Fable - Ask The Tides of Fate

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Ruvsá

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One night and part of tomorrow, Ruvsá figured, nodding at Kol's musings. A second night if they were fortunate.

"I guess we'll just be grateful if they arrive with fewer ships than expected, then," she said with a shrug as he spoke of the path the storm had taken.

She took another long draught of the mead, a satisfied sigh escaping her when she lowered the mug from her lips.

"You should eat something," she said after a moment, watching Kol quietly. "I know you don't... have the inclination to eat much, but your gods will only be able to compensate so much. With as much as you bleed for them, you should make sure to eat plenty of red meat, and organ meats."

Then she blushed a little. "Ah... sorry," she muttered, reaching up to rub her neck embarrassedly. "My mother's a healer. Sometimes I hear her nagging in my head."

She quickly finished off her ale, then set the mug aside with her emptied plate, glancing at the doors of the hall. "There's still some daylight," she murmured, glancing at Kol with a somewhat playful look in her eye this time. "I believe I promised you a sparring lesson on the ship."

A smile teased at her lips now. "If we only have tonight, we shouldn't waste it, after all."
 
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Kol

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He smiled slightly.

Kol could not remember a time that anyone had actually cared if he'd eaten. His mother, perhaps, though only in times that she had seen him as a vehicle for her own success. Such a notion had been wrong of course, her fate sealed the day that he had returned, but...

Lips thinned for a brief moment, the thought dispelled almost as quickly as it had come.

He looked down at Ruvsa as she continued, a smile replacing the expression on his face. He reached up, fingers wrapping gently around her chin. His thumb stroked over her cheek in a surprisingly soft gesture. "Suppose you did."

The Sorcerer mused.

"Suppose we don't." Kol added a moment more. "I was going to see if any of my people still remained."

His gaze flickered up from the Nordenfiir for a moment, but after just a second he returned his attention to Ruvsa. "But they can wait."

After all, they might only have a night left.

In the distance, he could hear laughter. The distant sound of indulgence. Another string being followed, another path chosen. One that pleased some, and caused others to rage.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá saw Kol's quiet smile at her unintentional nagging, almost thought there might have been a hint of melancholy in his eyes for a moment, but it faded quickly. Then a moment later he was smiling at her and softly touching her face. Ruvsá may have been a warrior, but she was still certainly a woman.

When he mentioned possibly searching out some of his people, though, she pursed her lips thoughtfully.

"We can try to kill two birds with one stone," she said. "It's unlikely for us to go unnoticed if we spar anywhere but a private room. Let's make a show of it. We can find Jakyll, and I'll test his skill with those knives of his. And then you and I can have fun."

Then another thought occurred to her, and she snorted softly. "Would it amuse people see me wrestle Sindric in my Svalen?"
 
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Kol

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Kol chuckled, his head shaking. It was an amusing thought, especially considering the Northman's stature. The two of them would have made a fair fight, save for one detail.

"Sindric doesn't spar." He told her.

Not that the man had some sort of objection to the practice. As far as Kol knew he even encouraged it among his own men. After all, fighting the best could only make you better in the end. No, the half-giant's reasons were entirely different.

"He's a Berserker." The Sorcerer explained, wondering if Ruvsa had ever heard of such a thing. He knew she had been kept insular, and he doubted such stories would have really stuck with the Nordenfiir. "A bloodline, of sorts, in the northmen."

At least he'd never heard of it anywhere else. "They are fierce warriors, but in battle they fall into a...trance of sorts. Some call it the blood rage, others..."

Kol trailed off, head shaking.

"The rage is almost like a blessing of the Dark Gods. Wounds that would kill any other man become nothing, their strength becomes thrice what it was, and they seem to fight until the last breath leaves them." He paused for a moment, the continued. "But it is aptly named. In the rage friend becomes foe, obstacles turn to ruin, and everything else but death falls to the side."

For a few moments Kol seemed to muse, almost as if in envy of what he had spoken of. Then he turned back to Ruvsa. "If it's fights you're wanting, perhaps we stick to Jakyll and some of the others. I'm sure there are more than a few eager to test their mettle."

He mused with a smirk.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá arched a brow curiously when Kol said Sindric didn't spar, but as he told her of the man's bloodline, she nodded understandingly.

"There are tales of those sort of men, especially among warriors," she said. "But I'd never heard a name for their type before."

She shook her head with a laugh. "Best not to provoke him, then, before battle," she agreed. "I'd rather be alive to see the battle, regardless of how it goes."

Ruvsá stepped away from the table and held out a hand to him. "Let's go see what we can find in the way of a sparring spot. I'll take Jakyll and the others first and see if we can draw a crowd that might have your friends in it. You..."

She grinned wide, eyes sparkling. "I'll spar with you last. No magic, no weapons, except for maybe our teeth."
 

Kol

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"No clothes either." Kol interjected with a smirk, though did not object as he took her hand and Ruvsa lead them away.

The town was not a large one, even by Northern standards.

It did not take long for Ruvsa and Kol to find a proper place to spar, a small square just outside of the center of town. If a guess had to be forced from his lips Kol would have called it a Market place, though others might have called it the executioners corner.

Whatever it had been built for, it was more than suited for their needs. "This will do."

The Sorcerer commented.

"You, boy." He pointed to one of the children roaming around the edge of the square. "Find Jakyll, tell him Ruvsa of Hjerim calls him a coward and a cub!"

Kol glanced towards Ruvsa with a smirk.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá tipped back her head and laughed as Kol took her hand.

"You're getting a little ahead of things," she said a few moments later as they left the hall and began to search through the town, and she once more used the time to also get a general layout of the place and where any tactically advantageous locations might be. "The clothes come off after the sparring. Unless we're going to give everyone a very different kind of show."

When they found the small square, Ruvsá nodded satisfactorily at Kol's assessment. When he hollered for the child to go retrieve Jakyll, she laughed and rolled her eyes.

"It's supposed to be sparring not an all-out brawl," she teased, pulling him close for a moment and pressing a kiss to his lips.

She heard the other children giggle softly and she pulled away, and

When the first child returned with Jakyll hot on his heels, Ruvsá waited for him in the middle of the square.

"You promised me a match on the ship!" she called out when he was in sight, her hands resting lightly on her hips, though she didn't reach for the twin knife hilts yet. "To first blood? Or first landed blow? Non-lethal strikes, of course."
 
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Kol

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"In my homeland, they're the same thing." Kol told Ruvsa with a smile as she mentioned brawls.

Nordwiir often fought one another.

It was almost a tradition in a sort of way. That was why they rarely ventured beyond the Lost Isles, why his people were so stuck in their ways. The Dark Gods often pitted their children against one another, a game of cruelty and fun that entertained them.

That was why the Sorcerer was here, why he did what he did. To further his people.

As Jakyll appeared Kol slipped to the side, pulling away from Ruvsa.

"First blood. As is the way."​

Kol only smiled, stepping into the crowd as the northman answered.
 

Ruvsá

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"First blood," Ruvsá agreed, casting just a brief glimpse at Kol as he stepped away. "Good luck," she murmured quietly to him.

"You," she pointed to one of the older children. "Will you be the marshal? Call the victories and losses?"

The kid grinned and nodded eagerly, stepping out from the crowd.

Then she turned her full attention to Jakyll, a confident grin spreading across her face. She palmed the hilts of her knives, as she and her opponent sized each other up, and then, in just a breath, the square was filled with a flurry of movement as Ruvsá and the northman whirled and danced around each other, blades ringing as strikes were parried time and time again, laughter ringing from both Ruvsá and the crowd as jeers and banters and bets were thrown.

But if there had been anyone observing who knew Ruvsá's fighting style and stamina, they would have recognized that she was holding back. Jakyll had just enough skill that it was fun, but there wasn't a chance he would win unless she made a monumentally stupid mistake.

And Shield Maidens of Hjerim did not make those kinds of mistakes.

Finally, several minutes in with sweat beading on both their brows, Ruvsá grinned again, and unleashed her full abilities on poor Jakyll.

He tried, desperately, to keep up. And for a few brief moments he at least held his ground. But she was faster, and the fight ended when one of her blades skimmed along the line of his throat, carefully controlled to cut through only the very surface of his skin.

"First blood!" she called to the crowd and the marshal.

"First victory to Ruvsá of Hjerim!" the kid called out, and Ruvsá lowered her knife, stepping away from Jakyll before the scent of his blood affected her too deeply. Before she lost control like she nearly had with the gambler in Sheketh.

"Who's next?" she called to the still-growing crowd as she turned, grinning as a line formed next to the marshal.

She fought several rounds. Some against more than one opponent, some with one knife instead of two, some only hand-to-hand. She adapted her style as she went, so she wouldn't be beating them all within a few seconds. The purpose of all this was to entertain, not debilitate, but even so there were only a few that offered her any sort of true challenge.

But they were the most fun. The ones that made her think on her feet, instead of planning several moves in advance.

Eventually, she stepped to the side to wipe the sweat from her brown, and a mug of mead was pressed into her hands. She drank it greedily, then looked around the crowd as she caught her breath. It had been quite some time since Kol stepped away, and she wondered if he had returned yet.
 
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Kol

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Kol had watched some of the bouts, but as the crowd had grown the Sorcerer had fallen back into the alleyways between the buildings. His eye had been careful, scanning through those who came to see Ruvsa fight.

He was searching, looking, and it was towards the end of the last fight that Kol found what he was looking for.

Two women, twins in fact. Their hair a pale blonde, one with a scar on the right side of her throat and the other with it's mirror. Their eyes were mismatched, mirrored, one pale ice and the other a deep red. He knew these women, for they were of the Isles.

Estrid and Elwin, blessed by the Dark Gods in the knowledge of their death.

They watched Ruvsa carefully, Estrid with an amused smirk, Elwin with a listless glance. Neither of them spotted Kol as he lurked in the shadows. Yet their attention was drawn as The Sorcerer stepped through the crowd and approached Ruvsa.

He didn't acknowledge the twins, did not even offer them a second glance. Yet the scowl upon Elwin's lips was more than clear, even as Estrid suddenly whirled around and departed the crowd with an almost giddy step.

"Well done." Kol complemented Ruvsa with a smile.

Even as he spoke his words were barely audible. By now the sparring circle had become more of a celebration than anything else. There was mead, cheering, encouragement of more opponents for Ruvsa. Even a few people proposing others begin to spar.

Spirits seemed more lifted than they had been before Kol and Ruvsa arrived.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá grinned as she caught sight of Kol stepping toward her, and hurriedly swallowed the rest of her mead before handing the mug to whoever happened to be passing by. She could barely pick out his voice over the cheering crowd, but the smile on his face made it clear what he'd said.

"Thank you," she said as he drew closer. Warm fondness softened her eyes, and she felt nearly giddy after the numerous bouts, adrenaline and triumph coursing through her body. She shifted a little closer to him, her arm brushing against his as she turned to look over the crowd.

"This is better," she murmured. "This is the look of a people who don't believe they're going to die, and that's what will actually give us a fighting chance of any kind."

It was part of why she'd made sure to win every bout. These people already knew that Menalus' troops were more than capable of slaughtering them. So she'd at least let them believe, for a little while, that she was skilled enough--strong enough--to make a significant difference. It would make them more likely to rally to her when it mattered most.

She shifted closer to Kol again, brushing her hand against the back of his as her smile turned playful, her gaze heated when she looked up at him.

"Did you find what you were looking for?" she asked. "And are you ready to play?"
 

Kol

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"I suspect it will soon find me." The Sorcerer said with a cryptic smile.

His eyes, that odd pale blue, darting for just one second to where now only Elwin stood. The other Nordwiir caught his eye for just a moment, her smouldering expression somehow turning only darker before she too spun on her heel and stalked off.

Kol had no doubts; There were others.

It would not be many, but perhaps enough. "I'm ready."

He told her, his shoulders squaring ever so slightly. He was near a head taller than Ruvsa, but he knew that didn't matter much in these sorts of bouts. The Sorcerer was not one for sparring, every fight he had won was through sheer brutality.

"Though." He chuckled dryly. "I doubt I'll present much of a challenge."
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá arched a brow and curiously followed Kol's gaze, noted the woman's blonde hair so pale it was nearly white, and the strangeness of her eyes. Idly, she wondered if all of the Dark Gods devotees could be determined by their eyes. The other women met Kol's eyes for just a moment before leaving, and though she hadn't spared Ruvsá a glance, she was certain she'd been sized up, and her value determined.

And Ruvsá knew better than to assume that she'd be accepted by the other Nordwiir simply because Kol had grown fond of her.

"I'm ready."

He told her, his shoulders squaring ever so slightly.

"Though." He chuckled dryly. "I doubt I'll present much of a challenge."

She grinned, biting at her lip as he squared his shoulders, stood just a little taller.

"You'll have to get creative," she told him with a smirk, unbuckling the belt around her hips that held her knives, then removing the rerebraces on her shoulders and unbuckling the straps that kept her cuirass closed before shrugging out of it. "Find ways to distract me," she teased as she gathered up her armor and weapons, then took it over and carefully laid it next to where her appointed marshal stood.

"Do not let anyone except me," she told the kid, and nodded toward Kol, "or him, touch these."

The kid nodded, eyes wide, and Ruvsá smiled before she turned back to Kol. The crowd was hushing, curious to see what would happen next.

She'd worn a linen tunic, at least, on the sea voyage. If she'd worn one of the silk ones, it would have been ruined beyond repair. It was crusted with salt, making the dark blue look an odd gray, and patches of it were soaked with sweat and sticking to her skin.

"Winner is the first one who cedes," she purred, prowling back toward Kol like the predator she was, but her eyes at least promised pleasure along with any pain she inflicted. "The same terms we spoke of earlier. No weapons but our teeth, and no magic."

And then she pounced.
 
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Kol

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Kol stripped off his leathers, pulling the armor away from his chest and dropping it to the ground with little care.

He did not have the same care for his possessions that Ruvsa did.

The Dark Gods would always provide for him. That was a fact. As the leathers fell to the ground there was a slight gasp from the crowd, their eyes seeing the hundreds upon hundreds of scars that marred his every inch of his body.

Kol paid them no mind of course, used to such reactions. He listened as Ruvsa purred her words towards him, turning and smirking with passion in her eyes. His eyes flickered over her shoulder, a grin hung there, watching him, it's chesire facade staring.

Then she pounced forward.

Time seemed to slow.

A memory flashed in his eyes. A time before he had been blessed by the Dark Gods, a time before he had ever been known as The Twice Bloodied.

He could see himself in the village square. The smallest of the lot, the runt of the litter. Always beaten, always the target. He had been easy to take down. Simple. That was how he had learned to fight, and fight in his own sort of way. Never fair.

As Ruvsa jumped for him, Kol suddenly darted to the left.

His leg quickly swept forward in an attempt to catch her off guard and sweep her down onto the ground.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá had no reaction for Kol's scars, because--of course--she'd already seen them all by now. More than once.

Her eyes didn't leave him as she moved. And she expected him to move. He may not have boasted much fighting prowess, but he was a fighter. He wouldn't stand and wait for her to reach him.

He darted left--her right--and she almost rolled her eyes when his leg swept forward. It wasn't a bad move, it was just... predictable. If you get your opponent on the ground, you'd have an advantage. It was one of the first things they were taught in Hjerim when they started sparring.

She let the strike hit, but her own feet were already swinging away and she wouldn't even have a bruise on her shin. Twisting to her left, she rolled to the ground, upper arm and shoulder taking the impact on the ground as she tucked her head and somersaulted to her feet again, coming up behind Kol.

With a grin, she threw herself at his back, aiming to leap onto him--arms wrapping around his shoulders, legs around his waist--and throw him off balance.

"Not a bad try," she purred.
 
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Kol

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Kol moved within the snap of a finger.

It wasn't magic that drove him, it wasn't a cheat that pushed him. Yet as Ruvsa pounced towards his back the Nordwiir seemed to slip from her grasp. Dust kicked up from his feet as he slipped just from her grasp, fingers drawing just short as she tried to wrap herself around his shoulders and pull him off balance.

He moved almost as if with intuition, as though something had whispered into his ear of her intention.

The Sorcerer seemed to scowl as he whirled, pulling himself upright and dragging his feet back as Ruvsa landed just a foot apart from where he had been standing. His expression was one of anger, annoyance, but none of it directed to her.

Quiet. He hissed within his mind, scolding the whispers beyond his own thoughts.

Fingers seemed to scrunch, and the anger on his face was replaced with a smile. A wink flickered over his eyes, and then he suddenly darted forward.

He knew he wouldn't win, at least most likely, but he did not want to cheat. Perhaps he simply had to fail before the Dark Gods could even whisper their sedition.

With a quick swipe he grabbed for Ruvsa, his hand reaching out to wrap around her opposite hip, leg kicking out to sweep forward as he used his height to leverage her quickly to the ground and pin her in place.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá swore softly as Kol darted away just before her arms wrapped around him, and she landed in a crouch on the ground. She scurried back to her feet, eyes narrowing as she looked back up at Kol. The expression on his face caught her off guard for a moment, but his gaze was... odd. While he looked toward her... he didn't look at her.

And she hesitated, watching his eyes closely. Realized that she wasn't fighting him at that moment so much as she was his gods. When he smiled, she snorted.

And when he darted forward, Ruvsá let him come. Let his hand grab her hip, her feet still firmly planted on the ground, and her hands came up to his chest. If he'd still worn his shirt, she would have twisted her hands into his collar, but wrapping her fingers around the base of his neck would have to suffice.

When his leg kicked out and swept forward, she stepped closer to him, and leaned into his upraised leg to throw him off balance. They both landed on the ground, but instead of being pinned under him, they were both on their sides, his kicking leg between her and the ground.

Ruvsá moved as quickly as she could, hoping to take him before Kol caught his breath. She wrapped her free leg around his hip as her thumbs dug into the tender flesh just above his collarbones, using his shoulders to brace herself as she threw all her momentum into her hips and her torso to force him onto his back, with her other knee between his legs.
 
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Kol

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Kol tumbled onto the ground with an oof, the air burning from his lungs as she smacked against the earth below.

Within the span of a breath, Ruvs clambered onto him. Her hands dug into his collar, her leg jutting to the side as she propelled herself atop him. The press of her hands was enough to bruise flesh, even as thumbs dug against scars that had been well worn.

He grimaced for a moment, but not because of the pain.

Voices screeched within his skull. Grin flickered above Ruvsa's shoulders. They watched him eagerly, a few of them opening their maws as though they were about to bite down on the Nordenfiirs neck.

The Sorcerer grimaced, and then reached up. His hand slipped against Ruvsa's collar, his other palm placed against her side. She would feel a sudden shift of his weight beneath her, pressing once, then twice, then a sudden third time.

There was no subtlety to the move, just simply brute force.

Muscle flexed hard, breaking her grasp and using his weight to simply throw her off to the side of him.

As they fought, on the fringes of the little circle stepped a group of five figures. Two of them the twins, three others. Kol did not see them, too wrapped up in the moment, in staying the Dark Gods and focusing on his own desires rather than theirs.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá let him roll her. And even though it was more than just... play now, she couldn't help the bit of heat that curled over her skin and down her spine when Kol's hand slipped into the collar of her shirt. It was one thing to be beaten by another bear, another thing entirely to be bested by a man, even if he had the blessing of strange gods.

When he threw her off, she grimaced a little as she hit the stone pavement again. Before Kol could rise, though, she quickly rolled back on top of him, straddling his thighs and not hesitating to rest her full weight on him as she grappled for his hands, trying to restrain his wrists. She might be shorter than him, but she was Nordenfiir. She was not slight, nor small, nor weak.

The next moment that her eyes met his, Ruvsá spoke, quiet enough that the crowd wouldn't hear her. "If you need to win, I'll let you win," she hissed between gasping breaths. "But I'm not going to hurt you unless I have no other choice."

The urge was there, though. The strange thrum in her blood since he'd healed her hands. To tighten her grip and shatter his wrists and watch his face contort with the pain. To shift into her Svalen and make him go against her claws.

But she recognized it for what it was now, after the incident in the Sheketh markets--what the Dark Gods had taken from her in that prison. Just enough of her restraint and compassion to make her war with herself.

And she would have to give in at times, Ruvsá knew that. But right now, she would not. She had no desire to become as... devoted to those gods as Kol was.
 
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Kol

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Kol let out a grunt. "Don't let me win."

There was defiance within his words, true defiance, but it was not towards her. No.

Ruvsa would see it in his eyes, that odd glint of blue, of ice. The expression that seemed to constantly shift upon his face. It was clear what Kol truly wanted, what he desired in this moment. A choice, not a show, not anything of the sort.

His voice was a bare rasp, as if the words could barely be forced passed his lips. Fingers reached up suddenly, snapping to Ruvsa's wrists. They grabbed at one another, reaching for the superior position as they wound around one another.

When her fingers found more purchase than his, the Nordwiir found his arms suddenly pinned in place.

Then suddenly Kol hooked one leg around the small of Ruvsa's back. "Beat me."

He told her.

"Until I'm bloody and broken." As the words passed from his lips, restrained and barely audible as they were Kol used every bit of weight he had to push Ruvsa to the left and tumble atop her.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá's mouth tightened, but she nodded, just enough for him to see. Kol's eyes were normally black, and though there were times she'd seen them... change, she'd thought it was the influence of the elven king's soul he'd consumed in the prison. But now... now she wondered if that's what his eyes had looked like before the Dark Gods.

And she doubted he got to be really himself very often, so if he wanted to fight this fairly, then she would give him that.

When his leg hooked around her back, Ruvsá rolled with him, letting his momentum become her own.

"Beat me."

He told her.

"Until I'm bloody and broken."

She snarled, releasing her grip on his wrists and weaving her right arm around his neck as they tumbled across the ground. Ruvsá kept their movement going, until Kol was on his back again, his neck cradled in the crook of her elbow. She twisted to the side, pressing the full weight into her torso to keep his shoulders pinned to the ground, grabbing hold of her right wrist with her left hand, then shifting just slightly to put her weight on her right arm, squeezing his neck between her bicep and her forearm.

If he didn't break out of it, and as long as his gods didn't have another surprise waiting for her, the pressure on his carotids would make him pass out in less than ten seconds.

"I don't have to beat you to a bloody pulp to win," Ruvsá hissed.
 
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Kol

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There was silence in the abyss.

Unconsciousness, death, two threads barely separated. His vision began to swim, darkness creeping into sight as Ruvsa tightened her grip around his throat. Everything became slightly hazy, and as his mind began to fade so did the voices of the Dark Gods.

He could hear them still, whispering, screaming, speaking. They were always there. Even during his sleep that haunted him, appearing in his dreams, a constant reminder of what he was and what he would have to do. Yet in unconsciousness, in death he would find silence.

There was a temptation in that. To let go.

To let it be.

Ruvsa would feel Kol relax slightly, his body no longer struggling, no longer fighting. His hands tightened on her arm for a brief moment, but not enough to force her touch away. A sign of submission.

"SORCERER!"

A scream suddenly broke the silence that had been pressing upon Kol's mind. A familiar voice that echoed through his ears instead of his mind. Eyes, barely lit, glanced upward towards where the sound had come from.

There, from within a quickly parting crowd came running a massive hulk of a man. He was taller than Kol, though not as large as Sindric had been. There was something Bestial about his features, strange slit like eyes, tufted ears. The moment Ruvsa caught his scent she would find something familiar, but wrong.

The man rushed forward like a barrel, breaking through the circle and tackling Ruvsa. With one quick jerk he pulled her free of the Sorcerer, the bulky man wresting his kin away from the Nordenfiir and pushing her off to the side.

For a moment the crowd seemed to gasp, as if shocked that a friendly spar would be interrupted. An assumption ran through the crowd, a thought that perhaps the man was seeking to save Kol from defeat.

A notion that was quickly dispelled as the man picked Kol up by the leg. His biceps seemed to flex, and then with a sudden jerk her threw Kol into a nearby stall. A great clattering and crack of wood rang out as the Sorcerer smashed through the wooden barricade, his rag-doll like body settling into a rubble of wood.

"How dare you show your face here! After abandoning your people! Your Kin!"

The common tongue did not touch his lips, instead he spoke in the Wiir a language that was close enough to Ruvsa's own that she would understand every other word.

As he spoke the man stalked forward towards Kol. Four others appeared at the edge of the ring, including the two girls who had earlier left. One was pinching the bridge of her nose, the other rubbing her face in consternation. The other two seemed almost blank faced, but none of them moved to intervene.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá waited, her focus narrowing to Kol's body beneath her, waiting to see if he would surrender or pass out. The instant she felt his body relax, felt his hands tighten on her arm, Ruvsá pulled away with a sigh of relief. The risk of permanent injury was too great if she held the choke too long.

She bristled, though, as a scream of anger rent the air around them. She barely had time to look up, to catch the strange scent coming off the man, before he pushed her aside and flung Kol through the air until he crashed into a stall.

The crowd may have fallen silent, but Ruvsá was already moving, even as the stranger screamed at Kol again. She couldn't understand everything he said, but it was close enough to Fiirevik that she understood the gist of it.

Even as the man stalked toward Kol, Ruvsá was on her feet. She sprinted across the square and leapt around the stranger, twisting through the air as her Svalen burst forth. Landing on all four paws in front of the man, Ruvsá snarled.

"You will stop," she nearly roared. "Right now, he is mine."
 

Kol

Twice Bloodied
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A small gasp ripped through the crowd as Ruvsa shifted.

Most of the northmen had heard of Nordenfiir before of course, had shared tales about what they could do and how they fought. Yet it was one thing to hear a story, another to see it. A few of the children gaped in awe, though most took half a step back.

"Bah, so he takes up with cubs."

The man spat onto the ground, his face twisting in a mask of disgust and anger. His body seemed to shift slightly as he took a step forward, the sound of cracking bone and tearing flesh calling out within the air.

In a twisted amalgamation of her own transformation Ruvsa would see the man change in front of her eyes. His body shifted, fur breaking free and mangy flesh darkening his skin. Beady red eyes peered through tufts of fur, a wolf, of a sort, standing on two legs before Ruvsa.

"Arthix."

A voice echoed out from within the crowd, one of the twin women stepping forward.

"Stop. He is chosen still."

The skinwolf seemed to linger for a moment head jerking towards the voice for a moment before looking back towards Ruvsa. Behind her Kol seemed to stir within the rubble, hand coming up to rub his face. "No no, Estrid."

Slowly Kol pulled himself up, a large splinter of wood now buried firmly within his side. Blood pooled around it.

"Let him speak his mind." Kol said, dragging himself forward and leaning half to his side. "He's always been one for a mouth."

The Sorcerer said, half falling over. To Ruvsa it would be obvious he was hardly standing.
 
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Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá just huffed as the man spat on the ground between them, her lip curling into a sneer as he shifted into a pathetic wolf form. There was no need to say anything further to him, but as the woman called out, Ruvsá's glance shifted to the gathered crowd. To those standing closer.

As Kol spoke, Ruvsá's form shifted and shrank, returning to her human state. She quietly gestured to the young fight marshal, and the kid brought her things to her. As she strapped her armor and knives back into place, she glanced at Kol, grimacing as she caught sight of the impaled wood in his side.

"Your... friends, I take it?" Ruvsá murmured as she edged closer to Kol. She didn't presume to offer him help to stand, but if he needed help, she would be close enough.
 
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