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Drinks, food and money were the focus of the night. The tavern was alive with laughter and song, and a bandit clad in blue and furs was the center of it all.

Iskra sat, legs kicked up on a crate nearby, a tankard in one hand and the other wrapped around a dainty little barmaid. A quick glance over the bandit would leave one assuming she was a man, but then, intense scrutiny and the feminine edge of her husky voice would defeat that claim. Still, it was obvious who was in charge, as the voices around her goaded her into story after story.

“Tell the one of that strange duo- the princes!” A voice boomed, the burly man nearly falling off his stool as he leaned forward, “Now, the boss, she really did a number on those pompous little boys.”

“And get this!” Iskra slurred, tugging the woman closer to her- “After I beat him into next week, eldest asked me to marry him!” There was laughter, as the bandit caught the chin of the woman in her hands, pulling her face closer, “He wasn’t much my type, but you, darling? What do you say-“

The doors flew open, guards rushing into the tavern. There was no sense of urgency from the bandits, who finished their drinks, and the leader, who stole a kiss from the barmaid before she pushed her away, with a little less care than the other would’ve liked.

She stood, uneven on her feet- the stare down was brief, before the Bandit King’s voice boomed from the room, “SCATTER!”

The tavern erupted into chaos within seconds- some of the Onyx bandits grabbed their weapons, others opted to throw the nearest drink into the face of the guards. And Iskra, made the effort to leap from the windows, glass falling to the snow outside as she scrambled to her feet. Her men would find her come time, but for now, she had to find somewhere to hide.

————

//This is open! Feel free to reply however you’d like- perhaps a guardsman, a noble hero or maybe you’re more along the type to line up with our bandit Iskra here. I’m not very picky at all. I don’t have an exact direction this is going in, just trying to get a feel for writing once more. Perhaps you have an idea where you’d like to see the story go? Let it flow and a purpose will come.

Please keep it literate and paragraphs are preferred. Once we get maybe two or three others in here I’ll close it off.
The tavern had been alive indeed with laughter, merry making and debauchery when silence took over for all but a few moments as lord knight Pentre himself, the head of the royal army, slammed the doors with his foot, which flew open rather abruptly, clearing the way for him to venture inside. He was a feared dark knight... known by common folk as Tron the Terrible... for his most foul deeds. He was, cruel, despicable, as much a torturer and murderer as the outlaws he relentlessly chased and executed, the only thing knightly about him was his title and his position as the arm of the law. A far reaching arm at that, one where money was never an objection or issue

Approaching the group of renowned bandits, the Onyx clan, was the loud, confident stomping of the black knight's heavy boots who entered the tavern with one single purpose in mind... capturing the infamous Iskra Sokol and her band of outlaws. He knew very well that if you cut the snake's head... the body crumbles and those thugs would fall into his hands, surrender at his feet, if he but laid hands on the prized leader, whose bounty grew higher each week that went by. A very effective way to keep tabs on the rowdy woman.

Tron the Terrible had barely been inside the establishment a few minutes, motioning guards and knights that were flanking him to take their positions, when Iskra rose in defiance and shouted her scrambling orders, causing all hell to break loose.

Drinks were poured onto guards faces and wrecked havok and, much to his indignity and disbelief, Iskra had yet again managed to escape his clutches which vexed Pentre greatly

"Forget this riff raff... go after her!" barked Pentre loudly in a booming voice, sending good and bad knights and guards alike to give chase to Iskra, he himself storming out of the building and over to his horse to follow Iskra's trail and personally aprehend her.

Was it wise to follow a leader without sufficient escort? To venture into her playground without sufficient armed men as backup? Perhaps not, in fact, not at all, but it didn't matter. Pentre only had one thought in mind... Iskra's slender neck tightened by a noose, firmly held in his own grip and he would stop at nothing to achieve this, no matter the cost.
Nails (played anonymously)

"AW YEAH! HERE WE GO!!!"

A tomboyish elf that had been minding her Ps and Qs all but burst from her chair when the doors flew open and guards poured in. Who where these guys? What was going on? None of it mattered! It was time for a good old fashioned tavern brawl!

Normally, the rowdy Nails would be quite content with sticking to her fists and feet to fend off drunken bar fighters, but theses guys had armor and swords! Now that was simply not playing fair! She pulled out her pair of metal tonfas and gave them a testing whirl before she joined the melee. As a bandit herself she couldn't be too certain they weren't after her and took the safe route by deciding these guards were simply going to arrest everyone in the bar. No way she'd go back to jail! It took her at least a whole week to escape last time.

"Hey! Screw you, pig!!" Cried the androgynous elf as she kicked a stool towards a guard's face and followed it up by uppercutting him between the legs with a swift whack of her tonfa. Hopefully he was wearing some kind of protection there...
Iskra Sokol (played by strawberry_champion) Topic Starter

Quick as she could, Iskra released the clasp on her shoulder that kept her long cloak fastened, tugging it up into her arms so it wouldn’t drag behind her. The last thing she wanted, with that... scum (funny, coming from her) chasing on her heels, was tripping.

She ducked and weaved past strangers, cutting through alleys in an attempt to lose him. The cold sobered her up- but only a little, and when it came to things like these, she needed all the sobering she could. She rubbed her eyes, slamming into a merchant and stumbling over her feet. She could hear Pentre’s horse closing in, and gritted her teeth. Fine, if that’s what it took.

Straightening her back, she turned to face him as he approached, then let out another yell, “Look! Someone dropped some gold!” The satchel on her hip was jerked off the belt, and tossed effortlessly into the air. The coins hit the ground with a satisfying and very distinct clinging, and suddenly, the chaos of the tavern was repeating itself. Passerbys scrambled for the coin, crowding the streets while the bandit took off again. That ought to keep him busy for a moment.

————

A loud laugh echoed- the man who had been alongside the bandit it seemed, “Nice work, knife ears!” He crowed, glancing at Nails for a brief moment, before taking his own cloak and throwing it over the heads of one of the guards. He hefted the man into the air, then threw him back down on a table, “Name’s Dunsten, try not to get killed and I’ll buy you a drink fer that one!”

“Focus!” A similar man, in a similar cloak, snapped, “And don’t you dare go losing that cloak , or the boss is gonna have your head. Brawling is nice and all, but in case you haven’t noticed, the lovely Tron is after Iskra. And she’s got ale for brains right now, so let’s wrap this up,” He swung a mace at an approaching guard with a yell, before he resumed his pointed glare at the other, “And try to not let her get killed. Again.”

Dunsten rolled his eyes, pulling his cloak from the now unconscious man on the table, “Buzzkill,” he glanced at Nails again, “that’s Alexei, right hand to the boss, he’s got a stick up his ar-“

“FOCUS!”
Nails (played anonymously)

"Hey, yo. Knife Ears? That's a racial slur, buddy." Nails said to the man not sounding too amused about being called that. She never liked the term, personally, and it bothered her that a lot of people didn't seem to think it was an insult to the elven race. But hey, these were humans, she should know better, and the other guy was right, she should focus!

"Nails." She introduced herself as Dunsten gave her his name and that of his associate. "Shoo! You watch out for yer own hide out there, brother. Hell, I bet I can knock out more of these than you can!" Laughed the elven rogue and twirled her tonfas about as she danced in and out of the melee, not committing to any attacks just yet. Wanting to see just how seriously these guards were going to take the fight.

"Wait, hold up! Tron?? As in Tron the Terrible!?" Gasped the elf as Alexei informed them who was attacking the bar. "Hey! Alexei is right! We gotta get outta here! I ain't getting tortured and executed by that ritzy punk!!" Apparently, Tron's reputation preceded him.
Iskra Sokol (played by strawberry_champion) Topic Starter

Dunsten stared at them with a deadpan expression, while someone else laughed at the correction.

“You think that’s bad! Tell ‘em what ya called Wyvern last week!” The man was doubled over laughing, his boot on the back of a guard he had knocked down. They were really functioning as if the guards hadn’t even shown up- most of the taverns crowd had ran when the trouble erupted, and the few that didn’t stuck far away from Nails and the crew that had been surrounding the bandit, not to mention the guards.

“Tron sure is a punk, too big for his britches, thas what I say.” A dismissive wave from Dunsten, “He went after the King himself- he ain’t even caught her with all of the kingdom on her heels. If you’ve escape em once, you can do it again. Getting caught don’t mean the end.”
Riswald (played anonymously)

((I'd like to join, but I'mma wait a post or two more to see how I can fit in, if that's okay!))
Nails (played anonymously)

Sounded like everyone was having a grand ol' time then! Nails liked these group of men, they were just her type to be hanging around. Just a bunch of brigands cracking jokes whilst beating the ever loving snot out of guards.

As much fun as she was having, the elven rogue knew better than to stick around and wait for the heavy hitters to show up. She didn't mind sticking around and play with the guards some more... provided she had a plan of escape, and currently that part was missing.

"Hey, no offense taken, big guy. Just don't call me that again!" Nails laughed and bumped Dusten with one of her tonfas, she needed the big burly fighter to stay focused if they were getting out of these one not in chains.

"Yeah, for sure, but hey, listen. I'd love to stick around and hang out but I got no plans to end up in chains again. Not even for a little bit! You guys got any plans for escaping?" Nails wouldn't tell the bandits that if their answer as no she'd bail on them immediately, they didn't know she was the selfish type-- after all, that sort of thing was assumed in their profession.
Iskra Sokol (played by strawberry_champion) Topic Starter

//Absolutely! Join in whenever you see fit! And if you think it’s be easier, Iskra’s currently hiding out in town from the guards, if I need to pull her back up to help you ease in I can!

————

He chuckled at the nudge, moving forward and taking another guard down. By now, the crowd had almost been dispersed, and Alexei heard Nails’s question, opting to answer instead.

“Easy,” He grumbled, holding a guard in a headlock as they lowered to the floor, “We finish things up here, then we go get the boss. Tron went after her alone, and she’s a slippery little thing. I bet she’s hiding in some alleyway, already falling asleep.” He stood once he was sure the guard was out, dusting his pants off.

“Or the little Lord Knight’s got ‘er neck in a noose already-“ came a snort, from the man who really seemed more like a peanut gallery than a man. He was wiping his knives off on his shirt- unlike the others, he had clearly been going straight for the kill, “Either way, whaddya say we snatch up Pentre, huh? I bet the King would pay good money to get ‘im back. If not the Nobles, well any neighborin Kingdom wouldn’t mind takin down a man like ‘im.”

“He can’t take us all on,” Dunsten shrugged, then grinned at Nails, and nudged her back “And I bet there’d be a cut of money in for you, if ya wanna take part.”
Nails (played anonymously)

Alright, it looked like the plan was 'fight their way out', Nails could work with that- certainly better than no plan at all.

"Works for me!" She said as she delivered a solid overhead tonfa smash on the skull of the guard currently being put on a headlock by Dunsten. "Quit playing with them and let's get outta here!" She told the large bruiser of a man. Nails was curious about this little ring leader of these men. Not only was she apparently a woman, which Nails already respected, but they had enough loyalty for her to fight and risk imprisonment for her- even while she was already out and sort of waiting on her minions to sort themselves out. Very interesting indeed, Nails would like to meet her, it had been a long time she ran with a crew of her own. Being an elf and all, she didn't get to spend too much time with humans, tops she'd roll with a human gang for 20 or so years before they got all too old or injured and she didn't look like she aged a day. Maybe it was time to start the cycle again..

As the man with the knives suddenly perked up to offer his own grim outlook on things, Nails couldn't help but scowl at him noticing that he had killed a few of the guards. Nails had no problems murdering people, and she had plenty of blood on her hands, but she certainly preferred not to since murder usually got the town guard even more pissed off at her. She'd learn that guards weren't so keen on trying to capture her if she was just a petty thief, hence why she preferred fighting with tonfas rather than blades.

Still, the knife wielding psychopath offered a good point! They should take this opportunity to capture Pentre! "Hell yeah! I like that plan! Count me in, I gotta pay Pentre back for being a prick anyway!" Nails readily accepted Dunsten's invitation and she started fighting with renewed vigor, kicking a guard in the knee to break his leg, then smashing another one on the neck to collapse his wind-pipe-- she.. might have killed that one, woops!

"Outta the way, nimrods!! Mama needs to go get some cash money!!" She yelled as she smashed a guard on both sides of the head with her tonfas.
Iskra Sokol (played by strawberry_champion) Topic Starter

The guards were thinning out- and judging on the numbers, some had already left, perhaps in search of support. Alexei nudged a guard on the floor with his boot as silence began to settle, frowning slightly, “That was it? Seriously?” He sighed, reaching for the cloak he had left on the table, resecuring it on his shoulders! “They let anyone become a knight now, huh?”

“Hey, I ain’t exactly fond of being the bearer of bad news-“ it was the guy with the knives, who, judging on first impressions, probably enjoyed it more than he let on, “Lev ain’t here.”

There was a brief headcount- and judging on their faces, he was right. Someone was missing. There was mumbling in an odd language, with Alexei looking more and more irritated with every person that piped up, before he resumed in English, “Alright. Well since Dunsten was so kind to wrap up this one,” he gestured to Nails, “up in our business, let’s find Iskra first. She’ll direct us from there.”

Dunsten pumped his fist, grinning wide at the elf, “Welcome ta Onyx!”

“Temporarily!” The knife guy yelled, securing his knives in his belt, “Now les get movin’ before backup comes strolling in!”
Sir Lancelot was a friendly, chivalrous knight and a renowned swordsman in his own right, highly skilled in the art of war, though honour and righteousness was his greatest badge of honour and terrible weakness in equal measure.

He was already at the tavern from the day before, with a prisoner under his care, as his charge, when Pentre burst in later in the morning and Iskra made all the fuss, causing all hell to break loose.

He watched amused and curious as the rebellious leader broke into a run for dear life and was left rather baffled at Pentre's foolishness of blindly following her in hot pursuit, oblivious to his own dangers, and clearly lacking sufficient escort and back up. This was without a doubt a mistake that could easily cost him very dearly.

Despite the orders from Pentre for everyone else to go after Iskra, Sir Lancelot remained at the tavern, following the strictly given orders regarding his prisoner's fate. Lancelot was sipping his mug, watching the not so well trained guards as they easily and quickly fell to the bandits blades during the scuffle, he was also eavesdropping in their conversations and exchanges. Sir Lancelot du Lac had to agree wholeheartedly with the roguish elf that murdering guards would land them in a whole load of trouble than just maiming them or knocking them out.

tumblr_pda2nlWNDX1sos2vlo4_250.gif

Despite all the turmoil all around them, Lancelot remained standing up, looking on with interest as most guards were slain or badly wounded shaking his head as it was clear that they lacked technique and adequate training. A flaw he would be sure to report to lord knight Pentre at earliest opportunity. He handed his now empty mug of honeymead to the bartender, ordering another as he followed the developments with great interest, until the food arrived, at which point he took his seat at the chosen table, keeping a close watch upon his prisoner.

"Jalsinter! Come on in... food's served" shouted out Lancelot calling upon the knight who was on duty outside, inviting his comrade to come in and join him, while he remained seated, calmly looking on as the tavern maid laid down the hearty meal, not one to work on empty stomach if he could help it.

Lancelot had observed all the feisty fighters, and their technique and weaknesses, as remained but a side observant, dressed in plain clothes, yet armed and better skilled than many of those fallen guards. He could give these men a good run for their money for sure, but had chosen to abstain so far because he was a knight on duty, already following given orders.

He smiled warmly and nodded courteous at the young woman who left the food and more drinks on his table, happy to take up another mug and drink away. His watchful eyes observing his charge as well as all the other patrons at the tavern, good and bad alike, taking in their features, faces, names and whatever other details he could discreetly pick up on, including the plan of kidnapping Pentre, rather bold yet equally alarming
Glendale shifted his arms uncomfortable, his stomach growling as the scent of freshly baked bread, cooked meats and brewed bevarages filled his nostrils and awoke an even greater hunger.

Nonetheless he forced himself to focus on those scoundrels that were making way outside, calling them back over to him.

"Oi! You know not all knights wear armour? You missed this one... and his side kick..." barked and revealed Glendale, a well known thief and roguish scoundrel, whose hands were bound to his back, behind the chair, where he was forcefully sat at. He tilted the head towards Lancelot though the knight remained composed and relaxed, sword laid right in front of him on the table, his hands craddling the mug of freshly poured mead
((Hey, is it okay if I join?))
Iskra Sokol (played by strawberry_champion) Topic Starter

((Right now might not be the best, I’m sorry! I’ve been meaning to close it, my friend and Rizz are both waiting for a chance to hop in and that’s a lot of people already :( ))
Nails (played anonymously)

"Is that all you freakin' got!!?" Nails made her disappointment known as the guards that were still standing began to panic and flee out the door, seemingly tripping on each other to make a run for it. The tonfa wielding elven rogue sheathed her weapons and even threw an empty mug of ale at the back of one of the guards. What a sorry display, and here she thinking that this was going to be a proper brawl!

"You ain't kidding." She agreed with Alexei as she hastily began patting some of the fallen guards to steal their coin purses. "Back in my day, tavern brawls used to mean something. Oh well.." The elf giggled to herself as she stuck her hand in a guard's pocket. "Ooh, you're not gonna need this wallet anymore, right? Yoink!!" The fight may have been disappointing but Nails would never say no to easy money- that didn't involve selling her body at least, she had her self respect after all.

As she straightened up, the knife wielder mentioned something about a 'Lev' being missing, and Nails looked around. "Is that one of you all?" Wondered the androgynous elf out loud as apparently there was a member of their gang missing. Oh well, she was certain they'd figure it out. She was more stoked about the possibility of hanging out with a new crew!

"Yeah!!" She pumped her fist up as well and high fived Dunsten. "We're gonna rock this joint!"

Nails laughed and then placed her arm around Alexei's shoulders, amused at his apparent disapproval of her. "Hey, don't worry, Alexei. You're gonna freaking looooove me! Just not in -that- way, I ain't into dudes." Laughed the crazed elf and tried to poke Alexei's cheek with her index finger, finding that he was very easy to tease.

As the crowd thinned out, everyone appeared to be out of the bar save for one lonely knight and his apparent prisoner. Hello? How had they missed these two? Likely because Lancelot hadn't taken part on the brawl.

Nails blinked in confusion as Glen demanded to be released but she figured that these guy wasn't part of the Onyx gang. "Uuuh... hey, it's your call, Alex." As Onyx's apparent second in command, Nails would defer to Alexei if he wanted to free Glen from Lancelot's clutches.
Iskra Sokol (played by strawberry_champion) Topic Starter

Alexei watched Nails pick through the pockets of those unfortunate enough to be out, while the rest of the group gathered around them. Five men, not including rhe mentioned Lev. “Lev’s kin to the boss,” Dunsten explained,”Not by blood though.”

When Nails tossed her arm around him, Alexei face maintained that bitter glower that seemed like it might be permanent. He less had an issue with her, and more with the fact someone rowdy like her was sure to be a hit with Iskra. Not like wild cards didn’t make up half of Onyx to begin with, “Well lucky for us both, I’m not fond of women myself.” He brushed her arm off of him, as they made way to the door.


Alexei really, really wanted to ignore that man. He looked familiar enough to signal he had some rank, and the longer they spent playing games with these guardsmen, the longer Iskra was out there with Pentre hunting her. Or Lev, wherever he had been taken to. But then that prisoner opened his mouth, and Nails, and then Dunsten mumbled too.

“Don’t he look familiar, Alex?”

He had half the mind to yell at them, to stop calling him that, but there was more important things to focus on.All this attention, combined with the fact that the knight had called to whoever was waiting- perhaps outside, spelled another drawn out episode. This was looking like a bad comedic tragedy.

Alexei tapped Nails and Dunsten’s shoulders, “You two stay with me. Cordel, Layne, Abram,” he gestured to the other three men, “You go find Iskra.”

Layne, also known as knife guy, was happy to make his way outside and away from whatever would happen there, and the other two followed. Alexei walked to the table, and his irritated gaze was more focused on Glendale than Lancelot, “Not my fault you got lazy and captured.” He grumbled- but was quickly drowned out when Dunsten cut in.

“GLENDALE, IS THAT YOU?!” He boomed, laughing, “No way! I knew I remembered that mean face!”
"Come on lads... give us a hand here and cut me some slack" pleaded Glendale.

"You know I went down fighting... right? Me and Lev... we were both right 'ere before you lot arrived, to make sure all's well for the boss and lookit... they've taken him away already and me... under arrest... on our way to the dungeons or the gallows" protested Glendale looking at Lancelot meaningfully, shrugging his shoulders which were rather sore by now, hands numb and arms as well
The sound of plated boots dropped heavily on the tavern floor as the man Lancelot called inside stepped in. A tall man, covered head to toe in platemail, stepped into the tavern just as the others had left. His face was covered with a well-made close helm and he stood well above most of the guards who had just fled. Upon entering the tavern he looked Lancelots way before trailing his gaze over the rowdy tavern-goers who had just made Pentre's men flee. It seemed the lord was correct; Onyx was in town after all. And yet their chief seemed to have escaped. Perhaps that's where the reluctant knight's lord had run off to.

Now that he was in the doorway, he felt at a crossroads. Pentre wasn't there to watch, so it was entirely possible that he could let the bandits go... but then, certainly, they would cause more problems in the long run. "You have an odd definition of 'dinner', Lancelot." The large knight commented smoothly. "This all looks more like slop to me." The man brought his arms together, cracking his knuckles under his plated gauntlets. Most of them didn't seem to be using deadly force, so it was only natural that he do the same.

"By order of my Lord Pentre, I'm placing you lot under arrest. You can come with me the easy way... or the hard way."
Nails (played anonymously)

Nails cackled as Alexi shoved her off whilst he admitted to not like women. "Oh!? For real?? I would have never guessed!" Oddly enough she actually sounded quite excited for some reason. "I always wanted to have a guy friend like that!" Quite personable despite being so rowdy, Nails already considered the Onyx gang her friends! Well, except Layne, the dude was down right creepy. Also, Nails was making a lot of assumptions thinking that Alexei preferred his own gender like she did, it could be that he was completely asexual, but guess she'd find out eventually.

The elf smirked and placed her hands on her hips as she faced Lancelot and his prisoner. She was fine taking orders from Alexei for now and acknowledged his command of staying with him and Dunsten. From the looks of it, there was another scrap brewing and this Lancelot guy didn't look like a push-over. Alexei and Dunsten would need her help for sure.

And how, as Nails was looking at Lancelot up and down, trying to gauge how much skill the knight might posses, another knight walked into the bar, this one looking far more intimidating and ready to fight.

"The hell?" The elf tomboy made an ugly scowl as Jal blocked the door and commanded them to stand down to be arrested.

"You don't scare me, tin head!" Nails spat to the side. She dusted her kimono that she wore, honestly, the elf wore rather strange clothes, they almost looked like priestess robes, and walked towards Jarl, in a flash, her metal tonfas were back in her hands and she gave them a testing whirl before taking a fighting stance.

"Better step aside, punk! Or I'll send you back to your lord in a box!"

Nails doubted that she'd 'convince' Jal to move out of the way, and so she was already looking over her shoulder to address Alexei and Dunsten. "I'll deal with this guy, you two handle getting your friend outta of here."

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