((Umm... I'll just pretend Anoye already pledged xD))
Anoye was walking at the back of the group to avoid feeling claustrophobic. She felt nervous about joining this quest but she can't exactly turn back now after giving her word. As she walked she noticed a man making his way against the crowd to the back with an eager look like he just gained something that was lost. It wasn't until short after she noticed he was the theif who was supposed to be doing this as his punishment, and it look like he was about to make a run for it. "W-Where might mister be going?" Anoye asked quietly, stepping in front of him and hoping to stop him without getting hurt.
((Sorry! My bad!))
"Thank you, sir," Kerli nodded at the man. She opened the map and began reading. In the back, Bink was suddenly confronted by a girl. "What is it you want?" he asked in his tenor voice. His hands were crossed against his chest and he looked down at her with dark eyes. Back at the front of the group Kerli made the decision. "We must move East to get to the jungle and then North East for the neighboring kingdom," she declared. She looked to her side and saw another archer. He was looking at her with a weird expression so she turned her head back to the group. "Onward," she commanded starting to lead the group East.
The group pushed against Procutteus. And he found himself dropping to the back. He cursed. He'd have to do better than that if he wanted to learn anything on this trip. He glanced to his left and saw the weakling, the botanist. He figured that the man had been judged enough today, so instead he smiled and decided to be friendly. "A lot of these people don't seem to fond of you," he said. "I guess that's something we have in common."
Epoline stayed near the front of the group as well. If anyone or anything were to attack, it was her duty as a warrior to protect them and battle. Her sword was sheathed in her belt, she had no use for it at the moment. As the group headed East, Epoline followed. It seemed as if Kerli had taken the lead. She was okay with that, she just wanted to maintain her duty as top warrior.
Camden tiptoed along behind the group. He was very nervous. Just ahead of him was a strong burly man with a deep tenor voice. He shyed away from him, wanting to keep his distance. Instead he wavered over to Anoye, who seemed less intimidating to him.
(( Sorry it posted without me finishing! :( ))
Camden nodded nervously at Procutteus. "Y-yeah I g-g-guess so.." he murmured softly. This man didn't seem too frightening. He sidled up beside the man. He had to make one friend, or this quest would end up being miserable for him.
Procutteus studied the stuttering man curiously. He was a bit older than Procutteus, but not by much, and he definitely wasn't warrior class. Procutteus didn't mind. He didn't have any friends who had even the slightest skill in battle, and knew how important the soft people could be.
"What's your name?" Procutteus asked as the group proceeded forward. "I'm Procutteus."
* * *
Edron stayed near the front of the group, analzing the bright sunlight attempting to break through the holed canopy of leaves above him. It had to be midday or so. Instinctively, he looked ahead to watch his step, and spotted a birch tree with three claw marks to his right.
"We're entering bear territory," he muttered to the archer girl who led the group.
Epoline turned to the man who had just warned them. Bear territory? Great. Their journey had only just begun, was there really going to be trouble already? "Maybe we should head west for a little bit, so we're traveling on the outskirts of bear territory. Then we can continue East once we're past it." Epoline offered. She wasn't saying this out of cowardice, just out of concern.
Camden turned toward Procutteus. "I'm Camden. What made you decide to come on this journey?" he asked trying to make conversation.
He hoped to earn his friendship. This would be a long journey if he just stayed silent the whole time.
Edron shook his head. "This is the only recognizable path for miles in each direction. If we travel through the woods without a path, we'd get lost easily. Just stay on your guard. No group of twenty's ever been overpowered by a couple bears." In the back, Procutteus shrugged at Camden's question. "That's still a matter of debate," he answered, re-adjusting his bow.
Kerli leaded fearlessly into the bear territory. She was no genius on nature, for she'd only ever battled in territories. She turned to Edron and handed him the map. "Your name, sir, is Edron, am I correct?" she asked. Without waiting for an answer she handed him the map. "Make sure we stay on track because this path breaks into three up by the river, and in bear territory we must be ready," she said pulling her light weeping willow bow out and holding it firmly in her child-sized hand. In the back Bink felt he'd waited long enough for the girl to respond. He pushed her aside and began walking in the opposite direction. "I'm outta here," he mumbled.
Edron studied the map as he walked, then looked ahead.
"We should be approaching the three paths. They should be in sight soon. I suggest we take the path that runs next to the river. That way, we have a decent camping spot, should we camp by the river for the night."
((Sorry! My dad tries to keep me busy in any way possible >.<))
Anoye struggled to find her voice and when it didn't come out the man grew impatient and pushed her aside. "W-Wait!" She yelled though it sounded more like a squeak, "Does mister know that that is the wrong way?! The group is moving this way!"
Bink spun around and glared at the girl. "Mister knows exactly what he's doing!" he growled, "He's getting the he.ll away from these goody-goody people and going his own way -- the safer way." He spun and stormed off. He mocked the girl as he walked away, laughing to himself.
Kerli was no longer the leader -- Edron was. He had the map after all, and it was her duty to protect from bears. She walked solidly, on the lookout for anything that moved, but she was too short to see over the large group of people that she was suddenly a part of, rather than being the leader and walking in front of everybody. She bounced up to Edron and tried to keep up with his pace.
Edron soon reached the river path, and the sky was visiblie again. But the color didn't please Edron. The air over the horizon was turning scarlet red, and the sun would soon be sinking below it. Edron peered ahead and saw a small clearing by the riverbank about two hundred feet up.
"There," he said, pointing. "We'll make camp there tonight. Best not travel at night, even with strength in numbers."
Anoye huffed when she heard the man mock her. She looked back at the group and notice they were way up ahead. She needed to catch up but... she glanced back at the man and he was walking away too. Taking a step forward, she yelled, "Well Anoye believes your just a big coward! First stealing and now walking away from a punishment! I'd be a shamed of myself." With that she ran off towards the group, hoping what she just said wasn't going to kill her.
That girl made his blood boil. Bink spun around and shouted, "Who'll be the coward tonight while you sleep in your group in unfamiliar with the territory? That path is a poor choice and if you had any brains, you'd let me be the leader and we could travel the safe rout!" Kerli heard his deep voice shouting and she spun around. She wasn't sure who was speaking, or why they sounded so far away, but she shrugged and followed diligently Edron up the incline.
"Mister will~" Anoye answered in a sing-song voice, no longer wanting to yell because she wasn't even sure if the man could hear her even if she did. Not to mention the attenion it would cause. She wasn't afraid of the territories they were about to go through if she was with the group. Oh no no, she was more afraid of people like him who would screw up the quest and leave on their own accord. There was a reason why such a big group was needed and there was a reason why the guards chose to give the thief man this punishment instead of jail time. Everyone's skills were necessary. If one guy bails out, it could easily cost the life of three more.
Edron reached the clearing and stopped. He bent down and took a handful of sand, pebbles, and stones, letting it seep inbetween his fingers.
"It'll hold us," he muttered, then turned to the rest of the group, raising his voice so all of them could hear. "We'll camp here tonight!"
* * *
Procutteus heard the announcement from Edron and picked his spot on the sandy clearing, right next to the water. He pulled a wooden stake from his sack of supplies and started to hammer it into the ground as he began to make his tent.
Epoline sighed as they settled in for camp. Unpacking her knapsack, she pulled out her sleeping bag. It was old and worn, but it would do. She walked over to the river and splashed her face with cold water. She gazed across the river. It had been an okay first day. Edron appeared to have taken the lead. She was fine with this, but she wished she could've been more useful.
Camden nodded. As they arrived at camp, he realized he had came unprepared. His bag only carried a hole filled blanket and a canteen. Eventually he decided to fill up his canteen. Who knew when their next water source would be. He wanted to be prepared. He filled up his canteen and took a long swig of the cool river water.
Edron quickly assembled his tent and went inside it alone. After a while of looking at his map, he pulled out a hand mirror and smiled.
"King Edron..." He muttered with a toothy smile. "King Edron."
* * *
Procutteus was nearing completion of his tent, but he had one last stake to hit into the ground and he couldn't tighten the rope at the same time. He looked around for assistance and spotted Camden by the river, filling his canteen.
"Camden, can you hold this?" Procutteus asked, motioning to the rope he was holding. "I need to set up my tent."
Kerli took out her supplies. She set up her small tent, and turned to the group. "There are twenty of us so nobody should ever be alone. We should partner up, and then have two pairs of partners be the first lookouts," Kerli suggested. "I volunteer for the first shift," she said, "And we need to collect some firewood so we don't freeze to death out here." She began wandering around the edge of the clearing picking up fallen branches and crushing them beneath her foot.
Bink walked the opposite end of the path. He breathed in the fresh scent of freedom. He wandered in the dimming light of day, and suddenly he was in the dark. The sun was still setting, but he'd wandered deep into the wood. He decided it was time to settle down for the night. He stomped on the ground around the roots of a giant oak and decided it was a fine place to sleep.