Into The Woods

Title: Into The Woods
Time Period: March 29, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: The first of Spring's merchants makes An Entrance into Dornie.

Though Spring is certainly on its way, and the snows of winter are ebbing with the season, it's still a bit early for the traveling merchants to to making their way up into Dornie. Except for the very ambitious ones. Or ones who have quite a few stops to make.

While it's true that Nonie Lamont doesn't usually make deliveries for Buchanan's toys, for special places like Dornie, she makes an exception. Her face isn't unknown in these parts, but it is a rare enough one. Just once or twice a year to bring in stock for the local merchants to sell. And today, her horse drawn, covered wagon full of crates of the famous Buchanan toys are making their way toward the town.

Unfortunately, she's making the run in great haste, at this particular moment, running her pair of horses as hard as she dares. The reason for such isn't far behind her— and seems to be gaining— as a trio of bandits run their own horses along behind her. There's already several arrows sticking out of her wagon, a few uncomfortably close to the driver's seat.

There's a reason most don't travel alone, especially not with highly priced goods at their back.

Patrols or not, there is usually some sort of armed presence closer to the town; they are far enough away from Dornie that such men are increasingly unlikely, yet near enough that raiding carries a degree of danger with it. Like sacking a rowboat within sight of a port. They hadn't crossed that fine line until the second arrow found the back of the moving wagon- Jorn was heading out for entirely personal reasons, though being armed up and down is a bad habit of his. Kuu takes it well enough, until she alerts on the road, stamping and huffing under him.

The northman is about to scold her for being flaky, when he too hears the familiar noise of a rattling wagon, and hoofbeats that come just a little too fast down the trail. Jorn closes his mouth tightly, taking the reins in one hand and letting the other sit at the pistol on his hip.

Kuu feels the press of his heels and trots forward to find the source of the oncoming traffic, her ears swiveling and nostrils flaring. She knows all too well the feelings her master gets when he is about to either do something brave or completely stupid. To a horse, they are not mutually exclusive.

Jorn gets to watch the wagon's somewhat reckless drive toward the blanket of safety that usually sits around Dornie. It's hard to say if Nonie sees Jorn and horse, exactly, because she all but blows by them.

Winter leads to a lot of desperation. And that's what seems to be unfolding before the armored man, because as the wagon rushes toward Dornie, one of the horsemen hangs back to steady his aim. And he sends a flaming arrow toward the wagon, which catches the canvas cover on fire and forces Nonie, once she notices, to come to a stop. After all, those toys are no good if they're crispy. And no one can really afford to lose that much in goods, not even the successful toymaker.

The trio are further down the road, but press onward, encouraged once the wagon slows to a stop.

He hates to waste bullets, but he hates to kill wastefully at the same time. Jorn presses his horse faster, and she claps past the wagon and takes her master past it and onto the center of the road. If they didn't see him skulking about before, they certainly will now- and the white fur makes him unmistakable. The northman takes the heavy pistol from his hip and hoists it- the mare lifts her front hooves when he pulls her nose back towards her neck. The gun in his hand sounds like a crack of thunder when he fires it at the sky into the direction of the three riders.

"Desist or die! Your choice!" There is no doubting the shot its noise, and if more men did hear it, it is only a matter of time. Kuu's hooves hit the dirt hard, and she lets out a shrill, threatening noise, keeping her ground in between the wagon and the raiders. Jorn's voice growls with an inhuman vibrato, and his pistol has trained on them, mouth still smoking. "I have not had a good meal all week!"

While Nonie cuts her attention between putting out the fire and the approaching bandits, Jorn slides into view and she lets out an audible sigh of relief. She'll just be over here saving her shipment.

The bandits, hearing the sound and then seeing the man ride into their path, pull up, stopping far enough away to be safe from any swords that might come out.

Guns are another story, though. One is slowly backing away, but he also seems to be the only one without a useful weapon on hand. The other two, though, bring up bow and arrow, aimed not toward the man, but the horse he sits on. "This isn't your business," one says, less of the growl than Jorn, but still firm enough.

"I do not appreciate pups pissing all over my home." Jorn holds his pistol level, even as Kuu shifts and pins her ears. Armor, pistol, sword- there is a rifle on the saddle, and god knows what under his cloak and armor. Not militia, but obviously the same breed. Perhaps a step over. "Any bandit worth his salt would know to stay further away than this." An insult of a mild kind, twice in a row. Still, Jorn makes no move to directly assault them.

"I know they have heard my shot. Get out of here, and perhaps you will live until tomorrow."

It's the note about the gun shot and who might have heard it that gets the bandits look collectively uncertain. The one in the back looks around the trees as if expecting the militia of Dornie to pop out at them any moment. They might not have met with them before, but they've heard stories. And while the spokesman looks about ready to choose fight over flight— such is desperate times— his fellow bowman grabs him by the arm, jerking him out of that impulse.

And when they turn to ride off to find a mark at a greater distance, Nonie is just hopping off the wheel she was perched on to reach the flames. "Thank you. Just in time, I'm afraid." She still lingers between the cart and Jorn, just in case they decide they're needy enough to come back. But the blonde woman doesn't seem afraid, just mostly… protective of what she carries with her.

This would have been a hell of a lot easier if he still had a mess of soldiers with him. Sometimes he does miss it. Jorn stays where he is, gun still in hand, until they disappear down the road.

"I have an uncanny sense for distress." Though refraining from saying damsels, it is implied. Jorn is by no means sexist, but it always turns out that way. Well. Damsels or Cas, but sometimes he is not sure they are so different. He takes a better look now, of both woman and wagon. She seems to be well enough, the fire is smothered. "Are your goods undamaged, savner?"

"They seem to have survived. Might smell of smoke, though." Nonie puts her hands on her hips there, as if deciding whether or not that would be a disaster.

But she seems to decide not, for now, and strides forward to offer a hand his way. She's not dressed terribly femininely, in breeches, boots and what is clearly intended to be a man's coat. But it's hard to miss the curvy figure under it all. "I'm Nonie Lamont. I don't believe we've met. Or if we have, I've forgotten and we need to meet again anyway."

If Jorn hadn't been on his way somewhere, he would get off of his horse; judging by her dress, however, he does not think she will mind something he sees as impolite. The gun is holstered again, and he reaches down to take her hand in his; his grip is as hearty as one could expect.

"I do not believe we have." When the woman introduces herself, and it causes Jorn some pause. She may not be from around here, and his name may not carry anything- but there is the chance that she is from so far away that she has heard the other half of his tale, rather than of his role in Dornie. It is a short, yet thoughtful inner debate. "Jorn Wartooth. It is a pleasure." He shall take his chances.

Nonie's shake is firm as well, no nonsense. "Pleasure." If she has any opinions on the name, she's good at keeping them to herself. "I'm coming into town for a delivery. Would you mind acting as escort? I can pay you, of course."

It's possible she also has heard stories about Dornie's militia. Or perhaps, had some unpleasant run ins in the past. "As far as the Albatross. I can find my way around town from there." But getting jumped in the woods, that would be unfortunate.

"What I can offer is to wait here until someone comes from the militia." Jorn's expression slides into something apologetic. "Most of them are willing to do me favors. Unless they make you uneasy. In which case, I can take you. I know that some traveling women prefer to avoid both the militia and highwaymen all the same." He makes a point to say what is on his mind even now.

"I was by no means in a hurry, but I do have somewhere to be, later on." For the sake of a pretty lady, he will do some things. It all depends on any insistence.

His answer and the look that follow have Nonie stepping back to reevaluate. Her lips purse together for a moment and her fingertips drum against her hips. But the expression loosens with a sigh and she nods. "That's well enough, I suppose."

She strides over to the wagon, a foot perching on the back as she pulls herself up to dig around between boxes. It is possibly not the best place to have kept a gun during her travels, but apparently she didn't think she'd need it. But she pulls it and some bullets out with her before she turns to look at Jorn again. "I think I'll take my chances alone from here, then. But if you're in town during my stay, I owe you a drink for your service." That much she is insisting on.

"Keep that piece on your lap, and anyone else will think you used it." Jorn half-smiles, and gestures to the smothered scorch mark on the wagon, and the arrows still embedded in other parts. "A drink is no problem. I am not hard to find." Always running around in white, always running around for something or other. Always around. "When you meet the militiamen, tell them exactly what happened." It goes unsaid that he will make sure the three men that accosted her do not come back down the road.

"Take care, miss Lamont." Jorn pulls Kuu back a step before righting her along the road again, which leaves him to look back over his shoulder as the mare presses on. "And good luck with your trading."

"I'll just keep it within reach. Just in case," Nonie says, her lips spreading into a smile as she winks his direction and turns to climb up into her driver's seat again. "And thank you, for the advice. I'm sure I'll see you again."

She lifts a hand in a wave that's part goodbye and part thanks for the well wishes before that hand flicks the reins in her hand and the horses start a much slower pace toward Dornie.