Concerning Brigandry



It was an overcast day, darker clouds lurking in the distance foreboding rain. Townspeople began to trickle into the courtyard in front of the Bree-town Hall, many murmuring amongst themselves. Much of what was said was rumor, little of it cheerful. Finally one man, known to many around town as Tom Barleyshoe (a cobbler by trade), climbed up on a boulder in the lawn. “Good afternoon, fellow Breelanders and travelers alike. We’ve come here today to discuss the problems plaguing our fair land. Some of you may have heard tell of some of these ailments. We are here to diagnose Bree-land, and to find some way to cure her!” he paused to eye the others around.

 

Morwinel stood nearby the boulder, quiet for now, her Watcher’s cloak clear to see in the small crowd.

 

Vigdrifa thinks aloud. ''Must admit, seemed strange to see people gather here at this time...''

 

Arlis rubs a tired eye and listens to the man.

 

Taite pauses in her slow, limping stroll down the street, noting the crowd gathered outside the Town Hall. She turns aside and hobbles into the courtyard, taking a spot near the wall to watch and listen.

 

Dimheim crosses his arms and stares towards the speaker, a few keywords appearing to catch his interest.

 

Lambwise held a wet rag to his badly bruised head.

 

Taite glances at the man standing to her left, her eyes curiously roving over his black-garbed form. She clutches her walking-stick a little tighter.

 

Amliri walks over to Arlis and whispers,"What the hell is happening right now?"

 

Barleyshoe continued. “Many of us here today have felt the pain of this sickness first-hand. This malady of which I speak is bedlam. Bedlam and brigandry.” His moustache quivered. “I lost my good friend and cousin the other week. They were murdered, left to rot in the Bree-fields. Their farm was burned. One of the sons has yet to be found.”

 

Arlis shushes Amliri. "Just listen."

 

Taite scowls deeply, recalling the news of the farm. She nods her head slowly.

 

Magnoria frowns, crossing her arms.

 

Lambwise seems confused, wondering what bedlam was.

 

Garbold watches the man give his speech, his brows rising slightly as he mentions a farm. "Horrible business." He says quietly, tucking a thumb into his belt.

 

Taite glances over the crowd again, her dark brows lifting in surprise to see Magnoria. She notices Garbold as well, and glares a little.

 

Garbold blinks, as if sensing a pair of eyes on him. He glances around, smiling brightly at Taite as she notices her. He would wink at the woman cheekily, before returning his attention to Barleyshoe.

 

Taite glares all the more at the wink, her cheeks pinking slightly as she hurriedly turns her attention elsewhere.

 

The cobbler looked again out over the crowd. “Who here among you has also seen the violence of these dark times first-hand? Come, tell your story.” He got down from the boulder and motioned for someone else to come speak.

 

Arlis glances at Amliri, then leans further on the tree, looking like she does not want to go up there at all.

 

Lambwise waves to Morwinel.

 

Lambwise says, 'I-I can talk...'

 

Taite is about to lift her hand until the cobbler finishes speaking and invites someone to come forward. Her hand vanishes from sight.

 

Magnoria raises her brows at Lambwise.

 

Amliri shakes her head at Arlis, agreeing with her.

 

Dimheim looks over the crowd as the offer is made.

 

Lambwise doesn't know if his Hobbit hand is seen through the crowd, let alone his voice.

 

Morwinel spotted Taite in the back and made a mental note of her short-lived hand. She nodded to the hobbit who spoke, however. "What have you to say, sir?"

 

Lambwise tries to make his way through the crowd and flops out into the front.

 

Lambwise says, 'It's about a kidnappin'...n' beatin'.'

 

Taite moves forward slowly, though she avoids looking at anyone, lest they think she's volunteering to speak. She meanders towards one of the unoccupied trees and takes up a gentle lean against it, holding her cane close to her body.

 

Lambwise takes his wet rag and holds it to his bruised cheek.

 

Magnoria walks forward some, interested in what the other hobbit has to say.

 

Lambwise says, 'C-Can I get a hand up to this fancy Boulder thing Mister?'

 

Morwinel frowned, and nodded for the hobbit to come up.

 

Elirior stood himself close to the man in grey, looking around the plaza in a curious manner. Surely people didn't stand here that often. He glanced by his side to the man and then back to the group, speaking out in a silent yet gruff tone. "What's this about then?"

 

Lambwise was lifted like a wee child onto the boulder. He then stood on top of it.

 

Garbold folds his arms, glancing at the man addressing him. "Looks like they're talkin' about some trouble with brigands runnin' around." He answers quietly. "Tryin' ta drum up support for dealin' with 'em, I suppose."

 

Lambwise finally got some even footing as he then began his story. "I-It was about a week or moreso ago. I've forgotten how long. But I was with me friend named Miss Gustine. We were having a jolly old time at the Pony. Alongside us was this kind and friendly Dwarf fella. We spoke during our chat about how Gustine wus tha neice of the Thain of Tuckborough, which be a pretty fancy thing for us Shire Folk. After a while, the Dwarf asked if we wanted to go for a nighttime walk. Gustine agreed, and she dragged me along too. We went ta on' o' the firework shows goin' on. Havin' a splendid time an' such. We then went past that field, and outside town to a pretty field o' flowers n' wotnot. THen, all o' the sudden, the Dwerf turned wif a menacin' look n' --'

Lambwise says, 'n'-n' started...'

 

Elirior nodded in agreement as the man spoke, yet shook his head as he concluded. He kept looking on to the rather peculiar gatheriing, answering to him, his grey hair giving way to his experience. "There've been bandits here for years.. only now did they decide to rally support?" he scoffed and sighed longingly, digging his thumbs underneath his belt.

 

Taite listens intently to the hobbit, smiling sadly at the mention of Gustine. Her eyes widen as the story goes on.

 

Magnoria looks furious.

 

Morwinel smiled encouragingly to Lambwise.

 

Lambwise exhaled and trembled as he removed his straw hat to reveal severe brusing all over his head. "He started ta beat up on me n' kick me n' such. N-N' ah defended meself wif me club, bu' it din' do much good...b-by the time it wus ovah...a-ah woke up tha next day, wif Miss Gustine nowhere to be found. I ran back ta the Guard's office, but sum' strangers stopped me and started--

Lambwise says, 'started to complain about the 'Watchers' round here. But I didn't believe them.'

 

Taite gasps a little and puts her hand over her mouth.

 

Lambwise says, 'Cause I believe that they should be able to help all you folk out.'

 

Lambwise exhales as he puts on his straw hat. "T-That's all I got to say about that."

 

Taite murmurs, "Poor little fellow..."

 

Lambwise hobbled down and fell with a slip.

 

Garbold shrugs in response to the man. "At th' risk of soundin' like an' old gaff, 'better late than never.'" He says, his icy eyes staring directly at the hobbit.

 

Dimheim says, 'Hm'

 

Lambwise didn't see the deathly staring he received.

 

Lambwise applied the wet rag to his face again as he walked back to the crowd.

 

Morwinel frowned. "Has she been seen since?"

 

Elirior listened to what the hobbits had to say, an eyebrow raised in a curious manner. Without looking at the stranger at his side he responded, silently this time around. "Can't call yourself an old gaffer when you're standin' next to one yourself.." he whispered with a chuckle.

 

Lambwise says, 'No ma'am. There's been search parties bein' sent out though!'

 

Taite looks around the crowd anxiously, biting at her bottom lip at the news that Gustine remained unfound.

 

Magnoria mumbles, "Poor dear.." She looks at Lambwise sadly, then steps up on the rock without volunteering. "That's my daughter that was kidnapped, and I want her back and safe! I can't believe you Breefolk, letting innocent hobbits run off with shady dwarves!"

 

Amliri clenches her fists in anger at hearing of Gustine's disappearance story.

 

Taite stares at Magnoria with wide eyes.

 

Elirior | "Interesting.." Elirior mumbled to himself, watching as the events took a sudden turn.

 

Arlis silently fumes, leaning more on the tree.

 

Vigdrifa says, 'Sad story indeed.'

 

Lambwise gasps in the fact that he was standing next to Gustine's Ma the entire time!

 

Morwinel nodded at Lambwise's answer, then lowered her head at the older hobbit's words.

 

Garbold chuckles as the new hobbit stands up on the rock, a low whistle escaping his lips.

 

Taite glances over her shoulder at Garbold, giving him another little frown.

 

Magnoria sends a harsh look at everyone in the crowd. She looks like she wants to say more, spout more enraged words, but then just shakes her head, biting her bottom lip and looking like she's about to cry. "She better be found!" Her voice cracks, then she steps off the rock and stands by Lambwise again.

 

Elirior glanced over at the woman that turned her head and offered her a small shrug of his shoulders, turning his gaze back to the Hobbit now towering over him on the rock.

 

Taite shifts her mossy-green eyes to the man beside Garbold, and her expression softens into a more neutral one. She gives a tiny shrug in return and turns forward again, eyeing the back of poor Magnoria's little head.

 

Vigdrifa eyes Garbold over her shoulder as well, a brief disapproving look.

 

Morwinel met Magnoria's gaze and said softly, "On behalf of Bree-land, I am sorry." Then raising her voice she said, "The watch will do all that we can to ensure that Miss Gustine is found and safely returned."

 

Lambwise held an arm out to Magnoria. "D-Do ya need a hug Miss?" He looked in his sack and took out a handkerchief. "Maybe somethin' ta wipe sum' tears?"

 

Taite straightens her posture and nods firmly at the Watch woman's words. "Aye."

 

Elirior turned his gaze toward Garbold and gave him a friendly nod, a smile persisting on his face. "Take care, partner." he exclaimed and headed over to the same tree the woman was stood next to, leaning his shoulder on it. The pelt wrapped around his shoulders seemed heavy, but it definitely did the trick.

 

Magnoria pipes, "They better!" She looks at Lambwise and nods, snatching the kerchief from him and dabbing her eyes.

 

Lambwise hugs her side. "It be alright Miss. They'll get her back, I just know it!"

 

Taite gives a tiny flinch as a large figure appears on the other side of the slender trunk. She looks up at him for a few seconds in curious silence, then shifts her eyes back to the hobbits.

Garbold returns the nod, his eyes following the man as he moved to stand next to Taite. He then returns to gazing at the throng.

 

Morwinel searched the crowd. "Would anyone else care to speak?" Her gaze settled on Taite questioningly.

 

Magnoria lets Lambwise hug her a moment, but then pushes him off, muttering "Don't touch me."

 

Lambwise says, 'O-Okay. I understand.'

 

Taite feels her face drain of blood as Morwinel's gaze finds her. She swallows hard and holds still.

 

Lambwise says, 'S-Sorry...I-I just want to help.'

 

Lambwise smiles kindly at her.

 

Lambwise sighs at Magnoria.

 

Magnoria gives him a small look of apology for being short with him, but she doesn't say anything.

 

Garbold steps up towards Taite, reaching forward to lightly nudge Taite forward. "Th' lights are on ya, lass." He says, a grin still playing across his lips.

 

From the crowd Tom Barleyshoe shouted, "Drag that hobbit back home and hang the ones who've done it!"

 

Elirior | Now that the grey-bearded man had a better vantage point he gave the lot before him a few inspecting looks, furrowing his brows whilst silently thinking to himself. The tall man appeared to be in his mid fourties, his face graced with a few scratches and scars, the most prominent out of all being his missing eye, an eye which was obstructed by the pitch-black eyepatch that he wore. He grinned at the gesture that Garbold made, shaking his head.

Vigdrifa turns and briefly glances at the nearby men before leaving.

 

Magnoria nods in stern agreement with Tom Barleyshoe.

 

Lambwise says, 'D-Drag...'

 

Magnoria says, 'Take her gently home, idiot!'

 

Taite twitched at the unexpected touch from Garbold. She threw another glare over her shoulder before hurriedly looking forward again. Her eyes land on Arlis. "Miss Arlis, don't you want to speak?"

 

Lambwise says, 'W-Wait...h-he d-doesn't mean forcin' us ta head back to tha Shire?'

 

The moustached cobbler shot back, "Figure of speech!"

 

Magnoria shakes her head at Lambwise. "No, he doesn't mean that."

 

Arlis looks at Taite, then ducks her head. "I'm not good with that stuff."

 

Taite glances sidelong at Morwinel, then at Arlis again. "But it all started with you, did it not?" Her voice is plain and simple, not accusatory.

 

Lambwise whispers to the Nice Lady Hobbit. "These tallfolk got some weird sayings."

 

Magnoria nods in agreement with Lambwise.

 

Morwinel smiled encouragingly to the dwarf. "If you have something to share, please feel free to." A ruder townsperson then said from somewhere amongst them, "Get up there, shorty!"

 

Taite shot a scowl at the rude townsman. "Oi! None of that!"

 

Arlis sighs and runs a hand down her face. "Aye.." She whips her head to the rude one and shouts, "I'll cut your legs at the knees! We'll see who's short then!"

 

Elirior shook his head at the remark but took it no further than that, probably used to hearing folks like these.

 

There was nothing else heard from that particular townsperson, who presumably hid from the angry dwarf.


 

Taite puts a hand to her lips, hearing Arlis' fiery reply. A hint of a grin tugs the corners of her mouth.

 

Arlis smiles, satisfied at that.

 

Elirior looked around the crowd and finally found the gap to speak, calling out toward the three before them. "And how do you propose we find this.. missing person? Do excuse my question if it has already been answered, I do admit that I've arrived late."

 

Taite spares another inquisitive glance at the well-dressed man beside her as he speaks out.

 

Taite says, 'Aye, what is being done! You said search parties?'

 

Magnoria listens carefully.

 

Elirior nodded in agreement to what the female had to say, returning his gaze back to the watcher & company.

 

Morwinel had been looking at the dwarf, ready to hear her story, but the fancy man's question caught her attention. She gave Arlis an apologetic look then said to Elirior, "We will follow every lead we have. As has been said, there are search parties out for Miss Gustine now."

 

Magnoria grumbles, "There better be!"

 

Elirior | "Most intriguing.." the man mumbled to himself, clicking his tongue a few times. He then remained silent, probably satisfied by the answer the Watcher gave him.

 

Taite makes a tiny whimpering grumble in her throat, as if swallowing back some exclamation.

 

Morwinel nodded. "As for the missing Bentwood son... Anyone who has any information about that attack, please let us know."

 

Arlis looks over at Taite and motions for her to come stand over here.

 

Taite glances at Arlis, looking slightly puzzled. But she obliges, grasping her walking-stick and limping over to find a fresh leaning spot on the other tree.

 

Morwinel then looked back to Arlis, her brows raising questioningly.

 

Elirior kept his gaze pinned on the group, not minding the shift of positions.

 

Garbold casts his eyes over the crowd as Morwinel mentions the Bentwood boy, almost as if looking to see if anyone would come forward. He'd then walk around to get a better view of the crowd, moving quietly to the side.

 

Taite clears her throat and turns her attention to Morwinel. "Miss, there.. there was a woman.. around the Prancing Pony.. acting a little odd, right around the time this all started."

 

Curnden approached the gathering with a slight stoop in his stride. A small, sad smile mixing with the lines of age and distant battles on his features. Nodding to his comrade at his side, he turns back to face the crowd, unfastening his helm as he does so.

 

Arlis smiles at Taite, then looks at Morwinel.

 

Morwinel smiled at Curnden in greeting, and seemed to let him take the lead. However she frowned at Taite. "Acting a little odd?"

 

Taite seems to shrink a little as attention falls upon her, but her voice continues, calm and steady. "Aye, she were...she looked a rough sort. Not like any lady of this town. And she was counting out piles of coin. I mean..." She holds up her hands, one still clutching her cane, indicating a large amount of something. "More coin than I've ever seen all at one time. And it were she that first told me about the farm burning and all. Then, later she showed up again and... started trouble with Mister Filisk."

 

Garbold glances loosely at Taite, seeming to take a particular interest in her words.

 

Arlis tilts her head to listen, though doesn't seem to know anything about that subject.

 

Morwinel nodded, her black brows furrowed together. Filisk... she knew that name from somewhere. "What was this trouble she started?"

 

Taite hesitates, her mouth hanging open a little as she ponders what to say. "...ah, they uh...exchanged some words and the woman took a swing at him...struck him hard." She clears her throat and looks downward.

 

Elirior raised a brow at the description of the events as they took place, looking on intriguingly.

 

Curnden cleared his throat, shooting an apologetic look toward Morwinel before speaking up. "Could you tell as any more of what this lass looked like?" The question came in a friendly tone, as he craned his neck and squinted a little to look upon the speaker.

 

Taite purses her lips and frowns. "She looked mean," are the first words out of her mouth. She shakes her head briskly, knowing that this wasn't the correct sort of reply. "Ah, she had red hair. Dressed like a man, if you ask me. Trousers n such."

 

Arlis runs a hand down her beard as she listens.

 

Taite pats her cheek with her fingers. "Her face was... s-scarred, too."

 

Morwinel glanced at Curnden at the description. "Thank you, that is helpful," she said to Taite.

 

Taite nods, licking her lips and happily going quiet again.

 

Curnden offered a small smile of thanks. "Mean, dressed in trousers and rough with red hair, anyone you might know..." He turned back at that last piece of information. "Thank you, that may well narrow it down."

 

Taite nods again, shrinking against the tree trunk as if it might help her vanish from sight.

 

Arlis nods at Taite, as if to say 'Good job'.

 

Garbold maintains his gaze on Taite, almost as if pondering something as the description is given. He shakes his head as if he had come to a decision before hooking a thumb into his belt. He takes one last look over the gathering, before starting back on his way up the street.

 

Curnden let out a small sigh as he looked over the gathered faces. "We will look for this woman, and again if anyone sees her in Bree or her bounds, please let us know."

 

Amliri nudges Arlis. "Your turn."

 

Taite glances at the retreating form of Garbold, her ebon brows drawing together thoughtfully.

 

Arlis turns red. "Do I have to?"

 

Taite says, 'Aye, Miss Arlis, please... for Gustine...'

 

Amliri nods,'If it will help find Gustine, you must."

 

Arlis takes a deep breath and nods, looking socially anxious. But she still trods up to the front, an old bruise on her face now fading, but an apparently new wound on her shoulder, bloody bandages wrapped on it. She hesitates on stepping on the rock.

 

Magnoria makes a shooing motion at the dwarf, to hurry on.

 

Amliri smiles encouragingly towards Arlis.

 

Arlis huffs at the hobbit and climbs up, looking around at everyone near.

 

Morwinel smiled encouragingly to Arlis as she came up.

 

Elirior looks upon the dwarf that had just ascended the rock, folding his arms as he learned further on to the tree, eyeing her in curiosity.

 

Curnden raised a grey-touched brow as the Dwarf climbed upon the boulder.

 

Taite wraps an arm around the tree trunk, leaning her weight against it to relieve the burden on her leg.

 

Arlis gulps and tugs on her tunic's hem. "Over a.." she pauses, voice quieter than she'd like. "Over a week ago," she resumes, loudly, "I was attacked at my home by two dwarves. It was no coincidence that I had many guests over at the time, including Gustine, the missing hobbit."

 

Taite watches Arlis with sharp, focused eyes. Her head nods very slowly as she listens.

 

Elirior raised a brow further at the revelation, muttering something to himself, listening on to the story.

 

Arlis says, 'One of those dwarves I killed in self-defense, the other drowned himself later while being chased. Many watchful, malevolent eyes have been about. We found one dwarf conversing with a malignant man, Brikan, and we caught said dwarf. Brikan has been a perpetrator of violence, and is still somewhere around.'

 

Taite feels her eyes widen at this new information. Well, new to her.

 

Dimheim removes the book carried under his arm and opens to the last page. He finds a thin stick of charcoal in his pocket and begins to write on the empty page while listening on.

 

Arlis shifts on her feet, anxious at all the eyes staring. She looks above everyone's heads. "Due to carelessness of others, Gustine was kidnapped, a boy named Clay has been framed, and the location of where Amlri," she motions to the other dwarf in the crowd, "and I were keeping the dwarf was found out. Once more we were attacked, and he escaped, presumably to the Blue Mountains."

 

Morwinel listened intently, her frown deepening. "Do you know where this Brikan is now?"

 

Magnoria listens carefully.

 

Arlis looks at Morwinel. "No."

 

Curnden chewed a well-worn lip as he listened to the Dwarf tell her tale.

 

Arlis says, 'Though he is wounded--presumably he is hiding to recover.'

 

Taite looks over her shoulder suddenly, as if realizing the well-dressed man hadn't made himself known for some time. Her eyes quickly find him, and she smiles tightly.

 

Elirior does not notice the attention being given to him and instead focuses on the story and its twists, his heavy shoulder still leaned up against the well-worn tree.

 

Taite dissolves the forced smile, as he wasn't looking in her direction. She turns back round. "Miss Arlis, but *why* did these dwarves attack you in the first place? No one's been able to give an answer, and that seems where we should be starting from."

 

Arlis scratches her shoulder, then winces at doing so. She gulps. "That's the entire question to our problem. Our captive dwarf couldn't tell us, none of the others would..." She frowns. "I really wonder that myself.

 

Taite shakes her head in disbelief, staring at the dwarf. "You don't know? You've no idea?"

 

Dimheim raises the book up and blows the excess charcoal off. Looking to the speaker, he listens, eyes moving between the people as they speak up.

 

Arlis runs a hand down her face. "No. If I knew, I would tell everyone, but I don't." She looks horribly frustrated.

 

Elirior shook his head at the answer and spoke out once again, his firm and gruff voice only assisting his words drift in the air. "And how do we know that these facts are connected to the disappearance of the young hobbit? Let us keep in mind that, despite it sounding highly suspicious and well-placed, they could be completely different occasions. Plenty of bandits around."

 

Taite turns to look at the man by the tree. "Well, we don't," she replies, her voice tainted with emotion and losing a bit of its calm. "Nobody seems to know why anyone's doing anything!"

 

Arlis replies, "We were told directly, and it is a good assumption otherwise. She is a close friend of mine, and to most Bree-folk. The dwarves want a rise."

 

Elirior says, '"Bandits do not do anything without motivation or push, with that usually being what every man craves; coin and recognition. Unless we delve deeper into what warranted them to target the hobbit and the dwarf in question, no one can really solve anything."'

 

Elirior shrugged to himself, rolling his tongue around his mouth.

 

Arlis runs a hand down her face. "If YOU are somehow able to figure out their motivations, other than the basic fact that my life is wanted to end, then please, go ahead!" She hops off the rock and angrily stomps away.

 

Taite spreads her hands, grunting in impotent frustration, looking down at herself and her walking-stick. She drops her misted green eyes and sighs.

 

Tamirra raises her brow, wondering what is going on.

 

Magnoria mutters, "Touch-y..."

 

Elirior shrugged to himself once again, seeming completely passive about the whole ordeal. He simply remained leaned up against a tree, but no reply came out of him this time; he himself probably knowing where to put the lines in a conversation.

 

Curnden watches an old envelope waft by on the breeze, the detritus from some careless postal clerk from the town hall. Closing his eyes he raised his voice. "We are in troubling times in Bree-land, thefts, burning muggings and murder, it's a sign of evil times sure as anything."

 

Taite nods firmly, lifting her face and scowling around the courtyard. "We have to watch out for each other. Not keep secrets, if you see something going on. The people who can't defend themselves rely on you." She grips her walking-stick until the wood squeaks faintly.

 

Amliri nods her head in agreement, staying silent.

 

A townswoman finally spoke up, looking at Taite. "This woman you speak of... I think I've seen her too."

 

Dimheim shuts the book and pockets the charcoal stick.

 

Taite glances at the woman, her brow furrowed with concern.

 

Elirior nodded in a positive manner at what the Watcher said, and with that, simply pivoted around and made his way through the gathered crowd discreetly until he freed himself of the gathering, heading up the road toward the fountain.

 

Curnden hesitated as the pair traded words and was about to speak once more before the newcomer raised her voice.

 

Elirior mumbled rather audibly as he ascended the road in a slow step; "Peculiar, quite peculiar indeed.. as if they did not happen before."

 

Curnden offered a small nod toward Zarbes as he joined the small crowd.

 

Bridghet halted in her tracks seeing the gathering outside town hall, and approached her fellow watchers "Mister Curnden, whats going on here?"

 

The townswoman cleared her throat. "A woman of the same description, I saw her attack someone in an alley near here. Took their coin. I saw her face, the left side a mess of scars. Out in broad daylight..." There was some thunder in the distance as the rolling clouds darkened.

 

Blackboot wanders down past the gathering that he had heart about in the inn, and so he rested his forearms on top of the stone wall, resting his bottle on the side as he watched on, occasionally swigging from his drink and grimacing to himself at its taste.

 

Curnden turned offering a nod of his head to his fellow Watcher. "Folks are giving their concerns about the recent violence, we've got a description coming up." He nodded once more toward the townswoman who spoke up.

 

Taite nods at the townswoman speaking, her hand waving towards her silently as if to affirm her words.

 

Lambwise waves to Bridghet.

 

Bridghet crossed her arms and glanced around listerning she gave a small nod to Lambwise.

 

Lambwise smiles joyfully towards Miss Bridget, but winces in pain immediately.

 

Zarbes would rest a hand on his hip and look around at the people gathered with curiosity.

 

Taite sets the same hand on her hip, waiting to see if anyone else had something to say.

 

Curnden took a step forward. "How long ago was this, Miss?"

 

The townswoman walked forward to stand next to Taite and the dwarf. "Not two days ago."

 

Curnden cast a glance left and right at the pair of Watchers at his side before stepping forward once more, clearing his throat and raising his voice. "We will find this woman, guilty of the burning or not it sounds she has much to answer for." The Watchman's gaze narrowed as he looked along those gathered. "I will also be petitioning the mayor for the approval, means and funds to raise a militia, made of any townsperson who wishes to do their part in stamping out these ill-doings that have come to the borders of our town."

 

Bridghet uncrossed her arms taking a pen and battered book out of her pouch, jingling her keys a little as her hand brushed past them, she began to take notes.


 

Amliri peers around the crowd and mutters,"I better go check on Arlis." She walks through the crowd quietly and heads down the road.

 

Taite nods at Amliri as she departs, then turns her gaze to Curnden. Her chin firms up and she nods again.

 

Taite raises her walking-stick a little. "Aye!"

 

There were rumblings among the townspeople at the mention of a militia.

 

Bridghet put her book and pen aside and brought her hands together at Curnden's words "Well said Sergeant"

 

Zarbes would slowly raise his hand at the mention of 'militia'.

 

Morwinel shivered at a sudden chill in the air.

 

Curnden craned his head around to mouth a 'thank you' to Bridghet. "Any who wish to sign up, or know any that do come and find me or one of my fellow Watchers, I promise you we will put and end to this and see the guilty pay." And with that he stepped back into line with Morwinel and Bridghet.

 

Taite seems to realize that she's now standing all alone by the tree. She steps back behind it, gripping her walking-stick and beginning to limp slowly away. "Thank you, Watchers..."

 

Zarbes would lower his hand and gently stroke his chin in thought and consideration.

 

Bridghet put her book and pen away as she was done with note taking.

 

The rain foreboded by the dark clouds overhead came then in sheets, lit up by lightning. The rest of the townsfolk and watchers rushed for indoors, the ailments of Bree now discussed and the idea of a militia hanging in the air along with the precipitation.