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Posted: Apr 29 2014, 05:13 PM
The road from Morthal to Dawnstar was often lonely. Aside from a handful of travellers heading the other way, Kyrus hadn't seen a soul in two days. It was peaceful almost. Quiet.
Or at least it was until he ran into trouble a day outside of Dawnstar.
Kyrus knew something was wrong when the road narrowed unnaturally. There were bushes here, thick and artificially placed. They would make excellent cover. It also made a good vantage point; one could spot travellers from a mile away. Kyrus knew what would happen next.
Men stepped onto the road, shadows taking forms. They carried steel. One carried a bow. Hardened men, battle-scarred. Kyrus knew the type.
He stopped a dozen or so feet away, his hand falling to the hilt of his blade absently. His fingertips tapped on the pommel as he sized them down. Four in total—three with blades and the one with the longbow. In a fair fight, he wouldn't have a chance. Neither would he in an unfair one, if this was a moment of honesty.
His eyes hardened.
“I'm just a traveller,” Kyrus said, shaking his head. “You're in my way.”
One of them grinned and stepped forward. He looked behind and then squinted forward. “Well, would you look at that—I reckon we are. We just want your toll, friend. Then we'll happily...get out of your way.” Another smile, oil slick. Kyrus immediately hated him. His fingers tightened around his sword. The bowman immediately notched an arrow. The leader—the one with the too-ready smile—waved a finger. “Tut-tut, bad idea, friend.”
Kyrus paused, trapped.
Posted: Apr 29 2014, 09:39 PM
Heroes and Thieves at My Door~
If there was one thing that Nix had learned in all her time as a thief and now as a nightingale was to NEVER travel on the road. Sure the underbrush wasn't always pleasant when one was on horseback, but quite frankly once you got the hang of it the whole affair wasn't too bad. Keeping to the tree line usually with the path either to your left or your right kept one from getting lost and helped avoid a lot of the problems that plagued travelers like say. . .bandits.
Bandits really tended to be very one-track minded individuals as it was. Often watching the road and rarely scanning the forest at their backs making it far from terribly hard to sneak up on them even on horseback. Besides Stormfront was good with his hooves and where to place them to avoid carelessly snapping fallen twigs and branches. Yes the treeline was clearly superior to the road something made all the clearer as Nix watched a lone figure in the distance slowly being moved in on by bandits like a dog circled by a pack of wolves.
It's not my problem. They're not thieves and he's not a guild-member. No reason to get involved. Just keep moving and we can make the barrow before sundown. . . Nix thought as she observed the situation unfolding before her. The man was imperial, former or possibly current legion by the way he was holding himself and not terribly hard on the eyes as far as men went.
However at the bandit's distant words Nix almost broke out laughing. A toll? Really? I've heard more creative names for shakedowns from half-blind skeever bitten beggars. Nix thought with a silent snort of derisive amusement at the bandits.
At the notched arrow Nix drew her own bow and prepped the string taunt with a more suitable ammunition then the shabby iron arrows the fool that dared call himself an archer was using. The movement so quick and clean it was no longer a thought, but second nature. Well. The guild does use this road for transporting goods. Perhaps I'll see to preventing future incidents.
And with that thought suddenly an arrow as black as night itself sprouted from the bandit archer's throat before he could so much as pull his bow tight. "Time to make an impression~" Nix murmured notching another arrow before the dead man could even register that he was no longer among the living as she spurred Stormfront onward.
Like his name suggest the massive black charger broke the cover of the forest with a scream like an oncoming storm rearing his great hooves as the dark horse and darker rider charged. There was however no cry of battle from the figure mounted upon the monster of a stead's back. No instead silent as death the rider rose in the stirrups and in one perfect motion sent an arrow whizzing between it's mount's ears to bury itself into one of the rear bandit swordsman's heart before the group could even process what was going on. Leaving the last one and the leader to Kyrus as horse and rider veered circling like the dark shadow of death as the moved to come back around for another pass.
I can't seem to tell them apart anymore~
Posted: Apr 29 2014, 10:49 PM
Was his life worth more than the coins in his pocket?
How about his integrity? Could lost coins ever recover that, even if he somehow managed to survive this? What about self-worth? He was better than them. That was the impression, right? Was it worth dying just to hold on to whatever shred of dignity he had left?
He would find out soon enough. His fingers tightened around the grip of his sword. His life be damned, he was not going to handover his things without a fight. Kyrus drew his sword, anticipating the arrow.
It never came.
Instead, through some strange twist of fate, it was the bowman who was struck down. An arrow shot through his neck and he toppled back, tumbling into death. There was a moment of hard silence in which the enormity of the event fell on the bandits. Their eyes widened. Then, like a panicked exhale, they charged.
The first bandit came in swinging. He was a better swordsman that Kyrus initially estimated and his strikes were quick, precise. The leader meanwhile was scanning the undergrowth while simultaneously trying to flank Kyrus. It was difficult keeping both of them in sight, but he managed, moving deftly as he loosened his shield and gripped it.
Kyrus heard the charge before he saw the horse. It was somewhere to his left, and though he was a little preoccupied with his own attackers, he noticed the rider had a bow.
In the distance, a second swordsman fell.
That left the leader and the one Kyrus was currently facing down. It took him a few moments, but the bandit made his mistake eventually. He over-extended, reached too far. He wouldn't get the chance to regret it. Stepping into the opening, Kyrus buried his sword into the spaces between the man's leather armour. There was a rush of blood, slick, wet, warm. Kyrus pushed back, spinning to face the leader.
The man glanced at the rider on the horse, glanced at Kyrus...and then bolted for the trees.
Anticipating what the rider would do, Kyrus threw a hand up, stopping her. "Don't shoot," he said, looking up. For whatever reason, he didn't want the rider to shoot at the fleeing Bandit. His eyes were hard, insistent.
Posted: Apr 29 2014, 11:55 PM
Heroes and Thieves at My Door~
With her Nightingale mask on and hood pulled low no expression could be made out from the dark shadows of the rider's cowl. However a heavy silence weighed. Even before the Imperial had shouted for the bandit leader to be spared what would surely have been certain death Nix sat bowstring taunt, arrow a the ready. The rider slowly turned, never so much as losing a perfect bead of their target,as Nix was perfectly capable of shooting with only a glance from the corner of her eye, and stared down at the imperial hard.
Even if the man couldn't see the stare, the weight of it was still there and for a long moment tense silence prevailed, before slowly the rider allowed the slack from their string and un-notching the arrow Nix returned it to it's brethren.
"If you are bothered by the idea of shooting a man in the back then I can assure you I am perfectly capable of getting him from the front." Nix intoned doing her best to keep her voice level and emotionless though even then some of her annoyance slipped in. She hated leaving loose ends and she didn't kill casually. If she committed to killing. She killed them ALL. It irked her to leave one alive especially one so worthless.
"Even at this distance." Nix added gauging the man's flight.
I can't seem to tell them apart anymore~
Posted: May 1 2014, 06:34 PM
He could not see her expression.
In fact, he wasn't even sure it was a 'her'...until she spoke—until the clear, female voice rang out. Her face was hidden behind a mask; the cowl obscured everything else. It was strange but he had no time to reflect on it. Not while the man was still in flight.
“It's not that,” he said quietly, though there was iron in his voice. He looked up at her for a brief second before turning east, in the direction the man fled.
Even at this distance.
“There might be more,” he said. It was the soldier's training kicking in, and he knew it. You never chased a fleeing enemy because there was always the potential of a trap. More battles were lost by overconfident pursuers than by standing their ground and using scouts. Textbook.
He looked at her again and sheathed his sword. “Thank you,” he said after a few seconds of studying her. “You saved me before I did something stupid.” A small smile pushed back the edges of his mouth.