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Old 05-04-2004, 06:36 PM   #176
Speaker of the Dead
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Superbia
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Anorien: Ravion

The day had started well. Everyone had risen early and they had made good time packing up, and now they were setting a good pace for the day. But Ravion knew in his gut that it would not last.

So he was not surprised when he heard horses in the distance while they were taking a rest. He stiffened and turned, and saw two men on horseback pursuing them. Who would be following them? And, more importantly, why? Was this Mellonin's brother?

Aeron gave a cry and darted off. The men were closing in on him fast, and though Ravion started off quickly and kept at a good speed, he did not reach them before they caught Aeron. One of the men, a merchant by appearances, tackled the boy and twisted his arm up his back. Aeron gasped in pain and fell to his knees.

"I want to know why you took a known thief under your wing...and I want weregild for the merry goose chase you have led me," the assailant demanded. He gave Aeron's arm another jerk for good measure, and Ravion, pulling out his sword, felt anger flare up in him. Why? Surely this was the merchant from whom Aeron had stolen the necklace. Where had his Ranger's sense of justice gone?

"You will have neither explanation nor compensation, coming at us with this hostility," Ravion retorted. "Approach us with civility and we may answer you. But for now, unhand the boy, for he is in my service and under my protection."

"He is a thief, and deserving of no one's protection," the man replied. Aeron looked up at Ravion, panic in his eyes. Ravion looked back impassively.

The man spoke truthfully. Aeron had stolen from him, and by rights should be in jail. Perhaps he deserved only what he was getting now. But the boy's eyes bored into Ravion's. He was down on his knees, gasping still, orphaned and alone and caring for his distracted sister. The merchant still had his arm in a vice-like grip and glared at Ravion, hardly even noticing the pain he was inflicting on the young boy. Whose offense was greater? Whose guilt weighed more?

"Deserving or no, he has my protection," Ravion shouted. He avoided Aeron's eyes. "I say again, unhand him, or I shall use whatever force is necessary to make you do so."

Last edited by Orual; 05-04-2004 at 06:49 PM.
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