The Golden Leaf Inn

Quest for the Name of Martin


Cast

Narrator
Eroket Nightblade
Kenlock
Tarran

Installment #6: Smoke Upon the Horizon

Narrator:
It was a little after mid-day, on the fifth day of the Questor's journey. Their bellies full, they set off until sunset. As they crested a particularly large hill, they could see smoke in the distance.
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero, in an oddly good mood looks to the smoke. "Whats that?"
TarranTheMouse has left the room.
Eroket Nightblade:
Eroket grins at the smoke. "Kenlock...look over there."
Kenlock:
Kenlock steps next to Eroket and narrows his eyes.
Kenlock:
"I see it."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Fire?"
Kenlock:
"No... I don't think so."
Eroket Nightblade:
"What else could it be?"
Kenlock:
"Err... Well of course it's a fire!"
Kenlock:
"I mean.. it's not a wild fire."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Maybe its bandits...or some travellers." The ermine grins and licks his lips
Kenlock:
"We should check it out," Kenlock says with a frown.
Eroket Nightblade:
"Lets go then...you first, otter."
Narrator:
Together, the questors head towards the fire.
Kenlock:
The otter draws in a long breath. "The source of the fire is just ahead," He says quietly to the ermine.
Eroket Nightblade:
"Lets not keep it waiting! I'm starving..."
Kenlock:
Kenlock turns and signals for the others to stay put. "Okay, you and me ermine. Lets go." He grips his spear and sneaks forward.
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero flexes his claws and charges forward
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero's eyes widen, no creatures around, just the village...and its on fire. "What did this?!"
Narrator:
The two of them soon find themselves amidst a black and firey dark forest. On either side of them, blackened hovels send gouts of flame and smoke into the air.
Eroket Nightblade:
"Something was here recently..."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Hmm...those beasts from the south we're looking for...is it possible they did this, Kenlock?"
Kenlock:
"I don't know... I thought they were more far south than this."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Beast have legs to move..."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Why don't we see if somebeast is around to get answers?"
Kenlock:
The otter kneels down to the ground and picks up a handful of ashes.
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero's amber eyes glint slightly.
Tarran:
Tarran looks suspiciously at Ero.
Kenlock:
Kenlock smells it, and then lets it fall through his fingers.
Eroket Nightblade:
"What now, Tarran? Was I responsible for this too?"
Tarran:
"Probably."
Eroket Nightblade:
"how? I was with you whole time"
TarranTheMouse has left the room.
Kenlock:
"The breeze has tossed the ashes about... It would be tricky to find any tracks." Hopping up, Kenlock steps over to a burning structure for a closer look.
Eroket Nightblade:
"try!"
TarranTheMouse has entered the room.
Eroket Nightblade:
"how? I was with you whole time, Tarran."
Tarran:
"Mebbe you did it while we were sleeping."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Some took guard shifts..."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Couldn't have sneaked away."
Tarran:
"What about when ~you~ were on guard duty?" asks Tarran.
Eroket Nightblade:
"I wasn't. Daybreak came before my shift."
Kenlock:
Kenlock glances from a burning wall, down to some pieces of wood on the ground.
Tarran:
"What about these, then?" Tarran points to some Ermine tracks in the ash.
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero rolls his eyes. "I walked over here right now...note your own and KEnlock's tracks with mine."
Kenlock:
He picks up a small plank, stares at the burnt end, and compares it with the burning wall.
Eroket Nightblade:
"find anything, Kenlock?"
Kenlock:
"The fire... possibly a day old."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Wait a minute..." The ermine darts over to the village edge
TarranTheMouse has left the room.
Kenlock:
"I'm going to have a look around the area--" The otter stops short and stares after the ermine.
Eroket Nightblade:
"Here! Tracks..."
Eroket Nightblade:
He looks at rat, fox, ferret, stoat and weasle tracks in the dirt...and one pine marten
Kenlock:
Kenlock strides over to Eroket.
TarranTheMouse has entered the room.
Eroket Nightblade:
He lifts up a small cloth, ripped. A word stitche don it; Martin. "This was done by the ones we're the ones we're tracking...
Kenlock:
"Hmm... I suppose it is possible."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Its extraordinarily probable."
Kenlock:
"They marched from this village a day ago, ten bodies across."
Eroket Nightblade:
"The leads were a stoat and pine marten."
Kenlock:
"Their steps are slightly casual, they are not worked hard, so they are likely not the greatest fighters."
Eroket Nightblade:
but their stealth is certaintly admirable
Tarran:
"Whatever." says Tarran. "When do we eat?"
Kenlock:
The otter walks over to a snapped twig and stares at it. "I don't know..."
Eroket Nightblade:
"One thing concerns me...And shut up, ypu stupid mouse!" He shrieks
Kenlock:
"You eat when you are given permission to eat."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Why leave tracks here when all could see them?"
Tarran:
Tarran walks away from the main group to sulk in some secluded corner.
Kenlock:
"What are you saying... I was assuming they were just stupid, are you saying they did this on purpose?"
Eroket Nightblade:
"Exactly..."
Kenlock:
"Then we are in great danger."
Eroket Nightblade:
"We know what thy are but who or where they are...unless this is the way they really went and hope our own intellects would thrown us off..."
Kenlock:
Kenlock looks up at the ermine.
Kenlock:
"Why would they leave the tracks in such an obvious way, unless they wanted someone to follow?"
Tarran:
Tarran wanders back, he's a short sulker.
Eroket Nightblade:
"A clever beast would place his tracks in the opposite direction to fool his pursuers...but a smart pursuer would follow those...the most obvious is the least obvious sometimes."
Tarran:
"They prolly went that way and set a trap for us too."
Eroket Nightblade:
"they didn't know we were following...lets go this way for now."
Kenlock:
"Look--If these tracks were made so obvious for a reason, they didn't involve us."
Eroket Nightblade:
"Correct...lets follow."
Tarran:
"I'm still hungry." Tarran prods the Ermine with his elbow.
Eroket Nightblade:
Eroket looks near ready to explode upon the mouse. "Eat your toungue..."
Tarran:
"I'd rather not." says Tarran. "I'm quite attached to it."
Eroket Nightblade:
then shut up
Eroket Nightblade:
eat in a bit
Kenlock:
"If you complain one more time mouse, I swear, I will rip your tounge right out!"
Eroket Nightblade:
"Do it anyways, Kenlock...
Tarran:
"Oh yeah?" Tarran draws his sword.
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero nods. "Come on!"
Kenlock:
"Lets go ahead, the abbey beasts can catch up!"
Eroket Nightblade:
"Aye!"
Kenlock:
The otter runs in the direction of the tracks.
Eroket Nightblade:
Ero runs alongside of him
Tarran:
Tarran runs in the opposite direction to the two vermin.
Kenlock:
Kenlock grins while running. "It's good to get away from those horrid good beasts! I swear, I would just as soon kill the like of them on the spot if I wasn't using them for my own good!"
Eroket Nightblade:
"I know how you feel...I'm enjoying toying with the otter wench though
Kenlock:
Kenlock suddenly comes to a stop.
Eroket Nightblade:
"What is it?"
Kenlock:
"The tracks..."
Eroket Nightblade:
"What about 'em?"
Kenlock:
"Look at the ground! They stop!"
Eroket Nightblade:
"This means...Oh no!"
Kenlock:
The otter tenses and looks around. "They covered their tracks."
Kenlock:
"But this wasn't the main company, it was just part of it."
Kenlock:
"We should head back."
Eroket Nightblade:
The ermine frowns. "Blast...lets get back to the others and track them later."
Kenlock:
"Yes, it isn't my job to fall into some trap and get killed for these idiot good beasts."
Kenlock:
With that, the otter turns and runs back in the direction of the others.
Narrator:
A few minutes later, they returned to the main group, which had unpacked and started having snacks while waiting for the three to return.