The Bandit King: Two Healers An Army Do Not Make

Two Healers an Army do not make.
Summary: Cristof and Cafell stumble on the bandit's hideaway. Part of the Bandit King TP.
Date: 27 June 2013
Related: None
Players:
Cafell Cristof Thomas Storyteller 

Rhaedan Ruins - Middle - 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.

27 June 1329

The ruins are not a likely destination for most people. The locals already know all that they care to know about the place. Children fear the ruins as a place haunted by ghosts or demons. Adults either give no notice to the place, share their children's fear of it, or wonder why the nobles who own the ground have not cleared it to provide more land for farming. Only a stranger whose curiosity for new sights brought him to this land in the first place, however, such a place is worth visiting.

Walking cautiously, Cristof wanders through the high arch of the portcullis, peering at everything with interest. He looks upward, ad smiles, when a bird perches on the ramparts and chirps. Speaking in a quiet voice, he calls, "Don't worry. I'm not here for you, your nest or your eggs. I want only to see what is here." He wanders further through the entrance hall, still gazing at the crumbling old place.

Outside of the ruined main hall a storm clouds had billowed and gathered over the area collecting strength. The wind picks up and then a crack of thunder rolls, shaking the very foundations of the earth. Seconds pass and a flash of light follows the thunder. The bird in the ruins goes silent. Soon after there is the sound of horses shod hooves striking against the old stone. Another crack of thunder and flash of light, a soft voice timid and quiet speaks to the beasts. "It will be alright Wren and Rose" The hoof beats grow louder and soon a woman and two beasts of burden appear. Outside the sky opens up and it starts to pour.

As the sky opens and the rains start to fall, the two travellers will notice that water does not come cascading into the room, dampening the floors, or otherwise leaks into this room. Some repair has been made on these ruins. An area has been cleared out for bedrolls, and there are several crates and barrels stacked up. A large chair has been brought in and now sits at the ruins of the staircase. Coming closer to it, one will notice that there is a finely made hilt and scabbard there. Taking a closer look, the hilt is ordnate, finely crafted - and obviously made for someone important.

Cristof pauses when the thunder shakes the ruins. He does not appear fearful. He cocks his head to listen to the sounds of rain, and then raises his eyes upward, as if the sound and the absence of falling water have brought him to some conclusion. He takes a few steps further, and the fresh details of the room pique his curiosity. Again, he pauses and listens. After hearing nothing, he takes a slow breath and then calls, "If there is anyone here, by not alarmed. I am a simple healer. I bring no harm to you, but goodwill and my services if you are in need."

A frown deepens and rain drops collected before she entered the ruins drip from her wide brimmed straw hat she and her animals are now in the main hall. She moves to ground tie both her draft horse and donkey. She is dressed a robe that marks her as a priestess. She moves closer to the chair and her eyes fall on Cristof and it is his familiar voice that gives him away. She first addresses him. "Cccristof? You get around." Her words are soft and quiet. Another roll of thunder and flash of light, and the rain comes down harder. Her gaze moves back to the sword and the chair. "It is Bornas Broadsword, very queer that we would find it here. Why would someone leave a sword of the guardian of the Mountain here." She reaches out to touch the hilt.

As Cristoff and Cafell meet up again, the rain continues to fall, a steady beat and pounding on the roof above as lightning again lights up the antechamber. The boxes and barrels contain different symbols. Some Rhaedan - some Merchant's Guild, and quite a few with the tax markings of the House Taniford on them. There is provisions. Dried meats, spirits, jarred fruits. Fresh clothing and gear. Several luxury items. Things that are not needed in a place such as this. A shipment of swords and another has crossbows.

Cristof turns when Cafell calls to him, and inclines his head to her. He smiles. "I would say that both of us are wanderers, sister," he notes. "Our paths cross often, even though the world is wide." He watches her when she approaches the blade on the chair. His eyebrows rise. "The Broadsword of Bornas?" he questions. "Such a thing should not remain in an ancient ruin without some reason." He looks around the area at the other items, and he guesses, "Somenoe has been here recently, or my eyes fail me." He looks back toward the entry hall. "We should not leave with this weather, but we should be watchful. Thieves might hide here. Did you bring your Chosen?"

"No chosen for me today." She frowns as her fingers wrap around the hilt of the sword. "Thieves or someone is getting ready for coming war. Either way I think we may want to brave the weather, than to stay here. That chair and those supplies mean someone may come back this way." Her voice is very quiet. She looks over to where her mount and pack mule are ground tied. "Have a weapon?" She asks him.

Over the din of the rain comes a new sound. Laughter. Mocking, cruel laughter. But it is not at the two already present that the laughter is aimed at. "Step lively, lords and lady!" a voice says as cries of pain and protest ring out. "Come now, ain't ya enjoying the accomodations? Not that ya need to worry! The King will be meetng with yous four right fast, I reckon!" he says.

The voice is loud and comes from a different direction than where the horses and Cristof and Cafell came in from - and without expecting company, the voices are all loud enough that the two will have plenty of time to take cover before whoever it is arrives.

"I do," Cristof confirms, moving his dark cloak enough to reveal the hilt of a dagger in its sheath. "It won't be much against swords like that, but if we come to that, my life will yield to save yours." He steps toward Cafell. "However, as you say, we should go, and leave this place to the owner of such weapons, until we know more about whether they are friends or foes."

That cruel laugh causse Cristof to freeze for a moment, and he glances to Cafell. "Foe, I think," he hisses. He glances around them quickly in an effort to determine the direction of the sound, so that he will know where they should /not/ run.

The sound of cruel voice sends Cafell running towards her mount and pack mule hostility lead and reins are tucked around the pack saddle and the saddle and with a swat of the broadsword like it is a riding crop and a whispered prayer to the guardians she sends both of them running from the ruins. "Hide!" She says to Cristof, she is then scampering to find a hiding place. She keeps the broadsword with her.

Already thinking along those lines, Cristof dives behind a large barrel and crouches in the deep shadows. However, he peeks around the side of the cask to take note of what place Cafell finds for herself. Then he takes a slow, carefully controlled breath and exhales it with equal slowness while he waits.

The fallen stone columns and shadows are what she uses to hide. She is careful to try and hide her footsteps in the dust, making it look like her chosen hiding place has not been disturbed. She silently says prayers in her mind. Her eyes are wide and her nostrils flare. Her hands clasp the broadsword like it is life line. She tries to make herself small and she waits. Her eyes glance over to where she saw Cristof disappear to.

From behind the staircase comes six men - dressed in leathers and cloth, they push forward the small group that they have captured. A middle-aged man, a young woman, and two children, one slightly older than the other are pushed to where the Chair with the Sword is kept. "Rise and come to order and meet the King of Bandits! Fear and protect your valuables!"

With that, from seemingly out of nowhere, a darkly cloasked figure steps out from behind the chair, and moves to take a seat. A cat leaps and jumps into his lap and settles in. "What have you brought me today?" he asks as he looks down over the group of four.

"Nobles, Your Majesticness." one of the thieves replies. "They claim to be cousins of the Royal house."

"They do, do they? How interesting. What say you, good Lord. Are you a noble of the House of Rhaedan?" he asks. As he leans over, one eye is covered by hair, the other is dark green as it stares down at the scared and frightened family.

"Yes!" the greying man says as he steps in front of his wife and two sons. "I am Lord Cayden Rhaedan and this is my family. If you are seeking ransom, I am sure that my cousins will pay handsomely!"

Cristof remains crouching behind the barrel that he chose for his hiding place and eases his head to one side so that he can peek around the wooden barrier. He slows his breathing even more so that he will not make a sound. He frowns at the quartet of captives, especially the terrified children.

Cafells fingers tighten around the hilt of the sword. She continues to pray as she watches from where she was hidden. Her eyes are still wide and sweat from her nerves starts to trickle down the bridge of her nose. She does not move to wipe it away. Instead she stays as still as she can. Her heart is in her throat. She continues to watch, as she is one at this moment and there are many of them. She steals a glance over at Cristof and where he is hiding. Two healers do not an army make, even if one is also a priestess.

"It is not randsom I seek." The Bandit King says with a laugh. "You see, once upon a time, I'd merely taken your coin and sent you on your way. But now - your Prince has drawn blood. He nearly took the life of my wife. And for that, blood must be taken in response." Rising to his feet, he shoos away the cat that was on his lap and starts down the stairs towards the family. "We're going to play a very special game." he says calmly and pushes the Lord out of the way, grabbing the youngest child by the arm.

This motion illicits a scream from their mother as she tries and fails to grab her son. "Please, let my children go!" she pleads, tears spilling from her eyes as her husband grabs her to steady her. "Don't feed these bandits' with your fear." he says to his wife, grabbing her shoulder roughly to hold her closely. The other boy stands behind his mother as his brother is pulled aside.

"So this is the game. We're going to play a matching game. If you can guess the number of fingers I'm holding behind my back, you can let a family member go free. If not, that family member will die. Doesn't that sound like fun?" he asks as he looks down and the boy that shakes his head. "Oh don't worry, you're not going to die." the King says with a smile. "Let's begin with your father, shall we?" he asks as he looks to the boy and holds some fingers behind his back.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Bandit=6 Vs Child=2
< Bandit: Success Child: Good Success
< Net Result: Child wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Bandit=6 Vs Child=2
< Bandit: Good Success Child: Success
< Net Result: Bandit wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Bandit=6 Vs Child=2
< Bandit: Good Success Child: Success
< Net Result: Bandit wins - Marginal Victory

Cristof holds his breath while the bandits declares his intentions, and then descends the steps to take the child roughly by the arm and tear him away from his parents. Cristof bites his bottom lip while the leader of these bandits announces the rules of his hideous game. Cautiously, he looks toward Cafell and shakes his head. He mouths a single word to her: Pray.

She is about to react but common sense and the fact that the two of them do not an army make she sees Cristof and she notices his mouthed words. She keeps her eyes open and she keeps praying this time her lips are moving but no words are coming out. Another flash of lightening, she prays that the rain will come in and the lightening will find a place to roost here. Her fingers are still holding on the hilt of the sheathed sword. She shifts her weight to the balls of her feet just in case she continues to pray. With her free hand she picks up a rock and tosses it away from her but at a corner of the room, hoping to causes another distration to buy them time. After all perhaps the dead are restless.

"Don't worry, son, it'll be alright.." the father encourages his youngest quietly. The timid boy looks from father and back to the bandit and then holds up four shaking fingers.

The bandit in turns withdraws his hand. Holding up four fingers. "Very good!" he says with a laugh that sounds almost warm with it's sound.

The boy, embolden by this victory, starts again, holding up three fingers.

The bandit holds up one. "Oh, so sorry, m'lady." he says.

"Mama!" the boy cries out and the bandit grabs his shoulder. "You have one more round!" he says as he shakes the boy.

The scared boy holds up two fingers, and the bandit says, "Are you /sure/?" The boy shakes his head suddenly, and changes it to five fingers.

And with that, the bandit holds up two fingers. "Awww. So close." he says. "Remember, always trust your gut." he says as he looks to the father. "Take the Lord and boy away.. and take the Lady and other boy to.. finish off."

As two bandits drag off the screaming and roaring father and wailing child, another bandit draws his knife to finish off the lives of the woman and child.

Just when the knife was about to taste the soft, white flesh of the young mother's throat comes that noise from the depths. The King lifts his head, looking around quickly. "With me. You." he points to the bandit. "Finish your task quickly and join us." With that, they move behind that staircase again, disappearing from sight.

This leaves the worried mother and child and a bandit.

"You know.." the bandit coos. "..I'm sure I can have a little fun.." he says, cutting the top string of the woman's corset, opening it - and the boy starts to flail at the bandit. "Leave mama alone!"

The priestess unsheathes the sword the broken sword. She holds now in her hand. She then lowers her voice is to quiet whisper. "Care to join us?" She whispers loudly at the bandit. She moves to pick up another stone with her other hand and she tosses it near him. Another flash of lightening moves across the sky and for a moment the world is bathed in blue light. "We are hungry." She starts to creep from her spot and move in the shadows

The bandit hears that voice, and he pushes the boy to the ground. "I don't know who y-you are!" he growls, holding his blade to the woman's throat as he backs towards the throne and looks around with wild eyes. "Who-whoever you are, show yourself and I'll go easy on you!" he demands, his back to the Priestess as he backs up again.

In the meantime, the Lord and his son are forced away at sword point and out into the rain.

Inside, the other boy seems to be ready to fight the bandit, grabbing a branch and holding it threateningly. "Let my mama go!" he demands again.

Silent and with fearful eyes she moves forward with the broken sword. She moves from the shadows now. She towers above six feet her lips continue to move with silent prayers. She is dressed in her priestly robes. Her hand tightens around the hilt that holds two feet of broken sword she tries to slip behind him to hit the bandit on the head and knock him out since he has his back to her. Her eyes are wide and sweat seems to pour from her body.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Cafell=Bludgeons Vs Bandit=2
< Cafell: Good Success Bandit: Success
< Net Result: Cafell wins - Marginal Victory

Ridding up from Laketown, Thomas found the spooked horse and mule. Following their muddy tracks he has come to the old Ruins. After hearing voices from the other side of the door, Thomas has given time to pause and assess the situation. Once he thinks things have gone along far enough he Walks through the door, his sword already drawn "Well now, what do we have here? Seems just wrong to be pressing for the death of a mother and a child." His eyes dart to the hidden women very briefly before they turn to the bandits. The sword is held easily, a flick of his wrist and it rolls in his hand once.

WHACK! The bandit gets solildly clubbed by the Priestess and tumbles to the ground as he is knocked out cold. The drops to the ground, his senses completely taken leave of him as he lies there in a lump as the woman turns around in fear. And then she takes in the sight of the Priestess, and she opens her mouth as if she is about to scream in total panic.

"Look mama, Altherea has come to save us!" With Cafell's tanned skin and dark hair, it is easy to make that assumption, isn't it?

The two bandits, having heard the commotion and starting to come back inside, now find themselves sandwiched between Priestess and .. this newcomer. "When the four Chasms did this place become the new Inn of Brivey?" one of them says as they draw their daggers. "Let's kill em!"

Even for a large man, Thomas moves rather quickly. So to the nearest bandit he heads. His sword is held at the ready, "May the four have mercy on you," he tells the bandit. "For I shall not. You do not threaten a mother and her child." Then with a two handed swing he attacks the bandit very agressively. A swing from his right to his left, not worrying about the weapon the other holds. His is an attack to finish the bandit off.

The towering priestess moves to get between the boy his mother and the bandit. She is sweating and she looks little green. She uses that broadsword it is not a weapon she is used to but it is all she has at the moment. Her lips continue to move in silent prayer. She raises her broken sword to block and to hopefully cause the bandit to lose his sword. Her whole focus at this moment is keeping them and her alive. The relief she felt when she saw Thomas quickly slipped away with the announcement that they need to be killed.

At Cafell's eerie diversion of a disembodied voice and a clattering stone, Cristof grins. Tilting his head slightly to project his voice toward the ceiling, he adds, in a lower, creaking tone, "Who are we? Do you thick that this place built itself? You stay in our home. You will pay rent." While he voices the words, he unsheathes his long dagger, and slides around the barrel. He keeps in the shadows to target the bandit who is preparing to slash at Cafell from behind. When he is ready, he lunges forward and swings the dagger.

<COMBAT> Young Boy attacks Bandit1 with Bludgeon and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 attacks Thomas with Broadsword - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Cafell with Dirk and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit2 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Cristof attacks Bandit1 with Dagger - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Darrin has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

A grunt is forced from Thomas as the bandit connected. Thank the Four for providing him such good armor. The the feeble attack from the bandits doesn't slow the greatsword of Thomas. The big blade connects and the pathetic armor that the bandit wore is no match. All the while he fights Thomas's features have taken on a dark look. Gone is the softly spoken Guardian. Replaced by the soldier he has trained all his life for. "Yield, and you shall suffer no more. Fail to do that and I shall cut you down." He tells the bandit, his sword ready for the next attack. But it hinges on the actions of the bandit that faces off before him. Should the bandit be foolish enough to fight, Thomas will once again strike from the high guard. Just from left to right.

At the sound of Cristof's voice, the first bandit is caught off-guard but he is able to sidestep both of he attacks from the Priestess and the surprising boy swinging the stick at him. However, he was not prepared for Cristof, as his dangerous grin turns into a surprsed and pained one as the bandit feels the kiss of the man's blade in his back and he cries out in pain.

With Thomas drawing his sword, the second bandit draws his own sword, and swings at Thomas, smacking the man in the hand, but doing little damage except to knick the armor as the bandit growls. "This is our nest, and soon there will be more of us!" he says, as he starts to cry out a warning, just to feel the cut of the blade to his own chest and his cry of alarm is cut off, blood in the man's mouth that he spits it out.

In the meantime, the Bandit that Cafell brained earliier starts to move towards his feet, drawing a blade as he prepares to stab Cristof in the back in defense of his companion.

Althogh healing is his work, Cristof learned long ago that certain times call for him o lay that aside and defend his comrade. He frowns and slashes with his dagger again, aiming to disarm and injure the bandit who received his first blow. He glances to Thomas, and then snarls to the bandit, "If one of our friends found us, more will follow."

The bandit missing has Cafell taking a step back. She moves forward again with her blade in hand she manages to stop praying to try and call out to the boy. "bboy move to your mother!" She moves keep herself between them and the bandits she winces for both Thomas and Cristof. She raises the blade and to attack and keep him off kilter and away from the boy and his mother.

"Kay!" the boy says, trusting Cafell as he runs to his mother. "Kick his ass!" he calls out as he clings to his mama's leg.

<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Cafell with Dirk but Cafell DODGES!
<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Dagger - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Bandit2 attacks Thomas with Broadsword - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit2 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Cristof attacks Bandit1 with Dagger - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword and MISSES!

The bandit behind Cristof strikes true, his blade into the back of the man. "Die!" he hisses as the blade hits home. The bandit facing off against Thomas swings his blade around, and slams into the neck armor, attempting to remove his head, but the armor saves him.

And it seems that Cafell and and her bandit are having a swish fest as the two keep their distance, attacking and defending against each other.

Staggering, slightly, from the blow to the neck. The strike throws off his own swing and not nearly enough power remained to bite through the armor of the Bandit. Thomas moves a bit back, Allowing his sword's greater length to come into play "Well, so you can sort of handle a weapon. I am accepting that you care not to yield. Then your fate lays in the hands of the Four. From my studies they do not take kindly to threatening a mother and child." And that quickly Thomas moves in, another high guard attack, again from the left to right.

Cristof swings at the bandit, but in doing so exposes his chest so that the bandit's dagger rips a visible gash through the dark cloak and shirt, and draws a line of blood across his left shoulder. Cristof gasps from the searing pain. He staggers foreward but his right hand still clutches the dagger in clear warning that he is not defeated yet. He turns on his opponent, fueled with adrenaline and ready to attack the man again.

Another swing of the broadsword and Cafell is dancing out of the way. Her eyes are still wide but with the boy clinging now to his mother she feels a little more confident in lack of sword skill. She moves to towards her attacker again to slice and dice at him with her broken sword. At least she hopes to. The two of them are locked in a dance. "Ttthere are more, they have the father and another child. We should leave three to not an army make." Her voice is breathless, but she gets out her message to them.

<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 attacks Thomas with Broadsword but Thomas DODGES!
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Cafell with Dirk - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit2 with Greatsword - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Cristof attacks Bandit1 with Dagger - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Cafell attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword and MISSES!

As Cafell gets out her warning, the bandit slashes across her arm, cutting a wound into it. Just as the bandit that was attacking Thomas prepares to swing, Thomas' sword cuts deep into the man's chest and the blade falls away from his hands to the ground as he drops, his breath shallow as he cries out as blood pools in his mouth. And for that moment, the pathway out is opened for the group. The lady and child don't even wait for Cafell to finish talking before they run towards the entrance.

Deeper in the ruins, the alarm has gone out and there are several voices that cry out as more bandits - a lot more bandits start coming towards those stairs.

The attack was easily fore seen. Thomas had easily stepped around it and delivered his own blow. As the mother and child run out Thomas looks at Dafell and then to Cristof. "There are more? Well the sounds of it they are coming. We should get out of here. We can get help and go after the father and the other child." He moves to provide help, first to Cafell, she is Temple. "I have this one. Go, save yourself. And so Thomas then steps ready to fight the next bandit, but he sees the one with no one attack him and goes for that one instead. "I suggest you flee," he says over his shoulder to the pair. Then his sword comes up, ready to take on the bandit.

Cristof grimaces and nodes to Thoams. "Yes!" he says simply, and his eyes dart toward the entrance. "Let's go! My horse is nearby, in hiding." Then he staggers toward the doorway. "Bring her quickly!" he calls. "Both of us are healers."

Tears unwanted sting her eyes as the blade bites into her arm. Cafell now desperate takes her sword and moves to use it like a club. She moves closer towards into the deadly dance. "Yyou can ffall too Chosen." She gets out once she finds her voice again. She moves to take one last swing at the bandit. "None will save them if you fall too, it will take us all. You need to come now." She voices it like an order. "The boy and the mother could be retaken." She gets out before her attention is drawn back. Blood starts to seep into her robe.

<COMBAT> Bandit 3 attacks Cristof with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 attacks Thomas with Broadsword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Cafell with Dirk - Light wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Thomas attacks Bandit 3 with Greatsword - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Cristof attacks Bandit1 with Dagger - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Cafell passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit1 has been KO'd!

As Cristof takes out one of the bandits, there now two bandits down. The third bandit turns and runs towards the stairs. Why? Because more bandits are starting to come out from behind the stairs. For the moment, however, the path out is clear for the priestess, chosen, and wanderer to flee out of the ruins properly.

The wandering healer sees that opening, and heads for it, but not without urging Thomas and Cafell to come, too. "Hurry!" he calls. "The storm will be our ally! Into the night!"

"Run!" comes the command from Thomas. As he turns to leave himself he reaches out with one big arm and snatches up the Priestess and begins to carry her as his long strides carry him from the hall towards the door "I shall see you safe, Priestess. Do not fear."

The another bite in the arm and she is not arguing when Thomas pulls her from the fray. She still holds on to the that broken Boras broadsword like her life depends on it. Adrenaline is keeping her moving and reacting.

And as the group escapes with the Lady and child, the storm is their ally in this case. Already, the Lord and other child are waiting where Thomas told them to wait for him. The reunited family is all smiles and tears and gratitude, and there will be rewards later - but for now, it is time to put as much space between the group and the ruins as possible.

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