Part 2: Exploring the Greenbelt (Group 2)

Part 2: Exploring the Greenbelt (Group 2)

Brunhilda's hurried and resolute pace has no sign of wanting to slow down, it's been several hours since you left Oleg's fort, the Forest has little trails and it all just seems like a mess of trees in every direction. Some of you ride on foot while others ride on horse... or mule. The captured bandit has so far kept quiet unless spoken to, which might be better considering what happened to the others.

Somewhat reluctant you stop a few minutes to rest and catch your bearings, it might seem too late now, but you search your packs hoping to have brought food and water for the quick trip.

Mallory was miserable. The terrain was rough, her horse didn't seem to like her, the Dwarf kept up a pace that was absolutely brutal to her soft, pampered bottom and the bandit's aroma was worse than a Stinking Cloud. The further they went, the more she regretted coming with this group, or adventuring in the first place.

Nobody told her claiming the Stolen Lands was going to require work.

"I'm hungry. I'm thirsty. Let's stop here; I'm worthless if not at 100%. As your leader and general superior, it is in your best interests for this not to be the case."

As the day passed on into it's noonish hour, Jaared pulled up on the horses reigns. Now seemed an appropriate time for a short rest and as he thought better of giving the bandit a mount of his own back at the fort (he did consider Denayth's original suggestion back at Oleg's but decided against it) he was sure his horse could use it. Once the mount stopped he let the bandit dismount and then he did so himself. "Sorry Mallory, I feel this stop will be brief. We seem to be at the mercy of Brun's dwarvish endurance and I think she isn't in the mood for a protracted journey." He then led the horse over to the side of the road/trail they were using so it could graze for a short time and lashed it's reigns to a shrub nearby so it wouldn't run off. He walked back over to the brigand and dropped his backpack. Rummaging through it he dug out some dried jerky and some hard bread. It wasn't but a few quick cuts with his dagger and he had the meal divided in two. Motioning to the bandit he gave him half. "So, do you have a name or should we continue to call you something derogatory and demaeaning?" Jaared sat next to his pack and began to eat the quick meal. "It seems we have several questions that only you would be able to answer, but more on that later. For now we just need you to keep us going on track directly to the camp where the others are."

When he was done he went to regain his mount from the shrub. He led it by it's reigns back to where the bandit sat. "Come on, we'll walk for a while and give the horse a rest.", he said as he stroked it's nose. "You wouldn't know this mount would you? Does it have a name?", he asked the bandit. After the man answered he looked around. "So, shall we continue?", he asked the group.

"Byron Travis' my name sir, don't really know the name of the horse though, sir" The man responds "We will probably need to camp somewhere since our camp is maybe a day's ride away still" Travis feels somewhat more secure here now that the virtuous giant paladin, the crazy halfling barbarian and the all powerful wizard are not around, though Daneyth makes him feel uneasy.

The padre rode along with the others, face neutral as he brought up the year. As they dismount to rest, he looks over at Mallory, shaking his head in disgust. "And what makes you think you're our leader? I think Brunhilde there might take issue with that, if no one else will." He leads his horse over towards Jaared's, tying it to the same bush.

Rummaging through his own pack, he digs out some trail rations and has a few bites. Sipping from his waterskin, he listens to the talk between Jaared and Byron. "You know Byron, its never too late to beg the gods for forgiveness and change your ways. Perhaps, in exchange for helping us, your sentence can be a sort of indentured servitude, rather than death. If you prove contrite and helpful."

Brunhilde Thundercry

Brunhilde rides mostly in silence atop some strange horse whose name she doesn't know. Probably gonna sell her later, but for now, she does her job. After Mallory's complaint, she lets Jaared and the padre handle rebuffing the brat as she leads the group for a couple miles more, until they find an acceptable camp site. The issue of whether or not the brat leads doesn't even require a response.

"Now," she begins, "we stop for the night." Her tone makes it clear that she will not be contradicted. "Fella who got away's probably willin' to run 'is horse to death. Only way we can keep up'd leave us too worn-out to fight."

She dismounts and leads her horse past the edge of the road, stopping to shoot Jaared a look as if the man is mad. "But we ain't campin' in the middle of the road. We've gotta get away from the road; no tellin' when or if the enemy's gonna come marching past. Can't have them getting the drop on us." She takes her own dried fair of salted pork, grain, and prunes as she leads the band away from the road, through thick brush, and to a small clearing, barely visible from the road where she starts setting up camp.

"No fire tonight. Can't give away the pursuit just yet. Stormclaw, soldier boy, the kid and I will take watch; I know elf-bloods got night-eyes, and so do we, so it'll work even without a fire." At 'soldier boy' and 'the kid,' she points to Jaared and Mallory. Then, before the pampered bastard girl can speak up, she turns to her, addressing her directly. "You get last watch. It's the cushiest watch, right after a full night's sleep. This is not up for debate, and if you're still tired, I got a bag of coffee beans right here. Just eat a couple; good as candy and they'll wake ya right up."

Without waiting for the inevitable spoiled response, she turns to the rest of the team. "Anyone not bring food and water?"

Brun's suggestions were common sense and palpable to the city watchman. He nodded as he found a strong young tree to tether his horse to. After he did so he got his gear together and found a spot that he thought he'd like for a night's sleep and placed his belongings there.

Once done with that he went to see Byron. "Well Byron, it's nice to meet you. You'll be eating rations that I have brought for the short trip.", he said as he shook their prisoner's hand. He continued, "Tis true what my friend says (nodding at Denayth). The punishment for brigandry is death, although you say you and your friends have never killed anyone. I pose this question to you: what do you think the leader of those bandits will say when we tell him they have to disband and answer for their deeds? I think I know his answer already. That means we know what we must do should it come to that. But what my friend also says is true. I offered you your freedom if you show us where the bandit camp is. There are other details we will ask later but then, after we deal with that camp, then what? What will you do for a living now that brigandry is off the table? How will you feed yourself or your family for that matter if you have one? Farming? I don't think you'd be cut out for that. Maybe be a guard? There would be too much temptation for you to fall into your old ways. Just think about it for a while and when your ready to tell us, please do so at your leisure." Jaared then turned to Jarili and Mallory.

Speaking to the two he began, "Willem, as I am not the most careful of persons, maybe you could help me keep an eye on our friend Byron here. I wouldn't want him to think we forgot about him or anything! And who knows Mal, you need to start your staff somewhere, right? Byron might make a good swordarm for you!", he said with a smile.

Finally, when he saw that Denayth had some free time he went over to the man. Offering him a bit of hard cheese and jerky he began; "I hope our friends back at Oleg's fare well. Assuming that both groups are successful for a time and we do explore the area, then what? Have you any ideas on how we should set up some sort of government or ruling council. The whole region will need to be developed to get any coin out of it to run it." He paused and looked about the group and how they were settling into thier hidesite. Quietly he added, "And as far as I'm concerned, I think you'd make a fine leader of this band." He then went back over to watch thier unwilling guest, Byron, to see that he didn't get himself into any trouble.

The sun would soon set over the forest, which made you finding a secure camping spot a good decision, the lack of a fire meant you would be inconspicuous in the night, but the forest was cold and unforgiving to those that didn't travel with enough protection.

Byron looked at Denayth with little love but plenty fear, when asked what to do he didn't find any appropriate response simply stating "Well, I'll have to see what comes up my way, things aren't easy 'round these parts Maybe I'll hunt some deer or something." he didn't like the idea of catering to Mallory by the look on his face though he did glance at her from time to time a bit more than appropriate grinning at some obscure thought when no one was looking.

Willem dismounted and led his horse off to a sturdy tree where she might get something to eat while she's tied off. "We're living rough for a few nights, girl," he quietly told his horse, Storm, while patting her side and feeding her a few bits of apple "But I'll treat you right once we get back to the stables, don't worry about that."

Turning to Brunhilde, he replied "I've brought some rations." And with that, we got out some so that he could appease his pangs of hunger. Willem nodded to Jaared at the soldier's suggestion that he keep an eye on their captive. From then on, the young rogue made sure that the bandit was always within sight.

Take 10 on Perception for a total of 19 while watching the bandit.


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