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Heroes Never Panic, Part Three
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Lebrenth



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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Heroes Never Panic, Part Three  

PART THREE BEGINS


WARNING! It's another violent and gory part of a violent and gory story!
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Lebrenth



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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Heroes Never Panic, Chapter 15  

Chapter Fifteen of "Heroes Never Panic"


Manning walks past Bradshaw, who stands there with his head bowed. The sun is high, fighting to tear through the hazy clouds and winning just enough to give the city a warm glow into every street. But the warmth and light does nothing for any of the warders. Stanimir got Haymen arrested and killed Captain Taggert, and he lives. Some of the warders had been following Haymen since they were boys, including Bradshaw, and the only commander they had that they could trust in his absence is dead. Manning doesn't want this responsibility, he wants vengeance, and the only thing that stops him from following Stanimir is Taggert himself. In Acaria, about 8 months ago, Captain Taggert had a bullet in his belly from a flanker, but he refused to leave his men behind. Then when the artillery started firing on the wrong part of the city and Pullman was crushed under a collapsing building, he was sent back immediately with Taggert's horse, while Taggert proceeded on foot. Taggert would do anything for his men, and he certainly wouldn't condone Manning abandoning the Warders. Manning knows he can't go alone to find Stanimir. The warders are more than just tired, they're leaderless and demoralized. They need direction, not a man with a vendetta.

But this is only temporary. He will find Stanimir, it's just a matter or time.

"Let's go," Manning says with a crack in his voice midway. He stifles himself, holding in the flooding emotion and starts walking back. The warders follow glumly, the adrenaline wears off and they drag themselves along. The tavern, when they reach it, looks forlorn and unwelcoming. They follow the drying blood trail back inside.

"You," Manning addresses a warder while avoiding looking in Taggert's direction, "I need you to take the captain."

"Where, sir?"

"Just somewhere safe," is all Manning can say. Fortunately, that seems to be all the warder needs and he gets help carrying him. Manning still can not bring himself to look at Taggert's body as it passes a few feet from him and laid on the floor in a backroom. Meanwhile, the warders wait for no one to start eating. Each bite or sip is enjoyed as if it was the first time, but as much as they enjoy it, they do not talk or have even a hint of a grin. Manning eats slowly... very slowly. Almost unconsciously he says under his breath:

"You haven't eaten, captain." And he looks at the empty spot across the table. After a few more savorless bites, he pushes the plate to the other side, sliding the spoon next, turning it around as though setting a place for someone.

"Sir?" Bradshaw says, approaching Manning from the side without taking particular notice of the emptiness. Manning doesn't respond. "Sir, a few of us are thinking we should go find out where they're taking Haymen.... We aren't too tired either... we shouldn't have any trouble.... Sir?"

Manning looks at the table. The captain would know what to do. Bradshaw backs away awkwardly. He and two others speak amongst themselves before leaving. The ale begins lightening the mood and the talking begins, soon followed by laughter and the occasional song. One warder even begins arranging a few lyrics for a song of their latest disaster, which is received with laughing disapproval. Manning remains quiet, as the young grey-haired Rob Davison sits beside him.

"Expecting someone?" he says referring to the empty spot.

"What do you want?" Manning says tiredly.

"I just wanted to say I really respected your captain. I could tell he was a man of character," he says, and waits for response, but there is none. "He would have made a good leader. I'm sorry we weren't able to catch Stanimir, but he won't make it far. That was a good shot, by the way. He tried to dodge, but you got him.... Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"

"Cassian Army... and I did a lot of hunting."

"Really?" he says, surprised and impressed, "Vampires or werewolves?"

"Rabbits... deer.... Dumb things like that."

"Oh... sorry I misunderstood."

"No matter."

"He died well, you shouldn't grieve too much," Rob says, trying very hard to be sympathetic. Again the conversation dies. "... May I ask... what were his last words?"

"Is that what you want to know?"

"He wasn't afraid... I just wanted to know what he said... I'm sorry."

"... He told me to take his name."

"Why?" Rob says perplexed.

"I'm a deserter... his name is clean."

"I see... are you going to?"

"... I don't know...."

"No hurry. Listen, I know you want to be left alone, but you aren't alone, Gregory. We've all suffered loss.... when you need someone to talk to about it, I'm a good listener."

Again no response and Rob leaves Manning to himself, which is how he remains, even as he falls asleep hunched over the table.

Leaving hours behind in his slumber, filled with memories of his military campaigns, the warders all get their sleep with watches arranged by themselves, till Bradshaw returns and a gathering of warders wakes him as an argument heats up.

"No, the Admiral comes first! We can't risk separating the group!"

"We only need a few hands to scalp! It will be a picnic! I'll do it myself if I have to!" Bradshaw defends.

"You'll need an extra for the passage."

"Then give me one man," Bradshaw says.

"You're the only one who knows the prison!" his opponent insists.

"I don't 'know' it, I've just been there before. And Seager has been there too."

"I think the whole plan stinks! The Admiral wouldn't do it!"

"The Admiral isn't here, that's the point!"

Manning looks for the captain quickly... the cold food sits where he left it, untouched, and he remembers the captain isn't there, and that's as far as he takes it. Anyway, the captain could kill this argument. Manning listens to them and surmises that they have a plan for "getting Haymen out" of jail... it will just take a little gunpowder... or rather, a lot of gunpowder. They know where he is, though they haven't spoken to him. On top of that, Bradshaw wants to send a few men to go collect scalps from the zombies that were shot by the soldiers earlier that day, to help build up funds. But in each direction there is opposition and the argument is getting worse.

Manning stands up, hoping his mind will work fast enough to make a decision before he reaches the group.
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Lebrenth



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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject:  

Chapter's up. The "recuperate" option voted in, though you'll see the "find Haymen" option sneaked in on its own (can't help that the Warders want their old leader back). I would like to mention that while deciding what to do next, I would like a decision to be considered on whether or not to take Taggert's name, as the Captain suggested (or perhaps you could interpret it as a dying request).

And, as always, I'm happy to answer any questions if more details are needed to make a decision.

Thank you for participating! Welcome to Part Three!
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mr_moochie
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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:58 pm    Post subject:  

Alright, I get first review. I'm really enjoying this story. You're a brilliant writer. Ok, I really like how this is turning out, though the loos of the captain was devastating. Now, I'd say Manning would take the captains name, not only to protect himself as a deserter, but also to honour Taggert. I'd say he decides to help the Warders by offering to go out and collect the scalps with Bradshaw, while the others save the Admiral.

Once again, I'm really enjoying this.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:14 am    Post subject:  

Yes, take the name why not? It was his last wish if nothing else.

As for the other, well, see what the plan is in more detail first, though I think scalps must be a priority unless they are going to execute Hayman soon.
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Shady Stoat
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject:  

Another good chapter. I do think that Manning should take Taggert's name. It will itch at him until he does as his former commander requested. And he's going to feel guilty about it whether he does or not, so he might as well go with what makes him safer in the long run.

As for the main decision point, I agree that the scalps should be a priority now. We need to raise the morale of these men and quickly. They've lost almost everything in a very short space of time. Their strongest man, their captain, the captain's replacement, even the proceeds of their last hunt.

Getting Haymen back will cause problems of its own. When disturbed, people want to return to the past, where things were always better. But they weren't better, the Warders were slowly being ground out by the stronger and better SLayer teams. Haymen was leading them to a slow and comfortable death. They need new leadership and new direction.

They need to get back on the horse again, go out and collect a few scalps, and a bit of money.
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Ingrothechundyer
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:31 am    Post subject:  

I agree. He should take the captians name and they should go get the scalps if at all posssible.

Money sounds like a very good thing at this point.
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:57 am    Post subject:  

Hoorah! Part three! Nice one Lebby! :biggrin:

One point that confused me:

Quote: Some of the warders had been following Taggert since they were boys

Did you mean Haymen here? Or am I just being stupid? :?

I think that though they may want to get Haymen out as soon as possible, but I don't think it would be a great idea to break him out. They should go collect scalps, and send someone to go find out about Haymen's situation; if they are going to execute him (though I don't think they would. It wasn't that large a transgression. Or was it?) or just keep him for a while. There may be a chance to bail him out, or bribe the guards but they'd need funds for that, and to get that they need to go zombie hunting. :D

*holds breath* :shock:
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:51 am    Post subject: Reward  

Good snag, Solomon. Yes, it's supposed to say "Haymen". It's confusing enough without mixing up the names! Thanks!

Which reminds me that I'd like to mention that there is a 20F reward for anyone who finds a continuity problem in the story. This includes switched names and contradictions. Anachronisms aren't included since Ara (the name of the world) has developed its technology differently than us. So a reward doesn't go to pointing out that by the time railroads were established the percussion cap for firearms should be commonplace, and things like that.

Anyway, Solomon claims the first reward! (Let's hope I don't need to lower the bounty to prevent going broke!)
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jnmrcs
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:56 am    Post subject:  

You can take the captain's name but be sure to honor it.

Anyway, for the desision I will you have to check what is the plan that they have. You need to know the details to know if that plan needs something to change or not. But something is for sure, they need to get up their mood so the scalps are the better idea for that.

Maybe you can go to find the scalps and talk to them on the way about their plan.

Nice chapter !
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:25 am    Post subject:  

The plan is still forming for rescuing Haymen, but some quick details that will help:

Only two warders know anything about the layout of the jail, but they're certain of Haymen's location. This is because Bradshaw knows one of the guards and had a talk with him. He should be considered a friend, but Bradshaw doubts he would do anything risky or unlawful, and considers the comment on Haymen's location to be sort of offhanded and unintended, rather than a strong hint.

The plan to release the Admiral is basically to sneak over the outer wall and blow a hole in the jail. And there's some debate on whether a barrel of gunpowder would be enough to do the job, coming from men with experience with cannons.


But like I said, the plan is still forming. It needs leadership to reach fruition.
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ethereal_fauna
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:51 am    Post subject:  

So far I agree, that he should take the name and honor it.

Also important to earn money, by the means necessary to do that. I know, not much new to contribute decision-wise. :cool:
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Smee
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:03 am    Post subject:  

Awesome chapter Lebby, :D

The stoat said everything I would. I agree entirely :)

Keep it coming and ,

Happy Writing :)
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:46 pm    Post subject:  

Ah, so now there's a reward for doing it - must search carefully ;)

I also agree with pretty much everything that's been said before, so I'll just leave it there.
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Heroes Never Panic, Poll  

Time for another decision to be made
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Smee
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Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject:  

I'm convinced by the go collect scalps arguements.

Happy Writing :)
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject:  

Voted for scalping.

"Take that you cretinous zombie! I bet you've never even read Tolstoy! Muwaha!"

*holds breath* :shock:
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject:  

I went with the moral boosting tactics, only to ifnd everyone else did as well, which means I'm winning.
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Ingrothechundyer
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Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject:  

Moral booters only if they don't run into more zombies ;)
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Ravagerrr
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Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks for the synopsis... it helped to get on board (would've been impossible for me without the help)

I'm still trying to sort out the characters but... it just seems to me that taking another's name is foolish... best to build a name anew. It seems this fella has been handed something he may not be ready for(leadership) BUT, if ya think about it, he's been tackling some pretty frightening stuff for some time now and should be capable of facing his fears, even fears of leadership.

Not sure if that statement really made any sort of a valid point as I'm still trying to catch on to the story, but hey... its an attempt to toss my uneducated :2c: :) I've heard a lot of good things about this story, and so far, the plot seems pretty dark and foreboding(a good thing) and intricate as well. I'll keep reading and form a more in depth opinion as I go... :rock:
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:41 am    Post subject:  

Happy to have you aboard! I'm glad the synopsis helped (I did hope it would encourage new readers), but I should warn you that there are many little things that get left out from the chapters. The story is rather complicated, and we're technically only on day two (First night, travel to Tiersley. First day, investigating Tiersley and joining Warders. Second night, zombies! Second day, Stanimir and Taggert's duel) and we're approaching chapter 16.

I'm happy to hear that I'm being talked about. HNP's participants have been very generous :). I'll start another forum to vote on whether or not Manning takes Taggert's name so we won't have to take time away from the story. And the next chapter will be up in a few minutes!
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Heroes Never Panic, Chap. 16  

Chapter Sixteen of “Heroes Never Panic”


They used to call Manning “the Tiebreaker” in 3rd Company. It was a nickname that started when he settled an argument over the ownership of a bottle of wine and solidified in the Battle of Desbon when he tipped the balance of what was considered an even match by sniffing out a few sharpshooters and using their positions for a little sharpshooting of his own. From then on, whenever there was a dispute too large to settle themselves, but too small to concern the captain, they went to Manning and he made the decision. But they were a close crew and no one questioned his decisions even once.

The Warders are from all over continent, not just Cassia, and in at least one case that Manning knows of, they even fought on opposite sides of a conflict (Tillman and Billings in a battle for Corisse). They are a crew and they depend on each other, but they sit in separated groups to talk and conspire: Central Cassians, West Cassians, New Empire men, and scattered foreigners. Bradshaw is one of the few who wanders amongst all of them, but he’s finding it impossible to satisfy everyone as the group continues to argue.

Manning settled disputes, but he never had to try hard. They came to him and asked him to settle it. Bradshaw tried to ask Manning, but he wasn’t ready for anything yet. He still feels unready, but it’s like they say, staring at the rain won’t make it stop.

“We have time!” Manning says loudly, catching everyone by surprise. For the last hour he hasn’t moved, now he’s interrupting an argument. “Haymen will still be there tomorrow. He’s safe so let’s leave it be, for now. Bradshaw and I will see if they’ll let us talk to him tomorrow and see what he wants.”

“He’ll never ask us to risk ourselves by saving him,” Salvin says.

“Then maybe we should do what he wants. There’s still a chance they won’t find him guilty. There’s a lot worse crimes to worry about at a time like this.”

A few warders look as though they want to argue the point but indecision overcomes them and they hold back.

“What we can do,” Manning continues, “is secure the scalps. We need money and all we have to do is a little cutting. We don’t need Haymen to tell us we need to do that. The best way to honor Haymen is to show we’ve learned from him, to do what we know needs to be done without being told every little step. When the time is right, we will help the Admiral. For now we do more for him by biding our time.”

Manning’s words settle in the warders, and it seems they’re ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. Their concerns are not banished, but they’re quieted, and Manning is more than happy to settle for that. Right now, keeping them moving is the best thing he can do.

“All right. We need a few hours rest, but we should talk about a plan now, so how are we going to get the scalps?”

“If we’re going in the day, we need to watch out for the guards,” Seager (the runner) begins, “but there’s a good blind spot by Tower 17. We could use ropes there and unless there were guards standing right over us they wouldn’t see.”

“What if the zombies come back?” a warder says.

“We can outrun them during the day,” Seager says confidently, and everyone did see how fast they moved earlier. It seems reasonable to assume you can outrun them, if they don’t speed up.

“And if not, we cut the rope,” Manning says gravely.

The details are arranged of who will do what, and determined that only eight men are really needed for the operation. They insist that Manning stays back, on account of the fact that he hasn’t much experience with the art of scalping, but Manning insists on being one of the men on the wall at least.

The rest, including Bradshaw by Manning’s request, stay to take account of the provisions, supplies, and ammunition, and just to get more rest. And all said and done, they leave the standard watch at the tavern with instructions to wake everyone up after a few hours.

Manning lays in bed, looking at Taggert’s empty bed. He left it unmade earlier, so Manning quickly fixed it for him. It seems the Captain hadn’t slept in it at all. With everything weighing on Manning’s mind, he worries the same will happen to him, but very suddenly he falls asleep. So suddenly that he is startled awake again for a moment, feeling as though he was literally falling. Then he is asleep again for a few precious hours.

The men watch the perimeter of the tavern carefully, but nothing approaches… not man or beast or even so much as a fly. Any living thing with the ability to move knows better than to be in Tackers District with the undead so near. It affects the dreams of the men in the tavern. If they weren’t used to it sleep would be impossible, but they let the darkness wash over them like stones in a river, accepting it, but not letting it move them. Manning, you might say, does a little rolling, but he pulls through. When the watch comes to wake him, it is a gentle shaking that brings him out slowly. And for a moment, he sees someone sitting on Taggert’s bed. Slim with young grey hair and a pale face; looks like Manning might if he were older. And the person looks down at him patiently, watchfully, before Manning fully wakes up and realizes there is no one there at all. A chill runs through him before he looks up at Davison behind him.

“Was there someone sitting on the bed a moment ago?” Manning asks Davison, who looks perplexed for a moment.

“No…. It’s time to leave sir.”

Manning looks at the bed again, and though he knows he straightened it with military efficiency, there is a depression and a few small wrinkles in the bed.


A quick tug and the wrinkles are gone and Manning makes his own bed too before descending the stairs. The men are ready soon. They have a little more to eat and together they leave in the stretching shadows of afternoon.

The patrols are heavier today than usual where the ‘incident’ occurred. Perhaps they’re concerned about how close the zombies came, or maybe they’re even anticipating the Warder’s next move. Luckily, Tower 17 is a good distance north of the place they were pulled over the wall.

The Warders spread out and to check the wall, all of them coming back with an affirmation that the way is clear. But it isn’t entirely clear at all. Perched on top of Tower 17, a city guard standing by a tall man in black with a long pony tail and carrying a telescope.

“It’s all right,” Seager says when they’re pointed out. “They can’t see our spot without leaning over. As long as we’re quiet they won’t see a thing.”

“You’re sure?”

“I spent a lot of time looking at this wall, my friend,” Seager says with a smile and clapping Manning’s back. “Come on.”

There are no stairs near this part of the wall, except inside the tower, which is locked with a standard guard’s key. Fortunately, such keys are easily purchased from Savage Hal and the Warders have had one for a long time. Nonetheless, Manning is a little alarmed when they unlock the door at the base of the tower, below the guard and the black-clad man, and no less alarmed as they climb the echoing stairway. A whisper would be too loud, and as they slowly step up they are careful not to breathe too loud either.

The doorway onto the wall takes an eternity to reach, but they make it without disturbing those above them. They tie down the ropes with the deftness of sailors and they soon zipping down them faster than Manning can say “Remember to stay quiet.”

The sound is enough to keep Manning’s eyes stuck on the tower to see if someone is leaning over now, but he sees no one.

“You better go too,” Manning says to the last Warder. “The sooner they’re scalped, the better. Give me the key. I’ll be watching for you.”

And so Manning stands alone. He soon draws up one of the ropes, just in case he needs it and leaves the other in place, hoping its inconspicuous enough to be overlooked… but not likely. He finishes bundling it up when:

“Are you a Warder or a Crossbone?” The black clad man says, now sitting on the edge with arms crossed and leaning against the tower with the rope in arm’s length. His smug grin reveals the pleasure he derived from sneaking so close to Manning without his notice. He has a sword and pistol on his belt, but he’s made no effort to draw them and he’s placed himself in a vulnerable position. It seems mostly out of confidence rather than a desire to appear friendly though.

“What do you want?” Manning says.

“You’re a Warder, aren’t you? You look too smart to be a Crossbone.”

“Are you going to arrest me?”

“Now why would I do that? Are we doing something we shouldn’t?”

The guard on the tower leans over and looks down on Manning and the black-clad man. The man looks up.

“It’s all right. Keep looking!” the man says dismissively to the guard, who withdraws. “So, how about it? What are we doing? … Haven’t I done enough to earn a little courtesy? Here, how about this?” Manning bristles as the man draws his pistol, but he lays it on the ground. “And go ahead and pick up your rifle. There… now you’re in charge.”

“I can’t let you stop me,” Manning says. “Men’s lives are at stake.”

“I can respect that. Listen, my name is Breyen. I’m a hunter, but I’ve been commissioned to assess the danger in Tiersley. Any information you have to offer would be appreciated.”

“What do you want to know?”

“The name of your affiliation would make a report more meaningful.”
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:32 am    Post subject:  

The decision point is whether to share information with Breyen, but it might be a good time to ask questions of your own if you have any.
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Shady Stoat
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:40 am    Post subject:  

Good chapter - again :)

I don't really think we can lose much by telling him what he's already figured out for himself.

If he wants any more than that, though, I think it might be a good idea to bargain. Ask him what he has in return for the extra information. Try to make a fair bargain, try to gain an ally if we can. We need a friend, and we need all the help we can get.

Let's hope it's not a bad choice... :shock:
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jnmrcs
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:17 am    Post subject:  

Nice chapter.

Shady idea is good, for now. But be carful, espcially if he doesn't want to join us...
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 1:13 pm    Post subject:  

At least you do have a weapon, unlike him.

I think you may as well share the information, as he seems to have worked it all out by himself anyways.
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Ingrothechundyer
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Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 1:29 pm    Post subject:  

I agree sharing the information doesn't seem like it would be very harmful at this point since he seems to know anyway.

Nice chapter :)
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ethereal_fauna
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Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 10:04 am    Post subject:  

Agreeing with the Stoat...bargain for information. Trade tit for tat and see if you can gain from this encounter as well as just sharing the information you have.
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Araex
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Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject:  

Just caught up with the story, and I can see why its getting nominations!

The man obviously doesn't mean us any harm, and why not curry some favour with the authorities? I say we spill.
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject:  

Great chapter again Lebby, and sorry it took a while to get round to reading it. A mental weekend does not lend itself well to IFing. :D

Just one thing:

Quote: Manning bristles as the man draws his pistol, but he lays it on the ground. “And go ahead and grab that rifle

Calling it a pistol and then a rifle is a tad confusing, even if the black clad man just happens to call blackpowder weapons rifles, which is perfectly fine, but it needs to be explained or ommited.

I think that we can't lose anything by telling him that we are a Warder and are just collecting a few loose scalps from a bunch of zombies they had killed earlier, but had not had time to scalp yet. Maybe then get him to offer something else, and then tell him about the zombies increasing intelligence when they encountered them on thier last hunt, and then, if he is willing to offer more, you could tell him about the clearly non-human Stanimar.

*holds breath* :shock:
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 8:48 am    Post subject:  

I think he was talking about Mannings rifle.

But I might be wrong.
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject:  

Lordy's right. Manning put his rifle down to bale the rope and didn't have enough time to pick it up before he was interrupted. He'll feel stupid about it soon, but anyway the hunter let him pick it up. Sorry that was confusing. Perhaps I can find a way to word it better.

Also Manning's blackpowder weapon has riflings and is in fact a rifle. Though you can still find the occasional smoothbore musket, most of the new long barrelled firearms have the spiralled grooves. (For those unacquainted with the concept, the grooves inside the barrel force the bullet into a spin that makes it more accurate.)
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Ravagerrr
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject:  

He should respond by asking questions more than answering them. If the man is willing to give over the "power" in the situation, then he should be willing to explain himself in more detail.

I'd say, attempt to hire him. He seems to have the right background. Manpower can always help. And if he is an enemy in disguise, then its good to keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

The rifle thing made sense to me the same way Lordy read it, but upon reflection on that line, it does seem to be a little confusing. Leaves too much to inferance, and it seems that the cause for the confusion is related to the vagueness of which rifle the man is referring to, and the assumption that the reader understands that Manning's rifle wasn't at the ready. Still, I didn't have trouble grasping the scene and the line's meaning.

Were you insinuating Taggert's ghost was visiting him in the bed scene? Hmm... there's Zombies... why not ghosts. What do we know about ghost phenomenon in this setting?
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject:  

Ravagerrr wrote: What do we know about ghost phenomenon in this setting?


I'm so glad you asked!

Ghosts are probably the most frightening of all the undead for your average Cassian because they're unpredictable and extremely mysterious. There isn't a simple formula for dealing with a ghost as there is for a werewolf or vampire or other such incarnations and all of the "facts" about ghosts are riddled with holes and vary country to country, city to city, and person to person. At best, you can assume they are spirits that are not subject to the same physical rules as the living. That said, there are classifications which help deal with them.

"Ghosts" are the simple appearance of figures, whether familiar or otherwise. They might appear to be as real as any person, or they might appear as strange lights, shadows or other benign visual manifestations. Cold spots, wailing, or even strange smells are also associated with the category of ghosts. Bottom line, they call spirits "ghosts" if they do nothing more than affect your five senses (well, your sixth one too if you're attuned to it).

"Haunts" are spirits that regularly appear in a specific area, especially if they repeat themselves a lot. A haunt might re-enact their death every night or once a year. They might affect the physical in specific and limited ways such as slamming doors corporealizing real blood or changing a room to the way it was a decade ago. Though more predictable, their actions can be varied and incomprehensibly powerful.

"Poltergeist" is another borrowed term that has been extended to mean any spirit with the controlled ability to affect the physical. They throw things or cut people they don't like, they move things around, or they might help those they like with warning or even unexplained healing and such. Though greater in control and influence, they are not nearly as dangerous as they could be.

"Wraith". A free-willed spirit with indeterminate power. Wraiths bend the laws of physics with no apparent difficulty and they will make your worst nightmares a literal reality. And the worst part is that a simple ghost or haunt could become a wraith without warning.

But these are basic classifications. There are still those they call Angels and Demons and there are numerous misfits. And the best advice anyone can give you for dealing with these spirits? DON'T. Leave them be and get away. Let them do whatever they want because there's nothing you can do, unless you believe in divinity or in mediums.

Mediums allegedly have the ability to see between the worlds and have some influence over those in the other worlds. But I'm afraid Manning and the Warders know very little about mediums or the other worlds beyond their direct influence on the physical (otherwise I'd love to get into deeper details).
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: Poll for Heroes Never Panic  

It's ready. I suspect this will be a short voting period. And don't forget there is still another poll in the forums over whether or not to take Taggert's name.
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Ravagerrr
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject:  

I'm stuck between the first and second responses... the questioning method of #2 seems appropriate, but the goal of hiring indicated in #1 seems good as well... can we get another option to represent this?

BTW... thanks for the explenations. So there is no assurance that a ghost is good or bad, no reliability on its nature, i.e. if the ghost retains its personality, nor any way to easily determine its purpose. We don't know why ghosts occur, nor why the dearly departed don't always become them. Hmm... What we have though, is a rough dictionarial description of what kinds of ghosts are known. Interesting. (This should affect the outcome of the 'taking the name' vote shouldn't it?)
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject:  

Certainly! I'm happy to revise the poll and I'm glad you asked. I was thinking as I was posting it that I should add variations, but I skipped it. Anyway, I changed it, I just hope Ingro wouldn't have wanted to vote #4 (you'll let me know, right?)

Ravagerrr wrote:
BTW... thanks for the explenations. So there is no assurance that a ghost is good or bad, no reliability on its nature, i.e. if the ghost retains its personality, nor any way to easily determine its purpose. We don't know why ghosts occur, nor why the dearly departed don't always become them. Hmm... What we have though, is a rough dictionarial description of what kinds of ghosts are known. Interesting. (This should affect the outcome of the 'taking the name' vote shouldn't it?)

Yep, that's about right. Sometimes they do retain their old personalities, according to stories, but mostly nothing is known by most. There are some who know more, but the information available to Manning amounts to that. And we'll see what it does to the name vote soon.

Oh, and one other thing, since you mentioned "why ghosts occur". There is a strong common belief that cremation increases the likelihood of a ghost. There are other theories, but that one's a little unexpected or uncommon and does something to explain why there are so many zombies (they don't burn their dead, so there's plenty of bodies to animate).
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LordoftheNight
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Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject:  

Voted for the full sharing of information.
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Smee
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Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 9:49 pm    Post subject:  

Great chapter Lebby - I enjoyed it alot.

I'm pretty suspicious of this hunter, especially the way he got rid of the guard so easily.

Yet he has made himself defenceless for whatever reason.

I went for turning the questions on to him, see what we can find out.

Happy Writing :)
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Solomon Birch
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Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 5:39 am    Post subject:  

Me too. Though he seems to be sincere, anyone can do that with a hint of theatrical skill. If he continues as he is, then we can slowly reveal more, and maybe try and enlist his help.

If he can get rid of a guard so easily like that, then he may have considerable influence within the military, which might help the warders free the old captain when the time comes. We shall see... :D

*holds breath* :shock:
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