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Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton

0 · 438 views · located in Kingdom Of Ethieven

a character in “Stand and Deliver”, as played by SkullsandSlippers

Description

Age:26
Height:5'7
Weight:120 lbs
Hair:Auburn, slight wave. Pinned back and worn under her hat when riding, loose ponytail every other time.
Eyes:Grey/blue, cold and piercing
Build:Athletic, lean muscles, not very soft or curvy. Hidden under the heavy coat it is not easy to tell Brennan is a woman.

Clothing:Brennan wears a dark hat, dark long coat the collar of which covers his face. Only thing visible is his eyes. Dark riding pants, knee length riding boots and gloves complete his gear.

Elsbeth typically dresses like any other woman her age. She works in the farm house with her mother, so an apron covers her standard dress. Elsbeth doesn't pay particular attention to cut or colour in her clothes. Her appearnce doesn't matter to her as much as it likely should for a woman of her age.

Personality

Elsbeth takes no crap from anyone. Stubborn, pig headed and brash. Those are the very basic compliments that her mother gives her. She tends to speak her mind. Her manner is very blunt and matter of fact as if not considering other's feelings when she speaks. Elsbeth isn't mean spirited but she comes across as cold hearted and cruel.

Caring little for marriage, children or other matters she considers frivolous Elsbeth spends her days helping on the farm, practicing her riding and shooting and arguing with her mother. Her evenings are spent finding coaches to rob.

Elsbeth does not consider robbing wrong. The town needs the money and help will not come from anywhere else. She does not go out every night, fearing Brennan's capture. To her robbery is a necessity and something she is very good at.

Equipment

On top of Brennan's clothing and her own, Elsbeth has four flintlock pistols. Two that were her father's and two more that her father gave her as a gift.

The townsfolk keep three different dark, chocolate brown horses for her in three different barns in the town.

History

Eight years ago, on Callowlily road, running between Porterham and Moligivgne there appeared a figure on horseback. Carrying two pistols, Brennan of the Grange robbed from those who would dare travel through the area. He became known for his cold manner and extremely accurate shots. Riding a horse of dark chocolate brown, he'd appear and disappear quickly.

To this day, he rides that road although many other sightings of Brennan pop up in other areas making him hard to pin down.

---

North Horton, a small town to the west of Moligivgne. Farming town whose inhabitants for years have struggled to survive. Drought and low crop yield eight years ago had left them all hungry and poor.

The Waterton family, Callum, Marie and Elsbeth. Living in North Horton has been hard for them, just like their friends. And so eight years ago, they came up with a plan. Callum was the best shot in the entire town, could ride very well and he cut an impressive figure in his long coat and hat. Other men offered horses, saddle, and help but it would be Callum who would risk his neck riding out and robbing those who travelled the road. Many of the inhabitants know what he is doing and the town benefits from his spoils. They help keep his secret, hide anything incriminating and do whatever they can to protect Brennan's identity.

Two years ago, a barn was being put up for Hector Markham. Callum was crushed by a beam. Everyone was left wondering what they would do now, where would the money come from for the people to survive? The answer came in the form of Callum's daughter Elsbeth. She worked in the house with her mother, could bake bread and mend but they simply masked her true abilities.

Her father taught her to ride young. Nimble and at ease in the saddle Elsbeth was jumping fences by 6 and by fifteen was doing tricks on horseback that made her father nervous. Callum taught his daughter to shoot as well, despite Marie's protests. Elsbeth was good, better than her father with her accuracy.

For two years, riding under the guise of Brennan of the Grange, Elsbeth has been robbing those on the same road her father did and no one is the wiser.

Brennan, his piercing eyes, cold manner and accurate shot still cause concern for travellers. The town still benefits and his secret is still safe.

So begins...

Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Lavinia O'Connell Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith Character Portrait: Frank Reed
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Elsbeth stood in the shadows near the inn. “Why am I doing this again?”

Brennan did not work in a group. She knew that was exactly why she was even considering doing this. Well, that and the substantial payoff that the job promised. Dowry for a Duke’s daughter and there was a need for more hands to deal with the guards. Elsbeth would have scoffed if word of this job had come from any other source. Thing was, it was Braith Alwyn who had put out the call and for the Hunt brothers. Both parties had good reputations, at least as far as those who moved in this circle could be considered good.

Elsbeth adjusted the coat, ensuring the collar and scarf came up to cover the majority of her face. Blue-grey eyes looked out from under her hat. Brennan of the Grange had a reputation of his own as well and she hoped it would be enough to convince the brothers and Braith that her guns would be a good asset to their little scheme.

“Off we go now...” Standing tall Elsbeth entered the inn.

The Dog had a good reputation for its ale and for being the better of the three establishments that served the area. It was reasonably busy as expected. Groups huddled around tables drinking, talking and gambling. The innkeeper seemed already well into his cups and a pretty barmaid was serving tables and the bar. Elsbeth watched her as she moved towards one of the tables. A voice had called for another drink and some dinner.

Around the table sat an odd collection of people. Scanning each, Elsbeth’s eyes spotted the red and black cockades in the hats. The Hunt Brothers. Both men were broad shouldered and had the look of hard working men. There beside them, blending easily must be Braith. She had heard of his reputation for being very unassuming at first glance but charming once his mouth opened.

Moving to a side table, Elsbeth sat and looked over the rest of the group. Two men were sitting, one sharply featured but shadowed and the other square jawed and tall. Two others were standing at the table, their backs to her and yet another pushed his way through them to the table. Elsbeth huffed a little. For highwaymen that should be keeping things quiet they seemed an obvious group of sorts. They were all men it seemed. No. Elsbeth focused on one of the standing figures. Female, shapely too. Even though this woman wore a coat that was too big, Elsbeth could tell. Elsbeth straightened a little. It was easy to pass herself off as Brennan, Elsbeth did not feature any soft womanly curves that so many others of her sex had.

The group seemed to be settling in to discuss business. Elsbeth stood, if she wanted in on the job she had to get over there. Movement from the bar caught her attention. A dirty looking young man moved quickly and bumping into one of the brother’s chair offered an apology then moved away again. Elsbeth cocked her head. Something was odd about him. Shaking her head slightly, Elsbeth drew her focus back to the table. Moving to the far left, she approached from the shadows.

Stopping beside the table, Brennan sat in one of the few empty chairs. The hat dipped as Brennan nodded to the table. Cold eyes stared out at the group. Gloved hands opened the fasteners of the coat, allowing Brennan to sit comfortably. Elsbeth had learned to sit like a man, not that she did it often as Brennan was a man on a horse not one of leisure. Two pistols sat just inside the coat, Brennan’s trademark.

From this angle Elsbeth could take in the faces of those that were standing. The pushy one, skinny to the point of corpselike, had the look of one who crawled out of the gutter. There was no stopping the ill feeling that crept up her spine as she happened to catch his eyes.

Her gaze went to the other two. One, the man seemed overly outgoing and friendly. From this angle she confirmed her suspicion that the other figure was in fact a woman. Hair was tucked into her hat but there was no hiding the soft face.

All attention was on the brothers. Like Elsbeth, they all seemed to be waiting to hear what the scheme was and of course, what the cut would be for each. “It had better be a good haul...” She wondered now, with so many involved if this had in fact been a good idea. The advantage was she hadn’t signed onto anything yet, if the deal wasn’t good then Brennan would walk away and that was the end of it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Lavinia O'Connell Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith Character Portrait: Frank Reed
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#, as written by varxint
Braith chatted with the younger Hunt brother. Having worked so long with the brothers Braith knew the price that he would be paying for this watch. However, Bill was always very earnest with his haggling and Braith did not want to take that away from him. Truth be told, Braith enjoyed the game as well. He always loved talking to people. It was also a nice way to be able to appear occupied while watching the strangers pile into his bar. The Dog was one of Braith's main haunts. He knew all the regulars by name. Each and every stranger who walked into the bar this evening was carefully noted and catalogued. Braith knew they were coming. He had been keeping his eye on the group of strange drunks in the corner. Nothing too odd about that, yet.

Braith kept the haggling up while he watched the tall, blonde man step in and order his drink. He sat quietly, pretending to inspect the watch as Reed introduced himself. Still holding the watch up, Braith looked Reed over and inwardly nodded. A good start.

The next tall stranger took a seat near by and overpaid for his drink. Braith grinned slightly at the boldness of this one's announcement as he turned and addressed the brothers.

As the couple walked to the table Braith smiled with satisfaction. There will be no shortage of recruits it appeared. Though it appeared only the one called Fox might be staying. He looked him, no, wait. Braith looked more carefully as he placed the watch on the table, yes, a her. Braith nodded, diversification was never a bad thing.

Ah, the drunks, here came one now, but not nearly as drunk as he played. As he pushed through the others and offered his skills Braith shuddered. This one looked capable of acts that matched his countenance. Though, this job will take all kinds, so it's better to have him on our side.

Another stranger, a boy by the looks of it, entered the bar and ordered a drink after taking a hesitant look toward the table. Another interested party.

As Jack ordered another round and the pretty barmaid distracted Bill, Braith chuckled quietly. He decided to have a bit of fun with Bill and made a firm sounding offer that was severely under priced. Bill almost agreed to the price and Braith smiled at him before shaking his head. He was not about to take advantage of some of his best partners. Still, he liked to keep them on their toes.

Another stranger entered the bar and looked the place over. Paying a bit more attention to this table. Though this one looked vaguely familiar to Braith. He racked his brains for the memory but couldn't quite place it. The stranger sat at a table beside the wall and watched the group.

He listened as Jack set about trying to gather the diverse group to order and set a final price with Bill. As Braith reached out to hand Bill the coins for the watch and Bill reached to hand the watch to Braith, they were bumped by the recently arrived boy. Braith nearly laughed out loud as Bill no longer had the watch to conclude the deal. As he was about to address the missing watch the newest stranger began to make his way over. He boldly sat down without making any type of introduction. Braith watched as he sat and raised his eyebrows at the exposed guns. He nodded, that seals that.

At the mention of business Braith perked up, "So, it appears I will have to look up to this crowd." He grinned. "And now that we have a wonderfully large group I think Jack has said the key phrase, and business is at hand. Welcome all to my offices. We have even brought the famous out to play." He nodded in the direction of the newest arrival.

"The interested parties have all made themselves known and we should begin with the most interesting details. It might be best, though, if we all sat close." With that he waved the boy at the bar over, "Please, my boy, come over, join us. And don't worry, I'll adjust the amount of your cut for that watch. I would prefer that you and I talk though." He grinned and winked.

He smoothly turned back to the table and smiled warmly, "I am Braith Alwyn. I'll find you what you need and take care of what you find. The Hunt's run this show and I provide the information. Jack, my lad, why not take the show from here and tell our new friends what kind of excitement you have in store for them. I'll start calculating the division of the shares so you'll all know what you stand to gain, roughly."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn
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Jack flashed a quick smile, as their first unnamed guest claimed he wouldn't give his name in a public tavern. An almost paranoid precaution to keep one alive. Unless a victim, who knew both your name and face, was sitting close enough in the common room, to overhear them talk, your name couldn't hurt but if thats what helped keep you breathing in this line of work, well who was he to comment on it. Besides the name seemed like it would be forth coming and he was eager enough to hear about the thrill and danger of the job they had planned. A fellow with a taste similar to his, never a bad thing when riding out to tackle a job that would take balls of brass.

Before they could get down to business, a young man, squeezing around their table on his way to the bar, bumped into Bill. The younger of the Hunt brothers flashed him an annoyed look but left it at that. There were plenty of reasons a fellow might not want to walk through the middle of the common room, seeing as it was filled with roguish looking fellows, coachmen quick to take offense and possibly someone he might have offended before. There had been times the brothers, had to slink away from a past victims, least they be recognized by voice.

However, there was the issue, of the missing watch. It was really rather clumsy, to grab something out of a person's hand. His frown grew, as he noticed that Braith looked like he was about to laugh. He couldn't figure out if the fellow was new to the life of crime, just plain stupid or looking for a fight. He would be willing to fight, if thats what he wanted but they'd have to head outside, he didn't want to wreck Lavinia's common room. He almost got up but then Braith called the fellow out about it, in a rather friendly way.

Jack watched as a man, or at least he looked like a man, it was hard to tell gender with their face hidden under a scarf and a large coat on, rose from a nearby table and took a chair among their gathering of jolly rogues. No word of introduction, not a question about the job, he just sat down with a nod and opened his coat a little to reveal the butts of a pair of pistols. Jack took an instant liking to the man, it took a certain amount of boldness, to just step out and have yourself counted among a crew of outlaws. There was something about him, like he should know the stranger's name. Not that they had worked with him before but those eyes, with a pair of pistols, it tickled his memories a little.

"Well" said Jack, as their last compatriots joined them at the table, "Black Jack Hunt is me name and me brother Bill is the one glowering about a missin watch. We called this jolly gatherin' ta see if any of ye were interested in aiding the poor horses of his lordship, the Duke o' Starford. Ye see, 'em beasts be hauling the dowry of his lordship's oldest daughter, all the way from the north and they must be gettin tired. It would be mighty kind, if we went and convinced the Duke, ta let us lighten their load. O'course, the Duke and his cronies might not agree, if we just go and talk with 'em, bein cruel enough ta do that to their poor horses in the first place. Goin' ta have ta persuade 'em."

Both of the brothers smiled broadly at the table.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith Character Portrait: Frank Reed
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George stopped on her tracks as the man who had earlier called her attention had once again called for her's and invited her over the table. Should she accept or should she swallow her pride and hope for the best? She took a deep breath and followed the latter decision. She might as well learn from the best to improve herself rather than risking her life doing small thievery and landing back into her sister's unforgiving hands.

She held her bonnet, turned back towards the table and without raising her head she spoke, "I have no interest in the watch- I've seen greater beyond compare but you got my intention right on tha' spot meyster. I have come and seek the brother's for I've heard great news and I humbly ask to be a part. I maybe dumb and young but I am fast and small," She boasted of her qualities, doing her best impression of a skallywag and changed her accent. Just then a woman dressed as a man spoke about her identity and intentions as well.

Gwen she was called. How Georgina wished she can come out and proudly say that she was of the same gender but alas- she thought about her sister's extended ears and eyes that might be on the look out for her. It was hard enough to go through the slashing of prized lock of hair, she couldn't let her sacrifices go banished because of a small woe.

She then raised her head, turned to look at the brother's Jack first then towards Bill- but how her heart skipped a bit when she saw the younger Hunt's face. There was a rugged yet attractive look in his eyes. Georgina blushed as she realized how different the feeling was when she would come face to face with him. She cleared her throat before looking at Braith, offered her gloved hand, held his hand firmly as manly as she can and spoke, "George, but they call me Monkey for my swift hands and tree climbing expertise. If me presence is still needed I'd be happy as a horse in a graze field to stay and learn. I may come in handy as we would never expect."

Georgina then stayed silent and hoped for the best as she waited for their verdict.





OOC: George tries to sound like a man, just the same as Mulan's voice trying to be Ping (see Youtube)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith
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#, as written by ElRey
The Rat’s grin twisted up his ragged face at mention of business. It was clear he had enough opening approval to earn a seat at the table. His attempts to bring a rise out of the pair and perhaps scare away the added fluff he noticed around the table proved largely fruitless. Drawing little more than a few batted glances, a weak shudder from their organizer Braith and a passing look of disgust from the younger of the duo. Perhaps these men weren't the squishy fools he sized them up for initially. Flipping a chair to face him, The Rat plopped down with a swish of his coattails, eager to hear the details of their high-profile quarry.

He remained largely silent, contenting himself with picking food from his festering maw and further assessing his would-be squad mates. Before Braith could launch into his briefing, another pair of interruptions, perhaps even more brazen than The Rat’s own took place. A clumsy extraction of a pocket watch from one of their employers pockets. Disbelieving looks were passed between the seated thieves, one jumping to offer his services to “deal with it.” In the commotion another joined their midst, silently seating himself several to The Rat’s left; giving the vile man a direct view of the fancy pair of cannons strapped to the mysterious strangers ribcage.

A handful of the others seemed to buy the bravado, commenting on the newcomers no-nonsense attitude. Braith even going so far as to indicate he was a name to be known and a face to be recognized. Being ignorant as he was The Rat was having none of it; writing it off as an elaborate act. The fancy guns, the wordless entrance, it was akin to a peacock attempting to woo a mate with a glittery flash of its tail. A belief made even more ridiculous by the mental gymnastics necessary to justify his earlier entrance.

Braith paused momentarily to invite the amateurish pickpocket who had busied himself at the bar. A questionable decision at best in The Rat’s opinion; the piece of his money pie shrinking in minds eye. Still couldn’t hurt to keep some fodder around as a decoy should things get out of hand…

One of the taller men at the table, looking several years The Rat’s junior, was the first to leap at the Hunt brothers prospect of raiding the Dukes dowry. Offering up his name, Valentyne Elfrith, in the process. He seemed overly enthused at the mere prospect of being seated at the table and it was clear he was perhaps lacking in the area of experience. Soft. The teen’s promises to not disappoint did little to quell the look of skepticism Baxter cast in his direction.

In short order the next piped up, the young boy and half the pair he had split earlier. A well crafted retort for Jack’s horse humor. The Rat had a certain appreciation for witty repartee, making a mental note to verbally prod Fox should he grow bored. The realization of his mistaken identity took several seconds to register as the boy introduced himself as Gwen; The Rat’s highly expressive face furrowing as he gave Fox another once over. Were he capable of embarrassment he may have felt a pinch that he hadn’t seen it to begin with. Still, contrary to the outlook of many of his peers, sex was of little concern to the famed lock picker, his earliest years with Rabbit had taught him that. There was no arguing that women were more than capable of towing the line in this business, and a dagger to the gut will still spill blood no matter who holds it.

His perverse hollow eyes wheeled across the crowd, sensing his opportunity to introduce himself. And he would’ve too, had the golden watch not been placed almost directly in front of him by the would-be thief. After casting a disgruntled look in their direction, as Braith warmly accepted the feminine lad into their midst and explained their location.

The thought hadn’t even crossed Baxter’s mind. It was all the same to him, he’d as just as soon planned the event from the pews of the Duke’s wedding. Jump out from beneath the bishops robes, maim the bride, cripple the in-laws and steal the cake. He simply operated in a world where the law didn’t apply, with the entirety of his adult life having been spent at odds with the powers that be it was second nature.

Braith having spoken his part and the pickpocket invited to sit, The Rat wasted no more time.

“Well den, Duke o’ta Starford yew say? Colour me interested in savin dem poor wittle horsies.” He gave the group another gnarled grin that could curl the blood, “Say ‘ello to da Rat, chums.” he jeered giving the table a hearty slap with a grubby palm “Gawtz a feelin we gon’ be makin beeyootiful music tagether, I dew.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton
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Brennan simply looked at Braith as he welcomed everyone, a small jest at his height compared to the group at large. With a nod in her direction he acknowledged what Elsbeth had been hoping for. He knew of Brennan’s reputation and that would play well for her.

Cold blue eyes gave nothing away as Elsbeth watched Braith call out the boy for having stolen a watch. She realized now why the boy’s behaviour as he had bumped the table seemed so odd to her. He had swiped something and apparently had been caught. Braith welcomed him to join the group.

Brennan looked over at the tall man as he commented on his appearance at the table. Eyes pierced into him as he commented that he liked Brennan’s style. Elsbeth desperately wished she could say something; her tongue was firmly lodged between her teeth. Instead Brennan gave the man the slightest of nods before looking back at the brothers.

Turning talk to business as the boy decided if he would join them or not, Jack introduced himself and his brother. She almost let a chuckle slip as her eyes turned to look at Bill. The look of annoyance on his face was amusing; perhaps he wasn’t used to having someone steal from him or at least not so obviously. Jack began to lay out the plan and Elsbeth listened intently. Scanning the table she counted numbers. Large group and if even half of them were capable they could pull this off and divide the dowry. It did not take much for Elsbeth to decide she would do this, her guns and good shot would come in handy. Besides she needed the cut from this. It would be larger than Brennan’s normal take even when divided between the group at large. Braith and the Hunt’s seemed honest enough for thieves.

Around the table most were quick to speak up, agreeing that the horses were indeed being treated cruelly and it would only be prudent of the group to help them with their load. The woman, Fox agreed to stay. Elsbeth thought it interesting that while Rooster seemed the more outgoing of the two, Fox was the one to speak up. She instantly liked the woman’s backbone.

The boy with the stolen watch approached the table. He looked like he was trying hard to save his pride. Elsbeth felt a bit of sympathy for the poor lad. Getting caught was never a good feeling. She almost frowned as the boy simply placed the watch on the table and walked away. Braith had welcomed the boy to join and he was taking the jest of his skills far too personally.

Elsbeth was a little impressed as Braith, sensing the boy’s embarrassment at having been caught called him back again. He could have let him walk out and talks would have continued. Braith’s reputation for having a charming tongue was well earned as he set the table at ease about the location of the meeting, the watch and the job. Yes, smooth tongue that worked perfectly with the Hunt’s reputation for well pulled off heists.

The boy, appearing to hesitate for a moment agreed that he would like to be a part of the job. Reaching out he shook Braith’s hand in introduction. A slight sweat broke out on her back as Elsbeth wondered how in the world she would be able to accept but not speak. Her appearance was easy t hide but her voice was not. No matter how she tried, Elsbeth could never get a convincing male voice. It had always been Brennan’s way never to speak; his actions did that for him. “This...this is why Brennan works alone....this was not smart.” Elsbeth's mind raced.

Taking the pressure away for the moment the last bandit at the table spoke up. Everything about him unnerved Elsbeth. He smiled, something that made Elsbeth gag just a little and introduced himself. Everything about Rat, as he called himself spoke of acts that Elsbeth hadn’t thought human beings capable of.

He slapped the table and Elsbeth gripped her legs slightly in order to stifle her urge to jump up from the table. Her heart pounded in her chest and as she willed it to calm, Elsbeth looked at the group again. She wondered slightly if they were a traveling menagerie rather than a group of bandits. Rooster, Fox, Monkey. Rat.

Brennan turned to look at Jack and Bill. A gloved hand went out. They would have her guns if they shook on it with her. It was the best she could do without saying anything. Elsbeth hoped that Braith would know enough of Brennan of the Grange to convince the brothers to shake and seal the deal.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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#, as written by varxint
Braith accepted the proffered grip of the boy and nodded, "Okay, Monkey. Though we have a Jack, nimble and quick has its uses." He appreciated the boy's willingness to come back to the table after being called out. It showed a developing character that experience should tune into a fine pick pocket.

He looked at Gwen as she offered her hand toward the Hunts and winked, "Fox seems quite fitting. Bold, yet cunning. Though I, for one, appreciate the offer of a first name. For business. Or elsewise, as you state." Gwen's boldness caught Braith's attention more than a little, and with a playful tone and smile, "There are aspects of this business that could use a feminine touch. I would welcome one such."

Braith turned his attention to the man who called himself the Rat. "It is heartening to see such care for the downtrodden animals. I can already imagine the fine symphonies we will compose." Braith, while slightly put off by the Rat's general appearance, knew the man would be useful for any distasteful tasks required. Not having a sure hand in a tight spot was the common downfall of these operations. Braith had no doubt Rat would not be queasy.

Braith was taken a bit by surprise as a hand shot out in front of him. He looked down at the gloved hand with a grin, "Another glove. This crowd is quite wary. It's enough to think I've started associating with thieves."

He looked to the brothers, "This one's a quiet type. Brennan of the Grange it is, though. The pistols and the eyes." He turned to look at Brennan, catching the man's eyes. "Yes. Jack, Bill, if you need a shot, there is none more accurate." He watched Brennan with respect as he introduced him to the Hunts. He had heard the exploits of this lone bandit. The stories of his riding and his accuracy made it through many of Braith's informants.

With introductions completed Braith thought the group would be capable of the heist. The Hunts' planned their operations well. With another welcoming smile on his face, "Jack, you've gathered a fine group of animal lovers. I suspect we would all like to hear your plan."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith
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Jack continued smiling, as their overeager and first nameless comrade, became only overeager. Valentyne Elfrith, not a name he had heard before but the fellow was young and wouldn't have been robbing (or much else) for very long. So a lack of reputation was to be expected. Ignoring the youth, who had stolen the watch to his brother and business partner. Not that he wasn't interested in the outcome or if they were going to get the watch back, he was, that watch was money in his pocket but at least one of the three starting partners in the gang, needed to pay attention to the gathering of thieves.

The next villain to agree to the plot, was Fox and that was a shocker, not that they agreed but the revealing of a gender. It also was a comfort in a way, as she went from a pretty boy, whom it might appear that Roster was buggering , given how easily the older stood with the junior, to a young woman he could be sleeping with. Not that it was anyone's business but it would be something he'd be puzzling about, while they rode, while they waited in ambush and right up before the robbery. Again, not that it was his business but it was something his mind would used to distract himself from the jitters and it was much to rude to go asking an armed bandit about, especially if it was a touchy subject. But Fox was a woman, mystery dissolved and something interested added to the gang. Reaching up, the elder Hunt touched the front peak of his tricorn, tripping the leather hat to the woman.

"A pleasure to have ye Fox" said Jack, flashing her a grin that meant his statement could be taken more then one way, as he shook her offered hand.

Bill had returned his attention, to the pickpocket, as Braith called him out. It really wasn't that the watch had been snatched from his person. Normally it would but the fact that he had just taken it out of his hand, with nothing more then a simple bump into a chair! It was the insult to the profession that bothered him the most. He almost wanted to grab the fellow's shoulders and give him a little shake. You never take things out of the hand, until you smacked the person around or were holding them at pistol point. If you were just walking by, you slipped nimble fingers into a pocket and fished out anything of interest.

Still the fellow looked properly cowed and the watch was returned. Picking up the time piece, the younger brother lost his frown, simply studying the youth, as he both named himself and requested to join the gang. The voice seemed forced, like he was forcing it deeper then it naturally should me. Something a boy would do, hoping to make the adults pay attention to him, like he was their equal in experience. Then, he looked up at the younger Hunt brother, with a face flushing red. While he should be ashamed to face him after that attempted at picking his pocket, they would have to work on this inability to face a victim after the crime.

"Well" said Bill, when Braith finished shaking the youth's hand, still gloved as if he didn't trust them, "Ye might as learn from some 'o the best."

With William's words, the scrawny, dirty man introduced himself as the Rat and while the brother's heads didn't whip around to look at him, their light colored eyes did focus on him. The rat of all men to come out of the gutters to join them, a known killer with a shriveled black heart, who could open locks by glaring at them. Rumors of cruelty and malice attached themselves to his reputation, like remora to the belly of a shark. A legend in their mists.

As if the Rat wasn't a big enough surprise, Brennan of the Grange, the highwayman of the Callowlily Road and someone how had escaped the King's Justice for nearly a decade, was sitting at their table as well. Nothing well known robber, attracted to their offer of a large haul from a rich old man. A better shot with a pistol, was not to be found, on the island or on the mainland for that matter, if one was to believe the tales. However, the offered hand was gloved. While they might write the insult from George off from his youth, the implications from the older and more experienced highwayman, was not to be ignored.

"Aye Braith" said Jack, reaching out to shake Brennan's hand but halting, digits almost within reach of the silent robber's, "But ye can no trust a man closin' business with his gloves on."

The elder Hunt left his statement hanging there, watching and waiting for a response, as he looked at Brennan.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn
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Jack flashed a friendly smile, letting the silent robber before him know no offense was meant, as Brennan withdrew his hand and stripped off the glove. The dim, flickering light of the inn's common room, hid any outward signs that the now offered bare hand was not the one of the man and it wasn't until the Hunt brother wrapped his fingers around it and shook, that anything different was noticed. Right off, the hand was smaller then he had expected, although that could be blamed on thick leather gloves. There was something off about the fingers as well, they seemed long, not the correct proportions they should have been. The first thought that popped into his head, was that he was dealing with a young noblemen, out getting a taste of adventure. That would explain everything, his body was still growing.

Or at least that would have been the first and only explanation he came up with but a second squeaked in the back of his mind. A tiny voice, crying out from far away, that it was not the hand of a nobleman's brat he was shaking. For the brief second or so of contact, the voice called out that this was the hand of a woman. A claim his mental state rejected, he only thought of it because Fox had revealed herself to be a woman and really, how many women pretending to be men, could this one single job pull out of the wood work? He'd be surprised if there was a female highwayman, other then Fox, within twenty miles. Maybe if they were dealing with a gang in a large city or in a whore house, where you might get robbed after completing the deed you already paid for.

"Good ta have ye" said Jack, now that the all the introductions and handshakes were over, "And I suppose that everyone would like ta know, how me and me brother, are thinkin' 'o helpin' those poor beasties."

William, turning his attention away from George, reached into the inner breast pocket of his coat and pulled out a rolled piece of a paper. As he spread it across the table the rogues were gathered at, it proved to be a very good map, with the top corners torn out. If you were to overlay their map, to say the ones issued to the drivers of the royal mail coaches, one would find that the missing pieces of their map, would match the size of the royal seals on the maps of the coachmen. They must have used the same mapmaker.

"The Old Road" said Jack, tracing a thick line, running from Wycombe straight north to Starford and so named for being the oldest road in the kingdom, although long is disrepair now, "Is tha quickest and most direct route for his lordship ta take but we hears, he's not commin' that way. Braith here tells us that his lordship start on the Old Road but a day out from Starford, he took some old cart paths over ta tha Dunwich Road, ta confuse any gentlemen of the road, who might be out ta help his horses."

The elder brother's finger, which had been resting on the dot labeled Starford and moved south on the map, as he spoke, cut west and north, to a thinner black line. He tapped it a few times and began following the road southwest.

"According ta what we know" Jack continued, watching the faces around him, "Tha Duke plans ta switch roads at Gainsborough, finish commin' south on tha Brackley Road. If he not ridin hard and we leave on the morrow, ridin' cross country, we can catch him, just outside Brekin Wood, where tha woods give way ta tha Barrowmoor. We meets his lordship in tha last o' tha trees, take those tired horses west, out inta tha moor for a bit ah grass and then takes 'em into the wood, outta tha wind. Our good deed done, we ride around behind his lordship, cross country back ta here, tell old Braith all about it and lay low for a while, in case his lordship is in an awful fit over his horses gettin a rest."

"We ride a bit hard" added Bill, "Find a nice play ta wait for 'em before they ride outta the wood. Surprise 'em ye might say."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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#, as written by ElRey
If there was ever a man born with a honeyed tongue, it was Braith. What he lacked in stature he more than made up for with a effortless suavity, an ability to sooth and communicate with others on their level. An admirable trait when the situation called for it to be sure, and a trait the Rat most certainly lacked. Still, he couldn’t help but feel as though the man was coddling some of the weaker links in their chain. He shot the charmed rouge a knowing wink with mention of their planned symphonies.

The Rat was eager to hear their, plan, chomping at the bit to see some action. Everyone seemed to be getting on well enough, though it was clear there was a fair amount of interest in Fox being female. Jack in particular seemed to take more than a fair assessment of her figure once the wheels in his head began to turn. A metal keepsake for the dreary days ahead. The Rat considered such things beneath him, little desire for the sins of the flesh, but it was rare when he was caught off guard by others being swayed by such things.

He uncharacteristically held his tongue, allowing the others their chance to mingle and flirt as they pleased.

Noe skin awf me nose. Juzt get ta bizness.

Almost as soon as he mentally willed the meeting forward, the procession was halted yet again by Jack, this time spitting some nonsense about gloved hands and trust. Petty superstitions.

The Rat’s instant irritation with the minor delay from the business of the handshake was palpable. His eyes rolled theatrically in his head, scoffing aloud.

“Stel wurr’ed bout da theifs wearin’ glubs yew in da wrong bizness mate.” He spurned hastily, though apparently the impression had been made on this Brennan character.

His piercing gaze fell on the silent highwayman, the keen orbs attempting to read the stoic eyes which peered from the masked face. It was unreadable, too practiced and steady, save for a brief flicker of the eyelids which revealed nothing. It was the absence of evidence that gave The Rat any kind of insight. Nothing that would hold up in court, but that was of little concern to him. Brennan was apprehensive, though the eyes refused to admit it. Vision snapped between Braith and Jack, mind churning to make a decision. It was beauty at its finest, a mind at work, and The Rat was happy to watch it unfold. There were few reasons the mysterious shooter would hesitate even for a moment to reveal his hands, an imposter or…

The removal of the glove sealed it. He was not one to make the same mistake twice in one night. Another woman. The softer curl of the cuticle, thin fingers. There was no doubt. It seemed Jack quickly came to the same conclusion, but said nothing, quickly launching into what they had all come to hear.

Baxter looked around the table trying to assess if anyone else had picked up on Brennan’s little secret though if any of them had, they were too encapsulated by the plan to show it on their features. In his illustrious career he had seen his fair share of well drawn maps; but this was of a finer craftsmanship than most he had ever seen, likely a product of a man on the inside. The Rat ooo’d appreciatively.

“Tis a fine plan dere ‘unt bruddas. Dem horsies wull surely appreciate us comin to dere rescue. Aye.” He paused, allowing them to bask in his appraisal before leaning forward, his tone dropping to a hush. “Da Brekin Wood ain’t noe place ta beh trifling ‘round, Duke ‘r nawt. Yewsta run witta vicious buncha blokes o’er in dem parts, weren’t be too happeh ta see me pretty face no sirs.”

He threw his head back with a hearty guffaw. "Dat's nawt ta say runnin hard cross da country ain't gon 'av problemz in & uf izzelf."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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#, as written by varxint
Braith watched Brennan's discomfort with interest. "What could be making this gunslinger so nervous that..." He got a full look at Brennan's hand. He looked up, into the piercing blue eyes again, this time noticing the length of the eyelashes. The softness of the top of the cheek bones that were just barely visible. The fineness of the eyebrows. Without the hint of her hand Braith would have continued to been fooled by the hardness in the eyes. She watched him stare at her for a time before Braith finally gave a friendly and knowing wink.

"So it appears we have all made friends among thieves. I do so enjoy the subtle company of these groups."

He sat back and listened as the Hunts went over their plan and the Rat expressed his evaluation. Braith frowned slightly. He made a mental note, "If this is the place another gang runs...." He was interrupted in thought by the Rat's mighty guffaw.

"Oh? I would think you more than capable of making friends, Rat. After all, we all like you just fine around this table. Maybe if they were re-introduced to your better qualities and the skills and abilities of your new friends?" He appraised the table with a smile, "I'm sure you would all be more than capable of convincing the Rat's old friends that they made a mistake in their evaluation."

Once more looking at the Hunts, "I'm sure a minor adjustment to your plan will suffice. Shall I see what I can find about these old friends of Rat's?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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Gwen swept Jack’s form with an admittedly exaggerated look of appraisal. Flirting with men was almost a default for Gwen, not necessarily from any real interest, but because it was an effective tool when running a con, which she’d pulled in taverns and along the highways as often as when she went merrily a-robbing with Rooster. She’d learned very quickly from the start that it was far easier to rob a man blind with a coy smile and a well measured show of cleavage, than to play the shy frightened maid. Though she was working with the Hunt brothers, not conning them, which meant perhaps this was not the best response to the obvious overture. Still, she’d be a fool to completely trust anyone of her fellow thieves in the room, and Black Jack Hunt was actually quite attractive in his own way, with perhaps the exception of what was obviously a wig sitting on his head.

“Likewise. I look forward to becoming…better acquainted.” A little flirting never hurt she decided, though she’d have to be careful around Braith. There was something just a bit too observant about him. He seemed like the type who could see through personas, and pick apart carefully crafted masks with the ease other men exuded when scratching their arse, and she simply didn’t want to deal with that. So wisely, she chose to bite back a cheeky retort about the kind of “feminine touch” he had in mind.

“Well then m’dear, seems everything’s squared away then, so I’ll be on my way.” Rooster remarked pleasantly, standing from his seat. “Don’t do anything stupid.” He said in parting with a meaningful look, the most serious he’d come off since entering the tavern. Gwen knew what he meant by that, but was hardly in the mood, and less than pleased with Rooster’s borderline divulging tone.

“I’d say the same to you, but I’d simply be wasting my breath.” Gwen quipped with a smug showy grin before Rooster made his leave. The rest of the time she spent mostly listening to the brother’s plans, and observing her fellow thieves. Gwen had her suspicions about Brennan, certain features on the face and hand being a bit too fair to be male, though she was hardly about to call him(her?) out on it. If the stoic thieve wished to keep his gender a secret, Gwen wasn’t one to judge. The Rat, in a word, was behooving of his name. She had no doubt he was capable and could hold his own in this little operation. She was also not surprised to hear the man had enemies, she knew his reputation, and was not likely to be sleeping without an eye open anytime soon. The rest seemed a little harder to get a read on, though for the most part they looked…green. Especially the pickpocket. Well, they all started somewhere Gwen figured. As long as they filled their roles and didn’t cause them any undue setbacks, she wouldn’t complain.

“Brilliant. When do we leave?” Gwen asked, brow quirked now at the younger Hunt brother.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: Georgina "George" Laverence Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith
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Elsbeth was relieved when Jack finally shook her hand, although it never showed. Was that a recognition that something was odd that she felt in the way he grip her hand? Elsbeth held her breath again. He let the hand go and got to the task of explaining the plan.

She moved to replace her glove, looking up she saw it. Others had been watching, carefully observing the interaction between Jack and Brennan. Elsbeth pulled the glove on. Rat had been watching and while his attention now turned to the map she wondered just how observant the man was.

Her eyes met Braith’s. He was staring. It was a bit disconcerting just how much this man noticed. “He knows...” The way he was looking at her left no doubt in her mind. “Go ahead, I dare you....I will have you shot dead before the words leave your mouth.” The cold eyes dared the man to say something.

Braith winked at her, a quick subtle movement that the others, their head bent over the map would miss. Elsbeth blinked twice, unsure of what had just occurred. Her eyes lost the challenge they had been silently giving. He wouldn’t give her away. She should have figured. Braith knew Brennan’s reputation and knew that in this world that reputation meant everything. “Smart man....” She had to admire his quick mind and tactic. Elsbeth was grateful. She gave him a slight nod in thanks.

Elsbeth caught Fox’s eyes over the table. She felt certain the woman might know as well. “Like sees like.”

Elsbeth was relieved that no one was going to call her out in such a public place. She shifted her attention to the map, confident that Brennan’s identity was safe for now. It was a well made map to be sure. Listening to the plan Elsbeth felt confident that she had made the right choice in staying. Hard riding and surprise, these things she could do and do well.

Rat’s laughter drew her eyes to the man. So he had enemies, not surprising. The man didn’t exactly scream warm and cuddly. She was sure there were more than a few who had their issues with him. Ever on top of things Braith offered to find out what he could of Rat’s friends. Fox seemed ready to go. Leaning onto the table slightly, Elsbeth looked over the map one more time before looking at the Hunt brothers.

Brennan nodded in agreement.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham Character Portrait: Valentyne Elfrith
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Jack smiled openly, as Fox looked him over. It never hurt one's ego, to be appraised by the gender of their attraction, not on the eve of what could be a very long trip with them (which it might, if the duke proved to be wrathful and they needed to disappear for a while). And most definitely not, when the appraisal appeared to end favorably in your favor. That smile broadened, as she mentioned becoming more acquainted and Rooster made his departure. Well, if the cockerel was going to be away, maybe another might get into the nest.

Both the of the brothers turned to the Rat, as the infamous man made his option of the plan known to them. So the fellow had friends lurking about in Brekin Woods did he? Well they didn't need to stick long in the dark forest, just enough to loop around behind the Duke and pursuit he might raise, to hide their tracks and then they could ride south again, across the farmlands and estates of the gentry, over hill and dale, until they once again reached The Dog. They doubted any of his old comrades might come upon them and if they did, well they were all armed and the Hunt Brothers were willing to defend their prize.

"Aye Braith" said Bill, "If ye can find were they haunt, we can avoid 'em. If not.....we can persuade 'em....like we will his lordship."

The brothers chuckled darkly but quickly cut it off, as Valentyne added a concern about the plan and Fox wanted to know when they were to leave. It was Bill's turn to smirk, as she directed an appraising gaze upon him. His heart as still set upon the lovely barmaid serving tables in this very inn but what happened out on the road, stayed on the road. Besides, while he was loyal beyond death to his older brother, completing for the night with a woman, was more then fun.

'Well me lad" said Jack, smiling, 'We 'ave our sources, keepin' tabs on his lordship and word 'ill get ta us. Never ye fear."

"Have yer horse ready" added Bill, "For first light Fox. The Hunts leave this inn then."

"Ta success" the brothers said together, lifting their tankards as a way of declaring the night's business done and their pact made.

----------------------------

It would seem that was world was nothing more then shades of grey. As was normal in the April weather, massive banks of fog had risen in the night and now hung low over the landscape. The sun was not yet in the sky but it's light could be seen, just popping over the horizon, far in the east. The black of the night, was mostly lifted, hanging on only in patches under rocks and the western facings of the hills and forests. Droplets hung on the corners of roofs, threatening to fall with the slightest of breezes.

Sleepy-eyes ostlers opened the door to The Dog's stable, long before the cocks crowed. The Hunt brothers lead their mounts from their stalls and out into the cool grey. They had yet to see any of their compatriots but they didn't doubt that at least a few would show up. Rat, Fox and Brennan were steady and experienced.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes
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Brennan sat impassive. The brother's, no doubt with much intelligence from Braith were keeping an eye on the Duke's movement. Not surprising but good to hear. The Hunt's had a reputation for a reason. Bill told Fox to be ready at first light and as tankards were raised, Elsbeth relaxed just a little in the chair.

The hard part was over. Now just to meet the next day, take down the Duke's caravan and make off with the loot. As the group broke up for the evening, Brennan stood and with a nod of his hat to the group headed for the door.

Elsbeth wanted desperately to pull the scarf from her face, to breath in the night air and free herself a little from the bonds of being Brennan. That was too close, too stressful and now some of them knew her secret and seemed somewhat trustworthy enough to keep it, at least for now.

She headed to the stable, got her horse and slipping on Brennan rode off into the night. Riding for a while ensuring no one was following, Elsbeth switched roads and headed into the brush. Once in a copse of trees.

Sliding out of the saddle, Elsbeth pulled the scarf off and unbuttoned her coat. She tied off the horse and then sat heavily on the ground, leaning on a log. Her head went back. Too close, that had all been too close and too stifling. She could have walked in there as herself and it would have been so much easier. They had taken to Fox, no questions another woman might not have bothered them.

Elsbeth drew off her hat. Of course, Fox was extremely attractive and flirty and Elsbeth was not. With a sigh she place her hat over her face. It didn't matter, Brennan's reputation got her in this and she would use it for as long as she could. She had built that up after all. Her father started it but it was Elsbeth who had been keeping the figure alive and active. “Play to your strengths. Ride and shoot, these things above all else you have the advantage on.” Her father's voice penetrated her thoughts, a longing built in her chest.

Elsbeth closed her stinging eyes and fell into a restless sleep. The log and ground were hard, possible mistakes in the plan kept playing in her head and the damn horse wouldn't settle down. Well before the meeting time Elsbeth sat and cleaned all four of her pistols. It was a loving way in which she paid attention to them. Each one was cleaned, and readied. She would not be the weak link in this plan.

Standing, Elsbeth fixed her clothing and her hair. Finally, placing her hat on her pinned up hair and pulling the scarf across her face, Brennan mounted up and rode off.

Arriving at the Dog's stable at a slow gait, she stopped and watched as another rider approached where the brother's waited. None of the rest were here yet. This person was new. With a light kick of her heels she steered her horse towards the brothers and the stranger.

Brennan gave the men a nod but remained in the saddle. Blue eyes looked over this new man. Overhearing his question, Elsbeth looked to the brothers. Another body meant more cuts but her share would still be plenty. She wondered if the Hunt's knew the man or if like the rest he had come to meet them but perhaps just arrived late. No matter in the end, if no one else showed the extra body would be appreciated.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes
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A figure rode from the fog. The Hunt brothers were relaxed, causally resting one hand within their coats, on the grips of their pistols. Of course they were expecting their new gang but that didn't mean a cocky bounty hunter or the local sheriff, might just have gotten wind of them. However, those hands were taken away from the weapons, as the figure turned into a face they knew. Jeremiah Thumes, the last time they had seen him, was months ago, as the band of brigands they were running with, had split up to avoid the close pursuit of the yeomanry. Their other two companions from that gang were dead. George "Bonnie" Barlow had done the Harrow Hill Jig and Mac, well good old Mac wasn't a man to be taken alive for trial and punishment.

"Why Jeremiah" protested Jack, doing his best to look hurt, "We've never done dishonest work. We've only ever helped ta ease tha burdens of tired and overworked horses."

"Aye" added Bill, trying to keep a smile off his face, "But we 'ave some honest work if ye want. Tha 'ol Duke ah Starford is ridin' south with ah heavy coach. We're off with some goodly folk, ta help his beasties get some rest and make sure tha next horses his lordship finds, don't 'ave to pull so hard."

The brothers laughed softly, as they pulled themselves up into the saddles. Bill's black mare shook her head a little,clearly not pleased with be awakened this early and missing her oats. The gelding on the other hand, looked to be as ready and frisky as a colt, dancing slightly in place, as Jack have his neck a light rub, as if to tell the beast, just wait a little longer.

"And we got some fine company" said Jack, tipping his hat to the newly arrive and still silent highwayman, "Brennan of the Grange, as deemed our cause worthy."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes
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Gwen ended up spending the night at the Inn, the call of a warm bed and roof too tempting to pass up with the knowledge that there was a likely long and hard job ahead that may well involve getting little sleep. She slept quite well that night, dagger tucked securely under her pillow, and was up before the sun. She’d always been a light sleeper, and years along the highway had only heightened this. She’d moved her mare to the stables sometime in the night after she’d paid for her room, and was there now, softly patting the side of her chestnut mare’s neck in a comforting gesture as she readied the mount.

She heard voices coming from outside the stable, and approached at a soft trot with an easy grip on her pistol beneath the folds of her overcoat. She relaxed that hold somewhat when she saw it was the Hunts and Brennan, as well as a gaunt looking man whom the Hunts appeared to know. She stopped her mare along side Jack, with a brow quirked slightly.

“I see. Then I suppose that makes me the un-fine company then Jack?” Fox bantered as she gave the other man an appraisal of the purely professional sort. If he was to join them, she needed to get a read off him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn
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#, as written by varxint
Braith took up his normal quarters at the inn. He had a stack of messages to read through and a nightcap of the inn’s finest whisky. Burning down a candle after the night’s festivities was not a rare occurrence for the man. His sources provided information at all times and Braith could not stand being more than a fast horse behind the latest happenings. As he perused he raised an eyebrow. Were not the implications of the outlaws in Brekin woods just raised earlier? By sheer coincidence there was a mention of Aidan Coleman, the so called leader of the band. Braith didn’t entirely believe in coincidence. Hearing about Coleman and his gang just as he was to ask about them did not sit well. This called for further investigation.

Braith looked over the message carefully. Every source of his made distinct marks that only Braith would know to look for and be able to identify. Finding the marks on this message was a few seconds of work. Braith nodded and planned his route in his head.

“Off to Highdell Grove it is. I think a good chat is in order.”

With those words to himself he drained his whisky and blew out the candle.

The next morning he packed the messages and sent a note to the innkeeper about where to forward any new messages. On the move made Braith somewhat uncomfortable. The information always flowed slower, but sometimes even a fast horse is too much of a delay. Anything he needed to know about Coleman he needed to know now. So, the other information would lag while he chased an important thread.

He tossed on his long coat and travelling boots. Neither showed much wear. A hat followed to protect himself from elements while on his travels. Finally he pulled out a box from the desk and opened it. Inside was a single pistol. Anyone looking closely would find that it had never been fired. Braith carried it for appearance and last resort, but he relied on his wits and conversation skills to avoid any real trouble. In the same drawer were the accessories that went with the pistol. Taking everything and holstering the weapon Braith headed downstairs.

Outside he saw the Hunts gathering their fellow adventurers. A new face was with them. As Braith approached he saw Brennan, then shortly, Fox, ride to them. Braith greeted the group, “Well, fancy meeting such a fine group of gentlemen, and the lady that puts them all to shame, on such a fine morning. It appears I ride today as well, though not with you. I am off to Highdell Grove as I’ve heard some strange things about some old friends that were mentioned last night. These stirrings cause me a deal of curiosity and I shall satisfy that in person.”

Braith thought he recognized the newcomer as someone he’d seen with the Hunts before and nodded, “Another soul concerned with a poor animal’s plight has come calling I see. Don’t worry, on this job I will be making sure the accounts stay even and paid. The Hunts have enough to worry about with all the planning.” He grinned jovially at the brothers and chuckled.

“With that, my friends, I will wish you good journey. The next time I see you I’ve no doubt you will be feeling a richer pleasure than you do when meeting new friends.”

Braith winked at Fox as he headed to the stables for his horse, “And my dear, if you are not feeling so, I trust I will be able to adjust that to your liking.”

In the stables, he saddled his horse, mounted, gave him a pat on the neck and urged him to head out. He passed the group one more time with a tip of his hat, then headed down the road, in the opposite direction of Brekin Wood.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn
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#, as written by 7achary
Jeremiah snorted softly at Jack's play acting. The older Hunt brother was a dishonest bastard if he had ever met one. With nary a greeting Bill got right to business. Jeremiah had always liked the younger of the brothers and thought him a good and dependable man to have at his back.

With a flicker of his eyes Jeremiah took in the man approaching. While the newcomer carried the trademark pistols, he never would have guessed it was the legendary Brennan. Something about the man's gait bothered him, but Brennan walked with a confidence that was reflected in the piercing grayish blue eyes that Jeremiah felt measured him with caution. He raised his left eyebrow in appreciation of Brennan's supposed skills. If half of what he had heard was true they were in for some fine display of marksmanship.

Soon after Brennan appeared; a curvaceous figure sauntered toward the stable, putting Jack on the spot. Of course, only Jack would allow a woman to ride with them. Not only was it bad luck, but some would go out of their way to help her where they would leave a man behind. Jeremiah nodded to her as he admitted to himself that he was probably one of those. Hopefully she would be able to keep herself together once everyone started putting holes into each other, he knew men who went yellow at the sight of blood. Jeremiah slid off of Supper and led him to the drinking trough.

A stylish man, smiling enigmatically at the gathered, spoke to the group, and Jack more specifically, before heading off on his horse. Rubbing Supper's shoulder Jeremiah recalled a similar man, by the name of Braith, that worked with the Hunt brothers on occasion. It was most likely the same man. Leaving the horse to his drink, Jeremiah took off his jacket and draped it over the saddle before picking up a bucket nearby the stable doors. After dipping it in the trough he poured the contents over his head before shaking his hair and beard.

"Duke o' Starford, aye? What's the haul?" Jeremiah asked as he set the bucket where he'd found it. Sticking his foot in the stirrup he grunted and pulled himself over Supper's back. He rubbed the destrier's neck and shoulders before slipping back into his jacket. With a look to the east Jeremiah loosened his sabre in it's scabbard.

"Mayhaps you can tell me on the way?" Jeremiah asked as he checked his pistol.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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#, as written by ElRey
The slimy serpent of a man had elected to sleep in the gutters just outside of the inn, lest his reputation decide to catch up with him in the warm comforts of the inn. He had left his bone pale horse, Quinn, to rest in the stable knowing full well the fiery tempered mare would appreciate a rest before the task ahead. The Rat had slept soundly, more than used to sharing his filthy beds with other vermin and insects. It was the sound of clomping hooves that would drive him from his slumber, peeking out of his small trench to catch view of an unidentified man approaching the Hunt brothers.

This newcomer was dressed like some kind of soldier, unconsciously gnarled fingers wrapped themselves around the hilt of The Rat’s cruel looking dagger. A call to spill blood ringing in his ears. It became clear in short order the man was not a threat to his new employers, and based on the looks passed between the trio, even through the fog, there was some clear recognition in the men’s faces.

From his distance he could only make out the odd word of their banter, and as he collected himself, more familiar persons joined the Hunt’s in front of the tavern. The two women first, followed by their eloquent host Braith. As he approached he caught the well groomed man’s parting words. More playful jabs in the direction of Fox.

He said no words to his companions, steering himself direction in Braith’s wake, eager to grab his own steed and get the journey underway. Quinn huffed, less than pleased to be rousted, but complied after being coaxed from her stall with a bit of apple The Rat produced from the interior of his layered coats. Throwing his stored saddle over the beast’s back and securing it in place before taking his position atop it.

With a gentle nudge of his heels Quinn trotted lazily from the stables, shaking her mane and loudly bemoaning her all too early wake up.

“Eaze up dere gurl.” he cooed, giving her a soft pat behind the ear. Turning his attention to the forming party he gave the cast a delighted grin. “Mornin’ yew lot. Lez mayk sum horsies happeh on dis fine day, shall we?”