Fable - Ask Oban Outlaw..

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Wren Kingsley

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~ Oban ~ twenty-three years ago..~

The girl couldn't have been much younger than Wren was, perhaps four or five. But clothed in a grey and tattered dress, and her feet were bare and covered in whatever she'd trodden through in the rancid streets. She sat on the damp ground amongst the filth, and the frigid water was seeping in to her clothes, though she didn't seem to notice. Her spindly arms wrapped tightly around pointy little knees and she stared up at Wren just as hard as Wren had stared at her. Wren took in the girls skeletal face. Nobody's cheekbones should have stood out so proudly. Her face had no trace of life other than not being blue, like she was breathing without really being alive.

Wren stood a polar opposite. An inherently beautiful six year old child, rosy cheeked with dark curled hair, wrapped in a cream leather coat, adorned in gold buttons and hooded in fine white fur that protected her head from the lightly falling snow. Small plumes of mist puffed from her mouth in quick succession, her lungs recovering from a sprint, but she could hear her father's guardsmen chasing her down and calling out her name with concern in their voices. She stood, rooted in place by the shock of the sight of the starving child. Her father called them the 'city's filth'.

Wren had been about to ask the child the most ridiculous question about whether she was alright, when an arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her from her feet and she kicked and screamed. "Hush milady. Your mother is worried sick." he'd told her.

"I want my friend to come too!" she'd punched at the man's back as he threw the young child over his shoulder "Come with us!" she called back to the child, but she remained rigid and frozen to the ground.

"Out of the question little lady. She's probably crawling with lice.." he commented, and she stared back at the girl until she was out of sight.


~Present day..~

She'd said she was going hunting. She'd lied. But her sisters knew her well enough to know that and so the lie was as pointless as ever. Really, what she meant was, she needed her time. The habit of sneaking around amongst the slums of Oban had began when she was a child, when she'd found that those who had nothing were kinder to her than those who had copious amounts of wealth. She'd never been suited to being a noblewoman, she had a rebellious nature as a child and spoke her mind far too much. She and her sisters were raised to buy connection to even wealthier families than her own, of which there were few. But otherwise, they were given no purpose, just smile and look pretty and curtsy properly. When all that was done they'd be sold off to marry the highest bidder and have even more rich and powerful sons and so on and so forth. The oppression had never sat well, and nor did the obvious segregation between the lower and upper classes. Her family bathed in riches, they flaunted it in competition with the other nobles and royals and used it to throw lavish status parties and buy ridiculous ornaments.

Here in the slums things were different. Life was much simpler in that regard. Her abhorrent parents had so much that they'd barely noticed the missing coin and foods that their first child had been sneaking from their hoard and distributing amongst the families too poor to eat, it'd been years before she'd been caught, and her punishment had not been light.

Wren had got to know many of the impoverished families of Oban, and she'd felt more at home in the poorer parts of the city. She navigated the streets more cautiously now however, dressed in black leathers with a scarf that covered half of her face and her hood that cloaked her raven black hair. The bounty on her head had increased several times now as personally demanded by her youngest sister's previously betrothed Crowned Prince. His life had almost been hers, and his pride had been dented, and heaven help anyone woman who dared damage the ego of the Crowned Prince.

The streets of the slums were generally safer for her now, she was well known enough by many of it's residents and there were rarely guards in these parts of the city, the poor were usually left to settle their own disputes and deaths were most often overlooked.

She'd stepped up to a door and knocked, and the blonde woman who opened it let out a cry of joy and threw her arms around Wren in a tight embrace "Oh lass I'm so pleased yer alrigh', I ent seen yeh in weeks an' I though' the worst...And your sisters?" The older woman cupped Wren's face affectionately, with more warmth than her own mother had ever cared to show her, and Wren's icy façade broke into a bright smile as she pulled down her scarf to feel the woman's hands on her cheeks.

"We are well Maura, the city guard have been ramped up a bit since the festival that's all..Are you well?" Wren spoke quietly and accepted the woman's assurances that she was well enough, before a second woman appeared at the door to scoop Wren into a second, worried grip. "Hello Issy." she laughed quietly and stroked the woman's blonde hair. "I can't stay long, but we should have supper sometime soon, yes?" she kissed the woman's head and produced a large coin purse she'd acquired at the festival. "It should see you right for a few weeks." she assured in a hushed voice with a glance either way down the alleyway.

"My Angel." Issy took the purse and lifted Wren's hands to kiss them gratefully. "Please don' stay away for so long this time."

"I won't, I promise." she smiled, and they both squeezed her in another embrace before letting her go. Maura went inside as Wren continued off down the alley, and Issy stood smiling at her, in the same place she'd met her twenty-three years ago. Now she wore shoes.
 
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Rob Cooke

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He paced.

He did that when he was thinking. And when he was after something.

Of course, today of all days was the one time he decided not to pay attention. He stopped to look at some food-stalls and suddenly, the week's grocery funds were gone. If the sisters found out about this he would receive shit to no end, no, he had to track them down before he went back to camp.

It's not really like they needed to get groceries, but Blanche tended to get grouchy when they ate one thing too often. Lottie to a lesser extent as-well. As for Wren, it was hard to tell. Either way, it would be better to simply secure the funds, he had thought of this eventuality.

He followed a small trail he had set up to be made. A small, thin line of red cloth. He'd have to move fast though, before it spun out or got broken somewhere. He turned a corner, and quickly froze before whipping back around, wincing internally. Wren was in front of a door talking to someone.

He quickly turned back around the corner and quickly strode by, eyes focused on the red line. Wouldn't do him good to lose it in the dirt now.
 
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Szesh

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Oban, the capital of Dalriada.

In his travels Szesh had seen his share of cities. Vel Anir, though most often viewed from the outer settlements, was as imposing as they came. Tall towers, impenetrable walls, as militant as its people were. Elbion, with its twisting spires and kaleidoscope population. Magic was like water there, and just as dangerous when it broke from the dams.

But Oban was different. Yes, it had tall walls and towers. Yes, it had gryphons and its share of fanciful sights. What stood out most of all, however, was the ever-present and insistent reminder of wealth. It was flaunted everywhere, from the ostentatious palace to the homes that surrounded it. The people displayed their affluence with their clothes, their speech, and most of all their deeds.

The people with the wealth, that is. For all of their great fortune, and for all of the gold that surely lay securely within the city, Szesh had never encounter such a devastatingly wide disparity between the rich and poor.

He had seen poverty, he had spent much of his life traveling through slums and ruins as was the nature of many of his jobs. He had seen hunger and sickness and loss, but never was it so pronounced when unimaginable riches were so close.

And so it was here, in this slum, where the filth hung heavy in the air and the night winds gave no comfort. Szesh crouched on a rooftop. It was quite easy, given the flat tops of most buildings. The copious gryphons that the city catered to made it exceptionally simple to navigate by air. He had not expected the bounty of a famous noblewoman to lead him here, but such surprises were commonplace in his occupation.

It seemed that the young princess, or dutchess, depending on which title was more pertinent (he couldn't say), had a penchant for helping the needy. It was admirable that she should go out of her way to share some of her absurd riches with the impoverished, which made it especially humbling when one such peasant had sold her out. Her gifts, it seemed, could only go so far, and the promise of even a fraction of her enormous bounty in exchange for information had not gone unanswered.

Was it wrong of him to attempt to capture someone who was trying to do some good in this cesspool of prosperity and famine? No, he didn't think so. One woman would not, could not, fix this city. Besides, it was not his place to wonder. He was under no obligation to take the bounty, and frankly the reasons for its posting did not concern him. The money didn't even concern him all that much (although it was a wonderful bonus). Such a reward would ensure he needn't work for years... but he likely would anyway. What else was he to do?

No, what interested him most was the challenge. This particular bounty had been increased several times, meaning that it had been failed several times. What skills did this woman possess that she was able to avoid the finest bounty hunters on the continent? Szesh had no intentions of failure, but perhaps she would be able to occupy him for some time.

The case was already proving to be interesting. He had found a peculiarity, a very long line of red cloth. Was it related to Wren? Probably not directly, she wouldn't be so foolish as to leave a trail, but anything this strange warranted investigation.
 

Wren Kingsley

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Wren carried on wandering the narrow streets, avoiding the rivers of filth that ran down the middle of the dimpled roads, pausing now and then to avoid the contents of chamber pots being tossed into her path, adding to the squalor. She continued lightly knocking on doors, greeting old friends, leaving small piles of coin on the sills of open windows, happily distributing the wealth so kindly donated by the good Lords and Ladies of Oban. It would be more appreciated here.

Wren halted under the light of a torch and lifted her scarf again, glancing up and down the darkening street, and she stole off quickly into an alley, stealthily as she could to silence the sound of her boots slapping on the damp cobbles.

At once she emerged from the dark lane, her hand reached out in order to press a firm hand against Rob Cooke's breastplate and slam him back into the wall, her silver dagger raised in her other hand, knuckles white with rage. "What are you doing here?!" she exclaimed in a whisper, the street was quiet and her voice would carry too well. Wren's emerald gaze bore into the man's masked face with intensity. This was her time, and he knew it "Are you spying on me?!" she growled and glanced around, half expecting her sisters to have followed her here too. Wren upheld a hard exterior, but here it was soft and warm and she had a reputation to protect, it was a private part of her identity, something she did for her.

Her attention fell to the red thread and her brow knit as she bent to lift it "What is this? ...Are you out of your mind?!" she shoved him, her voice raising a little. She turned to leave without waiting for an answer. She was vulnerable in the city, there were posters for the Lady Montcroix everywhere ~ of course they wouldn't smear her late husband's name, he had been relative to the King after all. No, she would be an embarrassment to her own family, not the King's. Now Rob was leaving trails that could lead anyone who wished to follow it straight to her. "Fucking idiot." she muttered irritably and slid her blade back inside her belt.
 
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Rob Cooke

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He cursed to himself as he was pushed against the wall. Of course it was too much to ask for to not be seen. He glanced around, looking for a way out of the situation and to keep eyes. Better to fess up the situation at this point, it would be unlikely to sate Wren's anger,.

He waited for her to get the worst of it out of her system before speaking, looking back down at the red thread and beginning to follow it. "Not spying on you, no." He said, with a sigh, "Someone managed to snag the grocery funds from me while I wasn't paying attention, I attached this red thread for exactly this kind of situation. This," He waved at the air around him, "Was poor luck, and if you are concerned on being tracked by my thread, you should exit the immediate area." He inspected the line again, while silently gauging Wren for a reaction, if he was unlucky, she would bring up issue with this explanation.

He didn't feel particularly lucky.
 

Szesh

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Szesh peered at the scarlet bit of string. He had left the rooftops, crouching down to get a better view. It was not a particularly unusual string, only its location. It was very long, though, as it stretch down either end of the street and disappeared behind two corners.

Szesh tried to think of how the oddity could have arrived. Perhaps someone selling string had come through and not realized they were trailing? But who would sell in a place like this? Anyone able to produce and dye the wool would not be living here, nor would anyone who could afford it.

A torn garment, unraveling as they traveled? Again no, it was far too long and regular.

The only thing that made even an ounce of sense, and not by much, was a trail. Someone did not wish to get lost down here. It was a good strategy, to be fair. The streets down here were far from regular, and were Szesh not able to fly above the hovels he too might have worried about being trapped in the labyrinthine filth.

Who would venture down here but not be familiar enough to avoid getting lost? A kind-hearted noble certainly fit the bill.

A couple turned the corner. They walked a few paces, saw him, gasped, and quickly went the other way. Subtlety was not a luxury Szesh was afforded. He stood, rising back up to his full height. The dim candlelight from half-closed windows danced lazily off of his mirror-like scales. His wings were folded in tight and his tail was held above the ground. There were few places that disgusted him enough to make the effort to not drag his tail at least a little. This was one of them.

The only decision now was which way to follow the string. The street ran more or less perpendicular to the castle, so that would not help. He was about to make a wild guess when the string moved. Someone had tugged at it, or perhaps lifted it, and it moved to the left.

Left it was, then.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Wren grit her teeth so hard that her jaw ached, it took all of the restraint she had not to allow herself to have an outburst right now. He knew every trick in the book and had still managed to allow someone to steal their coin. It was easily replaced, but it wasn’t the point. As soon as they were back in the open, she could scream at him, but right now she was trying not to draw attention. Oh how her little family so loved to draw attention. No. She had to step away before she throttled him.

Her hood was up and her gaze was downcast, muttering to herself about fucking morons as she tried to escape the threaded labyrinth. She’d been unsettled now, too anxious to continue her rounds, but it was a long way to the wall.

Wren looked up at the figure that rounded the corner ahead of her and froze for too long before attempting to hide herself in the shadows between two market stalls. What had she seen? The silver beast was entirely out of place, she didn’t know a single resident of this place that wasn’t human, and the homes were much too small to house something of that size.

Was that a dragon?
 
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Rob Cooke

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He silently took out a small cloth, cleaning the handprint off his breastplate. There was no sense in trying to talk Wren down, it wouldn’t work. He collected himself as she began to walk away, turning to inspect the thread again when something made Wren stop.

“He’s a big one, isn’t he?” He carefully backpedaled behind a corner, wincing as Wren hesitated for too long. Soon, all that could be seen of him was the slightest corner of his mask, where an eye underneath peered out at the newcomer.
 
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Szesh

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The string turned a corner and Szesh followed. It was moving a fair amount now, he must be close to its source. As he turned the corner he was met by a dark figure in the road. They stopped and stared for a moment, as was usual, before darting off. It was very dark on this road, but he could see well enough. His endlessly black eyes were open wide, and at the right angle they might flash as would a cat's. The candlelight was reflected, maximized, and he knew where she had gone.

He continued his walking pace. No need to cause alarm and possibly let his prey know he was here. He believed he had found the source of the string, but that didn't mean he had found Wren. She fit the description of a black-haired, dark-clothed woman... but in this environment anyone would look dark.

He stopped just before the stalls. He had followed the line of string to the next corner and noticed Rob's head peeking out at him. If this string had not guided his vision he likely wouldn't have noticed the tiny bit of mask poking out, but there it was.

One person hiding from him was normal. Two people hiding and watching... that was less so. Would the one in the ally try to protect his friend by the stalls? Better to feel them out here than go running in.

"Wren Kingsley," he announced in a deep, rasping voice. "Do you know her? Where she is?"
 
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Wren Kingsley

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The awnings let her hide from the moonlight, the pure blackness giving her a comfort like a blanket of generous velvet that wrapped safely around her. The only visible skin was that above the scarf that covered the lower half of her face, and every spec of light seemed to seek out her eyes for something in which to reflect itself.

He was here for her.

Wren tried not to breathe for a moment as she listened, her form pressing back against the shadow until there was nothing but wall that pushed back. She made herself as silent as she possibly could, moving with the noiseless slink of cat slowly backing away from a threat. She pulled herself up onto the stall and climbed as carefully as she could up onto the building’s flat roof. But doing so without a sound was a feat and she was sure her heart was thudding too loudly against her ribs for everyone else not to hear it too.

She rolled onto the roof and brought herself to a crouch by the edge, though the moonlight spilled down on her like a searchlight and she kept herself low, peeking over the awnings below to get a better look at who, or what had come looking for her.

He was a dragon.

She moved quietly along the edge of the roof, trying to catch sight of Rob and she saw him hiding too. He knows we’re here. Just say no and leave. She mouthed to herself, realising how difficult it was to make an effort not to talk aloud to herself. She couldn’t bring herself to leave Rob on his own with the creature, and she certainly didn’t want to meet him.
 
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Rob Cooke

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He slipped from behind the corner, unseen eyes jotting to Wren, a barely imperceptible nod. He knelt down, picking up the red thread relaxedly, taking his time. Only once he had stood up did he speak.

"That's the wanted one, correct?" He said, inspecting his thread. "Afraid not, wish I did, it's a might fine sum." He stretched slightly. He didn't need to, but it would give the impression of being more relaxed. "Folks round' here don't like strangers, and even if you did run into someone who knew that fancy prancy princess." He made some slight gestures as he talked, "They wouldn't tell you much." He turned from the scaled man, refocusing his attention on the thread. "Now, I would like to go back to my business, so unless you wish to assist me in re-securing my funds, or if you will try to uselessly leverage non-existent information out of me, I will take my leave." He began to walk away carefully, keeping his ears open for the movement of the man.
 
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Szesh

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Szesh's attention was drawn by the loud man. His garb was... odd. A mask, brightly colored cloth and some armor. This was the man who'd laid the string down, but to what purpose? He supposed it didn't matter much, but he was curious. Of course, he was more curious why such a finely dressed individual was down here.

He stepped closer to Rob, facing away from Wren. "I can be persuasive," he growled. His head snapped to the side, looking in between the market stalls... but the woman was gone. He could have sworn she was there... yes, someone had definitely been there just moments ago. He looked around, but he could not see anyone in the darkness.

He looked back at Rob, eyeing him up and down. It was very unlikely that he had happened to stumble into someone familiar with his target... but something about the man spoke of higher status. Maybe it was his clothes, maybe it was his speech, or maybe it was his eagerness to leave. Szesh did not sense fear so much as he did nervousness. It was a subtle but important difference. Fear was common, most people didn't even know Draconians existed much less had seen one. Nervousness, though... perhaps he knew something.

"Why the string?" he asked, and here was the true test. How good of a lier was he? If he was obviously hiding something Szesh was confident he could extract it. If he wasn't... he may still be useful. He claimed not to know Wren's whereabouts, yet he knew of her. The large reptile moved yet closer.

Szesh cast his eyes around the alleyway once more, hoping to catch a glimpse of the vanished woman. He saw nothing.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Rob was talking too much. Why did he have to talk too much? Wren glowered and rubbed at her brow irritably.. The dragon hadn't seen her, she could turn and leave, the rooftops were close enough knit that it was an easy path back to the wall, but she wouldn't forgive herself if anything happened to the idiot because someone had been looking for her.

Persuasive.. It didn't appear to be going well. She drew a throwing blade from her waist and continued to watch, peeking her head up and lowering it every time the dragon's head turned in her direction. Her mind raced as she considered an exit strategy for both of them, the rooftops were far too open if he took flight, she’d learned well enough with the griffin knights. No, they have to use the streets, and there was a drain that led to the sewers a few streets away. If things went badly, they’d have to get to it, the dragon would never fit.

For now, she waited anxiously for any sign of trouble, a soft breeze playing with her cloak. She’d much rather their encounter with this particular hunter didn’t end up a violent one.
 
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Rob Cooke

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He didn't seem particularly impressed with the hunter's threat, no, he was more concerned with Wren's escape. He didn't see her by the stalls, so she likely slipped away, and, if she were smart, would be escaping the city.

He spoke, answering the hunter's question, "The string is because someone stole some of my grocery money." He walked casually, hoping the hunter would follow him, all the time spent with him would mean less time hunting Wren, "I attached a red thread for exactly this kind of situation, and now I am following it." It mattered little if the dragon accepted this story, so long as he continued to follow him while Wren slipped away. He followed the red thread and kept his eyes open, hoping he wouldn't catch a glance of Wren.
 

Szesh

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Szesh did not have time to follow pickpockets, and he was frankly surprised that this individual did. These streets were not safe for someone of the upper or even middle class, which meant one of two things: either this man was more capable of defending himself than he looked, or he was extraordinarily foolish. Szesh had not decided yet if attaching a string to one's belongings as a measure of anti-thievery was ingenious or ludicrous.

"Who was that woman you were with?" he asked in a rumbling, heavily accented voice. The streets were quiet, and though he strained his ears to listen he could not hear Wren's movements on the rooftops, nor could he smell anything above the putrescence of the street.

He indeed began to follow Rob, but only to remain within arms reach. He had no desire to hurt him, but it would not be a terrible hardship if it were necessary.

He found his eyes lingering on the masks that Rob wore. Was he a performer? More questions that floated into his mind and that needed to be swatted away.
 

Wren Kingsley

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Wren grimaced at the dragon’s question. She could only hope Rob gave an adequate answer and didn’t treat the dragon like he was stupid, which clearly, he wasn’t. He wasn’t letting Rob go at all, it was a walking interrogation, and Wren followed from her lofty vantage point.

She paused as she came upon a larger gap above an alleyway. A simple enough jump if she’d been running but she was trying to stay silent. Running wasn’t silent. She took a single step back and leapt forward, one foot landing the other slipping backwards and she caught herself, but only just.

Wren held a breath for too long in fear the dragon had heard her scuffs or the quiet gasp she’d made as she’d almost fallen backwards. She was still, silent and listening to the street below her.
 
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Rob Cooke

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He followed the string, head down, while stealing occasional glances at the hunter. He really was huge. He was clearly Draconian, that was certain. Rob spoke, answering his question, “Didn’t know em I’m afraid, probably scoffed off because you showed up, you aren’t exactly friendly and cuddly looking, and as I said, people round er’ don’t like strangers.” He twiddled his thumbs slightly as he walked, it really was unusual for a Draconian to be here, “What’s a fella like you doin so far ou- Oop!” He stopped suddenly before finishing the question.

He groaned as he stared down, sure as da, the thread had ended right at a crossroads. “Of course it ends here.” He glanced down both directions, then shrugged. He turned to the hunter, speaking, “Left or right big guy? We gotta find this thief eventually and we might as well pick a way.” As he spoke, he slowly began twirling the long thread behind them around his finger, no sense it letting it go to waste.
 

Szesh

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The masked man claimed not to know the woman who had just come out of the very alley in which he himself was hiding. He claimed that she had left because people "round er' don't like strangers." Then what were two "strangers" doing in the same alley, when he had not seen another soul for several blocks?

It was a thin lie. A man out of place, a red string in the dark, a mysterious woman who fled immediately. Could it all be coincidence? Of course. Szesh could also be several smaller men in a very large costume, but it was not at all likely.

Szesh approached Rob as he stopped walking. By the time Rob turned around Szesh was directly before him. "This way," he extended and arm to point past rob, seeming to show a direction, but he abruptly swung it towards the man. His goal was to strongarm this person and pin him to the wall beside them. Whether or not Rob managed to get out of the way, Szesh's next words were loud enough to be heard down the street. "Do not lie," he snarled, "Who is the woman? Where is she going?"

A scuffling on the rooftops behind him drew Szesh's attention, and he turned to look.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Wren tilted her head toward the stars and shook it, suppressing the need to let out a very irate huff. He could have made up any name, told any story, and Wren seemed to be asking the night sky what she had done to deserve this idiot’s answer. Didn’t know em?! She clenched her jaw and continued to follow.

She was aware she’d failed in her complete silence and remained low, wincing at the clattering of armour and the anger in the draconian’s voice. Though, of course he’d seen through that abysmal answer of Rob’s. Shit.

Wren stayed low and looked around her, grasping for an idea to get them out of this mess without a fight. She crawled to the rooftops of the homes that lined the next street, and pushed at a chimney pot, letting it clatter to the ground as a diversion in hopes of giving Rob a chance to run for it. Of course, as she stared down at the smashed chimney pot, she realised that they only came from the rooftops.

Fuck. She scrambled, it wouldn’t take the dragon any more than a few strides to reach the street, and she wouldn’t have time to creep quietly from the rooftop before he realised. Wren ran back to the street she’d last stood on and jumped onto the awning and slid back onto the dark street.

“Go!” she called back to Rob, and made a run for it.
 
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Rob Cooke

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He winced as the hunter didn’t buy his lie. To be fair, it wasn’t exactly his best lie. He saw the hunter close to him while pointing, answering his question. However, that point quickly became a swing, and Rob only barely managed to scoot out of the way as Szesh glared at him, asking.
"Do not lie," he snarled, "Who is the woman? Where is she going?"
He sighed a little, thinking of what to say next. It didn’t really matter. Before he could form his words though, a large shattering came from down the road as Szesh whipped around. I could probably scoot right no- His thoughts were once again interrupted at the sight of Wren jumping into the street.
“Oh really?! You fucking dumbass!” He yelled, before slamming a boot at the back of the hunter’s knee to hopefully immobile him before running off into the other direction. He wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but Wren didn’t exactly make the smart move in sticking around. He risked a look back at the dragon, seeing how the strike had affected him and who he would go after.
 
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Szesh

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His swing missed, the hooded man was faster than he looked, but this did not matter. His attention had been drawn to the rooftops just opposite them. He could not see the woman running across them, his eyes were too used to the dim glow of the street, but he heard the chimney fall. No sooner had he unfurled his wings to investigate than the black-clad woman appeared back in the street.

This time he saw her. Black clothes. Threads of dark hair from her hood. Fair skinned and slender. The air of royalty hung heavy around her, no matter how many scarves or leathers she tried to cover it with.

It was a curious move, but clearly she cared enough about the masked man to risk her life saving him. He started to follow, or he would have, but a boot struck the back of his leg. It did not bend the leg much, but it had been unexpected, and it diverted his attention enough that the pair was given a brief head start.

He roared in equal parts annoyance and triumph. If this was not Wren it was someone who could direct him to her, he was certain. His wings already unfurled, he pushed them back to propel himself forwards. Flying would not be ideal in these twisting streets, but he would make do. He was heavy, but his legs were long and powerful. He zeroed in on Wren, the man had served his purpose.
 
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Wren Kingsley

Montcroix Sister
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Wren growled at Rob's words as she ran. She was fast, but not fast enough to outrun a dragon. She armed her both hands with a throwing blade as she darted down the street. She had to get to that sewer drain.
She continued through the labyrinth of buildings and winding side streets and the the sky rumbled, a few drops of rain and then a heavy downpour as though to add drama to her already rather dramatic predicament. A storm smothered the moonlight, darkening the maze further. Drops of rain beat against her skin like hammers.

The roar behind her caused an involuntary gasp as her heart skipped a beat and she shot a glance behind her. Fuck fuck fuck!!! She took a hard left into a narrow alley way, leaping over fallen barrels and clattering through crates and splashing through the quickly forming puddles to get through to the next street.
 

Rob Cooke

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Rob had been feeling rather smug as he ran. Could it have gone much better? Almost certainly. But, they had a head-start and Wren almost certainly was faster and more agile then her pursuer.

and then the hunter started flying.

Another oversight in his tactical genius, today wasn't his day. He quickly turned on his heel, cursing. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and he outstretched his hand towards his hand towards the hunter as he watched Wren turn a corner, he'd have to go for it now.

Szesh could feel something cold fly right behind his back, almost hitting his wing before shattering into a wall to the left of him. Small bits of ice flew towards him, now too small and without enough speed to do any real damage.

Rob cursed, but kept hammering towards the hunter, he had to get Wren out of this.
 

Szesh

The Silver Flame
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He was gaining on her. While his size would make the twists and turns of this borough an annoyance, in a straightaway he had the advantage. His eyes, midnight from lid to lid, flashed as he passed by candlelit homes. Slit pupils opened wide, stretching further still as the clouds covered the moon and the rain began to fall.

He did not have time to contemplate the river of filth that he now ran through. Something chilling and fast streaked past him from behind, shattering to his left. He looked back to see the masked man pursuing him, hand outstretched. He bared his teeth in agitation.

Turning back, he just caught the last bit of Wren's foot as she darted into the alleyway. He skidded to a stop, sliding on slick claws in the muck, and pursuing her through the small opening. He drew his wings in tightly, shoving crates aside and striding over barrels. His distraction and clumsy turn had lost him ground, and he watched Wren disappear into the next street.
 
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Wren Kingsley

Montcroix Sister
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She didn't look back, she could hear the barrels and crates smashing behind her and knew he was too close for her to risk the glance. She leapt over another stack of crates as she ran into the street, and over her way into the fathomless labyrinth, the streets becoming narrower the further in she went. There was one dingy little lane on her mind, the buildings at either side we so close together that it had been almost too slim for even her to fit through. Another hard right and she was climbing over more fucking barrels to clamber through it, her hands using the walls at either side of her to propel her through over the obstacles....The drain was at the other side.

Free of the alley she made another run into the street, the sewer's surface entrance in her sights through the blur of heavy rain and she skidded along the cobbles and onto her side to grab at the wrought iron grate and lift with all the strength she had, her teeth gritting as it's weight pulled back at her, a panicked glance spared to the direction from which she'd just run.
 
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