By Brian Flood
Chapter 11 - Aftermath
Twelve Leagues Southeast of Yarthrain
The Sword Coast Backlands
Late Night, 3rd Day of Marpenoth; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)
Keeping an arrow nocked and an eye on the departing shadows, Rashid makes my way over to Yassir, having noted that he seems to be the worst wounded, and check to make sure that he is alright.
The D'tarig waves the Bedine away, indicating that he can care for his own wounds. He reaches down and tears a strip of fabric from along the hem of his aba. He uses the cloth to construct a makeshift bandage.
The Bedine next moves to check on the two elves. He finds Aranor still standing watch over the northern side of the campsite, his longbow held ready in his hands. Aris is kneeling nearby, examining on of the slain rucha.
"They are indeed rucha," she says to Rashid. "They are more ordinarily called 'goblins' in the Common tongue. They are generally raiders who attack only when they have overwhelming numbers - which they apparently thought they had this 'eve. It would appear that they were sorely mistaken."
"They are not the only one surprised by your ferocity," the elven minstrel continues, her eyes gazing deeply into Rashid's. "Even against our hated foes the loka - or orcs as they are known to most - we elves tend to show some mercy. Even to those that are fleeing from us. Conditions where you hail from must be harsh, indeed, to merit the utter destruction of every foe you stumble across!"
"They are harsh indeed," Rashid replies, continuing to scan the darkness for movement. "Such an attack in my land would not be made by my people, unless they intended to kill our tribe. Raids at night tend to be made by individuals, or at most a small group, and usually with the intention of acquiring camels or horses."
Returning the elf's stare, with a hint of fire deep within his slate eyes, the Bedine warrior continues, "Such an attack is, however, common amongst our enemies, the Black Robes and the Laerti. They attack in the dead of night with the sole intention of bringing death and destruction, or worse, slavery. You have not, I suspect, woken in the morning to find the partly eaten remains of a friend, who had the misfortune to be careless when the Laetri raid your tribe."
"The rucha were retreating cautiously and may have considered returning with any friends should they have been allowed to do so. Certainly, I would expect such from the enemies that I am familiar with; would you leave Black Robes behind you under similar circumstances?"
After but a brief pause for thought, and remembering an earlier rebuke at the hands the elven minstrel, Rashid continues but with some of the venom draining from his voice and eyes. "I apologize if it appears that I am criticizing your ways, as it is not my intention. We are products of our surroundings, and of what has been necessary to become to survive in our lands. I am not certain that we could take a similar assault without being able to rest and bind our wounds. The killing of the last few, which I accept may appear to be merciless, caused them to panic and rout in terror. I think that it is far less likely that they will now return to bother us, and it may also dissuade them from similar attacks in the future."
Rashid continues to scan the grasses waiting for the reply that he could feel building as he talked. He is not disappointed.
"I see," the elven woman responds with a disapproving tone but with sympathy in her eyes. Nodding her head slightly in Yassir's direction, she says, "What of your friend? Are all of his kind so fond of venomous poisons?"
"The simple answer to the question is yes," Rashid begins. "The poison that they use, however, as far as I had been aware, tends to put people to sleep - although it can result in a more violent reaction with some races. Certainly, it is to such as the rucha, it seems - or Yassir is using some other poison. It is, I believe, the D'tarig way of surviving in a hostile environment where most of their enemies are larger, and often more numerous, than they are. It is not to say that I agree with its use, but is something that I accept as their way."
Aris nods slowly. "So be it. It is obvious that rucha, or rather - goblins - are adversely affected by Yassir's toxin. That is something we should probably keep in mind if we meet another band of these raiders."
Nodding at that, having a final glance at the now quiet grasslands, and noting that Aris is unhurt, Rashid replaces his arrow in its quiver, his bow over his shoulder, and inspects his wounds. Drawing out his wineskin, he washes them out to prevent infection and heads over to his saddlebags to get a small sack. He cuts this into strips and proceeds to bind his wounds.
Having cleaned and bound his injuries to his satisfaction, Rashid then turns to Aranor, who had remained watching for any signs of the goblins' return, "If you wish to see to the cut to your chest. I have some wine if you wish to clean it out. I will move the bodies a short distance away, down wind from the camp."
Aranor nods his thanks and cedes the watch to Rashid. He uses the Bedine's offered wine to clean his wound and then binds in tightly with a strip of cloth.
Meanwhile, Rashid and Yassir begin the grisly task of moving the slain goblins away from the group's campsite. As they do so, Yassir uses his jambiya to cut an ear from each of the goblins that he personally killed. He sticks the ears into one of his belt pouches. He also uses the curved blade to slit open their pockets and purses. In doing so, the D'tarig eventually gathers over one hundred silver coins, which he collects in his pockets until the pair returns to the camp - at which point, he dumps the collected loot into his backpack.
Rashid looks Yassir in the eye, and asks in the D'tarig's native tongue, "<I presume that you are just putting those in there for safekeeping until we have an opportunity to divide them with our elven friends?>"
"<Er oh, yes that is what I had planned,>" Yassir responds. The D'tarig seems rather chagrined at having been noticed as well as disappointed that he will have to share the coins with the others.
With a grin and a pat on the back for his diminutive friend, Rashid says, "<I thought nothing else, my friend. If you want to go and rest by the fire, I will continue with my watch.>"
With that, Rashid goes over to his saddlebags and replenishes his quiver from the spare stored there. He next checks his camels. Noting that they are unhurt, he gives them both a reassuring pat. Then he continues his slow, watchful circuits of the camp.
The Bedine finds nothing unusual during his precautionary patrols, and eventually the travelers return to their bedrolls. Ensuring that their weapons are close at hand, they lie down and close their eyes to receive some well-deserved rest.
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