506-08-02 Call of the Wild Part Two

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The Call of the Wild (Part Two)
RL Date December 26, 2008
Players Kyrie, Athar, Briana, Cynara, Gwyndolen, Iain, Leon, Matthew
Location Keeper Plaza West -- Gateway
Crossroads Time and Weather
IC Date August 02, 506
Season Summer


Plaza of the Keeper North - Village

This part of the village runs along the back wall of the castle and all of the shops and residences are on one side of the road which leaves great views of the sea and the docks. Rather than cobblestone, the road is made up of handsomely tended wooden planks to help counter the uncertainty of the rocky edges at the end of the island. Once away from the road that leads towards the docks, this is a favorite daytime place for a leisurely walk or to visit one of the boardwalk cafes. A small staircase leads down to the beach area that stretches far out to the east with the docks on the west.

Previously:
Keeper North
Keeper Center

People have been streaming into the Blue Tide as quick as they can force those already inside to unbarricade the door and let them. Some idiots, though, are actually exiting. Three men who look like soldiers, armed to the teeth, and the ambassador with them, likewise arrayed, slip out into the street. They must have been surveying the scene from the window beforehand because they seem familiar with the layout already. Two of them post themselves outside the door; the ambassador and the third head for the hounds threatening Cynara and Iain.

"This is not normal." Not that any of it is, but Matthew's words are more than enough to state that 'this didn't happen'. But it does make sense in a way as his eyes take note of Iain and Nara close but still a little too far away to be of any true assistance. Not when the hound makes that lunge, the mage quickly drawing his dagger once more with the blade briefly touching his fingers in preparation to throw. But not until being closer. And certain of a clean throw.

There is only one hound for the moment, jumping right at Iain with the intent to kill. Gwyndolen and the soldier heading in that direction though? That draws another of the hunt's beasts loping in the Tyreans' direction with a loud baying sound.

There is no time to think. It was not enough. All Iain can do, in the moments following the hound's leap, is to shove Cynara -- roughly, swiftly -- backward and away from the incoming animal and raise the sword to meet that heavy body in its leap for his throat. He would spare the life beneath the fur if he could, but it seems he cannot, and whatever plans to pursue the hunt were discussed in wooded bowers and however monumentally risky those plans might've been, he has no desire to die.

He aims for the chest, extends his other hand, lifts one foot as his back finds the wall and prepares to kick if the aim of the blade is not true.

Crouched by the body of the girl, the Huntmaster's black-gloved hand squeezes in the wound at her side as he utters words of granite. He draws those sanguine-stained fingers across her features, giving a low call to the night air, the sort that makes pulses race and blood sing in refrain. Her body arches with a shriek before she falls limp again, and once more the Lord of the Hunt rises. Amidst the ravaging of the pack, the death and madness, he moves as the focal point, all of it an outpouring of his being and power. From his nostrils, a snort is a cloud on air that is abruptly too cold.

And in the distance, toward the west, a hound bays a high, shrill cry of excitement. The Huntmaster lifts the horn to his lips and calls a tattoo to the pack, continuing through the plaza.

...and the hound leaps. As it goes for Iain, as he defends against it, Leon reaches his spare hand to grab at Cynara's arm and draw her away from it. "Back," he says shortly, eyes on the beast--

--though he glances over his shoulder as the horn cries again, and he winces sharply as he does it, releasing whatever hold he may have had on Cynara to rub his eyes. "Thrice abyssally damned..." he curses in a fashion entirely unbecoming of a Purist.

Providence or luck? One of the two is with Iain tonight as he does damage the dog enough in his defenses to deter the attack. A loud yelp echoes off of the close wall as the hound thuds to the ground, in obvious pain as the wound bleeds onto the planked ground below.

A new, different kind of baying echoes from the west, and the sound is chased by the Horn's call. Heartbeats gallop swiftly with the untamed magic that sweeps the city, fantastical and foreboding. Many of the hounds begin to move that direction from wherever they have wandered, converging upon the cry that signals the prey is sighted.

Racing down the street, a lone hound joins its master. Although there is a bolt in its side, it is eager to join in the promise of slaughter. Tongue lolling from its mouth, it lifts its muzzle to join its voice with the horn. Howl! Run! It passes the Lady of the Fang and her guard, the other humans that are here engaged in struggles of life and death or merely watching. Belly filled with hot flesh, the hunt is renewed.

Gwyndolen is headed for Iain and Cynara and Leon, but is not so single-minded as to not notice a giant silver hound baying and running towards her. She and the guard turn, he drawing a knife from his belt to launch at the beast, she raising her sword to attack should the thing make it near enough.

Hot on the heels of the racing Mezelien cavalry, so to speak, is the sight of three guards dressed in the colors of Ethos, and a single more distinctive figure a few steps behind them, a sword held and readied in a sure grip. Athar takes a quick stock of the situation unfolding before them all... and for a moment cannot help but take in the sight of the Huntmaster.

That hound heading toward Gwyndolen does get close enough, for as the woman stops and turns, the beast jumps in a high arc, looking to take the woman down, regardless of the dagger that is wielded against it.

The shove is rough, but efficient. Cynara stumbles backwards away from the lunging creature as Iain moves to dispatch it, her back rebounding off the brick surface and air rushing out of her lungs. It's only foresight that saves her from falling, a hand reaching out to grab an outcropping of brick and one foot sliding out to keep her upright. Her mouth opens, for a warning that comes too late, only for it to be choked back when Leon grabs her arm and drags her away from the site. She takes this opportunity to look around when the horn sounds again. "Iain! You intact?" she calls out regardless.

Leon, now that he's close by, gets a fussy once over. He doesn't look bitten, and the junior advocate couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief.

The hound does manage to take Gwyndolen to the ground, landing full on top of the Ambassador with just a scratched caused by the woman's dagger. Luckily for her, there is a loyal soldier nearby that makes to distract the dog, and it works. With a stab at the dog's side, it lunges off of Gwyndolen and onto the other Tyrean nearby, getting a hold of the man's neck in the proves.

Blood looks black in the dark, running in rills down bared steel. Iain slumps back against the wall and spends a moment relishing the fact that he's still breathing, ignoring the phantasmal sensation of hot, wet jaws at his throat that never had the chance to land and watching the wounded animal on the ground. Torn. Torn. Does he dispatch it? End its suffering the way he might with any other animal, knowing what he knows it contains? Can he spare it?

The sucking sound when it breathes tells him that he cannot, and its with grim resignation that he does what he needs to do, getting close with the intent to end the suffering remainder of its life. "Ay," he says as he hefts the short sword. "Alive." And he swings.

"Mistress Dhaval. Baron Consort." Spoken as he reaches the trio of Leon, Cynara and Iain, it's the former two that he will likely meet up with as he looks towards Iain before the Master of the Hunt catches his attention. For a moment before the sound of another scuffle causes the man to look over his shoulder at the guardsman who has had not the best of luck.

One last pained sound comes from the dog Iain swings at before it grows as still as the grave, dead from the wounds inflicted.

"Well done," Leon begins as the dog thumps to the boardwalk, and he says it with clear satisfaction. He's not bitten -- not injured, not dead, despite anyone's concern to the contrary. His own eyes rake Cynara to assure himself that she, too, isn't hurt; Iain receives a cursory glance. And then? Another look 'round the plaza, eyes shutting and skipping past the Huntsman to land on the approaching Matthew. "You well?" he asks shortly of the baron, before: "We should -- we need to get rid of the rest of these. Before they do more. Cynara -- stay back."

With a gesture from Athar, the three Ethos guards race into the chaos of the plaza, all of them with weapons drawn. Two of them try to make their way towards Leon, Cynara and Iain, and lend what support they can in fending off the hounds, or at least take some measure to support whatever the group is doing. The third crashes through towards Gwyndolen, looming over the fallen ambassador, he thrusts a hand down in her direction. "Come with me if you want to live."

Athar glances over towards Kyrie, and mutters, "Whatever you're going to do, Kyrie... make it good." And with his sword before him, he takes up a defensive position with Briana, awaiting anything that might try to get past them and to the weather witch at his back.

The Huntmaster's paces grow swifter after the horn gives its cry, its ancient magic that defies boundaries reminding people of their most primal moments and urges. Even with the odd pairing of legs, his pace is swift, marking oddly off-beat sound on the cobblestones while he races toward the triumphant baying that grows louder and more prolific in his speed.

Kyler emerges from the rest of the plaza, with a blood spattered mace, and tabard, his chainmail jangling quietly, looking around to see if he's needed.

Revenge is a dish best served with glittering butterflies, of which there may be a few bright-winged specimens still playfully winging about. Kyrie need only follow the baying and yipping to find her way towards the epicenter of the Hunt. She looks out across what amounts to carnage, her fingertips already stealing into the pouch at her belt and snaring some small bauble. "Briana," she whispers, but it shouldn't be necessary to guess her intention even as she nods to the woman's blade.

When Matthew approaches them, Cynara doesn't answer first, still staring as Iain finishes off the dog completely. She turns around then, her jaw setting and the slight tick on the edge where it meets her neck, reaching out to grasp Baron Forester's forearm once he's close enough. She turns her head away from him, but her whisper is urgent, her fingers tightening a little bit. But after her whisper, she looks up to meet his eyes.

Bounding at the heels of the Master, the hound with the bolt in its side races forwards. As it flees, it nips and bites at those who may be in its path, teeth catching the soft flesh of thigh and hand.

The Huntmaster's horn sounds, drawing Gwyndolen's eye and the marine's as well just as the dog leaps, neither of them seeming quite capable of ignoring the ill-timed distraction. It takes the ambassador down and her sword slides near-harmlessly across its shoulder before the guard gets it in the ribs enough to draw it off. She's slow to rise, but she does, one arm hanging at an odd angle. It is almost certainly too late for the marine with the hound at his throat, though he makes a valiant effort. The Ethosian guard gets a glance, and a jerk of her head towards the dog as Gwyndolen lifts her sword with her unbroken arm and swings for the hound's neck.

Stepping back to Kyrie's side, Briana removes her left glove letting it fall on the floor. She slices her left palm and moves her hand toward Kyrie. She keeps her blade held in her right hand, the hilt fashioned for such utility. Her regard goes over the scene, as her life's blood is given up to the efforts of the weather mage. She looks to Kyrie with a calm and composed gaze. "By my oath," she tells her in a quiet tone, "and my blood, I shall defend thee." She turns her regard away from her bleeding hand, looking now to assure herself that the hounds are not coming at her given the smell of blood.

It takes Iain a moment to take stock of the situation now that the dog has passed on, but as he rises the continuing noise near Gwyndolen inevitably draws his attention, the rest of the area caught up in the veils of hush that follow any storm. He reaches for the arrow at his belt, slides it free, unslings his bow, nocks the missile and lifts, sighting: should she and the guard not be enough to down the best between them, he is reserving the right to attempt to be their deus ex from afar.

Another graze from the Ambassador for the hound that pretty much killed her soldier. But the blood being sated for the moment, the hound bays loudly, then takes off at a run to follow its master, leaving the carnage behind.

The Ethos guards appear and Leon traces their origin to his cousin, a flicker of concern flickering over still-pained feature as his fingers rub at his temples. "Keep Cynara," he tells the guards with a tilt of his head to that cousin's cousin of his as he trots past the commotion with the last hound to trail the Huntmaster some distance back, and with eyes more on the cobbles than the man himself.

The guard with Gwyndolen does not sit idle, though when the hound retreats rather than presses the issue, he keeps himself near the Tyrean Ambassador. "We should retreat to somewhere a bit less open, yes?" he asks of Gwyn, sword kept in the space between them and hopefully disinterested hounds.

"Wha-" Partially spoken as Cynara reaches for his arm, the reply that Matthew makes is short, terse and partially distracted by whatever Kyrie and Briana are doing. Or will do. There is no doubt of a frown crossing his features though. Not as the hounds begin to make their way anywhere but in the plaza for any lingering amount of time. Intent to finish the remainder his his thoughts, the first thought as hound runs past is to quickly push Nara out of the way with the not so gentlest of shoves. "Careful!"

Whatever intent may be toward the Huntmaster or his pack, they are trickling away. The Master himself is unshouldering his bow, and from the quiver at his back is drawn out an arrow as long as a human leg while he races toward the hounds that call the prey's sighting. He departs, leaving the tatters of chaos and the lingering hounds in his wake.

Gwyndolen curses beneath her breath before raising her voice to shout to the pair of marines standing guard at the door of the B&B. They are eager enough to leave their post, sprinting over. One lifts the body of his dead comrade and takes him away, the other takes up his post at the ambassador's shoulder as she nods at the Ethosian. "Yes."

And then...the dog leaves.

Iain hunts. Iain knows hunting dogs...and he knows that excited tenor, the sound of animals who've spotted their quarry. When the Ambassador is no longer in any immediate danger, Iain should retire. He should find out if Cynara is hurt from having been pushed out of the way. He should be finding out if Gwyndolen's arm is all right. He should be doing anything but what he does next, which is watch the back of a dangerous mystery as it swiftly flies to the west with insane indecision in his expression...and then, reshouldering his bow and stropping the blood on his blade off on a piece of nearby sacking, pursuing it.

Something he has never seen before. Something he will never see again -- and he's all right with that...but follow he does, with only a brief glance toward the others. Oh no. She's been dragged and pushed so much today that she's -ready- for it this time. At the careful and the shove, Cynara moves with it, shoved back from the guards and Leon and away from Matthew as she's maneuvered further back. Reaching a hand to rest on the wall to stop, her eyes wander over to the Huntmaster, and turns her head to look across the way towards someone else. With that, she turns around, and hurries away from them. She'll take a more circuitous route.

The dogs all run in the direction of the Huntmaster, the hunt renewed with rising excitement.

Blood probably isn't the best sight to behold unless one happens to be on the receiving end and a Mistian to boot. Kyrie flicks her fingers across a twist of metal that gleams bright white, nearly, phosphoresced against the pallor of the moon. She gently reaches to clasp Briana's injured side gently, and calls out, "Master Wyndham, if you have any means to stabilize this--?" No more is said even as something happens behind the sighing murmur that focuses and gathers what power she can obtain, pulled from various points in the atmosphere.

As the chaos seems to abate, somewhat, Athar sends a glance over his shoulder. "Keep up," he tells the Mezelien and her guardian, before he squares himself and heads off towards Leon, calling after his cousin. "Maritus!" he shouts over the din of noise, blade still in hand.

Moving more slowly because of its wound, the hound with the bolt in it, lowers its head to nip at Matthew's calf as it passes. Teeth that would tear at fabric are repelled as a flash of emerald fire flares around the Mistian. The hound yelps but is caught in the tide, running forward, ever forward, to join the others. <goes before all of those hounds leave>

Circuitous route or no, the stubborn redhead is neatly intercepted by a pair of Ethosian guards....and one for EACH arm. Whoever instructed both of them seems to know the junior advocate rather well. And the way they do it is almost comical. Given Cynara's so light, they almost lift her off her feet dragging her away from the route she's decided to take, amidst a surprised cry and protest. Matthew will probably give the tandem move two thumbs up.

Leon's steps pause, hesitate, just before the end of the plaza at the sound of his name in that familiar voice. He hesitates just long enough for good sense to intervene: he stops, eyes lingering in the direction the Huntmaster disappeared, before he draws them back and over his shoulder. "What?" comes his called answer.

Athar's words, whatever they are, are quietly spoken to his cousin as he catches up with him, but seems intent on moving on, towards whatever the hell is before them all. Like the Keeper's Currents, the hounds dictate the flow tonight.

Carnage is left in the Hunt's wake, the dead laying lifeless upon the bloodstained planks of Keeper North. The scent of the newly dead heavy upon the summer night's air.

Continued

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