Monster In The Woods

Noth and Night

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Nightshade Eld
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Monster In The Woods

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Zi'da 6th


Rumors tended to float on the air like dust, they are easy to find and easy to pick up on if only one were to listen. Recently Night had been hearing fearful whispers of a monster in the woods. At first she had assumed monster was just another word for a sighting of Noth. It was true enough that he acted like a monster. As much as Night wanted to ignore it and pretend she had met a friend, Noth was a murderer and she was best described as a knight. For the time being she would ignore this detail. Assuming the rumors were about Noth she had turned her attention away from them, it was the first time she'd actually turned a blind eye to something that was obviously malicious. But what else could she do? Noth was a half breed like herself, she couldn't bring herself to harm the crow no matter what she'd seen him do. Maybe one day she'd had the strength to stand against him, but for the time being she wrapped herself in the ignorant bliss of companionship with the killer.

The rumors spoke of a creature in the woods that lurked about at night, it was coated in pitch black something like tar or dried blood with long claws and fangs that resembled knives. At first these rumors had sounded like Noth, but an inconsistency between the murderous bird and the beast of rumors started to show. Apparently it ran at its prey on all fours, it lunged atop them and clawed them to pieces. That couldn't be Noth. Noth was smart, dangerously so, he stayed at long range and tried to avoid being seen. But the sighting of this monster were rather frequent, up close and personal as well. The guard had yet to take too much notice of the rumor. So far a couple of people had come up missing but none of those who had escaped showed any signs of injury. Furthermore no one from the upper class had come face to face with the beast, so there was honestly no reason for the guard to do more than start patrolling a little more frequently and possibly warning outer wall citizens to stay inside at night. That was the only time the creature seemed to come out, when the only light to guide it's bloody path was that of the moon.

Of course this left a distinct problem for both Noth and Night. The pair both lived in caves in the middle of the woods and a lot of their activity happened to be in the dark hours. Night wasn't so sure about Noth, but she'd spent plenty of midnight's out and about practicing and trying to hone her skills. Such a creature could be a danger to either one of them if caught off guard, so the situation had to be addressed before it became a danger. On most occasions Night would have gone alone or with a small group. This creature seemed too dangerous for a solo expedition and Noth was honestly her own choice at the moment. Which led her to her current situation.

"Noth?" She called standing outside of the cave that her fellow half breed called home. She felt slightly nervous standing outside his 'home' so awkwardly. Part of her told her to be careful, Noth was dangerous and could easily turn on her if it benefited him! She quieted that part of her mind and shook off the idea. She looked at the entrance of the cave while carefully avoiding the various dangers placed outside of it by Noth. She took a couple hesitant steps inside of the dark maw of the rock formation. "Noth, it's Night," she said hoping that maybe he wouldn't try to shoot her by accident either thinking her to be a stranger. "We've got another mutually shared problem that we might want to deal with," she said trying to find the twilight crow.

Her voice slightly returned to her as she took another hesitant step inside.
word count: 692
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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The assumption that rumors traveled through the air as if though they were dust was incredibly realistic. Just as if though the information was a series of particles blown through the wind, they found themselves strewn about the countryside, and in doing so, into the ears of a particular hybrid. The drunkards that commonly feared him seemed to have been frightened by a far more terrifying threat, some manner of beast that stalked them through the darkness. In fact, the people had become so frightened by this new manner of monstrosity that they had quit their nightly embarking into the woods, and the drunkards had decided to stay within the city, even in their stupor.

Such beasts were always worrisome to one who lived within the wilderness, especially without the assistance of nearby neighbors who might lend a helping hand should one be assailed in the dark of the night. Thankfully, for all of his shadowy operations and cruel acts, Noth tended to perform most of his daily activities whilst the sun still shined in the sky. Unfortunately, as Zi’da continued into its later trials, the sun would begin to die sooner and sooner, retreating earlier from the sky than it had during prior seasons. That meant that he would not have nearly enough time to accomplish all that he needed to accomplish in a trial without risking the wrath of some malignant predator.

His home itself was fairly secured with the set of spikes that had been positioned near the entrance, and whilst they would clearly not stop any incursion by sentient beings, they had done well to ward off hungering predators that sought to ravage his body with their gnarled claws and sharpened maws. The rumors had been somewhat inconsistent as to what the beast actually possessed in terms of physical abilities, but it seemed as though it traveled upon four legs; though that was essentially all animals, and it focused upon raw ferocity in place of deadly venom or some other cleverer manner of death-dealing.

Immediately his mind questioned whether or not the beast might be a Grey Velox. He had been considering pursuing one of that predatory breed for quite a while, and if it proved that this nightly terror was one of that species, then he might be inclined to attempt to capture it within some manner of pit, and to see whether he might tame it through some unknown method. Admittedly, no one to his knowledge had ever accomplished such a feat, but that did not necessarily mean that it was impossible, only that it was improbable enough that people had not truly attempted it.

If it were not one of these, then it would be far more prudent to exterminate it whilst it slept. Clearly, it was a nocturnal creature since it only came out at night to hunt for its prey, and that meant that the best time to locate and determine what manner of monstrosity it was would be during the day. It took little time for him to attach his hauberk to his form, something that he had been practicing for the last few trials, and an added protection that had saved his life at least once when he had saved Paplo Ynush from his kidnappers. He didn’t commonly wear the hauberk whenever he was going hunting as its gentle clinking noise tended to reveal his position to potential prey, and yet he knew that he would be potentially facing a far more dangerous animal, and that meant sacrificing his position for the sake of having a metallic layer between his flesh and the jagged claws of the beast.

There was a slight noise outside of his home, the breaking of twigs and the rustle of bushes that typically alerted him to the presence of wandering hares and squirrels. His longbow lay against the side of the cave, and he quietly maneuvered himself over towards it, taking hold of a nearby arrow upon the ground and notching it to the taut string. There was no such thing as being too careful, especially since this wouldn’t be the first time that he had been attacked within his own home, the last having been the intrusion of a pair of pureblood hunters. Those very people now lay underground within a nearby copse of trees, unbreathing, and unburdened by the weight of life.

Her voice was immediately recognizable to the twilight hybrid, and crimson eyes stared outwards at the silhouetted figure who stalked about the entrance of his home. The taut string released its tension, allowing the arrow to direct itself limply towards the ground, suffering immediately from the grasping effects of gravity. She spoke his name, apparently somewhat nervous from her unexpected visit to his home. That was to be expected, especially given the last time that they had seen one another there had been plenty of spilled blood. She identified herself quickly, clearly trying to ensure that the paranoid crow knew who had entered his home.

“What other precious bird would grace my humble abode with her presence?” He spoke softly, his voice chuckling pleasantly afterwards to show that his intentions were peaceable; at least with her.

He revealed himself, stepping out to where she could more easily view him.

“I did not expect that you would come here again, Nightshade. You speak of a mutual issue? Please, do explain.”
word count: 903
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Nightshade Eld
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The kindness of his tone, if one could call it such, had an easing effect on her, but the terror which made her more cautious than usually was not completely caused by the bird. She did not direct her hesitation at Noth instead she turned her body slightly towards the wilderness around them. "I doubt you have not heard the rumors of the beast which now haunts these lands. It's been the buzz of Etzos for a couple of days now. To us forest dwellers obviously that could post a threat," she said. She was unaware if she made it clear she also called a cave in the woods home or not, but she left the implication in the air just incase. "I planned to try and hunt the creature. Trap it if it's something useful and kill it if it poses a problem. Though that would be a dangerous endeavor to go alone if the rumors of the fiend are really true. I figured you would be more interested in the idea of hunting it than the guards since with Zi'da upon us and Cyclus around the corner it could be problematic for us both," she said with a simple shrug of her shoulders. The woman had a similar thought process to Noth for this situation in particular. However instead of a Gray Velox she hoped for a Wild Zelroux. However that was unlikely considering their outright resistance to the idea of attacking human beings.

In the end it would be a benefit to both if they were to team up against whatever creature prowled the area. Even if it didn't attack them directly who was to say it wouldn't do other damages? Sneaking into their homes and destroying their belongings. Killing and scaring off all the prey that Noth needed to survive. Scaring off the jobs that Night needed to survive. Such a creature needed to be dealt with swiftly and their best chances of getting rid of it without damage to their persons was if they teamed up. Noth was a formidable fighter and his ranged attacks seemed to work well in combination with the knight like warrior that was Night. Speaking of which she already seemed prepared for a fight. Her entire body was already tensed up and ready to spring at the slightest sign of danger. Her nails seemed to have been manicured to even sharper points, they never seemed to be able to stay still. Constantly the digits of her hand trailed against the hilt of her blade occasionally making a slight clicking noise. Her eyes skimmed the forest the entire time.

After a short conversation the pair came to the agreement that they needed to deal with this creature whatever it was. The two birds set out together trying to hunt down whatever this creature was. Eventually forest and farm land turned into something a little less pleasant. Decay seemed to sweep across a sea of dead plant life. Of course dead trees and the like weren't rare as the colder seasons came around, but something about the entire area was off. "I don't like this place, it gives me the chills," the woman commented. "Look," she said her voice dropping volume as she gestured towards a tree covered in large scratch marks. It looked like something had gone on a complete war path, there was a trail left leading right into a cave of sorts nearby. "A struggle?" She questioned seeing how odd the markings were. It looked almost like some kind of fight had taken place.

"I'm going to go ahead and check out that cave. You can either tag along or keep watch out here," Night said. She moved towards the cave with a ginger hesitancy that had kept people like her and Noth alive for as long as they were. The cave seemed to be abandoned and full of giant metal cages. Some of the cages held the corpses of long expired beasts, while others were empty. Few and far between contained living creatures which barely had the strength or will to lift their heads and glare at the free little bird. Night knew what it felt like to be in a cage, even if it couldn't be seen she still was in one. The cage had only gotten bigger. Everyone had their cage even if they couldn't see it.

She made sure to stay close to the entrance of the cave but investigated a little deeper. She made note that a couple of the cages had been swung wide open. A foul scent permeated the area that she entered. "You might want to see this," she called to Noth wherever he might be. The scene before them was something both had met with before. Surely it wouldn't be shocking to either. But there was a savagery to it that made Night shiver slightly.

Corpses littered the ground, torn wide open. Organs spilled out everywhere as livers and spleens painted the ground. It was obvious by the brown sludge like consistency of the mess that the bodies had been this way for a while. Some were partially eaten with legs and arms and heads torn off, the stomach of one was thrown about almost like a toy, a look of horror pained the face of the victim. "Killing is one thing, tearing a corpse apart is another. But this is..." she trailed off as the scene only seemed to get worse from there. Fecal matter rested on one corpse and a strange white goo had long turned solid in the mouth of another. "I think I might be sick," Night whimpered as the horrible metallic scent of blood mixed with the disgusting plague of decay.

There was one child among the mess, a little girl. She looked to be human but her body was torn into too many shreds to be able to tell. Her face was twisted in a look of pain, her lips parted to forever give a silent scream. A trail of blood leaked from her gaping mouth, her entire chest cavity was torn right open. The heart was missing. The corpse of a dog was close to her, almost flopped over her body. The dog was missing its tail, and entire eye had been gorged out. Though it's eye had closed in death a growl still twisted its muzzle as if it had died protecting the girl only to end up going to protect her in the next life.

"What 'animal' could have done this?" She whimpered. Obviously when they left on their hunt they hadn't gotten the full story. "We should get out of here before-" her voice was cut off as an arrow landed a little too close for comfort. "Oh great, they came back for the monster," she said as a group of poachers appeared. The situation was starting to make a little more sense now. Poachers capture a strange and dangerous animal, they bring it to the Etzos area, and it escapes to cause mayhem. The corpses at their feet must have been the poachers that weren't lucky enough to escape as well as any victims the beast had captured to play with. "Looks like we've got a fight on our hands."
word count: 1226
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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The relative stress that had apparently taken hold of Nightshade’s body appeared to leave her as his words reached out from the shadowy depths of the cavern, inviting her inwards to discuss whatever issue she had brought before him. Kindness was something rare for the twilight hybrid to display, but even a rare item made an appearance once in a while, and he felt a closeness to his fellow hybrid that few could ever possess. The woman directed herself towards the outside wilderness, towards the endless rows of trees and foliage that hid so much from their eyes. She mentioned that a beast was now roaming the lands, a fact that he had already ascertained through his own information gathering services, though that wasn’t something he would admit. Instead, he simply allowed himself to listen to her entire story, allowing her to paint an image of the beast as she knew of it so that he might determine whether or not she had heard anything that contrasted from the information he himself had gathered.

It was true that hunting down a dangerous animal alone was a foolish endeavor, and he nodded his head slowly as he began to piece together her reason for arriving at his home. By the time that she actually spoke her request for his assistance, he might have been able to feed the words to her or at the very least to have guessed their exact wording. There was little doubt that the presence of some a monstrous animal would have a negative effect upon both of the forest-dwellers, both to their safety and to their way of life.

Crimson eyes rested upon the woman ahead of them, observing the various tics that she seemed to exhibit and the manner in which her vision settled upon the outside world, as if though she were simply waiting for an animal to strike from the bushes at any moment. Of course, he knew well enough that the beast was nocturnal, and that such a thing was incredibly unlikely, but it seemed doubtful that lady Nightshade had studied her fellow predators in the same manner that Noth had in his spare time. To become the greatest monster, the fiercest beast, one needed to know what they were competing with, and emulating such creatures had gradually transformed itself into an art for the Avriel. He wondered whether she spent her time in the same pursuits, and immediately determined that she didn’t. He had observed her variant reactions towards differing stimuli throughout their meetings together, and had decided that she was a far more altruistic sort than himself. Humorously enough, such compassion was likely to be a ‘bad influence’ upon the habits that he was trying to promote within himself, but perhaps it would allow him to keep a leash on himself, to compare himself with a genuinely good person to measure how far he had fallen from grace.

It was hard to do anything but fall when one’s wings had been clipped.

There was a brief conversation wherein the two birds agreed to collaborate with one another, and then promptly set off into the woods in search of their prey. They marched fatefully from farmland and forestry towards what appeared to have been a graveyard of plants. These were far more brittle than their lively companions, and twigs and branches snapped and crackled underfoot with ease. The birds were absent from these dead trees, preferring instead to stay comfortable where they were still leaves to stave off the frosty air. It wasn’t so uncommon for the trees to die when Cylus came around and the world chilled to an uncomfortable cold, but it certainly added some level of suspense to an already stressful hunt, as if though the pair had been transported from their lives into those of some fairy tale which taught the brutal lesson of not wandering too deep into the woods.

Nightshade spoke, commenting on how the atmosphere was giving her the chills to which the twilight hybrid simply smirked. He could feel the same tension in the air, but it simply wasn’t his personality to reveal his emotions to others so that they could be picked to pieces like carrion found by vultures. One such bird fluttered overhead, gazing down at the pair of doomed travelers, its balding head twisting sideways as if though it were curious as to why anyway would brave such treacherous land. Noth snapped back to reality, noting the positioning of his steps as he obediently trailed behind his companion, his voice calm although somewhat tired from the marching,
“I suppose it does have a sort of dying feel to it, doesn’t it?”

They came upon a tree which had been eviscerated, bark and scraps of the arboreal lifeform lay around the demolished piece of landscape. There weren’t many animals that came to mind that spent their spare time clawing away at trees instead of prey, and he wondered for a few moments why it would actually commit such an act. Animals weren’t like people with their dreadful emotions dictating why they did things. Instead, animals followed their instincts which seemed to be mostly based upon reason. That implied that the beast must have had a reason to scratch away at the bark of a random tree, perhaps it was marking its territory or even trying to shrink its massive claws to ensure that they still worked at an optimal level.

Nightshade spoke once more, stating that she would be investigating a nearby cave, and then granting him the option of going with her or of keeping watch. He gradually removed his longbow from its resting place, playing a gentle tune upon the single taut string that wrenched itself about the bow as his crimson eyes glared at the woman before him with an incredulous look about them.

“Night, you cannot simply invite me to a hunt and then expect me to wait out the interesting moments. Besides, how am I supposed to protect you in the darkness from afar?” He inserted some humorous challenge into his last sentence, knowing well that she was perfectly capable of defending herself, though his point did still possess some logic behind it. He lived in the dark, and thrived in it as well, having spent a far greater time in it than his companion; or at least that was what he believed, and thus it made sense that he accompany her into the mouth of shadow, to cross into the veil and perceive what lay on the other side.

He entered with her, noting the foul scent that permeated the air even outside of the dark cavern. He crinkled his face, thankful that his visage was concealed by his feathers so that he did not look moronic whilst he struggled with the atrocious smell. There within the dark lay several cages, some filled with weak and pathetic animals, ones that had been without food for far too long, or else that had faced some manner of pestilence that stole away their strength and left them to simply rot away in captivity. The twilight hybrid would commit many atrocities, and indeed had done so before, but it didn’t suit his nature to imprison a beast only to cruelly allow it to wither away, it was inefficient and; shocking as it was to admit that he had a moral compass, wrong.

The ground itself revealed itself fairly quickly as well, and he wondered for a moment why it was so uneven until he recognized the familiar form of bodies, the curvatures that they commonly inhabited suddenly sparking memories of his own experiences with corpses. There was horror painted on every face, as if though it were some gothic artist’s attempt at recreating a depiction of eternal torment, and he cast his eyes towards Nightshade wondering at her reaction to the aforementioned gore. He’d seen worse… in fact he had even done worse, bashing apart skulls with his bare hands and rending apart faces with his talons, though admittedly he consoled himself with the note that he had never slain a child, nor that he ever intended to commit such a wicked deed. He recalled the fate of the two hunters that Nightshade had assisted him to slay, and how he had played with their pieces, butchered them and used them as tools for anatomical understanding and training.

Her reaction was to be expected, though she held to her strong image for as long as she possibly could. There was indeed a distinction between murder and butchery and the absolutely atrocious slaughter that they had stumbled upon, especially upon the psyche of those unexposed to such things. Indeed, even the twilight hybrid had yet to observe as much carrion at such close distance, though he hardened his own heart at the sound of his whimpering companion who noted that her stomach ailed her at the mere sight and scent of the troubling scene. Two people could not become weak at the sight of such things, or else they would be vulnerable to any creature unbothered by the mess. Casting one final glance at the carnage, the twilight hybrid spread out his dark wing, obscuring a majority of the mess from his female companion’s view, and uttering soothing words in an attempt at encouraging her.

“Come along, my young raven. We need not obsess over the fates of the fallen.” The Crow spoke, motioning her towards the opening as if though he were directing a youth away from danger, and in a strange way he felt as though he were. She spoke once more, stating that they needed to depart from the place before something was to occur, but her sentence was cut short by the quiet twang of a bow and the thud of a nearby arrow. Were they now to be hunted in a den of death? Was this to be his fate, to wallow in twisted carnage until he was pursued, and then to add to the pile?

He notched an arrow, watching the opening of the cave as the voices drew nearer, shouting and plotting their wicked schemes. A person appeared, firing another arrow down into the mess, though he received a retaliatory bolt in his upper shoulder which sent him reeling out of view.

“Good. I was getting so dreadfully bored.” He uttered, shaking his head in contempt as his talons raked against wet and crimson stone. “I suppose that I ought not worry about getting messy, at the least.” He jested, firing another arrow out towards the hostiles who once more peered from the outside, apparently consolidating themselves for an assault.




word count: 1799
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Nightshade Eld
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"True enough," she mused as Noth began to fire his bow. She didn't like fighting in such a cramped space. The ceiling of the damp cave hung low and she couldn't really use her wings in such a place. She would just have to deal with things the old fashioned way. A couple of fighters came out first. One was an archer and one a warrior. A pair much like Night and Noth, they were obviously sent as a pair so that they could cover each other. "I can handle the warrior if you think you can hit the archer before he hits you," she said playfully in a sing song tone as she brandished her blood red blade. Red Brand though the color of rust had a very sharp point. Night dashed forwards with all the speed and strength in her body. She wasn't as fast without her wings but she could still hold her own well enough as she brought her sword crashing against that of her foe's.

The man certain fit the description of a poacher well. He was a scruffy man with overgrown hair covering just about his entire body. His clothing was tattered, the best thing on him being the rather skimpy armor that was apparent supposed to be protection against Night's onslaught. He grinned at the half breed revealing two rows of broken, black, and gold with the occasional hole. His breath was rancid at best. She scrunched up her nose, luckily the smell in the cave had her prepared for such a foul odor and she recovered quickly. The man wielded a large long sword, he continued to try and out speed the half breeds attacks so he could force his sword under or over hers and land a hit. Unfortunately her blade was lighter and quite literally made for speed. The blood red scimitar quickly moved taking a bite into the enemy's body.

A howl of pain wreathed its way through the cavern as the man stumbled backwards. Blood started to liberally drench his side as he fell to the ground panting. Two beady brown eyes glared up at Night like she was a demon. Perhaps in his eyes she was. She was after all a half breed, on top of that she was a life taker. No matter how many trials and arcs passed she couldn't save people, she could only take their lives. The thought caused her to stray for a moment from her integrity, a large stab of guilt in her stomach causing her to outright freeze. Apparently Noth had already dealt with his foe because she could hear the yelling of the main force coming at the pair. She however was completely frozen, her mind clouded.

When was the last time she did something good with her life? She certainly couldn't remember. She was better off damned than walking another day on Idalos. Why was she even fighting. The man who she so brutally stabbed was slowly dragging himself away from the shell shocked half blood while two more warriors approached her. In the back of her mind she could hear Noth fighting his battle, that was all it took to shake her back to reality. Noth wasn't a good person. But maybe, just maybe, she could save him? Her eyes burned with a renewed fire as she put all of her strength into the fight. At least one of them would make it out of this alive. And if there could only be one of them that got out alive, it would be Noth.

She lunged forward at the two new foes who had appeared, lashing out with her weapon and her full strength. The blade only cut thin air as the one she'd been aiming for deftly moved out of the way. She grit her teeth as the two fighters surrounded her. Noth had his own problems so she was more or less alone in this fight. These were a pair of bandits, horrible beings without honor, the Noble Snake would give her the strength to defy them.

One of the poachers jumped at her, a sloppy movement that was easy enough to block. But as soon as her blade came up she could hear the whizzing of another weapon go right past her ear. It was Chiren's blessing that it didn't hit her. She glanced behind her to see the second fighter trying to take advantage of her distraction. So this was how the fight was going to be? She started moving away only to slip in something slick. Red dashed her clothing as she fell into a puddle of fresh blood. The man who had been trying to get away from her bled to death. She was now toppled over on his corpse. The two fighters didn't seem to care that the half breed was currently dazed on their former comrade, bandits seldom cared about each other.

One of the poachers lunged at her trying to thrust downwards with his blade. The weapon simply sunk into the flesh of their dead ally as the half breed flung herself off. She ended up rolling in the blood becoming thoroughly soaked in enemy liquids. A grimace came across her features as she looked down at herself. Monster was the perfect word that quickly came to mind.

She still had to deal with the two fighters before she had any time to be distracted by her own appearance. Her foes slowly moved, bearing down on her as they brandished fiercer looking blades and looks than she could manage. In that moment she felt thoroughly defeated, soundly and unquestionably without a trace of hope left in her body. Two pairs of vicious eyes looked down on her like she was an animal. A fitting way for a monster to end, the poachers would take care of her. Or would they? A sick kind of growl started to rumble in the back of her throat, slowly turning into the beginning of shriek. She unleashed the horrible noise on her foes flinging herself at the closest one with reckless abandon. She managed to lose hold of her sword, slick with blood, but that didn't matter anymore. Her claws dug themselves deep into the flesh of the man she could grab.

Finer thought process was lost for a time as she just slashed. Her claws dug into any free flesh that she could find. The poacher that didn't find himself in her grasps took a couple of steps back. Though it didn't show in his expression there was a flash of horror in his eyes. Screams of horror and violent flailing came from the man she'd grabbed. Desperate for his life or for the pain to end he tried to get away from her, but her nails continued to stick him in place like barbs while they turned his entire body into little more than ground meat. Soon there was little more than a pile of flesh in front of the half breed. Anger and tension bled from her body as she looked down upon what she'd created.

She didn't have time to think as the second man approached her. Her eyes danced the direction of where she'd dropped her sword. The man tried to swing his weapon down upon her while she was "defenseless" but she deftly moved to the side. She grabbed the weapon standing back up face to face with her enemy. "Come at me if you can little poacher. Doesn't one of your kind deserve death via a monster?" She asked in a dark tone.

The poacher just smirked as if he thought she'd said the funniest thing in the world. "With honor and valor like that? You're no monster little lying bird. You've only let the world convince you that you are," his cooed. Quickly he lunged at her but she brought her own sword upwards letting him spear himself. His smile turned into a frown as a small cough escaped his body and a trail of blood leaked down the side of his mouth. "Maybe... Maybe I was wrong," he muttered. Out of everything that had happened that little sentence was the hardest hit she took the entire day. She flinched slightly and the smile returned to the face of the poacher. However it was far more demented, twisted, in his final breath he took pleasure in that look of misery that coated his killer's features. That was enough to allow him to fall backwards and die like a dog.

She looked up in the direction of Noth only to see a disturbing sight. Noth was dealing with his foes rather well, except for the fact he didn't see the shadowy figure sneaking up being him. She couldn't make it out well but obviously it was some kind of stealth based fighter. Perhaps an assassin? Why would a group of poachers have one of those. It didn't matter, there was no time to think. "Noth!" She cried, launching herself half way across the room simply in the defense of the other half breed. She would protect him, somehow, she just had to get there. The figure seeing that Night had alerted Noth to it's presence began to lunge at Noth with a blade drawn, only for Night to be in the way.

"Are you okay?" She asked the other half breed. The knife of the stranger had lodged itself in her side, a light trail of blood began to slink downwards. She didn't seem phased by this at all, or if she did she was holding back the pain she surely felt. The cherry on top had to be the fact she asked if Noth was okay. There was nothing self serving in the kind and altruistic eyes that looked up at Noth, there was only true unabashed kindness and adoration for the lie of a person she'd convinced herself Noth was. How could anyone call a creature like that a monster? She slumped against Noth slightly fatigued and the stab wound finally taking it's toll. It would be stupid to try and remove the knife so she just tried to sit and wait for the battle to be over. She once more held up her weapon trying to be of some help to the battle, but her slump against Noth quickly turned to her slipping to the ground as her vision started to get hazy. The shadowed figure took a couple steps back and the poachers that were left seemed to take pause.
word count: 1791
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Noth
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Posts: 829
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:51 pm
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Monster
Renown: -370
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Monster In The Woods

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The enemy were upon them in an instant, and immediately Noth wondered whether they had fallen prey to some manner of snare. These were clearly poachers based upon the cages filled with various animals which flooded the cave, but did that mean that they were practiced in entrapping men and women as well? He wondered for a single instance what the difference between a slaver and a poacher was, other than their choice of cargo, and determined immediately that he could see very little that contrasted the two. They both entrapped some living being that desired to be somewhere else, and then sold them to others who would use them for potentially malevolent means. Slaves were tools to be used by their masters, and he wondered whether the animals were also of the same volition.

Thoughts were expelled from his mind at incredible speeds as the conflict truly picked up. He had managed to pick off what appeared to be the enemy’s equivalent of him, whilst Nightshade dealt with a pathetic poacher who clearly should have known better than to tangle with her. He was glad that he was stuck with her, though he would have preferred not to be in danger whatsoever. She was easily the most skilled of his allies in the arts of warfare, and whilst he found the acting talents of Mamnon to be quite useful, and soil-bending properties of Aerlan to be fascinating, these were clearly times for battle, and neither truly excelled at the spilling of blood in the same manner as the female halfblood.

He notched another arrow, allowing feathery fingers to find placement upon the fringes of an arrow, and then to press it firmly against the taut string of his longbow. It was a trustworthy weapon, and it gave him a clear advantage over any incoming assailants since it allowed him the opportunity of first strike, though he presumed that he would eventually need to swap to his mace the instant that the horde of criminal knaves overran him. They came quickly, charging in with various builds and weapons. There was a thin and wiry fellow with a jagged knife and a crooked smile who seemed to be high on some manner of product, because his eyes were wide and bloodshot and he fidgeted around as if though he were nearly ready to suffer cardiac arrest. Noth helped him along to that state, sending a projectile of hewn metal through his overactive heart, and allowing the poor rodent his rest.

A pair of the poachers surrounded Nightshade, assailing her, and though he desired to assist, he himself was dealing with his own set of problems. The remaining four had decided to rush towards him, allowing him to pick one of them off with his longbow as they charged forth, apparently undaunted by the prospect of being shot. They were too close to draw again, and his heart began to pulse with adrenaline as feathered fingers found purchase upon the hilt of his mace, drawing it forth and tossing the longbow aside lest it be broken in the action.

The first person to reach him had appeared to be another wiry man, though upon opening her mouth and shouting an epithet, he became aware that she was indeed a woman. One could not have discerned such from physical appearances, for she was covered head to toe in wretched rags and stank as though she had roiled around in filth for several trials. Her teeth seemed to be on the verge of falling outwards, and one jutted forth from her lip even though she had attempted to close the gaping hole. In her hands was another rough and curved knife, apparently a hunting instrument based upon its general make. She slashed widely through the air, apparently attempting to eviscerate him in a single blow.

Crimson eyes worked quickly, discerning the exact location that the knife would strike, and immediately determining to ignore the attack in favor of a rapid counterattack. He raised his hands into the air, clutching them both around the mace and leaving himself exposed. The hag ran the blade across his hauberk, eliciting a light shrieking groan of metal and the clinking noise of armor being stricken. Her face suddenly became incredibly terrified, and she turned half a step to run before the mace came down upon her dome. There was a dull crackle, and she stumbled another half step forward before falling flat to the ground.

The next pair were far more conservative in their efforts, and the largest of them appeared to have his own manner of armor, though it appeared to have been found upon a battleground somewhere. The helmet that draped his head had a gaping hole through the right hemisphere, but it still provided some manner of protection, Noth supposed. The other fellow wore the outfit of an Etzori deserter, and though he too was lacking in complete protection, he wore a chainmail coat that appeared to be fairly new. It would be a difficult battle, but thankfully he possessed the mace which would allow him to negate some of the benefits of armor, albeit not all of them.

The largest man clutched at a massive war hammer, snorting his nose as if though he were some manner of porcine animal thrust into the body of a man. The smaller fellow unsheathed a rapier, twisting it wily in his hand as he prepared himself to strike as well.

There was a cry, a familiar voice that interrupted his fight. He glanced rapidly over to ensure that his fair companion hadn’t sustained some form of lethal injury, but instead of finding her broken or blooded upon the floor, he found her incredibly close and quite healthy. That health didn’t last, and a moment later he observed a previously unseen figure send a knife jutting into her side, somewhere around the abdomen. She questioned whether he was alright, and he stared disheveled at the wound, now dripping scarlet blood onto the already filthy cavern floor.

She crashed against him, clutching upon him as if though he were the only thing to keep her from dying, and in a way he might have been. The blade was still there, jutting out of her flesh like a misplaced thorn, taunting him for his failures. It had slashed its way through her flesh, but he felt the pain nonetheless, the suffering of having his only friend wounded, the only person he cared for anymore lying broken at his feet as if though she were just another corpse to add to the pile, another lamb to the slaughter.

He broke.

Gone was the decorum of a civilized battle, no matter how bloody it might have been. Gone were the tactics that constantly flooded his mind, and the wondering and curious thoughts that infiltrated his conscious. It was replaced with hatred, a glowing red fire of anger that blossomed outwards from his core, and found itself spread upon the poachers with every glare he gave them. They had paused apparently preparing to accept his surrender, but there would be none.

“Give it up, birdy, and maybe you get to live.”
“There shall be no surrender. Do you know why?” He uttered, hot and fiery, his voice losing its standard calm.
“Oi, lemme guess. We cut up yer lady and now yer gonna get all nippy with us, eh? Gonna pull out some fantastic trash, maybe you can fly through the shadows an’ kill us all? Whatcha think, Stumpy? Think he can pull a quickie on us?” The deserter questioned the giant in the room. The great beast responded with a loud chuckling noise and another snorting sound, once more reminiscent of a pig.
“You know not who I am. I am Noth, Prince of Eternal Mercies, and you have angered me.”
“Never ‘eard of you.”
“And what do you think the point of Eternal Mercy is.”
The conversation came to a halt as the deserter considered for a moment before nodding towards the giant and thrusting his head towards him with a ‘get him’ gesture. The fellow complied rushing forward and swinging his mighty hammer downwards at the Avriel. Deftly, he dodged to the side, allowing the hammer to fall flat with a sparking bang against the floor. He danced around him, smashing the mace against his wrist and eliciting a growl of pain from the not-so-gentle giant.

He spun around, swinging the mighty hammer about as if though he were planning to take down the entire cave, and this time Noth was indeed struck with the weapon, it landing a blow against his hauberk and sending him tumbling into the shadows for a moment. His lungs hauled in his chest from the blow, though he didn’t think it had managed to break anything terribly vital. Pain flourished through his body, floating through every vein and artery as if though it were just as common as the lifeblood that pulsated regularly through them.

His hand settled upon an intestine, one that had once belonged to a human, and he yanked the wet and sopping mess of bloody flesh upwards with him, curling it slightly into a noose. He sprinted back towards the giant who awaited, hammer at the ready to smash him to ribbons. He prepared to swing, expecting for the Avriel to attempt to juke about him once more, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead, he charged directly at him, leaping forth into the air and sending his twilight wing flashing into the air behind him, propelling him upwards to the giant’s shoulders. He quickly wrapped the aforementioned meat noose about his neck, and slid down his shoulder blades, allowing it to catch on his throat. Without a waste of time, he lashed out backwards with his primary hand, letting it catch on the back of the fiend’s knees, blasting boney fragments through his left knee and sending him lurching for a steady foothold. The giant screamed bloody murder, but found the wet rope yanking him backwards, off of his legs and nearly atop the now crimson-covered Noth.

The intestines burst from the pressure, scattering undesirable matter upon the giant who attempted to scramble to his feet, only to find that his knee had been terribly broken. The others would try to intervene now that their champion had been lowered, and so he knew that he needed to act fast in order to maintain his advantage. He flung the mace harshly towards the shadowy figure, bruising his arm and sending him tumbling back into the wall. Without a second thought, he lifted up the Warhammer, feeling it strain his muscles with every trill that he needed to keep grasp of it.

The pig-like man knew his fate, lifting his arms upwards to stop the blow, but it simply powered through it, landing upon his head with a wet slinking noise. With the champion dispatched, he immediately dropped the Warhammer, feeling a great weight lift off of his body as it fell atop its former owner. The pair of remaining poachers exhibited some manner of shock at the recent events, and the twilight hybrid’s crimson eyes settled upon the shadowy man as he turned tail and sprinted towards the exit, apparently having seen enough to make his conclusions.

There was no rest. There was no time to rest, no moment to stop his bloodshed. He drew forth a hunting knife, allowing it to settle into his hands, attempting to ignore the blood that now coated them and the squelching noise that he made whenever he took a step.

There were no words. The two combatants rushed towards each other, the deserter lashing out with his rapier, and Noth allowing the blow to strike against his hauberk. He knew that it would be impossible for the pitiful knife to go through the man’s armor, and that meant that the entirety of his torso and abdomen were out of the question. There was only really one place that he could strike.

There was no pain. When the rapier slid back through the air, and then promptly jammed through his thigh, nearly piercing through to the other side, the skin stretching slightly to try to accommodate the large foreign object. One hand grasped onto his shoulder for support, the other sliding through the air with a deadly retort.

There was no man. The knife thrust through his neck, piercing upwards so that it could be seen when he gasped, poking through the soft and weak flesh that he had left unguarded. He fell to the ground, and Noth stumbled backwards, removing the metallic instrument from his leg with an ungodly shriek of agony, his vision turning the color of his eyes as he struggled to fight back the feeling. His feathers acted as a natural bandage to the wound, but they were not enough, and he quickly began to strip away at his own clothes, slicing off woolen sleeves in order to stuff them into the stab wound. The bleeding slowed fairly quickly, apparently having missed many of the important arteries through some manner of luck or chance; he knew it was not providence.

There was no chance. No chance at all that he would leave behind his only friend, bleeding to death slowly in the dark of a poachers cave, unable to do anything for herself but lay and think about her decisions. She had saved his life twice now, and such was a debt that he could not allow to accrue, and thus he took a strip of the woolen cloth from his clothes and began to press it against her wound, attempting to keep the bleeding low until they might recover enough to find some manner of medical professional. As he waited, the twilight hybrid curled his sole wing about her, protecting her from the outside horrors of the world and whispering sweet nothings into her ear to console her, to keep her from falling away completely.



word count: 2352
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Maltruism
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Monster In The Woods

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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


NIGHTSHADE ELD:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +5
  • Structure: +5

These points can NOT be used for magic

Knowledges:

  • Blades: Speed Over Force
  • Detection: Don't Trip Over the Bodies of Those You've Killed
  • Endurance: The Strong Smell of Death as You Have to Fight
  • Field Craft: A Cave is a Good Position to Defend
  • Field Craft: Signs of a Poacher's Den
  • Field Craft: The Monster Poses Many Other Negatives Besides Attack
  • Intelligence: "Monster" Rumors are Not Noth This Time
  • Intelligence: Etzos' Woods Monster is a Clawed, Charging Quadruped
  • Intelligence: Etzos' Woods Monster is Nocturnal
  • Logistics: Caves Render Wings Near Useless
  • Negotiation: Agreeing to Hunt the Monster With Noth
  • Politics: Monster Attacks Among the Poor is No Priority
  • Psychology: Focusing on the Good in a Fellow Half-Avriel
  • Psychology: Hopelessness Triggers the Avriel Savage
  • Psychology: The Need to Save Others
  • Psychology: We All Live in a Cage of Some Sort
  • Surgery: Don't Remove the Knife Before You Find a Healer
  • Tactics: Go After a Nocturnal Beast During the Day
  • Tactics: Teamwork: One Melee, One Ranged

Loot:

Nothing but beat-up armor or weapons you might take with you.
Or a caged animal or two you might release and tame.
If you choose either, PM me and we will work out details.


Loss:

nothing to speak of


Injuries:

Deep stab wound in the side.
You need a healer, Pronto!


Fame: +15

Kill bandit x 3 (+9)
Act of heroism (+2)
Enforce city law (+2)
Solving a mystery (+2)


Devotion: +25 - Ethelynda

I'm calling those three "Murderers" so +5 each
and taking the knife for Noth has gotta be worth +10


Comments:

OMG!! It can't end there!!!
Is there a follow-up???
If you die, I'm giving you -5 fame for "breaking my heart" :cry:
PM me with any comments or concerns :)

___________________________________________________________

NOTH:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +5
  • Structure: +5

These points can NOT be used for magic

Knowledges:

  • Bludgeon: The Blind, Backhanded Surprise Swing
  • Bludgeon: Getting Close Enough to "Feel" Where the Enemy Is
  • Endurance: Anger Numbs the Pain
  • Endurance: The Strong Smell of Death as You Have to Fight
  • Field Craft: A Cave is a Good Position to Defend
  • Field Craft: Signs of a Poacher's Den
  • Field Craft: The Monster Poses Many Other Negatives Besides Attack
  • Intelligence: Etzos' Woods Monster is Nocturnal
  • Intimidation: Angry Speeches
  • Intimidation: Never Acknowledge What Upsets You
  • Negotiation: Agreeing to Hunt the Monster with Night
  • Night: The Closest Thing to a Friend
  • Politics: Monster Attacks Among the Poor is No Priority
  • Psychology: A Fellow Half-Avriel Fills a Special Role
  • Psychology: Knowing a Friend Has Taken a Blow Meant For You
  • Psychology: Learn to be a Beast From the Beasts Themselves
  • Stealth: Dead Plant Life is Too Brittle
  • Stealth: Trading Silence For Chain Mail Protection
  • Tactics: Go After a Nocturnal Beast During the Day
  • Tactics: Teamwork: One Melee, One Ranged
  • Unarmed: Intestines as an Entangling Weapon

Loot:

Same as what I told Night :D


Loss:

Nothing to speak of


Injuries:

Rapier Run-through wound in your thigh.
Horribly bruised ribs.


Fame: -15

None of the "hero" based awards I gave Night.
You killed more of them, but it was all savagery.
But I know you want negative points anyway...lol


Devotion:

Nope, not you


Comments:

You two continue to impress me.
I truly wish for more compatible personalities between you.
But it seems so ultimately impossible. :cry:
It hurts to see Night have to lie to herself about Noth to befriend him.
But it is a very realistic rationale for her to do it.
The shared Half-Breed experience.
PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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