To Find a Thief

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To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:59 am

Aragorn held up no further argument on the subject. He still considered Vanya his superior...when it came to this sort of thing. Ground he certainly made up in their bed that night. It had been days and days since he had last been able to have at her and he held nothing back considering it may well be longer still before they had access to a sturdy bed again.

The next morning they decided to be present in the common room. A hearty porridge with small slices of pork was served, lightly spiced and Aragorn ate 3 bowls before Vanya had finished half of her first.

“Barliman, who was the young girl here last night,” Aragorn said in between bites. The large Innkeeper paused in his conversation with another patron and turned to face their table. He was behind the counter as usual with his thick, white apron and the man he had been speaking to was an older man that only had half of his teeth remaining.

“Girl? What girl?” He asked as if he didn’t know what he was talking about. “You know her, the one in the hooded cloak that sat at the bar last evening!” He said with obvious irritability in his voice. Aragorn didn’t much like Barliman and his lack of attention to the world around him really seemed to get his back up when he spoke to the man.

Barliman’s eyes slid to the side as if he were wracking his brain then his eyebrows drew up as he remembered. “Oh….you mean Kara? She comes in ever so often, what about her?” He asked and it would be obvious to Vanya that Aragorn was about to get up to call Barliman down for his flippant attitude.



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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:56 pm

Vanya woke up the following morning feeling completely satisfied. While timid at first in bed, Aragorn had since lost that timidness and was much more confident. Vanya, for the most part, allowed Aragorn to be the dominant one in bed, but on occasion she would turn the tables and gain the upper hand.

After they were dressed they headed downstairs to the common room and ordered some breakfast. The room was mostly empty, for which Vanya was grateful for. As they are Aragorn called over Barliman to ask him about the girl last night in the hooded cloak. The innkeeper was slow to respond and Vanya sensed Aragorn’s anger rising. He still had a short temper. Patience was something he needed to work on.

“How well do you know Kara?” Vanya interjected in order to give Aragorn a moment to calm himself.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:17 am

Barliman had been half turning away when Vanya’s question came out suddenly and in mid turn he paused, wanting to return back to his ‘other’ less ‘intense’ customers that occupied the other side of the counter. More were coming in too as the morning began to stretch on.

“Well...not very well to be honest...milady,” He said though the last part came somewhat late is if he wasn’t certain if she was a noble or not. It was always good practice however to assume they someone was or one might inadvertently perceive an insult. “She comes in here once in a while fer a bite an a sip but thass it really,” He said quickly.

Another man who had recently come to the counter and had been waiting patiently for Barliman to turn to him tilted his head as he listened to the conversation. He looked to be less than in his middle years and wore a black leather jerkin with dark brown leather pants. He wore a short sword and sword breaker at his hip and his blue eyes were keenly aware from the way he was sizing her up that he fancied her.

“Tha one as spent more than a few days in da lockup I can tell ya true. She azz quick fingers an’ll cut yur purse ov if’n yur not lookin,” He said though he had a rough way of speaking. Aragorn turned to look at the man and began to size him up in turn. He could tell he knew how to handle himself in a fight. He looked as if he was relaxed but could spring back in any direction immediately if the situation called for it. The man didn’t look at Aragorn directly but he knew he had sized him up as well.

“I’ve seen er round town err or at the Mule and the Cuddy too,” he said and then allowed his eyes to linger on Vanya. His mouth quirked a smile which gave him a ruggedly pleasing look. He was quite handsome in a very rascally way. He wore no hat and his hair was long and fell down the back of his neck in golden waves.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:02 am

Vanya found that she was growing just as frustrated with Barliman as Aragorn was, though she tried to hide it better. However, if he didn't have any further information for her it wasn't worth asking him any more questions. She was about to suggest to Aragorn that the two of them go somewhere else when a man standing at the counter caught her attention. He was human and still fairly young, but from the way he wore his sword and stood she could tell that he was a skilled swordsman. He was rather handsome, though not nearly as much as Aragorn in her opinion. No one would compare to Aragorn for her. She noticed the way he was looking at her and assumed Aragorn did as well, but was glad that Aragorn did not say anything...especially when he appeared to have more information about the girl they were looking for.

"How old is she?" Vanya asked, curious as to whether she had mistaken a woman for a young girl.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:54 am

The man shrugged as if the question was not important. “Old enough to know that she don’t wan ta get pinched a 3rd time. The...local constabulary takes repeated offenses sternly,” he said. “What’s your interest in her?” He asked as if it were just a small matter but to Vanya’s skilled ears she now knew that his interest in her was much more than he let on. “If she pinched ya purse, tha coin be long gone I think,” He said dismissively as he accepted the plate that Barliman sat down in front of him. He wasted no time and set to with a will as the Innkeeper swung to face other patrons that began telling him their orders. Aragorn turned his head and met her eyes. He gestured with a slight hitch to his head then headed away from the counter toward the door. Outside he paused just long enough for her to catch up than stepped along the street with her as the bustle of men women, horses, mules, livestock and carts swallowed them into their midst.

“As bent as this town is Vanya I don’t see how one girl….’a thief’ is of any importance. Likely she happened upon the scene just as the old woman had. There has to be dozens of thieves here, likely more with a guard who likely were no better. As they walked they saw several cart stalls with merchants, both male and female, who cried their wares. The carts were pulled back just away from the street and at some of them there were townsfolk in the process of purrousing today’s selections. Out of the corner of Vanya’s eye she saw movement by one of the stalls and saw a small shape reach around the woman who just turned away just then. Nimble fingers snatched something that glinted silver in the sunlight and then jerked back quickly as the woman turned back to face the street. The shape seemed to almost melt back into the buildings behind and Vanya saw that there was an alley back there to.

OOC: It will be a small boy, not the girl they seek.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:45 pm

Vanya watched as Barliman set a plate before the man and she knew then that she had lost him as he set to eating and began to ignore her. She was feeling frustrated as she followed Aragorn outside and back onto the busy street into the morning bustle. People were hawking their wares and men and women spoke loudly as carts rolled down the streets.

She walked with Aragorn into the crowd and sighed as she listened to him. She was starting to think that maybe he was right and maybe she needed to just let this go and for them to move on. They did have important tasks before them after all. However, something in the back of her mind continued to tell her that they needed to stay. She opened her mouth to say something to Aragorn when a sudden movement to her left caught her attention. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted the same fingers she had seen the night before at the Prancing Pony. They snatched something that appeared to be silver and then were gone. However, her keen eyes spotted the figure as it moved back into the buildings. Stepping over there Vanya spotted an alley.

"I just spotted our thief again," she told Aragorn. "He or she went this way," she said, indicating the alleyway before them. Without waiting to hear Aragorn's reply, she headed down the alleyway. Up ahead she spotted the figure as it dashed down the alley. Vanya kept her eyes on the thief and began to gain ground. The thief glanced back and saw Vanya was catching up. It pushed a barrel down onto the ground to try and stop her, but she jumped over it with the ease of a deer. Suddenly, the thief found him or herself coming upon a tall fence. The thief jumped up and began to climb. As Vanya got closer she realized just how small the figure was. Glancing back, Vanya found that Aragorn wasn't behind her, but she didn't have time to figure out where he went. She began to climb after the thief. The thief came over the other side, but by now it had started to rain and the wood was wet and slippery. Vanya heard the thief struggling to keep a grip. She got over the other side and reached down to grab it's cloak, but it slipped and fell with a shriek. To Vanya's utter relief Aragorn rushed up just in time to catch the thief before he or she hit the ground. Vanya climbed down and then walked over and jerked back the thief's hood. To her surprise she found herself looking at a young boy who couldn't have been more than 12.

"You could have broken your leg falling from that height," Vanya told him, unsure of what to make of this. "You were lucky my companion here was able to catch you."

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:42 am

There was no way Aragorn could clamor after the youngster. He was a decent climber but Vanya was far better and faster than he was. He paused a moment and scanned the surrounding area. The child knew where they were going better than they did and so Aragorn decided to do the only thing he knew how to and get ahead of them. If they were going to go up, he’d race ahead and so he did.

It wasn’t long before he began looking up. He could see dark shapes appear atop the tall fences and he shifted his path to come up to them. Like a shadow he ran along the fence but when he saw the child trip he stopped and turned just in time to catch the young...man?. In an instant he knew this was no girl and he tossed back the boy’s hood to make certain. He was a boy and no older than 10 he thought.

“Ye lemme go! I dun nuthin!” The boy squeaked and tried to break free from Aragorn’s grasp. Aragorn’s hand gripped his shoulder and shirt like a vice though and no matter how hard he fought or jereked, Aragorn’s graspe did not release him.

“Is that so...then why did you run?” He asked as Vanya hopped down and came up to them. The boy turned to look at her and gulped fearfully at her as tears began to well up in his eyes. “What’s your name boy?” Aragorn asked harshly and gave the child a hard shake in an attempt to intimidate him. The boy’s gaze shifted quickly back to the large man and Aragorn could tell he was terrified. Finally the boy stopped trying to get away and he lowered his eyes to the ground. “Dalan,...me name’s Dalan...OK! Can I go now!?” The boy said in a quivering voice. Aragorn looked over at Vanya and nodded to her as a sign that he thought she should continue the ‘interrogation’.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:08 am

Vanya wasn't entirely sure how to approach this situation. He was a thief, yes, but at the same time he was a child and she doubted that he was stealing simply because he wanted to. She had a feeling that he either had to, or was being forced to. The boy was truly terrified and Vanya knew that she and Aragorn would have to change their tactic with him if they were going to get any further information out of him.

She knelt down so she was on his eye level and looked at him with a softer expression. One filled more with concern than anger. "Dalan, where are your parents?"

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:48 am

The boy sighed an uncomfortable sigh as if he had been asked this question before if not recently. That and he snapped a quick glance up into her eyes before he turned his gaze back down to the ground near his own feet. His face was very dirty and he appeared to be quite thin. Not gaunt exactly just thin as if he did eat on a regular basis. But perhaps not much. He scrubbed a filthy hand across his face and eyes.

“I bur’d me maw lass wintah. Me paw leff when I be lil,” he said plainly and his voice held a bit of irritation in it as well. “Do you sell the items you steal or take them to someone?” Aragorn asked. He had spent time in towns and villages and it was rare, for him anyway, to learn that so many children were thieves. In less than one day they saw two and he assumed there were many more.

“We’re looking for a girl, Kara,” he asked quickly right after his initial query in hopes to set the boy off balance. The boys mouth dropped open as he looked up sharply at Aragorn then dropped his gaze back down quickly.

“We has a qot...a,” the boy said awkwardly as if he was unfamiliar with the word though clearly he knew what it meant. “No qot...a, no eats,” He added quickly in hopes that adding that part in might earn him some leniency. Getting people to feel sorry for him had worked in the past...sometimes.

“I...don’t know no Kara,” he said though his voice took on a slight stubbornness that told Vanya that he was lying.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:06 am

Vanya could tell when someone was lying and she knew that he wasn't lying about his parents, but that he was lying about not knowing Kara. The rain was starting to fall harder and she could see him starting to shiver. She sighed and gave Aragorn a look to tell him to stop with the questioning for now. She thought that if they got Dalan somewhere dry and warm and got him some food that they might build up a trust with him. He was young and scared and they couldn't question him like they would an adult.

"Come on," she told him, "let's get you somewhere warm and get you something proper to eat that you won't have to steal money for."

With Aragorn still holding on to him, they left the alleyway and turned left onto the street. Vanya decided not to go back into the Prancing Pony since she and Aragorn were starting to become known there. Instead, she spotted a sign for another inn, Badger Head, and she led Aragorn and Dalan there. As they stepped in she was glad to find the place warm and a fire crackling in the fireplace. There were a few people sitting at some of the tables, but it wasn't overly crowded and seemed clean enough for an inn. They found a table near the fireplace and sat down. A barmaid came over and took their order. Once she left, Vanya looked at Dalan.

"My name is Vanya and my companion is called Strider." She choose not to use Aragorn's real name since he was being hunted and had instead come up with an alias for him. Little did she know at the moment how infamous that name would become. "Are people telling you to steal?"

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:54 am

Dalan eyed the few people that were in the Inn right then and none of them appeared to be anyone he knew. He did, however know the Innkeeper and by his stern look toward the boy he knew Dalan as well and not in a good way. Still, coin was coin and food was quickly brought to their table. Before Vanya even got through her first question Dalan dug in greedily and began stuffing himself. He shrugged at her question.

“Yah...we all does, we gots qot...as,” He said in between mouthfuls. “If we’s short, we gits thumped fer it and no eats,” he said as he chewed. He tore off a chicken leg and began sucking the meat off as if he hadn’t eaten in days.

“Did you know the Guard Captain?” Aragorn asked in a soft tone and with the leg still in the boy’s mouth the boy paused a moment then began eating again.

“Nah...dats Kara’s job. We givers da loots an she gives-em to da Cap’n,” He said and tossed the leg bone onto the plate and clawed off a breast with a wing still attached. “Welll...she used ta, I dint see er yestday,” He said with another mouthful of chicken.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:01 pm

Judging by how skinny the boy was and how quickly he was eating, Vanya guessed that he hadn't had a decent meal in a long while. Afraid he might choke, she pulled the plate away slightly to allow him to properly chew and swallow what was already in his mouth before stuffing anything more into it.

When he mentioned Kara, Vanya glanced at Aragorn. Her plan of gaining the boy's trust was slowly working. She was curious though as to their connection with the guard captain. "Why were you all paying the Guard Captain?"

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:38 am

The boy held his large piece of chicken closer to him when he saw Vanya slide the plate back as if he was afraid she’d take that from him as well. To her question he just shrugged again.

“We gits thumped if we dont...They tells us and we gits it,” He said plainly as if this arrangement was just something that was. “So more than just the Captain is involved? Other guards?” Aragorn asked and took a cursory glance around the room. No one was looking at them but he could tell a few people were making a show of not listening or trying to listen which meant that they were. They weren’t being loud though so he didn’t think anyone could hear what was being said very well, if at all.

“Yah...sevral but...sumpthin happ’n to da Cap’n so I don know now,” he said as he continued to eat. “Kara might be in some trouble Dalan, do you have any ideas of where we might find her?” Aragorn said then set a silver coin onto the table. He held a finger over the coin but slid it toward the boy who looked at it wide-eyed and licked his lips. With his forearm he wiped his face of the greasy juice from the chicken and appeared to be struggling in his decision to earn the coin before him.

“You could just show us and not have to say a thing Dalan. We can help Kara, if we can find her,” He said softly as the boy reached out and tried to move the coin toward him. It didn't budge under the pressure of Aragorn’s finger. “You can have this one now and one more after you show us, do we have a deal Dalan?” he asked and looked down at the boy who licked his lips again then nodded. Aragorn released the coin and the boy pocketed it swiftly as if he were afraid Aragorn might take it back suddenly. With that he grabbed the rolls off the plate and stuffed them into his pockets.

“Ok...less go then,” He said urgently. He wanted that coin badly and knew he’d not have to give them up as part of his quota. With them behind he led them back out to the street.

They barely cleared the door when a hand flashed out from the side to grab at the boy’s hair. Three men in the livery of the town guard were there and one pulled Dalan up to him. Dalan yelped and whimpered but didn’t try to run. They all held cudgels and looked at the two that followed the boy out.

“Well, well, so the old man was right...looks like we has a couple o folks who won’t keep their noses out a where they don’t belong boys,” The man said with a sneer. They were all about the same height and build. Fairly lean men all of average height. They wore chain shirts with the dark wool embroidered with the livery of Bree on their chests. The one that spoke pushed the edge of his cudgel into Aragorn’s chest rudely.

“We don like questions. Questions that oaght not ta be asked,” He said and Aragorn caught a flash of rank on his shoulder. He was an officer of some sort but he didn’t know how high he stood among the guard.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:55 am

Vanya was impressed by Aragorn's change in handling the young boy. Aragorn obviously had no children of his own and hadn't been around children in a very long time. He needed to learn how to adjust his tone around them in order to get them to trust him. In her visions she saw Aragorn's future family. She knew he would have one son (by birth) and another by adoption and four daughters. His would be a large, very important family and she knew he was going to be a great father.

With a little bribery, Aragorn convinced Dalan to help them find Kara. This relieved Vanya because she wanted to be sure the girl was alright. These children shouldn't be put into this situation and she wanted to find a way to help them. Together, they got up to follow Dalan. They had barely stepped out of the door when Vanya saw a hand shoot out from the side to grab Dalan. Looking over, Vanya and Aragorn found themselves face to face with three men dressed in Bree livery. If they truly were soldiers, they weren't the kind that she liked.

She fixed a hard gaze at the man who held Dalan. She had not pulled out her daggers yet, but she would if she needed to.

"I suggest you let the boy go...NOW. This will be our first and only warning."

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:55 am

The people that had been coming and going, in the Inn and on the street suddenly seemed as if they had ‘other’ business to attend to elsewhere. One of the 3 sidestepped around the first to come up onto Aragorn’s right side. The other retained his grip on Dalan who only looked down at his feet as if he had been caught in some sort of mischief. Aragorn’s hand rested easily on the pommel of his sword as he looked at the men. His face was a cool mask of icy disapproval that, if they were paying attention enough to see, would make a bear turn tail and run in the opposite direction. Aragorn knew that it would not do to spill the blood of men here and now. Especially that of the guards no matter if they were corrupt or not. But he could not allow them to take the boy and their apparent criminal disposition angered him.

“You will let the boy go,” Aragorn said with a twinge of icy steel in his voice. The man at the front glanced down at his hand then flickered an angry gaze back up to his face. “If ye be thinkin o inithin rash the guards’ll come down on ye…” He said with a scowl.

“Thats maybe but they’ll not be here in time to help you three!” Aragorn said in a threatening tone that made the man that held the boy flinch. Little did they even suspect however that the real threat was Vanya who they dismissed quickly as just a woman. This had been Aragorn’s intent all along ofcourse. But he saw the fear in their eyes now that their bluff was called. Aragon was a large man and his presence of being was strong to those he met and even more so to those he spoke to.

“Let the boy go and the people whom you’ve sworn oaths to protect won’t have to see you three being beaten up and down the street. Let him go now!” He commanded and the man that held the boy did let him go. Dalan wasted no time though and sprinted away as fast as his legs could carry him. The lead man turned and glared at the other then turned back to Aragorn.

“You’ve made a big mistake...BOY!” He growled then took a step back. Once he did the others followed suit and in a moment the three of them had turned and started to walk away down the street. Vanya could see where the boy went. He dodged behind two buildings and disappeared into an alley.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:06 pm

Vanya was used to being dismissed by men as posing no real threat to them. She actually preferred it that way. It allowed her to then catch them completely off guard if she needed to. She sincerely hoped it wouldn't come down to that though. The streets were full of people and the last thing she wanted to do was to cause a scene here and further disrupt the town's normalcy. However, should they choose not to let the boy go then she would be forced to act. She decided though to let Aragorn handle the situation. As he grew older his confidence in his skills grew and therefore his way of handling delicate situations like this grew as well. Like herself, he never really wanted to start fights, but he was prepared to finish them if necessary.

Finally, much to her relief, the man let Dalan go. The boy sprinted off as fast as his legs could carry him, but Vanya watched closely as to where he went. She relaxed slightly as the three men left, and once they were out of her sight she started to head towards the alley where she had seen Dalan disappear into.

"I'm really worried about these children now," she told Aragorn as she walked that way. "I won't be comfortable leaving Bree until I know that they are in a better situation. These men are liable to kill them and I can't have the blood of children on my hands."

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:37 pm

Aragorn ran after her though he also kept an eye out for more trouble. And he didn’t think for a moment that they had seen the last of those men. He agreed in part with what Vanya had said about helping these children but they couldn’t remain in Bree and watch over them either. They’d have to leave eventually and soon after they did he suspected that things would go back to how they were before they had come.

Dalan hadn’t waited for them. He wasn’t anywhere where Aragorn could see but it appeared that Vanya knew where he was headed and he followed her into an alley, through a gate and behind a slat, wooden fence. For several yards he chased her and presumed she knew where she was going. The path she took him was not a simple one and it took them across another street, into another alley and behind another fence until she stopped by a hedge that ran along the fence and looked about. Before he could catch up to her fully however she ducked down and disappeared into a small opening in the fence. With that Aragorn straightened and saw the boot maker’s shop on the other side of the fence. Knowing he’d never fit through that small hole he backed up and ran toward the nearest gate then came back around to the boot-maker’s shop then moved around to the back.

-----------------------------------------------------

The small hole was dark but it led quickly to what appeared to be a large, stone opening in what looked like the foundation of the boot-maker’s shop. She could smell Dalan’s scent as well as other scents here and knew this must be where these street urchins are holding up. Likely without the boot-maker being anymore the wiser about their presence. It was a cramped space but there was enough room for her to straighten, if slightly hunched over and she saw 4 pairs of eyes looking at her in the dim light. Dalan was to her left while 3 others, 2 boys and 1 girl, were just to his left. In this small space there were bedrolls and a few other makeshift beds as well as a plethora of sacks, bottles, small boxes and refuse littered around the small area. The girl that looked to be the eldest of them held the youngest, a small boy that couldn’t be older than 7 or perhaps 8, in her arms.

“We aves nothin, nothin ta take ere,” She said in a nervous voice. The boy she held as well as the other boy appeared to tremble at Vanya’s presence and 4 pairs of frightened eyes looked up at her from the darkness. The girl whose hair was tied back with a small, leather cord held a small dagger in her right hand and all of the children were filthy in rough, ill-fitting clothes that looked more like rags than anything else. She had a protective but desperate look in her eyes with the promise that she was prepared to defend these boys with her life if it came to that.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:38 pm

Vanya's heart broke as she slipped through an opening in the foundation of the boot-maker's shop and found not only Dalan, but three others there as well. A cursory glance around was enough to tell her that they were living there together and her protective nature wanted to do anything to help these children, though she knew that ultimately there was likely little she could truly do. She and Aragorn could not remain here forever and they could not take these children with them.

Vanya looked at the eldest, a girl, who appeared to be the protector of the group, though she herself was still just a child. "I am not going to take anything from you. I just wanted to make sure that Dalan was safe. You don't happen to be Kara, are you?"

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:55 am

The girl seemed to stutter when Vanya mentioned her name and she nervously licked her lips. That and Dalan flicked a worried glance toward her before he returned his gaze back to Vanya.

“There ain’t no un ere by tha name an we has nuthin for ya,” Kara lied and her eyes took on a troubled look. “You’ll bring the guards down on us fer bein ere. They’s bad enough catchin us out in da street or takin we’s qota and more,” She said uneasily and her eyes began to well up with unshed tears. The girl was terrified and it was obvious that, she at least, had had a few rough encounters with the guards. Encounters that might have went far beyond just taking the stolen goods they stole from them. She was a girl but in a town this bent that might not mean much to criminals.

Outside Aragorn waited patiently and to pass the time he began perusing the boot-makers shop and engaging him in conversation. The boot-maker was eager to show him his stock and the two began discussing the kind of boot that Aragorn might want out in the wilds.


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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:10 am

Vanya knew that this girl was indeed Kara, but she decided to play along with her and to not push the issue with her. All Vanya had wanted to know was that she was safe. And she was...but also she wasn't. These children were being used by these guards and were terrified. No child should have to live like this. Her eyes scanned the children huddled together and her brain tried to figure something out to help them, but she could come up with no long term answer. She didn't want to cause any more trouble for them with the guards, but couldn't leave without at least doing something. She reached into her left boot and pulled out a bag of coins. This was the last money she had on her. She knew that Aragorn had a little left and they could also sell animal pellets to make a little more. They were Rangers. They knew how to survive on very little. She knelt down in front of the girl and put the bag of coins directly into her hand.

"You keep these coins and hide them from the guards. Use this money as you need to to buy food and clothes. I wish I could do more, but this is all I have."

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:49 pm

Kara’s eyes shifted briefly to the bag of coins that clinked as they were tossed onto the floor then they moved back up to look at Vanya. Kara was obviously an untrusting sort but Vanya was a woman and she felt confusion more than threatened by her right then. Obviously charity was not something she encountered often and she didn’t know how to process that. Her eyes grew suspicious after she thought about taking up the coins. The others looked at the small pouch as well though their expressions were wide-eyed innocence and surprise.

“What I gotta do fer it?” She asked and the arm with the knife lowered down to her side. She let go of the small boy as well and he moved to stand next to Dalan. The other boy that was there still sat cross-legged and sucked on his thumb as he watched the exchange with only mild interest.

“You ain’t from the guards,” She said though that wasn’t phrased as a question. She seen her clothes and knew she had been the one she stole from just yesterday. If this woman was giving her more, obviously it wasn’t to bring her in to the guards. “What is it that ya want?” She asked plainly and licked her lips that had gone very dry.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:21 pm

Vanya shook her head as she looked at Kara. "I'm not not one of the guards. My name is Vanya and I'm a Ranger of the North. My companion Strider and I are just passing through Bree. We mean none of you any harm. You don't have to do anything for that money. It is a gift from me. You all are children and should not have to live like this. I wish I could do more, but that bag is all I have left."

She then remembered something. "Oh, I do have something else," she said as she reached into her pack. She pulled out something that was wrapped in a delicately embroidered cloth. "This is Lembas bread. It is elvish. One bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man. There are three pieces here. It should be enough to last you all for some time. Keep this as a last resort if you all are hungry." She handed it towards Kara and watched as the girl slowly reached out and took it. As Kara opened up the cloth to look at the Lembas she spoke again.

"There is actually one thing you all could do for me. I would like to know what happened to the Guard Captain. What do you know about his death?"

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by Conleth on Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:15 pm

There was another flash of disbelief from the girl but once again she licked her lips and her eyes flashed down at the new offering and the bag of coins. At mention of the Guard Captain’s death however her face suddenly grew paler than it had been as her mind quickly regaled that night. Up to then she had never seen a man die. Well, she had seen people die, certainly. But that had been illness and sickness. Not by having a sword thrust through the gullet. She had been hiding out since, terrified of setting foot outside of their literal little hole in the wall. Kara had been plagued by nightmares of that event and she looked tired and worn as well as hungry. After a few moments of silence her eyes lowered to the ground at her feet.

“I sawr em die…” She said as she remembered how his blood pooled around her shoes. There was so much blood!

“Tha man...there...I...couldn’t...I dint...It was so dark an ee was so tall,” she said as she tried to pry the memory of that night our of her brain. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she continued. The walls she had built up that helped her stay strong for these boys had begun to crumble before Vanya’s eyes. She was just a child. One that had to toss aside her innocence far too young and take care of three boys who only had her to protect and care for them.

“He...he had a dark cloak...I...I couldn’t see is face...But...when ee looked ah me I...I felt as if my legs ad froze up,” She said and let the knife drop from her hand as if her fingers had suddenly gone numb. She wrapped her arms around her chest and trembled as she relived that nightmare right before Vanya’s eyes.

“Ee said...sumpthin...I don know what. And before I knew it I was in the street an runnin fer all I was worth,” She said as she drew up her left arm and wiped her tears away. She sniffled and tried to regain her composure as she bent down to take up the small parcels.

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Re: To Find a Thief

Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:44 pm

Vanya watched Kara's face and could tell what the girl had seen had affected her deeply. She certainly couldn't blame her. Seeing someone die the first time was extremely unsettling. Even now, Vanya had to force herself not to think about it during battles. If one thought about too much it could affect them in a fight, resulting in one's own death. Vanya got no pleasure from killing. She tried to avoid it if possible, but was always prepared to do so if need be.

As she listened to Kara tell her what she could about the Guard Captain's death something stuck out in her mind. There was something eerily familiar about her experience and it caused her heart to nearly stop. By the time Kara told her that when the murder had looked at her that her legs had frozen up Vanya believed she knew the truth. Could there be a Wraith here in Bree? She knew that it couldn't be one of the two that had attacked Aragorn and herself recently, which meant if it was a Wraith that there were now at least three. She didn't know exactly why it might have had the Guard Captain (if indeed it was a Wraith), perhaps because it had mistaken him for Aragorn, or perhaps because the Captain hadn't given it the information it wanted. Whatever it was, it still meant only one thing. She and Aragorn were possibly in grave danger. She needed to find Aragorn and figure out the truth.

She knelt down in front of Kara and looked at her. "I must go for now. I hope that I will see you all again before my companion and I leave Bree, but if not remember what I told you about the money and the Lembas. Do not let the guards take them from you. Keep them hidden and use them only when you really need to. Be brave and be strong. You are doing a wonderful job keeping these boys safe. This is not a job a child should have to do, but you do it because you have to and I admire you for that. Do not let those guards beat down your spirit. That is the one thing you have that they cannot take from you."

She left the hidden space and quickly walked around and into the boot maker's shop where she found Aragorn. She lowered her voice and spoke in Elvish to him. "I believe there might be a Wraith here and it might be the one that killed the Guard Captain.

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