(( This is for one of Tati's writing challenges. ))
Grizo had been awake when the elf had approached his camp 10 minutes ago, not that the elf noticed. While the elf was rifling through his pack, Grizo had been carefully reaching for his polearm, not attracting attention to his movements, preparing to skewer the would be thief while his back was to him. Neither had planned on the elf tripping over one of his backpack straps and landing on Grizo's chest. After a short scuffle, and Grizo wound up on top of the lithe elf's chest and delivered a crushing blow to the elf's head with a closed fist. The elf went limp.
After Grizo hogtied the elf, he searched it thoroughly, stripping it of its armor. A female light elven, it would appear: he had become familiar with over the past few months. She looked young, but it was difficult to tell with them, as their life spans seemed so long. He found his sack of gems that he had been hoarding for his future engineering projects, among other various small items of value, some his, some unrecognized, but he didn't think would belong to the elf: Mostly trinkets and rings that were far too large for the small elf to wear.
The elf groaned while Grizo was going through the pockets of her tunic, ensuring that she had no easily accessible blades. "You seem to have an affinity for shiny things, elf."
The elf snapped her head up and snarled at Grizo. Blood had been rolling from her newly crooked nose while she was out. "Do not speak to me steak. Cut me loose and I'll let you live."
Grizo laughed. "I do not believe you are in any position to make demands, youngling. You will answer my questions, or I will leave you here in your current condition. Perhaps someone may hear you scream when something comes for you, but we are far off of a not well beaten path."
"CUT ME LOOSE, STEAK!", the elf screamed. Grizo backhanded the elf, sending her spinning around. He then picked her up and threw her out of his tent with one easy motion. She landed heavily on the hardpack of Raven's Wood, skidding to a stop on her side. He hummed a tune as he strapped on his brace, gathered his things, and packed his tent. The elf was ranting in their eloquent sounding tongue the entire time.
After he had finished packing, he walked over to the elf, knelt down, and stared coolly at her. "I may be old, but I am not stupid. Now, I am giving a choice: You can either be quiet while I take you to Evergrove and let the circle deal with you as they do thieves, or I can leave you here. You should know that I've seen a very large black dragon flying around. While it may not make a meal of you, I have seen other smaller ones that may, not to mention the cultists and birdmen that are here. They are both insane, as you may know."
The elf glared defiantly at Grizo, but didn't say a word. Blood trickled from the side of her mouth, and a bruise was starting to show itself on her delicate cheek. Grizo nodded, "Are you going to be quiet, or will I have to gag you as well, thief?" The elf shook her head curtly. Grizo nodded again, then hauled the elf up and hung her by her restraints on one of the many hooks on his old kodo's saddle. The kodo looked back at Grizo, seemingly annoyed by the uneven load being placed on it. "This is just for a short time." he reassured the kodo, patting it's side as he mounted up.
"I have a camp near here, steak.", the elf said quietly as the kodo began to saunter.
"You should have thought about that before trying to steal from me." Grizo replied simply.
The short ride to Evergrove was quiet and uneventful. Apparently the cultists in the tunnel had other things to pay attention to than an old Shu'Halo on a kodo, and the fight had been taken out of the elf. He tied up his kodo and left the elf hanging from it as he spoke to Chawn about what to do with her. Grizo showed Chawn the bag of trinkets and jewelery that he had removed from the elf.
"Hmm...", Chawn said, studying the trinkets. "These all look sized for Shu'Halo. I shall ask the druids if they have been missing anything, as well as Rashere and Zinyen. Perhaps she has been helping herself to their stashes as well. You said that she stated she had a camp?"
Grizo nodded, "Yes, but I wasn't about to go there alone. Perhaps a few of the druids can take her there to retrieve anything that she may have."
Chawn nodded. "Since you have brought her here, what would you suggest that we do with her?".
"Perhaps you can have her work around here.", Grizo suggested. "Harvesting mushrooms or something. She seems resilient. I suspect that if she learned how to work for a living, she may be good at it.".
"Perhaps, hunter.", Chawn nodded. "I will have to speak with the circle here. Rest assured, she will be punished if we find more evidence of thieving."
Grizo nodded. "I'll be here for a few days should you need something from me."
Chawn nodded again, "Bring her to me, I shall have a couple of the druids secure her properly."