[P] [M] without beauty, love, or danger
it would almost be easy to live.
#1
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WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.
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Part of the final battle of the Second Boreas Conflict.

They waited on a rise, half-hidden by the pine trees and the brush. Salvia had chosen this spot because it afforded them the best view of the grounds beneath – she had thought this would be imperative, given the method of attack.

Her armor was plentiful today, wrapped around her torso and strapped to her arms and legs. The thick leather fit her well, and was black in all places except for the pieces dyed a forest-green close to the color of the trees they were hiding in. She had owned this for many years, but wore it only in times of conflict. This left the material well off, with only the telltale signs of use in the way it bent, or in the places where cuts and marks had been made.

She had absconded from wearing her cloak. It would slow her down, she thought, and give her opponents something to grab hold of.

Salvia stroked the back of her little falcon with one hand, while the other clutched her spear. When the time was right she would release the bird – he was perched on the saddle-horn, fidgeting nervously. The tension in the air was palpable, as it had been since they first met – when Salvia had first seen the former-leader of Casa di Cavalieri riding with Vicira. She had made no effort to hide her disdain for the man, and had commented to the effect that he ought to keep his wits about him, lest another misfortune befall him. Being a loner meant he could no longer rely upon his friends to pay for his rescue.

Below them, there came an uproar of noise – figures began spilling out of the woodland, pursuing and taking the bait set for their demise.

Salvia released her falcon and shifted Tiger's reins to her free hand. She glanced back at the others – an odd assortment, she thought – and turned forward again.

I want that white bastard, she told them, looking for the man her brother had described. Though she had failed to protect Artemisia, she could see to it that Basilaris saw justice dealt.

She had already decided that she would give him that wolf's head.

Eventually, her falcon began to wheel. Salvia followed his position downward, and spied – amongst the growing conflict – a pale figure atop a reddish horse, keeping close to a gray wolf carrying a shield.

Salvia repositioned her spear and urged Tiger forward. When the slope began to even out, her speed increased to a proper charge.


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#2
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Since Vicira is essentially useless in combat, she will act more as support for the others, so you can reference her helping keep the other horse(s) distracted, etc. If anything, she could kill Selah perhaps, but I don't need her to have a kill if everyone else wants one. :B

I do want someone to get a small hit on her face though. :U


Vicira took a steadying breath, and tried to remember what her mother told her.

The Aquila had wanted to join her clan in battle, but her recovery was still slow going. She was no longer lost as she had been, but some of the spirit had been bled out of her, and she still had starts and fits and seemed distant most days. When Vicira had insisted that she stay, and promised that she would ride as Inferni's commander, the aging coywolf had cried, and her daughter had held her until Conrad stepped in to say that the war party was ready.

Now, flanked by fighters with years more experience, Vicira felt like a child—though Vesper had promised she looked fierce, and allowed herself a broken smile as she fought off fog and fear. The girl wore ill-fitting armor (it had belonged to one of the Boreas' old comrades, she thought), and both she and Kresnik were streaked with ash, stripes and bands and dots that Diego had painted on them for luck. They looked almost wild.

She wished Vesper were here. She wished Tigana were here, too; she did not know if her precious gelding would fare so well in battle, but she had not wanted to risk her paint mare's foal.

I wish, I wish, I wish danced through her head in a rapid tattoo.

She grimaced and twisted leather reins in hand, holding her other arm out. She'd little practice with the longstaff but for training Inferni's mounts, but she hoped that instinct would guide her. If anything, she just needed to be present, to be able to say that she was here, to give her clanmates hope. A duty she'd always wanted but realized now she was not yet ready for.

Yips and howls and snarls broke through the careful silence of the winter woodland, and Kresnik snorted as his rider tensed up. Vicira glanced to the Salsolan Boss and nodded, licking her lips. She wanted no one for herself.

The group rode forward. Vicira kicked heels into Nik's flanks, and the flame-colored, soot-marked horse leaped down into the hollow as Vicira sent up a yowling war cry: Oderint dum metuant!

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#3
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Word Count → ??? :: sorry for the slow, guys!! love ya work as always - can Lokr take the kill on Amund? Amund could be the one to get a hit on Vici's face - they could take him out together, Raze? :>





The sound of creaking leather and soft horse breath was all that filled the air around them, for a time.


Lokr knew that the stillness, the peace, was tepid and temporary; Like so many false things in this world, it would never last.


The golden horse was not his usual mount. When the lord rode to check his traps or on private journeys, he took his Siberian steed, who was undeniably reliable and trustworthy - when he consorted with merchants or allies he rode the black mare, who galloped with the wind at her heels and could carry him swiftly away from danger.


He had never before ridden into danger, and so he did as his wife asked of him, and took the palomino. Osrath had many steeds for war - She'd no need of Altan herself, but had trained him with her own grit and skill, and therefore put something of value into the animal.


It marveled him to this day that they were capable of so much control, so much influence - And yet, in a heartbeat, they could be stripped away to nothing.


The four horsemen, detached from the rest, waited on the crest of a snowcapped bluff as the dreadful scene unfolded below them. As the silence shattered with the peals and shrieks and cries of war, the golden stallion quivered with anticipation, and the lord of Salsola muttered a dark prayer under his breath for no gods nor men to hear.


Let me live, oh; Let me live to see her again. He felt the growing carnage that churned the air, and Salvia was bursting into motion now; Vicira too, daughter of the Aquila and Commander of Inferni, riding her red and ash-streaked horse down into certain hell. War would not wait for any of them. Boreas had come, and so had a great reckoning.


Lokr held the leather reigns tightly in his bared teeth and drew the longbow taught. A raven-feathered arrow slid alongside the shaft, the motion as smooth and precise as drawing breath. He did not spare a look for enigmatic Alistair, who once had been their foe but now went willingly with them into the fray, but only dug his heels into the stallion's side and plunged down the hill after his queen.


There was little time for thought after that. Battle seems to greatly alter time, slowing it imperceptive until one suddenly realizes that everything is happening far too slowly; And yet too quickly, for all that. Instinct has a way of taking over the mind of even a most civil beast when threatened by the promise of a terrible death.


The dappled grey stallion and the armored woman were hewing a path down the hill, headed for a pair who were likewise mounted and held the grimly vicious countenance of men who sent other men to their deaths. Trying to keep his eye on any assailants flanking Salvia, the hunter split alongside to harry the men opposite her. She had claimed the life of the white bastard for her own, and so he trained his attentions on the grey man accompanying him, mounted on a lean bay mustang.

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<br><div class="LokrbSigSplit"></div> <div id="signature-icons"> <a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Alaine" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a><a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.LokrRevlis" target="_blank" title="CHARACTER WIKI" class="character-wiki"></a><a href="#" class="reply-slow" title="REPLY SPEED: SLOW"></a><a href="#" class="apparel-accessories" title="Highcollar leather vest, 2 x hunting daggers, doehide quiver w/ arrows, & dragon-head longbow."></a><a href="#" target="_blank" title="Lokr speaks fluent Italian, denoted by italics and hover translation. When he speaks English, it is clear, with a slight British accent." class="foreign-language"></a><a href="#" class="scent-warning" title="Lokr disguises his scent with damp earth, pine and sea-salt."></a><a href="#" class="skill-hunting" title="Lokr is a skilled hunter."></a><a href="#" class="skill-scholar" title="Lokr is a skilled scholar."></a> <div style="font-family:arial; font-size:10px; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 5px;">slithered here from Eden</div> </div> </div>[/html]
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#4
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OOC Alistair can take Selah, then, and then help Lokr and Vicira if need be. (He can serve as protection while Lokr makes the killing blow?) (+)

He could scarcely take his eyes off her. What if she were to strike at him amidst the chaos, or her second- was he, too a threat? The saddle creaked beneath his weight as he shifted and balled Merlin's reins tightly in his hand. The gelding was anxious, his training was about to be tested and he was eager to begin. The tension mounted in the moments as they passed. Alistair had set himself to the sides of Conrad and Viciria, a buffer between him and the Salsolan's for his own good...for theirs. His thoughts were dark.

He caught the Tigress's eye and bared his yellowed teeth at her. They had a common enemy now, but beyond this nothing had changed; other than the ominous fact: he had nothing left to lose.

He said nothing to counter her claim but regarded her with a wary eye. The black knight drew his longsword with purpose, it's edges sharp and gleaming and did not avert his eyes. He looked away only to test the straps of his reinforced leather armor and once she charged, he did too so as not to be outdone.

He'd no war cry for this, only a need for justice and to avenge his wounded friend. Instead a harsh cry laced with an bitter snarl was squeezed from his lungs with all his might. Sword and shield lowered he made the charge.

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<span class="AL1SigName"><span class ="ln">Alistair Callow</span></span>
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<a href="#" class="apparel-accessories" title="Character typically wears pants and a necklace. Also a cloak, if specified."></a>
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#5
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An arrow flew, but it missed her – shooting wide to her left, Salvia did not bother to see if it struck anything else. In combat, there was no reliance from allies. She believed wholly that individuals would either support themselves or falter.

It was this sort of thinking that allowed her to ignore the presence of an enemy-turned-ally, though they exchanged incorrigible disdain for one another, and to think little as to what Lokr was doing. Salvia would see her way to the end of this battle and return to Salsola, with or without everyone who had come to fight. The strong would survive unless some force beyond their power saw to make it otherwise. What else could explain the death of her sister and the near-fatal injuries her brother had suffered?

Luck, perhaps. Salvia did not believe in anything enough to worry over the matter, or if things might have gone another way. She would live, or they would all die.

It was as simple as that.

The Boreas wolves had seen their approach, and were shouting at one another. They were trying to stay together, it looked like. She saw the gray one begin moving towards Vicira, and the archer prepare and fire another shot. He was fast, but too focused – Salvia was nearly upon him when his horse started, saving his life. The spear missed killing him but slashed deep into his hip, yanking away a piece of armor when it was pierced by the metal tip.

Tiger wheeled beneath her at a bodily command, and snapped at the mare, who squealed and kicked. The white wolf cursed and went for his arrows.


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#6
OOC: Sounds good! And sorry for the wait. :(

IC:

With their charge, their snarls and rallying cries, more fighters poured out of the pines and rushed down the hill into the camp. From her height on horseback she could see some of her comrades in battle, but she couldn’t focus on them now. Doing her part as their commander meant, in this instant, fighting their foes herself, even if she would have been more comfortable standing in the trees and shouting orders.

And the big dark grey wolf, their leader, rode toward her. A massive shield covered most of his side, and he gripped a sword in his other hand, calm fury burning in his eyes as he spurred his bay mustang toward her. Her breath caught and she wheeled Kresnik around, lashing out with the longstaff, which struck his shield harmlessly. The other gelding tried to kick, and Kresnik whinnied and danced out of the way, eyes rolling and ears pinned. Vicira hissed and drove him closer.

The sword arced, hitting the fire-colored horse in the shoulder, but this allowed the Inferni girl to land a solid blow on his arm with the staff. The Boreas commander barely flinched, and with a snarl swung again.
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#7
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Word Count → ??? :: <3 <3 <3 go A-Team!





Unlike his queen, Lokr believed quite vehemently that all fate could turn on the flip of a coin; If they were to survive, it was not because they saw no alternative timeline or existed as a manifestation of true strength but only because - in the seconds where it had counted - they had been exceedingly lucky.


He fired off another arrow. It soared between two clashing blades and embedded itself into the armor of a foe, throwing them off-balance.


The grey man had wheeled his horse and was making a purposeful charge toward Vicira on the red. Though their half-blood steeds were of a similar size, the coyote woman in her scraps of armor seemed dwarfed by the approaching Boreas leader; His sword glinted cruelly in the half-light, and it was already wet with blood.


Salvia had engaged, but seemed to have her foe on the defensive. Shifting his bow from one side of the golden stallion to the other, Lokr re-focused his attention on the Infernian Commander; If she died today, the repercussions of it would no doubt be long and unprofitable.


As he rode toward the pair, a dagger slashed his thigh - But few other foes were on horseback, and the palomino mowed down any who lingered in their way. Vicira had engaged by the time he was able to level a shot. The grey man was wielding his heavy sword with deadly accuracy, swinging it around for another blow when a black-feathered arrow sung into the heavy leather armor and muscular meat of his shoulder.


For a moment the Boreas leader faltered, his face twisting into a terrible snarl; The arrow bought ash-streaked Vicira some precious seconds to retaliate. Torn between two points of action, Lokr looked back over his shoulder to track the progress of his queen, missing what happened next.

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<br><div class="LokrbSigSplit"></div> <div id="signature-icons"> <a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Alaine" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a><a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.LokrRevlis" target="_blank" title="CHARACTER WIKI" class="character-wiki"></a><a href="#" class="reply-slow" title="REPLY SPEED: SLOW"></a><a href="#" class="apparel-accessories" title="Highcollar leather vest, 2 x hunting daggers, doehide quiver w/ arrows, & dragon-head longbow."></a><a href="#" target="_blank" title="Lokr speaks fluent Italian, denoted by italics and hover translation. When he speaks English, it is clear, with a slight British accent." class="foreign-language"></a><a href="#" class="scent-warning" title="Lokr disguises his scent with damp earth, pine and sea-salt."></a><a href="#" class="skill-hunting" title="Lokr is a skilled hunter."></a><a href="#" class="skill-scholar" title="Lokr is a skilled scholar."></a> <div style="font-family:arial; font-size:10px; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 5px;">slithered here from Eden</div> </div> </div>[/html]
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#8
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OOC Arg I was never notified of this! You guys should have skipped me! :/ (+)

Arrows whizzed by to his left, his right. One missed the terrible queen on her pale steed. As she'd stated Salvia aimed herself towards the white brute striking and peeling away a chunk of his armor. Smokey Vicira was engaged by a massive grey wolf and for a split-second Alistair almost rounded on them to help, but then he saw the archer, Salvia's right hand focus his arrows.

Enemy arrows still assailed them unharried and Alistair followed them with his eyes to their source. A dark woman was at the end of the bow. She nocked another at the sight of him and took aim. Alistair rose his shield and caught it with a solid thunk. The point lodged itself into the wood and hide, it's shaft vibrating. Alistair swung his sword and sliced it, halving the shaft and dug his heels into Merlin's sides.

The woman looked furious and quickly fired off another two. These were aimed directly towards him and Alistair smiled a secret smile. His allies' needn't worry about her any longer. Merlin's ears were laid flat against his head as Alistair urged him on faster and faster. A couple more arrows whizzed by him harmlessly, she couldn't track him at this speed.

Her eyes grew wide as he neared and she began to run, lowering her bow. She made for a tight group of trees but Alistair was already upon her. He swung his sword across her fleeing armored back, severing the leather and cutting a deep gash into her flesh. The force of the blow caused her to falter. She managed to catch herself on the trunk of a tree. Alistair was doubling back around. He signaled something to his horse and with that Merlin reared and cried sharply. The woman had turned around and drawn a dagger but she could not escape the gelding's hooves. He kicked out viciously and Alistair heard the deep crack of bone. It was both satisfying and unnerving. He did not enjoy this. The woman shouted in pain and much to his dismay Alistair heard Merlin bellow in unison.

The woman crumpled to the ground followed by her dagger which was now wet with blood. Alistair guided Merlin backwards and dismounted, worry seizing at his heart for his companion. He could smell the gelding's blood and as much as it bothered him he had to ignore it.

She was getting up. Her face was contorted with pain and she was clutching her broken collarbone; her other hand clung desperately to the dagger. She had not given in. Alistair approached her slowly. He dropped his shield and advanced on her with his blue-tinted sword. There was no pleasure in killing, no glory, but this was her end. To his surprise she rushed him with the dagger crying out with both fury and pain. One last effort, but years of violence had prepared him. He struck hard at her wrist. The dagger fell heavily to the ground.

She leapt at him then, striking him with her claws in a fit of desperation. Alistair grit his teeth against the stinging cuts and brutishly forced her back into the tree hard. The momentary pause in her attacks allowed him to seize her throat in his free hand and pin her to the trunk. His sword drew back then plunged into her belly and up.

The sight and sudden odor of her entrails was horrific and turned his stomach. She clutched at them in panic and blinding pain and when he withdrew his sword slumped to the ground into a sickening heap. Alistair didn't linger with the corpse. He rushed to his steed and felt for his wound.

Merlin's blood was near invisibe against his dark coat, the shine of moisture was his only clue. A gash cut the gelding's chest. He felt the wound with shaking fingers. It was deep, but superficial, no muscle or arteries just flesh. Still, it worried him, but the battle wasn't over yet. He picked up his shield, mounted and rode to where Vicira and Lokr fought the storm pelted man.

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<div class="AL1SigOuter">
<span class="AL1SigName"><span class ="ln">Alistair Callow</span></span>
<div class="AL1SigSplit"></div>
<div id="signature-icons">
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Stormie" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a>
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.AlisterCallow-Knight" target="_blank" title="CHARACTER WIKI" class="character-wiki"></a>
<a href="#" class="reply-medium" title="REPLY SPEED: MEDIUM"></a>
<a href="#" class="apparel-accessories" title="Character typically wears pants and a necklace. Also a cloak, if specified."></a>
<a href="#" target="_blank" title="Alistair speaks with a posh British accent" class="foreign-language"></a>
<a href="#" class="optime-preference" title="OPTIME unless otherwise stated."></a>
<a href="#" class="skill-carpentry" title="Alistair is a skilled carpenter."></a>
<a href="#" class="skill-animals" title="Alistair is skilled with horses and horsed combat."></a>
<a href="#" class="skill-fighting" title="Alistair is skilled in melee combat (sword/shield/hand-to-hand"></a>
<a href="#" class="skill-scholar" title="Alistair can read and write."></a>
</div>
</div>
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  Reply
#9
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Around her war became a beast divided amongst hundreds of legs, dozens of eyes, all those voices screaming and howling as blood was shed on cold earth, and as people began to die.

Salvia breathed in and tasted all the fear and all the vile sensations of wickedness and hate on her tongue. It filled her senses completely. For the whole of the battle she thought nothing of anyone but herself – she forgot her subcommander, she forgot her husband, she forgot the children waiting for her return and the all the oaths to her Family and kingdom.

It was the sort of thinking which isolated her like a deep meditation, removing all influence of the outside world. She remained tethered to the horse beneath her by means of her intense focus, but it was second-nature now. Salvia had trained the stallion from the time he was weaned, and she inspired the absolute confidence that came with trust – Tiger trusted her, and she trusted him. He was another pair of eyes, another four legs, and she had the brief and wild recollection of one of Siv Helsi's stories of the old gods she had worshiped.

The moment was fleeting, overtaken by more pressing matters like measuring the rise and fall of the man's arms, and where he meant to move. She was close enough to reach for him, and did so – her hand closed around his bow arm. Salvia drove Tiger back by shifting her weight and nearly pulled the man from his mount. She might have done so if it had been his other arm she had grabbed; this free hand was the one which drove an arrow deep into her arm by force.

She released him out of surprise, and he began to fall back – towards the gray wolf so viciously engaged behind them. Salvia ignored the pulsing heat and prepared for another charge.

A heartbeat too late, she saw the white wolf had expected this, and had begun to aim his bow.

He did not expect the brown-and-white mass which struck from the sky. It collided with such force that he tumbled from his saddle. His hands began slashing at the shape until they closed around it, and only then did Salvia see it was her falcon he was holding, her falcon he was crushing

Tiger's hooves carried her towards the man, and she killed him by driving her spear so deep into his chest it remained lodged there and left her hand stinging from the impact.

She let out a primal yowl of mingled victory and fury, and drove her horse back to trample the corpse for good measure.


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  Reply
#10
An arrow soared past Vicira with a near-imperceptible hiss of air, and dark feathers sprouted from the armor of the snarling wolf. She spun the staff around and struck out again, landing a more solid blow to the impacted flesh that made the man roar in pain. But he kicked heels into his mustang and they lurched forward, and it was all Kresnik could do to run.

Around her, screams -- fear, elation, agony -- rang out, and Vicira added her voice to the cacophony of snarls and bellows. The commander who watched her with such hate in his eyes was the son of one of those men who nearly killed her mothers, who wished to see them all dead. Though it was Salsolans that fought beside her, she knew that this was not, truly, their war.

It was hers. She had inherited it, along with a title she had not asked to bear so soon, under such circumstances.

The next few moments were a blur. The longstaff spun. A horse barked a harsh noise of pain, but she didn't see whose it was. Blood welled from the wolf's mouth where she'd struck his muzzle, shattering teeth, but his sword arced again, and she was too close, and --

He slashed her face, and she nearly fell off her steed.

But she was Inferni's commander, and she couldn't fall. She could not. She seized reins and hair for balance and pitched forward, thrusting the staff, even as blood matted her brow and ran down one cheek and rendered her half-blind to the chaos around them.

There were more arrows -- it must have been the snake-eyed coywolf -- and somehow, miraculously, her next blow was aimed well. The Boreas commander fell from the back of his horse, whose dance for balance stomped his calf hard enough to make him shout. He got to his feet in spite of this, nostrils flaring as he drank in the scent of his companions' death around him.

But Amund Fannar would not die, not yet. He lifted sword and shield, and spat curses at them even outnumbered.
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