True Compact III
This plot is open to prior members and Greenmarchers/Allies. Will take six people, max.
May 15, 2018, 9 p.m.
Outside Arx - Oathlands near Greenhaven - Villages around Greenhaven
Comments and Log
Another village. Another massacre. And here they all are, this time, after the clean up. Nothing else was found, no clues or swords. No little girl to rescue. Just bodies and silence. At least it's not raining?
It's a beautiful sunny day in the Greenwood and this small village is quiet with complete desertion, a trampled path of footprints and horse hooves leading away and deeper into the wood.
Marius checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Alessandro checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Simone checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.
Margret checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Alessandro has come, not really because he provides any support with anything, but just because they can't get rid of him now, so there. However, he is looking around, and at a certain point, he stops, his eyes narrowing as he bends down to study something on the ground. "Footprints," he murmurs, pointing to where they recede into the trees. "And two horses. Maybe three men on foot?"
Simone waves a hand in front of her face and frowns as she swats away flies. Perspiration starts to form on her forehead from the late summer heat. She looks around then looks to Marius, "This is horrible. Why are they doing this?" She obviously doesn't expect an answer. Looking over to Alessandro, she looks off into the woods where he was pointing.
Margret has a look of profound sadness on her face as she follows behind the rest her limp causing her to move a little slower. In fact she's not really looking at much of anything but the ground as they walk, and swatting at the flies. Alessandro's words cause her to look up, and her brow pinches but she says nothing.
Marius surveys the surroundings as they get closer. He notices the sun shining nicely, and it's hot. That's about the extent of what the Marquis sees, except for the houses and all. Marius adjusts his leather armor with a sigh, "This is such a waste." before he turns to Alessandro at that, looking where he indicates. It still takes a moment or two before he sees again. "That's not the path our people would have taken." He remarks thoughtfully, looking over in the direction they are heading. "There was nothing else of interest here, according to reports. If there was, it's been moved or disturbed by now." There's a gesture towards the woods, "That way, then."
The woods are a bit cooler and it's easy to follow the trampled path that winds through the tall, noble trees of the Greenwood, starting to change colors as autumn approaches. All around, everything is quiet.
Alessandro looks back at his companions, first to Simone, and then Marius, to whom he nods when the other man says to go the way of the other prints. Finally, then, at Margret, and when he does he moves closer to her side before he starts that way. He does not take point, though, considering he has no weapon, nor the skill to use one if he had.
Simone catches Alessandro's glance then nods approvingly when he moves to help Margret. She turns and sets out to follow her husband with a grim look on her face. She might be less than useless in a fight but she's certainly not letting him go off alone.
Marius has a weapon, one that's loosened on his belt. At the ready, if not drawn, as he delves into the forest. Not the best tracker, however, so luckily the path is easy and defined. "Keep an eye out. I doubt anybody still lingers at the site, but you never know. It's not like knights, if they consider themselves that, to hide in the woods." He remarks over his shoulders as he sets down the path at a decent clip, falling silent as he listens for any noices or anything that might catch them off guard.
Margret falls into limping step next to Alessandro. This second village massacre has left her sad and introspective. Still, when Marius mentions keeping an eye out she lifts her head to watch.
Alessandro checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
Simone checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Marius checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Margret checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Alessandro catches Simone's look and gives her a little smile, but it's small, and doesn't reach his eyes before it fades again. He takes Marius' words to heart, though, and looks around, and after a few moments, he's frowning in earnest. "Ah..." He stops, then begins again. "Do some of these trees look...strange, to anyone?" He definitely doesn't sound sure. After all, what the hell does he know about trees, really?
Simone stares around trying to see something, but all she sees is trees... everywhere. Whispering she says, "I hope that your vision through this is better than mine. All I see is green." Hearing Alessandro's comments, she says, "They are trees. Are they supposed to look different?"
Marius furrows his brows and stops at Alessandro's words. Glancing at a nearby tree and then back to the Prince, he looks about ready to start in on a lesson to educate the Lycean about the Greenwoods and the nature of the forest and all their proud history before deciding to instead step closer to a tree, running a finger along it. "What do you mean, strange?" He asks, picking at the bark.
Margret's dark gray eyes settle on the trees, and as Alessandro makes his observation her eyes widen. "No. He's right. There are people in them." She squints as if trying to distinguish them better. "Not dressed as knights. Probably Abandoned."
Norwood has been here absolutely the WHOLE TIME. Right? RIGHT. He's kept to the edges being SUPER SUSPICIOUS because nothing good //ever// happens in forests. Ever.
Alessandro probably would have taken the lecture, but soon he's vindicated by Margret! "People?" he replies, his own voice barely above a whisper. He still doesn't seem to be able to discern that no matter how much he squints, but he seems to take her word for it. And also he looks at Norwood for more confirmation, since the man is there, and has been from the start, as we know.
Norwood checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.
Simone peers off through the trees, trying hard to see what Margret sees. If she says there are people off in the trees someplace then there must be, but sadly she sees nothing. She whispers, "Are you certain? I still do not see anything."
Marius now looks at Margret, tapping his finger against the tree. "What?" He says, eloquently, while trying to figure out how to make a healer go see a healer. Going back to stare at the tree once more. "There's no people in it, it's just a --" He goes silent, taking a step back and narrowing his eyes at the surrounding once more as he grabs the hilt of the morningstar. Stepping up to the ever present Norwood's side. Raising his voice, "Whoever you are, we have some questions."
Norwood has his hand upon his sword as he peers into the trees. "IT might be best if we fall back a few steps. There are... more than a few in there." Understatement of the year from the older knight, though he phrases is words as a request. Because nobles. "They look like Abandoned."
There's a stirring in the trees at Marius' words, and all of a sudden FWOOOM! an arrow lands in the dirt right in front of him, quivering with the force of the shot.
Margret might have argued that there are indeed people in the trees, but then Norwood is confirming, and then Marius is getting shot at! She doesn't say 'I told you so', but she does start backpedaling before the Abandoned archers get better aim.
Simone stays carefully near Alessandro and Margret, and still doesn't see a thing. As the arrow flies out she frowns and looks off. She might not see them but she now knows they are there. Plucking up her courage and slipping into Oathlands Shav she calls out, "Please we are not here to hurt you! Please do not hurt us! We simply have questions! Do you understand?!" If there is one thing she can do... it is talk, especially to those who are possibly scared and unsure, which she hopes is the case here.
"My Lord," Norwood is going to say SUPER RESPECTFULLY even as he reaches out to see if he he can get the man to, y'knoq, STEP BACK. Away from the arrows. He's also pulling out his sword like it might do something against things that fly and stick into you.
Alessandro starts to say something -- but then he stops as soon as the arrow lands. At Marius' feet, at least, and not his. That's nice. He murmurs something very low to Margret as Simone uses her powers of compassion on the tree people.
Marius does take a step back at that. The arrow, that is, not Norwood's warning. Because nobles. He repeats what he said earlier, this time in Shav, "Whoever you are, we have questions." Although he does so while gesturing with his hand behind towards the other people that couldn't find the right end of a weapon to move back. "There has been killings on these grounds. The spirits demand justice. We do not come for harm, merely to right wrongs."
Simone checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 44 higher.
Whatever Alessandro whispers into her ear prompts her to call out in support, "I am a healer! If there is anyone injured we can help you!"
Margret checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 39 higher.
No more arrows are fired. There is movement up in the trees, though, and the soft humm of a shav dialect in conversation. Finally, after several long, tense moments, an answer comes down through the trees, in Oathlands shav. "If you are with the Abandoned Knights, we will slay you all." The warning given, one woman starts to descend. She carries a gravitas about her in forest-dark eyes, tall and slender of limb, thick dark hair the color of the strong tree trunks around them. There is a bow slung across her back and she shifts it in favor of a crude dagger as she strides forth, no fear. "Several of my people are wounded."
Simone nods and holds up her hands so they can see there are no weapons on her, "We are not with those knights. They have slain entire villages of our people. But please, allow us to assit your wounded and prove that we intend you no harm. You far outnumber us, so there is no danger in allowing us to help. We can speak while we are tending to them so they can be helped more quickly."
Alessandro, of course, does not understand what is being said, and so he's still standing about as still as he can. There are no more arrows flying, so that's a good thing, but...well. It's unnerving for the Lycene, to say the least. Considering.
When it becomes more or less clear that there isn't going to be any stabbing -- well, stabbing right away -- Norwood sheathes his sword and crosses his arms. His eyes move to look beyond the woman and into the forest again to see if he can get a more accurate count of who else might be there. Zero Shav language here, so he'll just have no idea what is being said. In an aside to Margret, "Do they have children with them?" Maybe she'll ask.
Norwood has rolled a critical success!
Norwood checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Marius slings his weapon back into place as soon as he hears the familiar, if indiscernable, sound of the Shav being spoken in the distance. He also motions at the same time for Norwood to do the same, taking up position in front over that arrow again. "They need aid." He says, in Arvani for the benefit of the ones that don't speak Shav before switching back to the language of the woman, "We will aid you, if you answer our questions. We want to know what you know about the ones that hurt you. That hurt our people."
"I don't know." Margret says to Norwood. "I'll look when we get closer." She follows after Simone when her cousin-in-law starts towards the shav woman. "I can tend to whoever is hurt." She glances towards Marius then when he says IF they will talk to them and looks back to the shav woman. "If my lord permits it."
Norwood sniffs at the air, frowning deeply as his AMAZING eyesight sees the into the trees. "I count at least eighteen adults... and three smaller adults or kids." Norwood reports in a low tone to Marius since he's the closest to the man. "There is also smoke... and I hear screaming - My Lady," This directed in the general direction of Simone and Margret, "Have they said anything about fire?"
Simone looks the woman once more, after catching Norwood's question, and says calmly in a firm voice, "Why is there fire? And screaming. Are your people still in danger? If so, please allow us to aid." She forces herself to wait calmly though for the woman to reply.
Alessandro still says nothing, waiting for the reply, though he looks grateful for the translation. He looks around in the direction that Norwood does, his eyes narrowing.
The Abandoned leader can't hear understand Norwood. Probably for the best. She looks to Marius and Simone, a frown clouding her thick, distinguished brow (unibrow, let's be honest). "Them." She turns aside and spits into the dirt. "Those bloody bastards. We have escaped three times now and settled deeper in the forest and always they find us! We have several wounded," she looks gratefully to Margret but the expression falls away at Simone's words. "... what do you mean, fire and screaming?"
Marius nods at Norwood's report, although the man gets a bit of a look as the Marquis sees none of that, ever. His attention goes back to the woman then. "They have wiped out several of our villages as well." He responds in Shav, gesturing to Norwood and Simone, "They see smoke and screaming. Are your people safe? You can tell us about the men later, your people need help." The Marquis states and pushes away, walking on towards and past the woman with determined steps, adding a remark over his shoulder to Margret, in Arvani, "See what you can do to help wounded when you find them. These people aren't our enemy."
Simone looks over to Norwood, but before she can ask the question Marius speaks up. Looking back to the woman, she nods to Marius' statement. "Please time is short if that is another attack. We are not your enemy. My husband and cousin are from the Greenwood. This is their home as well." She motions to Marius and Margret.
What is it with Nobles and just waltzing into danger? Norwood will never uderstand but the moment that Marius starts heading towards the danger Norwoord is stepping forward on his heels. Someone's got to watch his back.
Simone checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 54 higher.
Margret begins taking her pack with healing supplies off of her back as she starts towards the people in the trees. "I will assist your wounded in whatever way I can." She says to the Shav woman as she limps in that direction. "But if that is your village..." Her brow furrows in worry, and she doesn't finish her thought. Instead she continues towards the trees.
The tall woodswoman doesn't look like she trusts Marius but Simone? Simone she trusts implicitly. There's just something about Simone that's trustworthy. The Abandoned Chief's dark eyes widen and she spins, whistling a shrill, complex tune that sees those in the trees spilling out of them. It's a charge of mostly adults, but some few children who really shouldn't be there, straggling after. They all follow Marius and Norwood towards the increasing smell of smoke, and the ever-growing screams.
Alessandro follows after, still looking around at the trees, though his pace quickens a little bit as the screams get louder and the smells get stronger.
Simone nods firmly to the woman then turns to Alessandro and tries to explain quickly, "They did not see or hear the smoke that Norwood did. We have asked them to allow us to help." With that she sets off after Margret to aid the wounded. She will be of little help in a fight after all, but she can at least assist with bandages and minor injuries or whatever Margret may need.
Marius is lovable and a delight. The Abandoned woman doesn't know what she's missing out on. Further more, that's highly judgemental of her to make snap judgements of strange men in the woods. Nevertheless, his pace quickens, just short of breaking into a jog, as even the Marquis starts making out the screams and general chaos that lays ahead. "These people are well-armed and trained. Don't underestimate them if we run into any." He says on the way to Norwood, updating him on the situation, although slowing slightly as soon as he can actually see what is going on rather than run headlong into the settlement.
"Wait," Alessandro says after a moment, and he turns back, seeming focused on the children. "Someone should stay with them." Apparently he is offering himself to do that.
"We need to Triage." Margret says to Simone absently. She doesn't expect her cousin-in-law to know what that means, but she seems to be getting all sorted out in her mind more than anything else. In Oathlands shav she says to the people pouring out of the trees, "Please bring me your worst wounded first. Head injuries or wounds to the trunk of the body or bleeding that cannot be stopped should be seen first." She looks to Alessandro when he mentions the children, and she gives him a grateful smile, "Keep them close to us."
Norwood's keeping pace with Marius easily enough, listening as the sound of screaming as it grows louder. When Marius slows Norwood does also, the Laurent sword reaching for his sword again. "Is there a way to tell a difference between the combatants and the innocents?" Norwood is a bit blind not knowing the culture that he's walking into. He isn't going to stop looking around them to make sure nothing falls like... out of the trees. Or something.
Simone starts rolling up her sleeves and nods to Margret, surprisingly she does have some bit of knowledge of medicine from having patched up her brothers and cousins both from the Gauntlet and Duke Arn's gentle, loving touch in training. "Very well I can do that part. I am not so good at trickier things though, so I will assist. Just tell me what you need and I will get it done, Margret."
Alessandro checked charm + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
When Norwood and Marius come to the clearing, there are several rough huts on fire and two already smoldering in ashes. There are bodies, too, but not so many as to be overwhelming. Small scattered clusters of shav men and women fight with their crude weapons, trying to hold at bay four knights in old steel armor bearing rubicund swords.
"They think themselves knights. They'll be armed as knights. Our people will be the ones struggling to have clothes on." Marius replies seriously back to Norwood, stopping to survey the surroundings at the outskirts. "Like them." He states then, swinging his morningstar out into his hand from his belt and points over to where the fighting is. "Stay out of this. See to wounded." The Marquis calls to the group of women, and Alessandro, before he does his best heroic dashing into the village and towards the closest knight.
Norwood has zero extra questions about who is good and who is bad in this. Honor says that well armed men shouldn't attack those who are less well armed without a damned good reason. Norwood doesn't see one, and he's just going to pull out his own rubicund weapon and wade into the fray along Marius' side.
Alessandro has gotten three of the kids to come near -- two, unfortunately, break free and begin running toward the village. "Stop!" Alessandro calls sharply, though he keeps close to the other three. "It's dangerous! Stay here!" He cannot speak shav, obviously, but maybe the tone is universal. One hopes.
Marius has rolled a critical success!
Marius checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 20, rolling 95 higher.
Alessandro has rolled a critical success!
Alessandro checked command + teaching at difficulty 25, rolling 31 higher.
Norwood checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.
JUSTICE. It's totally on Norwood's side as he wades into the fray. He'll choose the two on the left and begins to lay into them. As he does so he'll call out, "Surrender and I will not have to kill you." Alas, the two Norwood was fighting don't seem to get the picture and the knight cuts the two of them down.
Weirdly, the knights understand Norwood. It's clear that they do, because they tell him 'Never!' and insult his parentage.
And then they die.
At least they didn't say his honey was no good.
Marius runs into the nearest knight he can come to. Marius has no real concept of honor in fight, so as the knight is distracted, he lays a foot into the side of him and following it up with the morningstar as the man turns, laying him low in one lucky blow. The next one seems more prepared and it takes a bit of back and forth before the Marquis disarms the second man and finishes him too. Without the option of surrender.
"Maybe you should start convincing them to join us." Margret murmurs in a low tone to Margret as she gets set up using a makeshift fallen log as a table for her medical supplies. Once she's set up she moves forward to begin determining who she should be seeing to first.
Simone nods quietly to Margret, but continues to help her sort out the wounded first. Once she feels reasonably sure that Margret can handle it and the sounds of fighting die down, only then will she make her way over to the one that they spoke with earlier, mindful of Marius' orders to say away from the fray.
The two kids who had decided to do a runner get stopped dead in their tracks by Alessandro's amazing teacher voice. They scurry back toward him, looking very cowed, but the other three who had not run away huddle closer to him, because //they// were being good, Alessandro, did you see? DID YOU SEE HOW GOOD THEY WERE?!
Yes, shav children, Alessandro saw, and he loves you the best. Just kidding. Maybe.
Either way, once they're all herded around him, he starts speaking to them in less severe tones, and soon they are all looking up at him adoringly, and they have all figured out each other's names, though sadly, they can only manage 'Al,' not Alessandro. You're welcome, Monique.
Margret checked intellect + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 47 higher.
With the dark Knights felled, it's up to the survivors to clean and care for the wounded and the dead. Their own leader takes charge, giving Marius and Norwood a respectful berth. There's some trepidation for these men now, these very clear warriors! To them, they leave the Knight corpses for examination.
The rest gather around Simone and Margret to be seen to, to have praise heaped upon them for rescuing them so thoroughly!
Alessandro? Is /surrounded/ by shav children. Practically buried in them. They need a distraction from all this devastation and carnage, and he is /it/.
Norwood kneels down next to the dead knight, careful to keep out of //most// of the blood. (Armor sucks to clean alright?)Reaching forward he's absolutely going to examine the dead men, mostly checking their pockets, including the inside ones where it's totally normal to keep honey. (If you're a Clement.)
Simone speaks calmly to all of them as she assists Margret, telling them of Margrets great skill and stories of the Greenmarches and how they joined the Compact and became such fierce warriors and healers and diplomats. She encourages them to ask questions of her and of Margret and even of Marius. Most especially of Marius, after all he is their chief!
Norwood checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 21 lower.
Marius walks a perimeter around after the fighting has died down, as if he was somehow expecting more of the knights to come springing out of trap doors at any point and assault them. Satisfied, he reholsters his weapon and rejoins the others. "Well fought." He states simply to Norwood, watching Alessandro with a hint of amusement. As he steps past, he remarks to the children in Shav, "Be nice to him, he may share the sweets in his pockets." before going to join Simone and Margret and assuring that everybody is safe, sound and not laying around bleeding out somewhere as he joins in with Simone's effort to befriend the people.
As Margret works she assists Simone in talking up their house as well. She also talks about how the Compact isn't as terrible as everyone thinks it is, and that it has made House Greenmarch more prosperous. Ironically, she also talks about how the Faith has not been forced on them, and they are allowed to honor their own gods. "That man?" She points to Alessandro, "He is Lenosian. Not evil at all. Look how the children love him!"
Alessandro does seem to be enjoying himself. He is even smiling! Okay, sure, there's death everywhere, but come on. He now has a bunch of little minions to preach to, who are clearly hanging onto his every word whether or not they understand him. Mostly not. They chatter to each other and pull on his hand and his shirt and all the other things children do, and he attempts to figure out what they're saying, but they all seem to be getting along all right.
Eventually, though, he looks over to where Marius and Norwood are, squinting, before he holds up a hand to the children. "Wait here," he says, just a hint of that same tone from before when a few of them ran. "I will be back." He points to himself, then over to where Marius and Norwood are, then starts that way, a little gingerly. His intent is clearly to check the bodies as well, which he does do, kneeling down next to one that Norwood is not looking at.
Alessandro checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.
Norwood goes through the man's pockets and he finds.... absolutely nothing. Nothing on the first one, and absolutely nothing on the second one. Not even on the inside pockets. It doesn't stop him from pausing after turning out nothing and looking over the armor of the dead men. "It looks older - someone put some attention into this."
This rag-tag tribe's Chieftain is there to listen to Margret and Simone, and her dark brow, darker still with the loss and destruction, starts to clear. "How do we know you speak the truth?" she asks the two women, casting Marius and Norwood awe-filled looks. "Perhaps, we will see..."
Simone smiles warmly in a very friendly and soothing way to the chieftan of the tribe and says softly, "Send emissaries to our villages... wise ones that you trust. Let your people speak to them in peace. We will travel with them. Then they can report back and tell you of what they see and hear."
"What could we possibly have to gain from lying to you?" Margret asks the chieftain gently. "Beyond subjects who are now angry and displeased with us about lying? No, lies would not serve us well. The Marquessa's idea is a sound one. We were Abandoned very recently. We will not do people who are the same as us harm, and we want safety for all like us. Dark times are coming." She gives the woman a very serious look, "So come and see our villages."
As Alessandro checks the bodies, he starts to frown, and as he continues on, the frown deepens. His finger runs over something on the armor -- an etching. "Marius," he calls, and there is absolutely no amusement in his tone now. "Come look at this." When Marius does -- or if, but hopefully it's when -- he points one out. It seems to be interlocking links of a chain. "I have seen this. In Arx. They are on one of the abandoned buildings on the outskirts." Though he doesn't offer what it means; he probably doesn't know.
Marius adds to Simone's and Margret's statements to the chieftain. "We stood where you stand years ago. We are stronger together. We can afford you protection and supplies, aid and education. There is no need to stand alone. If you will let us, we will tend to you, make you stronger. A chain only grows with new links, and gets stronger with each one." With that, his attention turns back to Alessandro and he wanders on over to take in what he points out. "In Arx? These people could still have a presence there." He replies to Alessandro.
The Chieftain of this tribe is very clearly swayed. "We will take care of our own now, and see you when we have resettled. Thank you," she inclines her proud chin to all of them, "for what you have done. We owe you a debt and I will see it repaid in time."
And after that, it is just the mundane aspects of healing and cleaning, rebuilding and restoring to be taken care of before both parties go their separate ways.
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