Post by sentranicia on May 8, 2010 10:21:16 GMT -5
As Joe winced, Zandara narrowed her eyes and flooded even more magic into him, not moving as he took her hand into his and squeezed. She smiled slightly, enjoying his moment of weakness, but whispered a word of comfort when he apologized to her, "You needn't apologize, friend. It's a painful thing, that." Her eyes traveled over his back to where Laramie was bandaging his wound and focused her magic there, fighting to keep the balance and not give in to her curiosity. Unfortunately, she slipped a bit, and allowed her magic to flow more powerfully through him than she had intended, although she refrained from directing it anywhere in particular.
A grimace of embarrassment flickered over her face before the gentle smile returned and she focused simply on getting Joe through the procedure.
Joe fought a gasp as pleasure coursed through his body, unsure of what just happened. Apparently Zandara had let a little more through than she'd intended. He gently removed his hand from hers, focusing on the cool feeling of the bandage and gauze on his back. Carefully he tried to remember where the pistol was, Laramie had dropped it near the medical bag, now sitting forlornly a few feet away.
He wasn't positive, but something about Zandara seemed...he wasn't sure exactly. But in the few hours he'd known her, he had caught glimpses of something dangerous, almost sadistic at times.
Or maybe she's just enjoying her sense of power he thought with amusement. She certainly was more powerful than most others he'd met, and she had clearly stated her desire to meet the commander, obviously wishing for money to care for her sister.
Snap out of it Joe, she's dangerous. Let her meet the commander, see what happens. She tries to hurt Laramie again, disable her. He kept his gentle smile in place, not wishing Zandara to get a glimpse of what was going on in his head.
"You can let up now, Zandara. I'll deal with the pain." He nodded towards the nearby road. "It would be best if we moved out fairly soon, sometimes bandits travel these roads and I'm not fully sure if we could win a fight, should there be one."
Especially since I don't think I can trust you. He added silently. He mentally shook himself as Laramie glanced up, eyes wary. She'd caught his hidden mood.
Oh great, now she's not going to like Zandara either...Well this is just dandy
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 10, 2010 20:28:01 GMT -5
"You're right, a bandit would be a terrible thing to come across out here," a lofty, condescending tone called out to them suddenly from the direction of the house Laramie had been hiding. "Such terrible things to come across out here, what with all of Stamaria's patrols elsewhere."
A horse could be seen slowly moving out from the shadow of the cottage, a massive Shire horse covered in black fur. The creature was clad in padding, reins, a saddle, and various packs strapped to it. Astride it was a stocky, hard-looking man clad in leather armor and thick clothing of browns and greens. He stared down at the Valtheranians and the Stamarian woman with brown eyes like cold stone, set into an angular face framed with long, shaggy black hair and a beard covering most of his jaw and mouth. One gauntleted hand held the familiar-looking weapon of choice of Stamarian soldiers, a blade rifle. A single bladed edge ran the length of the weapon's barrel, and the protected clip extended from the left side along its stock/hilt. The weapon was being held in its sword position, showing that this newcomer wasn't about to shoot them.
Though that could easily change, as blade rifles were notorious for their quick switching capability in combat.
"Now, why don't all of you be nice citizens and keep your empty hands above your head, or my colleagues here will have to put you down," the man astride the horse said, motioning to the house with the tip of his no-doubt stolen sword. From the sides of the house, more men in similar leather and thick clothing moved out, each of them moving confidently and carefully. They each wielded weapons, including swords and old torque bows. Some of them came out from the cottage itself, including one holding a quarterstaff and wearing a heavy brown cloak.
"Police them for weapons," the bandit commanded of his men. Three of the bandits armed with swords approached them, ready to search them and make sure that if they had any more weapons, they wouldn't have them for much longer.
Post by Steinerman on May 11, 2010 17:37:32 GMT -5
Joe groaned and rolled his eyes at the sight of the bandits. "Seriously?" He questioned, his tone accusing. "You picked this moment to spring out of your oh-so-cleverly concealed places by the shack?"
He glanced around, taking in a count of the men. If he had a gun, he and Zandara might have stood a fighting chance, but his gun was sitting several feet away by the open medical bag. He glared at the leader of the bandits, "I honestly would have appreciated it if you had popped out of hiding before I said, 'let's go before bandits arrive'. Would have made me look less a fool than I do now."
He raised his right arm, and then nodded his head over to his left, "Forgive me for not raising my other arm, I just had a bullet in that shoulder, and the arm's not exactly following my orders." He then nudged Laramie, who had been staring with complete and utter wide-eyed terror at the bandits, "hey, kid, put your hands up. If the idiots want to rob a couple of beggars, their loss. We don't exactly have much."
He kept his hand up above his head and smiled as Laramie did the same. Right now the only choice he saw was for them to comply with the bandit's orders. They didn't have all that much of value, and fortunately nothing that could link him to the Valtheran Military, he didn't think he'd said anything about his involvement, and being Valtheran wasn't a crime. With a little luck, the bandit's would just assume they'd stumbled onto a few unlucky travelers who happened to have a handgun.
Just hope Zandara doesn't do something rash... He thought with annoyance. I honestly don't want to get shot again in the near future.
Last Edit: May 11, 2010 17:45:11 GMT -5 by Steinerman
As the bandits poured out of the shack and stepped out from around it, Zandara's leg began to throb, more blood pumping out every second. No longer able to stand, she narrowed her eyes through her smile and crossed her arms at the request, "Rather a coward aren't you? Traveling with that many men to point a gun at three people who couldn't harm you if they tried. Why don't you get down of that nag and do this yourself if you're so much better than us?" She turned her gaze away from the bandits she'd been watching and let her eyes rest on him. Then, and only then, did she soften her face to an almost seductive appearance and draw upon her magic. Her lips barely moved as she muttered the words that would save her sister's livelihood as it rested in her pocket, unheard, and hopefully unseen, "Pain."
Magic coursed through her body and erupted toward the man upon the horse, fiery in its heat, her leg now aching harder as the magic reverted onto her in the same way it always did. She forced that feeling out of her mind and pushed the magic out, stronger and stronger, flowing in a steady stream toward the man that was trying to, unwittingly perhaps, kill her sister. What he did not realize, was that amongst the party of three was a girl with a reason to protect her coffer, and a means of doing it.
The thoughts passed briefly through her mind, not diluting the force of her magic at all, that Laramie would likely be dealing with some very strong emotion in a short while. After that was the thought that if the pain knocked the man off of his huge horse, he would be out of view and no longer susceptible to her magic, and the horse would take the full brunt of the feeling. If one of the bandits stepped in front of her target, they would have to take it, and if Joe stepped in front of her, he would have to deal with it.
Zandara could not deny that she had just taken a huge risk, but it was the only way to save her sister's life, and possibly her own.
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 19, 2010 0:52:05 GMT -5
"Actually, we were just passing through," the bandits' leader replied to the irate Valtheranian's statement. "Just returning to our home, as it were. But then we heard a gunshot, so we figured, being the good Samaritans that we are, we should check it out and make sure there weren't any problems."
"They don't have much, boss," one of the bandits searching them said. "Just a pistol and the ammo for it." The bandit in question put the safety on the gun before handing it to one of the others, who put it in a sack he was carrying.
"That don't mean much in Allondell," the bandit leader replied, frowning. Allondell was, after all, home to the Taron Mages and comprised a good deal of the most powerful nation in Ymaggion. "We don't--"
The man suddenly cut off as Zandara's magic struck, causing all of the color to drain from his face and his eyes to bulge nearly out of their sockets. With a gasp of pain, the man clutched at his chest with his free hand, slumping over the saddle of his mount. Shouts rose up among the bandits, who quickly turned to their quarry, and soon the torque bows were aimed in their direction.
The leader clawed at the armor on his chest for a bit as he turned his gaze on them, staring right at the angry-looking eyes of Zandara. With a pained snarl, he snapped his gaze back over to the bandit in the cloak, near the shack. "She's a mage!" he choked out. "Seal her and silence her, Calhoun!"
But the bandit, Calhoun, was already moving--with quarterstaff held at his side and his other hand aimed at the group, the man had his eyes closed as his lips spat out a silent chant. A magic circle, bright orange against the grass, spread out beneath him and revolved slowly. Calhoun was a mage himself, and was already casting his counterspell against them.
Joe rolled his eyes, "it's like you're reading my mind, and doing the exact opposite." He growled at Zandara. In a smooth motion he stood and lunged for one of the bandits, bearing the man to the ground and wrestling for the man's sword. As he wrestled he shouted at Laramie, "Kid! Get to safety, go now! Go now!"
Laramie's eyes welled up as she felt the pain travel from Zandara to the bandit leader. Whatever that man was going through, it couldn't have been pleasant. Laramie felt that pain and rage times a hundred. She dropped to her knees, mind frantically trying to block off the pain. And then through tear-streaked eyes she saw one of the bandits begin some sort of magical counterstrike against Zandara. Joe was wrestling with some bandit on the ground, the outcome uncertain, and Laramie...she felt useless.
But then a soft, gentle reminder spoke in the back of her mind, No. You're not useless. You have a power, you can speak into other's minds. She shook her head in confusion, she could speak into someone's mind, yes. But only speak, a small fraction of her emotion could carry over as well, but generally nothing dangerous. How could she help?
And then her mind answered it's own question. If you can speak into someone's mind, why can't you scream? She wasn't even positive as to what it would do, having a telepath scream into your mind. But if the man required concentration for his spell, having a scream explode in his head probably wouldn't help matters. It might buy Zandara a few seconds to do something, and it was the only thing Laramie could do. She concentrated all of her mental power on the bandit mage. And then, instead of speaking into his mind in a gentle whisper, she filled her own mind with a scream, and sent it towards him.
Please do something... She prayed silently, keeping up her telepathy.
The bandit leader managed to sputter out words through his agony, and all Zandara caught was that their mage was headed toward her, hand outstretched and prepared to counter-strike. Joe was suddenly on the ground, struggling with one of the swordsmen, and Laramie was hard concentrated on Calhoun. The bandits were shouting and clamoring to aid their leader, but to no avail. His face still in view from atop his monstrous steed, the pain in his body would continue to grow as his attacker focused.
Unfortunately, she now had a choice to make. Would she turn her attention to the mage attempting to silence her? Or was the better option to continue her magic and weaken the leader as much as possible before it was cut off? The odds of the three of them getting out of this were slim, but she could give them a fight, certainly. At least, most likely, they would not kill her. She was a valuable weapon, and with training, her power could easily be turned on more than one target.
But that wouldn't help Joe or Wish. No, in fact, there was little to be done now but hold her ground. Still forcing her magic into the bandit leader, she prayed silently, a strangely out of place grin on her face, that Laramie Wish was more than just an emotional toddler.
Calhoun's magic was growing fast. Zandara could do nothing but wait.
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 20, 2010 19:04:26 GMT -5
The bandit leader snarled wordlessly as he slumped over his horse, trying to fight the pain--what kind of black magic was the wench wielding against him? It took all of his willpower to remain seated on his horse, and the animal danced about nervously, sensing its rider's distress. Shouts rose up again as Joe attacked one of them, and the two struggled over the sword the bandit held in his gloved hands. A second bandit ran over, lifting up his sword, and sent its pommel crashing down at the base of the Valtheranian's neck to try and subdue him.
Calhoun and Laramie struck at nearly the same time--as the mental scream suddenly sounded off in his head, he cast his spell, causing waves of magical power to radiate over the woman, trying to shut off the source of her magic and end her attack on the bandits' leader. Shaking his head, he tried to push away the scream, and he turned his eyes towards Laramie--the scream was feminine in its tone, and she was the only one left not seemingly fighting against them. "Stop her!" he shouted at the bandits as he readied another sealing spell. Two sword-wielding bandits rushed the girl, ready to subdue her like they were doing to her male companion.
Post by Steinerman on May 20, 2010 23:00:54 GMT -5
Joe felt something hard and solid crash into the back of his neck like a sledgehammer. Fortunately the blow angled enough not to knock him cold, but it did leave him woozy for a moment, giving the man he was currently straddling time enough to firmly wrest away the blade they'd been fighting over.
In a moment of cold, clear reality, he realized they couldn't win. Zandara couldn't hurt them all, not in time. Laramie was hard concentrating at doing something to the bandit mage, and Joe realized with a sudden fear that she'd just made herself a danger to them. She'd ignored his cry a moment before. But he shouted once more, voice hoarse with pain, "Laramie, run! Find Uncle Donovan, tell him what happened. Run niece, run!" With that, he released his grasp and rolled off the man, then curled into a ball and prepared himself for whatever punishment they would offer.
He hoped and prayed that Laramie understood what he was telling her, he didn't want to think about what bandits might do to a girl who attacked them with her mind, no matter how feeble that attack was. He'd called her his niece to get her attention, and to attempt to pass themselves off as a niece and uncle traveling in the countryside, hopefully keeping their cover intact. If she could reach the captain then...Joe chuckled softly. The Captain actually might not come for him, considering he'd gotten himself into this mess, but at least Laramie would be safe, and that was currently more important to him than either his or Zandara's life.
Laramie heard Joe's cry at the same time she saw the bandit mage focus on her. Her own emotions and feelings were currently running rampant, dancing from icy terror to hot anger to burning pain as she took in everything around her. But through all of that she heard Joe's voice, telling her to find their uncle.
I don't even have an uncle. She thought with confusion. And then she heard the name, Donovan. Yes, the General might be able to help us. She took in the entire fight and remembered everything Joe had told her about combat. They were losing, the mage had gotten off his spell against Zandara, which probably meant that she couldn't do anything more. Joe couldn't take on that many men by himself, and Laramie...she was fast, but not exactly dangerous.
Time to put that speed to the test... She thought, determination creeping into her mind. She let up on her telepathic scream and then darted straight forward, easily dodging past the bandits coming towards her, she hurtled towards the bandit leader's horse, making it appear as though that was a target she was aiming for.
Zandara felt the full force of Calhoun's magic slam into her, wrapping around her chest and constricting her airway, cutting off both her concentration and breath with a single spell. Falling backwards, her already wounded leg snapping beneath the awkward bend and weight of her body, she writhed on the ground, scratching at hands that were not their and allowing tears of agony to swim down her face. Unable to breathe or function, she was now in pain rather than the leader. This was not good. If they wanted information from her, they need only tap her wounded leg with a toe and she would be in agony.
Then again, now that she was out of commission, perhaps they would take into account that she was a woman, and a powerful mage at that. But this was the extent of her thoughts before she began to fall in and out of consciousness, her eyes rolling back in her head at intervals. Right leg bent grossly beneath her body, foot turned the wrong way, it was clear to anyone watching that this girl would be going nowhere fast.
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 23, 2010 0:11:20 GMT -5
Luck was on Joe's side as Zandara succumbed to her own backlashing magical power and Calhoun's mana-restrictive spell. With Zandara down, the bandit leader was able to recover. The pain lessened and his vision cleared, and he was able to look up just in time to see the other wench make an insane charge at him. Had the girl given in to madness? No matter. "I want them alive!" he snarled at his men while he brought his horse about.
It was that last-second command that probably saved Joe and Laramie's lives. The ones surrounding the Valtheranian agent halted their swords mid-swing, sparing his life. The bandits wielding the old torque bows, in the meantime, had turned to follow the girl's path and had aimed ahead of her accordingly--as their leader shouted, they instinctively lowered their weapons slightly to prevent fatal shots. The modified rifles jumped in their arms as they fired, and the torqued arrows in them shot out at extreme speeds as they sought to bury themselves in Laramie's legs and end her charge.
Joe nodded his head thankfully, seeing Zandara go down and hearing the Bandit leader's orders for the others to take them alive. That was good news. The bad news was that he saw the Torque bows being leveled towards Laramie's feet, that wasn't exactly good. He winced in pain, knowing what was about to hit his partner, this wouldn't be good.
Laramie ran for all she was worth, moving like a bullet for the Bandit leader's horse. At the last second possible, hearing the whine of the weapons behind her, she juked off her original path and sped towards the still-open door of the shack.
She hurtled inside the structure and dove for the corner, knowing she only had a few moments before they came in after her. With frantic hands she scrabbled through the debris of her supplies and found the radio, she flipped the switch and held down the 'transmit' button.
Her breathing slowed as she practiced the exercise Joe had taught her. It would do them no good for her words to be jumbled in her mouth from labored breathing. Hearing the footsteps of the bandits coming closer, she hissed into the mic, keeping her voice as quiet as possible. "Uncle, Uncle, Joe and I can't make our dinner tonight, please reserve another table, maybe at that Commonwealth restaurant we know so well. Joe's bringing a girlfriend, some new girl he just met. See you soon Uncle, Love you."
Her message sent, she grabbed her box, her precious box, and then dove into the corner of the shack, curling up as tight as she could, wrapping herself like a cocoon around the box that held everything precious in her life. Now to take whatever beating these bandit's offered. Tears welled up in her eyes as her mind played through all the things they might do with their captives, especially two female ones. Their emotions were terrifying to feel, anger and confusion and others to numerous to count. The next few minutes could get very ugly, very fast.
But there was nothing she could do about that, so she sat curled in the corner, crying softly to herself. This wasn't a good day.
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 24, 2010 20:33:12 GMT -5
Other people could forgive Laramie for the mistakes that were made during the sudden panic caused by Zandara's magical assault on the bandit leader--when the torqued bolts tore through the air and narrowly missed the running girl, her course was diverted to the shack she had been hiding in earlier. Which, currently had several bandits, including the rogue mage Calhoun, in front of it. When Laramie dove through the open door, a pair of bandits followed after her after a moment of surprise.
The bandits burst into the room with their swords drawn, only moments after the transmission had ended, and their proximity had allowed them to hear what was said. As the girl dove for the corner of the room, the nearest of the two immediately reached out with a snarl, grabbing her by the collar of her shirt and yanking her to her feet.
"You're not going anywhere, lass!" he growled, trying to shove her around to bring her back outside.
Post by Steinerman on May 25, 2010 15:31:37 GMT -5
Laramie went limp as a rag doll, staying as curled up as possible, given the fact that she was currently being dragged from the shack. Her box she kept tucked closely to her chest, holding on to it tightly like it was the last real thing in her world. Their emotions were...maybe not calming, exactly, but they were slowing down. Allowing her to focus more energy upon her surroundings, rather than attempting to block the emotions of all the surrounding bandits.
Joe watched with concern as they dragged Laramie out of the shack, he currently lay face-down on the ground, hands clasped behind his head. He caught her eyes with a swift movement of his head and smiled reassuringly. Now all they could do was wait and see what the Bandit's did.