That was that. All of the unfriendly ogres lay still on the bloodied streets as the fog cleared and no other bandit stood wrestling with any of their allies. With any hope the line of archers guarding nearer the temple caught a few of the fleeing cutthroats but for now they couldn't count it as part of their victory. Cerile stood with a grin cleaning his weapon, Treg huffed his way over to the wearbear and gave him a kick before growling and sheathing his steel, Jamdek stood quiet as he observed the field of Leahaven. The others that had survived were similarly gathering their bearings now that the fight was finished and fog dispersed.
While the templar that had made his way closer spoke directly to Varena, something Jamdek would respect and frankly prefer, Cerile was the first to pipe up possibly a little more cheerily than one would expect. "Quite a few less than the bandits," he started, practically bounding up as he sheathed his sword. "Though of them all I can't believe he survived," the man added with half a sigh as he made the slightest indication to the terrible smiley assassin currently inspecting corpses.
"Essi's still across the river, some of those bandit riders fled her direction," Jamdek spoke in a gruff tone, "Best someone follows up." He didn't mean for it to be a suggestion of doing for someone else, which became apparent as he made to leave southward. There was still a hideout to discover, of which Nelyis was currently working on with the capture of those from a few streets over.
Post by The Confidant on Mar 24, 2016 15:05:14 GMT -7
Varena stood over the beast she'd slain, sword torn fromt he beasts arm. it wasn't a sense of regret, or even a sense of loss, that kept her in place, it was sheer irritation and anger. The beast welling up in her mind was denied a reason to continue, other than to simply rage needlessly. but it did so affect her all the same as she took a few steps away. She was soaked armor to face in the splatterings of red from her giant victim. She didnt even care to notice the other ogre kick the fallen in contempt, instead stepping away several meters and comint to a stop. teeth grit in annoyance as she bit down on her inner urges.
When the tmeplar approached however, and got too close Varena half turned, almost too swiftly, she caught herself mid motion, blade in hand, instead striking the chestplate of his armor witht he pommel of her cleaver, not roughly, but enough for the sound of it to be heard. Her head turned, a scowl printed on the half of her face that could be seen, fury in her eyes as she growled lowly, "Dont approach me right now." Varena warned, pressing on the blade to shove him back before she turned in the direction of the bandits she'd left in the hands of Nelyis.
Jaundem passed by the templar, knocking his shoulder with the back of his hand, "Dont take it personal, y'actually got'er on a good day," He stated with a grim chuckle, "An unfortunate loss here," Came Rugers voice as he lifted up one fallen young mercenary, "I believe this young one was training for knifework.." He muttered, pulling out what looked like a crossbow bolt, he raised his single brow at it and stared over at the drunkard. If he didnt know any better these were the same bolts that fool was firing.. But be that as it may it was done in smoke, accidents could happen.. "If I know our lady in red, however, the pain for these poor fools is far from over.."
Varena didnt take long to find Nelyis and the bandits that had been captured, She loomed over the beaten men and glared down at them with the same fury that had been welling up in her during the end of that battle. It didnt take much more than striking her blade down int he ground beside her before she pulle dout her hunting knife and pinned one tot he ground, he let out a surprised shout as she cut his bonds free initially, however she knelt aheavy knee on his back and pulled his arm up, staring silently at the other men, those roused enough to watch at least, "Talk." She barked at the man squirming beneath her, however he had no way of moving, "Or I break the next one." "The next wh-" The man started, she grabbed the smallest of his fingers and wrenched it backward, the crack was loud, audible and was followed by a scream from the man, "I dont know anything!" He managed to blubber out, of course his responce was met with the sound of yet another crack, and he screamed again, "Lets try this again. Talk, or I break the next one.. Now you bastards came from somewhere and I want to know where."
The man underneath Varena took what breath he could before he yelled, "I'm not telling you bugger all!" He proclaimed, Varena glared down at the defiant bandit wrenched his arm and thrust her other hand into his elbow. The crackling pop of the arm being broken in half was quite audible and the scream from the man ran down the streets, it could give any straight-backed soldier a chill down their spine, "That's one arm down," She muttered, shifting and looking down at the man, his eyes were wide, but he wasn't moving. It looked like the shock of it had stopped him thinking entirely. With barely a second thought she took her hunting knife and jammed it into the side of the man's neck, getting off him, lifting him and tossing him aside as she eyed her next victim. She loomed over them again, silhouetting herself against the white of the clouds, "Well then, gentlemen, you now understand how the game works. And we're going to keep playing until some-one puts an end to it.." She stated calmly, turning the hunting knife in her hand and going for the next man. She'd go through as many as it took until some-one finally talked..
A sudden coughing rang out in the petrified silence, originating from one bandit in particular who was hog-tied face down. He struggled for a moment as though coming awake, though when he managed to roll over onto one side the calm, steady look he fixed Varena with suggested he had been anything but asleep. Playing dead, most likely, though a wound on his now-exposed side suggested it wasn't done wholly out of cowardice.
"A game, ye say? Heh... I love games. Is it cards? Or hoodman's blind?" He grinned widely. "Or... prisoner's base? I do so love me that one, I do."
It didn't take long for the other captives to chime in. "Shut up ya dolt!", "Filthy backbiter!", "Is he really that stupid?" None of it phased the bandit any. He wiggled and struggled, trying to get into something of an upright or sitting position but ultimately failing.
"I don't like losing, y'see. Hate it. Spent me whole life tryin'a... well, reckon you don't care about that none. Yer playin' to win." He glanced around, meeting the disapproving glares of his fellows in bonds. "And it looks to me like you've already won the first round. How'd you like a leg up on the second?"
"I'mma cut yer throat out Dale!" It was another of the prisoners, one who seemed content to struggle fruitlessly against his bonds in an effort to kill the bandit who seemed about to give them all up.
"No, no please, I'll talk!" Another spoke up, this one clearly desperate. "Just let me go and I'll tell you whatever you--"
"Fear and torture are the quickest ways to make men lie, y'know. It's a tricky game, that." Dale continued, talking right over the other man. "But this lot wouldn't even have to. See, we've got camps set out in the woods right south of here, maybe a dozen of 'em--"
"You blighted sorner!" The cry of disbelief and fury from one of the brigands all but confirmed the man's words.
"-- and if you let 'em they'll lead you straight to 'em... one or two, anyways. Anything to save their scrawny hides. Suppose I'm not one to object, though, seein' as I'm doin' the same. Unlike this lot, though, I actually know where the place you're really looking for is." The man grinned. "If the rules of the game permit... I'd like to make adeal. Please."
Cerile froze in his tracks, broad smile wiped off his face as their horned lady wheeled around and lightly struck the templar; of who the cheery mercenary had just bounded up to. He looked, a little wide eyed and confused, to Varena then to the baffled templar, the two left in shocked silence as Varena trampled off back west. Juandem's passing reanimated them, Cerile watching the group disperse to attend to their own priorities. He was just thankful that it hadn't been the sharp end that had come at them.
Daven Sandtracker had crept his way to the battlefield, strolling along with quick glances to the fallen. Treg had reverted back to a more standard ogre form, making to loot the usable pieces of armor from his two heavy plated kin as well as any other valuables they may have been carrying. Jamdek was already halfway out of sight, disappearing southward at a quickened pace to follow up with their ranger and if she was able to track any of those fleeing horsemen. "Yeaaah..." the swashbuckler croaked quietly, "I think I'll be staying out of her way for a bit."
It didn't take much brain to recognize she should stay out of Varena's way as the giant woman made for the restrained bandits. The rogue halfling remained quiet, keeping the way clear and hanging back to let the half ogre do her thing; wincing as bone snapped. Nelyis was rather impressed with the bandit's resolve, and despite the greasy talker rubbing her the wrong way she was thankful he was willing to divulge the info. It saved everyone from further torture.
"Just what sort of deal are we talking?" A flicker of a grin trickled along her lips at how the bandit ended their request. 'Please'. It hadn't sounded very pleading, more like a mockery. Nelyis didn't press further though, knowing Varena had a better chance of controlling the situation. A small thieving halfling didn't exactly impose much intimidation for this type of negotiation.
Last Edit: Mar 29, 2016 9:39:43 GMT -7 by The Maven
Post by The Confidant on Apr 9, 2016 18:46:43 GMT -7
Varena stopped dead once the conversation started, she listened patiently, waiting as they hashe dout words between themselves, the anger of his would-be comrades and the man unveiling a few truths, he was trying to buy his way out with his words, however as Nelyis finished, Varena's motions became more direct as one by one she slit the throats of the remaining living bandits and pushed them tot he ground, leaving only the talker alive and broad, malicious grin on her face behind the scarf as she towered over the last man, "You seem to be mistaken about what my intent has been.." Varena replied, chuckling a little as she kneeled down slowly to come to eye level with the man, "This was not torture, it was a selective execution.. Out of all you worthless excuses for human beings I knew one would talk, there's always one of you, doesnt like losing, wants a way out, whatever excuse he can think of to not feel so guilty for selling out his fellow men." Varena let out another chuckle, her shoulders twitching slightly s she did so, head lowered before she glared at the one named Dale again, "Professional torturer I am not, I know a few people who could poke and prod you in every way imaginable for months until you're crying every last little detail in the small hope that you'll be given the sweet release of death." Almost as if on cue, Brianna practically materialized from around a corner, grinning in the direction of the man, fingers playing softly with a needle that shone as it twirled between her fingers, "You're not in a position to cut a deal, in fact your position grew worse the moment you opened your mouth. The most you'll get is not suffering death at my hands, you're still one of many unforgivable fools that attacked innocent people in this city, you contributed to their suffering. My part of this deal is that I'll leave the judgments and deals made to them in my stead, believe me when I say that's the sweetest deal I've ever offered any of your kind. If your information is good; I might even put a word in for you." She stood up straight again, adjusting her scarf, "However if it's bad; I'll have you found and taken by one of my aforementioned associates.. And then you'll spend the last of your days screaming."
A long silence fell over the last bandit, his eyes casting across the red-flowing corpses of his prior fellows once he felt himself permitted to remove them from the fierce gaze of the half-ogress. There was fear in those eyes, no mistake -- anyone who could see a dozen men cut down in cold blood and not flinch was, apparently, at least a few shades colder of a criminal than the Red Scarf's unlucky prisoner -- but, interestingly, no pity for the fallen. He slowly looked Varena's way once more.
"...You're a professional, that I'll not mistake, an' good to yer word no doubt." There was a pause. "I've no desire to cross ya -- not now, and not later. This lot? Now that's a different story."
"Name's Ackley, Ackley Durwood -- these miserable sotters got to call me 'Dale' 'cuz they ain't got two smarts b'tween 'em an' even less to trust. You I'll tell straight: I ain't no bandit. Fence, yes; thief, sure; blackmarketeer... well, catch me on most Thursdays in Sennatare and I'll have the loveliest trinkets you can imagine." He cast another gaze in the direction of the dead. "Didn't come here by choice, nope. Thought it'd be good business sellin' to this lot when I caught wind of their lil' operation. Next thing I know the meat-heads running things decide I'd seen too much, that I'd either join 'em full out -- and, not inconsequentially, 'donate' my wares to their 'cause' -- or join the worms underground. I don't expect it make much difference to you, but there it is. I ain't bandited no one; was trying to pick me way into one of the shops to hide out and resupply when all the ruckus went down. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong crowd."
"You want what I want: to see these blighters on the long end of a short rope. And I don't want anything you won't want yourself: to lead you to their hidey-hole and see it burn. Thing is," He tried again to get himself sat upright, wincing in pain as he twisted the wrong way. "Ack!" He took a deep breath. "Thing is, they wasn't wrong about me seein' too much. One way in, hidden and full of traps -- traps I know me way past and can disarm for ya."
"Now I ain't stupid -- like you said, you could rattle me cage from here till doomsday to make me sing... but by then the place'll probably be empty. They'll pack up and find somewhere new; can't risk stayin' put after a failed raid, just in case someone squeals. Ya got yerself a window of opportunity now to cut the head off'a the snake before it slithers off in the grass. And I wanna help you do it, honest to the gods I do..." His expression hardened. "But I ain't no stranger to chains and hot coals. I can hold out a few days easy, and by then you'll have missed your chance. I go in, clear the way, and disappear... or neither of us gets what they want. It's a good deal if you ask me."
Post by The Confidant on Apr 22, 2016 14:02:51 GMT -7
Varena calmly and quietly used the end of her scarf, a habit she'd formed, to clean the blood off her hunting knife, she'd have to clean it in hot waters later. Dale, or Ackley as the informant was calling himself now, was as talkative as she'd expected, she didnt respond immediately to anything, she kept her form towering above him, patient as she waited for him to finish. Though when he did she reached over to her clever, lifted it fromt he ground and swung it towards the man's neck, however she stopped short, and lowly lowered herself to a squat before the man, resting the blade on his shoulder, letting the weight of it be felt as she glared at him, staring him dead in the eyes, "Part of me says believe you, part of me says I should trust you as far as a child can throw you, the rest of me says that if you think you can pull some escape after possibly lying to us, I'll find you, hunt you down and kill you, you can be assured if you aren't true to your word that you'll see this sight again and it wont stop short." She lifted the weapon up and away, planting the back of it on her shoulder, "There are other thoughts on my mind, but so long as we have in in our company I can share them at any time. Time's wasting."
"Aaaawwwwh.." Brianna groaned in the background, "And here I was really looking forward to torturing him.. You're no fun," The assassin folded her arms, puffing her cheeks out in a fashion befitting a spoiled child but then she shrugged to herself, making sure she wasn't missing too much of her gear. Everything seemed in order, "So what's the plan now, Big Red?" Varena stood up, rolling her shoulder calmly, "Brief respite, everyone gets something to eat and drink, relieves themself, I dont care, then get ready to go. The less time we waste the sooner we catch those responsible." She glared down at the figure of the tied man, "You too, you come with us. You get something to eat, get tended to and we go, while that's going on we can discuss the other camps and hand that information to the local miltary or the Templars, I dont care who goes for them I want the bastards at the top. When we reach the real base, you deal with the traps and leave of your own accord. Does that sound about right?"
"Aye," The man was clearly a bit shaken by his near-miss encounter with Varena's great cleaver, having begun to shake nervously while it had lain on his shoulder. He nodded enthusiastically. "Right as rain, right as ya like." It seemed Ackley was as eager to be cooperative as he was to chatter. He forced an unsteady smile at Varena clearly born more of fear and an eagerness not to die than anything else, clearly glad that his 'deal' had been accepted.
True to his word, once presented with a map the brigand described not only the locations of thirteen small bandit camps scattered across the forest but their layouts, equipment, patrols, and means of communication -- as it turned out a dried-up river bed wound its way through sections of the woodlands, forming a kind of natural trench that the bandits used to send runners between the camps. This same trench could, with relative ease, be used to mount surprise attacks on multiple camps at once if a force could approach quietly and under concealment. Ackley even volunteered his best guess as to which camps were either empty or undermanned following the failed attack on Leahaven and which would, still at full or most strength, be on the lookout for reprisals from the city. Given his penchant for talk, his information was quite thorough.
Thank you both for a magnificent thread! The battle for Leahaven may not quite be over, but the defense of the city was a sound success thanks to your efforts. I'll have a thread up sometime this weekend to begin the second half -- in the meantime, I'd like to officially award you both your Quest Emblem!
[img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/SpecterTH/B-and-W_rp_forum/InServiceToTheCrown_zpswi7zzipi.png" alt="In Service To The Crown"]