A Ransom Note!

From Redwall MUCK Wiki

Characters: Aibne, Ferilla, Rorri, Zephyr

Rorri has arrived.

"Th' odds of findin' th' kit 'ave t' be slim at this point, Skip." Rorri's voice sounds from the underbrush, along with the skittering sound of a paw pushing some reeds aside to clear a path. The long blades of aquatic grass scrape like a legion of swords as the riverdog steps past, trailing his woodsman's axe in case things get... hairy? Hairless? In case they go south. "Tugg saw 'em days ago, and I'd bet that lizard-" he pauses, shuddering slightly at the thought, "has an appetite f'r... y'know... I bet he has an appetite."

Zephyr is only half listening to Rorri as he makes his pessimistic, albeit good, observation. She's pretty angry at the moment - mostly at herself for not having gotten this taken care of earlier. "Don't think like that, mate. Only discourages everyone else." They're looking for anything - footprints, scratches, fur, anything. She splashes into the river at the bank and wades upstream a little bit, hoping to find some prints in the mud. They'd be worn down by now - three days later - but they'd at least point them in the right direction. "We have to look until we find somethin'."

Aibne comes in from the willows, out of Camp Willow.

Aibne has arrived.

Sadly enough, the stark white ermine is still probably the most naturally stealthy of Jaksor's motley crew, excepting perhaps the lizard, who's a bit of a unknown quantity for the moment. Therefore, she's the one who volunteered to run the ransom note to the otter camp. She's still not exactly sure where she'll place it. She trusts nailing to the front gate is a sure way to get herself caught, and the huge amount of waterfront activity made swimming it across a dodgy prospect. So now she's crouched on the opposite bank from the two otters, who she's been watching for a few seconds now, having frozen motionless amongst the rushes and cattails, her paws sinking deep in the bank mud as her violet eyes peer out. She's not carrying her sword, putting her at a distinct disadvantage if things came to blows.

"Just... being realistic, I guess," Rorri offers cautiously, not wanting to stir the ire of the skipper, interim or not. His paw clutches tightly to the haft the axe he's toting, a nice piece of craftsmanship designed for chopping wood and ease of transport. It's not a warrior's weapon, which suggests Rorri is, in fact, not a warrior. "Bu' wha' if we never /do/ find anything? Are we gonna stay out here till we stumble across a whole mess of those lizards?" Lizards are freaky, and the chances of seeing one do not sit well with the young otter.

Zephyr shakes her head and then realizes that Rorri can't see it. "No. We have other things we can do. According to the otter who saw everything, it was a hodgepodge group of vermin what took Mint. We need to find out where their camp is eventually and rid the area of their presence." She sighs. "But our priority is finding the dibbun. Alive, preferably." The Skipper is armed with a rapier but it's still belted to her side. She has no reason to use it just now.

Aibne walks along the bank, he only has a sling as he lost his blade to a pike. He is close to the other otters as he walks along the river bank carefully

The jill isn't able to make out what the two otters are saying, and without a closer look and some prior knowledge, she has no clue if these riverdogs are merely scouts, or actually people of significance. The one with the axe seems to be leading, so her eyes follow him a ways as he walks along the bank. When the female otter with the rapier has just passed opposite to her, she drops a little lower and works her way through the reeds in the opposite direction from them, hoping to slip into the water behind them and cross. As she moves, there's a little swaying of the stalks of cat tails, and the occaisional quick flash of white fur as her head peeks through a gap.

"Righ', righ', of course, Skipper," Rorri answers, nodding away agreeably, again unseen. "I'm just not sure as we're ready for all tha', /tonight/, are we? We're just lookin' for th' kit, I thought." The young otter peers with little success at the ground before him, trying to scry some sort of hidden clue through the gloaming darkness. "Not tha' I don't want t' fight 'em or anything," he adds, swallowing nervously.

Zephyr sighs again and stops in the shallow water along the bank. The mud sort of accepts her as one of its own and she sinks in a little bit. "You're right. It's too dark. What are we doing out here?" Angry, she picks up a rock and throws it as far as she can across the river. "I just feel like...like..." Zephyr stops and mutters many things under her breath. "We're otters, for goodness' sake! We should be able to solve this problem!"

The stone lands with a loud splash at Ferilla's feet, right as the ermine was starting to slip into the river. The shallow water near the bank gulps the rock down, sending up a spray that drenches the jill, making her stumble back and into the rushes, knocking over a thick stand of them because of how she fell backwards onto them.

"Whazzat?" Rorri's voice is borderline-shout, with a bit of nervous holler thrown in, spinning towards the sound of the splash and subsequent... second splash, whirling with his axe. Of course he didn't see the Skipper throw the rock; it's dark out here, after all. "-Mint! Mint, is tha' you, dearie? Come on out, darlin', we're goin' 'ome!"

Wallace pages, "Gotta have something to work off of. Spreads your weight out, gives you some support, etc." to you.

"Sh sh sh!" Zephyr scrambles to reach Rorri and push him down into the bushes. "I threw a rock! An' Mint's an otter." She hisses as she crouches down. "She wouldn't make such a loud noise in the water." Someone else is out there but she isn't sure how to break this news to Rorri without freaking him out further.

Now sufficiently wet and muddy, Ferilla's white fur doesn't make as much of a focal point as she gets onto her knees in the tall grass by the bank, sinking steadily into the bank, in fact. She looks absolutely livid, eyebrows drawn in tight over her vivid purple irises. Through the gently swaying rushes, a close observer would notice these eyes maybe the occisional flash of muddy white fur, but otherwise she sits motionless in a silent rage, worried about moving too much. She figures she could sprint away before they're any threat to her, unless they have javelins, which is very likely.

"Unless she /fell/," Rorri hisses, taking Zephyr's cue for silence. "Because y' startled 'er with a rock!" Still, he shuts up, grudgingly lifting his axe out of the water and slicking his paw down the haft to clear away the water from the wood as best he can. Not as good as a javelin, but much more familiar in his paws and more comforting in his mind. He squints in the female otter's direction, trying to watch what she's doing through the darkness.

Zephyr has no idea what to do. "What do we do?" She's looking across the river but talking to Rorri, assuming for some reason that the other otter might have a better clue as to how to deal with creepy situations like this one. "Do we just...yell something?" That's what she really wants to do. So she does. "'Oy! Who's there?"

Well, it's clear they haven't truely spotted her. The ermine presses a few reeds out of her line of sight, trying to pick out the otters on the opposite bank by focusing on Zephyr's voice. She gets a general area, but it's sort of a toss up where exactly they're located. She sighs. This is ludricrous. All to deliver a lousy ransom note. Fortunately, one of them had a small brass tube to store the vermin's demands in, so it's not as waterlogged as she now is. Keeping her eyes on their bank and hoping they'll make a move first, she dips a paw down, trying to recover the rock that was thrown at her.

What th-? "Y' tell me t' /shut it/ and y' shove me in th' bushes /just so's y' can yell at it y'rself?/" Rorri's rapid-fire rant of disbelief is still low in volume but raising in pitch as he goes. He stares at the female, then drops his face into his paw. "...we're gonna be eaten by that lizard. We are." Settling down for a moment after getting all that off his chest, Rorri glances up. "Stop nudgin' me with your foot. That's no way t' communicate."

Zephyr briefly glances at Rorri with a dubious look on her face before moving off to the side. "We're not going to get eaten!" She whispers hoarsely. Then she yells again, "Hey! You on the other side of the river! Come /out/!"

Ferilla hates engaging in conversation with what are, in effect, her marks. So unprofessional. But at this point, she doesn't have a lot of alternative. "Lemme think about that for a moment.." she calls back across, wiping the rock off on the dry side of her jacket. "No." she tries to keep her words short, limiting their ability to pinpoint her location more than they likely already have. She, on the other hand, has just about worked out where the female is. She rests the rock on her knee, drawing the brass tube from her jacket and weighing it in her paw thoughtfully.

The female is right next to the male, of course, where Rorri can hardly believe the bravery and/or stupidity of his friend and leader. However, he's momentarily distracted by something sucking on his bare toes, which he kicks at with a "guhh" sound. The splash of the kick and the subsequent departure of a rather large carp might distract the ermine.

"Shhh!!" Zephyr waves her paws around. "Did you hear that?" She's referring, of course, to the voice from the other side of the river. "Okay, fine, you don't have to come out. But we're looking for an otter kit who was kidnapped from Camp Willow four days ago. Do you know anything about that?"

The jill can't help but chuckles dryly, inaudible to all but the most attentive ears. "Oh, aye, did hear 'bout that, real shame." she calls casually, turning the brass tube in her paws, judging it heavy enough to make the toss across the river. "But here, I got me an idea to help 'er." she says, standing just long enough to chunk the brass cylinder at the two voices, her foot slipping in the mud as she does so, the tube coming up just short of her targets on the opposite bank, landing with a loud splash. The rock she throws next has a better time of it, landing right in the rushes where the voices are coming from. She doesn't stick around to see if the rock caused any injuries, scrambling through the mud and reeds away from the bank.

"Of course," Rorri replies with a nervous chuckle. "Tha' was m' plan, t'distract her, Skip." Right. The otter keeps a paw choked up high on the haft of his personal axe, watching the opposite shore carefully as the ermine makes her reply, trying to pick out their ephemeral emissary, and is rewarded for his efforts by a hefty rock to the face. "Ah, cripes!" he shouts in surprise and pain, reeling back and covering his muzzle with his free paw.

Zephyr lets Rorri handle Rorri and goes instead to grab the shiny object in the water. It takes some creative maneuvering but she manages to snag it and get it to shore. Only then does she ask, "You alright, mate?"

"Perfect," Rorri replies through a plugged nose, waving off her non-existent efforts to help with his axe. "Don' worry 'bout me. Let's jus'... let's get back t' camp before someun sends tha' lizard over here."

"Good, good." Zephyr pulls the tube apart enough to find out that there's paper or something inside. "There's something in here. C'mon, let's get back to camp." And then she's off and away. Poor Rorri.