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A LEGEND OF ZELDA ROLEPLAY
Welcome to ZRP! We are an non-canon RP site with an original tale taking place within the
lore of the Zelda Franchise. While the events of this site are entirely non-canon, we take advantage of the canons of other
games to explain its story fully. As such, we are located within the CANON TIMELINE. Do you like what you see? If so, feel free
to register and join our story! If you have any questions, you can join our discord, located in our important links!
3/14/20 The staff are working dilligintly on the next plot and introduction to ARC 3 of the site. Over the next couple weeks,
we will be transitioning the plot, organizing boards, and a new location will be added to the site! Please note that Termina will be removed from playable locations
during this process. Thank you for your patience!
He was on his way again. The same old roads and same old sounds, drowned out by his tired bones and aching skull, the hangover from the night before cursing him with its spite. The horse that pulled his cart was old and barely worth the grain he fed it, but he had grown fond of it as it had come from the old farm where he had found her... He hated it. A pallid furred gelding that barely knew its right from its left. It was clumsy and bayed loudly at night. Everything it did reminded him of her, but this was perhaps karma. From Holodrum he would ride into and through the plains with his covered cart.
The cart itself was an old, makeshift raft, made of discarded planks and driftwood that littered once precious waters. The wheels were that of half-burned caravans found strewn across the bandit laden lands and had been hammered on with an ineptitude expected of one who had no carpentry skill and was often drunk beneath the table by sunset. His ability to wield a hammer was as solid as his crooked speech as it clawed between clenched, shark-like jaws. When it rolled about it did so with an obvious wobble, the nails dusted by orange rust from his time out on the high seas.
Sinnie was slumped over, gloved hands barely gripping at the horse's reigns, his consciousness slipping between bouts of exhaustion. Beneath his blue cloak, something he had lift from a sea strewn corpse, he wore his black wetsuit which was a nice escape from the unrelenting afternoon sun. Tucked just beneath the lip of the canopy's cloth he could feel his feet roasting in his pilfered boots. Though old, and battered, they were tough. The bandit didn't need them anymore anyway. His dark, lidded eyes drifted across the trampled roads as he would see nothing had changed.
"Disgustingly ironic that I would change only for the world to do nothing." How lazy.
The right side of his face was pinched up, nerves long since dead on that side with the tattoo marking him a traditionalist, at least to other Zora. Deep blue hair and sharp, shark-like teeth were a more obvious trait that failed to be hidden from sharp, Hylian eyes, even as his hood was pulled forward to better fend off the wretched sun. Callous in all things he did not think it would be worth to stop for water so soon, though his throat parched and horse slowing. Growling softly in his chest the merchant leaned back to reach for the tarp that covered his wares. Generic earthenware, a few goods scrounged from corpses and the odd bob and bit. He made sure they were completely covered as to not lure the attentions of watchful bandits. His cart looked mostly dilapidated, and on its last leg, so hardly worth it of more painted and guarded caravans. He would have it no other way. Eventually the equine's disdainful nickering caused him to snarl.
"Fine, fine, whatever, useless animal..." Why were fur covered beasts always so slothful? You never see a fish stop swimming.
Despite his complaints the horse would step off the path, knowing it well as the Zora had crossed it many times. There was a watering hole near and by a tree that did little to shade at this hour, since the sun cut right through its dry and brittle branches. As the horse drank Sinnie would step off the creaking cart and walk to the water's edge, his boots kicking up sand and mud before he would crouch down to refill his, already empty, canteen. He mumbled and complained before dumping the contents on his head, only to fill it again. He knew what was coming. His dark eyes drifted towards the road and to the mountains. He would have to cross into the Gerudo Desert to make his way towards Hyrule. As the horse drank his fill he considered crossing through Lynna city and down the Valley of the Twins instead, but that would be more arduous and he was not sure the old horse could even make it. He remained crouched, arms slung over his knees as he sipped his canteen.
"...shit." Tucking the container away he moved to stand and climbed into the back of the cart, tumbling over junk and clattering through debris before he rolled onto his back, shrugging his shoulders, to work out a nest of garbage as he laid over the tarp. "I hate the desert..."
And everything it made him remember. That strawberry haired beauty that he hated more than life itself. He hated fewer and trusted even less. She was perhaps the only one that told him the truth. The only one that told him he held no value... He pulled his right arm over his eyes as his other hand remained tucked in his cloak, the slender digits of his left hand resting over the hilt of his coral knife.
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
The recent months had been...interesting, to say the least. Isadora had wandered perhaps a bit too deeply into the forests outside Clocktown, straying off the path after a particularly long day of travel and when she'd turned around and left the forest. It had not been the forest she had entered. Hyrule. Something she'd only heard about in legends, and in her time here, Isadora had learned what she could of the strange new land. But in the end, so many things remained the same that she found it rather straightforward to continue anew.
She'd always been a skilled swordsman, her parents had seen to it. And it seemed Hyrule was filled with as much trouble as Termina had been, more perhaps. She made her money in small towns and villages, stopping bandits and wild monsters. Castle Town had been larger than Clocktown, so much larger, and she'd spent several enjoyable days traversing the city. But ultimately the city had been too crowded and busy for Isadora to find reliable work, though the Sheikah that worked to guard the royal family had not been shy in their insinuations that she should do her part with her people.
People she didn't even know.
Instead Isadora traveled north, and then east, avoiding Gerudo Desert. She and Cimeron, the chestnut red gelding who had been her closest companion in years, despite their hatred of water the desert was far more likely to kill. And the Valley of Labrynna offered more in work for the young woman. Thus her travel had been easy, if filled with work. Bandits and monsters aplenty on this isle so it seemed.
Isadora had just left a small hamlet in central Holodrum, her coin purse jingling, and with no destination in mind she was free to wander the open plains. The sunlight shimmered on her ashen hair and the metal of her armor, and it reminded the young woman of her time tracking a Gerudo pirate. The heat was not so bad, though it made water all the more essential a resource, and her canteen was just about out. And they had been traveling all day, Cimeron, though still youthful in spirit and energy, would need a break. So when the watering hole finally appeared off the main road of the Plains, Isadora was thankful, and when she spied the rather beaten and mismatched cart idling near it, it's own horse drinking greedily, it confirmed that the water was at least safe.
Carefully, she approached, swinging herself down from her saddle and grabbing the reins to lead Cimeron to the water. She did not see anyone immediately, but approached, cheeks pink from the heat. "Hello?" she asked, the road was not well traveled from what Isadora had seen, and she's sure bandits or other less reputable folks could be around. A single cart was either a bad sign of something to come, or evidence of one already past. Still, Isadora allowed Cimeron to drink his fill of the water, going ahead and filling her own before taking a long drink and splashing some on her face, sighing in relief as it cooled her sweaty and hot skin.
Sinnie had settled in his nest of junk. It was junk because he held no value towards what he carried, sentimental or otherwise, but there was always some fool who needed a bit of wood, or a scrap of metal to repair their armor, and many more fools that would pay out their pointed or blunt ears in more deserted locales. He took advantage of the downtrodden and desperate, though his victims were hardly poor... He was a parasite after all and could only survive by squeezing others of everything they had since he had no means to survive under his own power and he was too greedy to give to others anything he had. The thought caused his right fist to clench tighter, the leather of his gloves squeaking softly between his ears.
His mouth had slipped open in his rest. The damaged nerves made the muscles loose so it did not allow the jaw to lock close when he slept, often causing a feeling akin to sand to coat his throat in dryness. He wore no trousers, in a sense, the wet suit serving enough to cover and present a sense of decency that he was remiss to offer, but had no choice but to grant. It always hurt when they touched his flesh... It served its purpose and with his loose blouse, accompanied by his cloak, completed the illusion. To any other he was wearing pants. His only other set of clothing were some formal garments he had stolen from that knight. It was rightfully his after he defeated him, even if it was not a fair fight. One leg was stretched out, the other raised with his boot covered foot perched on an elevated piece of rubble. Some dried mud had caked off, flaking onto the tarp and making a trail until it dusted onto the surface of the cart. It was cozy, cool and was -- quiet. It was almost as if he was in the sea again. He had spent so much time in the rivers he had almost forgotten the feeling of the waves on his skin, but out here in the heat it was too hot to dream and he could feel sleep evading him.
As the horse watered it would raise its head at the approach of another. The dusty white fur was actually a bone-grey color. Dun markings on its hooves gave it the appearance it was walking on shadow. It was thin, but well fed as its body has seen travel and its age was starting to show. While not anywhere near an old man it would not be long until the horse would have to be put to pasture. It let out a rather loud neigh. It was not acting aggressively, in any way, but it seemed overtly social. Given his company the gelding seemed to take to company quickly as his rider was a grumpy, standoffish oaf who spurned the consistent contact of others. The sound shot through the Zora, his heart jumping in his chest as the first instinct he had was to draw the knife and point it towards the air. Bleary eyed the Zora felt his heart pounding between his ears as the last ticks of his hangover tried to leave him. Squinting his good eye the male leaned to the side, using the tip of his knife to pull down a small tear in the canvas so he could peak out.
"A woman?" He murmured softly. Reaching to the belt at his hip he raised the small scabbard so he could quietly return the knife and adjust it so that it stayed hidden under his cloak and gave off no visible signs of its presence. "Right...stupid horse..." He parted his jaws, letting a yawn crawl from his heavy chest.
He ran his gloved digits through his hair, smoothing the scruffy mess out best he could before hopping out of the back of the cart. He smoothly stood to his full height. To at least 6 and a third high the Zora rolled his shoulders so he could button his cloak. He did not wear his chestplate in this head, far too obnoxious and if he was going to be stabbed, well better quick and clean through his heart. Ah, he was having morbid thoughts again. Reaching up to scratch the side of his head the man looked toward the woman as an awkward smile passed his crooked features. One side of his face hardly moved at all giving his grin a sharp edge, though the piercing shark-like fangs were edge enough as his pale lips pinched back. He held himself with a slight slouch, disarming one of any ideas that he was in any shape or form -- brave. Though no coward he knew well to manipulate the perceptions others had of him so he maintained a state of dominance over them. If they did not know him they could not use him.
"Sorry about that..." His voice was soft, but audible from a distance. It had an almost melodic tone to it, but still deep. "Were you looking to trade?" By all accounts the man looked to be a merchant, but not a very affluent one.
His cloak was torn at the hem, a few holes that have been sewn back together time and again. His boots were old and as worn as his cart. The only thing that seemed in pristine condition were the pink bracelets that occasionally peeked from beneath his long, billowing sleeves when his arm moved.
He put his gloved hand to his chest, the black leather sleeve gripping him like a second skin. "Or are you just passing through...?"
Who would walk these barren roads save for brigands and crows looking for fresh bones? The Gerudo Deserts was filled with hot sand and loud women whom he could never stand. They were too touchy for his taste, at least the ones he has met.
isadora † ● # 995 ● A bit longer, a bit more memory
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
Isadora crouched at the water's edge, drinking from her canteen when the stranger popped out of his cart. She noticed him from over the edge of the canteen, and her eyebrows raised up in surprise. But at the very least, this stranger didn't look like a bandit, at least not a well off one. Cimeron knickered at the gelding across the water, clearly curious about the other horse. She pats his neck affectionately as she stood, before waving shortly to the stranger.
"No harm, I just stopped to get some water, didn't want to alarm," she spoke softly, carefully, though she was pleasant and polite. Her own blade slung low at her hip, the gold pommel sticking out and she rested her hand on it idly, more of a resting point than any intention to draw it. Isadora was short to most folk, a petite five and a half feet, but in front of this man, she felt quite dwarfed. Dressed in a combination of leather and flexible metal plates, a blue cloak had been makeshifted to wrap around her shoulders and head, blocking it from the harsh sun. Here though, she had pulled it down to reveal loose ashen blonde hair that was clipped back partially and revealed the bright crimson eyes that named her a Sheikah.
"Just a traveler, but supplies are always in need, especially around here it seems." she looks around the plains outside their little grove as if to accentuate her point that they were in the middle of nowhere. Compared to many Sheikah she had met in Hyrule, Isadora dressed rather extravagantly, though she would not call it so. Still, she wore more color than the average Sheikah, as well as her armor and sword, it named her an outsider to these parts, or perhaps at least a bit unusual. It seemed her current company seemed to align to a similar idea. Zora however, if she was not mistaken.
She gave the man a pleasant smile, ever the people-pleaser, and began unsaddling Cimeron. She had intended to take a break anyways, and a break with company was always preferable. Cimeron huffed at her as if knowing her thoughts and silently she assured the gentle beast that she did consider him quite pleasant company with a few good strokes of his nose and an apple pulled from her saddlebag and fed to him.
"I hope you do not mind the company, I've been traveling most of the day and both I and Cimeron could use the rest. Where are you traveling from? I'm a bit new to the area," he makes conversation easily, figuring the man before her was not so used to long conversation, but she could keep conversation with a tree if she tried hard enough. And often when on her own, the trees and Cimeron were her only company.
Casually, Isadora makes herself comfortable on a saddle blanket, placed mid-distance between where she'd loosed Cimeron and the cart, she folded her legs under her and found the small bundle in her saddlebag of what counted as a meal; some slightly stale bread, another apple, and some soft cheese. Satisfied with her spot for the moment, she ate quietly, watching the stranger with a gentle curiosity.
It was ...regrettable. The heat was unbearable and now he had to deal with the wretched company of another. He could feel his throat stick as the dry air parched his throat. He shifted to the side, putting most of his weight on his left leg. Dark eyes traced her body, making note of every possession on her person. Armor, clothing, weapons... It was only after a moment that his gaze returned to her face studying its features and taking to memory the dips in her cheeks and curl of her brows. His eyes pinched closed, the corner of his lip upturned in a half-smile, being that it was all his paralyzed face could muster. He could not stop her if she chose to attack him, but if he kept her at arm's length it should be fine. She was no Goron, nor Gerudo, and he has had few interactions with others. Her hair was strange, if she was a Hylian. He has taken note of the color among a scant few in Holodrum, but she looked nothing like them. She was no beggar, no discarded refuse. It was what made it difficult to determine just what she was. She had value, but the others he had seen were nothing. They were a people who had lost everything and could earn nothing back... Not that he cared, not that he wanted to care...
While he was tempted to scorn the woman's considerations he could only watch as she removed the saddle from her horse. She planned to stay, feeling a sense of camaraderie, no doubt. He was not someone who you should feel safe around. It was a dreadful thing to let your guard down only to have a knife dug into your back. He had no such inclinations of violence, but the idea was always in the back of his mind. He had to stay alive because... he might see her again. The obsession was all he had to keep him going these days. If he made it back to that farm and... and --
"And what?" He thought.
He maintained his calm smile, gloved hands coming together palm in palm, in a pensive pose. A merchant hopeful to make a trade, a man desperate to send her away. With shoulders slouched and head leaning forward he was eager to get things over with and send her on their way. A soft sigh escaped him as she became fully settled. He allowed his arms to drift down to his sides, head turning away as his brows narrowed to a line. Her gaze was defeating. While he wanted to send her down the road and never see her again -- even he craved the common companionship of other living creatures. Talking to a horse did naught but drive him mad. After all it could not understand the simple pleasures of a book. Gripping the edges of his cloak he would descend to a knee before crossing his legs. He allowed the sides of the bundled cloth fold at his sides, keeping hidden his only weapon. His motions were smooth, delicate, but he had a purpose in his actions. He put his hands to his knees, elbows bent up as he let a coarse chuckle rumble from his throat.
"You are quite lackadaisical..." He took note of her. "Are you used to travel?" It was an inane question, one he despised because he could see full well her experience. The way she moved and how easily she flowed into the wind. She was like the shifting tide of a babbling brook. "Nex." He spoke out, remembering his mother's warning to never give out his true name, lest a witch use it to bind you. "That is what I am called in my travels. I'm from Holodrum. You though, you are too well traveled to be from hither or tither." She reminded him of the Knights of Hyrule. She had an air about her that was noble, sickening. And yet -- He sucked on his fang, eye drifting down towards the cheese. It looked soft...
The horses seemed to socialize, the sun sizzling the air above causing waves of light to dance along the plains creating elusive mirages. While they, decidedly, chattered, it would not be long before bandits stirred from their nest, which was not far from anywhere. The plains were home to all sorts of miscreants and brigand. Sometimes the watering hole was the best place to scavenge a freshly littered body... or a forgotten cargo. The merchant reached up his sleeve, digging around before he pulled from it a small, cloth that was tightly wrapped. Gloved fingers would delicately peel away the dark wrapping to eventually reveal a colorless cube. Tofu? Gelatin maybe? With his face as it was chewing was not something the Zora was good at. It was a disadvantage when you could not use such beautiful fangs to bite an enemy to death, so he would have to preserver the old fashion way: with steel, in his case, bone. He motioned to the gelatinous cube.
"It's fish. Squid." He kept some preserved so he could eat on his travels. Most dried foods were impossible to bite down on, but jellied fish was quite good to carry, though it did not last long. He had a glass jar once, but it had to be traded so he did not die.
After his duel with the Knight he found himself with a gaping would beneath his right gills, the Zora choking on his own blood. He had no money to pay the doctor, but he traded everything he had as collateral. He was not dead, but the scar remained and he, occasionally, would subconsciously rub it. It was why kept the neck of his wet suit stretched up to cover his neck, so beneath the dingy blouse one could see what could be assumed was a black undershirt.
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
Isadora watches her new companion, Nex, with some interest, or perhaps in study. It was difficult to tell sometimes with the young woman, the harshness of her eye color so at contrast with her softer features. Though in battle, she did appear quite different. Many thought her petite nature and solitude made her an easier target, but she'd long since learned and adjusted to such thoughts. Here, despite her casual and relaxed nature; her shoulders down as she ate, head bowed slightly though still tilted to observe Nex, she could almost be mistaken for trusting.
She can see him watching her, wondering if he perhaps was trying to discern her origin and intentions as she was. It would be understandable, strangers meeting on quiet roads were not exactly the most trustworthy. Her ruby eyes land on his tattoo, and the way she sees his face not react on one half, a past injury? She didn't judge others for solely their looks, she'd hardly like the same done to her.
Clean, despite her travels, though her boots were rather muddied, and dressed rather nicely she was easily mistaken as nobility. If anyone asked of her past, that she was a nomad from day one, it would hardly be believed. Isadora simply preferred finer things and took great care in what she owned. The white linen blouse peeked out from her armor, the clasp that kept her cloak a fine silver, and the leather of her pants and boots were well-made and sturdy. Out here, she'd make an excellent target for a bandit, of which Isadora was keenly aware. She'd grabbed a bounty on such a group when she had left the last village, and she imagines she'll be finding them sooner rather than later. But she doubted her new companion was one of them.
"You could say that I've only known travel," she tells him casually, pausing to take a bite of her apple and chew thoughtfully. It was cool and crisp, a treat given the heat of the near-desert. His name is a pleasant surprise, she had not expected it from him, many were not so easy to talk and tell strangers things and she had thought the same of him. "Isadora, a pleasure. I am certainly not from nearby, though these days you could say I'm from everywhere and nowhere."
Slowly, Isadora relaxes. Once she feels full it is easy to close her eyes for a moment and tilt her head up to bask in the sunlight as it warms her face again. Beside her, she listens to Cimeron chatter with his new horse companion, and for any movement from Nex. When she opens her eyes again, she feels ever so slightly better. "Might I ask what a merchant is doing out this far? It does not seem to be much in the way of business, except perhaps for bandits." it is an innocent enough inquiry, perhaps a touch of curiosity along with caution.
The day was wearing away, and when night fell it would be a far different place than the peace that seemed to exist now. Isadora debated on whether the risk of camping for the night or riding through was better, in the hopes that a village would be nearby soon enough and she could rest safer there. But Cimeron would only go as far as he could in a day, and she'd rather allow them to rest near water. Bandits were not the only dangers out there.
TAGGED:Nex NOTES: she's just making friends, as she do
The tattoo had been of his own doing. It looked a bit strange, but it should. Unless one was fluent in Zora letters it was nigh impossible to discern. A red squiggle above his brow and below, carved into his cheek. Raised skin beneath was quite visible, scarring, but there no telling if it had been a result of the tattooing process or an old injury that it was covering. It served little meaning to those outside of the traditions. It was his totem, the one creature in this world that he felt truly connected to and drew his power from. It was with whom he felt truly free around. Aside from these markings he did not seem unhealthy, or in any way sick beyond a notable thinness in his face for one so tall. It could simply be on account of his pescatarian diet. His clothing was loose so any muscle or frailness was, too, hidden. He did not seem to have a tenseness to his movements, but he was careful. His actions were practiced, purposeful. He was a man who was trained to sit straight at the dinner table as every so often his habitual slouch was corrected, a mindful shake of his head in self reprimand visible. He peeled back the cloth with meticulous care and tore a piece from the cube of flesh in such a way that it would keep an even shape for easy storage.
Raising a piece to his mouth he would open it unnaturally wide and place it on the left side of his tongue before he began to chew. He too notice of her watchful gaze and felt out of his skin. The prickling sensation ran down from the tip of his nose, to his collar, causing him to cock his head to the side so he could reach a finger and scratch the wayward it over the cloth of his swimming suit. It was not as if a Zora needing a bathing suit, but it was good for keeping him moist during the hotter apexes of the day. His skin was not exceedingly pale, but it was not the skin of one who could stand long hours beneath the brutality of the sun. His hair looked wet, a sheen of possibly sweat along his brow. He had dunked his head before resting and was able to keep cool beneath his cart's canvas, but now that he was out here the sweat began to trickle and he would be dry soon. He turned an eye to her as he ate, alert of his surroundings as, more than once, his eyes drifted towards the water. It was a Zora's first choice for escape were there danger, so he was always attentive to any source of water around. The watering hole was deep enough that he could submerge, but he doubt he could escape. At the very least he could out wait any danger. You couldn't kill or steal from what you could not reach, not that he was a beacon of wealth. By the looks of it he was poor, but the man knew now to flash his wealth, but not look so despaired that none would approach you. The woman looked to have the opposite touch, which made her considerably more dangerous. She welcomed the challenge. He would rather not put out the effort...
"But I am no coward either..." His private thoughts attempted to reassure him.
Her answer was vague, so it scratched his curiosity. And he hated that so. Sucking his fang he took another bite of his squid cube, eyes turning away a moment, as he knitted his brows together. He felt paranoid. Something was on the wind. He would snort softly before his gaze returned to hers, an incredulous look.
"How disparagingly vague. I would think a traveler such as you would have tales they would want to share, to boast of." Though he did despise boastful people. What good were your swaggering words if they could only be backed by vivid recollections embellished by liquor and pride? "I jest, because if I have yet to be derived by such tales I can assume you are of humble nature Isadora." No, he just did not wish to hear it, and it was better he did not accidentally assuage her ego, had she one.
Heroes are gross misconducts of historical events. Shams, disgrace and a lie if he has ever seen. His face pinched up again as he seemed to smile, a ragged laugh coughed from his throat, his offense catching him mid-bite. He would try not to choke on his fish, holding up his hand to assure his livelihood remained. He did not want her to suddenly rush to his side to ensure his well-being. He would be unable to handle the woman coming into contact with him.
"I -- am amused by a memory. A knight I used to know." Carefully wrapping his fish back on he tucked it back into his sleeve. He ate very little of it. Perhaps he was simply being polite? "I am used to this road." He looked to her. "Bandits are not so fool as to venture too closely to the Gerudo's village, which is my route. I trade with them along the way and take the familiar path to Hyrule." His eyes drifted to the side. "I had a friend among them once, so it is habit I suppose." Bandits did worry him, but there was little he could do about them save rid the world of their pestilence one at a time. "Familiar roads." He looked towards the break in the path. "While cooler, undoubtedly, the roads to Lynna are fraught with more than just bandits." It was easier to see threats coming in the desert. The sands shifted, the shadows moved: but along the woods of the Rolling Ridges everything was a threat from Wolfos to more enigmatic creatures that he knew not the names for. "I may end up a little sunburned ... but it's hard to break habit." An epiphany that, he supposed. He really had a hard time extracting himself from his habits.
Down to his -- He looked to Isadora before pushing to stand, staggering back a bit. He caught himself on the heel of his boot before he shifted awkwardly. Turning to his cart he would move to hop on the step and push up so he could raise himself and sit on the edge of the rickety cart.
"You said you travel. That you've been everywhere and nowhere." He stared straight ahead before glancing to the side, towards the woman. "Have you been somewhere before?" He looked away quickly. "It is a dangerous road and I have no sword. I get by with having little, but I rather arrive somewhere, with some." He pointed to her. "I would pay you for your efforts, of course. I'm good for it." That dry, half-smirk drew itself on his features.
He would use her before she could use him. After all that was what these land-walkers liked best, right? Money.
isadora † ● 1183 ● I've hit the mark, am I home again?
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
She had encountered few Zora in Termina, they often stayed in the water and Isadora had a distinct distaste for it. She had seen even fewer in Hyrule, though Castle Town had bee surprisingly diverse. Hylians were ever so different from Terminians, in fact, the most consistent people she had seen had been the Gerudo women. Though here, they were not just pirates and bandits; a favorable thought. She'd always found those women to be interesting and rather intriguing from a distance. Having faced several in battle in Termina, she admired the skill they all seemed to share.
The Sheikah woman finished her apple, tossing the core to her horse companion to finish it for her. The rest of her cheese and bread being wrapped back up and stuffed inside her saddlebag. Though she made no other motions to continue on, it was a momentary relief to sit somewhere that wasn't a moving horse, and the barely-there breeze that drifted over their watering hole was cool, a small pleasure out here. This water was bearable, if because it had to be, she still needed it to survive but the open waters of an ocean or even a large enough lake sent a miserable shudder down her spine.
She laughs, and it's soft and melodic. The laugh of someone who has not experienced suffering, or perhaps had experienced too much and hid it. "I don't travel to boast it to strangers, nor do I see what I do as a boastful thing. I'm simply doing some good in the world, and trying to survive." she explains, shrugging her shoulders with an easy grace and leaning back on her hands pressed to the ground. It's a casual pose, with her legs crossed in front of her. "You could describe my life as humble, a nomadic life tends to be such."
Isadora rarely thought of herself as a hero, though she had certainly been called such before. To her, heroes were people who did things selflessly and because it was good. She'd been raised with similar morals, but the truth of her life meant that she needed money to survive, and this life was the only one she'd known. The sound of him coughing draws her from her thoughts, almost startling Isadora. She blinks at him, shifting and her gaze looking concerned for a moment until he assures her he was fine.
"If that is a question, I'm not a knight. Nothing so formal, in fact I'd likely make a terrible one." she comments, her own experience with knights had been limited. There was nothing so formal in Termina, indeed everything in Hyrule felt formal compared to the wildness of Termina. As though this land had not quite been left to its own devices yet. "I doubt we are close enough for them to be a deterrent yet, but perhaps what remains of daylight may save us that fate."
She muses over the statement, familiarity. Nothing was such for Isadora anymore. "I'm familiar with little here, simply learning as I go. I did make my way here past Lynna City, and you would be right. Thankfully the villages there also pay well for the removal of such threats," she tells him, and thinks to the rather decently full coin purse she had in her saddle now. She'd hadn't had a spot to spend it, and her supplies were only now beginning to dwindle. Perhaps the Gerudo would provide an ample spot.
Isadora raised an eyebrow at Nex's proposition. She had not taken him as a man willing to hire or travel with people. But she had been wrong about people before. Still, more gold was always nice, as well as the chance for company, even prickly. "Somewhere is a bit new to me, but that is not a deal I could refuse. Though, bandits rarely find young women deterrent. My sword is yours, and as I've no place to be I will accompany you until you do not need the company." she stands, brushing crumbs off her pants and steps towards Nex and the cart, a hand held out between them to shake.
"We have a deal?"
TAGGED:Nex NOTES: nothing breaks the ice like money
She spoke of her nomadic roots. If not for her ashen hair he could have mistaken her for a Gerudo. Touching the tips of his fingers to his chin, the black leather brushed along as his half-smirk held strong. Opening an eye the Zora would glance toward Isadora as she quirked a brow. She could declare all she wished that she did not boast, or claim her inherent disgrace as anything chivalric, but she was given to some measure of honor and whatever invisible code it was kept her from slaying him at first meet. She spoke gently, but something in her tone painted a hidden lore. He would not delve into such if she would not share. After all if he poked around too much he would find himself becoming fond.
He did love a good story...
"No, I would think not." He stated, concerning her ideas on the bandits. It was still early, and they would not attack so easily while there was still sunlight and when there were two bodies, but they did love taking advantage of caravans and the shadows of night. "Well--" He let his smile fall. "If you are looking for somewhere, that is where I am going."
The Zora dug his heels into the foot hold of the cart. It was about three feet off the ground, giving a fair advantage were they to cross a marsh, but the desert was a whole other creature and a threat for a very different reason. He crossed his gloved hands, netting his covered digits together as he stared off into the plains. He looked down the road, along the path he had come. He was so far from an ocean, on either side of the continent, but he had to make due with the rivers and lakes on their path. He planned carefully to hit every water source he could. The old gelding was no Moldorm. Once they entered the desert they would be vulnerable if they did not hit every oasis' or get caught in a mirage. He had every step planned and every danger was recognized, but what he could not predict were men. He lowered his head, staring through his bangs before he climbed into the back of the cart. The cacophonous rabble of clutter sounded as he moved around the back.
"Stallos!" He called out, the horse perking his ears and looking over.
The equine had been enjoying the company of the other horse, but he knew his name and turned to trot to the back of the covered wagon. The Zora held out a bag of grain, of which the horse dunked his head to ravenously consume his fill. Though the lanky Zora did not look to have much tenderness for the horse he did seem to care for the companion beast. Once the grain bag was empty the Zora reached out to secure his tack. Tugging at the lead he jumped down and walked around the vehicle before jumping onto the front seat. He pulled his hood over his head and looked back to her.
"We should be off. I think there's a storm coming." And as it to punctuate his words a heavy clap of thunder rolled over head. In the distance a massive cloud had been rolling in, as if to chase them off. "It won't reach us if we move now and I rather not be the tallest object on an open plain, hmm?" It was less so the storm that was the danger, but the lightning that followed and was given to strike the tallest object.
Though the storm rolled in the heat remained: a tepid humidity that stuffed the nose and pulled at the lungs. It would not bring freedom from the sweltering weather, but at least it was incentive to get moving. They were at least a day's walk from the Desert's entrance proper, half a day if they did not take a stop in the evening.
isadora † ● 664 ● Have you ever seen a lightning storm on a plain? It is both ugly and beautiful
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
Her hand dropped from the space between them, turning to a loose fist at her side and she nods to herself in thought. "Right.... Barely a moment lapses before Isadora is moving on and stepping back to the saddle blanket she'd set on the ground. Though she didn't expect the man to put a knife in her back, Isadora is cautious about turning her back on him, instead keeping him and his cart within her peripherals as she picks up the blanket, dusts it off, and proceed to begin the methodical process of saddling Cimeron again.
"I prefer to let somewhere find me, perhaps it might at the end of this road," she shrugs, but there is a gentle smile on her face, something friendly in her expression towards Nex as she packs up her horse. It's a methodical process, though slow, as she spends much of her time consoling the beast as he seems to huff about being saddled again. Though relents and is easily re-saddled.
Her path so far had been something random, simply finding her way from one town to another before asking directions again. It made life simple, to simply know only one step ahead, different to the way battle was. Where she was constantly thinking, constantly trying to stay ahead of her opponent. Her her only opponent was time, and she'd long since learned she could not best them. So her travels meandered, and she'd seen some rather lovely sights in Hyrule. The desert would be brutal, that much she knew, and she made sure to fill up the second canteen of water she had just to be safe. Part of her wondered why a Zora would want to take a desert path more, the line about monsters being smart, but heat and dehydration were just as deadly as any monster.
The clap of thunder startles Isadora, her eyes widening and swinging upwards towards the sky just as distant clouds began to roll in. Perhaps the weather here was more temperamental than Termina. "Are all storms out here so fast?" she asks, genuine curiosity in her voice as she pulls her cloak over her head as another makeshift hood. Even if they avoided the worst of the storm, she'd rather not soak herself to the bone with any potential rain before they hit the desert. Especially not if they were caught in that desert at night, the cold was also deadly and often forgotten.
Still, Isadora stood next to Cimeron and watched as the storm began to roll in, admiring the dark shift in colors the sky began to take on. It was majestic in a sense, and if she'd had a better place to stand she might admire it as it rolled past her well into the night. Still, instinct and preservation took over and the petite woman swung herself up into her saddle gracefully. Clicking her tongue and turning to face Nex and his cart.
"How fast can your horse carry your cart? There's likely little protection from that storm between here and the desert."
TAGGED:Nex NOTES: nothing like a storm to stop someone in their tracks
He had done to discard her attempt to shake his hand. While he made no outward attempt to avoid her or make a face in disgust, he had eloquently dodged the experience with the wily skill of an eel escaping a fisherman's net. No these hands could not swear such an oath. He was not sure what was to come. Maybe he close her in the desert or be forced to kill her. But he did not wish her ghost coming after him looking for her rupees so he would reach into out to her, holding a slip. It was a simple invoice. It was the best he could do in terms of a promise of pay.
"With this you can collect coin for your service. I will fill it out when we arrive to our first destination, which will be the nearest Gerudo Village. From there -- we shall see." The very thought of touching another made his skin crawl, a shiver running down his spine.
There was a time where the Zora would take such weather in leisure. The sound of the thunder only did to recall memories back from the coast. Storms were common on the ocean cliffs and a welcome relief for fry to play on land and elderly Zora to relax from swimming. He had spent rainy days floating in deep waters amongst the colonies of Biri who took the opportunity to feed on the surfacing prey of choice. He had no worries when he became one with the sea. He had wandering wishes, prayers for the empty seas. How he wished for the divines to answer his mortal pleas. Alas the storms only washed his anxieties into the oceans depths for a time. Soon, though, as they always did: the blessed rains would depart, and with them, their wisdom.
Her question was a valid one. Sometimes the plains were quiet for days, but with the heat that was intensely burning much of the day, the rains were to be expected some time soon. It was why he felt strange. he could always tell when it was about to rain. It was his only time of peace... but they were dangerous out here in the open lands. They were the best target for bolts of lightning. Reaching his hand to his chin, he rubbed at his aching jaw. The dull pain was constant. There was nothing he could do about it. Some days it was worse, especially when the rains were near.
"Sometimes. Sometimes no, but this was coming for a while. It was just too hot. The world has a way of balancing itself, after all." But he was always a strong believer in the balance of nature and the brutal recourse for the foolishness of men because, if nothing else, someone had to punish them. "We should be fine."
The old horse pulled the cart at a cantor. It was still a ways away so they were not likely to be caught in it. His gaze drifted towards the woman. She was right. It was too open and the only shelter was smack in the middle of bandit territory. His tongue brushed out to wet his lips, the humidity practically steaming him in his cloak. Tugging at the collar with his index finger the Zora would exhale. Curse his timing. He should have stayed at the pool, go beneath the water and leave her to suffer. But why didn't he? He used to be able to. Grinding his fangs together the Zora exhaled at his gnashing thoughts.
"Not very. He's old. If I push him too far he will need to rest for a day." He would lose time. "The problem with being somewhere is that you always have to abide by a clock..." He reached into his cloak, pulling from it an old pocket watch. It was aged and struggled to open when he pushed open the lock. There was a soft ticking noise. It worked. Closing it he tucked it back away into the pocket that was just over his heart. "I'm bound to it." He clicked, causing the horse to pick up its pace just a bit. "I've lived in Holodrum long enough to know that a storm like this can bring more than just rain."
It couldn't be helped. They were in Holodrum after all. All creeds and races lived out here, including outcast who were not wanted anywhere else. It was a nest for bandits and brigands. The rain was perfect for robbing caravans because the storms made riders nervous and an easy target. Hoof beats were easily muted by the cacophonous bellows of thunder in the distance.
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
Isadora studies the man with an almost imperceptible curiosity. Tempered by her knowledge that no good information came from people unwilling to give it. Still, it is easy to ignore the slight, for it really wasn’t much of one, as long as he held their end of the deal she did not care how they confirmed it. When he held out the slip, she took it between her first two fingers before reading it over with a keen eye. “I suppose a merchant would keep records of who they hired,” she comments, but folds the paper and slips it into her pocket without much fuss.
There was a confidence, being back on Cimeron. It would be a lie if the young swordswoman said her height and stature often played out of her favor. Though she was skilled enough to make up for it, it still did not help in the manner of stopping others from harassing her outright. Aboard her large gelding, however, Isadora’s posture was straight, and the tilt of her chin as it looked ahead and around her was confident. The traits of a Sheikah giving her an almost indistinguishable age and considering their long lives it would be a rather wild guess for most.
The woman’s distaste in water did sometimes extend to being wet. And with the humidity in the air, it would be miserable to be caught in the storm when it rained, unable to get dry. The idea of her hair plastered to her skin was one that very nearly caused a scowl to mar her face, though instead what appeared was a briefly wrinkled nose while looking up at the sky. “If we can outpace the rain, that would be enough.” She tells him and carefully leads Cimeron to take a post to the right of the cart, aiming to follow beside and keep an eye around them.
“Balance…” she muses it quietly, barely audible to her companion. The word was barely more than a breath as she seemed to think on the manner. Rarely in life did she think things were balanced, fair. And she had always figured life was meant to be like that, had accepted that fact. But perhaps things like the weather had their own ways, that people did not and could not. “I shall take your word on that; it is rather lovely to watch though.” It’s an idle comment she makes before she’s focusing again on their route of travel.
There’s a new concentration to Isadora’s red eyes as they trot along, and she seemed to take her new job as a guard rather seriously. Perhaps to some, she was a little girl with her father’s sword, and in the simple she was. But this was how she made money, and she too enjoyed not being skewered by half-rate bandits after scraps of gold and armor. The humidity was rather irritating, and despite her cloak over her head, her hair, already slightly curled began to wildly curl around her cheeks. It would be a nightmare to take care of later, and for a moment she debates taking the time to braid it or tie it back entirely.
“So we simply go at his pace, and hope it is enough.” She replies, glancing sideways towards him and watching as he pulls out the small pocket watch and looks at it. Perhaps it was a mercy to be at no one’s biding but your own. Though Isadora had always struggled with the isolation, preferring at least some amount of company. Even this strange Zora, who was intriguing, was far better than being completely alone for days at a time. “Then I suppose we must beat it.”
Nex had long learned to hide many aspects of himself. Throughout his life the happy little fry had grown into a cynical adult who carried no trust in a system designed to whittle him down to nothing. He presented himself as a merchant, one who was easy to talk to, and easier to trust. A fantastical disguise because he was unable to trust even himself. His heart was locked away by years of death and misery. He tried to look away and purge the pain from his long dead heart, but no matter how far he tried to swim out away he quickly learned that no man was an island and even a Zora had to stop swimming. He guessed his wishes for a peaceful life ended up twisted as he found himself alone and buried in a grave dug by his own hands.
The goddess had abandoned his people, of this he was sure. He was merely deceiving himself in the idea that he was worth being saved when there were far more pitiful individuals locked away in a void of self destruction. Sometimes he still howled into the night hoping that, one day, she would answer his prayers. He looked to his hands, one gripping tightly to the horse's lead. His outer appearance was that of a man who traveled, a little lonely. Looking to his face his soft smiles were empty, tired if not a bit thankful for the company of others. But as much as he tried there was some part of him that was not whole. Inside he was a self-proclaimed monster who could not die, resenting himself for the words he spoke in private to those closest to him. They would fight to pull him from his grave and even now he felt embarrassment towards those whom he had burdened.
He ran his hand through his dark, cobalt locks. "Yeah..." His books did not last long though, she he kept superficial records for at least a month. That would be about the time they would start to deteriorate... "A daily grind to keep them in order." He mused.
He took note of how quickly she changed on the back of that horse. The energy reminded him of the mutual connection he shared with the biri. It was a fearlessness being surrounded by power. It refused ti acknowledged your weakness and made you feel as if you had a plan of action, causing the darkness in your heart to wither away. That was how he could describe her, he supposed. A shadow in the light... The shade of a leaning tree in the heat of the desert. There was no fear to be had in darkness. After all it was cool, safe and hid you from your enemies. It was truly fantastic to be filled with that kind of security.
He reached up to press his hand to his shirt, the loose blouse wrinkling beneath his drying gloves. His heart was still beating. He was still awake. Exhaling he was almost knock from his stride by her confidence. Stallos nickered, the horse taking the new pace in confidence with another horse by his side. He seemed a playful old gelding that seemed more sociable than his 'owner'. Nex, after all, did not own him. He had taken him from his farm, and the two begrudgingly traveled together because neither wished to be caged any longer.
The man took note of her speaking. He canted his head to the side before looking ahead. "Traveling gives me time to read books. I once read a story about a Dream that thought itself alive." He explained. "A shadow was once dreamt up by a delinquent to do all the wrongs he could not carry out himself. He would dream of becoming a great bandit king that could take whatever he wanted. In time the shadow began to reason: why should I remain at the whims of a child? So the dream woke up and cast the world into darkness. Some say this darkness came to strike a balance in a world too long bathed in light. In doing this those condemned and trapped by the light were freed." He closed his eyes, that soft smile returning to him, though it was not quite as hollow it had been. "Of course there is a great discussion concerning the idea that not all things which come from the shadows -- are evil." He cocked his head, turning to peer behind them.
The storm was keeping pace with theirs, but it was not catching up. While they rode, upon a hill, waited vultures. Or, better to say: a band of vultures. With some on horseback and some on foot a number of bandits watched as the rickety cart and its guard crossed the plains. A tall woman rode atop a black mare with a white mane, two other goons on horse back at either side, and behind them three individuals on foot: a woman and two other men. They were armed with blades, while the one other woman carried a bow and quiver of arrows. With a smirk she sent her goons ahead. First: the two on horseback, with the ones on foot moving down the way to set up their ambush. She carried a spear and would rear her stallion before riding down the hill to support the mounted goons. It seems they would become target for the vultures.
isadora † ● 908 ● Terrible, bitter, but a reality for many!
DESTINED TO SEEK LIFE BEYOND THE SHORE JUST OUT OF REACH -- FLOWING LIKE TIME THE PATH IS YOURS TO CLIMB
Some had always considered it strange, that Isadora traveled on her own even before she had found herself in Hyrule. Such a friendly face and companionable person did not seem the type to stay alone, and in truth she rather hated being alone. But for so long she had simply been alone. In Termina there were not many who would willingly give up their lives and normalcy to travel the lands, scraping by for gold by fighting monsters. And those that did were often are the less reputable side. On the whole, Isadora made herself quite the contradiction.
Perhaps the small slip of paper was a better insurance than usual, it would be a lie to say that every job Isadora had taken had ended in profit. Rarely did people lie, most usually too grateful to someone who saved their life, but she’d known merchants shady enough to ‘forget’ promise of payment. With this, it felt less likely to happen. “I suppose now I have proof you owe me, at least. As long as we get to your destination alive.”
The story he tells sounds like something she had heard long ago, perhaps her parents had told her it one night. But it sounded like a tale the Sheikah told. Shadows that were not necessarily evil, of tired of being told they must carry out some pre-destined role because of your birth. Perhaps that was why she found being in Hyrule so troublesome, and why she had been alone more often than not upon her arrival.
“How much do you know of the Sheikah? The Sheikah of where I am from, are a bit different than that of Hyrule. But it sounds like a story I once heard as a child.” She tells him, and there’s a friendly smile curling the corners of her lips upwards, revealing the small dimple in her cheeks as she did so.
Her smile only lasts as long as till the next roll of thunder, and then Isadora is turning her attention back to the road, and keeping a wary eye on that storm. Traveling with only the sound of a cart rolling and horses trotting was a normal comfort for the young woman, only punctuated by the storm at their backs. Her watch is careful, scanning the horizon for anything unusual, so when she noticed the bandits it was near immediate. At first, she had hoped they were simply other travelers, but they never left their spot of watch on a hill, though it made them just as noticeable to anyone traveling this direction. One of her hands drifted to the pommel of her sword, the other still fisted into her reins and she turned casually to Nex, so as not to alert their new company.
“Do you see those men, on the hill? Bandits. It seems the storm and daylight is not enough to keep them at bay,” she says, voice quiet, and then two of them began moving towards them on horseback, some on foot. The ones on foot would be easy enough to take care of, though the addition of horses always made things difficult. Isadora briefly looks at Nex before moving Cimeron ahead of the cart, she was being paid to protect him and his goods, it would do no one well to let them go ahead.
Isadora watched, three on horseback would be a challenge most likely. “Can you fight?” she asks, five on one were rather less than appealing odds.
Traveling was a way of life for Nex. Much of his youth was spent on the road and even more of his adolescence was among the rolling wagons of a caravan. He was accustomed to travel, but because of his life in the presence of his immediate family: the loneliness that came with solitude was a difficult concept to adhere to. Despite his growing negligence for his own health or the sharp words he spake to his cousin for a lifetime of harassment: the merchant could find no greater delight than traveling with what was left of his broken family. Pessimism carried a man only so far and while he was terrified of being alone it was always much safer. You need not think of others when there were no others about. There was no concern if you should eat your fill or share a cut of you profits. If danger rolled about your companions need not be weighed in on the compass of ones ever shifting morality.
Wasn't it fair to assume that one would do anything to survive? But it would not be long until the guilt which came after allowing harm to pass others could one feel what was the most horrific and damning weight. It was something that few could survive with. Even if they deserved it...
His brow quirked at her words, concerning her pay. "I suppose you do, but if you lose it will do you little good." He pointed the digits of his right hand towards the parchment, his left gripping the horse's lead still, the movement subtle, but one that later comes to light as important information. "The trouble with paper is that it gets wet easily." Which was why what few of his precious books lay folded and tucked under the tarps beneath the canvas. "That is the difficult part, now, isn't it?" He mused because getting to their destination alive was always the difficult part of travel.
...perhaps that was why he preferred it --?
He reached up towards his hair, brushing a few of his wayward bangs from his features. Sighing he would curl back the strands of cobalt hair before turning his eyes toward her, the question rolling off her lips helping him piece together just why he had no idea what tribe she had come from: because she did not matter. His right hand slowly drifted back down to his lap as his slouch straightened, just a bit. Thin brows furrowed at the absurdist concept. He picked up a Sheikah? Of all the peoples he could have run into, huh? It was not that the merchant had any ill-proceedings towards the Sheikah, but he knew next to nothing about them, so her divulging information rapt his attention in ways few things could. His right eye pinched up curiously as he canted his head towards her. His mind played at the thoughts before he exhaled a dry chuckle.
"Of all the people..." He said aloud, uncaring if she was struck with offense or not, or maybe it did not matter if she was offended by his remark. "Well if you are interested, I have that book on me. I've read it many times, so it has no value to me any longer." It was from a time he wished to forget anyway.
As they rode it seemed that they could not evade the inevitability of making friends, though these were not the sort of friends you'd wish to invite to tea. He visibly stiffened at the prospect of conflict. His hands tightened on the horse's lead and his body regained its slouch as if trying to hide the tall man in the shadows of his cart's canvas. But there would be no avoiding this, would it. He despised them -- the living. Why couldn't they just leave him alone? He reached up and cupped the side of his face, feeling a bit of pain stab through it. Her voice rattled him from his mental descent. Raising his head he looked to the side.
"I don't, but it isn't hard to not feel their greedy eyes..." That was probably the chilling pinch he felt in his bones. It was hard not to feel the sensation of eyes on you, but without her gaze he would not have known the direction from which they rode in on. He was remiss to respond. He did not want her to see him fighting. That would reveal a truth about him. "...yes." He finally responded.
He weighed his options on the matter. Leaving his cart behind would be problematic but so would attempting to outrun them if there were that many on horseback. He was no strategist and his only weapon was a small blade on his hip. But he was a Zora and if nothing else he had a mouth on him. He sat up straight and raised his head. For a moment he seemed to radiate the pride and vigor that a Zora was oft known to. It was an arrogance native to the warrior race, one that was backed up by their hunting prowess and command over the tides. He had sheltered himself from the view of others, this much was obvious. He hid away the integral parts of his Zora heritage and what for --? Well that was another story and an unnecessary passage in an unwritten story.
"Don't worry the rest of the caravan should be coming from the north! Let's meet them!" He would speak with an audible tone, voice carrying out as he shifted his cart to turn northward toward the base of the Valley as if to diverge from the main road. A dark look overtook his expression as he turned the back of his cart to the encroaching bandits. "Decide now..." he spoke so that only Isadora could hear. "If you hesitate in cutting them down they will be back with more." As if asking permission to refuse them mercy... Which he, in fact, was.
He did not have his armor on so he could not act recklessly as it oft did. He turned the cart to give them an advantage because so long as it was between them and the bandits: they would have an increased chance in avoiding getting pincered. As they maneuvered one of the bandits cut off from the others on horseback: it was the woman with the black mare. She would ride ahead to attempt and scout for the other caravan. They couldn't charge in as they planned, but there was a tangible moment of hesitation at the mention of more, which would force them to hurry. They hand't enough hands to take out a whole caravan. One of the horsemen would ride around the left side of the cart in an attempt to get in on Isadora while the other rode around the right. The one to the right hand a mace, while the one on the left was armed with a sword. For now the woman, who carried a lance, had ridden ahead.
The three on foot would adjust their ambush as the cart had, unexpectedly, turned away from the path.
The man with the mace would laugh and make move to swing towards Isadora. He was slow, but the strength behind the swine was aimed for the flank of her horse. The man coming up towards the merchant's side also made move to strike at the horses. Clearly these bandits knew their work. If you take out the horses first: the caravans would be paralyzed.
isadora † ● 1256 ● Vultures are like any other bird: just cut off their wings