The Countess' Plight - Part Two
The brave Lorandi come together again to deal with some cunning bandits.
Valatir checked intellect + economics at difficulty 20, rolling 44 higher.
Valatir is a trader, he's traveled all of the roads traders take to come and go throughout Torendaar. He does know of a road which would be most likely to be traveled by traders coming from Palinnar to the Countess' hands. In particular, he knows a part of the road which has hills and trees on either side--and has heard rumors of it being a spot people have been ambushed by bandits in the past. Its a good spot for people to wait then pop out to attack--perhaps their bandits would use such an advantageous spot if they knew a shipment of silver was being transported to the Countess?
Ambushing bandits that are going to ambush fake couriers. It's so subversive that Ember is far too gleeful about the idea. Out of the way and up in one of the trees she waits, hooded and with her stave at the ready to aim in whatever direction a good fireball will need to be thrown. Because she is surely hoping it will need to be done.
Yvette checked perception + war at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.
Ember checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.
Valatir sits up pleasantly in the wagon - hell, it can even be *his* caravan. It's not like he doesn't have one. There might even be actual money in it for them to rob. Who can tell!
Gureylain checked perception + war at difficulty 20, rolling 36 higher.
Seated in the wagon with Valatir, Seren glances aside atr him but is generally attempting to look anything but a lady of a House. Her clothing is a bit less formal and rich - something simple for someone used to travel. A nod is given to her companion before she smiles and then glances back out around them. She's not really skilled in the act of actual fighting but her hand gripping the seat is twitching a little, flexing upon the edge as they wait.
The old woodself is set to work among the lands astride the road, checking for blinds that can be used to capture bandits, places arrows can be stowed. His cloak blends with the green and golds of the fields, making him little more than a ripple and shadow while he makes for his positioning. He needn't be close to deal with these issues. He just needs to see the mischief makers.
Gureylain, Ember, and Yvette scope out the area a day or so before, so that they know they're not going to stumble upon any hiding bandits and blow their cover. They find a rocky hillslide by the road that looks like just the perfect place for the bandits to set up a perfect "Watcher attack". Then they search for their own places, place at a distance so the bandits (hopefully) won't notice them waiting, but with clear view of the area, and good cover. In the trees, or in the long grass, depending on their preference. They get into position early, then wait...
Another not in the cart, Yvette spent some time studying the particular bend in the road they've chosen. She's found a place in the trees as well. Well not -in-in them. She's not gonna be climbing under the weight of her armor. Instead, she just settles in with dense foliage and a bush that cozies up to said tree; enough to cover, enough to see through if need be. At least for the moment.
Gureylain, Ember, and Yvette: Perception + Survival or Investigation at 30. Val and Seren: Composure or Charm + Manipulation at 25, to play it cool and look natural.
Ember checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.
Yvette checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 lower.
Valatir checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 11 higher.
Seren checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 39 higher.
Rawlin checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.
Rawlin is sitting in the back of the cart, trying not to look like Loran's High Priest but more like one of the lower levels of some priesthood, wearing some old robes and flipping through some book dedicated to one of the gods... in this case this book is the 43 Secrets of Gala so anyone who can see the cover might raise an eyebrow at it.
Valatir and Seren are confident enough that they're playing it cool, but not *too cool*. Rawling, on the other hand, is like... way too cool. Sunglasses at night levels of cool.
Ember picked a perfectly lovely tree. It has lots of branches and is very leafy, and it's got a very cozy place for her to settle into where she's not likely to be seen until it's too late for their prey to do anything about. Hopefully it will be just as pretty after this confrontation as it is now.
"Are you enjoying your sex manual back there?" asks Valatir over his shoulder with a grin. It's not like he's particularly concerned about any of this - what're they going to do? Rob him? Maybe it'll be one of the handsome ones...
"You really draw the prettiest pictures Val." Rawlin murmurs back to Valatir, grinning a little.
Gureylain checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.
Slowly Valatir's caravan comes moving along, pulled by his horse. It's a fairly easy, casual pace. They soon come into view of the others in their stake out positions, only a few minutes away from where the others had guessed the bandits would hit.
The call of a robin sounds from Ember's perch; twice, to try and indicate direction that she's spotted something out of the ordinary in the tall grass. She squints, trying to track whatever she saw again, the hiss of crackling ice forming from the tip of her stave where the mala crystal is embedded. Setting grass on fire might be mad, but maybe she can freeze whatever is moving in place should she spot it again in time.
Glancing back over her shoulder moment when Rawlin comments about how pretty the pictures are. She clears her throat and leans slightly into the seat with her arm resting on the back. "Getting ideas then?" She arches a brow, lookng somewhat bemused. "Of course he is, one of the books he keeps trying to get me to read." She intones and then wets her lips, chewing on the edge of it as she turns her attention forward once more, tugging at the white gold braid over her shoulder. As they near she is attempt to watch for any sign of the others, her lips pressing into a frown.
There's nothing from Yvette's point of view so far, but then: she chose something closer to the road for a reason. She can't throw magic or shoot arrows. She needs to be somewhere she can move fast.
"Everyone should read it. The priesthood came up with these things to better enhance the love between two to nine people," says Valatir.
Gureylain checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
"I am always finding inspirations, my love." Rawlin tells Seren, looking up to smile at her, though he has to struggle to keep from laughing at Valatir's comment. "Oh, so if a tenth wanted in they are out of luck?"
Ember checked wits + evocation at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
"Then you break off and do the other options in groups," he assures. "The book's very thorough."
Where is Gureylain? It's hard to tell. He makes no sound, he leaves no tracks. Really there are maybe two others in the Lorandi as in tune as the woodself is. When the wind moves the grass he moves the same direction, saw-toothing his path with the flow of air and the shift in ground that affects his terrain. He moves low, bow in hand, arrows quivered in palm. Set to his task and happily, a distraction from life in Torendaar, skulking towards a glimpse in the grasses, on a hill - periodically checking to make sure he can see the caravan.
It's hard for Ember to see, from her hiding spot--no doubt illusions at play, and very powerful ones. But she's scoped out the area and can at least guess where they are going, using her quick mind to guess position--then sends out a beam of ice to cover the area in ice. She's rewarded by a soft yelp of surprise coming from the grass.
It's around then that Gureylain is stalking his way around, moving quietly, using the land to his advantage. He comes up from behind where he'd seen the illusion slip--and from the different point of view he can see where the illusions are less defined, where the grass is moving--signs of several people moving close to the edge of the hill.
But once the ice shoots out, well, things get far, far more chaotic. The illusion used to hide the bandits flickers--then changes abruptly, and suddenly everyone can see... a great many people standing in the grass, hunkered down. It is, thankfully, around that time that the caravan has come close enough to also see what is going on.
I can't do coded combat, so instead we are going to just do rounds where you guys tell me your actions, and I'll give you rolls! More roleplaying things out than worrying about numbers too much. Sometimes rolls might be contested if it feels appropriate.
Gureylain checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.
Yvette checked perception at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Yvette checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.
Ember checked perception at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Ember checked mana + evocation at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
Valatir does as he would if he expected them to actually get to trying to rob him - whipping out an abjuration crystal and starts warding up his precious baby - the caravan.
Ember is looking super smug up in her tree right now. It's totally disgusting honestly. "Ooooh, will you look at that. Poor little bandits with their pants down, so to speak." Nobody can hear her, quite likely, but elves talk to themselves all the time okay? Buuuut, something about the way what she's seeing doesn't move, or doesn't move properly strikes her as being hinky. Nope, got to look further and... yes, there! Movement! Next up, a little shot of lightning that shold fork around the bandits to get them all twitching and unable to fight properly while Yvette and Gurey move closer. "Dance for me, bandits!"
Rawlin checked mana + abjuration at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Seren checked intellect + prestidigitation at difficulty 30, rolling 87 higher. Seren rolled a critical!
Ice and wavering illusions Things don't look right and ready to draw down, Gureylain slinks closer, trying to get within the illusion now
When the figures make themselves seen, Rawlin drops his book and turns, activating his varne crystal to create a shield of pink, gold and summer yellow energy, moving up so he can make sure that it stands between Seren and any potential arrows that might come flying her way.
Valatir checked intellect + abjuration at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Once she's aware of where the bandits are, Yvette moves. She has no magic nor other ranged methods of fighting. What she has is a sword and out her sabre comes with that faint ring as the metal tips at the edge of the scabbard. Initially, the Monstald seems intent on what looks to be the 'leader' of the group, but at nearly the last second she whirls on someone just to her right. The knight, with her platinum-white hair whirls. The blade moves not at vital areas like chest or throat, but instead at the legs: intent on cutting him down; disabling him.
Hatharal GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Gureylain checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
The illusion breaks and those pale green eyes are drawn as the air shimmers and finally reveals what was once hidden. Her hands are lifting to weave quickly, slender digits that do quick work to set the world into motion. She repeats that of an illusion failing and just less than a dozen extra armed Lorandi are now standing with the caravan. The details are so precise that the quick illusion looks real down to them moving slightly to reflect life. Her gaze narrows as she makes it look like she purposefully removed the threads around actual living elves she was concealing.
Rawlin's movement is just in the midst of her motions and her hand comes up, reacing out to touch his side when she is done but also use him to block any further magic she works, continuing up the facade that they are ready for the ambush far more than they already are. They look ready to gut any one of the bandits that were once lying in wait.
Bandit sorcery, illusionists and now his niece in the midst of danger. Gureylain frowns from his hiding spot, so close to the bandits he could practically touch them. He is very close, close enough that he may run into real trouble here. But then he thinks of his family at risk, close by and down below, and the rest is simple. He flicks an arrow up to nock it to the string, drawing and firing without taking time to sight, simply looking at his target the caster's crystal.
Hatharal GM Roll checked mana(5) + evocation(5) at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Gureylain, Yvette, roll me Dexterity + Dodge at 15.
Yvette checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
At the caravan, Valatir and Rawlin work together to create a thick shield of energy around them--while Seren works her illusionary arts. It... is damn impressive, to say the least.
Ember's lightning flies out over the fields, ellecting several cries of pain--and it helps the illusions flicker again, enough for Gureylain and Yvette to move in quickly, and purposely. Yvette turns around with her powerful blade, and slices deep into the leg of a feminine elf. The girl, young for an elf, cries out in pain as blood splatters the grass around her. She staggers--and as she does, the illusions hiding the bandits fade completely. The group can all seem them clearly now: A wounded woman, a man holding a blood-red crystal, and four other bandits. Though one of which is still wrestling to free his leg from thick ice, and another who still is convulsing from the lightning.
The man holding the red crystal turns upon Yvette with a scowl, obviously furious to see the girl harmed. He lifts the crystal towards her, but at that moment Gureylain's arrow pierces through his palm, making him cry out and pain--and drop the crystal to the ground.
The lady elf Yvette has injured clenches her jaw, glancing around, then towards the caravan--then disappears from view entirely. The masculine elf curses, then crouches to try to fumble with the crystal, but he's clumsy with the ruined hand and unable to focus his magic accurately. The earth shakes all around them and rocks splinter upwards to try to stab at them and throw them off balance--but his magic is weakened and Yvette manages to dance away without any harm done.
Rawlin checked command + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Gureylain checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
With the initial attack seemingly fended off? Rawlin wasn't one for knowing the ins and outs of a battle, from his vantage point it seems like their side has an advantage currently. He lets his shield go momentarily and calls out in a loud voice for all to hear. "Drop your weapons and remain where you are and the Golden King of Torendaar, Arminel Serannar may show you leniency! If you make us run after you and chase you down, when you are caught... we'll... ah... something unpleasant will happen!" Clearly not as commanding as he might have liked.
Seren checked wits + prestidigitation at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.
Gureylain is also uninjured!
Valatir checked intellect + streetwise at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
The arrow through the leaders hand to send his crystal flying causes Seren to react. The others are forgotten and she quickly reaches out to grasp for the weapon with the lifewell. Her hand passes just by Rawlin's side and slender fingers outstretch. Wrapping the crystal up with magic she draws it towards hesrelf and over the shields. It passes through the air and drops down into her waiting hands to grasp up and pull against her chest. No more spells will be cast by the bandit. Eyes glance from one to the other and when Rawlin attempts to speak she winces just a little but does not comment, merely tucks the crystal into an apron pocket, getting it out of sight and out of mind. "Best to give up," she finally tacks on.
Gureylain checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher. Gureylain rolled a critical!
Gureylain checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 46 higher.
Yvette checked strength + brawl at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Ember checked mana + evocation at difficulty 20, rolling 56 higher.
With so much magic working around her and at the fringes of her perepherials, Yvette takes just a couple quick breaths to keep herself focused and in the moment. What she has to do is right here, right now: it's tangible and real. So is she. Her original target, bleeding, disappears. Maybe. Given some space, she could probably track the blood spatters sure to be left behind. However, the Monstald knight has a more direct target: the mage. His crystal is stripped from him, but she's not letting him go that easy. Yvette moves in, trying to tackle him to the ground. She is, however, thrown off a bit by Rawlin's -terrible- speech.
Avoiding harm and assault, the Old Wolf of Rylanth is just that, slipping to the side, tumbling into a roll before he rises like a viridian storm cloud. Eyes narrowed and face set. The woman who runs has his eye, and he is after her like a hound, slipping through brush and grass like mist, appearing from the tall grass like a viper, arrow drawn and fired for her knee with a restorer;s precision, aimed to sever tendons and punch through patella. He says nothing, but it's clear at this point. No escape.
There's a moment where Ember really wants to show off, since she's been so successful thus far. And she swings round on that sturdy branch of hers to take aim at the evocator in the bandit bunch... but then sees Yvette going for him, and decides it's way scarier to face the Grandmaster if she gets accidentally electrocuted by proxy then would be worth the opportunity. Soooooo, instead, a sizzling bolt edged with flame is hurtled towards one of the elves trying to make a run for it. Not so fast. "I pretended that was your speech that I just aimed at, Rawlin!"
Yvette checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
Hatharal GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + small wpn(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.
One of the fleeing bandits looks back at Rawin uncertainly, and doesn't... quite stop. But he does slow down. And that's when Ember ZAPS them in the back, causing them to fall over and sieze again. After that... well, the fleeing bandits seem to rethink Rawlin's proposal (thus lowering the diff...) and put up their hands in surrender.
Meanwhile, Gureylain looks out over the plains, and--there, he sees fresh blood smearing across the grass, a flicker of movement--and lets his arrow fly. The illusionist's tricks flicker off again as she screams in pain, the arrow landing directly through her kneecap. She staggers forward into the grass, unable to do anything but drag herself forward.
Yvette wrestles with the man--now unarmed of his crystal. He scowls, and obviously isn't willing to give up without going down fighting. Yvette manages to get him into a headlock--but his arm wiggles free and he pulls a dagger from his belt, trying to stab her in the gut. But he's using his off hand, thanks to Gureylain, and she manages to jerk back from the blade.
Ember is going to scurry down from her perch at this point, though she doesn't take aim at the one person who seems intent to keep fighting. Now that he's engaged in melee, she's concerned about splash damage from her spells hitting a friendly. So, her hands clasp behind her back fretfully. And maybe she goes to stand near the two that tried to flee so she can boot-stomp them if they change their minds.
Yvette checked strength + brawl at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.
The four non-descipt bandits seem pretty willing to play nice now, and stay still with their hands up. The lady illusionist is... less compliant, but honestly she's mostly just... writhing in pain right now....
"Just... stay... down!" Yvette's words come out with difficulty. She's trying to wrestle with a man who is very, very dedicated to his cause. And he just pulled a knife on her. She manages to avoid that, but as she goes to try to wrest him down to the ground she just comes up against someone who is either patently stronger or is made so through anger or fear.
"Yeah, yeah that was not my best speach." Rawlin grumbles to anyone who will hear it. He slips off of the cart and brushes himself off (like he had been doing anything physical until just then. "So who is good at the old interrogation stuff? I'm not very intimidating, but maybe we can use some illusions to rile up some information out of these thugs."
Gureylain checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 46 higher.
"Fuck you, bitch! I'll never cow to the fucking nobility!" The elf scowls in her face, wrestling against her. While Yvette doesn't pin him down, she does at least manage to hold him still for a moment--long enough that Gureylain lifts his bow and fires off another shot. This one deadly, and purposeful, lodging deep into his chest. He staggers, then goes limo into Yvette's arms, gasping out some blood.
His quarry down, and no certain not to escape, Gureylain turns, pivoting on his heel. The elf lord has spent a long time on battlefields in his life. Has seen terrible things, and lost family. The sight of Yvette having a knife drawn on her is enough to incense him. True rage in his blood, causing an ocean roar in his ears. Does anyone truly wish to meet the real Gureylain?
The arrow in the elf's chest he stands, his face a death's head mask as he stares at the figure, watching until he's sure he's dead.
"He seems nice." Ember quips, just before she winces at the arrow to the chest. There go that guy's adventuring/banditing days.
The arrow to the elf's chest startles Yvette and she nearly fumbles away. Instead, she does catch him as she drops her sword and leans back on her knees. "Why'd you do that!" Only one person in their group could have fired that arrow. She looks left, right; battle-loosened hair flaring behind her. Eyes settle on Gureylain and narrow. "We can't know this is the entire operation! He could have had vital information." Which leaves the others. She looks back down at the dead elf and releases him to the ground so as to stand, retrieving her blade as she does so.
If anyone wants to *try* to keep him alive, they can--but otherwise, yes, he will likely be dead in a few seconds.
Valatir looks to the now-coming-to-corpsehood person. "That's unfortunate." Cold.
"There's an old storehouse that's about a mile or two west. They were likely headed there when they waylaid us or as a fallback point," Val adds.
The other bandits are still sitting in the grass with their hands up, looking pretty grim and terrified now. The illusionist is curled up, holding her knee.
Rawlin makes no move to heal the dying elf. "So should we head to that storehouse then? See what's there?" He asks Valatir.
"And the only information you get from a zealot is what you want to hear. The woman is over there" Gureylain motins with his bow, "Their caster. She won't be running any more." he meets Yvette's gaze unflinching "If there were more, they'll surely continue, and I have their backtrail from this point." motioning where they fought Yvette and he shot arrows. "Unless they have someone as good at me in woodscraft... we will find them."
The Evocationist coughs up more blood for a second or two before going still in the grass where he lays. Very much dead.
Yvette checked command + intimidation at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Valatir waves a hand. "I will await those who are more martially inclined. Unless our goal is to seduce the handsome thief, in which case, I volunteer as tribute."
There's a look at Gureylain and Yvette moves towards one of the bandits in the grass. Not the girl, no, but one of the other ones. She steps up to him, stomps a booted foot down upon his leg, and leans down to clean her blade on some of his clothing. Poor guy. Used like a common rag. "When you hit a caravan like this, where do you take it?" The blade is still in hand and very, very close to something vital.
Seren begins to stand when she sees Gureylain hit the mage in the chest with an arrow. SHe holds herself still, remaining in her seat as she makes a faint sound. She lets out a long breath and then rubs at her neck a moment, looking somewhat uncomfortable with the turn of events. Worry briefly knits her brow but she stays otherwise quiet. Valatir's comment is enough to cause her attention to shift and she lowers her gaze, dropping the illusion of the extra Lorandi with ease as her hand rests over the pocket where the crystal now resides. Fingers smooth against the fabric between herself and it.
Ember snrks, and rolls her eyes at Valatir. "I'll just make sure nobody makes a run for it." she offers, going to lean up against the wagon and wait now.
The bandit yelps, holding his hands up in front of him. "Whoa, whoa! I'm surrendering, lady!" The elf frowns deeply, leaning away from Yvette. "Yeah--he's right. The storehouse. We keep all our shit hidden there."
"Good boy," Yvette quips to the bandit. She steps away now, sheathing her blade. "We got any rope to throw them in the back of the cart?" A pause and she looks towards where the illusionist lies, then to Seren and Rawlin. "We... should maybe do something for her."
Gureylain steps up to look at the remaining bandits, looking to the dead mage, and then back to them. "You're lucky your judgement isn't in my hands... I stood the line and fought while you got to the ships." glaring at them, jaw working. His face tense, cords sticking out in his neck. "I fought the Host so you could escape. You turn around and do this" he turns and marks trail points before walking away, letting Yvette handle the issue of the kneecapped illusionist.
The bandits say nothing, but they all frown deeply up at Gureylain, intimidated and maybe looking just a bit guilty. But knowing better than to speak, at least.
"Hrm, yes, we should hand the corpse over to Glanor's priesthood." Rawlin says, agreeing with Yvette. "Do you and Gureylain wish to place the body into the wagon? We can make sure it gets to Glanor's shrine in Thelos once we get back to Torendaar." He turns and walks to Seren, placing a gentle hand upon her arm and offering a smile. "Your illusions were amazing as always." He pats her arm and then moves to get back into wagon.
"I did what I could, it was the work of everyone else," she intones, her gaze lingering on the corpse a moment before she dips her chin. The others are getting ready to go and deal with the figures. "Should likely restrain them as we can and deliver them to those who can dispense justice in this land." She wets her lips, still glancing on occasion down to the unmoving form of the mage. IT is summer, she has no cloak or she might offer to cover his chest and face with something to keep his glazed gaze from staring at anyone.
She shifts in her seat, her hand coming down to grip the seat again before she will help pull out the rope if need be.
The bandits are easily tied up and stowed away into the caravan. Unless healed, the illusionists limps along or is dragged/carried. She seems to have regained her composure, a little, but is still in quite a bit of pain. Easily tied up along with the others though, and for now not resisting. Just glaring down at the ground with a deep frown. She occasionally glances towads the corpse--if they take it with them--and looks mournful.
They travel west, a couple miles as Valatir guessed. He doesn't know the exact location, but Gureylain is able to easily track his way to it, and they find it--a two story storehouse, fairly small. The sort of place where people building the first roads in Torendaar would have stopped to rest, or to store their tools. But long since abandoned now that it was less needed. It now is covered in vines and obscured by tall grass. People might not even notice it at a distance anymore. The sun has set by now, night having come over, but they can see a flicker of firelight coming from a crack in the boarded up windows.
Gureylain checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 25, rolling 37 higher.
Gureylain pays little mind to the corpse, or to the illusionist's eyeline to the body. When near the storehouse he simply drops off and into the brush, sweeping into foliage again with a grim scowl on his features. His intention to get close enough to the old storehouse to find a way in, to investigate, to look see for more.
Once he has a quick scout he notes information, rolling it on to an arrow and loosing it almost casually to sink it into the wood within reach of the others, but far enough to not risk injury.
"Two inside at cards. Signs of living here. Move cautious or strike like thunder. I will strike when you do"
The simple message sent back to the others.
"Personally, I say strike like a forest fire." Val looks to Ember. "Thoughts?"
"I think we all know I am best reserved for the strike like thunder option. So, if I am to blow open the door - do give the signal." Ember notes to those around her, eyes straying towards the injured illusionist. "I can... oh, what's this? You want a fireball? I can do that!" She sounds far too excited, really.
No need to roll now. Blast away!
Valatir nods his head. "Boom."
Rawlin winces slightly as the go-ahead is given for Ember to light things up, but still watches with some level of interest.
Gleefully almost, Ember focuses her attention on the mala crystal attaches to her stave. It takes precious little time for her to pull primal forces through that focus and then point it towards the door to let loose a fireball. BOOM. "Oh that felt /good/. Watch for splinters!"
The storehouse is old, and not particularly sturdy. The door is blasted open with ease, sent flying and smashing against the far wall. The two elves inside let out yells of surprise and panic, dancing away quickly as the flames catch light on the old floorboards. The two elves quickly come running out of the door, jumping away from the fire that threatens to burn the storehouse down.
They stop and stare in the direction of the elves--then the caravan with their fellows tied up. They slowly lift their hands in surrender, clothes still smoking a bit here and there...
The go ahead to blow up something is enough to give her some hesitation. Seren turns her head, even lifting her her hand to try to protect vital areas - such as her face. Splinters indeed. SHe arches a brow, glancing aside once the dust and loud nosies settle. She glances back in the wagon and then straightens up, slowly lowering so she can join the others to see what has been taken over time.
Standing from his hiding spot, bow drawn with two arrows nocked, Gureylain watches the bandits, "If I go inside, and find out you were lying, I'll kneecap you. Are there any more inside where that fire couldn't have gotten to? Where no one could possibly see them?" Direct. To the point. Now the Old Wolf waits on their response.
"Very impressive." Rawlin observes as Ember lets loose. He watches the surrendering elves come towards them and he rubs his chin. "This has been some excellent work by every..." He trails off as he hears Gurey and waits for any answer to the question.
Valatir waves a hand to try and send a little abjuration water that way as rain - it's better than letting the place go /fully/ back to nature, right? And the big fighty types can do that part. Who knows, maybe there's loot to save from the flames! Sure, Val, sure.
The bandits blink at Gureylain, wide eyed, and shake their heads. "Nah--just us. No one else."
Ember funnels mist of ice into the door that she just blasted open, to blanket any remaining fire or smoldering wood in order that they might all search without fear of being set aflame. Rawlin gets a flash of a bright smile for his compliment, even.
Ember checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 41 higher. Ember rolled a critical!
Valatir checked intellect + prestidigitation at difficulty 25, rolling 37 higher.
Valatir steps around the captives, and once he's cleared out fires, follows it up with harmless sparks - making sure no one's hiding illusions in the room. Someone's gotten paranoid in their old age.
Rawlin lets the others go investigate. For his part, he goes to the illusionist and has a quiet conversation with them about healing their wounds. Can't be letting the limping bandit slow them down on the return journey after all!
Rawlin checked mana + restoration at difficulty 15, rolling 68 higher.
Ember pretty quickly finds the bandits' hiding places. Floor boards are loosened to reveal a chest, which when opened reveals a lot of silver. No doubt what was stolen from the farms' earnings. She also opens up a dresser to look through, and gets the feeling that one of the drawers, when opened, is smaller than it should be. When Valatir shoots sparks over the drawer it creates a reflection of light over metal--which appeared to just be wood, moments before. Feeling over it, Ember notices that there is a hidden keyhole, masked by some sort of imbued illusion.
The illusionists glares at Rawlin, but doesn't stop him from healing her. Once he's done, the wound is mostly healed over, though the damage to the knee cap might result in her still having a slight limp for the rest of her life.
Ember looks relieved rather then gleeful honestly, when the silver is found. "I believe the Countess will be pleased." she comments to the others, while poking into that dresser drawer. "Alright, fess up. Who has the key to whatever's in this drawer?" Glancing over her shoulder, she pins a gaze on each of the bandits. "Don't make me set things on fire again. Or maybe you can lockpick it, Val. Can you pick locks? You're much more subtle then I am, and I'd just have Talyn smash this thing open really."
The bandits just shrug. "Ailred was the only one that messed with that drawer," one says.
"Where is Ailred then?" Rawlin asks.
"I'm sure I killed him." Gureylain notes at Raw's question. He looks between the bandits and the others. "Shouldn't be hard for someone in Torendaar to handle that eh? If no one here can?"
"Oh, just give me a moment with it. I actually had a book once about prestidigitation's use as a thieve's dream," he comments as he goes to play around with the lock.
The illusionist scowls at Gureylain, then looks towards the corpse again. The bandits just all sort of shrug towards the corpse.
Valatir fiddles around a long, long moment before grinning. "Aha! You know what's handy? Being able to reshape any small object that you desire." Seems someone has a skeleton key as he gets to unlocking what may be a terrible, terrible trap. A Mimic. It's probably a mimic that just wanted to be left alone.
Inside the drawer is... papers. Letters, which at first glance look pretty mundane? (Anyone can roll Intellect or Wits + Streetwise or Riddles at 20.)
Ember is right there near Valatir trying to look around him and into the drawer. "What is it? What is iiiiit?"
Ember checked intellect + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.
Valatir checked wits + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.
Valatir lets the lady see some papers as they discuss totally legitimate business practices. Totally.
Looking over them more closely, Ember and Valatir realize these letters have a fairly simple code--meant to look mundane at first glance, but they've dealt with underworld types enough to get the gist. Seems like the letters are correspondance from information gatherers, detailing trade routes, under the table deals, and all sorts of con-artist and theivery type behavior. Enough information to root out other gang members who aren't present, they think. Some of the letters have a very... well, anti-noble theme, as well. Seems some folk were very disgruntled over the Countess being given a title for--what? Saving one dude? While the rest of the commoners work their asses off for no recognition? They get the since that the gang prayed on commoners who were disgruntled and felt like they deserved more out of life. So might as well take it, right?
Ember definitely has words she wants to say. Oh does she have words. But her lips just purse tightly and her hand curls around her weapon hard enough that her knuckles turn white. "You should all be exiled for this. See how you fare then." she manages, without going off on a the tangent she'd like to go off on. "We should bring this paperwork back to the Countess and explain it to her as well."
Hopping up onto the side of the wagon, directly across from the illusionist, Gureylain has apparently had enough of just being glared at and now crouches on the edge. Eyes like liquified fire glaring at the whe woman. The Old Wolf's face looks murderous as he stares at her. Something like hate when he hears of people preying on others, whom they claim to represent. Who hated just because someone who did a good deed was recognized...
Didn't the nobility give back to the commoners who toiled? Didn't he himself hunt down fox and wolf and other beasts that threatened their field or stock. Hadn't the nobility done enough for them in the past? Nothing said aloud, but his glare doesn't waver.
"Careful, Ember," murmurs Valatir. "Remember the door - You can fling fire at the statue of you when we get back." Because apparently that's what you suggest. Val cleared his throat. "All of this falls under the Countess's domain. We return the evidence and living perpetrators to her to decide their fate. That's the most diplomatic way to handle this."
Ember hnphs quietly under her breath, though she doesn't gainsay anything Val suggests. In fact, she even nods in agreement!
That is about all I have, and since we are hitting the past 3 hour mark I will wrap up there or handwave the rest, unless anyone has anything else they want to do? Otherwise, I can assume you guys bring in the silver, evidence, bandits, and corpse to the Countess. She is immensely grateful to all of you, but when she is shown the letters she clearly is worried, and looks out of her depth. She's obviously new to this gig, and has never dealt with criminals of this scope before. She recommends turning over the evidence and criminals to the King--though she does take the silver to give back to the farms.
She does however send out what guards and such she has to round up the criminals they found names of, no doubt with the Solaris Order's aid.
Gureylain checked command + intimidation at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
The illusionist stared back at Gureylain for a long moment, at first defiant, but soon her composure crumbles and she looks down, clearly cowed.
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