Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How Aravis deals with theives

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[Context: to get through Tashbaan they're doing their best to look like the dregs of society to avoid notice which means the equines look like easy picking for any thieves.]

The thieves spread around us, and there was little we could do to stop them. They had broken no laws as yet. I had to hope that they would parley, a good thief knew better to risk injuries when threats might be enough.

The leader was cleaner than the rest, he stood out here in the poor quarter, like a noble mixing with the dregs. Doubtless he had picked rich pockets in his time, and his air of respectability would have helped him get close to such marks.

He looked at the five of us, and approached me.

"If you give us the horses, young one," he said, "we'll have no need to harm you."

"Many have thought as you do," I said to him. "They looked at us and thought that one reduced to rags could not defend her remaining property. Yet for all who sought to take what's mine, here I stand with my horse still beside me."

"You can't beat us all," the thief said.

"Perhaps not," I admitted, a key part of lying was knowing when not to. "But you shouldn't underestimate a horse trained for battle, even when she holds no rider, and regardless I can kill you before I fall.

"What is it to you if your underlings steal the horse if you're not alive to benefit? When you stand before Tash it will hardly matter what became of me or my property, you'll be just as dead."

"Brave words," he said, "for a child."

"Yes," I said. "Sometimes it does require courage to speak the truth."

I looked at one of the other thieves, "Which of you gets to keep the horses when he dies?"

"As amusing as watching you try to turn my men against each other might be," the lead thief said, "no one gets the horses whether I'm alive or dead. We sell what we take and divide the money evenly. There's nothing for them to fight over.

"I can tell you won't see reason," he said, and nodded to one of his men.

It was difficult to tell if the man was coming for me, for Hwin, or for Hwin's lead. It didn't matter. I dropped the lead and Hwin reared up, knocking the man on his back. When she dropped back down, one of her hooves landed a hand-width away from the man's head.

"She doesn't have to miss," I said to the lead thief. I retrieved Hwin's lead then shouted loudly so all in the area would hear, "And don't spook my horse! Someone could get hurt because of your childish pranks."

Hwin's display and my own outburst had all eyes trained on us. The thief took notice. These people might not care about a theft, but a fight, especially one involving two horses, held the potential to injure them. People would care about that.

"Well played, girl," thief said. "Obviously I can't take your horses now. But I can still do damage. What's the boy worth to you?"

"Almost as much as this horse," I said patting Hwin's neck.

"And the donkey?"

"Stays with the boy."

"We'll rob you later," the thief said. Then he motioned for his men to come with him, and walked away.

No comments:

Post a Comment