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The Scholar and Wulfgar, having gathered that the Sheriff of Gloucester’s man Haldenald spear-headed the attack in the night, leave for Monmouth and find a new companion by the name of Isobel. Lady de Lacy is safely delivered to Hereford where the party spends the evening as guests at a feast with entertainment by Tostig the Delightful.
The Scholar and Wulfgar feeling that they had gained all information that they could without drawing attention to themselves depart for Monmouth. Meanwhile, the remainder of the group set out from Monmouth enroute north to Hereford after Tostig applied his craft to cleverly mask the identities of the group. Scouting ahead, Artemis sees a large wagon being pulled by draft horses. As he nears the wagon, he is able to see that two peasants walk next to the horse, one on each side, while a large muscle-bound man rides atop the wagon stuffed full of baskets in the front and hay in the back. Artemis approaches and hails the group. The man atop the cart explains to Artemis that they are heading to Monmouth to market. Artemis notices that although the man is dressed as a farmer, he doesn’t seem to carry himself as one or speak like one. Curious, Artemis begins to actively inspect the goods and cart by walking around the cart and fabricating a story that the wheel appears lose. Artemis says that he can fix it if he just runs back towards Monmouth to get his tools. At this time Artemis notices some movement in the hay and sees that the man atop the cart has a mail hauberk underneath his ragged clothes. Artemis hastily retreats toward the Lady and companions. Being warned of the deception, the party readies themselves for battle. As the wagon crests a hill, the large man has dropped the guise and sits atop the wagon with a crossbow loaded and at the ready. He declares that the road should be cleared for official business of the sheriff. The party complies by stepping off the road into the mud-filled sides of the pathway allowing the wagon free egress. As the cart passes, the group is able to see that in addition to the three “peasants” there is now two fully armored and armed guards sitting ready to jump off at a moments notice at the back of the cart. Later that afternoon, Wulfar and The Scholar arrive at Monmouth. Aware that Roger le Jeune had suffered wounds during the attack, The Scholar seeks out the local hospital at a monastery. In front of the monastery sits Edmund Whyral, Haldenald, and company. They appear to be talking to a group of men with a large cart filled with baskets and hay. Wulfgar decides to canvass the local hangouts to determine if the warden has entrapped his companions or if they have moved out of Monmouth in time. The Scholar successfully meanders past the verderers and overhears that a suspicious party was encountered on the road, but that the numbers and descriptions of the wanted persons didn’t match. Inside The Scholar is able to talk with Roger le Jeune who informs him that Lady de Lacy had successfully left earlier that day. Additionally, he assuaged The Scholar’s concerns for safety by reminding The Scholar that as a member of the ruling class and injured seeking protection in the church his enemies had no recourse to pursue him. Meanwhile Wulfgar encounters a fetching young lady who looks out of place inside a tavern. He approaches her and failing his charms is dismissed by the lady who states she has business to attend to if he would excuse himself. Interestingly, the lady doesn’t move from the table after Wulfgars goes over to the bartender. Wulfgar inquires about his friends and the bartender, wishing to get rid of him, informs Wulfgar that he knows a group is being questioned by the warden right this minute. Wulfgar, in a moment of pure emotion, runs screaming from the tavern into the street where the sunlight brings him back to his senses and his discipline gains control. He walks off unnoticed by passersby. Wulfgar and The Scholar meet and explain what they’ve gathered. Intrigued by the woman that Wulfgar spoke of, The Scholar goes to the tavern to seek her out. More successful at gaining her confidence, he learns that she has run away from another part of the kingdom. Her father, before his death, granted his liege lord control over her marriage and the Baron is now refusing to let her marry the man that she loves. She thinks that the Baron opposes her marriage because he is threatened that she is in love with a man well-liked by the king. She asks if there is any way that The Scholar can help her. The Scholar informs her that he does have some training in law, but without being more familiar with her situation and doing some research he couldn’t give her a definitive answer. He invited her to travel to Hereford with him and his companion. Upon hearing that the companion was Wulfgar she declined, but The Scholar was able to convince her that Wulfgar wouldn’t bother her during the trip and that she stood a better chance traveling with them than alone randomly seeking legal help. Realizing that much of the day had passed and that the next town was too far to make before nightfall, the three find bedding in Monmouth. Meanwhile, Lady Joie de Lacy and her entourage reach Hereford. After a brief discussion with the guards, the group is admitted entrance to the city and they quickly make their way to the de Lacy household. Gilbert de Lacy happy to see his wife embraces her and questions where Roger and his guards are. The Lady explains the dangerous journey and Gilbert is grateful to the party and invites them to dine with him tonight. Tostig the Delightful entertains all with his near miraculous juggling on one foot while singing a song. The party tired from a hurried journey and relaxed from the warm fire and fine wine retire for the night.
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