Title: Nocturnal encounter
Matthew Sharpe - May 2, 2011 02:29 PM (GMT)
Arthur had given Matthew the task of finding out what happened to the money delivery. The regular guards investigated the route it was supposed to have taken, so that was not for him to do. Matthew had something different in mind.
One thing he had learned in his time was that you could learn much from the way money moved. That should be applicable to the situation in Nottingham. The outlaws had expressed an intent of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. If they were really doing that, Matthew should be able to track that. Those who were poor, but not actually reduced to begging, had outstanding debts to merchants. When provided with money, they were likely to spend some of that to pay their debts. That in turn should show in their bookkeeping.
Then there was the question of how he might get his hands on the said records. Having an official position as one of the Sheriff's guard, Matthew could try to simply go to the merchants and ask to see their books. However, that would be public and some might object for one reason or another. Instead, he chose to do it discreetly. He was confident enough in his abilities that he felt he could sneak in, locate the records and check them without none being the wiser.
So far, it had worked well. Over the night Matthew had broken into the places of several merchants already and gotten what he had been looking for. He was wearing his 'night work clothes', which included a hood and cloth mask to obscure his features. To help with reading the notes there was a lantern he carried which was currently completely covered up, but had a small shutter on one side which could be opened to let out a narrow beam of light. And for taking notes, there was a wax tablet, currently stowed away in a waist pouch.
While moving between targets, Matthew kept himself in a trained state of alertness regarding his surroundings. Though the lighting was low and few people were about, he risked being seen even at a distance as little as possible. He came to the edge of the town square, and took a quick survey of the area. Nobody seemed to be around at the moment, but he still felt uncomfortable about crossing such an open space. During that moment where he was pondering whether to circle around or go through, someone entered the plaza from another direction.
Kim - May 7, 2011 08:51 PM (GMT)
None would ever imagine that such a woman as Alex would be doing something so dangerous. She was a high born noble woman, bought up to be a ‘proper’ lady, yet never had she been able to force herself into that mould. She had tried, Lord knows she had tried, but no matter how much she pushed and shoved, there was just no fitting into that perfect role. Oh how she had wanted to be that perfect daughter, to act as a lady should, delicate, genteel and submissive, but there had always been something about Alex that had rebelled against such things and the more she had forced herself to be that woman, the more that secret part of her grew and became stronger, refusing to be moulded.
And so she had took to a second life, one without the pomp and ceremony of the nobility, one that went against the grain of society and spat in its eye. For she had took on the guise of a criminal, an outlaw, to fulfil her own needs of danger, excitement, and of course, the thrill that she was going against societies rules, and that of the powers that were within Nottingham. Her compassion had bought her to act against those that took advantage of the poor and downtrodden, to use her skills, her sharp mind, and her fiery passion to help those that needed it most.
It was for this reason that she now trailed a visiting Noble. A Lord from the town of Loughborough had come calling and as soon as she had set eyes upon the man she knew he was up to no good. Was he one of the Lords that had tried to buy allegiance with the Sheriff of Nottingham? Was this man sent here by the Sheriff of that town to negotiate and scheme with Nottingham? Within the castle she had done her best to follow the man, but there was little she could do without actually making it obvious. So when night had come, Alex had been ready. She had dressed in her usual clothes, tight fitting garments of a dark hue, a leather mask to cover her eyes and a silken scarf to cover her mouth, topped off with a dark travelling cloak to hide her hair, and waited for the man to exit his chambers. She had followed him for perhaps a half hour when he had come to the Square. Why he had come here, she couldn’t guess. But as she spotted a shadow darker than the rest on the other side of the square she had stopped and waited within the shadows of the alley.
Was this man that she had spotted on the other side of the square who the Lordling had come here to seek? Or was she not the only masked ‘bandit’ on the prowl this night? Only time would tell now as she was certain that whoever it was had spotted her as she had stumbled back to the shadows, if he was a consort of the Lord then all would be revealed soon and Alex would have to run for her life!
Matthew Sharpe - May 9, 2011 06:13 PM (GMT)
A nobleman going through the town in the dead of night was unusual, but Matthew had known of such things to happen before. In his experience this either meant that the man had business to handle which either required a great deal of discretion, or he had just arrived in town and the business was very urgent. That was not something he needed to concern himself with. On the other hand, the shadow he could spot peeking out from the edge of the square after the noble caught his attention more.
He could have simply chosen to ignore whatever this was, but it seemed worth investigating. While Matthew had not been working in Sherwood as part of the local underworld so much, he felt it was a good idea to see what he could find out about such things here. Besides, he was supposed to be a guard now, was he not? And addressing strange people tailing nobles in the dead of night seemed like the kind of thing a guard should be concerned about. He gave a wry smile at the irony, which went unseen beneath his mask.
Matthew pulled back from the edge of the opening, and turned down the nearest road that would lead him to circle around towards the other shadow. He was not going to face things head on in such an open area. There was the concern that the person might not still be here when he arrived by such a roundabout way, so Matthew picked up the speed at the expense of silence. His mind went through the pace at which the nobleman had been advancing, and tried to sort out how long it would take for him to cross the square. If person tailing him was competent at all, they wouldn't try to cross the square themselves until the target had passed. Matthew tried to set his pace to fit into that mental estimate of time he had. Finally he came around the corner which put him on the same stretch of street from where the nobleman had come to his sight.
Alexandra Miller - May 13, 2011 10:56 PM (GMT)
Unbeknown to Alex, the shadow that she had spotted across the square had melted into nothingness and even now circled round to come at the alley she hid in, from behind. With furtive glances towards where she had spotted the lurking soul, she continued to watch the Lord from the safety of the alley, her eyes narrowed in concentration as he started to make his way down another alley. How curious! Nobility very rarely ventured out at night alone, especially in these more run down areas of the town. Something was going off here that was important, something that she would do her best to find out. But she had lingered too long in this one spot, and now the approaching staccato of footsteps sounded in the chill night.
The masked woman had little time to think. Should she reveal herself to the noble she had been following, and risk the man calling down the guards to hunt her through the night? Or should she lie in wait and see if this person was merely a late night reveller and passed her by? She looked back to the noble, but found he wasn’t there. Panic struck her, which door had he vanished into? Her eyes darted every which way until there was no more time to dally. With one last look towards where she suspected the lord to have gone, Alex stepped back and immersed herself in the dense shadows created by the cold stone building. Adrenaline started to pump through her body, causing her breath to come faster. Alex tried hard to quiet her breaths so that whoever it was would simply pass on by without ever knowing she was there. But one could never be too careful, and slowly Alex slid her hand to her waist where she had two daggers attached to her belt. Slowly, with a steely hiss, she removed one and held it low but firm. Poised, waiting for confirmation of who this person was.
Matthew Sharpe - May 29, 2011 05:33 PM (GMT)
Upon arriving to the right stretch of street, Matthew immediately noted how the shadowy figure was no longer in the same spot. That caused him to immediately slip to the side and continue more stealthily, hugging the walls with light steps. He did briefly entertain the thought of rushing onwards, looking down the adjoining streets and alleyways as well as the town square to see if he could spot it again. However, that was not his main purpose here. The important part was finding out the information and remaining unseen. This was merely a distraction.
Upon quieting down his own movement, Matthew perked up his ears. In the dead of the night when everything was dark and quiet, hearing could easily be more useful than sight. He could not hear any steps nearby, which could mean one of three things. Either the shadow was too far away for him to hear it, or it was moving quietly enough to achieve the same effect, or... it was still nearby, but hidden and still. That last one was the one which posed most danger, and Matthew moved on with that in mind. There was no harm in assuming the worst case here. He focused on the sounds more with that though. Few people had the capacity to avoid making the slightest shift in their posture, which caused small shuffling and scraping noises. Not to mention the sounds made from breathing.
Alexandra Miller - June 8, 2011 05:40 PM (GMT)
Her back hugged the cool stone of the wall, her breath coming short and shallow, aiming to keep herself as silent as possible. The footsteps slowed and eventually stopped, whoever it was were in the process of coming down the same alley she was hidden in, but where had they gone now? Had they diverted down another alley? Or where they so quiet that she couldn’t hear them? She strained her ears to try and capture any slight sound that may come from down the alley, but she heard nothing that she could pin point to be the person that had been rushing towards her. She was in a dilemma, she wanted to track down the noble man once again, to figure out exactly what was happening, maybe gain a slight insight into what the sheriff was up to.
After what felt like hours she could hear nothing, and decided that the coast was clear to try and find where the visiting noble had vanished to. Yet caution was still needed, in her position she could not risk being caught. Slowly she eased herself away from the wall and looked hard into the deep shadows of the alley, but she could detect no movement, no sound, nothing. Slowly, softly, she placed one foot before the other and crept towards the square. Once she had reached the opening of the alley she stopped once again, her next step would take her out into the open and she needed to be sure that she was alone. Yet she could hear nothing. She felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck and a shiver run down her spine, the feeling one gets when you feel as though you are being watched by unseen eyes. But Alex dismissed it as a silly, trifling thing and carried on.
Keeping to the shadows as much as possible Alex moved out into the square, the silken scarf across her mouth billowing slightly with her breath, her dark travelling cloak pulled tightly about her, her soft leather boots making little to no sound on the cobbled stones of the square. She moved towards where she believed the noble had gone, her masked eyes darting in every direction as she moved.
Matthew Sharpe - June 18, 2011 05:11 PM (GMT)
Matthew did his best to remain hidden from view as well, while still having some way to monitor the street, be it by sight or hearing. As such, he was aware of it when the person he had been tracking began moving. Or at least the most likely option was that it was the same person. He started moving himself again, trying to keep himself as silent and out of sight as possible.
As they both moved, Matthew got a slightly clearer look at his target than before. This one did seem to match the distant glimpse he had gotten earlier, and was clearly trying to stay out of sight. It felt to him like it was time to announce his presence. Different ideas for how to accomplish that went through his mind. Announce his presence with words? Rush at the person and try to subdue him... or her?
After a brief moment, he made his choice. Matthew straightened himself and began walking towards the town square, neither trying to quiet his footsteps or make them unusually loud either. In the still night even a slight shuffle could be easily heard. As a hooded silhouette in the twilight, he approached the other.