The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

A blistering desert that stretches for hundreds of miles around Nashaki, with very little relief from the baking heat.

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Zelferan
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:40 pm

"Indeed I am. Quite interesting the little show was, though less satisfying than it could have been. It's always so much more fun to listen to someone screaming when you're bashing their skull in. Corpses don't really seem to have the same perception of pain, now do they?" The Lothar returned with a laugh, seeming none too bothered by what had just happened. Which was true, if anything he'd just found it amusing. "I can only imagine how much trouble you caused for Vri to be so very upset," he chortled as he let the scene play out in his head. Of course, immortals were touchy like that sometimes so Zelferan couldn't necessarily be all too surprised. His eyes met Eddrick's evenly, regarding the man passively. The almost cat like green orbs flitted to the mess for a moment, his hair jostling itself slightly as he shook his head.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, war chief, and I have no preference on who wants to listen. I respect your nobility to your men, even if you do seem a bit trusting. But then again, I do not know your men. I'm little more than an outside and it is nowhere in my power to judge. You may simply refer to me as Zelferan, for that is the only part of my name for which my memory serves. As you can see, I'm a Lothar, and despite how astounding our memory is at times, some of us tend to forget. He held out a hand, offering to shake hands with Eddrick. Whether Eddrick took his hand or not, the Lothar would recover quickly and move on with what he was trying to say. It was best to get down to business, after all.

"As any of your men who were around me today could attest, I'm not much of a fighter. In fact, I'm rather poor at it all things considered. It's never been my job to fight and when it was it was usually done with my fists. As the luck on my side might have it, I did not approach you today to talk about fighting. I wish to join you and your raiders, not as a typical bandit, but as more of a merchant. Given money and time, I would be able to secure you with valuable resources from inside the city. Both material and informational," Zelferan said. He watched carefully, trying to gauge Eddrick's reaction. At the moment, he was sure to look like a foolish merchant with little to offer. Zelferan, however, was simply being cautious. The Raiders and the Tower were not on the best terms, which made things dangerous but also gave him power.

Deciding now the best time, he continued on with trying to sell himself. "Recently I have acquired employment in one of the city's towers. Specifically, the Tower of Flesh. I came to you because I am a man who typically lacks loyalty. I'm willing to sell myself and my loyalties to the highest bidder. I was wondering if perhaps you'd be willing to pay me more than the tower for their information?" Zelferan cooed, making sure to keep his eyes locked with Eddrick's. He was careful to watch however Eddrick's expression might change. After all, Zelferan needed to know if he should start running after a comment like that.
word count: 578
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Eddrick Brodon
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:25 pm

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Having given little more than a raised eyebrow and an indifferent shrug through most of the newcomer's speech, he took hold of the offered hand with a hesitant smile. "Well, to begin with, pain is not something I seek opportunities to inflict. I would as soon kill my enemies painlessly if that were possible. But not by poison, unless it's applied to a weapon that I face them with."

He did not immediately relinquish the newcomer's hand, his own free hand sliding toward the hilt where his own knife rested, "Too trusting, you say?" the bandit's men snickered knowingly behind him, "I might say the same of those who offer their hand to a bandit. But I guess that confirms your statement that you are not an experienced fighter."

He pulled the man's arm suddenly, intending to bring him close enough to thrust the blade up to where the tip would scratch the underside of the Lothar's chin while looking him dead in the eye. Eddrick was certainly no weakling, and unless Zelferan was onto his intent, he would succeed. But it would only be through the backing of one of his men that he would do so. The henchman's purpose being initially to grab the lothar's free arm and prevent a reciprocal move with a close-in weapon, but being necessary as well to push him into his chief's control.

Either way, Eddrick would nod with a measure of respect, as his blade glistened at throat level, whether or not it was in contact with flesh. "Okay, you're no limp noodle. I hear that that's a bonus of your race. Nonetheless, you are very much lacking in salesmanship, my friend. While I suppose I should appreciate your honesty, when it presents itself in the form of a confession to be entirely motivated by money, I find the luster of your offer dimming somewhat."

If he was still holding the other man in check, he now released him, taking a step back himself, "Why should I trust a man that openly states his willingness to switch sides for money? Sure, we are all ultimately after money, but reliable, trustworthy mates are worth a lot. Plus, I al-...already have heard...that the Tower of Flesh has only one council seat."

Eddrick hid the slip with a cough, and strained to hide a grimace of irritation with himself. He had very nearly admitted to having a contact with the Tower of Gems, and had had to cover the remark with a clumsy save. He scrutinized the lothar's face for any signs that he'd detected the slip, hoping it would look like nothing more than scrutiny of the reaction to the comment he'd finished with.

Beside that, rumor held that the Tower of Flesh had far more influence than the number of seats would imply. It was said they were denied more seats as a means of holding them in check. Eddrick could not deny that he'd like to gain a foothold there, regardless of, or even because, he had a contact in Gems. The two would be able to confirm each other's reports behind each others' backs.

He also knew that the Lothar could not easily go to his contact at the Tower and state that he'd compromise the Rhakriis if his man paid up more then he was currently paying him already. That would be pretty well tantamount to admitting that he may have been selling him out already. Eddrick sheathed his knife, "Perhaps you'd like to rephrase your offer in a manner that puts more emphasis on why I can trust you?"
Last edited by Eddrick Brodon on Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 628
Zelferan
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:58 am

Zelferan made no move to try and resist the man handling. Instead, he went with the flow. Quite literally in fact. The tip of the knife brushed rather brazenly against his throat, gently breaking the skin and causing a thin red line to form where metal kissed flesh. In spite of that, the Lothar met Eddrick's eyes with an almost eerily blank calm. If the man was trying to be intimidating, he'd chosen the wrong approach to use against Zelferan, the same way Zelferan had chosen the wrong persuasive approach against him. He simply listened, seemingly more attentive than he'd been up to this point, but his face was completely passive. There seemed to be a certain mask dropping, betraying an expression in his eyes that was weary, a deep kind of tired look that was usually accompanied by a deep and resounding misery, though at least Zelferan still had enough of his mask to keep that out of his expression.

When Eddrick finished what he was saying and released him Zelferan took a deep breath and released it in the form of a heavy sigh. His posture sagged slightly and he ran a hand through his hair. The Lothar couldn't read Eddrick well enough to see if he was expecting this reaction or more elaborate fan fare, but it didn't matter much at this point. It was time to drop the act and be blunt. "Then allow me to be brutally honest for a couple of moments," the man said as he seemed to gather up not only his thoughts but his courage. It wasn't that he feared the raiders, no he couldn't possibly fear them for he welcomed death, but he feared the words that were about to leave his mouth. "If I am to be up front, I am an idiot in most regards of life. This entire incarnation I spent trailing after a man I thought to be my brother and doing exactly what he said and I haven't had time to try and use the memories of my past lives to try and get a handle on the situation I've found myself in. But at least I have that liberty unlike some. With this almost child-like stupidity comes the fact that most of what I do is trial and error and if I ever want to be good at persuasion I need to practice being persuasive, that means finding a place to start. Maybe what equates to a bandit king was a bad target to try and practice on, especially when I'm not good enough to read people..." The man started. There was a change in his expression, posture, and voice that implied everything he was saying was genuine. He paused once more, running second hand through his hair, there was a small spark of what equated to anxiety as he stumbled his way through a random and confusing thought process.

"Allow me to start over without trying to practice a craft I have no skills in. I am Zelferan. At 16 arcs old I followed the man I thought was my brother far from our home, fell in love with an amazing woman, and the bastard decided to have his way with her. I do not give out my loyalty anymore because I don't want to give it out to people I know won't be loyal to me. I know I'm dispensable at best, at least that's what he taught me. The same goes for my trust. Every time I give it away it gets abused. I wear a mask of confidence and arrogance because it's easier to go through life like that. You can pretend that all the horrible things people say behind your back doesn't matter, that in the end they're wrong and they'll always be wrong. In the end, I don't give a shit about money, or banging women, or even power. The only thing I want out of those is power so that I can use it to hunt down the bastard I called a brother and get revenge for the person I loved. The other two are just there to numb the pain. The reason I want... the reason I need your help is because if I want true power I need Ravena's seat, and right now the lot of you are the only hope that I have. I don't believe there are loyal or trustworthy people in this world anymore. But I know I need help and I will do whatever is in my power to try and get it, no matter how much I have to lower myself and beg. And if you prove me wrong, I will damn well sell my soul for you," he said. He lifted his arms in a there you have it kind of gesture before letting them fall to his sides. He kept his gaze completely even with Eddrick the entire time, just waiting for the judgment or the no, bracing himself for the hell he'd have to go through when he went back to the tower.

"Take it or leave it. I've told you the honest to immortals truth. I've given you and your men more trust than I've given to anyone in arcs just by uttering the words I've kept silent since the day that it happened. And if you still won't believe me, won't give me a chance, then don't bother sending me away. Just end me now, I don't want to remember this life anymore," he said, his shoulders heaving in another bitter sigh.
word count: 958
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Eddrick Brodon
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:03 am

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As the newcomer spoke, Eddrick noted how there were virtually no catches in his speech. He looked in complete comfort and control. No, there was emotion all right, but no fatigue whatsoever. Gauging the steadily decreasing panting of his men against him, he could see that this "Zelferan" fellow must possess a remarkable degree of hot weather resistance and fortitude. He was not winded in the least, even after a fight. The man must have lived here for a while. Yet he was not sure that the man's story bore that out. But there was plenty of time for those details.

This second speech was far more appealing to the Warchief than the previous "love-of-blood-and-death" bluster he'd burst out with the first time around. He'd had such men in the ranks before. They had always brought trouble down on the raiders' heads. Most citizens were willing to accept the existence of bandits as long as they did not seek "your money AND your life". There was a place for intimidation in many of their operations. But once the victim was cowed, the rumor that cooperation would not spare you from a slow agonizing death anyway was both vile and counter-productive.

He'd found that a target that truly believed they were going to be tortured to death even if they gave up their money, would instead fight to the death with surprising courage and ingenuity. Also, the idea of wanton cruelty reminded Eddrick too much of what he'd left behind in Athart. More than once he'd given ultimatums to such men to mend their ways. It almost always ended up with him delivering the dead body of the man, as a gesture of recompense and closure, to the family of the victim.

He did not consider this a betrayal. They'd been given orders to curb their cruelty and they'd refused to comply. He'd always explained the manner in which this made prospective targets more resistant to cooperation, and how that was a detriment to their fellow raiders' goals. But these men always scoffed and sneered at this, heaping challenge upon insult and threat. Eddrick had never shrunk from accommodating them. It served an object lesson to any others that might think him to be soft.

No, he was not a man easily intimidated. But the mention of 'Ravena', came as close to blanching his features as anything he'd seen or heard in quite some time. His contact with the Tower of Gems had frequently confirmed that the accounts of her viciousness had not been exaggerated. Enough so, that he did not pretend to have no apprehension about crossing her. Only a fool would take such a possibility lightly.

"Ravena? The Councilor of Flesh? What in 'thelle makes you think we can do anything to help you take her seat? Look, I can imagine that it would ingratiate us with a number of officials there to take her down, but they'd have to know ahead of time for us to get credit. And if it was known ahead of time, she'd undoubtedly hear of it somehow. And we don't want that kind of trouble. We're already on her black list because we free a lot of slaves from caravans we raid. Besides, we don't know that her replacement wouldn't be even worse."

His eyes narrowed as he considered the order of the man's comments, "Is she somehow connected to this hunt of yours? Look, if you want loyalty, you have to give loyalty. And if you don't want either, we don't want you. Believe me, we all know how prevalent dishonor and treachery are in this world. Betrayals of one sort or another are pretty much the main reason we are all bandits. We fought on Nashaki's side early in this war because we were promised amnesty. But they reneged on it, hoping to wipe us out while we were weak from losses in the battles we participated in on their behalf. It's really only due to a new offensive by the Imperials that we avoided it. Now, I'm more inclined to fight on their side, if anyone's."

He patted the man on the shoulder, "Look, you have my sympathy, and you seem genuine enough now that you've dropped the bravado. If Ravena was to be wandering around in the sands, I'd take her down in a heartbeat, assuming she didn't have an army with her. But I'm not about to get us all killed trying to force our way into the Tower of Flesh. I'm not opposed to working with you. I mean, Nashaki pretty much knows where we are located anyway, so I don't see anyway you can burn us too badly. And I can guarantee you, you'll regret it if you do. But for now, I'm open to hearing exactly what you have to offer us. With plans like you have, I can only assume you've got something set up in the city."
Last edited by Eddrick Brodon on Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 868
Zelferan
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:08 am

Zelferan sighed as the man shot off into what was best described as a speech. "Though Ravena encouraged my hunt for her own purposes, I had intended to originally try and contact you before I even contacted her. But you need to understand. Ravena has a plan, I don't know what it is but she wan't more power than her tower seat offers. She wants the entire city, and if that happens then I don't think your bandit tribe is going to exist anymore. No offense to the lot of you, but you said it yourself, you can't stand up to her. If she manages to take over, well, you can guess what will happen. I doubt there are many replacements that could be worse," he tried to do his best to explain.

"I came here with no intention of asking you to charge in to the city and get yourself killed. that would be beyond insane. Similarly I had no intention of coming here to 'burn' you as you put it. What I came here today to do was try and make contact, introduce myself, and give you an idea of Raven'a future intentions. Though I'm starting to formulate a plan, I still don't have enough information to act on it yet, nor to I have the contacts I'll be needing. Like I said, today is a day for making contacts." The man did a semi-bow of sorts to the bandit chief, by all means intending for it to be respectful. "I'll get in contact with you when I start to solidify a plan. Till then I'll keep you updated on the actions of Ravena and do whatever I can to earn your trust. If you have need of me do not hesitate to contact me. I leave the city on every 20th trial of the season."

He bowed a second time, waiting for the responses and the dismissal of the bandit king. Quietly he had to question his own actions. Was he starting to develop multiple personality disorder? At this point, it was likely... .
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Eddrick Brodon
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:02 pm

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As the man stated his case, Eddrick could find little to disagree about. In the back compartments of his subconscious, he supposed he'd always figured that Ravenna had had some takeover scheme. But it had always just been one of those "assumed" things; the kind that never really finds purchase in the trial-to-trial plannings of tribal and bandit routines.

He'd heard nothing of any new alarms being sounded by his connection in the Tower of Gems. Then again, it had been a while since he'd visited the man. He'd already received his caravan schedules, and the marks for those that would be particularly lucrative, both in loot for his own group's coffers, and the less-obvious benefits gained by the rivals of those whose caravans that were raided.

Of course, he occasionally raided the trains of his contact. Appearances had to be maintained. And it gave his man a chance to make an unverifiable claim of great loss, for social and political and taxation standings. Both repercussions and recompense were to be considered. And now those repercussions could get severe. Eddrick had never made any effort to conceal his group's part in the freeing of many slaves found in the caravans that fell to them. It was possible Ravenna had taken note of this. It was doubtful she had a pleasant take on such actions.

His gaze had become somewhat lost in the haze of his speculations. He looked back now on the newcomer, "Very well. But just one thing. I'm still unsure of your connection to Ravenna herself. You say she 'encouraged your hunt', and you mention that you 'tried to contact me before contacting her'. Are you saying that you are already in her circle; not 'inner circle' perhaps, but a reasonably trusted affiliate?"

Methods of contact had already been running through the bandit's mind when Zelferan stated that he left the city on the 20th of every season. That brought a smile to Eddrick's face. It certainly simplified things, as well as putting the dynamics of any resulting meeting in his hands. There was only the one obvious detail to settle, "When you leave, do you always follow a particular path? A single destination? Or at least an established routine or route? Is it an errand for Ravenna? I won't deny, that would be an ideal means of setting up a meeting."

He knew he could ask his contact in the Tower of Gems to confirm something like that. A consistent errand run by some underling of a rival Tower VIP would not be difficult to verify. "If I knew which exit you used on these trips out, we could agree on a mark I could leave if I needed to meet with you. Or, in the alternative, I could set up a watch on the location, and you could give a signal if you sought contact. One signal if the need is immediate, another if it could stand to wait until the following run."

Eddrick did not feel there was any need to explain to this fellow why a bandit, a man with no hope of support from any aspect of the law, would be especially wary of a trap. By extension, he would likewise make no mention of his Night Glow Gem-enhanced-spyglass, and it's ability to bring the revealing power of daylight down upon any that might try to lay hidden in darkness to be a part of such a trap. As for the possibility of a daytime trap...well if he was fool enough to be caught in a trap in broad daylight, he would deserve it.

He would never fully trust a stranger. But for now, this Zelferan seemed as genuine as could be expected. And if he truly wanted to unseat Ravenna, he was eager to offer what assistance a bandit gang could possibly give. Assuming that Zelferan gave him some information on how to make contact on the 20th of the soonest convenient season, he would extend his hand with a cautious smile, "Then let's call it a partnership. I assume you'll need to stay in town to maintain your schedules and contacts. That should present no problem."

The insectoid poko readily accepted the bandit chief's climb up on its back, where he resumed his seat, "I will be looking for you on the 20th then, or maybe the one after that. I will need to check my own schedule to see if I have plans on the 20th of Ymiden...Or Saun...Or Vhalar...Or whatever...In the meantime, let me provide you a ride back to town."
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The Trials of Bandit "Hunting"

Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:28 pm

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Points: 15

Eddrick Brodon

Skill-based Knowledge:
  • Hunting: Tracks in Sand Often Show Signs of Armor
  • Intelligence: A Loud-mouthed Prospect is an Unlikely Plant
  • Intelligence: Maintaining a Network of Carrier-Pigeon Locales
  • Intelligence: "Violator's Blood" Will Draw Risen Dead's Attention
  • Leadership: Being the Bait in Your Own Trap
  • Leadership: Keep Visibility and Contact With Your Men
  • Leadership: Not All Leadership Work is Glorious
  • Logistics: Timing Different Mount Speeds for Coordinated Arrival
  • Sociology: Too Much Confidence Can Mean Too Big a Mouth
  • Tactics: Close Terrain Features Can Prevent Enemy Flanking
  • Tactics: Let The Prospect Wait, to Gauge His Discipline
  • Tactics: Maintain a Misinformation Schedule in Case of Intruders
  • Trap Making: Clifftop Lemming Drop Lure Trap
Non-Skill Knowledge:
  • NPC: Perig'ah: Rhakrii Raiders' Messenger Bird Handler
  • NPC: Ravenna: Major Player in the Tower of Flesh
  • PC: Zelferan: Lothar Bandit Prospect
  • Rits: Short for "Raskits"; short for Raskithecal
Loot: NA
Injuries/Overstepping: Cut on the Forehead
Fame: Nah...too far out in the desert
Collaboration: Yes
Magic EXP: Nope

Zelferan

Skill-based Knowledge:
  • Bludgeon: Mace: Getting the Feel of Weapon's Balance
  • Bludgeon: Mace: More Reach and Impact Than a Fist
  • Bludgeon: Mace: Not For Thrusting
  • Discipline: Keep Your Mind Occupied
  • Discipline: Patience in Negotiation
  • Field Craft: The Harsh Nature of the Desert
  • Intelligence: Successful Bandits Don't Establish Patterns
  • Intelligence: There are Walking Corpses in The Hotlands
  • Negotiation: Be Prepared to Wait
  • Negotiation: Posturing With Offers of Vague Rewards
  • Psychology: Humorous Banter in Life-or-Death Situations
  • Story Telling: The Story of a Brother's Betrayal
  • Trap Making: Clifftop Lemming Drop Lure Trap
Non-Skill Knowledge:
  • NPC: Ravenna: Major Player in the Tower of Flesh
  • PC: Eddrick Brodon: Warchief of the Rhakrii Raiders
  • Ravenna: A Means to an End
  • Risen Dead: Hotlands Hazard to be Burned, Beheaded or Both
Loot: NA
Injuries/Overstepping: Just some bumps and bruises
Fame: Nah...too far out in the desert
Collaboration: Yes
Magic EXP: Nope

Comments: Man, you guys are awesome. I would watch a movie if you two zombie killing. What a good read.
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