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Full Version: Warpath of the Wolf: The Plunder of Khaltet
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Repositioning Robert to be held in front of him whilst they ran, Salem kept a steady breath as the arrows began to whirl past them. South? Get to the gate, find the hole? There wasn't a lot of context, but he couldn't exactly ask for a proper explanation when they were being chased down as they were. If he weren't holding Robert, Salem could have probably afforded to try and toss something behind him, or knock something over in the streets. As it was, though? No dice.

"Right, got it." An arrow, at that moment, grazed Salem's right cheek whilst spinning between the pair of them. The stinging sensation was accompanied with the sight of blood, but it was something Salem could ignore for the time being. He just had to keep a better eye on the guys behind them -- apparently they could shoot pretty damn well whilst running at the same time.

Running in a straight line proved not to be the best plan. In a back-of-the-mind sort of a way, Smitty knew that, but damn it, he was a traditionalist. Still, there was a time for tradition, and almost getting shot in the head by holy shit how are they keeping up when they keep shooting at us was not one of those times.

"This way!" Smitty tugged on Salem's shoulder, before he darted between two houses barely taller than himself. A good zig-zag would definitely turn down the advantages of those archers, at least a little, and he could see the point on the wall where he'd left a marking. That was halfway to the point!
Zig-zag was a good idea, Salem had to give him that much. At the very least, it'd severely cut down the chances of him getting some matching nicks and cuts from other not-so-stray arrows aimed at his being. "Right!" Responding in the affirmative with an accompanying nod, Salem swiftly followed after Smitty; bringing Robert closer to his chest as he manoeuvred between the houses. Slightly hunched over doing so, Salem spoke up. "Have you got any more of that smoke-making stuff?"
It seemed like Nikang was about to suggest something more fun. Like gutting 'Toughneck' and going in on their own. But just then, the little entitled bastard finally did something vaguely leader-like and started dishing out orders. Elisa took a glance towards the town, and sure enough, the signal had been given. One signal. Her attention was then quickly brought back to her more immediate surroundings as the girl was shoved straight into her.

Elisa chose not do dignify where the girl landed with a response, instead pushing her back off and giving her best impression of listening patiently to Thestle. Thankfully, she only had to keep it up for a minute before they had their orders.

"About time," Elisa said, idly wondering how much difference it would make if she just decapitated the guy right now. Whatever. It was time to get moving, and Elisa wasn't going to argue with that at all.
After another assault of shoving and otherwise abuse of her short frame, Fess was finally standing on her own two feet, only to be ordered by some rube that she was going to do... what now?

"Ahem! Can only please explain to me just exactly what is going on here? I am not about to be ordered around to do something I have no clue on."

"Smug, richboy little dumbass." Nikang muttered under his breath, once Thestle had walked out of earshot.

Once the ponce was gone, Nikang huffed and pointedly ignored the whiny girl for a moment. Seriously, Kaia was so damn lucky he'd heeded her summon to help out with this nonsense. Coming back to help out the Djute Tribe with their bullshit had been real low on his list, but with Lycia going crazy and invading places like Etruria, well...

Nikang sighed. "What's it look like, girl? We, as in now you're coming with us, you loudmouth twit, are taking this village from Araphen. Now shut up."

"Oi, Maynette." Nikang remembered her. Hard not to. "You actually 'leading' us, or we just gonna go?"
Fess ignored the foul mouthing as a keyword caught her attention, Araphen. She knew that name...

As Nikang's attention was aimed at this Maynette person, Fess turned around so that she was facing the moon and rummaged through a pouch at her him to pull out a folded up map and looked at it. Araphen... right at the Sacae/Lycia border, and north of where she was trying to get to. Seems Belphe was actually pretty on track when she was asleep. Maybe the beast wasn't completely useless. She put the map away and then processed what was really being said.

These people were trying to take over this village for Sacae, that had to be the only thing that made sense. This was really really not something she wanted to get involved with, certainly not as a member of an Ilian house, seeing as the country was trying to remain neutral in all of this nonsense.

She looked back over a shoulder at the others there, then ahead to where Belpha was still grazing.

She started to sprint towards the Pegasus.
"Deaf and dumb," replied Maynette in a hushed, mocking snort. Fluffneck was literally going to ignore and effectively consent to all of the prior ungodly racket and all of the unwelcome movement—and the unfortunate addition of that rider and feather horse!—around him just within the past minute, to say nothing of his own scouts gone AWOL. The lot of them could have set up this sorry scene outside a graveyard instead and been more likely to get the sharp, iron reprimand that they so richly deserved.

Common sense was enough to see that something stunk about this town, and May was beginning to feel the same about this sideways moving raid: by all rights, the whole party should have been full of arrows or chased into full retreat moments ago. Continuing to sit around in a likely compromised position for a signal that may or may not come? As dumb as Fluffy. Just sounded like a setup for a counter-ambush. Had a signal not actually risen in the following moments—and only one, as May gravely noted—the warrior just might have given real consideration to the half-formed thought of mutiny in her mind. Being led around by some half-assed brigand whelp was nearly insufferable as it was.

"... and spineless," Maynette added to her last statement as she received her orders, openly directing a slitting gesturing across her throat to Thestle as the bandit vermin ambled off. Not even grit or commitment enough to lead in the action he was directing. Just another gasbag turkey to be carved, like the rest of his wretched brethren. Maynette mentally filed away thought on that possibility for later.

"Yeah, I'll lead," she replied quietly to Nikang as she slowly rose to a crouch, now speaking to both him and Elisa, "I'll take point. Back me up. But first." No sooner had May whirled and lifted her hand behind her neck than she snapped it down again, and in the next moment, with a hum and a low thud, a nasty-looking tomahawk had lodged in the ground between that bloody horse and its rider, who was clearly attempting to flee.

"We deal with her. I was bidden to siege. I will not babysit. Will either of you?" Having drawn a second axe in her left-hand, Maynette was already well upon the girl before the warrior had uttered the last phrase. "...Are you useful? A burden? Can you fight? ... Or... will you reveal us?" Adjusting her grip on her axe and staring directly into the girl's face, May made little secret of her intentions should she find the answers to her concerns to be... wanting. The warrior needed to be sure that she wasn't going to be walking into that town with a problem in tow, one that could just be fixed with her axe instead, right now.
As she ran, Fess heard a strange thud in the ground ahead of her, but it was far too difficult to see to pick out what it was, until she tripped over it. When she got up, she saw before her a dangerous animal, one with a stare she dared not look away from, as it asked her a very simple question.

Fess shivered, a combination of the wet getting through her robes and the very exacting fear that was creeping up within her very being.

"I-I was just landing to take a rest, ma'am. I do not wish any part of this conflict and just want to get away before things get violent. I-if you must ask, I do know a bit of elemental magic..."

Oh, Maynette, Maynette, Maybedoll...Such a cute face, but such a serious, little bloodspiller for the Taifah Tribe.

Nikang sighed and strolled over to Maynette and the fallen priss, halberd swung over his shoulders. He did feel a little bit of pity for the pegasus girl, but not enough to butt in against Maynette's latest act of spontaneous near-violence. Instead, he stood next to Maynette and offered her target a brief look of some sympathy.

"Magic, huh. Don't got any of that here."



"Yeah, just turn here!"

Smitty turned around another corner to escape the alleyway, holding flat against the front wall of a house as he reached into his shirt again. Once Salem and the brat passed by, Smitty tossed his second flare satchel into the alleyway and took off running again. At the sound of a frustrated yell and a faint hissing noise, he grinned at Salem and gestured in front of them, where the wall surrounding the gate awaited.

A faint, grey cross stared back.

"Turn left up there, mate!"
Well look at that. It seemed like their 'squad' leader was going to turn out more useful than the whiny sheltered bastard after all. Just like that, she'd cut off pegasus girl's escape before Elisa could be bothered to act. Elisa had just assumed let her take off and get shot down, but it seemed like the girl was stuck with them after all.

"Too late to back out now," she said in response to the girl's protests. Her tone had softened somewhat. Uncharacteristically so, even, for anyone who'd only seen the current 'side' of her so far. That was another reason they needed to hurry up and get started. She didn't want to lose her edge before the fighting even began. "If you run off now, you're likely to either alert someone to our position or just get shot down. And that's assuming you really do plan to just scamper off."

She shot a sideways glance towards Nikang. "Actually uhh," she started. That's right, he hadn't actually seen her use her own magic yet. "Never mind." Hopefully it would stay that way. With how wet it was, fire wasn't going to be all that good. And she didn't want to break out anything like Blood and Thunder at the moment. "Point is, you're coming with us. If you cause us trouble, you'll get killed, either by us or by the other guys. But you say you've got magic, so I'm sure you'll be fine."
"Mm. Right." Her half-lidded eyes still fixed squarely on the rider lass, hand on one hip and axe in the other, Maynette tilted her head slightly to one side and pursed her lips, thinking. She'd nearly swung right then and there when Elisa echoed her own sentiments, but what sense was there in throwing away a perfectly good mage if they could just put her to work instead?

Truth be told, Maynette actually did not want to have to cut down the wayward rider if possible: the warrior was hungry for Lycian and/or bandit blood first and foremost. This girl wasn't Lycian if the presence of the pegasus meant anything, and if she was a bandit, she was putting on a rather good show for the moment. The fact remained, though, that the lass was a potential liability. Mercy might just as soon bring ruin as it could victory.

Nikang had a practical point, though. Once Elisa relented, Maynette thought on it for a few more moments, then in her mind, finally yielded as well. She said nothing at first though, instead slowly bending down and yanking her tomahawk at her feet free from its rut in the sod. Only then, with a faint but genuine smile, did she address the rider again.

"...Got a name? And how good a mage are you? Do not show," Maynette quickly pointed out as she gently shook clods of grass and mud from the tomahawk in her right hand, the other axe still in the grip of her left, "Tell. Quickly."
"My name is Fess and," all that time not practicing, if only she could see the future... "I'm not very good and out practice." Somehow she felt lying about her ability here was the worst possibly move to make.
Nikang snorted and held back his chuckling if only so Maynette wouldn't hit him for being too loud. Fessi couldn't be a more obvious newbie if she tried, but for once, maybe because he was still soundly in a Fuck-Whatever-Thestle-Wants mood, he felt enough pity to take it easy on her.

"Hah, that's the kind of honesty that gets your head chopped off, Fessi!" Nikang sighed, still chuckling a bit. "If you're not convinced, Maynette, I'll babysit the brat while we're in there. I can think of a few ways some smoke and a little wind could be useful. You can at least do that much, right, girl?"
Fess placed an index finger to her cheek and tilted her head in thought, trying to recall what little she could do. "I can not do anything to make smoke but I can blow some wind around, and create projectiles of ice. In order to do either though I'd need to go to my Pegasus and pick up my tomes and wand, though." She looked at Maynette, "I will not try and fly off so refrain from anything hasty, please?" Elimine knew that would be a first with these people.
Unable to stop himself from returning Smitty's grin, Salem glance ahead. "Nice one!" That should give them the breathing space they needed to properly get away. And it seemed to do just that -- soon enough their target destination had appeared before them. Though Smitty called out the direction for them to follow, Salem stayed slightly behind the man in order to simply follow him more directly. Seemed like the easiest thing to do.
Predictably, Maynette's eyes narrowed somewhat at Fess's answers, but oddly, her smile remained steadfast. Nikang's offer to manage the girl played no small role in this. "Fair enough... Gather your tools, your steed," May concluded as she slid the broad-headed axe in her left hand back into its sheath at her hip. "Minimal noise. You have one minute."

Seemingly satisfied and ready to get back to the business at hand, the Sacaen woman withdrew a few paces back from Fess as a show of honest intent. However, to the same effect, she was again quick to add, "Cooperate, obey, and you will leave safely. Resist, interfere, and I will not be civil. To you or the pegasus." May's tomahawk remained in hand even now.

Now speaking aside to her two comrades in an even lower hush than before, eyes still fixed on Fess' form all the while, Maynette said briefly, "We enter once she finishes. She's all yours, Nikang."
Fess sighed in relief, finally a chance to think to herself if only for a brief time. She walked over to Belphe, sorting through some of the bags that were attached to his saddle. "Alright Belphe, you can keep grazing and whatever else you want to do while this goes on but if you hear my whistle, you best come alright?"

Among the things she retrieved was her 'wand', a three foot spear with a particular gem socketted into the spear head similar to what one would see in a healing staff, two magic tomes (each placed in a different holster of sorts), and a lantern. Her eyes were feeling really strained trying to see in all this darkness and the moon going out of light every once in a while was really quite annoying. Not to mention she'd be needing to read the tomes in order to remember how to cast those spells she almost knew.

She pulled the hood up on her robes, not wanting to be particularly well seen on the small chance someone might have recognized her identity. Facing away from the rest once more, she opened the base of the lantern to expose the wick, slipped off a glove, and snapped her fingers to make a very small fire in her palm that she guided to the wick, setting it alight. Once she was sure the lantern was going she turned it to a very dim glow and started to head back.
"Thanks, Maynette. It means so much coming from y-" Nikang cut himself short when Fess brought out a lantern of all things from her flying horse's pack. He kept quiet the entire time, just watching his new charge finish up patiently. After all, a lantern could prove useful once they were inside the village, and for all Fessi's past idiocy, there was no way she was stupid enough to light it up h-

"Bastard of a dragon on a moonless night." Nikang spat. He leapt past Maynette and Elisa and drew his halberd, taking quick aim. In way too many seconds for his comfort, Nikang speared the lantern out of Fess' stupid, stupid hand and slammed it to the ground, kicking at grounded lantern just to vent his frustrations with the girl.

He reached out with his free hand and grabbed Fess by the mouth again. "Are you trying to get shot in the face, or are you really dumb as dragon-dung?"
Soon as she turned her lantern was violently knocked out of her hands, kicked, and then that absolute savage grabbed her mouth with one of his hands. That was it, she'd had enough of these brutes that seemed incapable of comprehending something as simple as making a request. Anger trumped fear, and staring daggers at Nikang, she grabbed his wrist with one hand, and slapped his face with the palm of the other in silent rage.

"You could have just told me to put it out!" she whispered angrily.
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