1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

The Endless Hunt, Season 3: "Snakes! Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?"

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
    292
    83
    The Pass of Three Rigors

    In the morning, the escort rides back the direction you came. As you climb, you can feel eyes on your back from the watchtower. When the wind is right, you also get the impression you can hear their laughter.

    There does appear to be an actual path, though this doesn’t become evident until the valley runs out and you start climbing switchbacks: clearly, there isn’t enough traffic to leave a trail until it reaches the point where it no longer has a choice but to. As it is, the “trail” is little more than marginally more level ground on the rising slopes. Certainly, no one has used it recently enough to leave any impressions in the grass. The carts soon begin to lose the ability to make headway; additional horses are hitched to each one… apparently they weren’t only meant for riding, as they accept their new duties with aplomb.

    Around midday, a turned corner abruptly reveals level ground. A gorge, not visible from below, cuts between shoulders of rock, and for a few hundred yards the going is pretty tight. On the far side, however, a plateau materializes, and the next hour is easy enough. Coarse grasses and a few small but attractive flowers spread over most of it, dotted here and there with scrubby bushes and the occasional low, sparse-leaved tree. The slopes around the plateau feature more of the same, though with considerably less grass and a fair amount of exposed rock. The dogs are allowed to run free in groups of four at a time, and prove that whatever else their value, they are capable of catching the odd rabbit, gopher or stoat. Only one refuses to return when whistled for. Sigrelyn enters one of the wagons, and emerges a moment later bearing an eagle that looks like it could take off with her still attached if it cared to. She removes its hood, says “Fetch,” and looses it. Two minutes later, the dog is returning at full tilt, dodging dive-bomb runs that can’t be too serious since it doesn’t see most of them until the eagle is past it and rising again. The eagle returns to the glove, and is rewarded with a gopher, which Sigrelyn claims she doesn’t care for the taste of anyway.

    “I didn’t realize you could train eagles to the hunt,” someone says.

    “I didn’t. I don’t use animals to hunt,” the baroness responds.

    “Then why did–”

    “I trained it for military intelligence.”

    Which effectively ends that conversation.

    Once the plateau runs out, the way begins rising and falling, albeit with generally gentler slopes than the main climb early in the day, and it grows narrows once more–only this time, it isn’t between two higher elevations, but rather running along the side of one or another, with some rather precipitous dropoffs on the opposite one. More than once this requires making near half-circles around a peak before reaching a saddleback, followed by circling in the other direction around the next rise. By late afternoon, most of the party has no idea which way they’re facing. The occasional tumbled boulder or slide of smaller stones forces temporary halts as they’re cleared away. There are more than enough hands to cope with the latter, while most of the former are dealt with through the expedient of turning Manimus loose on them.

    Jade is glad she went shopping. It really does get a lot cooler in these mountains, she thinks. Though none of the others seems to particularly notice.

    Finally the downward paths start showing a tendency to outnumber the upward ones, and to be longer as well. Which is a good thing, as they do not become any wider, and most are now in shadow, as evening approaches. The caravan is rounding another of the endless switchbacks when a loud thunk is heard from a stone ricocheting off one of the rearward wooden-walled wagons… the sixth, the one devoted to the taxidermists. It is immediately followed by a couple lighter impacts. The dogs start raising a clamor.

    Sigrelyn, positioned midway along the caravan, scans the slope–as do several others. More stones can be heard pattering down from above. Rising in her stirrups, she shouts “Get the wagons around that corner! Move!” Then she points well upslope for the benefit of the others, perhaps eighty or a hundred yards… with the hand that is not freeing her bow from its case.

    A handful of largish silhouettes can be seen in that direction: the number is difficult to make out, given distance, lighting and their moving about, but there are at least four, perhaps more. They are clad in furs, and are engaged in attempts to dislodge bits of regional geography–a couple of them shoving stones downward, at least one of them rocking a small, projecting and poorly-rooted tree. The terrain provides them with considerable cover against archery. Unfortunately, it also makes a charge against them problematic… though there does appear to be a slightly easier way up, angling back from the caravan’s tail end.

    Sigrelyn’s first arrow skewers the now-rocking tree. She mutters something very unbaronesslike.…

    -

    Jade and Heverik are near the front of the caravan, and cannot work against its flow very well.

    Sigrelyn is remaining at the corner of the switchback, exhorting the drivers to greater effort between shots.

    Bouldergut, Silver, Omar, Reaver, Manimus–choose:
    (1) Stay with the caravan.
    (2) Try to climb the slope.

    You may recount your harrowing scrabble up the steep rocky slope while dodging various bits of debris if you want. Do not start writing any fight scenes yet, however. We'll get to that part tomorrow, once everybody's had a chance to pick a direction.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    9,872
    2,884
    413
    Bouldergut and Jade

    "It will be risky to ascend that slope," Bouldergut admits. "I will go... but who will stay and protect my wife?"

    "Who shall protect you!" Jade hands her husband three sharpened sticks and some herbal doses sealed in lotus leaves. "Bring these with you. And... bring me my bow! I am a Huntress!"

    Though her order was not directed at her husband, Bouldergut quickly finds out from one of the men where his belongings can be found. Though fond of his hammer, Meat Tenderizer, he decides that his nagamaki is much lighter and quicker. He sheaths a pair of raid swords on his back, in case a shorter blade proves necessary. Jade has three bows, and like Sigrelyn, an abundance of arrows.

    Jade offers her finest bow to Silver, asking, "Are you as handy with a bow as you are with an axe?"


     
  3. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    3,439
    1,142
    163
    Silver Whitestar

    Silver was not sure what was better for her to do now, the real Hunt had begun and she could tell that it was going to be every bit as dangerous as she had imagined it would be... Then, Jade offered that fine bow to her and Silver accepted it immediately, hoping that her archery skills had not deteriorated since the last time that she had hunted squirrels and owls two weeks ago.

    "I am good enough with bow and arrows, thanks Jade" Silver said, now taking the arrows as well- "Then, let's start to climb together!"

    Bouldergut was physically impressive and heavily armed, Silver had already witnessed with her own eyes what Jade was capable of doing...

    Silver was also very curious about that man called Reaver that had joined the Hunt recently, and she was hoping that he would talk to her in this first day at dangerous lands.

    "I must stay with these two Hunters" Silver thought- "After all, it's the first time that I am a Huntress!"

    Jade, Bouldergut and Silver began to climb the slope, their weapons ready to fight anything that they may encounter...
     
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,340
    1,176
    163
    Reaver

    Manimus and I agreed to join Bouldergut, Jade and the others on what would most certainly be an arduous journey up a the craggy slope of a very large mountain.

    As we started our climb, I suddenly felt as if we were being watched. I looked in all directions, but didn't see anyone or anything of interest for miles.
     
  5. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,340
    1,176
    163
    Manimus

    Okay. So like me, Reaver, Bouldernuts, his super-hot babe named Silver and two dudes started walking up this really big mountain.

    After like, forever of nothing happening..I was REALLY SUPER BORED.
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    9,872
    2,884
    413
    Bouldergut and Jade (Splitting the Party)

    (NOTE: Jade and Bouldergut should be separated, as seen in Ravana's post. I goofed and started a chain reaction, so for the sake of continuity let's go on as if we were ABOUT TO go up the mountain, but Bouldergut's going to split the party for both personal and strategic reasons. Players, please choose to stay with Jade OR follow Bouldergut.)


    "Jade...!" Bouldergut sounds like he's scolding his wife, but his facial expression is that of grave concern. "The mountain is no place for you."

    "Because I am with child?"

    "Because you are a Roku-Roku Huntress! Stay with the caravan and fire arrows to keep the enemy occupied. When I get to the top, I'll need covering fire. Shoot to kill if you can. If you can't, shoot to distract!"

    To Manimus and Reaver, Bouldergut says, "It would be an honor to fight alongside of the two of you again."

    Jade says to Silver, "Let's see how good of a shot you are!"


    (I'm assuming Reaver and Manimus are going up the mountain and Silver is staying with Jade.

    Reaver, Sheila, if you wish your characters to do otherwise, please respond accordingly.

    Phil, please choose Omar's path: go up there with Bouldergut or stay down here with Jade.)

     
  7. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    6,008
    1,662
    213
    Omar Metzger

    Omar follows Bouldergut.
     
  8. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    3,439
    1,142
    163
    Silver Whitestar

    "Jade, I shall better stay here with you, we are friends" Silver said, drawing out her impressive four feet Longsword while her battle axe remained attached to her back- "Together, we can shoot and fight if necessary."

    Silver was holding her sword with one hand and the bow with the other, and so both Huntresses watched as Bouldergut, Omar, Reaver and Manimus begin to climb the mountain...
     
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
    292
    83
    “Barbearians?”

    Bouldergut discovers that (A) he is out of shape for this sort of nonsense and (B) the nagamaki isn’t a whole lot easier to handle than a hammer while trying to scurry up an uneven slope with a lot of loose rock. He reflects that he would have been better off with both hands free; however, having abandoned one weapon already, he’s loath to part with another. He makes do.

    Reaver keeps looking for other ambushers… or something. He finds none.

    Omar starts scrambling up the slope, dagger clenched between his teeth. Which, really, is a lot like running with scissors. Given that the sheath is still on his body—as are those of a couple other weapons he has not seen fit to draw—one has to presume he sees some tactical advantage to it. Only a madman would deliberately court the danger of a slip while carrying a blade in his mouth.

    Manimus thinks to himself: “That guy’s, like, nuts.”

    Pieces of landscape continue to fall. Somewhat to the distress of those below, the ascending warriors are contributing to the problem.

    Arrows fly up from below. Somewhat to the distress of those climbing, it proves trickier than might be expected to shoot uphill in gathering twilight with any accuracy. The attackers do seem to be keeping their heads low, at least.

    The seventh wagon reaches the switchback.

    The quote-easy-unquote route is also the longer, if also the safer; it has the added benefit of not being directly above the tail of the caravan. Bouldergut and Reaver select it, for reasons that differ in detail but which both involve physics. Manimus, typically, takes the shortest route, ignoring difficulty, descending objects, and the firing lines of those below. Omar, less muscular than Manimus, less burdened than Bouldergut, and less sensible than Reaver, elects to split the difference. Besides, his chances of getting killed are better if he doesn’t have any immediate companions when he reaches the opposition.

    As the climbers near their goal, the targets start becoming clearer: they appear to be hulking men dressed in bearskins. As the climbers get nearer still, the resemblance to bears begins to approach the uncanny. As the climbers come level with their assailants—simultaneously, as the benefits and drawbacks of each route cancel one another out—they could all but swear these are bears, not men, they are engaging.

    And as the one nearest Manimus—the one trying to dislodge the tree—suddenly lets out a terrific roar, immediately followed by the crashing of the tree and considerable other terrain down towards the caravan, all doubt is removed.

    They aren’t men in bear suits.

    They’re bears.

    Bouldergut and Reaver are facing one that has just finished nudging a final rock downward with its head; it stands, displaying its full size—about that of Boulder—and roars its own challenge. From behind them, an answering growl is heard: another bear, somewhat smaller, is preparing to charge them. Possibly more than one, unless the grunts are echoing. They’ve just become a hero sandwich.

    Omar finds himself in a similar situation, except that in his case, only the bear to his left, in the direction of his two friends, is attending to him; the one to his right pays him no mind. Both are about the size of the smaller one facing Boulder and Reaver. Omar draws his sword, along with another dagger; he leaves the first one between his teeth, in case he trips.

    Manimus, farthest to the right, has one bear at his back, between himself and Omar; it is still busily working at rocking a boulder free. Facing Manimus, staggering up from where it has just uprooted a sizable chunk of the local flora with its hind legs, is a bear that probably weighs as much as six of him, and might stand more than half again as tall… were it not that it is experiencing difficulty reaching its full height with one of Sigrelyn’s arrows sticking out of its ass.

    The rumble of various objects down the slope becomes much louder as something or somethings dislodge a bunch of other somethings further on.

    The eighth wagon reaches the switchback.

    Unfortunately for the caravan, the switchback turns them back into the path of the falling objects, albeit slightly farther down the slope.…



    Bouldergut and Reaver: you’re surrounded. Write the immediate clash.

    Omar: you have one bear’s attention on your left, and one unaccounted-for bear on your right. Choose your course of action.

    Manimus: it’s big, it’s angry, and it’s all yours. It also probably weighs more than anything else that’s gone tumbling down the slope, which you may want to take into consideration… now or in hindsight.

    Silver, Jade and Sigrelyn discover that continued archery has just become untenable. Running like hell to stay in front of an impending avalanche strikes you as a really good thing. In fact, Sigrelyn even suggests this.
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    9,872
    2,884
    413
    Bouldergut and Reaver

    "You'll thank me for this..."

    Though Reaver's instinct would have him dodge Bouldergut's next move, he remains still. In Bouldergut's hand is a sharp stick with a packet skewered at the tip. What is wrapped inside the lotus leaf? Reaver is about to find out.

    As the stick penetrates Reaver's arm, Bouldergut looks into his eyes.

    "Dammit! I missed."

    He jabs him with another stick. This time, the whites of Reaver's eyes turn pink. The irises fade to gray.

    "That's more like it."




    Reaver now has...

    • increased strength (as "powerful" as Manimus)
    • "quickdraw +" (extremely fast reflexes)
    • "bloodlust +" (bloodlust will work to Reaver's advantage)
    ...for the next two posts in this battle​.





    Not wanting to waste his wife's concoction, Bouldergut reverses the first stick, swirls it around the herbal mix in the broken packet, and repeatedly jabs himself in the arm--knowing this will have a lesser effect than using the one remaining packet on himself.

    Bouldergut faces the largest bear on his side, and remains perfectly still. Knowing his adrenaline shot may only last for one action, he lets the bear come to him...
     
  11. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,340
    1,176
    163
    Reaver

    Nary a second after the huge barbarian jabbed Reaver in the arms with the pointed sticks, the warrior launched
    himself at the massive beast nearest him, his twin swords a flashing silvery blur in the midday sun.

    The colossal beast roared and swiped its spade-clawed paws at Reaver, but the attack seemed slow and clumsy while the knight-errant dodged it as if the animal were frozen in place. With two lighting-quick slashes, the bear's gargantuan head was cleaved from its body and cascaded through the air in a shower of crimson.

    Before the creature's bulky corpse hit the rocky ground with a loud thump, Reaver was already running toward a second much smaller bear. The beast foolishly stood on its hind legs, perhaps in an attempt to frighten the bellowing, charging knight. Barely a whimper had escaped the animal's throat when Reaver eviscerated it, spilling its innards onto the dusty earth and jamming both blades down through the top of its head with a sickening crunch.

    Reaver had just yanked his swords out of the beast's skull when he crumpled to the ground and lie still, the sound of the blades clanging on the rocky plateau seemed barely audible amongst the din of the battle that raged all around.
     
  12. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,340
    1,176
    163
    Manimus

    A wicked looking smile was etched into the famed gladiator's face as he and the gigantic bear moved in slow, concentric circles, sizing one another up and waiting for the other to make the slightest move.
    Manimus gripped the immense Lava Core Hammer tightly, his ridiculously large muscles were flexed, coiled steel cables ready to lash out in the blink of an eye.

    The colossal beast moved first. It was a roaring, slavering nightmare, it's cavernous maw filled with razor-sharp, four-inch-long fangs stained pink from a lifetime of gorging itself on flesh. Manimus gave a roar that seemed just as loud as the bear's, swinging the massive warhammer from right to left, slamminig it hard into the animals enormous head, making a noise that sounded like bottled thunder.

    The brobdingnagian* bear toppled to the ground and lie motionless. His normal foolishness aside, Ultimus Manimus was no fool when it came to combat. He raised the titanic hammer high above his head and repeatedly smashed the creature's head until little more than jellied fur remained.

    Then the gladitor placed his foot atop the still twiching corpse, swung the warhammer several times through the air, stopping with it held high and roared mightily: ULTIMUS...MANIMUS!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  13. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    3,439
    1,142
    163
    Silver Whitestar

    Silver was sure that she would have been more than a match for a bear or even two, as she had some experience fighting bears with her battle axe and arrows. After all she was a forest woman, and just hitting some of the bears with arrows could not give her the satisfaction that hacking the same bears to death would have done.

    Sigrelyn had suggested to run like hell to escape the avalanche, Jade was running so fast, the three of them were trying to get out of the way of the white death...

    "Sigrelyn!" Silver screamed, the fear clearly reflected in her voice- "Jade! It's coming!"

    The thunderous sound of the avalanche was now deafening, Silver could see it coming and destroying anything it found in its path, maybe they were not going to make it...
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    9,872
    2,884
    413
    Bouldergut

    "Bears! Why did it have to be bears?"

    Bouldergut swings his nagamaki. The blade breaks over the bear's head. As the wounded animal charges, Bouldergut's adrenaline shot kicks in with an unexpected effect.

    Time stops.

    * * *​

    Bouldergut scratched his curly-haired scalp.

    "How can time just stop?"

    Tusk replied, "I don't know how to explain it... it just happens to me sometimes."

    Bouldergut wondered how an eleven year old boy could have experienced such a phenomenon and so often at that.

    "It happened when you were wresting the bear, and it stumbled toward me," Tusk explained.

    "If time stopped, why did you wait until the last possible moment to duck?"

    "I didn't wait. Time stopped when the bear was ready to rip my head off. You told me a bear is as strong as eight men. I figured I'm half a man, so I had to dodge. The swipe was horizontal, so I had to dodge vertically. I had a half minute to think about it. Time didn't move until I moved."

    * * *​

    The bear is ready to slash Bouldergut's throat.

    He dwells on his memory of bear-wrestling in front of his student a little longer, then looks back at the bear and its paused attack.

    He ducks.

    Then he lunges forward, grapples the bear and arches backward--using a combination of leverage and raw power to slam the bear on its head. The beast tumbles down the mountainside.

    Bouldergut glances down with pity before whipping his broken blade into the face of the nearest bear. He draws his raid swords, so he and Reaver can finish off the rest of them.



    After the battle, Reaver asks Bouldergut about his comment, why did it have to be bears?

    Bouldergut scratches his bald scalp as he silently reminisces about Bobo, the bear he used to wrestle with. Wrestling bears is not dangerous, as long as the bear is having fun. He looks at the slaughtered beasts that would have lived had he not led the men up the mountain, then finally explains his comment to Reaver:

    "I like bears."
     
  15. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,340
    1,176
    163
    "If you recall the misadventures I shared with Manimus on Roku-Roku," Reaver said shakily to Bouldergut, his blue-grey eyes slowly returning to their normal color, "I too am quite fond of bears and as you most assuredly know, have risked life and limb to save one very unique bear..."


    "Okay. Like, I feel the same way as Reaver, Bouldernuts," Manimus added, meticulously wiping blood and skull fragments from the Lava Core Hammer's massive head. "I like, totally love all animals."

    Bouldergut scowled and nodded toward the gelatinous remains of the gladiator pummeled mere minutes before: "Bouldergut dummy...and what about that?"

    Manimus rested the colossal warhammer on his muscled shoulder and said: "Okay. Like, except for the ones tryin' to kill me."
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  16. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
    292
    83
    Greetings from the Power Failure Capital of the Midwest!
    (and no, mine still isn't back on, so I don't know when you'll hear from me next)

    ---

    Da Bearz

    vs.

    Reaver: Apparently, Jade's concoction causes hallucinations as well–or at least photosensitivity–as it's rather closer to middusk than midday. No matter: he'd just cleared out the two bears that threatened the left flank of the party. Now he is enjoying the fascinating sound his pulse makes in his ears, as it whooshes and swells in alarming cadence, counterpointing the cacophony of climactic combat like an overwrought simile declifying the penjuntirate transnostiver. Or something.

    And just who the hell is tugging at his sleeve, anyway? He left the wakeup call for ten, he was sure. Stupid nuns.…

    -

    vs.

    Manimus: Having roared out his name, Manimus decides he likes the echo so much he'll try another phrase. All he can come up with at that moment is "I can see my house from here!"–which is patently untrue. In fact, he could see little of anything from where he is… not even the caravan. This, at least, probably counted as a good thing, since it meant all the wagons got safely past the point where they'd been attacked. Or tumbled way down into the valley, whichever.

    A grunt from behind reminds him that, in fact, this is not single combat. Quick as a cat, he whirls to face a much smaller foe. Briefly. Then he's facing a mound of partially-jellied bear, as his foot dislodging a chunk of rock reminds him of another circumstance of the combat. One of his mighty hands clutches the coarse, matted pelt of his felled adversary; the other clings to his hammer. Now, at least, he can think of all sorts of things to say.…

    -

    vs.

    Bouldergut: It was a good play call, but someone forgot to tell the other team what they were supposed to do.

    Bouldergut's throw stuns the bear, at least long enough for it to tumble a ways. However, the bear is made of stern stuff–and is far more used to moving about these slopes than the humans are. By skill or instinct, it manages to stay its fall after only a handful of yards; then, shaking its twice-abused noggin, it starts lumbering back upward. Not directly toward Boulder, however: it seems to decide things aren't looking good for the home team, and instead cuts obliquely to the left as it climbs.

    This route will soon put it at a point very near Reaver, who, for whatever reason, appears to be more interested in composing a sūtra to the benevolence of the Sword-Etching Firefly Fairy than he is in the bear that's trying to drag him off.

    Bouldergut considers that perhaps he didn't miss by all that much with the first jab after all.

    -

    vs.

    Omar: Battle cries were neat. He ought to have one, too. He thought about this while measuring up his opponent. Problem was, he'd have to take the dagger out of his mouth to shout it… which, in turn, meant he'd need to free up a hand to take the dagger out of his mouth. He considered the possibility of sticking his other dagger behind his ear while he held the one from his mouth in his hand.

    No, that would be too Heverik. Omar isn't exactly sure where he wants to go with his life, but he's fairly confident it isn't there.

    Well, he wasn't dead yet. Guess that meant the bear he left at his back went for Manimus. Dammit. Better kill this one too, then: if he didn't, it would probably only wound him before one of the others got it, which would suck. Stupid bears.…

    -

    Playoffs

    Bouldergut flings his broken blade in the face of the bear that is trying to drag Reaver away. It works; the bear decides it has better things to do. Fleeing seems to be high on its list. The bear Boulder threw down the slope joins it in retreating.

    Omar gives up on the battle cry thing for the moment, as the bear facing him charges and he's temporarily busy. He and the bear exchange a few slashes, the bear tries to lock its jaws on Omar's arm, Omar slips his hand away at the last instant and leaves his dagger clenched between the bear's teeth. Now maybe it will trip and fall.

    Manimus considers flinging his hammer at his foe, but there is a problem with that: he can no longer see his foe. He can, however, make a reasonable guess as to where it went–since the corpse he's clinging to starts rocking, edging nearer the badly-fragmented scarp he's dangling over.…

    -

    Semifinals

    Bouldergut, having driven back the bears threatening Reaper, has the chance to glance back at the rest of the group. Unfortunately, he can't do anything to aid his other friends, as the bears on his end of things haven't retreated all that far.

    Omar and his dance partner arrive at an understanding: it will run away if he will stop hitting it. The bear scampers up the slope, trying to reach its retreating comrades while staying well out of Boulder's reach. Omar sees that Boulder is presently not in danger, so he decides he'll check on whatever the blazes it is Manimus is carrying on about.

    -

    Super Bowl

    Omar sees Manimus' precarious position, and recklessly charges the bear that is trying to dislodge the corpse of its giant, fallen friend. Omar once more contemplates a battle cry, but he still has a dagger between his teeth–having decided to use both hands on his sword for the moment. He tries for some inarticulate ululation anyway, but gives up when he cuts his tongue.

    It is enough for the bear to notice him, however: it lurches back and rears just as Omar's overhand chop descends and buries itself in the well-tenderized mass Manimus clings to. The bear swipes at Omar's head, delivering a stunning blow which drives Omar to his knees. Oh, good, I get to die now, he thinks–to the extent he is able to think right now.

    Much to his amazement, there is no follow-up blow. As Omar's vision clears, he sees the bear retreating upslope, limping along on three paws, in the direction of the others. From its fourth paw projects Omar's dagger.

    Omar turns to assist Manimus, though now that he is no longer being interfered with, he can manage well enough on his own. The two of them rejoin Bouldergut and Reaver, then discuss the wisdom of pursuing the remaining bears in the dark, trying to go back down the slope and seek the caravan in the dark, or doing anything else in the dark. As they talk, they hear the scrape of shifting stone somewhere above them, then an abrupt half-squeal, followed by some rapidly-approaching thumps which have an odd, muffled quality. These end as the corpse of a bear lands at their feet, a look of astonishment on its face and Omar's other dagger lodged firmly in the back of its throat.

    Omar wins.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    3,439
    1,142
    163
    Silver Whitestar

    Silver was flying and swirling inside a mess of snow, air, uprooted trees and rocks. All she could see was white, all she could hear was the thunder of the avalanche, the screams of Jade and Sigrelyn and also her own shrieks of fear as the avalanche had finally reached them and taken them into a chaos of destruction and death...

    She could not think of anything but the fear of the white death, the terror of getting crushed by the rocks or the trees or maybe die a slow death asphyxiated under many tons of snow.

    Then, it was over...

    Silver stayed still for a few minutes, not sure whether she was alive or dead. Then she was gasping for air, and as she moved her arms, her hands were wiping the snow away from her face to let her see the open sky again.

    "Jade!" Silver screamed when she was out of the snow, relieved to discover that she had not lost her sword and her axe- "Sigrelyn!"

    There was just silence, Silver was walking all over the snow and her friends were nowhere to be seen...
     
  18. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    2,012
    292
    83
    Jade

    …really needs to check the latest batch of her adrenaline stimulant. Not only is it causing Reaver to perceive dusk as midday, but now Silver appears to be experiencing a delayed reaction causing her to perceive gravel, dust and a few larger rockish objects (along with the odd uprooted tree) as snow.…

    [It's also causing Silver to imagine she heard Sigrelyn scream, but we'll skip over that part. I won't tell her if you don't. ;) ]



    Silver

    …soon discovers that what she first took to be snow is not, in fact, cold. Not that cold, at least. It's also drier, crunchier, and tastes lousy. From which she concludes that most of what she's covered in is probably dust instead. Along with gravel and a few larger rockish objects.

    So why does she feel so cold? And why is she having such trouble grasping things with her left—

    Oh. Hey. Yeah. Shock and blood loss. Those can make you feel cold, too. Either one, by itself.

    Silver wonders when that's gonna start hurting.

    She thinks it would be a good idea to find her friends before then.



    Jade

    …is thinking that she has no aspirations toward being reincarnated as a saddle blanket. While her riding experience is somewhat limited, she already knows there are more comfortable positions in which to be borne.

    Sigrelyn hadn't asked. She'd just grabbed Jade and thrown her across her lap. What followed was a rather-too-closeup view of some phenomenal equine dexterity, as Sigrelyn's mount daintily picked its way through the descending detritus—at a full gallop. Jade now knew exactly how many nails were in the horse's left front shoe: in spite of the gathering gloom and the frenetic pace, she'd had more than adequate opportunity to count them as time slowed to a crawl for her. Without using any of her potion.

    While the baroness' manners might have left something to be desired, under the circumstances her timing was impeccable. As witness the fact that Sigrelyn is now easing Jade to the ground at the tail of the caravan, whereas Silver is nowhere in sight.

    When Jade can breathe again, she asks Sigrelyn "How do you do that?"

    Sigrelyn, distracted between trying to see how the caravan has fared, how the party that went up the slope has fared, and where Silver might have ended up, responds "Do what?"

    "Ride like that, negotiating all those hazards."

    "Oh, that's easy."

    "I cannot believe that to be true." Jade wonders if Sigrelyn is perpetrating more of her odd humor. Now hardly seems the time.

    "It is, though," the baroness continues. "The horse has the hard part. I just tell it to go like hell, then hope I can hang on while trying to accomplish whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, without interfering overly much with what the horse is supposed to be doing."

    "I think you do more than 'hope,' Huntress."

    "Well… I also pick my horses very carefully." Pause. "And I've had a lot of practice, far as the hanging on part goes."

    "And should you fall off?"

    Now Sigrelyn does flick a corner of a smile. "I pick a different horse."

    Jade decides to shift topics. "Do you see Silver?"

    "No."

    "Why me, not her?"

    "You're pregnant. She isn't. I didn't have time to get you both. I did make a lunge for her, but she moved the wrong way—possibly was struck by something."

    Jade is disquieted. "Can your magnificent bird find her?"

    "Not for hours. It's an eagle, not an owl."

    Heverik comes riding back from the head of the column. While not an accountant, he can do basic sums quite well enough to know they've come up short. He puts a single word to his wife: "Dear?"

    "All four of the men made it up to our attackers. After that, I don't know, honey. I think I heard one shouting something about 'All too much, many moose,' but by then we were running, and it wouldn't make any damn sense even if that was what I heard. Silver," she gestures down and away, "is probably down there somewhere."

    "And we are in no position to assist either at the moment." It isn't a question.

    "Nope," she affirms.

    "This isn't good," he opines.

    "Nope."

    Jade silently makes the consensus unanimous.



    Tusk

    wonders what all that noise was. Especially that voice yelling "All Tims man emus." What the hell is up with that?

    He also wonders why that lady is wandering around the mountainside bleeding like that. And also why she seems oddly familiar.…
     
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    9,872
    2,884
    413
    "Over the Rubble and Through the... Mountain Pass?"

    Tusk


    "Hey! I remember you!" But does she... "remember me? A couple weeks ago, I think. I was cooking some meat. You were looking to join a hunting party. Did you ever find what you were looking for?"

    I get the feeling that--um... Silver, was it?--doesn't care to be a damsel in distress. Was it Silver? Or White? Silver sounds more first-namey.

    "Honestly, Silver..." Yes! "I'm looking for someone, too. He's part of that hunting expedition. Well, I think he is if he is who I think he is."

    I wonder why no one named her Blue. Her eyes... her eyes are a blue million duchies.



    (Sheila, while Tusk is lost in his own thoughts, have Silver respond to him.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  20. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    3,439
    1,142
    163
    Silver Whitestar

    "You!" Silver tried to scream, her voice hoarse and broken- "Yes, it's you, we met at the forest, before I arrived at the city- Help... please help me..."

    Silver was losing too much blood, the world had started to swirl around her. She vaguely recalled the man that had given her some food when she was starving after her long and difficult travel, and since Jade, Sigrelyn and the others were still unable to find and help her, she staggered towards this man that she barely knew.

    "There was an avalanche, bears up in the mountain, my friends are somewhere, I..."

    Tusk dashes forward to catch Silver as she is passing out, her blue eyes closing as her condition keeps getting worse...
     
Loading...

Share This Page