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Author Topic: I See You've Let Yourself In  (Read 2324 times)


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I See You've Let Yourself In
« on: January 15, 2015, 12:32:00 AM »
The head guard had interrupted Féren’s and Séla’s slumber several times since he had been hired, but none of them had been in vain. Therefore when the restless Séla woke her husband so he could greet Láil and attend to whatever trouble there was, Féren did not mind a bit that he had been so rudely jolted away from sleep. His wife was already slipping to the side of the bed to get ready to leave the household, just in case, but the head guard lifted his hand to stop her. “Nay, milady. The danger, if one can even call it that, has been stopped.”

Féren frowned and began to smooth out the nightshirt to ready himself. “Then what required our services, Láil?” he asked, civilly accounting for the circumstances. His wife still did not heed the guard’s reassurance, and began to put on a coat to cover her nightdress just in case. Then again, the guard hesitated. “Well, if it must be done, Míla does need to be sent to bed, so if you’d like to attend to that, milady…” Séla faltered. “Has anything happened to her?” The spouses exchanged looks. “She should have been asleep at this time!” The guard cleared his throat. “It seems...your daughter caught a bandit around the gardens, suspiciously going through the gardens, and called for our attention. The troublemaker is now apprehended, sir, and your daughter is completely unharmed.”

Féren was caught between laughing aloud for his daughter’s misadventure and being irritated for her well-being, as well as for being woken by it--yet they all had to be thankful for Míla for her late-night scouting. “Well, master Láil, where is Míla now?” The guard gestured to the hall he had come through, “Being given a hot drink at the kitchen.” This was all Séla needed; she climbed again on the bed hastily to give her husband a little peck on the lips and then looked for her leather slippers. “Why can’t it be Báren who gets himself in trouble?” laughed his wife. Láil stepped back to let Séla walk past him and make her way to the kitchen.

“Well, as for you, General Féren,” indicated the head guard respectfully, “I think you should be the one to deal with this trespasser.” Féren lifted an eyebrow in question. “It seems that for days, the nearby neighbors have been commenting about a poacher roaming these parts, so we might have come across this very poacher ourselves. It would be your choice whether it is a matter important enough to send her up to the city stocks.” Féren sighed, more out of exasperation with the situation rather than his head guard. “Let me get dressed so I may meet our guest decently, Láil. I shall join you shortly in the…?” “The wine-cellar. The only place we could shackle her hands.” Féren inclined his head. “You are dismissed.” The guard saluted with an inclination of the head, as was protocol, and walked down the hall.

He was in hasty attire, for short meetings; a decent brown tunic and trousers. What did trouble him was the somewhat unkempt appearance of his beard, and his hair, having only left his bed. But all those worries disappeared when he travelled through the maze of his home and to the kitchen, which was now empty from the troublemaker that had caused this entire venture and was probably in bed being scolded by her mother. And a door to the kitchen’s left led to the infamous cellar. It was already lit when he opened the door, and Féren walked in, shouting out a command for his guards to remain attentive when he entered, in Khûzdul. Láil was the one given permission to speak. Instead of speaking, he motioned to the pillar beside him, where the bandit had been shackled against for safety.

Féren was not impressed by the thief at all, except for the fact that it was most definitely female. But it was of no consequence. The guards were allowed to be at ease, but Féren continued speaking in Khûzdul to the thief. “Welcome to my estate. I see you’ve let yourself in.”

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I See You've Let Yourself In
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 11:04:00 PM »
There were two guards – there had been more, but they’re disappeared up the stairs after it was assured that Rian wouldn’t be going anywhere. They were remarkably stony-faced individuals, all dressed up in armour, with thick accents shaping their growls – they seemed like echoes of Raek. The thief would have disliked them for that alone.

 But there were other factors, too – they had also dragged her down here quite roughly, showing absolutely no respect even when they knew full well that she was no man and had no proof that she’d been doing anything other than crossing the gardens on her way to the road. And then there was the general irritation at just about everything that came from being discovered and caught because of a waist-high child. A part of Rian was also pretty impressed, but mainly she was angry. And more than a little scared, locked alone in a wine cellar but for soldiers. Soldiers couldn’t be trusted – not ever. It was a lesson that had taken a while to learn, but she wouldn’t easily forget it.

 Footsteps whispered in the distance, gradually growing louder. The guards shuffled. Armour clinked. Rian swallowed and resisted the urge to cough. Somewhere in the vast cellar, the faintest sigh of wind stirred dust. The guard on the left shot a glance at the one on the right, who gave his fourth bewildered shrug – at one point he actually voiced disbelief that a girl had been wandering through the grounds at night, and at another he had disapprovingly questioned the morality of tying the woman up (he had received a solid kick in his armoured shin somewhere between the two). With the benefit of hindsight, he was a weak point – she could probably convince him to give her a little more slack to her bonds and thus slip out of them. The other just wanted to go to sleep, judging by the way he leaned heavily on the haft of his axe.

 Instead of going past, the footsteps had paused at the closest point and then the door swung open, letting in more flickering torchlight as well as two more dwarves. Both carried authority in how they walked – one more than the other, even looking a little like he had just rolled out of bed. The one was shouting orders in Khûzdul that rang in the silence, making the guards stand to attention before relaxing slightly. Rian flinched and was vaguely glad that she was at least causing him some disturbance by interrupting his rest, seeing as his guards and his half-wild resident alarm-raiser had gone and derailed her entire day. Week. Month. Life. You think they’ll let you go?

 The dwarf she could only assume was master of the house was close enough to see now – all light brown hair and eyes shadowed in the torchlight, still rumpled with sleep and decidedly nonplussed. And he spoke in Khûzdul. Odd choice; a vague impression of court proceedings that left her uneasy. They have no proof they can’t take my hand they have no proof-

 At his less than sincere welcome, Rian nodded acceptingly and tipped her head, letting dark hair fall away from her face, saying nothing behind the revealed gag but raising an eyebrow. Bit hard to answer you right now.

 Without waiting to be ordered, the more awake of the two guards swooped in and tugged the rough cloth away. With a wince at the aftertaste and a moment of working her jaw, the liar cleared her throat and put on a mask less meek than it might have been, had she not still been rankling over being caught by a girl who couldn’t have been more than twenty. The gentler sound of the common tongue answered his harsh Khûzdul, the lilt of the Blue Mountains ironic in light of the fact she had yet to visit that range.

 “Didn’t see a door, wasn’t aware that I was trespassing. My apologies. Are all guests treated so hospitably?”



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I See You've Let Yourself In
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2015, 03:49:00 AM »
The trespasser was the usual ware of a wanderer Dwarf in Middle Earth, even if it was female. But for some reason, the general knew that this wasn’t the usual fish he could find in the market. Choppy black hair, yet it was so dark, it must have been dyed. Emerald eyes, not very commonly found in the Iron Hills, which also led him Féren to wonder what brought her to the Iron Hills when there was not much prospective business… The guard did its best to clean up its streets, and while work remained to be done and it was impossible to rid the entire mountains of scoundrels, it was certainly better in terms of respect than, say, the Grey Mountains.

However, he was not going to stand for the rag. Láil was always fervous about his defense of the household. He was a close friend of Séla’s family, after all, and had become rather a good friend to Féren. Perhaps that explained the rag...and the reason why the thief seemed so fearful, and not just annoyed. He waved his hand for the rag to be taken off, then he whispered to Láil in his ear. “Friend, I thank you for your commitment, but while there is a thief on the loose around these parts, I’m guessing her teeth aren’t too powerful a weapon for our crew.” “No,” whispered back humble Láil. This was all he needed, so he exchanged a smile and turned to the thief.

Something odd about her was rough, like she’d spent too much time down at the mines, and breathed too much bad air in her life. “Didn’t see a door, wasn’t aware that I was trespassing. My apologies. Are all guests treated so hospitably?” While one guard, one of the younger, raised an eyebrow, Féren did not let himself be jarred by her sarcasm. “Not likely, no,” he replied, this time in Common. “Then again, if my house were a road, I would be far more used to guests like you. What happened to the more transited roads of the Iron Hills? Surely there was nothing…illegal in your business, sneaking into private property when it would make no sense for an honest traveller to do so.”

He approached her now, to speak to her even more seriously. “Even more so, when you’re fleeing from a fifteen-year-old, there cannot possibly any good intention to your travel. And I’d let you go, because, believe it or not, it doesn’t cause me any pleasure to keep you captive. However, there’s been troubling talk through these parts of the Iron Hills lately.” Féren turned again, back to the three guards that had accompanied him down the cellar. “What was it again, Vári?” “There’s been a thief a-roamin’ the land, sir,” responded the young lad.

“There you have it,” pointed again Féren, lifting an eyebrow at the thief. “Is there any reason why I shouldn’t suspect you, Miss…?” The pause was for the girl to give her name.

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I See You've Let Yourself In
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 10:31:00 AM »
The whispers exchanged and the smile made Rian wary, pulling absently at her chafing bonds. Pity they were rope and not shackles; her fingers were stiffening and it would be more difficult to undo the knots (if she couldn’t find a knife) than to slide lockpicks out of her bracelet and open metal bands.

 He followed her switch to Westron, thankfully. She knew Khûzdul fluently, it was just so… Formal. Made everything sound like it was set in stone. “Then again, if my house were a road, I would be far more used to guests like you. What happened to the more transited roads of the Iron Hills? Surely there was nothing… illegal in your business, sneaking into private property when it would make no sense for an honest traveller to do so.”

 “There surely wasn’t.” The cogs were already whirling, grinding ideas into something usable. Sentences weren’t arranged so much as the events behind them – Rian was actually able to stick to the truth a fair bit, in this case.

 “Even more so, when you’re fleeing from a twenty-five-year-old, there cannot possibly any good intention to your travel.” Rian couldn’t resist a sigh, blowing her hair out of her face. “And I’d let you go, because, believe it or not, it doesn’t cause me any pleasure to keep you captive. However, there’s been troubling talk through these parts of the Iron Hills lately.” Oh, fantastic. Word travelled fast. And she hadn’t even taken that much!

 Well, at least none of it was still on her. The thief kept her face almost blank, suspicion sparking in the tightening line of her mouth as she was accused. He wasn’t really giving her much of a chance to talk, this one.

 “Bris daughter of Bren, master…?” Not so much at your service as at your mercy, at this moment. Displeasure etched itself on her face, as though the words she was about to tell were sour ones.

 “Plenty of reasons. The gist is that I have terrible judgement in hiring guides.” Rian’s gaze flicked to the side, glaring at some far-off figure not there to receive the force of her irritation. My only crime is wanting to see more of the world than one city.” Like I’d be willing to bet your daughter does. Green eyes returned to Féren, cold with just a hint of shame. “I came here with a merchant train, but I’ve had enough of this place by now. I wanted to go back home to Ered Luin. So I hired a guide – name of Takkun, though I doubt that’s the real one. He’s your thief. I suppose he wanted to bring a maiden with him to relieve suspicion, though he usually went to meet people alone and told me to follow if he wasn’t back in a few hours, which never came to pass. He was probably planning to leave me as soon as we were free of civilisation, or do worse.” Rian’s gaze darkened, and she pulled her knees in. Her body language was defensive at the ‘memory’, angry at being tricked. She had been using Briosk at her last few stops, called herself Takkun once, and is should be easy enough to accept that a thief would use false names. There had been only one of her, though, which was a slight problem. But hopefully her reason for that would hold.

“Stupidly, I didn’t realise until two days past, then left his company to try and make it on my own. Lacking a map, I headed in the direction I thought the road was in. I was hoping to reach it before I slept tonight. Apparently I didn’t guess very well, if it’s truly nowhere near your grounds. I… The girl – your daughter, I assume – she panicked me. I was hoping to get as far as the Grey Mountains before anything else went wrong.” Voice dry, she tugged pointedly at the bonds.



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I See You've Let Yourself In
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 11:40:00 PM »
It was very easy not to trust this disheveled-looking intruder, more focused in breaking through her bonds rather than negotiate her release, as an innocent would have more likely done. But to truly understand a probable threat, one had to at least familiarize himself with it; they needn't become friends, but at least she needed to learn his name, see him as more than just a stick figure, and her guard would go down. Right now, from her evasive attitude to her sarcastic “There surely wasn't,”, it was plain to see her guard couldn't be higher. And it was partly his fault, for judging. So once she gave her name as Bris, Féren chose not to interrupt, and instead listened on. He dropped back, and his hands went from behind his back to his sides, so it was all more casual. Almost as if it were an ordinary conversation...if it weren't for the bonds that held her.

“Bris daughter of Bren, master…?” But she seemed ready to explain herself, so Féren inclined his head and let her continue with her tale. Her tone was displeased, as she related on how she wished to see the world, how she'd hired the real thief, a certain Takkun, and suspected betrayal earlier on. So went on the tale how she had left his company with no map, no way of knowing where she was going, nor knowledge of where the road was. This was all met without a comment, ”The girl – your daughter, I assume – she panicked me. I was hoping to get as far as the Grey Mountains before anything ‘else’ went wrong.” And then an idea came into his head - an old trick Tollen liked to play on Felan when they played cards when they were younger.

When Tollen wished to know when Felan was pulling a poker face, he switched to casual conversation about anything else, and got him to answer questions or statements that he really couldn’t disagree with, and Felan showed his true smiles or frowns. That way he had a fresh reference to tell whether he was about to have a trick pulled from under his sleeve. Now, the problem here was that he did not know Bris as well as Tollen knew Felan, but that was where company came in. No matter how closed off you are to conversation, one would eventually reveal their emotions as time passed. More often than not it was out of politeness and here politeness was not going to be a factor, but at the very least here Bris wanted to look good enough to be set free. It was not the most accurate tactic, but perhaps something else might develop that could change his mind about whether he should send people to drag her to the stocks at the military post not far from Silver Hill, or whether to allow her a night of rest at his house and show her the way out of the Iron Hills on his own.

“Why, yes, that was my daughter. Míla.” Almost as if deliberating, he paused again and went to Láil's side - “Leave us, but stay close to the entrance,” he murmured to Láil's ear. Only Vári remained there, at Féren's orders. Should Bris truly prove to be true to her word, only he was needed to untie her. ”You see, she's as eager to travel to world as you were. As I was at that age. Gave my parents some trouble, just as she sometimes does to me. Your parents must really be supportive of you.” He let her react to the sentence before going on. “I mean, sending you all the way from Ered Luin without relatives to explore the world, even stopping at Ered Mithrin. I think we’ll both agree it isn’t a very pleasant stop.”

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