"Well lad, I think you are right on one score, you will need my help." Anoikis held an open hand in front him in a staying gesture "Now you just stay there, I am going to find me ax. Don't be moving after me just watch that nothing comes up behind me." Anoikis steps into the darkness from which the shadow jumped, wiping shards of wine stained pottery out of his thigh as he goes.
”A HELL ON EARTH” Anoikis screams from the darkness. Bram jumps, and draws his sword. Anoikis returns his dagger between his teeth his hand ax in three pieces in two hands. Dropping the pieces near his pack he says with disgust "The iron fitting itself is snapped." He takes a step away from Bram and rolls his large pack over between them. Squatting down he unties the lashes that hold it shut.
"First things lad, that sword you have, it is a might piece of work but I doubt you have seen much of the world with it. You sheathed it when you saw me, while I know I am not a fearful sight all drunk and sprawled out but I still had an ax in my hand and could have split your head like a ...ah...well like a head." Anoikis removes a large polished and engraved piece of wood from his pack. "You did not know fact or fiction about me lad, now here you are right ths, old Anoikis here is about as dangerous as a …ah viper in snow bank” Anoikis smiles at himself about that phrase while bending to his work. “But for a lad that just found his entire life was built on a lie....well…yous awful trusting and I won't take a traveling companion who ain't surly enough to guard his own arse. Yous was polite that is good, yous was friendly that’s good. I am that way, I’d never try to scare or insult my worst enemy, but I am also careful"
Anoikis raises his hand again to stop Bram from responding, and says “One more second lad, I ain’t finished, and I hate to say to this but a lot of good young girls and boys die every day. If you spent your days saving at least half of em, you’d never have time for a life.” Anoikis fits two identical arched pieces of metal end to end on either side of either side of the grove that runs down the middle of the wooden stock. It is a heavy crossbow, with stock at least three feet long and metal prods. With the blade of his dirk he tightens the prods and pulls a metal stirrup out of his bag. “Just consider one thing, that town of yours sounds like a gold mine, you know how many cons and snake oil sales men I know that would pay good money just for two days with a town like this. Think about your future lad, you save this girl, you expose the town’s error and kill all those evil collaborators that you grew up with and what will you have personally? Will it make the town better to know of its shame? I’d tell you to make peace with this. I’d tell you to make as much gold as you can from those poor saps in Fourcrease and move on. But I can tell you won’t listen. If you were smart you put yourself first, there’ve been plenty of young lads who sacrificed themselves for others and they’re up dead or alone.”
Anoikis stands with an assembled heavy crossbow, and a detachable crannequinn. He places his foot in the stirrup, attaches the crannequinn to the stock, then the crannequinn to the catch, then the catch to the string and he starts cranking. “Third question lad…well questions. . . how do you know the truth of all this? Did the witch’s lads explain it to you? Yourself said you were ignorant of all these details until somebody gave you that necklace. How do you that isn’t the enchantment itself?” he gestures at the item. “Finally if this is all true, why did they take your niece, why take some one from the one person in the village who could do something about it? Why not just take your neckless. Unless they expected you to do something about it, we are out of the village right? Your family has already forgotten you if your enchantress story holds true and perhaps this is just what they want.”
Anoikis squats again pulls out a yeast loaf sized hinged bark wrap, he opens it and reveals 9 cross bow bolts. “I have got 5 silver heads, 3 steal heads and 1 flint head. You expect this witch to be alone or she got a coven?”