After Garren makes his statement, and Allanah retorts, Avar just shakes his head at the absurdity of the situation.
Eyeing the Elven woman Avar grumbles, "Imperial devi...?" and then exhales loudly. "By the celestial court woman what are you two going to do here? Murder one person to get laid low here and now?"
The Paladin dismounts and walks towards the male elf while removing his mailed hand, "We have already let a goblin go who attacked us. We can do the same for you."
The Legate of Agon extends his hand, "Deal?"
Before anyone can speak up Avar finishes and looks around the assembled group, "We're wasting time here. If they're up to some nefarious plan, and have reinforcements somewhere, and come back to attack us, then we'll just deal with it then. They have surrendered. Let's just show them quarter and continue on with what we need to take care of. It really isn't that difficult."
Avar keeps his hand extended to see if the male takes it.
Alannah whispers back to the male elf holding her, "That's Avar," referencing back to the 'Avar' that she had warned Jalen would come back and put an end to their questioning.
The male elf doesn't take Avar's hand, and he ignores Alannah entirely. But on the bright side, he replies to Avar, "The half-human is talking about executing us despite our surrender." He gives Alannah a gentle shake, and adds, "After this one accepted our surrender, and gave her word that it would be honored if we cooperated with your group's questioning. But that's hardly a surprise from an Imperial. Lies and oath-breaking have ever been their way in dealing with the elves. Your speech sounds like an Imperial's so I have my doubts about you. But this woman behaved as if you would interfere with her. So for the moment, let us speak as if you will deal honestly with us."
The elf woman takes up the thread of his thinking, "If you intend to honor our surrender, you have our word that we shall travel westward until we are beneath the shade of the Tallwood, stopping only to eat, sleep, and see to bodily necessity. We shall do no violence to man or beast, except in self-defense or to obtain the necessities of life, until we've been in the forest for a turning of the moon. This woman has already looted Aonghus's corpse. As victors, it's fair that you keep what you have taken. But we would keep our clothing, such food as we have with us, and our bows and knives. We have not the provisions to make the journey back to the Tallwood, and we'll travel the faster for being able to hunt. If you will force us to go unarmed and without supplies, we may as well just try to fight you now."
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold
Addressing the male, Garren asks, "So you understand that accepting your surrender depended on you cooperating with the questioning. Think back to your answers and tell me, is there anything that you left out or failed to disclose? Anything you were less than honest about?"
Alannah opens her mouth for a moment, about to answer for the elf, then thinks better of it for once and lets the elf speak his own answer first. It's obvious that she's waiting to jump in and explain what she doesn't think the elf is being fully honest about if he doesn't disclose it himself.
Again, the male elf ignores one interlocutor in favor of speaking to another, telling Avar, "Your . . . associates are not honorable people. This one," he tosses his head in Garren's direction, "made it clear that their plan was to kill us when our answers to their questions did not please him. We surrendered. We answered questions, although that was not part of the terms. But they did not believe us, and immediately started talking about killing us. The half-breed and this priest even bickered over who should have the privilege of killing us. At first there was talk of using magic to tell the truth of our words. But that was a lie."
"Release us," agrees the elf woman. "We--" she tenses up as Gallielle arrives, having finally gotten his horse back under control.
The gnome looks questioningly at Garren, and asks, "They surrendered?"
Alannah looks at Gabrielle and says sarcastically, "Yep, that's why they are trying to stab me."
Gallielle's facial expression turns wry, "So that would be a yes. Why'd you let them take you hostage?"
Alannah grits her teeth, "Ironically, because I was... and still am... trying not to kill them. They are making it very difficult at the moment."
Avar listens to the discussion and drops his unshaken hand.
Hands on his hips, the heavily armored Aasimar turns as best as possible to look at the assembled party. Squaring up to the duo the paladin offers, "Well, I am Imperial so you can choose to trust me or not. Truth be told I have only been with this party for a short while. I only speak for myself when I say that I accept your surrender and to your terms. I have no interest in killing the two of you right now. We have bigger issues."
"You have my word that if you surrendered and have met the terms of the surrender then you may go. I will even aid you if someone from this group decides to attack you. But, before we get to that do you swear on your ancestors to have told the truth to the questions posed to you?"
Avar makes it obvious that he is concentrating on them as they provide their answer.
Oskav, having left the dead elf and mounted his traitorous steed once more, rides up behind the rest of the party. Blood is streaked across his cheeks and forehead, and down over his eyes. He regards the survivors impassively.
"Lady Alannah. Why do you tarry? The road beckons. Stop pestering these people and let us be on our way."
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
"All our answers were truthful," the elf woman replies.
Alannah scoffs at Oskav's jive, "Oh, we're just finishing this up, one way or another."
Avar nods his head, accepting the answer, "Let her go and get out of here. Next time you would do well to pick a better target."
Looking to everyone, "This has taken too long. Let us take our leave and get focused on what we need to take care of."
The paladin waits to see what happens next.
The elves let go of Alannah, and step back from her. Without wasting any time, they retrieve their bows and walk away to the west.
Avar watches them go for a few moments and then eyes Alannah, "Are you all right?"
A small grin plays at the corner of the Aasimars mouth, "Or was it all part of the plan?"
Jalen walks towards them, though at no great speed, he says in elvish pitched more than loudly enough to carry, "My oaths are to Leroe, but may Brendalor's arrows find me if I speak an untruth. A new dragon of no small power has been summoned into the valley by foul rites of monsters. Tell Druid Ceretheliaul to ward the forest well, and that I will assist if needed."
The elves don't give any sign that they're listening to Jalen, although it's virtually certain that they've heard every word he just said. They simply keep walking at a brisk pace, not quite a jog.
Arkady and his kids make their way back towards the group, keeping a generous space between themselves and the elves, but it's Gallielle who speaks up first, "Too bad about having to let them go, but I suppose it was necessary if you accepted their parole."
Meanwhile you can all hear and see Jonas, Rennit, and Elimendreda fording the stream to your north. Evidently they've gotten their mounts under control, and are ready to rejoin your group.
Jalen shrugs, "Yes, well, apparently Alannah doesn't care about little things like war. Their presence here is NOT a good sign, and we still don't know WHY." His tones are bitter. But then he says more calmly, "Thank you, nonetheless, for getting them to take a way out... Even if . . . " he stops for a moment you might think he was about to cry, "I did not want to kill them, but no one else but me should ever claim credit or kill a cleansing flame elf, if we can avoid it." He muses and says, "Except Avar, I suppose. Imperials are not expected to have any respect for anything but their own arrogance."
Alannah turns her nose up at both comments, "There's always a war. Why do you think all of the hobgoblins have been marching around here? The goblins are active, the fey are riled up, and now elves join in. It's not I don't care, but what are we going to do, go to Port Hope and demand an audience and try to convince someone that trouble is coming?"
"I was under the impression that that was your plan," Gallielle agrees. "If I understood some of Master Evallason's earlier remarks, he's the son of Merenstone Hope the First. The current Merenstone Hope is . . . what is it? His great, great, great nephew?" The gnome blinks rapidly, and muses, "And I don't mean to talk out of school, but Master Shrithan—Jonas, that is—well, he says that you're of the Port Hope aristocracy as well, Madame Zaidah. Something about leaving home to pursue a love affair that your parents wouldn't approve of. Perhaps he's mistaken, but your mannerisms DO smack of a certain . . . ah, refinement? I suppose?"
Georgie doesn't quite suppress a snicker at that.
Alannah pauses at the comment, looking to Jalen and back to Gallielle, "While both are technically true, I don't think either of us are going to want to go around declaring our lineage to every Seneschal and Chamberlain we'd have to go through to get an audience. Besides, Chuul would never wait around long enough for us to arrange it and be seen." She ponders it for a moment more, "Unless Hope is holding an awfully convenient open audience. But I'm not sure this is much of a public matter." She appears to be close to talking herself into warming to the idea.
Arkady notes, "A whole village has been wiped out, and the only real route for travel to Emerald Hollow is closed. People need to know what's happened, if only to stop them trying to make what was already a difficult journey. If it's not a public matter already, then I don't know what is."
If Jalen's comments have any effect on Avar he either chooses to bury the reaction or he simply doesn't care. If anyone is looking, he appears to have other things on his mind.
Easing into the saddle on Zeelar the paladin offers, "We should certainly inform as many as we can of what appears to be more than your run of the mill dangers of the road."
With that the paladin spurs his mount towards the group to prepare to go.
Alannah motions back to the druid's body, "The shape changer had some nice armor and weapons. We'd likely be able to sell it in Port Hope. I took a wand from him, but couldn't carry the rest."
Garren strips without a words and loads it onto Celene.