Completed Toil and Trouble


Cooking Wizard
Character Biography

It was not uncommon for the Knights of Anathaeum to be called upon to investigate random happenings in the border marches and the petty baronies that surrounded the Valen Wilds. Oft, the conflicts came between lords and their subjects, or those who refused to adhere to the edicts of far away councils behind tall walls and supplied by the game, wood, stone and metal plundered from the great and ancient forest, and the proud and timeless peaks.

Course, there were the standard rangings. Which sometimes turned, well, not so standard.

Roki was on such a patrol. Far to the West of the Monastery, at the edge of the Wylds themselves. Near where the tamed earth turned to rolling fields of farmlands, and woods became orchards and only the tallest and most ancient trees were left standing. For at least they could still inspire awe and respect in the mortals around them. But even their number dwindled all the more. And here, upon the lands of Bellamy, there were none.

Fervant poachers. A constant thorn in the Orders side, the Bellamy were out and out enemies. Men with their banners were considered free game for any Knight with the eye to take them. And the same kindness was like to find the knights. The feud an old, ugly, and bloody thing.

It was rare for a squire to be patrolling the Bellamy range, a task most often kept to Knights Sworn. But here Roki was. And there before him was a strange site.

"Corvidi..." he whispered from neath the cover branch and bough. The proud oak he nestled in, his shelter. "Why are they... out in the open like that?"

The short birdfolk bounced and hopped and gathered up their supplies. One held on to their funny hat, one tied rope to a wayward post, and the other dragged a black iron pot behind them with two arms, and jerking scrabbling side steps. They squawked and laughed, and seemed to chatter as they set up a cook fire. One had pulled some water, Roki had seen the stream not too far from where he hid now.

His only task now was to act as a scout. His usually colorful garb changed out for muted tones of brown and green and grey. His hair covered by snug cowl. His was staff laid behind him, against the tall trunk and upon the thick bough. His eyes looked around for any of his kth and kin. Squire or Sworn. He saw none in the moment.

"Well, best I should just... keep watching then,"

The little Corvidi got a fire going. The white trail of cookfire smoke soon to rise. And as they shoveled hunks and chunks of what looked like meat on the bone, Roki swore he could smell pork.
Rory Bellamy was not in the mood for games today.

Last night, two of the men that were employed by the Bellamy family were found dead. They were found by others on their patrol who did find it strange that the two never came back. Clean knife-work on their throats. Now, if Rory was a fool— and Rory was not a fool even if they were only twenty years old— they would point their finger at the Knights.

But there had been no signs of a fight, or even a slight scuffle. Just a single line on each throat, their face planted into the ground.

As much as the Bellamy family couldn’t wait to get rid of the Knights, hopefully sooner rather than later, Rory thought that if were because of the Knights, there’d just be more evidence of it. The knife-work was clean, sure, but weren’t the Knights busy praising the sun and moons and having festivals to trick others into thinking they had a good cause?

They were just as bad as the Bellamy family. Just in different ways.

Regardless, now Rory had to come out here. The Bellamy’s couldn’t have their men thinking that if they were out on patrol, they would die. Just like how when their men went to jail they knew they would still be protected. Maybe face a week in prison before getting out, thanks to the Bellamy family and the connections. But the Bellamy’s couldn’t afford to send their own kin out onto patrols every night.

They were busy people. Busy business people, despite what may have been said about their family and their dark magic and even darker ties to a abysmal abyss.

“Heel.” Rory commanded of one of the hunting dogs. Aster, the good beast. Had been the brightest of the litter three years ago and was still going strong. Despite being a sighthound, it was very well behaved, just as Rory liked. Aster remained at Rory’s heels, but it’s ears were pricked. “You see something, don’t you?” Not like a dog understood sentences, but there was a wag of it’s tail. “READY.” Aster’s haunches prickled. “HUNT!” Aster sprang forward, running through the brush, heading straight for the Corvidi.
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They were just cooking. Squawking some too.

"Stir it up, stir it up, let the bubbles boil, let the waters fill up!" they seemed to croak in unison as they watched the fires lick the round sides of the pot. The stew inside roiled and stirred as one gave the long handled spoon a turn.

Those who didn't cook danced about, their long dark beaks pointed up to the sky as their dark feathered arms an scaly hands flailed about.

It was kind of creepy. Roki thought. But, well. There wasn't really anything wrong with a bit of dancing was there?

And at least whatever it was they were making smelled good.

"Nothing to worry-" something caught his eye on the horizon. Something tall in the distance. "A rider?" he whispered neath his breath. Saw a dark dot streak forward. "Shit, a Bellamy hunter," he said, looked about. No, no, he was well hidden, his scent masked with musk vials, just as Syr Mund had taught them. "The corvidi!" he said through clenched teeth, sprang up onto the the bough with sure feet, hounds out for balance.

It was just a lone rider. And if he didn't do anything well. No. No. He couldn't think of that. He grabbed up his staff, twist and spun it so it lay pressed against his back, stood straight upon the branch and bowed his head.

Ye spirit of wind and flame, ye bringer of life and rain, lend me thine ear

Your roar, your clap, your shuddering shake that doth strike fear,
Through mine hands doth bring, through this clap let hear!

His eyes came open, alight with storm light, his hands arc traced and sizzling. He drew in deep breath, let his eyes see the hound, racing across the ground. He let his hands out wide, felt the magick of the winds and the waters and the day's fire.


Thunder cracked loud in horrid boom across the air. It struck terror in all who could hear.

The corvidi croaked nad screamed and ducked for cover. "Rah! The storm giants come! Rah!" one quaked.

Shit. No. "Run over here you idiots!" Roki called out.

The corvodi looked over, saw the glowing eyes in the woods. "Rah! A storm spirit!"

"No, no! I'm just a"
the branch beneath him snapped, and Roki felt the pull of gravity come fast. "Fuck!" he called out as he fell.

Rory Bellamy
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Aster moved with impressive speed, like a arrow flying through the air undeterred. Like all sighthounds it wouldn’t stop until it had it’s prey in it’s mouth or Rory commanded the dog to stop. But it seemed a thunderclap could cause the beast to hesitate. Not only that, but even the proud Bellamy felt that chill and trepidation course through their veins.

Brown eyes were lifted up to the sky, it was supposed to be a clear day. It still was a clear day. So that thunderclap couldn’t have been anything natural.

“RETURN.” Rory shouted, their voice echoed about. “ASTER!” Rory saw the dog begin to run again, straight for whatever it had been running towards. Shame. Rory had rather liked Aster, and now they would have to put the dog down. It heard barking from where Aster had disappeared. Rory sighed, undoing one of the heavy gold chains across their chest and letting a wolf spirit materialize.

“Go after the mutt, howl if it’s actually a threat.”

Aster ignored the Corvodi, a greater threat having appeared: Roki falling down from the tree. It growled and barked, lowering its head low and preparing to jump at the young knight if he dared move. Coming up soon was the wolf spirit, translucent enough to blend in with the surroundings.

Roki jut his staff straight down as he fell. The contact of the pole against the ground enough to have his arm find strength, flex, and shift his body straight up in a vertical line, fully extended for just a moment before gravity, and the knock of branch against his staff forced him to kick his feet rightward, his whole body bent and followed the flow of the momentum, and he come land against the balls of his feet, bent knees and twisting hips saw him spring again with a twist and a whirl before he snap kicked back to one foot, then spin turned back onto two.

A whirlwind of kinetic coordination and motion that left him. Just a tad bit disoriented.

A sharp BARK BARK from up ahead caught his attention, and he saw the Corvidi running towards him, arms in the air flailing wildly. One still dragged around the fat bellied pot.

"Help! Rah! Help us!" they cried. "Wind giant! Rah! Wind spirit! Rah!"

Roki almost puked. Managed to hold it back and whirled his staff behind him as he bent his knees low and struck his open palm out. The dog was darting right toward him.

He traced a half circle in the dirt with his foot, drew in a deep breath through his nose, and sealed signs with his fingers. Wind, Gust, Power. His eyes flashed a ghostly green, and a sigil of magick glowed before his eyes. A snap kick sent his body whirling in motion again, and he brought his staff around in wide arch, he swung it with a sweep!

A gale wind surged forth and aimed to knock the dog away.

"Into the woods! Run!" He told the Corvidi. They looked at him, dumb struck. "Leave the fuckin soup!" they squaked and started to bumble their way franticly into the brush.

He ran after them, quick and with worry wide eyes. He glanced over his shoulder as he raced away, staff tucked under his arm and pressed long across his back.

Rory Bellamy
Aster was unceremoniously blown away. A yelp could be heard as the hunting down tumbled and rolled over in the brush before hitting a tree. It whimpered, then growled, and tried to get up. It whimpered again, pitifully and pathetically. Where the hunting dog failed, the wolf spirit didn’t.

A long, ghostly howl echoed all around the woods. The sound pierced through the air, long and sorrowful and menacingly. Another howl echoed about.

Rory Bellamy heard the howl, feeling a chill in their bones. Three more chains were broken, and three more wolf spirits were summoned.

“Get them.” Rory said cooly, not even blinking as the breeze blew through their short blonde hair. They brushed their hair back neatly behind their ear as the three wolves howled in response. These spirit howls could shake the very forest that they were in. All Rory could hear was the predator’s unending song of death. The wolves left with snarls and growls, chasing after to the first wolf’s location.

Rory pulled up the flap in one of the pouches they wore at their hips. The Bellamy took their time in looking through the small, glowing orbs they had in their dear-skin pouch. Finally, the blonde lifted up one that was a mixture of navy blue and plum violet, with a stormy disposition about it.

Rory held it up high, muttering incantations that caused the orb to glow more and more with a dusky light. While the wolves chased after Roki and Aster continued to writhe in pain, a new force would enter the woods. It howled, just like the wolves before it, but it reverberated in the air. Before Rory, a large black dire-wolf appeared. They got onto the wolf, gripping it’s coarse black fur tight.

“Go after them, I want to see this pest for myself.” Rory commanded, and off the dire wolf went, bounding fast through the brush and trees with ease.

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A howl like that Roki had never heard ripped through the air. Had his heart fell like it stopped. Skin prickled, and all his hairs stood on end.

The Fell-beasts.

Tortured souls bound to the wretched Bellamy.

Roki felt like throwing up. His legs slow, near stuck.

Move, move! Less you want your head mounted on a trophy wall!

He ran, stirred his legs from under him as quick as his muscles would take him.

All around him the sounds of the corrupted wolves seemed to ripple and bounce. Seemed to shake his mind and rattle his spirit. The corvodi squawked and scrabbled, fleeing through the woods with their awkward gait. Short limbs not able to take them anywhere fast.

What to do. What to do?


His foot caught on a root. His mind too clouded by fear, and he stumbled to the ground. Roll and tumbled until his momentum died out and he was prone upon the floor, staff still in hand.

Two crovodi stopped and flocked to him. Hopped around him a moment. "Get up, rah! Get up, storm giant!" one of them said.

"Yes, yes, rah! Up! Up!"

Roki groaned, shook his head slow as he worked himself up off the ground. His heart raced, his mind struck by cold dread. Sober realization. His eyes opened wide.

He was being hunted by a Bellamy.

Rory Bellamy
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The wolves were relentless. Hunting after Roki, keeping up with tracking his scent and being the stepping stones for Rory to follow after on the dire wolf. If these beasts were in pain, Rory didn’t care. They served a purpose, and besides, they were animals. It hardly mattered if animals suffered, not like they could rise up and do anything about it.

The wolves continued to howl, and when Roki fell and tumbled around, the first wolf took the opportunity. Rory was quite a ways behind, and the three wolves in front of them were closer to Rory than they were to the first wolf. The wolf howled, alerting its brethren to the location, just has Roki was standing back up.

Snarling, the wolf went to lunge at the knight, its’ jaws parted wide and arming for his arm.

“Hurry it up.” Rory hissed to their beasts. Somehow, the wolves picked up their speed, if only because that was what spirits who served a master were able to do. Meanwhile, Rory was beginning to look quite pale, and they weren’t even the one running.

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It was the sounds of snapping twigs, scratching claws against dirt and stone, the snarling breaths betwixt yips and growls, that had the squire rise from the dirt. The weight of his own bones, the shake and jiggle of his muscles as they sprung to work.

He ran. As fast as his legs would get to running.

The corvodii squawked and scrabbled and ran alongside him. Those who had helped him get back to his feet.

Come the lunge, the maw wide and open.

Roki felt it before he saw it. The disturbance in the air around him. The pressure of twisted magicks as the creature came close.

A twist of the hips, a spin of the heel, and a swing of his staff in a whirl of motion saw winds whip up to add speed and force to the strike.

Elmwood smacked hard against the slathering jaw. The creature, knocked off course, only long enough for Roki to whirl the long shaft of his weapon, both hands on its length as the wolf creature shook off the sting and went to circle him once more.

One and another more appeared from the thrush. Hunger, hate and pain in their eyes.

Roki stood still, his gaze flicked from one wolf to the other as his feet felt through the soil of the earth, and his body felt the wind about him shift with their motion.

A voice called out from the distance. The Bellamy.

One wolf snarled and snapped at its master's command, as if spurred to action, it rushed forward. Down came the staff, clunked it atop its skull, the second wolf lunged from his left, and Roki hop stepped forward, away at an angle from the first wolf, as his lungs filled with a hot breath. The third rushed right at him. Leapt forward with claw and fang.

Roki let out the full breath he had taken and a gale wind surged from his mouth and slammed into the wolf to knock it back.

Rory Bellamy
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Rory came in time to see their wolves being mangled. No wonder why they felt drained. Each wolf could handle so much damage, they were a spirit, not the real thing. Still had the speed and lethal bite of a wolf, but hardly as sturdy as they had been when they were alive. A thing Rory resented in this particular moment when the wolf being thrown back by the gale hit a large old tree and turned into nothing but sparkling blue dust.

Three of the lesser wolf spirits snarled and growled, but Rory could feel in their bones that two of them wouldn’t be able to last long. Not because they cared much about the animals but rather because they didn’t want to seem worried over some boy holding a wooden staff, Rory made a fist with their hand and attached the chains back to the maws of the pelts they wore.

The three remaining wolves disappeared in more of the glittery blue dust.

The dire wolf that Rory rode remained. He was stronger than the ones that Roki had defended himself against, and if need be, Rory had more like him. But for now, a conversation was needed, even if Rory much preferred violence.

Are you the one who dare hurt my beloved hunting dog?” Rory called out to the green-skin hippie. What a nuisance, the knights were always butting their heads into things that they shouldn’t.

Roki's eyes were wide with focus. Golden pupils taking note of what he had just seen.

Spectral wolves. One downed, three turned to dust as soon as the chain had been re-clasped to the heads.

Creatures bound by some dark ritual, no doubt. And the one they road. This... Bellamy. It was like an Ur Wolf. Guardian of the forest. Spirit of old. It had to be.

His brow furrowed, and he felt his blood run hot. "I doubt you love anything, save yourself," he said witha defiant tone. His stance was firm, his hand outstretched, fingers run long as he presented the back of his fist, and stood tall with his staff behind him.

He felt as Syr Noa had taught him. With the wind that stirred about him. A leaf upon the currents. Tinder ready to catch flame.

"You are one of them aren't you?" he asked with harshness in his tone. "A true Bellamy,"

Rory Bellamy
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Nonsense. I care about my things very much.” Rory said dismissively, waving Roki’s words away as if they were nothing but an annoying fly buzzing about. They inspected their nails, one side of their mouth quirked up into a smirk. They could feel that air buzz with anticipation, the tension so palpable between the two of them. Regardless of what Rory said next, they knew there was going to be a fight.

The wolf beneath them knew it as well. Rory was right to preserve their magic and get rid of the other wolves.

A true Bellamy? Whatever does that mean? You Knights always speak so… childishly.” The smirk grew, cruel and sadistic, but worse of all: confident and unbothered. “But yes, I am a Bellamy. Rory Bellamy. Now bow your head in respect.

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A click from Roki's teeth. His chin raised high, his tusks gleamed defiant as he held his stance. "I bow to no lord, much less an upjumped lordling,"

The leaves rustled with the course of the wind. He felt the current stream through his hair, rush across the skin of his pointed ears just as he felt the firm earth beneath his feet. His next breath filled hot. Smoke wisped from his nose, turned to full jets as he forced out the air from his lungs.

"You are within the Wylds," he said, heat full in the chords of his throat. "Beyond the borders of the old treaties, and you shall venture no further," his body twist, his back foot shift forward as his staff twirled and snapped into the grip of his hands.

His staff was pointed at Rory, its blunt head, rune marked Elmwood, treated with forge flame, gave warning.

It didn't matter if his heart was racing. That his eyes were full of the claws and fangs of the great wolf.

Runes glowed to life, a river of golden red heat that flowed through the scripts carved into Roki's staff, his tool of focus.


Rory Bellamy
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The Urr beast growled, a low hum that traveled through the air. Little mushrooms sprouted around it’s black-stained paws.

Tell me, little knight,” Rory said, standing still with their hands clasped behind the small of their back. They didn’t even bother to cast their gaze down to the staff that Roki threatened them with. “Are you alone?

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His words were ignored.

Roki's eyes narrowed, and he felt the heat run through his arms. His fingers want to tighten around his staff. He let out a wash of breath. Felt the cool air about him. But even that felt as if it grew hotter. The well of magick inside him focused.

"What difference does it make, deathmonger?"

Rory Bellamy
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Because,” Rory took a step forward, hands still behind their back. “If you are alone,” another step forward, smirk cruel and wicked. “That means,” yet another step towards the green skinned boy, “there’s no one here to save you.” Without having to say anything more, Rory shouted a spell so a square shield of light protected them from the front and pulled forth a small smoke bomb, throwing it over towards Roki.

The bomb flew through the shield unhindered and once it hit the ground, a plume of smoke would rise up. Then the dire wolf began to move, a low growl that made the grass beneath its black stained paws shrivel in decay while mushrooms sprouted up.

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It didn't hit the ground.

A step, a twist of the hips, and a sweep kick forward saw wind flare up quick, and it lift the little bomb up and back to bounce in front of the shield. A snap heel turn, and Roki brought the staff down overhead with a sizzling crack and pop as it struck the dirt.

A bright flash burst from the staff head along with a boom that split through the air. Birds from all around took flight from their nests, squawked and called out in panic.

Roki made for the cover of the trees. Wind step carrying him fast across the ground. He bound up to a low branch.

Rory Bellamy
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Laughter echoed around, Rory still standing still. They were blinded, but why would they need to see? The shield was still up, and better yet, the dire wolf was still moving towards the tree where Roki had ran to.

It’s not too late to give me your name, little knight!” They shouted between their fit of uncontrollable laughter. “I promise to put it on your grave so every burnt out flower child from that pile of sticks can see your failure!” More laughter spilled from Rory Bellamy’s lips. Then it abruptly stopped.

Get him.” The dire wolf sniffed around the spot of the last part of the ground that Roki had touched and growled. The ground and trees seemed to shiver as the wolf stiffened. The mushrooms growing around it’s feet began to grow and duplicate, growing around the tree. Roki would feel the tree seem to shudder, as if it was wilting. But trees shouldn’t wilt, but that was exactly what it was doing.

The wood seemed to not break but bend and fold into itself.

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His foot felt the shift of the branch. Felt the bend of the tree as he took another bounding step that should have seen him spring up to the next limb.

He fell short. Could feel that he would miss it as the tree shrunk and shriveled beneath him.

He fell to the earth. Filled his lungs deep with breath. Quick reflexes and trained athleticism helped the squire, so used to acrobatics, tuck, and roll, and avoid a crash. Turned some of his momentum into a roll. He popped up onto his feet, knees bent, he felt the earth tremble, saw the trees bow, before he saw the great and cursed wolf.

The growl came for his head. But he dove forward, dove away as the jaws came shut where his head had been. Another roll, his lungs full of air. The wolf kept its charge. Roki's eyes flashed gold, his forefinger and thumb in a ring, just before his mouth. He blew a hot breath through his fingers, and a gout of gold and red flame plumed in bright and swirling wash from his lips.

He aimed for the wolf. Though the fires would wash toward the wall of magick still behind it like a wave.

Rory Bellamy
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Fate was a cruel mistress. Rory had never been athletically gifted, unless one considered their talents with archery. But they were without their bow and quiver full of arrows today. Little good that would do with them dealing with this hippie knight who seemed to be more monkey or flying squirrel than orc at this point as he climbed up trees and seemed to pass between them despite the rot and decay.

It was hard for Rory to focus on where Roki actually was, but luckily the wolf had no issue in tracking the squire. Rory was certain that the young knight to be would turn tail and run soon enough, and maybe Rory could decide if they wanted to give chase. Was killing him imperative? Not really. But would it be fun? Of course it would be.

They should have paid more attention when Rory blew out the torrent of flame that spread out like a orange flame. The wolf disappeared, it’s soul going back into a black and gray orb. The shield of light initially protected Rory from the front but the flames licked around the edges and made contact with the young Bellamy.

Rory shouted in agony, the sensitive nerves in their hands and face screaming as the heat consumed them. Their hands raised up, covering their face as they backed away. It wasn’t enough to deter them from this fight. And more than anything, they needed that orb that held the soul of the dire wolf.

So without hesitation, they brought forth a few more orbs and summoned more creatures to fight: dozens upon dozens of foxes were summoned, a sea of red and yapping animals.

Go!” Rory demanded as the hundred of foxes began to swarm past Rory and towards Roki.

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Roki watched, wide eyed, as the curtain of flame rolled across the forest floor. How it grew faster and wilder and hotter as it went on eating the dry leaves, and twigs, and needles of pine. Higher, hungrier the fire did grow.

With whips of golden lashes, it spread.

It was the crackle and scorch of the flame that filled the squire's ears. How it leapt and clung to life. Hungry for that which would help it go on.

Roki saw the tide of spirit creatures come crawling out of the ether. Beings that gaggled and tripped as they yipped and yapped and their jaws did snap.

His front foot, his left foot, slid forward followed by the upturned palm of his left. The gesture cut through the heated air. A twist of the waist, and a scoop and sweep of both palm and foot saw the flames leap to the gesture like coals scattered across the field.

The fire crashed toward the mass of foxes, and with an inhalation of breath, Roki swept his arms towards his chest, his feet come together, hands at his center, fingers splayed wide as they sealed for wind. The breeze began to pick up around him.

If he burned fast. If he burned hot. Maybe he could end this before it started in true.

Smoke rose up from the burning brush and leaf litter.

Rory Bellamy
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The foxes were more frightening with their numbers than they truly were on their own. It was easy to make them disappear and go back to their master, and because these foxes were beasts that could only obey, even through the flames they charged. It didn’t hurt them anymore than their beings forever being bound to Rory’s iron fist did.

It was just the distraction that the young Bellamy needed. Rory rushed out, ignoring everything: Roki, the foxes, even the quickening of the flames. But the amber orb was secured, the Urr Wolf being placed back into a hidden place. Rory double checked that it wouldn’t fall out.

All the foxes were about gone now, the flames were growing greater.

Shouldn’t you be putting out fires instead of making them? You’ll turn everything to ash at this rate!” The bottom boughs of trees were going up in flames now, being spurned on by the healthy wind rich with oxygen.

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A mind full of fire, eyes wide and golden while wisps of wind galed about. Each breath that pulled in through his lungs stoked the bright candescence behind his eyes. The roar, crackle and hiss in his heart.

He could see the foxes plunge to their doom. See the lick of flash fire wipe them away. Turn them to cinders and smoke. Some part of him smiled. Some part of him grinned as the fire went on. His fire. His tempest. His storm.

How the fire did desire, not but the fuel it required. To spread. To burn. To change all with its dance.

The Bellamy's words were but crackles amidst the roar of the flame. Hisses amongst the ceaseless tongues of reds and golds.

Boughs of those trees nearby -which he'd only just climbed and sprung across, which had given him shelter and refuge when he needed it most- cracked and groaned as they split open with the wash of wild heat. Popped.

Birds screeched as they fled. Rodents and badgers scurried from their burrows and even those Corvodi, that praised the aid of their storm giant, cowered in terror as they looked on upon the young man lost in his trance. One cowered under the cover of their iron pot, and pulled the wide dome over their head. Crooks and krews sounded between their beaks, soundless urges to flee. They scrambled to their feet as they hurried away.

WIth eyes awash in fire's light, Roki spread a hand wide. Saw only the fuel for more fire, and whipped a swirling chord of twisted flame toward the Bellamy. Steam rising from his skin, as his blood boiled with the heat of magick's

Rory Bellamy
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Rory’s nostrils flared. Their dark eyes narrowed at the green knight wreathed in flame. The smoke and haze blurred the foolish knight from their eyesight. Rory knew this to be a losing battle. Even if they were to kill the knight now they could potentially harm themself more by lingering in this inferno. Rory pulled up one of the wolf pelts around their mouth and nose.

All the foxes were gone. A chain was broken, much smaller than those that carried in the jaws of Rory’s favored wolves. A crack of blue lightning flashed from Rory’s hand and a terrifying screech broke through the roar of the flames. A bird decorated in blue and silver feathers with a large black hooked beak. Two long black feathers sprouted from on top it’s eyes and from the fancy plumage could be seen sparks of electricity.

It’s eyes were a bright blue, alluring and dangerous. It dove down to pick up Rory with it’s dark talons, it’s great wingspan flapping. The air was electric, little zaps of energy could be felt, sparks springing to life from seemingly nowhere. The Thunderbird began to lift Rory up into the air.

Fry him.” Rory commanded. Let’s see the green little knight hide in the trees. They were certain the forest wouldn’t protect him now.

The flame whip crashed where the Bellamy had stood. Smoke and debris kicked up in a screen that waved with the wash of heat.

A snarl escaped the enflamed squire. A roar at the sight of another creature of eld. A spirit of the wylds. A bird of thunder.

What of the Foxes, Roki?

His eyes of flame traced the black feathered shape, and the master it so deftly carried. Up, and up, over the billowing columns of smoke. Over the lashing tongues of fire. He grinned wide and mad. The squire so possessed by ire. Skin smoldering, mouth dry as a desert, he drew in a breath that burned him down to his lungs, arms swept back as great trees cracked and bent and fell aflame.

A storm. A gale. A wind so great and sharp it would catch the dark cloud of thunder over head. Burn it away.

The lightning arced blue across the span of the eld creature's wide span. Each beat of its wings stirred for more of its own storm. It screeched. A sound that pierced the veil between magick and mundane. A blue bolt struck down as Roki swept forward. Cast his hand up, and like a lightning rod his finger caught the surge.

Flesh seared, as electric charge spidered and split and crackled across his limbs. Down to the ground beneath his feet.

The Magick inside him died. His heart stopped. And Roki was blown back to skate across the ground.

Another beat of dark wings. Horrible eyes fixed from on high and sighted the fallen squire, smoldering and still amidst the shimmer of wildfire.

Roki's heart pulsed. Small and fragile, it pulsed. Though the boy looked cooked to hell and back. Skinn blistered, clothes charred, he lay defeated upon the earth. A crumpled mess.

The rapter of storm cared not. It screeched its horrid screech once more and let loose a blue blast of lightning, once more.

Silver flit up from the distance. Like a star let fly. An arrow, magicked and runed, with silver head and Drinker's runes carved careful into its wide and ornate spade, struck past the bolt. Seemed to bend its flash and arc and take in its magick energies into its head before it sped along, with crackle and sizzle of storm bolt behind it.

From those treetops still unburnt, shot Syr Rimeboll, who knockedhis next arrow, and stared up at the great winged beast and its horrid master.

Rory Bellamy