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Thread: [M/IC] The Song of Excalibur

  1. #31
    Member Q's Avatar
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    East of the Red Fields, somewhere in central Grecca...


    It was Hester's hoarse voice, weary of the long ride from their sanctuarium in the north to the plains east of the Red Fields and west of the statue of the Son. This was far from no-man's-land, but the wide plains and low hills proved cumbersome to traverse in the snowstorm. Finding a suitable place to sleep would be difficult.

    It was solace that most of the Argentinians had broken from Quintilius' command. However heartbreaking it was, the smaller silver-plumed warband would ride far quicker than the full force of the Argent, who were now riding for the Red Fields under the command of Milos of Argentos and Sifra of Essarch.

    Hester the Horsemistress continued her report. "The peasantry was frightened. It seems our esteemed king," the sarcasm was apparent, "marches on Latia's camelons somewhere near here." "Godfrey's scattered forces have retreated east, and I've heard whispers of another siege upon Skalagos from a traveler at the longhouse." Vitos, paired off with Hester for his keen pathfindingskills, raised an eyebrow at the mention of the traveler - Hester had bedded him for his information, even though the man was obviously of Camelotian descent. Regardless, he was not to judge. The women, Hester in particular, were aware that their adventurous life could be cut short any second and thus tried living it to the fullest, much like their wild-mannered captain.

    Quintilius was smoking his pipe, absent of opium, with one foot on a rock and overlooking the steppes-transformed-to-tundra. "Mh." he turned his head. "I fear for Dame Godfrey. She might yet prove vital to the-" Hester rudely interrupted him; "Think not with your cock, Quintilius! Pff. She is some noble knight with no regard for anything beyond the seas." Quintilius sulked in acceptance. She was both right and still wearing the purple plumed helmet.

    The Argent's captain continued. "We should find a place to rest. The eastern ridge should cover us from the blizzard." He padded Vitos on the shoulder, knowing his mind before he spoke. "Skalagos can wait. Before a Ghath fortress falls, it will be another week to the least." Quintilius turned to his Argentinians, a band of seven strong.

    "Riders!" "We canter to the east, to cower from Axinius' wrath!"

    The Argentinians crossed the river and rode for the first rocks east. The harsh weather made it difficult to navigate, but this was not the first time Quintilius, Brynn and Vitos traveled through the Greccan heartlands. With Ęsa and Ętta's lances at the rear, the warband disappeared into the white winds.

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    The Argentinian's encampment at the Red Fields


    Milos dismounted his horse and hugged his elder brother. It had been almost a month since he rode out of the silver gates of Argentos. Whereas Milos was clothed in a practical attire, his brother, Ghalimas, only accepted the finest of silk. Ghalimas was a large man - both in length and width. Like the typical Argentinian he was spoiled by the riches from the mountains and a pompous fool at heart. His three-hundred men were from the periphery of Argentos, most of them peasant skirmishers, with only sixty-or-so men worthy of the Argentinian shield.

    "Bring out the wine!" Ghalimas ordered one of his peasant warriors. The rest of Milos' argentinians arrived soon after, some fifty riders still recovering from the battle at Latia. Most of them knew eachother well. After all, Argentos was a small city. "Has the fool fallen in battle?" Ghalimas noted the absence of Quintilius and the Fraulanx, save for Sifra and her sworn sisters.

    "Nay." Milos replied with a determined frown on his face. "Our lokhagos spits words of apocalypse. I fear the man has finally lost his mind. He rode for Aratos with his entourage, two nights past." "Preposterous!" Ghalimas decreed. He would press further, were it not for Milos' conflicted look. "Find rest, little brother. Meet us in our command tent for strategics before dawn."

    At the same time, Sifra peered over the greccan army. Warriors from all regions, bearing flags she did not know. True loyalty to King Gaiseric was frowned upon in the foreign circles of Argentos, but it was inspiring to see so many men dedicated to preventing Camelot's destructive force. And unlike most of her sisters-in-arms, she knew how to traverse the political ladder. Perhaps it was wise to find the field marshal Rha'az the Whoreslayer, as her late lokhagos frequently called him, before the battle begun.

    The Red Fields, Rha'az' command tent

    Sifra's braided blonde hair shone in the fading sun as she approached the command tent. While Quintilius was fairly known throughout Grecca for his exploits on the coast of Essarch, Greccan nobility might look down on a foreign maiden representing a declining city-state that only offered three-hundred men for the battle to come. But she gave her word to her lokhagos to find Rha'az and tell discuss the prophecy, despite not believing in visions from the Pantheon herself.

    Two guards crossed their spears to block her path. Rha'az elites, she deducted from their shields bearing the silver dragon on a green field. In near-perfect anglo-greccan, she courteously spoke; "I, Sifra of Essarch, plead for an audience with Rha'az the Dragonspear on behest of Quintilius of Argentos." Her longsword dangled from her hip while she patiently awaited response, her hands behind her back.


    Back at Quintilius' warband, somewhere in central Grecca...

    Under the rock they had found, Quintilius and his warriors slept in the midst of the blizzard. It must have been the only piece of cover for another mile, for the rest of their surroundings were but flat hills.

    Quintilius dreamed of another time, at another place. His dreams started off like any man's dreams; about women and glory. After a while however, his mind drifted to the past...

    Spoiler: Quintilius' seafaring memories 
    Last edited by Q; 01-24-2019 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Added segment at the Red Fields, where two separate Argentinian armies meet before the upcoming battle

  2. #32
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    He scoffed at her remark, merely scoffed. This lady inquisitor fancied herself a sassy one apparently. Well, good for her then. She had the stature and lineage to be sassy and smart-mouthed. No punishment would dare befall her for a foul tongue, so why should he dare to bark back at her. So he just scoffed and continued his work. Her gaze was unrelenting. Presumably it was intended to be a asserting gesture, however The Black Sage regarded to gaze differently. For a Deer will watch a hunter with such intensity if it is fearful of him.

    The promise of gold perked him up somewhat. Coin was never a saddening prospect, he could not deny that. However he did wish she would desist with all this jollification, and just tell him who needed murdering already. He rose to his feet slowly, an impatient sigh falling from his lips. The man stretched and yawned, trying to rouse his body in readiness for the commission. However he was rather quickly brought to attention by the sound of horses approaching from over yonder.

    Brows furrowed in annoyance, and a hand wavered automatically over the hilt of a blade. He had been told of nobody else specifically, over than the lady inquisitor. So who the hell was this. A variety of possibilities made themselves known within his mind, mentally preparing him for any likelihood or solution he may have to come up with. But whatever Sage had been imagining in his head, he'd never really prepared himself for what came into view.

    By the gods.

    What were they.

    Not in fear, but in sheer disbelief. Sage stood back, mouth agape in wondrous suspicion.

    If these, things, fought as gruesomely as they appeared, then Sage better watch what he said and how he acted around these beings.

    It was upon their arrival that they registered both the Lady Inquisitors presence as well as his own.

    "The Shadow Walker may accompany us,"

    Oh he may accompany them, how nice of them to allow such a thing. But this was a thought Sage concocted, not a audible statement. He daren't misbehave in front of these monsters, heavens no. He'd quite like to keep his life for the foreseeable future thank you. The Lady Inquisitor almost looked annoyed by the task, as if she had far better things to be doing. And she probably did honestly, but Sage was rather privately astonished at her casual nature towards the others. She even dared to question their motives.

    They continued to talk about matters and affairs he was too unbothered by to care about for a time, nearly forgetting that he was in fact still there. However he had a feeling they would be off soon. To where exactly, or to do what he did not quite know. But Sage was aware of one thing. A chore he must undertake before he was on the move again, and he figured while they were still bickering that now was the best time to do it.

    Kneeling, he emitted a toothy whistle. A bird, only a little larger than a dove but completely black in colour fluttered its was down from the tree tops. It hovered around him in the air for a time, before landing by his feet and pecking at the ground absent-mindedly. From a small pocket on his belt, The old Sage unveiled a pre-written letter. Already sealed and neatly rolled into a small bundle, tied with string in a neat little knot.

    The bird was indifferent as he tied the parchment to its leg, clearly used to the routine. Sage didn't speak in a particularly over the top manner as he instructed the bird, however he spoke clearly and loudly enough to alert his soon-to-be employers that he wasn't doing anything devious or disloyal.

    "To Janus now Rook, just to let her know I am safe and well."

    And with that said he patted the bird on the head and off it flew. The old Sage watched it until it disappeared into the horizon. He prayed it did not have too far to fly.

    The fighting was everywhere now. But then, that had been the aim of things she supposed.

    Things were moving quickly though, possibly more quickly than she had initially expected. While all of her little sub-factions were doing relatively well, their motives and goals to achieve from this little riot they had going on were becoming increasingly distant from one another. For example, her Sneaks while managing to fend for themselves easily enough, were now rather intent on escaping and getting rid of this blasting prison than say, the Brutes now apparent desired goal of killing as many prison guards as they possibly could.

    She had last seen Adoni back down in the ratway, where she and a dozen or so other sneaks were attempting to find a exit through there. Janus could not deny them the ambition for their freedom, yet to lose them so still relatively early on in the fight would be a setback. Therefore she told a slight fib in an attempt to shift things into her favour.

    "The Courtyard. The North-Western tunnel has a vent up into it. There should be little resistance in that part of the prison by now. I suggest you go there and scale the wall while you can, the climb isn't that tricky as long as you're not being shot at."

    He gaze was unfaltering, as was Adoni's. But she saw it, that slight flicker of apprehension that glimmered in her friends eyes. Adoni wasn't fully sure of her words, yet despite that, she chose to trust her. For the girl nodded and followed Janus,

    "We are with you Fķlos,"

    Janny blinked, but nodded too, and led the way.

    Through the relentless noise, it was somewhat difficult to decipher what was going on specifically where within the immensity of the prison. A endless roar of conflict and turmoil resounded and echoed off of every stone inch of the place. So perhaps that was why none of the Sneaks particularly picked up on the dramatic unfolding events that were taking place just a few feet above them. Perhaps foolishly, Janny had taken up the rear this time, not expecting that much of a resistance upon the surface.

    She was severely mistaken.

    About a dozen tired, desperate and unprepared sneak thieves emerged onto a scene of total necromantic horror. None of them gathered had ever witnessed anything of this like in their entire lives. And the sight terrified them. The group naturally huddled against the wall, clinging to the frosted stones of the prison. Her eyes widened in a instinctual childish fear her Father thought he had successfully coaxed out of her.

    Gods. This was hell.

    Adoni grabbed her hand, and the motion surprised her.

    She had never seen her friend so afraid before.
    And Janus had been the very one to lead them to such a fear.

    She looked again upon the reanimated corpses of the twenty four guards.

    Could you even kill someone that was already dead.

    Well, there was only one way to find out.

    Janus looked at Adoni.

    "Start climbing."

    She hesitated, looked at her. But after a moment, she nodded, and hurried the others along in their escape.

    Janus. very slowly began to walk towards the undead soldiers.

    She steadied her breathing.
    Calmed her heart.
    Cleared her thoughts.
    Thought rationally.

    There were only twenty four of them, she had killed more before now. But they were tough, that much was obvious. She would need to have far more than just strength to down these men, although that would be handy here too in all honestly. Just...

    One at a time Janny.

    Only use weapons when you absolutely have to. For weapons are as valuable, and as useful as your own life. You want to waste none if them. Why dull a blade when a blunt blow to the head will finish the job just as easily.

    The Warden in the middle was able to raise them. But he was concealed from her for now. Tucked up far away and right in the middle of his little brood of dummies. Therefore she'd have to go through them first to get to him. No small feet, but do-able all the same. As long as she was precise, and downed them as quickly as she could, then she had a chance.

    Janus stood before them now, alone and clear. She had their full attention. Slowly, she raised a hand and unfastened her cloak, and let it fall to the ground. For it would only get in the way. Another deep breath. Her eyes closed, and her body stilled.

    An arrow whistled past her ear, missing it's intended target of her neck as she dodged to the right before swooping forwards. She suddenly burst into a sprint, running quickly towards the similarly approaching mass of guards. Her steps were quick, but calculated. A small rocky mound in the earth served as her launchpad. She propelled herself forwards off of it. Her foot collided with the head of a guard in her upwards ascension. The gesture precise and forceful.
    One down.

    She used that same guard to soften her landing. Not wasting a second or wanting to lose gathered momentum, she rolled forwards and again up onto her feet. Another dodge, this time avoiding a spear. She lunged down and to the right as the guard jabbed the spear in the direction he had hoped her spleen to be. Janus spun to the back of the guard, a simple knife plunged into his back through the movement. Don't hold back Janus, that wound must, stop him. And it did.

    As the guard crumpled to the floor, she wrenched the knife free from his decaying flesh. Using the momentum of the gesture, the girl turned and transformed the movement into a high kick-spin. Her foot once again collided with another guards face, and through his stumble and blade was pushed into his throat. Janus took the speak he held within his hand as he fell backwards to the floor. The loud metallic clang of armour rattling through her skull as he collided with the ground.

    Another dodge, she blocked an attack with the staff of the spear, then whack. The spear sunk into his back like hot butter. Another lunged at her from behind, she swooped under his attempted sword swing grabbing his arm as she went and raising it up to break the attack of another. The impact made an audible crack, and she felt the guards bone splinter beneath her grip. She dropped his arm and kicked back another potential attacker, grabbing his arm again and using his blade to stab his forerunner. Blood spurted from his chest, and she could taste iron upon her lips.

    Another sidestep, again under a spear. The head of the weapon lunged itself onwards thought, locking it's wielder in the current of momentum. Janus swiftly rose up and with a firm hold, broke his neck with assistance from the opposite force and sway of movement.
    Not many left now.

    The steady burst of snow burned her hands. Suddenly, hands from behind, twisting around her waist, trying to trap her. She thrust her head back and heard him grunt in pain. An additional harsh kick to the groin freed her from his grasp. Another attempted to stab her while thinking she was captured. She swerved away from the lunge and instead allowed the guard to kill her would-be capturer. He pulled himself to a hurried shocked stop, and in the process of doing so failed to notice her push a knife into the back of his neck.

    Janus pushed him away, the body falling to the ground with a audible clang.

    The Warden stood before her.

    The last mosquito that bit me had to check into the Betty Ford clinic

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