Part 1: Trouble at Oleg's

Brunhilde Thundercry

"No," Brunhilde says to Willem's comment about women, "you apparently aren't." She finishes her meal, having spent much of the visit in silence; her comrades are doing more than enough talking on their own.

"I'm gonna check that catapult, but if there're plants growin' in it, I doubt I can get it workin' again any time soon. Leaves me on the ramparts. Though we may be better off starting with the gates barred, firing from the ramparts when they get here, and having the folks on the ground get 'em from behind, blockin' their retreat. Ain't as subtle, but it's the safer course."

A Horny Fellow Called Magnolia

"Course, if we let them in the gate, those of us with magic might be able to group them together and disable a bunch of them, when they're all grouped together at the entrance. Outside, they'll be all over and harder to hit."

Missoi returns from the kitchen just in time to hear Brunehilde's comment. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with that strategy - it poses too much of a risk allowing them to escape. If they come only five strong, and we show force before they're inside they gate, they're just as liable to turn tail and gather reinforcements, in which case we've lost the element of surprise, they've evened the odds, and we've placed ourselves and the residents of this outpost in a potential siege situation. No, I believe luring them into the fort before we confront them to be the wisest course of action."

Brunhilde Thundercry

"If everything goes right and we kill 'em to the last, their comrades will know they're gone and there'll be reinforcements all the same," Brunhilde corrects.

Zarina Ka'thar

Originally Posted by QikJoi View Post
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.
Zarina listens to the half-elf whilst furiously attacking the dishes she has at hand. Though her anger is obvious in the speed with which she scrubs plates, mugs and utensils, nary an errant clank from the dishware is heard. She sighs heavily once Missoi finishes speaking. Cheeks still pink from exertion, the petite oracle turns to face him, crossing her slender arms in front of her. "Well at least you didn't ask me to hold a door because it was too heavy," she says peevishly, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Somehow though, seeing the stoic half-elf succumbing to laughter causes her shoulders to involuntarily shake and the corners of her lips to twitch upward as she teeters on the verge of laughing. Damn, no, I am too angry to be doing this.

But laugh Zarina does, loudly, until tears spring to her eyes and her nose turns slightly red. Wiping the tears away with the heels of her palm, she smiles up at the tall half-elf, gently reaching out to touch his arm. "Thank you for coming in here." She gives in to an errant sniffle before continuing, dabbing at her eyes with the corner of her scarf. "You did well. And in turn I will do my best on the morrow to do my part," she says earnestly, giving him what she hopes is a confident nod.

The Varisian watches him leave and turns to put away the dishes as best as she can in the unfamiliar kitchen. Only then does she rejoin the others in the common area.

Missoi smiles warmly at the Varisian. "Glad to hear it."
* * *
(Back in the common room)

"Not if we follow our captives trail promptly once the battle is over, which we should anyway, since the trail will be at its freshest. Doing so means there is no unusual delay in the return of the bandits, which means the others will have no reason to suspect something is amiss." Missoi is clearly getting riled by the stubbornness of the woman.

A Horny Fellow Called Magnolia

Magnolia whispers to Skapti, "Is it just me, or are those two guys and that woman unusually tense?" He leans on his staff and watches.

Brunhilde Thundercry

"Attack them at their stronghold, or let them come to ours. I wonder which would work better?" the dwarf muses. "Not like our force of nearly a dozen has the skills for any chance at actually surprising 'em in their own home."

A Horny Fellow Called Magnolia

Magnolia says, "Not that I'm a warrior, but seems to me that if they know we're defending this place, all they'd need to do would be sit outside of bow range and stay on their horses, keep a couple watching us, and bring in reinforcements. Upon which time they could simply commence with the flaming arrows and burn this place down. The plan to attack them from behind, while having value, doesn't really work unless they're unable to escape to the sides or forward, which would be easy enough to do if attacking in the open. If even one escapes on horse, then we end up facing a superior numerical force with greater mobility (and we're back to the flaming arrows burning down thing). But if we can lure them all inside, shut the doors behind them, and slaughter them inside, the odds of total execution and capture are probably higher."

He shrugs and then says, "But really it's all up to you all, I'm a wizard, I just summon things and let them fight for me."

"I agree with Magnolia," says Missoi, turning to the others. "What does everyone else think?"

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