[Sunberth] And Out We Go, Into Misdaventure: Part II

The caravan sets down for the night. The slaves are secured and safe. Harman and another of the guards take the first shift of the rotating fire watch. The story of how Champion, Harman's dog, lost both an eye and an ear is revealed.

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[Sunberth] And Out We Go, Into Misdaventure: Part II

Postby Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 2:34 pm

And Out We Go, Into Misadventure: Part II
19th Of Summer


Byron's slaving caravan had stopped in a medium sized clearing, just as Syna had begun to finish her dance across the sky. The humidity of Sunberth's woods had lessened somewhat, in the time that they had stopped - but only just.

Off to the far left edge of the grove of trees, Byron's cart sat. In the middle of the alcove, a grouping of exactly seven tents had been pitched. The shelters were lined up in a shape that would have resembled an oval, if the shape were missing its rightmost side.

The tents were set up in a way, so that there was enough space for a fire to be safely placed in their center. Logs that were not meant for burning had been dragged out of the forest as well, and they were currently serving as makeshift seats for the men that were winding down by the fire. As they talked, Leth slowly took his place over the horizon.

As the mercenaries sat around the blaze that they had brought to life, and as they were bustling, and boasting, and jesting, there were twelve other individuals whom were not allowed to partake in the hired hands' conversations. On the open side of the circle of tents, on the furthest edge of the clearing, were the slaves that the party was transporting. The indentured people had ropes attached to the collars they wore, that tied them off to stakes that had been pegged into the earthy soil.

"There has to be hope," Erin - one of the slaves - whispered.

The green eyed woman beside him shook her head.

"How long have you been like this," she asked, and simultaneously tugged on her collar. "How long have you worn one of these?"

"A few months. I took money from the wrong people," he mumbled. "But if you think you have some kind of superiority, just because you've been sold before, or something, then I don't want to hear it. Having nothing left is just more reason to want to work towards something."

Jacklyn, which was the name of the green eyed woman Erin was talking to, sighed.

"Revolting in the middle of nowhere, against men with swords, and knives, and axes isn't "working" - it's suicide, and that's the reason we don't have any of 'your' hope," she said. "Have you even listened to men like them talk? Have you talked to them? They don't care about us. We're just money to them. Beating us, hurting us, fighting us - it's just their job, and they'll do it if we make them - and they'll win too."

Jacklyn's mind thought back to the words of one of the mercenaries. The man who had tied her to the stake she was now roped to had asked her what it was like being a slave. The conversation had flowed in a way, where she had admitted that a woman, whom had once owned Jacklyn, had let others beat her.

"Well, let's hope you don't get sold to any women then," had been the mercenaries only reply, after he had clasped her on the shoulder gently. Afterwards the man had walked off to stake more of her fellow slaves into the ground.

Harman, the man whom had talked to Jackyln, now sat around the mercenaries's firepit.

"Your trip is worth the pay," Harman said to his employer, Byron, and then laughed. "That's why I'm along."

"Bah, lad. I know you've been around, but you can't have seen everything - you're too young. Is there no sense of adventure in you?" Byron inquired. "Of course I love the money, but I sell the slaves for the freedom too. It's dangerous on these roads, but they lead places - places that are worth going to."

I'm younger than you think, Harman thought to himself. The mercenary had lied to Byron about his age, and other things. In reality he had none of the experience his boss had spoken of, and thought he had; this was the first time Harman was getting out of Sunberth.

In fact, Haman had only just managed to get his tent pitched, by taking his time and watching the other mercenaries set up their own. He hadn't thought of tent pitching until he'd already left the city, and when the realization that it was a skill he needed to keep up his charade hit him, he had been rather worried. Still, everything had worked out and he'd gotten the shelter put up. Now, his sudden fear had been replaced with a certain carefree pride, at having gotten over the first hurdle in keeping his lie going.

Last edited by Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 4:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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[Sunberth] And Out We Go, Into Misdaventure: Part II

Postby Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 3:31 pm

And Out We Go, Into Misadventure: Part II
19th Of Summer


"I'll admit, I've never been to Kenash, or Zeltiva," Harman told Byron.

The boxer's heart lept for a moment. He hoped momentarily that what he had said didn't make his story sound unbelievable at all. He masked a small breath, and began to calm down.

My story is sound, he thought to, and told, himself.

"Kenash has petching lizards that are bigger than a dog," Cash - whom was another of the mercenaries, that Byron had hired - chimed in, from his spot beside his employer. "They'll eat you for breakfast, if you don't watch the water's edge."

"Granidiles are nasty," Jacs confirmed.

"Still never seen one of those," a mercenary named Eric said.

Another man nodded his head, from beside Jacs.

"There's birds with cat heads there. I don't remember what they called them, though. I've only been to the swamp city once, and not for long," Markus offered.

Harman smiled.

I can't believe I'm a part of this, he thought. The boxer wanted the gold he had been promised, but the sudden camaraderie that he was now experiencing was something he'd never experienced, nor anticipated. He liked it.

"And Zeltiva? Any meowing songbirds there?" the sixteen year old asked gaily.

"Drab city," Byron answered. "We've got to be careful in that place. Don't none of you new boys be running your mouth about what we're transporting, when we get there. When we stop for supplies, I'll take a few of us into the city proper. The rest of everyone stays back with the slaves."

Harman wanted to ask why, but didn't. Was Zeltiva against slaves? He wondered.

"Damn knights and their road," Jacs commented.

The boxer caught the words, and interpretative them as a sort of answer to his questions about being cautious around Zeltiva.

He'd heard of the Syliran knights of course - but mostly just that the Sun's Birth had come from their ranks. Though, from what little he knew, the gang no longer had amiable ties to their progenitor.

"They're probably just doing their job," Cash offered.

"Nah, boys. They're trying to petch up our's," Byron said. "They're not just working like most men, they're crusading. No man has any business telling another man what he can, or can not sell. They're not the only one's with honor and a good name, no matter what they say."

Cash looked to his employer.

"Sorry boss," he said.

"Ah, you're fine," the ginger replied.

Harman watched as Byron stood up.

"We need to get sleep," he said. "There's no roads until we hit Zeltiva, and I need to be awake to make sure we don't get lost, or lose a wheel to the cart in any uneven terrain."

"Who do you want to take the first firewatch, sir?" Jacs inquired of the man.

"You go ahead," he told Jacs. "And keep one of the new hires with you."

Harman looked to Jacs for a moment.

"Let me earn my money," he offered.

Byron shrugged.

"If he wants to," the man said. "Decide among yourselves what order you want to watch the merchandise in. I'm going to my tent."
Last edited by Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Sunberth] And Out We Go, Into Misdaventure: Part II

Postby Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 4:19 pm

And Out We Go, Into Misadventure: Part II
19th Of Summer


Byron began to walk away, when he suddenly stopped his movement away from the fire.

Good natured barking and laughter suddenly filled the clearing.

Oh gods, how could I forget about him? Harman asked himself.

"Get that petching dog away from my stock!" Byron snapped.

Harman jumped to his feet.

"Champion!" he screamed.

The dog looked to his master in a confused manner, from where he was standing beside a child. The young girl was wearing a collar, and was roped to one of the stakes that held the slaves in place.

Harman glanced quickly to his employer.

"I'm so sorry, sir," he said.

The boxer then looked back to his black dog. Champion locked his one golden eye with one of Harman's green orbs.

"Get over here," Harman shouted.

The boxer's large dog licked the hand of the suddenly frightened slave child, and began to trot over to his master.

One of the mercenaries that was still sitting around the fire laughed, and another chuckled.

"I thought you said the thing was trained?" Byron asked - he was slightly calmer than he had been a moment ago, when he had shouted towards Harman's dog.

Harman swore at himself, without speaking.

"He is, sir," Harman promised. "It's my fault, I didn't tell him to stay with us."

Byron sighed.

"All right," he said, in a short manner. "I'm going to bed."

The other mercenaries began to stumble off to their tents. One of the men clasped Harman on the shoulder, before he walked off to his canvas shelter.

"Well," Jacs said, when only he and Harman were left standing at the fire. "That could have gone better."

Harman sat down onto the log, that he had been standing in front of.

"Yep," he said simply and with a sigh.

Champion had made his way to the two, by the time everyone else was entering their tents. The dog slowly approached Jacs, and began to sniff him.

"He doesn't seem too wild," Harman's fire watch partner commented.

Hopefully he stays that way, Harman thought to himself.

"It really was my fault," the sixteen year old admitted.

Harman glanced over to the slave child, that Champion had been playing with. The girl sat in the dirt, with her knees held up to her chest.

"Hm," Harman hummed to himself.

"Will he bite, if I try to pet him?" Jacs inquired, as the boxer gazed off at the slave.

Harman looked back to his compatriot.

"Nah," he promised. "You'd have to be smacking him around, or something."

Jacs put a testing hand on Champions head, and pet the dog gently. Before long, however, he was scratching behind the black Deerstalker's one remaining ear.

"What happened to him?" the man asked Harman.

Champion began to push his body against Jacs' legs, as if asking for more love and attention.

Harman frowned.

"You ever seen those packs of dogs in the streets?" he asked.

Jacs nodded.

"In Sunberth? A few times," the mercenary confirmed.

"Well, they happened," Harman admitted, in a reminiscent tone.
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[Sunberth] And Out We Go, Into Misdaventure: Part II

Postby Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 5:06 pm

And Out We Go, Into Misadventure: Part II
19th Of Summer


"How?" Jacs inquired.

"It was when he was only a year old. Still a puppy really, but he was big to be that young, and he had an even bigger heart," Harman started telling the story.

The teen looked at his dog, as Jacs continued to pet Champion.

He's one of the few things I love, he thought to himself regarding his dog. Gods, that sounded morbid and depressing, though.

Well, he mused, I think I'm pretty happy as a person, morbid or not - but what those mongrels did to Champ is still unforgivable.

"It was about territory I guess. Apparently, it wasn't enough to piss on the alley walls, they wanted to beat down my dog and do it on his bloody body too," Harman continued. "Gods, I'll tell you, we were just walking, and going to watch a damn boxing match at Tall Johnny's."

"But the dogs got to you, before you got to the casino?" Jacs inferred.

Champion licked the man's hand, as if to say "that's right, pal".

"That's right," Harman said. "They descended on us - well - like a pack of wild dogs. Nothing too bad happened at first, just sniffing. I guess there's something in the air though, when things are about to go down - I knew before the dogs started growling, that everything was fixing to get real ugly."

The boxer recalled his fear and worry, that he had felt when everything that he was retelling had started.

"Now, I wasn't armed. But when they jumped on Champ, I jumped on them. Literally, I tackled one of the mutts right off my boy, after kicking its mouth off his head. I don't know how I didn't catch something from all those bites."

Jacs tilted his head.

"You're telling me you and this lovable mutt fought a pack of wild dogs, and you didn't even have a knife on you?" the man questioned.

Harman shrugged.

"Well, I didn't say it was easy. Man, I'll tell you, it really wasn't. Honestly, Champion saved me a lot of pain that day. Puppy or not, we drove those dogs off together, and he did just as much as I did to keep us alive," the teenager proclaimed.

Champion laid down at Jacs feet.

"Looks like he got off worse than you did, though," the mercenary observed.

"Oh yeah. He had me worried for a while. I wish I could give him that ear back, and his eye, but I can't," Harman said, somewhat somberly. "Still, he's my friend. I made sure he pulled through."

Jacs nodded.

"I had a dog once," he said.

"Oh? He gone, or just back with someone at home?" Harman inquired.

"The wife would never let me have him. She never knew him though, but Lysa would have hated him. Wild as the winds, Steriot was," Jacs answered.

"Steriot," Harman savored the name on his lips. "That's a nice name."

"Thanks," his mercenary friend replied.

"What happened to Steriot, then, if your woman didn't make you boot him?" Harman asked.

"Bah, I never would have kicked that old boy out. But I shouldn't have brought it up, I'd rather not say how I lost him," Jacs said.

Harman nodded. Well, that doesn't sound like a good story, he thought.

"I got you. I'm sorry for your loss, I'd hate to see Champion ever go anywhere," the boxer offered.

There was a small silence between the two for a moment.

"You know," Jacs broke it, "you mentioned not having a weapon when those dogs attacked you, but I don't really see you wearing anything right now, either."

Harman laughed.

"Well, you'd don't see it, because you're not blind," he jested. "Still, I've got a dagger in the bag."

How I got that is one story I won't tell tonight, though, he thought.

Harman had killed the previous owner of the knife he had mentioned. The thug had hurt Champion, and that his murderer had not be able to tolerate.

"I don't see the bag, though. We're on watch," Jacs reminded the boy.

Harman nodded, as if agreeing with the validity of the man's words. His backpack was back in his tent.

"Look here," he said and held up his fist towards Jacs, "this is my knife."

The mercenary had a thin, solidly constructed metal gauntlet over his leather gloves. It looked more like a glove itself, than any kind of armor, and on its knuckles were heavy studs.

"I fight with my hands, and with the shield," he said.

The buckler Harman had mentioned was sitting beside his foot. It was small enough to be strapped to his arm, and still allow him to punch with its fist. He had taken the armament off when Byron, and all the man's hired help, had sat down to talk around the fire.

Jacs laughed.

"You better be damned good with that shield," the man said.

I don't think I'll tell him that I just bought it, Harman thought.
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[Sunberth] And Out We Go, Into Misdaventure: Part II

Postby Aladari Coolwater on September 23rd, 2016, 9:41 pm

Hey Harman. I already PM'd you about this, but I'm gonna need you to update your ledger with Summer expenses before I grade your threads. Let me know when you've done so and I'll finish up your grades.
Thanks.
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