States of Light

Skraeling Diplomacy

After the snarling jaws of the hounds, the thrumming of bowstring, after the snaggle axed human fell. Jiki Mal, watches the archer retreat. Eyes flicking quickly he takes in the scene.
Lush green forest filled with death and arrows.
Four dead, including one of their own.
Hacked and maimed bodies of the dogs litter the trail between him and the caravan. Aside from some minor arrow wounds the merchants seem to have survived unscathed. He turns and focuses on the fleeing bowmen. Three of them, fleeing through the underbrush, and none of his companions seriously injured.

“Caedmon, see to the wounded. Gorun, Newt, Hrath with me!”

With that he races after the enemy. Gorun throws a exasperated look at Newt and launches after Jiki Mal on thick stony legs. Newt and Hrath quickly follow suit, and soon the four of them have subdued the panicked warriors, albeit slightly more worse for wear. The three prisoners are on their knees, as the captors stand behind them and Jiki Mal paces silently back and forth in front of them. In a measured voice he addresses them.

“You are now our captives, By the laws of my land you are now chattel, I may do with you as I please. Were we in Shibi Mal Tan you would be sold to the arena and die for the crowd. You are lucky my colleges and I do not see eye to eye on slavery and you are not in my lands.”

He stops with his back to them, and waits for several beats before again talking to the hunched prisoners. His voice takes on power as he steadily speaks.

“I give you the offer to tell us what you know about who sent you, and i give you my word i will not harm you. Don not tell us what you know or lie to us, and……..”

There is a whisper of cotton robe against chain, and a blur of motion. Suddenly the middle captive grunts as Jiki Mal’s wakizashi sits embedded deep in his shoulder. His face turned suddenly feral, fangs barred, eyes dead, inches from the writhing man’s face.

“Hands width to the right. Your blade pierced heart beats no more. For now you will live, provided you tell me what I want to know.”

With fluid grace, he dislodges his weapon from the half-orc’s shoulder, wipes it clean on the tattered hem of his robe before sheathing it in his waistband, and steps back waiting……..


Albeit puzzled by Jiki Mal’s definition of harm, or giving of his word, Newt quickly realizes that he has the negotiation under control and she turns her attention to making sure that the area is indeed clear and the caravan safe.

Skraeling Diplomacy
jaredskarma Bonesai

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