Hasan asserted his command of the situation. “Feldard, watch her closely. Bind her hands, if you can. Maruc, if you’re well enough, you’ll need to attend to our exhausted mage!”
He turned haughtily to the captive, “Fyodoryll, your trading activities have kept you out of the forest too long. You’re woodcraft is weak. But I thank you for collecting these horses on our behalf. Now, tell us about who sold them to you. Do you know where they went next?”
“Bah!” she cursed, defiantly. “I have done nothing wrong. Thieves! You have attacked without cause or warrant! I do not answer to the likes of you.”
Maruc watched the mercenaries withdraw. His heart was still racing but he knew that they were unlikely to return. He’d treated their type in the past at the cloister and he’d learnt from them of their distrust of zealots. This was part of the reason for his desperate defense. Men like them fought for money, but that only bought you so much loyalty.
But the priest had one doubt. Good mercenaries relied on their reputation. If they deserted a master who was still alive, word would spread and they would swiftly have no business. The chances where that they would either attempt to recapture Fyodoryll, thus retaining their pay and reputation. Or if they felt they could not overpower us they would probably seek to silence her.
He knelt down next to the mage and gently rosed him, “Wake up, this is no time for sleep,” he grinned.
The mage’s eyes flickered open. “Ah, I see she got the better of me. Oh well. I’m glad she didn’t get the better of you.” He rolled onto his feet and brushed the leaves off. “Where are the four ruffians?” He asked whilst fishing around in the sticky mess for the wand.
“They have fled. But I have a sneaking suspicion they shall return for Fyodoryll. She holds their reputation in her hands,” replied the priest.
“This isn’t over then? Well they have a fairly major obstacle in their path. Us.” Miklos located the wand. “Aha! Now where was I, oh yes. We have a conundrum. We return these horses and lose valuable time because in order to protect them we would all need travel with them. Or we free them in the forest, this would mean the mercenaries get them but that has the advantage of keeping them off our backs while we travel on.”
Miklos rubbed his clean shaven chin.
“My heart tell me the return the horses in reparation for the losses of the Sukiskyn clan. My head tells me to pursue the foe without delay, who knows what evil could be prevented for the sake of a few horses and a few hours?”
As if to settle their decision, the sky grew darker and rain began to fall. These goblins were doing a fair job of obscuring their tracks, and now the precipitation would finish the job.