Roleplay Forums > Canelux > Throat of the Moon > Highlands > Falling Snow [P|R]
ardenator3000

Character Info
Name: Raphael de Montefort
Age: 16
Alignment: TG
Race: Atavian
Gender: Male
Class: Winged Knight
Silver: 213
Time seemed a distant memory here. Down in the dungeon there was no way to distinguish day from night. Raphael slept, woke, and slept again - all in darkness. Only the infrequent meals provided by the guards broke up the hours, and the bouts of sobbing that bled through the wall. He had attempted to speak with the girl, to assuage her pain and assure her that everything would be alright… but the beating the guards gave him in turn made a quick end of that. Afterward he had sat sullenly in his cell, sleeping and sometimes eating and doing little else. 

One night - or day, he could never tell - he awoke with a start. There was a crash outside, and some yelling. Raphael stood quietly and moved to the door, pressing his ear against it and straining to hear. There was a sudden scream, and suddenly the door crashed inward - sending him flying. His head knocked against the stone wall as he flew into one corner, and for a split second his head swam with stars. As his vision cleared he saw a massive canine form dimly limned by the torchlight streaming in from the hall. It stood over the corpse of his gaoler, staring at him with huge golden eyes. It moved closer, claws scrabbling against stone as it paced forward. Raphael pressed himself as far into the corner as he could go, quiet as a mouse. Fear filled him, and he did not wish to do anything to further provoke the creature. The wolf's snout paused just inches from Raphael's nose, his hot foul breath bathing him in condensation. It sniffed him, took another breath, looked him in the eye, and… stepped back. Just as relief began to wash over him, it suddenly snapped its jaws such, making Raphael jump. Then, as quickly as it had appeared, it was gone again. He could already hear more shouting and crashing back up the hall.

After a moment the sound died down, and Raphael took the gaoler's sword and stepped into the corridor. He came just in time to see a familiar form hauling the struggling girl down the hall. "MACLEARY!" Raphael bellowed, incensed. The skirted man looked back for a moment, his dark beard parting in a white smile. Raphael rushed down the corridor at him, not noticing the blood and gore all around him. He was but a dozen feet away when two forms flew out of a cell in front of him, cutting him off. The skirted one was being stabbed savagely by a screaming prisoner. "Calm down, man, he's dead!" Raphael called to him.

The prisoner's wide, savage eyes snapped to Raphael. So intense were they that he took a cautious step back and lifted his sword. The prisoner eyed him as the body of his gaoler slid slowly to the floor. The man was shorter than Raphael by a head, but wider. His shaggy hair and beard auburn peppered with grey. His cheeks had a ruddy look to them: that was what piqued Raphael's memory. What confirmed his suspicion was the faded blue doublet, and the outline of a yellow peacock stitched upon its breast. "L-lord Rhygar?" Raphael asked in wonder.

The man's eyes softened, as if he had been startled out of a reverie. "How… How do you know my name? Wait," he stepped forward to inspect him more closely. "Those eyes, those wings… Raphael? My liege's son?"

The winged boy nodded. "Yes, my Lord. I was serving as cabinboy to Admiral Needah when our ship went down in a storm. When I washed up, it was onto the shores of this cruel land. Slaver's found me, and sold me to the Wull." 

"The invasion fleet, yes, I was there as well. We struck a great storm. It was much the same for me, though they found me direct, wandering the wilds once I washed up on shore. I do not know how long I have been a prisoner, though it feels like ages."

Raphael nodded, his heart hurting at the sad look in the man's eyes. No doubt he felt for the many men who must have died in the storm, no doubt he missed his home, his wife and daughters. "I've been here four months. It must have been longer for you, since I never saw you. Half a year, perhaps." And they hadn't been feeding him well, either. Rhygar had always been a stout man, nearing on portly. Now his arms were thin as sticks, his doublet hanging from bony shoulders. 

Lord Rhygar nodded somberly, then fell to one knee. "My Lord, these months may have left me weak and frail, but I swear to protect you and guard your back. I shall deliver you safely to your father, even if it means mine death."

Raphael shook his head. "Rise, Lord Rhygar. I won't hold you to that oath. My father is in another world, if he even survived the storm at all."

"Oh, I think he is closer than you know. That wolf that came rampaging down here? I have seen him before. Your father swore me to secrecy after the night we caught him, but the cat's out of the bag now. You know him as Olvar, your father's own squire." There was a hard look in Rhygar's eye. 

Raphael was dumbfounded. "O-olvar? I can't believe it." Yet even as he said it, it started to come together for him. The lad had popped up shortly after his father's mission to help Rhygar rid his lands of a werewolf, and Rhygar had always hated the lad. Raphael had just chalked it up to the boy's birth… but concerning his birth, why else would his father take on a commoner for a squire and start such a scandal at Court? When they had finally taken the werewolf and saw that he was but a boy his father must have taken pity on him. Not wishing to kill him, yet not able to let him be free, Simon had likely taken the lad on as his squire to keep him close. That must have been difficult on his father, since the wolf had killed Sergio, his last squire.

The lad sighed. "You may be right, my lord. In any case, I am happy for the chaos this wolf has caused. There is a girl under my protection, who has just been spirited away by a rapscallion known as MacLeary. Help me to slay him and bring back the girl, then we can find my father."

Rhygar nodded. "As you command, my Lord." 

As they moved down the hall and up the stairs Raphael took not of the blood and entrails all around him, and finally realized that it was the source of the strange smell that filled his nostrils. That realization caused him to double over and lose his last meal. Once he had regained his composure, he forced himself to pick through the carcasses as they made their way up. He managed to find a helm, leather pauldrons, a spear, and a kite shield by the time they broke onto the surface. Rhygar had also armed and armored himself well. Chaos was everywhere. Blood was on the snow, dying men crawling about half-mauled, screaming for their mothers. Others were frantically running to and fro. A building was on fire. Somewhere else he heard the snarling of the wolf, and more shouting. He peered down at the snow, and saw a fresh set of tracks peeling off to the left. 

Raphael led the way, past the burning building and between two more - right into Anguy. The redheaded lad held his longbow before him, arrow knocked and drawn back and levels at Raphael. Rhygar moved to place himself between the archer and Raphael, but the winged boy interplaced his spear to stop him. "No, let me talk to him. Anguy, put the bow down."

"I can't. You're to stay in the dungeons. Wull's orders." 

"What the Wull says doesn't matter any longer. My father has come to rescue me, he's leading this attack." It was just an assumption, but a good one if Olvar were here. "Look around you. These bandits are finished. They'll all be dead before morning. Kill me, and he'll reserve the slowest death for you. But you won't kill me, will you Anguy? You're not like the rest. I know it. You're a better man than them. Join with me. I'll tell my father how you were kind to me, that you're my friend. He'll take you into his service - I swear it. He always has need of a good archer." Rhygar nodded in assent. The lad hesitated a moment, then finally lowered his bow.

"Alright," he said in a defeated tone, "but I won't help you kill any of them. They was my brothers, as awful as they could be."

"That's fine." Raphael replied, "I only wish to kill four of them anyway. MacLeary and his thugs. Remember that little girl I found? They gang raped her, Anguy, in the next cell over. RAPED her. I heard everything. They took off with her, that way." He pointed over the archer's shoulder. "I mean to take vengeance on them and free that little girl from their clutches. Will you join me?"

Anguy shook his head, and let out a curse. "Rapin' a little girl… MacLeary was always a special kind of right prick. Fuck it, let's kill 'em. They're going for the postern gate off on the side I'll wager. This way."

The ranger took the lead, and Raphael followed with a feral smile. Rhygar halted them once past the buildings, however. "Wait! Look, back at the gate. Raphael, it's your Lord father." Raphael looked toward where the ragged lord pointed his bony finger, and found a knight in shining armor swinging a morningstar amongst a thicket of men. Just by seeing his physical-yet-technical fighting style Raphael knew it to be true. "You're right, my lord. Go to him. Let him know that I am alive, and which way we went. I must go free the girl. I'll join you after." With a nod, Rhygar rushed off to join the fray.

Turning back, Raphael and Anguy continued on through the open postern set into a palisade between two rocks, and walked out into the cold wilderness beyond.

BadMoonRising

Character Info
Name: Olvar Tyresus
Age: 24
Alignment: CN
Race: Lupundra
Gender: Male
Class: Wandering Shifter
Silver: 1474
Man scampered through the snow like panicked rabbits, gripping their weapons like lifelines in the chaos. To see so many erratic bodies scrambling before him made the wolf’s fur bristle with excitement. He stood tall on his hind legs, letting out a mighty bellow somewhere between a howl and a warcry. Those nearby startled, the hulking beast suddenly becoming their focus rather than the invasion at the gate. The bandit forces were split with confusion, pinned in from both sides by two equally deadly forces. Strategically, the positioning was perfect. But the wolf cared not for strategy. He had been waiting for this night, when he was free to decimate and destroy as his nature saw fit, and now that it was here, he wanted to revel in it.

Golden eyes fixated on a single form, rushing it with a snarl. The man turned tail and ran, as any sane man would. Blades swung through the air, but if any touched him, he noticed not. The wolf had selected a rabbit, and the chase had begun. Wherever the terrified bandit ran, the lupundra killed the comrades that were passed by. He himself was never harmed, allowed to run on through the madness until winter’s grip brought him down to the snow. Not immediately rising, his usefulness ended, as well as his life. In a particularly gruesome display, he held the carcass limply in his jaws, standing once again on his hind legs to scan the crowd for his next victim.

For what felt like blissful hours, the wolf circled through the battle. The fur of his arms was soaked with red, his chest a crimson mess. Gore painted his muzzle, stained his teeth. Power thrilled along through his veins as his claws dragged the snow, leaving rusted streaks behind. His course took him between two outbuildings, where he easily bounced from the wall of one to the other to sharpen his turns. As he swept past the gate, a mass of anger and fur, a voice called out above the din.
“My lord!” To the wolf, it was no better than nails on a chalkboard. The beast clutched at the softened ground, skidding to a hard stop. Furrows in the snow led to the resting place of each paw.

Feral eyes washed over the chaotic mass in search of the voice’s owner. Auburn hair, and a ruddy face… A low growl bubbled up from his chest when at last he spotted his target. Lord Rhygar: the man who had demanded Olvar be killed on sight the day he had been captured. Black lips curled back from hostile teeth, thin red trails running between each fang. With bristled hackles and a gleaming gaze of gold, the shifter stalked quickly forward. With each step, he imagined the satisfaction of his jaws crushing the arrogant lord’s windpipe, denying him the life he would gasp so weakly for.

Only a few paces separated them now, and the wolf felt a thrill of anticipation… but stopped. Foul breath clouded around the wolf’s muzzle as he rumbled his anger, tail stiffly out behind him. Primal rage glinted darkly in the manic torchlight, still locked onto the lord standing weak and cold before him. Not so lordly anymore. For what felt like several minutes, the battle seemed to pass by around them. Rhygar resembled only a shell of his former self. Beaten down. Defeated.

With a tense snarl, the werewolf plunged his claws deep into the snow. Hard eye contact insisted for a breath longer. When finally the gaze broke, the beast turned with a snort, not bothering to look back as it abandoned Rhygar in favor of more appropriate prey.


"What a monstrous sight he makes, mocking man's best friend."

ardenator2000

Character Info
Name: Count Simon de Montefort
Age: 32
Alignment: LG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: White Knight
Silver: 181
A handful of scouts rushed up to the ramparts, engaging the archers above while Simon and the rest held the line down below. At first the bandits streamed out of the longhouse in but a trickle, stepping out and looking about in confusion as they heard the howling and the cries. It took a moment for them to realize that there was an altercation at the gate at all. As they began to approach in twos and threes Simon stepped forward to meet them. 

The first he hit with a running shield bash, edge-on to the skull. The man crumpled below his field of view, constrained as it was by the narrow eye-slit of his burgonet helm. Two men fell around him, from Stonesnake's arrows no doubt. Simon absorbed an overhand blow on his shield, holding it overhead as he dropped to one knee and swung his morningstar low, smashing through the bandit's lead knee in an explosion of blood and bone. 

Spinning as he rose, he brought the morningstar around in a sweeping backhanded blow that caved in the skull of the next oncoming brigand. Stepping forward, he lifted his leg and planted his foot on the chest of the next bandit in line, sending him flying to the dirt with the powerful front kick. Now the bandits were pouring en masse from the longhouse, and most were coming his way. More fell to arrows from his scouts, but soon they were all about him. Simon's world became a pattern of technical knightly combat. Kick, bash, smash. Block, smash. Parrty, trap, throw, smash. Which each foe that fell, two more took his place. Soon he found himself being pushed back toward the gate, step by inexorable step. 

Huffing and puffing, he glanced sideways to find himself now alongside his ragged line of scouts. The bandits were thick about them now, pressing in hard from all sides. Stonesnake fell among multiple foes, as Simon was entangled with a massive skirted man weilding a claymore. As he dispatched that man he saw another scout fall. 

The Knight knew his battlefield logistics. They were nearing the tiping point, beyond which all of them would be dispatched quickly by the bandits, if his men didn't break and run. As Simon girded himself for the worst, suddenly they caught a break. Two breaks, that is. 

First Wolvar entered the scene, coming around the longhouse to engage the bandits out front. As the wolf rampaged through their ranks many turned back to see the cause of the screaming and commotion. 

An instant later Simon heard a cry behind him, and through the gates rushed Steelshanks at the head of his column of caravan guards. The bandits were taken half by surprise, and under the pressure of the charge soon they were the ones being driven back.

"My Lord!" He heard a familiar voice cry from across the field. Simon looked up, hardly believing his eyes. The man was ragged and shaggy, much slimmer and looking as if he'd aged a decade, but it was unmistakably hus bannerman. "Rhygar!" Simon called, smashing his mace down into a man's skull and bashing another aside as he made his way forward. 

Rhygar rushed toward him, then suddenly froze. From the right of his eyeslit appeared Wolvar, prowling toward Rhygar menacingly. "No!" Dropping his morningstar, Simon lifted his visor and reached to his belt for the dark, twisted horn slung there. "Don't make me do it," he muttered, as he brought the horn to his lips. Just as he was about to blow, the wolf snapped it's teeth and moved on to maul another bandit. Simon sighed with relief, and gave a proud smile. "Well done, Olvar."

Rhygar fought his way through the bandits to join him on the other side of the line. "My Lord! I see your squire has learned some self-control. At long last."

"At last," Simon nodded in agreement. "It is good to lay eyes on you again, my lord. How did you come to be in this place?"

"I was a prisoner in their dungeons. So was your son. We escaped when the wolf broke open the doors. Your son and his companion have made off through the back of the compound to find a girl. I thought to find and notify you at once."

Simon's jaw dropped. He had hoped beyond hope that his son had survived the storm that had shattered his fleet, but never did he imagine he would find him in this vast alien land. Simon had but one mission now. 

"Steelshanks! You have the command. Lord Rhygar, with me!" Simon charged forward with a roar, crashing through the bandit line. It wasn't truly much of a line anymore. Between the wolf's rampaging and the sudden assault through the gate the brigand's resistance was falling apart. Simon's battlefield instincts told him that they would break momentarily. This battle was all but over. But none of that mattered, he had to find his son.

Soon they fought their way clear of the remaining marauders, and began racing toward the rear of the encampment. Simon heard a roar cut through the chaos, prompting him to stop. "Wull," he stated, as he turned around. 

The old boar of a man stood limned by the fire of a burning outbuilding, sword and shield in hand. "Traitorous bastard. I'll have your head!"

Simon raised his shield and dropped his visor. "Come and take it!" He challenged, then charged.

ardenator3000

Character Info
Name: Raphael de Montefort
Age: 16
Alignment: TG
Race: Atavian
Gender: Male
Class: Winged Knight
Silver: 213
The snow crunched underfoot as the two men tromped through it, moving as quickly as they could through the thick drifts. They had easily found the trail left by MacLeary and his cronies, and Raphael was eager to catch up. It was all he thought about. His sole focus. In his haste he forgot to lift his feet high enough to clear the snow, and nearly tripped and fell. After that he fluttered his wings with each step, hopping from drift to drift as they made their way farther from the ringfort and down toward the treeline. Rage burned inside him, driving him onward. He didn't know if this was vengeance or justice, and he didn't care. All that mattered was seeing MacLeary dead. 

He heard them before he saw them. Heard their footfalls and their breaths. The way they grunted sickened him, and when he heard the girl cry out his rage burned white-hot inside him. "MACLEARY!!!" he screamed, a roar that echoed off the trunks of the ghostly sentinel pines. The skirted men at the edge of his vision paused and turned toward him. "Hawk, is that you?" MacLeary called back in a mocking tone. "Come for one more beating eh? I'll tell ya what, once I'm done with you you can watch me hae another go at her." He shook the girl, causing her to cry out once more. Raphael screamed, his face contorted in rage. His wings beat at the air, throwing up flurries of snow as he lifted from the pack and flew down the slope. The bandits moved up to meet him, but they couldn't match the speed at which he hurtled toward them. Couching his spear under his arm, he pointed it at the nearest man and folded his wings to his back for maximum speed. The man lifted his axe but was far too slow. Raphael crashed into him so hard he nearly lost his breath, his spear burying into the man's torso up to his hand. They hit the snow and went tumbling, rolling nearly a dozen feet before crashing into a large drift at the base of a pine.

Raphael came up to his knees, head spinning, as the other two men approached. He wrenched the spear from the dead man and fumbled for his shield as they neared. At the last second he spun and lashed out with the weapon, sweeping one of the bandits off his feet. With a flutter of wings he leapt up from the drift and slammed the top of his shield into the other man, sending him reeling. Turning, he found the first bandit scrambling to his knees. Raphael buried the head of his spear in the man's chest, his ribs parting with a satisfying crack. Raphael enjoyed himself for an instant too long, for out of the corner of his eye he noticed the second man charging in with axe upraised. Raphael turned, but even as he did so he knew he could not bring up his shield in time.

Suddenly, at the last instant, the man fell and went tumbling past him. When he skidded to a stop Raphael noticed the feathered shaft sprouting from his skull. What a shot! The near miss left him breathless. He looked back up the slope. Anguy lowered his bow and gave him a nod. 

A roar brought Raphael's attention back to the work at hand. He turned to find MacLeary tossing the girl aside to draw his claymore. The wicked-looking blade shone in the torchlight. "I'll have your head, Hawk!" the bearded man spat. Raphael looked on him with dark eyes, portals to the black hatred in his heart. "No, MacLeary, I'll have yours. The last thing you see in this world will be my eyes."

The skirted man charged him with a roar, and Raphael trotted out to meet him. The bout with the other bandits had tempered his rage, cooling and tightening down into a little black ball at the center of his being. He didn't fly recklessly at MacLeary. No - he would do this smart, and slow, and savor every moment of it.

He cut left, then right, dodging a massive downward swing from the big man. His wings fluttered and he flew right. His feet found a tree trunk and he pushed off, coming at MacLeary from above. He drove his spear into the man's shoulder as his feet sank into the snow. The man roared, pulled back and swung with a hard backhanded cut. Raphael took it on his shield, though the force of the blow sent a spike of pain up his arm. He countered with a stab to the foot, sending the big man hopping away with a howl.

Raphael took his time with MacLeary, circling this way and that: cutting in and out, fluttering up and down. Dodging attacks, blocking others, and countering with little probing stabs. None were enough to seriously maim or kill the man, but over time they took their toll. Raphael ducked under an overcommited swing, strafed, and place a stab into his shoulder blade. Roaring, MacLeary spun with another massive slash. It was slower than the others, and now Raphael knew his distance. He merely leaned back and let it pass a hairsbreadth from his neck. Then he leaned back in with a counter stab to the gut. This time he caught MacLeary square. He sat back onto the snow with an oof as his breath left him. He tried to lift his sword, but Raphael kicked his wrist and sent it flying. He leaned into the spear, pushing MacLeary back into a lying postion. Then he twisted, and pulled the weapon free. MacLeary groaned, clutching his stomach as the snow around him began to stain red. 

The winged squire tossed spear and shield aside, slowly drawing his dagger with venom in his eyes. It was time to get up close and personal. MacLeary tried to sit up again, still clutching his stomach with one hand while feebly trying to ward off Raphael with the other. He merely grabbed the wrist and pulled him into three quick stabs to the chest. This time, MacLeary whimpered. Raphael knelt before him, grabbing a fistful of hair to hold the dying man up. He stared into MacLeary's eyes: saw the pain there. Saw the fear. That pleased him the most. "When you go to hell, MacLeary, tell them that Raphael Balestero Chiovattio de Montefort sent you." With that he plunged the dagger into the skirted man's throat, all the way up to the hilt. The man's eyes widened, then began to fluttered as he choked and gasped and gurgled. Raphael kept him sitting upright by the hair, holding his face mere inches from his own, never breaking eye contact until he saw the life go out from his eyes. Then he pulled out the dagger, and let the man fall back onto the reddened snow. He wiped the dagger off on the dead man's skirt, sheathed it, and stood up with a sigh. 

The girl was huddled a few yards away. She watched him warily, with tears in her eyes. The sight brought tears to his own. He walked toward her. She recoiled as he neared, but he dropped to his knees in the snow before her. "'I'm sorry." he said, voice cracking. Tears poured down his cheeks. "I'm so sorry…" He sobbed, completely crying now. His rage and hate had faded, replaced with sadness and regret. The girl began to cry too. Soon they were holding each other, sobbing there in the snow, witnessed by only the pines and Anguy, who busied himself with looting the corpses of his former comrades.

After what seemed like an eternity their tears ran their course. "Come now," Raphael choked, "let's take you home." He led the girl by the hand back up the slope, Anguy falling in silently behind. Their pace was slow coming back up the mountain. The snow was deep, the slope was sleep, and Raphael was tired. So very tired…

BadMoonRising

Character Info
Name: Olvar Tyresus
Age: 24
Alignment: CN
Race: Lupundra
Gender: Male
Class: Wandering Shifter
Silver: 1474
The image of the pompous DaeLuin lord stained his focus, but he used the rage it dredged up to his advantage. Already he had slaughtered at least a dozen men, if not two, and his count was still rising steadily. With every kill, a new bandit either ran through his field of view or approached with comrades, daring an attack. Always there was fresh blood to spill, and the wolf was revelling in it.

With a squirming man pinned beneath his heavy paws, he gave a hard backward yank on his prey’s head with his teeth, earning a clear “pop” and a slumped body as a trophy. A red tongue swiped across his muzzle, attempting and failing to clear some blood from his maw. Once again, golden eyes found a target amongst the chaos, but as he started forward a sharp, stabbing pain in his back stopped him in his tracks. The beast let out an offended snarl, whipping around to see a solitary man squared up to him, maybe thirty feet away. In the back of his mind, Olvar recognized him as one of the Wull’s captains; a respected hunter by the name of Silver, so called for the preferred type of weapon against his preferred type of game. Indeed, a handful of the captain’s stories had trickled down the tables earlier that night to where Olvar had sat, and now the shifter would have a chance to do just as he’d dreamt of while listening to the exploits. This barbarian’s blood would be sweetest.

“Come on, beastie,” Silver taunted, discarding the bow in his hand into the snow. He picked up the tower shield he had leaned against his leg, drawing with his other hand an elegant silver-plated longsword. “I’ve got an empty space on my wall, just for you.”

The lupundra wasted no time. He charged forward, eyes flashing in the light of the mad flames. Silver tucked behind his shield, expecting claws, and so was knocked back when the wolf instead threw a shoulder against the barrier. Heat prickled through his fur, startling him back from following with an attack. As the hunter righted himself, Olvar eyed the shield with narrowed eyes. More silver. His challenger reset his stance. His teeth were bared in a grin beneath his helm. “Try again, beastie,” he laughed. The sound was swallowed by a snarl as the massive wolf charged again.

A dodge to the right, and Silver pivoted to follow. The instant his paws met ground he lunged for the man, ignoring the pressing heat of the shield against his belly as he reached long arms around the edges of the tower. He nicked flesh–felt the catch–but had to retreat almost immediately to avoid being gutted by the longsword. This man’s defenses were already getting in the way.

After a handful more of guerilla charges, the hunter finally did what Olvar had been baiting him to do. The swing was fast, but stretched, pulling Silver’s arm out from behind the safety of the tower shield. It took only a second for long claws to hook into the man’s arm. The hunter cursed once, then shouted another when he was swung by his sword arm into the side of an outbuilding. The arm popped softly. The wolf leaned closer, jaws wide.

In one smooth, practiced move, Silver slid his arm free of the shield, opening his palm to catch the sword as he dropped it from his trapped hand. It was elegant and strategic. The shifter was forced to backpedal, lest he be slashed across the chest, or worse, run through. But this was apparently also in the captain’s plan. As soon as the lupundra’s paw met soil, the bandit plunged his weapon downward. The blade slid cleanly between the bones of the shifter’s hand, biting into the cold earth below.

The beast howled.

“Hasvath, broska hemno!” he spat through gnashing teeth, the seathing words falling harshly into the icy wind. The wolf pulled against the burning blade, but only let out another bestial scream of pain as the searing metal flared angrily. Silver laughed. Golden eyes locked onto the pretentious man as he twirled a gleaming dagger over his fingers. No doubt plated with his namesake. Reaching him would be impossible pinned like this, but the hunter clearly wanted to finish the job.

Feigning distress, the wolf let out a panicked wail, straining as far away from the captain as he could manage without burning himself further. He glanced over his shoulder, the action twisting his body to expose his chest. A risky bait. Very risky. But never was there a higher risk on the field than that made by arrogance, and Silver was in no short supply. He watched the lupundra struggle for a few moments, a smug smile on his face, before stepping forward. “You tried at least, even if you turned coward in the end. Goodnight, beastie.”

The blade drew back. Silver leaned forward. Olvar’s eyes flashed.

It happened in an instant. One moment the hunter had been going in for the killing blow, the next he was being held down by one arm with his head in the mouth of a quarter-ton wolf. Time seemed to stand still. The longsword burned in his paw. Hot breath billowed across the man’s face. The pair were both stiff as statues until Silver made the decision to swing blindly with his dagger in one last attempt at life. The blade whiffed past the shifter’s arm, triggering a sharp jerk with his head. The hunter went limp. Two broken necks in a row; truly a record for a wolf to be proud of.

With as much respect as was deserved, Olvar kicked the body unceremoniously to the side and began clawing at the ground around his injured paw. It was softened by his warm blood, but the silver burned worse and worse with every swipe alongside it, and the blade had buried itself deep in the earth. Red specks flew from the beast’s jaws as it let out a furious bellow.

Trapped.


"What a monstrous sight he makes, mocking man's best friend."

ardenator2000

Character Info
Name: Count Simon de Montefort
Age: 32
Alignment: LG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: White Knight
Silver: 181
"MONTEFORT!!!" Simon roared as he bull rushed the Wull. The grizzled warrior lifted his round shield, taking Simon's slam head on and hardly giving an inch. Simon didn't let up: bashing again with his shield, swinging with his mace, and lifting his shield to block the Wull's counter cut. The first seconds of their duel was a flurry of activity. Weapon slammed against shield, shield against shield, then they would step back and circle for the next attack. The Wull was an old boar. Judging by his size in strength, he could have overpowered Simon in his prime. But he was past his prime. Not so for the White Knight. 

So he kept the pressure on, angling then stepping in with swings and bashes- forcing the Wull to readjust and counter attack to force him back out of range. In a moment the Wull was huffing and puffing, as Simon intended. He took his time with his next assault: stepping in, feinting, side-stepping a thrust and blitzing inside. This time he swung first, a looping overhanded blow that the Wull lifted his shield to absorb. Then he struck out with his shield, punching the edge into the Wull's mid drift just above the skirt. The blow sent him stumbling backward as he pitched forward. As the Wull's shield came down Simon's return swing came through - catching the lip of the shield and pushing back into the shoulder behind. Through the handle of the morning star Simon felt something give. The bandit lord's shield hung low after that, but the blow served to make him even angrier. With a scream he rushed Simon, swinging wildly with his broadsword. 

Simon stepped into the assault with his shield held high, absorbing the strikes and attempting to push the man back to no avail. The blows reverberated off his very bones. He could feel a stabbing pain in his own shoulder. Gods he's strong. Simon mused. 

He ate a low swing, then stepped in and dropped to one knee below one intended for his head. His own weapon slammed hard toward the ground as he dropped, right onto the Wull's lead foot. This time the old man did hop back, cursing as he tried to limp off the wounded foot. With both hand and foot on the same side useless Simon charged, giving everything he had in one last rush. The Wull leaned into the blow, but on contact Simon pivoted off his lead leg and let the Wull fall face first onto the ground. His morningstar rose and fell afterward, until at last the bandit stopped twitching. 

Looking up from his grim work, Simon surveyed his surroundings. Lord Rhygar was dispatching a bandit nearby. And past him… Simon took off that way with a run. He skid to a stop before his lupine squire, howling and thrashing at a smoking sword thrust through his front paw. On closer inspection, it seemed to be the wolf's flesh that was smoking. Silver. Simon was surprised that one of the bandits had this rich a weapon, and that they were able to use it so affectively. 

He hesitated a moment, unsure of whether it was worth the risk. I have to do something. Wolvar was obviously in great pain. Simon approached cautiously, hand outstretched to brush the wolf's shoulder. "Calm, be still…" He reached slowly down toward the sword, his fingers wrapping about the hilt. Then, suddenly, he pulled. The weapon wrenched free of paw and earth, and Simon cast it aside. Kneeling, he placed a hang on the wounded paw. His palm glowed briefly, suffusing the nearby ground in white light. When he removed it, the wound was closed - with a large, ragged scab over it. The bleeding is stopped, but who knows what kind of permanent damage he may have suffered - there are many fine tendons and bones in the hand, and that sword was right through it. Besides, Silver is debilitating to lycans, and that was in him a good while.

Unfortunately there would be no time for the wolf to lick his wounds. Simon called over Rhygar, who pointed out the location of the postern gate. "Wolvar, this way!" he shouted, pointing toward it with his morningstar. "Find my son!" He and Rhygar took off at a sprint, following as quickly as they could at the werewolf's heels.  

BadMoonRising

Character Info
Name: Olvar Tyresus
Age: 24
Alignment: CN
Race: Lupundra
Gender: Male
Class: Wandering Shifter
Silver: 1474
The finger pads of his free paw were singed by now from the constant brushing against silver during his digging. His actions were becoming desperate, hot pain beginning to pulse upward through his wrist. Panting breaths clouded around his muzzle like fog. Long lupine ears were pinned flat to his head. He let out a panicked half-howl, the sound broken up by his champing jaws. Movement to one side. Swinging his head to the right with a warning growl, the beast recognized the man in an instant, and while his low rumble did not cease, it quieted. Straining muscles stilled and stiffened beneath the knight’s palm. As an armored hand crept toward the hilt of the blade pinning his paw, the wolf’s twitching black lips pulled back to reveal his arsenal of battle stained teeth. A snarl bubbled in the back of his throat.

As the blade was yanked skyward, Olvar let out a howl. His injured paw pulled close as soon as it was free, but a rushed attempt to put weight on it only resulted in the shifter’s body taking a clumsy dip toward the bloody ground. Simon received a vocal warning for grabbing it, but no action was made to follow through on the wordless threat. If anything, the growling subsided alongside the glow beneath the white knight’s hand.

He tested the scab with a gentle stretch of his fingers, but dared not push the wound further than that so soon after being sealed. The burning silver was gone, but an aching pain still pulsed through his palm with every heartbeat. His ear twitched upon hearing Simon’s name for his lupine form. He turned his massive head to eye him, as well as Rhygar. A gaze as rich as a dragon’s hoard dragged over the indicated gate, noting the disturbed snow in its mouth. The lupundra stood tall, rearing onto his hind legs much like a bear would for a better view of the terrain ahead. Deep breaths of cold air pulled in a menagerie of smells, from blood, to fire, to sweat. The scent he wanted was not unlike Simon’s, but with less metallic tones and more avian. Being so unique, it didn’t take long to get a whiff.

Favoring his injured paw, the wolf struck out at a slightly unsteady lope, stretching his good paw forward to pull his heavy frame on after the scent. His wide chest plowed through the snow, clearing a fair path for the humans following behind him. The trail was relatively clear, between the footprints and the massive number of scents involved. There were at least three more bandits, possibly four, along with a young female, and the avian. They all traveled more or less the same route, meaning that tracking any of them would likely yield a successful hunt.

That word stuck in his brain: hunt. He was injured, exhausted. He needed food. Something to fill his belly and heal his wounds.
Hunt. A dozen different animals could be within twenty yards of him at any moment as he ran, and he wasn’t paying attention to any of them. Hunt. There, an equine trail. Like a horse, like prey. Hunt. His course shifted. Hoofprints in the snow. The smell of horse filled his nostrils, stronger and stronger with every pace. It was just ahead. Hunt.

With a roar, the lupundra burst through a stand of frozen saplings, spooking the animal on the other side. It screamed in fear as the werewolf swung a clawed hand for its rump, narrowly avoiding a hoofed kick in the process. A snap of powerful jaws near the equine’s fetlocks made the poor creature stumble, ears pinning fearfully back. It was only a sharp command from behind that held the shifter’s next attack.


“No, Wolvar, stop! Get off of him!”

The lycan bounced away from the horse after one final snap of his jaws. He stared as the animal’s white pelt twitched nervously, then retreated back to his original trail. Hunting would have to come later, after he found the avian Simon was searching for. The thought of a warm meal spurred him on through the snowy forest, but his flurry of attacks had strained his injury once more. Growing patches of red stained the snow in every fourth track, unintentionally marking a clear path for the noblemen to follow.

It wasn’t too much farther into the forest that the bird scent grew noticeably stronger. Olvar slowed his pace, feeling a pull in his belly that warned him of light on the horizon. It would be a stretch to find the knight’s son in time. With the rush of battle ebbed, exhaustion was beginning to drag his limbs down, like boulders chained around his ankles. He heard movement in the trees beside him, but didn’t react to it. A trio of figures ahead caught his attention instead; one of them appeared to be winged.

The huge wolf stood atop the gentle incline above the three, throwing back his heavy head and letting out a howl to signal his success. The sound trickled off as the first rays of dawn cut through the icy air. The lupundra slowly buckled to the ground, the shape of his very body changing as he contorted and collapsed into the snow. He was too drained even to cry out as his muscles and bones put themselves back to right. Blood–not his own–was smeared across the man’s face and chest, up his arms. His hand was bleeding, as well as a wound from an arrow still lodged in his back.


Olvar fell limply into the snow. It took a few seconds before he began to shiver. The movement that had tailed him from within the trees stepped forward, a shadow detaching itself from the darkness of the woods. Ojuk nosed once at his master, then turned his scarred face to fix a cold glare on Raphael and Anguy. A low growl was directed as a warning at their obvious weaponry. The warg made no move against them though. Instead he laid down stiffly alongside the exhausted shifter, offering what heat his heavy coat could provide, and making it clear that approach would be unwise.

"What a monstrous sight he makes, mocking man's best friend."


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