Page 320: Laying Waste to Bandits Ahorse
Laying Waste to Bandits Ahorse
Summary: Half of the rescue party tracks the bandits through the trees on horse with Sofya, Muirenn, Cordelya, and Ilaria bound and in tow. It comes to a thrilling conclusion!
Date: 04/06/2012
Related Logs: A Wonderful Day for a Picnic, Search and Rescue
Hardwicke Riordan Anders Keelin Kell Desmond Jac Farrell Pariston Saethwyr Sofya Muirenn Cordelya Ilaria 
Forest — Terrick's Roost Lands
Trees and savages!
Mon Jun 04, 289

Dirty, bedraggled and bruised the four women were forced out of the Bandit's Hole by eager hands and swiftly and brutally bound. Any attempts to fight the harsh treatment were met with a quick, decisive blow to the face as Sofya shortly discovered before losing consciousness completely. It was no matter the bandits, she was slung over the front of the horse face down and the other girls were given the choice to ride or be carrid in much the same fashion. Bandits are known for their graces, after all. Leaving camp, the group has headed briskly through along paths where even the most awkward horseman won't cause the beasts to stumble as they hare along towards where the ransom was meant to be collected.

Cordelya most certainly opted to ride sitting straight, not daring to be carried or draped over a horse on her stomach. She is doing her very damnedest to look strong and noble, sitting up straight, shoulders squared and jaw tightened against the indignities of this all. She will look very much the Young Lady that she is even if she's clad in nothing but a shift, cold and a touch dirty from the cave floor. She's trying to keep a hand against Murienn, reassuringly if she can, but the bindings make it difficult to do much of anything. Her brown curly hair is a bedraggled mess now from having been sleeping against Tiaryn most of the time.

Riordan was quick to take the lead, knowing that he is one of the better horsemen of the group. After making sure his brother Rutger remained, he rode out with the rest, urging his horse forward quickly after the departing group. Decked out in leathers, as the rest of the men are, he holds his spear at the ready, his shield worn cavalry style, and guides the steed largely with knee and weight alone.

Jac was happy to give Riordan the lead. It is not that Jac couldn't lead, its just that he knows the noble Lords like doing it more. He follows close behind Riordan with his own dark brown courser. He keeps his eyes forward, though he occasionally glances to the peripherials to see if there are other concerns.

Hardwicke is close behind Riordan, probably not particularly happy to defer to the lord, but that's the life of a common-born knight. His expression is just as grim and haggard as when they left. His gaze is sharp on their surroundings.

Desmond rides with a look of purpose, and his chestnet horse somehow manages to mimic the expression, ears swiveled. He's not far behind Hardwicke, no weapons drawn just yet.

Once the news that the Ladies have gone missing, Kell departed the Roost with the other Terrick men towards Stonebridge and now he is here for the rescue. Clad in leather and padded wool instead of the usual chainmail, the Terrick Knight was quick to pull back with a few others to their mounts so they can give chase with the bandits leaving the camp. There was no time to figure out who was going to go and who was to stay, and Kell is one of those who are quick to action. He has no shield though his weapon, his longsword is sheated at his side while a smaller blade is secured on the other hip. He is riding as fast as the others, behind Riodan and Hardwicke, knowing both are better riders than he is but having no problems keeping up.

Keelin's jaw drops as he spies the women being carted out, and without even waiting, he simply wheels his horse and takes off after the others, knowing there's a large number of men where it looks like the majority of the women are, but not willing to let any go, not for any reason. He does try to catch Kamron or Martyn's eyes as he does so, just so they know there's a mallister sworn going the other way. Just in case. He concentrates a bit mroe on his riding than the Regent, but at least he is competent and just as angry as anyone else. He has no problem taking up the rearguard position, since someone has to.

Lead or follow, Farrell doesn't care and never has. The hedge knight rides at a gallop along with the others, face emotionless as he attempts to spot their quarry while he speeds along on his courser, Fluke.

Her face swollen and bruised, her once dainty nose a bit crooked in an obvious break… filthy…and ivory skin flushed with fever, the lady Muirenn Mallister is barely recognizable as she bounces in front of a bandit upon his horse. Unfortunately the bandits don't care for propriety and her muddy legs are splayed on either side of the gelding (sadly not her own) and what is left of her shift is hiked up to her thighs. Lifting her chin from her chest, her grey eyes rest gratefully upon Cordelya as the other lady's horse closes for a brief moment and she feels that reassuring touch before the other horse moves away.

Pariston rides among the midst of all the people. Though trying to stay on one side of the group as he has his bow in his hand to be ready to fire whenever it might be needed. For now he will ride along and listen to the others commands.

Being proud and ladylike has escaped Ilaria. Fatigue and hunger make for a powerful combination, and are enough to loosen even the sweetest girl's tongue. Mercifully she has not been slung over the saddle like a sack of meat, but instead rides in front of a rather gropey bandit. Her wrists are bound tightly behind her back, causing her to bob and weave precariously in between the man's arms even as her thighs (most shamefully bare!) grip the saddle to keep upright, but it doesn't stop her tongue. They made a mistake in not gagging her. "You're going to die," she prophesies to her captor, giggling a bit hysterically at the idea. "You're going to /die/ and I am going to /laugh/ when they kill you. I'll be sure to light a candle to The Stranger for you, though, since you did the courtesy of not raping me." My, how blunt. She pays no attention to where they are headed as of yet.

The gropey bandit (and oh, he is gropey) tightens his grip around the loudmouthed little girl, corse fingers digging into tender flesh without much mercy. There will be bruises later to show for this. "You know, I think I'll fuck ye with my sword once we have our mouth. You can give it a kiss with that pretty mouth, you stupid cunt," he snarls, digging his heels into the horses' sides and they hammer though the forest. "Right before it tears our your lips."

The other riders chuckle at the man's ideas of mercy, once moving forward to take the lead as they angle toward the glade. "Feeding 'em does make 'em /nice/, doesn't it?" He smacks the unconscious girl's bottom, who happily isn't conscious to hear this conversation. "You don't think Rodrygo'd mind if we had a little taste? Before turning 'em back."

Riding a grey dappled mare is Saethwyr, dressed similar to the others in leathers. It makes the riding less cumbersome, to be sure. The mare seems spirited, her pale mane ruffling and her tail fanning out behind her like a banner. He keeps pace with the group, riding with them. Much like the others, he's armed, a hunting bow more at the ready than any of his other weapons.

Anders rides, and he's silent, his gaze looking out over the land as they gallop. His horse, Chance, takes the ground easily, though he, too, seems to be alert through the woods, his ears pricked forward, his head high, but not unmanageable.

Cordelya has learned her lesson from the other women. She doesn't talk back. She doesn't even speak at all, though her noble stance on the horse might be considered being insubordinate, she wasn't going to entirely cave into being some terrified little mouse. So she sits stiffly, that brief squeeze given to Murienn before her horse lopes further away. It was the best help she could offer — silent strength.

Jac has continued to push his horse along, his old friend not even complaining as he pressures for more speed. The Songbird has settled into a firm expression as they continue to tear up the forest beneath their hooves. He glances around toward his fellow huntsmen and soldiers. He repeats the names in his head, the names Alric has given him. He prays that at least one of them is just ahead.

As the pursuing party rides into view of their quarry, who are to the side and just a little bit ahead of them, Riordan raises his spear and gestures a silent order for the riders following him to fan out. The intent is that once they get close to the bandits, they will have them enclosed on multiple sides, and be able to guide them. With any luck, this manuever might make it easier to either get the outlaws to surrender, or at least give better angles to kill them without endangering the women. Riordan makes a specific motion to Hardwicke, glancing over his shoulder to the Terrick sworn, indicating he should take the lead of the right wing of the group. Motioning to Anders, he indicates that the Northern Lordling should head up the left, while Riordan himself will remain in the center.

Talking…hurts. Muirenn learned her lesson the first night what happens when you tell a bandit his future and sadly her nose will never be the same. Shifting on the saddle she contemplates her Septa's words, she is a MALLISTER! but to lift her chin and stand proud would require energy and all she has is focused on trying to breathe. A cough that a day ago would shake her body is barely more than a whisper as she bumps along. Though she maynot be able to sit ramrod straight, the girl ooops jabs an elbow backwards into what she hopes is her bandit as she tries to find a more comfortable position.

Hardwicke tips his chin in silent acknowledgement. He draws his courser along to the right, leading whatever group is going to follow him to flank the bandits.

Desmond gives the reins a tug to one side, pulling the brim of his hat down as his horse kicks up the pace and splits off to the left in Anders' group.

Anders looks to Riordan and nods, spurring his horse off to to the left, slowing to pick his way through, and for those who are coming with him to make the corrections. He gestures with his hand, fingers splayed that whomever does ride, will be positioning themselves to be a support on the flank, making it harder for the bad guys to flee.

Kell sees the orders to fan out given by the Lord Regent of Stonebridge before turning his eyes to Hardwicke. As the other Terrick Knight angles off to the right, Kell does the same as he nudges his steed to follow suit so he can help contain and converge from the right side as well when called for.

As Hardwicke angles off, Jac spurs his courser to follow. His gaze continues to rove between where Riordan will be heading in and then to find their target. No songs from the Songbird today, come back tomorrow.

Keelin simply stays in the back with Riordan, perfectly okay with that job. And hey, someone has to be. He's ready to go, as is Tiny. Yeah, the brave charger Tiny. Who isn't. But never mind. Keelin likes it, and that's what matters. Darn it. He simply follows the hand signals concentrating for the moment on being silent.

A glance is given to Riordan, and he gives a nod to accept the order given. Where Anders goes, it's likely no great surprise that Saethwyr goes as well. Nudging his horse and guiding the mare more with a shift of weight than by hand. His mare continues to move easily, ears swivelling with attentiveness, and both rider and horse are alert.

Glancing between the two groups, Farrell shrugs and decides to join his estranged Northern brethren as he urges Fluke forward to gallop forward and join the group away from the Terricks. He keeps his opinions and emotions to himself for now, keeping an eye on the distant targets.

Ilaria yelps as the bandit grips her tighter, and the pain from his finger lances up her side. She squirms in protest, but there is little she can do at this point. His words only seem to fan the flame of her anger, but her cheeks flush a deep crimson of mixed fear and embarassment to hear men use words so crudely in her presence. The thought of having her lips torn off seems to quell her just a bit, and she turns her gaze outward to scan the trees as they ride. The jolt of the horse is jarring, and she jerks her arms with each bump. "I hope I taste like /poison/," she hisses beneath her breath, but after that falls into a sullen silence.

Riordan watches as the formation takes hold, and gestures for Farrell to remain with the center. Once the riders have all taken their places, the Regent then gestures to the leaders of the two flanks, and urges the formation of horsement to close their noose of cavalry. Poor bandits. They didn't know. But IT'S A TRAP.

"I hope you taste like half o' the fire you seem like," the Bandit answers cheerfully, giving Ilarias stomach a slap that is hard enough to knock the wind clean out of her. He clicks his teeth next to her ear as if threatening to bite it. Muirenn's bandit makes a low grunting noise as her elbow does collide with his stomach, scowling as he reaches around her and hauls her more into his lap so she can't do that again. The bandit in the lead hoots with laughter. "I don't know what old Rodrygo was so worried about, there ain't nothing between us and this. Aye?"

Anders watches, and with a nod, his hand rises, fingers splayed and they close to make a fist; time to wheel in formation and swing around to close the trap now.

<COMBAT> Banshee has started the combat! Pose and pick your first action.
<COMBAT> Bandit1 will attack Keelin this turn. (Banshee)
<COMBAT> Bandit2 will attack Riordan this turn. (Banshee)
<COMBAT> Bandit3 will attack Pariston this turn. (Banshee)
<COMBAT> Bandit4 will attack Kell this turn. (Banshee)
<OOC> Riordan takes it we can do combatty stuff this turn?
<OOC> Danae says, "Yes."
<COMBAT> Riordan will attack Bandit2 this turn.
<OOC> Hardwicke says, "I am mostly doing it so that I don't forget to."
<COMBAT> Kell will attack Bandit4 this turn. Options: called=Neck
<OOC> Danae ruffle hardie.
<COMBAT> Pariston will attack Bandit3 this turn.
<COMBAT> Riordan will attack Bandit2 this turn. Options: Called=Neck
<COMBAT> Hardwicke will attack Bandit4 this turn.
<COMBAT> Kell will spend luck on Attack this turn.
<COMBAT> Pariston will spend luck on attack this turn.
<COMBAT> Bandit3 attacks Pariston with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit4 attacks Kell with Cudgel - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 attacks Riordan with Dagger - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Keelin with Dagger - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Saethwyr attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Riordan attacks Bandit2 with Spear & Shield - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Pariston attacks Bandit3 with Hunting Bow - Serious wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Bandit4 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Keelin attacks Bandit1 with Greatsword - Light wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jac attacks Bandit3 with Broadsword - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Bandit4 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Farrell attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Desmond passes.
<COMBAT> Anders attacks Bandit3 with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Neck.

And there is the call to attack! Hardwicke selects his bandit alongside Kell, and the both of them do some nasty damage. The Captain's sword slices across the fourth bandit's leg.

Ordinarily, Muirenn would be offended by the smell of unwashed bandit but having just come from a damp cave with a group of unwashed women who were not taken out to the trees to make their water, well she isn't going to complain overly much. Unable to slouch much, she just closes her eyes and begins to murmer softly, "Warrior give me the strength needed, I feel I have no more. Father give us justice. Stranger take the bandits all."

IT WAS A TRAP. The bandits clearly were not expecting to be followed and strangled, "Fuck Rodrygo," slips from one's mouth as he pulls out his dagger to hastially slash at Riordan. The others do the same with their weapons, trying to break free of their attackers.

Bringing his group around, Anders wheels in, his sword raised, and he comes in for the attack. He's the last man on the one bandit that he's targeting, and as the other two do their worst to the knave, the Young Lord gets in his own strike, to the neck.

Saethwyr keeps part of his attention on Anders, for further orders, and he gives a small nod when the next one comes. Guiding his horse with the shifting of weight and muscles, he lifts his hunting bow and nocks and arrow to the string. Drawing it back, he takes aim on one of the bandits and lets fly the arrow, reaching to claim another from the quiver within only a moment.

The signal is given, and Farrell swoops in with the center column. Noticing Keelin aiming for a man on his lonesome, Farrell decides to lend a hand to the other common knight and draws a slash at the bandit's torso, his courser galloping alongside the other man's horse. "You've chosen the wrong line of work, friend," retorts Farrell to his new target, a light grin across his lips as his sword lashes at the man's torso once more. Attacking with his left hand, Farrell keeps a firm grip on his horse with his right.

And the riders ride in, coming on on three sides. Riordan rides up alongside the hindmost bandit, getting closer then he might normally, so as to ensure the precious cargo carried by his opponent is not harmed. Consequently, the dagger bites into his leather armor, and he grunts, stabbing out with his spear, the point digging lightly into the man's arm. "Yield up the women unharmed, or be shown no quarter!" he calls out.

Pariston rides up the side of the bandits, with his bow on the ready. Firing an arrow hitting the head of the bandit and seriously injuring the man as the bandit then get hit by both Jac and Anders in a quite nice combo. Chest and then neck.

Jac bursts out alongside the two Terrick knights, and just as the arrows fly, so does his sword. He slams the blade solidly into the man's torso, slicing open his back (because he wouldn't really go for the chest with a lady in the way). He pulls his wet sword from the open wound. Then he hears the gutteral blow of the arrow to the throat, and he immediately reaches as if to grab the horse's reins.

Keelin takes off with Rio and Farrell, following orders. He spies one of the bandits with a dagger aimed his way so he returns the favour, careful with his sword, but using it. He manages a touch, no more, as the dagger catches him in the chest. Again. It's a wonder he has a chest left at this rate. He's probably going to get yelled at. But it's not that bad, and he pulls back so he can try again.

Even though Kell is only wearing leather armor with padded cotton underneath, he was able to fend off the glancing blow with his right arm that aimed at him from the bandit's cudgel. When it comes to men who harm and kidnap Ladies though, the Terrik Knight seems to be deadly serious in his judgement as the counterblow is vicious and accurate, a serious slice at the bandit's neck, resulting in a deep cut and blood. Kell does no relent, nor wait for the bandit's answer as he keeps after the other man.

Desmond follows Anders' lead but doesnt dive into the fray just yet, simply blocking in the bandits that try to break free. He attempts to get in close enough to cut away some bonds, though it's not particularly easy with blades and arrows flying about.

Ilaria oofs, bending over as all of her air escapes her lungs in one huge breath. Her mouth works like a landed fish, and her face reddens as she struggles to breathe again. With the loss of air comes the loss of fight, and her body goes limp while her chest heaves to recover a little oxygen. After a span of several seconds (which honestly feels like several years), she inhales loudly and coughs, disregarding entirely the spittle that she showers onto the bandit's arms and her already unbelievably dirty shift. "You—" she gasps, but the clacking at her ear and the laughter of the men is enough that she bites down on her lip to stop the rest of her words. She would have taken up the rest of Muirenn's prayer were it not for the sudden thundering of hooves, screaming of horses and the shouting. She hunches down in the saddle as much as possible, perhaps to avoid weapons, all the while hollering, "I told you they'd kill you! I told you that you'd die!"

Bandit2 flips the knife in his hand, that he had lightly scored Riordan with, to point it inward at Cordelya's throat. "Oh no, M'Lord. We know what the penalty is for our work. You let us go or the gel dies." The pregnant girl. He presses in the blade hard enough to draw up a dot of blood.

Cordelya stiffens a bit more, her eyes wide, having been doing her very damndest to be strong. Hell, her heart even lept in just a moment of joy as she saw the more familiar men come riding around the circle! Including her husband. "Andy!" She's called out, desperate, happy and worried all at the same moment. But those mixed emotions quickly turn to terror as she feels the cold blade against her throat. She clams up into silence, breath shuddering in a moment of pain as her skin is pricked…"Please… master, please… I… I didn't hurt any of you…" She gasps out to the man behind her.

"Let her go, let them all go," Riordan says, drawing upon a hidden reserve as he looks to the girl being held. He holds up his spear, not attacking, but instead attacks with his words. He puts the force of everything he is into them, all the truth and straightforwardness he now posesses. Every word he speaks becomes utter gospel truth. "We already know who each of you is. You, your leader, even Rolf. We've your families, your friends, even people you just knew in passing. If you harm a single hair on any of their heads, every trace of you shall be scattered into dust." He holds the bandit's gaze as he says this, his dark Nayland eyes promising unending torment if his words are not heeded.

It's the sound of Corrie's voice that carries, and swing of his arm that was coming to strike that third bandit is stayed as he looks for that horse that carries his wife. "Yield, dog!" is called. If Riordan's words are not heeded, well.. it could very well mean the death of his wife, and the heir to Flint's Finger after him. "We'll burn it all.. and if the Riverlords don't, I swear by the Old Gods, we'll come and do it."

The agitation of the horse under her and the noise of battle cause the Mallister girl's eyes to fly open. Fevered and ill, the hectic color in her cheeks deepens as she sees rescue. The Seven heard her prayers! Though weak, her spirit is renewed and she digs deep and begins to struggle. Her coughs wrack her body, but she will not go down without her own fight…little though it is. At six-foot, her arms writhe and she tries to get in another elbow somewhere..a mental apology to the horse beneath her…her feet begin to kick out.

<FS3> Jac rolls Animal Handling + Unarmed: Success.
<FS3> Desmond rolls Animal Handling + Unarmed: Success.

<COMBAT> Bandit3 attacks Pariston with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Keelin with Dagger but Keelin DODGES!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit4 attacks Kell with Cudgel and MISSES!
<OOC> Desmond says, "Wellll…. Since everyone's on that one, no worries"
<COMBAT> Saethwyr passes.
<COMBAT> Riordan passes.
<COMBAT> Pariston passes.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Bandit4 with Broadsword - Critical wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> Keelin attacks Bandit1 with Greatsword - Critical wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jac passes.
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Bandit4 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Farrell attacks Bandit1 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

The dirty Songbird casts Ilaria a sudden smile that has white teeth and a warm expression. "Hello, My Lady… I think someone is here for you." And then he grabs onto those reins and gives them a hard pull even as his courser runs almost flank to flank with the bandit's horse. He draws the horse's speed down, and he glances over toward Desmond…

The Bandit2 laughes viciously, tugging Cordelya a little closer into his lap as the Lords cry out for her release. "Seems you don't know nothing, my Lords," he cries, watching wide-eyed and increasinly nervous as the rest of the group slashes at his friends and associates scoring deep vicious gouges in flesh and face. "I have the power now. She's precious, hey? Aren't you love. Wouldn't you like to go home, safe? Just tell 'em you want to."

Desmond rushes up to the bandit wielding poor, venomous Ilaria as Jac flanks. He jerks his horse around to the other side and, welp, as Jac is trying to imply, Desmond reaches to heave Ilaria off the horse. "Please pardon me, m'Lady!" he cries as he tries to drag her onto his saddle by the middle. Just under her bosoms!

Hardwicke's sword slices across the unarmed bandit's chest, scoring a bloody line.

Pariston holds off his arrow and then looks to the bandit who is with Cordelya. Wanting to try and kill the man to make sure that he does not go back on his word. He's a bandit after all. Though for now he will just ride with aim on the man though without the risk of firing away and arrow. "Lord Flint." He offers to Anders, making the man sure that he can shoot whenever it is needed. Though for now just aiming. He is a bit away though, so things might not be the easiest to do from horseback, though at least the bandit should not notice the arrow aimed at him.

Cordelya gives a brief, quiet cry as she's pulled closer, when her body tries to figure a way to scramble free. She doesn't care about the ties, or even her shift. She'll be nude in front of all of them if it means she can slide down off of the horse and out of his arms. She was thin enough, at least up top. Maybe it was possible? Still, her head stiffens, pulling back, trying to keep her neck as far away from that blade as possible. "Please, gods… I… I just want to go home. Just let me down… this needn't end it more blood. The war is over. Please…"

"She is," Riordan agrees, reasonably. "But if you kill her, you lose all leverage, and I promise that everything I have just said will come to pass. And I won't kill you now. I'll drag you behind me on my horse back to Stonebridge. I will pour boiling water in your eyes, but not before I make you watch as I cut off your privy parts and make you eat them. I will tear strips of flesh, one a day, off your body, for as many days as it takes. And I can do all this, because my name is Riordan Nayland, the Regent of Stonebridge." Riordan smiles a smile that only a Nayland could manage, rendered all the more eery for his lack of sleep. "Ask around, see if I speak untruth. I am Lord Nayland's son, and I promise you this - the only way to even think about surviving is to yield now."

Well, Keelin seems to be handling the situation pretty well enough. With the first bandit distracted with pretty serious wounds at this juncture and focusing his attention on Keelin, Farrel decides to slip his broadsword away and reach to hook and grab the hostage from the horse.

<FS3> Farrell rolls Animal Handling + Unarmed: Good Success.

The second pass on the bandit that is holding Muirenn yields even more brutal results as Kell's blade slices through the air before slashing deeply into the neck, cutting free with a nice spray of blood. The bandit doesn't fall though but the Terrick Knight knows the other man's life is definitely very short now, especially with Hardwicke also scoring hits as well. So instead of trying to cut at the bandit again, Kell sheaths his bloody blade and instead tries to nudge his steed next to the bandit and reach over to grab the reins, praying that the bandit is too badly wounded to do much of anything in answer.
<FS3> Kell rolls Animal Handling + Unarmed: Success.
<OOC> Kell says, "Bandit4"

Keelin's a little better at dodging this time, and since the bandit he's attacking has an unconscious woman on her stomach, that does make things a little bit easier for him. He manages a good solid strike, which probably means that the bandit is now bleeding on his hostage. oops. But as he sees Farrell's move, he grins, and simply keeps the bandit distracted. "See how you like a real fight, asshole," he rumbles.

Anders looks to Pariston and holds a hand down.. keep aim.. and fire on my word.. but not yet.. and he looks back at the bandit that holds his dear wife, the Young Lady Flint. "I'll have the same done to your wife, your children, until there will be none left that would have even the memory of your existance."

<COMBAT> Bandit3 attacks Pariston with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit4 attacks Kell with Cudgel and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Keelin with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Saethwyr passes.
<COMBAT> Riordan passes.

"I told you they'd kill you, I told you they'd kill you," Ilaria continues to chant, hunched over with her eyes squeezed shut. She can hardly hear herself over the din of fighting men and horses and women and everything else until—"my lady"? Gasping, she glances up as the horse begins to slow, twisting in the saddle to see behind her, to see if the bandit is gone and dead. He isn't, but suddenly she is. She lets out a rather unladylike "GERK!" as Desmond yanks her over onto his saddle, and her bound hands scrabble to find purchase on anything. They settle for the hem of something - ah, his cloak!, clinging to it desperately as she tries to regain her balance in the saddle. "Who? What?!" she shrieks, whipping her head around to try and view her rescuer, but her ratty-ass hair gets in her face.

For the girl who asked for Ironborn heads brought back in salt so that she might mount them on pikes, Riordan's words would stir her; sadly though Muirenn is barely able to keep her wits about her enough to bend forward as Kell's sword delivers a bloody blow. The sanguine sprays out and splatters across her auburn hair and soaks the tattered remains of her thin shift. Struggling she cries out and tries to reach her arms towards anyone who might be able to drag her off.

<COMBAT> Pariston takes careful aim at Bandit2.
<COMBAT> Kell passes.
<COMBAT> Keelin attacks Bandit1 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jac attacks Bandit3 with Broadsword - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Bandit4 with Broadsword - Critical wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Farrell passes.
<COMBAT> Desmond passes.
<COMBAT> Anders passes.
<COMBAT> Banshee has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Bandit3 has been KO'd!

Pariston keeps his aim and waits for Anders signal. All else being gone for him at the moment and just tries to focus on helping the Flint lady. And sending an arrow through the head of the bandit.

Bandit2 edges his horse backwards, hesitatnly eying Anders and Riordan with fear-bright and muddled in his gaze as his friends die around him. That knife bites just a little sharper into Corries through, causing that dot of blood to become a drip — so far not a fatal one. It wouldn't do to kill your only chance of escape. "You're not making it seem like I have much of a choice, are ye?" His arm tightens around the girl. It wouldn't do to let her escape neither. The bandit who had held Ilaria is the neck to fall, short and vicious.

Bandit4 finds his reins jerked by Kell, and another slice of Hardwicke's sword has him losing his saddle to tumble to the ground, something unpleasant oozing from the opening in his belly. Not that he's dead. Even worse.

"Now, as for you," Jac says now that Lady Ilaria has been cleared. He twists around just enough to shove the point of his blade between the man's ribs with a sharp gesture, and it simultaneously sends the man off his horse with a wet slurp. "That is how you dehorse a man," he says in a gruff undertone. He keeps his grip on the riderless horse's reins, slowing the mount completely before bringing it around so he can return to the main focus of the fight.

"Ah-ah!" Desmond winces as Ilaria claws at him for purchase. "Sit! SIT!" Hands on her hips (oh my), he pushes her down on the front of his saddle, but not without some feverish maneuvering. Then he breaks away from the fray for the moment, making a wide circle around the squirmish, or what's left of it.

"Fine, fine, you're right, I'm sorry. Forget I said that… we both are reasonable men, all of us our reasonable," Riordan's tone suddenly changes, from cold and threatening, to gentle and soothing, as he would a horse. As he says his words, he turns to Anders, completely naturaly, as if to include him in the number of reasonable men… only, as soon as his head is turned away from the man, he mouths a single word to Anders. 'NOW'. And then he turns back, offering the bandit a smile. "How much?" he asks, quite reasonably.

With the bandit felled by Hardwicke's vicious sword blow to his belly, Kell finds that the horse he grabbed for is easier to control as he leads it a little bit away from where the fighting is drawing to a close. So that Muirenn is out of the way of harm though at the moment, the Terrick Knight does not know who the Lady is. "M'Lady, you are safe now, I'm a Terrick sworn. Are you hurt?" There is a lot of blood and he wants to make sure it was all from the bandit. His eyes do scan the surrounding area as well as the status of the remaining bandits, making sure there isn't any other unsavory types skulking around.

Now, Anders gives the command for Pariston to fire upon the bandit that holds his Cordelya. At the same time, then, he spurs his horse in to take the reins, to grab at his wife to see if he can't free her while the bandit may be.. otherwise occupied by the shift of manner and mien of Riordan.

<FS3> Anders rolls Animal Handling + Unarmed: Great Success.

"Well, well! I'll leave what's left of'em to you, Ser Dorsey. I think you'll be quite fine," announces Farrell once he's taken hold of the prize, loading the sacked hostage atop his horse and giving a wave to Keelin as he begins to slow his horse down to hang back from the rest of the group, so he might turn around and head back to the main camp with the hostage.

Cordelya is trying not to panic. The only way she's going to get out of his alive is to NOT panic. To be able to move her head back and to the side, to get an arm between the bandit's wrist and her throat before he slices her fatally! She watches her husband's eyes, terrified, but strong and still. Waiting for the exact moment.

<COMBAT> Pariston will attack Bandit2 this turn.
<COMBAT> Pariston will attack Bandit2 this turn. Options: called=head
<COMBAT> Bandit2 passes.
<COMBAT> Bandit1 attacks Keelin with Dagger and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Saethwyr passes.
<COMBAT> Riordan passes.
<COMBAT> Pariston attacks Bandit2 with Hunting Bow - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Kell passes.
<COMBAT> Keelin attacks Bandit1 with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Jac passes.
<COMBAT> Hardwicke passes.
<COMBAT> Farrell passes.
<COMBAT> Desmond passes.
<COMBAT> Anders passes.
<COMBAT> Banshee has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Bandit1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Bandit2 has been KO'd!

There is a feralness as Muirenn turns her head and begins to cough and spit blood on the bandit that held her. Her voice croaks, "That's for keeping my medicine from me." Shuddering, shivering her body burns with fever and bites her lower lip to keep back the sobs. An arm wipes across her face, smearing the blood and making her face even more unrecognizable as she tries to get…clean. "Muirenn…Jillain…Rose…Mallister…" she gasps to Kell and falls across the neck of her horse coughing, clutching its mane with her fists. Hoarsely she begs, "The other girls…you…have…they…cave.." an arm waving vaguely in the direction she thinks theey came from.

Pariston let his arrow soar through the air at Anders signal hitting the bandit clean in the head. Letting out a relieved sigh as he sees that the bandit seem more or less dead.

With Anders grabbing his reins — and then his wife — the second bandit is suddenly reeling in his saddle. Until Pariston's arrow flies directly through his eye. He falls like a stone.

"Perfect," Keelin tells Farrell. And he does continue to poke at his target, quite angrily. His next slash at the fellow's chest strikes and he didnt' think it would be that hard, but it must be the last straw as that bandit also falls.

"Lady Muirenn," Jac says as he hears her name. That's one off his list, but he cannot see a single familiar face beyond that. "Lady Cherise," he asks Muirenn in a kindly voice. "Was she still in the cave?" At least he will check to see without bothering the girl more.

"I tried to tell you," Riordan tells the corpse of the bandit, before turning to see Anders and Cordelya reunited. He smiles, but only briefly, before he's spurring his horse to try and find out if the unconscious brunette might be his sister or his cousin.

The horses are understanably perturbed and skittish after the swordplay, having managed to make it out of the battle unscathed and the ladies are bloodied. It is, however for the most part it is not their own.

As Kell hears the name of the girl he has just rescued, the Terrick Knight looks surprised at who she is and stifles a curse. "Lady Muirenn, it's Ser Drakmoor, you are safe. The other ladies are safe as well, we have more knights at the cave, don't you worry." First thing he does though is dismount before trying to help Muirenn off of the horse she was draped over, as slowly and tenderly as possible. "Wait, Ser." Kell answers Jac for a brief moment as he pulls out his water skin and uncorks it. He pours a generous amount over Muirenn's face, taking emergency liberties for this particular situation before offering the skin into the Lady's hands, "Drink, Lady, you need to drink."

"Lady Muirenn," Hardwicke says quietly as he draws his horse over near to Kell's. "Don't worry, we've got men at the cave. Are you injured?"

Cordelya barely knows what happened. Chaos erupted. She jerked her head back and reached out with her bound arms, and the whole world changed. Before Corrie knows it, the man behind her is dropping away and she's being jerked into her husband's arms with a piece of horseback riding the like few tournies have ever seen. She cries out, in shock and relief, sinking tightly against her husband even as blood drips most everywhere. SHe's free. THat's all that matters. "Andy…Gods… Andy…" She breathes out, shuddering, clutching to him for all she's worth as a few tears suddenly join the blood.

The prone girl over Farrell's saddle stirs sluggishly, a soft groan slipping from her throat.

Anders lets out a manic laugh at Rio's words to the now dead bandit, and he holds his lady wife in his arms on his horse. Freed and safe, but.. "Lady Muirenn?" He looks across to the young lady, but she's being attended.. "Corrie.." and he's got her before him in the saddle; against leather jerkin rather than plate. "The Gods aren't that cruel."

Riordan pulls up besides Farrell, peering at prone girl. "Who is it? Roslyn, Jocelyn…? Is she hurt?" he begins, doing his best to hold in his fear and anticipation.

Shivering, the Mallister girl gives a soft moan as the fresh water hits her burning skin. That hurts. "N…no…" she coughs weakly and gasps, her breath rattling in her chest "Sick..not…hurt." The bruises and broken nose that are visible as the blood and grime are washed off would attest otherwise, but she doesn't appear to be bleeding from any immediate injury. Muirenn grips her horses man and pushes herself upright, sheisamallister..sheisamallister running through her head. "The one hurt..irrepairably."

"Hup? Oh this one seems fine, M'lord. I…think?" Farrell pauses as if the thought hadn't occured to him until now. Since danger has passed, Farrell slows his horse down for a better chance to get after the sacked girl and draws a dagger from his sheath. Carefully and deftly, he cuts the bindings loose and slips off the bag to ascertain her identity.

Hardwicke's gaze is hard as he surveys Muirenn's injuries. He jerks his chin in silent understanding of her words, then glances over at Farrell's quarry. "Sofya Dale," he recognizes. "Ser Inigo Vance's retainer."

Obvious disappointment etched into his featuresas Riordan discovers the identity of the woman, he turns. Spotting Muirenn, he calls out, "Lady, my sister Roslyn, my cousin… still in the cave?" His words are brisk, and it's clear that the man is only a hairsbreath away from riding back the way they came, upon confirmation from Muirenn.

Cordelya should probably sit up a bit straighter so someone can get the bindings off of her and she can tie a kerchief around her throat, but right now she's just sobbing into her husband's grasp. All the stiff backed nobility that came with being ridden out there, the strength and distance that she's held together over the last few days, it's all broken away now that she's safe in Anders' arms. A low sob escapes her throat, burying against his shoulder as she shudders with everything that is finally breaking free. "T-tia…she…She's still back there…They hit her…"

Desmond rejoins the weary, bloodied group with the Lady Haigh in tow, sliding down from the saddle and helping her off as well. If she'll allow it, he'll turn her around to slice the bonds around her arms, then spares a quick glance to the rest of the women. "…Lady Tiaryn?"

"By the Seven… what did they do to you." Kell says in a quiet voice, shocked once more as he looks around at the other men, knowing that Ser Dorsey was with them and that he is a Mallister Knight, "Ser Dorsey! Lady Mallister is here! She is sick and hurt, we need to get her to back to Stonebridge, to a Maester!" He then looks to Lord Riordan, nodding at his question before glancing back to Muirenn.

"My goodcousin.." Anders takes out a dagger to cut away the bonds that holds her. "They hit her?" He looks at Riordan; the other man seems to want to wheel his horse around and take to the road again to the cave, and he whistles to get Rio's attention, his brows rising in askance. "My Lord Riordan- do we ride?" And he really, really wants to ride.

Jac tenses his jaw as he listens to the sobbing woman. He looks over toward the Lady's husband. "These are questions we can ask later," he says to the inquiries. "My Lord, please… we will head back to reunite with the others." And there is a silent suggestion to take the poor Cordelya somewhere safe and warm where she can be comforted, but he knows the Lord doesn't need him to tell her that.

A hairsbreadth away from losing it completely, Muirenn can only jerk a nod to all of the questions and names thrown at her. A trembling hand reaches to scrub her eyes as she begins to shake. All of the girls are dressed in their shifts in various states of tatter and grime. Finally she can take it no more and bends to bury her face in the horse's coarse mane and begins to sob, the action making her coughing fits even harder.

Pariston looks to the Flints listening for now. "Some should head back with those that need treatment and the others to see to those in the cave." He suggests, though then silences as he remembers that he should not be bossing around nobles.

"Lord Anders, you've command if you wish to stay, otherwise I leave it to Ser Hardwicke. The maesters and healers are waiting to care for the women back at the forward camp. Those who wish get the women to safely. The rest, with me if you will." Riordan calls this out to the Flint heir and the Terrick sworn and the rest, with a nod of respect to the men. And without further word, Riordan digs in his heels, and he and his horse are off, galloping with all haste to the bandit's cave.

Keelin moves over to Muirenn. "If youc an ride with me, M'Lady. Tiny and I can take you back to the maester," he suggests, a hand on Muirenn gently.

Cordelya forces herself to pull back, just a bit, to collect herself despite that initial rush of emotions. She's better than this. She breathes shakily, one hand coming up to her throat, coming away slick with her own blood. However, she'd be dead already if it cut something serious. She shakes her head a bit to her husband. "I…I'll come… if there are women that need treated, as long as you have packs of things… I can help in case of an emergency…" SHe's ever trying to be strong again. To make up for her brief break down and pull herself quickly together, even if her bloodied hand is still shaking a bit.

"Aw, a common girl? Oh well, I suppose I'll just take my pay in reputation and good will for tonight. Let it never be said Ser Farrell's heart is /entirely/ black," laments the hedge knight with a sigh, propping the girl up safely in his saddle, conscious or no, and glancing over to the nobles. Just as he's about to ask for his orders, Farrell grins as they're given. "Very well, suppose we're a carriage for tonight, Fluke. Back to camp we go," muses Farrell, whistling a tune to himself as he tugs on his horse's reins and heads off at a light gallop back to camp.

Anders holds his wife close, allowing her to cry, to sob on him. He's got his arm around her, helping her keep upright in the saddle. As she begins to find that inner strength, he murmurs soft words to her before he looks in the direction of the cave. Lady Tiaryn.. she's his responsibility too.. and now, he's torn. "We'll on to the maesters.. and if there's time, I'll join with you at the cave." Finally, his decision. Having his horse step about, he takes stock as to what everyone has.. and reaches to grab at least one horse to 'pony' behind him. "Pariston, to Lord Riordan. He may need your bow."

Kell is more than willing to let Ser Keelin handle the care of Lady Muirenn since he is the Mallister Sworn here. As Lord Riordan calls out for those who wishes to ride back to the bandit cave to reinforce the others, the Terrick Knight looks over to Ser Hardwicke as if to let him know that he is going to mount up and ride as well to ensure the Terrick Ladies are safe.

Hardwicke wheels his horse around once Anders decides to head back to the camp. He nods grimly to Kell and sets off besides him towards the cave. Terriiiiiicks.

Jac shoots Farrell a very, very dangerous look at his words and there is very little amusement in his eyes. He then looks back to the others and nods his head firmly. He spurs his horse forward so he can join Lord Riordan to return to the camp.

Dark lashes flutter against tanned cheeks as Sofya slumps back against Farrell's shoulder, leaning her head at the crook of her neck as she atttempts to focus on something. "Wha—" The word doesn't quite manage to make it out her mouth, the sound of a muddle tongue from a concussion thick her her mouth.

Her poor horse is surely skittish by the lady hacking and shaking atop him. Muirenn's sobs do not so much ease but are stopped by the necessity to find what air she can to breathe. Turning her head she looks at Keelin and can only nod. Her voice is very audible as she whispers between hacking coughs, "Yes..please."

Pariston just nods and follows Riordan, having been thinking of doing so even before Anders suggested it.

Corrie is about to protest again, but then she hears Anders sending Pariston. At least someone was going. She presses her hand back against her throat, trying to squelch some of the bleeding there and forget it's happening otherwise. She then leans back into her husband's chest, another ragged breath coming as a few tears she cannot quite fight back return. Crying is a funny thing like that, even when one doesn't want to do it, it happens. Hell, often it happens MORE then. She tucks her head beneath her husband's chin. "Love you…" She whispers, not really caring what people see. It might not be proper but, dammit, she does love him!

"Ho! Y'wakin' up there, lass?" queries Farrell of his cargo, giving a grin. "No need to panic, I suppose I'm not much shinier than your last ridin' partner but I'd say I'm far more friendly. Ser Farrell Keane, free lance. I'm takin' you back to the vanguard where you'll be tended to and freed," introduces and explains Farrell, too far away at this juncture to notice whatever Jac's doing.

It's likely that Anders isn't the only one to want to ride. Saethwyr's dark gaze turns briefly to Cordelya, watching her for a moment before his gaze turns aside and in the direction of those riding for the cave. He tucks the arrow back to his quiver, gives a nod to Cordelya and Anders, and then he nudges his heels to his mare to set her moving after the others.

Keelin moves over to Muirenn, and reaches a hand. "C'mon, and ride with me," he says, willing to pull her off that horse and onto his own, if she'll let him. "And we'll get you back to where we can get you warm, fed, and looked after for this sickness, m'Lady. You'll be in flirting form before you know it."

Shutting her eyes against the loudness of the voice addressing her, Sofya's first proper spoken word is an erudite, "Ow." It takes a minute then. "Knight? Hedge?" Did she mention the ow? The large bruise on her temple is a definite ow, but his introduction is enough to still her struggles.

Saethwyr is given a glance and a nod; nothing else is needed. All Anders needs is the basic headcount of how many are riding with him to the camp with the healers, and he counts all that ride the short distance with him. "You'll be fine, Cor.. both of you.." and he rides on now, holding her in one hand, directing his horse with one hand.. and leg- properly trained courser that he is!

Ilaria heaves a sigh of relief as her feet touch ground again. Escaping was fun and all, but riding in the saddle spread-legged without clothing was enough. She waddles a bit until Desmond stops her to loose her bonds, and her sigh of relief is loud as she rubs her raw wrists and shakes her hands to increase the bloodflow. It isn't until she has her bearings that she stops, glances down at herself, and blushes profusely. "Ser Desmond," she greets calmly with all the nobility she can muster, "can I borrow you cloak?" She crosses her arms over her chest to hug herself, as if that would preserve some sense of modesty, but his question distracts her. "Lady Tiaryn? She was—she was back at the cave," she admits quietly, staring down at her toes now. "She is quite alright, my Lord, although perhaps a bit worse for the wear."

Truly the girl just has no more left in her. Nodding, she pushes herself upright and allows Keelin to pull her off and onto Tiny's back a shred of her old self trying her best to not flash anyone. Another coughing fit and it is just as well she is coated in blood, the blood of her own that comes away as she wipes her mouth. "Where…Martyn…Kamron…Trystan?" she whispers as she is finally someplace safe.

Truly the girl just has no more left in her. Nodding, she pushes herself upright and allows Keelin to pull her off and onto Tiny's back a shred of her old self trying her best to not flash anyone. Another coughing fit and it is just as well she is coated in blood, the blood of her own that comes away as she wipes her mouth isn't visible to worry anyone. "Where…Martyn…Kamron…Trystan?" she whispers as she is finally someplace safe.

Desmond can't help but knit his brows in sympathy as Muirenn sobs, but Ilaria draws his attention. "Oh, yes-of-course!" And his scallop-printed cloak is draped over her shoulders. A waterskin is offered when she settles. "Are you all right? S-sorry about grabbing you like that, I had little choice in the matter… Aye, it seems the rest of the men are going off to settle things."

"Or hedge, sure. Haven't ever seen a hedge, I think, but that's up to you," shrugs Farrell lightly, continuing to urge his horse off at the light gallop they've been holding back to camp. "Apparently they dragged a few of you off to sell or somesuch - don't worry, we got your cohorts safe enough. Nothin' the maesters can't see to, at least. Your captors are dead or as good as," continues to explain the knight, furrowing his brow a bit as he thinks further. "There's another group back at the cave, no doubt dispatchin' the rest of the lot. All over now, these fellas weren't very smart," Farrell admits, chuckling in light amusement.

He takes notice of the groans, peering at the girl's forehead. "Hm, that's quite the bump you've got there. Y'gonna be alright? Not too much longer, now."

Cordelya is dead quiet as they are riding back to the camp. Pressed into her husband's arms, trying to keep her throat from bleeding more. Normally she'd be insisting on checking on Murienn, if not many of the other women, but for once Cordelya does not insist on playing Maester. She's exhausted, cold, and a little bit worried about herself too. There were Maesters waiting for them, and that would be enough. Her drowsy greenish eyes half open, though, staring bloodshot at the other injured women.

Ilaria accepts the skin, smiling faintly at Desmond as she sips from it carefully. She is parched, but perhaps it is from screaming at bandits. After a few sips, she holds it back out to him while tugging the cloak about her. The weight of it is blissful, and tears spring to her eyes in happiness, but she swallows them back. "I—it is forgivable, Ser Desmond. It was necessary. We will be alright." She tries to tuck her hair back behind her ears before glancing around to the others.

Like Cordelya, Muirenn typically would be wanting to help the others but she herself is to sick and too exhausted. Tears continue to tremble on her red lashes and then roll down her cheeks no matter how many times she tries to wipe them away until her cheeks are again a bloody smear. Leaning back against the knight that has been almost as close to her as her brother, the girl closes her eyes as they ride towards the promise of medicine and pillows to prop her up.

"I think I can manage not to throw up, Ser," Sofya whispers with the croak of a laugh. That said, she dosen't seem terrible inclined to sit up or stop leaning on him. Her words are still a little slurred.

"All I can ask for," chuckles Farrell, just keeping on along the road.

Eventually, he figures, they all make it back to camp. Though probably unfortunately settled at where the crime originally took place, this spot's as good as any. Fluke slows to a trot as they enter the camp, Farrell tugging gently on the reins as they make it to a stop. "Here we go, Mistress Dale. Down we go, take it easy," announces Farrell, easily slipping down from his saddle and offering his arms up to the girl to help her down. "I suppose if anyone learns anything from this, it'll be that it's pretty stupid to kidnap a lot of highborn ladies. And that it's especially stupid to set camp anywhere shy of the free cities or the Wall."

"I..owe your sister…my life. She is so brave." Muirenn mumbles before she begins to cough again. Unable to talk for awhile she is silent. Her sobbing ended once she was on Tiny, but the tears continue to roll no matter how much she tries to keep them back. After another coughing fit, she manages to catch her breath to say, "They hit a lot of us who tried to challenge them. Dania and my Septa were ok though. And they didn't…" her eyes open and she stares at the trees wearily before closing her eyes again, "They didn't rape us." she ends bluntly. There are many things to be thankful for.

"I'm really not," Ilaria replies to Desmond quietly, holding the cloak about her and allowing the knight to keep her steady in the saddle. She watches the others as they move in toward the camp, counting the heads of the women she can see. "Everyone has been recovered, I hope?" She pauses, swallowing back her tears forcefully before clearing her throat. Her voice is a bit hoarse, a bit low, but other than the fact that she is now sore all over, she does not seem put out just yet. The shock will settle in later, surely.

"It's okay to cry, sweet," Keelin says. There's affection in his tone and relief as he hears what Muirenn says, but worry too with how sick she is. "I don't mind, and your brother will be so glad to see you. He's been absolutely beside himself."

Desmond glances over his shoulder to arch a brow at her response. "Not allowed to…?" No use in questioning, he figures. /Just do as she says/. "They're going to see about that," he tilts his head in the direction that Riordan and co. has gone off in.