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Stand and Deliver

Kingdom Of Ethieven

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a part of Stand and Deliver, by Irish Wolf.

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Irish Wolf holds sovereignty over Kingdom Of Ethieven, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for Stand and Deliver
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Kingdom Of Ethieven is a part of Stand and Deliver.

14 Characters Here

William "Bill" Hunt [32] Younger Hunt Brother, highwaymen, horse thief, deer poacher and smuggler
Braith Alwyn [28] Do I have a deal for you. Oh, not what you need? Trust me, I'll find it.
Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" [24] "We all have our tales of woe, so if it's a sad story you're looking for, find someone more chatty."
Baxter "The Rat" Grishham [19] Well den, lookie wot we has 'ere boys
Georgina "George" Laverence [11] It's George to you Sire, though Monkey is still mightily acceptable.
Valentyne Elfrith [9] The son of a rich man who dreamed of life as an rogue.
Jeremiah Thumes [9] Horse-thief, deserter, murderer, traitor.
Markus O'Cyrus [5] That's Black XII to you. Do you wish for life or death?

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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: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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Brennan's eyes remained forward as the figure on the chestnut brown horse watched the conversation between Bill and Jeremiah. Jeremiah seemed skittish and while both men cast glances behind them it was clearly not Brennan that was throwing off the overly thin scout. Rat seemed to cause some distress to Jeremiah.

The silent gunman watched as Bill tried to put the other man's mind at ease and also fill his stomach. The Hunt brother passed Jeremiah a bundle and Elsbeth was sure there had to be food in it. Had she been more prone to speaking she might have offered him some of her rations.

Just behind her Elsbeth could hear the playful back and forth between the other Hunt and Fox. She wanted desperately to turn and tell the two to just get it over with and find a meadow to go bed each other in or to stop. That sort of thing could be distracting as the moment grew nearer. Fortunately, there were days before that became an issue. Unfortunately, there were days before that became and issue, which meant that Elsbeth would have to listen to the two continue this duel of innuendo during that time.

Elsbeth bit her tongue as Brennan's facade never wavered. It was going to be a long journey and likely even longer nights. She wondered if her tongue would be able to cope with the abuse it was certain to take. Cold, blue eyes almost rolled as Jack asked what brought Fox to the group and Fox countered with her own tease.

Carefully controlling her irritation at the clumsy and obvious flirting, Elsbeth watched Jeremiah eat. He seemed to be a careful man, only eating some of the food and saving the rest for later. As he drank, Jeremiah's eyes met Brennan's.

Elsbeth looked at the man, her eyes a clear blue even under her hat. He was trying to get a sense of her, that much she could tell. She didn't blame him as she was doing the very same thing to him.

Under the scarf, Elsbeth smirk just slightly. It was something that no one would notice, so small a gesture that it was. It seemed that Jeremiah was watching Fox as well. It was not the first time the thin scout looked over that the shapely woman since they had left the inn. In-fighting over a woman was not something they could afford.

Her mouth was dry but she couldn't chance moving the scarf to take a drink. With it gone there would be no hiding her gender. If Braith had ridden with them perhaps she would have had a better chance of keeping things a secret with his help. He knew but seemed to respect her desire to keep up the act. He might have assisted but as it was, he was off on his own and as Elsbeth would just have to be very careful.

Licking her lips under the scarf, she pushed the nagging call for water out of her head and focused on the road ahead of her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn
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#, as written by varxint
Braith sighed. This wasn’t the first time he’d had a knife to his throat, but it never got easy. Though Braith was nervous he never gave it away in his face, or voice, as he calmly responded, “I’m not sure if you recognize my compatriot across the table? The famous bounty hunter Samuel Drake? I suspect he has some large friends who might be displeased with your current threatening position.” The knife faltered some at his neck.

Encouraged, Braith continued, “It also seems to lack some forethought to threaten someone within a public house. There is quite a crowd here who know Samuel and I. I suspect they would notice you as well and be able to identify you to the king’s men when they come to see why a knife was drawn tonight.”

The knife lowered some more. The voice behind him groaned in dismay. Braith assumed a more friendly tone, “Look, you obviously have some reason to think I have done you wrong. Why not put the knife down, sit, and we can discuss your concerns like rational men?”

The knife was removed completely from Braith’s throat. A disheveled man stepped into view and placed the knife on the table. The knife itself didn’t look like it belonged to such a man. The blade shone as though recently polished and the handle was encrusted with semi precious gems and inlaid with gold. Braith looked the man over as he sat down shame facedly. The man spoke, “I... I’m sorry Braith. I... didn’t know what else to do.”

Braith recognized the man as Kyle Goodman. He had recently helped appraise a job that Kyle had participated in. He didn’t understand why Kyle was upset, but he obviously was, so Braith knew he had to sooth.

Braith turned his full attention to Kyle, wanting to solve this issue, “Now Kyle, you should know you can always come talk to me. No need to be violent or try and frighten me. I have no intention of steering you wrong. Tell me, why do you think I owe you?”

Kyle looked up, “You told me wrong. That hat pin, I only got half what you said. You robbed me. You set me up.”

Braith shook his head, “Oh, but I asked you if you wanted me to take care of the pin. I even offered a discount. You cannot possibly hold me responsible for someone of inferior ability only getting half price for you, now can you?”

Kyle looked unsure, then shook his head slowly, “Ah, no Braith, no. I... I just need the coin. Me mum needs to see a doc and I can’t afford to put her up in the city. That pin was supposed to be her lodging money.”

Braith sighed, always one sob story or another. Though he got the sense that Kyle wasn’t misleading him entirely. Maybe the details were cloudy but the man obviously needed the coin.

“Tell you what Kyle. That knife you have there. Why don’t I buy that from you. I’ll give you a more than fair price. You’ll go home happy and no one will get hurt.” Braith reached into his coin purse and pulled out a generous amount. He placed the coins on the table near the knife and waited.

Kyle looked up at Braith in surprise, “Thank you Braith. I am awfully sorry I held the knife to you. I hope you can forgive a desperate man who wasn’t thinking clearly.” Kyle scooped the coins up and slid the knife closer to Braith.

Braith picked up the knife and looked it over more carefully. He noticed the arms of the Lord Creighton on the bottom of the handle and frowned, “No harm, no foul Kyle. Just happy no one was hurt. Where did you get this knife though?”

Kyle looked embarrassed again, “Well... I actually borrowed it from the lad by the bar.” He indicated a young man sitting at the bar talking quietly with a roguish looking young woman.

Samuel raised an eyebrow, “You pick pocketed Nine-fingered Mac?”

Kyle shrugged and stood, “I can leave now?”

Braith nodded and waved him away dismissively. Kyle slunk out of the inn. Braith looked at Samuel, “Nine-fingered Mac?”

Samuel nodded, “Yeah. And that’s Specter with him. They are a part of Coleman’s crew.”

Braith nodded again, the picture becoming slightly clearer in his head, “A knife with Creighton’s mark on it just happens to be in the possession of one of Coleman’s crew shortly after they were run out by a group of the king’s own.”

Samuel narrowed his eyes, “Aye, that is strange. Especially considering Creighton is one of those Dukes that can make use of the king’s men as he sees fit.”

Braith gave a sharp chuckle, “Right. Well now. I believe I have a place I need to get to. Quickly. Can you do me a favour?”

Samuel nodded, “As long as you let me know how this all turns out.”

“Curious as always Sam. I’ll keep you in the loop.” Braith handed the knife to Samuel, “Make sure this gets back in the possession of Specter or Mac. Hide it good so they don’t lose it again. Then, once I’ve got a good head start, let it slip that The Rat is running in Brekin now that the Ghosts have moved out.”

Samuel frowned as he took the knife, “You selling someone out? That’s not like you Braith.”

Braith shook his head, “No, don’t misunderstand. Not selling someone out.” Braith paused, “Simply setting up their escape. The king’s men want to catch someone in the woods. I want to decide who it is they catch. And the Ghosts just volunteered.”

Samuel chuckled, “Always a few steps ahead. Remind me not to get on your bad side Braith.”

Braith flashed a friendly smile, “Ah, but Samuel, you are much too interesting for me to not like you.”

With that, Braith pushed away from the table. He needed to sleep. No sense running tired. He figured on needing his full wits about him in the next few days. A good night’s sleep, then another hard ride. He hoped to catch the Hunts and company in a few days. He knew he needed to catch the group before the king’s troop got to them. They weren’t going to be in Brekin for a few days themselves, so Braith had no reason to push himself beyond his limits.

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: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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The group rode on that first afternoon. The banter and flirting slowly growing quiet as the sun rose higher. They stopped at a stream in the early afternoon to rest the horses and get some cool water for themselves.

As early evening began to fall the decision was made to ride for as long as possible. The Hunts led the group down the road and in the early dusk camp was made for the first night. The riders made camp, a fire lit and rations consumed. There was talk that evening, tales of past deeds and daring escapes. The Hunts did most of the talking. Others made witty comments or add joking at the expense of the brothers. Some remained silent.

The group drifted off, each person doing their very best to get comfortable and sleep. Overall the night was peaceful, the occasional person getting up to relieve themselves being the greatest disturbance.

The sun rose and some of the group were already up and tending to the horses. Light meal was consumed and they headed out early. Much like the previous day this one found them band of highwaymen in good spirits. That was until the clouds began to roll in. All eyes turned and watched the storm brew to the east.

An hour later the riders were riding hunched over trying to keep the rain from their eyes. Hats were pulled down and there was no chatter. Thunder sounded every so often. No one wished to stop but they all slid from their saddles and let the horses rest.

They were a sad sight. Soaked to the skin the group did their best to seek shelter under trees while the horses nibbled grass. There were grumbles but no real complaints. They all knew if they were going to pull this off they could not let the weather slow them down.

Riding again for a few more hours they made it through their second day on the road. Camp that night was miserable despite the rain finally having let up. It was a light drizzle by the time they each huddled in the driest spot they could find. There was no fire, no merry chatter or stories this second night. No one was in the mood for banter or teasing, preferring instead to imagine themselves in warm beds and not on the muddy, cold ground.

It was overcast as the men and single woman rose to ready themselves for their third day of travel. The Hunts tried to bolster their comrades spirits with talk of the loot they were sure to get from the duke but even they didn’t have it in them.

It wasn’t until lunch time that the sun finally won the battle with the clouds. By mid afternoon the sun was shining and the ground began to dry. As the sunlight filtered through the trees the groups demeanour changed. There was bawdy talk of girls in the various towns the men had been to, flirting and teasing with Fox and the beginnings of talk about an actual plan for the raid on the Duke’s carriage. Some ideas were tossed out, some quickly cast aside. The decision was made that with a few more days to go they had some time to figure out the plan.

They rode hard for the last few hours of the third day, attempting to make up for the slower pace of the rainy day. Jack pushed the group hard, wishing to stick to his eight day or less journey.

That night the highwaymen eased themselves out of their saddle, muscling aching from the rough pace. The fire was lit and it didn’t take long for the riders to drift off to sleep. The day’s journey had taken its toll.

With the chirping birds the riders awoke to the prospect of a fourth day of hard riding. The Hunts tossed back and forth ideas on what Braith might be up to. Their comrade had a habit of showing up with useful bits of information and the fact that he had rode off on his own meant that he had things to learn.

Much like the previous days the group stopped around noon. Jack pushed them to ride hard and fast when they started out again. The roads were devoid of other riders, not unusual as the Hunts had purposely chosen roads that were low traffic.

By the fourth night, they were sitting around the fire. Bill had a stick in his hand and was drawing out the road and trees. He began to mark out where the Duke would be and where he was thinking it would be best to ambush the carriage. He looked around waiting for the input of the others.

****
Elsbeth rode silently and avoided the others as often as she could. She made camp at night far off from the others and was the first to be asleep, pulling her hat over her eyes but still listening.

She woke before all the rest, moved far away where she wouldn’t be stumbled upon. Once convinced that she was away from the others she would remove her hat and scarf, finger brush and repin her hair and then return to the others.

The fourth night, Brennan sat near the fire staying awake unlike other nights. Blue eyes, bright in the firelight watched Bill scratch out the drawing. They scanned it looking for the spot where she thought her skill on the horse and with her guns would be the most useful.

Standing Brennan moved towards the Hunts. Gently taking the stick from Bill, Brennan scratched out a B in the ground. It was a spot where she would see the duke riding up the road and would be able to move up beside the carriage easily. Brennan sat back down on the log he had been previously poised on. He watched the others so see where they thought they would be laying in wait.

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Character Portrait: Markus O'Cyrus
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Markus O'Cyrus when he managed to sober up and stop blowing his guts out in a bucket a day after he noticed the group of people gone, he asked several people if they saw a group of people riding away from the Dog earlier yesterday morning. When he heard the general direction of where this ragtag group of people went he sighed. "Time to earn me some more shillings." He muttered as he walked over to where he left his last bounty and took out one of the horses near the entrance and started riding as hard as he could.

---

Three days later he started to see fresh tracks of horses as he inspected them with his one green eye gleaming and his mouth turned to a chilling smile. "I'm more then a day behind... at least." He said to himself. "If they plan to rob someone they're either bound to come back this way, but I suppose not, seeing as there are tons of hiding places in the forest.." His mind flashed back briefly to the memory of the slaughter of his family and friends at his village and his smile turned to a scowl as he decided to continue riding off the road To try and save a few miles and possibly catch the possible highwaymen off guard.

"They're bound to be here somewhere in these woods or further up the road, and I'll catch one or more of them... when I do... I'll show them the vengeance of Black XII" He calmly stated this as he looked about his surroundings and recalled the years he spent in the woods, learning how to survive, and more importantly, how to hunt. When he rode a good distance he stopped and made a small one man campfire, and lied down for a few hours of sleep. He dreamed of his mother softly singing him and his other siblings to sleep, and in his dream, he smiled softly.

By the time he woke up it was very well into the night. "Bloody heck, that's not good." He muttered as he mounted onto his horse and made sure the fire was out before continuing on, slowly getting his hunting instincts on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Charles VanFleet
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#, as written by varxint
Braith awoke early and gathered his belongings. Some hard riding was in his future. Hopefully he would get to the group before the king’s men did. Braith figured he would have to cross the line of troops and made sure to not keep anything incriminating, stashing it in his usual hidey holes around the inn. He headed out to the stables, enjoying the crispness of the morning. He saddled and mounted his horse.

He rode hard through the morning. As the sun rose Braith noted the gathering clouds. He sighed. He didn’t like this hard riding and most assuredly did not want to do it soaking wet. As he crested a small rise he smiled as he saw a carriage in the distance. Once more spurring his horse he caught up to the slower moving carriage. He pulled up next to it and waved to the driver. The driver waved back, cautiously. Braith flashed a friendly smile, “Ho driver, who do you have riding today?”

The driver relaxed slightly at Braith’s friendly tone and the fact that he rode with his face uncovered and not heavily armed, “Good day sir. This is mistress Camilla’s carriage.”

Braith didn’t immediately recognize the name so smiled and nodded, “Does she have a chaperone?”

The driver narrowed his eyes at Braith and Braith chuckled again, “No, no sir. You have me all wrong. I have naught but honourable intentions. I have heard there are highwaymen about this road. I thought, with the rain coming, I might offer my services as chaperone and tie my horse to your team. You would be able to move to the next town faster and be out of danger of dishonourable criminals, whilst I get to stay dry and defend the honour of a lady.”

With that the curtain of the carriage opened slightly and Braith caught the glimpse of a young, pretty, noble woman. He bowed his head and doffed his cap at the woman and flashed another smile, full of charisma. The woman smiled back, coyly and closed the curtain. From the other side of the carriage Braith could make out a woman’s voice, “Driver, does this man speak the truth? Are these roads dangerous? Would you make better time with his horse?”

The driver sighed, “Mi’Lady, all roads could be dangerous. But yes, I have also heard stories of highwaymen. And more horses always mean a faster trip.”

Camilla, “Oh, then we should stop and let this man help us.”

The driver nodded and pulled up the team. Braith stopped and helped the driver attach his horse to the team. He removed his cap and climbed into the carriage, “Good day lady Camilla. My name is Braith Alwyn. I am fortunate to have run across a beautiful lady. It will be my honour to ensure your safety on your trip.”

Camilla smiled shyly at Braith’s compliments. Even if the roads proved devoid of danger at least the company would prove entertaining. The lady folded her hands into her lap, “So tell me, what brought you travelling the road this day?”

As the carriage started moving Braith could hear the rain start. He thought briefly about how the others would be forced to deal with it before shrugging. He had prettier things to be concerned with currently and returned his attentions to the lady.

*

The next morning he wished the Lady Camilla a good journey as they headed in separate directions. The skies were overcast and the way was muddy, but it was still better being able to ride in dry clothes. As the sun broke through the clouds Braith came upon the rearguard of the king’s troop. As he expected they were stopping traffic on the road. Two men signalled him to slow and stop. Braith brought his horse slowly to the men and dismounted, “Good day gentlemen. It is wonderful to see the king’s men patrolling this road. I have heard the Ghosts of Brekin are haunting the area. I’m quite sure I caught glimpses of shadowy figures some distance behind me.”

One of the guards frowned, “What’s it to you? We’re more concerned about where you are headed.”

Braith nodded, an open and respectful look on his face, “No doubt you would be. I would expect no less. I am headed through the Brekin wood. My business is in the trading of trinkets, you see. I collect odds and ends and deliver them to other collectors who do not have the means to travel themselves. I am off to pick up some craftwork currently, as I have a collector in Corwen who is looking for a specific piece. See, it is a hand carved, ivory elephant. The irony is not lost on my collector friend, of course.” Braith continued with details about this phantom craft as the guard’s eyes glazed over.

The same guard that spoke originally, “Right, quiet now. Look, come see our captain. He’ll decide if you get to your collector.”

Braith nodded, “A wonderful suggestion.” He walked his horse with the two men.

Braith saw the shorter man and recognized the trappings of a captain before he was brought forward.

The guard spoke to the shorter man, “Captain VanFleet. This man says he has business in Corwen.”

Braith stepped forward respectfully doffing his cap and removing a glove. He held out his hand as he spoke, “Ah, yes, eventually back in Corwen, but I’m headed through the woods at the moment. Off to meet a craftsman in Huddleston, just on the far side of Brekin. My name is Braith Alwyn, a pleasure to meet an esteemed captain of the King’s men.”

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Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Charles VanFleet
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Charles sat in his command tent polishing his saber. He found that the task had an oddly calming effect, which Charles had been needing a lot of lately. This post was much preferable to his last, but there was too much downtime. Because he didn't usually patrol the roads himself all he did was listen to reports of his command's incompetence. The saber was already completely polished but Charles continued, mesmerized by his reflection in the blade. Presently there was a soft query from outside. "Enter," he called without even looking up. He knew it was his lieutenant come to give him the same tired report of how his men had failed to catch anyone. He couldn't really fault his lieutenant for his troubles, the man was diligent and followed orders well. Yet he had no drive. Charles entertained replacing him briefly, but no better candidate had presented themselves... yet.

"Pardon me sir," the lieutenant said entering the tent, "there is a messenger here for you and he says it is urgent."

"Right," Charles scoffed, standing and sheathing his saber. He tried not to get too excited, the messenger's idea of urgent probably just meant some stuck-up lord had told him it was urgent. Still, Charles welcomed any break in the monotony. He walked outside, following his lieutenant through the mud to where the messenger waited. The man appeared winded like he had been riding hard. Mayhap this would be interesting after all.

"S...Sir.... you must... come quickly," the man managed to gasp. Charles motioned for him to be quiet, and the man took a few moments to catch his breath. "Sir, there are rumors that the Ghosts of Brekin are afoot, and many esteemed lords and ladies are traveling right now due to the wedding." The man paused, expecting some comment or exclamation. When none was forthcoming he continued, "Duke Cyril has expressed the hope that you will take care of the matter personally." Charles suppressed the urge to roll his eyes, he had heard the same rumors but doubted the authenticity. The Ghosts of Brekin were nothing more than mere bandits, it would take serious guts to assault a noble and his entourage. No the true threat here was the most audacious of criminals: the Highwayman.

Charles snapped his finger at his lieutenant, "round up as many men as can be found, we ride at once." Charles dismissed the messenger, returned to his tent, and donned his ornamented breastplate. Strapping on his saber Charles couldn't resist a smile. It was unlikely that any bandits would actually be found, but Charles was itching for action and maybe some enemy could be found or invented. While it was doubtful that Cyril had actually asked for Charles personally the sentimental old sap would reward any services rendered handsomely. Add that to the standard reward from the Crown for each criminal detained and Charles could very well be a general soon. He strode briskly outside where his white charger Retribution was waiting, saddled and bridled. Charles confirmed that his pistol was in his saddle, and turned watching the commotion of his men in silence.

Presently two of his men on rear patrol brought forward a man for inspection. Charles sighed inwardly, his men seemed incapable of deciding trivial matters for themselves. The man in question presented his business, and Charles almost brushed him aside but for his mention of Brekin. Charles raised his eyebrows and inspected the man anew. Coincidence? "The pleasure is mine, Alwyn was it?" Charles' words were polite but his tone remained flat and hard. "I must inquire, what does a goodly man such as yourself want with a Brekin craftsmen?"

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#, as written by 7achary
Jeremiah sharpened his knife in the orange light cast by the fire. The steady scrape of the steel on the coarse whetstone resounded in the quiet. He knew the quiet would not last. Soon Jack would start talking again. Jeremiah cherished the moments of silence, the hard pace set by the eldest Hunt brother did nothing to damper the talkative man's spirits. Four days of hard riding were part and parcel for Jeremiah, but he could see the haggard look in some of his companion's eyes. Though he was sure he looked worse. As Jeremiah scratched his beard he considered his decision to wait until after the job to shave. It was best to send the authorities looking for a bearded mountain man.

Reversing his grip on the knife, Jeremiah dug the handle in the dirt to mark "JT" behind the Duke's party. With his other hand he patted the heft of a wood axe that lay beside him in the dirt. Jeremiah had stolen it from a farm a few days back. "I'll drop behind 'em here if we have the time. It should only take half a turn of the glass, maybe more, before the Duke and his boys ride through fer me to make it ready."

A pop came from the fire and a few embers drifted away on the breeze. Jeremiah rubbed his hands together before the flames. The cold reached into a man's bone, it was almost unnatural in this season. He looked upwards at the clear sky and sighed. This was the kind of weather before a storm. "I figure even if we don't have the time I can come up behind 'em and make sure they don't start thinkin' fer themselves."

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Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Charles VanFleet
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#, as written by varxint
“Far be it from me to correct you. Obviously I was not specific enough and for that I apologize. I am travelling through Brekin. Eventually there will be a return trip. The craftsman on the other side of Brekin does not have the means to ensure their protection on these roads. I’m sure you’ve heard of the rumours of the Ghosts of Brekin.” Here Braith paused to give a ‘sorry for stating the obvious’ hand wave. He did not want to insult the captain’s knowledge gathering but did want to open the discussion of the Ghosts.

“Of course, if the craftsman knew the King’s men were on the roads then I’d likely be out of a job.” Braith smiled good naturedly.

“However, I have heard rumours that the Ghosts were returning. Just a few days ago I could have sworn I’d seen Specter and Nine-Fingered Mac travelling in the same direction as I. What with the stories about a wedding and dowries my clients have become very nervous and it’s all I could do to convince them they would be safe. Come to think of it, it might put their mind at ease if I were to tell them I ran into a patrol. They would be more willing to allow me to transport more of their goods.” Braith continued to smile. He was hoping to plant the seed for Captain VanFleet to look for the Ghosts. Braith knew that the Ghosts would be a significant catch and would likely give the Hunts and company time to do their business. Captain VanFleet would have his impressive catch and the Hunts would be free to escape. Braith liked win-win situations. It left a better taste in everyone’s mouth.

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Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Charles VanFleet
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Charles listened to Braith explain his situation with growing admiration. If there was one thing he envied in others it was the gift of a silver tongue. Charles had worked tirelessly for every advancement he had received in his life, thus he admired others who could talk their way in and out of situations with no apparent effort. His gut told him there was still something suspicious about this Braith, but there were bigger fish to fry and he dismissed the feeling. The Ghosts of Brekin were a far better catch than a man who was probably just transporting anti-establishment propaganda.

Charles tipped his hat at the man's kind words, "You and your acquaintances may rest assured that his majesty's finest unit is on the case. Of course any more specific information you can give on the vagabonds whereabouts will be greatly appreciated and rewarded." The words sounded flat and hollow after Braith's speech but Charles was not much of a conversationalist. Indeed that suited him just fine as he was itching to get moving. He could already taste the glory of swooping in to save that doddering old Stafford.