Sep 15, 2019 6:25 AM
Robin vs Rebels
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The town of Hanslea is experiencing something of a disturbance. A small patrol from the nearby fort is trying to capture a pair of fugitives in the town square, but not having much luck. 

Robin skids to a stop just outside the square where a crowd has formed to watch at a safe distance, and then weaves through until he can get a good look at what's going on. His grip tightens on the spear, or rather Spear, in his hands as he takes in the scene.

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There's a teenage girl who is surrounded by soldiers and who seems incongruously pleased about that fact, and an old man standing to the side who has an excessively wizardly staff and a great deal of anxiety. As he shows up the girl breathes an enormous plume of fire, turning; her assailants scurry backwards to avoid cooking in their armour. As the flames clear she notices his arrival and his conspicuous spear, and she gives a cheerful wave and calls out:

"Heyyy! Here to help out?"

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"Uh-" Is all Robin gets out, intending to deny this very strongly, before he is interrupted.

"Another one!" The squad's Sargeant exclaims, turning to face him. He gestures at a young man, who was recently busy holding up a shaky Water Wall to ward off the girl's firebreath, "Denes, the Spear wielder," he calls, before turning to the girl again. Taking advantage of the cleared space, he holds out his hand, drawing attention to the Bracelet there, presumably a Lesser Artefact of some kind, and then stomps, sending a ripple of disturbed earth towards the fugitives in the hopes of throwing them off balance and giving his squad of non-wielders a chance.

Denes looks unenthusiastic about his new duty, but grimly turns to Robin, the change in position revealing a small Rod in his hand. He lifts it and incants a lower Water spell, flicking his wrist to throw a spear of ice. 

Robin squawks and dives out of the way. 

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The girl jumps into the air, mumbling, and hovers unsteadily for a second, as the waves pass by (the wizard seems not even to notice; the earth remains still around him). She stumbles, a little, on the landing, but regains her footing before bracelet-dude can press the attack. They spend a few seconds dueling--he throws a lightning-bolt which she sends back and he directs into the ground, she throws fireballs that he struggles to block--but though he is outmatched his squad moves in before she can take advantage. She starts being a little more liberal with her targets, and the air fills with short-lived mirages as the fight continues.

Robin, of course, has more pressing matters to deal with--Denes has evidently decided that the unknown artefact-wielder is a lot less threatening now that he's thrown himself to the ground. He chants and focuses, and soon more ice-blades are flying Robin-wards.

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Robin scrambles to his feet, lifting the Spear and directing a thread of Earth thtough it. The Spear takes it gladly and enhances it, helping him control it while he focuses and barks out a quick incantation. 

A wall of earth rises in front of him, thick and tall enough to block the Rod bearer's sight, along with his attack. Robin breathes a sigh of relief, and then the situation hits him again - he's fighting Imperial soldiers! He does not want to fight Imperial soldiers, he wants to be one! 

The Spear, sensing his panic, sends him reassurance along with an offer of more earth magic. Shaking his head, he leans back against his wall and peeks out from behind it.

The townsfolk who had been watching have either run off entirely or retreated to a safer distance to watch. The town healer is fretting visibly from the group he can see huddled behind an overturned cart; she has a Pendant, but she's almost entirely focused on Life magic. None of the townsfolk are likely to be able to help him either; some of the Hunters have Lesser Artefacts, but at this time of day they're most likely out tracking down any monsters that might have gotten close to the town overnight, like the knoll he'd run into earlier. 

Denes, though intimidated by the appearance of the wall, takes advantage of his distraction and his protruding head, chanting lowly under his breath as he pours a water whip into being out of his Rod. He snaps it in Robin's direction, managing to wind it around his neck and tug him the rest of the way out of the cover of the earth wall. Choking, Robin threads a nearby plant into coming to his aid, wrapping it around the Imperial mage's ankle to knock him to the ground.

Denes squeaks and shoots an ill-advised ball of weak flames at the plant with a word, catching his own pants on fire in the process. He rolls away, climbing to his feet and slapping the fire out, distracted from Robin for the time being. 

Robin hesitates for almost too long, allowing his opponent to just about recover before reaching for the Spear's earth-rumble again and shooting a blunt spur of rock out of the ground to knock the Rod out of his hand, and then having his charred plant grab it and dangle it out of reach. 

Artefact-less, the mage attempts a weak ice spike out of desperation, but fails. Robin levels the Spear at his chest and glances around to see how the rest of the fight is fairing. 

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Looks like they're wrapping up. Most of the soldiers are nursing broken bones or debilitating burns, and are keeping their distance. The wizard is, as before, standing away. Bracelet-dude is holding on, for now, with a buddy trying to run interference, but he's sweating heavily and panting. The girl is grinning, toying with him--if Robin wants to intervene, and maybe earn an early place in the military, this might be his best shot.

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Robin certainly intends to, but before he can do anything with that intention he's distracted by the sound of hooves slamming down on hard-packed dirt as two more squads pour into the square. The captain in charge of both of them takes one look at his position over the young Rod wielder and levels her drawn sword at him, a crackle of lightning lighting up the blade as she prepares a mid-range spell. 

Robin immediately backs up, throwing himself behind his wall as, with an earsplitting crack and thunderous boom, a bolt of lightning slams into it. It holds, barely, but starts crumbling after a moment, revealing Robin crouching behind it with his hands over his ringing ears and his eyes wide. This woman is way out of his league, even with his new Artefact, and he doubts he'll be able to explain the situation before she roasts him. 

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As she hears the newcomers arrive, the girl finishes off her opponent and starts running off towards them. The wizard, jogging up from behind, yells: "T-This is too dangerous, Felice! Stop fighting, we need to run!"

'Felice' reaches Robin as his wall disintegrates, holding her hands ready in front of her. She yells back, "Nah, we can totally take 'em!" And, to Robin: "Right, spear-guy?"

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Her words snap him out of his stunned state, and he gives her an incredulous look. He doesn't even want to be fighting these people in the first place, and that spell the Captain threw is way above his weight class. He's not about to tangle with a wielder who throws around mid-level lightning like it's easy, not without a better plan than 'wing it and hope for the best!' 

Not that the Captain looks likely to give him any choice. He's been firmly lumped in with the fugitives at this point. 

"Evacuate the townsfolk," she orders her soldiers as she watches the two of them, noting but dismissing the wizard when he continues to fret. They run to do as she ordered, and she turns to the two apparent combatants.

"Stand down and I'll ensure the Colonel treats you fairly," she offers. She eyes the Spear in Robin's hand, and considers the destruction Felice had caused, which she'd caught the tail end of. With that in mind, she makes a quick recruiting offer as well, "You're obviously powerful mages; the Imperial Army can use people like you two."

 

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