Mistress Bianca: We never said we are of the Jade Leaf. It is just that I prefer them to do my dirty work since I am all out of flesh eating eels.
Casdegere Constantine gives her a sidelong glance with a hint of concern.
Poacher Leader: Then what do ya want? We got nothin’ to do with you!
Mistress Bianca: So, do you open the door?
Poacher Leader: You go to Hell. Nothin’s openin’.
Casdegere Constantine: I say we burn it.
Mistress Bianca: Fine, Plan B guys, burn it down.
Casdegere Constantine looks over at Bianca for approval.
Mistress Bianca: Mr. Please light the torch.
Casdegere Constantine shrugs, removes his pack, and starts to find a torch and his flint and steel.
Mistress Bianca: You know this would be much simpler if you just opened the door.
Poacher Leader: We can talk through the door. That’s about as simple as it gets.
Casdegere Constantine: Bah, they’re just poachers, they should burn anyway.
Mistress Bianca: I really don’t desire to kill needlessly.
Casdegere Constantine says, "Well its really up to them." He lights a torch and stands up.
Mistress Bianca: And all we wanted to do is get our staff back.
Poacher Leader: We don’t have no staff! That’s God’s honest truth.
Casdegere Constantine: Then have you seen anyone else lurking about near here?
Poacher Leader: Only you!
Mistress Bianca: You may not have the staff, but that does not mean you did not hand it off to someone.
Poacher Leader: Hey, this is a freakin’ swamp. Lots o’ people carry a piece of wood.
Mistress Bianca: This was not ordinary in any way and you know it.
Casdegere Constantine looks over to Rikard and waves a hand to get his attention.
Rikard Castleberry nods back to Casdegere, motioning that he is waiting to ambush at the first sign.
Casdegere Constantine points at the door and slams his fist into his other hand.
Mistress Bianca: Mr. I would start with the windows, they look oiled.
Casdegere Constantine whispers to Bianca “Hold this please.”
Mistress Bianca takes whatever it is he is offering as long as it is isn’t his…you know…
Casdegere Constantine gives her the torch and takes a few steps back.
Mistress Bianca holds the torch up near the window so that the light from it would show through. Not intending to ignite…yet.
Bart picks up a rock.
Mistress Bianca keeps tight to the wall. extending her arm to the window to her right.
Bart lobs the rock onto the front of the roof.
Bianca, Casdegere, and Rickard hear a loud noise above them, and a rock rolls off the roof to the ground.
Casdegere Constantine looks up and starts to move around the house.
Mistress Bianca looks to Casdegere and shrugs.
Bart whispers “Here they come and they have crossbows!”
Casdegere Constantine nods back to him and readies his shield.
man dives through the window at the rear, past Bart, and rolls to his feet.
The poacher gives Casdegere and Bart a quick look, then runs for the trees.
Casdegere Constantine yells, “They’re comin out the back window but hold fast in case they try something on that side next!” He takes up a defensive posture to protect Bart from crossbow fire.
Rikard Castleberry: I step out from behind my cover and take position up in front of the door, ready to attack.
Bart heads after the one who took to the forest using the trees for cover. “I’m going hunting.”
Casdegere, Bart’s movements seem much more fluid than the man who ran off.
Bianca, suddenly a man comes flying through the window near you. He lands on the ground and can go no further.
Bart, a man also comes through your window. But he lands on his feet.
Rikard Castleberry: I stab at the ruffian that jumps through the window as he tries to land near me.
The spear strikes his arm but slides off his chain armor.
Bart puts on a surge of speed, weaving through the trees with inhuman speed. He has almost caught up to the fleeing man. Just a few more seconds…
Casdegere, you heard metal sriking metal out front.
Casdegere Constantine hears fighting and giving Bart one last look, he heads fast around the house. decides He attempts to pin him down the man near Bianca by rushing at him and pinning him against the wall.
Casdegere pushes the man against the wall. the man will have a difficult time escaping.
Mistress Bianca: The brass fist shaped head glows with a chartreuse hue. An ethereal fist hurls toward its victim with an ephemeral trail of glitter. The ethereal fist lands fully square on her targets chest knocking out its wind and causing it to stagger back a few steps.
The man reels back under the ethereal assault, although he does not appear hurt. He flies back through the window.
Rikard Castleberry: I take a step in front of the window, obstructing the poacher’s sight of Bianca, and attack him through the window with my spear.
Rikard pokes at the man with his spear, but the window ledge gives him a poor angle. Rikard and Bianca see the man in the house get up and run in the other direction through the house.
The man near Casdegere tries to bull past him but fails.
The man once more tries to bull past Casdegere. Casdegere keeps in penned in.
Mistress Bianca runs up several paces to see if there is someone running out the back.
Yes, the man is running from the house.
Mistress Bianca: The brass fist shaped head glows with a chartreuse hue. An ethereal fist hurls toward its victim with an ephemeral trail of glitter.
Mistress Bianca’s ephemeral fist cracks the poacher hard in the back of the head.
The man takes a cruel blow and stumbles forward, obviously hurt. But he stays on his feet.
Mistress Bianca: GAH!
Casdegere Constantine looks into the mans eyes angrily “Stand down!” then bludgeons him with the flat of his spear to mark the point.
Unfortunately, the man does not respond, as he crumples to the ground.
Bart fades back into the forest keeping the man in sight. “You can surrender or die. If you do not have the staff you can leave.”
The man looks afraid and appears ready to surrender.
Rikard Castleberry: I take a step inside the building to see, well, what I see inside. I continue on inside and look further in.
The man Bianca clobbered keeps on running into the trees.
Rikard Castleberry: I move up a couple more steps so I can get a full look of the entire building.
Nice cozy house. You could live here and love it.
Rikard Castleberry considers staying here, but replacing the windows, for a moment.
You see three backpacks, some clothing, and other minor items.
Rikard Castleberry: I start to search the house for useful items and possibly the staff, looking under beds and such.
Poacher turns to Bart and raises his hands. “OK. I’m not runnin’ What do you want?”
Casdegere Constantine shifts his shield into his shield hand, grabs the scruff of the unconscious poachers neck and begins to drag him toward the door.
Casdegere gets him into the house.
Bart, the man’s pant leg has a large wet spot near his crotch.
Bianca barely sees the man’s shoulder about 50-60 feet away.
Mistress Bianca: The brass fist shaped head glows with a chartreuse hue. An ethereal fist hurls toward its victim with an ephemeral trail of glitter.
The man gets pushed forward, but the blow was weak.
Mistress Bianca goes out to find Bart.
Casdegere Constantine sets the guy up in a chair. He then uses some rope and ties him to the chair.
Bianca, you meet Bart as he heads back towards you. He carries a crossbow and sword.
Mistress Bianca escorts the two back to the house. "Well done Mr. Bart."
Bart: They took the staff and headed north about two hours ago.
Casdegere, the man begins groaning.
Bart: And thank you.
Mistress Bianca: Who took it?
Casdegere Constantine makes sure he has all of his gear and everything is in its place.
Bart: A man called Hoyt and two friends.
The groaning man also has a leather bag filled with coins.
Rikard Castleberry: Calls out, "Hey you two, have fun outside?"
Bart: It is a beautiful day out.
Mistress Bianca: Why yes, but we have to move soon.
Casdegere Constantine stops what he’s doing “Why…what’s happened?”
Rikard Castleberry: Must we? It appears that this domicile is quite comfy, and it appears Cas found us a friend to talk to.
Mistress Bianca approaches the house and enters.
Poacher rolls slightly to one side and opens his eyes. “Shit.”
Bart enters through the window and sits on the bed. “They left with the staff about two hours ago.”
Mistress Bianca: The other one opened up. Hoyt and two others took the staff north 2 hours ago. Bart must be better than I thought.
Casdegere Constantine looks up at the ceiling, “Hoyt, Hoyt, that name sounds familiar.”
Mistress Bianca looks at the one tied to the chair and drums a finger on her mask. "So which one of you said we can kiss his pimply ass?"
Rikard Castleberry: I’m pretty sure it was this one.
Bart asks if anyone uses a crossbow while looking around for some bolts.
Mistress Bianca: Hoyt. I know this name.
The man in the chair has a few crossbow bolts. Bart finds 10 on one of the side tables.
Mistress Bianca: A poacher himself. I wonder how much the Order would pay us for him.
Casdegere Constantine looks at the man sternly, “What is your name?”
Poacher: My name…uh, Simon.
Casdegere Constantine: Where are you from Simon?
Poacher: You’ll let me go, right? Like you said?
Casdegere Constantine: You will answer my questions or face the wrath of the Jade Leaf. Do you know what they do..to poachers.
Poacher gulps. “Shit, man. We didn’t mean nothin’.”
Casdegere Constantine: What are the names of your comrades?
Poacher: You’ll let me go? On your honor?
Casdegere Constantine: Well, not if you dont stop lying to me.
Rikard Castleberry: Who’s honor would that be?
Poacher splutters, “I didn’t lie!”
Mistress Bianca: There is only one question I want an answer to. Where is Hoyt hiding out?
Bart: To the North.
Mistress Bianca: Across the water?
Casdegere Constantine: Is it or is that just where he headed?
Poacher: Nobody ‘cept Huygens knows that.
Rikard Castleberry: And where is this Huygens?
Poacher laughs bitterly. “Nobody knows that. I’m sure I’d be dead if I knew.”
Casdegere Constantine: "Well I’m not hearing anything that should stop my from letting the Jade Leaf….question you.”
Poacher: Let me go, please. You can have my cut.
Mistress Bianca: Yes and you probably also know that Lenar Hoyt, the highest lieutenant of Huygens Tierney would also kill you if you told us where he lived.
Bart looks impressed of Bianca.
Mistress Bianca: But remember that there are things…worse than death.
Rikard Castleberry: Hmmm your cut, about that.
Casdegere Constantine also looks impressed and allows a slight smile to cross his lips.
Poacher: Shit, you know it. But I don’t know. It’s easier if no one knows.
Casdegere Constantine: Well I would be remiss as a Citizen of Kith’takharos not take you in…Simon, and since you have no information to offer me, I owe you one anyhow for clubbing me on the head.
Poacher: Anyway, one thing I know for sure. Huygens WILL kill me. You might.
Mistress Bianca: Your cut…
Rikard Castleberry grins, "He won’t kill you if I do it first…"
Casdegere Constantine: “No, thats dirty gold, it will go with him to the jade Leaf.”
Bart lays on the bed, fiddling with his new sword.
Casdegere Constantine: He must answer for his crimes.
Poacher sighs. “I’m tired. Kill me or not. Get it over with.”
Mistress Bianca: Step back Mr. Casdegere…Mr. Castleberry.
Bart: I say let him go.
Casdegere Constantine looks over at her and complies.
Rikard Castleberry hops up on the bed.
Mistress Bianca steps up close to the poacher and puts her face inches from his. She removes her mask slowly.
Poacher: Back off with the mask, Bitch!
Casdegere Constantine decides to be distracted.
Bart tries to get a look.
Rikard Castleberry glances out the window to his left.
Poacher: Holy crap!
Mistress Bianca: You fear Huygens. You fear Hoyt. Fear ME worse then death!
Poacher says, " God preserve me. You aren’t natural!" heshakes and jerks his head aside, drool running out the corner of his mouth. A wet spot grows on his leg. Again.
The sharp tang of urine fills the air.
Rikard Castleberry: I swear that wasn’t me guys.
Bart: No ale scent.
Mistress Bianca whispers to the poacher,”Do you have anything to add that may interest me?"
Poacher brings his head even closer and whispers, “Hoyt said something before he left. He said the staff was evil, served evil. And he knew just what to do with it. Then he laughed and scared the shit out of me. That’s it, so help me God.”
Casdegere Constantine sighs and looks over at Bart, “Can you track where they went?”
Bart: Shoud be able to – there were three of them.
Mistress Bianca puts her mask back on and stands up straight.
Casdegere Constantine nods almost guessing his answer.
Mistress Bianca: I never want to see you again. Understoood?
Poacher: Same here!
Mistress Bianca: I’ll be outside.
Casdegere Constantine: Very well, take what you want but we should press on if we intend on catching up to them.
Poacher: Hey, untie me!
Casdegere Constantine: Those ropes will loosen in time if you work at them.
Rikard Castleberry: Did someone say something? I think I heard a bird singing outside.
Bart: Besides your friends should come back.
Rikard Castleberry dramatically hops out the window.
Casdegere Constantine simply walks out.
Bart, surprised that no-one took the money, heads out also.
Mistress Bianca leans on the wall bracing herself with her arm.
Casdegere Constantine whispers “Are you alright?”
Mistress Bianca: I didn’t enjoy that.
Bart heads off towards the north looking for a trail or some sign of the three.
Casdegere Constantine nods and says nothing, then jerks his head toward the others, turns and heads towards them.
Mistress Bianca composes herself.
Rikard Castleberry follows after Bart.
Mistress Bianca: Casdegere, wait.
Casdegere Constantine turns back toward her.
Mistress Bianca whispers, “Hoyt will kill us.”
Bart finds a clear trail heading northeast.
Bart: We ready to go?
Casdegere Constantine: Then perhaps we should endeavor to inform your uncle…before we get on over our heads.
Mistress Bianca whispers, “He is not where he is because he is weak. He is also wizard like me, but better."
Casdegere Constantine nods taking in her words.
Mistress Bianca nods towards Bart.
Casdegere Constantine sighs, “We should head back.”
Mistress Bianca: Lets discuss this …somewhere else.
Casdegere Constantine: Agreed.
Mistress Bianca says, "Lets follow the path a bit."
Bart heads off down the trail.
Casdegere Constantine follows.
Bart quickly realizes those he follows did not attempt to hide their trail. The trail heads steadily northeast, and in about 30 minutes reaches the water.
Bianca, you see a small boat a couple hundred yards offshore, headed towards the island that contains Kith’takharos. It will likely land somewhat north of the village.
Mistress Bianca: Bart, Rikard, Casdegere, I think we should get close but not confront Hoyt.
Casdegere Constantine says, "Is that them?" He points out onto the water.
Rikard Castleberry: Why not confront him?
Mistress Bianca: Like I said to Casdegere, he is more than capable, and willing…to kill us all.
Casdegere Constantine says, "Well then lets just follow at a distance and confront him in a public place." He heads toward the boat.
Bart: Are you going to swim?
The distance to the other shore is probably 300 yards, give or take.
Mistress Bianca: We can go back to uncle and get some help.
Casdegere Constantine nods. He is tempted to just swim it.
Mistress Bianca: Then lets quickly get back to the Guild.
Bart tosses the sword to Rikard and dives into the water.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart, stay hidden and see where he goes.
Bart: All I was planning on.
Casdegere Constantine heads south along the shore, back to the boat.
Bart, you are swimming easily towards the other shore.
Mistress Bianca: Mr. Castleberry, Mr. Constantine. We need to return the boat. Else we would be accused of theft.
Bart follows the boat from a distance, far enough to make it difficult for them to see him.
Casdegere Constantine nods and breaks out into a run down shore.
Mistress Bianca runs along behind him.
Bart, you stay low in the water without too many splashes. The boat reaches the shore. Three men get out. Two pull it onto shore and cover it with brush. The third is a tall man, obviously giving orders. He carries a staff, but you can’t make out details. The group heads inland and is soon out of sight.
Bart swims to the shore and the boat.
The boat has the leaf symbol of the Order of the Jade Leaf painted on the prow, crudely crossed out.
Bart puts the boat back in the water, tying it so that it would not drift but easily visible for his companions. He leaves a small bit of food and water on the sand and gives thanks before quietly heading after the three.
Again, Bart, the trail is clear. In a short while it turns north. After about 10 minutes, you think the northern shore of the island grows near. The smell is different here, more fishy. Now you hears male voices. More than three.
Bart slinks back to find his friends.
Casdegere, Bianca, and Rikard reach the boat.
Casdegere Constantine assumes that this is where they must have landed and looks around for Bart.
Rikard Castleberry: Hop in the boat, naturally.
Mistress Bianca gets in the boat.
Casdegere Constantine gets in the boat. He grabs a pole and starts poling towards Kith’takharos.
Bart: goes back to shore to look for his friends. He expects them to come to him.
When Bart reaches the place the boat was stowed, he finds it gone. Eventually, the others realize that Bart will not find them, and head back to the place they hid the boat. Bart is waiting patiently. Now the entire group poles back to Kith’takharos and returns the boat to Vladimar Batu.