Open Chronicles Alliria

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Ceridwen

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(no Worries... I was sick too. LOL)
A growl had begun in Ceri’s chest, instinctual and she didn’t even really notice. Her exhaust and irritation starting to get to the feline side of her pissy… as cats tend to be. Her tail lashed dangerously from side to side and her ears which were normally perked now rested against her skull. Captain was on her last nerve and she was doing the best she could not to attack him. The muscles beneath her ivory pelt flickered like a horses when flies lighted upon them. Her forelimbs tensed as well, her sharp talons sinking deeply into the muck beneath her.

"We'll take extra. There's no problem there."

"I don't have the gold.” Elliot said as he pointed towards the other men. “They do."

On edge already when Capt clapped she sidestepped, huffing slightly with a hiss as he started talking again. "And a nod from the lovely griffin. So it's settled then. Seems you gentlemen aren't in much of a position to object. Now. Where is it?"

"It's over there. By that collapsed tent, all in a single chest. Take it and may you burn in hell, Captain." The captive man grumbled and Ceri chortled slightly

"There's plenty of room there for company, Right, Elliot?" the Captain grinned to Elliot who simply grunted in acknowledgement. Possibly the only person less amused than Elliot Aldmar at this moment was Ceri, her irritation was growing with the seconds. Her wounds were beginning to heal on their own, her shifter magic at work, working itself through her exhaustion as the little bit of food she’d eaten was burned.

As two of Marghast’s men headed towards the collapsed tent, Ceri watched them, turning her head to follow them closely, her ears twisting, listening to her group

"I hope you have fun with her, you or whomever in that Elven court you might be gifting her to." Marghast said, his voice made Ceri clench her beak and grind it slightly.

“I’m sure we will! Now as fun as this has been I pray we never meet again.“ Syvis said jovially it seemed, at least, she was pretending to be.

"How can you live with yourself?" Alexia’s voice made Ceri’s head spin, wide eyed. "How can you live with yourself!?" She yelled "I SWEAR THAT YOU WON'T GET--!"

Ceri watched Dulthir walk up to the girl, getting in her face and grumbling
"I know ye dunna understand this, but, we're saving yer life. A life yer fixing to put at risk, if'n ye dunna shut tha fook up. Now, ye can do it yerself, or I can. Which will it be?"

“I apologize for the outburst. Lots of spirit in this one, eh?“ Syvis continued her falsities with the Captain. Ceri side stepped slightly again, agitation growing as the lack of energy she’d had was growing into pure frustration and anger, her griffin, more animal side starting to overwhelm her human side. She opened her wings slightly, feathers fluffing slightly as she turned her head back towards Marghast for a few moment before turning her eyes back on his men by the tent.
 

Elliot Aldmar

Dornoch's Most Wanted Man
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Alexia was interrupted by Dulthir, her threat to Onager cut off, and her attention could go nowhere else but to him, so close was he leaning toward her. Alexia regarded him with a shocked incredulity--little flicks of her eyes, as if searching his face for some shred of decency or goodness.

And she said to Dulthir, in a quiet whisper, "You bastard. You unbelievable bastard."

Onager just chuckled. Kept up the search through the collapsed tent with Perc. Both of them had stepped over the body of Jack--the half-shaven man--who was holding in his breath desperately and willing his body to be still as a stone to keep up his pretense of death.

Captain Marghast--who'd been watching with a leisurely amusement as Ceridwen was making agitated motions--looked back to Syvis. "Lots of spirit, indeed. You'll have your work cut out for y--"

"Found it, boss," Perc called back as he hefted a small but apparently quite heavy chest up with both hands. He cursed at the weight and Onager helped him out some--if only to hear a bit more closely that delicious rattle of coin inside.

"And there we are," said Marghast. "Some people might say that there is no thing as a free lunch, but...my experience is such that this is merely a rare thing--not impossible."

"Captain."

"Yes, Elliot?"

He spoke the one thing that mattered most to him. "You need to tell Lord June that Alexia is dead."

And to this Marghast smiled genially. "Of course! That was all part of the plan. There's no need to tarnish the prospect of earning Lord June's patronage of the Free Company's services by telling him the truth of our business here today. Our deal we reached is one most sound. We get the gold, the opportunities with Lord June, we don't even need to fight, and you get the girl. A happy ending for everyone." He paused for purposeful effect. "Well...almost everyone, am I right?"

"Works well enough for me," Elliot said. With the shape he was in, him and Syvis and Dulthir and Ceridwen all, a fight against such odds could have been costly. Perhaps too costly. He was thinking ahead now, charting out going to the next town along the road for some much needed rest and recuperation. They all needed it.

"One thing..." said Marghast as Onager and Perc were mounting their horses, the latter needing help to get the chest up onto the saddle and into his lap.

Elliot looked back to the Captain.

"We'll need some of Alexia's hair," Marghast said, glancing the girl's way, "as physical proof that we did in fact see her at least. Before--oh what shall it be--she got carried off by a bear, say, or she and her retinue were set upon along the road by brigands. Hmm, that latter one isn't so far from the truth, is it? I'll invent a story, make bloody and matted that lock of hair, and it'll be what Lord June will believe has become of his beloved daughter."

Elliot let out a small breath through his nostrils. Gave a nod of assent. Then looked back over his shoulder at Alexia.

And Alexia, with quick glances between Dulthir and Elliot beyond him, shrunk down and lifted up her arms as if she might be struck, whimpering as this final humiliation was set to be perpetrated upon her by one of the four, "No...no...just don't..."

Syvis Dulthir Ceridwen
 
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Syvis

Arrogance incarnate
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Syvis smiled as his statement to her was interrupted by the grunts and jingles of the dwarves and their hope chest of stolen fortunes. Her grey eyes wandered to look at Ceri, she looked animalistic as her muscles twitched and her eyes narrowed in. The captain it appeared had pissed her off as much as he did Syvis. The niceties between the captain and herself however fake they may be still irked her. He was on off man, a worthy opponent had her strength been up. Yet as she looked at her chums it was more than apparent a fight was no longer needed today.

Her ears pricked as she heard Elliot speak, telling the captain he'd need to assure the lord of his daughter's demise. An important factor indeed, to her relief the man agreed. Their transaction running smooth and discrete the way such shady dealings should be. Her heart felt lighter as the weight of doubt and fear she hadn't known she'd been carrying was lifted, the group was on the home stretch.

It made sense to Syvis the request of the girl's hair. After all it was better than an ear or finger. Syvis' face molded into false solicitousness as she opened her lips to speak once again. Her tone as sweet as bee's honey as she said "I'll take the girl's hair for you, I reckon I could bloody it up as well. It's not like we've a lack of-" she paused before smirking and continuing on "-source."

With that Syvis grabbed one of her knives and approached the girl in a fast yet calm manner, eager to get this over with but not willing to spook the vehement young girl they'd so kidnapped. Alexia pleaded, not willing to face the humiliation the elf supposed; a feeling far too understandable. Yet it needed to be done.

She reached the contained girl and grabbed a fair chunk from the bottom section of her crown. It'd be easy to hide at least. The snip and chink of the grains of Alexia's hair could be heard as she stepped away with a hand full of hair. Bending down she ripped off a part of Alexia's garment; heart hurting to ruin such fabric, and tied it around the top of the hair chunk keeping it all unified.

She turned to look at the captain "Extra proof." Syvis said blithely before walking with pep to a dead body near by. The hair chunk was stuck in an open wound bloodying it to an extent Syvis was content with. Finally she approached the captain with her prize with a giggle she outstretched her hand containing the newly created evidence.

The captain suggested ways to make up the story of Alexia's demise and Syvis smiled. "If it isn't too much to impose might I suggest a cougar. They're quite stealthy and fast. Could snatch a body the moment you look away and bury it in places you'd never find it ever again.." her tone coquettish as she flirted with the idea of death. The inner chaos within her sneaking out for a moment before she merely smiled coyly stepping away from the horse.
 

Dulthir

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Dulthir put a hand on Alexia's shoulder as Syvis took a snip of her hair. He looked to Alexia, and put his finger to his mouth.
"Shhhhhh..."
He turned and faced Marghast and the other mercs.
"Well, lads. Pleasure doing business wit ye. Safe travels and all that."
He turned his attention to Ceri, who, in her frustration, anger, and exhaustion had become nearly feral in her look. He walked up to her, and stroked the feathers just behind her head. He got close and whispered to her, hoping to calm her down.
"Easy, love. Everything's gunna be jest fine..."
Ceridwen Syvis Elliot Aldmar
 

Ceridwen

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Ceri’s eyes flicked to the annoying pest of a girl they were saving as she spoke to Dulthir "You bastard. You unbelievable bastard." She ground her beak slightly in annoyance at the audacity of the wench but she said nothing as her head continued to swivel between the Captain, his men and everyone else.

"Lots of spirit, indeed. You'll have your work cut out for y--"

"Found it, boss," One of the men called out, her eyes turned towards him. She watched him grab a chest with both hands, he cursed and the other man helped him. She wheeled her head back around towards Marghast.

"And there we are, some people might say that there is no thing as a free lunch, but...my experience is such that this is merely a rare thing--not impossible."

"Captain." Her emerald ords twisted towards Elliot Aldmar

"Yes, Elliot?"

"You need to tell Lord June that Alexia is dead." A brow rose at Elliot’s words and her eyes swivled back to Marghast as a grin played across his lips.

"Of course! That was all part of the plan. There's no need to tarnish the prospect of earning Lord June's patronage of the Free Company's services by telling him the truth of our business here today. Our deal we reached is one most sound. We get the gold, the opportunities with Lord June, we don't even need to fight, and you get the girl. A happy ending for everyone. Well...almost everyone, am I right?"

"Works well enough for me," Elliot stated flatly.

"One thing… We'll need some of Alexia's hair, as physical proof that we did in fact see her at least. Before--oh what shall it be--she got carried off by a bear, say, or she and her retinue were set upon along the road by brigands. Hmm, that latter one isn't so far from the truth, is it? I'll invent a story, make bloody and matted that lock of hair, and it'll be what Lord June will believe has become of his beloved daughter."

Elliot agreed to the idea and Ceri looked to Alexia as she shrunk down and tried to protect herself as if they were opting to take her head rather than some hair for proof.

.oO(We should be so lucky for that silence) Ceri thought to herself. Not looking forward to spending an excess amount of time with the brat.

"No...no...just don't..."
I'll take the girl's hair for you, I reckon I could bloody it up as well. It's not like we've a lack of source." Syvis chimed in as Dulthir hushed the girl. Ceri watched Syvis take some hair and clothing and dip it in blood before moving back to Marghast.

"If it isn't too much to impose might I suggest a cougar. They're quite stealthy and fast. Could snatch a body the moment you look away and bury it in places you'd never find it ever again.." Syvis said softly.

"Well, lads. Pleasure doing business wit ye. Safe travels and all that." Dulthir grumbled, Ceri’s wild eyes turned to him quickly as he walked towards her. He moved his hand to her feathers and she cood slightly as he whispered to her "Easy, love. Everything's gunna be jest fine..." She lowered her head and nuzzled her head against him faintly, though her sharply trained eyes remained on Marghast.
 

Elliot Aldmar

Dornoch's Most Wanted Man
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Alexia pinched her eyes shut and pursed her lips when Dulthir put a finger to them, turning her head just slightly away but not enough to do much of anything, as if what she were about to be subject to a violation most foul. She flinched when her dress had likewise been cut, not expecting that as well. When it was all done her shoulders slumped, her head hung, and she just stared down at the ground.

Captain Marghast outstretched his hand and accepted the bundle of proof from Syvis. Gave a slight nod of assent to her own suggestion. "A sound choice. If it strikes my fancy, then I might just go with it once I meet with Lord June and deliver to him the good news."

And he looked to Dulthir. "Pleasure's all mine. Perhaps in the future we'll be on the same side of the negotiation table, hmm?" Then to Elliot. "I've no grievance against you, Elliot, nor any of your friends here. All men in the sellsword trade know the terms. You're welcome back anytime, should you decide it suits you."

"I'll keep it in mind." Not friendly, but not hostile either, Elliot's tone.

And with that, Captain Marghast made a clicking sound with his mouth and he turned his horse about, as did Onager and Perc and Yuni each with their own. The four envoys of the Free Company rode at a slow trot back across the pools of shallow water and the other smaller islands of dirt and scattered grass. Rode back to the treeline where they rejoined with the greater number of their fellow mercenaries. Some obscure words carried across the expanse of the clearing, the low sound of cheering and minor celebration from some of the sellswords, and then the Company all turned and, with Captain Marghast in the lead, disappeared into the treeline and were heading back in the direction of Alliria.

Finally, Elliot was able to relax. Relatively so, but relax--to not put on a hard and unrelenting face despite the continued torment of his wounds. He let out a long grunt that became a low groan. He unstrapped his fur collar and his quiver and shed his Bow from his back and dropped them all to the ground, and then he reached behind himself to fiddle with the straps of his leather armor, trying to get his chestpiece off. Beneath that would be his gambeson, and then he could finally work on getting that damned arrowhead out of his chest--but first, his armor chestpiece. Which was proving difficult, with only one good arm and thus one good hand.

He didn't see that Ceridwen's wounds were healing of their own accord, so he assumed Dulthir might tend to hers and she to his. Left Syvis to help Elliot with his. Whatever immediate aid they could all help each other with right now before they set out would be good, while they had this available time.

"Syvis," he said. Those beads of sweat on his forehead had multiplied throughout the duration of the talk with Captain Marghast. The blood had slowed from the wicked gash across his neck and face and as well from the puncture wound in his arm, but both wounds had left large, ragged blankets of red over his gray skin. "Was there..." He winced, willed the interrupting pain away, and continued, "anything salvageable from my saddlebag on Badger? The corked potions and elixirs might not have broken."

Elliot--still as of yet unable to get his leather chestpiece off--sat down on the ground.

Syvis Ceridwen Dulthir
 

Syvis

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Syvis‘ eyes fell sad as she watched Elliot struggle to get his armour off. Still watching she couldn’t contain her urge to help. Before she knew it she was close to him helping him grunt off the armour the best she could.

She wiped his forehead with her sleeve as he grunted through the assumed pain he was in to speak to her. „There was a few. Most of them soggy but salvageable enough. I didn’t think to grab them, I can run back and retrieve them if you need.“ she offered softly eyes wandering to the open laceration on his neck. „we ought to cover that.“ she mumbled. Syvis herself was far from a healer but she remembered a medicine woman murmuring the same statement to her back when tigers used to smoke.

She didn’t want to touch it for fear of causing an infection. „You can’t go in the water anymore..“ she added, if he got that disgusting water in his wounds it was bound to cause ailment.

Her arm started to sting as the excitement wore down. It was her own fault and she’d honour that fact. Her teeth ground against one and other as she stomached the waves of pins and needles and the blub blub sound of the small blood bubbles within her cut. She pretended it wasn’t happening as she helped tend to Elliot. Truth be told she questioned her sincerities with the other elf.
 

Dulthir

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Dulthir breathed a sigh of relief. He felt something on his face. He wiped at it, only to be painfully reminded of the gash the young guardsmen had given him. When he brushed it, he managed to knock the dried blood off of it and once again, it flowed. He walked over to Ceri and stroked the feathers on her head.
"Are ye alright, love? If'n ye need to, ye can change to human form. I'm sure we can find ye some clothing."
Ceridwen Syvis Elliot Aldmar
 
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Ceridwen

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Ceri watched as the captain turned with his company and left. She watched cautiously, her eyesight far better then the others, so she kept them in her sight until they truly disappeared, focusing out all other things for the moment. When they disappeared she looked to Elliot Aldmar and Syvis as Syvis was talking to him. She sighed slightly at their wounds, but she was no healer unfortunately.

She looked to Dulthir as he walked to her again, he was bleeding and she purred faintly as he stroked her feathers. She was exhausted and lowered herself to lay down for a few moments, a shiver rippling through her body as she lay in the cold mud.

"Are ye alright, love? If'n ye need to, ye can change to human form. I'm sure we can find ye some clothing."

She shook her head slowly. “I do not have the energy for that… this is my pure form, being in it takes no energy…” She said softly as she nuzzled him lightly. “We need to get somewhere were we can all rest.. Get first aid…” She looked to her wing, healing incorrectly and looked to Elliot and Syvis for a second. “When we get somewhere we can rest for a few days… someone is going to have to set my wing….” which meant they’d have to break it again, she knew it and the idea made her stomach lurch.

She turned her eyes towards the girl they were now in charge of. No doubt, she would remain a pain in their ass for whatever trip they took. She would need to be gagged no doubt once they got back to civilization lest she give away anything .
 

Elliot Aldmar

Dornoch's Most Wanted Man
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They got his chestpiece off, Elliot having to go through a particular and careful motion to slide it free of the embedded shaft and arrowhead while Syvis pulled. He unlaced a portion of his bloodied gambeson with his good hand and peeled it open--little strings of blood between the silken armor and his skin before they snapped lightly to one side or the other. The remaining shaft of the arrow was exposed, most of the arrowhead buried into his chest.

I can run back and retrieve them if you need.

Elliot nodded. "Yes. Please. I'll need whatever's available to be gotten." And he nodded again in response to her saying that they needed to cover that laceration on his neck. That, the one on his forehead where he'd struck the rock after being thrown from Badger, the stab wound on his arm. All of them. The supplies he had could help with the body's natural healing, but he would likely need to see a healer to ensure that he would have no lingering scars. Such was more than unseemly--scars were appalling to Elliot, and he respected no fighter who did not see them tended to. It spoke of a gross deficit of character.

In the meantime, and working in tandem with the initial treatment of the wounds, they could be covered. Though his bandages in the saddlebag were all certainly waterlogged, and, as Syvis mentioned about the water, now unusable. They would have to improvise something else.

Elliot would wait until Syvis retrieved what she could from the saddlebag and came back. Better to wait, to have one of the elixirs ready to pour on his chest once he pulled the arrowhead. Less time for the wound to bleed freely. In the meantime he wiped his hand on his pants and dried the broken shaft of the arrow as best he could in preparation to pull it.

When Syvis did return, he said, "If I fall unconscious, the Skeletal Warrior will be unbound and it will collapse to nothing." The Warrior was still standing sentinel behind the kneeling forms of Mathew and Orrem, who were compliant enough at present. "Just be aware of that."

Elliot, his face a mess of blood and sweat and of a certain paler gray than before, gripped the arrowhead with his good hand. Twisted very slightly until it felt loose enough, like it wouldn't get caught on bone when he went for it. Then he counted, "One. Two."

He yanked and the arrowhead came out along with a few flying droplets of blood and Elliot's body seized with pain and his eyes rolled upward for a second and nearly disappeared entirely behind their lids but they came back down. He opened his mouth wide and no sound came out, not yet, but as he started to allow it to close an agonized groan rumbled to life and then faded back to nothing.

* * * * *​

Alexia still sat. Didn't see frightening griffin looking her way. Her head hung, eyes staring to the dirt about her crossed legs. She said nothing.

Syvis Ceridwen Dulthir
 
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Syvis

Arrogance incarnate
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Syvis nodded as Elliot responded to her question. Lifting her arm above her chest she jumped into nearby water wading to the deceased body of Badger once again. The water made little ripples around her as she saw the little fish flutter away from her mass in fear, likely they'd come to the surface to snack on whatever bits of the fallen warriors could turn to chum. Her stomach lurched at the thought of the dead being eaten by little fishes but such was the circle of life, and mayhaps why there was sayings about such sorts of things; being eaten by fish that is.

She made it to her destination with haste a manner of urgency nagging at her despite there being no real danger anymore, yet her gut felt weighed down by rocks. Syvis was irked, but what she had no clue but leaving here seemed better. There was no doubt her father would hear about such a massacre through the grapevine and her name was hopefully nowheres attached to it, but it was a risk uncalculated and unneeded. Never stay in one place, her mantra. When she landed on her knees by the carcass of the horse her thoughts dispersed as she set to her task at hand. Fishing out what she could, she gave up fitting her fingers into the soggy leather pouches and grabbed them off the saddle. She didn't know what Elliot required so she slung the saddle bags over her shoulder gently and made the trek back to the group.

As she returned to Elliot she simply nodded at his tidbit about his necromanced warrior. Keeping an eye on the warrior in her peripherals. The elf in front of her looked horrid. His skin pale, his face bloodied and glistened with slick sweat, understandable. He took his pain like a warrior, sit there and shut up. Better than most she'd seen in all of sincerities.

Her eyes observed the arrow head within his chest as he twisted and before she had time to mentally prepare herself he ripped it out. Her ears pricked as she heard a squelching sound of bodily made air seals coming loose and a splatter of blood landed at her boots. Her face grew paler then normal as she turned and sprinted, she'd barely glimpsed at his face of pain before she turned.

As Syvis found herself within a thicket of woods she let the hot tears run tracks through her face once again, she sobbed quietly succumbing to guilt and she felt the bile of a semi-empty stomach rise hotly up her throat. She resisted the sickness as it washed over her at first yet unable to fight it, it found its way to the ground in front of her. The noise and visual of Elliot playing in her head once more made another track of vomit find its way out of her mouth. As she expelled her insides the tears welled up once again, her throat and sensitive nose burned as she held her hair off her face. Alas she'd finally finished, she sighed exhausted and fell to the ground by the bottom of a tree, leaning against it she cut the sleeve of her blouse.

Looking at the crusted blood covering her arm and the small streams of fresh blood within its banks made her stomach churn again, yet there was nothing left within its contents. She dry heaved before coughing. Looking straight ahead she brushed her arm off the best she could, her fingers growing in damp stickiness in what she knew was blood. It was ironic to her, the murder she could commit while compressing the sickness. Yet sickness always wins in the end, the best she could do was hold it off. Despite the pain of her predicament the feeling of expelling something be it emotions or bile was liberating to her. She chuckled darkly as her eyes scanned for a relatively clean piece of fabric. Seeing one she cut it off, her once decent blouse looking like a pre-teens sewing project yet the fabric was a need. Tying her arm she smiled as she sat still at the base of the tree.
 

Dulthir

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Ceri nuzzled Dulthir, and laid down. Karrazark, who had become quite fond of Ceri, came and laid beside her, doing his best to comfort her. Dulthir heard the sound of the arrow being pulled from Elliot's chest. Then he watched as Syvis darted for the treeline. Then he heard her vomiting and dry heaving. He shook his head.
"Poor lass."
He looked to Ceri.
"Yer right, love. We could all do with a good rest and some healing. Let me talk with Elliot and see where we may go from here."
He walked up to Elliot. He could see the pain in his eyes. He looked at him.
"Well, lad. What er we doing from here? I dunna know the land. Where's tha nearest town?"
Ceridwen Syvis Elliot Aldmar
 

Ceridwen

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Ceri nuzzled Karrazark lightly, playfully nibbling his ear as he lay besides her before lowering her head to rest it on his side and close her eyes. She heard the arrow being removed from Elliot Aldmar ’s chest and flinched. The sound sickening and then Syvis ran to the woods. She blinked and looked towards Dulthir

"Poor lass. Yer right, love. We could all do with a good rest and some healing. Let me talk with Elliot and see where we may go from here."

"Well, lad. What er we doing from here? I dunna know the land. Where's tha nearest town?"

“He can ride me… Wherever we go… I can hold him with my wings.... So he wont have to try to stay in a saddle.”

She offered shortly before resting her head back on Karrazark and closing her eyes once more, getting what rest she could before they had to get moving again. Elliot looked to be in very bad shape and she knew they needed to get him to a healer, quickly. She was unsure if she could fly with her wing in the shape it was in, but she could try if they needed to.
 

Elliot Aldmar

Dornoch's Most Wanted Man
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Syvis had come back with the saddlebags, but after pulling the arrowhead from his chest she was gone--saddlebag included. Elliot glanced about and saw her then, her back, sprinting away toward the surrounding trees of the clearing. His mind was blank for a moment at that, then his initial thought was that she had had enough, and very much in the spirit of the Free Company she was freely taking her leave. Yet it didn't quite feel like that was it. Provided that it wasn't, that she wouldn't disappear into the trees never to be seen again, they'd have to go check on her.

In the meantime, he could acquire some makeshift bandages. He didn't want to put them on yet, not before he could apply a salvaged potion or two from the saddlebag, but he could have them in hand.

Elliot pursed his lips. Made an effort to stand, slowly planting one foot on the ground and rising up and then planting his other foot and rising all the way, feeling the light swoon of the world that came with such motion. Necessary pains to endure, all of this. Committing to a course of action should never be taken lightly, and he had not committed to seeing Alexia alive and free from the Company and her father in a flippant manner, one in which the slightest inconvenience stood a chance to dissuade him. No. Therein lay the failings of his older, undisciplined self. A self which had left business in Dornoch egregiously unresolved.

Dulthir came up to him. Asked about the next steps.

"The Free Company ought to be heading southeast, back to Alliria. So we'll continue northwest along the major road." He took a moment to try and recall the next town they ought to run into by following that course, bringing to mind the order of the towns and villages they'd already been through in the pursuit. Then it came to him. "Saif's Bend is the next town. And we'll go from there."

We'll go from there. Meaning they would have to be flexible. Elliot recognized strongly that Alexia and the guardsmen were liable to seek out the aid of lawmen as soon as possible. And it might just be that the best move would be to set them loose somewhere, while they themselves went to some other destination to rest.

Elliot heard Ceridwen's offer, and it was a good one if they wanted to get anywhere fast. Dulthir had brought those extra horses back over, but Elliot doubted his ability to ride effectively at present.

First things first. "We'll need to see about Syvis. Give me a moment, and we'll move out."

Elliot left his chestpiece and his Bow on the ground where they were. Drew his dagger. He needed to cut some strips of cloth for the makeshift bandages, and it so happened that there were plenty of dead men who didn't much need their shirts anymore. Elliot, walking slowly and with a mildly wobbling gait, made his way over to the collapsed tent where the chest of gold had been. He squatted down next to the corpse of a guardsman, and reached out to grab a handful of the shirt.

But that "corpse" was Jack, the half-shaven man, who had been playing dead ever since Cade's intrusion. And when he felt Elliot's hand grabbing his shirt, he rolled over quickly and with a small iron cooking pan struck Elliot square in the side of the head, the crisp sound of the metallic CLANG carrying through the clearing. The world went dark for Elliot, and he crumpled heavily to his right side, laid out flat on the ground.

"Jack!" Alexia cried, her voice filled with hope and terror.

The Skeletal Warrior collapsed into a pile of inanimate bones, the necromantic light gone from its eye sockets. Mathew and Orrem didn't need an invitation. They sprang to their feet, Mathew grabbing the Warrior's sword and Orrem grabbing the Warrior's shield.

"Jack, Orrem, RUN!" Mathew shouted as he sprinted toward Alexia and took her by the arm and all but forced her to her feet and to run with him. Jack scrambled to his feet, an acquired sword in hand, and bolted, splashing his way through the shallow water about his ankles. Orrem seized one of the very horses Dulthir had brought back, leapt upon the horse as if his very life depended on it, and spurred the animal on into a gallop.

Mathew and Alexia. Jack. Orrem. Each going three different directions. Splitting up, with the hope that at least one of them could escape.

Dulthir Ceridwen Syvis
 
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Syvis

Arrogance incarnate
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342
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Syvis heard the bellow of a man telling another to run. She cursed under her breath as she jumped up sprinting her way in the vague direction she‘d come in except in the excitement it seemed she was no where near where she should be.

Her heart swelled as panic set in she hadn’t the slightest idea where she was. Gods above she‘d grown up in a forest, how could she be lost in one now. Syvis hadn’t run that far.. had she?

Readjusting the saddle bags on her shoulder she made a face. Doing what she thought best to do she climbed a nearby tree and sat upon its branches. Praying she didn’t seem like a deserter she listened the best she could to the sounds around her.
 
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Dulthir

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During heard the *CLANG* of the pan against Elliot's skull. He turned and saw Elliot slump. Then the "dead" man jumped up and took off running. The younger of the two men, the one he assumed was Orrem, jumped up and took one of the horses he had gathered.
The older man grabbed Alexia and ran. Dulthir pulled a bola from his belt and swung it above his head. He released it, aiming for Alexia's knees. He pulled his crossbow up and loosed a bolt aimed at the older man's right knee. Then Dulthir whistled and Karrazark took chase after the "dead" man. He looked to Orrem, whom was too far out to hit with a bolt.
Ceridwen Syvis Elliot Aldmar
 

Ceridwen

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CLANG wrung out through the relative silence of the area and Ceri’s head spun as if on a swivel, turning in the direction of the sound as things began to dissolve around them.

"Jack!" Alexia cried…. The skeleton standing over Mathew and Orrem crumpled and the men got to their feet grabbing a sword and shield as they did so Mathew screaming "Jack, Orrem, RUN!" as he grabbed Alexia, yanking her to her feet. The others scrambled to their feet as well and all of them scattered in different directions… Orrem jumping onto one of the horses they needed and bolting with it.

She groaned as she forced herself, as quickly as she could, to her feet. She bolted after Alexia, she was the one they’d been after in the first place, she didn’t see need for any of the others, except the horse maybe… but that was even questionable as there was her, Karrazark and another horse still that could be ridden. She bolted after the girl, the hiss of the Bola flying passed her for Alexia’s knees as she opened her wings, she would fly if needed, not thinking about the fact that her wing was broken and would likely not support her, adrenalin once more coursing through her veins and making her forget the injury.

As the space between her and Alexia was eaten by her massive strides she forced herself to shift to her anthro-form and attempted to wrap her wings and arms around the girl, not knowing if the bola had hit its mark or not. She paid the other fleeing people no mind as the meant nothing to her.

Elliot Aldmar
Syvis
Dulthir
 

Elliot Aldmar

Dornoch's Most Wanted Man
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69
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A sharp ringing.

Surrounding both ears. Drilling into his head. This along with the hollering pain, freshly joining all the others, in the side of his skull. Elliot wasn't out for long, but his return to Arethil was not a pleasant one.

He lay on the ground, staring distantly up at the sky, his vision swimming. Slowly he rolled over onto his stomach and started with his good arm to push himself back up to his knees.

* * * * *​

Mathew had hazarded a glance back as he and Alexia ran. Enough to see past the girl behind him and to see the dwarf reaching for something on his belt and raising it up to throw. Mathew swore and pulled Alexia closer, yanking her forward by the arm with a force that almost made her stumble. He spun with her close to his body and heard the close and quick whoosh-whoosh-WHOOSHING of the bola as it went twirling past, another splash in the shallow water as the weapon struck the surface and disappeared beneath white foam.

"Oh my god!" Alexia yelped, pale with fright that the spinning thing (she had no idea that it was specifically a bola, only that it was some sort of weapon) had only just missed her.

"Ale--"

Mathew couldn't even finish saying her name. He gave out a sharp cry of pain as a crossbow bolt slammed into the back of his thigh and the bolthead burst out through the front--a bit higher than Dulthir had aimed. Alexia saw the scrunching of Mathew's face and looked down and saw his blood staining her damp dress. Mathew couldn't put weight on his right leg anymore and thus collapsed down to sit roughly on his backside, the water up to his sternum.

"MATHEW, NO!" Alexia shrieked.

"Alexia," he said quickly, his voice strained. "You have to go. Catch up with Orrem. Leave me. Now!"

"I can't! I won't!"

She saw the horrid griffin creature coming. Eyes wide and teeth bared in a stark grimace of fear at the sight, she made her decision. Alexia crouched down with Mathew and, like a daughter would for a father who truly did love her, threw her arms around him and embraced him as tightly as she could. Mathew, taken aback for a second, came to wrap his arms around her too.

Entwined together, they awaited their combined fate at the hands (or perhaps wings) of Ceridwen.

* * * * *​

Orrem glanced and saw what was happening with Mathew and Alexia. But, as much as it pained him, it wouldn't do any good to swing the horse around and try to go back for either of them. Their only hope now was that these damnable fiends spared them long enough for Orrem to return with help. How he would even find them again, he hadn't the faintest clue. But still to that end Orrem spurred the horse onward, riding as fast as he could back toward the road Elliot and Syvis and Dulthir and Ceridwen had come from not so long ago.

Jack, meanwhile, was not faring so well.

Toward the trees Jack was running. And he could both hear and see with terrified glances behind him that monstrous pig closing in.

"Fuck, fuck, FUCK!"

He knew he wasn't going to make it. Not even to the treeline, most likely. But what other choice did he have but to keep running? His mates had been shredded by that griffin-creature and that monstrous pig and now the latter was coming for him. At the last possible second when the beast got close, he'd have no choice but to make whatever last stand he could with his sword. Maybe score a lucky hit and stab it through the eye socket and into the brain. Gods, he hoped so.

Syvis Dulthir Ceridwen
 
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