Of Wagons and Riders

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Of Wagons and Riders

Postby NyckS » Thu May 10, 2007 10:29 am

Moving through the trees, Gwain got closer and closer to his final goal. He was looking forward to getting back to his home and wanted to be curled up in front of the fire in the lobby of the dorm right now. "Oh, well," he thought, "I'll be there soon... that'll be nice." His friend and travelling companion, Celest the Raven, sat on his shoulder, riding the distance in basic silence, which was odd, but nice. The bird's banter had practically ceased since Gwain announced his decision to return back to the place of his training and Gwain figured that it had to be because he was excited to get back.

They were very close, just one more bend would see the arching towers of the academy breaking through the trees. Finally, they were there. Turning the corner, Gwain stopped the horse he was riding upon to just stare upwards at the familiar stone structure. "Cel, we're home..." Gwain was awestruck, the light bouncing off the whitewashed walls of the place was stunning and brought back to his mind the first time that he came here back when he was just a little boy. He had been only thirteen, eight years ago, and it had been his father holding his hand, rather than his bird resting on his shoulder.

"We better wait and water the horse, I don't want to come back into the courtyard of the school looking like some wierd person on a bedraggled horse." Cel didn't speak, just waiting for Gwain to jump down and lead the horse to the edge of the road where there was a small stream.

Suddenly, Gwain heard voices travelling the road behind them and he turned back to yell a hello back to them. But he stopped in his tracks as he heard his name. "Yes, Gwain is supposed to be coming back very soon... in fact he should have been here already." The other voice replied, "Yeah, so what? I still don't understand why we have to be here when he comes back. I mean, why not just let him come in and then take him?" "That's not the point, we have to wait here for him, that's what the Master said." "Why would a mage turn rogue anyway... and it's not like Gwain to break the rules like that." "Yes, I know that too, but it doesn't matter, the Master says that they have direct proof that links him to the crime." "This is a hanging offence, you know." "Yes, but I severely doubt that would happen, they would probably just through him in jail."


Gwain jerked upright, completely and totally awake now. Then he relaxed, "Good, good... it was all just a dream." Then, almost in the same instant, he winced as, for the hundredth time since it happened, he remembered that it hadn't been a dream and that he was still running from the thing that he knew was behind him, still following him.

He had no idea what the two were talking about, had no idea what type of crime he had supposedly committed, didn't want to stay there and find out either. He had run from there quickly and quietly, even leaving his horse at the drinking hole because he hadn't wanted the noise. Cel had just ridden along with him as he ran over the broken and uneven ground away again from all that was familiar.

Now, two days later, he was in Rohan, entirely broke, but glad to be out of the country so far. When he had gotten to the inn the night before, he had begged them for a room, letting them have his cloak as the last thing that he had that he could give up. When they asked for his name, he simply replied that it was Vashad Hismal. Now, this morning, he couldn't stay any longer here, because he had nothing else with which to pay the rent and he had no where to go either. "This is it, Cel, I can't run any farther, no one will take me looking like I do... and I can't get any farther with no money." The bird just croaked deep in his throat, offering nothing, obviously annoyed at Gwain, just like he had been since that night.

Pulling himself out of bed, he fastened what little clothes he had back on his back. The daggers which he had preserved carefully were tucked deep inside his belt so that no one would be able to see them. He didn't want anyone to know that he was carrying them, or he would have been a target, since they were nice daggers and he no longer had the cloak that was a symbol of his power as a mage.

Moving down the stairs, he left the inn quietly, not alerting anyone to his exit, knowing that he had already paid for the room anyway, just didn't want to have to talk to people at all. His feet began wandering all over the town, aimlessly looking for something to do.

Just when he was about to entirely give up hope, he suddenly heard a large booming voice, "Looking for an escort! Caravan headed for Bree! Come... see the sights... travel the road... make some money!" Interested and suddenly with renewed hope, Gwain turned and ran back up the street to where the big man was shouting. Coming forward, he pushed his way through the surrounding throng to the table where there was another, skinny man writing on a piece of paper.

"Excuse me, my name is Gw... Vashad... I'd like to come as well." The little man looked up and nodded briefly, making a note in his notebook before muttering, "Go to the field north of town, they'll be waiting for you. Tell them that Sarg sent you and give them this." Then, tossing a simple coin towards Gwain he turned to the next person, ignoring the fact that Gwain disappeared in the elbowing, jostling crowd.
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Postby RavenTinuviel » Thu May 10, 2007 12:18 pm

Sitting silently in the shadow of the hearth, Raven was wrapped in her silks and sipping tea. A scarf covered her head and her dark hair flowed out over her back. The tea cup she held in both hands, and tipping it gently she breathed its flowery aroma.

Raven was longing again for the lands north, and instead of walking the long leagues alone, she had heard word that others were making the trek up the road from the Fords of Isen. She would have to seek them out.

It was then a man walked silently through the room and out the door. Raven thought nothing of him other than a passing admiration, but something touched her. A memory maybe? Had she seen him somewhere? Nothing was obvious to her, but he did look like he was in a hurry, and his movement had an aire of familiarity. Sipping down the last of her tea, she stood and as if a cloud floated throgh the room, she pushed through the door just as someone entered.

He was nowhere in sight. It had not been more than a minute since he left. Stepping onto the street, Raven drifted with the breeze. Maybe it was nothing, but still... She took her hand in the other. Her fingers told her otherwise. Shaking it off, she walked the streets, watching and listening, and stopping at vendor booths to browse and buy.

After some time, Raven had not heard of anyone going northward, but she did not wish to see what the comotoin was near the town square was all about. Instead she decided to continue on her journey this day alone. So she prepared herself and soon was ready to go. She had shed most of her black silks in favor of a light gray skin, covering herself only with a silvery silken cloak. A satchel with her other attire and provision she carried over one shoulder, and she set out toward the Fords of Isen.

Outside of town, the sun warmed the land, and to the right of the road there was a gathering of some people. Maybe they were the ones going north? Raven paused and watched, deciding to approach slowly. It appeared similar to a caravan she had taken south not long ago to Pelargir. Did they have room for her to ride with them? She froze in place to watch. A man walked toward another who appeared to be in charge of the chaos. Raven sat upon the grassy knoll and waited, watching...
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Postby rwhen » Thu May 10, 2007 12:40 pm


Okay, thats better Raven, you should not be running about without a PM. :P

Have a great weekend!!

Please resume your regularly scheduled role playing.
Love is as big or as little as a hug!!

vison! Alex!Rowanberry!oldtoby!Cock Robin(CR)!Prim!Calma! I will never ever forget you.

I will always treasure and remember your appreciation. Thank you. -2007 WCA's
Overwhelmed by your support and appreciation. Thank you. - 2008 WCA's

The Expected Party!! is now on the road to Gondor to celebrate. Join us.

And getting into trouble with Rally The Eldar.

Yes Ayslhyn, I do still remember.

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Postby NyckS » Thu May 10, 2007 2:16 pm

Finally weeding his way back out of the chaos which was the town square at this point, Gwain moved towards the Northern Gate without pausing even once. His head was bent low, studying the ground as he walked swiftly, barely avoiding others as he swept past them on the street. Just as he was about to reach the gate, a horse suddenly came running down the road and brushed against him, knocking him off his feet. Looking up in protest, Gwain immediately shut his mouth again when he saw that the rider of the horse bore the five starred symbol of his Mage Academy.

Desperately, he looked around for an escape, not wishing to be seen, even though it was doubtful that anyone would recognize him. Without thinking, he rolled over and jumped up and into a side shop. The shop was dark and it took his eyes a moment to adjust to the lack of light before he realized that he had stepped right into a bookstore. After glancing back out the window at the rider who had paused, apparently to talk to someone on the side of the road, Gwain turned his attention to the shop around him.

It was a quaint old shop, the musty smell obviously caused from the old books which lined the walls. There were many different types of books, everything from history to advice on how to plant your crops seemed to be represented there. It was a moment before a woman appeared behind Gwain, "May I help you, young man?"

Gwain turned and looked at her. She was a suprising sight, really... reminded him of the stories of gypsies which he had read so much about. In fact, she almost reminded him of someone that he had known a long time ago, but not quite, it was definitely a different girl. She was old, her front teeth gone, scars etched across her weatherbeated face. "I don't th..." She cut him off with a wave of her hand, "Of course, I have those too... follow me." She pushed her way through what Gwain had previously thought was the wall but rather was just a curtain protecting the entrance to a back passage.

Not really knowing what else to do, he followed the lady through the doorway and into what turned out to be a back room with the same book-lined walls. These books, though, were different, in fact he even recognized some of them. They were books of magic, some newer, some older, but all written in the same genre. "These might interest you a little more, methinks. I even have a present for yerself... the Master said ya were ta pick two, free o'charge." Gwain blinked, "What? Two? Master? What Master? Who is this Master?"

The lady chuckled softly behind her hand, "Oh, dun worry young man... it has all been talked about and taken care of. Just choose now... and might I recommend askin' me before ya take them?" Then, without another word she disappeared behind the curtain again into the main shop. Just as Gwain was turning to look, her voice echoed back to him again, "No fire, methinks, the young may burn themselves, better yet to learn the liquids."

He paused, not sure what to do now, but since the lady was being so kind to him, he may as well take advantage of it, after all, someone was paying for these books, at least he hoped they were. He looked at the titles, becoming involved in just the smell and search for something interesting.

Four hours later, Gwain had three books in his hand and had looked through at least eighty others. His eyes were tired from all the strain of trying to see the writing in all of them and his body felt as if he'd just been climbing a really high mountain. He looked down again at his hands, the titles barely readable in this light: "Protection and Enhancement", "Fire: The Path of Rage and Destruction", and "Strongest Element: Nature's Fast Messenger".

He couldn't decide on which of the two he should get, mainly because he wanted them all, but then again, if he had his way, he'd take all the books in this store. Suddenly he was aware that the lady was at his elbow again, "Sonny, I'd be takin' the protection and the element books meself, 'specially considerin' that yer fire ain't what it should be." Gwain peered at the lady, once again surprised at her evident knowledge of him. "Dunna worry 'bout a thing, young man... just take those two and be headin' off, ya need ta get movin' methinks."

Gwain didn't know what to say other than a quick thank you and headed back out into the main shop. Glancing out the window again, he saw the coast was clear and headed back out into the bright sunlight, wincing as the sunlight hit his eyes. Tucking the two books into his empty bag, he slung it over his shoulder and slipped out of the North Gate, the last one to leave before a large group of wagoneers began moving through the gate, headed into the city.

Making his way quickly now, Gwain almost ran out towards the large noise which he guessed was going to be the caravan that he was looking for. Then, for the first time, he noticed that Cel wasn't with him. The raven had left at some point earlier on, and as he was thinking about it, Gwain couldn't remember the raven being close to him since he had entered the crowd back at the Main Square.

Finally reaching the hustle, he began searching for the man that he was supposed to be looking for. He didn't even know who was in charge, but he noticed one woman giving orders off to the side. "Excuse me, I'm looking for the person in charge here?" "That's me, what do you want?" The woman didn't even bother looking at him, continuing about her work. "I'm supposed to be joining the caravan... as an escort? Sarg sent me and said to give you this?"

As he handed the coin to the woman, she looked up at him for the first time, "Well... they must be getting desperate if you're the best they could find. Fine, whatever... drop your stuff in that wagon over there and then move over there and get that load strapped down. I don't care if you're just an escort, we need help now and you're gonna do it."

Gwain nodded, shocked a little bit at her bluntness, but he put his bag carefully where she told him and moved toward a group of people that were working on the load she had pointed at. "What can I do to help?" "Get over here and hold this." Gwain pitched in with a fervor, hoping to make them want to keep him on... he desperately needed to get out of this area.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu May 17, 2007 5:44 pm

Sigal wrinkled his nose as the overpowering stench of horse and horse waste washed over his sensitive olfactorys. The inhabitants doubtless thought it a wonderful perfume!

“Ahhhh! Smell that fresh air?” Sigal’s companion and fellow merchant’s guard for the last month, Glenorien, inhaled deeply and sighed with satisfaction. “Nothing like that country side flowery rot.”

“You know how I feel about Rohan.” Sigal made to swipe at Glenorien but missed.

“Oh I think I can recall one or two less then glowing comments on the subject,” Glenorien said scratching at his head, “bunch of inbred ninnies wasn’t it? Blond braided pansy men?”

Sigal grinned and couldn’t hold in a sudden burst of laughter that bent him double. Once he was able to breathe again he took on a more speculative air. “I might have mentioned something along the lines that most of the inhabitants were dung soled half-wits.”

“Here now! That’s a new one,” Glenorien accused loudly. A small group of onlookers was beginning to form

“What?” Sigal sounded shocked, “You don’t remember me mentioning the fact that they were a flock of wool headed curs?”

“No, I have a very good memory.” Glenorien took great pride in his ability to remember detail.

“So you remember that I hate talking about Rohan,” Sigal said in a much louder voice, “You remember how much I hate these addle-brained pony riders?”

“Nope,” Glenorien said innocently, adding a wink and a grin, noting the larger crowed that had begun to form. He too began to raise his voice, “You hadn’t mentioned that you hated these oat eating simpletons.”

“Well then I’ll tell you once and for all,” Sigal inhaled deeply and bellowed directly into his friends face, “The general Rohan population is composed of ugly repugnant illiterate refuse-dwelling bunnyslippers!”

“Oh,” Glenorien said simply. He stared directly at Sigal but scanned the crowed with his peripheral. “I think we ought to run,” he whispered, barely moving his lips.

“Yeah, but which way?” Sigal’s smile never wavered and the words slipped out through barely parted lips, “They have us surrounded.”

“I don’t know.” Glenorien’s eye twitched right. “But we only have seconds.”

“Alleyway, right behind me. There is only a couple cow herders in our way. Ready?”
“Whether I am or not…” Glenorien was cut off as the crowed let out a common roar and charged in at them.

Without hesitation, Sigal spun about, and he and Glenorien charged at the alley, yelling a battle cry. The couple peasants in their way gave way and they dashed into the narrow passage. The crowed slowed considerably at the mouth as only a few could make it through at once; many more of the crowed split to make their way around the buildings to cut the pair off.

“What are you going to do?” Glenorien yelled over the cries behind them. They broke out onto a broad street ahead of most of the angry mob and started sprinting up it.

“There was a wagon train preparing to leave just when ours arrived,” Sigal yelled back, “I figure I’ll join up with it and head east. You?”

“I’ll find a tavern somewhere,” Glenorien said a roughish grin, “one with lots of cute wenches, they’ll defend me.”

They broke a corner and Sigal spied his exit. A couple boxes and large crates stacked together beneath the eave of thatched dwelling coming up on their right. “Good luck my friend. I hope if ever I get to Gondor that all the people are as undiscerning as you!”

“I doubt it,” Glenorien laughed and took Sigal offered arm, “Strength and honor!”

They both laughed and Sigal dashed for the pile of boxes. In two defy leaps he had achieved the summit of the roof and within moments was sprinting towards the gates two streets over from the enraged pursuers. He descended to the cobblestone a couple houses away from the gate and proceeded to stroll nonchalantly out of the city and towards the merchant’s fields.

“What do you want?” A stout woman with a no-nonsense look about her asked sharply when he approached.

“I heard you were heading for Bree, and I am heading for Gondor.” Sigal shrugged. “So I thought I might offer my services to guard your train and I could travel along.”

“But Bree and Gondor are in two opposite directions.” The woman’s stern demeanor was replaced by a look of confusion. “I don’t see why you would want to travel with us.”

“Yes, well. It really isn’t the getting there is it?” Sigal said quietly, “Its more the how you get there… and I could use the money.”

“Hmmm…” She gave him the sort of appraising look that his mother had always given him when he came into the house particularly dirty. “What can you do?”

“I can ride and drive, I can hunt, I can lift and clean, and I can kill if the need arises.” Sigal tilted his head back as if in thought. “I can also sing and drink, tell stories and play dice with the best of them, I can even dance if the need arises.”

The woman nodded boredly, already distracted by something else, “fine, fine, very well then, you’re hired. Go coordinate with the other guard. He’s over there by the yellow wagon. That’s were you lot will stay when you need to ride or sleep.”

Sigal looked across the clearing at the young shabby looking man who already stood near the yellow wagon. “Thank you, we’ll see you get safely to Bree.”

She waved him off, and he began striding toward the young man. It was time to make friends, cement comradery, form a temporary brotherhood in arms, and see how much mischief they could get away with…
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Postby NyckS » Thu May 24, 2007 11:27 am

Gwain looked up as the newcomer came closer. He looked the man over quickly, but didn’t really think too much about him at all, just another person from the wagon train. Turning back to the knot that he was tying on the tarp, he was startled to hear a gruff hello.

Twisting his head slightly, he saw himself looking into the face of the man he’d noted earlier. Staring at him, Gwain didn’t say anything at first, just waiting to give the older man a chance to speak again. “I’m joining you, from what I hear… name’s Sigil.”

Gwain hesitated a moment again, but not for as long this time. “My name’s Vashad, nice to meet you.” He turned back to what he was working on for three seconds longer, to finish it up before standing straight and looking back at Sigil, “So we’re working together then? That’s good to hear, I was hoping for some more people that looked like they didn’t really belong.”

“I don’t belong? What are you saying? My clothes don’t fit your taste or something?” Sigil’s voice seemed angry and Gwain replied quickly, “Oh, no, that’s not what I meant… you just don’t look like you fit in. I mean, maybe you just don’t look like you… I mean…” Gwain stopped trying to explain himself out of his fumble when he noticed the grin in Sigil’s eyes. Gwain blushed slightly, looking down at the ground, realizing that he had been lead on, “Oh, sorry…”

Sigil just laughed, clapping the hapless youngster on the back, “No worries, my new friend, can’t let little things like that stand in the way of grand things that we’re going to accomplish together. Traveling companions have to overlook the slight faults in others, aye?”

Gwain attempted a smile, trying to match the mood of his boisterous new companion, “Sure, that sounds good to me… you don’t seem to have any stuff to put away, so if you want, you can start helping. I was told this entire stack of boxes here needs to be loaded into that wagon over yonder and that if I didn’t have it done by the time we were ready to pull out that I’d be blinded by the dust of the caravan, leaving me behind.”

Sigil nodded and grabbed one of the crates, heaving it up onto his shoulder, “What’s in these anyway?” Gwain grabbed another and lifted it as well, although with much more strain than the bigger man did, “I’m not entirely sure, but the rumors that I’ve been getting from random people are that these are filled with a bunch of silks.” Sigil snorted, “Heavy for silks, don’t you think?” “Well, yes, I had thought that, but then again, I don’t know how heavy boxes of silks normally are.”

Sigil chuckled as he set the box down on top of the waiting wagon, “Well, I’ve been on many such ventures and silks don’t weigh anywhere near that much. This almost feels like some kind of wood maybe, or books even if packed well and lightly.” Gwain just shrugged as he put his box down next to the one just placed, “Well, I don’t know that it really matters, I just have to make sure that they’re all there when it’s time to go.”

Sigil nodded and lifted another crate onto his broad shoulders, “So, Gwain, want to go into town tonight and have a couple of stout ones to celebrate the arrival of new jobs for the both of us?” Gwain frowned as he picked up the next box, “Umm… actually, no, I am going to have to get a good night’s sleep tonight so that I’m rested for the journey tomorrow. Sorry…”

Laughing, Sigil replied, “It’s fine, I’m not so sure that I should be showing my face again in town right now anyway. I’ve heard that a few are out to take it and disconnect it right from my body.” With a grimace, Gwain dropped his box into the wagon, “Oh… really?”

“Yes, some people just can’t take a joke, if you know what I mean.” Gwain just shook his head, “I’m not really sure that I do, but I’ll take your word for it.”

“Hey, you two… speed it up, we don’t have all night. And careful with those, they’re not exactly trash you know!” The shrill voice startled Gwain into almost dropping his current load, but he caught himself in time. Looking up, first he saw the face of Sigil grinning at him and then, turning, he noticed the caravan caretaker glaring at him. Frowning, Gwain put his box down in the wagon, not replying to the woman. “Aye!” Sigil yelled back, “We’ll get your crates loaded, don’t worry, ma’am!”

Gwain sighed. He hated physical labor, and he had a feeling that it was going to be a long, long trip…
Last edited by NyckS on Thu May 24, 2007 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu May 24, 2007 12:45 pm

“S’all in the way of good commerce you understand,” Sigil said, still grinning broadly, “You’ll get used to it. They always yell at the help; the new help especially.”

“I’m sure there is some sort of reasoning behind that,” Gwain muttered.

“Truth, its all about practicing for Bree,” Sigil confided, “They are a stubborn lot, to hear it told. If she doesn’t keep her edge, she won’t be able to abuse the poor men into buying her silks.”

“Quite the Economic strategy.” Gwain was at least gratified to find that his partners hands didn’t stop moving when he talked.

“She needs work. Probably doesn’t do too well.” Sigal shrugged. “Its probably why she is transporting silks and not real silks.”

“Like I said,” Gwain said firmly, “I don’t want to know. I’m just doing what I was told.”

“You don’t always do what your told, do you?” Sigil eyed his fellow guard for a moment with some measure of apprehension. If this guy was too straight lace Sigil would have to be really careful.

“Mostly,” Gwain grunted under a particularly heavy box, “Never really found it worth doing otherwise.”

“We’ll have to teach you better.” Sigil patted his new friends arm as he bent down for another box. “Rule number one: don’t get caught.”

“I’ll try an remember that,” Gwain returned through gritted teeth.

Sigil was usually pretty good at reading people, but this guy was proving to be a bit of a mystery. He was dressed shabbily -not a merchant- he only had two daggers –not a warrior or mercenary- he was thin and lanky –definitely not a laborer. He looked more like a scholar than anything else, but one did not find a scholar working as a merchants guard and hauling boxes of potential contraband into the back of wagons. It was a mystery. If nothing else, however, this trip would undoubtedly be good for him. It would put some muscle on his arms and maybe Sigil could teach him what to do with those daggers or maybe a sword.

Sigil didn’t speak for a few moments while he pondered his fellow worker. He had discovered a long time ago that dull merchant runs were nothing to be desired. Mischief of all manner had been his primary avenue of entertainment on previous trips, but it always required at least one cohort. Gwain had obvious potential. No one would think to look at him and suspect him of being up to anything. Sigil would have to work on him.

The day was getting hot and the job was not so easy that Sigil didn’t begin to sweat. Hesitantly with one or two glances back towards the city he took his sword off his shoulder and leaned it against the cart. He un-strapped his thick, black, hard leather vest breastplate and put it next to the sword and folded his tunic atop his vest. A host of white crisscrossing scars gleamed on his bare back as he bent back to the task of loading boxes. There was nothing like working with your hands to clear the mind of peripheral thoughts and help it concentrate on one matter.

“Rule number two:…”
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Postby NyckS » Thu May 24, 2007 2:39 pm

“Always know your target and their weaknesses as early as possible.”

Gwain looked at the bigger man and couldn’t help an involuntary inward whistle. Now with his chest and shoulders bare, Gwain could tell that this man had really seen some distance and done some amazing things. Just the scars alone brought in some interesting questions, but he turned away rather quickly before Sigil noticed his admiring glance.

Then he realized that Sigil was still talking and he decided to start listening again. “…sure your target is really well humiliated at least once a day. That makes it fun and exciting for…” Gwain tuned him out again, it was not exactly the most interesting conversation and he didn’t really see it being that much of something that he’d be interested in doing. Once, he would have jumped at the chance to do something for the fun of it, but now, he was just trying to maintain a low profile.

“Can you tell me more of what Bree’s like?” His question left his mouth almost as soon as it entered his head and he realized with a start that he had just interrupted Sigil in mid-word. Looking at the other man, Gwain watched as the half-said word died on his lips with a slight inward chuckle, but he tried to look apologetic. “Sorry, the thought just came to me that I sort of would like to know a bit more about the place that we’re going, that is, if you don’t mind.”

“Well, sure, I can tell you more if you really want to…” Sigil seemed to still be trying to regain his composure, trying to find out how he could have been just totally ignored, as if it had never happened before. Gwain grinned involuntarily, “Sorry… didn’t mean to interrupt?”

Sigil grumbled, “Yeah, sure you are…”

He was interrupted by the lady as she passed by again, “Come on, move it! We leave by sundown.” Gwain sighed at the woman’s back, if only they could get rid of her.

Sigil was just opening his mouth to start into a discussion of Bree when Gwain whirled on him, “What’d you say about choosing a target?” A slightly less-then-good thought was forming in his mind.
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Postby RavenTinuviel » Thu May 24, 2007 4:26 pm

Raven watched intently the activities of the people around the wagons, each being loaded carefully. It appeared they would not start rolling toward the Fords until the next day or so, and she would try and see about a ride when they come pass. Raven scooted back down the leeward side of the knoll before standing and turning to the track, walking slow and gently. The breeze caused her hair to dance about her face, so a moment to tie it into a tail was taken.

While working with her hair, she looked at the blue sky, admiring its blueness, when far above a bird circled. Maybe it was watching her? Or easily it could be watching the town or the assembling caravan. Something drew her eyes back to it though.


She said to herself. Something familiar... in the bird, and the man at the inn. Memories...

A gust of wind brought Raven out of her thoughts, and she walked liesurly down the track in the direction of the Fords of Isen.

A rider making time she heard coming from behind. He was careless as he came by, making Raven jump aside into some fens. Water seeped up as her feet sank in the soft ground. Stepping back onto the firmer ground, sh ewatched the rider disappear around a distant hillock. Again, familiar, yet vague. She had lived too long among the mortals of Middle Earth, and so many thoughts and memories intermingled in her mind. She had been this way before, like so many times before through the years. She looked back in case there were persuers. There were none. Yet, trouble seemed to fill the air behind the speeding rider. Maybe she would speak of it to those in command of the caravan when they come, if she still had the feeling....


Near Tharbad Crossing...

"So you think our boys in Rohan will find out anything? It has been some time since a caravan has come north."

Duhkan said, wondering. Dahner answered,

"It has, and one will be by. But we will have to watch. Taking a well guarded run is not so easy. You have to take it when they least expect it. In my opinion, that really leaves us with one good option."

Duhkan looked up and saw Dahner's grim face looking into his old mug as if he was reading the tea leaves. He sipped at it then looked again in disgust, like he drank something dipped straight out of the Midgewater. He tossed what little liquid remaining in the cup off into some bushes, and Marhol yelled as he sat up, having been rudely awakened from a nap.

"Watch what you are doing!"

Dahner feigned suprise as Duhkan chuckled. Marhol came over none to happy, and thought of making bones about his disturbed slumber when Duhkan asked him.

"What say you on where we take the next caravan?"

"Tharbad as they cross the river. They are vulnerable there and cannot move quick."

Marhol answered. Dahner shook his head.

"They will be looking for trouble there, and guard will be posted ahead of and behind the caravan until it is safely crossed. Same for the Isen Fords, only worse as the Rohirrim may be on watch there. We won't know where they will be going after that point though."

They agreed. They would have to have many more men to be able to take the caravan at the river crossing. They would have to wait for word from Rohan to decide...

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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri May 25, 2007 1:59 pm

Sigil smiled benignly. “Alright, I can see who you have in mind, and I dare say you’ve picked a difficult target, but it’s the danger that’s half the fun.”

“Dangerous, how so?” Gwain thought he probably knew the answer, but it was best to let somebody who knew explain things.

“Well, if she finds out it is us who put sand in her sheets, she will most definitely fire us,” Sigil said matter-of-factually, “and most likely we will be left bruised and bloodied by the side of the trail.”

“Ok, maybe its not such a great idea.” Gwain paled slightly.

“No, it will be ok,” Sigil assured him, “Its three parts stealth and seven parts talking your way out of things.” He paused for a moment passing a practiced eye over the train. “Usually I pick on the lead wagoneer. They are usually the high and mighty types that nobody minds seeing you bring down a few pegs. You get allies that way. But from the look of things…” Sigil watched the laborers, ferriers, and wagon drivers. All watched the wagon mistress warily as she stalked about the train barking orders. Sigil could tell that none were entirely happy with their lot in life under her. “… she will make an excellent target. Well done.”

“Seriously,” Gwain protested, “I can’t afford to be kicked out.”

“Don’t worry, you wont be,” Sigil reassured him, picking up the pace of his working, “If it really comes down to it, which it wont, I will take full credit for any and all questionable activities committed by our persons.”

“And why are you so willing to take the blame.” Gwain’s suspicions were suddenly aroused. “I haven’t met many who would willingly take a fall.”

“Confidence me-lud.” Sigil increased his speed even more, piling boxes up on the cart at a fair clip. “Now, try to look like you are giving your all to this chore. We wont to be above reproach and have an excellent reputation in her eyes, if things are about to start getting interesting. We don’t want fingers pointing right off the bat, so let’s make ourselves invaluable.”

“You have thought this through haven’t you.” And interesting thought suddenly occurred to Gwain. “Who was your victim last time.”

“Sorry lad.” Sigil sneezed as he set one box down hard on the wagon and a bit of dust billowed from the lid. “Can’t tell you yet. I’m sure you’re a good sport and all, but I need to be sure before I go incriminating myself.”

“I understand,” Gwain muttered silently, suddenly sounding depressed. Sigil was caught off guard by the sudden change in attitude, but said nothing.


“Captain Palus!” A man wearing a brown leather vest and green velvety cloak stood in the doorway with his helmet under his arm and his fist pressed to his heart.

“Lieutenant,” The man behind the desk spoke over the din a thousand papers ruffling in the breeze of the door’s opening caused, “What can I do for you.”

“I have the manifest you ordered.” The Lieutenant’s voice was sharp and clipped like that of man who already knew he was delivering bad news.

“And?” There was tension in the bored voice of the captain now, “did you find them?”

“No sir.” The Lieutenant shifted nervously. “No warehouse in the city reports having the shipment in stock, or ever having it in stock. I have men searching stockyard, but I seriously doubt they will turn up anything.”

“By Eru’s name,” Palus fumed, standing up behind his desk, “If they think they can avoid tariffs and taxes like this, they are wrong! I want you to dig, and don’t stop till you find out where that shipment went.”

“Yes Sir!” The Lieutenant saluted smartly and departed quickly. This kind of thing had been happening too much recently. Ever since the conclusion of the war trade was beginning to get back into full swing. Many Gondorian and Rohirric trading companies alike tried to avoid taxes on their good by smuggling them through free-lance merchants and wagon trains. It was not uncommon for half a manifest to arrive in either country with half of its implied cargo missing.

That was the way of trade, and usually most of the smaller shipments were left alone. But sometimes a huge shipment of something would suddenly vanish from the face of the earth as far as the books were concerned and a company might actually try and collect the trading fee from the government in recompense for lost goods. That was downright thievery, and that was seldom tolerated…
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Postby NyckS » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:08 pm

Gwain muttered quietly to himself about the strange turn of events. All he had wanted to do was get out of town and here he got stuck on a caravan with a strange man who didn’t know when to quit it seemed and also had the possibility of having a past which was going to bring Gwain even more trouble. And if that wasn’t enough… he also had to deal with the possibility that this caravan wasn’t even carrying what it should carry, but rather something that it shouldn’t be carrying, another problem which could possibly bring someone that he didn’t want to bother him as well.

Turning away from the bigger man, Gwain moved from the now loaded wagon towards the woman. “It’s done,” he spoke in a quiet, subservient tone, “We’ve finished with the…” The leader cut him off with a wave of her hand, “Fine… let’s go… you were the last wagon to load. It’s time to ride.”
Gwain turned back to the wagon he had just loaded, in time to see it start moving into the now moving line that was forming. Nodding, he ran towards the wagon where he’d left his stuff and picking it up, he jumped back up onto the cooking wagon. He hadn’t been told at all where to be really but he figured that he’d be able to be here just as well as anywhere.

Glancing around, he realized that he couldn’t see the man, what was his name?, that he had been talking to before. Gwain almost jumped down to go look for him and then remembered that it was unlikely that Gwain really wanted to be around the man in case he did end up causing trouble and getting himself kicked off the wagon train.

Crawling along a support beam, Gwain moved up and sat on top of one of the wagons, watching the countryside very slowly run by with almost no speed whatsoever. It was peaceful somehow and he thought it was a very nice sort of life. “Cel… Cel… where are you?” He had just realized with a start that he hadn’t seen the bird for quite some time, even before he had left the city proper. “Where could he have gotten to?” Frowning, he peered up at the sky, looking for the familiar shadow that would bring his friend back to him.

Suddenly, the wagon he was sitting on jarred slightly, going over a bump in the road most likely, and Gwain lost his balance. Without even thinking, he spoke to himself softly, “Abrazak,” as he fell, landing one arm with a thump. The wagons kept going but two of the caravaneers dropped off of the wagon and ran over to him. “Are you okay?” Gwain stood up, completely unarmed as the transparent magical shield he had called to his arm had protected him from the force of the fall. “No, no… I’m fine.” The people that had started to gather around him began backing up, a mixture of awe and superstitious fear in their eyes. “Don’t worry,” Gwain said, thinking quickly, “The god that I serve protects me from such little falls.”

A low whisper went across the crowd as he watched and then he noticed that they all began dispersing again, seeming to believe his story. He didn’t want anyone relying on his magic so it was best that they didn’t even know that he had it. Shaking his head, he moved forward along the train, catching up to the one in the front without another look behind him at the place that he was fleeing.


“Captain Palus! I’m Captain Argil, recently adjunct to Commander Eomer. I’ve come to take over your command here as it has been noted that you failing miserably at it. We have recently received word that you’ve lost an entire shipment of rather important spices and Command is anything but pleased. I’m here to see that the recovery of these spices is done quickly and efficiently.”

Palus was on his feet instantly, “Captain, if you wouldn’t mind, I am sure that the recovery of these spices is almost complete. If you wouldn’t mind letting me finish this recovery, I would be glad to do so and then I can retire and leave this post to you gladly.” Palus knew very well that if he didn’t do this and get these spices back, it was going to go on his record and that was a very bad thing for his career. He had to get this right or he was going to get the worst post possible.

“Fine, but you only have three days. If I don’t see the spices being loaded back into our storehouses and being prepared for shipment by OUR men in that time, you will be out of here and I’ll get to work doing something that will actually work.”

Palus nodded and waited until this new captain left the room before yelling, “Lieutenant! Get in here!” The young lieutenant rushed into the room, “Sir?” Palus was speaking quietly but urgently, “Lieutenant, we have three days to get that shipment back, I want all of your men on it now… I don’t care about anything else… get me that shipment back in the warehouse in three days. If you don’t, I’m taking you with me wherever that Captain Argil thinks he’s going to send me!”
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