A stout, red-furred mouse (obviously the innkeeper) intercepts Craven with a paw held up. "Hold on there, master Guardsmouse" She leans to the side to address the others still seated at the table. "The Guard is always welcome at The King's Ransom." She spares a glance for Nissa. "Even the Stormcrow. Come, you all look tired. Let me prepare a few beds for you."
With her back to the rest of the tavern, she idly pulls back the corner of her apron ever so slightly, revealing the golden seal of a directive from the Mouse Guard. She raises her eyebrows meaningfully.
The innkeeper nods, then a warm smile stretches across her face. "The name is Sef, owner, operator, and- AND BUSSER APPARENTLY." She barks at a nearby serving mouse idling in a corner. "Paf, for the everburning stars, if you don't move your tail you won't have it in the morning!" The little mouse (Paf, apparently) jumps into the air and scrambles back to work, collecting glasses from tables in a mad dash.
Sef mutters grumpily and gestures sharply to you all. "Come on, then. Let's see what we can find for you." She leads you through the bar and toward the back door into the inn. As she passes the large hare, you notice that the two of them share a quick glance. Or maybe not? The large rabbit goes right back to downing tankards of beer.
Sef has a quiet word with a stolid, capable looking mouse behind the bar. Surprisingly, a pair of spectacles rests on the bartender's face- they must have cost a small fortune, but no more than the large, flawless mirror that spans the wall just behind him. That done, she leads you all through the door separating the tavern from the inn. Instead of walking you up the flight of steps to a room, though, she quickly beckons you into a small parlor on the main level and shuts the door behind you.
"With all due respect and all that, what the BLOODY hell took you lot so long?" she asks, spinning round with a dangerous gleam in her eyes. It suddenly occurs to you that this seemingly chipper, doughy innkeeper may be more dangerous than she first appeared. "Six night. Six NIGHTS since that green light appeared on the Peak, and the Guard finally manages to gather together-" she glances at you each in turn, deliberately appraising. "such an impressive team. Well, I've been ordered to outfit you for the march up. Doubt you'll make it in time, though. Those fools in the village put together a band of little heroes of their own. I expect they're either dead in a gorge or full of squirrel arrows by now."
She gives you a challenging stare. Clearly she's concerned for the safety of her community and her inn. There may be more that she isn't telling you...
Craven paws at his ears, “Travel takes time, time goes slow, slow means late, yes, late late. Better than never. Complaining will only make more late.” A green eye darts toward Sef, “You do best outfitting soon, and we fix glow.”
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
DM - Elustran Days ~ Fate/False Revelation
Rex'aliha - Hoard of the Dragon Queen ~ Mozu of Worms- The Stormpoint Mountains ~ Muireach Maon- Shepherd’s Crossing ~ Crownsguard - Storm King’s Thunder ~ Gunnar Wayland -Boats, Rocks, and Ruffians ~ POUF!- Ex-Ravens ~ Pascal LaRoux - Long Road Dragon Heist
"Fools rush in where wise mice fear to scurry," quotes Eli. "We are here now, and we will see what has become of these villagers. Let us hope they have survived. Thank you for your assistance."He finishes with a slight bow towards Sef.
Mazer nods, acknowledging Sef's frustration. Although he had just received the summons himself, he doesn't say so to the innkeeper. Doing so would only make the group look defensive and unprofessional, as well as reflect poorly on the guard. He also doesn't respond to her sarcasm about the group's composition. She is clearly frustrated, and his job is to help. He attempts to defuse her by using neutral body language and an even tone of voice. Mazer replies factually.
"Thank you for the beds. We understand the urgency, and will leave at first light. In the meantime, what can you tell us about the light, and the band of heroes that left before us? When did they leave? How many were they?"
Mazer lets her answer, and then, once she has spoken, asks carefully.
"You said you doubted that we'd make it in time. Make it in time for what?"
Sef opens her mouth as though she will argue, but... These mice speak the truth. She takes a breath. "My apologies, Guard. And to you, Captain. I've been playing the part of the innkeeper for quite some time and-" She stops short before completing her thought. "I forget myself."
(In response to Mazer's first question:)
"A band of five mice and two shrews left for the mountain yesterday morning. What I meant by 'late' is that I don't trust those fools to find their ways home from a harvest festival- let alone up the damn mountain and back.They took the path through Kingsreach, for all the good it will do them." She turns to Craven. "That reminds me.If you're going to take that thing you've parked on my maple out back, you'll be wanting to bring an offering to the King. The squirrels are not a cruel race, but 'tolerant' is not a word I would attach to their young new lord."
She sighs, realizing that this will take some time. She slides open a panel in the wall, revealing a large bottle of apple brand and numerous glasses. "Now, about that light-"
Her ears prick up and you all hear it, too. There's shouting outside- not too far off...
Nissa's one good ear swivels to the sound, thoughts about what Craven might have brought that squirrels would dislike shelved... for the moment.
"The quickest way outside?" she asks politely, though she scouted the building thoroughly before coming in, so she knows. Still these are not her woods, so to speak, so she asks anyway to give Sef the opportunity to dissuade them.
Sef throws open the window, her free hand clearly grasping a weapon beneath her apron. "It might just be the Greenberry boys again. Last harvest they-" A keening yowl rises above the shouting. Sef looks back at you sharply, the amber light of tonight's half moon a spotlight on her panicked expression.
Her ears prick up and you all hear it, too. There's shouting outside- not too far off...
Someone is in trouble! Mazer can tell from the panicked nature of the sound that someone's life is in danger. Quickly, he forms a plan. He speaks quickly but clearly,
"Someone's life is in danger. Eli, Craven, let's take the street. Nissa can take the window and go by the woods."He assumes that given his group's previous experience, that they will understand the logic of splitting up, and not letting a potential foe see the power of the combined forces all at once. Nissa immediately darts out the window. Mazer then heads to the door, moving, and keeping an ear open to the others in case either mouse guard has a better plan.
OOC: Sense roll of 11 tells Mazer that someone needs help.
Barely hearing Mazer's order, Nissa is out the window in a flash, racing towards the danger. Her sixth sense had her on edge in the room, and she's one step ahead of Fate now, bow out, arrow already strung, looking to save as many lives as she can. She will not, in fact, follow his orders to peel off to the woods to hide and shoot, she's going straight in.
OOC > With her 13 on Name of the Wind, she will "be somewhere you are needed, just in time" and "retroactively warn someone about an attack, so that it doesn't happen"
Eli, knowing her and trusting her Instinct, has an edge, too.
OOC > Final hold for Name of the Wind, she gives Eli +1 forward
The black mouse instantly blends into the shadows as she races toward the commotion. She recalls that, prior to her arrival to the inn some hours ago...
The barest trace of a sour musk wafted on the summer wind. It could have been any number of things (a dead bird, turned fertilizer from one of the farms), but it was best to be careful. She spotted a nearby highway guard and flagged him down. Unlike true members of the Mouse Guard, these (mostly) capable mice keep to the towns of their birth and receive only basic martial training from the Tower. They protect the peace of the roads, but are primarily just members of their communities. Nissa warned this mouse (an older male with a kind but wary look in his eye) to stay on his toes this evening...
That sour scent in the air is stronger, now. There's no question in Nissa's mind: there's a predator to be put down.
She reaches Tiddlepaw Farm: the largest producer of barley on the island of Loamholt. And there it is: just ahead of the field, half cornered (for the moment) by a small group of farmers and highway guards, a stoat. While not as large as some of the more terrifying predators, it's easily four times the size of a mouse. The beast walks on four paws, and while it has no language, a cruel cunning gleams in its black eyes.
Interestingly, some sort of device is strapped to the creature's back... But there's no time for that- it's clearly about to lunge for a kill! Luckily, Nissa arrived just in time, and the highway guard is here to help (Name of the Wind)!
Craven appears shortly after, a bit slower due to his peg leg. The sound of the mouse carries on the wind as his peg clacks against dirt and stone, while a wicked hook (read: pointy fish hook) is loosed and dragged along the ground, giving a long screech of metal on stone.
“Vicious thing, bad bad. Big, fluffy, yuck. Will sink hook in you and cook for Haul to eat eat.”
Craven pulls out a milky blue potion, “Yes, drink drink. Me break, snap, crack ugly thing, yes yes...”
The black mouse races across the open space towards the vile creature, no thought in her mind but Predator! As soon as Nissa is within range, she draws her bow, arrow knocked, and lets it fly at the stoat! Then she'll shout and feign an injury, limping towards the woods to try to get its attention and lead it away!
OOC > I'm going to put some rolls here that the Keeper can use or ignore...
Fight +Body for the arrow attack = 12 Help +Mind (sigh) for the acting job = 7
The arrow flies true, and digs deep, hurting it and forcing the stoat to look at her. She pretends to stumble, holding her ankle, then begins limping towards cover, giving the defenders an advantage, but putting herself in danger! (Intentionally.)
Nissa's arrow plunges into the Stoat's shoulder. It roars in surprise and pain, whipping its head in the direction of Nissa. Without thought, its eyes turn red and leaps over the other mice. It bounds towards Nissa- it will reach her in the span of a breath!
Meanwhile, Craven, Mazer, and Eli have nearly caught up with their comrade. Craven cackles and pops open the flask, draining it quickly.
He clutches at his head, then. His fur stands on end, and the muscles under his fur begin to bunch and knot. It's impossible, but he appears to have doubled in mass in just a few moments. The formerly lean rat's peg leg pops off, and he lets loose a roar of his own. He tears in the ground and sprints at his enemy on three legs!
As soon as the stoat has taken the bait, Nissa stops pretending and loads another arrow, steeling herself for the clash. Then some enormous, horrific mouse-beast charges past her at the predator! Instinct taking over while her mind swims in the weirdness it is seeing, she launches another arrow, arcing over the advancing mouse-thing, at the oncoming stoat!