Miles to go before we sleep (Kitsunegami, open)

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Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:20 pm

Miles' objections were somewhat alleviated by the discovery that their customer carried a fortune in silver. Still, there was a nagging doubt in his mind. *Where on earth did he get this money? Either a consortium of powerful merchants or a group of powerful nobles. That is indicative of someone, perhaps not the person in front of us but someone upon whose behalf he works, knows me. Not good.*
The 'poor healer bit' almost Miles to roll his eyes. Honestly, who would admit to carrying a fortune, and then try to place himself as a financial victim? The bit about the strongbox both enticed Miles, and disturbed him. That was why he didn't stop Tansa when she voiced objections. Rulf plainly wanted her to stop though. After Omon threatened a price lowering and started to border on the insulting, though-
"Enough! You complicate things overmuch. We would indeed be happy to take the job, if it is indeed as simple as you say! For upfront payments, all the Kronens you possess, and a quarter each of the Florins and the Livre de Parisis. As for the loot afterward, you may have 70% of the value in the strongbox, provided you reserve all loot not in there to us."

Miles stood on his chair, looking down at Omon. "You doubt us?" He asked softly. "You doubt us for the simple reason that we walk with our eyes open? You doubt us because we understand that information is power, and that good tactics depend upon complete intelligence? That is what it sounds like. I've no doubt you could find a larger and more pugnacious group of muscle-heads, but do you think that strength alone is what wins a battle? You have our services on the terms described. Further insults to our ability or our honor, or any indication that we are being taken for a ride, will result in a price hike. We will take the difference out in flesh. Do I have you word that you will honor this contract?"
The ferret put out his hand. Miles was aware that his reputation was in danger if he did not accept, but also that there were a few things more important than it. He tried to put this thought into a look and shoot it right through Omon's eyes. *These are people I care more about than anything else. If you are withholding information for the purpose of hurting them, may God have mercy on your soul. I would suffer anything, including a reputation as a coward, rather than ordering them to what I know is their death.*
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Post by omndragon » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:33 pm

"Why my captain."

Omon almost but purred

"I am so glad we have come to an agreement, and I have no qualms about you keeping any loot you may find. The instructions I currently have say that the bandits are to be wiped out. You can either turn them over to the proper authorities or make them your lackies for all I care, but I being a healer; l don't approve of any cold blood murder. In the heat of battle it is unavoidable, but a surrendered foe should be given a small amount of respect."

Omon' s eyes flashed suddenly and his voice hardened,

"Oh and if you think you can betray me you will be sadly mistaken. I am not so easily to betray."

With a violent flicker of his left hand Omon says,

"dabvin."

A wind quickly blows into the room as the green runes on the floor spark and then quickly die. It took less then a second for the magic to die, and left no doubt that the power of the spell was very great.

"This is no longer required. Oh and I would like to warn your little shadow that I'll figure out her little trick if she keeps using it. I am already sure it is not of a magic nature. It doesn't leave many options of what it is, but if you would kindly order her to refrain using it around me. I know I would appreciate it. It also would do you and her well to remember I am never fooled by the same trick twice."

Reaching into his side he brings his bag of silver coins and flings it into the chair he had only until recently occupied. There are 35 Florins, 23 Krones, and 25 Livre Parisis That is what I was authorized to pay you."

Omon smiled,

"There is a map inside the bag. The map indicates their last known location as well. When you decide to go please look me up at the inn."
Omon walks out the door and onto the street, and down the avenue.
"Some things in life can't be taught they must be learned." - unknown

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Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:12 pm

Miles kept his face blank as Omon went through his spiel. *How much does he know about our recruitment methods?* He thought as the line concerning 'lackeys' registered. The cold look his customer subsequently gave was reciprocated. "You do not know us half so well as you think if you even consider that possibility. My word is pledged, that is enough." Indeed, anyone who knew Lord Miles von Wexlar would be certain it was enough. The ferret sometimes forgot that he was incognito in moments concerning promises.

Lena's eyes grew to about the size of saucers when she saw the spell dissipate. *Who are we dealing with here? What is he? Surely more than a simple healer.*

Miles raided an eyebrow at the amount of money. *Authorized, I see. By the company he mentioned, or the resident noble?*
He reached into the bag and pulled out the map. His troops all gathered around. Miles was one of the few people in the Dresden who could read a map. He noted with relief that the last known location was not far, about a day's journey further into the duchy of Weimar-Sachs. The map was also marked with a trail showing the progress of the group over the past few days.
Miles commented out loud as he thought. "For the past few days, they've been moving tangent to us, southwest. However, they're overall path is u-shaped; they came from the south into Weimar-Sachs, making their first raid on a border town, and have basically robbed a swath through it. What stands out though..." He fingered the somewhat haphazard route, "Is their behavior in settled areas. Some they make a beeline for, others they stay away from. You'll notice that the sections they avoided correspond with certain baronies. Now, you know some nobles are more attentive than others to problems concerning bandits. What are you willing to bet that the lazy have been targeted and the diligent avoided? I'd bet a lot, especially considering that no hindrance seems to have affected these bandits despite the large number of settled areas they've hit.
"All told, we're dealing with sharp operators here. This has more marks of a campaign than a random swath. Fortunately, that gives us a good idea of where they'll be next." He pointed a finger down on a village at a crossroads. "This is in the same barony that they attacked a village further north in, and they do not appear to be veering away from it. If we don't catch them there, we'll at least have a fresher trail, and no doubt, some willing volunteers to help us."

Miles was feeling as if he'd forgotten something. Rulf cleared his throat. "Ah, Tansa?" The healer enquiried. "Do you mind not using my shadow like that?"
"Right." Miles chimed in, trying to hide embarrassment at the oversight. "Anyhow, I'll arrange for the distribution of pay. The rest of you, be ready to mobilize."
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Post by omndragon » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:15 am

(I was just going to do a simple post, but I felt that an adequate explanation was required. Sorry If I posted a bit big.)

Omon got a room with his personal supply of Thalers, which he was happy the mercenary hadn't guessed about. He only had 12 Thalers left to him because he had given all of the the other coins on his possession to Miles. He had promised to do so and although he had hated to carry the large amount of coins he had said he would. As Omon closed the door to his room he quickly drew 23 symbols of light onto the ground. This was a difficult and unused spell, but it was required to shield him from view, from the shadows so to speak. The light started as the runes combined into what looked remarkably like a drop of water made of shimmering light. as one looked at it the drop quickly formed into a puddle and then began to cover everything into the room. There were no shadows in the room any more just walls and celling of light. If it had come to any other type of spell he probably wouldn't have been able to do this, but light and earth spell were his forte and he could do remarkable things with them. This spell was a protection against both magical scurrying and it had the added bonus of eliminating all of the shadows in the room. There were other easier spells to cast but, this is the only one he would feel comfortable using here.

He took a small three leafed plant from his bag and chewed it in his mouth. He had used many enormously powerful spells in a short period of time, and he needed a slight mental boost. When he had recovered a bit he quickly drew his sword from his scabbard. He frowned he didn't like to use his swords capabilities because any two bit hedge mage would want it. It was made from a very rare and limited metal. It was this metal that allowed him to store one spell into it. The particular spell that Omon needed to store was a teleportation spell. He would exhaste what was left of his power but, dangerous was a very good term for the band of mercenaries he was now inexplicably tangled with. One wrong move on his part, or one underhanded movenment from their part would end him. He needed a good escape plan if it all went to dung. The magical shields he had put in place would keep any curious eyes out magical or otherwise, and allow him to freely cast this spell. He drew countless runes into the sword with his hand into the blade of the sword and almost four hours later the final rune snapped into place. The many hued colors that poured over the sword where bright and hurt the eyes, but like earlier they stopped and sank into the blade. It was ready. The outer spell had shown signs of diterioration and he knew it would not hold much logger, so he quickly inspected his blade with his magic sense. To his obvious relief the sword didn't give off any magical sense at all, and the outward appearance matched the mundane nonmagical sense it gave off. He knew great wizards would be fooled by this metal just as he always was. No one would be able to tell that he only had to channel energy into the sword and bam he was safely in another location.

He quickly sheathed the sword and collapsed on to his bed full clothes and all, and quickly fell asleep. as he slept the magical protection that was needed to reduce his magic emission vanished in a final flash of light. The magic it had given off to others was like a wall of magic, not strong but a type of wall that one could not see through. To a mage's or sorcerers senses it was like looking at a physical wall and one could not see beyond it. The magical wall also protected the spells cast within it from being noted. A mage would only be able to guess as to what was going on in this room but, it was not permanent and it could not be held indefinitely. As Omon had finished casting and since the magic he had cast had left no magical essence behind the mage's would just have to continue guessing what he had done, and even if they had crowded the doorway they would have heard nothing because Omon had said nothing. However, no matter what happened Omon was ready to leave come time to leave.
"Some things in life can't be taught they must be learned." - unknown

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Post by Rackenhammer » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

The troops filed out of the room, leaving Miles, Tansa, and Thari. Miles ran through the pay chits he'd drawn up that morning to determine who got how much, and divided it up without saying a word. After he finished, he returned to his desk and spoke to Tansa.
"I would advise you not to try anything more with our customer, at least for now. Later, we may be in a better position, but he had us financially over a barrel then. I don't like this situation particularly, but it is likely to be worth our while. You're not in trouble, now at any rate, but please try to give me, and the person whose shadow you borrow, some warning next time?"

Lena and Rulf, meanwhile, were deep in conversation about Omon. "I know you don't like to say anything bad against a fellow healer, Rulf, but, I mean, think about it! He deliberately withheld information any commander should have a right to before he makes a decision. And what else is in that strongbox? I don't think he or his employers would care so much about money alone. And- well there you are!"
Lena pointed out the barrier Omon put around his room. "Anyone who uses barriers like that can't be on the up and up!"
"Lena, be calm. It might not be us he's defending against."
"Then why doesn't he let us know there's something after him, and by extension, us?"
"Well, is there any way you can see in?"
"No. The only reason I can tell it's there is that I cannot sense anything in there, not even what blocks me. How does he do that?"
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Post by omndragon » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:10 am

Omon awoke before dawn and stretched. He didn't know what time of day it was outside, but he knew whatever time it was the mercenaries would probably be getting ready to leave. Quickly getting himself presentable he got up and went downstairs. He didn't see any of the mercenaries down there so he contented himself by getting something to eat. As he was finishing his meal he heard someone enter the inn.
"Some things in life can't be taught they must be learned." - unknown

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Post by Rackenhammer » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:50 pm

Miles had stayed up a little later than everyone else, still puzzling over the map. Several explanations were running through his head, none pleasant. *Too many unknowns. Even our enigmatic customer is probably not in possession of all the facts, and might not have deduced all that he could from what facts he does possess. That is, if we're not being deceived about the whole thing; we have only his word that there are any bandits.* He shook his head at this last though. Miles was good at reading people, and knew that Omon had not been deliberately feeding him untruths.
He bedded down shortly thereafter.

One good thing about mercenaries is that they can mobilize quicker than some army units. By breakfast time, most of the Dresden were ready to go. Thari, by dint of the powers invested by his sergeanthood, managed to get them into something approaching formation outside while Miles and Rulf went into Omon's inn.
"Ready when you are. We've figured where they're most likely to surface next, and will be on the road as soon as you can join us." Miles nodded crisply as he said this to the tiger.
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Post by omndragon » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:45 pm

As the last of Omon’s food is consumed Miles tells him that the mercenaries are ready. He smiles. Then gets up from his place and then goes to the door way after the commander.

"Well this inn was a welcome respite on my travel, but again it is time to say goodbye."

He yawns and stretches as he joins the mercenary troops.

"Well my General the operation is in effect. You will be in charge of doing what you have said you would. Your word is your honor. I will do my best to stay out of the way as it were. Also if you give an order to me, i will comply, but do not give me orders lightly. For the success of the mission and all that I will listen to orders and even obey them, but if the reasons behind them are not sound then I may choose to remain outside of your command."

Omon hide his displeasure at saying those words by yawning once more. He knew that this operation couldn't have more then one leader, and to be honest he knew that miles the better leader. Omon had no intention of trying to order others around, but he was also not in the habit of letting others order him around. It was unfortunately this had to be made clear, but it would come up later if he didn't say it now. They might not need his cooperation to succeed in this venture, but they definitely didn't need his resistance.

"By your order General."
"Some things in life can't be taught they must be learned." - unknown

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Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:34 pm

Miles easily recognized the reluctance to take orders at face value; after all, he was pretty much the same way. "I cannot force you to do anything more. Keep in mind, however, that it will not be often that you will have the luxury of time to inquire into my reasoning. Arrows don't wait for questions."

With that he led Omon out. "By your time sergeant. Orion, Ashe, you scout ahead. Chaz will take rearguard."
Thari saluted, and roared out the command. The Dresden started off to their next adventure.

The officers were holding an on-the-march briefing of their customer. "What we're trying to do," Miles outlined to Omon, "Is to beat the bandits to their next target. If we can reach the village before them, that puts us in a position to organize a defense in a terrain that the villagers know well, which gives us an advantage. I doubt that we would recover the goods then, but it will blunt their force, and make their camp more susceptible to a raid. Knowing bandits as I do, their elimination is likely to be piecemeal, but it will make things a lot easier if they no longer act as a unified body, which they seem to do."
Pierre nodded. "Their path indicates some brains behind their operation. Do you know anything about their leadership?"
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Post by omndragon » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:08 pm

Omon frowns and rubs his chin. He had always heard that this group of bandit had had a leader that was more strength then intelligence. But the guard on the stage coach had described someone who seamed to be in charge of the boss of these bandits. The guard had been left for dead and had been discovered half dead. His information was questionable at best. Omon had briefly thought about not menchioning this but, he couldn't see any reason no to do so. There were many reasons to tell the general. Omon pursed his lips,

"One of the guards on the stage coach which was robbed survived the incident. He claimed someone was in charge of the self proclaimed leader of the bandits. He was half dead and spouting allot of nonsense when he was questioned. This is not reliable nor is it acceptable. The bandits leader is more brawn then brains, and it had been thought that the bandits leadership had transfered, but no report has come from any other source. This man may know because they left him for dead, but then again he could be mistaken from the sunstroke, blood loss, and dementia he was afflicted with at the time. It is all that I know about any intelligence behind the robbery, or the bandit."
"Some things in life can't be taught they must be learned." - unknown

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Post by Kitsunegami » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:51 am

Tansa had apologized to Rulf, as well as Miles. It had not been her intent to undermine any of Miles authority, but she would sooner die than allow her friends to to come to harm. As for Rulf, she found herself thinking of what he did for her, when she was on the verge of death... He was important to her, more than she realized, or even he did for that matter. She liked everyone of the original group, Thari, Leena, Rulf, and Miles.

Tansa was traveling in her more common attire, all of her weapons hidden on her person, or stowed in her pack. She had chosen to remain silent since she had last spoken. The 'client' bothered her in an unusual manner. Something about him was just rubbing her the wrong way. It could be that Tansa didn't get along with many mages, or it could be his perceived arrogance. Regardless of this, she chose to remain hidden to some extent within the band of newer recruits, dressed more as a brawler than her usual commoner attire, or her 'work' attire.

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Post by Rackenhammer » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:35 pm

Miles grimaced at Omon's assessment. "Hmm, there are simply too many variables. Did the leadership change, or did the leader simply get a brilliant Lieutenant? Do the bandits act upon their own behalf or not? One thing we do know is their tendency not to leave survivors to find out. All the more reason to get to the village quicker!" The ferret quickened his pace, and everyone more or less matched it.

Pierre found himself with Rulf and Tansa. "So, what do you think of our customer?" The Lieutenant asked in a low voice.
"I hate to speak ill of a Brother Healer, but some instinct tells me to be wary. It may simply be that he has an occupational antipathy towards those who fight for a living, which would account for the tension I sense."
Pierre nodded. "You felt it too? How about you, Tansa?"

Ashe and Orion spied the village first. Bad news had traveled ahead of the bandits, and the village had set up a guard, which nearly shot the Corporal with their crossbows before she could explain that the Dresden Free Mercenaries were on their way. Orion was sent back to bring word to the others, while Ashe stayed to scout the village for information.
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Post by Kitsunegami » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:12 pm

Tansa had remained fairly quiet until asked, "There are many things that are off-putting about him. However, suffice it to say that I do not trust him. I do not wish to dwell further upon the subject. I have my senses locked onto him. If I feel that he is doing something he shouldn't be doing, he will be both the first and last to know." she said with the same degree of silence that Pierre had spoken.

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Post by omndragon » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:15 pm

Omon had already been wary about traveling with this group to begin with, but to tell the truth he was surprised by what they would talk about not a few yards from him. He didn't have the hearing of a canine, but you had to develop a sense of hearing when you hunted out in the forest. He was a little insulted that he was considered such a minor threat that they would plan his execution a couple of yards from him.

He keep his eyes on the one named Tansa though. Through the past day he had determined she was the one to look out for. She may be stealthy but, her tongue and arrogance sure wasn't. He had made preparations to combat her if she tried to do anything. Since she didn't show any type of decorum to following Miles lead so to speak. She seamed like she would do what she pleased when she pleased. With Miles Omon felt his word was good enough, but with Tansa he felt like she was sharpening her knife the whole while he was there. Needles to say he couldn't relax around someone plotting his death around him, and to be truthfully he wasn't going to relax anywhere around her.
"Some things in life can't be taught they must be learned." - unknown

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Post by Kitsunegami » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:57 pm

((I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that while Tansa is technically a member of the Dresden, she operates as an independent member. Her priority is to do what she needs to ensure the safety of her friends. Though I suppose you could say that she is slowly being changed by the entity known as Mephelese, though, I would like to speak with you more about that privately if you're interested...))

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