(514-02-21) We're Imber Trouble
Summary: The Tilshead Embassy finds Sir Heward's problem.
Date: February 21, 514
Related: Life's a Bear
cyndeyrn landon acwel kamron bryce arian 


On the prior evening, the Tilshead travelers had taken a small detour, investigating a broken fence in Orcheston. Eventually finding half of a slaughtered cow near a stand of trees, they soon found the culprit, a large, starving bear, as well as a slain adult and a young lad hiding in a tree. Though the boy claimed innocence, he attempted to flee when taken to the nearby Manor, where the local knight and his wife were unable to identify him. The boy is left in the stocks while his own fate is decided.

After enjoying Orcheston's hospitality overnight, the party escorts the knight and a few men from the village out to the trees the following morning (receiving some swears from the boy as they pass, proof that he has at least lived through the cold night). It is a short journey out to the site of the slaughtered cow, man, and bear.

"Ah, the dead man, I do recognize him," Sir de Orcheston declares. "He once lived in the village but was expelled with some others after…" he waves a hand "certain land issues. It is good to know he is involved with the thieving we have been suffering of late, and may suggest some other culprits, if not what rocks they now reside beneath."

Landon had that bear's liver cooked up last night. He ate it, much to the chagrin of his party, while they enjoyed the hospitality of the Orcheston's. He was also eating now. If the man was ever idle, he was eating. He's chewing on big old carrot. CRUNCH. Chew. Chew. Chew. CRUNCH. Chew. Chew. Chew. He looks mildly interested in the conversation, as it has to do with the banditry, but, they were still yet to proceed with their own mission and not be derailed by the plight of another's manor. "Everyone has a bit of thieving," he says between the orange bits in his mouth, "Burcombes practically make it a tradition."

"The Burcombes' thieving has nothing to do with the common folk doing so," Acwel comments, enjoying some slices of roast fowl. One of the few comforts one can afford to have in riding is fine food. And pretty much bird is the Woodford's favorite meal course. He eats slice after slice, satiating his thirst with ale as he listens to Sir de Orcheston. He catches on 'certain land issues', lifts his eyebrow, but he says nothing. "Aye. And perhaps you may now capture the blackguards and render them to good justice."

Kamron did not sleep as long or as well as he would have liked. Staying awake to guard some kid in the stocks and to needle him with accusations of failure and discourtesy (and perhaps a light cuff or two) will take away from your sleep. Still, he's armed and armored again to go riding up to the site of the skirmish the evening before, and he studies the ruin of the bear, the cow, and the man with a sour look on his face, "That's honor and grace that they steal, Sir Landon, not belongings," he agrees with Acwel. Letting out a sigh, he glances over to his cousin before he responds to the Knight of Orcheston, "We have a task to do in Tilshead, Sir, or we would offer to assist you, I'm sure. These land issues are not something we should take on to the Lord Knight, are they?"

Cyndeyrn himself seems to have no inclination to inquire further on local matters, detoured as they already are from their main task. So he himself does not inquire, although his cousin might. "We must thank you again for your hospitality, but as Sir Kamron says, we do have a task before us from which we have already delayed. We will relay word of your troubles to Sir Heward as well. Hopefully this at least will aid you in any further trouble with this lot."

Bryce has been rather quiet all the while, more observing than really taking an active part in the conversation. The mention of more thieves elicits the lift of a brow, but in the end he inclines his head to Cyndeyrn's remark, his dark eyes lingering on Sir de Orcheston with curious attentiveness.

"Only the usual sort," the local knight says in answer to Karmon's question. "Nothing that Sir Heward is unaware of, or that would rise to his level of concern. In any case, you have again my thanks. The men will see to the body, and take back of the bear whatever you have no need, so it does not go to waste. The cow was for dairy and not slaughter, but still, it is at least some sort of recompense. I would not keep you any longer from your journey."

Arian had taken a shift with the troublesome youth, and she made sure to wear her armor and have her sword, and treated him with all the fierceness of a scorned Goddess. She had not indulged in the bear liver — a polite refusal, of course. She did enjoy other meats and grains — and quite a bit, too. Battle of any kind is prone to make one hungry. She stands with the others, looking over the bear and the body. The bear seems to hold more of her sympathy than the man, but she tries not to let that expression linger as she regards the local knight, and nods in agreement to Kamron and Cyndeyrn's words. "Yes, we should continue…"

Cyndeyrn takes a moment to see that there is no further business any of his own companions have with the scene, but only that. "Then we are off for Tilshead. Again Sir, well met. We may have cause to greet you again on our return, but in either case, pass on our thanks and well-wishes to your lady wife, and God be with you in sorting through these troubles." With that, he will turn his own horse toward the road, and the trip that remains.

Although delayed by the stop in Orcheston, the remaining journey to Tilshead is neither long or eventful. Well-tended lands surround the city for several miles on the southern side, along with smaller outlying farm houses, while a large range of foothills looms as the city's backdrop to the north. The city itself is of no comparison to Sarum with its great Roman walls, but boasts a modest wooden stockade. While not the absolute border of Salisbury, the hills are of strategic importance, a boundary against the wilder Blakemoor Wood beyond, with the only major road running through the city.

Kamron nods his head, "Of course, Sir. We simply wished to offer our services as we were riding to Tilstead anyhow. As my cousin says, thank you for the hospitality, and good luck with this lot." On the trip to Tilshead, he is his usual charming self, only singing briefly (much to the relief of the rest of the group, undoubtedly). As they approach the small city, he stretches in his saddle, touching his slung shield and his leather-sheathed axe briefly, "Well then. I certainly hope that the rest of this trip is less eventful than Tilshead." And he's just doomed them.

The eating will carry onto the road, for the most part. Dried berries this time. Popped into his mouth. Landon is otherwise quiet for the rest of the trip to Tilshead.

Kamron notes idly, "If there's just food and not a change of clothes in that sumpter of yours, Sir Landon, I'm going to be very upset."

"Baverstock," Acwel addresses the younger - Landon, "I have never seen someone eat so incessantly in my life. I suppose you must be commended for what would be otherwise considered a wasteful excess. God only knows what the good Earl spends to maintain you per annum," he remarks in good spirits as they hit the road. The sight of Tilshead certainly energizes the Woodford a little and so he snaps on the reins so that Saint starts a gallop towards the city.

Cyndeyrn is never known to sing as he rides, so there is that at least. Eschewing most conversation on their route, the one exception will recall the first leg of their journey, where he made a point to draw up beside Bryce for a time. At first, he does this without actually saying anything, just riding beside the other min for a time, but as they start to near the city this seems to impose some sense of urgency, and he will break the silence to make some small request: "I have noticed…" And then he seems to think to start again. "There is something I would have word of you about. Not now, but maybe in the city, or wherever we can find a moment."

A sideways glance is given his brother, Bryce de Baverstock clearly amused when he observes the manner in which Landon continues to eat while they are riding towards Tilsbury. Acwel's comment does draw the older Baverstock's attention, and the manner in which his younger brother is addressed with their manor's name. "That is because he is such an incredibly tall fellow, Sir Acwel," Bryce remarks with amusement lacing his tone. "He needs more food to stay as big and strong as he is." When Cyndeyrn falls in beside him for the first time, Bryce will cast him a curious glance but maintain his current state of silence. Waiting for his friend to speak up if he has indeed something on his mind. But when only a half-sentence is offered, followed by a rather vague remark, the older Baverstock's gaze lingers for a moment longer on this Dinton knight. "Of course," this the murmured reply, kept as vague as Cyndeyrn's words and to the required minimum, and he nods.

Arian's mood improves as they depart Orcheston, though the sight of Tilshead is probably to blame for that. Any city tends to draw out curiosity in the young knight, and she is sitting taller in her saddle as they approach. You can tell a lot about a city by its exterior… she notes the hills, the woods, and that strong, single road. Her rouncy is in stride with Kamron's, and the woman glances over at the Dinton. "It has its merits, I'm sure…"

Success
Landon checked his modest of 13, he rolled 3.

Landon turns his face toward the idle chide from Kamron, making a smug look, "Then you shouldn't press to look, Sir Kamron." There's a good nature about him, as he grabs another dried handful of berries from the winter stores to pop it into his mouth. Acwel's addition to the harrassment he's getting about it makes him laughs, nodding, "Best you not look at the books either, Woodford. You'd brown your trousers." His arm idly props over his cantle, shooting a look toward Bryce to see what his brother has to say to it. But he harkens back to them, "I am but like a horse, set to graze the day, rather than the wolf who gluttons down on one meal and has a hard aching belly for days." See, Bryce has his back, as he nods to that, curious over their conversation but not intrusive.

Kamron laughs easily at Landon's response, touching two fingers to his brow as if to acknowledge a touch in a spar. He glances over to Arian then, and his laughter remains, "The city or the trip, Sir Arian?" As Bryce hurries his horse ahead, Kamron sighs a little, but shrugs a little, "Shall we?" And with a touch of rein and spurs, he gets Dancer up to a run as well, "I'm sure this will go over well, galloping up to the gates like there are Saxons after us." The remark would be a great deal more cutting if he wasn't laughing through it.

Approaching in the mid-morning, the gates of Tilshead are open and light traffic moves through them regularly, people coming and going from the local market. In the full blush of spring, it would no doubt be even more bustling, but even now, there are people enough with business, and Tilshead is the center of it for miles in any direction. The group is stopped there as is expected of a visibly armed party, but in broad daylight, there is no mistaking them as bandits or anything of the sort, and one old guard even seems to recall some of the group's heraldry, or at least, the similar versions some of their fathers may have born in years past. Along with Cyndeyrn declaring their mission from the Earl to Sir Heward, it is more than enough to gain entry.

Passing along the streets, the sights are much as they know in Sarum. People live a little closer together here, and there is an occasional interruption of some loose livestock being chased across a narrow street, or some children running here or there, or an old man or woman loudly selling this or that. The knights draw looks for the sake of all the things their kind heralds.

And while Tilshead boasts no proper castle, Sir Heward maintains an impressive hall befitting a banneret knight. Even from the outside it is a great structure, visible on a hilly rise at the city center, with stone foundations and then timber walls above, rather than a fully wood construction.

"I will keep that in mind if I am ever in the need of a good laxative, Sir Landon," Acwel retorts, glancing over to Bryce and laughing, "I am not sure whether he needs more food or he simply wants it by force of will. Then again the odds are good he might be able to eat a whole cow by himself, over a few days." Having this said before their arrival, the entrance to city proper as uneventful as usual still has the Woodford knight glancing curiously at the smallfolk here before he glances up at the motte fortifications with as much curiosity as the people regard these newcomer knights."

"Perhaps both," Arian says dryly to Kamron. She wraps her hands around the reins of her blue roan mare, tugging slightly to keep the excited Banshee from dancing all over the city road. She smiles kindly at some curious children who peek at the knights, and she offers a gentle tip of her head in greeting — which only sends them scattering. She turns slightly as they approach the hall, and she looks all the way up to the hall's roof as she considers the fortification.

Landon chuckles at Acwel, "A whole cow in a couple days? You are making that sound as a proper challenge-" he jests with the rest of the group, not bothered in the slightest by the good shots they were giving him. His idly regards the people they pass, shoulders straightening as he nods to the youngins who might watch or the buxxom lasses who might be pressing out their windows. "Chin up lads, present well-" he notes with a wry smirk.

"Both, I would think, and yes… the cow would prove to be little work for him," the older Baverstock counters with a good-natured chuckle to Acwel's remark, fondness glinting in his eyes as they glance over towards his brother Landon. Once they reach the gates, Bryce chooses once again to remain unobtrusively in the background, leaving it to Cyndeyrn to declare their business in Tilshead, as he had been the leader of their mission all the while. When they are allowed to enter the place, the Baverstock scans the street ahead of them, and what is going on at the sides most attentively - catching the oocasional glances of a young boys and girls who stare at them with open curiosity, a stare Bryce will meet with a faint smile, persuing a similar tactic there as Arian. When they arrive before the hall, he'll reign in Devil, bringing the black destrier to a halt, before he dismounts.

Reaching the bottom of the hill there are some outlaying buildings, reflecting the greater number of people stationed therein, with needs that might not easily be met in just the single building. These include stables, and it is here that the squires, after their knights have dismounted, may have a chance to water and rest the horses while their masters attend business above. That leaves the group of knights to make the final trek up to the entrance on foot, and while the climb is not so drastic as in an actual hill fort, the walk is enough to demonstrate the value of such designs. The doors are truly massive as well, but sit open in the day time hours.

Passing those heavy doors one is greeted by a large open room with high ceilings held up on thick posts and a long firepit it in the center. The hour is too late for breakfast, although the smell of it remains, as do a few retainers, although most are now out about on their own business. The timing does seem opportune, however, as Sir Heward is up and hearing petitioners through the early hours of the day, dealing with the petty legal concerns and other minor business that make up most of a greater knight's non-martial duty. A scribe attends these, making notes of whatever judgments, and a few men at arms keep order.

Once whoever is at hand has completed their petition, Cyndeyrn approaches and makes his own introduction, as well as a general one of their group. "We were sent by Earl Robert to inquire to your absence in Sarum this season. We understand that there may be some trouble with banditry in your fief, and indeed stumbled upon the case of would-be cow thief in Orcheston."

Kamron chuckles at Arian's response, studying the city as they ride through. When they reach the great hall, the smaller Dinton dismounts smoothly, unslinging his shield and hanging it from his saddle. It wouldn't do to come stalking into a banneret's hall in full armor with shield and axe, after all. He leaves his helmet tied to the saddle as well, handing the reins off to his squire and nodding over to Arian's horse as well. Newt gives a little sigh, but nods, stepping over to mumble something that might be an offer to look after her roan. Kamron follows the rest of the group into the hall, bowing as the introduction is spread around the group, but for once, he actually keeps quiet.

At Newt's mumbling words, Arian casts an arched glance at Kamron. "Taking pity on the squireless knight?" She smirks as she also sweeps out of her saddle, and lands heavily on the ground. She does dimple warmly at Newt. "Thank you," she offers him kindly. Then she turns to join the rest of the group, still amused by Kamron's offer. She is amused enough not to engage in immediate conversation as Cyndeyrn opens the conversation — and just gets right to it. Dintons — all business. She clasps her hands together before her.

Bryce nods to his squire Carl who is there to hold Devil by the reins, then dips his chin again with a sideways tilt of his head, vaguely indicating Landon who his poor squire has to assist as well. A pat he gives to Carl's shoulder, in confident "you'll handle it"-manner, before the shorter Baverstock climbs the hill with the others, following along with sure-footed steps. Inside of the hall and facing Sir Hewton, this Baverstock will incline his head in greeting to the banneret knight but otherwise remain silent, even though he will allow his gaze to drift for a moment over the interior of the great hall and those present.

Landon rounds up the group at the back. He's taller than most of them, so can see easily enough to be at the back. Better that then having them grouse around him about not seeing. He leaves his horse and things to be tended too by Bryce's squire, once the lad can see to it, which does mean the poor lad is overwhelmed in his duties to Bryce. So Landon says as an aside to his brother, "Remind me I need to ride into Sarum and find a squire. I hate making Carl bear my burdens as well. All that food—" he winks. Then up the climb they go and he'll remain quiet as Cyndeyrn introduces the purpose of their petition.

Acwel dismounts, sword sheathed as he offers his shield to his squire, wordlessly. He will offer his weapons for the guards' safekeeping if approached, but otherwise, he wanders in after Cyndeyrn without a care. It is the squire's task to further take Saint back to the stables or some such, and so with a grumble, he sets out to do so. Angling his sword towards Heward as a gesture of recognition of the banneret's higher status, the Woodford is silent as he lets the taller Dinton do the talking.

Sir Heward hears the group's introductions and their main business, and gives something of a weighty sigh. "Ah, yes, apologies are due to the Earl, but I am sure he will understand that local concerns hold me here. As it is, I have not knights enough to tend to the recent troubles, some of which it seems you have already seen. To depart now with my own retinue, even to attend his court, would be to leave things even further undermanned, to the diservice of the lands I hold in trust for him. That is really both the long and the short of it. In fact, it is just within the last day that I have sent a rider to go and summon one of my own vassals, Imber, to attend me here with his own sword and armsmen. I have not heard any reply."

Kamron spreads his hands a little helplessly at Arian's question, "Well, it wouldn't do to have one of our knights stuck in the stables while the rest of us speak with Sir Heward." Newton mumbles a "You're welcome, M'Lady," and then leads the five horses (three rounceys and two sumpters) off to the stables. Hopefully another squire will help him out.

Kamron arches his brows up at the banneret's news, "That sounds rather dire, Sir Heward. I don't believe that Earl Robert knew just how bad things were. You think that Sir Imber has run into trouble on his manor?"

For once it will be Bryce who suddenly speaks up, when Sir Heward brings forth his reasons for not attending the Earl's court. After Kamron has made his remark, the head of Baverstock Manor clears his throat and raises his voice. "How far is this manor, if I may ask? Would you like us to look into the matter for you?" The words offered in the genuine wish to be of assistance.

"It is a consequence of the winter months," Heward goes on, answering Kamron. "Both the trouble with banditry, and the slow travel of news. We have had some late snows." Looking to Bryce next, he explains, "Imber lays directly west of here, by the bird's wing, but on the far side of the hills, and so the normal route there is a longer way around. I had thought the messenger might merely have been delayed for all of that, but now my doubts begin to grow." And since there is an offer made immediately as well, he goes on to say, "Given a few days, I may well have sent word to the Earl asking for exactly this sort of aid, so your timing is fortuitous. Some of my other men I have already sent to chase these bandits, but it has proved slow going, and I fear waiting for their return before acting on this matter."

"Winter has not been kind," Arian agrees softly. She would go further with those words, but she is certain the Christians would be uncomfortable with her Pagan ways. So, she just nods gently in agreement with the others. When the bandits are brought up, she grimaces slightly. Bandits…

Cyndeyrn glances toward Bryce when he speaks up, and it would seem that the two are of a like mind on this, for he nods with the other man's words even before speaking up himself. "If your intent was to send word to the Earl, it seems his own foresight has simply saved you the effort, and more importantly the days that might have been wasted for that request to be heard and heeded. We are here now, and we are the Earl's sworn men, so our course seems clear enough."

"Winter is the harshhest of seasons. May the good Lord find your land in good auspices come the Spring and the Summer, and your harvest be plentiful," Acwel sympathizes with the plight of a poor season at the very least. "Aye, we will do as you bid us, Lord Heward."

Kamron wasn't going to come right out and offer, not without talking to Cyndeyrn first, but then again, he's not a Head of House or an Heir, and Bryce is. Instead, he works to placate the banneret, "There has been trouble with banditry across Salisbury for sure, Sir Heward. You are certainly not alone in this." Still, he nods alongside the others, "We are happy to assist however we can."

Landon allows the others to speak. This was his first mission. He's the greenback here so he's paying more attention to what's being said, who is saying it, when it is said, than trying to put in his own two cents.

"I do not mean to sound the trumpets of doomsday," Sir Heward replies to Acwel. "We have good lands here, at least those on the main river plain, and few will starve." Few! "But the lands beyond the hills are a bit more of a hinterland, not as easily patrolled, nor pacified when trouble stirred. So I am thankful for your arrival. Is there aught that you would require before you depart?"

"If the terrain is tricky it would be nice to have a local leading us there," Bryce opines, with a brief glance towards Cyndeyrn. "But if that isn't the case… We should do without. Just… when did you last hear of Sir Imber?", he asks pensively, his arms crossing before him as he regards Sir Heward.

"If you can afford us a leatherskin of wine or ale, that would suffice. I confess I parch easily when on the road and while I truly want for nothing, I would not refuse the favor," Acwel replies to Sir Heward, offering a bow of his head. "But yes, Sir Bryce has a good point. When did you last hear of him?"

"Imber is more remote than most manors, it is true," Heward begins to answer. "If you take the road through the hills, you can then follow the forest edge back south and west and reach there without any difficult terrain, though there is no properly maintained road. If you intend to cross the hills, a guide might be warranted, I am sure I can find some lad who knows them. And certainly, any food and drink for the road." Of Imber himself, he pauses just briefly in thought. "I have not heard from him directly for several weeks, but through winter that itself is not uncommon."

Kamron pose nods at Bryce's words, chuckling softly at Acwel's request, then nods, "It would be helpful to know how many men Sir Imber was to be bringing with him to your service, Sir Heward." Because then they can figure out how many men might have been required to stop Sir Imber. "And we will definitely need the guide, thank you."

Heward answers Kamron once again: "Himself, his boy, and a pair of armsmen were his main force, though I recall he always said that he had a few hunters that could present themselves decently if the situation required, given the roughness of his land and their somewhat greater reliance on game." He then nods to one of the other men in the hall, "See if you can't find someone who knows the hills."

With the guide requested, Cyndeyrn glances toward Kamron. "You think it best to head there directly then? Fastest, by the sound of it, although if these hills hide the bandits to begin with, we might easily find ourselves at disadvantage fighting them on their own ground."

"I take it you favor the road through the hills," Bryce murmurs towards Kamron, a slight twitch of a brow occurring as he glances towards this Dinton, before the Dinton heir comes to that same conclusion. "Sir Heward," the Baverstock says, after clearing his throat once again, "what can you tell us of the conditions in these hills, and the recent weather? Has there been any snow up there, and are we to expect the complications that can hamper our progress, caused by thawing…?" Because this is a thing that needs to be considered, when choosing the way across the hills over the road.

Landon is on a silent vigil for the most part. The thoughts he has are offered forward by his elder brother, nodding to concur with the questions regarding the terrain hampered by winter conditions.

"There have been snows, likely melted by now," Heward answers Bryce. "I would not imagine them impassible, but the terrain is most certain to be more difficult than the route from the road."

Kamron shrugs at Cyndeyrn, "I think that bandits will always flee before a party of armed and armored knights, Deyr. They're not likely to come to us." Whether we go through the hills or around them, we'll be on territory they know far better than us. So long as the land around the trail is not completely broken, and is navigable by horses, will it truly matter which way we have to go to get to them?"

"Well, it will give us the advantage of haste, so much as that might matter," Cyndeyrn concedes as his cousin argues for the point. He glances around, settling on Bryce since Landon at least has seemed quiet on the whole thing, and perhaps trusting his friend for a bit of advice. "What do you think? If you've no great doubts about it, and we will have a guide, I am willing to make the attempt at the more direct approach."

Landon meets Cyndeyrn's gaze as he looks for the advice of Bryce, turning his mismatched eyes toward Bryce. He does however urge his brother in a quieter tone, "We would just have to anticipate an ambush, if it is not as Sir Kamron said. The direct road may have spots already prepared for such. But if we don't go by road, we risk slower travel and our horses… and potentially running out of supplies if we stray and get lost. No help will come for us if we veer off the path. Help may find us if we keep to it."

Bryce nods to Sir Heward's reply about the conditions they will probably encounter in the hills, his dark eyes shifting to Kamron when he gives his opinion on the matter, and for a moment the Beverstock lowers his gaze, considering. Attention then on Cyndeyrn, and the fact the Dinton heir does consult him has his lips twitch into a faint smile. "Why not. In fact, both possible routes have their perils… as bandits might as well lurk at the road, for some merchants or peddlers." A nod there given to Landon, as this more or less echoes the remark of his younger brother. "The route through the hills may save us time… and in fact I would think any bandits would not anticipate anyone to choose that path. I'd say… let's go for it. With a guide we should be able to find our way."

"The direct road might be fraught with some dangers, but it might be the better one to take. We can then take a better look at the situation as it is, and if we are ambushed, I believe we can take out as many bandits as we can in the process. I leave it to your discretion, Sir Cyndeyrn. You haven't steered us wrong." Sir Acwel defers to the man's choice, having said his piece.

With Bryce's opinion joined with Kamron's, and Acwel's too, Cyndeyrn seems swayed! "Yes, true enough that they might lurk more readily along the road, and that we might even catch them unawares traveling like this. Very well then. Let us be off then, to see what has become of Imber."

Young Pwyll, a shepherd's boy and their apparent guide, meets them by their squires and horses, and shortly the group soon sets out for Imber, crossing almost immediately the foothils on some footpath from one edge of town that the young man seems to know. The hills themselves are just that, not towering peaks, so the trek is a lot of gentler up and down, rather than sheer climbs or other drastic terrain. Still, there are slopes that seem trecherous, where the melted snows have given way to loose rock and mud, treacherous for man or beast alike.

Failed.
Landon checked his Hunting of 3, he rolled 6. (+5 Local Guide=Success.)
Critical Fail!
Bryce checked his Hunting of 5, he rolled 20.
Failed.
Kamron checked his Hunting at 4, he rolled 13.
Success
Cyndeyrn checked his hunting of 10, he rolled 1.
Failed.
Arian checked her hunting of 2, she rolled 10.
Cyndeyrn rolls 3d3 and gets (2 3 3) for a total of: (8)
<OOC> Cyndeyrn says, "That's damage for Acwel, Arian and Kamron, in order :)"

Landon went with the decision that was made. He had aired his troubles about the less direct path and straying from the road, hinting that help would be a lot harder to find if they got pinned down or had an accident. So it's with this in mind that he pushes ahead to scout for much of the journey, aiding in pointing out dangerous terrain that could hinder their parties. With the guide's help, they can at least slow their horses, walk on foot when needed, or keep distance from anything that is too troubling to traverse. After several hours, he does remark to the group, "There's no tracks out here. We're the only ones riding this way."

After the group travels for several hours, until they're near, as Pwyll will claim, to Imber - just down over the next set of hills in fact. However the last leg proves a little steeper a descent, and while the boy knows a path that is navigable by the horses (some of the inclines would be far too steep otherwise), this one proves very obviously washed out with mud. The group will have to go, but the last is a careful go, where any single stone seems like it may threaten to give out and cause a tumble. In several instances, there may be minor stumbles - Kamron, Acwel and Arian each face a spill at some point, although not major ones, ending up just a little bruised for the experience. Bryce however, faces a somewhat more drastic disaster near the end, where his horse briefly slips its footing, taking several sliding awkward steps before miraculously halting itself from a full out fall. However, once the animal gets its footing again, it's clear by its gait that it has some small injury. It is ridable still, but a man who did not want to endanger the animal would likely not push it to a gallop.

Cyndeyrn manages it down in mostly one piece, and with his horse as well. And like Landon, the last few hours of travel, while uneventful, have got him spooked for exactly the reason of not finding what they all expected. "I've not seen any signs of bandits either," he confides, shaking his head, although all of this speculation may come to an end as they cross a last hilltop and finally in sight of what is clearly the manor and village of Imber… or what remains of it.

The manor has clearly suffered an attack, and not the simple fence-bashing of an opportunistic livestock thief. Even at a distance, it is easy to make out the burnt shells of buildings, or to spot a handful of bodies scattered about the village common. At a distance, it is hard to say if they are fresh, although they are clearly newer than the snows.

Success
Landon checked his Forgiving of 4, he rolled 1.
Critical Fail!
Landon checked his Just of 10, he rolled 20.

As Landon nudged his Brute up the hillside, the ravages of a village become clear. He looks back toward his brother and the others who didn't travel the ground so well, but his eyes are ahead at the village in the next. "I'll go scout-" he offers and before he can hear their words on the matter, the Baverstock goes off on a whim and urges his animal ahead.

Success
Acwel checked his energetic of 16, he rolled 6.

Having gotten a bruise from the riding, Acwel's mood was especially soured by the fact a part of his requested leatherskin of wine was spilled by what amounts to a bump on the road. As such, his tabard is stained red, and he has to contend with drinking more wine as a result, to avoid further spillages in the future. Then he tosses it to his squire — woe betide the boy if he didn't catch it — and has Saint gallop towards the leveled village.

Bryce keeps himself in the saddle while his horse missteps and slides a little, the rider holding his breath before his steed regains its footing. "Damn it, Devil!", he murmurs, giving his horse a reassuring pat to its neck, but it does not take long and he notices, brows furrowing with concern as he looks down at the affected leg in question. A slightly distracted nod given in reaction to Cyndeyrn's remark about the absence of bandits. Before dark eyes shift to the scenery ahead and Bryce de Baverstock freezes as he beholds the burnt village. "Lord above…" His hand moves instinctively to the pommel of his sword. "What atrocity has happened here…?" Aware of Devil's discomfort, he will usher the steed carefully on at a moderate slower trot, his gaze attentive as he approaches the evidence of death and destruction.

The Pagan knight is scuffed to say the least, and now sports a handsome scrape on her cheek as well as a deep ache in her shoulder from trying to catch her overweighted self. She has fallen back a bit in the group, taking far more care in their advance. When they come upon the remains of the village and manor, she pales slightly. Arian sets her strong jaw, trying to maintain her stoic countenance at the sight, but it does cause her stomach to quall with nerves. She starts to scan the remains, though she says ahorse as she advances forward.

Kamron is now a muddy knight, with a sore left shoulder where it was wrenched in his fall. It certainly didn't help that he's been carrying his shield strapped to his arm instead of slung on his back after they got a certain way out into the hills. Hauling himself back up into his saddle after spitting out several muddy curses under his breath, he rides the rest of the way in a much poorer mood, and so when he sees the ruined manor, he grimaces, gesturing back to Newt, "Helmet." It will cut down his vision and hearing, but if there are still bandits around, and if there are enough of them to ruin a manor, they're enough to trouble the party of knights, "This could be bad." He pulls on his helmet and glances around to the others, "It seems we will have work to do." He nudges his graying charger forward alongside Bryce and Arian, allowing some of the others to advance more rapidly.

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his awareness of 8, he rolled 6.
Success
Landon checked his Awareness of 11, he rolled 1.
Critical Fail!
Bryce checked his Awareness of 10, he rolled 20.
Success
Arian checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 5.
Failed.
Kamron checked his awareness at 9, he rolled 11.
Success
Acwel checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 3.

There is no sign of activity in the village. It is dead, the people in it and the very air, quiet and still. For those who arrive first, the quiet is almost unnerving in itself, although after a few moments and after the rest of the group arrives, bringing their steeds and their jangling armor with them, it cures that somewhat, adding at least some comforting sound of other life, otherwise absent here.

Landon looks aside to Acwel, the pair the first to arrive, shaking his head as he reins in Brute near to a body of the deceased. "May God be with them," he mutters as he considers the empty shell of the village, what remains of some of the houses and buildings here. "This could be a reason why no one ever received message from Imber… but then, where is the messenger?" He dismounts from his wide stocky animal and squats down beside one of the deceased men, "Do you see any of the women or children? These look to be men, stripped of their armor." He calls over toward Acwel, "What do reckon?"

Another thing is obvious to everyone as they look around - EVEN BRYCE - because there is no need for a keen eye or masterful tracking skills here. Aside from a multitude of footprints in the muddy ground that attest to people running back and forth in every direction, they eventually all accumulate into an almost painfully obvious muddy rut heading north through and from the village, toward the wood. This was a sizable group, and obviously left with hostages - and with little care of hiding their presence.

"That they were taken, Sir Landon, but they couldn't be too far from here. This many people, taken like this?" Acwel wonders in disbelief, though evidently he has heard of such things as savage slavery in the past. For his part, the Woodford remains on his horse, perhaps intent on covering for Landon as he investigates more closely. "The men were killed and their belongings looted. It must have been some sort of raid."

"I see none," Arian responds to Landon's question of where the women and children may be. She draws her hand up to her chest, flexing her fingers slightly at her armor as she observes the wound and blood soak of one of the armored dead — armor being pads, not metal. She then looks up toward the others, and her lips are thin. She then looks at the others with a slight frown. "A hard winter, a raid… this does not look like banditry to me."

"The messenger could be any one of the other men, I suppose," Cyndeyrn will offer. "But I agree, these two," and he indicates a pair with the bloody padded coats, "were likely fighting men, perhaps the lord's armsmen. The rest, well, villagers who did not submit easily, I would think." And then there is the very obvious track leading off from the village, attesting to the raid's success. "It seems there is no mystery as to where those responsible have gone. And into the woods, not to the hills."

Success
Landon checked his Hate for Saxons of 15, he rolled 14.
Success
Landon checked his Vengeful of 16, he rolled 12.

"Saxons." Is Landon's immediate response to the matter of how the place was left - full of hate and spite as he spits down the name like a bloody curse. The Baverstock looks up from where he's stooped, eyes searching and seeing the trail of foot prints that give some direction to where the people were taken. He doesn't even give it a chance for anyone else to be the cause of this. "Bandits don't do this…" he reaches up to his saddle and swings his heavy form back in, gritting his teeth as he bares a near growl as he turns his mount in that direction, sword eased from the scabbard on his back.

"… and that is that, I suppose. Let us not let him go face them alone," Cyndeyrn will add, before quickly makign to follow in Landon's more immediate advance.

"Very well," Acwel draws his sword, following after Landon and lifting his shield in anticipation for the inevitable fight. He knows where the other man's hate comes from, so who is he to stop it? "We'll make sure the bastards suffer for it, too, Sir Landon."

Kamron rides into the village with the second group of knights and squires, looking around at the ruination and death. As he passes the first body, he stops, focuses in on it and reaching down to clasp the haft of his weapon. "An axe did this." And then he blinks and looks up at the others as they follow the path, tracking after them before he nods to Landon, "That would be my assumption. There are not many other knights who use axes." He nods to Cyndeyrn, "We should watch for an ambush, but ride hard. These people are not likely being treated well."

EVEN BRYCE notices the tracks leading towards the woods, distracted as he is currently with concern for his horse and the slight limp of one hind leg. Still, the older Baverstock is more acting on the information he catches from the others than what he learns through his own observations. "Landon…", he sighs, "we don't know if it's Saxons…" And if it were…? This is most unfortunate, given Devil's state. "I can't ride hard anyway, at the moment," Bryce comments on Kamron's statement, gritting his teeth in slight displeasure.

With their identity declared in bloody rage by Landon and attested by the axe-wielding Kamron, the boldness of the attackers may be understandable. Even in their retreat from the ruined village, they have made no effort at stealth or discretion. While the hard ground takes tracks poorly, enough of them have come and gone to grind a long, muddy rut into the earth, running from the village into the nearby wood. The forest itself bears even more obvious signs. Alongside the obvious track any number of trees have been hacked down, the work of the same ominous axes. Where they are, the track becomes more than just a collection of muddled footprints, but gains several neat, clean grooves where the trees have clearly been dragged back.

Bryce earns a cool look from the younger taller brother. Then: "Change horses Brother-" Landon's voice has suddenly dropped an octave and is seething with the dark rage that he may be known for, his weapon unsheathed and pointedly ready to use, "They TOOK OUR PEOPLE-" he steels a look toward Cyndeyrn, "We're the only ones here. We need to go after them!" He nods toward Acwel who shares his decision on the matter to follow and attack, "We may be their only chance and we will not let them get away with this! It is our duty to protect the weak." His hand flexed on the hilt of his blade, the opportunity for vengeance close at hand. "Who will ride ahead with me? Sir Acwel, Sir Kameron?" He glances toward Cyndeyrn and Bryce, as if he already decided they would go against such brash measures.

Arian feels her chest tighten a bit at the sight of the tracks — particularly the drag marks. She draws the mulberry gelding around, clicking her tongue softly to heel the horse on. She glances over at Landon at his obvious rage, and she pulls up short. She looks toward Acwel and Kamron as they are drawn into this, and she shakes her head. "Heed your brother's words, Sir Landon… we should not charge in without first knowing what or who we face…"

Success
You check your reckless at 10, you rolled 1.

"Would your rouncey be better than your charger at the moment, Sir Bryce?" Kamron eyes Landon side-long, a flicker of concern touching his gaze, and then he shrugs, shifting in his saddle, "They are not our people, Sir Landon. But they are people worthy of our protection." And he nods, guiding his own charger forward to match up with Landon. Maybe he'll slow the raging Baverstock a little, and maybe the raging Baverstock will drag the Dinton along a little faster. "We know who they are, Sir Arian. And we know very well what we do to Saxon dogs who take our people." Didn't he just say they weren't 'ours'? Kam draws his axe and strips off the leather cover. "Let's go." And then he's off with the larger Baverstock, the very image of an odd couple.

Although Cyndeyrn nods at Kamron's advice, in truth, it will be hard for the group to maintain any sort of cautious approach with Landon riding furiously at their lead, the spirit of vengeance directed toward the hated Germanic invaders. And while he'd probably feel silly if he showed up and found a bunch of Picts, there's no such luck. Soon they can see something ahead, and all that righteous anger is justified. The Saxons are here for business, having errected a small camp in the woody hinterland, the same that Sir Heward admitted was difficult to watch or patrol. Although their effort is not yet complete, they are even in the process of building a simple wooden stockade of the harvested logs, some already sharpened into spikes and lashed together, others piled and ready to be errected. Clearly, they plan to stay, likely as some foothold, and to raid wherever else nearby they can.

Beyond the beginnings of the wooden fortifications, there are piles of goods and supplies, stacked high, boldly. Their loot, tribute to their hateful pagan war gods. Some Cymri peasants are visible too, laboring in the construction, some with Saxons nearby, shouting orders and threats or guiding them with violence. And those one can only assume are the lucky ones. And while these suffering people may cry out for rescue, Landon's charge has raised the alarm well ahead of his arrival. Even as he storms at the lead of the group, a group of Saxons, with their distinctive helms and, in the case of these, long spears, runs out, ready to defend an obvious open point along their partially-constructed wall.

Success
Acwel checked his valorous of 15, he rolled 11.

"To Hell with it! Let us show these bastards just what we are made of!" Acwel unsheathes his sword and gallops forward, alongside Kamron and Landon, "SEMPER PARAVIT!" The Latin motto of his family recited, it is evident the Woodford will surge forward to cut down a Saxon, taking advantage of the power of his horse to increase the strength of his blow. In fact, as soon as he sees one, the blade is leveled towards the man's shoulders, all the better to part the head from them.

The large Baverstock might very well be a saxon by size - he can certainly demand the attention of the heathen bastards! The thundering hooves of the stocky charger he affectionately labels Brute pounds against the hard ground like the beating of a war drum!!! Inspiring his fellow knights into the reckless pursuit, his sword is fashioned high as he's HOLLARING at the top of his lungs (and it's a big chest) to CHARGE at the heathens! Seeing the six of them, blind rage spirits him on and his sword means to get wet with their blood!

Bryce mutters a low curse below his breath as Landon is carried away by his hate for Saxons, a hate Bryce does share and in fact he is furious his concern for his horse does keep him back. "No time!", he retorts to Landon's advice, following as his brother, Kamron and Acwel who are charging ahead. With a hissing sound the sword is drawn out of the scabbard, even so, Bryce will probably be the last to arrive on the scene.

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his lance of 15, he rolled 4.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18)
Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (2 6 6 3 6 5) for a total of: (28) (28 -6 Hard Leather=22 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (7) for a total of: (7) (Still Conscious)

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 1.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13)
Cyndeyrn rolls 8d6 and gets (5 1 4 4 3 2 4 5) for a total of: (28) (28 -12 Reinforced Mail -6 Shield=10 Damage)
Failed.
Arian checked her horsemanship of 10, she rolled 18. (Forgot double-SIZ automatically dismounts)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d6 and gets (4) for a total of: (4) (4 Damage for falling off her horse)

Arian de Laverstock feels a small rush of annoyance at the men, but she is not one to be left behind. She heels her mulberry forward, and the gray and red gelding leaps forward to join the others at the same speedy pace. This forced recklessness is probably what causes her to not see the sudden attack until it is battering at her shield and sending her of her horse in a terrible sprawl. The wind is knocked out of her, and she is gasping in breath as she brings her shield aloft to guard her prone body.

Critical Success!
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 15. (+5 Mounted +10 Inspired=Crit Success.)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (19) for a total of: (19)
Landon rolls 10d6 and gets (2 1 4 6 4 2 2 3 5 1) for a total of: (30) (30 -6 Hard Leather=24 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (11) for a total of: (11) (Unconscious)

Landon Baverstock - let it never be spoken again that he wasn't a beast on the field. The way he heads the charge is valiant as it is reckless. His sword, given reach by his height, comes down like a bloody freight train upon the head of a Saxon. Blood MISTS into the air for the swiftness of his passing, cleaving a long raking force into the man from abdomen to head. The Saxon doesn't even have a chance to feel death before it claims him. There are no words! Just absolute white hot rage! And that Rage turns to the next man, one who goes after Bryce! ROARING he charges to his brother's side!

Failed.
Bryce checked his Sword of 13, he rolled 16. (+5 Mounted=Success.)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13)
Cyndeyrn rolls 8d6 and gets (3 6 6 6 2 5 1 3) for a total of: (32) (32 -12 Reinforced Mail -6 Shield=14 Damage)
Failed.
Bryce checked his Horsemanship of 10, he rolled 15. (Forgot double-SIZ automatically dismounts)
Success
Bryce checked his con of 14, he rolled 4. (Still Conscious)
Bryce rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6) (No Attributes Lost)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6) (6 Damage for falling off his horse)

It seems this is not the day of Sir Bryce Baverstock. It started off bad enough, with Devil's misstep on the steep path through the hills, and now when he rides in the wake of the first line consisting of less hampered and more … ardent Saxon haters, it is clear he needs to hold his black courser back even if he can sense Devil's eagerness to throw them both into battle. Still, the line of Saxon spearmen is quite a challenge, and… when the speartip of one Saxon hits him with fullest force, Bryce de Baverstock is pushed out of the saddle, flying through the air, pain there in his chest where he can still feel the impact. A THUMP, as he hits the ground, barely kept conscious by the adrenaline rush keeping him from slipping off into oblivion… And in an unconscious gesture… a hand finds a pendant that has slipped out from beneath the maille, fingers closing briefly about it, as if to draw new strength… And Bryce gets to his feeet, the sword still in his hand as he goes to meet the foe who has unhorsed him.

Success
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 9.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13)
Cyndeyrn rolls 8d6 and gets (1 5 5 2 4 5 1 5) for a total of: (28) (28 -12 Reinforced Mail -6 Shield -3 Chivalrous=7 Damage)
Success
Kamron checked his horsemanship at 13, he rolled 5. (Forgot double-SIZ automatically dismounts)

Kamron rises up in his stirrups as he charges in, swinging his axe up, "FAMILY AND FAITH!" His charger bunches and stretches beneath him, bearing him down on the enemies with their long spears, and then one of those points is flickering in at him more quickly than expected. It glances off his shield, then slips passed, catching him in the right side of the ribs and tearing through the mail links there despite their leather reinforcement. Crying out in pain, he twists with the blow, but remains in his saddle. But two of his fellows are down, Bryce and Arian, and the knight's eyes widen within the confines of his helm, and he bellows, "NO! You will not have them!"

Critical Fail!
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 20. (+5 Mounted=Crit Success.)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13) (Double Crits=No Damage)

Fighting one-on-one has its advantages. However, the Saxon that Acwel fights is equally as skilled as he is, apparently, with the tip of the spear barely deflecting the strong swipe of the blade. The metal on metal clash rings out in the air and the knight pulls on his reins to make a quick turn and gallop past the enemy again, this time aiming to stick his sword into the man's back, a flicker of rage in his eyes.

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 4.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (10) for a total of: (10)
Cyndeyrn rolls 4d6 and gets (5 1 6 4) for a total of: (16) (16 -12 Reinforced Mail -6 Shield -3 Chivalrous=No Damage)

Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17) (Acwel's roll=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (12) for a total of: (12)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (4 5 5 3 3) for a total of: (20) (20 -6 Hard Leather=14 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (3) for a total of: (3) (Still COnscious)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (11) for a total of: (11) (Knocked Down)

After a thunderous initial charge that brings his sword down painfully into his target's shoulder, but leaves it stands, Cyndeyrn becomes a bit embattled with his target, who keeps his footing and even manages to fight back with his spear, though it glances off the Dinton's own shield without causing him terrible harm.

Landon and Kamron both come to the rescue of the two fallen knights, and collectively lay multiple blows on their foes, though the Saxons fight on a while longer. Acwel, after his initial clash of steel, manages a better attack that brings his own target to the ground, a ready target.

Of course, this ruckus has also raised most of the rest of the camp, and behind this continuing brawl, the knights can see another party gathering to move forward. A single one of the Saxons even mounts a horse, perhaps stolen from some good Cymric knight.

Success
Kamron checked his Hate for Saxons at 15, he rolled 12.
Success
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 6. (5 Skill Split + 5 Mounted + 10 Passion=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (16) for a total of: (16) (Skill Split of 7=Failure)
Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (2 5 3 6) for a total of: (16) (16 -6 Hard Leather=10 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5) (Still Standing)

Success
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 2. (10 Skill Split + 5 Mounted + 10 Passion=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (19) for a total of: (19)
Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (5 2 5 6) for a total of: (18) (18 -6 Hard Leather=12 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (2) for a total of: (2) (Still Standing)

Blood leaks out from the wound beneath the rent in Kamron's hauberk, staining his surcoat, but he whirls his horse around as he turns to where Arian has fallen. He catches one spear-thrust on the shield, his charger swings its withers into one spearman, and Kamron hews down with his axe on another. "Sir Arian!" And then she's fighting back as well, and he laughs aloud, "Nevermind, I think you can handle it." The second wave of Saxons approaching barely catches his limited vision, and he nods, "Let's deal with these and pass along!"

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 8. (-5 Down=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17) (Skill Split of 6 +5 Foe Down=Failure)
Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (1 4 6 5) for a total of: (16) (16 -6 Hard Leather=10 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (3) for a total of: (3) (Still Standing)

Arian manages to swing her sword wide from her spot in the dirt — and she hits! Though that is not the only saving grace she receives as Kamron's sihouette is seen over the Saxon's shoulder. Their combined efforts allows her a moment of breath, and she manages to get to her feet. She offers a small smile of thanks to Kam, though he cannot see it behind her helmet. She has little time to exchange pleasantries, however, as she is turning back to her very own Saxon and driving the man back with a well-delivered strike.

Success
Bryce checked his Sword of 13, he rolled 5. (-5 Down=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18) (Skill Split 6 +5 Foe Down=Failure)
Bryce rolls 4d6 and gets (3 2 2 4) for a total of: (11) (11 -6 Hard Leather=5 Damage)

Gratitude flashes in Bryce de Baverstock's dark gaze when he sees his brother coming to his aid, even so, each movement sends another wave of pain through his limbs, it still takes him some effort to draw a breath. But there he is the Saxon, and so Bryce raises his sword and tries to bring it down on him. "May the devil take you, heathen!", he hisses - not referring to his horse there!

And does not manage to get through.

Success
Landon checked his Loyalty for Bryce of 15, he rolled 5.
Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 8.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (8) for a total of: (8) (Skill Split 7=Failure)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (1 3 4 6 3) for a total of: (17) (17 -6 Hard Leather=11 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (6) for a total of: (6) (Still Standing)

Landon's vengence is seeing promise today. His sword rains down blood with every hack and hew of his blade. In coming to aid his brother, he ensures that Bryce has a fair chance on his feet to defend himself. A malevolent grin holds to Landon's face as he takes another Saxon down, looking at the stockhold they were attempting to build to see a second charge. "Bryce. Retreat if you are injured. I'll avenge our Father…" he pushes ahead, still mounted, toward the incoming heathens.

Critical Success!
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 15. (+5 Mounted +10 Inspired=Crit Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (4) for a total of: (4)
Kamron rolls 8d6 and gets (5 1 5 2 6 5 1 3) for a total of: (28)

Kamron returns his attention to his original target, and this time when the spearpoint comes in, it is batted out wide with the knight's shield, and his axe comes back in, 'chunk'ing quite solidly into the man's skull. Kamron has to actually put a stirruped boot on the Saxon's shoulder to pull the weapon free with an unpleasant 'schlump.' And then he's looking to the reinforcements, and he spurs his horse in that direction.

Failed.
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 18. (+5 Mounted +5 FoeDown=Crit Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (20) for a total of: (20)
Acwel rolls 10d6 and gets (1 2 2 3 3 5 3 1 6 3) for a total of: (29)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 3.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (11) for a total of: (11)
Cyndeyrn rolls 4d6 and gets (3 6 3 1) for a total of: (13)

Failed.
Bryce checked his Sword of 13, he rolled 15.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13) (6 Skill Split=Failure)

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 14. (+5 Mounted +10 Inspired=Crit Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (9) for a total of: (9) (7 Skill Split=Failure)
Landon rolls 10d6 and gets (3 1 3 1 4 6 1 2 4 2) for a total of: (27)

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 9.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)
Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (3 6 2 1) for a total of: (12)

Although Cynderyn remains in a little skirmish with his own target, it seems the first group of saxons to charge forward has otherwise been brought down, and the two fallen knights have now had opportunities to remount. The remaining warriors have armed and gathered to charge forward, however, including their own mounted leader, who even brandishes a lance as he rides at the head of his small group, shouting cries to Wotan and other strange gods.

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (3 5 2 6 6) for a total of: (22)

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 6.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (14) for a total of: (14) (-5 Foe Mounted=Failure)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (3 3 6 5 2) for a total of: (19)

Landon the reckless! Landon the Vengeful! Landon the one who gets everyone fucking slaughtered? Well, so far, the Baverstock knight is holding his own. In fact, he holds off TWO Saxon's at once. Rather successfully. Blades flash, the horse is used to keep the defense of the two against one minimized. His blade finds flesh and rends them both. A back and forth this way and that way, over his horse on the right, down against the left. He roars at the Saxon's and continues his press, even if the one is down. He reins Brute to go stomp over the man if possible! Blades continue to flash and he heaves his weapon toward the Saxon's, intent to kill. No Mercy.

Success
Bryce checked his Reckless of 10, he rolled 7.
Failed.
Bryce checked his Sword of 13, he rolled 15. (+5 Mounted=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18)
Bryce rolls 4d6 and gets (5 4 3 4) for a total of: (16)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17) (Knocked Down)

Bryce nods to his brother, even so, if he takes the advice… It seems he does not! Landon's older brother does not withdraw, even if he is severly injured, and every single step and movement hurts like the devil. Speaking of the devil… Bryce's Devil finds him, and so the Baverstock knight can draw himself up into the saddle again. New Saxons arrive on the scene of fighting, and so Bryce swings his sword at a fresh opponent… and manages to bring him down.

Success
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 4.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6) (Full Shield bonus)
Kamron rolls 4d6 and gets (2 6 3 6) for a total of: (17)

Success
Kamron checked his axe at 15, he rolled 2.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (8) for a total of: (8) (-5 Foe Mounted=Crit Success)
Kamron rolls 1d6 and gets (5) for a total of: (5) (5 points of Shield Bonus)
Cyndeyrn rolls 8d6 and gets (3 1 3 4 2 6 2 5) for a total of: (26) (26 -12 Reinforced Mail -5 Shield -3 Chivalrous=6 Damage)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d6 and gets (6) for a total of: (6) (Falling-Off-Horse Damage)

Kamron the not quite so reckless as Landon! Kamron the not quite so vengeful as Landon! Charging into the approaching reinforcements, he chops down into one Saxon, pulls his axe free, and turns straight into an axe to the stomach. It's a strong enough blow to send him right out of his saddle, thumping down hard and sending his head crashing back into the earth. And the smaller Dinton knight does not rise, that last blow to the head apparently sending him into unconsciousness.

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 4.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (5 4 6 6) for a total of: (21)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (7) for a total of: (7) (Still Standing)

Arian's blow draws from her a hint of satisfaction — middling or not! She continues to barrel against the Saxon, quite relentless. But then she turns just enough to see her amor fall. She fights an instinct that has her driving toward Kamron's foe, as she still has one of her own to deal with. She starts to back up, hopefully drawing the Saxon toward her so she can at least try to protect Kamron. She drives her sword forward, and lands another assured hit, though he will not fall. She switches her grip, preparing for another forward thrust.

Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 16. (+5 Mounted=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (1 2 2 5 3 5) for a total of: (18)

Success
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 2.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (16) for a total of: (16)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (1 3 5 5 2) for a total of: (16)

The two angered knights and Acwel are most likely the obvious leaders against the second wave of Saxons, Kamron and Landon smashing into a pair each, though their skrimishes end up differently, with Landon's both badly injured but Kamron dehorsed, layign still on the ground. Bryce and Arian find second winds as they move up and engage their foes, Bryce knocking his to the ground while Arian deals a more middling blow. Acwel clashes with the leader, battering aside its lance and striking a hit, although the better-armored Saxon still seems plenty capable of the fight as he discards the lance for a melee weapon!

Oh, and Cyndeyrn finally knocks his down, and seeing Kamron falling, rides up to try and engage his foe!

Failed.
Bryce checked his Sword of 13, he rolled 15. (+5 Mounted=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (1) for a total of: (1)
Bryce rolls 4d6 and gets (6 6 3 1) for a total of: (16)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (7) for a total of: (7) (Still Standing)

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 9.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (4) for a total of: (4)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (2 5 4 4 1) for a total of: (16)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17) (Knocked Down)

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (2 1 6 1 3) for a total of: (13)

Success
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 9.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18)
Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (4 2 1 6) for a total of: (13)

Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (11) for a total of: (11) (Acwel's attack=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (6 3 5 1 4) for a total of: (19)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d6 and gets (4) for a total of: (4)

Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 18. (10 Skill Split +5 Mounted=Failure)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18) (-5 Mounted Foe=Failure)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 12. (5 Skill Split +5 Mounted=Failure)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13) (-5 Mounted Foe=Failure)

Cyndeyrn rides into the gap where Karmon has fallen, instantly engaged in an inconclusive but chaotic melee with the pair of axe-wielding heathens. Landon continues his murderous, hatefilled rage against his own pair, injuring both and felling one to the ground. Bryce fights his own target scoring a small wound, as does Arian, while Acwel continues to out-fight the Saxon horseman, who quickly becomes a Saxon ground-man when knocked from his steed.

Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5) (Bryce's attack=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (16) for a total of: (16)
Cyndeyrn rolls 4d6 and gets (2 5 3 3) for a total of: (13)

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 13.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (9) for a total of: (9) (-5 Mounted Foe -5 Down=Failure)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (3 3 6 5 2) for a total of: (19)

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 10.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (18) for a total of: (18) (-5 Mounted Foe=Failure)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (4 5 2 4 6) for a total of: (21)

Failed.
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 16. (+5 Mounted=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13) (-5 Mounted Foe=Failure)
Arian rolls 4d6 and gets (2 6 1 1) for a total of: (10)

Success
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 12. (10 Skill Split +5 Mounted=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (3) for a total of: (3)
Cyndeyrn rolls 6d6 and gets (1 6 1 5 3 2) for a total of: (18)

Failed.
Cyndeyrn checked his sword of 15, he rolled 18. (5 Skill Split +5 Mounted=Failure)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (8) for a total of: (8) (-5 Mounted Foe=Crit Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 8d6 and gets (4 2 6 6 6 3 3 2) for a total of: (32)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5) (Unconscious)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d6 and gets (3) for a total of: (3) (Falling-Off-Horse Damage)

So far no one has seen sense to retreat. The call is not made. Landon keeps attacking the Saxon's with a rage filled aggression. Each blade swipe has the intent to kill, to behead, to thrust and slash. He's not leaving up on these Saxon's until they stop moving. Brute's heavy hooves come down to keep the man on the ground moving, doing all he could to stay alive. Rage inspires the wrath in Landon, he stabs DOWN at them and sends his blade into the heart of one man. The other may just as well die from the counter blow he effectively uses at the pathetic attacks. Well, for one of them, facing the Baverstock means death - to the other it means going into the oblivion of unconsciousness. Was he above stabbing an unconscious man? When it comes to Saxon's the answer is a big fat NO. He moves to clean up the job… muttering, "A dead Saxon is the only good Saxon's…" Blinded by this vengeance, he may not see the rest of his team aren't handling the Saxon's as well.

Success
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 8.
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (19) for a total of: (19)
Acwel rolls 5d6 and gets (3 3 3 3 1) for a total of: (13)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (16) for a total of: (16) (Knocked Down)

Though Cyndeyrn manages a hit on one of the Saxons with him, the other gets a good aim with his axe, sinking it into the man's side and pulling him down from the horse with the hook-like shape of it. The knight lands heavily, groaning, alive at least. Arian and Bryce continue to slowly beat their own foes down, while Landon massacres those he faces, and Acwel keeps his pinned in the dirt.

Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (20) for a total of: (20) (Bryce's attack +5 Mounted=Crit Success) (Didn't realize he only had a 13 Sword, should have been Crit Fail)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (10) for a total of: (10) (-5 Mounted Foe=Failure)
Cyndeyrn rolls 8d6 and gets (5 2 6 3 1 4 1 4) for a total of: (26)

Acwel is nothing if not stalwart. His friends are falling all around him, but he has an enemy to defeat. And this Saxon is unfortunately a nut that is too tough to crack. Nevertheless, he rides out, turns around, and gets ready to rake the sword through the Saxon's body, praying to God it cuts through the enemy's armor.

Success
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 12. (8 Skill Split +5 Mounted +10 Inspired=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (15) for a total of: (15)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (6 6 6 1 4) for a total of: (23)

Failed.
Landon checked his Sword of 15, he rolled 16. (7 Skill Split +5 Mounted +10 Inspired=Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (17) for a total of: (17)
Landon rolls 5d6 and gets (6 3 4 1 6) for a total of: (20)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (19) for a total of: (19) (Knocked Down)

Critical Success!
Acwel checked his sword of 15, he rolled 15. (+5 Mounted +5 Foe Down=Crit Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (20) for a total of: (20) (Crit Fail)
Acwel rolls 10d6 and gets (6 4 1 3 4 6 6 5 5 3) for a total of: (43)

Critical Fail!
Arian checked her sword of 15, she rolled 20. (+5 Mounted=Crit Success)
Cyndeyrn rolls 1d20 and gets (15) for a total of: (15)
Arian rolls 8d6 and gets (6 5 1 5 5 2 5 4) for a total of: (33)

Although several of the knights have fallen, the rest prevail in quick sequence: Bryce finally fells his opponent with a skillful stroke, as does Arian in turn, while Landon mows down two more foes, although one may live for a scant few moments longer on the ground. And then there is the leader, who has yet been unable to stand under Acwel's assault, and suffers a final, telling blow.

Inspired by the villains, those being Saxon, Landon is a demon out there! Or as some would say, a righteous zeal! The truth was the vengeance kept his arms from feeling the tire of his battle swings, each time his now crimson sword arched through the air, it came down to taste Saxon blood. The knight managed to keep his horse and himself from injury. The enemies were just overwhelmed at his great beastful hollars! The sword makes a sharp hiss of sound as metal rips through flesh and bone, coming out the otherside of a man's neck. The man sinks back off his blade in time so that the Baverstock and whirl it about to knock the next flat on his ass.

The Lady knight has finished what she has started, and the Saxon drops to her mulberry's hooves at that final blow. Arian has drawn the horse closer to Kamron, but not enough to threaten stepping on him. She turns around slightly, trying to gauge the rest of the Saxons and her fellows. She then starts to draw out of her saddle as it seems things have settled, and she is puting away her sword so she can kneel down to Kamron. She is nervous as she sets her hands on his chest, and then leans her ear to his helmet to check for breathing. Apparently she has other concerns!

Failed.
Acwel checked his pious of 10, he rolled 13.
Failed.
Acwel checked his worldly of 10, he rolled 16.

It takes exactly two passes before Acwel is able to defeat this Saxon chief; the rider which he sought out and rode to meet, despite the man having a charging lance. As the Saxon tries to stand to try and unhorse the man by cutting off Saint's legs, the knight's sword swings low as he lets out a yell, "IN NOMINE PATER, FILII ET SPIRICTI SANCTI! I banish you, demon!" This time, perhaps as though guided by God's hand himself, the sword cuts through the enemy's neck, blood gushing all over the horse's pure white hair as the head separates itself from the enemy's neck. Afterwards, the Woodford does the sign of the Cross, thanking God for this victory.

Failed.
Landon checked his Cruel of 10, he rolled 14.
Failed.
Landon checked his Merciful of 10, he rolled 13.

And Landon is dismounting to the guy on the ground. Unless someone stops him, he's already raising his sword to give the Saxon a warrior's death. Merciful the Baverstock is not - not today!

Kamron is breathing, thankfully, but he's taken a clock to the head, in addition to a spear-thrust to his right side, his wrenched left shoulder, and an axe-wound at his left hip. He's… probably not going to be moving on his own any time soon.

The last metallic swing can be heard as Landon comes down with all his might to finish the Saxon who has come to accept the inevitable upon the Christian's broody waltz over toward him. Flesh and bone are seperated by a sharp steel edge and the Saxon's form slumps over as the head goes bouncing. Covered in a spray of blood that hits him, he finally looks up to see the result of the reckless charge. He lifts his sword in the air in a victorious salute to Acwel, hollaring for it too, the heat of battle won, the blood of the Saxon's spilled. He checks once to see that Bryce was still alive and are being seen too. What may be more important is freeing the hostages and ensuring the people are put to good use in helping the wounded! "Sir Acwel! I'm going to check if there's people who can help our Brothers!" He points the sword toward the half built palisade, moving already that way.

In the aftermath of the main force's clash and their leader's death, any Saxons who may have been behind in camp take the opportunity to flee, scattering into the woods, though they are few enough left that likely they will not cause further trouble. Of course, when the knights are able to enter the camp, they find many of the village members taken as slaves, the men not killed in the first fight used to labor on the fortifications, and the women used in worse ways still. Sir Imber and his family are hostages and it seems the Saxon leader knew enough to leave them in reasonable condition, perhaps for future ransom or leverage. Naturally they are greatful in release, and will return to the village to begin rebuilding as best they are able, although surely Imber will bear these scars for years to come.

Some recovery can be carried out there in the manor hall where the knights are welcome guests, and then the group like proceeds by the gentler route to the main road and then back to Tilshead. Here there is ample thanks from the Banneret himself, as well as as ample hospitality for them all to enjoy until they are comfortable to make the return trip to Sarum.

First Aid by Arian and others on-site prevents wounds from being infected, gets everyone conscious again. Chirurgeonry checks (by the Lady of Tilshead) after being carted to Tilshead succeed on Cyndeyrn, Bryce, and Kamron. Bryce needs two weeks of Chirurgeonry, Kamron needs one week, then both can heal naturally.

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