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PRP: Bandits In the Crownlands

One of the baronies within the Grayson fealty is having a problem with bandits along the roads, stealing goods and harassing travelers. They've asked for help in tracking down the bandits and making the roads a safer place.

OOC: This is a low key, low risk event, with sign up preference first given to those who attended the Grayson Family Dinner on January 15th and then filled in with anyone who also @mailed Lou to sign up. I can take up to 8 players on this event.

Directions: From The City Center - Go East, until you can't. GATE -> GF -> GF

Date

Jan. 22, 2023, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Lou

GM'd By

Lou

Participants

Raja Yvette Cillian Dino Vincenzo Mathis Ilira

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Gray Forest - Deeper in the Gray Forest

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log

Dino

Did a little bandit hunting today, in aid of the Grayson barons a few hours outside of the city.

Sure, not strictly my business, but it's always right to lend a hand when you can, and it's not like I had anything pressing to do.

May have also managed to make a friend. A scary stabby friend, but a friend none the less.

Vincenzo

A lovely jaunt through the woods has inspired me.


1 Templar Knight guards, Nonsense, a hunting dog, Noise, a lively black hunting dog, a small lumpy dog which resembles a potato arrive, following Mathis.

Ash, A High Hill Mastiff arrives, following Dino.

Akkar, Dodger, a black-and-tan terrier, 2 Blackwood trained guards arrive, following Cillian.

Elin, A northlands forest kitten arrives, following Yvette.

Ilira wields a steel dagger of fiery plumage in flight.

Yvette wields a rubicund bow with a white yew riser and blue leather grip.

Raja wields Serpent's Embrace.

Dino wields Blood Elegy.

Mathis wields elegant oathlands style bow with pewter-edged nocks.

Cillian wields Stormpiercer, the Longbow of House Blackwood.

Yvette wields a rubicund bow with a white yew riser and blue leather grip.

Ilira wields X and O, twin rubicund sabers the color of fresh blood.

House Grayson has been very busy in preparing to defend their home against the Traitor, also known in some circles as the Horned God, scouting out the Crownlands for the latest threats and holding military exercises. The fall of Bastion a few years ago has finely homed them largely to a single purpose. To that end, they haven't always had the people needed in order to also help some of the members of their fealty. So, when a barony came to them asking for help in managing some bandits, House Grayson asked its members and allies for some additional help, so they did not need to take focus away from what's to come. The bandits have been working along one particular road in the gray forest that's central to the trade route of the barony. Not only are supplies going missing, but people trying to visit the barony's holdings are being robbed. Those that have come together have volunteered to help however they can, either through more forceful methods or the sometimes gentler methods of making a different way of things more appealing. How that happens is up to those who've come to put the issue to rest.

They had been traveling an hour or two from the barony, where the most events have taken place, when they've come upon what seems to be an abandoned set of wagons. When they get closer, evidence of an attack is clear. There's blood smattered in some spots and rejected supplies are strewn all over the place.

Raja is surrounded by people she don't know. So, she hangs to the back, keeping to herself. While she rides along with the others, Raja pulls on the reigns of her horse gently to bring it to a halt. She does not approach the wagons just yet, instead glancing around their surroundings for any sign of ambush.

Blood spattering, tossed aside supplies, the usual signs of an ambush do not seem to phase Yvette overmuch. She looks dispassionately on at the wagons, and gives her horse's reigns a little tug to slow it down before she hops off, and tugs out her bow. Maybe the people who attacked these wagons are still nearby.

Cillian is on Akkar, yes he is riding the animal along the path through the woods. He is comfortable on the animal, one hand held his bow out at his side as they all moved along. His hazel orbs keep a watch around them, he is a scout and pays close attention to what's around them all. He stops his animal near the wagons but not right up against them and his attention goes out to the woods around them to watch.

Allies schmallies, there's work to be done and Dino is capital-r ready. The Corsetina boy was all too eager to help when the call went out, especially if it earns some brownie points for his family back in the city.

Some might think two hours away from the city is a short trip, but when you're carrying as much as Dino is it can certainly become quite the hike. Still, he's undeterred as the party comes across the deserted wagons with signs of fighting - or at least signs of injury and, even worse, casual disregard for the hard work of whichever poor slob had to pack the supplies in the first place.

"Sloppy work, this," says he, casually reminding everyone that he *is* a Corsetina.

Vincenzo will pull up to Raja. Not knowing the other Crafters' Guild member very well, but still recognizing a face, he pulls just short.
From Vincenzo's right hand, a drop spindle twirls, drawing pale clouds of ephemeral blue and violet fire into the warm and cold hue of periwinkle. "Oh no," he says, looking at the wreckage. "We need to find the merchant family hit by this. Someone just lost everything." Worry forms into a genuine frown.

Mathis whistles as he dismounts his horse. His dogs' ears perk up.

Raja checks perception and survival at normal. Raja is successful.

Ilira checks intellect and survival at normal. Critical Success! Ilira is spectacularly successful.

Dino checks intellect and investigation at normal. Dino is successful.

Mathis checks intellect and survival at normal. Mathis marginally fails.

Cillian checks perception and investigation at normal. Cillian marginally fails.

Vincenzo checks intellect and survival at normal. Vincenzo is successful.

On a personal excursion in the Crownlands, Ilira catches wind of the trouble in this barony and agrees to assist the search party, if rather last minute. She meets them on the trail about an hour out, riding up sidesaddle on a sleek ivory mare and melding effortlessly with the group as though she were there from the start. Swathed in spidersilk and jewels, she does not look the part but for the dagger at her hip and the swords that crisscross her back. "Hellooo!" she greets them all in her sunny Saffron lilt, falling to the rear and arching an eyebrow at one fellow rider in particular. "Vincenzo," she stage-whispers, grinning at him from atop her mount. "Welcome back!"
Upon their arrival, she tugs her mare's reins and murmurs, "Woah," easing her to a halt and slipping to the forest floor. Her slippered feet soundless, she escorts her to a tree and binds her before turning to survey the wreckage.

Raja takes in a soft breath before shifting her gaze towards Vincenzo. "Sadly, this is far too common an occurrence on the roads all over. Desperate people taking desperate measures." She is about to say something else and her eyes squint softly past Vince. "Hmm." The reigns of her horse are softly draped around her mare's neck as she slides from it's side. She turns to the side of the road where some of the brush is disturbed. Making her way closer, she reaches out with a gloved hand to push the branches back. "Got a body." She says to the group over her shoulder. And then she crouches to check pockets for any sort of clue as to who it might be. "I guess it is a merchant guard since it is hidden in the bush here, but one cannot be sure."

Vincenzo follows Raja's gaze, his own spotting that which Raja identifies. "Ilira!" He says, with something like a desperate smile. "Darling, it's lovely to see you..." He trails off. "But maybe don't look over there?" He suggests. "Although Jayus knows your beauty is much appreciated at this moment." He glances over to the wagons themselves, pulling the stallion closer

Vincenzo follows Raja's gaze, his own spotting that which Raja identifies. "Ilira!" He says, with something like a desperate smile. "Darling, it's lovely to see you..." He trails off. "But maybe don't look over there?" He suggests. "Although Jayus knows your beauty is much appreciated at this moment." He glances over to the wagons themselves, pulling the stallion closer to examine its contents.

Ash, A High Hill Mastiff have been dismissed.

Accidentally ignoring the world for several moments as he's crouched near the wagon, Dino finally calls out, "Body there, and a crate or two the bandits missed." He's managed to get it open, revealing some bottles of alcohol rolled up in some cloudspine velvet and satin, "Not very thorough, these ruffians."

He raises himself from his crouched position to meander over towards the brush wherein the body has been found, "A guard, you say? Hmm. Has the body been hidden, or did they fall over there?"

Raja frowns, "The poor bloke seems as if he were stuffed in here. I mean, this guy could be either, but being the betting woman that I am, I think he may be a guard for the merchants there." She continues to search through his pockets. "If they were sloppy, they probably left tracks. Though, I can say that is a skill I do not possess." She stands up and glances towards the others. "Anyone here good at tracking through the forest?"

%"If we track them, we're as good as walking into a valley whine trying to lay siege to

Mathis nods "My dogs and I enjoy tracking through the forest in hunts."

%"If we track them, we're as good as walking into a valley whine trying to lay siege to a fortess," Vince says. "I mean, it would be nice to bait them into surprise."

Yvette stays out of the planning and mostly hangs out near the perimeter, keeping an eye out for more bandit types if they're lurking around.

Ilira cocks a delicate eyebrow at Vincenzo. "How come? Raja Culler is very pleasant to look at." Her lips quirk at the woman and her discovery in a little sidelong grin before she resettles her attention on the panorama, honing in after a moment at a point in the tree line. Heading opposite Raja, she begins to clear what seems a random patch of debris, pushing open branches and separating vines until she has nearly disappeared into the brush, only a flash of pink and a head of curly black hair to distinguish her. Then she reemerges. "I've found their trail," she says, plucking a leaf from her hair as she returns to the group. "They're pretty good at covering their tracks, but I think I've got their pattern and could potentially guide us if you all want to follow it."

Mathis looks at the fallen body. "Are we sure they are dead? Anyone a Mercy? I only learned a little bit of medicine."

From somewhere within the foliage of the brush, the group hears, "Mangata's tits!" and the quick rustling of movement.

Ilira's head snaps around.

Yvette suddenly crouches low, and then whistles and calls in a voice meant to carry only to those in her immediate vicinity, "Hundred yards, that way. Heads." She points to a tree in the distance, the direction from which the sound of rustling comes from. Then, she's off, heading for the treeline herself, best not to let them get away after all.

Mathis follows her

"I suppose this is where the fun begins," Dino says, sotto voce, lowering himself down into a sort of frog-crouch whereupon he follows after Yvette, with his rather large pup lolloping along behind.

Dino checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Dino is successful.

Dino checks luck at normal. Critical Success! Dino is spectacularly successful.

Yvette checks luck at normal. Yvette is successful.

Mathis checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Mathis fails.

Mathis checks luck at normal. Mathis is successful.

Yvette checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Yvette is successful.

Vincenzo checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Vincenzo is successful.

Vincenzo checks luck at normal. Vincenzo fails.

Raja checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Raja is successful.

Raja checks luck at normal. Raja is successful.

Ilira checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Ilira fails.

Ilira checks luck at normal. Ilira is successful.

Cillian checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Cillian is successful.

Cillian checks luck at normal. Critical Success! Cillian is spectacularly successful.

"Mangata tits?" Vincenzo mouths sotto voce to Ilira. The disappointed look on his face shows what he thinks of that level of wit.

Raja of course is going to follow. However, Raja separates herself just slightly from the group. She is trying to be more.. sneaky.

"I could've spoken quieter, sorry," Ilira says with an apologetic glance toward her companions, the dagger at her hip flashing from its sheath into her left hand. Observing the trajectory of the others, she hangs back a bit skeptically for a moment before flouncing after them, her hair swishing at her back.
"I prefer Gild's," she mouths to Vincenzo.

Vincenzo checks composure and performance at hard. Vincenzo is successful.

Vincenzo does not laugh uproariously, but he sure is left coughing something awful into his handkerchief at Ilira's comment.

Ilira smiles angelically, her lashes dipping.

The action is that-a-way, thus Dino follows the group (sans sneaky Raja) with his longsword drawn. Of course a longsword is nigh useless in a copse of trees growing thickly together, but who doesn't feel better with four feet of polished rubicund in their hands?

Ilira wields a steel dagger of fiery plumage in flight.

Cillian slipped from his mount, bow in hand. Looking to where the heads were pointed out he moves in that direction. The hunter watching his steps as he moves to keep up, the Northern lord is light footed and quick to move through the woods. He is most at home out in the woods and so moves through them like he is.

Everyone takes off running blindly into the Gray Forest after the voice, following Yvette's lead. The thing about the Gray Forest is that it's generally untame an wild. Trees, shrubs, bushes, vines, sticks, roots, and other obstacles are all over the place. The majority of people have no problem moving over those obstacles, although Vincenzo manages to be tripped up by one of those obstacles as he tries to follow after folk. Mathis and Ilira fall behind the others, while the rest seem to keep up pace with Yvette. It's Dino and Cillian who win the day as they not only manage to avoid every obstacle, but catch up to the well hidden bandit and tackle them at almost nearly the same time. "OOOF! Get off me. Get out of here. Get off me!" the bandit starts throwing his weight around, attempting to punch, kick, and bite his way out of their hold, bucking his body all over the place to try to dislodge himself.

With his arm around the bandit's upper torso, coming uncomfortably close to decking Cillian mid-tackle, Dino grins at the Northern man, "Morning, milord," says he. He gently and politely stuffs the blade of his leather-clad hand into the bandit's nibbling mouth, pushing it as far back as he can without breaking the man's jaw in order to mitigate the mastication, "Excellent work leaping off that root."

Vincenzo follows along as if this were another day for a picnic, all lustre and shine atop his horse. The master tailor's drop spindle continues to twist fiber into gossamer yarn.
Until he trips, and Ilira's sharp wit saves all of Arx from a potential scratch on Vincenzo's face. "Ugh," he groans, rising to his feet and collecting his spindle. Following the noise, Vince will hop back on his horse-- still checking for bruises-- and harry along.

Now that the bandit has been tackled, Yvette slows down, and moves out again. Best to look for any other bandits that might have heard what happened. Where there's one...there's usually more.

Curses. Obscenities! Foul language even! This all pours in whispers from the out-of-her-element rogue. She barrels through a brush with twigs and leaves sticking out various bits of her garments and hair. Let's not talk about the burs. It's going to take her a week to get them out of her cloak and the ties of her boots. She turns and looks to the two men wrestling with the bandit and frowns. With blade in hand, she simply moves closer and crouches low, giving the bandit a very nice view of her wickedly curved dagger that looks more like bone.. no a fang.. than anything else. "I recommend simmerin' down." Raja says in a low tone.

Ilira does not run, but picks her way, rather daintily, over rocks and through trees. At several points, a briar snags her skirts or a root catches her slipper, making her stumble and adjust before setting after the group. She spies Mathis nearby and Vincenzo as he falls, stepping over to offer her hand. "Are you all right?" Her attention flits briefly toward the action ahead, and then to the forest around them, like a fox on the cusp of a hunt.

Raja checks command and intimidation at normal. Critical Success! Raja is spectacularly successful.

Cillian moves quickly spotting Dino at the last moment in mid leap, apotting Dino grabbing the man upper torso, he grabs the man by the legs and looks up to him nodding, "Morning." he does his bed to hold the man where he is letting Dino do his thing. "Thanks, nice leap yourself. I was for a moment thinking we were going to hug." he looks to see where the others are.

Dino checks dexterity and brawl at normal. Dino is successful.

Vincenzo accepts Ilira's hand, but first rises to his knees.
"And for his prayers, Jayus granted the humble artisan a second sunrise. One more spectacular than the first, never to be repeated," he finishes, getting to his feet. "You my heart. Shall we for the men with big swords before an idiot bandit gets himself killed?" He asks. "We of the world of silk and butterflies should get over there and press for information?" He asks after dusting hinself off.

Somewhat startled himself by Raja's intimidatory knifework, Dino leans ever so slightly to push his gloved hand further into the bandit's mouth, doing his best to cut down on the potential for said bandit to call for help... or ever enjoy a steak again.

"Don't kill anyone!" Vincenzo will yell. "Information is worth more!"

As the group starts to game up around him, the bandit ramps up his actions to try and get away. Dino gets his attention first by thrusting a fist into his mouth; he tries to spit the hand out of his mouth, but of course that doesn't work. Dino's does get a bit slobbery though and the bandit definitely tries to muffle words in Dino's direction. One could only guess what he's trying to say. When Raja comes up and and displays her dagger and uses the tone of voice she does, a tone he is is familiar with and recognizes, the bandit goes very, very still. He recognizes like for like from Raja and can probably guess what she might do to him. The question is, now that the group has him, what are they going to do?

Yvettecontinues to spy, looking out towards the wild beyond this little drama playing out with the captured bandit. She crouches low in the bushes. Best not to be seen.

Angling himself a little better, and pressing the flat of his rubicund sword to the side of the bandit's face, Dino looks down at the entrapped man. "I'm going to pull my hand out of your mouth now," he says in a soft voice, "If you scream, it's going to be a race between the three of us here to see who cuts your throat first, okay? Okay."

Despite taking a fall earlier, Vincenzo is his naturally unnatural self.
He pulls up to the group, dismounts, and attends to Ilira before anything else.
"I have questions, milords," he tells his group. "I know so much about trade and the work involved. At your leisure, if I may be spared time for questions?"

Ilira draws Vincenzo to his feet with the strength and fluidity of a dancer. "Silk and butterflies," she chuffs, her mouth quirking in a lopsided little grin as she taps the back of the tailor's hand with her artfully wing-shaped dagger. "Good idea. Come!" Ensuring Vincenzo and Mathis keep up, she streaks toward the rest of them gathered around the bandit, her pink silks and raven curls a blur through the forest. Her brows knit in faint disgust at the whole hand in mouth situation, but clear admiration touches her expression for Raja's tactics.

Raja taps the bandit's nose with the flat of her curved blade. "Good. Good. Now. We can make a deal, yes? These nice people are going to ask you some questions. You are going to answer them. Then, you can be taken back to the city for a chance to seek salvation, or I can sate the thirst of my blade upon your throat." She glances to Dino and a wide smile crosses her features. "I do love a like-minded man." Her blade is sheathed and she stands up. Time to let the more social people do their work. But, Raja's dark, ebon eyes glower at the man as a predator just waiting.. no /hoping/ the man will misbehave.

Cillian does not let go of the mans legs even as he goes still when Raja comes up and speaks to him. He keeps his leather clad hands gripped around, "Someone perhaps keep a eye out why others speak to him?" he asks in a thick Northern accent, "just incase others come."

The bandit's eyes flit first to Dino and then back to Raja. He seems to get the jist and does the smallest of nods to show that he's agreed to whatever Raja's terms are.

Mathis hides among the trees and keeps a look out for other bandits

Vincenzo checks perception and empathy at normal. Vincenzo is successful.

Dino checks charm and manipulation at normal. Dino fails.

Ilira checks charm and seduction at normal. Ilira is successful.

With that agreement, Dino extricates his hand from bandit mouth... taking a moment to wipe the uncouth saliva from his glove on the bandit's clothes. "Alright," he says with a soft sigh, "Look, it's simple. We want whoever's in charge of the outfit. You are, with the greatest of respect, small fish. If you give us what we need and then... disappear into the forest and happen to find yourself back at home... well I don't think the rest of the Grayson army would want to chase *you* down when we've got your boss in chains, huh?" He pauses in his speaking to peer up and around at his temporary compatriots, "So help us out. Where's your gang hiding out, and which one of 'em's in charge?"

Vincenzo checks charm and performance at normal. Vincenzo is successful.

Now that the bandit has agreed to cooperate, Raja turns her attention elsewhere. She figures these people have it under control now. So, she begins searching their surroundings for clues! All she needs is a dog and a handy-dandy-notebook.

Cillian does not ask questions he is here to help hold and to keep a look out every once in a while his eyes sweep over the woods to make sure they are not being snuck up on.

Vincenzo checks dexterity and sewing at hard. Botch! Vincenzo fails completely.


A quick, furtive glance at Ilira. The flash of a wicked grin. "Darling? Ladies first?" he asks in a tone so polished it drips of The Salon. Walking at a leisurely pace, he extends his hand out towards the bandit.
Instead of a ring to kiss, or hands to shake, one perfectly shaped, exquisitely large gem of unadorned honey onyx falls from his hand to dangle from the gossamer string on his middle finger.
"Now, I cannot speak for House Grayson, although who would? They've been marvelously generous to me." The honey onyx twirls on its invisible strand. "And I'm not family. But you'll find I pay very well, and I'm sure you'll find compliance with me to be fun!" His smile is genuine.
"Think of what could be yours. And tell me your story, your company, your--" Vince's voice drones on, he sounds so bored.
"I'm Vincenzo Villente. Exiled by my house for an unexplained murder. I'm not intimidated by mythological


A quick, furtive glance at Ilira. The flash of a wicked grin. "Darling? Ladies first?" he asks in a tone so polished it drips of The Salon. Walking at a leisurely pace, he extends his hand out towards the bandit.
Instead of a ring to kiss, or hands to shake, one perfectly shaped, exquisitely large gem of unadorned honey onyx falls from his hand to dangle from the gossamer string on his middle finger.
"Now, I cannot speak for House Grayson, although who would? They've been marvelously generous to me." The honey onyx twirls on its invisible strand. "And I'm not family. But you'll find I pay very well, and I'm sure you'll find compliance with me to be fun!" His smile is genuine.
"Think of what could be yours. And tell me your story, your company, your--" Vince's voice drones on, he sounds so bored.
"I'm Vincenzo Villente. Exiled by my house for an unexplained murder. I'm not intimidated by mythological figures, and I've already survived a demon with the Inquisition's guidance. They have alot


A quick, furtive glance at Ilira. The flash of a wicked grin. "Darling? Ladies first?" he asks in a tone so polished it drips of The Salon. Walking at a leisurely pace, he extends his hand out towards the bandit.
Instead of a ring to kiss, or hands to shake, one perfectly shaped, exquisitely large gem of unadorned honey onyx falls from his hand to dangle from the gossamer string on his middle finger.
"Now, I cannot speak for House Grayson, although who would? They've been marvelously generous to me." The honey onyx twirls on its invisible strand. "And I'm not family. But you'll find I pay very well, and I'm sure you'll find compliance with me to be fun!" His smile is genuine.
"Think of what could be yours. And tell me your story, your company, your--" Vince's voice drones on, he sounds so bored.
"I'm Vincenzo Villente. Exiled by my house for an unexplained murder. I'm not intimidated by mythological figures, and I've already survived a demon with the Inquisition's guidance. They have a lot of sharp tools, but they do not make clothing."

Vincenzo smiles, expecting answers now.

Ilira settles on a conveniently low, sturdy bough a couple feet from the bandit's head. Her huge blue eyes drift from the scene to the forest in search of Mathis and Yvette, lifting her chin subtly when she spots them. A silken tress slipping over her shoulder, she turns back, tilting her calm, luminous gaze down to meet their captive's. She holds his attention with the anchor of hers while Dino interrogates and Vincenzo cajoles, and when they finish, she begins, her Saffron-infused voice casual if a little pensive. "I'm sure you've got a family to go home to and a reason you're part of this. We mean you no harm--or at least, I don't-- and as he said, we'll happily set you free," she inclines her dark head to Dino, "But you'll have to provide us all the information we ask for. Speaking of, please tell us where your companions are currently and if they intend an ambush." For all her kind-eyed, warm-toned empathy, something sharpens in the wildling's expression as she maintains eye contact with the bandit.

Vincenzo remains behind Ilira, his gigawatt smile never moving.

Cillian makes a noise as he lifts his gloved hand off the man he is holding, he pokes at Raja then puts his fingers to his eyes and then points behind her holding up a couple fingers to indicate they have incoming. His bow is brought up as he lets go of the bandit and readies himself.

Raja eyes Cillian and his gesture. That curved blade that is in her belt is taken back out and she slips into the brush towards the 'incoming'.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Nonsense, a hunting dog have been dismissed.

Noise, a lively black hunting dog have been dismissed.

a small lumpy dog which resembles a potato have been dismissed.

For a long moment, it seems like the bandit might not talk at all, for when Dino asks his question, he just stares back at Dino with dark, glowering eyes. He does not answer Dino at all. Vincenzo catches his attention next with that honey onyx. His dark eyes fix on it, watching it spin while Vincenzo speaks. He keeps his eyes there until Vincenzo talks about having murdered someone previously, and then he looks to the tailor standing before him. "You killed someone?" he asks in disbelief, as though he doesn't think the clothier capable of such a thing. Yet, there's something about Vincenzo that makes the bandit uncertain he DIDN'T do it either. Ilira grabs his attention next and he watches her a moment before looking to all three trying to question him. "They're all back at camp," he tells them. Certainly, that could be what he believes at the moment, unaware of anything else going on. "I was left to keep watch," he tells them. "Let them know if there were folk worthy enough to go after." His look seems to indicate that he had no intention of informing on /this/ group, given the circumstances.

Yvette checks dexterity and archery at normal. Yvette is successful.

Yvette has been quiet. But she's also been thinking, and the the thinking has led her to drawing her bow, nocking an arrow, and watching. When a head pops up in the underbrush, she acts purely on instinct. There is a twang of a bowstring out in the brush and then a scream from somewhere else. Yvette calls out, "There are more of them, and they are surrounding us." Another arrow is nocked, and aimed at another patch of brush that is moving. She does not shoot yet, rather she waits to see them poke their head up as well.

Ilira swings her legs lazily just above the forest floor, silken skirts rippling about her knees. "Never judge a blade by its sheath," she chides the bandit, gesturing first to Vincenzo and then to herself with a dainty, bejeweled hand. At Yvette's call, she sighs, brushing hair out of her eyes as she casts her gaze across the area. "I will generously presume you were misinformed," she tells their captive, slipping off the branch in one fluid motion to her feet. Lustrous rubicund blades, nearly as long as she is tall, gleam in the half-light, but for the moment, she favors her dagger.


"If you have a code between you to call off your men for parley, now is the time,"


"If you have a code between you to call off your men for parley, now is the time," Vincenzo whispers, still smiling. "My companions are as fearsome as they are lovely."

Vincenzo says, "I would know, I dressed them."

Ilira widens her eyes quizzically at Vincenzo. "Who here did you dress!" Her eyes flit to Raja and then Dino, assessing.

Dressed head to toe in leather like some sort of heavily armed dominatrix, Dino probably wasn't dressed by Vincenzo. He leans back and glances off in the direction previously indicated, shifting his blade enough that the tip of the rubicund sword is casually placed upon the bandit's chest as the Corsetina lad assesses the situation, "Surrounded, hmm. I guess we've got them right where we want them, then."

"I break into the junior members' studios at night and correct their drafting mistakes," the man with a honey onyx brick tells the ephemerally stunning woman with the terrifying daggers tells Ilira.
Members of the Salon always, always have time for tea.
"Agreed, Lord Corsetina. And I do legitimately have need for manpower. And I pay better than *this*," Vincenzo says, disgust drawing his face wan.
"It oh, well, not you," Vincenzo assures their one captive. "You look stunning. Not many people can carry off abject poverty in the woods."

Raja checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Raja is successful.

Cillian checks dexterity and archery at normal. Cillian fails.

Raja checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raja is successful.

Raja checks dexterity and stealth at normal. Critical Success! Raja is spectacularly successful.

Cillian checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Critical Success! Cillian is spectacularly successful.

Raja? Wait, where did she go? The woman uses the shadows to her advantage, adapting to the trees and foliage instead of crates and alleys. She moves as a feline stalking through the woods in search of prey. A wicked gleam in her eye and an evil smirk spreads across her features as she sneaks up behind one man. One cardian-clad hand darts out to grasp the man by the mouth, muffling any cry for help. That curved blade digs deep into his neck, allowing the crimson life force to flow freely and water the ground. Raja is not spared the arterial spray, but she takes no time to duck back into the shadows, letting the man to gurgle in the last moments of life.

"Code? What kind of code?" The bandit looks at Vincenzo with a bit of a confused look. "What are you talking about?" Then there's the sharp 'shtwang" of Yvette's bow and you hear him screech. "Oh shit. Oh SHIT! Back off guys, back off!" The bandit is right back to panicking, trying to buck himself out of Dino's hands. Just at that point, Raja disappears somewhere into the brush and there's another sharp 'twang" and hiss of an arrow as Cillian attempts to take a shot. Someone screeches in the brush where that arrow went, letting out a feminine list of gutteral curses at whomever shot at them. She pops up from the brush momentarily to take a shot at Cillian, but that arrow goes flying past him and into a tree just a few feet from him. She ducks back down. Yeah, they're trying to close in on the group, but at least two of however many are in the brush are down now.

Dino checks dexterity and brawl at normal. Dino is successful.

"I pray you didn't just imply I am a junior," Ilira lilts, smiling with her teeth at Vincenzo from behind her tumble of curls. She wavers for a moment, deciding between the melee ahead and the captive behind, and settling on a defensive position by Vincenzo as the others charge. With the same acumen for notice she displayed earlier, she fixates on the point in the trees a moment before Raja emerges, her eyes going wide and lips parting at the flood of scarlet from her victim's neck--less a look of shock, more one of concern. That hint of conflict lingers on her features a second longer, before calm descends. Quick as a spark, she draws her twin sabers from her back and darts forward into range.

Cillian watches as Raja sneaks off and Yvette lets her arrow lose, he moves quickly to find a spot to shoot from with some cover perhaps a bit distracted as the man they have tries to free himself and he though that his arrow was going to land in the ground. When he hears the screech he smirks to him self, but when your in a fight you can get to cocky seeing the woman pop up to take aim at him the Northern hunter is quick to move, stepping and sliding to behind a stump popping up to give another shot of his bow when he can.

Ilira wields X and O, twin rubicund sabers the color of fresh blood.

With an easy, practiced grace Dino twirls the sword in his grip, angling the pommel of his sword downwards. He looks down at the bandit prisoner and sighs softly, "So sorry about this." He thus strikes down into the bandit's solar plexus with the pommel, "Can't have you screaming like a cat while our friends kill your friends."

There is a loud OOF from the prisoner when Dino smacks him with the pommel of his sword, winding the bandit. "By Limerance's arse, you'll regret that," comes a scream from the brush. It's hard to say if that was due to Dino's winding the bandit or because Raja clearly killed on of their people. On by one, six more bandits pop up from the brush, showing how they were attempting to close in on them. Some of them have bows, the rest have swords. Those with swords are attempting to rush the group.

(OOC: @check dexterity + weapon at normal AND @check dexterity + dodge at normal.)

Raja checks dexterity and small wpn at normal. Raja is successful.

Dino checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Dino is successful.

Dino checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Dino is successful.

Raja checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Raja is successful.

Cillian checks dexterity and archery at normal. Cillian is successful.

Cillian checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Cillian is successful.

Vincenzo checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Vincenzo marginally fails.

Ilira checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Ilira is successful.

Ilira checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Ilira is successful.

Laughter comes from Raja at the exclamation. "First it was Mangata's tits. Now it is Limerance's arse. What's next? Jayus's hands? Skald's knee? Oh! I know.. " Raja stalks towards a woman weilding a bow, "How about a nice hug from the Queen of Endings?" That wicked smile is on her face. She turns sideways as an arrow flies by, yet she continues her stalk. "My turn." Then she pounces! There is more blood and more gurgling. Murder is messy business.

Were there less blood in the air, or different stakes with the same amount of blood, the master of haute couture is humming to himself while tying their captive bandit in a manner most splendid.
"You know, I once attended a soiree by the great Lady Wintour-- every time I hear thunder, it's her disagreeing with Jayus about snowflake design and do not think I am joking-- where instead of table runners, she decided to clean house and start anew that year. Fresh faced, fresh staffed, no traitors," Vincenzo declares to his captive. "Anyways, you should be honored I'm replicating her work here. The traitors to her House were strung together by Oh! just the absolute loveliest of whiplash curls. Whiplash requires satin weave with a worsted spun cobweb lace, and it tooks days just to achieve the perfect tension so that the lilac opals were inset without disrupting the flow. Now she was a planner. Taught me everything I know about embroidery. And not pissing off very powerful people, because if you work with me, I may be able to convince my riding mates not to converge on you all at once when they've finished gutting your friends for violin practice. Boop!" Vincenzo flicks the man's nose. "Also, my knots are made with steelsilk. The harder you try to undo them, the deeper they bury into flesh."
"Oh fuck, why are you so /heavy/?!" Vincenzo's artful arrangement of bonds, gags, and hadholds enable him to use his captive as a literal shield-- but the man is much heavier and difficult to move, and the backlssh

Cillian popped back up and was quick, he knows sticking any part of your body out spells danger and the female was his target. He pulls his bow back quick and lets lose, then back down again. As the arrow that was shot at him hits the stump with a thud, he starts to peak to himself a his native Northern language as a smirk crosses his lips as he listens and hears the arrow hit its target with a thud.

Ilira weaves like a flame through shadow and undergrowth, her ebon hair a cloud of smoke billowing out behind her. She drops a bandit aimed for Raja with a clean slice of her blade, intent to deter or mame, not kill. Despite the volley of arrows in such close quarters, she dodges each, dropping at just the right moment and popping up the next, felling one from the air on the tip of her blade. In the fray, she glances back at Vincenzo over her shoulder and bats her lashes as he binds their captive in steelsilk.

Yvette checks dexterity and archery at normal. Yvette is successful.

Yvette checks dexterity and dodge at normal. Yvette is successful.

Raising himself up off of the ground just in time, Dino twirls his longsword with flourish enough to knock an arrow out of the air sending it tumbling to the ground mere inches from the bandit's... well where the bandit *was* sitting before Vincenzo decided to use him as a trussed pincushion.

He adopts a fighting stance with both hands now on the grip of his weapon, awaiting the rush of melee bandits - keeping himself between them and their prisoner. And also Vincenzo.

Arrows zipping by where she is hiding means Yvette needs to move. She ducks a couple that whiz by, and then releases her bow right at another bandit standing up to take aim at her. She plugs him right in the chest, and then crouches down and moves through the underbrush quietly, humming a tune. This is no different than hunting back home. or the survival training she learned from her elders.

Bodies go down one by one, all around them. Some are dead, some are not. This leaves one bandit by his lonesome to face the group and he's all, "Fuck it!" and he slips back under the cover of the growth to hide, doing his best not to be seen and likely trying to move back the way he was coming from to get away from everyone.

Yvette checks perception at hard. Yvette is successful.

Raja checks perception at hard. Raja is successful.

Ilira checks perception at hard. Ilira fails.

Dino checks perception at hard. Dino fails.

Cillian checks perception at hard. Cillian fails.

Raja is now covered in sprays of blood. Her blade drips of it. Still she continues with her hunt. Moving forward, she can't help but to laugh. "Come out, come out, come out wherever you are!" She calls out in a sing-song voice to the man who tried to hide. She circles around his hidey spot. "If you /don't/ try to harm us, we won't harm you. Lay down your weapon and come out. This /can/ be resolved peacefully. Or.. I can slice you like a pig to the slaughter. It's your choice!" She shrugs. "Up to you whether you want to live or not."

"It's like I said," Vincenzo tells his captive after blowing a kiss to Ilira. "Fabulous, terrifying, blood." He kisses his fingertips in the general direction of whomever Raja is happening to. "Haute couture."

Yvettejust sinks back into the cover of the bushes now that the fighting is over. She counts her arrows, and puts away her last arrow. Just another hunting trip. Not murdering other humans.

"Fine. Fine! I give up!" The final bandit says, popping back up from the brush and raising his hands. He's left his weapons on the ground. They are able to gather him up with the first bandit, search for survivors, and then gather them together to take back to the barony to be dealt with by the leadership.

Ilira withdraws when the penultimate bandit falls. She abides just shy of the gap between a pair of trees, her breaths even but her shoulders faintly sheened from exertion, her lips pursed unreadably as she watches the last man make a bid for his life. "Can't we..." She begins to murmur something in protest, and doesn't need to. A smile breaks across her face at his surrender, one of triumph and relief in equal measure.

Raja nods once to the man. "Wise choice." From a pouch, she pulls out a cotton handkerchief and proceeds to wipe the blood from her face and then her blade. She moves up to the others, dark eyes shifting between each person and a brilliant smile offered. "Good work! The roads are a little safer today."

Cillian stands up from behind the stump and moves to place the bow back on his back, his eyes looking around and makes a sound. Akkar comes out from the woods walking over to the Hunter. He smiles moving to pat the animals neck and swing himaelf back up into the saddle on him. He moves to walk the animal back into the woods vanishing into the trees perhaps to scout ahead to make sure their travel back is safe.

Like a good Corsetina boy, Dino wanders between the fallen and gives them due attention and reverence... which is a polite way to say he looks for anything worth pilfering. Of course they're bandits with a collective IQ of seventy, so anything on them is old, worn out, or in a colour that doesn't match his aesthetic at all. Thus he leaves them alone and unruffled, while sliding his sword back into its sheath.

He does note a rather fine leather waterskin on one of the bodies, though it is presently full of arrow and leaking all down the dead man's thigh. Probably best to leave it, actually.

Ilira gives Raja a subtle nod, sheathing her blades in two sinuous moves and stepping back. "Well-done," she praises her companions, a little more laconic than usual.

Elin, A northlands forest kitten leaves, following Yvette.

Akkar, Dodger, a black-and-tan terrier, 2 Blackwood trained guards leave, following Cillian.



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