The Day Things Changed

Three days ago, on a sunny but cold winter afternoon, Stitches found himself at the West Gate of Bree; ready to retire himself from a shorter day of work before he returned himself to his special hill to speak to the lady in the stars. Before making his way to Bree, while on the road from Hengstacer he had dawned atop his head a crimson velvet hood and bird skull formed mask. Since there were rumors of a killer on the loose, and it is of course his purpose ot protect the Bree-Landers, as he would see it; he began dressing himself in red lined garb that he had treated with coals to create a smoky gray-black like color upon them. This mostly was not to conceal his identity, but to hide his face and his insecurity that lies within it and its markings. Some foreigners that call themselves peacekeepers had taken to calling him "The (Dawn) Robin."

He had not cared for nicknames as such, but as he entered Bree, shortly after convincing the guard at the gate that he was no troublemaker, his eye picks up on a bit of commotion to the south past the Bree-Town Vault. As he drew near, three figures ducked into a nearby small garden, tucked away in one of the many cracks of Bree. Stitches approached to find two men with knives, heckling a young woman for her change and possessions. Unimpressed and confident behind the visage of a vigilante, Stitches drew his sword he had purchased long ago when he first arrived in Bree, and called out to the muggers, "Hey! You'll be leaving the girl be now, vermin."

His own words inspired him, and as the knife wielding robbers rushed him he was filled vigor and grace. Elegantly he sidestepped left, and flicked his blade up from its lowered resting position to give the first miscreant a nasty cut along his right side. He brought his blade back down in time to defend from the next dagger slash of the second vagabond, and retaliated by bringing his knee into the attackers groin, and followed up with a solid haymaker punch to the face of the second robber to knock him to the ground. The other thief, however had recovered, and before Stitches could respond much at all, lunged at Stitches, grazing his sword arm to leave behind a sizable and deep gash along his forearm. Stitches dropped his sword in surprise and pain, and the assailant dropped his knife, picking up his dazed friend and scampering off before the watch would notice. Stitches grabbed his arm in physical agony and looked to the woman, "Are you alright?" he asked. She exchanged a gratitude with him before going on her way. With no medical knowledge, Stitches ignorantly changed his clothes into his farmer attire, and left his open wound at that, only slightly covered adn pressured under his farmhand clothing. Mind, he had at least washed it before he left the farm that day.

He made his way to The Prancing Pony and met up with his friend, Dru (Drubainbess), near the kitchen of the tavern. When she learned of his wound, she did her best to apply a minimal amount of aid to it, but was cut short by a strange man entering through the side door int he kitchen. He spoke of his friend needing aid from being kicked by a horse, but something was fishy about this man. After a slight pester and calling Stitches a cripple, he took Dru and left with her out the door. Suspicious, and wanting to keep his promise to Dru that he made a few nights ago, he once again threw his disguise on and rushed to follow them out of Bree.

Darkness crept over the Bree-Fields as he followed the two figures through the endless sea of the Bree-Land grass. They passed the fields, they passed Hengstacer, they passed many things, but Stitches had failed to notice the cloak and dagger movements of the covert hunter tailing the situation as well. Eventually, Dru and the strange man came to a stop atop a very small roll of a hill, with some dilapidated ruins crowning it near an abandoned camp of wooden spike walls, and a cluster of trees that Stitches took refuge in at the base of this terrain deviation. He could not hear the discussion, but drew his sword to hold it awkwardly in his left hand as his friend Dru her own weapons, showing alert. Before long the hunter caught up with Stitches, holding him at bay with a bow and arrow. Stitches isn't a fool, and lowered his weapon and mask, trying to reason with the hunter. As their altercation was heard by the two on the hill, a horn for reinforcements split the night air with a deep and bellowing rumble. Stitches's friend Dru made a run for it from the strange man. Stitches reached in his long glove to quickly fling a small throwing knife at the hunter, and bolted off to attempt to aid his friend. His attempt was cut short when his left shoulder was pierced by an arrow. Stitches stumbled to the ground, where he further begged the hunter, who had truly been working with the strange man, to let him protect his friend. The hunter promised Stitches to reason with the other man, and headed off with Stitches wounded and surrounded by goons.

Stitches was miserable, in a word. Just the two or three nights ago, he remembered it plain as day, "I promise to protect you, miss Dru." And their conversation in the following evening, regarding the event of either of their failures to protect one another, and how not to blame themselves. He looks down at the grass with a huff and murmured to himself as the goons kept a watchful stare upon him, "I'm sorry Dru...I'm not the good man you thought...I failed you adn it's my fault...I should've been more use to you."

After a long while, Stitches was briefly beat, mostly to his head and face, stripped of his gloves, mask, and sword, and tossed in the river bordering Northern Bree-Lands and the North Downs, unaware of what had become of his friend. As his eyes closed and he succumbed to pain and lack of energy, he saw murky waters below him, and wondered if he himself would wake up.