wonder_city: (Default)
[personal profile] wonder_city
Sorry for the lateness. Viral bronchitis rattling my brains.

Everything was very muddy and all the women were showing rather a lot of bosom. A considerable percentage of the -- Tom couldn’t help thinking of them as the “ragtag band” -- were smoking something which did not smell of tobacco. Their rags still looked like renfaire clothing.

Christopher leaned as close to Tom as his ropes would allow and whispered, “Why do they all have English accents? Did you notice that?”

“Shut up, you,” growled one of their captors, and shook Christopher roughly. Tom bit her tongue.

They slogged through the ankle-deep mud of the central “road” of a very... heterogenous tent city composed mostly of muddy canvas and sheepskins. It smelled of woodsmoke and cowpats. Tom did not see any cows.

Women and men were sitting around sullen fires, cleaning swords and doing something obscure to arrows. They all paused on their work to stare at Tom, Christopher, the Dean, and their woebegone guide. Their captors did not pause but took them to the largest tent (white with red piping, but splattered with mud like the others) and shoved them inside without ceremony.

The inside was floored with dusty but expensive-looking carpets and there was a heavy oak table occupying the center of the tent, surrounded by benches and chairs. Tom had the irrelevant thought, If they move camp often, isn’t that a bitch to carry? and then had her attention arrested by the person sitting behind the table, who was lean, elegant, and dressed entirely in black leather from neck to high-booted foot.

The person behind the table removed her boots from said table and sat forward in her (naturally) thronelike chair. “What’s this, then?” she inquired.

“Spies of the Puppet Throne, boss,” said one of the Merry Men.

“Um, actually, we were guests,” said Christopher.

“Excuse me,” said their once-guide.

“And not on purpose!” added Tom hastily.

“Er,” said their guide.

“We kind of ended up there accidentally,” said Christopher.

“If I may say a word,” said their quondam guide.

“I guess it was my fault...” said Christopher.

“Not really,” said Tom. “It was Rosamund.”

The Dean cleared her throat. Tom and Christopher turned to look at her.

However, no one else did.

“Really,” drawled the Boss. “Well, I have to say you don’t look like very efficient spies to me.”

Their ersatz guide cleared his throat. Everyone ignored him as well.

“Untie them,” ordered the woman in black leather. “They can’t possibly be spies.” She stood up and dusted off her long jacket. “Welcome to the Republic of Sherwood. You can be our guests now.”

“Um, thank you,” said Tom, as one of their captors used a knife to cut her bonds (what was wrong with just untying them? waste of resources).

“My name is Eleanor Arrowheart,” said the woman in black without a trace of embarrassment. “I’m the elected Wartime President of our Republic. Please, sit down.” She sat back down herself and thumped the table with her fist. “Wine,” she ordered curtly, over her shoulder. “We’ll be having a communal meal tonight and you are welcome to join us.”

Tom sat down next to Christopher. The Dean remained standing, rubbing her long wrists thoughtfully. Tom wondered how she managed to keep her cuffs so clean.

Christopher asked, “How did the, um, Republic start?”

“Many years ago,” said President Arrowheart, staring off over their heads while one of the Merry Men arrived with an unlabeled bottle. “When the Park shut down, a number of Guests were stranded here. They were scattered all over the Kingdoms, of course, and a good many of them died, strangled in the web of Godmother’s stories. But there were a group of friends here who fled into the forest and founded the first band of freedom fighters, the Merry Men and Women. Soon, word spread, and humans all over the Lands started journeying to join us, despite the dangers set by Godmother in their path. And today, here we are, still fighting. And someday, we will defeat her!”

She threw back her pewter mug, drained it, refilled it, and stood, holding it aloft. “To Godmother’s downfall!”

All the Merry-makers echoed, “To Godmother’s downfall!”

Suddenly, their former guide cried out, “The enemy is within the gates!” He produced a knife from under his tunic and stabbed the Dean in the back.

There was a sudden scramble and flurry. Tom and Christopher knelt by the Dean, who looked rather surprised, while the Merry Freedom Fighters restrained their former guide and helper, who meekly submitted to their grasp.

“Dean, Dean, are you all right?” gasped Christopher. She turned a slightly irritated look on him.

Tom turned to their former guide. “How could you? What were you doing?”

He sighed. “And every tale condemns me for a villain. Although in my case, it does so for pretty good reason.”

Tom stood up, her hands automatically pushing up her sleeves.

The saturnine man hung limply in the grasp of his captors. “I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul. I did try to warn you.”

Tom’s punch knocked him clean out of their grasp and onto the floor of the tent.

Date: 2012-10-11 05:18 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
OMG flashbacks to SCA-times. //dies That villain is like something out of Tough Guide.


Date: 2012-10-12 02:30 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Yay, we successfully evoked SCA! ;)

Don't worry, she's the Dean! Surely she'll pull something magical out of her hat. Or something.

Date: 2012-10-23 11:09 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Out of her cuffs! :D

Date: 2012-10-23 11:10 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Also "quondam" was a new word for me. Thank you. :)


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