Part 1: Trouble at Oleg's

 
Svetlana seems unsure still more so out of worry than anything else but Oleg exclaims after hearing Magnolia's speech "We'll do it, you folks do seem heavily armed, and there's a lot of you!"


Missoi smiles at Oleg's hard-won enthusiasm. "Glad to hear it. To be clear, it's not that we intend to put either of you in harm's way; it's just that the bandits will need to be led to believe that all's normal if we're to get them into a position where we can ensure a swift victory."



An Extremely Tall Chap named Magnolia

Magnolia looks as shocked as the next guy. Which, given his last location, is probably Missoi, who apparently wasn't shocked. But Magnolia is.




Zarina Ka'thar

The oracle glares at Itomo, thinking that he disregarded her offer to take up the other position behind the gate. Zarina looks hurt, her lips thinning, but doesn't say anything and resumes her meal. "Well, regardless of who minds the gates, I will make it a point to be nearby in case you need me, good mistress," she says steadfastly to Svetlana, well aware of the older woman's discomfort. She remembers to give a congratulatory nod to Magnolia who managed to sway poor Oleg to go along with their plan.


As things stand, I see that the plan forming will have you hiding in wait while the bandits approach and spring an ambush on them come morning.

Feel free to continue planing any details that might be missing, you can use the map as reference for selecting hiding spots. Currently you're still safe until the showdown early tomorrow. You can talk among yourselves or with the Levetons battle plans or idle chatter until then.

When you steer RP towards resting and early next morning our first combat encounter will begin.


Itomo

Indeed Itomo did not here Zarina's offer, his belly full for the first time in a week, he is barely able to maintain consciousness he momentarily breaks free of the "food coma" long enough to catch her glare realizing that once again he has insulted her, albeit unwittingly. "I am sorry Zarina, I was only suggesting that Willam and I would be a good match our fighting styles are very similar and would compliment each other. Really all three of us could crouch in the shadows and hide to spring the trap the doors look heavy the additional help would be welcome." Itomo hopes this helps clear the air between them but suspects that it won't.



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Zarina Ka'thar

Done with her bread and stew, Zarina pushes away from the table and primly walks over to where Itomo sits. She smiles graciously at Denayth and Willem as she walks, assuring them, "I will be where I can do the most good." Which in her mind is definitely somewhere close to the poor woman if she can at all help it. The Varisian then thanks their host and hostess for the delicious meal. Despite her lack of appetite, she couldn't resist the crusty bread and the hearty stew.

Under the pretense of collecting dishes from those who were done eating, she leans over the Restovian. "Here, let me get that for you." As she bends closer to him, she hisses in his ear. "The doors look heavy? Really? I know very well when I am being patronized, Itomo Baerford." Apparently the Restovian's suggestion didn't sit well with her. Gathering his empty plate and utensils, she straightens, smiles at everyone and proudly strides off to do her part in cleaning up. "I'll get started on these for you, Mistress Svetlana," she calls over her shoulder, disappearing into what she hopes is the kitchen. The woman had enough to worry about without having to wash for and tend to about a dozen new people.



Once Zarina had gone inside, Willem remarked "This might be a good point to say something about the fickleness of women (present company excepted, of course), or of the gods, or possibly of devout female worshippers of gods." He looked around at the others. "But I'm not going to say it. I'm way too smart for that."



Itomo

Itomo is stunned muttering to himself"But...I...I...but..what?" He slumps his shoulder dejectedly and hauls himself up shaking what bread crumbs have landed on him off. He grabs an apple and heads to the stable to make sure Ferber is comfortable. After rubbing him down he shares the apple with Askari and Ferber.

Once the apple is gone he hauls his bedroll and bags up into the hayloft laying his roll and bedding out just over Ferber's stall. He lays down and listens to the planning and the occasional burst of laughter from his companions while ruminating on the Varisian woman. Whats going on with you Itomo....why is she able to rattle you so much, and more importantly what can you do to get back on her good side. His internal dialog dies down and the only solution he can come up with is get over her and move on, but its a decision that hurts.

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Sensing that the productive portion of the post-meal discussion was over, Missoi stands, nodding politely. "If you'll excuse me."

Following Zarina's path, he joins her in the kitchen. "Zarina..." he starts. After a slightly awkward pause, he finds himself chuckling. "I must admit, I'm not much for influencing the feelings and actions of others with words - I believe too strongly in the individual's absolute dominion over themsleves." Growing serious again, he continues. "I just wanted to make sure you knew how necessary your presence is going to be, both for tomorrow's confrontation as well as the many others which the future is sure to hold for us. Many of us here can hold our own with blade and wit - which I have no doubt that you can as well - but not many of us will be able to invoke that couple's courage in the midst of what will occur tomorrow. Which means that you need to be strong and present, for them, and, by extension, for the rest of, in the hours to come." In the silence that follows, the half-elf clearly grows awkward once again, and then bursts out laughing at his own self-consciousness. "So how did I do?" he laughs.







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