The chirping of birds accompany the sound of an approaching horse. An old palomino pulls a wagon where an old man sits at the front. With his straw hat tilted forward, it seemed like he was trying to avoid attention and eye contact.
As Abbadon’s fingers dug into the ground, he slowly pushed himself up from the bush he had fallen asleep in. With a grunt he took a moment to check his equipment: Blade, his pack, any other equipment he was able to salvage from their escape. Things all seemed in place. As he glanced about, he then noticed Edgar, one of the halflings he was stuck with, eyeing the road suspiciously and quickly ducking into the bushes. Without hesitation, Abbadon was quick to follow suit.
As soon as Abbadon lept into the bushes, Bartleby the halfling bard adjusted his backpack as it hugged his shoulders tightly. The ground he fell unconscious on was nothing suitable to his taste, but when you’re tired, you can’t be picky. Glancing over to his other companions, it seems that everyone has woken and came to. The bard had to take note on his company, after all, a fun story is made of the characters he travels with.
A quite woman clad in red remained kneeling down, eyes narrowed as she scanned the area – Her name was Celean: Not much of a talker, but she had revealed she was one of the Sisters of Red. A mercenary group that helped protect the north, a strict order of monks with fists that were as deadly as blades.
Otar, a quiet and curious human. Not one to make himself known, was a skilled wizard. A skilled wizard who was on the run from the Golem making city, Glasscliff. Although the wizard’s skills were what you expected, it seemed that if he were given the right tools, the wizard could do wonders that’d leave others at Glasscliff in awe.
Then there was Edgar: a mischievous grin on his lips with teeth that’d make you wish he kept his lips sealed. The halfling’s fingers were always twitching as if by second nature, but eyes as observant as a hawk. The young halfling could move about without making a sound and was prone to blend in with the shadows like it was his second home. As Edgar watched the old man’s wagon and horse draw closer, he glanced over to Abbadon. “We could rob him.”
The imposing figure of muscle, Abbadon was a tall human man with a falchion close to his side. Long black hair and wearing a kilt, he seemed to give Edgar a slight nod. The gesture wasn’t agreement, nor was it denial, but it seemed like the man was still assessing the situation. “Maybe… we should let someone who’s good with words handle this.”The old man sitting on the wagon squinted his eyes as his horse came to a sudden stop. Soon enough a halfling stepped out of the bushes. “Oh no…” The old man whispered.
Bartleby dusted his vest of any pine needles that stuck to the cloth and began walking up with a warm smile. “Greetings!” The old man pulled the pipe away from his lips, fear in his throat. “I-I don’t have the money, I’ve told Silas the payment will be late. Please. Just let me go.”
Bartleby tilted his head to the side in curiosity, his arms crossing before his chest. “That’s not what I…” Soon enough the bushes rustled as his companions began to reveal themselves. The old man bit his lower lip as he reeled back in his seat, but seemed to relax as soon as Abbadon began to speak of their situation.“We’re not here to rob you old man. We’re just looking for information. Possibly a ride to the next town.”
“I… If it’s information you’re seeking, ask away. I can answer as much as I can. As for a ride, maybe I can ask a favor of you in turn.”
As the others stepped out onto the road, Abbadon seemed to nod in agreement. “A favor for a favor, fair enough. Where are we? Where is the closest town from here?” The old man brought his hand up to his chin where he stroked his beard in thought. “Well… as for where you are, I’m not sure what answer you’re looking for. But the closest town from here is up north, Sansport.” Bartleby’s eyes light up as he takes a step forward, a quick glance towards Otar’s direction. “That’s certainly good to know.”
Abbadon nodded to the halfling bard before bringing his attention back to the old man. “That’s good… then, the ride. What is your proposition?”
The old man was frank about his situation, he was off to celebrate his nephew’s wedding. Not only that, but he was now moving to stay with him and his new wife. Apparently the bandits in the area had kept a tight leash on the roads, a monthly pay of copper for “protection.” Unfortunately due to the wedding expenses, the old man had to skip on the payment.
“I… I just need protection sir… that is all. I ask that you protect me until we reach the wedding grounds. But… I’m willing to offer more if you are willing to do so.”
Extending his hand out to the old man, Abbadon nodded. “We’ll see. What is your name?”
Taking the human barbarian’s hand, the old man gave it a firm shake. “Ben. But my nephew calls me Uncle Ben. Peter, sweet boy. I’m sure you’ll like him.”