Keeping Guard While Sleeping

Some brave bandit warrior lady approached the mini-army and demanded payment. “Hold up there…this is a toll road. Yeah, my toll road and if you want to use it, need to pay me…oh…200 gold.”

Lurren delayed making her payment. “I don’t have 200 gold.”

“That’s a real shame.” The bandit replied.

“That’s what I thought, too.” Lurren switched to her 2-handed and swung wide at the woman.

“Well, lookee here looks like we got ourselves a hero.” The bandit countered the blow with her shield then dropped to her knees dead.

Lurren looked down then up at the six faces staring back. “Little overkill, don’t you agree?”

“Can’t wait to count out your coin!” The bandit chief along with 10 more bandits flew out of the tower toward Lurren’s group.

Lurren raced to a safe spot to get her notebook and charcoal out. Tracking the names is most important as a bandit hunter. First lesson Indigoblade teaches the young hopefuls.

“You must know who you are dealing with.” Indigoblade told his class while tapping on a parchment filled with bandit names. “This list here is what I developed while out in the field myself. Granted there are only two names on the list but I took an arrow to the knee and had to retire.”

A voice broke her thoughts, “I don’t know, DA9, normally when a battle starts, one runs toward it and not away.” Thrynn stood over her. “Care to comment on this runaway feature that bandit hunters seem to have?”

“Now, Thrynn, I wasn’t running away. I needed to track them and can’t get to my gear while in combat.” She calmly replaced her tracking equipment and stood up. “I see you behind him, Maurice.”

Maurice showed his face briefly, “Are we almost there yet?” His head retracted behind Thrynn’s back when she glared her answer to him.

“Thrynn, according to my map, this is one of their bases. Now, if we continue northeast, there are three more close together.” She was telling Thrynn as they continued east on the road. “Moving southeast is only one base however it has several camps on both sides.”

Vilja and her team followed behind while sharing the newest loot from the bandits among each other.   Maurice trailed the farthest back having lost his bodyguard when Thrynn began walking with Lurren.

“Nah, I would not bother with them yet.” The ex-bandit offered.

“Why not?” Lurren asked, surprised that Thrynn knew what she meant was to the northeast.

“Those aren’t the major ones.” He kept pace with her, for a small woman she sure could move quickly. “Too easy to get nabbed by guards, they tend to work in shifts. We would need to observe their habits first. Best to look further north for shipwrecks and along the coastline. Much more open area for them to work in and hostile enough to keep the law away.” Thrynn looked down at her when she stopped to face him. “Hurt them there.”

Lurren knew there was something wrong with this whole conversation. He was being too nice. He was up to something. “Sounds like solid advice to me. Thanks.” She patted him on the chest just below one shoulder. “Let’s finish getting the sap then head to Markarth. Can go north after that.”

Thrynn was betting on cold nights up north and one woman needing some warmth. He would certainly offer to be that heating blanket for her.

“We must stop!” Vilja informed Lurren when she caught up with her and Thrynn.

“Why is that?” Lurren asked while still walking and noticed Thrynn kept in step with her.

“We need to rest for the night.” Vilja was moving through the trees while providing instructions. “A friend of mine built campsites all around Skyrim just for me. For me!”

“Let me get this straight. The girl who traveled all around Skyrim alone has a friend who built campsites all around Skyrim for her? This same person who could not find a sanctuary, her flute or two thieves who were just up the street from where she was.” Lurren was flying off the handle over this news. “And yet! She knows exactly where one of these campsites are?”

Vilja looked back and pondered over the question. “Isn’t it exciting!. And not just this one, I know where they all are. This way.”

Thrynn smiled down with that oh so sweet smile and said, “I’m going for dinner with the wife and relatives.”

Lurren hollered at Vilja’s back, “Then why don’t you ask your friend to help you find the other places or things or whatever it is you need found!” She was also the only one left standing in the road. The others had followed Vilja into the woods to settle in for the night.

Thrynn felt a small pebble hit him squarely in the back. He didn’t need to turn around to see who threw it. He knew and loved every minute of it.

“Think she will follow?” Nikolai asked Thrynn while eating some rabbit stew. He knew one thing about Vilja she sure could cook. The stew was delicious and just what Nikolai needed before bed.

“Probably not until I carry her over here.” Thrynn jokingly replied. “She will show up.”

Vilja told everyone to gather round as she had something amazing to show them. She proudly pointed at two barrels sitting inside the tent. “Look at what my friend left. One for me and one for my dog.” She was splitting the food among her followers. “Don’t tell Lurren yet about the dog.” Everyone agreed that was best. “Since there are four bedrolls in the tent that means three will need to sleep later. Being the one with the most votes, I elected myself as the Super Sleeper Keeper.” She pulled Nikolai from the tent and told him that he was second shift.

“I get to sleep with Lurren?” Nikolai really didn’t think that was a bad idea at all, no, he was completely for it.

Thrynn wasn’t thrilled with the way Nikolai said that. No DA9 or even Agent, no, the man went straight for the first name bases. Doing a double shift of sleep in the middle of them may be in order.

Maurice was put into the second shift but pleaded not be left with Lurren without Thrynn’s presence. Vilja understood his concerns and permitted him in the first shift.

“Lydia, you and Sven, Thrynn and me will sleep the first shift.” Vilja stopped talking and folded her arms. “Her tent is better.”

Lurren had erected her own personal carryall camping kit. A fine kit that easily fits into her knapsack and contains it own barrel for storage. Her barrel not only came with the tent but it also contained the Book of Camping Terminology. She was whistling while putting on the final touches when the chain gang appeared.

“I am here to inform you that you have been voted off.” Lydia informed Lurren who suddenly stopped whistling.

“Gosh, how will I survive?” Lurren said before turning around to face the enemies directly. “What do you mean I have been voted off?”

Lydia motioned toward the tent. “You are out. We are in.”

“Oh I see, you are all just upset because I have the Northern Ranger model and you have what? The BFF model?” Lurren was simply amazed at what they were trying to sell her. “I am not moving out of my tent.”

Vilja was already inside and deemed it perfect for a thane and Dragonborn of Legend. “This will do nicely as an extension to my campsite. Can you customize this one? Some models aren’t, you know.”

Sven, Maurice and Nikolai followed Vilja while Lydia motioned for Thrynn to go in. He just shook his head and went to sit at the wooden table by the fire instead.

Lurren just stood staring as the tent flap dropped down with her still outside. “Unbelievable! I saved a whole week’s worth of pay to buy that kit.” She ran one hand through her hair and sighed. Lurren really didn’t care about either tent as they both served the purpose as some place to sleep. Good news was Thrynn was still outside, which just might lead him to sleeping with her. In another bedroll and not with her directly, she reminded her heart.

Nikolai stepped out from the Thane’s tent and pointed to the other tent. “I’m sleeping with you.”

How she loved men who were so direct in their handling of women. Nothing like a fine looking, muscular Nord warrior telling you like it is. Lurren just beamed at him, “And me with you!”

“Wow really?’ Nikolai was shocked at her response. “You don’t mind? I don’t snore of anything like that. And, and, I sleep with my boots off.”

Thrynn looked over at Nikolai with the look of ‘I mind greatly’ on his face. But the warrior didn’t notice as he was busy cleaning up the tent for his roommate.

Lydia stepped from Vilja’s tent, “Thrynn. Your presence is being requested by the Dragonborn.” She waited for him to get up.

Without a word, he stood up and past by Lurren without looking her way.

Lydia smiled at the glaring Lurren and disappeared behind him into the tent. The flap shut out any view of the inner workings when it fell closed leaving Lurren and Nikolai alone.

Nikolai was getting ready for bed, he was tired and wanted to lie down. Eyeing the four bedrolls, he turned to Lurren and asked which one she preferred to have.

Lurren chose the one to the far left. Away from those barrels and keeping that other tent out of her sight. She crawled upon the bedroll then turned toward Nikolai in the bedroll next to her. They were playing spider fight with each other, tapping their fingertips together when the tentcarl showed up.

Lydia cleared her voice loudly and motioned for Nikolai to move to the far right. “I’m sleeping here as well. Orders from my thane.” She dropped onto one bedroll between Lurren and Nikolai. “Go to sleep you two.”

Nikolai rolled over on his back and sighed heavily. He was winning the spider fight and now the game was forfeited.

Lurren was busy counting off the women left in Vilja’s tent and determined there were none. She growled softly then fell asleep from exhaustion.

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