Southport Patrols (1)
March 12, 2018, 8 p.m.
Comments and Log
The travel to Southport is generally uneventful. The Oathlands cavalry has set up their camp beyond the large group of Abandoned situated outside of the city gates. They busy themselves with riding around and looking impressive... or going on patrols to make sure there isn't anything unusual occurring in the surrounding area. These patrols have been going on for several days now, with little to show for them. Nothing abyssal, nothing UN-ordinary as the case may be. However, they must be done. Occasionally, the groups going out are a mix of Oathlanders as well as the Lycenes that they're stationed alongside. Today is that sort of day. The motley group is traveling the road north of the city, one that's operating as a supply line.
Eirene is the Voice of Southport. Whether she likes it or not. The Malvici wears her house colors boldly, reds and blacks with golden flaming firebirds for her military division. Her salt-and-pepper hair is braided up close to the nape of her neck, and her expression is permanently set in a scowl. Her reason for the ride? See for herself what the situation is and report back to the Duchess directly. Her longsword and dagger sit on opposite hips, with her fur cloak slung over one side to permit easy access to her blade, if it was needed.
Norwood rides beside Thorley, his hands easy on his reigns as they ride. Hanging from his saddle in easy reach is Queensguard. He's keeping a close eye out, but also not overly worried about just about anything. Following the lead of the Voice, he doesn't speak much other than to occasionally murmmer to his horse.
Set upon the charger he rented for the trip south, Thorley is settled in the saddle as best as possible as the knight gives a grunt. "Shit's harder to do when in all this armor." he rumbles, the Eventide set in it's hilt at his side as he glances about. "Margerie and Jael get settled in alright?" he asks as he keeps an eye on the opposite flank.
It was the sensation of not having your feet on solid ground that bothered Costas most about riding. On a canting ship footing was everything, and so to in bladework. The stirrups did little to give the Malvici clan's paid killer a sense that he was in control in any shape or form, but he knew roughly that it was a bad idea to give an animal a sense that you weren't confident so he gritted his teeth whenever the group was mounted and kept a silent watch. After some effort the beast seemed amenable to his vague hope that it simply follow Eirene's, and so in this detente he rode along with a cigarillo trailing a silver line behind him, punctuated by milky-white clouds of what smelled /mostly/ like tobacco.
She has heard the news from Southport, but seeing the massive numbers of Abandoned camped outside the town is still a sight to behold. But she gets used to them after a few days -- they seem mostly harmless, at least for now, and that's what Lady Veronica Keaton is here to assess before heading back north. But while she's here with the Oathland contingent, she'll be damned if she's not helping out a bit. This is not her land, however, and for once she is not going to insist on leading a patrol, instead riding behind the local patrol leader... namely the Voice herself. That doesn't mean she's not going to proudly display her house colors, the greens and blacks of the Huntsmen. She's no stranger to patrolling roads looking for bandits and riffraff, either; eyes sharp now.
All is well. At least until there's a distant sound of commotion. It sounds like a shout and then clang of metal on metal. And there's the faint smell of something burning. But it's not clear in which direction it might be coming from. Clearly it won't be from behind them, since that's Southport. But up ahead there's a fork in the road. One side branches off and twists through the countryside and wood, those familiar with the area would know it rejoins the main path eventually. (@check perception + survival at 30)
Eirene checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Thorley checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.
Veronica checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Costas checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.
Norwood checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Jael checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Jael was on the other side of the party, that's all. She whistles through teeth and reins her black charger back, then paces him up to join the Clement/Keaton division.
The smell of smoke fails to register for Costas, who only plucks the cigarillo from his lip and eyes it suspiciously, mumbling something about the blend. Still stuck somewhere in a dark corner of his own head, he's late to the party noticing the the other sounds of commotion.
The Malvici slows her horse as she wrinkles her nose, catching the scent of burning. "Listen! Do you smell something?" She lifts her chin towards the direction the sound and smell comes from. "The caravan was supposed to be coming down this trail. It sounded like... swordplay."
Norwood reaches forward to pat his horses's neck, it's the creature, not Norwood in particular that notices something. "She doesn't like whatever it is." Short and to the point, Norwood is just going to make sure that Queensguard is loosened to draw if, y'know, it's needed.
There's a sniff at the air. "I smell the smoke. Ain't hearing it though. But on your order, Lady Eirene." Thorley offers as he straightens in his saddle and prepares to ride in if she gives the order.
Veronica has just turned her head when she hears Jael's charger gallops up from behind, when she hears the distant sounds of metal clashing, followed by.... "Bloody sons of dogs. Something had better not happened to that caravan from the Oathlands." She grits her teeth and growls, as she grips the reins tighter and glances side to side to those closer to her in the rear - Jael and Costas - as if to alert them both that trouble is ahead.
"What what is?" Jael asks Norwood without even trying to lower her voice, the very picture of blitheness, bow still slung across her back. She sniffs the air and frowns a little, concentrating. Then shakes her head. "Nothing. But I'll take everyone's word for it." There's a little chin-lift in response to Veronica's warning and the Laurent reaches for the bow.
As they get closer (assuming they're getting closer), the sound of conflict increases. And there is indeed smoke, a good deal of it. The question really becomes, will they try to reach what's happening through the up and around route or down the direct path.
"More like sword-serious." Costas remarks blithely in answer to Eirene, crushing his cigarillo's glowing ember between the calloused pads of thumb and middle finger before flicking it away. Only you can prevent forest fires, after all. Assuming one wasn't on already. The warrior looks to Eirene, one eyebrow reaching for his stubbled scalp in silent anticipation of her orders.
"Something is burning." Norwood catches the wiffs of what his mount is so disturbed by. His gaze cuts towards the Voice of Southport, hands ready to urge his mount forward when the order is given. Eyes cut towards the two pathways they can take without the man offering forth his own judgement.
Eirene says, "We need those supplies in the event the city goes into all-out fucking siege mode." She says it inelegantly, drawing her horse to a halt for the moment to survey the paths, the black mare stepping impatiently. "And Gods only know what's happening to the people." The woman scowls. "Any of you good riders, or think you could scout ahead?" She's clearly not addressing Costas on the 'rider' part but looks to him for scouting possibilities. "I don't want to ride into an ambush. Let's take the side path and get a better idea of what's happening before we charge in swords drawn."
"Ain't me." Thorley admits. "My ass is already sore just from normal riding." the knight glances back to Jael. "You any good at it?" he asks her as he starts to follow after Eirene on the side path.
Eirene checked intellect + war at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Norwood checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
"I could." Norwood offers himself, but he's also glancing sideways at Jael as he says that. Woman with the ranged weapon anyone?!
"I ride well," Jael says with something like amusement in her tone, "but I'm not much of a scout." She is a woman with a ranged weapon though, and she has it in hand now.
Veronica checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.
"I'm no cavalry, but I will look." Veronica states without much of second thought. And with that, she gives her horse a kick and rides up the side path Eirene picked out. Maybe it's all that metal she's lugging around, but it's distracting her from making out what's coming up over the rise. At least she heard the metal clanging noises and the scent of burning food, so she has the sense to draw her sword as she heads that way. Maybe Norwood or Jael will have better luck!
Side path it is! The horses aren't too crazy about the tighter path, but they'll deal if they have to. The sound grows increasingly louder. With Norwood and Veronica scouting up ahead, they don't see much in the woods so it's tough to tell if they're /alone/ out there or not. However, it's clear that they have the advantage on whoever is down below. And once they're close enough, they can see it. A small grouping of wagons, bound for Southport with supplies is being besieged by... common bandits. Just regular men and women, taking advantage of war for personal benefit. They probably weren't counting on the people moving the supplies to viciously fight back. They're still standing, but there's blood on the ground and it looks as if they're being harried by fifteen individuals to their five to eight.
Jael has rolled a critical success!
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Despite the size of the warhorse, Jael and Freddie have no trouble picking their way along the narrow path after Veronica, and the rider keeps an arrow nocked and ready the entire time without endangering those ahead. She halts Freddie silently and takes aim at a brigand, though her blue eyes track to Eirene for orders.
"That's not very sporting." Costas observes as the group takes vantage over the chaotic scene below, watching the fight play out with clinical scrutiny. The furrow formed in his brow was born of contemplation rather than emotion; the mental calculations of a long history of violence playing out in his mind's eye to grim conclusion. Then his gaze turned to scan the nearby terrain with suspicion. "No picket? Amateurs."
Norwood rides off in the other direction of where Veronica had headed, but he comes back when he gets a glance of who is there. "Bloody bandits." The honor bound knight has no love for those who lack it, and he's undoing Queensguard as he rejoins, bring what everyone can see, but whatever, REPORT ANYWAY. "They're not using any sound tactics, but numbers."
Eirene seems glad it's just normal brigands. She lets out a small sigh of relief and nods to Jael. "Lay down some cover fire, and the rest of us head in. Some will scatter. Let 'em. They can warn other would-be assholes. We take the rest alive so we can hang 'em later." She draws her sword and takes the reigns in her other hand.
"They ain't gonna be very amicable to surrender, I imagine, Lady Eirene. But from your lips to Gloria's ears." Thorley offers as he pulls out the Eventide as he prepares to ride down aside Norwood because two knights charging down in full armor and swords should be pretty freaking intimidating, right?
Thorley checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.
Thorley checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Costas checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.
Norwood checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.
Eirene checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Jael checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Thorley checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.
Norwood checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
Eirene checked command + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.
Thorley checked command + intimidation at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.
Jael checked command + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.
Veronica checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 58 higher.
Veronica checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.
Eirene demonstrates why she is a Brigadier General. "Neither fate nor chance," she shouts in a commander's battlefield bark, the house-words of Malvici ringing through the trees. With her red and black, and the golden hawk of Malvici embroidered on her fur cloak, it's impossible to mistake her for anything but one of Southport's finest as she rides down the nearest group of brigands and cleanly slides the flame-marked blade into a shoulder. She's more than just a battlefield medic.
On Eirene's order, Jael starts taking aim and shooting into the brigands. She's quick, but careful with each shot as the others move in closer, favoring targets that she can get a clear bead on without accidentally taking out a friendly. Freddie stands stock still for this process, except for the occasional twitch of one ear.
With Queensguard in his hand Norwood bends over his horse's head to lessen the wind resistance and calls out the Laurent cry as he barrels downwards. No mercy here from the knight, only a cold focus on their order at hand.
Bandits! Veronica's blue eyes narrow at the sight below, and her teeth grit in disgust. She, too, takes just a moment to eye the scene and take a quick count of the bandits' numbers, before her attention turns to Eirene as the Voice decides the group's course of action. "Let's chase these dogs down!" With a kick of her horse and raising her black-steel sword, Veronica charges down the slope straight towards the bandit's line. Crashing into a group of surprised bandits, one of them gets trampled while another is cut down by a slash of her sword. Might is the Sword of Oakhaven's sword-arm! But she needs to work on her battlecry of "Take that you cowardly poopheads!"
While the thundering hooves of the knights bore down on the fight, Costas kicked his horse into a canter to swing wide around the side. How do you even get off a horse while it's moving? He'd nearly fallen off them at rest; best not to risk it. Having dismounted, the swordsman was pleased to find the first brigand trying to escape the charge was coming in his direction, waving a weapon over his head and hollering in the way such low men thought threatening. Redsteel arced in a strike from draw as the Malvici's kept blade got to the work of violence that they paid him for with calm detachment.
Cristoph GM Roll checked composure(3) at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.
"Poppy.. heads." Thorley grips his sword tightly, the black as night blade showing a flash in the light as he looks at Veronica askance. "...Poppyheads." he repeats. "Oh Lady Veronia, we need to //work// on you." he rumbles as he starts down the hill. "Listen up you curs, you face the might of some of Arx's best! Best you shit and piss yourselves now and surrender!" And the black blade tears into one of the bandits, the fullers ripping and rending flesh as it tastes blood for the first time in years as Eventide delights in being used. If a sword could do such things.
Eirene would facepalm at Veronica were she not in the middle of a riding charge. Her blue eyes -do- roll a little in embarassment.
"I," No, Norwood is FOCUSED on the bad guys. Distraction kills people. He can talk to Veronica another time. Right now CUT THE BADDIES.
Jael mouths, 'Poopyheads?' but there's no one to see it, not even her horse who is of course looking straight ahead. The trials of being ranged.
Needless to say, the perfectly ordinary (and possibly idiotic) bandits are perfectly scared shitless when a bunch of horses come exploding out of the tree-line. Even more so when those people start to expertly swing swords at them and cut them to ribbons. As expected, at least half of them break rank and run screaming their fool heads off. One or two doesn't get that far because they're hit with arrows (omg arrows too?!) and/or are cleaved by the scary woman shouting 'poopyheads'. Others are now laying around wounded. The people leading the wagons are /also/ extremely surprised, but towards the end they start to cheer because this group isn't trying to kill them. However with Costas being the only person on the ground and within reach, one particularly brilliant woman attempts to fight him. (@check dexterity + dodge at 30 for Costas, yay!)
Costas checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.
Veronica swings her sword back the other way and dispatches another bandit, who is trying to attack her from behind with a spear. As she tosses her hair away from her face, the blonde looks around for her next target, when Thorley's correction finally clues her in what she just said. She blinks at the knight. "Wait, I mean to say..." Too late for a corrective swear? Instead she nudges her horse towards another nearby bandit, and gives him a swift kick to the face. "...uh... DAMMIT."
Costas leans to the side to peer over the shoulder of the man slumped against him, bleeding his lifeblood out onto the dirt from around the length of steel buried in his gut. "Poopyheads?" He mouths silently, one eyebrow lifted. He watches the clash for a moment in mute amusement, then plants a knee against the other's slack torso, dumping the brigand from his blade just in time to duck the woman's too-high swing and roll away to get his footing prepared.
Cristoph GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + medium wpn(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 28 higher.
Norwood reigns in his mount as the people start fleeing - there's no honor in running men down who are on foot when one is on horseback. Instead he falls back to the wagons to check on those who are caring for the supplies. Gruffly, "Are you alright? Injuries?"
There's a handful of bandits laying around on the ground bleeding and clutching their wounds. This is a /travesty!/ For them at least. One of the wagons is still on fire, having been set ablaze by one of the fine upstanding citizens that was attacking it. The transport people are desperately trying to put it out. The woman that's /still/ fighting Costas despite him ducking her initial bumrush takes another more calculated swing. She seems intent on this course of action until he stops her or someone gives him a hand.
Eirene calls to the remaining bandits, "Throw down your damned weapons and you'll get out of this alive. Might even end up conscripts instead of corpses," the Vulture of Southport barks cooly. She makes sure that the crest of the golden hawk is visible as she wheels the horse to face them. She glances at Costas as she leans on her saddle and asks, calmly, "You got this?" She has full faith in her house's man.
Costas checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 27 higher.
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.
Jael aims at Costas' attacker, but there's too much going on there for a clear shot and the man seems to be handling himself just fine. So she charges into the fray and towards the wagon on fire, leaping lightly from the horse's back when they're close enough and yanking a saddle blanket free to beat at the flames.
The fight seems to be over. Well, mostly over, until Costas gets his attacker under control. Veronica remains on her horse and hovers near Eirene to scan the area, making sure no bandits remain to do any more damage, while she shifty-eyes a little between her comrades and probably hoping everyone's forgotten her battle cry.
Costas doesn't look in Eirene's direction to answer but a wolfish smirk creases his leathery features. On his next approach the warrior telegraphs an opening his his guard, drawing out a bold stab from the woman trying to kill him. With a quick roll of the wrist, the serpentine edge of his cutlass rattles against the incoming blade, fouling her grip such that when his armored arm clamps down to trap the steel against his side he is able to tear the sword free. He lets the disarmed woman take a moment to process the situation, then strides forward extending the stolen weapon hilt first as if to return it. "I'm sorry, that was rude." A predatory grin peels his lips back to reveal pearly-white canines, waiting for a reaction.
Norwood checked command + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.
Norwood sheathes Queensguard and carefully dismounts. "Stay." Do horses do that? Norwood says it to his horse ANYWAY. Hopefully the creature does that. "Organize yourselves - see what Lady Jael Laurent is doing?" He'll use Jael as the ultimate example, and push people to be more exact about how they're fighting the flames, imposing order one person at a time if he must.
Eirene is corraling what's left of the bandits, the rest fled into the woods with tales of how terrifying the Malvici and Oathlands troops are spilling from their lips. Norwood is organizing the amateur firefighters so that they can put out the flames with the help of Jael. Meanwhile, off to the side the woman attacking Costas finds herself disarmed. As in, he now has her weapon in his hands. She stares at him with wide eyes, takes in that smile and makes a break for it. Only to encounter more of these people in her path. Her eyes eventually land on Eirene and she swallows, holding her hands up in surrender.
Eirene dismounts and orders someone to bring some rope so they can tie the bandits up. She then goes about seeing to the wounded with her usual graceful calming bedside manner. The bandits are seen to only after the caravan is managed.
Eirene checked dexterity + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.
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