04.30.3014: The Long Road South
Summary: Jarek, and a few other knights, begin a trip down the long southern road between Settlestone and Cavern Mine in the Southeast Drake Mountains. Things aren't smooth riding, and then familial interrupts make things a little more interesting.
Date: Dec. 30th, 2013
Related: Survival And Pain
Brienne Canis Jarek Tristan 

Drake Mountains
In the desc.
April 30th, 3014

----------------------------| The Long Road South |-----------------------------

Reports have been flooding the Drake Mountains Travel's Advisory Boards. Many claim that bandit hillmen, monsters, drakes, and hostiles are scattered all over the road leading between two large mining settlements and one of the veins of House Saimhann's resources. As such Jarek, now returning to a far more active duty as the house's Knight Lieutenant, set out an invitation to other houses in an effort to build political standing with them. The letter asked for one or two knights of theirs that could travel with him along this road and not only visit with smaller settlements, but also help him determine road conditions.


Settlestone Mine, a rich ore mine nestled into the side of a once active volcano. The former drake nest long since eradicated from the main cavern. The Ways here is set up inside a multilevel barricade and guarded night and day. A single road runs from the main mine past the Ways to the main gate and then continues on south for miles and miles of rough terrain.

The city surrounding the mine isn't expansive, but it is built in the standard Saimhann way of having buildings incorporated into the walls to provide additional protection to outside forces. Running out in branches from the main road, a myriad shops, homes, and social buildings litter the valley at the base of the mountain.

The gaping maw at the far back of Settlestone leads into the mine itself, where the vast majority of the people living here work. The mountain's insides smokey and shadowed, where a number of refineries and mechanics shops work to produce the raw materials that ship out to the capital of the Drakes, or the capital of the Crescent.

You've started just inside the main barricade near the Ways after going through a short security check. Jarek is waiting for you all there, his destrier Attop saddled and ready. There are few pack horses tethered together laden with supply containers. When you've arrived he offers a knight's salute before going over the mission brief.

Alright, so we're traveling by horse and foot down the South Road. I've been tasked with taking some much needed medical and other supplies to some of the smaller villages along the way. We're also to check in with them and determine if they are vital settlements or if we can set up for their evacuation to a larger more protected one.

The checkpoints are passed and they are passing into where they are to meet the one leading this mission. Canis sits atop his horse which is unusual for him. The young knight can ride like this but it's not his preferred method. "The horse probably can sense my unease.. thinking of something evil to do to me." this to the others who ride with a chuckle but he looks back returning the salute easily enough. "Yes sir." he says to the mission briefing all the same.

"You mean it's not just thinking about getting rid of that heavy object on its back?" Tristan asks a bit lightly to Canis, while riding along as well. While he doesn't look as comfortable on the horse as some of the others, it's clear that he's far from his least preferred mode of transportation. Looking around as he listens now, he nods a little bit now. Looking to check at his bow, and then the sword, before he looks to the others again.

More comfortable on her Wind Dancer than anywhere else, Brienne sits tall and almost regal like, her shoulders squared, her weapon at her side. A soft breeze blows a few strands of her dark hair around her face, though the rest is kept in a loose braid down her back. She's wearing her armor but her helm is not on yet. She doesn't speak when the others do, but she doesn't look uncomfortable.

"Good, you all seem ready to go. This will take us time, the journey from Settlestone to Cavern Mine is three days by destrier, and that's if nothing happens on the trip." Jarek moves and mounts his horse, tugging the lead for the six laden so that they take a few steps in his direction. "We'll remain in good comms range the whole way there, I hope. There's a relay station at the crest of one of the mountains about halfway along the trip, only there's been no communication from the crew that maintains it."

Jarek nudges Attop forward and begins to lead through gates that take us all into a courtyard leading around the Ways. "We have several stops to make, the first one is a guard tower about ten clicks down the road. It's manned and we have positive comms with them, just need to bring them some computer supplies."

Canis listens to the rest of the briefing nodding in understanding though he'll look back to the others. "Not a comforting thought Lord Tristan." he looks to the other giving a friendly smile "At least one of us looks comfortable." He says easily but he'll continue onwards with the others keeping in close range in case there is some kind of trouble which there often times seems to be. He's done his final checks on his armor and his weapon and is packed and ready to travel.

Tristan grins as he hears Canis, unable to hold back a bit of a chuckle. "You mean knowing that it would just do such a thing out of instinct instead of having decided to be evil is not a comforting thought?" Still spoken a bit lightly, before he nods a bit as he listens now. "Computer parts… Got it…" A brief pause, as he offers a grin to Brienne as well. "Into the Great Wide Open?" he remarks, leadiing his own horse along with the others.

Brienne continues on her horse, but she glances over to Jarek. "I've not seen you lately Sir Jarek. I wanted to offer my.. condolences. Sir Agnes was well respected not only in the Spine, but all over. She'll be missed, but I'm sure you already are aware of that. I suppose you didn't get much time together, but from what I have heard, you made the most of the little time you did have. I respect that. Life leaves little time for the important things to be left unsaid." And that's that.

<FS3> Jarek rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Alertness: Good Success.

The road leading south heads almost straight south for about half a mile, then begins a gradual turn left following the side of the mountain. Jarek rides at the front, the horses in the middle, two of you on either side of them and one bringing up vanguard. Brienne's small spiel about Agnes and condolences gets a soft grunt from Jarek before he replies, "Thank you Lady Sir Brienne. She did her job, fulfilled her oath, and made her families proud. Aside from that, there's nothing to say." voice a little cold, distant, and flat.

Brienne knows that hurt feeling and the way to block it off by being cold and distant. She doesn't push, she'd offered all she'd intended, not wishing to prod on soft, fresh scar tissue. A curt nod is all that is offered, and she continues wearing her game face, looking over at her brother and Canis. "You guys be careful."

"My condolences as well, Sir Jarek. She will be missed," Tristan offers a bit quietly, before he nods at Brienne's words. "You as well, sis."

The young knight focus's on riding for the moment but he does watch around him the sceneary as well as just to be on watch. The other's words about instinct get a smirk but he listens to the conversation about the other knight and it disapears he seems content to hold his silence for now just riding and watching for the moment. Canis is moving along easily though he turns back "Of course always." he says to being careful.

The mountain side is dotted by several alcoves, keeping to the left and to the front while to the right is a majestic view of rocky terrain and ashen vallies. Here and there are movements of animals, lizards of the small variety, carrion birds, and a pack of hyenas can be seen running between the crags and out croppings. Jarek pauses for a moment as he looks out over the scenery, "We'll be in terrain like this for most of the trip. Arborens, I hope you're comfortable with sleeping outdoors without a tree for miles around. The alpines are farther north and higher up." then he continues on with, "The guard tower is just ahe-" he's cut off then by an emergency comm.

"… I repeat, six hostile contacts assaulting Guardian's Post Delta Chi One. Immediate back up requested." Jarek doesn't wait to give the command, he just digs into Attop's flanks and sends the destrier and pack horses into a wild trot that builds to gallop over the gravelly road.

"I can sleep anywhere or I can take guard duty overnight." Brienne offers, only to fall silent as she hears the voice over the com. She's getting better with her electronics and her AI included. When Jarek takes off, she does the same, preparing for battle, drawing her weapon.

Canis must have given an AI command as his helm front closes down over his face at the call coming in. He is focused know and any misgivings on riding fade for now as he spurs his horse forwards with the others. He is watching the road that they take now and gearing up for what they might find once they reach the station. The polearm strapped at easy reach is removed and brought to hand as he wishes to be ready.

"Just as it comes…" Tristan begins, before he goes quiet as he hears the voice now. Looking towards Jarek again now, he waits for the next instructions, glancing beween the others rather quickly.

The tower looms ahead in the distance, constructed of natural stone and shaped to look similar to a formation of rocks and blend in with the setting around it. There's a soft din coming from the outpost, the sounds of pitched battle. As the group rides into view, six hostile soldiers are attempting to ascend the stairs while three Saimhann soldiers are protecting them but are indeed being pushed back. Jarek lets go of the lead for the pack horses and draws out a spear that expands to full size. Charging the back three hostiles at a gallop.

Hearing the sounds of battle off in the very close distance, Brienne extends her weapon and prepares to charge, for lack of a better word. It's what she is best at and she practices very often, as much as time allows. She doesn't say anything to Canis or Tristan at the moment, having said much of all she needed already, except the concern as she draws on her helmet that last look to Canis and Tristan says way more than words. These people mean a lot to her.

Tristan frowns at the sound of the battle, glancing towards his bow very momentarily, before he gets his own helmet in place now. Wordlessly he makes his way forward with the others, readying the sword to attack one of those Hostiles now.

Canis hearing the sounds as they approach. His polearm is leveled ready to ride in and attack the hostiles. He is focused though does take time to look to his sides at the others giving a small nod before he spurs on for one last length attacking the foe before him.

<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile25 with Spear - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile24 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile22 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile23 with Lance - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile25 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.

<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Brienne with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile25 with Spear - Serious wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile22 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile25 attacks Jarek with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile25 has been KO'd!
<FS3> Jarek rolls Riding: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Riding: Great Success.

The first pass catching them off guard goes well. Canis lands a solid blow to his target the next pass however not so much he strikes but does no damage and takes a hit to his chest catching his breath though he does remain seated on his horse though he turns quickly around and makes another attack at the hostile hoping to strike him down this round.

Brienne is able to barely swipe her target with her weapon, but it does damage it some at least and she remains unhurt herself. She turns round for another pass, preparing to strike again, focused completely on her own Hostile.

Frowning a bit as he only manages to scratch the armor of the one he's been attacking, Tristan moves forward a bit more aggressively now. Trying not to be reckless or anything, at least.

Jarek's first attack hits home nicely and then the knight turns Attop around and goes for the next blow. The hostile's sword arcs up and drives into his chest, knocking him back in his saddle. His spear lances around and drives into the neck of the hostile, killing it. The new arrivals draw the attention off the soldiers and the hostiles on the stairs press their attack down towards the knights. Attop jerks suddenly and sends Jarek sliding off the back of his horse and the knight retrieves his spear before moving to attack one of the soldiers' aggressors.

<COMBAT> Hostile22 passes.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile23 with Lance - Critical wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Spear but Hostile22 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Brienne with Sword but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Brienne with Sword but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile22 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Spear - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword but Canis DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 passes.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm but Hostile24 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.

This round goes more exploring the enemy Canis misses his first round and takes a ding which is stopped by his armor. He turns back though not done for sure and makes another attack on this enemy. His weapon lashing out once again. He has his AI watching friendly and hostiles and is monitoring it as he does so.

Fighting on two fronts is tough for anyone, even a hostile, and the one Jarek is attacking is distracted by the soldiers on the stairs. This doesn't give Jarek much advantage and he drops his spear to take out his great sword. Two of the hostiles drop down the stairs and focus on the Heir while the last one tries to push back up the stairs to take the soldiers down.

Brienne continues fighting her own Hostile, doing damage to the left arm of it and she growls in protest as it refuses to go down. She continues fighting, hoping the others are also holding their own without getting hurt.

<COMBAT> Hostile23 attacks Brienne with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Jarek with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Jarek with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Spear - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile23 with Lance - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile23 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword but Canis DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Jarek with Sword - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Greatsword but Hostile22 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Jarek with Sword but Jarek DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarek has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

Drop his spear? Forget that, Jarek kicks it back up with his foot, hefts it and throws it. The hostile just happens to be quick and catches it before it pierces his chest plate. Jarek now whips out his great sword and moves forward to attack the same hostile while working to keep the other one busy. "Work together, take one down then move on. Don't spread out too much." he orders over the comm, more of a suggestion than an order. His attack misses but in the same token he's also missed by the attacks to him.

Finally, Brienne's weapon strikes true, right through the chest, and she takes him out, destroying the Hostile. She quickly checks her weapon again and then heads into the fray, a war cry accompanying her moves.

Muttering as he's back at hitting the armor, Tristan looks around quickly. "Let's get this one taken down, shall we?" he remarks to Canis, before he lets out a bit of a breath, attacking again now.

Canis is moving a bit better apparently now he's warmed up. He strikes the enemy twice while dodging the return blows. The enemy just doesnt seem to want to parrish however it's not for lack of the havenite trying. "Sounds good." he strikes.

<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword but Canis DODGES!
<COMBAT> Hostile21 attacks Jarek with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - Light wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile21 with Lance - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Jarek with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Hostile21 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jarek has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> You spend a luck point to soldier on.

<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Greatsword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Jarek with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 passes.
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword but Canis DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile24 has been KO'd!

Canis strikes his enemy again a good strong blow as well as the other knight striking him. He seems to go down for a moment, but it's not to be so he manages still be alive and ready to fight. The valen knight looks a bit wide eyed and "What's with this guy?" he says to nobody in particular before he is moving in again to attack.

The hostile at the top of the stairs nearly kills the soldier by tossing him off the stairs and over the side. It then bounds down the steps and half lunges towards Brienne. Jarek took a decent strike to his chest and staggered a moment as the servos in his legs locked up momentarily. Still standing though he goes back to fighting his hostile.

Once more actually managing to get through the armor, Tristan pauses for a few moments as he sees the Hostile get up again. "Okay…" he mutters, this time trying to go for the neck of the enemy.

With another one going down, but not at her hand, Brienne gets aimed all up and heads for the next Hostile, spurring her horse on, intending on taking the Hostile out with her first swipe of her weapon.. but of course that's always her intention whether it worked that way or not.
<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Hostile24 attacks Canis with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Jarek with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Brienne with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile24 with Polearm - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile20 with Lance - Moderate wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile24 with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarek has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Hostile24 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile24 has left the combat. (Jarek)
<COMBAT> You make hostile24 leave the combat.
<COMBAT> Tristan has changed weapons to Bow.
<COMBAT> Tristan will attack Hostile20 this turn.
<COMBAT> Canis will attack Hostile22 this turn.
<COMBAT> Brienne will reload this turn.
<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile22 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Brienne with Sword but Brienne DODGES!
<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile20 with Bow - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hostile22 attacks Jarek with Sword but Jarek DODGES!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile22 with Polearm - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarek has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Hostile22 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hostile22 has left the combat. (Jarek)
<COMBAT> You make hostile22 leave the combat.
<COMBAT> Brienne will attack Hostile20 this turn.

Canis finnaly that one goes down, but the battle's not over yet and it's still time to fight. He turns his horse towards one of the remaining hostiles and spurs him on. He is able to lower his polearm into a striking position and strikes he spears the hostile hard through the chest and it goes down crumpling.

Clipping the Hostile in the head, Brienne expects it to go down, but it remains upright, and she rounds Wind Dancer and prepares for another stab at it. Literally…

As the Hostile he helped fight goes down, Tristan hurries to change sword for bow. Getting an arrow ready and firing it at the enemy hunting his sister. "Just make sure I get some clear shots," he says in her direction now.

The hostile falls and Jarek rushes to check on the soldier that had been sent over the edge, however the hearty young woman is just fine and climbing back up the slope without aid. The heir turns then and charges the hostile with his great sword. There is a call on the comms, medical staff will be arriving shortly by hoverlift along with several more men at arms and a couple knights.

<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile20 with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile20 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Brienne with Sword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile20 with Lance - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.

<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Tristan with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile20 with Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile20 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Left Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Jarek attacks Hostile20 with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tristan attacks Hostile20 with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Canis attacks Hostile20 with Polearm - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Brienne attacks Hostile20 with Lance - Light wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Brienne's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 attacks Tristan with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Hostile20 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tristan has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tristan spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<COMBAT> Brienne finishes reloading.
<COMBAT> Jarek treats Tristan:
< Right_Hand (Moderate): unsuccessful
< Right_Hand (Moderate): unsuccessful
<COMBAT> Canis passes.
<COMBAT> Tristan passes.

The fight finally ends and the female soldier pulls herself up over the side of the cliff. Jarek moves to help her stand, "Diane, good to see you safe." "Thank you milord. They came from no where, but we swear we say scouts rushing past them. I think they were a distraction while another group assaults Settlestone."

Jarek shakes his head slightly, "I just came from Settlestone, they have plenty of defense for scouts. We're going to Cavern Mine." "You'd best head back to Settlestone and take the Ways young lord… its-" Jarek cuts her off, "You know the notices and reports on the advisory board. I'm going to make sure the road is safe. Heard on the comm reinforcements are arriving, most likely from Spikka through the Ways."

"Yes, alright. You should get going though, milord, the sun will be behind the mountains in just a few hours and it's breeding season for the Drakes. We caught a few sniffing around the tower for nest locations just the night past." "Alright, comm me when the hoverlift arrives okay?" "Yessir." And with that she salutes best she can despite her injuries and mounts the stairs. Jarek turns around to the rest of you. "Lets get the horses and get going. Anyone far too hurt to move on? We'll do patch ups tonight around the camp."

With the Hostiles done, Brienne takes the moment to draw in her weapon. Then she removes her gauntlet quite gingerly. Her hand. Again.. Old news. The question from Canis is greeted with a smirk and a nod. "About as well as ever." Her lips curve then. He knows her luck with her hands in battle.

Wincing a bit as his own hand gets hit a few times, Tristan replaces the weapons now, and lets out a bit of a breath. "That hurt…" he mutters, before he straightens, with a brief nod now. "I'll be fine…" Using something to get the bleeding stopped, at least.

"Right, lets get going then." Jarek says before whistling to Attop who trots over to his knight. He takes the reins and walks off to get the lead for the pack horses, one of his leg motors locking up at the knee so that he has to limp halfway there before he releases. When he's mounted and the lead tied to Attop's saddle, Jarek comms you all. "The road will take us down into a valley. This is Mystic's Cove, the thermal vents release lots of steam deep under ground and the high walls of the valley keep the heat and moisture trapped in. The horses all have muzzles that will siphon off the water to keep them hydrated and cool. I hope your suits have climate controls. There's no way around but on the otherside of the valley is Littledon. We'll make camp just before the valley and make the trek in the light of day tomorrow. If we get lost in the mist we'll never be found."

Brienne had been listening to Jarek and the woman and now it's time to move on. "I'm good to go. Let's get out of here." She prods her horse into action, replacing the gauntlet over her hand.

The young knight turns to Brie as she speaks once more wincing but he smiles nodding "Hands magnectic hands or something." Canis says teasingly to her though he does nudge his horse over reaching to his pack and removes two sets of bandages. "I'm no healer but let me wrap it at least? You too Lord Tristan?" he will press on wards with the other though still offering to help while the riding is realtively easy.

<FS3> Jarek rolls 6: Failure.
<FS3> Jarek rolls 4: Failure.
<FS3> Jarek rolls 8: Good Success.

Tristan nods a little as he hears what's being said, keeping quiet as he looks around now. "I'm fine…" he replies, a bit quietly, offering a brief grin to Canis now. "And lost in a mist is not something I've put high on my list of favorite things…"

<FS3> Jarek rolls Alertness: Success.

Brienne glances over and nods, offering him her right hand. It's not as bad as usual, but she has a few scars there. "Thank you, Canis." She tells him softly, allowing him to do as he will.

<FS3> Jarek rolls Riding: Success.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls ALERTNESS: Great Success.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Riding: Good Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls RIDING: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Riding: Failure.

Not more than fifteen minutes of riding at a gentle trot and we're taking on a long curve further to the left around the edge of the mountain. The road narrowing to only two horses abreast, forcing either single file or the jeronimo way down the side. At the far end is the turn of the switchbacks that will start us down the side of the mountain and to the valley about four miles to the west from us.

At the first switch back Jarek is able to keep the horses in line and thankfully the road widens again just a little bit. Feeling more and more comfortable, it proves to be quite the complacent's folly. The house's motto, Mind Your Step, doesn't solely mean where your feet go. At the top of the mountain there's a powerful crack and then the rumble. A long scaly tail whips around, breaking large boulders and sending a huge rockslide barreling down the mountain side at us.

Jarek looks up and his field command voice bellows, echoing off the rock walls surrounding. "OUT OF THE WAY!" spurs into Attop's flanks and he and the horse train take off at a sudden jolting gallop. One of the pack horses takes a misstep and goes tumbling over the edge of the road, braying loudly as the rope snaps free and keeps it from dragging the rest of them with it.

Brienne continues to hold her hand out to Canis, allowing him to doctor her. Hearing the sound, she looks up, too late to get herself up ahead of the slide, so she pulls back on her reins, lucky she didn't go over.

Canis smiles over but shakes his head, it's nothing. He does try not to hurt the other as he wraps and ties the banage it's lucky he's finished "Best I can do at least." he says though it's then things go hectic and there's a rock slide and he pulls his horse up short of being caught in it it would seem though the noise is deafening and he looks to his side Brie's still there "Are you both alright?" he shouts coughing at the dust which he inhales a bit of.

Blinking a bit as he hears Jarek's words, Tristan sends his own horse off as well, frowning a bit as he sees what's happening. "Why is it that everytime we come to your lands, there's something going wrong?" he remarks to Jarek, before he looks back, pausing as he hears Canis shouting. "We are! And you two?"

The deafening sound of the boulders crashing down the side of the mountain at near terminal velocity drowns out the sound of the drake slithering along the backside of the rocky wall. The stone bounds down and crashes along the various levels of the road before settling at the base in a large pile. One large stone is left on the path, large crackes forming and splintering the rock wall. It's all over in a cloud of dust and a few minutes, settling and going eerily silent.

"Brienne, Canis wait where you are… the road doesn't look safe." Jarek comms to them before turning to Tristan. "My lands are never stoic Tristan, it's what makes us hearty folk. Constant challenge is our normal. Wait here with the horses I'll see what I can do about that boulder." Comm once more to the other two, "Keep your eyes open for signs of drakes or hostiles. We don't want to get a nasty surprise." stiffly walking towards the boulder as his armor complains and siezes up momentarily every other motion he makes.

<FS3> Brienne rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Canis rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Animal Handling: Success.

"Will do." The knight calls over the slide to them he looks to Brie a moment worried slightly but he begins looking about a moment. Canis spots what he was afraid of the drake or at least it's horns which he can follow along. He motions silently to the other knight trapped on this side and points at what he's found.

So.. there's rocks. That seems to capture Brienne's attention more than anything. And then the dust, and her armor. Lovely. Gauntlet slid back into place. She looks over at Canis, cause that's something she notices as well, but when she notices what it is he is indicating, she frowns. "What is it Canis?" Never had Brienne seen a Drake.

"Hey! Don't you run away now…" Tristan says to the horses, as he grabs hold of the reins, making sure to keep them in place now. "We need your help, you see…" Focusing on that for the moment.

<FS3> Jarek rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Jarek rolls Brawn: Good Success.
<FS3> Jarek rolls 6: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Canis looks back up as she does following the trail of the creature a moment before back at the words. He speaks in lowered tones though he's only seen one once but that was enough to remember what they look like. "It's a drake." the words come out at least. He is patting his horse now who seems uneasy with this turn of events as well.

<FS3> Brienne rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Jarek approaches the boulder and puts his hands on it, trying to push the thing. It's far too heavy for that but he's a knight so he had to try. Taking out his blaster, Jarek takes aim and start to fire into the rock. Each hit causing the splintering in the road to deepen, the knight inadvertenly making things worse for himself without realizing it. With a clunk, his finger suddenly locks into place and the blaster goes off rapidly into the stone. Jarek, not paying attention to aim, starts blasting the road itself and the stone around him gives out. Finger coming free just in time for him to grab hold of the edge while the rest of the road under the boulder gives out and crashes down the mountain side. The big rock wedges into place where the gap was, fixing the road in the same token as breaking it further.

Jarek dangles from one arm while the drake begins to move at the sound of the further stone cracking and landslide. It dips back over the other edge of the mountain before the gust of wind and rush from its wings slit over the top of the mountain.

Tristan pauses for a few moments now as he sees the happenings, and hearing the blaster, and the drake wings, as well as noticing Jarek falling over the edge. "That's…" he begins, shrugging a little as he watches where the man fell. "So… Who's next in line for that House?" he mutters, mostly meant for himself, but with the comms in the armor, others might probably pick it up, right?

Unaware of the blaster Brienne watches the drake, then Canis. Only after Jarek begins falling does she jump off her horse and try to reach for his hand. Too late! "Jarek!" She yells down after him, more worried about him than the drake. "You guys what can we do?"

Canis watches as everything happens so quickly "Jarek!?" he calls over the edge but he's acting as well turning to his pack "I have rope, maybe can lower ourselves down though would have to leave the horses." he says pulling the lengths of rope he brought "Do you have more?"

Brienne reaches down with her good hand, trying to assist Jarek. "Take hold of my hand!" Calling back to Canis. "Get the rope and help so if he takes my hand we don't both fall over!" She reaches, reaches, reaches.."Take my hand!" Cliffhanger anyone?

<FS3> Jarek rolls Athletics: Good Success.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarek=Brawn Vs Brienne=Brawn
< Jarek: Success Brienne: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Tristan lets out a bit of a breath as he watches now, looking to the horses for a few moments, waiting to see if they've calmed down a bit before heading over to help now.

Swinging his unlocked arm along with his body weight, Jarek is able to snag hold of Brienne's hand, however there's not enough strength to get the motors to disengage on his hanging arm causing him to be kept in place and slowly dragging Brienne down with him.

The fall he'd take wouldn't be enough to kill the armored knight, but then there's a reason his house has their motto. It's a statement of caution, life isn't as simple as it always seems, so mind your step as you travel this journey or you'll find yourself quite quickly on the next. "Rope is a good idea, perhaps in Littledon there will be a mechanic or armor smith who can take a look at this suit. Before that though, with rope you can lower me down safely to the road below." Since the road does switchback several times down the side to the entrance of the valley below.

Canis tosses a loop of rope around Brie and ties it to her before finding a good anchor point and securing the line so he can help pull both up without all of them going over the side. "I'm ready to help pull!" he calls to them and will wait for another tug to try and bring both back.

<FS3> Jarek rolls Brawn: Success.

Brienne keeps holding on despite the fact he is dragging her down with him, "I'll never let go Jarek. I'll never let go.." (Cue Titanic music) "You damned well better fight to get up here!"

<FS3> Brienne rolls Brawn: Failure.
<FS3> Canis rolls Brawn: Failure.

"This…" Tristan begins, as he hurries over. Moving to try grab a hold of those that are at risk now. "Nobody is going down…" he mutters, before he tries to get a hold of whoever he can get a hold of.

<FS3> Brienne rolls Brawn: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Brawn: Failure.
<FS3> Jarek rolls Brawn: Failure.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Brawn: Success.

Brienne is not letting go of Jarek and she means it. She grits her teeth and holds on tight, looking down at him as they are both over the edge, dangling there over the precipice below.

Canis is knocked into a rock as he pulls though losing his footing on the rubble from the slide he slides forward *clang* face plate into wall he loses his grip on the rope "NO!" he calls and shakes off the stunning he took from the rock wall moving quickly to restablish his hold on the rope.

"Well, I would say this is awkward… but I've honestly had worse. Of course, I'm not exactly enjoying this view so don't hesitate on my account." Jarek comments flatly, he's joking hopefully, the motors in his arm finally give out and release though that too isn't a good thing. It means his hand begins to slip off the edge, a quick glance up to Brienne. "So, Mystic's Cove is just off to the west there. Imagine, it looks like fluffy clouds but if you walk through it naked your skin will boil off your bones. The Drakes are great huh? We have such a wonderful dichotomy of terrain types, Alpine forests in the north are a majestic honeymoon spot. Volcanoes in the center and south make a beautiful dangerous backdrop, and then we have all these valleys and lava flows."

As he sees Canis drop the rope, Tristan hurries to grab hold of it, grimacing a bit as he tries to keep himself from going over as well. "One of the horses…" he says to the Ligonier, before he adds, "Maybe it can pull them up. Hurry!"

<FS3> Jarek rolls Brawn: Success.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Brawn: Good Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Brawn: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Brawn: Success.
<FS3> Canis rolls Animal Handling: Success.

Canis recovers in time to nod to the others idea and quickly ties it to his horse which is near by urging the animal forward to help the others up from the ledge. He keeps checking nack nervously hoping to see them come over the lip of where they are urging the animal slow and steady to take up the slack to hopefuly give a final pull.

Brienne feels herself getting pulled up and continues holding on to Jarek tighter than ever. She breathes a sigh of relief when she is back on solid ground again, weak now that the adrenaline rush is gone. "Gods, thank you. Both of you." Her gaze seeks Jareks. "How are you?"

"Oh, you know… hanging over the edge of life and thinking about how many soldiers I need to move from Spikka to Northern Outpost Chi Pheta niner. So, same old Jarek I suppose." A pause from the knight before he looks up, "How are you? How's the hand? How's the hair? Family life going well?"

<FS3> Canis rolls Animal Handling: Success.
<FS3> Jarek rolls Brawn+brawn: Good Success.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Brawn+Brawn: Good Success.
<FS3> Brienne rolls Brawn+brawn: Good Success.

Not relaxing until they've gotten the two up, Tristan lets out a deep breath, waiting for a few moments longer before he moves to give his sister a brief, yet fierce, hug. "Don't do that again, please…" he tells her, before he offers a brief grin to Jarek. "That's not what you do for fun around here, I hope?"

Canis stops the pulling when the come over the ledge and find there footing once more he rushes back. He moves to where they are he cant help but he also gives Brie a shorter but still rather fierce hug. "I'm sorry both of you, I lost my footing and slipped." he sounds a mixture of scared and ashamed at his error which nearly cost the others dearly.

Brienne continues laying there on the ground, drawing her arm to her. Her shoulder hurt, her wrist hurt, her hand was killing her from holding on.. but she hadn't let go. She sits up and .. there's Canis, hugging her. Her arms wrap around him tightly, until he pulls away, and she offers him a shaky smile. Not from what just happened but from the hug! "Thanks Canis, both you and Tristan. You saved us."

Now up and over the edge, Jarek finds and picks up his blaster before holstering it. "So uncivilized this thing… never understand why it's insisted that we wear them when drakes are prevalent dangers." When he turns back to Tristan and Canis, "Thank you both for working hard to keep myself and Lady Brienne from falling." he then looks to Tristan only, "Fun? No no, you know that huge ugly snake like creature that caused this? We hunt those for fun, and most of them breath fire to some degree or another."

Tristan nods, letting out another breath now. "Should we move onwards, then?" he asks, before he adds, "In case that drake decides to come back again, that is…"

<FS3> Jarek rolls 8: Success.
<FS3> Jarek rolls 6: Success.

Brienne now has a mission in life. "I want to go drake hunting with you someday, Sir Jarek. Would you take me?" She nods to Tristan, ready to move on.

Canis returns the smile to Brie as she smiles though he still is concerned and upset with himself no doubt. "I'm glad we got you both back." He says looking around though he looks back to he knight as she speaks grinning "I told you it was fun." he says about hunting drakes which he's only done once but still.

"Sure." Is all Jarek gives Brienne in response to her question before he moves off to attend to the horses and then mounts Attop. He waits until all are mounted and read and then heads down the road again, taking each switchback with care. It takes almost an hour to reach the bottom, a small stream trickles through the rock and creates a soft plush carpet of grasses to grow wild with honeysuckle and hyacinth. Jarek stops here and dismounts, moving to unhitch the horses and drag them to the grass to graze and water.

"We'll rest here tonight and in the morning we'll make the trek through the mist. During the light of day we'll be able to see the road markers. Get some sleep, I'll take first watch."

Tristan nods a bit as he dismounts again, letting out a bit of a yawn. "Getting some sleep sounds like an excellent idea…" he offers, starting to move off a bit to get that done now.

Brienne rides up and nods to Jarek. "I've got second watch." She dismounts and smiles at Canis as she withdraws her one man tent from her saddlebag. "You did say it was fun." She looks at Jarek again. "So tell me about life as you."

Canis dismounts and ties up his horse as well looking over to the others he nods "It is exciting that's for sure." the young knight though he cannot sleep just yet after all that's happend he begins preparing his own things setting them up but listening as well.

"Life as me?" Jarek's face finally registers something other than steel cut rock when his eyebrow raises. "Life as the heir to house Saimhann isn't much different than the life of your elder brother Young Lord Declan. I spend all day dealing with house related plannings, war related plannings, report reading, report writing, seeing to the continued training of my new squire Chiron, keeping up with my own practice. This is like a vacation to me, and even now I have things to take care of." which he fishes out a tablet from his saddle bags and moves off to find a seat and starts into it.

Brienne arches her brows, liking this whole learning about life from someone unbiased. "I like Chiron. He's a really good guy. I am giving him my old aggressor armor as soon as I see him again." She has her tent set up but makes no move to enter it. "I'm between squires at the moment."

<Fade Out (people had to do that falling asleep thing) For The Night>
<Fade In (since they all came back online next day) To The Morning>

It had been several hours of sleep, of course at least one person had been awake the whole night and then there was the person who'd fallen asleep on him that finds herself laying wrapped in a sleepbag next to her tent. It was just after dawn when the comm came through to Jarek only, and after he replies to it he wakes the whole camp up. Less than ten minutes later a hoverlift lands not far away and House Saimhann and House Arboren Men at Arms alight and walk over. They speak with the young lord for a moment before he turns and motions to Brienne.

After the event the hoverlift leaves with her and the three men stay behind. Jarek turns to the remaining two, "Well… the journey just got a little harder I'd say." He packs up his tent, not even the front flap unzipped, and then moves off to check on the horses.

It's a long moment where the young man here is tensed as if he'll react or act before the other is lead a way keeping himself in check with only the "The Journey My Lord? I am not sure I can, did you not see? I mean what just happend. I should go…" Canis seems exasperated as if the other had watched some one pick a blade of grass "I dont know what to do." he says though with a breath he knows that calm and thought is needed before he runs off into doing stupid-ville.

Quiet, expression stony and his gaze quite a bit distant. That's Tristan at the moment. He doesn't say anything, just listening for the moment, as he gets his own equipment ready at the moment.

"Relax Canis. If you want to go, you'll only incriminate yourself further with the rumor mongers and your own house. There are still eyes on you and Lady Brienne, regardless of what your true relationship is. The both of you need to calm down, breathe, and think." Jarek walks over and places a firm hand on Canis' shoulder if the younger knight doesn't pull away, "Lady Brienne was recalled by her mother to face the Sauveurs who're asking questions about a request for her hand in marriage and the condition of Lord Advent Sauveur who apparently was taken from the Palace and is being kept in Arborenin."

He then turns his gaze to Tristan, "There was no word about your disposition, Tristan. You're free to ride back to Settlestone and use the Ways to travel home if you'd like however I could still use your bow and sword on this trip." before going back to Canis, "Give her space to do this alone. For one thing, you're stringing her along by continuing to try and look out for her. She's too young and inexperienced to handle a guy who constantly tries to be her protector and yet doesn't give her the rest of himself."

Canis doesnt move as the other moves to him and grips his shoulder "That's not fair. I made a promise to be her best friend, and I asked. Never mind." he says though falls silent for a long moment. He'll turn and begin packing his gear as well though he's still not speaking.

Keeping quiet for a long while longer, Tristan lets out a quiet sigh now. "I…" he finally says, glancing around for a few moments. Taking a few more moments to settle his mind, he sighs. "I'm not sure if I'd do much good, to be honest. My mind seems to be elsewhere…" A grimace after the words are said, before he adds, "Sorry…" Stepping over to Canis, he places a hand on the man's shoulder, saying something quietly, before he looks back to Jarek. "I should go…"

"Very well, Lord Tristan. I'll comm Settlestone to let them know of your arrival." Jarek looks to Canis, "Are you wishing to leave as well? If so, then I'll simply travel with you both and contact Spikka to have house soldiers sent. I thank you for travelling with me this far." a pause as he looks to Canis further, "As for being her best friend, give her space. She's not mature enough yet to differentiate the types of love shared between people. She's confused, questioning, and vulnerable. You're wounding her by being the protective puppy in her shadow." a pause, "Be her friend, don't be her guardian. If you want the best for her as I know you do, then you have to let her fall on her ass a few times. Be there for her, don't try to fix it or soften the blow."

He nods to what is said in whisper by Tristen and is silent while he listens a moment to the other speak about his next move. "I am sorry Lord Jarek I should head in as well." Canis has never given up on a mission and doesn't do so lightly it would seem his shoulders slump a bit "I'd only get someone hurt or myself killed like this." he says. The young knight finishes his packing and straps it to his horse. "Be safe." he says nodding and hops on his horse and spurs it onwards

<FS3> Jarek rolls 8: Good Success.
<FS3> Jarek rolls 4: Success.
<FS3> Jarek rolls 6: Good Success.

Tristan nods a little as he hears what's being said, starting to move for his horse, to get back to Settlestone, and then home, in quiet.

<The Scene Ended Here. Immediately after Tristan and Canis leave Jarek the events depicted in Jarek's most recent memoir, Dreaming Of The Dead, begin.>

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