The Abandoned: Shadow Diplomacy
(I'm taking up to five people besides Reese for this event. People with any kind of skillset are welcome. You choose how the adventure will advance!)
Sept. 4, 2017, 3:50 p.m.
Outside Arx - Gray Forest - Deeper in the Gray Forest
Comments and Log
The forest is as peaceful as it usually is, which is to tell it is quite eerie with the wildlife still returning and much still in a state of rebirth. Not far from the camp is a treeline where there have been reports by scouts of lights signaling, as though reflected with metal. The winds blow a small bit and it seems that the clouds allow a small drizzle to rain upon the place after a while.
1 Grayson Guardsmen, Severa, the Guard Shepherd, Baron Archibald Chirpington, a Gyrfalcon arrive, following Aiden.
Reese is perched upon her war filly and bundled up for winter. She got back into her armor, but just her leather armor as it allows for ease of movement and isn't as cold as her steel. Her hound follows along with her horse and her falcon is soaring overheard. "I guess we head toward the lights?" She says toward the party.
Calarian is leading the expedition, three Grayson Guardsmen following him where he walks next to Khanne, Margot, Reese, Shard and Clara. He is dressed in his steel armor, longknife sheathed at hip, visor open to allow his hazel eyes to look into the distance. There is a blanket about the cloak and the steel. "I guess so," he replies to Reese as he keeps treading on.
Margot is getting comfortable in her leather armour, the weight of the axe on her hip growing more familiar. She's definately not as graceful as many of those who she travels with but she's improving as days go by. "Make sure they don't think we're sneaking up on them..."
Reese looks over to Calarian, giving the Grayson voice a nod of understanding. She then turns to Margot. "That makes sense. I will make sure not to be too sneaky." She says. She then urges her horse toward the front, seemingly trying to take point and seemingly protective of the party.
Shard is on her horse as well, that brown northlands mare with the thicker hair and distinctly shorter build--near Reese's war mount the size difference is noticeable. Thanks to the painting adventures of the night before, she's still bearing the white paste markings Shard put on her. The Prodigal woman is quiet and watchful--particularly since the rest of the Valorous Few are still back at camp.
Despite his work back in Arx, Halsim couldn't resist taking a look at the work being done in the Gray Forest... especially with the reasons why they are out there. It isn't long after he arrives that he hears of scouts, though... and the dark brown skinned islander looks in their direction, frowning. When the others discuss 'not sneaking'... Halsim ducks behind a tree and watches from a distance.
Aiden had managed to keep pace, a subdued actor that drifted along behind the others in silks covering over his leathers and a woolen cloak over that. He does have his bow but it is presently sheathed against his back. Beside him walks Severa, his guard shepherd and above somewhere, flies his falcon.
Clara wears her her armor and has her axe and bow both with her. She's sticking with her charge Prince Aiden Grayson and the rest of the group but she is actively watching out for Aiden as she has been directed to do. She's silent as she guards him, paying attention to the enviroment around them.
The light seems to flicker in the dim light as the drizzle begins, harder to reflect light when you don't have much. Who could it be? Shav'Arvani Abandoned to be sure, but for what reason are they contacting the camp from afar. Afterwards, all seems quiet, as well as they move along.
Reese continues forward. She glances over to Shard at her side, having a nod for the Shav warrior. She is intent on drawing closer to the camp. She isn't hiding and she isn't charging. She goes at an even pace.
Aiden has rolled a critical success!
Aiden checked wits + animal ken at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
Calarian lifts a hand as he looks towards the light, signalling the party to stop. "Reese, stop," he calls out to her, who is in front of them by a few horse-steps. He watches the light for a few moments, before he decides, "They want to negotiate," indicating with an index finger at the light, "no extra troops, do not reach for weapons, come to the center of the trees, safety is assured." He looks aside to the group, and then up to the trees and surrounding environment. He's evidently trying to consider a reaction. "Do we see any traps?""
Halsim checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Margot halts, pausing to look between Reese and Calarian, definately taking all her cues from them.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Arianna is pretty quiet and tags along behind the diplomats. Always within close reach in case anything happens, but pretty tame in regards to her disposition so no one perceives her as being on edge. Once Calarian signals for the halt, the Lady Stonewood does as commanded and stands stock still. Peering around there immediate area for any sign of ambush or fuckery. A few looks are given toward Reese and Shard, but all eyes on the trees and the path before them.
Shard keeps relatively close to Reese, though she's clearly several steps back, leaving the Grayson Princess on point. No hiding for her either, it would see, although she remains sitting straight in the saddle, eyes peeled for whatever can be seen. When Calarian calls for a stop, she tugs lightly on the reins and brings her horse to a halt, then looks forward, and up.
Reese looks over to Calarian, nodding in response to his words. She ten stops. She glances around for possible traps.
Shard looks back to Calarian, and shakes her head.
The drizzle seems to continue and pour down on them. Until the forest line and grove they are seeking comes into view, nothing seems to be different about the ground to suggest any traps. The flickering isn't there, but it is assumed that something is in the trees around the grove. Now the question is does the party follow Calarian's words, and the words that others might speak?
Gray eyes flash toward Clara as Aiden checks where her position is in respect to his own, maintaining a distance that will allow both to respond to any threats and not otherwise hinder them if they need to act. Aiden follows Calarian's lead but from further back, mindful and observant. He's particularly interested in the responses from the animals, his gyrfalcon above who lazily circles and the interest that Severa his guard dog at his side. His hand signals briefly to Severa to halt and she comes to an alert stop at his side, her head tilted and her ears flicked forward. After a long considerate pause, he nods to Calarian, "Other than the fact that animals are keeping clear of people...and some are sick... There won't be anything too abnormal ahead."
Khanne walks along with the others, quiet, but not sneaking. "I just.. hope it isn't some trap..." she whispers to her companions quietly, just as Calarian asks if any are seen. She walks near Calarian, listening to his command.
"Except people of course," Aiden adds in.
Margot frowns slightly, "Sick?" She asks quietly, looking ahead again.
Aiden clarifies, "Animals are sick... but that's been the case since the siege and the Blight..."
Calarian waits for the people to reply to him, before he signals his Grayson Guardsmen to stay put. "We leave all extra guards or military men behind," he commands the group. "Reese, keep your eyes open," he comments forward to Reese, before he slaps his visor shut, his armor sealing every bit of his body from sight. A hand indicates the rest to follow him, Aiden included. "I hope so too," he tells Khanne aside. Those who follow him, he is heading to the center of the trees. "Nobody draws their weapon unless I or Reese commands you otherwise," he informs the people, starting to move ahead.
3 Grayson Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Philip, an overworked assistant have been dismissed.
Crown Observer Barcus have been dismissed.
1 Grayson Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Reese sucks in a soft breath as she looks toward Aiden. "Okay, yeah that has been the case." She then turns to Calarian. "I will stay very alart, your Highness." She is tense upon her horse as she starts to follow along with Calarian.
Shard eases her horse forward as well, falling into line behind and somewhat to the side of both Calarian and Reese.
Clara puts her axe away as Calarian gives his orders but she sticks close to Aiden still, ready to use her fists if she must. She remains quiet since diplomacy is not her deal. She's just here in case someone needs to be mended up or hit with her axe. Primarily if someone idiotically attacks her charge.
Khanne arches a brow. "I was under the impression they have recovered from all that...." she says towards Aiden. She turns to her apprentice, directing her to stay behind, to learn from the guards. Khanne herself heads off with the others to the grove, sticking close to them.
Khanne murmurs, "seems the reports I heard were wrong."
Aiden follows along as he's gestured to come with Calarian and while Aiden leaves behind his guardsman additional to Clara, as per requests, he takes the guard shepherd with him. She prances at his side through the winter landscape, nose to the ground ears perked up. Aiden looks over to Clara then, before it swings to Khanne, shaking his head, "Unfortunately there remains to be seen animals touched by the abyss..." But that's all he says on the matter as he follows behind and checks where Clara is again.
Margot frowns slightly, but she heads forwards, letting her body relax, putting on that 'not threatening in the least' demeanor she adopts for diplomacy.
Reese sighs softly. "We have been running into abyss tainted animals." She says, agreeing with Aiden and sounding troubled. She keeps near the front and perched on her horse. Reese seems to be following Calarian's orders on this mission.
The rain seems to pick up as certain members, except for Halsim and perhaps Arianna, enter the Grove. Once there, it is then that the leaves rustle and about twnety men come out. At least fifteen remain in the trees, lifting up bows to point at the party just in case. On the ground, five Shav'Arvani approach the members as they leap from the trees and bushes themselves. Their leader is a lanky man who has dirty blond hair and darker skin, two blades at his hips while he moves forward. Unlike the archers, these men have no weapons drawn at the time. The leader speaks, then, "Welcome... We traveled a little ways to find you," he claps, "It seems true, my friends," he speaks in Arvani for the time being, "None Greater than Grayson rides out to make deals with tribes and act like the heroes to my mom's fireside stories."
Arianna finishes bullshitting with the military men and gives them a mock salute as she moves to catch up with the rest of the envoy. She hadn't heard what anyone was discussing so as far as she was concerned, everything was A-okay. Until Reese mentions Abyss tainted animals, then she stumbles and clears her throat. Standing up with a flush in her cheeks and looking /extra/ alert to the point of slightly paranoid. The young Lady chuckles to herself softly in embarrassment over almost eating shit, but she keeps quiet as everyone enters the groves. Her eyes taking in all the people who are assembled. Quite an interesting looking bunch.
Khanne nods to Aiden and whispers, "I can feel it now.. yeah.. Different than what I was thinking of... no less.. worrying." She frowns, then stops in her tracks as the shav's jump out and make themselves known, her eyes scanning those in the trees and bushes. She remains silent for the time being, letting Calarian do what he does best.
So this is today's game, Calarian's visor hides his face, but it quietly notes the fifteen Shav'Arvani on the trees and the five who are on the ground. He slide his visor up, hazel eyes meeting the face of the leader, his face remaining as calm as if he was speaking to another man through the slim wooden walls of public latrines. "Greetings," he replays with both of his armored arms spreading, "we are an expedition of men from the Compact. We do not claim to be heroes, but we want to step out of the line of mistakes we have done in the past, and speak to the tribes so that they can be aware of the dangers they have."
Margot holds up her hands, palm forwards. She doesn't speak, again letting others do so, watching the Shav instead, getting a feel for the dynamics of the group.
Reese shivers as the rain seems to pick up and soaks through her woolen cloak. She looks up toward the fifteen men in the trees, seemingly alert to them and a little nervous. She then turns to the five who approach, giving them a polite nod of greeting. She doesn't speak, seemingly content to allow Calarian to take the lead on that front.
The confirmation by Reese and the further word from Khanne has Aiden left with little to do but nod as they trudge into the grove, and as anticipated they become surrounded and likely outnumbered. Aiden commands his pup to settle at his feet and his hands folds before him, his role in this whole expedition was to watch really, assist when needed, and fly missives at the very least. At present, none of that seems to apply, so he merely turns his eyes over the group surrounding them, observing each person in turn.
Hiding in the treeline, Halsim keeps out of sight, out of mind. When the small force reveals themselves? He picks out each from his vantage.
Shard remains silent, practically impassive, although anyone looking closely at her would be able to tell that she's studying the Abandoned in the trees without quite lifting her head, one by one by one, as if slowly counting them. Only when she's done all of that do her eyes flick to the ones on the ground, but this lasts only long enough for the same sort of examination--it's the trees she continues to watch.
Stepping into the grove clearly sets Clara on edge. The moment she notices all the archers in the trees around them, her fingers twitch at her side as she resists the urge to reach for one of her weapons. She takes a deep breath and grounds herself in the present moment, looking back to ensure that Aiden is alright. She otherwise stands still in an adrenalized and alert state, waiting.
The blond-haired leader takes a moment to look at Calarian, then he looks around to his other tribesmen, "My friends... Did you hear that? He comes to make us /aware/ of things." He claps once more, turning his back on the group as if showing his fearlessness of them, to those inclined to understand such an action. Then he turns back to them. "Well, we know about He Who Rides, we know about the beasts from the Waters Of Reflection," terms that seem specific to their people. "We know, and that is why we came to you." He makes a motion, and one of the men on foot bring him a package. He then opens that up, and out rolls a wolves head, Abyssaly tainted to be sure.
Then another is brought, and he opens that... And it's the head of a Shav'Arvani. "So, anything new you want to bring us we don't know? They came in the night, and recently our own people have been going feral, though we know not why as of the moment. Some believe they started to worship the ones bringing these creatures. Naturally, we... 'Headed' it off at the source..." A small chuckle.
Reese sucks in a soft breath as she looks down at the abyss tainted wolf head. The revealed of the Shav brings her cheeks to pale. "Oh, that is not good." She says probably without having actually intended to talk.
Margot checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 52 higher.
Calarian's eyes drop to the heads that roll on the ground, before he takes a step back. They don't fear him? Well, he doesn't fear them either. "I am Calarian Grayson, wife and widow of Peregrine of the Golden Feathers. Here you have Khanne Halfshav, the Vala of the Spirit Walkers, one of the best Shaman of the House." He is extending a left hand to indicate Khanne now. "Earlier today, we stopped a group of tainted Shav'Arvani from killing goddesses of the woods. We saved those who weren't writ-bound. I know he has been promising people that we are the ones who caused the Poison of Arx, but that is not true. However you call He, we call them the Horned Man, and those who follow him end enslaved. It strikes me as if we agree to that." He points an index finger to the heads. "We want to see if we can find tribes who need help, and perhaps if we can cooperate together."
Calarian says in Crownlands shav, "We come here for cooperation."
Assessing the situation, Arianna was almost certain that these people were not here to cause any real trouble. Her eyes flickered around the grove and a small smile touched her lips as she spotted some of the younger men. Offering them salacious winks and coy little smirks that the others would hopefully not see. Placing her hands behind her back in military fashion, the Lycene maiden tilts her head to the side while intensively examining the Abyssally tainted wolf head. Narrowing her eyes, Arianna tried to examine the decapitated head as well, trying her best to suss out the man's expression in his last moments. It was hard to really get a good look, but she restrained herself from moving closer. However, when the blonde leader made his humorous little quip she laughed out loud. It was a brief bark of laughter that she turned into a bit of a cough, turning to look at some of the people in the trees. Although once she was sure she'd avoided drawing attention to herself, she stands still once more and simply surveys the surrondings.
Aiden watches the head of the abyssal wolf thud to the ground and the subsequent one of the man is what makes him cringe. His silver eyes flash to Calarian, then back to the blond-haired leader. There is little to do but wait. He might notice Clara's twitch though, so to her he provides an encouraging nod.
Some here know the Northern woman recently had a trip to Redrain lands where she was faced with precisely these things. She seems unsurprised by the heads put on display. She nods when Calarian says her name, but again, lets him do the talking, currently.
Growing up Thrax, Margot appears to be remarkably resiliant dismembered heads. She doesn't blinks as the heads roll, in fact she steps forwards instead of back. Crouching to look at the wolf's head and then up at the man. "It, strikes me perhaps rather than coming her to give you information, you may be able to provide us with information." She notes ass she straightens.
Reese looks over to Margot, nodding in response to her words. She stays alertly perched on her horse, ready to fight or defend if needed. Her weapons are not drawn though.
Shard regards the severed heads without a flicker of change in her expression. "You've got plenty of reason to brag," she remarks quietly, although it's certainly loud enough to carry. "But you didn't bother to take this time to find them and signal them just for bragging."
Arianna checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.
The heads tumbling to the ground get Clara to turn her head away for just a second. It was unexpected and unsightly. She was very young and if her reactions are any indication... she's relatively new to all this killing thing. Once the unexpected has passed her white eyes turn back to the heads and she looks at them with a strange interest. The encouraging nod from Aiden gets her attention briefly and she offers him a nod in return before she goes back to watching their surroundings.
The blond-haired leader looks to Arianna when she laughs and actually manages to quirk a little grin. "Seems some appreciate my humor," he tells his men and women who all make small sounds of amusement. Then he turns on his heel and considers while he motions to a woman who approaches, wearing furs and having the same blond hair as him, "This is my sister. She is the... What you call Shaman, we call Those Who Walk Between The Worlds," he states. "She has seen the state of things, since... Tolamar came through. We avoided him by hiding deeper in the forests when he came."
The woman nods a bit, "The taint spreads through the forest, and touches much. While many believe that the Northerners of the Red House caused these problems, we don't think it so, nor do we really care... The flow of the world is ever changing." The brother then takes his time to shake his head, "But let us move on to more important matters, your names... They mean little to us, because you've attached no actions to our tribe with them, the Kal'Tan. Make no mistake. We will /not/ bend knee. To neither you, nor the 'Horned' Man as you call him. But... If you can prove your worth, in a task. Then we will come to your aid in the Battle To Come. Would you hear our terms?"
Calarian checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.
Reese has one job here and she takes that job very seriously. That is protecting the party. She watches those in the trees and she watches the other Shavs, trying to see if anyone is looking hostile. The words spoken by the blonde Shaman bring her to part her lips open in surprise, but she doesn't comment.
"We don't come here to force anyone to bend the knee," Calarian replies to the blond-haired leader. Though his expression doesn't shift at the amusement, he seems exceedingly relaxed as he speaks to them, despite having ten arrows or more pointing his way. The mention of them wanting to come to their aid in the Battle To Come nets a nod of his helmeted head. An easy smile curves his lips. "I want to hear your terms."
Aneka have been dismissed.
3 Iron Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Meeka have been dismissed.
Margot nods to Calarian's words, her hands folding silently behind herself, waiting to hear these terms.
Shard's attention finally shifts more fully from the archers to the man speaking, as well as his sister.
Aiden leans in to whisper something to Clara, but otherwise he makes no move to interject.
Clara quietly whispers back to Aiden but like him she does nothing more.
Arianna smirked a bit to the blonde man when he commented on her sense of humor, looking at his sister appraisingly.
Aiden's brows lift up and then there's some measure of rolling his eyes and looking quite annoyed, before his expression softens and looks promptly apologetic. He's whispering to Clara the entire time.
"What...? Did you think us all uncivilized? There are many Tribes, many beliefs. You can call my sister Ren, and me Geta," The leader states then to Calarian and to the others. He looks to Aiden and Clara, and watches them for a moment, "Am I not interesting enough, my friends?" he asks. He then turns his attention to the diplomats once more, "I can't afford to lose any more tribesmen. Therefore, I shall mark on your map where our camp is. You will kill the man there who has tried to usurp me, and the men who follow him. They have all stated their willingness to bend knee to the Horned Man. Some of his followers act like feral beasts, he styles himself... Well, as what my sister is. Either way, those that remain in the camp need to be dealt with. In two blows, you will have defeated future allies of the Rider and gained an ally against him. It's beautiful, no?"
Merek GM Roll checked charm(4) + diplomacy(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.
Halsim checked perception + investigation at difficulty 50, rolling 1 higher.
The young Lady of Stonewood knew better than to say anything aloud, but she did saunter over to Prince Calarian in such a way as to not draw attention. Feigning that he has something on his back, she brushes off his armor and leans in. Using his body to block the movement of her mouth, she speaks to him in a hushed tone. Those closest to Calarian might be able to make out just what Arianna says if they read her lips and bother trying to listen in the first place.
Calarian checked wits + empathy at difficulty 47, rolling 15 lower.
Margot checked perception + empathy at difficulty 47, rolling 15 lower.
Clara's white eyes turn to the man when he speaks at Clara and Aiden. Her own accent is thick but with a more Northern Shav flavor. "Aye, ya are plenty interestin' Was just considerin' the heads. Never seen one off a body before." Then the obviously very young woman goes back to being silent.
Khanne checked wits + empathy at difficulty 47, rolling 2 higher.
Aiden checked wits + empathy at difficulty 47, rolling 30 lower.
Reese checked wits + empathy at difficulty 47, rolling 41 lower.
Clara checked wits + empathy at difficulty 47, rolling 33 lower.
Aiden checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Aiden's gaze snaps to the man talking, brow lifting as he was in the back of the group and clearly not vital to the conversation at hand. His smile is for the leader, "We were complimenting you as well, for the strength it must have taken. We didn't mean to cause a distraction by the awe we have for you..." He bows his head and leaves it at that.
Reese can be rather naive in some ways. She doesn't even consider that could possibly be untrue. She believes everything the man says completely and even gives him a smile that suggests she is all charged up to go and help!
Shard glances from the speaker to her allies, and then back again. She says nothing, and her expression remains guardedly neutral.
Geta stares at Aiden for a moment, then looks to Clara, "... If you don't want to see blood, woman, then I suggest you leave this task to your friends."
Khanne stands near Calarian, her eyes almost never leaving the leader or his people. When Arianna whispers to Calarian, she murmurs softly, her lips almost not moving at all. "He's telling the truth, but... hiding the danger..."
Margot smiles to the 'leader' of the little group. "Okay mark it on a map. We will ensure your friends are out of your way." She steps closer to him, soaking up Khanne's words. "Tell us everything though."
Merek GM Roll checked perception(4) + investigation(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 2 higher.
Clara tilts her head sideways and stares at the man, dumbfounded. She points at the axe and bow she has with her. "I'm a warrior and healer. I'm not afraid of blood. Wh... nevermind. Just... nevermind. I'm gonna stop talkin' now."
Calarian watches the leader as he listens to his every word. "I married a Shav'Arvani," he replies to the leader on the first matter, "I don't agree on the notion of uncivility, to be wholly open." He does look aside to Aiden and Clara when the leader asks them that question, his brows lifting their way as in a 'what are you doing?' before he looks back to the leader and listens to his every word. "You have stated your terms and now I believe it is only fair that I state mine in this negotiation we have. I /will/ kill anyone who bends the knee and is bound to the Horned Man, but those who repent we will spare -- and if it is a slave of the Horned Man that has usurped your place, then I will help you show the slaves of the Horned Man that your place is there. But the Leader who is promised to the seat must also accompany the weapon, so I think that it is only fair if we all go together -- you and I -- and tackle this task, together."
Calarian said that after what Arianna and Khanne said, before he turns around to give a nod to each.
Arianna gives a small smile and a nod to the Lady Khanne before whispering,"Well spoken, your highness." Before stepping a few feet away toward the Duchess. Her eyes give the other woman a bit of a curious glance before they flit back to the negotiations at hand.
Geta takes a moment to listen to Calarian, and he does let his gaze shift towards Khanne a moment. He narrows his gaze, but does not speak. "Fine, I shall accompany you... Ren will remain with my tribesmen. She knows what to do in the event I do not return. However, if I am killed, I can't promise they will all follow you afterwards, so do try to not get me filled with arrows." He looks at Clara's axe and just stares at her after her words. Either way he points to Shard, "Her, she is quiet, neutral, practiced... I can see it. She will be my personal defender if I'm to come with you all. Her choice."
Calarian tilts his head towards the leader at that, his armor clanking at the movement. "Why not bring your tribe with you to defend what is yours?" he wonders of the man in a tone that sounds openly curious, not judging. He does look aside to Shard to see if she will accept, before he echoes Margot's words -- without words -- just a nod. He also wants them to tell them everything.
Clara shrugs at Calarian and just goes about being silent.
Aiden folds his arm and is too, silent again.
Reese is still perched on her horse and she keeps silent for now too, although the princess does seem eager for this task.
"Because as I have said, my tribe lacks after what happened, I won't risk us being nothing but scattered to the wind in full," Geta tells Calarian tactfully, not something he likes to admit obviously, but he does seem to care about his tribe.
Arianna quirks a brow at the proceeding but remains nothing more than a silent sentinel.
Shard studies Geta. Blatantly sizes him up, in fact, and it's only after she's completed this far more careful, far more detailed examination of the Abandoned man that she lifts her chin, and gestures toward the place behind her on her horse. "Ride with me then, if that's how you want it."
Calarian gives a quick nod to Geta. "We ride to help you," he decides, "and after we ride to help you, I expect you to repay in kind my favor. We shall be allies in war. The Allies of Grayson shall be treated as such. You won't be forced to bend the knee to anyone, and you will rule in your settlement like you shall." With that said, he seems ready to move wherever the party is needed to move.
Margot nods and moves back tko her horse, pulling herself back up into the saddle. "Alright."
Reese smiles. "We Ride! Gloria bless us!" She says, getting ready to head out it seems.
Khanne apparently came on horse with the others too, moving off when Calarian and Reese are ready to do so. She keeps her gaze about her, watching the trees and everything as they pass.
"Prove you all are as skilled as the rumors would tell," Geta asks of Calarian, and by extension all of them. When Shard sizes him up, he just nods and moves to mount on the horse behind her after he secures his gear to him. Ren moves over to him, and hands him what looks like a small vial, which he takes and drinks from, before he lets out a sigh. "Thank you, sister," he states. He looks to the diplomat, Calarian, "Very well, then we ride. I can tell you this much, they are defended by our makeshift fortifications, spiked fences, they lack for many archers but there are a few. You should try to take them out first. After that, the real battle will start. There's a fair amount of men left. Kill their false leader who has poisoned their minds, and perhaps you can find the others bending themselves back to the winds of my tribe. The feral ones, I think there is no hope for them. You can save them if you want, I heard it's your way, but do not count on it."
Aiden notes ahead to Reese after hearing the tactics, "The archers can aim to take out their archers..." he offers.
Calarian calls out, "Harald!!" Trying to see if Harald is anywhere nearby. "We are forming three teams. Those who -can- move silently, lift one hand. Those who can fire arrows, lift two hands. Those who can fight with a sword, lift two fists!" He asks to Geta as they move, "How many can fire arrows?"
Aiden lifts two hands, in this hand lifting game.
"Five archers about, and they are skilled at what it is that they do," Geta answers.
Clara lifts two gloved hands for Calarian. "Aye, I can shoot but uh..." She makes fits. "Better with me axe."
Reese lifts two fits!
Shard lifts two fists, but notes, "I'm capable of all three. That said, I'm not as skilled as some at sneaking around. My horse won't be of much use against fortifications either." Then she asides to Geta, seemingly out of nowhere, "How does their new leader feel about wolves?"
Once it becomes clear the group is about to move, Halsim comes out of the shadows from nowhere near the group, his hood up as he takes a passenger position on the horses. "I can scout for the group, if you need it." Halsim states just loud enough for people to hear.
Khanne lifts her hands and bites her lip.
Geta shrugs towards Shard a bit, "Don't be surprised if you meet a few, but that's nothing, you can take them." Yes, that's perfectly what the folk wanted to hear.
Reese has rolled a critical success!
Reese checked composure at difficulty 7, rolling 15 higher.
Khanne watched Geta drink a vial handed to him, brow arched curiously at that little interaction.
Margot checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 52 higher.
Margot cannot fire arrows, she can't really fight at all. Still she's calm and composed like knows what she's doing... despite everything.
Calarian looks aside to Halsim and wonders, "Can you move silently enough? I need someone who will open the battlements for us -- our archers will take the archers, but you might need to fight a couple. Your objective is to open the door for Reese and whomever else goes in the front to charge forward." He looks aside to Geta and wonders, "Will that work?"
Reese is quite surprised when Halsim suddenly appears. She had no idea he was anywhere nearby and her blue eyes widen. She gives him a welcoming smile a moment later and remains quite composed. "Welcome Inquisitor Halsim." She says with all this royal dignity.
"And if he heard others outside his gates?" Shard asks Geta. She shakes her head, and adds, "It's a stupid idea, I fully admit it. A few things Aleksei said."
Clara looks to Calarian. "I'm here ta defend Prince Aiden but if he is going to go be all sneaky I can't be of assitance that way. I can fire a bow, I can better wield me axe. I'm even better a medic. Where do ya want me?"
"I'm not a fighter, but I do have alchemical vials to use. Fire. Sleep. Poison." Halsim notes. "I can open the doors, but do not expect me to do much in combat beyond support."
"It's not the most sophisticated fence in the entire world," Geta tells Calarian, then he claps his hands together. The vial, that was a curious thing. He looks relaxed and then shakes his head, "You can easily have it opened from within though, it's a basic gate structure, with rope. Do try not to damage my camp too much though. I'm not sure that one man though will be able to do much unless he's /very/ quiet."
Arianna shrugs a bit late to the conversation,"I'm good enough with a blade I suppose." she says with a sheepish grin.
"I'm better to just take out the archers," Aiden notes, "I have little skill when it comes to close range combat..." He at least admits that and looks to Clara, then the others, "I can offer medical treatment as well..." He shrugs and will just go where ever he's told.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Arianna before departing.
"I am an archer-ish," Khanne explains. "I will do the best I can."
As the vial is opened, Halsim looks over. "Can I examine that? I'm a bit of an alchemist myself."
Ren looks at Halsim when he questions the brother, then moves over, "It's a special recipe, passed down by our tribe. It allows my brother to fight well past what most men can endure and keeps him from being hurt as badly. He will be quite exhausted after battle though, so do protect him," she pleads Halsim.
"So, Reese, that is my suggestion of a plan but it is your call," Calarian tells to Reese pointing a finger to Halsim. "Inquisitor Halsim will sneak close." He points to the archers. "The archers will take out the archers, and Halsim will open the fence. You will ride in with other warriors while the archers advance to climb the fences and fire from above. I will be moving with the archers. My guard has a horn. One blow means you attack --" that is said to Reese. "--two blows of the horn means the archers move forward. Three blows mean we must retreat, but I am sure it won't come to that."
Calarian adds to Halsim, "The two horn blows means you open the fence too."
Calarian adds to Halsim, "The one horn blow means you open the fence too."
Reese looks over to Aiden when he speaks of having medical training. "Oh, I am going to remember that, cousin." She says almost threatening. He might get bothered at the Grayson mansion by Reese whenever she is hurt sparing or what not. She then turns her focus to Calarian. "Prince Calarian, that sounds good. I like your plan."
Halsim looks at the vial for a moment, before he looks to Calarian... and the hood bobs just slightly to indicate a nod.
Shard listens to the plan, and then asks Geta, "What /does/ your rival look like?"
Arianna overhears the talk of the vial and saunters over to examine it. "What's..." Then she thinks about whether or not she really wants to know and shakes her head. "...nevermind." A soft smile touches her lips as she gestures in an almost flamboyant manner toward the Geta's hair. "I really love your hair." After her compliment and a respectful bow of her head, Arianna steps back toward the rest of the party.
The Geta looks at Arianna, "Thanks," he mentions, while he preens a bit. He then looks over to Shard, "He will have on some patchwork robe, a spear which is /mine/, very skilled, dark skinned like me, he has hair that's a bit like flames, dark eyes, a nice round perky ass, if you have time to check it out during battle, but I doubt you will. He used to be my lover, before well... You know, he changed."
"That's rough," Shard says. Her tone doesn't change much, but she's already shrugging off her bow and stringing it as they go. Her knees are doing most of the steering. "Then he's where we should be aiming as soon as the gates are open. Stay close, and I'll get you inside."
Calarian moves with the rest of the archers to some vantage point, with his Grayson guardsman sticking close to him with a horn. He's sticking close to Margot, Khanne, Aiden and Shard -- the designated archers.
Margot falls quiet, riding along side Calarain as they go, team 'talking' for the win. She keeps an eye on their escorts noting any interplay between them.
Aiden regards Reese, nods, and moves on with the group. He's mostly silent but then, that's not unexpected considering he was chided for whispering. He proceeds to go where it's best to shoot at stuff.
As the group nears the camp, Halsim hops off the horse early. Sticking his mask on, he blends back into the forest, ready to head into the camp.
Halsim checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
Reese moves to the head of the fighters. She gives Arianna and Clara a smile. "We are going to kick some ass and make Gloria proud of us." She announces.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Arianna laughs at Reese's words,"Yes. Yes we are. Clara, Reese, it will be a pleasure dancing with you ladies."
Khanne rides with the other designated archers, and the talkers. Her bow is pulled from her back, an arrow poised at the ready, as she too steers her horse with her feet and knees.
Shard wields a largely unremarkable rubicund longbow.
Arianna wields Ysgramor.
Like Aiden, Clara is silent so when Reese makes the comment about Gloria to her she just nods her head. She considers though and then speaks. "I'm not even sure what I'm supposed ta be doin' beyond guarding Prince Aiden. Am I acting archer first and thenn using me axe after?"
The team approaches the village, and all five archers seem to be at makeshift vantage points viewing the forest at the moment. Two of them are looking around and as the whole contingent makes their way to the place, two of the archers notice something from afar and point in a general direction, making signals to each other, and the other archers. No one is quite shooting at the moment, nor has anyone been outright spotted, but they are on guard, knowing something is around. One of the arches starts moving along the wooden fence and leaping downwards from the placement which he has, so he can scout more up close. This leaves four at their vantage points, and one actively searching. Geta remains behind Shard for now, and takes out both his blades quietly. He fortunately does not use them on Shard. Seems he was telling the truth and this wasn't a setup by him at least.
Reese wields Devotion, a silvery pink alaricite short sword.
Clara wields Winter's Black Heart.
Margot wields fire and water, single bladed rubicund axe.
"Nock," Calarian announces to the archers as he takes a crouch next to Khanne, Aiden and Shard-- hopefully with Margot. "Mark..." His guard sticks close to him, hefting his shield above him in case anything is sent his way. "One has just left the others. We have four archers. If each of arrows hit one, we have just one and I can send the horn blow. Focus on the chest or the head..." His own eyes are looking at the four archers atop the battlements, as if he was one of those who has to fire. "Draw... and..." There is a brief pause. "Loose!" He lifts a hand and sends it forward in evident command. For now, he doesn't pay much mind to the one who has moved.
Calarian checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked command(4) + leadership(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Reese looks over to Clara. "Stay with Lady Arianna and myself. You can fight with your bow or with your axe. We are going to be the heavy hitters. We are going to attack when Calarian blows his horn twice."
Reese turns back to Clara. "I mean one blow!"
By the time they've reached the attack point, Shard has left her horse behind, happily chewing on grass and tucked behind a tree and several tall bushes. She follows Calarian's commands directly. When he says draw, she draws, inhaling as she does so. In the pause, she holds her breath. And then she fires on command, aiming center-mass for the archer she's chosen.
Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 52 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.
Arianna waits for the signal, drawing ysgramor and twirling it around in his fingers. Swapping it back and forth between her hands as she paces in a small perimter near Reese. "Ribbons, make sure you don't get carried away. The structure has to still be standing when we finish." A soft chuckle passes her lips as she crosses her arms and leans to the side passively.
Aiden glances over at Calarian with some curiosity as his cousin gives the orders to nock. Aiden finds a good spot for his gaze to pick out one of the archers on patrol along the fence line, and at the order to nock, he threads an arrow between his fingers and sets it in place, index finger helping him to line up the shock as he marks his target. Hopefully everyone didn't mark the same target but it is assumed that's all dealt with as he whispers to the others, "I've the one on the far left..." And then he draws in time with the command. The Prince lets the arrow fly when it's time, the fletching spinning as he sends it on an upward arc to make sure it'd reach, if his aim is true.
Aiden checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
Clara wields Aurora's Winter.
Clara nods to Reese and then looks to Aiden. She places a hand on his shoulder. "Stay safe." She pulls her axe out. She looks to Reese then Arianna and waits for the signal. "Aye, I don' want ta be havin' ta pull out too many splinters after this."
Movement already. That can only mean people have seen indications of movement. Halsim starts to move to hide in the camp itself, trying to get to the gate without being murdered horribly by arrows, slowly but surely.
Khanne checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.
Khanne takes direction from Calarian as he gives it; nocking her arrow and taking aim. She waits, nodding before tucking her cheek towards her shoulder, eye running down the sight window. She seems to be aiming to the right, opposite of where Aiden aims. When Calarian gives the command to loose her arrows, her fingers let go of the arrow and string, immediately reaching for another to be ready as she watches the results.
Margot pulls her axe off her belt, with a grimice, shifting it until it sits comfortably in her hand, though she stays back behind the archers. She draws a breath, once in, once out, tamping down any emotions she might have about this, her visage turning ice cold. She slides off of her horse, not good eough of a rider to trust herself with that and the weapon at once, her posture turning defensive.
Geta looks over to Calarian when he makes a call, then he nods a bit, before he speaks to Shard, "Nice shot," he tells her. The arrow strikes one of the Shav'Arvani in the center and he falls over onto a spike, blood rolling along the wood, as another is hit and backs right off the fence with a shout. Aiden's arrow flies past one who sweeps to dodge. That is when there is a sound from within the camp... A shout goes up. And the battle is joined!
The sound of wolves can be heard howling, then the sound of some men and women. Then the two archers still on the fence, and the one on the ground, all kneel and take position as the arrows are nocked, and a volley is sent to the team.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + archery(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + archery(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 48 higher.
Khanne checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
Shard checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.
Aiden checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Shard takes minor damage.
Aiden takes minor damage.
Khanne takes minor damage.
Someone wearing a featureless black mask that obscures one's visage checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.
Calarian's eyes follow the arrows. Two hit. Aiden's fail. His face doesn't hint a reaction whatsoever, other than a nod -- the shout doesn't net any reaction, other than a nod. The arrows flying his way? No reaction, other than tilting his head in the way of the shield his guardsman is holding up. "Nock! Mark! Draw!" He urges his guard aside. "Blow that horn now. Loose!"
The guardsman blows the horn at full strength: TUUUU-ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOO-Ooo-Oooo-OoooOOOoooo. Of course, some of his archers might be about to get hit while they fire back.
Reese hears the horn. "Okay, we attack now!" She says to Clara and Arianna. Reese then begins to charge forth.
Reese checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Clara checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.
Khanne checked composure at difficulty 7, rolling 2 lower.
Then there are people looking for him. Halsim gives a deep breath to calm himself, his wilderness stealth obviously rusty... before he heads for the nearest wall, ducking behind it as he waits out the scouts.
Arianna checked strength + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Reese can be something of a brute of a princess. She charges at the gate and attacks it! Her attack is quite powerful and the gate starts to break open.
Aiden checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
Shard's only response to Geta's compliment is a light grunt, although she doesn't seem entirely unappreciative. The arrow that suddenly thuds into her chest, however, just under her collarbone, is /very/ unappreciated. Fortunately, most of her leather armor seems to catch it...but not all. She snaps the arrow shaft with a sudden, angry hiss, but there's already blood leaking around the leather plating. Wordless, she whips an arrow from her quiver, fits it to string, and fires back. "Stick with me," she says low, to Geta, "We're moving once that gate goes."
Arianna closes the distance between the her and Reese and smashes into the gate with a surprising strength.
Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Margot checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 19 lower.
Aiden winces as his shot fails to hit his target and in return, he gives up his own position to them. Thus, gets blown back by an arrow that nails him in the shoulder, but it's a grazing shot so it doesn't do terrible damage. In retribution, he gain his purchase again and nocks his arrow on his own accord this time! There's no counting down, he just takes the time he needs and shoots when he needs to shoot.
Khanne checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Clara winces as arrows come back down at the other archers and grits her teeth when she watches one hit Aiden. She says something in Northlands Shav that sounds like a curse(it is a curse) and then goes back to waiting for the sound of the horn. When she hears that horn she very briefly closes her eye and takes a deep breath before she charges forward with Reese and Arianna. She strikes at the door with her axe but doesn't do terribly much harm to the thing.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
Khanne was already nocked, waiting, her sight following the the targets as they call the battle cry. Unfortunately, her focus on targeting left her a little slow to dodge, and a return volley ends up with one arrow grazing the side of her thigh. She lets out a frustrated, pained, "nnngh..." and has to find her aim again. The hit to her leg broke through the shaman's normally stellar composure, and her aim is not good, the shot... dodged.
Margot realizes in right this moment that she's really not prepared to try and defend herself in combat with furious abyss tainted shavs. Nope no time for panic now, she gets in a position to defend the archers if needed.
The shot from Aiden hits one of the archers and they fall down upon the spiked fence, killing them as it slices through their midsection. The other is hit by Shard and falls down with the sound of bones shattering on their side of the fence. He won't be getting up it looks like. Meanwhile the archer that's on the ground shifts from bush to bush, dodging an arrow from Khanne.
Geta lets out a frustrated sound, "MY FENCE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? WAIT FOR THEM---" he sighs, and then there are ladders flung up on the sides of the fence, in preperation for melee combatants to cross. Reese's alaracite blade manages to cleave two logs out of the gate, Arianna's weapon might be smaller, but she manages to cut some rope. The gate is almost fully able to be... Well, cleaved open on one side. It's a plus.
The Shav with a bow still on their side lifts up his bow and shoots at Arianna then all the same to try and defend that gate. One enemy remaining on their side, while on the other, the enemy prepares.
Merek GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.
Arianna checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 39, rolling 0 higher.
Reese has wounded the gate. She looks proud of herself and then she hears Geta's words. "Ohhh.." She says with some concern. That doesn't seem to stop her though and she gets ready to continue cleaving the gate.
"We will get you a much better one," Calarian assures Geta aside, before he gestures to him and Shard. "Geta, Shard, join the others in the attack -- and take that one out," he encourages, aiming his drawn weapon to the one approaching, before he addresses Aiden and Khanne. "Both of your arrows, to that one." The same assigned to Geta and Shard. "Nock! Mark! Draw and Loose!" He looks aside to his guard and pushes him forward. The guard looks unsure but he's joining Geta and Shard in case the archers miss that last archer.
Calarian wields an etched, well-balanced rubicund longknife.
Reese checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Arianna realizes her efforts might be better spent doing something else. So rather than continue to pick apart the gate's structural integrity she chooses to stand guard over Reese. Allowing the other warrior woman to create an opening while she herself takes in the changing battlefield. Once she saw the target, Ari takes off like an arrow fired. Attempting to maneuver deftly past the Shav'arvani archer that might pose a breaching hazard. If she can close the distance she'll do her best to pick the man apart with her redsteel blade.
"And he actually will," Shard mutters, even as she's pulling her bow over her head and one arm. Her sword is freed from its sheath, followed by her simple steel dagger. "We're up. You watch my back, I watch yours. If we spot your former lover--" And the gate comes down. Shard murmurs something low to Geta, followed by, "Don't get eaten." She pushes out from where she's been crouching with the Abandoned leader, heading at a swift, low run toward the others attacking the gate, with her blades swept out to either side of her.
Shard wields a rubicund short sword with a black leather wrapped grip.
"I see him-" Aiden responds to Calarian's direction of where to aim. There's nothing fancy about it but Aiden doesn't loose once more when he's told to rather, he takes his time, lines up the shot.
Clara looks over at Geta at his words and then with some confusion and then ropes start to drop. "Trouble from above!" She lets Reese and Arianna and anyone else listening know. She begins aiming for the bits and pieces of the Shav that are coming through the remainder of the gate, screaming angry profanities in Northland's Shav.
Reese looks up at Clara's words. "Got it.." She says in her direction.
Aiden checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Arianna checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 56 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Clara checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.
Aiden's aim seems to be better than his first attempt. He wasn't waiting for the count and that's the difference. He took his time and when he released, his arrow struck true and crumpled his target.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + dodge(1) at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Arianna counts the beats between Reese's strikes and once the gate has a large enough opening she slips through beneath the beautiful alaritice blade. Narrowingly missing a jagged edge of the gate's new opening, the lithe young woman picks out a target and engages. Before the Shav wielding a hefty looking axe got the chance to swing it in her direction, Ari dashed forward in a blitz and slashed out at the exposed armpit, severing the artery beneath the clothing and skipping back a step to avoid getting blood on her clothes and receiving a final retort in her dying opponent's death throes.
Khanne checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + dodge(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.
Margot checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + dodge(1) at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Khanne is nocked and taking aim when Aiden looses his arrow, killing their mutual target. She has to make a quick decision, and so adjusts her aim and looses it further into the camp at the bodyguard. She curses in shav when she sees him dodge.
Margot braces herself for pain and steps forwards, swinging her axe viciously towards the head of one of the feral shavs, a growl rolling past her lips quietly then dies abruptly in her throat feeling the impact of the man against her blade, the sickening jerk that is required to pull the blade free of the shav's skull. She blinks once at the blood and the body and the blade but doesn't let herself be absorbed further in it now, turning to face the rest of the foes.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(5) + small wpn(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + dodge(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.
The gates fall with the force of Reese's strike, and then it seems that two axe-men and two feral Shavs are waiting for them. There is time for our heroes to act on the small surprise that was the gate falling before the enemy. The feral ones try to chew the wood, then look up at the team and hiss. Meanwhile the archer from behind can't seem to get an aim. Margot, Clara, Arianna, and Reese are at the gates facing the four.
Arianna manages to kill one in a splatter of blood which flows on those at the gate. Clara cuts into a feral Shav and its dark blood flows out as it lets out a cry. The one Margot decides to try and kill tries to block with its face. Which doesn't work well with bladed weapons. Khanne's arrow almost hits the bodyguard until she notices it and then dodges out of the way.
Geta nods to Shard who is behind them, and takes a moment to pull out some throwing knives. He then from the horse launches two at the axeman and both strike him, causing him to then fall back on the ground. The gate is clear. All that remains is one archer now aiming at the gate, two wolves now charging our team, and the bodyguard and the leader both stand up and begin to step down from their position.
Noticing something in the distance, this Duchess who has just killed a feral Shav, there is a mutter under the helmet of Calarian, "...Margot?" It seems to be tinged with a tiny bit of bafflement, though he doesn't have much time to reflect on that. "The archer," he notes to Aiden, "the bodyguard," to Khanne. "Nock," comes the orders as Calarian's personal guard notices that Aiden's arrow killed his target. Thus, he returns to Calarian side. "Mark. Draw... and Looose."
Tiny Tom, Wilhelm the Iron Messenger arrive, following Sparte.
Tiny Tom, Wilhelm the Iron Messenger leave, following Sparte.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + brawl(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked dex(4) + brawl(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Reese checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.
Reese checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(4) + investigation(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.
Merek GM Roll checked perception(3) + investigation(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 37 higher.
Reese has been rather focused on the gate. She can be like that sometimes. She seems a bit tense when she realizes they are facing up against four. She then notices that Margot is nearby. Reese moves to try and guard the duchess, attempting to keep herself between the wolves and Margot. She moves quite gracefully and when both wolves turn on her, Reese dances around them with nimble grace and never takes a hit.
Someone wearing a featureless black mask that obscures one's visage has rolled a critical success!
Someone wearing a featureless black mask that obscures one's visage checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 56 higher.
Shard comes in fast and hungry, watching the Abandoned behind the gate fall as she closes. One. Two. Three. Geta's makes four. She appears confident enough that the Abandoned leader is right behind her, as she vaults what remains of the gate and enters the camp itself. There's no slowing down once she's inside. The Prodigal mercenary continues at a flat out run past the others, directly on course for the enemy leader--but it's his body guard she's ultimately moving to attack. "Make yourself a story to tell, Geta!"
Arianna checked mana + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Out of nowhere, a thick cloud of red swirls into existence on top of the leader and his bodyguard, in front of the party. There is no clear sign of who tossed it, but it is clear that Halsim is still in the area.
Shard takes moderate damage.
Severa, the Guard Shepherd, Baron Archibald Chirpington, a Gyrfalcon leave, following Aiden.
Arianna takes a few breaths as she sees the wolves trying to attack the party. Closing her eyes and focusing for a moment she opens them and begins to move her lips. Whoever is closest to her might hear something like a prayer or mantra. Regardless she continues approaching the wolves at a steady pace and begins to ward away the wolves from the others. Arianna seems focused on that as she grips the dagger in her palm and continues moving her lips and pressing closer and closer to the wolves.
The place soon becomes a scene out of some story. Reese dances through the wolves, and if she has ribbons on, like pink flame it seems to shimmer about her form while she avoids it. Then it seems that a vial causes some smoke. Out from the smoke emerges the bodyguard, who then notices Shard. She lifts up a blade which she has, but as soon as the Prodigal manages to reach her, she's run through, just as the archer launches an arrow that strikes the woman in the back. The leader backs up, watching his bodyguard as she is brought low...
Geta moves forward and steps over the bodies, "He's mine," he calls out, while he rushes forward. The spear that the leader has is held up, and he rushes at the Shav'Arvani. But then he draws out his two blades and then drives them both upwards into the other. "You were my friend, my dearest love... But I take back my tribe by right... I wish you could've seen what you were doing was wrong... Look at our people." The former leader looks up at Geta, and looks to have relief, they share whispered words, perhaps to be ever unknown to the party... Meanwhile the archer that shot Shard drops his bow and backs up, surrendering.
Whatever Arianna has decided to do, it is a curious sight to see. When she approaches the wolves, instead of just backing up, it looks almost like the creatures /kneel/ before her with whimpers. Afterwards they seem to notice the battle is not going well for them, and try to rush off.
Shard drives both sword and dagger into the bodyguard up to the very hilt, both with her own force and that of the arrow that strikes her. She staggers a moment, teeth gritted. And then, as the bodyguard drops, so does she.
With the release of a determined battle cry, Clara moves forward and slams her axe into one of the Feral shav. Blood splatters across her face as Arianna strikes one and again when she rips the axe away from the feral shav. She's not sure if it is actually dead though so she slashes at it again and again. Then everything is over and she looks around, pulling her axe from the remains of the feral. "Everyone okay? Who needs a healer?" She checks herself over to make sure she is whole herself and is happy to find she has only a couple splinters from the stupid gate.
Calarian watches the scene with the impassiveness his closed visor has. If he is celebrating, he must be celebrating in his mind. "I think nobody who wasn't writ-bound died. Now it's onto him and his tribe to honor our alliance," he murmurs to himself before he's dropping to his knee where Khanne's at. "Where did you get hurt?" he asks in that very calm, very soothing tone of voice he can has.
Arianna lets out a sigh of relief as the wolves run away, her eyes following them with an intensity belying her fascination. The others were okay, she knew because the sounds of battle were over and no one was crying or yelling in pain. The battle had been done and she was grateful her allies didn't take any losses. Dropping to her knees Arianna prays and doesn't rise from the position until it's clear that everyone will be ready to move on.
Clara manages to make sure a feral Shav does not rise. It does not. Geta stands up after a bit and when his former lover has passed, then moves to Calarian. He doesn't miss the way the wolves react, which causes some weariness, but still he speaks to Calarian. "Our tribe... Will help tend your wounded as we return, if you will, we shall see a treatsie signed, and our alliance shall be honored. Grayson proved itself this day, in letting us keep our freedom, and returning our home. When the Rider comes, call on us."
Khanne Never got close tot he gate, using her bow from her original spot. She sits down on her rump when she sees that the battle is won, they have fulfilled their promise. She looks up at Calarian and says, "just my thigh.. it's not bad, just a stinger..."
"It'll be interesting to see if this was worth the time." Halsim states as he steps out of the shadows of the camp, hood up. "My apologies, I couldn't get to the gate without being killed by arrows, but I managed to help with the leader." Halsim folds his hands as he starts to inspect the camp proper.
Shard is breathing too heavily to be dead, but she's simply not going to be getting up just now. She remains lying on top of the dead bodyguard, still gripping both weapons, with the arrow sticking out of her back. Inconvenient. She'll just take a rest here.
Soon, Shav'Arvani come from their huts in the encampment, the archer stands up and looks at his fallen friends, and looks down in shame. He moves to then kneel before Geta, who turns around. "Listen, we have been through much, but soon all will return to as it was, as best we can make it... My tribesmen, fear not. But remember, on the horizon, as my sister has seen, is much more." He then slides his blades into their sheathes. Soon, hearing the battle has ended, the tribe folk he rode out with return as well, to assist the team.
Calarian slaps his visor up. His eyes are watching Khanne's leg for a beat or two; he tries to help her rise. "Come, let me help you back," he offers, just as he looks to Geta when he comes. "I will," he replies, "and I will see that our treatise is fair. We have honored your terms, Geta. I will never doubt that you will honor yours, when the time comes."
Clara's white eyes make for a strange contrast to the blood splattered on her ivory skin. She breaths heavy as she heads over to start checking out Khanne's thigh. "Bad or not, I can help you if you will let me?" She looks to Calarian. "Yeah, it can wait until she gets back to camp. Its not doing too bad."
Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle have been dismissed.
Justice, an elegant hunting falcon have been dismissed.
Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound have been dismissed.
Khanne starts to rise up with Calarian's help, looking her arm over one of his shoulders. "I'll be okay, I promise," she says to him. She pauses when Clara comes near and nods. Her leathers are ripped, the graze of the arrow evident on her creamy thigh. Nodding, she says, "back to camp we go. Thank you both."
Clara nods and moves to help support Khanne on the journey back.
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