• Closed • [The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

Gangui and Noth witness a scrimmage between Sirothellian and Etzosian forces.

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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

Zi'da 51
Mid-day time.

The rough, cold winds of Zi'da swept around the traveler like a string of knives, but it was no match for his fur cloak. His horse fared very well too, as a brisk pace kept her warm. Gangui was used to an even colder environment in the mountains. He rarely even noticed that his red beard was covered in frost.

Riding through the plains produced very little engagement for the mind, so he kept himself busy by trying to commit the desolate countryside to memory. The mountain-man found it hard to retain the lay of the land, because the landmarks were indistinguishable from each other. The never ending fields of frost-covered-grass fluctuated in long, low waves. It was reminiscent of the rippling effect when dropping stones in a calm pool of water. He did notice, however, that these "swells" (as he called them) ran east to west. Also, the tiny clusters of trees that dotted were the home to birds.

Far to the east there was one thing that commanded his desire; it looked like a minuscule black triangle against a over-cast sky in the distance. Gangui wanted to convince himself that he was approaching Etzos, but his logical skepticism won the internal argument this time. Pushing such thoughts out of his mind, Gangui urged his horse at a relentless pace on the edge of pragmatic reason.

The night time was brutal, even for the wild-man's standards. Unable to keep a fire going, he needed to improvise. Huddling up with his horse, he covered both of them with all the blankets and his own fur cloak. Shivering through the twilight hours of the night was exhausting, but he knew that they would survive. Nothing would stop them and he believed whole-hearted in his steed. During the most bone-chilling coldest hour, he whispered promises of battle and glory to his horse. Gangui wanted success more than he wanted to live; dying to Zi'da was not an option.

The next day, the rider finally came into view of the landmark he was chasing. It was an eerily, lonesome hill rising up from the flatness. Still hours away, he kicked his horse forward. The ability to get onto higher ground and the insight it would provide was a very motivating goal to pursue.
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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

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The twilight hybrid shivered as a frosty breeze blasted against his feathered form, whipping around his clothes in the process and sending them floating dramatically in the breeze, as if though he transformed into some manner of heroic being for a single instance. The truth could not be farther from that fanciful imagination, and a moment later the wicked bird continued his trudging march across the plans, crimson eyes peering around, hopeful for some treasure to be discovered. They found nothing, and so with a sigh the Avriel continued his lonesome march.

He considered for several moments his reason for having been in the field, recalling the exact instance that he had noticed a company of Etzori soldiers leaving the city and creeping towards Sirothelle. It seemed obvious enough that they weren’t actually going to assail the fiery city, especially with such a relatively small number of soldiers, but he had determined that they were likely traveling out to engage in some manner of skirmish with the dreadful godling’s zealots, and thus he had determined that it would be beneficial for him to stalk their travel so that he might pick apart the valuables from their remains. He would play the part of a proper carrion bird, tearing into armors and weapons with the same delight that the vultures had when they yanked red meat off of tendons and ligaments.

Perusing the nearby area, his raven-esque eyes planted themselves upon the visage of a nearby hill. It had been quite some time since he had last seen the company of Etzori soldiers marching through the woods, especially since he had found it necessary to creep about parallel to them lest they discover his presence and arrest him for his intended interferences. Perhaps by elevating himself with the hill, he might once more locate the soldiers and thereby determine the best course of action to compliment his scheme at gathering materiel.

It took some time to move towards the hill, and though he walked through apparently open plains, he doubted that he would be spotted by any of the soldiers. It seemed reasonable that they would be entirely focused upon the potential for enemy attack, and besides that he felt confident in his own abilities at stalking and stealth. The weighty hauberk that he wore across himself weighed him down slightly, though it was gradually becoming a familiar weight. The longbow strapped across his shoulder was somewhat less weighing upon his frame, though with it there was the unspoken weight of life and death, the ability to determine whose life would continue and whose would suddenly meet a sinister demise.

With his thoughts focused upon such abilities, and how he might best extract the desired resources from the battlefield after it had inevitably cleared itself of combatants, Noth marched towards the hill.

word count: 481
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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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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

Relative to the vast flatness of the plains, the rising mound could have been considered a mountain. The hill was a single ridge that dipped into an unseen saddle at the top. Upon closer inspection, one would notice that the hill was an aggregate of large boulders and dirt held together with the roots of grass and shrubs. Frost covered, light green plant life seemed to clash with the whitish color of the rock. Approaching from the northwest, Gangui could not find a path for his horse. The notion of being spotted without his horse caused a variety of doom scenarios to be taken into consideration. However, a large tree at the base was perfect to hide his steed from onlookers, thus relieving the worry that forsaking his trusty animal would cause.

After making preparations, Gangui began the climb. He left everything behind except for the fur cloak on his back and his long-sword, which hung at his hip in a fur scabbard. Using common sense, he judged it would take him no more than twenty minutes to reach the summit. There was no set path to follow, nor did the wild-man want to take the time to find one. Instead he blazed his way up with little regard for nature; he grabbed shrubs to hoist himself up, knocked rocks loose sending them tumbling down the hill, and displaced any beautiful untouched life in his way. One thing that he had never realized before was that the safest path up was to march directly over the plants and grass; the stones and dirt were way too fragile and loose, which would logically result in a counter-productive landslide. After this revelation, Gangui no longer thought of this landmark a proper hill, but just a pile of rocks.

The barbarian reached the saddle through a cleft and still needed to climb up to the summit to view the landscape. The saddle was an area maybe fifty yards in diameter and was full of large trees; Gangui figured it probably looked like a giant bowl from a bird's eye view that collected water for the trees to flourish. By this time he completely lost his wind on the final push of the run. Sweat dripped down in runnels from his armpit, back and chest. His red beard was wet too. Sitting down, he took deep breathes for a long time and stared at the ground beneath him. Blood coarsed through his veins as quick as his beating heart could manage. The idea of victory over the pile of rocks was a good one, but the feeling of moving his bones after sitting on the saddle so long was even better.

Before quite recovering from the excursion, he heard an eerie noise. Perking up and jumping to his feet, Gangui looked around. His eyes darted all around the area trying to spot source of the sound. He saw nothing out of the ordinary so he quit looking. Still breathing heavily, he slowly walked towards the southeast section of the saddle, were he planned on climbing back out to view the landscape.

The strange noise sounded off again. Stopping in his tracks, the wild-man drew his blade silently and remained alert despite not being able to make out the source nor direction the noise was coming from.
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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

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A gentle sigh escaped the twilight hybrid as he glared upwards at the massive hill slowly coming into view. From farther away, he had assumed that it was simply a slight elevation above the generally flat plains surrounding the area, but now that he had wandered closer to it, he became aware of how gargantuan the mound of stone and dirt had become. He noticed the faintest flickers of movement, observing from afar as a humanoid shape tended to a bestial one near the bottom of the hillock. It seemed as though he was not the only person wandering the plains, though it seemed incredibly unlikely that the fellow had deliberately placed himself near the path of a marching army. Were he a kinder person, he would have alerted the man to the potential for a nearby conflict, and urged him to abandon his course and return to the safety of his home.

He wasn’t nearly that kind, but nonetheless he needed to ascend the hill, and meeting someone along the way didn’t necessarily harm any of his prospects. Worst case scenario he could always kill them and take their nels and valuables. Who would go searching through the woods for a single body, especially one so dreadfully far from the city? The bureaucrats that ran Etzos would be far too focused upon the outcome of the neighboring skirmish as well, and would likely attribute any missing persons to an assault by the Aukari or the Rhakrosians or maybe even a wild animal. Of course, wandering monsters were always a danger as well, he jested to himself as he began to stalk towards his prey.

The figure had long since left his valiant steed behind by the time Noth came near it, and though it whinnied and cried, its master had clearly abandoned it near its hiding place. He considered shooting the animal for several bits, but decided against frustrating the master in case he ended up being someone of importance or use. It had been a while since he had feasted upon horse flesh, but he supposed that he could hinder that particular urge for somewhat longer. With a knowing glare, he bid the horse farewell and proceeded to travel after its rider.

Climbing up the hill was probably far easier for Noth than the other fellow, since he only had to follow the completely ravaged path that he had formed, and because the twilight hybrid had a fair amount of experience in wandering through the woods. He stepped past broken twigs and flowers, not wondering whatsoever whether the man cared for nature: clearly not. Though he himself hunted and scavenged through the forest for his meals, and indeed had chopped away at trees and the like in the past, he considered himself to be a rather benevolent force upon the forest, only taking what he desired or required for a given time and not completely befuddling any other life forms chances at survival. He doubted sincerely that the rider carried the same sentiments about him.

It took some time before he finally spotted him, but he recognized immediately that his mental image had been fairly accurate. He was a foreboding fellow, barbaric in appearance and action, though the feature that most caught his eye was the vibrant red of his hair. He was almost certainly an Aukari, and that explained his presence quite well. The Aukari had no doubt dispatched a scout to peer upon the Etzori army so that they might better combat them. He had met a scout from a hostile country before, and though they had gotten along quite well due to Noth’s complete lack of patriotism, the spy in question had suffered a terrible fate. He didn’t particularly care that the fellow was an Aukari, especially since he was predisposed to think of people as people or worms, and thusly he did not care what manner of maggot they truly embodied.

Noise. He had stepped upon a twig, an intentional movement that caused a crackling sound that immediately drew the attention of the paranoid scout. Slowly, carefully he notched an arrow upon the taut string of his longbow, and then rapidly stepped from the foliage, making known his presence, though allowing himself the far more dominant role in their conversation given that he possessed a deadlier weapon.

“How goes the good work, spy?” He accused, his voice lacking the venom of a patriot, but infused with apparent dislike.
word count: 748
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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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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

At the sound of speech, the barbarian quickly raised his sword overhead into the basic combat stance. Staring at the sharp end of an arrow filled him with a sensation of dread. Baring his teeth in frustration, he stared at the disgusting bird-like monster with disdain written all over his face. The ungodly red eyes were something that he had never seen before. Taking a slow, deep breath, he allowed himself to settle in his stance.

"I am no spy!" Gangui retorted the accusation with a firm denial that came from the furnace that was his stomach, "What do you want?"

Pale, blue eyes remained unbroken as he peered at the entirety of the vile form. He focused intently on the moment, blatantly revealing his courage in the face of death. Taking another deep breath, common sense told him that he could technically close the gap. Faith dictated that he would cut down this feathered foe even if it was his last action on the face of Idalos.

An eerie stillness enveloped the two beings as the next course of action was decided. Testing his opponent intent, the barbarian ever so slowly began to bend at the legs in preperation to spring forward with a sword cut.
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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

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The barbaric man spun about with surprising speed given his muscly size, though after having seen a giant sprint headlong into a crowd of Aukari, such feats were becoming nothing more than the standard. He had immediately chosen a relatively hostile stance, lifting his sword overhead in a manner which left him completely open to attack. Noth discerned instantly that he was not a veteran of any battles, because if he was then he would have at least attempted to defend against a sudden enemy. The surprise was acceptable, even for those who had been trained in battle, but the reckless placement of one’s weapon was simply inexcusable.

Accusations flew from the mouth of the twilight hybrid, and were immediately refuted by the apparently angered Aukari. He wondered for a moment whether or not he would fit the standard cookie-cutter emotions of his race; filled with fiery anger and hatred and very little else. Noth didn’t dislike the Aukari like many of the species of Idalos, especially since he could understand the plight they faced, but he utterly despised the manner in which they zealously worshipped their petty godling, appealing to every feeling that flickered into his otherworldly head.

Steely vision assumed itself upon the visage of the fellow, and Noth instinctively took a retreating step backwards, ensuring that he had prepared enough room in case the man tried anything stupid. Another foolish decision was revealed in the choreographing of the fellow’s future actions. He had slowly begun to bend his knees, clearly intending to lunge forward with additional springiness the moment that the Avriel had dropped his guard. It would be counterproductive to eliminate the spy before any information or gain was gathered from the conversation, and so instead the hybrid simply settled his unnerving crimson eyes upon his foe and spoke in a grumbling voice of frustrated and demeaning manner.

“I ensure you, spy, that you will not reach me before this arrow pierces your lungs. I have been through these scenarios far more than one would often admit, and I have the temperament to carry through on violence with far greater ease than the sheepish men you may encounter.”

“Now then, spy. Know that I hold no loyalty to Etzos nor to your pitiful godling, and so I care not for your allegiances. I do desire to know what has brought you here, and; as it would please me, your name.”

“Do speak quickly, I can almost feel my fingers slipping.”
He spoke, yanking slightly upon the taut string that decided the life and death of the Aukari.


word count: 442
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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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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

As the devilish looking creature demanded more answers, Gangui remained calm and focused on the task at hand. The inhuman, red eyes of the bird displayed a sense of evil cunning that a simple warrior could not readily understand. Deep instilled pride dictated that he would not submit to the creature even if the result was death. It was his duty to make sure that he didn't go down without a fight.

"Ëiv au'thà Faldrun ..." Gangui mentioned under his breath as a knee-jerk reaction from Noth's mention of 'godling'.

Luckily for the warrior, the exchange was proceeding very slowly; for it took a while for his instincts to kick in. Exhaling loudly, Gangui took a gamble against Noth's readiness to slay. The barbarian dropped his back leg and lowered his sword parallel to the ground, pointed at Noth's heart. The action was intended to expose only his shoulder and arm wards the enemy, thus reducing the chance of being fatally wounded by the arrow. The barbarian had never used the technique before and took mental note of it.

"I am on my way to Etzos in search of work!" Gangui proclaimed, "I am known as Red-Hair among the nomads. I hail from the wilds, far to the north,"

Frowning and showing yellow teeth, the wild-man was obviously annoyed and wanted a quicker resolution. His internal logic of simple maxims made it impossible for him to counter-argue Noth with words. To him it was simply a black and white matter of fight-or-flight. Indeed he had much to learn.

"I care not for your name or the deeds attached to it... Are we going to end this or do you intend to parley?"

Undaunted, pale-blue eyes stared without remorse. His soul was wide open for the wretched creature to view the truth of his words. Gripping the hilt of his sword harder than ever, frustration dripped down his face as a bead of sweat.

Far off into the distance a trumpet or horn blared. Only the very last ripples of it's echo reached the saddle of the hill they now stood. Gangui noticed it, but took no heed for the show-down in front of him took all his thoughts.
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the first line of dialogue is rough and broken Vauni which means "I spit on Faldrun"
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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

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There was a gentle calmness about the fellow that seemed to fit their somewhat scenic setting, and the twilight hybrid quickly ascertained that he had finally begun to accept his position, and to formulate more adequate plans to deal with it. Hopefully, that meant that he had realized that assailing the murderous bird would only end in his untimely demise, though admittedly he didn’t carry the look of intelligence about him, and the Avriel sincerely doubted he had ever devoted himself to a single scholarly pursuit. As he had heard once in the distant past: Thinking is difficult, just hitting things and hoping it works out is far easier.

The defiance seemed to reek off of the fellow in droves, and immediately the predatory bird detected it, sensing it as it flooded into the airspace between them, threatening to drown out any other emotion in the area. There was a sentence spoken in a foreign tongue as the mention of Faldrun, the fiery godling who devoted his zealous followers to destruction for his own personal gain, and he wondered whether the Aukari had spoken so viciously in favor of the Immortal, or against him. It became difficult to discern motive when one dealt with zealots, as he had found in the past, but he determined mentally not to make any decisions about the fellow’s allegiance until he had collected further data.

Gradually, the warrior seemed to recognize that his footing was somewhat dangerous, and the twilight hybrid observed as he repositioned himself, directing his blade in the general direction of his bird-like chest, and the hauberk which defended his vital organs from enemy assailment. He was still too far to actually strike Noth, but the Avriel could appreciate the effort that he had taken in reducing the available areas where the arrow could strike. Admittedly, anyone who knew about the nature of longbows likely also knew that the projectile could simply pierce through the fellow’s arm, and go directly into his sternum, linking the two together in a macabre gluing process, but that knowledge was brushed aside as unimportant for the moment.

The man spoke, pronouncing words in the common trade tongue, something that could finally be understood by the Avriel who simply nodded his acceptance of the answers, allowing them to filter into his mind and be filed away for later reference. The fellow was headed to Etzos in search of work; likely mercenary or military in nature, and had thereby chosen a wilderness route to reach his destination. He stated that he was known as Red-Hair among the nomads of the North, which was presumably where he had made his home before departing for the rocky city of Etzos, though that did raise some curious points in the hybrid’s head. He determined his hypothesis quickly, allowing it to seep through the intellectual barriers that he had subconsciously erected so as not to blurt out unproven facts without first testing their logic.

The barbarian shined yellowing teeth towards him in a manner that reminded him vaguely of a growling dog, and angrily made it known that he cared not who Noth was, or for his actions, and would rather like to know where their conversation was going, whether to war or to peace.

The trumpet blaring erupted in his ears, alerting him to the presence of the lost militant force, though it seemed unlikely that they would be announcing their presence so readily unless…

Realization dawned on his face as he recognized that the skirmish must already have begun whilst he was distracted with the nomad. With a frustrated sigh, he gave an order.

“Place the sword fully on the ground, and I shall lower my weapon, Red-Hair. It is clear that you are not an Aukari spy, and thereby are of far less worth to me than otherwise, but… nonetheless the battle is starting, and I simply must observe how it plays out.”

“Who knows, perhaps you may even be granted a portion of the spoil.”

After all, Noth wouldn’t be able to carry the loot of every corpse.

word count: 689
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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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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

Despite the urge to be defiant in the face of death, common sense dawned upon the murkiness of pride. Staring into the bird-man's eyes, Gangui threw his sword on the ground angrily. Rolling his feet backwards, the barbarian revealed open hands of submission while distancing himself from the weapon. His father had warned him that sometimes he would need to live to fight another day. Peering into the red eyes, the warrior committed the monstrous features to memory.

The echo of the battle-horn cried again. This time Gangui heard it and turned his gaze to the peak of the hill behind him. Noth suggested that they take a gander at the commencing battle and vaguely proposed a temporary, mutually-benefit alliance. It felt unnatural to Gangui and his heart resisted compromising with Noth, but his mind begged to differ.

"Yes, let us climb to the top to witness, we can resolve our problems later..." The barbarian turned around and scanned the quickest way up the peak. He could still feel the looming threat of the projectile pointed at him, but in order to proceed he needed to ignore this. Using both hands and feet, the man began to hoist himself up and out of the saddle.
~*~
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At the top of the hill, the long awaited view had finally came to be. The frozen plains sprawled far into the horizon for the individuals to perceive. One thing that he did not expect though was to see two distinct groups of armed personnel marching in the field below. Even at the height of this hill, Gangui could feel the ominous tension between both armies. Laying down on his stomach, the wild-man decided it was better not to be seen by any such force.

To the south, twenty soldiers clothed in blue jogged parallel to the hill in a loose formation. One of these soldiers, the one with the war-horn, flew a bold Etzori flag. Their steel armor gleamed regardless of the overcast, winter sky. Brandishing round shields and drawn swords, these men were ready for conflict and for good reason; to the northeast approached twenty soldier clothed in red. They ran at a quicker pace, equipped with shields and what appeared to be javelins. They too had a front man who brandished a flag, a Sirothellian flag.

Judging by number alone, the battle that would be an even match. Echoing war horns blew again. The Etzori force stopped directly in front of Noth and Gangui's vantage point; the two individuals would have a front seat to the carnage that would ensue. The blue soldiers directly below them, got into a block formation and locked their shields. Hollering came from the leader, but the barbarian could not understand him.

Peering towards the red team, Gangui noticed that they had stopped some fifty or so yards away from their opponents. Forming a long line took them no time at all. The Aukari leader then screamed an order. In unison, the red soldiers flung their javelins. From the traveler's vantage point, this feat of combat was incredible to behold. The blue-team instinctively huddled up, raising their shields overhead and forming a protective barrier against the projectile assault. The Sirothellian force wasted no time, drawing their swords and proceeding to charge the now motionless Etzori.

Sounds of heavy bolts crashing into wooden shields and the screams of a single wounded man filled the air. Accompanied by the frenzied Aukari cries, a war horn on the red side announced their charge.

"So, this is what war sounds like..." Gangui mumbled, as the shivers ran down his back. He could not help but feel excited at witnessing such a battle.

ImageIn a very trained and rehearsed fashion, the red soldiers dropped back into a square block as they sprinted towards the the Etzori force. Even the ignorant barbarian realized that the degree of planning to perform such a choreographed tactic was indeed impressive.

The javelin attack from the red team had been successful. One the men towards the back of the blue formation struggled on the floor as blood spewed from the protruding wooden stick that was embedded in his neck. Grisly and prolonged agony would ensue as the man cried out his last breathes for the remainder of the battle.

Despite the disadvantage that the javelin attack had created, the Etzori force were no slouches and responded valiantly. The first line in their formation stepped up to stop the advancing Aukari scum without hesitation. The initial clash of both forces was noisy and violent. Hollering voices rose over beating of shields and swords. It seemed to Gangui that the blue team needed to hold their ground long enough to removed embedded javelins from broken shields. They needed to get back into gear before they were cleaved into two.

Gangui glanced briefly towards Noth, "The Etzori are done, look..."

The barbarian would have to eat his words. The first line of the blue team were doing their job splendidly and actually were able to slay two of the Aukari soldiers. Gangui noticed in these killings, that the death blow left the attacker open to a counter from the victims comrade. The slayer's teammate needed to cover such an action in order to hold formation. The coordinated effort was spectacular to see.

Image What was even stranger to the barbarian was how the Aukari men would drag the fallen comrades backwards, while other soldiers stepped forward immediately to fill in the holes. Gangui wandered if they did this to preserve their corpses or rather to not be impeded by a fallen body.

During these previous moments, the tide of the battle seemed to be in favor of the Etzori. However this suddenly changed. The two warriors who had replaced the fallen Aukari pushed forward into the blue team's formation like a hot knife through cheese. By the odd color of one man's uniform, Gangui recognized the red team's leader. Battle cries could be heard over the clash of arms, as their leader cut down two stout men.

The left and right sides of the blue team's ranks held their ground without respite though, which effectively cut their team in two. The surge from the Sirothellian advance was bolstered and the tide seemed to quake the resolute standing of the Etzori. Shouts and cries wailed for several moments of confused anger, until the leader of the blue team called to regroup. In a masterful display of combat management, the right side of the blue block retreated as the center bit down. This was not without a price though, for one Etzori was not quick enough to reform the line and died brutally for his mistake.

"...wow... this is intense..." Gangui mumbled in awe of the scene in front of him. Never before had he seen such an artful and vivid display of two trained forces in action. Not many people alive witnessed such glory from their perfect vantage point. The sounds of battering arms and armor, the squirting blood, the cohesion of each army, and the yelling of the commanders was now stuck in the barbarian's mind.

Once the Etzori line was reformed, the two travelers were able to witness the true heroic moment of a battle. Suddenly in one swift surge from the blue's center, the Aukari leader was slain. This was effectively the end of the battle, because the Sirothellians quickly gave up and began to retreat. At first it was the soldiers in the back of the formation, but section by section the red team turned and fled north. In this process, two more Aukari were slain.

The blue team waited a few moments to reorganize. It was obvious that they did not believe the outcome of this scrimmage as victory. Instead they began to pursue the red soldiers with a vengeance. Chasing the Sirothellians, the Eztori left their dead behind as an unceasing will-power consumed them.
~*~
Noth and Gangui remained quiet for awhile as the soldiers ran off towards the horizon. The wild-man did not know what to think or even what to say. All he knew was that he witnessed a spectacular scene and the glory seen below had filled him with inspiration. He imagined how it would be if he himself had been among the rank of fighters. He imagined what it would be like to be the leader of such trained group of soldiers.

Glancing back at Noth, 'Red-hair' had obviously let down his guard during the battle, but quickly raised his suspicions again, "Do you know what that was all about?"

The trumpeting war horns continued to echo in the background.
Off Topic
H is where Gangui's horse is at... X is where the saddle of the hill is at (supposed to be a topographical map)...A is Aukari force... E is Etzos force...
word count: 1489
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Noth
Approved Character
Posts: 829
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:51 pm
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Monster
Renown: -370
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[The Westride Plains]Real politics happen on the field.

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The thin creeping sensation of a smile gradually overtook the Avriel’s face as the newly acquainted barbarian discarded his weapon upon the ground, and then moved away from it, clearly surrendering in the face of a better armed opponent. Noth nodded his approval to this action, releasing the tension from the bow and allowing the arrow to rest limply upon the string, pointing straight downwards as gravity pulled upon it now that it was free of inertia’s grasp. He reached downwards, scooping up the sword, and placing it under his armpit, pressing against it so that it might not fall to the ground, though allowing it the option of being dropped should the barbaric man decide that he needed to attack quickly. The arrow was left hanging upon the string, a clear and evident sign of the general lack of trust exhibited between the two strangers.

The horn sounded once more, rattling the area with its earthshattering cry. Noth felt a desire to observe the battle growing within his chest, a desire to see the spilled blood, to see where the corpses fell so that he might descend upon them like a vulture and scoop away their precious things with the swipe of a feathered hand and the rake of a talon. The barbarian seemed to agree with that sentiment, suddenly accepting a temporary truce so that they might better view the battlefield below without making the hill a warzone of its own. He followed the barbaric red-head upwards, grasping onto the occasional loose plant for balance, but keeping his right hand locked upon his longbow at all times.

Clouds seemed to kiss the sky, not so terribly far away as they normally were, and Noth wondered exactly how far up they actually had gone. Definitely not enough so that breathing would become difficult, nor enough so that they might have ascended into the realms of birds and pureblooded Avriel, but definitely far enough that he could see the way the wind swirled about in great spanning lines, how it blew past and twisted as if though it were performing an exotic and complicated choreography. Meanwhile, a different manner of dance was being performed upon the ground, and crimson eyes peered downwards, observing the blue covered Etzori forces and the stereotypically red Aukari.

The twilight hybrid didn’t quite take the same precautions as the barbarian in avoiding being seen, because it didn’t truly matter. He had been in the rush of battle, had felt the adrenaline pulsing through his blood as thudded along with the steady beat of a strained heart. He had listened to the whispers of unsheathed steel, and the clash of rival blades determined to prove their worth. He had felt his cheeks become flushed a crimson color as flesh was sheared away with a slash there, and a chop there. He’d felt the liquid streaming down his arms, and his legs, and his back; the sweat and the blood and the muck that suckled at ones toes as if though they intended to yank them into Idalos itself. He remembered all of those feelings splendidly, and he observed at they were recreated, as if though warfare itself was simply a playwright’s masterpiece, and these valiant and stupid souls were ready to perform an act.

In that heated rush, in that well-written dance, men cared not for observers to their cause, so long as they did not interfere. In truth, Noth felt the desire to raise his longbow and rain down suffering upon the Aukari, because they had caused him more suffering than the Etzori, but he had determined long ago not to interfere in the petty squabbles of nations that did not deserve his attention, and he kept true to such devotions. Crimson eyes glanced sideways, noting the way that the Aukari barbarian had been drawn into the performance, and he knew immediately that if he wanted to, he could dispatch him in a moment’s notice, with the quick draw of a hunting knife and a silent jab to the ribs. In fact, he felt fairly confident that if he killed the Aukari, he could present him to the Etzori forces and receive some manner of commendation for his services to the city-state.

It took several bits until the battle had finally ended, though it seemed that the death of the most prominent Aukari triggered a retreat from the zealots. He refrained from thinking of them as cowardly, because in truth it seemed that they were suffering enough losses that the battle would surely either drain them of soldiers in a battle of attrition, or that they would all die, and thusly be unable to report any information at all to their commander. The Etzori were infused with the rage that commonly finds itself plentiful throughout a battle, and they chased foolishly after their foes, lashing at their backs like hungering hounds chasing down vicious foxes.

The barbarian spoke, asking him a question as he regained his suspicions, becoming suddenly more aware of his immediate surroundings now that the performance had drawn a curtain.

“Indeed. The forces of Sirothelle and Etzos have constantly been hostile to one another. Whilst I do not know if there is an official war, there essentially is one given the amount of skirmishes that the two hurl against one another. Mostly, I would blame much of the aggression upon Sirothelle and its pitiful godling, but I imagine that Vuda and Pahrn have something to do with the conflict as well.”

“Now then, the most fascinating part of these little skirmishes are the dead and dying. Shan’t we go pay them a visit?”
He spoke, his voice surprisingly cold, having mentally prepared itself for the presence of blood and gore and death. He could still hear a quiet wail or two upon the ground, but that didn’t necessarily mean there would be anything but silence when they finally reached the battlefield.

“We ought to be somewhat quick. Men lose their fire quickly, and they’ll quickly wish to return their comrades to their families.” He stated, beginning to traverse down the hill, turning his back to the barbarian. He sincerely doubted he would suddenly turn aggressive given that he had just observed the effects of such things upon the bodies of men.



word count: 1069
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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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