Back Alley Break

Nightshade Eld please

Rising from the stony plateau overlooking the rivers and plains of the western continent, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from this same rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence, eagerly spreading its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the different factions set aside their agendas long enough to see this through?

Back Alley Break

Postby Ivanthe » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:34 pm

ImageBack Alley Break
26th of Cylus 718


Ivanthe wasn’t even sure he was breathing, he was running so fast. The cylus wind cut daggers into his skin, slipping right through his clothes as if they were nothing. His cloak streamed behind him, catching the wind and slowing him down, but his fingers were too frozen to even hope for undoing it.

Behind him were two sets of heavy footsteps, and they were gaining.

He’d been warned before about not following strangers, and he’d been warned about going anywhere on his own. The woman had seemed so friendly, and the nels she had flashed at him were enough to turn his eye; just help me get this barrel to my house, she’d said, I’ve seen you around the Chopped Block, such a strong boy, just a bit of time out of your day and I’ll make it worth the trouble.

Her husband might have been one of the two men following him, but as soon as he’d seen them outside her door he knew something was wrong. He barely needed to glance at their Tangles for alarms to go off in his head, and the second he’d turned to run they were both on on his heels.

He couldn’t outrun them, he knew, not in a flat sprint; he had gone to the streets, where he could duck and weave around passerby in a desperate attempt to throw them, but that had only slowed them down.

And then one of them began shouting “Thief! Little bastard took my coin!”

Those that did not turn to stare instead moved to stop Ivanthe in his tracks, shoving him and trying to grab his clothes as he passed. He only just managed to thread his way to the edge of the street, where he took the last resort: the alleys and passages between houses, where there were no people to stop him––or to help him.

Ivanthe knew absolutely nothing about the alleys, but he couldn’t afford to care; by the faintest starlight he streaked from one passage to another, hands scraping against the walls so he just barely avoided crashing into the stone. Every passing moment was a lost moment of freedom, because his pursuers were catching up. They were Etzori, and he wasn’t the first child they’d chased down.

A heavy yank on his cloak swung him off his feet, nearly choking him as he fell sideways. Another body slammed him into the wall, where his skull hit brick and his eyes burst with light. He wasn’t unconscious for more than a few seconds, but that was enough for him to wake up to hands on his arms and the sound of a rope slapping against the stone.

“Lissara’s tits, the bugger’s slippery,” one panted.

“Then shut up and tie him, fool,” the other barked. “The Guard will be here soon, with you pulling that idiot stunt calling him a thief. I’ve half a mind to cut this off just for that.”

“No! You swore––my daughter for another kid, here’s a kid.”

“It only holds if I get him to the caravan,” the first snarled. “And if the Black Guard gets their hands on him, you bet your ass we’re keeping your daughter. So shut up. And. Tie. The. Fucking. Rope.”

Ivanthe was thrown to the ground, and in a heartbeat there was a knee pressed into his back. He yelped as his arms were pulled back so far they nearly dislocated, but then a fist struck the back of his head.

“Shut up,” growled one of the two.

As soon as the weight was off his back, Ivanthe tried to run. He was grabbed and slammed against the wall again, then took two extra punches to the ribs.

“Don’t you dare!” hissed the first, wrapping his fingers around Ivanthe’s throat and leaning close. “You try to run again, I swear I will break your legs and drag you to the caravan by your neck.”
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Back Alley Break

Postby Nightshade Eld » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:33 pm

Image
The dark green leather of the cloak hung close to her form, an odd and almost nostalgic adornment in laughable honesty. There wasn't much else warm she had to wear, so she'd ended up wearing the cloak. She still remembered times ago when she would hide behind cloth and leather dyed in gloomy colors, back when she tried to fade into the background in order to shield herself from the scathing glares that went along with being a half-avriel. The thought actually managed to coax a bitter laugh from her throat. Those were the days. She wondered why she put so much time into trying to walk on eggshells. She put so much effort into putting a positive spin on her reputation. Of course, there was a valuable reward that came with her efforts. Winning that favor led to opportunity.

Nightshade was a different creature now, and her life had changed dramatically. More often than not she was barely spared a glance by ordinary people, unless she'd actually gone out of her way to offer them aid. Those who she had helped offered her smiles, and it was rare that guards didn't at least give a respectful nod when she passed. It was funny how easy it was to tell someone wasn't local to Etzos by the way the hatred and confusion played on their face when she walked past. Hatred for her race, confusion for a certain lack of arrogance and pride that could be seen at first glance. She didn't parade around and fluff up her feathers, she almost acted like she was an unofficial guard. To some, it might even seem as though she was. Her gait relaxed, her gaze focused, and stance almost friendly with how she almost seemed to give everyone she passed by at the very least a hint of a smile depending on her familiarity with the person in question. Every trial she wandered the streets in what was almost a patrol unless she actually had a specific job in mind. Every trial just about she found someone new to help.

Just as those thoughts entered her mind a commotion entered her ears. By the sounds of it two men and a child just judging from voice alone. A little ways away, down one of the extra dark passages that zigged and zagged behind buildings. Guards more often than not avoided the backs of buildings. It was a good place for crime, dark and intimidating, especially during Cylus when the entire city was drowned in a lack of light. The absence of the sun often led most to be especially wary, and guards typically wanted to avoid it unless they had direct reason to check it out. There were very few guards that were guards for the purpose of protecting others even at the risk of their lives. That wasn't to say that most guards were bad people, but it wasn't saying that most were good people either. They were just people, living their daily lives and trying to get back to their families in one piece. That left people with no sense of fear, a semi-suicidal nature, and extensive arcs of combat experience to pick up the slack. That was to say, Nightshade's nature it made her the perfect person to act as a back alley queen.

She moved quickly and tried to move quietly, coming into a good range of hearing at just the right moment to pick up part of the exchange. Man one getting blackmailed with daughter's safety, man two offering an exchange, both men trying to kidnap an innocent child who would likely be sold as a slave and sent to either Nashaki or Athart, neither one necessarily a good place for a ten or something similar arc old child to be.

"It's a shame," she mused allowed, announcing her presence. If she tried to take the element of surprise here the kid could get hurt even worse. If one of them was local to town, they would recognize her, and that would give her the chance to talk at least one of them out of this. "A shame that I caught you and guard didn't, that is. Given the situation I can be a little meaner," she said as she tried to gauge reactions. At this point, they would have been lucky to get cornered by the guard. Night, though more merciful, was at a higher level of combative training than the average guard, and that definitely meant if they picked a fight it was going to hurt more.

Her heart rate was starting to spike exponentially as she surveyed the situation. It was horrifying and her main priority was the kid. Though she also wanted to try and pull information from the one man whose daughter was apparently taken by someone. If at all possible, she'd get in touch with Alexander and maybe see if he could convince Sergille to loan her a smallish group of guards who'd be willing to go on a quick patrol with her. Her own childhood made the exploitation of children especially gutwrenchingly disgusting to her, so they'd already managed to trip one of her triggers. Depending on their actions there were two ways this was going to go, bruised or bloody. Their pick.

Was she becoming a bad person? She wasn't lawful good, that's for sure. But she'd known for a long time that she never was and never would be lawful good, blind acceptance of law and ruthlessly upholding it was nearly as bad as what Noth was doing. But she'd noticed that her actions were becoming a bit more violent and her sword hand a little quicker in recent seasons. And that worried her, it worried her beyond what words could start to describe. She pushed that worry away and focused on the issue at hand, protecting a child. She'd protect the child and then she would think about the actions it took to achieve that goal. Maybe she'd take a couple days to evaluate what she was doing and where she was going, it had been a while since she'd taken time to reflect.

"Let the kid go, put your hands behind your heads, and don't move," she ordered in a relaxed tone even though her stance had become tense. In a matter of trills, her entire posture had shifted to the practiced form of her typical combat style. "Or you could fight me as most idiots do. I wouldn't recommend running through," she paused to spread her wings slightly, allowing the green cloak to flap as plumes of midnight feathers danced together under it, flowing into view and then disappearing under the cloak once again as her wings resettled. "I am much faster."
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien


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Back Alley Break

Postby Ivanthe » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:49 pm

ImageOne wrist was scraped raw by rope burn, then the other. He didn’t have the breath in his lungs to struggle again, but his mind was whirling with information––one bigger, one frightened, in a hurry, hadn’t noticed the knife in his belt yet––and every passing second he formed a plan, then reformed it, recalculated a hundred hopes that the rope would be too loose, that the Guard would come, that he could get his feet back under him, that he could lame one of them to escape.

And just before they could tie the knot, the nervous one jumped and hissed “Shit!”

There was someone else in the alley.

Ivanthe’s breath was returning, and his hands weren’t quite tied. He lay perfectly still, freezing pebbles stabbing his face as he prayed they wouldn’t notice they hadn’t made the knot.

“What the––”

“Shit shit shit shit,” the smaller, more nervous one chanted, on the verge of tears. “Shit, not you.

“Who––” the other asked, then, “––oh.”

A feminine voice, low and confident reached Ivanthe’s ears. The specifics, he couldn’t quite make out through the heavy breathing and terrified muttering.

“Draw your knife, you fool!” demanded the larger.

“I’m sorry!” the frightened captor sobbed––but to the strange woman, not to his companion.

Ivanthe had his breath back. When the positions changed, he would be ready.

“You shut up!” said the larger. “You draw your knife on her or I’ll kill you myself!”

In rage, the larger man stood up and drew a long, wickedly curved scimitar from his hip. The darkness covered Ivanthe’s hands as he struggled free of the rope and reached for the skinning knife on his belt.

they’re faster than me stronger than me they have friends somewhere

“Don’t know you,” said the larger kidnapper, “but you sure as shit gonna know me when I stick my big hot––”

Ivanthe surged from the ground, pouring every last ounce of strength into a single, desperate, calculated strike. The man had taken it for granted that Ivanthe was down for good, and it cost him one of his legs.

A pained scream rattled the alley as the skinning knife bit into the man’s thigh. Ivanthe had been aiming for the knee, and in the next heartbeat the boy yanked down, twisted the blade and opened the man’s flesh right down to the calf.

His opponent whirled in what might have been a strike attempt, but pain, surprise and the sudden loss of support sent him crashing to the ground. Ivanthe leapt out of his reach, gasping quietly when his chest clenched so tight that he couldn’t breathe again. Spots swam in his eyes and he was forced onto all fours, but he refused to let that end him––the young hunter clawed at the ground, dragging himself to the other side of the alley inch by painful inch.

The nervous man had begun weeping openly, sputtering apologies at the strange woman and waving empty hands above his head. The larger man was yelling obscenities and trying to salvage his guard. Ivanthe had only one goal: escape. The woman had made no move against him, but he was incapable of seeing her as a savior or helper; in the heat of the moment, she was simply another body with a blade out, her motives unknown, and another person to get away from.

Or at least, to get away from as quickly as a child crawling on hands and knees could reasonably hope for––which was to say, about the speed of a very hurried tortoise.
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Back Alley Break

Postby Nightshade Eld » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:02 pm

Image


The smaller one instantly panicked as she revealed her existence. Good. Beg. It made her job easier. The commotion caused by the kid earlier had attracted the attention of the Black Guard for certain. She just had to keep their attention long enough to keep it off the boy and off running. She didn’t want to arrest the smaller of the two men, so she’d figure out what to do about that. She could always lie. That was a thing that she could do even if she was really, really bad at it. She smiled quietly at the man. “You be good and leave, okay?” She told the smaller of the two. “I want to have a little chat about this daughter afterward, so don’t go too far okay? Just enough that the guards won’t arrest you too.” Her smile was gentle though her voice was a little chiding.

She watched the larger of the two men pull out a blade. A scimitar. Oh, this poor feker. His threats were silenced quickly when a knife was pushed into his thigh. “That’s why you don’t gloat,” she drawled as she rolled her eyes. Whenever you gloat, something bad is bound to happen. Yes, she made sarcastic comments and jeers at her enemies. But she never underestimated one. She was mindful of her surroundings and tried to be as present as possible.

She moved towards the man as he fell to the ground, her eyes flicking up and down his being as she decided how best to deal with this. Her attention turned towards the boy for a split second. “I wouldn’t recommend trying to run away until you see a guard, after all, out buddy here said that he has friends. At least here I can guarantee my ability to keep you safe,” she said. It was his decision if he wanted to try running away or if he wanted to change his mind about the half-Avriel. Either way, her focus shifted to the man roughly trying to stand back up after getting, let’s say, knocked down a peg.

“So, you don’t know me huh? Well, I’m not shocked. My name is one more familiar to the citizens of Etzos then yours is, buddy. Since I have manners I’ll introduce myself. I am called Nightshade,” her voice turned into a low-pitched snarl as she glared at the man. “And in this city, men like you are called scum of the earth!” With the vicious screech, she darted forward, slashing at his shoulder with all her might. She did her best to make sure the damage wasn’t lethal, but it all depended on which direction he wanted to scramble. Her own scimitar dashing out to deliver the blow. Love Struck. She still needed to see about getting Red Brand sharpened and possibly reforged.

Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien


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Back Alley Break

Postby Ivanthe » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:08 pm

Imagethread title
date


For one sharp, singular moment, the woman turned her eyes onto Ivanthe, and Ivanthe bristled like a wounded wolf beneath them––knife still brandished, teeth bared and stained just a bit red, free arm raised defensively in front of his chest, there was nothing he offered her but raw fear.

And then her eyes moved away, and no one else was paying attention to him.

Ivanthe allowed himself three long moments to catch his breath, to think, to reach out. He’d had his bow and arrows with him, but he’d just been running and couldn’t even think of shooting. But naked blades were glittering around him, and his little skinning knife was nothing against a sword––he needed something.

His quiver was still on his back, but half the arrows were now strewn across the alley. His bow… it had to be nearby, it just had to be; as the larger, injured man faced up to the woman––to Nightshade––Ivanthe slid his hands frantically over the ground. His fingers ran across stone, arrows, dirt, more arrows––yes, wood! The smooth and familiar grain of his shortbow found his hand; he let out a soft wheeze that might have been a laugh under better circumstances. He scavenged three arrows from the dust and staggered back against the wall, fitting one of the arrows to his string.

“Oi! Skelter! That you? You manage to catch the little bugger?”

Someone else––no, two, three someone elses were echoing from somewhere deeper in the alleys, just in time to hear their friend scream in pain as a scimitar was lodged in his shoulder.

“Shit, knives out boys!” Three pairs of boots began to sprint.

There were two very distinct advantages Ivanthe possessed. One, his small body slouching against the wall was barely notable when compared to the great winged thing that was Nightshade.

Two, alley fights were not commonly fought with bows and arrows.

Ivanthe didn’t wait––he didn’t need to. He stood, drew and released in one motion, not even pausing for aim; he shot on instinct, letting habit and practice guide his arrow.

Luck might have had something to do with it, but most of it was the circumstance. There were three of them packed tightly together, offering one long massive target, and they were nearly at point blank range when the arrow took flight. One of them was falling over before he’d even realized he was shot, while the other two just kept moving under the assumption he had tripped. Ivanthe wasn’t sure where he’d placed the shot, and he didn’t much care––at the very least, it gave him an extra moment to find better ground before things got even more tangled.
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Back Alley Break

Postby Nightshade Eld » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:37 pm

Image
When she heard calls and three other sets of boots start to approach she felt a small bit of annoyance. The guard was taking longer than they should have given the situation and her mind was most focused at the moment on the kid. She wanted to make sure he was already, but she needed to deal with the problem at hand first. So, the woman did the only logical thing he mind could possibly come up with when she saw two people charging towards her. She spread her wings as far as she could and beat them with all the strength her body mortally possessed. All of it. She stirred up the powerful gust not long after Ivanthe's shot managed to hit, her goal simple. Either stagger them or make them stop because they managed to get dust in their eyes. Few people thought about the problems dust could cause in a fight, and being my Cylus meant that most people walked around with their eyes wide, not sun no squinting.

She actually managed to accomplish something, though she wasn't sure what they'd succumbed to. Either way, the pair stopped in their tracks and the half-breed rushed forward, lashing out with her sword for the first flesh she could dig the weapon into. The just so happened to be the stomach of one of the would-be child nappers, the one standing to the left in particular who had somehow managed to get a little closer to the feathery menace than his buddy. Maybe his friend had taken a trill to glance at the third guy as the groaned on the ground. Whatever Ivanthe managed to strike, it had done some good damage. The first guy that she'd come across was hugging his shoulder, seemingly weighing the opportunity before him and the risks that came with try to backstab the half-breed.

It wouldn't be that easy, oh no. He was groaning and whimpering as he stood up, sliding against the wall and making quite a huffy racket. The noising coming from the man who had been crying and begging for mercy got farther and farther away. He was running. Good. She'd memorized his face and she'd try and speak with him later. Maybe take the job and save it for Ashan when the sunlight returned and she could better plan. Or maybe she could pry information from the teeth of these men. If she couldn't extract information, well, she wasn't sure how many members of the guard were above extracting teeth. She prayed to every immortal she knew that it wouldn't come to that. It was likely at least one of them was going to bleed to death before the guard even came, judging by the large and deep gash now across his midsection.

Finally, the whimpering groans turned into a giant heaving noise as the man lunged at her. With one quick move, she slammed down on the air around her with her wings, propelling herself far enough into the air that his weapon didn't strike her, but instead his ally. She wondered if he was more angry or horrified at that moment.

"Alright, I'll give you one last chance. You wanna get on the ground and do this the easy way, or do you just wanna go down fighting so you don't lose any of your bad ass points?" There was something slightly mocking to the tone. As she spoke she tried to keep her attention trained on them completely and fully, while splitting her hearing behind her to make sure no one else wanted to try and sneak up on her. Hopefully, if anyone tried the kid would realize that she wasn't really trying to eat him. Then again, someone so young and so shell-shocked, she worried it would take some time to reason and reassure after this was over.
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien


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Back Alley Break

Postby Ivanthe » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:51 pm

ImageThere came a point within the next few heartbeats where Ivanthe looked around, took note of every single body in the alley, and came to the sharp, crystalline realization that no one was paying attention to him any longer. Even the man he’d shot was now occupied with the strange woman, and no one was coming his way.

With that precious space to breathe, Ivanthe picked himself off the wall and began to limp away from the scene of battle, but stopped when he realized that there were even more voices shouting throughout the alleys. Ivanthe did not pause to consider that they might be the guard. He did not wait to let any more feet come his way to trap him.

Ivanthe bent down and scooped up as many arrows as he could, threw both his quiver and bow back over his shoulder, and began to move in the only direction he knew would be clear: up.

A pile of broken crates and a gutter almost ripped from the wall served as his steps and ladder. His arms were shaking, and his legs moved so slow he wanted to shout, but he still set one food in front of the other until he could hook a hand over the freezing metal and haul himself off the ground. He was small and reed-thin, and although the gutter groaned it did not betray his weight. The long rivets meant to secure the thing to the wall were exposed to serve as ladder rungs, and there was a thin almost-roof running along the outside of the building where the first floor became the second. It was narrow, even for him, but it was a place to claim for himself.

Below, the fight raged on. Beyond, the Black Guard closed in. All of the assailants were dead, injured or blinded by the skill of the stranger, and Ivanthe seemed all but forgotten to them.

Good.

The corner of the building was weather-beaten, with missing bricks here and there that could give purchase. Ivanthe sidled toward it just as two Black Guard zeroed in on the commotion, three more trailing in after them with swords drawn.

They recognized the woman immediately, pausing for a few uncertain moments as they tried to read the situation. Then three of the five broke forward to join her, though more with the intent to defend her than to attack the men on the ground.

“What’s the situation?” one of them barked. “We had reports of a thief coming this way.”
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Back Alley Break

Postby Nightshade Eld » Sat May 05, 2018 11:28 am

Image
The half-breed split her attention as the guards appeared, keeping half of it on the criminals as they debated their next course of actions. “Yeah, they're right here,” she responded as her eyes narrowed dangerously. “These men, my dear friends, thought that trying to steal a child was a wise idea.” Her voice was dangerously full of venom as she sneered the words, directing her hatred towards the men. She was glad that she couldn’t see the child anymore but the worry weighed heavy on her heart that something worse might have happened. “Do you think you can clean up? They’ve got a camp of some kind so I want to hear their testimonies later, maybe help take a group out to deal with it, but I gotta go find the kid and make sure he isn’t wounded or worse,” she told the guards who had moved to stand next to her.

Her mind kept jumping back to the child. The moment she got affirmative answers she darted backward moving into enough open air that she could spread her wings. With large and powerful flaps she brought herself up to the height of the roof tops and quickly caught the sight of movement. Her eyes weren’t as sharp or as powerful as full bred Avriel, but they were still a little better than the average human and she had a slightly easier time discerning movement in such a terrible darkness. She swung her body towards it with another powerful flap and drew closer until she actually had sight.

She landed next to the child with a soft thud. “Are you alright?” She asked. Her wings did not fall to her back limply at rest, instead, they curled around the child as she leaned down towards him. There was a duality to her motion. Part of it was supposed to be comforting, while the other half of the root of the action was to keep the kid from running away and possibly hurting himself worse. The soft wall of feathers easily encapsulated the two, her expression soft as she watched him. A band of light around her arm illuminated the two as she willed it to be as bright as it possibly could, the light level similar to a strong candle.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien


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