The Sentinels: Sleeping Giants

tigermite

Interesting, the reeve believed Drake to be a lord. Galen thought for a second, his brain trying to figure out any way he could use the misunderstanding to his advantage.
Drawing a blank, Galen stepped forward. "He is not a lord, neither am I, but I am in charge. And you will speak to me, is that clear?" He said menacingly, making sure the reeve could see his arnaments.
"Now, we will take the room, and if you speak of us to anyone, then...well, we'll see." He said, his fingers resting on the hilt of the dagger on his left thigh.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Drake sighed as Galen ruined the advantage they had of the reeve thinking he was a lord. The man didn't have much subtlety, that was for sure. He still said nothing though, trying to expedite their getting a room...he had to fix his armor soon, before the next attack, else the transformation would be expedited...and that terrified him as nothing else in the world could.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
As the men began to stream away Ben and the others tirelessly hacked away. Then, leaving the rest of the job to the others. He turned and with about five others charged towards the melee on the other side containing Jaime. He spun around, a whirl of flashing swords as yet more arrows rained down from on high. None had hit his men as of yet, and Ben was beginning to suspect they were more than just mercenaries. However, outnumbered and being slaughtered the raiders attempted to bunch up only to get cut down, Ben's men surging forward now that they had taken the upper hand.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
The Reeve
Upon hearing Galen's threats and seeing his weapons the mans friendly demeanour towards them cooled, however realising that there was nothing he could do about it for the time being relented to the mans demands "Very well but the room is very small so I hope you don't mind sharing" he said beckoning the two men to follow him as he walked towards a small thatch cottage.
Ducking through the low door he leads them through the main part of house, the mans wife stirring a large pot as it bubbled over a fire and pushes aside a curtain revealing the small room behind it "as I said its small but it'll keep you dry...now unless there is anything else you need I have work to attend to" he said waiting just long enough to see if either of the men would speak before leaving.
The room in truth was little more than a store room with a couple of sacks of grain stacked upon a wooden pallet in one corner and some homespun blankets piled in another waiting to be taken to market leaving them only just enough room on the floor for them to lay down on though true to his word the room was dry and would beat sleeping in a field.
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Jaime
Coming under attack from all sides the raiders quickly began to flee as arrows continued to rain down upon them. Seizing the opportunity Jaime screams a single war cry and surges forward with the rest of his men joining up with the rest of Ben's men as they pursue the fleeing enemy cutting down any that got in their way.
Realising that the battle was lost the large raven helmed man begins to follow his men vaulting over the wattle and daub fence of the cattle byre in which they had herded their slaves and plunder which was even now fleeing fearing that they would be merely taken prisoner by the mercenaries instead.

The girl screamed in fear as the great mailed hand catches hold of her and pulls her close against his chest, dropping his axe in preference for a wickedly sharp dagger the raven helmed man turns to face Ben and Jaime with an evil look in his eye stopping them both dead in their tracks "Come another step and I cut her throat" he snarls slowly backing away with his prisoner held tight against his body shielding him from any harm from bow or blade "You may have bested me this time but I’ll be back with more men just you wait and see…and then you will suffer"
Stepping from out of the shadows of the burning hamlet, the eight masked and hooded figures appear at the edge of the cattle byre the only identifying mark being a single white eye daubed up the forehead of their cloth masks.
Leaving its companions to stand with the bows loosely held by their sides the groups leader its sword still stained from before effortlessly hops the fence before striding towards the warlord showing no concern for either the girls or its own safety "get back you masked devil or she's dead" the girl no more than fourteen years of age began cry upon hearing the snarled threats the blade pressing painfully against her flesh drawing a thin rivulet of blood as she sobbed.
Despite the threat to the helpless girl’s life the figure continues to move dashing the last few feet to cut off the warlord’s final threat as it thrusts the long heavy sword through the girls shoulder and into the man behind, his eyes going wide with shock and pain as the girl screams in agony.
No sooner had the sword been pulled free that the warlord released his grip on the girl causing her fall in a heap the figures blade arcing round to sever his head in a single blow showering the badly wounded girl in his blood before the body fell to the ground with a heavy thump.
With the warlord dead the figure sheathes its sword and slowly makes its way over to where its comrades stood waiting without having uttered a single sound.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
As the girl fell in pain Ben rushed over and caught her as she collapsed, he was a Sentinel, even if only in name these days. "Elmos! See what you can do for her shoulder" He shouted to one of his soldiers, the battlefield medic of the group. Then he walked over to the hooded figures and said "Thank you for helping there, you saved many lives, but if you would help us in putting out these fires it would be appreciated, then we could possibly make one another's acquaintance later." Turning around he barked some orders "Men, grab buckets and fill them from the well and pull down houses on the edge of the fire, we have to stop it spreading, come on, hurry!" and Ben and his men divided themselves up getting to work quickly on stopping the fires that burned throughout the village.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
The Figures
The leader blatantly ignores Ben as it continues to walk away, a large hooded man stepping in front of him and firmly shoving Ben back with the flat of his hand signalling that he was to go no further "Let it burn it will serve as a warning to the others...just be thankful that the Warden has decided to leave you an your men alive" he spoke in a deep rumbling voice from behind his mask.
The Warden leans in to whisper something to one of the other figures, nodding its head in reply to the unheard command before bounding across the low fence to pluck a fallen spear from ground as he approaches the fallen girl.
Jaimes suddenly became concerned for the girl as it appeared that the figure intended to finish off the whimpering child rather than try and save her, taking a step forward with the aim of intervening if that should prove the case. However the figure merely steps over her without even sparing the injured girl a second glance as he picks up the warlords severed head from the ground and mounts it upon the spear.
Thrusting it deep within the soft earth he pauses long enough to roughly paint the same eye symbol upon its forehead with blood before returning to the others "if you value your lives you will not get our way...and you will leave the village to burn" the large man growled before turning to join the others as they left.

"By the gods Ben...who the hell were they!?" Jaime exclaims as he moves to join the other man hoping that he would have a better understanding of what had just happened.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Ben watched as they gave their threats and he swore, but he had seen them fight, he knew that his men had no chance against these figures in a fight. "Leave it!" he growled "Get the horses and tally the dead." Then he turned to the man, the one who they had called the Warden. "Is there anything we can do? Who are you?" He signalled the others to mount the horses and had his horse brought to him. He awaited a reply and then mounted his horse.
 

tigermite

Galen nodded as he stepped into the room, it was hardly luxury, but it was warm and dry. And that was what mattered.
After the reeve left the room, Galen turned to Drake; "You stay here, I'll fetch Cesare." He rasped.
Turning and pushing aside the curtain, Galen walked through the house and out onto the dirt lane, before heading off in the direction of the village square, looking for Cesare.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Drake merely grunted as Galen told him to stay. As soon as the thief was gone, he reached for the clasps of his armor and undid them, pulling off the chestplate. Underneath he wore a plain tunic, and as he still had his helmet and arms on little skin could be seen. A very little patch of skin was visible where his neck guard ended, but as there was no one around the alchemist made no effort to hide it. Knowing that with the centerpiece of his armor removed the entire anti-curse setup was broken, he set quickly to work. He gently warmed the scratched area with his staff, coaxing the metal to repair itself. This wouldn't work on most armor and weaponry, but his armor was made to work with magic and thus would obey the commands, albeit slowly. It was a finicky job, and he hoped it would be complete by the time the others returned.
 
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braetwalda

Well-Known Member
The Warden
Garbed from head to toe in loose fitting clothing in hues of brown and green and with a long hooded cloak it was hard to tell much about the Wardens physical appearance or even gender apart from the fact that most of the others within its group towered over it as they began walking away.
Upon hearing the last of Ben's shouted questions; having ignored the first the Warden slowly turns to face the mercenary captain the as the others stopped to watch the proceedings with interest. Eyes shine brightly within shadows of both hood and mask as they caught the light of the burning village, the Warden seeming to study Ben for several moments before giving a single snort of laughter and a bemused shaking of its head.
However whatever it was that had amused the Warden wasn't revealed as it turned and left disappearing into the darkness with the others.
Jaime
Whilst his lord tried in vain to communicate with the mysterious Warden and...his?...retinue of armed men, Jaime busied himself with following out Ben's orders sending men to search amongst the dead for survivors and loot before striding up to his lord and making his report "four dead, two wounded but able to ride and three prisoners if you want them...oh and Elmos says the girl should live no thanks to them" Jaime spoke irritably nodding his head towards the rapidly disappearing figures. Although they had undoubtedly saved their lives they had been far too ruthless and uncaring in their chosen method of defeating the raiders, he had found more than couple of the hapless villagers still tied and bound by the raiders dead on the ground with white fletched arrows sticking from out of them and their insistence that they should let the village burn had more than rankled the young mercenary.
"Should I begin putting out the fires my lord or are we to bow down to their wishes?"
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Cesare
Although to call the small collection of stalls a market was one hell of an over statement Cesare had managed to buy enough food from the villagers without having to use all of his dwindling silver to do so.
"I take it you have found us somewhere to stay the night then?...not too expensive I hope?" he asked as Galen approached him, the village now rapidly emptying as it grew increasingly darker, the smells of the evening meals already beginning to drift out from the small thatch cottages around them.
Indicating that Galen should lead the way to their lodgings Cesare hefts the bag of food over his shoulder before following "We should get some rest, we'll need to leave come first light and we have a long way to travel and no horses to shorten our journey" although there were a couple of horses with the village none had been for sale and many of them had been either workhorses or ponies and so would have been of little use to them then again it would beat walking.
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Drake
So absorbed in the task of repairing his armour Drake hadn't heard the approaching footsteps over the sound the reeves wife cooking until it was too late "What are you doing?" the young girls voice asked as she looked at him with her head poking through the curtain and a curious look on her face.
Deciding that the strange looking man was far more interesting than helping her mother with the cooking the young girl who could have been no more than six or maybe seven years old stepped into the room to watch as the man fixed his armour giggling as sparks flew from out the tip of his staff "You're funny...Daddy says I am not supposed to talk to you...Daddy say you're all bad men"
 

tigermite

"Yeah." Galen replied. "I...persuaded the village reeve to put us up for the night, we've got a small room in his house, Drake's in there now."
"We should get some rest, we'll need to leave come first light and we have a long way to travel and no horses to shorten our journey"
"Yes." He briskly responded.
The pair walked on in silence as the sky turned to pitch black, clouds obscuring the stars that dared not come out these days to shine on the ravaged lands beneath.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Drake started as the girl game in, then relaxed as he saw she was of no threat. She mentioned that her father had called the small group he was in "bad" and chuckled. "Well, I can't speak for the others, as I've just met them, but I'm not a bad man...I've had more than my share of bad luck, but I'd never do anything to hurt you or your family." He thought about what he'd have done before the curse had afflicted him...he'd have been able to set things right with the girl's father and apologize for Galen's abrasive manner. However, he'd lost the right to do that for a while now...once he'd donned his armor, he'd said goodbye to the old him, and ushered in the man he now was...the slowly changing, cursed man.

With a final splash of magic, he finished repairing the scratch. He checked it over briefly, then started reattaching it. Upon finishing that, the pattern and gems flared briefly to acknowledge the spell's activation, causing Drake to slump visibly in relief. He was safe again...or at least as safe as he could be nowadays. He turned back to the girl, who had clearly been shocked by the armor's flare, and made a placating gesture, a smile useless as it would lay behind his helmet. "My body isn't as powerful as it appears...my armor helps keep me strong, that's all" he explained, hoping the simple explanation would be enough to satisfy her.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
"Dammit Jaime, you've seen what they can do. We have no choice, order the men to mount up. There is a village near Cytringham where we can hopefully find rooms for the night." Ben mounted his horse and signalled to the others to do the same. Ignoring the people he rode out of the village and sped on into the night with his mercenaries behind him.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Little Girl
The girl watched as Drake repaired and re-donned his armour with the rapt attention that only a small child could give.
She slowly considered the answer he had provided her before shaking her head with a flurry of blonde curls flying back and forth before speaking with the certainty of a child having been told something by her father "No...my daddy says you're bad men...I heard him tell Jody that’s why he got to ride the pony" no sooner had she shared this little titbit that her mother called from behind the curtain, the little girl momentarily looking shamefaced before disappearing leaving Drake alone in the room once again.
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Cesare
"I hope you haven't caused us any problems?" Cesare spoke cautiously as he heard the term persuaded used by the type of man who also used terms such take care of and liberate in his vocabulary neither of which were particularly legal.
Ducking through the low doorway of the Reeves house he deftly sidesteps a young blonde girl as she dashes out from behind a curtained room, the mother apologising on the girls behalf to the pair of armed men as the little girl carried on with her chores "No trouble my lady...may I thank you on behalf of my colleagues for allowing us to stay the night" he spoke eloquently offering the housewife the slight bowing of his head before fishing out his coin purse "I don't know what arrangement your husband came to with my friend here but I hope this will cover it" he said offering the woman a few silver coins.
The woman hesitated as if unsure of what to do about the proffered monies, as if fearing it to be some kind of cruel trick meant to cause her harm before finally deciding to cautiously take the coins "Thank you m'lord...your friend is through there...I’ll bring you some stew when it’s ready"
"That would be lovely, thank you" Cesare replied before moving over to the curtained room that the woman had indicated, ducking through the curtain to find Drake sat within "Well I managed to find us food for the journey I trust the damage caused to your armour wasn't too serious?"
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Jaime
"So that’s it is it? a bunch of men in masks tell you to beat it and you turn tail and run...I thought you had more stones Ben" Jaime sneered angrily before whirling round to mount his horse like the rest of the company.
Turning his horse he signals the company to leave riding out in the general direction of Cytringham leaving the burning village and its huddled villagers behind to deal with the mess they had left behind.

Wearied by the long ride and subsequent battle it was pitch black before long with both men and horses exhausted by the days activities.
Looming out of the trees to their right the ruins of some kind of building can just about be discerned and to their left are more of the rolling hills that they had been riding across for the past few miles with the slightest smudge of something that may or may not be the smoke of a campfire though without A closer inspection it was impossible for them to tell for sure.
"Should we make camp my lord?" Jaime asked peevishly from out of the darkness. The fires of the burning village were still just about visible behind them, the tiny pin of light reminding the young mercenary of what they had done leaving him in a less than amiable mood.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
As Jaime retorted to Ben he verbally backlashed Jaime "I had to choose, you saw them fight. We would have no chance, if we had tried to help we would have all ended up dead. In a different situation with more skilled more or more numbers I might have attempted to fight, but I won't send men to their deaths. At least this way those villagers have a chance. Had we tried to help them those men would have killed them all!" Ben rode on angrily. He had hated having to leave the village burning but he had had no choice. Turning round to Jaime he said "And believe me, I've seen a lot worse than that. If we live through the next ten, twenty years then you will too." As he rode on he spotted a ruin and decided that would be a good place to make camp. Jaime then asked him and Ben replied "Send three men into those ruins to check them out. If they are safe we will camp there and take it in turns to take watch in pairs." He paused for half a minute as he studied the moon and said "Jaime, how much of the night is left do you think?"
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Drake looked at the girl, alarmed as she mentioned her father was riding a pony. "Where-" he started to ask, but the girl's mother called and she ran off. Cesare and Galen walked in directly after, Cesare inquiring after the state of his armor. "It's fine, simple fix," he said brusquely. "We have bigger problems. Galen's manner in getting us this place got the man we talked to convinced we're criminals or something. His daughter said he was riding a pony because we were bad men. We stay here, we're getting clapped in irons." He shot a withering look at the thief, the gaze hidden due to his helmet. "We should probably find our Chasind friend and make camp with him...otherwise we'll destroy this town as we fight to avoid imprisonment."
 

English Bill

Brynjolf swallowed the last of the raw rabbit meat and bundled the fur and bones into a small leather pouch full of fragrant petals. If he allowed the scent to travel it would only attract predators.

After that he turned his attention to the settlement and wondered on what the others were doing. He didn’t envy them being in the village. The thought of being around so many people gave him shivers. You could always predict a wolf or a bear. All animals had their needs and instincts and their motivations always made sense. People were flighty, manipulative and unpredictable. Far beyond Brynjolf’s understanding.
He was better off where he was and he was more than happy there.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Jaime
"Long enough" Jaime replied grumpily, still annoyed over what had happened earlier that night believe me, I've seen a lot worse than that. If we live through the next ten, twenty years then you will too what the hell did he think he was trying to prove? he had been half inclined to point out that he had fought through the same war that he had but had held his tongue having decided not to make matters any worse than they already were.
Clicking his fingers at two other men Jaime rides off to investigate the ruins leaving Ben and the remaining men waiting in the dark with only the sound of the night life for company.
After around ten minutes of so the sound of hooves could be heard moments before Jaime and the others returned "The place is empty, looks like some kind of temple with practically no roof but the walls should keep the wind off of us" he spoke to Ben before leading him off towards the ruin.
The temple was a fair size and would have been capable of housing twice as many men and horses than what Ben had under his command and although like Jaime had said much of the roof had fallen in, the weathered and heavily ivy strewn masonry looked sturdy.
It was as they were settling the horse's for the night, a pair of sentries having already been posted just beyond the walls that they heard a sound coming from deep in the shadows of southern end of the ruin. Upon their arrival they had instantly shunned that part of the ruin as much of the wall had collapsed and yet they had been certain and Jaime especially that it had been completely deserted.
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Brynjolf
High within his perch in the tree, the Chasind was near invisible to those in the village below although the majority of them had already gone inside. However despite the growing darkness he couldn't help but spot the lone rider; a teenage boy on a pony leaving the village riding in the direction Cytringham.
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Cesare
Momentarily alarmed at what Drake had learnt Cesare looked over his shoulder to make sure that nobody was listening in before speaking in a low voice "Are you sure? what exactly did she say because I could have sworn we saw the reeve outside but a few moments ago" he asked wanting to be certain that what he was being told was true as it was already dark outside and sleeping in the woods even so close to the city of Cytringham would be risky...then again if the reeve had truly left to fetch the city guards then they would be in serious danger by staying, either way they needed to be sure before making a move.
 

English Bill

Something about the boy on the pony smelled like trouble to Brynjolf. It wasn't simply instinct, though that did play a part. There was also the strangeness of a lone boy venturing out into the wild, at night and alone. It struck Brynjolf as a bad omen.

Allowing himself to drop out of his perch, he checked for any signs of danger before running to intercept the boy.

When he reached the point that their paths would cross, he stepped out in front of the pony and ignoring the rider, he raised his arms while making low calming noises. The trick had worked many times before when attempting to bring a dometicated animal to a stop without spooking it.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Ben watched as Jaime rode off, sighing. His second in command was young, he had a good head on his shoulders but he still didn't not understand the brutalities of war. Ben did, and he knew some of the decisions he would have to take would appear bad to his men but he would not unnecessarily risk their lives when he knew they stood no chance. He waited for Jaime to return and upon hearing his report gave the order for the men to pitch camp there. He posted sentries around the entry and exit points to the temple and then set up his bedroll the other side of the temple from the men, in what must have been a scribe's working place before it had been ruined. He lay down and went to sleep.
Ben tossed and turned in his sleep, the nightmares were following him wherever and whenever he slept. Ben had tried various spells but still they came. "No." he muttered in his sleep "It wasn't my fault." In his dream he was riding down the road with Isolla, he didn't trust her but he had to do this. They rode on separate horses. Suddenly there was a cry and bandits charged out. Ben drew his sword in the dream and began to fight back. He saw Isolla's horse, spooked turn and flee. "NO!" the dreaming Ben cried out, disturbing some of the men. Still asleep he pounded his fists on the flagstones. He was separate from the others so thankfully they could not hear this. He twitched and jolted awake, pulling his sword from the scabbard. He sighed, he would be unable to get back to sleep again. Suddenly the pain began to creep into his back and he muttered a spell under his breath. He stood rigid for a couple of seconds, being so used to using the spell now that it barely took any toll on him these days and donning his armour he walked across the temple to the sentries. "Sir." One of them said as he walked up behind them.
"Hear anything?" Ben asked.