The Bandit King: Attack on the Ruins

Attack on the Ruins
Summary: A task force from the Temple and Rhaedan arrive at the Bandit Ruins and a battle breaks out.
Date: 30 June 2013
Related: Other Bandit King Logs.
Players:
Alyona Bryony Cafell Cristof Castor Kameron Katarina Roltoff Thomas Tylon Storyteller 

Rhaedan Ruins - Main Hall
This high-ceilinged, expansive hall was once grand enough to befit royalty, but now it lays in ruin. Devoid of any of the decoration or furniture that once graced the flagstone floors, it now stands as a damp, dusty shadow of the home it once was. At the rear wall, a stairway once lead up to the battlements above, but falling stone has blocked the passage.

Aside from the half-collapsed stairway, the only exit appears to be back toward the entrance of the keep.

30 June 1329

As the last vestigaes of light start to fade over the forests of Rhaedan and the ruins that Cafell and Cristoff stumbled upon, there's a bustling of activity. It is known now that the other had escaped, and a move has been hastily ordered. Boxes of supplies are being loaded onto carts to be hauled off, and what can't be hauled off or isn't considered important is being stacked up nearby to be destroyed.

A few prisoners have been dragged up from below the ruins, being guided towards another cart to be loaaded up. "Our benefactors will enjoy them, since we cannot bring them with us." One bandit, however, seems to be unwilling to give up his escorted prisoner, a very pretty pale-haired blonde - one could almost mistake her for Amira the way that the man has made sure she was dressed in the finest travelling clothes that they could find.

There's only a lightly guard outside the temple as they are focusing more on breaking camp and dispersing.

The pair of healers had been tended to, and the return party was greater in size as they returned southward from Brivey. Chosen Thomas who had aided Cafell and Castor, but also now Priestess Tylon and Acolyte Castor had joined the traveling party. And as there had been much interest about the bandits after the information on the attack had been relayed, there were several others that also traveled with them from Brivey in order for the group to show exactly where everything had occured before the group from the Temple carried on, leaving the others to pick up any investigation they wished for. As the ruins were neared, there was a simple voice that explained,"It was just up this way."

With a handful of armsmen wearing the colors of Westmark, and riding with Sir Kameron, Sir Katarina is riding at a steady pace to keep abreast with the contingent from the temple that is making it's way - en masse - toward th ruins where it would appear that mischief is either being made or perhaps is festering. Mischief being Katarina's word on it, damned nuisance is another word that has been used, but all manner of effort had been used to restrain some younger (that is, less experienced) knights from mounting a party (possibly armed with torches and ale) and making a mess of it.

Castor glances over at Thomas, nods mutely and creeps just ahead of the priestesses to get a better look at the ruins. The lad wets his lips with his tongue, releases a quiet breath through his nostrils and idly rubs the grib of his hunting bow with the thumb of his left hand.

He glances behind toward Cafell and Tylon, before returning his attention to the ruins.

Having heard of the troubles north with the bandits Roltoff decided to leave the tavern in the capable hands of kaela, and Esther while he rode north to find out whats going on. Now in his improved armor, he comes upon tracks and proceeds to follow them, eventualy spotting the priestss Tylon and her part along with others. He does make himself known so that he doesn't endup a pincushion and to offer his aid.

Kameron moves quietly alongside Sir Katarina. He is in his full armor, wearing the colors of a Royal Guard of Rheadan. He furrows his brow a bit as they assess the packing bandits, and he mumbles to Katarina, "Not many outside. They must still be within. Cornered raccoons have nothing to lose. We'll need to be careful, Sir."

At the ruins, amongst the bandits, the pale blonde— a creature in limbo, not quite fitting in with the outlaws, not moving with the same hurried concern, yet also not bound. She has over her shoulder a satchel, and though the man with her is physically urging her haste, it is with less gruff brutality than the there prisoners receive. Her hesitation, however, is causing some measure of consternation in the man, and when it seems she would go back to the ruins for something, he roughly grabs her arm. "My cat," she says, her voice a mixture of supplication and resolve.

The clop of all the horses fills the woods as the party makes their way to the Ruins. Turning in his saddle to view the rest of the party, he says just loudly above the noise "It's just up ahead, surely they have gone by now." Nodding to Castor, the Chosen does don his gauntlets and loosens the greatsword that hangs over his back. He gives a glance to Tylon, then back to the fore.

Cristof rides beside Cafell while they approach the temple. He glances to her and comments, "It looks more peaceful now than in my dreams. I wonder how the family who escaped is doing."

"Cornered, aye, but not dumb, at least not to dumb, as it's always the dumb ones that get caught easily. Thus.." Katarina makes a subtle gesture, calling her armsmen in with that gesture and sending them back several paces, waiting for the rest of the party to move forward, before they begin to back track further to circle around the ruins. "A plan B, Sir Kameron, at all times. When plan B is exhausted, we move to plan C, and so on and so forth," she offers with a brief baring of her teeth in a glimpse of a smile. Her gaze sweeps over the bandits, but more upon those that have arrived from the temple, her expression - bar the grin - going inscrutable once more.

With the noise and the commotion that the large conglomeration of troops is making, is it any wonder that the bandits have plenty of time to prepare a welcome. As many of them are trying to make their escape, the bandit that his with the woman who asks about her cat gets a look. "We can't go back for your cat, I'll get you another one." he says, a hint of desperation in his voice, before she gives him that look and the bandit sighs. "Come on, five minutes." he says, as he turns and drags the blonde-hair beauty back inside of the ruins to search for her cat.

As the group comes into range of the ruins, several arrows -thwip- quietly in the hot summer night. Arching through the sky, the arrows are not meant to hit anyone, but are sent as a warning salvo. "Return from where you came from, and blood will not be spilled this night!" A voice calls out - one that Cristof and Cafell recognize immediately as the same man that played that dark game with the child a few nights before.

There is defenses being hastily errected amongst the crates and a couple of carts. "We have prisoners, and we will execute them if you do not disperse!"

The young acolyte, Castor, nods wordlessly to Thomas and draws an arrow from his hip quiver. There's a small, muted shrug of his shoulders — a silent, Never hurts to be prepared gesture — and he follows quietly beside the older Chosen. The group is given a curious glance from the young Westmark, eyebrows raised brief, brow slightly furrowed — then he shakes his head and turns his attention back to the ruins.

A moment later he glances over at his mother and gives her a wry smirk, then he starts sneaking off to the side, an arrow nocked to his bowstring.

"Master Cristoff, it is not raining and there is no lightening. Please gods be good to us." Cafell says from where she sits on her horse Wren. "Acolyte Castor and Brother Thomas, I think they can hear us coming a mile away. I would not be surprise if they cleared out. Then again any man who uses a child to guess what fingers he has behind his back as a way to choose what prisoners to kill may not." She looks over at the Mother Superior and she smiles brightly.

A small nod is given Castor's way as the lad scouts up ahead to take in the ruins they approach. Though Thomas earns a more reassuring look from Tylon when she catches his glance,"I would think so as well, Brother. And if they have not…I have not forgotten my promise." The incoming arrows do help her prove it as she reins in the horse and is already slipping from it, placing it between her and the ruins, the source of the arrows.

"Spread out," comes Thomas's voice loudly as the arrows come. The helmet attached to his saddle is slipped on and from the Saddle the Chosen slips easily from the saddle and the greatsword is draw. He turns and looks at Tylon through the slits of the helm "Get back, Mother Superior, please." Then Thomas turns once again back to the foes that still are at the ruins. "Hand over the hostages and we shall not be forced to kill you all."

Bryony rides along somewhere in the middle of the group, out of the way of the men at arms, but ready to assist in a moment should it be needed. The healer is quiet, her hands holding the reins easily despite her own tense posture. Arrow fire does little to ease her nerves but the announcement of prisoner execution sends her forehead furrowing. "Guardians guide us," she mutters softly before nudging her mount forward. "Let us not be hasty," the healer calls out.

Castor rolls to the side, adding a bit of momentum to his flanking attempt. He doesn't stop moving until he finds some cover, and a hopeful vantage-point for some arrow-work. The lad scans the area ahead, looking for a conveniently exposed target.

He glances toward the group as words are exchanged.

An eyebrow arches.

He licks his lips impatiently.

"Well, they're not going to do that," Katarina says in a quiet aside to Kameron as she slides down from her mount, casually settles her armor with a shrug of her shoulders and - armed, armored, helmet wearing, war bow strung over her back along with a quiver of tipped arrows, not to mention the sword she's wearing - makes her way through to where one of the Temple's chosen is exchanging words with the bandits. "Look, those hostages are all that's keeping me from signaling to my men to set the entire structure ablaze. I doubt that a man who's run a successful operation out of these ruins has suddenly fallen down and hit his head."

Kameron notices all the folks on horses, and so he quietly dismounts. He draws his sword, and looks at Katarina. "These amateurs are all going to get us killed. Too much talking, not enough organizing." He smirks a bit, "The bandits are going to target all of them on horses. Let's take advantage of that. I can start moving down on foot, see if I can get the hostages loose while everyone else simply fights."

Cafell dismounts off her horse and she teathers it before she moves to find shelter from the rain of arrows. Over her shoulders she has a stachel on and on her head a hat. She moves quietly and creeps closer so she can remain with the others. With her she also brings a staff.

Turning to Katarina, Thomas studies the woman for a time "I must give them the options, My Lady. Surely you can understand that?" He looks back to the ruins and points with his sword "They won't, you are right. But some may wonder if they are gonna die. Even if one leaves that is one less we have to worry about, no?" Then he shrugs "Besides it is the honorable thing to do."

The lead bandit glances towards one of his men. "Keep them talking." comes the quiet order. "When I give the signal, you will take your remaining troops and withdraw." Not that ever such a signal will come.

The new person steps forward and calls out. "Alright! We're willing to negotiate! But first, we want to know who you are! Tell us your names and your standings in your Houses!" he says, his voice near to the first man's, but not quite the same.

In the meantime, the leader of the bandits starts to organize his remaining men and the hostages to pull back and out of the rear of the ruins into the forest and river beyond.

And there's that one poor bandit with the pretty Am-prisoner, searching for that cat in the deserted dungeon, not realizing that everyone else is leaving. Though for now, the hostages do remain with the left behinds. Just for further assurance. Gagged and bound, they are unable to call out an alert to the sudden retreat out of the rear of the ruins.

Already down from her horse, Tylon makes to lead the beast back a bit, "Aye, Brother Thomas, I will stay back" Even if she doesn't go back to horridly far as her healing satchel is pulled from the saddlebags of the horse, expeience long since telling her it is likely going to be needed in some fashion. A flickering smile to hear the conversation ebtween her Chosen and the Baroness…..knowng well their outlooks and tehcniques varied greatly to say the least.

Cristof quickly nudges his own horse into a nearby grove of trees. There, he dismounts, ties his horse into place, and removes his saddle-bags full of medical supplies. He slings these over his shoulder and then moves, crouching low, toward other shelter.

Castor frowns at the talking talkers in the group — ah, the impatience of youth! — and glances away toward some of the ruins nearest him. He pauses for a moment, spares Thomas a quick look, and puts his hands carefully upon a broken wall to pull himself up on top of it, crouching low.

Then he retrieves his arrow, squinting toward the entrenched bandits and sets himself up on his perch for a shot.

Katarina nods to Kameron as she and her fellow knight make their way forward to the Temple representatives, "Go canny," she says quietly, "some are bound to try to bolt while we're 'engaging' them in dialogue. I sent my men around," she reminds, "link up with them if you can." She turns then to the speaker from the Temple and studies the man for a moment, "The longer you talk, the more you give them time to make decisions and try to find another way around. Now. I've sent my men around to try to cut off their egress from the other angle. The smartest tactic is to spread out, now, all armed fighters and move forward. People die, all the time," she tilts her head in a respectful nod to Tylon, "forgive my words, Mother, but that's the truth. The other truth is that if we don't stop these men, now, and here, they'll do more harm to more than they have already. Three lives," she turns her gaze back to Thomas, "or three hundred. It's math. I'm sorry for it, but it's math."

Kameron nods, and then slowly begins to make his way towards where the hostages are, moving as quietly, stealthily as he can. He stay slow, and hopes the others are keeping enough attention on them to maybe allow him the moment to get closer undetected.

Bryony doesn't dismount, but remains ahorse, her hazel eyes on the negotiator. The woman nudges her horse just a bit forward again and then pauses. "I am Bryony," she offers, letting her voice carry. "Bryony Fearn. I… well… I serve Rhaedan. I am a healer. And you? Have you a name?" Her uncertainty grows by the moment, having never been in this position before.

Nodding "They will try to escape while they engage us. Make no doubt about it, My lady," Thomas nods as she tells about her hem. A deep breath is taken in. "We can talk all day, I offer once. That is my training. I shall not offer again. We get bowmen there and there and there," he points first to the right, the center (where Castor has gone) and then the left. "Any that try to slip away, we have them covered. No one runs into arrows." Then a chuckle as he takes in the visage of the woman "Thomas. That's my name." Turning back to the bandits "The negotiations are, turn over the hostages and you shall be spared." His voice booms out "What way you, My Lady, shall we?"

Roltoff stays to the back of the group for now while he assess the situation and slowly move to the left of the party to see if he cant get behind the bandits should they try and rabbit.

A incline of Tylon's head goes to Katarina,"I am well aware, Baroness, and take no offense " Nodding a little as Thomas does explain the way of it, Chosen do have rules and a bit of an honor code they are Oathed to follow. For the moment, simply withdrawing least she give Thomas to much heartburn for staying a few steps to near the front and end up playing catch with an arrow.

Katarina gives a measured nod to Thomas then glances from face to face, "Right. You good folk get them talking then. I'm going to go do something more . . pointed," she says in a tone of voice that is both quiet and resolute, adjusting the angle of the sword where it is set at her side "Keep them talking as long as you can, be prepared for them to lie, it's what they do, and when they start killing hostages.." she leaves it at that and follows the path that - yes, she took careful note - her own son had taken through the brush, drawing a short blade as she moves and casually slicing free some green wood as she moves, a handful of dry leaves as well gathered. Tinder.

A large sigh comes from Thomas as the woman begins to make her way to the bandits. "By the Four," he sighs and moves even more closer to the bandits. Clearly in the open, armored, helmeted, greatsword held easily. "So, what say you, do you yield? By the Four I do not wish to kill you, but if it must be so, it will be so. You hurt the hostages, even a scratch, we move in." More steps towards the bandits.

The young Westmark youth glances down and to the side, toward the group behind him. His eyes scan back and forth, looking for one person in particular, his mother. Not spotting her — he frowns, arches an eyebrow, smirks — and then glances in the most likely direction she went.

He snorts in silence.

"Of course…" he mouths, without actually voicing the words. Then he starts creeping silently forward, eyes narrowed and jaw set — balancing atop the broken wall while holding his bow and arrow in both hands. Cricket'd be proud. Katarina has a target in mind, and her son will be ready…

"My name is none of yer concern! You sound attractive. Healer huh. What's the going rate?" the bandit calls out as he waves towards the other men to start to pull back and try to prepare a defensive line here, at the front of the ruins.

In the meantime, at the rear of the ruins, Kameron and Roltoff will get quite the sight. It seems that from the start, that the rear of the temple into the woods was the path of retreat. The area has been cleared out and there's another task force of bandits here, keeping watch as the bandits are starting to be dispersed into the woods beyound. The bandits keeping watch are currently unaware of the approach of the others, assuming that the group at front will be keeping watch at the front of the temple will keep the interlopers busy.

As Thomas makes his demands known again, the bandit considers. "Then you better not approach any closer, for the hostages will die and it will be your blood on their hands!" he calls out. "But if you withdraw now, we will leave the hostages as we depart, and we all live to see another day!"

Roltoff continues to work his way around keeping far enough back to not draw the bandits attention . His bow in hand as he works his armor blending in a bit as he smiles. He just hopes the others keep them stationary long enough for him to get into position.

Haning back and sticking to cover Cafell creeps forward to an area where she can see but not be hit. Or at least that is what she is hoping. She casts a look over at Thomas, the other healer who is talking, Tylon and then Cristoff. She is waiting to see what will happen.

Bryony actually manages a small smile at the negotiator's reply. The woman shrugs just a bit as he refuses. "More than you can afford, I'd wager," she returns pleasantly. "Despite the number of your ill gotten gains." Her hazel eyes drift towards Thomas as he is addressed and she quickly turns back to the bandit. "I pray you… do not harm them. I wish to see no one harmed at all. Tell me, are any of them wounded? Or your own men for that matter…"

It helps if your operational mindset is already 'shoot the hostages' but then.. Kat isn't known as Katarina the Vengeful because she's kind, soft, fluffy and likes knitting. NOT that she can't Knit.. but Kat pauses several times to check the wind, head tilting back to watch the way the trees are leaning, hearing the creaking sound that the tallest of the trees make as the canopy sways in the breeze tugging those high branches. The tug of the breeze alters her course accordingly until she is sure that any pyromaniac mischief will be useful, smoke wise, and begins to gather more green wood, tinder and.. if she's lucky, a handful of noxious smelling herbs to add to the mix. From where is is, rather industriously gathering slender branches and such, she's nearly parallel the ruins at this point, keeping a wary eye on the woods to ensure that no bandits are lounging about under foot or, you know, angry skunks.

Halt? Yea, right. Thomas slowly takes a step at a time, inching closer and closer. The greatsword once held casually now is firmly gripped with two hands "Lets see if you can do something more than hide behind innocents and face a real man." He calls out to the bandits.

Having worked his way past the Northern baroness he's about to come out onto a trail and as he looks to his right he can see a mass of bandits about thirty feet away and so far he's been undetected he nothces an arrow and looks for a straggler and waits to site in on him as he waits for the others to start something.

"Show me a real man, and I'll consider it!" comes the Bandit response to Thomas. "One more step, and the first hostage will have her blood spilled!" he says as the bandit looks around. "Oh for the love of Stilltha - where did he take her this time?"

She said something about finding her cat."

"Oh, I'm sure that they did something else that involves a cat."

"What, in the middle of a retreat?"

"You've seen them together, all they do is make moon eyes at each other all the time!"

"She's a damn hostage!"

"Yah, but you heard what happened down south when those Rhaedans got all hung up too long - they're all wanting to marry Southerners now."

"Fine, where's the other hostages?"

"Boss ordered them taken to the back."

And that's when the leader at the front realizes the truth. He lets out a long breath and sighs. "Screw me sideways. Boys, this is where we die. Prepare to defend!" he calls out.

Meanwhile, at the back of the ruins, the main bandit comes out of the ruins, and gestures. "Take the prisoners, head towards Ellowe, they won't dare follow us there and risk the rather of the new Queen." he orders. "And we can offer her our services as well." he comments as he looks around, a frown crossing his face. "And hurry, there will not be much time before they get wise to our ploy and head this way."

Bryony is just behind Thomas until he begins to ride forward, her forehead creasing in mild distress. That concern is not lessened by the bandits' exchange. "Damn," she mutters softly as he decides it's time to stand and fight. Having no weapons, Bry begins to edge herself away to the safety of back of the line, hoping that Thomas has the bulk of the attention for the moment.

Castor comes to a halt in a dip upon the wall of an old, ruined building, hiding behind a corner of what used to be a roof, overlooking the bandits' encampment. He glances back over his right shoulder toward the group behind him. From this vantage point practically above the middle of the camp, he can see just about anything. The youth tracks the voices in the rear of the camp and instantly draws back on his bowstring, choosing his target.

Leaving negotiations behind, Katarina moves enough green wood, downed branches and handful's - well, whole shrubs actually, to be more honest - pulled into the mix and now hunkers down, shielding the tinder with her body as she strikes flint and carefully coaxes the spark to flame. Then.. flame to catch. Watching the smoke, adjusting the angle accordingly, having gathered what she could as close to the ruins - closer than was really safe - as she dared. Note to self: don't talk about this specific tactic later.

She's been here the whole time, but with a proper knightly Chosen to shield-arm for the priestesses, Alyona the Still has slunk off, as her wont, into the shadows just beyond the Temple delegation. Close enough to pull sword or physically manhandle some stubborn clerics into safety if necessary, but with a better bow-shot in the meantime. She tenses in her perch as Thomas ups the brinksmanship, glancing between him, the bandit spokesman, and the unarmed and unarmoured healers. Well, this wouldn't really do.

After leaving his horse, and still lugging his saddlebags, Cristof creeps slowly forward to the position where he last saw Cafell. When he finds her, he lowers the bags and crouches with her in the dense foliage to watch and wait.

Cafell looks to Cristof and motions. "I think they cleared out that one blocked passage in the runined keep." She says to him as he joins her eyes are bright and she keeps mental notes on where all the chosens are and where the others from the Temple are.

Kameron takes a moment, finishing his assessment of things. If the hostages are free, this is a much easier situation. He moves along the brush, alongside the path the hostages are beginning to be moved upon, drawing his sword. His stealthy crouched walk becomes a run, and then he's charging the bandit at the front of the line of hostages.

Castor notes the smell and smoke of the fire his mother just started — good old mother — and smirks. Approval, there — and excitement. His eyes crinkle in anticipation and he licks his lips again.

The young archer gives the fire a chance to draw some attention, before he settles on one of the bandits and releases the bowstring, sending an arrow arcing down from the shadows above the ruins to his target!

Roltoff has snuck in behind the last of the bandits leading the slaves away as he lines up his shot on the last guy in line to pick him off, loosing his arrow into the man trying to drop him quickly so as to not alert the rest of his friends.

Crawling back to horse Cafell goes to get her bow and quiver she uses for hunting. She then makes her way back to where Cristof is. She drops her satchel and goes to start taking shots at those surrounding those of the temple.

Bryony dismounts once she reaches the 'safety' of the wood. Fingers work quickly to unfasten the bags of supplies brought with her as she mutters prayers to the Guardians for the safety of those on the field.

Soaking her neck cloth with water from the canteen at her side, Katarina ties the wet cloth around her face, covering her nose and mouth, and hunkers down IN the smoke that is now rolling up behind her toward the ruins. She draws the bow that was slung over her back, selects a tipped arrow and readies it, watching the smoke roll forward, the sound of the fire breathing behind her a fine measure of inspiration to move another length closer TO the ruins.

"You." Oh yes, the bandit leader remembers the Chosen from a few days ago as he came storming out of the dungeons as the priestess, healer, and Chosen invaded. Now, with this underway, the bandit king draws his own greatsword and starts towards Thomas. "It was a mistake for you to return. One that you will not live to regret." he says calmly.

In the back of the temple, as Kameron comes storming towards him, one of the bandits draws his broadsword and moves to a defensive stance. "I'll keep the pup at bay, get the rest of them out of here!" he calls out, unaware of the other attacks that are coming in.

One of the bandits, an archer on the roof, is made aware of the smoke from Katarina's fire. Nocking an arrow, he draws back and brings it up to aim at the Baroness, preparing to snap off a shot at her.

In the meantime, the rest of bandits are trying to quickly mop up and retreat into the woods, their leader trying to buy them time.

Alyona is content to let Thomas steal the show. The more bluster he puts forth, the closer she can slink towards the healers through the foilage. Her prayer is in breath, calling for Stilltha's calm to steady her arm and feet as she stalks the backdrop. Then the bandits start to move like a startled bevy of deer and she freezes, picking a likely target - another archer. Nock, draw, release, then she drops to the grass again to try to foil a return shot.

Cafell moves forward more so she is in range and she take aim at those who surround the chosen. She whispers prayers as she takes up the arrow and then she notches it. Pulling the bow back she lets the arrow fly as she continues to pray.

<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 1 passes.
<COMBAT> Bow Bandit passes.
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 3 passes.
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 2 attacks Kameron with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit King attacks Thomas with Greatsword - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Katarina with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit1 passes.
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit King with Greatsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Roltoff attacks Bandit1 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Katarina attacks Bandit 3 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kameron attacks Sword Bandit 2 with Broadsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cristof passes.
<COMBAT> Castor attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cafell passes.
<COMBAT> Bryony passes.
<COMBAT> Alyona attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

Roltoff fires his arrow at the last bandit, (ban1) and missed so he drops his bow, readies his sword and shield now that surprise isn't an option and charges at the man, hoping to cut bandit 1 down before its too late.

A grunt as the mighty sword is brought to action. He dances as he does and the blow by the Bandit king just nicks his right arm. Enough to throw off his own attack, his blade only bites the air. Again he moves to the high guard "That is the best you have?" And he swings again, aiming for the bandits left arm.

Katarina's eyes narrow as she sees the arrow slicing through the smoke to land in the .. well it landed in the fire. Were she a man, this is where she'd smirk. She isn't, so she settles for shaking her head subtly and sees her own arrow sail high and.. do about as much damage. Ah, well. NOW it's time to mix it up with blades.

Still ensconced up in his perch upon the wall of a ruined building, Castor instantly nocks another arrow to his bow and takes aim at the same bandit in the camp below him. The action is over in an instant, and the second arrow is away!

From cover, Alyona does not have to see the arrow flail to know that her shot went wide; it simply felt wrong. And so she notches the next arrow and pops up again to take aim at the same bandit once again. With the arrows now flying, she doesn't manage to make it too much closer to her charges, though.

Cafell whispers prayers as she takes another arrow from the quiver and she notches it. Pulling the bow back she lets the arrow fly as she continues to pray. She can feel her heart in her chest. The feather back side of the arrow hum a tune all of there own as they seek the other bow bandit.

While the Rhaedans and temple folks have the element of surprise on their side, the bandits are able to quickly rally. Though one of the archers is struck in the stomach by Castor's arrow, he gives a loud cry of pain, pulling up his hand to look at the blood on it, before he notches another arrow to prepare to draw and fire on Castor.

This frees up Katarina, at least from being attacked from the air again, as the swordsman who was charging towards the fire sees the woman and frowns. "Shouldn't you be at home tending to grandchildren?" he asks her with a smirk, no older that Laurel, perhaps, if at that.

As the Bandit King gets a solid hit on Thomas armor, he easily steps back to avoid the man's counterstrike. "Your words are taking markers your body won't accept." he growls, the greatsword risen over his head to attempt to cleave the chosen in twain.

As the arrows continue to fly, both sides are finally finding targets to attack and are starting to mark up each other as they take aim and fire.

Kameron charges out and catches his bandit off guard, the sword cutting through the armor of his chest and draws blood as his own clumsy attack goes wide and is unable to strike true in return. This also forces the man to drop the rope holding the hostages as they take the hint and start to run away.

Three hostages are now free - one more remains. Somewhere.

"I would but I'm trying to keep your mother from having to hook on street corners to pay your bail," Katarina counters with a brief grin that is ALMOST a smirk but not quite. She meets the charge, waiting for the swordsman to come close enough then pivots at the last possible second. Her sword rings off of the inferior piece of metal that the bandit is wielding, that smirk briefly turning into a fierce grin, yes she loves fighting. Always has.

Cristof checks his bow once more before he nods to Cafell. "We do not prefer it, but at times, battle must come," he says solemnly. With that, he notches the arrow, takes careful aim, and releasees the string so that the long shaft of possible death will arc through the air and find its mark.

<COMBAT> Bow Bandit attacks Cafell with Longbow - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Bandit King attacks Thomas with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 3 attacks Alyona with Longbow - COVER stops the attack.
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 1 attacks Katarina with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 attacks Castor with Longbow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 2 attacks Kameron with Broadsword but Kameron DODGES!
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Roltoff with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit King with Greatsword - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Roltoff attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Katarina attacks Sword Bandit 1 with Broadsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Kameron attacks Sword Bandit 2 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cristof attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Castor attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bryony passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Alyona attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Bandit2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 2 has been KO'd!

Roltoff grins as his charge of ban1 has its affect as the man's arrow fly's wide of him, while rolts shield was covering him from the attack, leaving the bandit wide open as he over hand swing comes down, Impacting on the bandits armored head, and drawing a great deal of blood.

Roltoff just grins and says, "today is a good day for you to die afterall."

A bit of a stagger from the blow as Thomas gains his footing once again. He felt his sword hit but sees no sight of blood. "Well, this could take all day I fear. You are not half bad." The Chosen once again takes the high guard, the swing starts to come down then changes directions at the last moment. The blade angles and he strikes where the armor is the thinest. Right at the neck.

"Bornas' Balls…!" Castor swears, forgetting himself as he only barely avoids getting shot himself. The bandit's arrow hits the old stones behind the Westmark youth, and ricochets off into the night. The lad takes a moment, hiding behind the ruin, to calm himself —

— and then ducks back out, to shoot again at a different target. He spots the Bandit King in combat with Thomas, narrows his eyes… and fires.

There is pain in her chest and Cafell looks down as the arrows appear. Hearing the Mother Superior's and Brother Thoma's words in her head she reaches to grab another arrow. Her eyes are wide and sweat is starting to form on her brow. Her lips tremble and she prays. She looks over at Cristof and nods after she says the prayer. "You are right, some days you have too. That was a good shot." She tells him as she lets the arrow fly in a trembling voice.

As the bandit that Kameron is facing off with goes down, the man gives a death rattle before he falls forward into the grass and expires. This leaves Kameron open at the rear to go find the hostages, or go inside to find that last hostage/prisoner - the pretty blonde from before. At that point, a cat comes up to the edge of the door. The cat looks at Kameron and mewls plaintively before rubbing on his legs.

As Cafell is struck with an arrow, the bandit that took a shot at her grins. And with that, he starts to aim at the tall woman's head, looking to finish her off. Other arrows fly against each other as Katarina and the bandit she takes on start to trade blows. "You have children?" he asks, "Or are you a lonely woman with fifty cats?" he asks in a mocking tone.

The bandit king snorts. "We have just been playing for now, you have not seen our true power as of yet." he says cryptically, the sword coming around again to strike at Thomas, a grimace on the man's face in the process.

Roltoff is able to charge the bandit's position, a hard strike driving him out into the open. The man growls, throwing his broken bow aside and grabs his sword and shield as he moves to attack Roltoff, as the two men start to circle and swing at each other, the bandit looking for an opening.

Neither victory as her opponent falls, nor the near-miss of another arrow at her own position causes much disturbance in Alyona's composure. However, she catches sight just as Cafell so stoicly catches an arrow in the chest. Placid eyes go wide and the Chosen darts out of her cover, making the dash through the rain of arrows to the side of the healers. "Get her out of here. Priestess, /go./" Alyona jerks her head towards a nearby ruined column. "I'll cover you." And so she does, pulling another shot quickly at the nearest

Again, the bandit with the sword swings at Kameron, and he steps aside, avoiding the blade. "That's all you have?" he taunts the bandit, and then crushes his sword across the bandit's arm. "HAH!" he yells as the bandit drops. He turns, picks up the cat, and then moves to go find the remaining hostages.

Katarina gives a sudden bark of laughter, amusement - probably not what the kid is going for - but it doesn't make her any less deadly as she catches his blade with hers, again, and steps forward to shove into the bandits personal space, keeping her blade work as light, agile, fierce as ever. Despite the amusement.

<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Roltoff with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Cat passes.
<COMBAT> Bow Bandit attacks Cafell with Longbow - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Bandit King attacks Thomas with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 1 attacks Katarina with Broadsword - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 3 attacks Alyona with Longbow but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit King with Greatsword but Bandit King DODGES!
<COMBAT> Roltoff attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Katarina attacks Sword Bandit 1 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kameron passes.
<COMBAT> Cristof treats Cafell:
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Neck (Moderate): unsuccessful
<COMBAT> Castor attacks Bandit King with Hunting Bow - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow - COVER stops the attack.
<COMBAT> Bryony passes.
<COMBAT> Alyona attacks Sword Bandit 3 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit1 has been KO'd!

No sooner had the blade hit that the blood flow and the muffled cry of Thomas occurs. "I will give you this, Bandit, you are good." And with that Thomas shakes his head to clear the sweat that runs down his face. It has been a slug fest between the two men wiedling big swords. Quickly he regains his stance, ready for another attack by the bandit. His own strike is measured.

Roltoff grins as he feels the bandits blade strike the new armor of his and doesn't penatrate. Roltoff grins. "See told you today was a good day for you do die." as he brings his sword across the bandits chest and opens him up further. Then he waits to see what happens next quickly as they are missing one prisoner.

"A good shot, but now you have drawn fire," Cristof frets with a deep frown. He bends to place his bow on the ground, but looks up to the priestess. "Down! I'll need to tend to that as quickly as possible. We might need your hands to tend to others soon enough." When a second shot whizzes within inches of him to lodge in her neck, he ignores proprieties and lays a hand on her arm to pull her physically to the ground if necessary, so that he can begin to inspect her wounds and begin treatment if possible.

From his vantage point atop the ruin, Castor cannot quite see the hit that Cafell has taken. He glares down at the Bandit King as his arrow bounces off armor, shakes his head reaches for another arrow.

"By the Bouncing Breasts of Altheara!" he hisses through his teeth as he draws back on the bowstring. He pauses only for an instant, exhales, and releases the arrow. "Die already…" he whispers.

Shock is beautiful thing, Cafell's arrow flew towards the cover but missed the target. Then in return another arrow found her. This one hitting her neck but not a mortal blow. She drops her bow and put hers hand to her neck at first she stares at Alyona stupidly as she starts to offer cover and then perhaps divine guidance moves her and two step are taken and she falls like a brick to the ground.

Well, to the ground is close enough for her tastes. Just not standing up and fighting like Chosen. Alyona spares only a glance aside as Cristof begins to treat Cafell's wounds right then and there. If they can't make it to the column, then she'll defend them with her own body, herself. Another shot is drawn, this time at the man who seemed so intent to snipe at priestesses.

Castor's arrow flies straight and true. It catches the Bandit King in the center of his chest. And yet, the Bandit doesn't even flinch as the blade of the man slams into Thomas' hand and he grins darkly, and he starts to move to make it harder for Castor to get a clear shot in at him.

As Cafell gets shot again, the bandit firing at her switches fire, his target moving towards Castor to fire down at him instead.

Katarina manages to slam her sword into the side of the bandit, but because of her own wound, she doesn't have the strength to cut through. The bandit notices her ring and instead of attacking her this round, his hand moves quickly and deftly, attempting to swipe the ring from her finger and pocket it. Uhoh.

Roltoff's bandit is slain and then filetted, allowing Roltoff a chance to breath. The cat purrs at Kameron, and they start to head into the ruins to search for that last missing prisoner.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Bandit=7 Vs Katarina=pickpocket
< Bandit: Good Success Katarina: Success
< Net Result: Bandit wins - Solid Victory

There, deep in the ruins, it was still possible to detect how things were going outside. How might this have affected the bandit and his prisoner? Roltoff and Kameron are about to find out.

First they might hear a sound, like weeping, and then whimpering. The older of the pair might recognize the true nature of the sound sooner. Turning the corner of a broken wall, they'll come to a room strewn with furs and utensils, hastily emptied chests. Upon a thick pile of furs in the center, the half-naked girl, what remains of her clothing shows the rest was hastily torn off. The man himself rises hastily from her, wearing nothing but a tunic and his sword belt, wherefrom his sword is drawn.

Except that Katarina is a mother of four, a wife of one very lucky man, and that ring isn't some bit of cheap metal that she wears because it didn't turn her finger green. The blood on her hand had helped it slide off of her finger, yes. But she gives a snarl of sound and instead of stepping back from the fight she steps INTO the personal space of the quick fingered thief, uses her other hand to catch hold of the front of his attire and drags him close before she spins the blade sharply in a short arc with the aim to cleave the wrist off of the pick pocket.

<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 1 attacks Katarina with Broadsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bow Bandit attacks Castor with Longbow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Cover) (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Bandit King attacks Thomas with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Hunting Bow - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 3 attacks Alyona with Longbow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit King with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Roltoff passes.
<COMBAT> Katarina attacks Sword Bandit 1 with Broadsword but Sword Bandit 1 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Kameron passes.
<COMBAT> Cristof attempts to treat Cafell but CAFELL has no treatable wounds.
<COMBAT> Castor attacks Bandit King with Hunting Bow - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow - COVER stops the attack.
<COMBAT> Alyona attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

As the bandit king takes the first of two hits, the man gives a pained noise. This was going so well. He was winning. And now, that he's actually taken a hit? Thomas can see the panic in the man's eyes as he suddenly throws down some concoction that makes a momentary flash, and using the smoke from the fire that Katarina made earlier, he runs off into the woods, leading Thomas into a chase and away from the fight.

Kameron lifts his sword, taking in the sight of the naked bandit. He glances at the woman, then back at the bandit, his lips twisting into a bit of a snarl and he lunges at the man, sword swinging.

Castor smirks at the Bandit King. It was not much of a hit, but still a hit — and a difficult one at that. He is still smirking when something hits him in the side of his midriff, almost knocking him out of his perch and off the wall.

He stares down at the shaft poking out of his abdomen in surprise, his face going white… then it goes red. Rage and pain contort the lad's features and he reaches for another arrow. This time, however, he is not focusing on the Bandit King, but the bastard who put the arrow in his gut.

"Ravas' Earth-Rutting Cock, you'll pay for that…" he says through clenched teeth — some of his father's notorious ire showing there — and then fires at the bowman.

Roltoff looks at the half naked bandit too and flanks with kameron to make sure they kill this fool. "your death will be hopefully slow and quite painful. " as he grins at the man, but makes sure to see that the half naked woman is still breathing.

Again great swords flash, Thomas partially blocks the attack by the Bandit King. And lucky he did for the blade of the bandit continued on and strike his armor with not nearly the power it would have. But his own attack hits, even to the point of drawing blood. The struggle has taken it's toll, breathing hard Thomas once again readies and then moves to strike the bandit. Just as the flash goes off! Thomas blinks, coughs in the foul smelling smoke and shakes his head before he takes off chasing the bandit. Once the fight had engaged, till the other yielded, he was not going to give up.

As the bandit that targetted Castor nails him, he grins as he covers his leader's retreat. And now, he's being targetted, as he moves back into cover. The bandit that pinched Katarina's ring pockets it and is able to pull away from the attack on him as Katarina attempts to disarm him. However, as the call goes out that their leader is fleeing, the morale goes down and some of the bandits are starting to fire a covering fire to start to withdraw.

The girl looks rather terrified. She's dirty now, in nothing but a torn shift with breasts that would be exposed if not for the arm she has over herself, a bit of blood on her face— and the sword-wielding man looming above her, panting.

Unfortunately, despite being caught literally with his pants down, the outlaw has a smirt on his face. he steps back and drops to a crouch by the girl, slipping his hand into her pale hair and drawing her close by pulling on it. His sword crosses her breast.

Her fear is apparent, but it s not quaking terror. The prisoner seems not to know what to trust— will the man kill her? What is it she's really afraid of? Her gaze shifts from her captor to the two men who stand ready to take him out.

Pull away? Yes. Run away? That isn't happening - at least, not yet. Katarina shoves the fight forward, blood in her eyes, anger burning in every move, feeling the blood dripping from the wound on her arm, the bruises forming where her armor is chafing over the impact points, but there isn't a chance that she's going to give up OR yield this fight. To hell with the battle plan.

At the Bandit King's explosive escape, Alyona recoils, clearly thinking that one explosion may as well be followed by another. She drops into a crouch to cover Cristof and Cafell with her own armored body; when the secondaries do not go off, she turns at the hip to continue laying down cover fire. The smoke turns the shadows into shrouded, ghastly targets, but she voices no frustration, simply a flare of her nostril at the acrid scent of the flash-bang.

<COMBAT> Bow Bandit attacks Castor with Longbow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 3 attacks Alyona with Longbow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 1 attacks Katarina with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Roltoff passes.
<COMBAT> Katarina attacks Sword Bandit 1 with Broadsword - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kameron passes.
<COMBAT> Cristof attempts to treat Cafell but CAFELL has no treatable wounds.
<COMBAT> Castor attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow - Serious wound to Left Leg (Reduced by Cover).
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow - Critical wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Alyona attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Katarina has been KO'd!

With the bandit king retreated, and their duty done, the other bandits start to break ranks to retreat as well. As one of the bandits rises, however, Castor's arrow strikes him in the head, and he falls to the ground, wounded, but not dead.

"Stop!" The woman may have a sword to her breast, and she may be captive to the bandit who is threatening to kill her, but apparently she has some measure of courage. Surprised, th outlaw doesn't slash her throat as he was threatening, though his sword does cut her before he pulls it back.

And it's to Kameron she speaks, a desperate look on her face, undeniably helpless— hopeless.

With the arrows and the choas and waking into it she reachs for her bow and starts to shoot again. Cafell, she craws away from Cristof and grabs at her bow she then picks it up and in cover takes a shot at one of the bowmen.

Kameron is now close enough to touch both the man and the woman with his sword, and it remains raised, but he holds. He stands a bit straight, still ready to strike, his eyes glancing to the woman, then back to the man. "Step away from her," he commands to the bandit.

Roltoff with the bandit jerking his arm away he drops his blade and goes to grab the girls legs and tried to drag her away even if the bandit has the woman by the hair. Her wounds he can heal later

Castor flattens himself back around the corner of the ruined wall — too late. The bandit's arrow catches him high in the chest, just under his left shoulder. Somehow, he manages to keep himself from falling backwards, clawing at the ruin with his right hand as his bow drops to the ground from his left.

The boy over-exerts himself and topples FORWARDS into the yard, landing on his right side with a grunt. Glaring balefully toward the archer that shot him, he pushes himself up onto his knee, reaches for his dirk, and half-stalks, half-drags himself toward the man.

"Go with… Go with… Oh, just go." And he slashes the man across the throat before falling on top of him.

The bandit wrenches the girl's hea a little, before unwinding her hair from his hand. The pale young woman meanwhile looks up at Kameron, confusion and fear across her face. What happens next brings things to a conclusion.

Roltoff's lunge is just enough distraction. The girl is shoved by the bandit into Kameron, grabbed by Roltoff, and the outlaw is leaping away, a dark corner of the room receiving him.

<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 1 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Bow Bandit passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Sword Bandit 3 passes.
<COMBAT> Roltoff passes.
<COMBAT> Katarina passes.
<COMBAT> Kameron passes.
<COMBAT> Castor passes.
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bow Bandit with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Alyona attacks Sword Bandit 3 with Hunting Bow and MISSES!

Cafell tires she really does but the arrow goes wide and misses him. She then closes her eyes and prayers one more time, with shake arms she takes one last shot as before the last of her strength leaves her.

The retreating bandits are fired upon, and fortunately for one bandit, death othertakes him in the form of Castor, as the man is given a Westmarkian Ascot.

Roltoff returns his sword to its sheath, and then wraps the woman up in the blanket and carries her out craddling her in his arms so that she can get properly treated. " easy now lass you in safe hands."

Kameron scowls, "Damnit!" when the girl is shoved at him. He pushes the girl at Roltoff, who takes her, and he hurries into the dark corner of the room after the bandit.

The dark corner actually reveals a passage, black as night. It would be possible to follow, of course, but a torch would be needed— the bandit likely knew his way blind. If he s down there, running, he can't be heard over the sobbing of the girl, nor can he be seen.

This is hardly a position to complain about Cafell still fighting, and so Aly lets her scramble back, since she remains under sensible cover, and Cristof is still there. Instead, something else grabs the Chosen's attention - her acolyte tumbling into the yard, pierced by several arrows. Alyona doesn't cry out - instead she leaps forward like a stag out of the bush … and right into an arrow.

The broadhead sinks several inches into her leather armor right under her collarbone, and the physical impact staggers her back a step. She gasps a deep breath, and then barrels forward. Somehow in the flurry of not-falling, she sends off one more arrow towards the retreating bandits.

A small miracle, too, that she doesn't just trip over Castor as he delivers his final fashion sense to the now-dead bandit. Instead, she skids to a stop on her knees next to them. "Okay, kid, none of that dying now. Let me see this…" And so, he gets to meet the first touch of Chosen field medicine.

Kameron follows the bandit a few steps into the tunnel, until he's fully enveloped in the dark, and then stops. He growls, and kicks the wall, "Damn." He shouts after him, "You can't run from The Kid forever!" Yeah. That'll teach him. He nods to himself, and then carries the cat back out into the main room. He tosses the cat towards Roltoff and the girl, "Here," and he hurries off to find Baroness Katarina.

<COMBAT> Roltoff passes.
<COMBAT> Katarina passes.
<COMBAT> Kameron passes.
<COMBAT> Castor passes.
<COMBAT> Cafell treats Castor:
< Chest (Moderate): successful
< Chest (Serious): successful
<COMBAT> Alyona tries to attack but has no target!

Katarina doesn't pass out, not from blood loss, or being bashed repeatedly in a fight to the death over her stolen ring, but it's a near thing. Old age and blood loss and, you know, the ringing in her head. So the bandit escapes, yes, with her ring, and bloody as well. She staggers after him several paces before she ends up with one bloody hand braced against the side of the nearest crumbling wall and eases - slowly - down along the wall until she's seated on the ground. The nice, not moving, ground. Why is the building leaning at such a drunken angle..

Kameron rushes to Katarina, kneeling beside her. "Sir!," he says to her, helping to brace her. "Easy. The healers are making the rounds." He gives her a cocky smile, "The hostages are all free."

"Ahh, good," comes Katarina's reply, turning her head to the side to cough AWAY from Kameron's face (she's not rude OR ill mannered), "my son. I saw," she sucks in a shallow careful breath, "check my son," she says, sending Kameron off to check on Castor while she holds up this wall. Perfectly good nice wall.

Castor blinks up at Alyona in dazed surprise. His face is white and his armor and tunic are stained with blood, and he squints to focus upon her. "Al- Alyona?" He asks in a soft, strained voice. "I tried—I tried… to bless the… pus-ridden, son of a syphilitic pig that… shot me…"

He coughs — not surprising since he shouldn't really be talking. He blinks and frowns, hearing a familiar voice. "Mother… she was hit! Where is she?! —why are there two of you?"

As healers and royal guards start to arrive, Alyona is tended to by a healer, as they start to go through the ruins, seeking out any other bandits and such, and relieving the battlers so that they can go get their wounds tended to. Noone has seen Thomas or his quarry. No telling where those two went.

The healers attached to the temple do come around and they moves to quickly. Triaging and bandaging so that they can get those that they stabilized so they can be moved. They move and tend Castor and others like a swarm of bees.

"It's not always easy to bless those that hurt us, son." Alyona clucks soothingly as she does all that is seemly for a first-responder - stabilizing arrows, putting pressure against blood-flow, and making sure the boy doesn't fall back on any of his wounds. "You did good that you even tried." Never mind that they are sitting in the pool of blood from his 'attempt' at 'blessing.' And then, suddenly, the swarm of healers descends. "I'll go find your mother." Aly promises, though the healer that grabs hold of her seems to have no intention of letting her do any such thing with an arrow still protruding from her armor. Instead, she stubbornly drags the healer along. It takes worse to lay a Chosen out.

Katarina waves off the first attempt at healing, knowing that her best healing is going to be accomplished with time, a long soak in a hot tub and the application of a series of poultices to ease the bruising, clean the cuts, etc. She knows it, says as much to the first helpful healer and waves said healer off to go tend to those in real danger. She does, however, prudently wait until the building is no longer tiling drunkenly (in her vision) before she makes any serious moves to do useful things like stand.

A hand is offered down to Katarina - callused archer's hands, not the soft-pawed tenderness of the healers. "Your son is in good hands, Baronness." Alyona murmurs. "But that wall will fall down before your stubbornness gives in. Let me give you a shoulder, ma'am."

Behind her, her own healer squawks, upset, and more Chosen begin to sweep through the ruins, searching bandit corpses and bandit troves for clues, whilst others pursue down the path of Brother Thomas and the Bandit King.

The last of her strength gone and another healer taking her bow away Cafell goes to move and is told to lay still. She then closes her eyes and does as she is told for once.

Katarina exhales before she nods, wipes the blood off of her hand by the expedient measure of simply dragging one hand through the grass, makes sure that her sword is secure as well before she pulls herself to her feet, with Alyona's aid in this endeavor. She is pale, sways back once, finds her balance again, then nods, "Ready," she declares herself so and moves with that precise care often seen in drunks or those who are still leaking for one wound or so. Stubborn is another family trait. "How badly is my son wounded?"

"Two arrows to the chest, but he's a strong lad, ma'am. He'll be back on his feet in a fortnight." Alyona settles the Baroness Westmark's weight on her shoulder, if so allowed. She knows a few things about stubbornness herself, and of the value of walking out on your own two feet instead of on a litter. There are horses, though, luckily. They won't have to hobble all the way to Laketown this way.

"But he took the bastard of Kharnas-" Just so little of a touch of heat on her calm voice, there, "-who shot him out by the knife, and is, I think, more worried about you than his own wounds. Here." Underhand, the Chosen offers up a tiny, silver flask.

"Hey there, now make sure to get Sister Cafell's bow with her! And go in pairs, boys, no single patrols, and no healers without a Chosen!" The old veteran still has it in her to bark, though.

With Alyona barking out orders, one old healer walks by, looks at the two women talking over their wounds, and shakes his head. "I'm getting too old for this shit." he says as they work on transporting the wounded back to Brivey Keep and someone who is not him gets to write up the reports.

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