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 [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]

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PostSubject: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:17 pm

Although Atoro knew that most archers in the SR were females, he had expected a few more men in the small contingent that he had been given on his –their- reconnaissance mission to Jiluria. This was a poor choice of people he had been given, and he was not pleased. Why, a couple of these archers were barely older than girls. They would have to prove themselves very capable with their weapons for Atoro to accept them as useful… he had no patience, nor use, for those who could not pull their weight.

Jiluria lay in front of them, about half an hour’s walk away. There was plenty of time to reach the town and scope it out a little before the sun set, and Atoro wanted it to last little longer than that. However, he knew a little about Jiluria, and it was renowned for being unsavoury. He hadn’t wanted to draw a lot of attention to this little mission, so instead of bringing the usual small contingent of swordsmen, he had opted for archers instead. He himself had his standard rapier, but also a bow, a little more embellished than those given to the others, but simple all the same.

He turned away from the sight of the town in front of them, eyes coldly looking over his archery contingent before barking a few words.
“Split into small groups, I do not expect you to look particularly out of place. Listen, mark the major entrances and exits of the town, trade routes, what defensive structures have been set up.” He wanted to know everything, before the SR’s conquest was launched on Jiluria, so he could plan for every eventuality. He would also have to see about sourcing a reliable map of the town, but he would reserve that for his own task, rather than delegating it to another. Maps were too valuable for that.

“I expect to receive word from each of you by tomorrow morning, inside this gate of the city. Make sure you bring me something useful.” That said, he dismissed them, the archers splitting off into groups of three, four or five, making sure they were mixed groups of men and women. Different people noticed different things, and he wanted all aisles of knowledge covered.


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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:18 pm


Despite the abominable itching on her legs, Dekhovra stood straight and immobile as the leader of their mission briefed them on their task. Really, she couldn't think how men could stand wearing trousers all the time- they were so clinging and stuffy, compared to the skirts which she had worn all her life. Beside her was the elder of her twins, by about half an hour- Fivei. Her feelings on the girl, woman now, were mixed to say the least. In many respects, she was a true Surahnian, as was her brother; strong, patriotic, brave. Years of devotion to the military had made her skilled with a bow and a fine soldier, as far as a woman was able. She held many other desirable skills and traits besides. But Fivei had one huge problem which Dekhovra couldn't quite overlook: her age. Recently turned twenty, the woman was simply becoming an old maid. There was no reason for it except her complete reluctance to court any man.

Now, Dekhovra had a plan to change that. No child of hers was reaching twenty-five without children; it was truly the threshold between being marriageable and not. That was why she had made sure both of them were so keen to participate in this mission, led by the tactician Atoro. Their lord Zartear didn't seem the type to settle down, and nor did he need to other than perhaps, in due course, to leave an heir to New Surahnia. But this Atoro didn't go with many women anyway, and being somewhat lower in status (though still great) he was surely keeping an eye out for prospective wives.

When Atoro commanded them to split into small groups, Dekhovra could hardly believe her luck. The group began forming into smaller clumps and dissipating; Fivei immediately made for a nearby group, but before she could get away her mother snatched her arm and dragged her back.
"Wait," she hissed, dropping back to the edge of the crowd and beginning to inch round to the front where Atoro was overseeing the proceedings. Her daughter sighed heavily but followed without complaint, resigned to er mother's ways. It didn't take long to reach the tactician, the soldiers leaving in a steady flow.
"My lord!" proclaimed Dekhovra, holding one hand to her opposite shoulder in salute. A step behind and to her right, Fivei did the same, expression full of respect for the leader. Both women bobbed shallow bows before the younger stepped forwards to explain,
"I hope that I might learn from your expertise in scouting the town, my lord." Dekhovra backed this up with a nod; it was a good enough reason for her. The topic of marriage would have to be breached delicately, and this was not the moment.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:39 pm

When ordered to split into groups, Lourna only paused upon hearing one of her fellow archers trying to flatter Atoro. She studied the pair silently and could only roll her eyes thinking of how her mother used to parade around with her. The only advantage to that having happened was now she had every idea of what she wanted in a husband, it was just a matter of finding a good handful of them in one man. At the current moment that was not an objective, but in her head she already discounted any man in the archery unit. The one man she even remotely considered was Atoro, but he was a peculiar man and difficult to please on occasion.

It didn't take much to notice that the mother was unaccustomed to trousers, and it took all her restraint not to smile. A woman had to be able to adapt to a series of situations in order to make it as far as a woman could go in society. She'd heard some gossip about the girl having turned 20 quite recently, and was content to surreptitiously listen in on the conversation, as she wasn't too far off. What was the older woman's name again...? For all the jewels in Christendom she couldn't remember! Dek-something. . .Dekhovra! That was it, Dekhovra! She had a respectable marriage, or so she'd heard during her days working in the shop.

She wandered about in front of the city gates doing rudimentary sketches and taking notes of what was in front of her until she'd filled a good bit of parchment before deciding to brave speaking with Atoro. Oh gods help her this was going to make her nervous! With a silent salute she cleared her throat and addressed her superior officer. "Excuse me, sir, but you asked for a report?" On said paper were details of the construction of the walls and gates, and an estimate of the number of troops they used for patrol. She was hoping for permission to explore the city on her own, but that would come in time. You can't bake bread without first breaking a few eggs.


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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:06 pm

When most of the archers had been assigned into small groups, and he was left with only a handful of women, his eyes came to rest on a pair of women; Surahnians, good, he preferred them in his own small group to the few rebelling natives that had joined the Surahnian cause. He sent off the rest of the archers with a wave of his hand and a few words, then turned to the pair properly, looking them up and down. There were similarities there; relatives, probably.
It was always so nice to receive the respect that his position (and he himself, naturally) deserved.
“Both of you, come with me. We shall investigate this town.” He did not have much interest in whether they learnt anything off him, his main goal was to find out about the town, but it was good to see their enthusiasm. Well, enthusiasm, using the tone lightly, for he didn’t like the slight charm in her voice, but then again, he saw that in everyone.

Following the trail of archers before them, they soon arrived in Jiluria, passing through the gates with no trouble at all, despite being armed. Hm, he had expected a little greater security, but they had come up against barely any so far in their conquest anyway. Fool natives, they were so trusting. He surreptitiously took a look at the inside of the town as they arrived in the first streets that led through to its heart, getting a feel for the city, and scouting out the most useful direction to head in. Barely before he had gotten his bearing however, they were approached by another Surhanian archer. Oh yes, the picture of subtlety, paper and ink and all in her hands. No sign of the rest of her group, either.
He let a pause hang in the air before answering her. Let her sweat.
“I did, but not until tomorrow morning. What gives you the thought that you could learn about a town in little more than half an hour?” His eyes narrowed, then he deliberately glanced around. “Where is the rest of your group? Did I not specify that you were supposed stay as a whole?

“Or does such an order discomfort you?”

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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:26 pm

At his tone she could tell she has made a mistake, but instead of looking scared she steeled her features and explained herself. "None of the others were doing anything particularly useful, so I took advantage of what light there was to be had. Your orders are easily followed sir, but lack of initiative is a terrible flaw in any soldier's character." Having spoken her peace she waited to be dismissed. She now felt stupid standing there like a post, but she had to wait to be dismissed or risk punishment of some kind. Around her a handful of archers looked at each other and gossiped like a brood of chickens.

Bloody housewives! They just couldn't quit could they? It was pointless to address the issue at this point, having already made her presence known to most of the rest of the group. The way her superior officer looked at her made her blood run cold, but she had to endure it or risk some form of disgrace. She wanted desperately to say something but a woman was to speak only when spoken to, no more no less. Yes, the military had slightly different rules, but she tried to balance them both to avoid confusion in her own mind. It hardly ever worked to her advantage, but her efforts were worth it in the long run.

The silence was deafening! Gr, why didn't he just dismiss her already!? Her fight or flight instinct was threatening to kick in, but she forced herself to relax and not run from Atoro as fast as her legs would go. This man was strange, cranky, and overall very difficult to please, but if she could get something positive out of this, then mission accomplished!
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:45 pm


Dekhovra hadn't been at all sure how she'd be received, despite their not making any remarks which weren't completely relevant, but she was delighted when Atoro commanded them to join him- more than just accepting them, even! Fivei, too, looked pleased, but the elder woman had no doubt that it was for a different reason. Her daughter just didn't look out for herself. At least she could be counted on not to offend Atoro.

Unfortunately, her smugness couldn't last. Everything had gone fine as they moved into the city, no resistance and Fivei watching Atoro's every move. Ah, admiration could surely be turned into attraction in this case. The tactician was a true Surahnian, unlike that new swordmaster Lord Straten had chosen. Dekhovra would never say it aloud and she respected him, but she didn't like having some native barbarian in such a high position. She'd never spoken with him, of course; her son had heard something from him though, and apparently he hardly spoke Surahnian. That was to be expected of the average native, obviously, but surely somebody promoted so high would have at least bothered to master the new language of the land.
All too soon, though, another woman approached them, a wodge of papers in hand. Dekhovra was more than happy to go along with Atoro's reaction to this girl who was getting in the way of progress, quite besides the fact that she had blatantly disregarded direct and simple orders. Fivei's reaction was similar, her chin lifted in a haughty show of disdain. Neither of the pair let their reactions become too obvious, however; it wasn't their place to discipline the newcomer.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:08 pm

Atoro’s lips narrowed into a thin line at the girl’s answer to his questions, holding her eye contact. So. Not doing anything useful.
“If the rest of your group was ‘not doing anything useful’, then I suggest that perhaps next time, you may instead see that they may be being a little more subtle about their work.” He glanced at the all-too-obvious pile of notes in her hands. Had she been strutting around taking notes so openly? “There is a place for initiative, but it is not when I have instructed you, and the rest of the watch, to be getting on with a task, that was to be undertaken in groups.”

He did not take kindly to those who thought they could interrupt his plans as they planned, and make waves of their own. The fact that he had been given such an untrained woman in an important mission irritated him greatly. Playing babysitter so that a little work could get done, without going hand in hand with chaos, was not his idea of a successful mission. But he could not let such a loose cannon trail about by herself.

Sighing lightly, as if he was only mildly irritated, he said, “You are not to wander off on your own. Instead, you will join my group.”And if you try such ideas again, then it will not end so nicely for you. He waved away a couple of extra archers that had also been present. If they were just as incompetent… so help him, there would be punishment for this.

Waving the girl aside to join the other two women, they set off deeper into the city again, picking a mildly plausible route through the thin streets.


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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Well, she was stuck with him now, for whatever reason he'd deemed appropriate. At least he recognized she had potential. Scouting was NEVER good when done in groups, especially when you had them in mixed genders and some of them were blatant idiots to begin with. "Very well sir, it is an honor." she replied softly. Truth be told she wasn't intimidated by any of her fellow archers, or embarrassed because of Dekhovra and her daughter. Instead she squared her shoulders and took in the way the buildings were made, the state of the people, and the state of the city itself. Now and then she'd make discreet notations, and give the occasional smile to passersby. The two women who'd been talking with Atoro meant next to nothing to her, they were comrades sure, but aside from that they meant nil.

After a time she paused for the smallest of nanoseconds to study a group of people outside a shop and jotted down a few words before moving to keep pace with her fellow group members. The lack of conversation was getting to be awkward so rather than risk scathing comments from the women she turned her attention to her superior officer. She would have said something but then remembered that this was ATORO, once he got cranky he stayed that way for a good amount of time. Oh well, any conversation would be better than this quiet. "I did not mean to be a burden, nor did I mean to anger you, I apologize."
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:49 pm

Ooc: Sorry about it being a photo, makes for waaay faster typing if I do it on computer!
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:37 pm

At least this new girl didn’t have the foolishness to argue or question Atoro’s order, because that really would have irritated him, mission or not. Their progress was mercifully quiet as they walked through Jiluria, heading relatively directly towards the centre of the town. For all that Atoro had heard, or learnt, about the port town, it wasn’t going to be much of a hindrance for the SR to take it over. It didn’t strike him as particularly noteworthy either, most of the people simple townsfolk, and weapons few and far between. They themselves were the only group where every member carried a weapon.

He was quietly pleased by the small remarks that Fivei made about the town as they passed through, and Lourna didn’t make too poor observations either, despite her earlier slip up. He did ignore her small apology however, not interested in hearing some grovelling excuse for why she thought she had been in the right. What had passed was there to stay, and not worth mentioning again (unless of use), and he had no interest in earning her fawning approval.

When Dekhrova drew his attention, and he turned and saw nothing, he was more than a little put out. Were all these women fools? Being Surahnians, he would have thought that they would have had at least a little training, but apparently all their heritage stretched to was pretty looks, rather than the smarts that he had also liked to think that his kinsmen had. He let out a frustrated sigh; since when had he been assigned a squad that seemed to be barely out of training?

His would-be-lecture was cut off even before he had started by a loud, inhuman noise nearby, the shriek of some creature echoing down the streets. The sound filled him both with a little excitement (oh, so there was something of note in this wretched town), and… well, it wasn’t quite trepidation, but just a little unsureness.
He did not know much about the Beast Market in Jiluria; perhaps because it was in such common knowledge, that the books and sources he had found did not think to mention it.

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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:16 pm

Upon noticing the commotion that Dev made, and the sounds up ahead, she quickly switched to mental notes and hid her paper discreetly. "This city does not make many attempts to hide its black market trade." she remarked quietly. "Rumors going around that you can even get things like dragon claws here. Blatantly appalling and. . .nauseating." she finished as she saw some rather horrifying dragon heads hanging from meat hooks. Now it was going to take all her willpower not to vomit from the horror of it all. To get her mind off the market around her she looked for the people that Dev was making such a fuss over.

"What was it they did exactly? If you are saying they used magic, that's a big stretch." Magic meant very little to her, if anything at all, for when it came to thieves the idea was to be sneaky and not be caught easily. "Thieves are by nature tough to find, it is nothing to get ruffled over." She caught a glimpse of them to her right and then lost them in the shadows. 'They move like snakes in marsh grass.' she thought to herself as she glanced around once more before relaxing into a less defensive posture. It only occurred to her after she'd finished speaking that she could be punished for what she'd just said. Oh perfect. Not only did she screw up twice already, but now she'd probably just insulted her superior officer AND Dekhovra. This day was just a mess altogether!
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:20 pm


Truthfully, Dekhovra couldn’t blame the others for being sceptical at her claim. However, she was entirely convinced of the truth of what she had seen, and she was about to persist in her explanation to Atoro when various things caught her attention.
First, a noise in the distance which was more than a little unnerving. Some horrible creature of magic, no doubt- it did nothing to deter her paranoia. Perhaps fortunately, she was swiftly distracted by Lourna’s insolent comment. She doubted there was much difference in their ranks, but the girl should still know to respect her elders- she had given three strong and useful children to the SR, which was the best a woman could bestow. Before replying Dekhovra drew herself to her full height, glaring irately up a couple of inches to meet her eyes.
“On this island of corruption, magic seems to be a disturbingly common occurance,” she snapped. “If you really think I don’t know what I saw, then let me assure you that I do. Just because you didn’t witness it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The boys simply vanished.” With this, she lifted her chin in silence until a third distraction diverted her attention once again.

Somewhat more trusting of her mother’s word than the other two, Fivei was on alert as the other two women hashed it out. She stood tensely, keeping an eye on her surroundings and a hand on the hilt of the knife she carried. When a slight and unexpected movement brushed against her leg, she reached out to snare the cause without thinking, pinning a small body into her side before looking down to see who the culprit was.
Needless to say, it was something of a shock when she saw her arm closed around thin air.
“Willow Mother,” she breathed, snatching her knife from its sheath and holding it near where she judged her captive’s neck to be.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:16 pm

Atoro didn’t like the way that Lourna had known more than him about the beast market as they came into view of the place, people and strange animals thronging wide across the street. It wasn’t that he begrudged her the knowledge, just always liked to be right at the top of things, knowing everything, lording it over the lesser below him. It wasn’t like him to be caught out by something like this.

It was exotic, goods ranging from bits of animals, dead, to the whole thing, alive and very much kicking. At the far end of the road, the carts of festering ingredients and grisly remains of animals were replaced by rows of cages, large and small, harbouring every animal you could possibly think of. But before they could start to investigate further, the whole proceeding was once again halted by the foolishness of these women he had been set to command.

Was he being punished by the gods for something?

Rounding on the pair of bickering women, he glared at the younger one. “Learn to hold your tongue, woman,” he growled. “One more word from you, and you will never see the position of an archer again, only their boots, and waste scraps of food.” Irritation flared in his eyes, staring her down, then he gave Dekhrova an equally icy look. There would not be fighting underneath him while they had work to do- not ever, would there be fighting!- and he was at the edge of his tolerance. Already. Lourna was getting off lightly for such insolence this time, but the next, she would not be so lucky. And he had no patience for teaching her to reverse those assumptions she had made about the natives of Dragons’ Cove. That, she would have to rely on someone else for.

He was still pondering some more violent retribution when Fivei lunged to grab something nearby, his head twitching sideways to look at her. It was the sort of move he thought a thief might make… gods, he was going to lose it if she had just stolen something. As it was though, it was not what he expected, but just more foolishness. Gods, could these women do nothing but prattle to one another, and frustrate even shadows?

Losing his temper, he whirled on the other girl, brows drawing together in anger. “Are you all determined to partake such exasperating, idiotic arguments and actions?”


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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:48 pm

Well, no more speaking for her it seemed. With a nearly silent sigh she turned to survey the scene and made more mental notes to add to her list of paper. She put a miniscule amount of distance between herself and the other three in her company so that she didn't feel QUITE so pinned down. Though after a point her mind wandered and she took the time to question why it was that everyone kept looking down at her like she knew nothing. She was a grown woman for pity's sake! She was indeed the youngest of the group, and that was probably the cause of most of her problems. It wouldn't do to sit about sulking while the mission was in full swing, so she was determined to get through this recon mission and worry about sulking once she got home.

Dekhovra was an old woman who panicked at the mere mention of magic, that was a rather large annoyance, but on top of that Atoro was just an angry hellcat for some reason that day as well. There would be lots of anger-fueled archery practice that night, and it was likely that she'd skip her evening meal as well. In a moment of inspiration she took out her paper and sneaked down rough sketches of the buildings around her, as well as the traders in the market. She'd need to make a note to ask names later and put them with the faces she had drawn. She'd still be glad when this was over, then she could go back to the relative ease of running her shop with her mother, and things wouldn't be nearly so difficult as being social and following military rules.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:17 am


Dekhovra couldn’t help but feel chagrined at the venomous look Atoro gave her, but she didn’t do any more than drop her chin slightly- he was her superior and she was going to recognise that, but equally she wasn’t going to crawl around his feet.

Fivei, meanwhile, was having only a little trouble keeping her captive under control. He was trying to escape, no doubt, and the fact that she couldn’t see him was far from helpful- but he was still just a small boy in the grip of a tall and strong woman. She soon had all his limbs well under control and was left to look desperately at Atoro as he reprimanded her.
“But my lord, this is truly an invisible child! Here-“ Feeling her way to the thief’s arm, she grabbed hold of his wrist and touched his hand lightly to the tactician’s arm. Perhaps it was slightly more forward than she should have been, but it was the easiest way she could think of to prove the truth of the magic-wielding thieves.

At this firm reminder of the magic all too nearby, Dekhovra shook her head mutely and looked away slightly, into the bizarre market they had reached. It hardly helped; everywhere were creatures plainly magical, but she found she was able to look about the stalls with interest, the assortment of animals on sale unlike any she had seen before.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:51 pm

Thankfully, the foolish outspoken Surahnian girl had the sense to stay quiet once Atoro had reprimanded her again. The fact that he had had to do so the first time should have alerted her to the fact that she had already been acting out of turn, but apparently not. Stupid. He had hoped- thought, assumed!- that he would have been given at least competent archers for this trip, but the bowmaster, or his second, obviously delighted in frustrating him with second-rate trainees. He would be having words, and picking his own archers the next time he needed to complete a mission without every bloody second thing going wrong.

Instead, now, he focused on the other girl, the one messing around with nothing. Was she intent to also be silenced such as that incompetent one had been? Almost ready to hit her for such impudence, he was shocked when she suddenly brought her hand up towards his, some invisible force grazing along his arm. He recoiled back, scowling, showing anger instead of his confusion as he quickly sussed out what had been happening.

Magic. Of course. These natives, they were such unnatural creatures.

“You, Surah, fetch a bag of flour, quickly,” he instructed the older woman, waiting until she had bought one and returned with it before telling her to dip her hand in it. In front of them, as she sprinkled the flour into seemingly nothing, the outline of a small child appeared, highlighted by the flour.
Curious. Although Atoro was loathe to admit the benefits of magic, this sort of trick was quite useful, would be quite useful in the right situation. However, it was just a child, extraordinary as it was.
“On such a revelation next time, you may find it wise to alert me to what it is you think is there, rather than just acting like a deluded fool,” he said, but less harshly than before. “This is a useful thing to know, that even the children have such magic to perform tricks at their ease.”

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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:34 pm

The next problem that presented itself was that of some child running through the street with something blue in its hands. Not far behind was a somewhat elderly man with a rather angry look on his face. He was shouting for the street urchin to return whatever it was that he'd taken; that much she could tell. As her superior officer was busy with an unseen obstacle, so were the other two women in their group to be honest, she decided that helping the man didn't seem like it would get her into any trouble so long as she was quiet about it. She watched the boy carefully to see where exactly he was going, and in his haste he was heading straight for the tangled mess that was happening over the children who'd turned invisible. Something like that would only stand to make Atoro even angrier than he was already, so what could she do?

Her only weapon that she knew how to use was a bow, and that was of little use in a place like this where everything was close range and out in the open. Seemed like most of the weapons in the area were things like daggers or hunting knives. She kept glancing at Atoro then back to the chase that was going on before making a snap decision. The only blade she kept on her was a simple hunting knife, and it wasn't good for throwing, but she'd give it a go as surreptitiously as she could. Hopefully this would go according to plan: she threw the knife blade first and it caught the boy's shirt, effectively pinning him in place. It was easy enough to move over and take the blue object from the child, but she was nowhere near happy over it. The old man seemed only somewhat happy to get the item back, and promptly handed it back to her before thanking her. After retrieving her dagger, it seemed that the boy was getting a rather loud scolding, but that was the least of her worries at that point. She quickly made herself scarce and put the oval shaped blue thing in her pack with her writing supplies. It would be investigated later anyway, the idea now was to make sure to act like it had never happened. The only way that would change would be if she were questioned over why she had the object at all, THEN she'd explain herself.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:41 pm


Dekhovra didn’t turn back to see Atoro’s reaction, but Fivei found herself gripped with uncertainty as anger flared across the man’s face. Surely she hadn’t done anything so bad? Better than allowing a thief to attack them at the very least.
But evidently she hadn’t; the older woman jumped when their commander spoke to her, but bowed shortly before hurrying away with purpose. It was clear to her, after a second, what he wanted it for- but where he expected her to find it she couldn’t say. Much to her relief, though, something was in her favour today; outside a bakery just a little way down the street sat a cart full of sacks. A man was carrying them into the shop one by one, and as she watched the bag he held slipped in his grip to release a small puff of what could only be flour. Taking some was easy; she peered at the bread inside until the man’s back was turned, and snatched up a sack which looked to have a leak, smaller and lighter than the others. After carrying it back to their group she did as Atoro bid her, soon showing the captive thief.

“My lord,” she said with some dignity to his first sentence. To his second, she gave no response; useful, perhaps, but frankly terrifying as well. If a mere street urchin was able to render himself entirely invisible, then what could the great mages of this place do? The Lahrukan strike had been a complete shock, unimaginable to any Surahnian in its complete devastation. That had been, she thought, the greatest feat of magic ever performed in any of the countries which were known in Surahnia. But on this bizarre island, where every breath seemed to draw in some of the unnatural power? She couldn’t begin to think. Every person she passed was, perhaps, capable of horrifying things.

Errantly Dekhovra wondered if her fear was irrational, but she swiftly reassured herself that it wasn’t by any means. She had come out of Old Surahnia with her health and three children, all of whom now seemed to be getting on well with their lives. Fivei was, perhaps, a little behind, but she was going to fix that. The spell had still done some horrible things to her and her family though, and she wasn’t about to forget that in a hurry.

She hadn’t been paying attention to whatever Lourna was doing, but now the girl edged back up to the group, stuffing something into her pack as she did so. What it was, the woman didn’t know, but she didn’t think it was part of the standard equipment for a scouting mission.
“My lord,” Fivei began, her voice less tight than it had been as the boy realised they could now plainly see him and gave up his fight somewhat. “What do you want me to do with the thief? He seems no more than a common street boy, and I do not think he will bother us again. Should I just release him?”

There wasn’t time for Atoro to answer, however. Amongst the other happenings, even Dekhovra had forgotten that she had originally spotted two boys. Now, the second made his move- he must have been wielding some kind of blunt weapon, which he now swung at the tactician’s groin. While the man was incapacitated, the boy snatched the rapier from its sheath and the pack which Atoro carried before fleeing with all haste. Why he would bother, Dekhovra couldn’t say, but there was only one reaction; signalling Fivei to pursue the culprit, which she did with great determination, the older woman hung back to ensure the wellbeing of her commander. She had no idea how hard a hit he’d taken, but it had been obvious where to, and it had to hurt. What Lourna would do now she didn’t know; the girl wasn’t hers to command, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:41 pm

Atoro could not keep an eye on everyone at the same time; he was just a man, after all. He had not been expecting to play teacher, either, and have to keep watch on what each member of his group was doing, to make sure that they were not annoying the natives, or breaking orders, or collecting miscellaneous objects for the kicks. So much so, he did not have the time to take note of what was doing on with Lourna- not that he wanted to take much note of her. He had not risen to such a position as Tactician, to only fall to having to school the most wanting of archers on the most trivial of regulations.

But back to matters at hand. He glared at the floury outline of the boy in front of them, deciding what to do with him. Being in the middle of Jiluria, and having no real presence there, there was not much way he could give out an appropriate punishment. He was just a boy, too, a small slip up. They would just have to hope that he did not go call his friends, and decide that because he had gotten away with one attempted steal and had no retribution, that he could try a second time.

“Let—“

Shit!
Of course, Atoro did not expect an attack, especially to his groin, especially when it came from literally nowhere. He doubled over with a moan, tears springing to his eyes. Goddammit, damn this whole town. At this rate, it was going to be more productive to just raze the whole place and start again. He put one hand on Dekhrova’s arm, stopping himself from dropping to the floor, and tried to concentrate on breathing.
Damn these natives. Damn keeping up appearances, he hoped someone was going after those boys, because otherwise, he was going to be having heads for this.

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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:31 pm

When Atoro suddenly doubled over she watched one or two of them take off away from the group. Of all the things to happen today, this had to go on top of it! She set off in a sprint after rolling her eyes quietly. 'Things just can't go smoothly can they?' she asked herself as she continued to chase the flour covered urchins. Even if she thought the man had deserved it, he was her commanding officer and thus had to chase the offenders down. "Mother have mercy on your souls you little rats!" she hissed as she grabbed hold of one by the arm and the other by his ear, just barely holding onto them both. She wanted to call for help, but the best thing to do now was just hold them in place and hope her comrades would come over and assist.

After a bit of squirming and her nearly shouting at them to stay still, things quieted down. They didn't stay quiet for long though, as one of them sank their teeth into her arm. "You little. . .!" She glanced at Dev and Fivei and tried not to look too angry. "Assistance please? It would be nice to get a little advice from someone who has experience with disciplining children." That had been directed at the mother specifically, hopefully it would make up for her screw-up earlier that day.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:16 pm


Her gaze respectfully averted from the tactician’s obvious pain, Dekhovra kept her arm held out strongly as Atoro tried to regain his strength. It was hard to see exactly what was going on ahead, but it looked like Lourna was having some trouble for the boys. She herself would love dearly to smack some respect and sense into them, but she didn’t dare remove her arm lest their commander fall over. His weakness, perhaps, but she could hardly allow it to show. Where was that damned daughter of hers? A swift scan of the street showed Fivei angrily brushing aside a burly stall owner, before running across to where their colleague was suffering a nasty bite to the arm. It was just as the boy held only by his ear managed to slip away while his guard was distracted that Fivei reached them, and she caught him by his floury clothing to reel him back in and hold him firmly. Dekhovra was about to call instructions when her daughter lifted her arm and delivered an almighty slap to the urchin’s face. Well well well, looked like she’d learnt from her own punishments as a child- slaps had been a useful tool in her artillery when disciplining her children.

Atoro seemed to be taking most of his own weight now, and so she extracted her arm to march over to the group. Being a well-built woman, it was no problem for her to lift the scrawny boys off their feet and slam their heads against each other before turning and making her way straight back to their commander, dragging the captured boys with her. She stood them both on their feet before Atoro and wrenched their heads back to look up at him with a handful of hair from each. It was only at this point that she realised she was entirely unable to communicate with them.
“Talk. Respect.” Her vocabulary was limited, but Surahnians had spent a lot of time telling the natives to treat officers with respect. Her harsh tone with its heavy Surahnian accent was easily enough to convince them of her seriousness anyway- if her methods hadn’t already done that. If there was one thing she didn’t lack experience or wisdom in, then it was children. Atoro might look down on the capabilities of this group, but surely he couldn’t be displeased with her now?


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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:53 pm

Lourna’s shouting did not really register with Atoro, still rather preoccupied with trying to recover from the street urchin’s well-placed kick. Little bastard, he was going to cause him some serious damage in return. He slowly managed to recover, standing on his own after a little while longer. At least one of this useless archer team had made themselves useful to him for a moment, despite being less-than-helpful earlier. An older woman, she at least had a little mind for protocol, helping her superiors.

And at least the other two had caught those children. By the War Father, if they had not caught them, he would have had their heads.

Face dark like a thunderstorm, and trying to regain some of his normal dignity, he glared at the pair as Dekhovra dragged the back to his feet. There was a bit of commotion around them now because of the harsh way they had been treated, but Atoro cared little for that. Snatching his sword back off Fivei, who had taken it off the boys, he returned it to its rightful place again. His anger in this matter was not restricted only to the pair in front of him, at the moment.

Still keeping his black look, he grabbed hold of one of the boys’ necks, the one who’d kicked him, squeezing his hand tightly. Even though the pair had already been punished by both mother and daughter Surahnians, that was not enough for Atoro, nor had he sated his own anger yet.
“That was a foolish thing to do,” he growled. “I expect you think it was clever? Think again.”
He didn’t care about their motives, only wanted to do them harm now. The boy scrabbled at Atoro’s hand with his fingers, trying to prize him away, but he was only small, and the Surahnian was furious. Furious enough to continue to squeeze as the boy choked, face turning red, then at the last moment, finally let go. He didn’t give them a second glance as he looked up at the three women, glare still coldly in place.
“Kill them both.” He didn’t care how they did it, but he didn’t want the two children getting away with their lives. They had already forfeited those.

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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:44 pm

At his treatment of the two orphans Lourna couldn't help but turn red in the face herself. She was furthest from what was now transpiring, but the thought of having to kill children just made her ill. If the other two simply complied, all bets were off. "They're just orphans, and they're natives as well, what makes you have any inkling that any of them know who or what you are? They should be punished yes, but killing children for trying to survive. . .? These children are victims of circumstance, what kind of damage would that do to our enicks if we go through with that order?" She had to watch Fivei and Dekhovra carefully, seeing as they were inclined to simply carry out the order no questions asked.

The only things she had going for her were the fact that the older woman had children of her own, and their strong religious background. If neither of those had any effect, she was as good as dead and there would be no arguing that point. If any of this had a positive outcome, it would be a miracle. She had just possibly signed her death warrant over a handful of street urchins. Her mother would either be proud or call her an idiot, but likely she would call her the bravest idiot in the family.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:53 pm


While Lourna seemed to have some moral issues with how Atoro was treating the urchins, Dekhovra scarely batted an eyelid as he lunged at the throat of the one who’d attacked him. It was far from the first time she’d seen a Surahnian lose their temper, and she didn’t doubt that it wouldn’t be the last either. The same likely held true for all present, but for some reason when Atoro gave his flat command the younger woman immediately spoke up in protest. Halfway through shoving the two boys towards the other two women for execution, Dekhovra stopped in surprise. One did not simply disobey a command from above. You might not like it, but you did it regardless. What was Lourna hoping to accomplish here?
“Defending the honour of Surahnia never has and never will damage any Enick. A lack of loyalty, on the other hand, does no good things for your Spirit Enick.” As she finished speaking, she shoved one of the children towards Fivei, who caught him by his collar as he stumbled and fell. It was the work of a moment for her to draw her knife and rest it against the boy’s throat, lining up her strike perfectly to slice straight through veins and down to an artery near the spine. He scarcely lasted a few seconds before his limbs went limp and he folded to the ground, Fivei stepping neatly back to avoid the blood.

It did give Dekhovra cause to stop and think for a moment, holding the second boy still with little effort. Evidently the shock of seeing his friend slaughtered so detachedly was too much for him. Was it a good or a bad thing that she didn’t feel the same way, that she’d raised a daughter who killed without blinking? Good or bad, she didn’t see how it could have turned out any other way, given how the plague had left Surahnia. Every meal meant a fight, every Lahrukan needed killing. Famine had forced her to kill her own child- so how could she be expected to qualm at taking the life of some urchin she’d never met before and was far less innocent than her own baby had been? It wasn’t often that she questioned the morals behind any order, and it wasn’t for long now.

For a moment she pondered just finishing the boy herself, but it was obvious that Lourna needed some testing, so she once again yanked the child’s head back by his hair to bare his scrawny throat.
“If you don’t feel like getting bloody, there’s more than one way to kill,” she suggested helpfully, with a smile that plainly held a challenge. Surely Atoro would rate Fivei more highly in comparison to this weak and disobedient girl.
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PostSubject: Re: [SR patrol] Look sharp, take note [Reconnaissance]   Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:14 pm

"I'd sooner die." she replied coldly. "There is no excuse for killing innocent children." The coldness only intensified at Fivei's instant obedience. "I refuse to obey this command." Well there went any hope of getting the children spared. She looked at the remaining boy with a small bit of light in her eyes. "I don't understand what you will accomplish by killing him anyway. You are throwing your morals aside for the sake of an order made in anger." Blood she could handle, gore she could handle, even being bitten by a disobedient child she could handle, but not murder. "Kill me if you like for this, but let the boy go."

Spending her formative years on the island had changed how she saw things, she couldn't back down now. In the back of her mind she knew the woman would kill him anyway, but it wasn't something she was keen on believing. In fact it was the one who was still alive that had bitten her to start with. Time to own up to what she'd started, though. Seemed like she'd be dishonorably discharged and sent to the Surselea for the rest of her life for all this little speech had done. Anything less than that would be a shock.
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