Group 28
Page 46 of 48

Author:  Meteor [ Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:45 am ]
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Jacks put on a neutral face as best as he could when the party was decided on how to split its members and what roles they played. He had gained some bloodlust over the course of this journey, but most of all, he had wanted to learn how to slay Daemons of the Warp. It was fortunate that Carathyle and Syjahel had intervened on his little fight, they did save his life, but he did want to find how to slay them himself. Although having dueled with one, and catching a glimpse of how Carathyle killed it, Jacks now had an idea of what to expect from this particular Daemon.

The Daemon Princess was another story, Jacks knew in his heart that he'd only be a hindrance up there, but nonetheless, they had slain many monstrous beasts, and he himself had fought with one of the powerful retainers. He knew there was a big difference, they all bled and felt pain, these Daemons don't bleed or care for pain it seemed.

Regardless, he shook such desires aside, he had one mission, to hunt his treacherous prey, and unless she turned into a Daemon Princess herself, Jacks didn't need to learn how to slay one. With that, Jacks gave them a curt nod, sucking down his pride and stood back with Naylia and the two Shades.

"Khaine be with you all, keep our employer alive, I want my payment." he made a final jest before they all departed for the grand finale.

Stay back and guard Naylia with the two Shades

Author:  Drainial [ Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:21 pm ]
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The lesser daemons had been destroyed, though not without effort. The mercenaries knew though that their battle was a sideshow, the main event was on a suitable stage. Behind them the main infantry battle was drawing to a close; the last of the chaos warriors hacked apart or taken prisoner, the surviving beastmen were fled into the woods but with the forest elves on the warpath their chances of survival were slim. These forces were a reassurance for the rest of the forest and the rest of Naggaroth but if they had to take to the field against Tachar directly it would mean they were all dead and their young charge with them. Upon the alter the battle really was beginning to turn against the loyalist Druchii, even as they watched one of the retainers shrieked as his body sprouted fur, moments later he fell to the ground hard toppled not by any weapon but by his own right leg which had all of a sudden morphed into a withered hoofed goat foot half the length of his normal limb. With his cronies falling one by one the Sultra was coming under heavy attack and although the venerable elven lord was stepping up to the mark and Tachar was wounded unto death if she were anything close to a mortal elf it was all too clear that he could not prevail. A blade of ice, a long black dagger and a third arm though weapon less still posed a grave threat while the gossamer wings shimmered at her back and a third eye gazed mockingly at their efforts.

It was up to them to save the day; something the mercenaries were not particularly used to as they mostly worked separate from others. Even going against a doe this dangerous however the mercenaries’ oft unsaid but palpable concern for each other’s health. Syjahel offered her healing balms but there were no takers, healing would have to wait until after the battle if indeed they were not beyond medical help. Carathyle and Syjahel were all for reinforcing Sultra by themselves but even if he followed Syjahel in most battles nothing was going to keep Cananatra from this showdown, certainly not his leg. The wound was more painful than anything and under the tutelage of the Prince of Chaos pain was something he was coming to embrace. Jacks on the other hand did not enjoy pain and the searing wound on his thigh was horrible, even the finest healing balms would be unlikely to erase the scar that was sure to form. That was not why he acquiesced to Syjahel’s request though; he had no magical weapon, no armour and no protection against magic. He was too vulnerable for this task and although it might gall him to admit it going up against the daemon that had been Tachar would result in his death. He would stay with Naylia and the other shades, the battle was won and there were not likely to be any more attacks just now, but this was a daemon prince they were dealing with and anything was possible.

With thick armour and in the cases of Syjahel and Cananatra some form of magical protection the trio of mercenaries chances of surviving his encounter were better but against this kind of enemy non could deny to themselves the harsh buzz of fear coursing through their body even if they would die rather than admit it to each other. If the wildling prince was afraid he made no show of it. He wore little armour compared to the mercenaries though more than the shades but he like Carathyle carried a magical weapon. If the daemonic dread-lady was anything like her summoned minions magic weapons would be sorely needed.

Walking up the black stone steps to the peak the mercenaries drew closer to the action. The closer they came to more they could appreciate the blinding level of swordsmanship displayed by Sultra. His retainers had been dying but from this perspective they could tell that a great deal of the daemon’s attention was focused on her estranged father. They could also tell that he was suffering for it. Tachar had a sword through her stomach and an arm near split in two not to mention several long slashes across her body and face. Sultra was not quite so badly off as that or else he would surely be dead but one side of his face was a bloody mask. His armour was blackened and scarred all along the lower right side, no doubt the work of Tachar’s fire sword before it was extinguished. This blackening almost hid a small rent oozing blood, perhaps the work of the obsidian dagger. The final retainer in a fit state to fight was on the opposite side to the elven lord. Tachar’s frozen sword flashed almost too fast for any normal elf to react to and although the elf was obviously skilled he seemed barely able by use of axe and a large broad shield to keep her at bay. Capitalising on her largest weapon being entangled Sultra span inside her guard to deliver a downward slash at her neck but her free hand, wounded but not completely out of action, caught his wrist before the blade could descend. It was only a flashing strike by his offhand blade which freed him and left a single slender finger on the ground. This did not go long unpunished, the dagger ripped off his left ear in a stream of gore. It was a hard fought battle but if the good guys were to win he would need help and fast.

Well now we are getting down to it. Syjahel, Carathyle, Cananatra and the forest prince are arrayed in a rough line about five feet from where Sultra and his last retainer are fighting the daemon Tachar. Sultra is on the left from your perspective, Tachar in front of him (facing Sultra so to his right from your perspective. The last retainer is on the other side from you directly opposite. - Drainial

Author:  Syjahel [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:57 am ]
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The battle before them now had been brutal and bloody. Seeing the scattered bodies of his retainers, Syjahel wondered just how much of a power base Sultra would still hold, even supposing he won the fight. The flower of a Druchii House was not an easy thing to replace. Little though this mattered at the moment, the ruin of corpses was a sobering sight in more ways than one. Under no illusions about her ability to match Sultra's tactics against the tainted creature, she took a tighter grip on her sword and signalled to her companions to attack from the back of the daemon, to open a third front and take advantage of whatever distraction they could.

Closer to the fight she could see that Sultra was a bloodied mess, still quick and thinking tactically but still not able to lay his family secret to rest. It would have been good to have the support of Keilbrad and some of the Black Guard he knew as allies, but the threats to Malekith's rule must be sought out in many places and perhaps that was the reason for their absence. Flitting through her mind as she ran nearer, none of the fleeting thoughts held her attention for long, but as a Druchii highborn Syjahel could still see - or at least speculate about - the influence of politics. Part of her still wondered if the old Lord was trying to keep the problem from his former comrades in arms, but this was no hobbyist dabbling in forbidden arts from boredom or lust for power. This was a daemon of Change and a clearer signal that things had gotten beyond his control would require letters fifty feet high.

Whatever mistakes in the past had led to this moment, it was here now. Syjahel took a deep breath. Scanning the beast's back for weak points as she approached - the diaphanous-looking wings, perhaps, or the backs of its knees, or its spine - she focussed on keeping away from the daemon's reach and providing a distraction large enough that Sultra could end its days.

Look for weak points to hurt the daemon and distract it, concentrating on vulnerable areas and preferably those that will limit its mobility. Lacking a magic weapon Syjahel believes that she can't kill Tachar, but she can certainly hope to be a pain in her magically-transformed behind. Try to stay on the opposite side of it to Sultra, so that the daemon is forced to split its attention.

Author:  Cananatra [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:27 pm ]
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Up ahead of them the fight continued, though only one of their employers retainers remained on his feet. The others now decorated the scenery and although they had managed to inflict some damage the demon princess was far from finished. The surviving retainer lived solely through lack of attention from the princess, or so it seemed to Cananatra as he approached with the others. Sultra on the other hand survived due to almost mystical levels of skill and whatever magic items he had tucked about his person. With the demons main attention locked on him though, he was noticeably pressed and sported an assortment of minor wounds and marks on his armour.

As he closed on the demonic princess the pain in his leg jolted his plan, if plan it could be called, into his head. The demon would find it much more difficult to see of sultra if it couldn’t walk properly. With this in mind Cananatra picked the demons nearest leg as his target.

Cut at the leg, distract the demon, slow it down and so on. Be cautious and try not to get obliterated if she sends an attack his way.

Author:  Carathyle maveric [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:00 pm ]
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With his sword already out of the scabbard, dripping of the oozing goo that the Daemon's were made of, Carathyle slowed down when they reached the peak, slowly walking onto the stage that developed in the very center. With the army of the sorceress defeated, Carathyle could rest assured that the shades wouldn't have much of a hassle if things went according to plan. However, Cananatra's Druchii nature bothered him. Not much one for standard Druchii behavior himself, Carathyle had figured that if worst comes to worse and Tachar would actually flee the scene, that Naylia were to be in danger of being snagged as the Daemonic princess would flee. He'd bet more on his gut feeling than on the likeliness of it actually happening, but Cananatra either didn't think of that or he just didn't bother.

Though he did not question the shade's capabilities, a Daemon princess would surely blow through them, and the lack of armor on their own shade wasn't something that Carathyle was all to fond of. He'd have volunteered to stay behind and protect the girl, were it not that his sword was one of the few that was capable of slaying Daemons. Waiting for the others to move, or speak a word, Carathyle had yet to think of a solid way to tackle this problem. 'Crippling it would mean it shouldn't be able to flee anymore, though taking away the weapons is more in our favor.' Carathyle thought, thinking about the magical trinket that Syjahel carried, and the strange amulet of Cananatra, the effect of that thing was still a mystery.

"Khaine, you better not abandon me yet." Carathyle muttered, as he moved to the side, stepping directly behind Tachar. With Syjahel in front, and Cananatra in its side, the Daemon was surely to get annoyed, but that were to be left at that. "Placing trust in another Druchii, surely I'm retarded." Carathyle whispered to himself, unknowingly to the soul of his father that pulsed through the sword in his hand. Charging directly up from the further distance that he had, Carathyle knew that the initial strike had to be timed correctly.

Charge from a distance, use the free hand to move over Syjahel if necessary, before slightly withdrawing from the direct area of being trampled. Aim for the spine or tendons in the legs. If Syjahel isn't in the way, use the sword as a two-hander to ensure it breaks through.

Author:  Drainial [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:11 pm ]
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Having had the chance to observe the bloody showdown up close the three mercenaries couldn't think of a better plan than Sultra and his last retainer were currently doing. Surround, hary and strike from all sides. The three fanned out, Cananatra advancing on her from the side, Syjahel edging right to get behind the daemoness while Carathyle went further still to stand behind her on the other side. Between them and those already in combat they now had her totally surrounded, it remained to be seen if this would do them any good. Despite the new arrivals Tachar's attention seemed to be fixed on Sultra and it wasn't doing the old elf any good. He had been driven back onto the defensive and though his paired swords flashed like tempered lightening he could do no more than keep tainted steel from his skin, and that only just.

Carathyle was the first to make a move, taking his sword in a two handed grip over his head in the style of the executioners of Har Ganeth he rushed her from behind hoping to take her by surprise. He knew that his blade was, along with Sultra's own, probably the weapon most likely to do her lasting harm. It is very difficult however to surprise a daemon. Perhaps alerted by the sound of his heavy boots on the stone, the clinking of his armour or some other more mysterious sense Tachar swivelled round on one heel and just as Carathyle was about to slice down one long leg smashed into his chest. The strength behind that kick was terrific and Carathyle was lifted clean off his feet and propelled several yards backward to land heavily.

Fortunately for the impetuous noble she had no time to follow up on her attack. Half a second before she turned Canantra had struck for the daemon's leg only for it to be whisked away. Having sliced only air he recovered quickly and raked his blade upward in a diagonal slash that brushed Tachar's thigh drawing a slim line of blood. Retaliation came almost instantly, the blade of ice flashed before his eyes and smote his Jabberwok hide shield. The stone furred shield howled with a burbling voice that called to mind the creature it had been striped from before falling apart, its magic undone by a greater one. The impact numbed Cananatra's arm but the shield had saved from from greater injury, this time at least.

Syjahel was in for just as much of a shock, when Tachar whirled round on Carathyle the warrior princess suddenly found herself facing not a vulnerable back but a greater daemon in all her glory. Not one to shirk her duty she pushed aside her fear and attacked, sword stabbing for the third eye in the middle of Tachar's forehead. With astonishing speed the daemon's head dodged to one side and her free hand whipped out. Vice like fingers wrapped around Syjahel's neck and she could feel the steel of her gorget creaking inwards.

There were others at work though and although their attacks had done little damage they had proved distraction enough for Sultra to rally himself. He had been pushed almost as far as an elf can be but from the steely determination in his eyes one could see he was ready to throw himself back into combat. Just now though he took a few seconds to breathe, he needed it. To his side his retainer had not been pushed so hard, though he was hardly fresh as a daisy. Using the distraction he was able to sink his sword into Tachar's tender looking side and draw blood, not that she seemed to pay it much mind. Behind all this the wildling prince seemed content to watch, resting on his spear for a moment and awaiting who knew what.

As for Jacks he simply watched on and kept a wary eye on the battle field, all too aware of Naylia and her unbroken fixation with the battle on high.

No serious injuries, yet. Carathyle has a few more bruises on his chest and back but nothing he hasn't had already. Cananatra has lost his shield but it did save his life. Syjahel is hanging with her feet a few inches from the floor with Tachar's fingers wrapped around her throat and squeezing but though uncomfortable she has not sustained injury from his yet. Jacks, sorry this must be a bit dull for you. -Drainial

Author:  Carathyle maveric [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:29 pm ]
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The sudden response of the Daemon Princess took Carathyle by surprise. His only experience fighting daemons were the lesser beings, and those were rather retarded and they had the IQ of an infant if you asked him. Tachar, not so much. The sudden kick to his chest send the young noble spinning and flying, landing harsh on his back a bit further away on the Altar. "I'm going to need airmiles, this is getting ridiculous!" he exclaimed as he returned to his feet. Shaking his head around, his wilder longer hair gently waving around. Tossing it to one side, Carathyle brushed himself off of the dirt and took his sword in his hand again. "Now, let's see if we can do that again, this time without being caught in the middle by a kick... and hopefully enough to free Syjahel." Still fresh, even though he was sure to feel the landing the next morning, Carathyle set off to fight once more.

"Strike Carathyle! No matter how big your enemy, strike at it and don't give up!" echoed through his head, the voice was familiar to him as it was the one of his tutor, Ferion. "Dive in fast, strike relentlessly, and get out swiftly. Allies are important, trusting a Druchii is the death of a fool, but sometimes even Druchii are to be trusted. Pick your allies correctly, and you'll find yourself in a group that is nigh unbeatable, remember that young Maveric." The voice kept echoing the speeches of Ferion through his head. This situation surely required the proper Maveric approach it seemed, cause everyone for themselves wouldn't do it this time.

"Syjahel, use your dagger!" Carathyle yelled out loud, knowing that Tachar would probably react to it. If she responds according to Carathyle's plan, this could all turn out quite good.

Go for the fingers that have Syjahel captive. If Syjahel uses the dagger and leaves it in the hand, Carathyle will use it as a leverage to get close enough. If Tachar raises her hand out of reach, Carathyle will go for the tendons of the leg. However, he won't use his sword in a two handed fashion. One-handed should do well in both cases considering he'll have his sword arm raised and at the ready for any attack. If it's a kick, step aside. if it's a punch, step aside. If it's a sword, block it. All cases, keep pressing the attack!

Author:  Syjahel [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:46 am ]
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Syjahel's attack plan seemed to be intuitively understood by her compatriots, or at least that is how the young Druchii chose to see it. In truth it made sense for them all; and joking and the odd bout of impetuousness aside, common sense ran strong in the diminished warband. Cananatra wounded the she-daemon, drawing blood in a glistening line down her thigh. Carathyle's assault met with her more personal attention, as her riposte flung the warrior into the air once again. Syjahel got ready to make her own strike against the creature.

Unfortunately, as she swung her sword at the rear facing of the daemon Princess, what had been an undefended flank was suddenly a glaring, seething visage. Syjahel's blow aimed at the fearsome third eye in the middle of Tachar's transformed face was brought short as the the Changing One reached out with lightning speed, one of her unnatural arms wrapped around the Druchii's neck.

Syjahel's fierce warcry was choked in her throat as she was lifted off her feet. However, her redoubtable companion had not failed to notice, even as he was flung back from the combat. "Syjahel, use your dagger!" Carathyle shouted, but as good as this plan was Syjahel had already taken stock of the situation. She dropped her shield - there was no time for sentimentality, and she would retrieve it later if all went well; if it did not, no shield would be much help. Since the life was being choked from her, the next part of her plan was not hard. She went limp, feigning death while her armour still held. It was the only thing protecting her, anyway.

Go limp as if passed out and hope the daemon stops squeezing. If she drops her, good; if she lets up on the pressure even slightly, likewise; if she's still held then try to swiftly get her dagger but whether or not she has it, cut or otherwise annoy the arm holding her until she is dropped or, less favourably, passes out for real. Hope the others can use this distraction.

Author:  Meteor [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:08 am ]
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Jacks gazed on at the epic battle that was ensuing on the peak of the platform ahead. His companions has engaged, and Jacks can only trust them to survive. He longed to be part of the moment, but sensibility kept him back, his soul is still screaming for him to be part of it, but his mind kept him controlled.

Not one to shirk from his duty and chivalry, he tore himself from the scene unfolding ahead and brought himself back to his surroundings. The battle was as good as over, which is a good thing, he did not fancy fighting to break out of the enemy's army. On his own, it would've been much easier, since his method of defence was to avoid the attacks, but for someone else, not a very wise method.

Continuing to scan his surroundings for possible danger to their charge, Jacks didn't once relax, always expecting danger, and always ready to react. It helped keep his mind from wandering, besides, it was helping to ease the pain in his thigh from the hit he took earlier. He now owed that brash noble a debt, Jacks did not like the idea, debts only ever lead to something bad after all.

"Do not worry, your father will prevail, he is with reliable Druchii now, you should know this." he reassured Naylia, referring to Syjahel, who seems to have a far closer bond to Naylia than any of them. He clenched his fists tighter around his weapons as he gazed upon the battle briefly again.

"You all better return, alive and in one piece, with Sultra. I'm not living with the burden of guilt and shame on behalf of you all if you fail."

It is a little dull, but I have no doubt Jacks would just end up getting in the way of it all up there. Although he would've liked to have tested his speed against a Slaanesh Daemon.

Author:  Drainial [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:53 pm ]
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Thus far things had not gone the way of the mercenaries; although she was terribly wounded the daemon Tachar seemed not to notice or care. In her grip Syjahel knew that she was in trouble; her first instinct was to follow Carathyle's bellowed advice and try to hack her way free, that though might only bring her greater harm, instead she tried to be cunning. An old trick beloved of dogs and slaves she went limp pretending to be dead or unconscious in the hope that she would be let go. Carathyle on the other hand was not for changing tack. He picked himself up and raised his sword again charging in with a war cry if this time with a different target. Seeing this in a flash Tachar smiled and with a single hand hurled Syjahel's limp form directly into Carathyle's path. The noble pair clashed in a ringing confusion of armour and limbs, Syjahel spinning horizontally into Carathyle's legs and knocking him down like a bowling ball. Needless to say this ended both of their attacks for the moment as they groaned and tried to regain their feet; Carathyle not helped by the fact that Syjahel was now lying on top of him.

Closer in this did at least provide a distraction for the others. The retainer pressed his attack though he received a tear across his breast plate for his trouble. Cananatra struck again this time at her belly but found the ice blade blocking his own. Another strike, another block, even not looking at him Tachar was a fine sword mistress. A flickering stab turned into a downward slash that tore a ragged hole through one of his grieves, where the ice blade touched flesh the warrior's flesh felt like it had been dipped in the bar of Karond Kar. This dazzling, painful numbing was so shocking that Cananatra was barely able to block the next stroke from taking his head. He had no time to parry, this was a straightforward block against a blow from a daemon princess. Tachar's arms may have looked slender but the sword came down like a jack hammer driving him to his knees. Once more the frozen fang slashed down, sure this time to end his life. It was with no small sense of relief then that Cananatra saw Sultra's enchanted long sword interpose itself between her blade and his neck. The ancient lord had re-entered the fray.

All of a sudden the battle was not quite so one sided any more, facing her highborn father the daemon was forced to work a little. The blade of ice clashed again and again with Sultra's ceremonial swords, shards of blue ice flying away with each impact. Even so Cananatra knew that if he could barely withstand the strength of those blows Sultra could hardly be much stronger. Lunging forward Sultra's green and red blade sank inches into his daughter's shoulder, tearing free half a second later to release a dribble of ichor, the work of his second smaller sword keeping the ice blade from tearing off his leg. To one side the last retainer brought down his sword in a two handed ark that should have sheared the dagger wielding hand clean off, instead the steel stopped dead on the daemonic bone and stuck there. Ripping her arm away the retainer was left weapon-less and very shortly thereafter died. The free hand gathered the elf's sword and tossed it aside revealing a nasty wound. Now only one arm remained in full working order but the remaining two worked well enough to do great harm. For the moment though Sultra was once again the only elf in combat and he was nearly as badly wounded as Tachar. Stumbling back to their feet Syjahel and Carathyle knew they needed to do something and Cananatra had best regain his wits in time if this last great battle was to be won.

Away from the alter Jacks was faced by quite another problem. Seeing her father in trouble and his retainers (many of whom she had likely known all her life) dying the normally sensible Naylia saddening darted forwards, streaking towards the alter and away from her shade bodyguards.

New year and Christmas is a busy time for us all as I am sure you appreciate. Still the group must go on! Syjahel and Carathyle are sprawled together on the ground but have no more than some more bruises to add to their already impressive collections'. Cananatra has been cut in the right ankle, no more than a scratch (armour is good for something after all) but the whole foot feels numb and frozen. The last retainer is dead leaving just Sultra and Tachar currently in combat. Cananatra is nearest to them within a swords length of Tachar's left side. Syjahel and Carathyle are about five feet behind Tachar. Jacks is about where he was before, Naylia has set off towards the alter at a run and has a lead of about ten feet if he wants to chase after her. -Drainial

Author:  Cananatra [ Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:06 pm ]
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OOC: Posting just before Christmas and on new year’s eve. Evil.

IC: Darting forward with the others Cananatra struck at the demon princess’s leg. The blade met empty air as the demon stepped to deal with an attack from Carathyle. Not to be defeated Cananatra wrenched the blade back, reversing its direction and scoring a shallow cut on the thigh of the demon. For some reason she seemed to take this personally and her return attack whistled towards him. More through luck than skill his shield was close enough to catch the descending enchanted blade. The stone flesh covering the shield let out a cry resembling the beast it had been cut from as the magic of the ice blade destroyed its own in-built magic defences. The stone flesh shuddered and dissolved into dust, taking most of the shields framework with it, leaving Cananatra holding no more than the handle. The result was stunning, he had surmised the shield might contain magic, and it had though no longer.

Shrugging to himself mentally he launched a fresh attack on the demon though he couldn’t quite pull his mind away from the destruction of his shield. The inattention was to pay for itself, unfortunately. The demon princess easily blocked two of his attacks and her return slice neatly evaded his blade to cut low at his ankle. The armour seemed to flash freeze where struck, turning brittle enough to allow the blade to slice through and into flesh beneath. Luckily it had slowed the blow enough that he still had a foot, but the biting cold, or perhaps the magic of the blade left him with little or no feeling in his foot. The follow up stroke came crashing down, and with no alternative Cananatra met it head on. For a moment he thought he had held it before his wounded leg gave way, driving him to his knees. Time seemed to slow as he saw the follow up attack cutting towards him in such a way that he could never block it. Luckily Sultra had chosen that moment to rejoin the fray and neatly blocked the lethal blow before engaging the demon.

Reaching down Cananatra curled his fingers around the haft of his throwing axe and drew back as he came to his feet. He would much rather have his shield but this course of action might well prove useful. Moving forward to reengage Tachar he flung the axe at her face. Demon she may, and more or less immune to mundane weapons, but fifteen minutes ago she was an elf, and elfs flinch when axes are flying towards their face.

Cananatra will throw his axe at her face hoping to cause enough of a distraction to allow Sultra to finish off Tachar with his enchanted blades. He’ll follow it up with an attack of his own supporting Sultra and trying to make an opening for him.

Author:  Carathyle maveric [ Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:58 pm ]
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With the air being pressed out of his lungs, Carathyle soon realized that his armoured figure, with sword laying loosely in his hand just above his head, was spread out over the ground, with nobody less than Syjahel lying on top of him. Shaking his head around from the impact, Carathyle quickly came back to the present. Being as unorthodox as he always was, and seemingly the Asur tutoring of his mentor had taught him well, Carathyle slowly raised his body off of the cold, black stones of the altar. Softly tapping his head with his hand, he looked at Syjahel, "You alright?" Pausing his motion to wait for her to remove herself from his person, Carathyle looked at Tachar and started to assess what happened.

'So, Syjahel went limp, Tachar seemed under the impression that she died and tossed her against me, flooring us both at the same time? And to top it all off, I couldn't even lay a hand on her so far. Khaine, is this some game you're playing with me?' he thought, pulling the obsidian of his sword back toward him. The glass globe at the very end of the pummel was still intact, which surprised even Carathyle.

Once Syjahel got off of Carathyle, he practically threw himself back onto his feet, dusting the dirt off of his armor before uttering the words "So, what's next?"

Go with whatever plan is thrown his way by Syjahel that is deemed useful and not stupid and unpractical.

Author:  Syjahel [ Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:52 am ]
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As she felt the daemonic grip tightening around her throat, the Druchii woman went limp. So far as she didn't have her slender throat crushed, the ruse was successful. However, the plan failed to cover what happened if the fake-out was so successful she got treated like a corpse.

As the sensation of flying through the air - for as familiar as it might be to some of her compatriots, for Syjahel it was fairly new - became dramatically felt, it was clear she was going some distance only up until the point when the 'unconscious' noblewoman stopped, her graceful trajectory broken by Carathyle.

There are few things as spiky, unyielding and metallic to land on as a noble Druchii warrior, all hard edges and fluted planes. It was probably her limp ragdoll fall that had saved her worse injury. As it was she had had the breath knocked out of her, and she took a moment to regain her senses.

"You alright?" It was all she could do to nod, gasping in air as she scrambled to get off Carathyle and onto her feet. This was hardly the time or the place to be lying around. She extended a hand to her fellow warrior to rise if he needed assistance, and scanned about for her shield. It wasn't too far away, but was it too close to the fight? The situation up ahead looked grim, but at least the old Druchii Lord was back in the fight.

"So, what's next?"

Syjahel turned to her companion in arms.

"We go as before - you take the right, I'll take the left, and we try to harry her from all sides. Give Sultra the time he needs to land a killing blow. Or yourself. I care not so long as the witch dies." Taking a last deep breath she sprinted for her shield and the fight.

Get shield if possible. Distract Tachar so that someone can kill her with things that will actually do damage. Try for vulnerable spots. Try also to not die.

Author:  Meteor [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:54 am ]
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"Naylia!" was all Jacks could say in shock as he suddenly realised she was no longer by the side of her guards here.

He chased after her instinctively, torn between stopping her for her safety, and letting her run into danger because of her feelings. In all honesty, stopping her would've been the better option, but something made him follow Naylia instead and not stop her. Jacks knows Naylia is sensible enough normally, to not do such rash things, besides, his companions are risking their lives up there too, so Jacks can understand what Naylia is feeling right now, even if it's just a sliver of it.

"She probably could stop me with her magical powers anyway. Hang on guys, we're coming. I'll probably get scolded by Sultra and Syjahel after this."

Follow Naylia, keep her from harm. That's his job back on the battlefield, and will be the same up at the platform.

Author:  Drainial [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:37 pm ]
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Numbed, battered and outclassed still the mercenaries were determined to give their all to a fight it looked increasingly like they could not win. With one hand free Cananatra rose to his feet with axe in hand. The heavy steel was not enchanted but Tachar was an elf as well as a daemon and recently risen, distractions were the order of the day after all. Hurling the axe towards Tachar's face he hoped for the best. The highborn cultist seem occupied with Sultra, her ice blade and black dagger working in tandem, a shadow of Sultra's own twined swords. As he watched though Cananatra could tell that Sultra was beginning to tire, his blows came quickly but not quite so quickly as before, his parries became blocks. His thrown axe span end over end, seeking out her temple. At the very last second it seemed she noticed this threat; turning to meet it the ice blade rose to block and sent the axe clattering to the ground. He may not have pierced unholy skin but this gave Sultra a small opening, his lesser sword tracing a gash down her bare flank before he was driven back by a flurry of strikes.

In this time Syjahel and Carathyle had regained their feet and were ready to attack once again. This time they took a more measured approach, not running in screaming but moving together. Noting their tactics Cananatra did the same so that rather than dealing with each in turn Tachar would face three swords attacking as one. Closer they stalked, knowing that Tachar saw them, knowing that at any moment she might turn and kill one of them but knowing too that if she did Sultra would strike another blow of his own.

The obsidian blade almost screamed in his hand as Carathyle sliced at Tachar's back, the enchanted sword ought to have cleft her in two but for the black dagger blocking the blow. Obsidian scraped along obsidian as the two enchanted weapons pushed against one another. Carathyle was a strong elf but Tachar held him in place without breaking a sweat, the blessings of the changer god are not without their perks. Half a second they strained against one another before Syjahel slashed with her own blade; the sword of ice still fended off Tachar's lord father, the obsidian dagger Coriath's spiteful edge. Her master crafted steel slashed into gossamer wings, sheering half a foot off the top of the nearest pinion. Faster than thought retribution came, the black dagger thrust for her throat and only instinct saved her. Pulling up the shield she had recovered Syjahel blinked to see the dark blade half an inch from her nose. The dagger with a daemon's strength behind it had punched clean through the wood and leather, but it had saved her life.

Not to be outworked Cananatra slashed heavily at Tachar's head, she ducked the blow and her unarmed hand flashed out. Bare skin slapped into the side of his helmet so hard it made his ears ring and sent him staggering. He was a tough old bird though and it would take more than a widow's slap to take him out of the fight. Thrusting forwards the elf found a dagger blocking his path. Cheating injury from one direction only opened up new vistas of pain however now that the mercenaries were working in congress with their lord. Two enchanted blades and two of master crafted steel clashed again and again with Tachar's ensorcelled weapons opening rents, some that healed almost instantly but many which did not.

These champions of the mortal kingdom did not go unpunished; blood trickled down Cananatra's neck from the ear where he had been struck, Carathyle found reason to praise his armour yet again as it saved his life from the black dagger's touch and Syjahel was fortunate to keep her eye being left with a shallow cut from her forehead down her cheek to her delicate jaw. Slowly but surely they were beginning to win this fight, though it may cost them several more lives. It was into this arena that Naylia came.

Nothing about the girl child was normal; every where she went excitement of one sort or another was surely soon to follow. Now she was rushing into combat, an area already quite exiting enough. Behind her came Jacks, unwilling to let her out of his protection. She did not cry out but as the little lady drew closer to the alter Syjahel and Cananatra would have noticed if they had had time to examine their blades that they shone brighter than at any time since the forge. They noticed too that their blades began to bite deeper, almost as deep as Carathyle's obsidian and Sultra's mirror blades. The gift of magic ran deep in Naylia and though she was untutored her brilliant mind had a few tricks already. Surely she would be a power amongst the convents one day, if she lived.

Ringed on all sides by warriors was one thing, Tachar had already dealt with one such ring after all. Ringed by skilled warriors each with blades steeped in magic was another altogether. With a scream more daemon than elven; speaking of rage and grief and desire all at once Tachar leapt right between Carathyle and Cananatra. Bursting from amongst them in a sudden move the daemon princess took to the air, her battered wings fluttering fast as a dragonflies'. Her three eyes were fixed on Naylia. Swooping towards her long sought prey the daemon screamed again, this time a cry of triumph. And yet the high and mighty often underestimate those whose life styles they do not understand. The elves of the woods and mountains lack civilisation and sophistication but they do not lack for bravery nor for skill in the arts of war. One such stood with Naylia, seeing the impending attack Jacks pushed her to the ground and stood over her, sword in one hand, handbow in the other. He too bore a blade shining silver and as he fired a burst of bolts into the incoming she devil he saw four tiny specks slide deep inside her, the blessed bolts sinking through her skin and burrowing there like viper-worms from the Blackspine mountains.

Another such elf stood behind the flying monstrosity and it was his spear that cut her flight short as much as Jacks' bolts. The wildling prince had been quiet in the combat and content as Jacks had to let those with thicker armour and fewer wounds to bear the brunt of the fighting. That did not mean however that he lacked fervour for the cause. Saving Naylia's life was not something he cared about, destroying Tachar was. Hurling his enchanted spear the prince struck her in the back, pinning one wing to her flesh. Under such a bombardment even a princess of Tzeentch was knocked from the sky and she was forced to land some feet away from Naylia and her shade protector, staggering.

With obvious pain that they had not seen before Tachar grasped the spear and pulled it out of her back, tossing it aside. Griping the hilt of the sword through her stomach the she daemon pulled it out as well allowing that wound to close up. Most of the cuts she had taken over the course of the battle could no longer be seen but those made by magical weapons stood out clear as day and of those there were many and more. By rights she should already have been dead but her voice was strong when she pointed at Naylia and said

"I am very disappointed in you sister. You could have ascended to sit at my right hand but instead you brought ruin on my house. Do you think this peasant will stop me?" she walked forward one step, and then another but not a third. Before she could go any nearer a green and sliver blade, streaked with black ichor, thrust through her chest to stand half a foot proud of the flesh.

"Do you want to talk of disappointment, daughter?" Sultra's voice was ragged but steady behind her
"The blood of my blood a traitor, a cultist and now a blasphemy made flesh; and still my greatest regret is not stopping you sooner. How's that for disappointment?" She did not reply, not in words. Instead she twisted around, tearing the sword from the old lord's grasp. With hands like lightening she hammered both of her blades’ through his enamelled armour and into his chest, pushing them so deep that only the ornate hilts could be seen. Gasping Sultra grabbed his daemonic daughter's shoulder to keep upright, his knees almost giving way. There was a smile on the ruby lips of Lady Tachar Dalvar, the joy that comes of seeing your nemesis die.

If there is one lesson that all creatures of this earth should know it is this. Never underestimate the resolve, tenacity and sheer bloody minded spite of a lord of the Druchii or a father protecting his child. Sultra was both now at the same time and it was with his strength quickly failing that he rammed his offhand sword through Tachar's third eye and into her head. With that last act Sultra fell to his knees and thence onto his side, dagger and sword still stuck through him. His death had not been in vain. Clawing at the sword through her eye the daemon Tachar screamed, a noise so terrible that Jacks and Naylia were forced to cover their ears and even the woodland elves in the trees fought the urge to plunge splinters into their eardrums just to escape from it. The ravaged but still beautiful form of lady Tachar began to warp once more, bulging and flashing a thousand different hues. Head became chest, chest became arm, arm became nose until it was strange amorphous blob of teeth, fangs and tentacles that exploded in a shower of ichor. The battle was done, the daemon destroyed.

Naylia was the first to reach Sultra's body; her tiny hands checked for a pulse and found none. His handsome face bore several scars and newer gashes while his prized armour was rent in half a dozen places. The blade of ice had vanished with she who had summoned it but the obsidian dagger remained and she pulled it out, wiped it on her dress and slipped it into her belt. Jacks followed her and the two shades who had fallen behind joined him at much the same time as the rest of the mercenaries. They had been left standing as Sultra raced down the alter steps; he had known his daughters better than they, both of his daughters. Moments later two elves made their way out of Sultra's house hold army to join the gathering. Both of them the group recognised, looking tired but unwounded Liesh rested against his Dranach. By his side Ki'lia limped, her chainmail was covered in blood from head to foot, at least some of it her own. She seemed to have lost her favoured pole axe and in its place carried a warhammer clearly of no elven design. By the gore on its end the hammer had taken its share of kills today, likely from both sides.

"His Lordship is dead then?" Liesh asked with the voice of an elf who already knows the truth. Naylia nodded, not moving from her father's side
"At least his great task is done; perhaps he will find some peace in that, before he walks this earth again."

"Out-world-prince mighty battle-born," the forest prince said in an approving tone. He had recovered his spear
"Many fine battle-born," he added, nodding towards Cananatra he said
"Keep wind-steed, as thanks." The horses that had gone wild were milling about now that the magic had faded along with the caster. They would be able to sort them out at their leisure; most of them would need new riders.

"We should take him to be cremated with our own dead, and on holier land than this defiled spot," Liesh said
"And then we must discuss what is to be done."

So Sultra is dead, but so is Tachar. This part of the tale is nearly at a close. You are all injured and will need seeing too but you can all still walk, talk and fight well enough to be getting on with. I hope it was worth the wait. -Drainial

Author:  Carathyle maveric [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:41 pm ]
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Carathyle's gaze fell upon the crumbling body of Tachar, as a smile slowly formed on his face. The obsidian sword that was pulsing through his hand quickly became less of a burden to Carathyle, his compassion quickly went to Naylia, as she hurried toward the fallen warlord. "Syjahel, I figure you know her best, any chance she takes the throne?" his words fell from his lips, a mere whisper of what normally was a confident voice. "I assume, even though Druchii are selfish by standard, that you will keep any and all from taking the throne for themselves?" His was a voice of two tones, one was the words that his father spoke, the typical Druchii. The other, was his tutor, the honorary voice resonating through his mind that kept him from acting entirely selfish.

Sheathing the obsidian sword, Carathyle could feel a slight stream of blood running down his arm. A minor wound just below his pauldron, but it seemed to be all that was bleeding on him. The mayority of bruises however, would be felt after a good night's rest. But this was all to be of concern later, as right now, he had more important things to do. With the steps down the alter following his compatriots, Carathyle seemed slightly distracted with a couple of things. One of these things was their payment, another was the poor motherless Naylia. The corpse would no doubt be cremated, but something left a sting on his end. Tachar was slain, and her assistant as well, but neither by Carathyle.

Carathyle seemed to be saddened by the display somehow. His memories of the events that unfolded many years ago in Hag Graef by his own hands, and those from the Tree of Hearts were clearly at the surface of his thoughts at the sight, but this didn't seem to shake any emotions loose of the nobleman. His ears however forced him to turn toward the army, from which two soldiers walked, or limped for that matter. One of which Carathyle recognized without a problem, Ki'lia, the warrior woman he slightly mocked at the start of their long, long journey. His eyes checked her from top to bottom, much of which was covered, unlike the Witch Elves of his birthplace. "It seems you didn't come out unharmed." Carathyle exclaimed toward Ki'lia, before turning himself back toward the matter at hand. Quickly looking around, he was proud of Jacks' rapid thinking, protecting Naylia and going on the offensive at the same time, but gratitude had to wait in his opinion. Their heavily armored warrior had a stream of blood running down his neck, and Syjahel a minor cut across her eye. It forced a chuckle out of Carathyle, even at this unusual point in time. "Naylia, my condolences with the loss of your father. I know what it is to lose a beloved family member, however, I have some steeds to gather. If you would excuse me." Carathyle exclaimed gently, his words marked with a slight edge of unease as he turned his back toward the corpse and the child. "Syjahel, make sure you decide well. If it is your wish, I shall follow you to the end of the world if it means I can assist you, plus the company is much appreciated." Somehow, this scene got Carathyle's lips a bit looser. Slowly starting to walk toward the domesticated steeds, Carathyle turned his head to look over his shoulder, "Jacks, well done on protecting her. Would you mind assisting me with gathering a means of transport?"

Avoid awkward moments and the unnecessary tear jerker scene, conversations are welcome but not too long, he has steeds to gather, hopefully with the help of Jacks.

Author:  Meteor [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:21 am ]
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Jacks could only gaze upon the broken corpse of their employer whom he was slowly becoming fond and respectful of. Jacks was left speechless at the reality of this world, but then again, he'd already been aware of such harsh reality, but he never thought he'd see it again in such short timing after his partner Shade passed on.

"Never would've thought my jests would be called on." "Nor is it an appropriate time to jest either." he bit his tongue, now wasn't the time to try lighting up the mood, especially about payment.

Jacks hardened his resolve and spun on his heels to assist Carathyle. There'll be time to mourn, Naylia is a strong child, that much Jacks knows, she didn't need sympathy from him, at least not now.

"That was very touching for a brash young mercenary, nearly brought a tear to my eye." Jacks teased as they went to the steeds. Guess Jacks just couldn't help himself.

Go help Carathyle

Author:  Cananatra [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:47 pm ]
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Cananatra stood panting as the Demon and Sultra finished one another off and Sultra toppled over, clearly dead. Straightening from his fighting stance he looked around properly, for the first time in what seemed like weeks what with running for his life and fighting constantly for most of a day. The ground nearby was strewn with corpses from the battle, both elf and beast. Cleaning his blade on the cloak of a dead retainer Cananatra watched Carathyle wander off towards the dead lord. That’s one debt I’m unlikely to be able to pay off, Cananatra admitted to himself as he slid his sword back into his sheath. As he cast around for his axe his hands tugged the helm from his head sending a fresh stab of pain from his wounded ear. Examining his helm he saw it was intact, the force of the blow transferring through being enough to cut him. The stinging in his ear played a secondary role as he hung his helm from the strap his shield once graced. Both his ribs and leg burned as he moved. Having located his axe and picked it up his gaze fell upon his shield, a pile of dust and splinters now, totally unsalvageable.

Turning back to where Sultra lay he walked over, limping slightly. Though feeling was returning in a maddening tingling sensation to his foot, his thigh still screamed with each step. Reaching down he unstrapped the armoured plate and tied it to his belt. The leg still hurt, but less so without the plate constantly grinding at it. As he reached the group he heard the Wilding prince speaking and acknowledged his praise with a tilt of his head. Though he looked upon the forest steeds with a certain amount of dislike; well trained though they were. As always Carathyle waded in with some words and suggestions as soon as he spotted a gap in the conversation though this time Cananatra was in no mood to contradict.

Go sit on a piece of scenery until the horses arrive and head back to the city with the army. Time to get paid and hit the shops hopefully, before the next mission.

Author:  Syjahel [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:52 am ]
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As the Druchii Lord fell to the earth, Syjahel's reflexes screamed at her to defend him but she could not cover the ground fast enough. No-one could. In a shower of corruption the tainted she-daemon exploded, exponential change run out of all mortal limits. The young highborn halted as if she had been struck, eyes riveted on the tableau of Naylia and her father. She felt bitterly impotent, as if she had personally failed in some way, though in truth she had never been hired to protect Sultra, only his daughter.

That small, self-possessed little girl was weathering this much better, it seemed, than she. A wordless rage threatened to choke Syjahel as she stood. She looked around for the chance to salve herself with that panacea to all Druchii ills, bloodshed, but their enemies had all been defeated and the only sign of other life were the last of Sultra's retainer. She recognised them at once; Liesh, the tall guard Captain from the tower, and Kil'ia, bloodied but at least spared the retribution she had feared for Naylia's capture. Numbly, she nodded to them in greeting, hearing the quiet voice of Carathyle just behind her.

"Syjahel, I figure you know her best, any chance she takes the throne?" his words fell from his lips, a mere whisper of what normally was a confident voice. "I assume, even though Druchii are selfish by standard, that you will keep any and all from taking the throne for themselves?"

She fought down her anger and sense of loss and forced herself to focus, speaking quietly in her turn.

"She has a brother - an older brother in the service of Malekith. Another too, I think, though not in the Black Guard. We spoke of it but I do not know whom Sultra named as his heir." She paused, taking a breath. "He will have planned for this. He had a plan for everything." To her surprise her voice cracked a little, and she clenched her jaw for a moment before continuing. "Of course I will stand by his wishes on this matter, and see Naylia safely home. If she is to take the House then I will support her as I may. You may be sure of that." She managed a wintry smile, though one without humour. Carathyle turned to speak to Naylia, to say the things they all must say, before turning back to her as she stood, her head spinning with too many thoughts.

"Syjahel, make sure you decide well. If it is your wish, I shall follow you to the end of the world if it means I can assist you, plus the company is much appreciated."

The warrior-woman blinked. If it is your wish, I shall follow you to the end of the world if it means I can assist you, plus the company is much appreciated? They were mercenaries, they went where they were paid to go, and though she could not deny a certain camaraderie ... No; it might be easier, certainly simpler to go along with the charade of the emotionless fighter but it would be an act of cowardice. They were her warband. They were tied to each other in blood, and it was not the time to take refuge in obfuscation. If the normally brash young noble was slower at expressing his dedication than the mercurial Shade he was no less eloquent. Syjahel straightened, and looked Carathyle in the eye.

"I will choose well. When I do so, I shall want you with me, Master Maveric." She nodded to him, curt but not rude, merely unused to such expressions of loyalty. While he collected Jacks and the two went to choose horses, she acknowledged the other three and the stranger Prince. Formalities, something her mind easily slipped into as a highborn daughter of a Druchii House. One thing remained though for which she had no training.

Approaching respectfully, she knelt beside Naylia and her father for a moment in silence. Sultra's body was a ruin, but the dead Lord still radiated the aura he had in life. It was hard, impossible really not to expect him to rise, to see some fluttering pulse of life but there was none. Syjahel felt a maelstrom of emotion. She'd planned, in an idly scheming way, to kill him herself to avenge his slight of using her as bait for the molemen. But despite that, she realised now that she had not actually wanted him dead. Though her strength of feeling on the matter had fluctuated, she truly believed that he would have much to teach her and had admired the way he conducted himself, even when her own band had been put at risk.

"He fought with honour and we will not forget him." she said, lightly touching Naylia on the hand for a moment. "Liesh is here, and when you are ready, we will take him home." Knowing that the girl would have her own thoughts, and hoping that the slight bond they had formed would enable her to feel that she could turn to the mercenary Captain if she wished, she stood and allowed the girl some time on her own.

Walking over to Liesh and Ki'lia she brushed at something tickling her cheek, surprised to find that she was crying, which put her in a worse temper. Swallowing her wrath she nodded to the surviving retainers.

"I am glad to see you made it. Liesh, Naylia always had you as a favourite, please look to her now. If there is anything I and my band can do to assist her we will do it. I was hired to bring her back safely and this I will do on my oath. Beyond that - well, let us see him to the pyre and then I will help in any way I can. I know she has an older brother. Be assured that I have my own House and no desire to try to take any part of this one. Whether it be Naylia or he that Sultra named as his heir, know that his wish os my own in this matter."

She had her own wounded to see to, when they had the chance and the adrenaline of battle had stopped churning quite so much. Striding over to Cananatra she nodded to the Lustrian veteran and sat down beside him, saying nothing, but finding some comfort in the presence of the solidly practical mercenary.

Take a moment then offer to fix up as much of the wounded as she can. Some of her balm is reserved for that nasty facial cut, because vanity is ingrained in her nature, but otherwise she will see to her party's injuries and take a horse of one is offered. Remembering to thank the wild Elf, and finding out more about him if the chance arises, will be a nice distraction but first duty is to the living - Naylia and her own group especially - then to Sultra and getting him back to his tower. Being of a suspicious Druchii nature, still keeping an eye out for trouble as well as she is able. Syjahel is at a loss at how to cope with what's happened without her usual methods - bloodshed, violence and indulgence in heavy recreation - so she's trying to be busy. Helpfully, there is rather a lot to do.

Author:  Drainial [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:02 pm ]
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Sultra's death took the mercenaries by surprise, sudden as it was. Surprising too was the realisation that while none of them had liked the ancient lord per say his passing was cause for some small sorrow; at the very least they had respected the elf and if it had been his poor judgement all those centuries ago that had lead them to this place he had died rectifying that failing. There was honour in that; if you could not outlive your enemies you could at least ensure that they did not survive you either. Around the body no one seemed really to know what to say, least of all Naylia who seemed to be in a state of shock. Given that kidnapping, magic and murder had left her unmoved that was perhaps a greater statement than anything else.

In low voices Carathyle and Syjahel discussed their next movements but in truth neither of them could know what was to happen next. For something to do and to leave the oddly disquieting scene Carathyle went to see to the now rider-less horses milling around the base of the alter. Some had fled into the woods and those they were unlikely to see again but most still stood around confused now that the terrifying magic had abated. Jacks followed the warrior, talking with the house's leadership had never been a role he had been comfortable in.

Cananatra had less to say even than the shade, finding a fallen stone log he settled himself in to sort his injuries as best he could. Excellent as Neireth's blessings were they worked best in the short term, the grinding of a wounded leg seemed not to be exiting enough to gain the support of the prince of pleasure. Loosening his armour where the metal had buckled against his flesh helped a little but not enough. He would need proper medical attention soon if he was to heal fully but with the battle won that shouldn't be a problem.

Syjahel stayed at the gathering a little longer, offering her services in the aftermath of the battle.

"I appreciate your offer mercenary," Liesh said, his tone sombre "at dawn tomorrow we will meet to decide our next course of action. For the moment there is still much work to be done. We must separate our dead from the chaos scum and take them back to camp for proper death rites, or as proper as can be made in such a place as this. I will have supply carts sent here to help but extra arms will make the task go faster."

Nodding Syjahel went first to see to her injuries and those of 'her' elves. Seeing Cananatra sitting alone she walked over to join him, sitting down and fishing out her dwindling supply of healing ointment. Taking one vial for herself she passed another to her fellow warrior knowing that his wounds were more severe than her own. The wound on her face was probably not worth wasting the precious balm on but a girl is entitled to a little vanity. Besides good looks could be a weapon more deadly than a sword in the right circumstances and it did not do to let a sword get rusty.

Sitting there the mercenaries could see Liesh in animated discussion with the forest prince, probably ensuring that this force of elves was not going to be just as destructive and disruptive as the ones they had just helped destroy. To the best of their knowledge though Liesh had no desire to stay in or have anything further to do with the petrified forest so further conflict should hopefully be avoided, a good thing too since their force seemed to contain no more than half a dozen shades, Jacks included. Ki'lia meanwhile seemed to have taken charge of the cleanup effort; newly captured slaves were set to piling up the dead beastmen, humans and traitor elves while the warriors of Sultra's army saw to their own dead.

Carathyle and Jacks had their work cut out catching the horses, nine of them stood about the rest having been killed or driven off and that was no small amount for just two elves to catch. Carathyle had some experience of horses and to Jacks one animal was much like another and the horses were elven trained but even so it was not until Hctib and Elttil lent a hand that all were gathered up. When this was done and the horses had been hobbled including Cananatra's new steed there was little the mercenaries could do but lend a hand. All of Sultra's other warriors were doing so after all and Syjahel had offered to help in any way they could even if she had not necessarily been thinking of such a mundane task. The forest elves seemed to have vanished back into the trees which was probably for the best.

When finally supply carts arrived carrying dried meat, hard biscuits and cheese they stopped for a brief lunch before refilling them with corpses, piled high save for the first one in which the body of Sultra rode alone, accompanied only by Naylia who had yet to say a great deal to anybody. It was tiring work after the hard battle they had already been through, for all elves on the field, but that was part of soldiering. With few carts and a small track through the forest it was nearing sunset before the mercenaries could join the parade of house warriors and their fellow sell swords back to camp. When each took a horse to ride from those gathered no one seemed to object, after all their riders had no need of them save for the one retainer who had survived falling from his steed with only a broken leg.

Night fell quickly in Naggaroth and it was in darkness that the band commandeered for themselves a tent left vacant by fatalities to spend a night in more comfort than they had had along the road. Not that certain among them did not wish for a feather bed and a bath rather than the cold drizzle they awoke to. Moving out into a grey world the mercenaries could see a pink and orange glow just peaking over the horizon, it was time for the meeting Liesh had spoken of.

Not knowing where else it might be the group headed for Sultra's command tent where he had spoken to them before they had entered the forest. Could that really only have been two days ago? It seemed a lifetime. The guards outside let them in without question, perhaps fighting alongside the fallen lord and protecting Naylia had won them some respect amongst the house soldiers.

Within the tent was much as they had seen it last, spare and dominated by a folding desk. No one sat behind it however, Liesh stood to one side. Looking around they saw Naylia in a chair in the corner reading a scroll that she set aside when they entered. Also present were Ki'lia who stood near Liesh and Makrov (the retainer with a broken leg) who sat in a camp chair with his leg up on a crate. There was no one else, the battle had really gutted the house leadership; with the retainers all but wiped out Syjahel and Carathyle were probobly the highest ranking nobles in the camp after Naylia, though their current mercenary status muddied the social waters a little.

"Now that you are here we shall begin," Liesh started, apparently as captain of the house hold guard he ranked highest here, at the very least the others seemed willing to let him take the lead.
"To dispense with your first question yes you will be paid, house Nagah does not renege on its debts either in blood or gold." Going behind Sultra's desk he took a small key from his belt and unlocked one of the draws. Seconds later he deposited four heavy looking purses on the desktop. Standing aside again he continued
"Now that that is done with we must discuss the situation. Before this business began Naylia was to take up a position at the first convent in Naggarond, with my lord's death however we may need to re-examine...

Naylia spoke from the corner, standing up she trotted closer to the centre of the tent "Daddy's death doesn't change that. I have already started channelling the winds of magic, if I don't lean to control them properly then sooner or later I will die." This quietened the tent for a moment before Ki'lia spoke up.

"What's the line of succession? Who holds the lord ship now?"
"It would pass to Kythar," Makrov answered "If he were not still serving in the Black Guard. Once his tour of duty has ended he will come into the title."
"And until then?" the young female warrior's coarse accent betrayed a humble birth along Vikrah's water front, it was not surprising that she would not be familiar with the ins and outs of succession procedure

"If there is no direct descendent able to take control of the house the house and all its property is held in trust by the state until the rightful lord comes of age," Naylia said, her voice taking on the sing-song note of rote learned material
"Unless other legal arrangements have been set down in the last will and testament of the head of house," she finished

"So where do we find the will?" Ki'lia asked again, perhaps anxious to retain her privileged position within a noble house. The band knew how difficult life could be as a common mercenary.
"Very likely a copy was kept in the vault back in Vikrah," Liesh replied "But all the noble houses have to send their official wills to the court library, we will need to speak with lord Kythar as well. It seems by any road we move next to Naggarond.

For the first time since they arrived Liesh turned his attention back to the mercenaries
"You are free to leave of course, but if you wish to travel with us back to civilisation you may. The leaders of our mercenary contingent were killed during the battle; they could use a firm hand to keep them from squabbling. I think that is everything, unless you have anything of your own to raise?"

[u]Skipping forward a bit here. You all have an additional 1000 circlets, don't spend them all at once (or do, what do I care :D). Syjahel you used two healing vials, you and Cananatra are free of most of your injuries. The healer is in camp if Jacks or Carathyle want to see her on the march assuming you come with. Please raise any questions or suggestions you have now -Drainial

Author:  Syjahel [ Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:03 am ]
Post subject: 

After some rest, bleak but warmer than on the march, Syjahel and the small band she had come to regard as her own were summoned to Sultra's tent. Looking around the spartan office, two things were clear: that it would take some time for her not to expect the old Druchii Lord, and that of his household, the barest of skeleton staff remained. Liesh was the most senior of these, and what he had to say was interesting enough, if a little peripheral to her role as a mercenary. He even began with an assurance that they would be paid, a sure sign to the highborn that he might work with the aristocracy, but he wasn't from among their ranks. Syjahel decided that it was time to make a few things a little clearer.

"I agree that, since you feel able to continue your studies, milady, it would be only proper for you to do so. If you wish, since your guard is so depleted, I will accompany you to the Covenant." She addressed Naylia formally; child or no she was deserving of the title. She turned back to Liesh and Ki'lia.

"I am a mercenary, yes, but I am also the Lady Syjahel Vasht, daughter of Lord Kherandis Vasht of Clar Karond. I do not mention this because I expect the privileges of rank, but to have you understand that I know something of the matter of succession." Syjahel did not in truth expect to inherit her own House, but all highborn children were drilled in matters of precedence and lineage. "I do agree that the first matter of business, when the time comes for such things, will be to consult the will and settle the matter. Until such time as that is done, I believe it will fall to you, Liesh, to act as Naylia's legal guardian until her brother can be informed. Estabishing the succession is paramount and will reduce the possibility that others will try to take the House." She turned to Naylia, wishing to courteously make sure that she was happy with this and to include her in a conversation which very much involved her future, acknowledging her before turning back to the guard Captain.

"To that end I suggest checking the family vault as soon as you can, unless you plan to march straight for Naggorond." Syjahel had imagined that the burial of their Lord would be paramount, but she did not know where that would be done. "If there is need of someone to Captain your mercenaries until they disband then I will do it. I have dealt with my share of fractious troops." At this the faintest touch of a wintry smile appeared on her lips, but only for a moment. The young noblewoman was only too aware of the gravity of the situation. Thus she refrained from glancing at Jacks and carried on.

"Once we are in Naggorond, if it will assist you to have me with you when you seek out Kythar then I will be glad to accompany you."

Syjahel paused. Carathyle had already spoken of remaining with her, but she would not decide for the others' desires concerning a visit to the capital. In any case, all of them should be allowed to voice their desires. Turning to 'her' small band she said,

"Once we have been paid, I understand that the mission is complete. However, you would be welcome to travel with me as Carathyle has already decided. We have fought well together, and shed blood for each other."
With this rather formal pronouncement of camaraderie, a small moment of concern for his unusually grim aspect prompted her to add,

"In any case, Master Shade, you still owe me an evening of culture."

Much talking here but it seemed the only way to do it without a very short post. Syjahel is concerned for the morale of 'her' troops it seems, part of why she wants to help deal with the minutiae of succession - she doesn't find it rivetting but is damn' sure it's no-one else's cup of tea :D Also, her highborn instincts are kicking in. This sort of thing is her job.

Her aim is to get Sultra buried (cremated?) and get the succession established, then if needed help escort Naylia to the Covenant. Some time in the next few days she will wake up and ask herself "Why did I agree to more escort duty??" but for now, it seems the honourable thing to do. Ain't nobility grand :D

Author:  Cananatra [ Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, it seems like Syjahel is up for continued employment here. Carathyle is following; in itself surprising though maybe he is looking for some advantage with Syjahel. No idea as to what Jacks is doing, though of course as a shade who knows what’s in that head of his. Cananatra stood watching the faces of the company and the others in the tent as they spoke. On the one hand this family paid well, though on the other they didn’t exactly have easy jobs. He was forced to admit to himself though that so far he hadn’t had many easy jobs as a mercenary.

“Just to get this out of the way. Are you expecting someone to attack on our way back? Perhaps in an attempt to wipe out the family or gain control of its assets when word gets back that Sultra has died? It would seem to me to be a possibility. Either way though I’m willing to head back to the city with the army. Whether or not you have a job for us when we get there, well, I guess we’ll find out.”

Well Cananatra is up for heading back to the city with the army. We may be hired for further escort duty, or we may not but that can be decided over s warm meal.

Author:  Drainial [ Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

After listening to the mercenaries' voice in Syjahel Liesh said
"That is settled then, we marsh for the capital; from there we can disband our mercenary contingent and charter a ship back to Vikrah after we are finished with our business there. To answer your question Cananatra I do not expect attack, but that is no reason not to be wary, these are dangerous lands even with the threat of house Dalvar finally extinguished."

The captain seemed to have finished but just as they were about to leave the tent he stopped them
"Oh, before the battle lord Sultra stated his desire to gift to you those horses you captured from the enemy, we now have a more horses than we do riders, you may choose one from the horse lines. If nothing else there are long leagues from here to Naggarond. We shall hold funeral rites for the fallen in one hour and set out shortly after, make sure the mercenaries are ready to move."

That seemed to be it and the mercenaries left; having accepted responsibility for the mercenaries on this expedition they had time for a swift and unsatisfactory breakfast on their remaining rations before seeking them out. A few enquires uncovered a few facts; those mercenaries gathered were drawn from a hodge podge of small bands, no one group numbered more than then individuals, not after the bloody grind of the recent battle at least. All were tough fighters after the way of Vikrah's main export but their camp was far more disordered than that kept by Sultra's house hold troops. Summoning representatives of the various groups Syjahel saw that it would take some work to get them ready in time. Knowing that their noble captain would certainly go into one of her high command moods Carathyle and Jacks decided now would be a good time to seek out the healer. Jacks knew that the old battle axe would be more fearsome than Syjahel at her most insufferable but his wounds did need tending.

It was a stressed yet invigorated Syjahel with Cananatra by her side who met up with Jacks and Carathyle. Both bore the kind of far away look she had come to associate with visits to Sultra's healer... Liesh's healer now perhaps. That old elf doubtless felt his loss worst than most, she was the only one who was a match for him in both age and force of will.

The whole camp was emptying now and the band joined the tide heading out beyond the newly dug stake lined ditch. Close by the camp the elves fanned out, house hold troops standing in ranks with weapons held at attention while the mercenaries gathered more loosely but with a aura of respect never the less. As they moved forward the ranks between the two groups fell back enough for the war-band to poke through revealing the reason for this gathering. A vast pyre covered the ground before them, a circle twenty feet wide of petrified branches upon which lay rank upon rank of fallen elves. Each was clad simply, the house hold troops separated from the mercenaries by their uniform Kheiten. At the very centre the branches were piled higher and on a raised dais Sultra lay as if at rest. Sea green robes covered the worst of his wounds and the fallen lord looked peaceful in death. A damp glistening shimmered over all, bodies and wood already splashed liberally with oil.

To the fore of the lines, drawn up as if to do battle once again, two figures stood. One small and delicate, one tall and strong. Both Liesh and Naylia carried torches, one shining with a blue light, the other burning with a green flame.

"Lord Sultra of house Nagah; once commander of the seventh tower, watcher of the heart of Vikrah, city councilor and one who spoke with our dread king himself. He lived fifteen hundred and seven years and survived through his strength and through his life strengthened the nation and his house. He fell in the blood of his enemy and saw the end of her life. His life was of worth, his death an honourable one. We commit him to the flame that he might rise again." It was a short eulogy for a highborn but Liesh was a soldier, not an orator.

"Morliesh of house Kamber, retainer of lord Sultra of house Nagah, captain of horse and second sword of house Nagah. She lived four hundred and twenty years. She fell in the blood of her enemies and brought death upon them. Her death was an honourable one.

"Kyran Holier, of no noble house, retainer of lord Sultra of house Nagah..."

The reading of names went on for quite some time for there were many fallen and even though the foot soldiers were given no more than name and rank it was almost half an hour later when Liesh said
"We commit them all to the flame that they may rise again," with no more ceremony Naylia and Liesh both flung their torches onto the oil soaked pyre. Instantly the flames began to rise, dancing fronds of sapphire and emerald radiating a powerful heat. The pyre burned hotter still as the petrified wood began to burn, hotter than wood, hotter than coal. None moved though the heat set them all to sweating as the bodies were devoured. Only when the dais was lost from sight, obscured by smoke and fire, did the elves present raise their weapons as one in a ritual as old as the six cities, lower them again and march back into the camp. The flame had taken them now, they could await rebirth after their tests in Khaine's bloody halls. Those who were worthy would return with high station, those who were not would find themselves less than they had been before. It was no concern of the living.

The living had concerns of their own. Battle was a challenge they were familiar with but the logistics of moving a large group of people through the wilderness, safely and at speed, presented its own challenges. Even so the band quickly fell into new rhythms. Naggarond was nearly three weeks march away and the time seemed to crawl by. Of danger they saw little, nothing that would attack so large an armed group at least. There had been some concern when a manticore was seen overhead but the monster did not attack flying off to find some easier prey. In fact they saw very little at all until after more than a fortnight the small army finely found the King's Highway. Straight as a spear the road was of grey stone flags stretching from Naggarond to Har Ganath. Here finally they found some traffic, trade wagons and travellers moving up and down the highway on one errand or another. No one party was as large as theirs nor with so many armed elves and so, with the pleasant knowledge that for a while at least they were the biggest, baddest thing around, the army of house Nagah came into sight of Naggarond.

Some had seen Naggarond before, many had not. To a one however the elves tried to hide feelings of awe at the sight of the fabled city. Vikrah was large, a prosperous and powerful town with several highborn houses, scores of wealthy elves and protective walls. Five Vikrahs could have fit inside Naggarond, ten perhaps; the Capital of Naggarond was orders of Magnitude larger than any other in the land. The walls of black stone loomed two hundred feet into the air, the threatening bulk broken only by steel sheathed towers poking above cruelly curved battlements. As they began to draw closer they could see heads, sometimes hole bodies, impaled on spikes up and down the length of the wall. The bodies of traitors, and criminals. Unliving but denied the peace of death they looked down from the wall with eyes full of horror, those that still had eyes.

Drawing closer in their attention was drawn to more mundane matters once again. The cities' vast gates were open but a dozen city guard stood watch, checking wagons at random and asking to know people's business. Fortunately on this occasion their business was honest and after a brief conversation with Liesh and the handing over of the usual bribe the whole army was let into the city. Immediately they seemed to be swallowed by immensity. This force was a considerable one out on the plains and in Vikrah and in truth their arrival probably caused some small stir even here but that did not diminish the simple feeling that in this city two hundred elves could quite easily lose themselves.

Many did, the mercenaries (those hired for the battle) had been told that their contract ended once inside the city walls and as they had been paid the agreed sum it was not long before the column had shrunk considerably. Marching through the wide yet twisting streets the house hold guard kept close together, the better to make room in the packed streets. Where ever they strode they dominated the road, even the most powerful nobles did not habitually parade around with so many soldiers as this, but the press of elves often slowed them to a crawl. Horses, palaquins, carriages and even chariots moved down the opulent and large main roads and those could not be forced aside like the mass of common pedestrians. It was slow going, where ever they were going too and it was while waiting behind a jam of three carriages, two noble retinues and an unfortunate elf with an ox cart that Naylia sent for Syjahel and the others.

"This is going to take a long time. Liesh and I must get my warriors settled in one of the city barracks and find a town house to rent while we sort out the succession. We wont need you for a while, you should take rooms in an inn somewhere and come and see me at the end of the week. I will send someone to give you the address once I know where it will be." That was the meat of it, after an exchange of noble pleasantries that Syjahel and Carathyle knew were necessary but which left Jacks and Cananatra quite impatient they split off from the main party.

Their new steeds were especially helpful now, the extra height allowed them to see where they were going in the crowded streets and the added bulk was useful for pushing through. Over the course of the last month they had all gotten rather used to life in the saddle though it would be a stretch to call any of them horsemen just yet. Brief enquires revealed the locations of several inns available, unfortunately Naylia had said nothing about paying for their accommodation so that would be up to them.

The Golden Dragon sounded to be respectable sort of place; decent wine, feather beds, bathing facilities. A place for the well off to stop. It would cost seven circlets a night, plus drinks though meals were thrown in.

The Four-winged Falcon was an inn of respectable nature but with a rougher clientele, more of a mercenary stop over. The beds were worn but clean to hear people tell it and the wine drinkable. Five circlets a night to buy such joy.

The Broken Orc was for those on a budget, which was a polite way of saying lawless scum. It was a dive inhabited mostly by locals and out of towners who didn't know any better. On the other hand it was cheep charging only two circlets a night though to hear some tell it you would be lucky to come out without 'losing' a fair bit more than that.

Once they had somewhere to stay they evidently had a week to do as they wished, surely they would be able to find most anything here.

Bright lights, big city to quote a certain giant insect. We have come to the end of one story and that means prizes!

First of all you each have a dark steed to call your own, feel free to name them if you like.

Second to mark the fact that you have now spent some time riding you have each got the skill 'Ride' as listed in the main index.

Third you may each choose a single attribute to raise by one but please note that all stats are at this point capped at 6.

You have a week to do what you want in Naggarond. This gives you time to learn a skill, go to the shops and whatever else you feel like. First you need to choose an inn though. All prices given are for each individual. You can split up if you like though it lacks a certain camaraderie. -Drainial

Author:  Meteor [ Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

OOC: Ok just for the sake of getting things moving. Jacks will stay in the cheap skate inn, he sees it as a further place for training and will visit the others during the week. I can't decide on whether to teach Jacks Sariya Fencing or Suithenlu Khythan. I find the way of the assassin to be too cliche, I see Jacks as more of a defender who waits for the opportunity to strike than a frenzied khainite assassin. Thoughts?

In fact we are using the main list as found in the CC thread. The list is essentially an updated version of that on page 12 with a few inputs from other mods. The only thing we use not on there is master crafting which as I am sure you all remember doubles the cost of the item. As always skills take the full break to learn (you will have time to do other things as well but you can't learn more than one skill at once).

The cost for training is C500 for a level 1 skill (any skill listed as SP1), C700 for a level two (SP2) and C1000 for level three (SP3). Obviously you need to meet the prerequisites as well. If you are in any doubt about the price ask and ye shall be enlightened. Likewise if there are any items you would like to look for but which are not on the list ask me and I will decide if they can be found. -Drainial

Author:  Cananatra [ Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Selling: Well first off Cananatra is aiming to sell his old set of Medium armour (did my old long sword make it back in baggage or is it rusting quietly in the forest?), because clearly he doesn’t need it. I’ve no idea what you use for mark down for selling Drainial, so whatever its worth. Then sell that emerald eye I looted off our deceased comrade (said 200 gold value on his page so I assume for that much).

Buying: Also no idea what you charge for armour repairs, but I’ve a hole on the side from the bear and the leg protection needs to be beaten back into shape as well as the cut near my ankle welded. Eh, buying a new shield so -100 there. . -5 for the medium class inn. Next get the house colours of the traitors off my armour and some others on it, black with jade green trim say. See if I can find some artificer to tell me exactly what the spells on that hunting horn do, the trial has been rather inconclusive. Price those healing balms, having a couple of those would be useful.

Just noticed most of my stuff isn’t on the main list at all and I’m in the blacksmiths a lot. Sorry for all the extra work picking prices drainial.

Stat wise I’m slapping my S up 1 to 4. Combined with the amulet that should mean I’m walking about with S5 T5, just right for a chaos champion, lol. I half considered T 6, but that would be silly on an elf.

Obviously the story post has to wait till I actually know what the stuff costs and I can actually go sell/buy it.

EDIT: For selling unwanted equipment lets say they can be sold for half their listed price so for a full set of medium armour that would be C150. As far as I can recall there is no reason to think you didn't take your old sword with you when you took Seijl's so you can sell that as well. People's general jewels can be sold for the previously stated values.

As for armourer work we shall say (really making this up on the fly now :D) C20 for the repairs and another C5 for re-decoration. For consultation with a magical artificer lets say another C5 (you get nothing for nothing). Healing balms and the like this is from the page 12 post. They won't be quite the same as the ones Syjahel has, those are magic, but they are good anyway.


Dark venom: 40 gold
Applied to bladed weapons or crossbow bolts/arrows. +10 power for one use. Each vial contains 3 uses.

Unseen chains: 20 gold
Paralytic spider venom, applied to bladed weapons or crossbow bolts/ arrows. Any successful wounds paralyse the target, duration depending on the target. Each vial contains 2 uses

Healing vial: 20 gold
Speeds the healing process considerably. One use only.

If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask -Drainial

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