The Wolves in the Wild

The Wolves in the Wild
Summary: Three Varghems in the woods encounter a sellsword.
Date: 16/04/2013
Related: Swords and Flames
Pawel Antyllus Carisse Roltoff Martis 

Deep Woods, Taniford
The road connecting Laketown in the north and Wolveshire in the south is a winding one, cutting through the looming Althearan blackwood trees. Made with carts and wagons in mind, the road winds around the larger of the hills. Those monstrous blackwoods tower overhead; in summer the leaves provide a canopy from the sun and skeletons of the branches reach out in the winter, like a dead man's fingers. Around one of the bends the road opens up and grass has grown in a meadow, free from the shade of the trees. A favorite spot for weary travelers, a small spring provides a steady stream of fresh, cool water. And since it's a favorite of travelers, it is also a favorite of bandits that make the woods their home. Some call it a waystation, while other's name it the 'bandit hole.'

To the north, one may find themselves in Laketown, while the south leads to Wolveshire.

Tue Apr 16, 1329

After surviving the burning tavern yesterday, Pawel has brought his remaining personal guards as well as two of the more general guards he brought to Laketown, and has gone for a bit of a ride now. Frowning quite a bit as he looks around, there's some anger in his eyes, if anyone's near enough to see. Taking no chances now, he's in his armor, and with his greatsword with him as he rides.

Having spent an interesting morning fishing and talking with the Lady Collette. He decided to check out her favorite riding spot. Since being here he's noticed a lot of herbs and other things he was taught how to gather for healing and edible things. So has managed to go deep into the woods with his dagger and a burlap sack as he rutts around, cutting wild herbs, digging up wild onions and other things.
Roltoff is far from being quiet as its not a quiet kind of adventure, after a bit he manages to stumble out into the clearing as he kneels down at the base of a tree and is in the process of cultivating a few more Items to stuff into his sack.

There are older wolves about than just the Young Duke in this wood, so close upon the Varghem seat, and Pawel will probably not be very surprised, upon hearing hooves, to see a group of riders with his family's banner and his uncle close at hand for the second time in the last few days. But where at their last meeting Antyllus looked stern but composed, he is now, not unlike his nephew, most definitely ruffled.
"Your Grace!" he calls out as roughly as if addressing some rogue of a poacher, "what is this nonsense I hear about Greggen's girl? The fire was bad enough, as tidings go, but now…"

Where there are many likely out searching for one thing or another-there is only one thing that the fellow clad in greys and blacks is looking for. And that would be the peaceful respite that a nap can provide. Currently with his back up against a trunk, the older gentleman doesn't really stand out. In fact he could easily be part of the scenery, another brigand out cold-save for his priestly garb to possibly testify other. Wolves can roam and others can shamble about looking for roots and tubers, but for Martis Ravin, he himself has his eyes closed and one hand draped across his lap, enjoying the somewhat solitude of napping nigh a riding path.

Letting out a few deep breaths as he hears people around, Pawel looks over to see his uncle. "Uncle," he greets the man, words a bit quiet. "I don't know much more than that nobody has seen here since before that accursed fire. And yes, that fire was bad enough, believe me. If I ever get my hands on fanatics like those, they will meet the one they're worshipping far faster than they would have thought possible, believe me." He doesn't say more about that fire, expression hardening a bit now. "But we need to find her, as soon as possible." Looking around, he notices the others present, but doesn't pay much attention to them for now.

Roltoff looks up as he places the roots into the sack and spots Duke Pawel and then turns behind him at the 'Uncle' and since nobody seems to mind him he slips back into the woods a fair pace, while pulling out a second burlap sack and using his dagger seems to cut something down as there is an audible 'Snap, and Thwap…' of a branch being cut loose. He returns a bit later with the second burlap back bulging, a bit of blood pooled at the bottom, even as he holds in his free hand the hind legs of a rabbit. He keeps off the road as he uses his dagger to bleed the creature and then strings it up so that it'll bleed out properly.

Whether it was admiration for the smart act of huntsmanship or the sound of the undergrowth being rent apart, Lord Antyllus notices the unsavory looking youth for the first time. "You there," he says, not loudly but with a definite piercing quality, "Identify yourself. You're not far from the boundaries of our land. Do you," he asks by the by, turning aside, "know this cur, nephew? He might in turn know more than is good for him. Perhaps we ought to ask. Sharply." The other wayfarer, nearer to his own age, still goes unnoticed…

The Thwaping and snapping does have the sleeping man lazily open one eye, but it's voices that slightly draw his attention from a stupor of sleep. And he turns his head ever so slightly, as any many who might daze would. Though, when Antyllus starts calling out, Martis' eyes open and he turns and looks bleary eyed to the road for a moment, before he is looking in the direction of Roltoff -or where he suspects the voice is directed. And despite not being the one called into question, the Mercenary chaplain rises up, out of slow obligation. It's no sudden thing. Just a slow and leisurely rise followed by the accompanying stretching and popping of bones and joints. His hand grouses with his hair before going to rest down on the pommel of his broadsword, but then again there is no sudden movement-He is easily seen, should he be noticed. But of course, this gives the good Brother, (Or is it father?) time to review the current situation.

Looking around for a few moments as he hears Antyllus, Pawel nods a bit as he spots Roltoff. "I do. He was there saving those of us that was stuck in that burning tavern last night. Even ran in again to help taking the building down before the fires could spread." A brief pause, and a shrug now. "I don't think he know anything, but it never hurts to check." A brief pause, before he adds, "I don't hope you have any pressing business elsewhere at the moment, uncle?" A brief pause, as he looks around. "Since I would like you to take some people you trust and help in the search for our royal relative."

While Roltoff's been called quite few things in his time. "Cur " really hasn't been among them. He looks at the sourpuss of an Uncle and then over at Pawel and says clearly "Why I’m Roltoff Delmort, Sellsword. Who might you be?" Was that a bit of arrogance in his tone? Yes maybe a touch… But being called names will do that to some people. "As for the lands I hunt, why no, I’m not sure who they belong too, but as I’m not a part of either kingdom I typically hunt where there is food and more so when I’m hungry." He then looks over to Pawel, and bows. "Duke Varghem, It’s good to see you looking well, after yesterday’s delima. I do hope all is well with you. "
After all that’s said and done, he looks at the two of you once more, "Check about what?" as his curiosity has now been peaked. He seems to think about gutting the recent addition but with such close proximity to the nobles, he decides to cut down the bled rabbit and stuff it into the burlap sack with its kin.

The sound of still more horses can be heard, and this group in Varghem colors has several guards as well as an appropriately garbed Lady Carisse, who seems to be having no difficulty keeping her horse in line. As they approach, she slows her horse to a halt, and nods to her family members. "Is it time to be heading home?" she asks, somewhat perturbed by the events that have occurred of late.

Even amid anger and worry, the older Varghem finds a cause for morbid amusement in the commoner's defiance, though his smile is fleeting and no laugh actually escapes him. "A sellsword? Very droll; you certainly brag as well as any mercenaries I've known, though few are so proud of their profession. Warriors, they prefer to say, or adventurers. You're a fool…or just maybe, an honest man."
Tossing his grey head back towards the Duke, Antyllus nods, "These are five men good and true at my back, seasoned against the Corsairs. I picked them for a reason; apart from that, it's your country, nephew, and I'd take your word on whom you'd prefer to trust. What about this jester here? It seems by your account he's better than he looks, and I'm sure if we take him we can pay well enough to keep him that way."
The second, older armed commoner comes into Antyllus's consciousness at about the same time as his niece - his Varghem niece, not the missing Princess - and he seems barely to know whether to berate the one or greet the other; but he settles for courtesy not confrontation this time. "Maybe so, niece. I've no wish to have more than one missing brother's daughter…"

As more nobles do arrive and Roltoff's own explosion of words, the other man easily slides out into the road with a shake of a leg. Despite being seen there's no nod of greeting or bow of preference, as the man clearly seems to be dressed as a priest-though armed. A roll of his shoulder and he begins his walk on towards the direction of Laketown, his steps light-and his whistle soft, following him as he moves. Martis, Adieu.

Nodding a little as he hears that, Pawel looks a bit thoughtful for a few moments. "Perhaps…" he replies to his uncle's words about the sellsword, nodding a little more as he turns to study the man in question for a few moments. His ponderings are interrupted by the arrival of Carisse, and he turns to greet her. "Sister…" he offers with a bit of a smile now, before he adds, "It might be a good idea. I still have a few things I need to take care of in Laketown, but heading back home very soon would be a good idea." Looking over to Antyllus again, he adds, "I believe we would need to coordinate our efforts with the Blue Guard."

Roltoff sees that he's not being directly asked any questions at this time, So he sinches up the burlap sack of the rabbits and then picks up the sack of herbs and wild vegetables and wipes his bloodied dagger off on his leggings as he slips the blade back into his forearm sheath. He seems to ignore the whole Jester comment form Old sourpuss, as he gathers his gear and waits to see what all they might be dealing with. "Duke Pawel, if I may… does this most recent talk have anything to do with the bandits I’m hunting down in this area? If so then I'd be glad to assist but hunting bandits, then the questioning of those who tried to kill you is taking up quite a bit of my time." He holds up a forestalling hand, in a polite manner. "Though if you truly need my skills. I'll do what I can to facilitate you in your time of need." Yep, money is good, and being patient is better as it tends to drive up the price in his book.

Carisse rests lightly atop her mount, as she watches the one fellow leaving. Her gaze goes back to Roltoff, watching him for a moment before she nods to both her relatives. "I am in agreement," she says. "Besides, someone has to go home and tend to things, while you all search. I would offer my assistance, but I think that you all would tell me I need to learn more about scouting first." She is under no delusions about her scouting abilities at the moment. They are somewhat lacking.

"You do lead an exciting life, and keep interesting company, Your Grace," Antyllus remarks to his nephew in a voice torn between a reproof and a jibe, as he continues to examine the young mercenary. Then he shrugs, as if to wash his hands of the business and pass it on to Pawel. In any case, the Duke has made a comment that he finds of more interest. "The messenger who reached me up at the Castle said these Blue Guards were acting most queerly and secretively, nephew. I swear, if this all turns out to be scheme by my royal niece and her guards to hind some secret plan or journey, I'll tan her regal arse myself. With her sire's permission, of course."
Then, colouring just a little, he takes in Carisse's presence again and mutters some insincere apology. More decidedly, he nods and points out, "The Castle's much the best place for you, sweet niece. After all, if anything HAS happened to Aylanora, you'll be wanting to look good for whichever of the princes becomes heir…"

"One meets all kinds of interesting people around here, that's true," Pawel replies with a shrug to Antyllus, with a bit of a shrug, before he nods a little bit. "I think there are a few of them still around in Laketown. I will speak with them." Nodding a little bit as he hears the rest of it, he smiles, "I'm sure your royal brother will let you, if you ask him nicely," he replies to the part about the tanning of the regal arse, before he looks to Roltoff again now. "We are talking about the news of the missing Princess, master Delmort. We need to find her again as soon as possible." Nodding a bit to Carisse again, he offers her a bit of a smile. "We'll all feel safer with you back there," he offers in agreement now.

Having arched a brow at that, Roltoff nods his head. "I see, well I most definitely will do what I can…” He turns to Antyllus and smiles, "Should the price be right." He hefts the bags and says, "Though right now I have a few things I must tend to. Such as getting these rabbits gutted and skinned." He bows to the Lady Carisse, "M'lady a pleasure to see you, and should you wish to improve those scouting skills, I’m sure I would be able to assist in some small way." His tone even and polite as he isn't trying to add anything to the offer, "I find it a nice surprise to meet others who are skilled in the art." A genuine smile as he bows once more and slowly works in the direction of town. "If you all will please excuse me."

"That one only wants one kind of payment, in truth," Antyllus observes with slightly amused asperity as the sellsword slinks off into the trees; and then he looks over at his niece, his mouth still a twisted half-smile - twisted as his leg - and his dark eyes still staring hard. "Good thing you're a sensible girl, niece. More sensible than this bloody princess, your cousin, I suspect. Would you care for an escort back to the Castle with myself and these men?"

Carisse takes a breath, her horse pawing at the ground briefly, and then she nods. "I will head home then. My things are already all packed, as I had thought it might be a good idea. However, I will help with the search if you should need." She smiles briefly, watches Roltoff as he heads out, and then turns back to her uncle and brother. "If you are heading that way, that would be acceptable," she says. "But if not, I am certain we can race there before we are noticed."

Pawel nods a little bit, shrugging a bit as the sellsword takes his leave. Studying where the man left for a few moments, before he shrugs a little bit now. "Perhaps. He seems like a good man, though." A brief pause, before he looks back towards his relatives. "Like I said, I still have a few things I need to take care of in Laketown still, but as sure as those are handled, I will come back home as well." Another brief pause, before he looks to his uncle again. "If you find out something before I get back, send a messenger at once."

"That would be my pleasure, niece," Antyllus replies gravely, "for I'm sick of that lakeside hovel in any case. What did its murky waters ever give anyone but mosquito bites and trouble? We're wolves, and we belong in Wolveshire. Come then, back to our home and hearth. We'll let the leader of the pack have the time he seeks."
That last reference sounds just a little bit mocking, but when Duke Pawel gives a firm order about the messenger, Antyllus nods with immediate approval. He may seem unsatisfied but in fact he enjoys it when his nephew seems to take charge. Then the older wolf turns his steed and prepares to lead off the escort back through the last of the wood, towards Wolveshire.

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