Private Tales In the memory of the fallen

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer


Vicar of the Caliginous Church
Character Biography
Mother, who guides us and protects us, guide me now as I embark upon this mission.
May your eyes look upon me in favour and guide my hands to do this duty.
In the memory of the fallen.
In the name of justice for your slain daughters and sons.
Lend me thy strength...

Demise checked her horses girth for a third time as she waited in the courtyard for the other assassin assigned to this task. Tardiness was not something she could abide but the clock had not yet struck the hour and so, technically, the Sister was not yet late. It was getting close though. The Vicar's eyes drifted upwards to the solemn looking tower. Five more minutes and then she would go on alone. Alone was better anyway. There were less chances of mistakes when you were alone and when it came to this mission, Demi had no intentions of making a mistake. Unknowingly her thoughts had led her to tug free the pendant she wore about he neck and clutch it in one gloved hand. The stone was the only physical piece of her homeland she had left. The years and constant touches had worn the rock down so that it was smooth and glistened more like a gem than the rock it had come from. It was chiselled into the shape of a blade made for her by her father and gifted to her after she had killed her twin, Prevail.

This hate you harbour will get you killed sister, let go of your feelings to this target.

Demise glanced to where Prevail's shadowy form sat upon the horses back, not that the creature gave any sign of there being anything upon its back. They were trained too well to shy at shadows.

"I can't," she replied simply and hoped the Mother would forgive her as she had been honest. Hate and anger clouded judgement but how was she to separate herself from them when the man they had been hired to kill was a part of the institution who had wiped out her entire race? Surely the Bishops would not have given her this task if they had not wanted her to use that.

Unless this is a test. If you fail they might never let you hunt the Lightwalkers again.
That got a frown. I merely express a need for caution, Sister. This is not a mission to go into alone. Perhaps you might even make a friend.

The frown turned into a scowl.

* * *

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Time was almost up. Rushing to the stables, her gear stowed and slung over her shoulder, Sister Yarrow was quick about finding herself a suitable mount for the journey ahead. She had only been home for two days, and already she was being sent out on a new assignment. With Demise of all people, Root laughed callously, thumping her thigh like she had just said something funny.

Yarrow wasn't laughing.

Oh, don't be like that, Root went on, I'm sure she's a real charmer once you get to know her. And therein lay the problem, the she-orc thought. Of all the so-called "Sisters," Demise was one of the hardest to figure out. Hard to read, hard to talk to... You could be sat at the same dinner table and still she wouldn't talk to you, not if she could help it. 'Maybe she's just shy?' Yarrow mused, halfway through saddling her horse. There was a moment's silence.

The two sisters' laughter filled the stable, spooking the horses with its abruptness.

Good one, sis, Root chuckled, wiping an imaginary tear from her eye. To be fair, all of her was imaginary these days, and had been for a while now. But really, you should try talking to her. Finishing her preparations, Yarrow brushed a loose bang from her eye. 'Since when were you the voice of reason?' she asked, taking her horse by the reins and leading her out into the courtyard. Since before you were born, kiddo. Yarrow smiled.

She didn't often get on with her twin, but that was one joke that never got old.

Wiping the expression from her face, Yarrow cleared her throat. 'Sister Demise,' she greeted the Vicar with a wave. The woman was scowling, as was to be expected. Yarrow hoped it wasn't at her, or because of her. Probably is. 'Are you ready to ride?' Yarrow continued before the silence got too awkward. 'Places to go, people to kill and all that.'

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The feathering in Demise's jaw was the only indication of her simmering anger at Yarrow's arrival barely a second before the clocks began to chime. It could not be called tardiness for she was not technically late, but everyone knew that when you set a meeting time you were ten minutes early to ensure if there were delays there was some leniency. Didn't they?

I don't think they do, Mouse Demi masked her surprise at the appearance of the fox shadowkin upon the low stonewall besides which she had been waiting. There was no obvious signs the fox was at all interested in the assassin it had chosen and instead fixed its red lupine eyes squarely on Yarrow. No doubt it too weighed the promise of the new recruit and how her involvement would impact the toss of luck. She gave a soft snort - a reaction appropriate to both Yarrow's comments and Nasiib's.

We've discussed this nickname before, the Vicar reminded him instead as she pulled herself into the saddle and turned the horse about. In the city they could do little more than walk. Nasiib hopped upon the horses rear and licked a paw. It was the summary of how this conversation always went and Demi repressed a sigh. She would need luck, Mother help her, but at the cost of Nasiib and Yarrow?

"Did you read your report?" she asked the girl, glancing over her shoulder. Doubt coloured every feature.
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A look of disbelief passed between Root and Yarrow. Is she for real? Deciding to humour the Vicar, since getting on her bad side -not that she had a good one- was a big no-no, the she-orc responded in the affirmative. 'I did,' she said, clambering up into her saddle after Demise. 'We're to find and "neutralise" a high-ranking member of the Church of the Light Incarnate. One Ser Lucas du Brecht.'

The name didn't mean much to Yarrow. They never did.

'You have his last known location. Once we've made contact with our people, it's up to us to find him.' Looking across at her companion, Yarrow's expression remained fixed as she allowed time for her words to sink in. She could see in Demise's eyes what the woman was thinking. You mean it'll be up to me! Something along those lines. But that was okay. Yarrow wasn't tagging along to stick a shiv in someone whose name meant nothing. She was accompanying Demise because she had been told to.

How else was she to keep an eye on her?

'You look angry,' Yarrow said, encouraging her horse forwards until the two assassins were practically stirrup to stirrup. 'Did I say something out of turn?'

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See? Give the kid a break. Nasiib had settled on the bedroll tied to the bask of her saddle. It was an odd sensation feeling the shadowkin pressed against the small of her back; her mind told her she should feel some sort of warmth but there was none. Merely the whispered promise of it.

Breaks get people killed, she reminded him but hearing Yarrow had done her homework at least soothed her temper somewhat. Maybe the girl had been rereading it and simply forgotten the time. Yes, maybe that was it. Yarrow was a good Sister to the Church, she just needed a little guidance from someone such as herself to make her a perfect one.

"Angry?" Demise was suddenly aware of what her face was doing and she focused on smoothing it out. The result was more of a grimace than anything neutral; she had always struggled with masking her emotions. "No, Child. You did nothing wrong. It is I who must learn a lesson from this morning." She could practically feel the shadowkins amusement bristling at her back, though the fox feigned sleep. Her sisters pride was more obvious. She had spoke true, however. Demise was the one who had let her personal hatred for this man make her impatient and foul-tempered. She couldn't let her hate control her or it would blunt her as a useful weapon.

"My younger sister informs me I have what she calls a resting bitch face. I wouldn't take it personally."
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What did she just say? Root's expression was one of complete and utter shock. Raising an eyebrow, Yarrow felt her jaw growing slack. 'Did you...' She paused to collect herself. 'Did you just make a joke?' Her eyes darted to the feline shadowkin, then, to the sister nearby. Both stared back at her like she was going crazy. Perhaps she was.

Actually, I think she was just stating a fact. Root chimed in, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. Yes, yes, that has to be it!

Nodding along, Yarrow shrugged as if it didn't matter either way. 'Well, I suppose honesty is the best policy,' the she-orc smiled, clicked her tongue. 'Now, before I say something I'll come to regret later, I reckon it's time we were on our way.' Appearing from the shadows of the gatehouse, Clay, her wolven shadowkin, watched hungrily as Yarrow drove her horse forwards with nothing more than a flick of her reins.

Loyal to a fault, he loped along beside her mount as they road out into the surrounding lands. The sky overhead was ashen, the air full of slowly-tumbling ashes. Still... 'Nice day for a hunt!' Yarrow commented cheerfully. 'So, what's new in the life of Vicar Demise?' An innocent question, it had all the weight and heft of an executioner's axe.
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A joke?

Nasiib was shuddering with repressed laughter. Her sister glanced from the shadowkin to Demise as though looking for help but the fox provided none. Instead, Prevail sighed and tried to explain as she floated effortlessly alongside the pair.

That does tend to be what people do, sister. To ease tensions.


Well that seemed utterly foolish. How would a joke make a person feel more relaxed? For instance, if she was about to have her throat slit, would she want to hear someone say knock knock? Of course not. Sensing her thoughts her sister merely sighed then vanished to the realm she could not follow her to. Part of her wondered if she met with their other sisters on the other side, those who now each helped the sisters who still lived in their quest. She liked to hope so.

Nasiib looked up suddenly as they neared the gate and Demise assumed Yarrows own had joined them.

"New?" Demise sounded amused as she glanced across to her companion. "What is it you know about me that is old?" Oh, Demi knew the whispers shared amongst the others about her and her sisters. Each new tale longer and more ludicrous than the last.
'Oh, there're plenty of farfetched stories floating around about you, friend Demise.' With a mysterious smile, Yarrow carried on, barely containing the mirth she felt behind a mask she had spent over a decade perfecting. 'I suppose that's the trouble with having so many sisters. They like to tell tales of your exploits, real or imagined.' Demise's family -her real one- had a habit of stirring up trouble when and where they could. Well, some of them at least.

The one Yarrow was currently riding with was a firm stickler for the rules. The resting bitch face? Yeah, that was no accident.

Still, at least she possessed some modicum of self-awareness. That's a start. 'For instance, just the other day I heard one of your sisters was late in answering a summons from one of the Bishops. Don't ask me which, the names change with every retelling. Anyway, since they were... "preoccupied" with a certain door guardian -you know who I mean- you went in their stead.'

Yarrow flashed Demise a smile. Yeah, it sounded like a load of bunk. Probably was. But that didn't make the story any less amusing. On the contrary, it had made the rounds a number of times now and the Bishops, being so far above it all, had not bothered clarifying whether it was true or not. Yarrow thought it was quite funny. Evidently, some of Demise's sisters did too.

But would she?

'Don't know if there's any truth to it. I'm sure you wouldn't tell me if there was. But hey-ho! It is what it is.' Riding along, their shadowkins in tow, the two assassins allowed for a brief silence. Root, invisible to everyone except her sister, had a wry smile plastered across her face. Was she waiting for something? Oh, right!

'So, do you always avoid answering questions with such elegance or was that a one-time thing?'
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Demise's face betrayed nothing that might have given Yarrow a clue as to whether the story were true or not. There was none of the usual frowning or look of disapproval for simply partaking in the sin of gossip. No rush to defend the sister who had indeed been unable to go and see the Bishop because she had been in bed with the white-haired guardian.

Interesting that the story does not say it was your older sister who summoned her, the fox had given up all feigns of being asleep now Yarrow's shadowkin had joined them. He seemed far more interested in sitting in front of Demi's saddle and observing it instead, one ear cocked backwards.

Not many people realise Bishop Serenity is our sister, Prevail sighed. Serenity was the second eldest and preferred to pretend the family line had stopped with her until her younger siblings forced her to remember the uncomfortable truth. Demi's lips twitched into a small, traitorous smile. One of the reasons she pushed for her own Bishophood was to be a burr in Serenity's oh so perfect side.

"I was merely establishing what 'new' would be to you," Demise murmured then cast a glance to her young charge before back to the road. A cart had ambled across their path up ahead and stopped so the man driving it could speak to one of the market tenders. When they spotted who was approaching they quickly broke apart and the cart rumbled on. "I am currently considering the offer of a second shadowkin," she kept her voice soft. "What is 'new' with you, Sister Yarrow?"
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Yarrow whistled to herself. A second shadowkin? That was quite something. Glancing at Clay, the she-orc wondered what it might feel like to have another shadowkin at her disposal. It wasn't often she thought about it, the power and prestige that came with having a second shadowkin at her beck and call. The temptation was there, of course, but she had never really been drawn in by it.

If anything, a second shadowkin was just another tie. Treat it well and it might do the same for you. Treat them poorly...

Clay turned his head to look at her. For all his wolven qualities, he behaved nothing like the real article. There were plenty of similarities, to be sure. But to mistake him for anything other than what he was, a creature of shadow, was to make a fool of oneself. And fools died quick in this line of work.

'Oh, nothing much,' Yarrow replied, turning back to Demise. Clay had bared his teeth in submission, mirroring the smile he sometimes saw on his master's face. One kind was for friends and family. The other was for when people pushed her too far. 'Started giving Sister Solitude pointers on her knifework recently. To say she needed the help is an understatement.' Yarrow grinned, picturing in her mind's eye their little trip into the Unburnt together.

What a mission that had been.

'She's improving, though. It's amazing what she can do when she sets her mind to something.' Raising an eyebrow, she grinned mischievously as the full meaning behind the Vicar's words sank in. 'Congratulations, by the way! It's not everyday someone's granted the honour of a second shadow-companion.' Root snorted. Yarrow ignored her. 'You must have made quite the impression.'

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It was concerning that Sister Solitude required help on her bladework still. That type of education should have started from a young age. Demise herself remembered being given her first set of daggers when she was six by her eldest sister just before she had killed her twin. She still carried those blades on her person for each mission; they brought her luck.

I bring you luck, the Shadowkin sniffed and Demise gave a soft snort.

"Sister Solitude is lucky to have you as a ... friend," was that the right term? "Blades are important to know. They might not be the most elegant of methods when killing a person, but they get the job done," she much preferred to use her blades to cause pain. There was something so delicious about watching the dawning realisation on a person's face that no matter what they said they would not leave that room. They begged for the knife in the end and that always made it so much more fun when she used her own hands.

She hoped Becht pleaded.

"Thank you, Sister Yarrow. It is indeed a great honour," she seemed to sit up a little straighter in her saddle. The fox snorted and Demise cast him a glance. Jealous thing.

"Do you often help the other assassins with their training?" she quirked a brow.
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'Depends. Why? You need help with something?' Giving Demise a wry smile, Yarrow fell silent as the cart from earlier rumbled on past them. The back was full of barrels and crates, but the she-orc was more interested in keeping an eye on the driver than she was identifying the contents stowed within. Foodstuffs, to be sure! She recognised the stamps on the barrels. Local suppliers, mostly.

There were a few more exotic additions to the delivery. Namely, a few barrels of spiced wine haling from... Veluca? Caer Soren?

The first one, Root confirmed. For the Cardinal, perhaps? Or perhaps the next Gathering? The latter, Yarrow replied, using her inner voice to speak to her sister. Oddly enough, it sounded exactly like her outer voice. 'I suppose... I suppose I help where I can, really.' Yarrow continued, turning back to Demise. She shrugged. 'And you were right. Solitude is my friend, and a far more capable assassin than most give her credit for.'

Yarrow paused. Her lips curled upwards. 'Wait, hang on! Did you just imply what I think you implied?'

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Demise didn't dignify that question - joke? - with a response. Instead she traced the path they would take out of the mountains upwards. It was a long way to travel but once they were beyond the crest of the hill ahead they would be able to pick up the pace. In the back of her mind she quietly sent a prayer Yarrow was a decent enough rider and that if she did not have much saddle time, that it would not hurt her too much. May the Mother see it so, she finished the prayer and pressed her fingertips to her lips.

"I do not know what you think I implied, child. I try to speak plainly. I merely think those who have friends who wish them to succeed are lucky. It is a grave sin for us to think only of ourselves, especially at the detriment to our fellows. We must always strive to extend a hand to those below us."

The road grew less busy as they cleared the main city. Houses thinned out and the only passers-by became those travelling the road to and from the city with wagons and baskets empty or full. When a person stopped to give them an appropriate bow, Demise slowed to give them a proper blessing, before continuing.
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And there it was again. Child. Fighting hard not to bite back, Yarrow kept her focus on the road ahead. Sister Demise had always been a bit of a bitch, but even Yarrow knew not to judge a book by its cover. Instead, the she-orc tried to empathise with the woman. You really are an idiot sometimes, you know that? Root's words travelled back to her from the next rise over. Yarrow only had to blink and she was back to walking alongside them.

So you keep reminding me.

Huffing, Root gave up on trying to rile her sister. Vanishing, she left the two assassins to their conversation. Well, almost. Try as she might, Yarrow was never truly alone. Clay watched over her day and night, waiting for the first signs of weakness, or else doing what all loyal shadowkin did by keeping her safe. As if sensing her thoughts, the wolf stopped what he was doing to look back at her.

Eyes the purest white watched her unswervingly. Some might have found it intimidating. Yarrow didn't.

Emboldened by his gaze, the half-orc cleared her throat. 'And you, Sister? Do you consider yourself lucky?' Cresting the hill, Yarrow studied the winding road where it led up into the mountains. The vapours were thick on Shekath, and had been for a millennia no thanks to the active volcanoes located on the island. It made travelling treacherous. But then wasn't that always the case where they were concerned?
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A faint smile that held so many possibilities ghosted her lips.

"Not for the same reasons," she replied in a voice so soft some might not have heard it at all then touched her heels to her horses flank and set them off into a steady canter. She kept her horses head so it didn't take off at a flat gallop, not along the pathways this close to their citadel. A stray rock or hole caused by the tremors of the volcano could break a horses leg if the rider wasn't careful. Dust flew up in their wake and when it settled, it conveniently covered their tracks. A stroke of luck.

Demise kept the pair to a hard pace; stretches of canters turned into gallops once they were clear of the rocks, with dismounted walks every few miles to rest their horses legs. They stopped for water once when they came across it but otherwise Demise bid they eat from the saddle or whilst walking; she was eager to get as many miles as they could on their journey. It was only when the skies began to turn pink she pulled them off the roads into a Grove where they could camp the night. She dismounted and gave her horse a fond pat.

"We will break camp at dawn, with any luck tomorrow we will arrive at the stone tomorrow."
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'We shall see what the new day brings.' Drawing a leg up and over, Yarrow slid from her saddle to take her horse by its halter. Reaching out, she made to take hold of Demise's mount in order to lead it away. 'I shall tend to the mounts,' she told the Vicar, 'Perhaps you'd be so kind as to get a fire going in the meantime?' It was a simple enough request. One Yarrow doubted Demise would be offended by, though, there was always the possibility of just that.

We must always strive to extend a hand to those below us, she had said. Well, now was Demise's chance to prove herself a woman of her word.

Yarrow liked to think of herself as such. If she made a promise to someone, she did her utmost to keep it. An honourable assassin? Now, there's a laugh. Peering at Yarrow across the seat of her saddle, the she-orc's dead twin went through the motions of unsaddling her horse. Of course, being dead, she wasn't very successful in her endeavours. Still, Yarrow couldn't fault her for trying.

She misses it, doesn't she? Clay appeared in Yarrow's periphery, right below her horse's long neck. The fight you had before I came into your life, she feels she should have won it. She was said to be favoured by the Mother, after all. Clay tilted his head, like he always did when something curious crossed his mind. Stronger. Faster. Smarter. Perhaps if she had been...

Luckier, yes.
Yarrow was starting to grow tired of the word. Alas, here I am. Sorry to disappoint. Looking down at Clay, Yarrow met the wolf-kin's beady white eyes. Some days she grew tired of him, too. He knew that. Understood it, even. Lowering his gaze, the shadow slunk away into the surrounding treeline. Yarrow watched him go, then, continued with her work.

Five minutes and she was done.

'What's for dinner?' She asked Demise, squatting down by the Vicar with a sour look on her face. 'Salted beef? My favourite!'
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Was that snark? The shadow fox sounded amused at the prospect a plucky young cadet would feel empowered to do so. Most stuttered around Demise, or were arrogant fools until she had to pull them out of the mess they had made. Yarrow was neither and Nasiib, for one, was enjoying the change. The Vicar on the other hand was unsure of what to make of it so instead of replying to Yarrow she held her gaze until it neared being uncomfortable, then headed off to scout for firewood.

By the time Yarrow had unsaddled and rubbed down their sweaty horses, Demi had a small fire going that she was adding progressively larger branches to. She enjoyed this kind of work after a long ride. Sometimes on her days off she would ride aimlessly then camp wherever she ended up when it got too dark she risked her horses leg. There was something... relaxing about it all.

Even with Yarrow's jokes.

"I will have to disappoint you, I packed sandwiches instead," she added three larger logs when she was content the fire wouldn't gutter and returned to her pack. "I tend to save the salted beef for emergencies," taking out carefully wrapped bundles she settled down on her roll mat and passed one across to the she-orc. Inside the neatly wrapped bundle was a thickly sliced sandwich full of cured ham and cheese.
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Yarrow smiled gratefully as Demise passed a sandwich across. Cheese and ham was one of those tried and true combinations that she never seemed to grow tired of. Of course, these sandwiches in particular were special. Demise had made them, after all, and better still they weren't poisoned. Yarrow would have smelt it otherwise. Perhaps I think too poorly of her, she thought, folding her legs beneath her. She took a bite of her meal.

There were very few ways to fuck up a sandwich, but Demise... hadn't managed it.

Content to sit in silence, the she-orc watched the Vicar out of the corner of her eye as they ate. For one reason or another, Yarrow had the distinct feeling she wasn't too keen on small talk. Whether that was because she was naturally grouchy or just unused to casual banter was another question entirely. No doubt Demise would reveal the answer sooner or later. Or, as was so often the case with her, not at all.

Place your bets!

Finishing off her food, the assassin shot a curious glance towards her companion. Her own sandwich was barely touched, and the thoughtful look on her face...
She better not faceplant the fucking fire, thought the she-orc, scooting a little closer, just in case. 'You gonna eat that?' Yarrow asked, prodding a crumby finger towards her sister's dinner. 'Only I've never seen anyone try to cook a sandwich before.' She raised an eyebrow. 'You, uh, doin' all right?'
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An ordinary person might have jumped when jerked from their thoughts as Demise was by Yarrow, but they were Children of the Mother. All Yarrow received was a side-eyed glance before the Vicar looked back to the fire. This time, instead of staring blindly into the flames however, she added a few more logs then used a longer branch to move about the embers so the heat was more evenly distributed.

"I am fine," physically speaking that was not a lie, for lying was a sin. Physically was all that really mattered when it came to their work. She had seen assassins in service who were broken in the mind in ways that if they had been an animal, Demise would have put them out of their misery in an act of kindness. Content with the fire she glanced to the sandwich and then passed it to Yarrow; over half of it was still in tact.

"My kind do not require as much food as I believe yours does," honestly she knew little of orcs but from what she had observed about humans alone it must have been true.
'Are you calling me fat or is this just your way of stating the obvious?' Taking the sandwich, Yarrow took a tentative nibble. She knew when someone didn't want to talk about something. "I am fine." Classic deflection, that. What she really meant was, "no, I am not fine, but you don't need to know about it just yet." Whatever had happened must have been bad indeed to make Demise reflect on it so... obviously.

Staring into the fire, Yarrow carried on eating. She tried to recall all the things she knew about Demise and her sisters. Oddly enough, the only information she really possessed were their names, and those were the ones given to them by the Church, or else selected later on when they were deemed capable enough to do so. The rest was a mystery.

Probably for the best.

Seeing off the last of her sandwich, Yarrow made to stand. Clay came loping from the shadows to nuzzle her hand. Stroking his fur -a weird sensation that made her skin tingle- the she-orc strolled over to her saddle. Slipping down on top of it, she began to untie her bedroll. 'I suppose we'll be safe enough with letting our 'kin take the watch,' she said. The entities that could bypass their magicks were few and far between in these parts. Still... 'Get some sleep, Demise. You look tired.'

Blinking, Yarrow gave the assassin a small smile as if to say...

You'll be fine.
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She's right, Prevail said and put a ghostly hand on her shoulder. You look tired.

Demise was tired. Tired of bearing this weight on her shoulders that their family would have to avenge a whole race of people. All those lives lost cried out to her in her dreams begging for revenge. The mother had chosen her over her sister for that purpose. It was written in her very name. She hadn't realised she'd fallen into such heavy thoughts until Yarrow had broken her from them. With a sigh she stood and stretched.

"I'll do a walk around first, you sleep Yarrow," sleep wouldn't come to her just yet and there was little point in trying while her mind spun with all the ways she would catch this man and eek every secret she could about his precious Church from his greying lips as she stole the very light from his eyes.

"Sleep well."
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Dawn arrived to find the assassins on the road. Leading the way, Yarrow navigated the mountain paths with ease, as if she were born to it. Her horse, well used to this sort of terrain, gave her no trouble as they climbed. Of all the routes to the Shekath Stone, the mountain passes were the most risky. One slip could spell disaster.

Fortunately, the weather remained clear and bright as they ventured on, up into the dizzying heights above. A good omen, thought Yarrow, tracing the outline of the next mountain over with a finger and thumb. A jagged peak, there, between the clouds. Rock as black as charred flesh. And in amongst it all, a menagerie of winged beasts. Most were carrion eaters, small and opportunistic by nature. No threat to the assassins.

Keyword being most.

'Not far now,' said Yarrow, glancing back at Demise. There was a ten foot gap between them. A safety measure. If one fell, or met with trouble, they would not drag the other down with them. Someone had to complete the mission, after all. Someone being Demise.

'We'll descend towards the coast soon. Make our way through the Boneyard and on to the Hanging Tree. Assuming you're in agreement?' Yarrow raised an eyebrow in question. Demise was the Vicar. Unless accompanied by another of equal rank, the command fell to her, always.

Even Root couldn't argue that.
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When Demise had been a little girl she had enjoyed nothing more than balancing on the edge of rocks and cliffs, much to her parents horror. She had scaled heights without battering an eyelid and had even been known to fall asleep hanging from vines upside down. So walking along the mountain pass did not bother her, what bothered her was that it was her horse who was doing the walking. She would rather trust her own two feet than the animals, but the sleek dappled grey mare did not put so much as a hoof wrong. She plodded on with ears pricked forward as though she were enjoying the challenge as much as Demise had when she was younger.

She'd been admiring the landscape when Yarrow called back to her. Demi still wasn't used to the need some people had to be told that what they were doing was right. She took after her father in that respect, preferring only to speak out when something was wrong.

Not everyone works like that, chided her sister who seemed to be immensely enjoying how much the young half-orc was forcing her sister to speak.

"Of course," Demi even threw in a small smile before going back to scanning the jagged rocks, her fingers playing about some of the knives she kept sheathed against the saddle. "Keep your weapons close as we go down," there were more birds than usual up ahead and the way they fought in the skies made her think there was a meal they were fighting over below. She just hoped it was another animal.
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Keep them close? What else was she going to do with them? Nodding, Yarrow swept her gaze back to the path. The heavy head of her war-pick poked out from beneath her saddle's horn, promising pain to anyone -or any thing- fool enough to get in her way. Fear not, little sister, said Root, the only thing you need concern yourself with right now is gravity. That, and how well you treat your horse.

As if agreeing with her sister's ghost, Yarrow's mare began to whinny loudly. She wasn't sure why, exactly. Horses were not her forte.

But then it hit her.

Raising a fist, Yarrow drew her mount to a halt as she spied a dark shape on the path ahead. What the hell is that? she thought, eyes darting to the shelf just above the obstruction. Then, to the boulder-strewn slope beneath. Something doesn't feel right, she heard Root say. Nudging her nervous horse forwards, Yarrow gripped the haft of her weapon in her right hand. Slipped her feet from the stirrups as the birds overhead continued to circle, as if watching.


The dark blob began to take shape. A carcass, Yarrow surmised. The wind buffeted her ears, throwing off her hearing. Her sense of smell didn't fare much better. 'Something's awry,' she said. It was at that moment she realised just what was in the road.

Shouting a warning, Yarrow hurled herself from the saddle a split second before the bolts hit her. Something sharp glanced the side of her head as she fell, twisting to absorb the landing. 'Sister!' She tried to shout, but the shock of impact ripped the breath from her lungs.

The zealots had positioned themselves well, but not well enough. Rolling to her feet, Yarrow bounded into cover. She had counted two of them, though, there were probably more. Not too many. Three, four at best.

Raising their weapons, the would-be killers turned to address Demise. Loosed anew.

Yarrow started running.
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  • Cthulhoo rage
Reactions: Demise

With Yarrow in front on the narrow track, Demise had not seen anything to warn her about what was to come other than the younger Sister echoing her own thoughts about there 'being something up'. She was tracing the curves of the higher ridges - places where she herself would set up an ambush - when suddenly she caught the movement of Yarrow throwing herself from her saddle. The bolt came almost immediately after.

Demise's eyes turned a bloody red and her hand snapped up to catch the bolt a mere inch from her face.

Nasiib snarled and the Vicar broke the bolt in her hand before letting it fall to the floor. With her other hand she drew her blade and then kicked her heels into her horses flank. The mare bolted forward at a thundering gallop and the fox ran at her side seeming to grow bigger and bigger as it collected shadows. More bolts whizzed towards them. One hit wide, the other lodged into her horses saddle just before her thigh, and another hit an unlucky bird who happened to be flying past at the wrong moment. Just as one of them was about to release the fourth shot, Demise's mare was upon him and he was forced to abandon the crossbow in favour of the sword at his side if he had any hope of keeping his life.
  • Cthulu Knife
Reactions: Yarrow