Seeking Assistance (Completed)

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Entry 1663 16/12/06 00:00
"We cannot let word get out," Sir Alden said to his companion. "This means we can only seek help outside of the castle."

"Understood," the fellow soldier said. "Will you be recruiting people set to patrol Leotyne or will you be seeking outside help?"

Alden walked into the markets in the middle of the town outside the castle. "Anyone who is a soldier can help. I fear they may need fighting skills."

"What about mercenaries?" the soldier asked. 

Alden paused. "Yes. Mercenaries too."

[1]
 
Entry 1664 17/12/06 00:00
Through the market came a young man in the distinctive gold uniform of Goldwin's regal Archers, he was mounted on a horse, suggesting he had just come to his destination. His bow, clearly a personal weapon and not just a general issue judging by it's crafting, and quiver both slung across his back.

The young man quickly dismounted and lead his horse over to Sir Alden. He then knelt, still holding his horse's bridle, acknowledging the man's higher station then stood and saluted.
"Aaron, son of William Huntmaster of Trelinia, I serve with Lord Goldwin's Archers." He said, clearly proud to be the son of Goldwin's Huntmaster, even if it wasn't a very high position. "I was traveling this way with messages for Lord Radcliff and heard word you might need assistance."
 
Entry 1665 17/12/06 00:00
Alden turned to his companion and smiled. "Well, Aaron, it seems Goldwin has finally started thinking of someone but himself. Ahh, who am I kidding? That's not going to happen." He laughed at himself for a moment. "I'm already impressed with you. Write his name on the list."

"Yes sir."

"Well, I have been here some time and nobody else has expressed interesting," Alden began, "so I think we can begin now." He led his companion, Aaron, and the other two soldiers who seemed to be men of Jevithem a little out of the market where it was quieter. "You will all receive your equal share of pay upon completion of this task, though if I see any outstanding performances, I may be tempted to raise the pay a little."

The soldiers seemed impressed by this, and most of them had already assumed the task would be a very minor thing. 

"I know what these men are capable of," Alden said. "How about you, Aaron? In words, how can you prove to me that I should even hand you a scraping of gold?"
 
Entry 1666 17/12/06 00:00
Aaron picked up two apples as he passed a fruit cart, paying for them of course. He tucked them into the pouch on his belt and took his bow from his back and took the time to string it. He then looked over each of the men with Sir Alden, then to the senior Knight himself.

"Sir, if I may, I present a challenge. A test, if you will." He rested his bow in the crook of one arm and took both apples from his belt pouch and held them out slightly, one in each hand. "One of your men, as you say you know what they are capable of, and myself. Two apples. Both get thrown into the air. Each gets pierced by an arrow, or cut by a sword, but... Neither touches the ground."
 
Entry 1667 17/12/06 00:00
Alden nodded slowly, watching Aaron's every move. 

"I won't try to guess anything," he said. "Colten. Take an apple."

The man on Alden's left stepped forward and did so. "Now what?" he asked.
 
Entry 1668 17/12/06 00:00
Once one of the apples was taken, Aaron tucked the other in his pouch for a moment while he took hold of his bow then drew and nocked an arrow from his quiver. With the arrow set he took the apple from his pouch once more and held it in his right hand for a moment and looked to Colten. "On three, throw your apple as high as you can then pierce or chop it but, as I said, no part or either apple should touch the ground."

Aaron then looked around, making sure there were no spectators too close, "One. Two. Three." On three he turned and threw the apple almost straight up in the air, high enough that it was almost difficult to see with the angle of the sun. He then wiped his bow up after hooking the string with two fingers, drew back on the string in one fluid movement and shot the arrow almost directly after the apple. Fruit and shaft met in mid air, the latter slicing right through the core of the apple vertically, then flipped and fell back towards the ground.
Aaron took a single step, turned and reached out with his right hand and snatched the falling arrow from the air, catching it just before the feather flights. Neither the point of the arrow, nor the apple touched the ground.
 
Entry 1669 18/12/06 00:00
Alden took the apple from Colten and handed it back to Aaron. 

"I don't need to see anything else. I think you've proven yourself worthy enough for now," Alden said. "Now, onto the matters at hand... What I tell you must NOT reach the ears of any other living thing. The prince has gone missing, and only the Lord and Lady of Leotyne know this. Of course, as Lance's personal bodyguard, I know this too. Lord Radcliff has ordered I collect a few troops who are not part of the soldiers of Leotyne so that rumours do not spread in our castle. If I hear rumours have spread in the other provinces, it's your heads that I'll go after. I hope that is clear."

He paused and drew a breath. "But I'm not here to threaten you. I was instructed to guide you through the mountains of Leotyne to find him but we must first search the town. I have done a small search myself and discovered nothing suspicious on the first rounds. Aaron, what do you propose we do?"
 
Entry 1670 19/12/06 00:00
Aaron carefully unstrung his bow then hung it back across his back with his quiver. "I'm no expert at finding things in towns, Sir." He started. "But, since you ask sir, I understand those who hear rumours can sometimes be more inclined to talk to strangers since they feel it is less likely for the rumours they hear to reach officials like yourself."
 
Entry 1671 19/12/06 00:00
Alden just nodded, barely take note of anything Aaron said. He then walked down the alley. The two swordsmen glanced at Aaron and then back to Alden. "

I doubt the kidnapper is still in the city, anyway," he said, somewhat to himself. "It's bustling with people and soldiers. I think we should checkthe outskirts of the castle. Afterall, it is full of secret passages and the like."

He led his small troop out of the market and out of the town to the ragged wilderness just outside. [1] 

"How is your eyesight, Aaron? See anyone or anything out there?"
 
Entry 1672 21/12/06 00:00
Aaron looked around after following the others to where they were going to search, though he kept his eyes focused mostly on the ground and any foliage in the area. Perhaps looking for tracks and other signs of passage suggesting that he had some skill at tracking, understandable if he spent any time working with his father.

[1]
 
Entry 1673 21/12/06 00:00
Arden was watching Aaron and shaking his head. 

"We're not in Goldwin's country. Footprints and stone don't mix," he said, and he led them deeper into the mountains, soon out of sight of Leoytne castle as they dropped behind a sheer wall of stone. "We'll split up," he said. "You can go with Colten, Aaron." And they both walked away from them. 

Colten watched Alden leave and then looked to Aaron. 

"There's something about this that really gets to me," Colten said to him. "I think the castle should do an all-out search, not ask the other countries for help. No offence."
 
Entry 1674 21/12/06 00:00
Once Alden and the other man split off, Aaron crouched for a moment and looked back along their path. "Footprints and stone might not mix." He more or less mumbled to himself. "But gravel slips, loose stones move, sharp edges catch at clothing." He reached out and picked something from a sharp edge on a large stone.

"Hmm?" He asked looking back to Colten. "None taken. Something's not sitting right with me either." Then he stood and started to walk. "Lets keep going."
 
Entry 1675 21/12/06 00:00
They both did so. Alden and the other man were out of sight. 

"Well, you're not putting much thought into this, are you?" he asked, his voice taking a slightly mocking tone. "Alden wants us to spread rumours. There is no reason he would ask people who don't know this land and its people to search for one missing child - prince or not. It doesn't make sense at all." 

He continued walking by Aaron, looking along the ground as Aaron was doing, but not taking notice of anything. 

"I think Alden is trying to cause trouble. I think he's t-"

The man's speech was abrutly stopped as an arrow plunged into his side. A moment later, he fell over, dead. Deadly silence followed.
 
Entry 1676 21/12/06 00:00
Aaron froze in a crouch, quickly calculating and scanning likely vantage points that the arrow might have come from. If there was one thing he knew well it was the flight of an arrow and that was something that didn't change no matter who's land you were on.
 
Entry 1677 21/12/06 00:00
Scanning or not, there was no sign of anyone else nearby. The arrow seemed to have come from the direction he standing in relation to Colten. Then Alden and the other man came from nearby. Alden ran to him, yelling. 

"You killed Colten!" he cried. He walked up to Aaron, who was crouching over Colten's body. "That's an arrow of Goldwin in him! You're under arrest!"

[1]
 
Entry 1678 21/12/06 00:00
[1]

Aaron stood calmly and held his arms out towards Alden, wrists together, apparently accepting of being placed under arrest.

"It's not one of mine." He said calmly weather Alden was listening or not. "I came with a score quiver [2]. And the fletching is different. I fletch my arrows myself."
 
Entry 1679 21/12/06 00:00
"Of course it's not one of your arrows," Alden said. "That would be too obvious." 

He took Aaron's wrists in his hands with an unusually strong grip and slapped him in irons. 

[1]

Aaron was locked in a cell in a dark and dank room deep in the dungeon immediately after being returned to the castle. It seemed as though nobody had to hear any story. He was just locked up.
 
Entry 1680 21/12/06 00:00
Aaron crossed his legs, rested his hands in his lap, closed his eyes and focused on his thoughts. Normally he could do this for hours. In this situation he'd just have to try it and see.

[1]
 
Entry 1681 22/12/06 00:00
There was a man in the cell beside Aaron. He didn't even bother to look around the prison when he was thrown in so he didn't see the large number of people locked up. 

"Another one," the man said, leaning against the bars with his shoulders. "He got you too, did he?"
 
Latest Post Entry 1682 22/12/06 00:00
Aaron didn't answer the man in the next cell for quite some time, he was meditating for probably an hour or more - kind of rude actually from some people's point of view.

Eventually the archer opened his eyes and looked to the man. "Yes." He replied quite simply. "Poor set-up too, in my opinion."
 
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