Band of Brothers
The events from our first session:
Raed decided to wait on the roof, in the hope of finding out who Snorri was talking to. Aelfric decided just to go downstairs and eavesdrop. Aelfric casually moved around the store, taking his time selecting thread. The conversation his father was having was hushed, so Aelfric couldn't make out many details. He just knew it was something about his cousin's husband, Nathan Tinker. His eavesdropping came to an end when Madge showed up. She demanded of Aelfric where Raed was. Not used to getting yelled at, Aelfric answered truthfully that he didn't know. Madge ordered him to find his brother. Aelfric ran back upstairs, shouting out the window that if Raed was still around, he'd better come in. Then Aelfric headed out onto the street.
Meanwhile, Snorri's guests had left. Raed spotted them and followed along rooftops as hey headed down he street. He saw the men enter a pub called Pier Rum. Satisfied, Raed returned to his home. Aelfric saw him coming and they entered the shop together. Snorri was short with them, telling them Nathan had inherited some things, but there was no space at the Sellers' shop. The brothers were ordered to go to their cousins' place in the country and get some help to move the materials. Madge gave the boys some honeycakes as a treat on the road. The Sellers brothers began the several days' trek to Millers Crossing. Before leaving town, however, they stopped in the Pier Rum, where Aelfric asked the friendly waitress Jill who the men were that Raed pointed out. All she could tell him was that one of them was named Bob and he worked down at the docks.
After a day that was unusual for both apprentices, Will and Xavi Longacre were relaxing in the River Rat. Xavi saw Stefan Cobbler come in. The shoemaker was avoiding eye contact with the apprentice smith. Will was keen to go shake down Stefan for the money he owed Xavi. However, Xavi took a more diplomatic approach, and talked to the man, who paid part of his debt and promised to have the rest soon. Connor ran into the River Rat and urged the twins to come help Kiernan. When they got to the field of rye, Xavi cracked Kiernan's back. The brothers talked about Connor's patch of rye, Will's culpability (or not) for teaching Connor to sneak off after caravans, and Connor's new position as apprentice farmer. The older boys decided Connor deserved a celebratory drink and headed home to find some tankards and crack one of their pa's finer barrels.
Aelfric and Raed arrived at the ferry where the were greeted by Loreena Highwater. Aelfric flirted with Loreena, who only agreed to meet him for drinks later if he brought his cousin Xavier along with him. Raed and Aelfric met Kiernan, Xavi, Will, and Connor outside the farm house. Connor was reeling. Will took him inside and alerted his mother and Tegan that the cousins had arrived. He asked Tegan to prepare her special tea to give some to Connor. Juliet sent Will out to the barn to get Liam. Liam was doing some carpentry, which he left Will to finish. Will did a slap-dash job and then returned to the family. Everyone got caught up over the dinner table. Raed wasn't feeling too social and slipped off once the eating was done. He explored the barn and the area immediately surrounding the house.
As the day got later and Dierdre still wasn't home from her loom, the older boys headed into the village to locate her and get some drinks. They found her still at the home of Karen Weaver, who said she'd told the girl to go home hours ago. Dierdre said she would leave once she'd finished fixing her brothers' shirts. The boys headed over to the River Rat to give Dierdre time to finish. Aelfric hit on girls, but it was obvious Loreena only had eyes for Xavi, who was eventually brave enough to dance with her. Meanwhile, Kiernan was dancing with his sweetheart, Mary Baker, and Raed with her friend Kathleen Wainwright. Aelfric promised Will to show him a good time for real in Hawthorne. When Dierdre showed up, Raed volunteered to walk her home (they explored some ruined houses along the way). Xavi walked Loreena home, and Kiernan walked Mary home. Will and Aelfric enjoyed a late night.
In the morning, Kiernan, Xavi, Will, Aelfric, and Raed left Millers Crossing with a rented wagon and horse. The plan was to take it to Hawthorne, load it up with Nathan's belongings, and then have the Longacre boys bring it home. Most of the way to Hawthorne was uneventful, but then Raed, wandering ahead of the others, came across a few men with a damaged wagon. A wheel was busted. They asked Raed if he was traveling alone, and he said his brother and cousins were just down the road. The men asked for help. Will and Xavi took a look at the wheel, but it struck Xavi as odd. He couldn't figure out how the wheel could've broken in the fashion it had. That was when the three men drew knives and told the boys to put their hands up.
It's not really easy to describe all of what happened next, who is to blame for how things turned out. Someone must've made a threatening move, because an arrow shot out of the woods and hit the damaged wagon. Then a scuffle started. Or several scuffles. Crossbows came out, as did tomahawks and a quarterstaff. In the end, it appeared that there were at least six assailants, three at the wagon and three bowmen hidden on the right side of the road in the woods. Kiernan and Will were both injured in the fighting, as were some assailants. A couple bowmen fled, and one of the knife wielders eventually got away on his cart's horse. Raed had jumped up behind him, but was thrown when the horse bucked.
One of the men Kiernan and Aelfric were dealing with by their own cart made a comment to Kiernan about having no problem about killing him. Something about the emphasis made Kiernan turn to Aelfric and ask, "Just who did you piss off?" The boys eventually quelled the enemy and even had a couple tied up to hand over to the magistrate in Hawhorne. Will had collapsed during the fight after a knife to the chest, and when he came to in the cart, he was furious and Xavi had to restrain him.
Surely things would be smoother in Hawthorne…