Flashback Off the Beaten Path

Valinos in the woods, what could go wrong?

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 7:52 pm

7th winter 515AV


The sun rose, its warm glow blanketing the world below it in light and energy, it was soothing to feel it upon your back, feel it seeping into your body. Almost like a warm blanket that comforted a frightened child from the chills of the night before. A light breeze drifted through the canopy of trees, the sounds of slight creaks and rustling as the gentle hand of air caused trees to sway this way and that.
It was early winter, a light blanket of fine snow had spread the pure white of winter over the landscape, just little more then a dusting but it was elegant in its purifying look.
Valinos gazed upward, watching the light flicker between what little foliage remained above. Listening to the sounds of nature, soothing and revitalizing. He was working on using his legs to guide Gambit, the troublesome trickster of a Gildling. Beautiful beast and friend though, has held true and loyal to Valinos for several years now.
They were at a casual walk, lazily moving through a beaten path that barely deserved the name of a path.
"Little pressure on the right leg, keep weight even and...." he said to himself as Gambit slowly moved to the left, reacting to the new pressure and avoiding a tree.
"Good boy! See, not to tricky right?" He said with a smile and a pat upon his mounts neck.
Gambit, the horse, shook his head almost in response. Born a horse with the personality of a smartass Valinos always said to people. The horse loved to prank his rider, finding ways to irritate and annoy, but it was fun and Valinos enjoyed the quirks.
It was still mid morning, the breeze still slightly chilly from the cold night before. The light snow having come and gone in the wee hours of the night, leaving little more then an inch or two. Valinos looked onward, gazing through the trees and into the clearing ahead.
He was a days ride from Sunberth, not wanting to venture to far from familiar territory or to far from help should the need arise. The area was long known for troubles, both natural and man-made.
He took hold of the reins again, tapping heel to flank and urged the spirited animal into a canter. The wind flowed through the mounts mane, Valinos bent over the horses neck, urging his friend to run with whispers of encouragement, of challenges to his speed.
"Is this all faster you can go you snail? You sure we aren't still walking?" He said in mocking tone as he felt the horse push faster.
"That's better, feel that wind! Listen to that grass whistle past us. This is it!" He said with a laugh as they moved 100 yards or into the clearing, jumping a narrow creek a foot or two wide. Then Valinos saw it, he pulled Gambit up quickly, skidding to a stop as the horse noticed the smell as well, that of fire.
Up ahead, around an out-cropping of rocks was the remains of a cabin. Its charred and blackened timber offered but a shell of the home it once was.
Valinos dismounted, walked Gambit a few feet away from the cabin, wrapped the reins around a branch and put his head to the horses. His hands on either side of the mounts face to sooth it as he talked to the horse, hoping his tone would calm the horse.
In short order, Gambit was relaxed...as relaxed as a horse could be, in this situation, anyways.
"Shortly before noon..." Valinos said, gazing upward at the nearly perfect blue sky, the hint of white wisps barely visible. First he moved about, gazing for prints in the snow. He knelt down, gazing past his own prints to untouched snow, the surface having not been broken by boot or hoof. He assumed that since no prints were in the snow, this happened earlier then last night when the snow had fallen, but it was just a guess.
Valinos decided to investigate, with a shortbow over one shoulder, his arrows on his back, and his fathers steel dagger in his hand. He moved towards the burnt-out home, its shadows dark.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 7:55 pm

Valinos moved forward slowly, listening and watching. He moved around the charred cabin, looking for movement, signs of activity within the blackened building. The scent of burnt timber still hung loosely in the air, along with something else... something akin to death. It took but a few minutes to skirt the house, it was comprised of a single main building, a small shed for tools and other such things and a garden in back. Well, what used to be a garden Valinos decided. After the sacking of the place and the winter approaching, it was near impossible to tell.
The man took a deep breath, looked about the woods edge, once at Gambit who was switching between watching him and grazing, and then moved towards the broken in door.
His hand held firm to the dagger, its comforting familiar weight in his hand brought upon him both soothing and trepidation. His chiseled muscles tensed quickly, then relaxed and he took his first step upon the patio. A knocked over chair... a broken table with a doll upon the floor. Splinters where the door used to be, what appeared to be axe marks hinted at what broke through.
Valinos reached up and brushed a few strands of his hair back behind an ear. The motion both soothing and needed as he came to the threshold of the home. Its dark interior seemed far more sinister then it truly was, even in the noon-day sun. He took a step inside, gently, as lightly as he could. First step was easy, the second not so much. Before him upon the floor was a body, face down and charred, blood splattered the wooden floor, even the walls. On either side of the center body lay two other bodies, both blackened, both charred. One lay upon the floor, the other as a heap against the wall. The animals had not yet discovered it, clearly the scent of smoke blanketing the clearing stopped them. But that wouldn't last much longer.
Valinos used a boot to push the center body over, even burnt it could be seen it was a man, older then himself. He tilted his head as he looked the body over, using his dagger to move what little clothing to see the face, looking for wounds. There were several wounds, a couple not life threatening but a gash across the neck, clearly spilled out his life-blood. Not far from the body was a sword, revealing the man at least died defending himself and those he loved.
"May Dira accept you into the afterlife, may you find peace wherever you may be." Valinos said as he placed a hand on the mans chest. Offering whatever peace he could for the poor man.
He then began looking about the center room. The fire hadn't destroyed everything, there was enough to hint that he did not live here alone.
"Doll outside on the floor, two beds also." He said to himself as he moved around slowly, not touching anything out of respect.
"Poor man, probably had a wife and daughter... taken by slavers for the winter no doubt."
He moved back towards the door, avoiding the man on the floor as he came to it. He put a hand on the frame and looked back into the room, torn between trying to track down the band that did this, or avoiding the conflict.
He started to move down the steps, then paused, a soft sigh escaping his lips as he bent over and picked up the small doll, slightly blackened with soot that lay upon the floor. How it had avoided the fire, he did not know.
He held the doll as he moved back to Gambit, stroking the object with a thumb as he moved. He put a hand upon the horses shoulder, leaning up against the beast.
"So what do you say boy, follow and see what we can do? Or avoid and head home ourselves before a real snow hits us." He said with a smile, already knowing he'd try and track them down.
He looked through his packs, checking his rations.
"Well, we have 6 days of rations if i don't stop to forage or fish, of course given the chance i could try out the bow and get some rabbit i suppose. Everything else is in order for a few days at least. Judging by the charring, the lack of scavenger animals and the prints, we couldn't be too far behind them. Of course i have no idea how many there might be either." He said with a smile.
"Well, lets keep heading north, see where this may take us i suppose. That seems the direction they were going anyways." Valinos mentioned as he mounted Gambit. He put the doll back into a pocket and with a last look at the cabin and a silent prayer to the above, he moved the horse on, watching for any signs.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 7:58 pm

Dusk was quickly approaching, the setting sun casting an orange glow upon everything in the thickening woods. He had passed one camp already, the remains of a shallow cooking pit and waste hole an easy sign of the group he tailed. He looked through the area, trying to estimate the number but couldn't make out any idea, boot prints were too muddled. But that had been several hours ago, not long after leaving the skeleton of a cabin.
His mind turned with thoughts of plans and approaches. Of what he would actually do if he was able to catch up to the group. One man against how many? Would luck and shadows give him enough of an edge? Would the situation and lay-out offer any advantage? His mind turned with thoughts until he felt the shift in the air.

His eyes snapped about quickly, his mind coming full force onto the present time and place. The sounds of the woods, the typical animals had hushed to near silence... even the very breeze had seemed to calm in anticipation.

Valinos green eyes scanned, his hearing straining as he slowly dismounted and took on a small profile, lower to the ground and pulling his dark cloak about him. At first he heard nothing, no bird or rustle... no sway of trees, just silence. Then it came to him, softly like a gentle voice at the back of ones mind. The sound of a group drifted through the trees, its source no doubt from up ahead, over the small hills. He knew roughly the area he was in, a shallow creek wound its way through the hills ahead as well, probably where the group had been setting up camp. No words were distinguishable yet, no clear indication of numbers as the sound bounced and spread through the thickets.
Valinos tensed legs and moved off the narrow trail, counting on the thin blanket of snow to soften his clumsy feet. Though he did try to move as smoothly and stealthily as he could. He circled to the west, putting the sun to his back, attempting to locate a sign of movement, the scent of fire for any indication of distance.
It took him nearly an hour to locate a higher out-cropping of rock nestled against the steep banking edge of a hill, he thought he had been found several times in fact. He inched his way to the edge, looking down on the camp a few dozen yards away. As he had guessed, it was this cliff wall at the camps one side, and the creek ahead of it. The sun was still offering its light, giving him an easy look at the numbers below, and a plan beginning to form out of the mists of his mind.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 8:01 pm

There Valinos lay, a thorn patch to his left, a shrub to his right next to a large fir, its needles shading the lone body that lay prone below its prickly green coat. The man watch the camp below, he himself having slipped past the apparently invisible lines of the camp as they set themselves up earlier.

The lay of the camp was simple, a center fire pit, 2 tents on either side of the fire between it and the creek. Below Valinos sit the few slaves they had been able to capture earlier in the day. A crying child clinging to a woman, a man who was a few seasons past his peak, and another woman who sat with her back against a tree. All had their hands bound and were chained together. Signs of ripped clothing hung to the last woman, her virtues most likely spoiled along the way.

Valinos watched the camp, counting 6 people in total. A few probably being lost when the man from earlier fought to defend the woman and child below no doubt.

It was a cold night, not overly cold... but enough to make laying on the ground under a fir tree uncomfortable no doubt. He watched as the men laughed and joked, breaking into a liquor of some kind no doubt as their actions began to grow sloppy. One poked at the fire and almost fell in, another walked to the waters edge to throw up. Probably feeling it was long enough since their last score to celebrate. One seemed to remain clean, standing some 20 feet away from the fire watching the trail behind.

*To late fools, guard behind all you like, you already let me through your pathetic line.* He thought playfully as he watched the abilities of those other 5 slip into childhood.

Now he just wait, allowing the silvery moon above to make its lonely climb higher, its soothing silver glow wouldn't shield these fools from a blade in the darkness this night.

"Just a little longer..." He said under his breath, having already chosen his climb down. His eyes turned to the one on guard, his back to the group and easy pray for a knife in the neck. He'd be first, then he'd silence the others as they slept, heavy and stupid with spirit.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 8:02 pm

The time had come, shadows cast upon the silvery landscape from clouds rolling in blanketed the area in a cold contrast, some shadows, some light. It was nearing the mid-night mark, the other five so far gone the slaves could strike them dead. Three of the guards had passed out completely, the other two sat with shoulders slumped, mumbling to themselves as the one gazed at the fire, and the other one might possibly have been dead for how little the poor fool moved.

Valinos had already made his climb down the some twenty feet to the forest floor, the thin layer of snow acting as a cushion for his foot-steps as he stayed low, moving from brush to tree, from tree to rock as he circled the camp towards the one guard. Why he decided to stay on guard and not take in the festivities was not Valinos' concern, he didn't care. All that mattered was this man was the only one who could stand, walk, or swing a blade true tonight. He was the first and only true threat to the plan working.

Valinos closed the distance with as quiet a step as he could... beginning to hear a small noise as he listened to the guard mumble words, maybe a rhyme or song to keep his mind distracted from the darkness and silence of the woods.

*Dear Goddess Akajia, deity of shadows and secrets, lady of the night blanket me in darkness and may my feet barely leave a trace. Let my dagger strike true and guide my hand.* Valinos said to himself softly.

Now was the time, barely three feet behind the target and his muscles were ready to spring, his dagger steady in a strong hand as he felt his Isur blood straining for the coming struggle. He had moved like a cat, sliding through shadows and darkness to this point, his senses screaming with adrenaline as the pending turmoil approached. He had laid down his plan, watched and waited. But a plan was only good until it went into motion, and now was the time to not think and act.

Valinos lunged, taking one step forward as a hand snaked around the victims face, clamping down like iron over the man's mouth and nose. Valinos pulled the man back against his chest, pulling tight and hard. At the same time the dagger of his fathers, crying out for life-blood slide deep and fast across the man's neck. The warm pulse of blood washing down over the man's front, the dagger soaked in blood as Valinos brought the man to the ground, sitting him against a near-by tree in silence.

Valinos didn't hesitate, he turned and moved towards the others in the camp, knowing it would be little trouble to dispatch the rest. First was the one next to the fire, the same strategy as the first. Pull tight, surprise, and slit the throat and air-way... the slightest gurgle all the monster made.
*Four.* He thought, moving to the next one. This one actually saw him coming though. Blood drenching his hand, a look of darkness in his eyes as Valinos closed in on him. He managed a small gasp as his eyes got bigger, a hand reaching for the dagger at his side.

Valinos grabbed the wrist, clenching down hard enough to nearly break bone as he drove his dagger deep into the mans chest, just under the ribs and into the work-engine of the body, that soft and vulnerable heart. The man's mouth opened and closed like a fish, his eyes glazing over in seconds.
*Three! Valinos thought with a smile.

The next three were easy, already asleep, no struggle at all.
*Two.*
*One!*
*Over...*
The half-Isur said, breathing heavy with excitement as he cleaned the dagger off on the latest body at his feet. He stood slowly, looking up at the night sky with a smile.
Then fire erupted across his right shoulder and he was pushed forward and to the left. As he spun he dropped to a knee and looked in the direction the arrow had come. Valinos knew right away what that pain was... and he knew his tactic had left one thing out.
Why put a guard in place if you had nobody to replace him through the night. And sure enough, sure as the Gods watched above, there the man was. Bow in one hand, the other reaching for another arrow, his eyes narrowed, black hair matted down and time seemed to slow as Valinos reached up and broke the shaft off. At the same time he pushed off the ground hard, dashing across the distance as quickly as he could. His teeth clenched in both pain and anger as the two combatants closed to clash. One readying an arrow, the other dagger at the ready and a fist balled for a strike came together.

*This will be fun!* Valinos thought, moments before the hit, his eyes focused on this one surprise of the night.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 8:07 pm

The two clashed like a wave against the rocky beach. The man was strong, about Valinos' height but not as heavy or strong as Valinos. He may not be a pure-blood Isur, but his father gave him strength and a level of fitness that only ran in the blood of a Coglias. He smiled, evil and challenging as his left shoulder slammed hard into the enemy at hip level.

The bow tossed aside as the man brought the arrow point down hard against Valinos, the point glancing to the side by what little armor Valinos wore. Valinos brought him to the ground hard, the dagger sinking deep into the mans side as he pinned him below bringing a howl of pain and fury. His right arm was nearly useless due to the arrow wedged there, but he managed to grip the enemies wrist.

The man writhed below Valinos, a look of fear and hate upon his face as his tooth-less grimace looked back at Valinos. He bucked with his hips and Valinos pulled the dagger free and plunged it in again, seeking the vital organs that would cause the man to fall into that wake-less sleep.

There it was, the man let out a gasp of pain and Valinos felt the strength start to leave the poor man, the puddle pooling upon the floor of the tent they landed in. The eyes fluttered and then glazed as his last breath slipped from his body, his soul traveling with it.

Valinos felt no pity or remorse, no sadness or regret. These men were beasts who preyed upon the poor, upon the young and weak. They took and sold what they wanted, who they wanted without a care in the world. Valinos did the world a service, and he was proud, one-vs-six was no mean feat, even if they were beyond intoxication.

The man stood up, his right arm hanging semi-useless at his side. He moved to the entrance and looked over the area, his eyes resting upon each corpse for a moment or two.

"May Dira, our Death-Goddess, find a fitting pit to place you poor fools within. If you live like a monster be ready to die like one too." He said a little prayer to the Lady with a smile. "And to Akajia, i thank you for your blessing on this night. My feet were swift and silent and my blade struck true."
Valinos knew the value in offering thanks to those above. Their favor could be the tipping point for either success or for death. And to earn the favor of one was always like a double-edged blade, could be helpful if handled right, or you could kill yourself if you were foolish.

He looked over to the slaves, their eyes down-cast as they most likely tried to sleep and stay warm. If they heard the scuffle they weren't showing it. He let out a sigh moved towards the huddled group. To offer a few words, to inform them of their turn in fortune. Though he did hope one would be willing to help with his shoulder. The blood was running down his arm in slow drips. It wasn't life threatening, but it was going to hurt.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 8:10 pm

Valinos looked through the corpses, finding little things of various value and uses. He pocketed what he could and smiled when he found the key to the slaves. On his way by, he drug the two bodies near the fire away, over towards the first he had slain. He then moved towards the slaves, key in hand.

As he approached their eyes lifted to him, watching him. They neither struggled or made a sound, not knowing who this man was. He knelt next to the woman holding the sleeping child, a small smile on his face.

"Be at ease miss, i mean you no harm. Or any to your child either." He said softly, as to not wake the exhausted girl.
"Each of you have freedom once again. Those who captured you, murdered any who would defend you, have met their fate." His voice kept soft. "We have a few hours till day-light. You," He said, pointing to the youngest man. "Help me move the bodies away. The rest of you can eat or sleep in the tents. Take what you can from the dead, they have little use for it now."

He removed each of their chains, the one young lady shying away from his touch even as he removed the bindings from her wrist.
"I am sorry i could not be here sooner, to shield you from whatever fate they inflicted upon you. Go eat, be warm next to the fire. I am sorry for the blood." He said with a half-smile and began to turn away.
"Thank you." was all he heard from her, her voice barely over a whisper as tears started. The mother had carried her daughter to a nearby tent, the one without a pool of blood. The younger man was in-deed moving the remaining bodies, dragging them towards the other 3 that Valinos had laid out.

In short order the area was clear of bodies, the fire warming to the chill air. Valinos checked on each person. The mother lay with her daughter, tears falling against a head of hair as she stroked her daughters head, no doubt dwelling upon the fate they had just been spared. The man sat next to the fire, eating what food he could find. The young woman, who appeared to be in her late teens, sat next to a tent, eyes distant as she thought of her own private thoughts, her eyes falling on the bodies not far away from time to time.

Valinos moved towards the younger man, one hand held the bowl, the other moving food from bowl to mouth as he ate as if it was a feast.
Valinos moved up and placed a hand on the mans shoulder. "My name is Valinos, from Sunberth. We are but a days ride from the city, maybe half another day if the pace is slow. I need to fetch my horse, he's been out waiting far to long already and i need materials from my pack. Keep watch if you can, i shouldn't be gone long."

The man mumbled and grunted, giving a nod.
"Go, i'll eat and watch. Is it just you though, that rescued us?" He said, his voice gruffy and deep, like boulders rolling around in the depth.
Valinos smiled over his shoulder. "Just me, and luck." He said as he moved away at a quick pace, wanting to fetch Gambit and return as quick as possible. He could feel the pain of the arrow and needed it removed quickly before anything serious was injured.

He found the animal where he was left, the little glimmer making the horse visible in the night's darkness. He checked a few packs, patting the horse on the neck as he mounted and moved the horse towards the camp. When he returned the place was as he left it. Hungry man eating, young girl resting against a tent and the other two sleeping within.

He moved into the tent, placing a hand on the mother who was still stroking her daughters hair.
"Come, i need a favor." He asked softly once she looked up at him. She offered a short hesitation, then moved out of the cot slowly, wrapping the blanket about her daughter a little tighter.

Valinos moved out of the tent and towards the fire.
Secret :
I don't know what things you want me to find after searching the bodies. I'm thinking some currency, maybe a dagger or two... arrows for the bow or some other useful things. They are slavers so i doubt anything that impressive lol although, you don't know if they took anything nice from any of the NPC's i guess.
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 8:12 pm

Valinos moved into the tent with the small puddle of blood. He sat on one of the cots and slowly began removing his shirt. The young lady walked in slowly, hands before her.
"Be at ease woman, i mean no harm... rather i would have you inflict some harm on me now." He said with a witty smile at himself as he moved the fabric over what was left of the arrow shaft in his shoulder. The blood path ran down his muscled back and it was bruising badly. Valinos turned and sat sideways on the cot, showing off the wound in his back.

"My name is Mira.... my daughter is Adaline. Thank you." She said, her voice heavy with emotion as she brought her eyes up to his. They grew slightly wide as she saw the wound.
"Oh my! Look at you, taking arrows like you were a shield! Should have dodged.... not used your body to block." She said, some of her old fire igniting in frustration.
"Worry not, i have my share of stories with such things. I'll need some alcohol... shouldn't be too hard in this place. I'd also like to find some herbs to help it heal, but that might be tough in such seasons as this. But, until we return to Sunberth, alcohol to cleans, some hot water, and a simple patch will suffice." She said, bending over to look through a few of the packs from the slavers.

"My name is Valinos, it is by your grace, or misfortune, that i came to your aid in the first place." His voice became softer, edged with a bit of sadness.
"But cleanse this, and we will be even once more." He said with a half smile.

Mira looked up and nodded, a look of determination masking the pangs of loss and fear. She moved out of the tent, ordering and asking in equal measure. In short order, they had steaming hot water, a flask of clear spirit and cloth bandages to wrap around the wound.
Valinos lay on his stomach, both arms above his head and the right one free to move in order to extract the arrowhead the easiest, although a little something could be seen in his left.

"This will hurt." She said, offering him a gulp or two of the liquor.
"Just do it." Valinos said, clenched teeth and measured breathing.

"Beef... i smell cooking beef." He whispered to himself just as the woman worked a finger down into the wound to feel for the tip. A gasp escaping the man's lips as he kept his eyes shut, remaining still as possible as the woman dug through his bloody flesh.

"I found the tip, it wasn't a broad-arrow at least, just metal tipped wood. Once i get a hand on the remaining shaft..." she said as she moved her hand around, widening the wound little by little.

Then with a slurp and a soft pop the arrow came free. Valinos took a deep breath, free of the burning... of the stabbing each time his arm moved.
"That was very well do..."
He never finished as the contents of the cup were poured down into the wound, washing away the blood and any dead flesh inside.
"Oh hells woman, you should have just left the arrow in me!" He said after a few moments of grunts and clenching. He did not move though, remaining still as the liquid was washing over his skin, helping cleanse.

Mira gave a laugh as she kept working, her skill surprised the young man in truth.
"My husband had a few such wounds, having had to fight off our share of bandits or roamers through the years. This year though, it just became too much for him alone." She said softly as she now washed the wound with hot water and soap.

"I know Mira, it is because of his death that i ended up here also." He moved his left closer to her and opened his large hand. The light glistening slightly off the arm. Mira's hands came to her mouth as she gasped and then reached down for the doll that lay in Valinos' hand.
"You see, i found the cabin and your husband. This lay not far from the rocking-chair on the porch. I felt it should be returned to the owner. That's all i was trying to do, these guys just wouldn't let me." He said with a laugh to ease the tension.
"Her father made that for her, it will mean the world that it was brought back for her. And i know my late husband would be proud that someone came to defend and save his family, all three of us." She said, one hand lowering to her stomach as she brought the doll to her lips and kissed it. The gentle wash of tears impossible to hide.

Valinos cleared his throat.
"Now, lets bandage this and then help me dress. We have to investigate the smell of beef." He said with a smile as he came to a sitting position, his left holding out the cloth to wrap around himself with.
"Seems someone has found some food worth eating among these sorry bandits."
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Valinos on March 2nd, 2016, 8:13 pm

They moved out into the open, the chill of the pre-dawn winter brought a shiver to Valinos. He looked about as the few people moved towards the fire, the sizzle and pop of food over a hot flame brightening even these few souls who escaped slavery.
Mira moved over towards her daughter, the little doll still clutched to her chest. As she reached the threshold of the small tent she looked back and gave a smile and a nod. She would return the fathers doll, brightening up the small child after the events of the past few days.

"C'mere savior!" Valinos heard and turned his head towards the fire, the man wielding a small slicing knife as he waved him over.

Valinos moved over and knelt down to the fire, the sound of the logs splitting and the fire weaving its life through the chill bringing a smile to the young man.

"Seein as hows you saved this sorry lot, the least i could do is make us some food. These pitiful fools didn't have much, but its enough to warm the bellies and give us energy back to Sunberth." The man seems to have lightened up a little on the little alcohol left in the tents.

"Well sir, i'm glad to see you are seeing the brighter side of the day. Dawn is a few hours away still but i am sure with the events of the night, a little food would go a long way! And for the record, we are only a day and a half away from the city. I try not to venture to far afield on my own and only a silly Gildling to keep me company." He said motioning to the horse by the water's edge.
"Good horse there though." He said with a smile.
"Well, horse or no horse, this little group is mighty fortunate for your running into us. Mighty lucky indeed! Names Ivan, a swindler and seller of various things. Some helpful... some shady... and these louts seemed to have taken most of my few wares!" He said with a scowl and a sigh.
"But, I'm sure i can find my things, and offer a little something for your trouble, and discomfort too." the man said.
"Now, with your good deed, i offer you some hot food. Just a little meat over a hot flame, but its better then rations." Ivan said with a chuckle.
Valinos could see the salesman in him, the wit and the easy of conversation.

"No Ivan, i believe i won't take any..." He said with a sigh, catching the look of slight insult on the man's bearded face.
Valinos held up a hand to calm the man as he knelt down and sat on a log.
"What i mean is you should save the hot food and the meat for the rest of you. You folks have been held captive, when was your last hot mean? When was your last nap in a bed without chains? No, i have food enough in my pack. And should, after you four have eaten, there be any left. Well then i will enjoy. But i will break my fast with you." He said with a smile as the young lady, silent as a ghost moved up and sat down... her cloak pulled more tightly about herself then a knights armor. Out of the tent came Mira and her daughter, the first smile in several days most lightly, played across the young girls face as she held the doll in both hands.

Valinos waved the two ladies over as Ivan dished out a bit of meat and hot broth to the people. Valinos gave a whistle and Gambit strolled over, as he searched through packs and came back with a little jerky and some dried fruits.
"Now, as i see it we are about a day and a half away from Sunberth. As i take it, we won't find any other little bands like this so a return trip... that won't be any trouble at all!" He said with a grin.
"Now, I offer my meager mounts back to Mira and Miss Adaline, and we three will walk. After some time Mira will switch with the other young lady here and Adaline will remain. I figure we could cover the distance the easiest this way. Of course, after this we should probably take a nap and leave at first light. The dead will draw attention from less then sociable sorts in due time." Valinos said with a smile referring to the various scavengers of the woods. In the end nobody objected, seeming to make the young man the unofficial leader until their return to civilization.

Valinos was given a slice of the meat, enjoying the taste of simple seasoning and then the group split up, heading to beds. Valinos relaxed and quickly drifted off to sleep, looking forward to the trip home and his own bed.

The return trip passed quickly and quietly. Mira cleaned his shoulder a few times a day. She seemed to have found some healing herbs along the trail that would help ease the discomfort and speed its healing. Adaline took a liking to the man, riding on Valinos' shoulders a few times smiling. Even the quiet girl, Becca, seemed to lighten up. Although she was no where close to letting anybody near her... not yet.

Ivan was the most chatty, talking and asking questions as his inquisitive salesman persona delved into getting to know people. They set up camp near a cliff-face again, having taken what they could carry from the dead earlier.

In short order they were home, the city within view and the tents fluttering in the breeze nearby.

"Well, this is goodbye. Mira it was a pleasure and good luck to you and Adaline. Ivan, please don't swindle anybody out of any valuables either." Valinos said with a smile and a clap on the man's back.

He offered hugs to both Mira and Adaline, the little child giving a little kiss on the man's stubbly cheek. He moved to Becca last, her eyes distant as she looked out over the city.
"Becca, put those events behind you. They are dead, you are alive. They suffered for their treatment of you and to stay closed off to the world will suggest they won in breaking you. Don't do that, enjoy the life you have." He said, placing a gentle hand on the young girls shoulder.

With that the man took the reins to Gambit and moved off, offering a simple wave backwards in farewell.
"Well, that was eventful, and rather fun." He said to the horse who nudged him sideways in play.
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Valinos
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Posts: 27
Words: 26462
Joined roleplay: February 9th, 2016, 11:26 am
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Race: Mixed blood
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Off the Beaten Path

Postby Konrad Venger on March 28th, 2016, 4:11 am

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Nice job! Your work has pleased The Sloth!

Valinos

XP:
Riding - 2
Observation - 3
Investigation - 1
Tracking - 1
Philosophy - 1
Tactics - 1
Stealth - 2
Dagger - 2
Brawling - 1
Endurance - 2
Socialization - 3
Leadership - 1

Lore:
Gambit: Beautiful, Loyal, and Tricky
Piecing Together the Scene of Slaughter
Chasing the Bad Men
Tactics: Let Drink do Your Work For You
Akajia: Mistress of Secrets and Shadows
Dagger: Slitting Throats
Being a Breaker of Chains
Meeting Folk in the Strangest of Places

Additional:
+14gm, 26sm, 82cm
+2 Dagger, Small

Wounds:
* 1-inch scar in right shoulder; healing well, but further irritation within 15 days could cause additional infection

Click Me! :
Very nice work, mate! I liked how you built this one up and played it smart with taking down the slavers, not just barreling in. Waiting for them to get drunk and then killing most of them unawares... very effective! The rest of it was pretty good, too. I like how you fleshed out the slaves instead of just having them as Grateful Extras. ;-)

One thing, though: unless you're up near Master levels in Brawling and/or Bodybuilding, you're not going to break a man's wrist just by squeezing it, Isur heritage of not.

As far as Akajia goes, you'd have to speak to an actual Staffer about that, but this COULD count towards an eventual Gnosis thread...

Oh, and please make sure you go back and edit your post in the Request Thread to reflect the fact this one is now done and dusted. PM me with any questions and later 'tater!

||Common||Thoughts||Pavi||Fratava||Myrian||Other's Speaking||
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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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Konrad Venger
Long is The Way and Hard
 
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