Spending the evening somewhat attentively listening to the tales told as well as to the important task of emptying bottles of wine - Caterine is ready for sleep when it comes, though is still easily awoken for her morning shift with Sable. Noting that the elf has matters mostly in hand, Caterine spends some time reading from the drow's notebook.
Caterine is already awake as her watch was the last and looks up from the journal as rain falls. Hearing the innkeep and Mercus talking she puts the tome away, stretches out and walks out to where they converse.
Male Human Falcata Weapon Master 5 ~ Urban Barbarian/Invulnerable Rager 2
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Kabal thrashed in his sheets mumbling curses and clenching every muscle in his body. He was having that same dream again. The one where he met Corvax and they pleaded before a drow judge of all things for their souls chance at existence. It was surreal and made no sense for he knew that he had met his shield brother in Brevoy after he signed up with the merc company but this was the way of dreams. His vision lurched and next he knew he was slashing his bloody way through a horde of akatas screaming Shantilles! Where in the feckin hell are you?!...Im gonna throttle that insufferable man when I found him...wait...someone is yelling my name!...
He snapped awake in a cold sweat and found his feet with his sword drawn before he fully understood where he was. He felt like a fool standing there in his small clothes.
I'll be out in a minute shorty. Dont eat all the food or else...
Gods damned Corvax...I'll never forgive you for leaving without a word...
He dumped the bowl of tepid water he had filled the night previous over his head and began dressing for what was most likely to be a long day.
Catching sight of Kabal so scantly clad, Bree regains herself, and moves to grab Mercus by the back of his shirt, pulling him out of Kabal's room and closing the door behind him mumbling and apology to the half naked man as she does.
"Foolish boy, he could have stabbed you. What's this? You know the proper way to wake up a Riddleport street rat but it never occurs to you not to barge in on a seasoned solider?" She cuffs him lightly on the back of his head.
Bree gives Mercus an awkward smile and walks with him back to the dinning area. "So what has got you so excited this morning?"
Mercus paled when Kabal rushed to the door and the boy just stammers
Turning to Bree, the boy regains at least some of his courage
Wow...guess I'm just lucky he didn't have one of this new pistols under his pillow...he would have put a bullet through the door and me...excited? Oh yeah, the innkeeper told me he was just like me when he was young and that I could also become a great adventurer and have my own tavern in the future - now how coll is that, eh?
In the common room, a table is already prepared for you, all kinds of breakfast goodies are on it and the smell makes your mouth water.
Caterine focuses on her food, allowing the others to support Mercus' adventuring aspirations... to her mind he'd find out good and quick if he had the stones the first time he faced down a threat without the rest of the party at his back.
Mercus grins and slumps into the chair next to Winter's. He grabs one of the pancakes and unrolls the map he has drawn during the last days
If I remember the lay of the land correctly, we should reach an old messenger station at the edge of the Mierani Forest tonight. Can't tell you if it is still in use, but it was depicted on the old maps I used to dust.
No, it isn't used anymore. the old man chimes in while he pulls a chair to your table Was given up about ten years ago, when trading with the elves became rarer and rarer. Now it's a bandit outpost as far as I know.
Thank you...it has been a long time since I met an elf. the innkeep says thoughtfully You should watch out for the bandits, their leader is a one-eyed half-orc called Grum...he's not known for his friendly behvaiour if you know what I mean...
Winter can barely contain his excitement and enthusiasm, "Thats very lucky, not only are their souls in need of salvation, I even know who to ask for now" Winter is a blur of snow coloured hair and emerald coloured armour as he shoots for the gate and the road beyond, clearly eager to spread the good word. "Thanks for having us Sir!" he half blurts as he hits the gate, and then he is gone out of sight.
"Why.... the same thing we always do!" Winter answers, as though the answer is completely clear. With great fervour, Winter pushes for his date with the bandits.
"We need be prepared just in case they aren't interested in the good word and instead take up arms. It's always a chance" he finishes, philosophically "So we should pull up a ways off and advance with caution"
Yeah ok, I got that part...but uh...you really wanna preach to them? Mercus pauses for a moment, thoughts seem to race through his head Winter, honestly...has this whole Erastil-loves-you-thing ever worked?
"Ha! Has it every worked. Trust me Mercus, I was as shocked as you but he managed to scare the crap out of Croat, convince Clegg that we could be allies and old Saul had us working for him because of Winter's penchant for preaching and writing long and confusing letters. And when it doesn't work... we kill them."
"I see Bree has certainly noticed. I'd add to that teh good works at St Casperians, I would point to young Lyxi's sister who was paid full compensation for the wrong done to her, and a better life bought and paid for that she and her family will prosper with; the worst excesses of the Riddleport crime lords have been tempered... it just goes on. So I ask you Mercus, which parts don't work? These are still just acorns, and they will continue to grow into mighty oaks of goodness"
"You forget that although Erastil might very well love you, even the most beloved animal may need to be tipped lovingly from this world to the next when it is too injured to be saved. Erastil gave me a plough and a pen, but he gave me a sword too."
"I'd prefer starting with words of opportunity, and then if needs be a stern letter seems to work well, but like Croats men we all laid out as a pile of corpses at the front of the Golden Goblin, I'll send messages that way too if I have to. Most people begin to see the error of their ways when the bodies start falling around them. Sometimes the garden needs weeding."
Wow... Mercus seems genuinely impressed and remains quiet for the rest of this day's walk.
In the evening, after a day of exhausting marching, the Mierani Forest comes into view. Its edge remains you of a dark wall, gloomy and denying. Some hundred metres beore the forest is the greyish ruin of a fallen watchtower and what remains of some of its outbuildings. A red flag flies on what remains of the top of the tower.
"Attacking a fortified position, a tower no less, well that would be a touch silly wouldn't it? Perhaps if I lit a small campfire over on the edge of the clearing, just enough for them to notice... well they might feel inclined to come out and take a look? They might be concerned to come upon a camp of hardened fighting looking men and women, so perhaps if just myself and Mercus were visible they might take us for a missionary crusader and his squire, such folk as you could take comfort in approaching to share a fire with"
"So maybe if you just waited out of sight in a spot that takes your fancy...and then if they decide they don't appreciate the hospitality..."
"So long as you are on the far side of any obvious approach then. Suppose you are hard to hide, but then that comes down to how hard they are looking. If they see what the expect to see, or they see what they want to see, perhaps they won't be looking too hard for anything else"
"All that glitters..."
Winter sees to the establishment of what appears to be a camp for two by the edge of the clearing, just in the protection of the treeline. A nice spot to camp really... and then sets up a small fire, upon which he just happens to put a few green branches on, something that will send a nice smoke trail heavenward and be easy to spot, say, from a watchtower.
At Winter's suggested plan Caterine ventures playfully "I'll join big and angry here in the stealthless department... least I can hide behind him and they'll not notice me for the sight of him." before following Kabal into the depths of shadow.
Bree grins a rather wicked looking grin at Winter's plan.
As Cat takes her leave with Kabal she says to them, "If all else fails, you could pretend to be nothing more than a couple of lovers hiding away for a bit of alone time. Copper and I played that con a time or two when he was still alive."
She then pulls herself up into a tree to wait and watch, using her dark clothing and the shadows of the branches and of the night to hide her location as she waits and watches.