjoy so much," Ashara chanced, stifling a yawn as the warm meal settled in her stomach. "The excitement of adventure is perhaps something all four of us can understand!"

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Re: Autumn 1372

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:00 pm

Neither of the thieves thought this was a good time to delve into their pasts. If for some reason they had fallen into these two's good graces, any history lesson might knock them right back out. Despite whatever 'hidden' sins she may have committed or 'love of adventure'... Irlon didn't believe they had anything in common.

"Like you said..." he muttered between spoonfuls, "Maybe it's best we don't share histories... not if we're splittin' up tomorrow..."

Truth was he barely remembered how they first got started in this business. He remembered the 'Masked Marauders' as Gaurldar called them, leaving Thay in a hurry. The trip from Impiltur and the hijacking of the merchant vessel originally intended for Saerloon... Gaurldar's idea... Take the ship to Scardale, head for the riches Myth Drannor. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Really wasn't! They had made two trips into the fringes of the lost city, and barely escaped with their lives! Given the choice between waylaying tourists or facing the monsters... Travelers were the safe route... 'Usually' he reminded himself as he reassessed the situation.

"Y'know... if these wards are so powerful... and you're so safe..." Irlon suggested hopefully. "Why wait till morning? I mean... There's no REASON to leave us tied up all night... We won't be coming back..."

"NOW you tell us!" Elric sighed dramatically. "You should have said something BEFORE the wards were set... Now we're inside, and inside's where we'll stay. As for why??" He thought for just a moment, and laid out the reasons.

"First, I simply don't trust you. Either of you..." He said looking at the glaring woman. "You DID try to kill us after all...

"Second... You have a friend who is a magic user, and if you run back to him or her... There may be more fighting tonight... and honestly, I'm very tired...

"Lastly, I've heard these woods are dangerous... I'd prefer us leaving on better terms than wondering if you two were eaten by a bear... or dragon or something... So come morning, We'll each go our own seperate ways, and hopefully not cross paths like this ever again."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:28 pm

"Hopefully not," Ashara agreed, "and maybe as you walk away from this place, you'll find yourself appreciative of those aches and pains in your limbs. It should serve as a reminder that you're still alive...a sensation that undoubtedly most of your victims will never have the chance to experience again."

After the meal was completed, the bandit siblings were again tied securely to the trees they would be hugging for the remainder of the evening. She had little confidence that these two would change their ways after this little chat, but there was yet time. On her watch for the second half of the evening, the priestess intended on relaying everything she knew about the horrors of whatever evil deity they might profess to follow. If they refused to say, a likely scenario, then she's simply have to expound on them all. They had the time. If they claimed no deity as patron, even better... Nothing like a peppy discussion on the Fugue Plane and the Wall of the Faithless to scare the ambivalence out of a berk, as Dukarthius used to say, and she certainly had a captive audience for her pontifications!

Perhaps at Dawnmeet, Lathander might grant them a taste of the serenity and hope that he granted to his followers during that time. Could that be enough for them to change their ways? Ashara didn't just want to leave them to their own devices after parting in the morning. She wanted to be sure they wouldn't harm anyone else...that their lives had been altered for the better! In keeping with this goal, she pocketed a dart belonging to each of the bandits. After they'd made it out of Myth Drannor, she intended on using the tiny weapons to find their owners and ensure that they'd 'seen the light' so to speak. If not...well...there was a town jail in Ashabenford near the barracks of the Riders of Mistledale. She was quite sure they'd be happy to meet these two.

Ashara resigned herself to a night of sleeping in her chain mail, though she removed all of the mithril plating before bestowing a Blessed Watchfulness spell on her husband via a goodnight kiss and snuggling into the bedroll. Elric sat by the fire and began questioning the siblings on what they might know of Myth Drannor and the evils within, which brought a small grin creeping across the face of the young woman as her eyes drooped closed. She had every confidence that the half elf would keep them up his entire watch with his chatting and then it would be her turn. Maybe a little sleep deprivation torture wasn't so bad...

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:13 pm

And Elric did just that.

The spell Ashara had cast had made them 'unnoticeable' to the outside world, from sight, sound, even the smoke of the campfire... while not necessarilly 'invisible', simply unnoticeable. So even if by chance the other villains came looking for their companions, neither calls for help nor light conversation would give their position away. A useful spell, and with just the two of them, was conductive to a good nights sleep on the road. He was more concerned with keeping Ashara awake then he was drawing in more bandits. But he was bound and determined, that if these two DID want to try something tomorrow... they'd be doing it half asleep.

Disappointingly his two guests didn't have much to say, so the conversation was mostly one sided. Llurella had the audacity to play the role of the poor weak kitten chaffing under the too tight bonds, but that only got the half-elf laughing and the persecuted expression quickly melted into cool hatred. If either needed watching it would be her, he quickly decided. Irlon was beaten. Elric could read that in his eyes, but she still had a little fire left. After her poor attempt at seduction failed, she seemed resigned to her fate. Elric found himself pitying her. He hoped he'd never find himself where mercy was such a forgotten dream that he didn't believe it when it was handed to him. There was no happiness down that road.

As for Myth Drannor. Yes, they admited that they had been there. However they had no details to share. Apparently they tried a 'snatch and grab'. A common and popular technique he'd been hearing in the taverns. Some adventurers and bards claimed to have wandered the city and triumphed over the evil and strode out heroes... Those stories he took with a grain of salt... the more modest adventurers admitted that they rushed in, found what they could and got the hell out! Those stories were told with a reverence that Elric believed. That was the story Irlon told.

No details... no knowledge... Nothing at all about the Dawnspire... just more fear of monsters. Elric sighed. The closer he got to the city the more the warnings weighed on him. This was still the city of his dreams... but he wasn't a fool. He knew this wouldn't be easy. He hated the idea of a 'Snatch and Grab'... he wanted to SEE the city, take in the wonders... The more stories they heard, the more he wondered if they would be able to. These bandits had BEEN to Myth Drannor!! But couldn't tell you anything about it... Just running and blood... that was their memories. One set of ruins could have been the same as any other... For someone who held the elven city in such high esteem... it was heart wrenching. These two may as well have gone to Calimport for all they knew. He shook his head as those thoughts came crashing in.

The bandits' heads leaned heavily against the tree, exhausted but awake. Peacefully his shift came to a close. Gently awakening Ashara with a kiss to the cheek and a whisper in her ear he let her know it was her turn to 'babysit.'
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:28 pm

Ashara's watch went by painfully slowly... As it turned out, far from keeping the siblings awake, her droning on about the afterlife that might await simply lulled them into a near coma. She poked them both with a stick at one point to keep them up, but even that hardly registered. When Irlon began snoring, the priestess suddenly felt very sympathetic towards Vailis and vowed to never fall asleep during one of his lectures again!

At Dawn, while Elric ran through a light workout, the priestess unbound the bandits' hands and set about praying for each of them, that they might find a more productive path in their lives. Llurella kept her mouth shut, just wanting to finally be out of there. Irlon however seemed a bit more appreciative of their efforts, trying to convince Ashara sincerely this time to avoid Myth Drannor at all cost, but the Everdawns had already chosen their path, and they weren't to be dissuaded from it. Much to his sister's annoyance, the Irlon even went so far as to wish them luck in their travels as the pair waddled stiff-legged back into the forest.

With a smile, Ashara patted her pouch that contained the two stolen darts. I would be quite interesting to see what decisions the siblings would choose to make from here on out, and she had to admit some wicked excitement at the thought of just dropping in on them one day! Maybe they'd be able to stay awake during the next sermon...

"So! Are we ready to explore the fabled city?" The young woman grinned up at her husband and handed him the reigns of his horse as he watched the pair depart. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't equal parts excited and terrified... Terrified in a good way...if that makes any sense!"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:44 pm

"Perfect sense" he nodded in agreement. Despite the certain danger and the warnings of everyone they met... rarely had his eyes danced with this much excitement. Spurring the horses to action, they raced forward down the road.

The charging horses kicked up dust and as the wind blew through the half-elf's hair he couldn't contain his laughter. It wasn't as much fun as riding Giant Bees, but it was close. Soon a new sight stole his mirth and replaced it with awe. Slowly he pulled up on the reigns and heard Ashara's horse whiny as she did the same.

There before them in the middle of the road was 20-foot-high block of glossy gray stone. Reverently Elric dismounted and approached the Standing Stone of the Dales. It wasn't so different than what Eddick was placing in his grove... but to Elric it 'felt' different. Carefully he ran his hand across the smooth stone and felt the letters carved deep into it.

'While there is even one Tel'Quessir within the forest, the men of the Dales may settle the Cleared Lands around us. This stone and the Pact of Peace between our Peoples shall crumble if ever the Dalesmen willingly reduce the woods or invade the lands claimed by Tel'Quessir'

He glanced back and grinned. "This is the Standing Stone... 1372 years ago, The elves and the Dalesmen formed a treaty to live in peace... They used high magic, back when it was still a bit more common..."

For years the elves had insisted that the art of High Magic was lost forever. However after the siege of Evereska, it was revealed that they were simply lying. At the darkest hours, suddenly a relief army arrived from Evermeet, complete with High Mages... Many died in that war... It wasn't much of a stretch to believe that soon their lie would come true... Soon the mages would be gone, and all that would remain would be their works. Touching the stone he could almost imagine he felt the power used to raise it.

"It's still here... How many peace treaties last 1300 years... Think about it! Imagine how many people must travel this road and never even look twice at this... This treaty is what we base time on... even over in Impresk!"

He heard a chuckle behind him and he started to blush. Turning he saw that she was already breaking out her art supplies. Soon the standing stone would be one more memory hanging on their walls!
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