Arlin spoke softly as he approached the brigand. “You do not want to do this. I am a cleric of Dian Cécht and I mean you no harm. Just lower your weapon and be on your way. I will forgive your actions against us.”
“No,” the brigand spat, his eye twitched. “He said that you would give it to us. Fork it over. Give us the money. We know you have it. Hand over the gold.”
“Tell you what,” Arlin smiled. “Tell me who put you and your fearsome men up to this and I’ll gladly hand over the money. There will be no violence today.”
“He… I… I can’t tell you. Just hand over the gold. Or else.” The highway robber scratched his head while searching for the right words to say. He then hollered towards the shrubbery. “Give them a show of your hunting skills Joe.” An arrow flew high into the air, wobbling as it went, before falling flat on the ground before the five young men.
“That sure was impressive,” Arlin said. “Please, tell me who the mastermind was behind this highway action and the gold will be yours.”
The brigand scratched his chin. “Fine, we’ll do this your way. Don’t know who he is. He wore a dark cloak which covered his eyes. He came up to me and my men at the Golden Drake.” The highway man extended his hand, opening it wide and closing it repeatedly. “I told you what you wanted now give me what you promised.”
“You did not tell me exactly what I needed to know.” Arlin drew his dagger and slashed. His foe stumbled to one knee and grabbed his belly.
Gaston, Jarik, and Thothen charged into the underbrush. The dwarf screamed an ancient battle call while the half-elf ducked from tree to tree. The pair of thieves in the woods dropped their bows and drew swords. They rushed to meet the oncoming travelers.
A burst of flames surrounded Arlin, catching the brigand. Bolts of arcane magic streaked from Firae’s outstretched wand, wounding the burning highwayman further. The thief dropped his sword and fell.
“There is no place in this world for highway thieves,” Gaston shouted as he attacked one of the men. Thothen growled as he swung his axe, the highway man stumbled away. Jarik circled around the battle, flanking their opponents and cutting off their escape. The fight was quick and left the highway men dead.
“You weren’t planning on giving them the gold, were you?” Miirik said while tending to the injuries the men had suffered in the fighting.
Arlin shook his head no.