Unexpected meeting in the woods

Unexpected meeting in the woods
Summary: A waif of the woods was looking for a prey, but she found a strange noble man somewhere deep in the woods. There were some philosphy, some sparring and some fancy toys, while at the end a deal was made.
Date: 24/05/2012
Related: None
Krea Maldred 

Deep Woods
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.

Fri May 24, 1329

In the deepest darkest wood Sir Maldred Corellan Westmark sits near a tiny fire he has lit almost invisible as other creatures mark their passage. He warms his hands and cooks the small cony that he has caught on a spit. All in all he seems like a sellsword - but Maldred is a little bit more than that - and seeming simple is but tactic.

A thin and fragile at the first look creature, who saw not more than eighteen winters walks through the darkest woods, intently looking around. Her tress wavy hair covers girl's shoulders. Even if her plump cheeks are grubby and her rosebud lips are chapped, and her cheeks a little bit muddy, her face looks so pretty. However, a sharp dagger, which she clenches in her strong hand, betreys, that she is not so fragile as it looks.
She is dressed in a leathern dusty trousers and shirts, which has some old blood spots. The young woman prowls through the bushes as a beast, who looks his prey. She carries a buckler shield and a bag on her shoulders. Quite a good dirk dangles near the belt on her incredibly slim waits.
However, Krea is forced to stop all in surprise, when she blasts through some bushes and sees a man in the middle of the woods. She points with a dagger to him "Who are you?" she coolly asks.

Maldred warms his hands barely looking at the girl though he migh have well been aware of her progress through the woods. "Something of a demand from me given you have not given me your own. Are you hunted perhaps worse than me?" He stands casually and plants a hand on one of his two swords on the same side. Grey blue eyes look at the forest behind the girl impersonally.

Krea frown a little bit, following each move of the man in front of her. She slowly takes a few steps closer, observing how he is settled. "First time I met a person in here," she states. The dagger is lowered, but a few rays of sun, who can find a way inside the woods through all the leaves, still play with a sharp edge of the dagger. Krea scratches a huge scar on her neck with her free seamy hand.

"You travel alone?" Maldred asks - turning back to the fire without caution. "Impressive. A small and comely girl - lightly armed. Do you have a death wish?"

A cold and even ironical laugh ripples through the woods "Oh, man…" finally Krea manages to utter, when a strange laugh leaves her heart "You already look at the dead. Who was dead, can not die the second time," she explains and incredulously glances at the man "Though, you should be more careful, calling strangers comely and girlly…You know," she shrugs and gives an edge of her dagger a stroke.

"Stay your hand from the dagger young stripling - I am Sir Maldred Corellan Westmark. The name might mean nothing to you - even if the house does. But you do not want me as an enemy even for a second. Were that I wish arrogance would make such a boast - but I am merely stating a fact. A lass as comely and skilled as you does not deserve to die upon the random blade of better experience."

Krea shrugs "I am not afraid of having enemies, you know," the young woman takes a seat on the old tree stump. "I know your house name, yes. Heard about it," she puts her shield and bag on the ground, taking a small piece of leather from the bag before it. She starts sharpening her dagger in it. "However, to be clear, I even can guess, that I may be older than you, man. Also, I am not sure, who is more skilled," Krea grins coolly "Wanna try to know it?"

Krea gets hit with a powerful look of sadness, "A beautiful and brilliant as you no doubt are mistress - I am not a wayfarer - I am one of the unspoken of knights who killed Corsair heroes whilst they were mounted with one of the well made but tiny swords that are beside me. If you challenge me - be prepared to die. And die over nothing."

Krea just glances at the man, while still sharpening her dagger. "You don't have to kill a person in a simple sparing…" drawls the young common woman. She jumps on her feet again "You think, that I am fragile woman… A mistress you say!" she laughs quite coolly "I quite easily can kill a man. But I will not go with him in bed. Never. So, stop using unnecessary words, okay?" She stands firmly on the ground, even if she is a short and slim as an ant. "Spar with me. I miss a worthy training partner. I miss some blood, you know. You can be as cruel as you wish with me!" Now she looks quite excited and full of eager to get into a fight.

"I'd never attempt that mistress."Maldred maintains, "It happens on its own - people either kill or conquer eachother in different ways. Nd regret the conquest be it mutual or otherwise."

"You talk too much, man," Krea hides her dagger in the high bootleg "Do you want to spar or not? I already missed my hunting, while I was listening to you… So if you will not spar with me, I will go to find better things to do than listening for your explanations."

"Some furious explanation for a retreat? Girl? Lets fight. But not ask for explanation later…" Says Maldred.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Krea=Swords Vs Maldred=Swords
< Krea: Good Success Maldred: Success
< Net Result: Krea wins - Solid Victory

When finally a man agrees to spar with a young woman, she withdraws her dirk from scabbards and stands in front of him, waiting, while he will be ready. When he has his sword in hands, Krea examins each move of him, slowly prowling closer near her prey as an elegant cat. She is so short and small and that lets her be so quickly. After some time of just following the man with her gaze, she finally makes a spring in the right side, stabbing at his ribs.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=swords Vs Krea=Swords
< Maldred: Amazing Success Krea: Good Success
< Net Result: Maldred wins - Crushing Victory

And so in the exchange Maldred contains what might have been a fatal strike to his ribs with a shorter blade hacking out at Krea's arm and ribs - a deliberate attempt to stop the exchange. Maldred did not care to much for killing the girl - not if she fought so well.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Krea=Swords Vs Maldred=Swords
< Krea: Great Success Maldred: Good Success
< Net Result: Krea wins - Solid Victory

Krea grins ironically, when she manages to hit the man, who was so sure, that he will win, that seeing her dirk hitting his ribs, gives a lot of pleasure for the young woman. However, he quite quickly answers to her attack, hitting her unarmoured arms. A blood shows up, however, there are no a slight frown about it in Kreas face. It looks like, that she wouldnn't be hit. However, a few drops of blood start rolling down on the ground. But she, being so quick leaps to the left side and finds herself in the back of the Maldred. For this reason she gets a chance to strike straight to his back, grining once more, when she hits him.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=Swords Vs Krea=Swords
< Maldred: Good Success Krea: Good Success
< Net Result: Krea wins - Marginal Victory

And so swrods cross again - Maldred is frustrsted - a sliver of blood is spilled on his side oif the sliding blades. Nonetheless Maldred remains frustratingingly noncommital. Perhaps is doesn't matter - some random girl fighting or even killing him so far from whatever he counts as home.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Krea=Swords Vs Maldred=Swords
< Krea: Great Success Maldred: Success
< Net Result: Krea wins - Crushing Victory

After successful attack to his back, the man tries to hit her once more, but she is quick enough to evade his strike. She stops for a few moments, still following each move of the man intently. It is obvious for her, that the man is frustrated and maybe even surprised about her succesfull attacks. That disturbs him from making the right hit. Krea utters "You are quite good. Look what you done to my arm," coolly point the young woman at the blood "So, a I still just beautiful teenager, who shouldn't wander in the forest alone?" with these words Krea once more hits a man straight to his left arm.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Maldred=Swords Vs Krea=Swords
< Maldred: Success Krea: Great Success
< Net Result: Krea wins - Solid Victory

At the end of the day - Maldred counts himself not exactly humbled since he does not know what he has staked. So a couple or even more brilliant strikes have not effected even a solid hit and his antagonist is behind him. "I'm not sure what you mean - I think you are the ogre in this story Mistress. I have fought fairly enough. Disappointingly so. Not to underscore my opponents but I am indeed who I claim to be. Nothing short of the dread knight who fought such duels as he was forced to. And won. It seems though is not capable of besting a waif in the forest - and one who he has even openly remarked on the beauty of. It's time to end it then…" He pauses, "I think you win. There is little ground here to give however. I can reward you soundly enough if you will allow me."

Krea stands straight and proudly "Fair enough," she says and bows her head to the man "You hit me good. Once, but really good," she explains and hides her dirk in the scabbards. She takes a seat on the old tree stump again. "What type of reward you are talking about?" a waif of the forest curiously glances at the man. However, she takes her dagger just to tear some of fabric of her shirt. It exposes her abdomen full of tine and huge scars. However, she does not care about it. She just ties the rag on her blooding arm.

"All that I have - a simple sword - I spent all of my coin on the best and most manueverable armor - the best shields - the best helmets. Swords are the most expensive item. And you casn achieve much in coin simply by paying for a mere sword. I have two of the same - and it seems a poor prize but to surrender one of the two I have before I depart. It's nothing magical - just the best sword and scabbard that money can buy and nothing more." Faster than Krea can think the item is drawn scabbard and all. And delivered into her hands. But Maldred is gone almost as soon as the gift is offered.

When a fancy toy appears in her arms, Krea grins from ear to ear. This type of smile is rare guest in her face. When she opens her mouth to say something, the man is gone. A woman looks around, trying to understand which way he gone. However, even if she is a waif of the forest, she doesn't have too much time just wait or look for strangers. She just shrugs and quite proudly latches a new fance toy in scabbards near her belt. She even chuckles, when her look slips from the left side with sword, to the right side with dirk and to her bootleg with hidden dagger. Krea firmly ties the rag on her wound and leans to take her things from the ground.

Whilst Krea examines her new toy Maldred has done an about face - humiliation might have been enough to push him into permanaent exile but for the messenger. Krea proves interesting enough a slap in the face to turn him around. Whilst she admires her new toy Maldred almost scandilously admires her. His calloused hand despite her soundly besting him takes Krea's chin and angles her face one way then the other quickly before retreating from the gesture almost flacidly - as though things were made worse after his hiding by the mere examining of her, "Where do you come from girl? And why are you in such rags?"

When a man sneaks up to her unexpectedly, she turns quickly at him with some caution as expecting that he will attack her or something. For this reason, her hand slips to the pommel of her new toy, but at that moment man touches her chin and examins the young woman as she would be a stud or a hunting dog. Krea frowns a little bit and withdraws from the noble one. "Why are you acting like this?.." she mumbles a little bit confused "I am not a horse, which you can buy…" she squats a little bit, just to take her bag from the ground. She puts it on her shoulder, but her eyes each moment stares at the man "Brivey," she answers "You called me waif of the forest…I don't think you need an answer about my rags…"

Maldred withdraws no further than he has already looking at the girl. "I said no such thing about you. I labelled you a beauty and wondered as to your presence here. You did not believe me and proceeded to pound the crap out of me. But I maintain the truth of my initial assertion. You are not a "wolf of the forest" but something rarer. Do you know what beauty is?"

Krea frowns once more "It looks like, that you are teasing me, ser," the young woman shakes her had and point at her nude abdomen, because half of her shirts was teared to cover her wound. There are lots of scars on her belly. After this, her hand points at girl‘s neck and finally she shows him her seamy hands "You call this beauty?" Krea frowns even more "Ser, me an beauty… These two words are never close to each other," now she puts her shield on her shoulders too. "You saw what I can do, do not expect to get some pleasure from me…" and she takes a few more steps back, once more touching a pommel of a new sword.

Maldred takes two steps forward to Krea's one back, "A little less than ambitious and almost insulting. Why are you not the one seeking to take her pleasure from me?" He shakes his head almost nonchlantly. "You point to some scars - but I ask you again what do you think beauty is? Have you taken a long look in a clear body of water uncritically lately? Indulge me and I will make my point. I ask of you but one thing."
"Ser," now quite firmly states Krea and takes step closer to him. However, her look is just coolly, without any emotions. She pronounce each word very clearly and slowly "I do not have time to think about beauty. Man in a fancy clothes, hidden inside his castle can let such pleasure for himself. I have to worry about my food, drink and finding my brother."

Bluntly and ironically Maldred states, "Then you blunt your sword. Beauty is something very simple. In women it is thick lips large eyes and a proportionate upturned nose. Throw in a reasonable bust and shapely hindquarters and you have beauty. As crude as that sounds. Now I find myself confronted by a woman possesed not only of that aforementioned beauty but of a mission. You wish to find your brother? Perhaps we could help eachother?"

Now she more curiously glances at the man "How can you help me with this?" She does not react to the explanation of the beauty, just because it is way less important than her brother. "And what do you mean for each other? How I can help you?"

"Why don't you draw that sword I gave you?" Maldred says sitting down upon a log nearby - obviously being rather vague about his argument for now.

She raises an eyebrow and slowly withdraws her new toy. "You want a revange?" Krea grins.

"Just look at it. Appraise it. For what it is worth." Says Maldred.

Her green eyes slips through the each edge oof the sword, she stares at that expensive thing in her hands and even sighs, letting for a few seconds a sadow of some admiration glint in her eyes. "Sooo…" drawls the young woman.

"I spoke of beauty - you might notice your own reflection in the swords blade - a blade polished so well you can see your own face in it. It is the sword that killed Bulgar and his son - though if you tried to sell it none would believe you at its value." After a while, "So the way I see things is - you could run away from here - sell the sword for whatever you could to whomever believed it was yours. Or you could keep the sword - join me as my squire. Take what you would achieve in wealth and more without having to sell the sword. And use what monies and time you can garner from me to find your brother. With but a single caveat…"

Krea's eyes run from the sword to the man, who stands in front of her. "A squire…" she whispers and gives to the edge of the fancy sword a gentle stroke "Or some money…" she sighs and turns her eyes to the man "Or maybe I can keep your sword for myself and just do what I do… Not being a squire?" One more sigh leaves her throat. "My father always wanted for this…" she drawls under her nose silently. The sword is put back in fancy scabbards and she extends her hand "Deal. I will go with you. /But/ it's just business and I am your squire, but not a woman, get it?" Krea grins widely, obviosuly she is very happy, getting such an offer. "Though… I may be your squire and guard at the same time. You see how I fight!" Krea teases a man boldly, still waiting if he shakes her hand.

Maldred takes her hand fimly enough, "Perhaps - but I think you might find yourself at a disadvantage when this is being kissed." He says indicating her hand. "Yes a squire - forget your rags - you will ahve the best equipment that coin can buy." To add to the enigma, "And don't worry about guarding me. I have had but six consecutive assassination attempts on my person that have failed. I trust you because you could have carried it out but have not." Looking at Krea with admiration, "Frankly what I see in you is someone who the enemies in my house might think a 'soft' target - only to find someone more formidable than me." Canting his head, "Guard yourself and you will guard me well enough…"

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