Hurtis wrote:"And by telling the good Count of your intentions how are we to know that he will not run us through thinking we have an ulterior motive to move him away from the safety of his troops? Will he be allowed to br accompanied by his personal guards to this meeting?" Hurtis looks straight into the eyes of the daughter of the count and asks earnestly, "Fair lady, do you knowing your Father better than anyone, really think he will agree to come here for this meeting? After being beside himself since your apparent kidnapping?" And my good host, with what you have done, do you think the count will realize that it was all done for love?" Do you think that with all the sleepless nights he has endured since her dissapearance will be put behind him? I need not remind you that there are matters of state that may have no bearing upon your love or intent. This shall indeed be a task upon which we need to cross our collective fingers that we all do not end up on the blade."
Having heard the last of the statements, for now, a large grin crosses Damian Masters' face, and he begins to answer the collective questions,
"I do not believe, if the Count truly wishes his daughter back safe and sound, and keep in mind he knows nothing of my intentions, yet, that he will come without question or fail.
"I do not ask him to give up the safety of his troops, but that he does realize my troops have already bested his several times in individual competitions and have, constantly, bested the soldiers of the Nuln Guard on multiple occasions when they have come to hunt us. Indeed, I ask that he brings the Wolverine Knights contingent as well as those he can spare for the safety of the caravan camp, with him.
Jenna looks a little worried for a second, when Hurtis asks his questions about the counts worry, but only until Damian takes her hand in his and stares into her eyes, answering,
"We do not care how the Count feels in this, master warrior, for his feelings would pass as soon as he hears my offer. Bring the Count here, so he may hear what Jenna and I must say to him, please?
"I will send twenty of my men with you. They will not be my best, and they will not be visible to the Count's entourage. You will know where they are so you can keep your eyes on the business at hand and not wonder where they are. If anything untoward should happen to you, my men will jump in and give you the assistance they can. Against one-hundred-seventy-five men, twenty-five of which are in hardened plate armor, they will be instructed to do what they can and then get out with their own lives should the situation become untenable.
"One good way in which you could ensure the survival of most of you, would be to have one person go alone. Less for my men to have to salvage should the need arise, and less for you all to worry about." Herr Masters' shrugs at his proposal, not being something he would do, and he makes it obvious he would not.
"Should you decide to not take on this task, several things will happen, of which I will start the most immediate with you:
"You will have a choice to remain here, go free, or go free back to the caravan. You are not my prisoners, but my guests. However, if you bring anyone back here for any reason other than your very survival, I will personally carve you into pieces and feed you to my Alligators.
"If you return to the caravan, you will be going empty-handed of Jenna, and the same will apply should you decide to bring anyone back here. The Empire and Bretonnia will go to war, Chaos will begin to win over this entire region of the forest and, eventually, my people and I will do one of two things:
"We will fight to the last man, woman, and child, and die; or, worse, we will become the minions of whatever evil comes through here."
Herr Masters countenance changes rather quickly, from a look of amusement at your arguments and the witty banter taking place, to one of urgency and care for those around him, worry about the soon-to-be future.
"You see, my friends, I understand the import of what is taking place in our lands far greater than, perhaps you ascribe to know, or even want to know." His eyes avert uncomfortably because this is an obvious aspect of his life he has absolutely no control over. "Jenna has agreed, even with me, that it is absolutely necessary for her to marry the Dauphin. He has a love for her beauty, if not for her soul, and will not think of any other way to make treaty with the Empire against the forces of Chaos which are slowly creeping into our disjointed and non-unified lives and lands to take what they want by force and violence.
"So, you see, it is of far greater import that you consider yourselves expendable and ready to be put to the sword for the safety and love of all that you hold dear.
"What say you, friends? Daylight is slowly waning."