Hostage Negotiations.   Posted by Segev Stormlord.Group: 0
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 221 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2011
at 16:19
Hostage Negotiations
Riding hard, it takes a little over one more day before the camp comes into sight at the top of a hill several miles away. Hun and Poe bear up mightily under the stress of travel, and while they maintain outwardly stoic and professional demeanors, there's a glassiness to their eyes and a sluggishness to their responses by this time that betrays how little they've really traveled. The way they keep stealing glances at Freverick, though, makes it clear they're determined that anything the younger boy can bear, so can they, and with professional aplomb.

The scenery, at least, was pleasant and impressive, at least until anybody noticed that some of the farms are damaged and trampled, as if fighting had gone on. Animals are loose in the fields where they should be stabled or corralled, and some of the crops will suffer for it, but it doesn't look like any livestock have died of the neglect. Wolves have only just begun to stalk them, but Merlin's keen eye and Galen's erratic attention caught sight of at least one sheep being eaten by a pack in the distance.

As the traveling diplomats from Trademeet approach the camp, the outlying scouts clearly have brought word back that they were coming. The captured farmers are still kept mostly in an enclosed fence area, but it looks to have been expanded at least once, and tents have been set up inside. A keen-eyed observer might even notice some of the prisoners under close watch helping out around camp, but having polite conversation with the soldiers...and one or two flirtatious encounters which are hastily ended by a glare from any higher-ranking soldier between the youngest of the Falanian guards and some of the female prisoners.

The little kids are initially not in evidence amongst the prisoners; this worrying development is explained later when it becomes clear that they're actually being allowed out to play in the fields around the camp, under a supervisory guard that seems more for their protection than guarding. At the very least, while the knights in charge are doing their best to keep fraternization to a minimum, the prisoners seem to be being treated well, if still prisoners.

A large pavillion-style tent-roof (the kind with no actual walls, meant to provide shade) has been set up about two hundred feet away from the camp and its makeshift low-security prison, between it and the road. Three obvious knights wait there, who Merlin is able to identify for Beatrix and the others as Sir Vaniel - the youngest one at roughly twenty years and who obviously has the most concern about his appearance, as everything is polished to a mirror shine and his clothes have vibrantly clean colors that make them look both expensive and new - Sir Clavien - the one Merlin said he talked to the most, and is about thirty years of age; he'd be impressively well-groomed for a knight in the field if it weren't for Vaniel's almost peacock-like display - and Sir Methius - by far the oldest at nearly 50 and showing it in his salt-and-pepper hair and beard, and, despite his polished armor, clearly the most worn and experienced warrior.

They each have a squire with them; Vaniel's is little more than a boy, himself, perhaps as old as Hun and Poe, but looking so serious that it's obvious he thinks that's how he has to be to act mature. The other two are young men about Vaniel's age, joking with the other half-dozen guardsmen until the older guards cough and they all come to attention to match their lords' posture.

It is Sir Methius who steps forth to offer his right hand to the head of the party, showing that he holds no weapon in hand at this time. "Welcome, Trademeet delegation. I am Sir Methius," he says, before introducing the other two. "I hope your journey was not too unpleasant, considering the circumstances. We have prepared this table for negotiations. Who do I have the honor of addressing?" His voice is a light baritone, gravely with middle age, but he is confident and direct, if not exactly happy with this meeting. It doesn't seem personal, so much as the discomfort of a life-long warrior finding himself playing diplomat.
 player, 96 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2011
at 18:56
Re: Hostage Negotiations
Sevastian dismounts his horse and gestures to Beatrix.
"Sir, may I introduce Madam Beatrix LeSchaye most exalted of merchants in Trademeet Dale."

With that the well dressed butler moves to assist Madam Beatrix off her horse.
Beatrix LeSchaye
 player, 159 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2011
at 00:21
Re: Hostage Negotiations
"Thank you, Sevastian," says Beatrix as she dismounts her steed. "As he said, I am Beatrix LeSchaye, High Trader and member of the Council of High Traders of Trademeet. I thank you for your welcome, Sir Methius." She looks over the makeshift prison, frowning, before turning back to the knight and saying "If we may begin immediately, I believe that would be best."
Segev Stormlord
 GM, 223 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2011
at 00:54
Re: Hostage Negotiations
The middle-aged knight nods gruffly, taken aback by the young and beautiful woman but determined not to show it. "Exactly my thought. Sir Vaniel, hold--yes, good lad," he says, nodding at the handsome and primped young knight's assiduous holding of a chair out for Beatrix.

The knights seat themselves across from her, leaving the men of her entourage to determine who is joining her at the table and who is not. Hun and Poe position themselves behind Beatrix's chair, looking stern in what they probably think is a professional manner. Vaniel's young squire has even less self-control than Vaniel himself, and is openly staring at Beatrix in awe. Clavien is actually smiling, though managing a more gentlemanly aplomb than his younger peer.

Methius clears his throat. "Well, then, Lady Trader," he begins gruffly, hiding uncertainty, "What have you to say for your township and its sponsorship of the theft of Falanian serfs?"