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21 Flamerule, 1372 (Afternoon) - kronk9
kronk9
kronk9
21 Flamerule, 1372 (Afternoon)
Ugurth lower his blade to ground but not let go of it. "This hardly seem fair, brother. I came here thinking I'd find one Harper, not a platoon." He sneering, not afraid. "I figured my troops would level this miserable little hamlet by lunchtime. Now we're missing our roasted hen."

Ugurth is not quite as tall as Kronk. Not quite as strong, either. But he still look strong. His tunic made from well-tooled leather. Boots must have cost someone a lot of coin. Probably not Ugurth's coin. He wear silver chain with black jewel around neck. Kronk never wear jewelry.

"What Ugurth doing here?"

"Well, I suppose you not believe I just paying a visit to my dear long lost brother?"

"And destroy town for a visit?" Kronk growl.

He make gesture with hand, lifting sword. "Didn't know where you'd gotten to. Had to get your attention somehow."

One of the twin elves have bow and arrow pointed at him. "Drop the weapon, or I'll take out your eye."

Ugurth smile widely. "Which one?"

Elf not smile. "The left," she say.

He chuckle. "I always appreciate a fine marksman...I'm sorry, markswoman. Maybe you can join my army." He not put down sword, just look her up and down. "But...orc men not like being outshot by a woman. They might want you for...other purposes."

Girl mutter something that sound like elvish curse. She draw back arrow.

"Isioleth!"

Thralia's voice draw everyone's attention. Elven girl relax weapon after moment but keep it pointed. Thralia continue. "Enough bantering. What do you want in Olostin's Hold?"

Ugurth's hair in long ponytail down back. It swing as he turn to face her. "And you must be the fabled Thralia." He nod approvingly. "My brother is fool for letting you get away."

Kronk's face get warm. "Ugurth should stay quiet."

"Thralia should not be surprised by Kronk. He's always had trouble knowing what to do with his--"

"UGURTH STAY QUIET!!" Kronk swing axe at Ugurth, but he ready. He block Kronk with sword, pull it away. But Kronk only fooled for a moment. I bring back axe, ready to bring down on Ugurth's head--

"Stop them!"

Kronk try to swing axe, but something stops blade. I turn and find drow woman has caught Kronk's blade with her own. I look at Ugurth, and someone has caught him with a rope.

He snort. "Always too quick to draw steel, weren't you, brother?"

Thralia step forward. "Kronk, he's trying to start a fight with you, to keep us distracted. Try not being a fool for a change." She turn to Ugurth. "And you. What did you mean you only expected find one Harper in Olostin's Hold?"

He smile, a different smile, one Kronk see before. Same smile he get when he choose Verra for sacrifice. "I think you already know."

Thralia is quiet for a moment. "Ariadne, Meree, Falco, go to the town, right now. There is an old man there named Barundar. Find him immediately, and--"

Before she finish, everyone turns. There is a cry from the town, several people. Smoke is rising in dark cloud.

"What happened?" Someone points. "Look...are those?..."

"KOBOLDS!!"

About six short little creatures are running towards us. Five carry crossbows; the last one have something wrapped in dark cloth. Kronk hears the gnome woman curse to self.

They attack before others have chance to react, but Kronk already have blade out. Kobolds are so small they can get between our legs, break up our group; we can barely hit them without attacking each other. Three of them start fighting with daggers, manage to stab dwarf.

Kronk see gnome woman wrestling with one. "I hate these little things!" she say as it climb on her back.

Battle is quick. Kobolds are not winning; one of them is already dead. Everyone has forgotten about Ugurth. Kronk realize that two are not fighting, just working towards Ugurth. One of them have the thing wrapped in cloth. And then Kronk know what is happening. I turn to where other kobold is untying my half-brother. "Stop him!" I say, reaching for him.

But he grab hold of black jewel on silver chain, and mutter something. A glow starts around them, moving over them.

Ugurth smile. "Too quick on the draw, Kronk." And he disappear with the two kobolds.

Others stand in shock. And while they are standing, last three kobolds look at each other, and then shove their daggers up through their chins.

Everyone is silent for few moments. Then Thralia shake her head. "Damn."

One of the twin elves step forward. "Thralia...he said you knew what he was after. Is that true?"

Thralia lift her head. On her face was look of...pain, maybe? Kronk see a lot of pain. But also look of strength. Look of someone who refuse to stop because of pain. It make her...more beautiful, somehow. Thralia right: Kronk is fool.

She talk to elf. "We'll soon find out if it's true. Everyone to the village," she add to others.

"Why? What are we going to find there?" elf ask.

"A dead Harper."

Some houses on fire, but villagers are putting them out. Thralia march right to shabby little hut at edge of town. Hut is destroyed, but many people in circle outside the hut, surrounding something. Thralia start to run as we draw near.

"Barundar!"

Circle break as she draw close. They standing around a dwarf on ground. He look old, frail, but very wise and powerful, like he was strong when younger. He was very dead. Thralia sank to knees, put arms around him. She start to sob.

"Oh, Barundar, you old fool..."

Everyone stand around, not sure what to do. She rock back and forth, holding him.

After few minutes, Kronk lean down, put hand on Thralia's shoulder. "Kronk...sorry..."

She leave Kronk's hand there for a moment. Then she lay Barundar down careful and stand up, shrugging off hand.

"This was Barundar Foehunter," she say to us. "He was a Harper, a brave Harper...and...a dear friend."

There is muttering among crowd. Some of the locals join us now. "A Harper? Here?" "He couldn't be..." "What in Toril was he doing in this little town?" "Naw, he's our herbalist, helped my son's cough he did..."

"He was exactly what he seemed: an herbalist. It was a skill he knew well. When he retired from the Harpers, he came to live his last days in peace."

"What do you mean he was a Harper?" Old man in the crowd began talking angry. "Why did the Orc's attack him, if he was retired?"

Thralia pause. "I...don't know."

Villagers look suspicious. Like they not believe all she say. Then she continue.

"He had one last request," she say. "Barundar wanted to be buried here in Olostin's Hold. Would you, the people he served for these last several years, accept his body?"

Old man who spoke before step to front of crowd. "Alright. For what Barundar did for us...we'll take him. But we're a quiet village. We try to keep out of the way of war. We're grateful for your help...but..."

"But we'd just as soon you move on by tomorrow," finished another one.

Thralia nod. She look tired.

Villagers move off. She turn to rest of us. "Isendur, Isioleth, I thank you for your help today. Why don't you go to the inn and check on the rest of your party. I'll be along to convey my thanks to them soon." They left. "Ariadne, help the villagers prepare Barundar for burial. The rest of you help the villagers with repairs."

They already start to drift off when she beckon to the dwarf. "Falco?"

He return to her. "Yes, m'lady?"

"Falco, I need you to search the rubble for a dwarven urgrosh. I'm sure Ugurth has taken it, but we must check anyway." She speak in low whisper, but Kronk always could hear good. "And if he HAS taken it..." She trail off.

Dwarf grunts. "I THOUGHT there was more here than my crimson eye could see."

Thralia shake head. "More than you can imagine."

He nod. "I'll get my tools. Stonemason's tools come in handier than anyone'd think."

She walk over to front of Barundar's hut. Kronk join her. So does Serd. We look at front of hut for long time.

"Kronk, you had better leave," she say after a time.

"Kronk can help..."

"I know you can." She turn to us. "I thank you both for your help today. But the villagers aren't going to want help from a half-orc right now."

Serd raise hand. "I'm not a half-orc."

Her gaze turn to him. She look stern. "Surely your aren't. But YOU I've dealt with before, Serd of the Dalelands, as have many of my party. I believe one of them is still concerned about the loss of a certain ring..."

"Oh, is she?" Serd turn to Kronk. "Well, my large friend, I think I can be of little use here. I'm sure we'll meet soon enough." He touch hand to brow, smile, and walk into forrest, maybe a little faster than usual. Thralia still look stern...but maybe look after him a little lighter than at first. Then she turn to Kronk.

"As for you..."

"Kronk...sorry."

"So you've said."

"I know...some reasons why Kronk...turn away from you. It not...because Kronk not like you. Just...I not ever feel about someone like I feel about you. Thought I not ready for...night with you."

"Not ready, hmm? Are you now?"

Kronk shake head.

She nod. "It's just as well. I wouldn't accept now if you were."

Kronk nod. "Sorry."

"You think that helps, don't you?" She turn away, quiet for a moment. "When I offered you my bed, I meant it. I've met very few people like you."

She say 'person'. Not 'half-orc'.

"No one has ever refused me before, Kronk. I didn't know what to make of it. I suppose it should good for me to have a humbling experience. Maybe someday I'll see it that way. But today is not that day. Today I just hurt."

Kronk not say anything. Can't think of anything to say.

Thralia turn back. "Take one of our horses. You should be able to reach Everlund by nightfall." Kronk start to leave. "And Kronk..."

Kronk turn back.

"I didn't need you to save me from that orc back there."

She turn away. But she have that amused look in eye.

Current Location: Olostin's Hold
Current Mood: tired tired

8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
dandycat From: dandycat Date: June 9th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Remember that Thralia wouldn't discuss business in front of the townspeople, so don't forget to resolve this in an alternate fashion.
vaudy From: vaudy Date: June 10th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
In addition to what Sabrina mentioned, Isendur and Isioleth are Seledra's cousins, not Harpers (in general) and not part of Thralia's team (in particular). In fact, they've probably barely met. Thralia probably wouldn't be issuing them orders, and much like the townspeople, she probably wouldn't let them in on Harper business, no matter how helpful they were in the battle.

ETA: I remember we also discussed the bit with Serd and the ring at the end; you need to work out that situation, because you had a concept that Serd had had some sort of fling with Meree, who is married and wouldn't do that sort of thing.

Edited at 2008-06-10 05:20 am (UTC)
dandycat From: dandycat Date: June 10th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even if she doesn't know her name, Thralia could have told her to stay her bow. I actually liked the little exchange between Isioleth and Urgurth. However, I agree that once the battle has subsided that the twins would have gone back to the inn to check on their cousin and her friend.
vaudy From: vaudy Date: June 10th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I was really referring to when she orders them into the town with Ariadne to find Barundar, just prior to the kobold attack.
dandycat From: dandycat Date: June 11th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes. Good point.
dandycat From: dandycat Date: June 10th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Kronk try to swing axe, but something stops blade. I turn and find drow woman has caught Kronk's blade with crossbow. I look at Ugurth, and someone has caught him with a rope."

The only drow female that uses a crossbow in combat is laid up. Miri on the other hand would use her bastard sword.
dandycat From: dandycat Date: June 10th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Change date to 21 Flamerule, 1372 - Afternoon


Edited at 2008-06-10 04:01 pm (UTC)
vaudy From: vaudy Date: June 16th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the changes. It looks good.

One small typo, however:
Thralia is quiet for a moment. "Ariande, Meree, Falco, go to the town, right now."

Should be Ariadne.
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