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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

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An Abduction

Coriander, leader of the Boatmen looked down in his shame.  "I am sorry Lord Durnfal, this is all my fault.  I know you instructed me and my men to protect your family and Rabbit Hat Farm with everything in our power we, no I still managed to fail you. After you had left the farm on Clayday, Death Week for the Summit at The Paps we settled into a peaceful, in fact a boring routine.  Your man Haloric continued the repairs to the palisade from the giant skeleton's attack.  My men helped where we could without compromising our guard duties.  Few travellers came to the Farm as everyone in the County was busy with planting and the other work Sea Season demands.  On Clayday, Fertility Week your lady wife the people in the worship of Ernalda as is only proper.  Another week passed uneventfully but we patrolled the Farm looking for any signs of enemy incursions.  We found no sign of any traffic however.

On Waterday, Stasis Week two wagons were spotted heading towards the Farm from the direction of Wyoh.  I gathered the entire file and we intercepted them.  They turned out to be two gaily, if somewhat gaudily painted four wheeled wagons each drawn by a pair of bison geldings. There were four adults visible, a man and a women on the driver's bench of the wagons.  They were sturdy, well-built people.  The couple on the lead wagon were of a generation older than the pair on the following wagon.  I hailed the party in Tradetalk and asked them what their business was at Rabbit Hat Farm.  The older man from the first wagon replied in the same language that they were travelling tinkers and were looking for work. I told them that the Farm had been attacked recently and we were not allowing outsiders in our palisade.  They asked permission to camp along the trail to Wyoh, just within sight of Rabbit Hat Farm.  I asked them to wait until I could ask your lady Holista what I should do.  She told me to cast a detect Enemy on them and search the wagons before giving permission.  I did so and the spell detected nothing.  The search revealed two small children, a boy and a girl, inside one of the wagons but our search revealed nothing but the tools and gear to be expected from tinkers.  The older man was named Auliffe Denby, the older woman Dyre, the younger man Eyind Denbyson and the younger woman Enrid.  The children who belonged to the younger couple were Styr and Aashi.  They said they were from Sartar originally but had gotten the travelling lust many years ago and wen where the god sent them.  On this basis of all this your lady and I agreed that they could camp along the trail just within sight of the Farm and seek what custom they could get.

A week passed and the tinkers were kept busy mending pots and pans. Auliffe fixed my helm that always chaffed the back of my neck.  Besides fixing pots and pans they also had small toys and jewelry to sell and word of this got back to your lady wife.  On Wildday, Movement week your lady accompanied by Little Vega and your oldest Holista went to visit the tinkers one morning.  Your wife came back alone wearing a new bronze necklace and told us that she was taking the children and leaving with the tinkers!  I protested but she said that they would kill little Holista if she didn't do what they said.  She said at least this way all her children would have a chance to survive if she did what they said.  I protested and she turned that look at me and told me to do what she said!  I didn't want to obey but I couldn't gainsay her authority.  She bundled up all the children, little Durnfal and Harta, the three year old twins, Dora the 2 year old and the babies Haloric and Deirdre.  We followed along helpless to stop her.  As we approached the wagons we saw the old tinker holding little Holista by the arm.  He had an iron dagger in one hand and was menacing her with it. You would have been proud of how brave she was!  The tinker and all his party wore long robes over heavy armour of some sort.  Vega stood off to one side being covered by the young man and woman who bore heavy crossbows.  She had a nasty bruise over her right eye.  Also present were four men we'd never seen before dressed in leather and bearing crossbows.  The tinker nodded in satisfaction.  "The lovely lady and her children are coming with us.  If anyone other than the Lord Durnfal and his murderous friends follows us we shall deposit little piles of bones along the trail!"

I made to protest but Holista silenced me with that look again. "Do as they say.  This way we have a chance at survival.  If you try anything we will die here and now."  I protested, "But we could stop them."  "Not before they would shoot all the children dead!"  "If you wish to start a bloodbath templar make a move.  We're ready to die, are you?"  I stood up straight and replied, "A templar is not afraid of death but we can also follow orders.  We will respect our lady's wishes."  The tinker nodded, "The correct response.  Who knows?  Your lord and his friends seem to have a knack of getting in and out of trouble.  I swear that the lady and her children will be safe and unharmed until her husband and his friends are dead."  His look turned grim, "And then they will be ours."  He paused.  "And of course neither we nor our allies are the most patient of beings.  A season from today we shall have a feast!"  All assembled looked in horror at these monsters who had the guise of men!

"Water and food we will take for two weeks.  Hurry as we wish to be well away before our pursuers return from their canal digging!"  What could we do but obey?  Everyone stood salute as the two wagons set off towards the northeast.  My heart broke and we stood there powerless to do anything.  Later that day we realized that Little Vega was no where to be found.  She and her gear had disappeared.  One of the farmers with some experience as a hunter found her travls heading off after the wagons.  I could believe her stupidity!  I hope that she does not get the lady or any of the children killed! 

Last updated January 06, 2020

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