Great Road Patrol
Jan. 24, 2019, 1 p.m.
Outside Arx - Crownlands near Bastion - Bastian Great Road
Comments and Log
The Great Bastion allows for easy travel throughout the Crownlands. It has encouraged merchants and crafters to sell their wares. It has also encouraged relatives parted by distances to attempt a visit. It is now early morning along a stretch of the Road in the Crownlands not far from Grayson lands. The Graysons and the Grayson military have been patrolling the road in general, but they are not here right know, being on another section. Instead it is Lord Bedivere of the Knights of the Solace and Whitehawk, Count Philippe of the Knights of the Solace and Dame Felicia of the Kings Own. They all are coming this way to join the patrol. They might have men with them them or they might not. They might be on foot or they might have mounts.
There are people on the road such as a merchant with a few guards and a covered wagon, a slender Prodigal woman carrying a basket of gathered berries and a family of serfs on foot walking and chattering with each other.
The Great Bastion allows for easy travel throughout the Crownlands. It has encouraged merchants and crafters to sell their wares. It has also encouraged relatives parted by distances to attempt a visit. It is now early morning along a stretch of the Road in the Crownlands not far from Grayson lands. The Graysons and the Grayson military have been patrolling the road in general, but they are not here right know, being on another section. Instead it is Lord Bedivere of the Knights of the Solace and Whitehawk, Count Philippe of the Knights of the Solace, Dame Felicia of the Deathspeakers, Lord Kaldur of the Knight of the Solace and Lady Rey of the Mercies. They all are coming this way to join the patrol. They might have men with them them or they might not. They might be on foot or they might have mounts.
There are people on the road such as a merchant with a few guards and a covered wagon, a slender Prodigal woman carrying a basket of gathered berries and a family of serfs on foot walking and chattering with each other.
For once, Cabbit has been left home at the Whitehawk Manor whilst Lord Bedivere heads forth on the road patrol atop a bay, lanky gelding with amber eyes with survival rations in saddle bags aboard. Not far behind him are a couple guards from House Whitehawk who are riding horseback, too. Further back are more men within infantry lines who are a mix of trained Whitehawk and recruited Solace. Behind them, there are some archers and cavalry, too.
Like the Graysons, in the Oathland, the Knights and any of the houses that volunteered to assist in patrolling the roads like Count Philippe Blanchard were stretched thin. So thin that his patrol saw him deep into Grayson land alongside the Knights of Solace. Following him on a formation, one hundred of the three hundred White Dragoons rode behind the Count, serving as an auxiliary to the Knights. Their speed slowing down to meet the flow of traffic. At this lull, the cavalry having been riding for a long time now strode across the road with a gentle sway. Philippe's gaze scanning across as he pushes his horse ahead of his army to meet with the others and offer his assistance.
Much of the trappings of Felicia's knighthood haven't changed in large; the massive black horse known as Wrecking Ball that she had with the King's Own is still her steed, and the shape of her armor is similar, but unlike the Hundred the metal is left forge dark. She fell in with the patrol a few leagues back without any additional troops, but at least with Wheelspinner strapped to her side.
Rey is on foot, atleast when they meet up with others. Her mantle of the Mercy's flows down her back with the hood pressed back and a mass of braid pale white hair crowning her head. She has her satchel with her but more supplies are being carried by a small horse that Solace has always let her use for such things. Really a Knight would smash the poor thing. She glimmers white everyone and there is no doubting she is a Mercy.
Kaldur sits astride Dumpling, the new-minted Knight of Solace bearing a very clean, very starchy, tabard draped over weathered platemail. Dumpling is the opposite of the amber-eyed lanky gelding, it's reflection, dark-eyed, pale gold hide, sturdily muscled. Like Dame Felicia, he is without accompaniment, shadowing Bedivere, a more seasoned Knight in the Order.
The road stretches out far in either direction. The merchant gives those patrolling the road a polite smile and seems rather relieved to see them here. "Good day and thank you!" he calls out. The man's scant guards also seem relieved. The more empathic might guess that could have had a hard time protecting this wagon. The Prodigal girl seems a bit nervous. She skitters off the side of the road, but doesn't make any trouble. Eventually she pipes up. "Berries! Berries would you like to buy some berries. They make a great snack?" The family of farmers seems friendly. In the distance there seems to be more people coming, but it is a road.
Kaldur checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 13 lower.
Bedivere checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 13 lower.
Felicia checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.
Felicia checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Philippe checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 13 lower.
Philippe checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Kaldur checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 18 lower.
Bedivere checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 18 lower.
Rey checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.
Rey checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 25 higher.
After hearing that thanks from the travelling merchant, Bedivere lifts up his stumpy arm on the right side in a sorta wave, since he can only manage reins with his remaining, left hand. After the wave, he looks to the farmers with a slight nod before side eyeing the prodigal girl with her berries.
In distance are quite a few people coming. They are far off and it is hard to make them out quite yet. None of the party seems especially talented at picking out the details right now.
Felicia and Rey are able to notice that the Prodigal woman has the the subtle signs of someone who is up to no good. She touches her nose like she is being dishonest and seems more nervous than she probably should despite being a Prodigal near so many armed people.
After a few moments of closer study Rey is able to gather that the approaching party are men and woman wearing cheap leathers. They are armed and don't show signs of belonging to any noble house. could they be dangerous? There seems to be many of them. Like a small army or a gang.
Kaldur heard 'berries' and his stomach rumbled. Nudging Dumpling nearer the girl, he rumbles at her, "How much?"
The girl smiles toward Kaldur. "They very good. You will like them." She says softly. "Five Coppers." She adds a moment later. This seems to be a standard price. "I recommend sharing them with everyone." The woman then adds.
Rey narrows her eyes to see who or what is coming and she steps quickly up to Kaldur and Bedivere as they are closest. As the girl goes on and speaks of sharing with everyone the healer smile at her with a shake of her head at Kaldur, "Maybe in a moment, berries are so good for medicine I would need to test them to see which they would be better for.." She smiles brightly but is pulling at Dumpling to move towards Bedivere. Once she is close enough to as many Solace as possible, she whispers softly, "Those coming near are many, in bad leathers and I can't see any house.." She let's the Knights deside and turns back to the berry woman.
Felicia can't help but narrow her eyes at least slightly at the Prodigal woman, attention flicking up towards Kaldur briefly as she nudges Wrecking Ball's flank to divert the stallion towards him and the woman both,"I wouldn't recommend berries at this stage, Lord Seliki, or you'll end up having to duck behind a tree before too long. Here." she pulls some rough hard-bread from one of her own packs to pass over his way, glancing towards Rey, then the woman with a tight kind of smile,"But berries would be good for later." she offers with a small nod of her head, content to fish out a silver to pass it over.
On his horse, Philippe cranes his head over to Rey, as he raises his gaze forward to look at those approaching. Quietly, he nods to the rest of them, pulling his horse away to command his cavalry to spread on the road and ride forward with a slow pace to meet these people.
Bedivere slows his horse alongside the road and nods upward just a touch after Rey's words before looking to Kaldur, too. He then puts the bridle reins into his teeth and uses his left hand to make a few gestures to his guards who send that same 'message' back. This causes the whole team to become perk up along with become more aware. Archers unsling bows and get out arrows. Some cavalry spread out into the woods near the road, some with bows, some with swords while the infantry folk set their hands on the grip of their own weapons, too, but drawing they do not yet do.
The girl seems disappointed as the party refuses her berries at this time, but she doesn't try to push them. Instead she has a smile that to Felicia and Rey might seem to be a fake smile. She starts in the direction of the party in the distance.
This party is drawing closer and now they are able to see each other. The party consists of about 100 men and woman ranging in age from about eighteen to sixty. They are for the most part adorned in ragged leathers. They have wooden clubs and cheap steel weapons. They have several large dogs with them, maybe about a dozen or so. Some in the party are equiped with bows. They also have three giant wagons that look to be very nice wagons filled with such. Tied behind these wagons and walking are six people in high quality woolen clothing.
Kaldur lets Dame Felicia broker a deal for a berry snack for later. Rey will probably find very few left for testing. He accepts the haunch of bread from Felicia with a grateful nod of his head, chewing as Rey pulls he and Bedivere together. "Hmmh?" Chew. Chew. OH! He startles a bit and looks at the rough crew coming down the road. Seeing the forces gathered spread out and stand ready sends nerves tingling, the potential for violence creeping ever closer on shod hooves. He swallows the bread without chewing enough, bringing tears to his eyes, as he sniffs and guages the others to see how they're playing this.
There was little hesitation at the sight of the slavers, the Count draws his blade and turns his horse to face Bedivere, "Your road." He says to the man in a low growl as one hundred men and women on horses all brandish their blades behind the Count. Like at the races, they huddle and anticipate the command the release, "We charge, you provide us with cover and get those people free?" Philippe aims the blade at the group in the distance, hoping to halt their steps.
Rey is surrounded by Knights but her eyes slowly pan over those who are coming near. She slowly slips out of the gathering Knights and men and moves toward her horse. She stays in hearing distance of what they are going to do as she slips up on Whisper and calms the horse who is used to such things as this. She takes a few steps towards the edge of the road but also moving enough to allow herself to look over those who are tied to the wagons. Sea-green eyes sparking with one emotion or another. But it's clear the tiny Mercy is not pleased at all with what she sees.
Bedivere pulls the reins from his teeth with his left hand and then calls back formation orders to give us all the best chance. In addition to Philippe's men are a couple hundred Whitehawk/Solace men under Bedivere in direct addition. "Well, if we cannot get them to bend the knee because we obviously outnumber them at least 3 or 4 to 1. If they wish to die we can fight them. Anyone here good with diplomacy?"
One big-boned man with an axe calls out. "Off the road and give us the merchant and you can pass without us having to kill all your men." The merchant in the wagon looks frightened and tries to get his wagon behind Philippe's men. The Prodigal woman and her basket of berries joins the mob. The archers in the mob are getting their bows ready.
Bedivere has rolled a critical success!
Bedivere checked intellect + war at difficulty 30, rolling 78 higher.
Felicia tucks the berries into a separate pack from where her hard tack is, and will cheerfully hand them over to Rey later, but the sacrifice of a silver to secure the suspicious womans hoard is a small sacrifice to make. And by the Harrow's measure, if she's wrong about them, well, pies are good. But the calling out makes her grunt softly, drawing not Wheelspinner but her other blade as she chooses to drop back to the merchant and other non-combatants in their own group and take up position by them rather than interfere with the Knights of Solace's movement.
Kaldur shakes his head, "Not particularly, Knight Bedivere." There are a few things Kaldur is noting that he might need to brush up on. "Speaking persuasively, aye, but... not bargaining." They're standing on the very proof of that statement, in point of fact. He nudges Dumpling forward, not drawing his blade. He looks over his shoulder at the impressive array of troops behind. To the merchant he quietly suggests, "Get behind us, good sir." He straightens and lifts his gaze to the leader of the bandit van, "We don't stand for raids along the Road. Surrender the people and the wagons. Now." He lets the 'or else' hang silently. Bared steel flashing behind him. He folds his hands on the pommel of Dumpling's saddle.
"They are slavers. We should deal with that before we try diplomacy. The survivors we arrest and bring back to the Grayson court." There was an irritation in the Count's voice as he slaps the rein of his horse on the other side to settle its turn. "We charge!" A shout emerges from Philippe as he barks an order to his army. His blue eyes fix on Bedivere, watching the Knight's army provide an amazing buffer for his own soldiers. Philippe looks over to Kaldur, raising a brow but riding ahead.
Kaldur checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.
After calling back a few codes which are passed back by senior members within the Whitehawk/Solace ranks, the formation spreads in an inverted V with every single archer being bodyguarded by an invantry person. Alongside both ends of the big V, there are cavalry formations, ready to charge from both sides, and then there is a spot of infantry in a shield wall to help cover the archers, too, in the very middle at the top of the V inversion. All this adjacent with Philippe's troops who are not hindered by his. "Those might be noble folk back there, and an ongoing battle might get them shot by an errant arrow or their necks sliced to spite us." says the olde commander in a hissing whisper. "If you must, we will back you up, of course, but do be careful here."
The party seems pretty unsettled, likely believing that they are completely outnumbered. They also seem moved by Kaldur's words and well frightened of Philippe's words. The girl with the berries is trying to run off into the forest. One of the archers says. "They got four times as many men as us, we have to get out here, we all going to die!" He drops his bow and tries to retreat into the woods as well. The others are seemingly pretty nervous and close to breaking as well.
Felicia checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
Kaldur has rolled a critical success!
Kaldur checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Bedivere checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Rey checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.
Philippe checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 63 higher.
This party is able to guess that the bandits are likely not writ bound. They seem to have the normal expected fear that many would have when outnumbered. They don't even seem that married to their cause whatever it is, likely robbing merchants on the road. Kaldur especially can tell they are moments away from fleeing, pleading or begging for mercy. A fight can probably be avoided if they play their cards right.
Bedivere looks back and murmurs to those near him, "I bet they are ransomers and not slavers, wanting those from rich families or noble families to trade." Afterwards, he notes Kaldur's way, "Can you pitch bending the knee, so they do not have to die?" He waves some of the calvalry up the sides to box in those trying to flee and herd them back, but no attacks from Whitehawk yet ensue.
Kaldur nods to Bedivere, agreeing, and sees the bandits shifting and shakiness. He lifts his voice, still sitting calmly, weapon sheathed, a deep-throated bark of command, "DROP YOUR WEAPONS!" Even as Philippe's chargers advance. To the Count, "Surround them!"
Kaldur checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
And with that issued, he gestures at the merchant to move along behind them, turning Dumpling and walking back, away.
Rey is a healer and knows her strengths, so the tiny Mercy simply stays to the back, watching and waiting for something she might notice or can do, she keeps silent for now.
Able to read a fleeing army, Philippe rides forward with weapons cutting around the bandits and surrounding them. Blades meet leather but the assault is done in a more herding manner, the White Dragoons waiting for the diplomats to do their thing as the dragoons threaten the bandits with destruction.
Philippe checked command + war at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
The Whitehawk cavalry works in tandem with the White Dragoons, fully surrounding and boxing in those who might flee. The V of archers with bodyguards moves up along with the shield wall across its top with a synchronous *chunk* of steps. "Bend the knee to The Compact! Get a better life than all this!" calls out Lord Bedivere.
Felicia waits until Kaldur's got the non-combatants safely out of the way before spurring Wrecking Ball towards the rest of the group. With the Whitehawk and Solace knights surrounding the group already it seems that the Deathspeaker is going to push the proverbial boundaries by nudging her stallion forward with the intent of going to cut the captives free.
The army does seem to be getting ready to flee and Count Philippe is able to pick up on such. He commands his men, getting them into positions that make leaving scene much more difficult and much more dangerous for the bandits. His men listen to his command and things are not looking good for this mob. They hear Kaldur's words and are moved by them as well, many of the archers are lowering their bows and many of the infantry are lowering their weapons. The merchant hiding behind the patrol, is looking further relieved. Those tied behind the wagons are looking hopeful, but still nervous. "Really...we can bend the knee." One woman nervously says in response to Bedivere's words. "Oh, thank you and please don't kill me. I have little ones at home who need to feed. We just needed the money." She pleads. Is it true? Well only the empathic might be able to guess at that. Felicia is allowed to the cut the captives free and they seem very very happy about this. One man is rubbing his wrists. "Thank you so much."
Felicia checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.
Bedivere checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 17 lower.
Philippe checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 15 lower.
Felicia can pick up that the woman's words are sort of true. She is still a criminal willing to do bad things, but it seems likely that she does have a family who needs food and shelter as well.
Rey has rolled a critical success!
Rey checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Rey is pretty alert as she looks over this woman and the others in the ground. She gets the feeling that some of them are people probably just trying to find some silver to help care for themselves and their families. Clearly they are willing to do morally questionable things to do such, but they are not all pure evil. That being said when she looks upon the big-boned man who seems to be leading this mob, she notices a cold harshness in his eyes. Rey is amazing empathic to the situation here.
The White Dragoons move into the surrendering bandit army to separate them forcefully from their slave wagon, covering the rescue of the people as Felicia frees them. He clears his throat and rides down the line of his Cavalry to reach Bedivere, "We need to arrest them and let Grayson decide but it would be dishonest of us to sell them on bending the knee if what they will get is an execution. So I suggest we just do what we came here to do and nothing extra." Philippe says to the Knight in a hushed tone.
"That doesn't make you not a criminal." Felicia offers flatly with supreme (lack of) diplomacy, cutting the last of the captives free and asking the captives more directly,"Are you part of the Compact? Regardless, stay behind us." she recommends.
"You're already risking your lives and those of your children by being out here committing banditry." she adds for the ragged group as she swings back up onto Wrecking Ball's back and scanning the group at large.
Atop his horse, Bedivere quietly mentions to Rey, "After the Dame brings the captives back, would you tend to them, please?" He soon looks to Philippe and Felicia both, "What you both said. Arresting commences, then. Forgive me." Then, he looks up, "I apologize, I should have checked if you were Compact or not so. House Grayson will decide. But, you live for now, and I will put it in my patrol report that you all surrendered without a fight to us."
Sometimes silence in shadows are useful, and the pale Mercy is giving credit to this as she slips out of the trees once more and makes her way up slowly to Bedivere. A deep breath and a tilt of her head and she speaks softly, "Many of them are doing this to feed their families, while I can not agree with their actions there is truth in ome of there words, but, the large male, he simply likes hurting people, I'd make sure he's not near the others.." Her voice is soft and sweet, so while it might come out she is giving orders, they are mere suggestions or nore simply giving information. As she is asked to treat the captives, she gives a soft smile. "Of course, that is why I am here.." She then moves back again and starts to get her things together once more for wound cleaning if nothing else.
The bandits have varying reactions. One young man in his early twenties is crying in fear. The woman who spoke of her children pleads with Felicia. "If I am killed, would someone be willing to check on my children. They are innocent and I can tell you where they are?" She begs. The leader is looking all stotic and hard-eyed. She glances about as if search for a possible escape. Philippe and Bedivere are able to command their men and have the bandits arrested if they wish. It will be march back to Grayson and a few will try and escape.
The Count stares the large man down, studying him for a moment, "There are ways to focus that need into something productive like fighting to keep these roads safe." He clears his throat and looks around, turning to study the woman, "The Graysons are honorable people. You will be treated justly." The gaze of the man looks to the other bandits, "They will feed you and the mercies will tend to your wounds and aches but this, THIS NEEDS TO STOP!"
Felicia says, "dpesm"
Bedivere quietly thanks Rey, and then speaks up after Philippe's words. "Exactly." to ultimately agree. Then, he takes the advice offered by the Mercy and makes sure that the bandit leader of the rag tag band is kept well away from his former crew. Arresting commences, and during the ride back to where they will deposit their prisoners, he does his best to make sure they have a good formation for mitigating escapees.
"My lady, if you tell me where your children are, you have my word that I will find them and take them in personally." Felicia agree's without hesitation to the woman, even if the crying man doesn't seem to move her terribly.
"Thank you."The woman says to to Felicia and she rattles off the direction to a cottage in tiny forest village not far from here.
Philippe takes the dragoons back to the Oathlands, finishing their patrol.
Felicia's content to leave the guarding to the Solace and Whitehawk knights, the former King's Own, self-styled 'Deathspeaker' keeping her word by diverting to collect the children as promised. Catching up to the column so that in the least they can see their mother and vice-versa might wear out the big stallion some, but, well, their miniscule weight gets to remain on the big horse while the knight walks the rest of the distance. It's good exercise, after all.
The Whitehawk/Solace troops under Lord Bedivere make sure the newly arrested are actually provided plenty water but keep up a steady pace with few breaks. Meanwhile, the associated cavalry rides up and noggin bonks wouldbe escapees before hearding back such rebels to the main group. After some time, though, they eventually arrive to meet judgement as House Grayson sees fit for them. Lord Bedivere also keeps his promise about the patrol report, too.
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