|Bandits Slain and Prisoners Taken|
|Summary:||A Terrick patrol runs into a group of bandits that were waiting to ambush easier prey.|
|A point of land between Terrick's Roost and Stonebridge, one can travel to either of the two from here, by travelling west or east, while north takes them to Highfield and south to Seagard.|
|Sep 15, 289|
The poachers numbered some one and twenty with their twenty first being Freya. A career criminal she did not like this bunch. Recently they had turned to banditry and Freya had simply no stomach for violence. Still teaming up with them had kept her alive. They had attacked a wagon train the other day tried to kidnap a young noblewoman who had evaded them. Freya had the chance to stop the girl escaping with her bow by shooting the horse she used but missed deliberately. She did not want the poor girl to have to attempt to evade rape as often as Freya had in this camp of knaves. Today they are carefully hidden around a road. Freya is standing next to the leader of the group - Ugly Al Bone - a hairy stupid thug. Freya doesn't kill people - not even the Ironborn that made her a thrall for exactly two hours but this man was pushing her towards reconsidering that position. On the road they wait to waylay some passers by - about no doubt to bite off more than they can chew.
The next 'visitors' that the bandits see coming up the road are not the usual ones they prefer to prey on. There are only eight in total, however, they are all mounted, armored, and armed as well. The lead rider appears to be a knight as he is armored in full chainmail, steel helm, and blade at his side riding a courser. The armsmen behind him are armored in thick leather jerkins, shields, broadswords, and spears as well. All wear Terrick surcoats over their armor as well as Terrick riding cloaks, identifying just who they are and what land the bandits currently are transgressing on.
At the appointed time Ugly Al Bone hurls a rock which bounces off the helm of one of the terrick guardsmen evidently thinking that merely having the veteran soldiers surrounded is something that would tip the battle in their favor. Then they could loot the corpses. "What's this we 'ave 'ere. Some terrick cunts come venturing onto land what they think is there's still. I think they should 'ave to pay a toll. What do you think sweet tits…" The latter is a reference to Freya who has been bullied into standing next to him. "I think this is the most fucking stupid thing that you have done yet Al." The thugs response is to shove her over. Freya's voice and the bawdy nickname is the only thing that reveals she is a girl at the moment. Her hair is stuffed away under a fur hat. Her body - beautiful thing that it is is wrapped up in a similar set of fur clothes to the rest of the scum.
The Terricks when approaching already sense that something is out of place, the surroundings too quiet as they have rode through this area quite a number of times without incident and there is always sounds in the background of the local animals. So most of them are scanning the surroundings carefully and when the rock flies out, the guard who was aimed at turns his head so it ends up being a glancing blow, the steel cap protecting the man from harm. The rest has spotted the source and the call goes out, "Bandits!"
Instead of panicked movements, the Terrick armsmen have survived the siege at the Roost, the defense at Seagard, and also the attack on the Iron Isles. Training and experience shows quite clearly as spears are quickly grabbed and when a target or possible target is seen, the spears are thrown. Without waiting to see how many bandits are downed, swords are drawn next. The knight in the lead draws his blade, steel ringing as it clears the scabbard and his eyes stare down on Ugly Al Bone, nudging Havok forward with his blade raised. No warcry is raised, only a cold and grim stare given as he advances on the bandit.
The slaughter is almost mechanical. Bandits drop like flies and not one Terrick is even injured. Freya who is still on the ground scurries away from the scene - the memories of the Ironborn slaughtering her family still fresh in her mind. She curls up in a foetal position not fifteen feet from Ugly Al Bone and Ser Kell - screaming crying - holding her hands over her ears and closing her eyes tight. Al is within seconds the last of the group apart from Freya. He is stupid but brave and swings a large bone club at the Terrick knight with not inconsiderable skill.
Armor protects the Terrick armsmen from any blow that may have slipped through their shields, the quality of the weapons that bandits wield rather poor that they would break on hit or do no real damage. Bandits on these lands are given no quarter, especially if they are armed, for if they were allowed to flee, they would only prey on innocents another day. Ser Kell's skill with horse and blade is rather evident as the slow swing of the club is maneuvered out of the way before a counter-slash bites into flesh, a nasty gash on the bandit's right arm. Then another flash of blade and a vicious cut sweeps up Ugly Al's right cheek, cutting the eye and further.
Al keeps fighting despite the horrible injuries screaming in rage and cleverly smashing the point of his weapon into Ser Kell's horse. The first smart move he has made in combat so far. Freya opens her eyes for a second then squeezes them shut - the girl is paralysed with fear and shaking. Too afraid to even scream.
Not expecting the bandit to swing a blow at Havok, Kell maneuvers the steed away too late though it does save it from suffering a serious hit as the club strikes a glancing blow on the mount. With a curse of anger, the Terrick Knight, who was passive, is now enraged himself as his fighting companion has taken a wound and the knight moves his mount a few steps away, out of the wounded bandit's reach. A quick scan around the area shows that the Terricks have the clear upperhand, more or less clean up duty or chasing down fleeing bandits. Kell then dismounts to keep his lightly wounded courser out of combat and with his longsword in hand, advances on Ugly Al. He advances on the bandit with no hesitation, fearless and the first strike is a feint, as if cutting down and across the bandit's torso before the blow is pulled back. Instead the hand brings the blade low and swings at the legs, slicing deeply into a leg.
Al goes down succumbing to the grevious injury without so much as a scream blood spurting from the wound. he is dying and it is up to Ser kell to decide whether to give him the gift of mercy. Freya screams once more - regretting that she wished the big man harm a few seconds ago. Hugging herself she rocks back and forth. It is hard to get a bead on her appearance since she has pulled the fur cap down over her hair and face so tightly in order toe avoid the horrible reality of the slaughter around her. It's all over and she is the only one left - but she wont even raise her eyes to regard Ser Kell - perhaps because he represents almost certain death to her at this moment.
Kell is tempted to deliver another vicious slice into Ugly Al's other leg, ensuring that the bandit is unable to go anywhere and will slowly bleed out on the ground, but he is not that type of knight. Disarming the club, sending it flying a couple of feet away to the side, the Terrick Knight puts a boot on Ugly Al's chest and steps down, keeping the bandit in place before stabbing down with his blade, one hand on the grip and the other pushing down at the pommel, into the throat. The scream is cut off into a gurgle, then silence. Longsword pulled back, Kell wipes it on the bandit's clothes before moving onto the remaining bandit, eyes on what could be mistaken as a youth, a young thin boy, "Show me your hands and if you are armed, drop your weapons. Or you will follow your brethren into the Stranger's embrace." The warning is offered, apparently one that will only be given once.
Freya hasn't found her voice yet - her slender hands rise shaking with fear slowly - but she still doesn't raise her head. There are no weapons on or around her. She had a bow but she dropped it back where she was standing next to Al. And well she lost her knife a little while back. She moves forward onto her knees. "Ppplease Ser…" she says quietly.
Though the last bandit appears to be unarmed now, Kell is still wary as bandits are known to be full of guile. For the moment, the knight is silent thought he blade moves down to the end of her hood. Using the tip, he lifts the hood so that it slowly falls from her head as the quiet voice was certainly not one he had expected from a bandit that is use to preying on innocent travelers and merchants.
As the fur hat slips off her head the perfect romance novel moment occurs where the heroine is unveiled. And if she weren't frightened to the point of insanity she have been satisfied to be the only person to drive the Terrick knight onto his heels and backwards if he is inclined to move backwards at the sight of her. Golden honeyed curled blond locks fall free. Perfect alabaster skin and cherubic features with large blue eyes now filled with tears. The woman is an angel - a kind of beauty that is painful to look upon - and a worthy prize - more valuable than anything the Bandits could possibly have stolen. Freya finds her voice, "Please Ser - don't kill me - spare me and I'm yours - I'll bend the knee - do anything you ask. I I didn't attack you. I don't kill people - I find it hard even hurting other people's feelings…." She's babbling and likely to continue unless Ser Kell finds a way to stop her. In the mean time she is doing some pretty impressive grovelling.
The Terrick Knight is more surprised that the bandit revealed is a girl, than the beauty that was hidden underneath the hood. A step is taken back though, to keep his blade out of reach as one of the knightly vows rings out inside his head. Brows do furrow up into a deep frown as he looks the girl over, shaking his head, "Stop. I am not going to kill you if you surrender yourself. I will have to take you prisoner and bring you back to the Roost with me. The sheriff will decide what to do with you." Usually, bandits are hanged or allowed to take the black, but this one is a special case. "What in the name of the Seven were you doing with the bandits." The other Terrick armsmen begin to return to regroup, their duty completed.
Freya regains some of her composure but is still plainly terrified large blue eyes regard the man. "We were poachers at first. Just trying to survive. Poor choice of company I know. But I had no company to join after my family was killed by the Ironborn. Then they turned to banditry. I was afraid to leave and afraid to stay." She clutches her pale throat, "Your not going to hang me at the Roost are you?" she says trembling contemplating now a horrible fate might have merely been deferred rather than avoided.
The story that is shared is not a new one for the people of the Riverlands has indeed suffered greatly in the hands of Ironborn, being forced into decisions that they usually would not make. There had been honest commoners that had lived on Terrick lands that did turn to banditry just to survive. "That is not for me to decide." He answers with brutal honesty, before adding, to soften the answer, "Though in your situation, it may not lead to that. I can also let the Sheriff know that you did not take in the ambush." Though it wasn't really much of an ambush to begin with. Slowly, Kell sheaths his blade and looks at the other Terrick armsmen, "We dig graves so the bodies can be buried, then we return back to the Roost." It appears that the knight is the type to leave the buries to rot. He then looks back at Freya before motioning for her to follow, as she is still a prisoner, one he will have to secure.
Freya nods - still plainly frightened - she stands and falls before standing again. "Better than I had thought at least." Still shaking. "I was practically a prisoner before. At least my captor is prettier." It's not clear whether she is addressing Ser Kell or merely talking out loud. But she does offer him the ghost of a smile when he looks at her. She presents her hands so they can be bound.
Kell certainly doesn't mind a compliant prisoner though he smirks at her words, shaking his head though it appears that the knight is no mood to make jokes right now or banter with the prisoner. Procuring some rope from his travel pack that is secured to his saddle, he wraps it around her wrist, crossing over a few times so it would be much harder to wiggle or tug her way free. He then loops it to the saddle horn, so that she can't run off either without convincing Havok to go along, which the horse is smart enough not to do. "Once your companions are buried, we will head back to the Roost." Is the only thing he says before he checks on his horse's wound, frowning at the injury but sees that it is more superficial than anything. He does take the time to clean it with water and cloth, causing Havok to protest loudly. With that done, Kell eyes Freya one more time, as if to tell her to stay before going to join the men in digging the holes. When the bandits are buried and holes covered up in dirt once more, then the Terrick patrol would begin their slow travel back to home, with an addition to their numbers.