Griever walked toward the brightly lit campfire and the food it cradled. He hadn't ate in nearly a day, so a meal would be welcome. Maybe it would be pea stew? That would be a preferable meal, but the growling from Griever's stomach told him it wouldn't matter if the food was mush, so long as he ate.
To Griever's surprise, it WAS pea soup. Good pea soup at that - the spices and smell told him that much. He quickly took a bowl from a stack nearby and scooped himself out a portion. Not too much, but definitely not a little. Around him, the women of the group of thieves looked at him strangely. It was almost as if they didn't know what to think of him. One of them, a burly looking woman that looked like she could take down a man, walked up to him after he had nearly finished with his soup.
"I'll need that sword," she said firmly, gesturing to his sword that was slung over his back. Not a large blade, but not a shortsword either. He was reluctant, but an accomplished group of rebels surrounding him, Griever had little choice. He unstrapped the blade and reluctantly handed it over.
"Take care of that, now," he said with a smile, "It means a lot to me." She gave him a brief smile and nod, then walked away. What a friendly woman. One would think they would be all over Griever, seeing as he is the only male in this camp. Well... no, he saw a few other men. But they were not plenty enough to stop Griever from wondering how the group was so successful.
"OK, now for your tale."
Griever looked up to see a pretty lass with dark curly hair. Kate, she said her name was. "My tale? Now how could I live with myself if I told my gruesome tale to a pretty little thing like you?" He had said something wrong, as usual.
"This 'pretty little thing' is offering you food," she said with a false smile, "So, a gentleman such as yourself should be polite and comply." With that, she sat herself down across from Griever, letting the flames distort her image. Was she the leader of this group? Well, she surely acted the part.
"OK, OK," Griever laughed, throwing up his hands. No need to let these women kill him before he could escape. "I'm a mercenary and someone kind of like you gentle- err, ladies." Kate gave him a sharp look. Women. More mysterious than the Fae from the stories. "I was passing by when I saw what was happening, so I figured I would help out."
Kate sat there, looking thoughtful. Even with the flame distorting her face, Griever could tell she was skeptical. "Why do you wear a rosary? Isn't that something only noblewomen and clergy wear?" Figuring everything out, huh?
Griever pulled the rosary the rest of the way from his shirt, allowing the curly haired woman to see it clearly. "I found it," Griever lied, "I thought it would give me good luck."
Kate nodded, then stood. "Well, you're welcome to stay for now. We appreciate you helping out Kria. I imagine her mother would be devastated if she had been lost."
Griever smiled widely. "I can never ignore a woman in need. Goes against my nature, really." Kate nodded, then walked off. She had the attitude of a leader, that's for sure. Maybe she did lead these bandits.
A scream lit up the air. Griever did not think. He was on his feet and walking to where a group of women were tending to another woman. No, this was not a woman. This was a girl. Her hair was a blonde mess on her head and she did not look a day over sixteen! Why were they so young! Kate only looked eighteen or so herself.
"Move aside," Griever commanded, startling the women. They did so, but reluctantly. Griever knelt to where the girl lay on her side. She had an arrow through her shoulder and from the bend in it, these women were trying to break it off.
Griever placed a hand on the back of the girl's shoulder. Yes, the arrowhead had nearly broke all the way through. He looked at the girl. "What is your name?" Griever asked, his hair falling to the sides of his face.
She looked up at him, her eyes full of pain and confusion. "S-selena..." she managed to say.
Griever smiled. "Well, Selena, you're going to be just fine." Selena smiled slightly and a little of the confusion left her face. "But, this will hurt." she nodded.
Placing a nearby cloth in her mouth, Griever gripped Selena's torso, just below the armpit, and the arrow.
"Do you know what your doing?" one of the women cried. The others remained silent, but they were all thinking the same thing. Well, it was a good question, Griever guessed. Still wasn't going to answer, though.
With one quick motion, Griever shoved the arrow the rest of the way through and watched as the spearhead poked through the back of Selena's shoulder. She screamed as loud as she could through the gag and gripped Griever's arm with her good arm. Despite her age and condition, this woman was not a weakling in the least.
"I need a knife." One of the women handed him a short blade. He tested the edge, then went to cutting through the arrowhead. It took a while, and Selena whimpered with each slice that moved the arrow, but he eventually cut off the tip of the arrow. "Cloth." A bundle of cloth hit Griever's hand and he placed it on back of Selena's shoulder, stopping the bleeding. Now the fun part.
Griever laid Selena back and told her to stay still. He requested a second bundle of cloth and placed it around the arrow's shaft. It would stop the bleeding that was about to begin. With his right hand holding down the cloth, Griever gripped the arrow shaft with his left and jerked it out, causing another muffled scream to escape Selena.
Pressing the cloth against the wound, Griever smiled. "Now, no more fighting for you."
Griever left the group of women and walked back to the flame that help his half-empty bowl of soup. Now he could finish his food!