Oh, These Deliberate Fools

Title: Oh, These Deliberate Fools
Time Period: August 6, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Fools they are, and find themselves more than matched.

Out on the moor near Dornie is generally a quiet place. Wide open space, if you don't count the heather and the bogs marking the land nearest to the water. It's a good place for reflection, for meditation… for snake bites. But where the high complaint is usually the fog that keeps this area difficult to travel, tonight there is no such weather rolling in over the high grass.

It's smoke instead.

Black and billowing, the smoke rises high enough to catch the town's attention, if it were daylight, but hidden in the dark, the fire causing all this smoke is left to burn. Eventually, the flames will rise high enough to alert the militia, but now the moor is occupied by the smoke, the fire and the whoops and shouts of several men on horseback riding around the flames and through them.

It's rare that Carys and Rhafgyr, when they are in Dornie, stray too far from the ships they call home, whether at sea or at dock. But having newly returned to town from their last voyage, they've spent the day inland; a horseback ride and a sunset picnic and a bottle of wine led to a bit of a siesta under the stars. Sometime later, Carys sits up with a start, eyes wide as she takes account of her surroundings — the smell of smoke, the thrum of horsehooves, the shout of men somewhere in the distance.

She leaps to her feet, one boot nudging Rhagfyr as she's already on the move to where their horses have meandered a bit away. "Wake up, slugabed," she says, tipping her head skyward to look for his familiar.

Mor-leidr Bach is nowhere to be seen above, although any concerted attempt to locate him will reveal his adorable little fox cub form curled up in the heather nearby. If everyone else gets to drink wine and pass out lazily, why shouldn't he make the most of the peace and quiet. Talking does rouse him though, giving Carys the 'this better be good' look as his tiny mouth opens wide in a yawn. Smoke. That is probably good, or bad. Justifing wakefullness, regardless. With a stretch, he shifts into the much larger eagle form and begins to flap upwards to find a better view.

Rhagfyr meanwhile is in a similar state of not wanting to move, yet its the scent of burning that snaps his eyes open. Living on a wooden vessel having made him all too aware of the dangers of fire. "What's going on, annwyl?" he murmers, hopping to his feet and moving after her to the horses and more importantly, perhaps, his weapons.

Getting lost on the moors can be common enough, even for Dornie's own sons. It was not his own fault that Leonard was out and about on the side roads- there had been a minor emergency that had required his attention, largely to do with a runaway horse, and its getting stuck in a bog. They got the pregnant mare out and took her back to the Rowntree land, but not before they had Leonard out there helping, and giving her a clean bill before he departed. By the time he is back at his wagon, it has started to get dark. It gets too dark too quickly, and the fog settles in like a blanket.

Cloak bundled around him, hood pulled up, Doctor Hightower is still covered in a layer of mud as he sits bent in his small wagon. At some point he knows that he and Sage have gotten off of the road- she is pulling the wagon, in the shape of a strong, furry donkey. She knew even before he told her to keep going, that they had gotten off track. But did he listen? No. Did he listen when she suggested that they find a place to wait until morning? Of course not.

Sage also smells the smoke before Leonard does. She also shifts, abruptly, into a dark brown, looming shape; it's rare to see her put out as a horse- and her mage sits upright, prying out of his sleepy daze. He smells it now, too, even before the sounds of men reach him, and the flickers of fire seep through the fog.

Don't move another muscle, he prays this to his familiar, still attached to the wagon.

«You never listen to me. No wonder you're divorced.»

The eagle gets the best view, the blaze burning unsettlingly close to the pair of pirates, the men and horses celebrating and seeming to be encouraging the fire along. It's only the dampness of the earth and the air that has kept the fire from consuming the grass entirely.

And while the pirates have the fire to look forward to, Leonard's stillness proves to be a bit too late, as an arrow flies out from somewhere in the middle of this mess to stab into the wood of his little wagon. It's followed by laughter, and, inevitably, a second and third arrow coming toward him and his familiar.

"Not sure. Bandits, maybe, or drunken boors," Carys says. They're not always the same. One boot is already in the stirrup of her horse and the other leg flying over the saddle. She's not particularly a great equestrian, and she hisses at the horse when it complains with a whinny. "Shut up and move," she tells the mare, a bow and arrow being pulled as she squints into the smoke, looking for a target.

"Ready?" She looks back to Rhagfyr to make sure he's ready to ride, before nudging the animal into action with a sharp knee to its ribs.

Calming his horse with soothing whispers and pats to the neck, Rhagfyr straps on his sword belt, tilting his head toward the smoke and closing his eyes for a moment to focus on the sounds and get feedback from Little Pirate above, Who's out there? he asks, following up with the humored thought I'm sure it's your job to wake us up before we get burned alive, you know. All this gets is a mental snort, not even dignified with a proper answer.

After climbing up onto the horse he slips free the sword, taking that irresistable swing at the air to slice at the whisps of smoke. Contrary to normal reactions when danger looms, the pirate captain appears quite jovial about it, shaking off the sleep that had clouded him. He's no expert horseman either, but positioning is everything prior to the start of any antics so his heels dig in to move the beast after Carys with a flash of teeth. "Always."

That said, he seems to withdrawn into a state of concentration, tugging at his connection to the Air and attempting to use the method he practices for filling a sail with air to push some of the smoke out of the way and clear a shot for the girl.

Sage nearly jerks the wagon sideways when she turns it; her shape looms into proper view, chesnut coat already matted by the fog. The second and third arrows catch the wagon in the arse-end, and soon enough she simply picks a direction and starts moving away. Sage screeches to a halt when smoke and fog is pushed out of the way by some other force, hooves digging into mud when she spots the two oncoming riders. Hopefully they realize that her load is decidedly- not a bandit. Leonard is ultimately (un)helpful, throwing his hands in the air.

"Don't shoot!" Because ruffians take requests. It is clear that he is not used to being assaulted.

Laughter follows that request as well, and some mockery of his plea is bandied about among the group. And, of course, they fire again, but a sudden burst of wind knocks their arrows well off course, and leaves them all, quite suddenly, without the cover of smoke.

They're not natives to Dornie, which must mean they're passers by, their faces covered with strips of cloth to guard against the smoke. They seem to serious up at this new development, and their next round of arrows is fired toward Carys and Rhagfyr in haste.

She's not drunk — despite half a bottle of wine ingested an hour or two ago — so Carys has that to her advantage, as well as the wind at her back so to speak. Or at Rhagfyr's anyway, which works just as well since they're side by side. An arrow already having been notched she lets fly, and before waiting to see where it lands she loads and sends another.

But two are all that Carys manages before the horse begins to veer a bit without her steering, and she has to rein it back in — she's not quite adept enough to manage both bow and horse at the same time.

"How many?" she wonders aloud to the captain at her side. "Mor-leidr Bach got a count for us?"

"Only four. Childs play, right?" Being on a horse does limit options, especially when there are arrows coming his way. The last thing he needs is to get shot while doing something poorly, since that would surely wound Rhagfyr's pride more than anything. So it is that he plants his free hand down onto the saddle and channels his will into infusing his feet with his element to spring up off the horse, hoping that it will draw the fire while he finds a more comfortable medium for combat. i.e. On the ground.

With his coat flaring out as he leaps, the exceptionally light footed rogue lands in a roll while also whipping out his pistol to take a shot at one of the arches. "Avast! I'll forgive you for not knowing it was Captain Llyw you faced, but surrender now and I may go easy on you!" he calls, all benevolent forgiveness and dashing charm.

Whoever they're shooting at now, Leonard wants to be on the other side of. Strange words aside, he sees anyone not aiming at him, as a friend. Sage coughs and tugs the wagon the short way around- right past Carys and her own courser; her mage, gracelessly bouncing in the seat, rolls into the rear of the wagon. He might roll out if he didn't latch onto the side, sitting up when it slows, hood fallen and hair blown about. His eyes are wide, while looking on- leaping pirates and all. What in God's green earth —

"GET 'EM!" Leonard barks, also unhelpfully. Sage knickers once, and the suffolk horse shifts away, blowing up on the next wind with black, silent wings. The front of the wagon falls empty onto the grass where she used to be. She can't do anything from down there, regardless.

Arrows going the entirely wrong way slam first one and then the other into an unsuspecting fellow toward the front of the group. It must have been a good shot, because blood trails out of his mouth and it's a matter of moments before he slides off his horse and hits the ground. His horse, free of control, dashes off away from the flames in a mad panic. Leonard just so happens to be in its path, all hooves and snorted breaths.

The three left over are left to baffle as the pirate captain leaps unnaturally through the air to land among them and start firing. Given that they're all trying to move back, his bullet hits one in the leg, and in response, a second fellow lets an arrow fly from the back of the group, aiming for somewhere around Rhagyr's shoulder.

"Watch out!" Carys calls out in a sharp warning — to Rhagfyr or to Leonard, it's unclear, and really, it's good advice for either, isn't it? Her green eyes narrowed, Carys aims at the bandit shooting at her captain, letting that arrow slice through the air in his direction. Her hand goes back to the quiver at her back for another, notching it in preparation, but she has to once more pull the horse back onto the path she'd like it to follow, rather than the one that the mare wants to take — which is namely, away.

Rhagfyr isn't prone to standing still, only fixed in place for the second it takes to squeeze off his shot before planting a semi-insubstantial foot down onto a rock to leap forward and to the side, right as the arrow is incoming. A narrow escape, since the broadhead slices through his daring attire. Oh, dear. He notices upon landing, eyes narrowing in a manner that signifies the previous offer of mercy has now gone out the window.

Another shot as he hops to the side, trying to avoid being further skewered by arrows and close in to smite these unfortunates with his sword; it's not even aimed, just designed to suppress and unnerve as he goes for the actual attack. His eyes flick between the remaining archers, picking out the one closest to shooting once more and the man gets affixed with the look as the tip of the blade is leveled toward him. A mental whipcrack, suddenly anihilating the air in the man's lungs.

Leonard isn't thick enough to try and grab the horse's reins while it is in a panic, but its oncoming bulk is enough to have him jump(fall) backwards out of his wagon before it clips him first. No matter. He is already covered in mud. The vet pulls himself from the moorish ground, boots making sucking noises as he ducks down behind the wagon, scanning the air above him. Sage is circling amidst the cover pushed away from the ground.

«Boy knows what he's doing…» A quip, and she swoops into a silent dive, buffeting suddenly into the face of the outlaw with the bum leg. Her talons rake at his eyes as she passes over, sweeping up into the air again, rolling over onto the breeze.

A surprised noise echoes from the man in the back just before Carys' arrow slams into him as well. He manages to cling onto his horse, but it's quickly evident that he's not doing well, either. Not that his companions fair any better.

Breath stolen, the ringleader can only swipe at Rhagfyr with a knife in return as he gasps or breath. But it isn't terribly long before he falls, too, to hit the ground on his back, hands beating against his own chest.

And just when the last thought to ride away from this crazy town with merely a wounded leg, Sage swoops out of the sky to slice at his eyes. He yells in pain, his hands lifting to cover the blood gushing down his face. His horse bolts, too, and being unable to grab for his reins fast enough, he's bucked off, landing with an unfortunate crack. Which leaves our heroes with the blaze, and the help from Dornie proper marching toward them from the distance.

Carys pulls the reins of her horse to get it to stop, then hops off, happy to be off and on solid ground. Brows lift as she surveys Rhagfyr and the tear in his coat. "Cutting it a bit close, Rhag," she says affectionately, before turning to look at the aftermath. "Might swap my horse out. This one's a bit of a bint," she says of her mare, and surveying the possibilities for a trade-up.

"Probably be a good idea to snuff out the rest of that fire, Ynte?" She glances back to Rhagfyr before going about to collect her arrows — and any spent by the bandits that are usable.

Rhagfyr doesn't kill the man, not with a lack of breath anyway. As Little Pirate finally swoops down to land on his shoulder, Helpful. Thanks. is thought toward the creature, earning a reply of Oh, God. Please don't cry. It's just a coat. Your lady can fix it up nice..

Moving over to the downed banit, Rhag stamps a foot on the man's neck, letting his sword swing down point first to make the argument that standing up or even attempting to would be a very bad idea. The militia, that'll have questions.

Now he notices Leonard too, flashing the fellow one of his charming smiles with something of a half bow - one designed to further scare his captive by bringing that point even closer. "Find one for me too, would you? I seem to have lost mine." A wink to the girl, then the concentration begins a new, making to snuff the air out of the worst patches of flame before it's able to spread further.

«How many points do I receive?» Sage circles above in the dark, lit orange across her charcoal feathers. Leonard, slocking out from behind the wagon, crosses the bit of ground simply to kick the nearest bandit- alive or dead, he does not seem to care as much as he ought to- in the ribcage. Only when this is done, does he look up, smooth down the edge of his cloak, the muss of his hair to follow. The mud remains, but under that, it is plain to see that he can manage to fuss over himself. The vet smiles right back. The black owl, with her almond eyes and heart shaped face, alights in a fluff upon his shoulder.

"Ah." Leonard motions with one hand, vaguely, tone wry. "The moors, always lovely."