[P] [M] Flashbang

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.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: Violence, Possible Language.
Optime | The Ruins (War Room) --> Halcyon Mountains | Dated: March 4th; night | cNPC: Velimir; NPC: Cedar (both brief)

Kamari’s scent is disguised. Related to these two threads: 1, 2.


I will be aiming to start Round 2 next Friday/Saturday, March 12th/13th.
The late-night scouting mission had been a success, and the Emissary had spent the immediate hours afterwards compiling mission notes under the work of candlelight in her study while the information and memories had still been fresh in her mind. She had come to the conclusion that it was vital to move quickly and deal with the matter before the enemy could strike first or scatter. Though she and the boys’ scents had been masked and their presence minimal, their general presence near the campsite would have been noticed regardless if one of the targets had a good scouting nose. And, though she had taken the evidence with her, the fact that she had killed their hawk would have likely not gone unnoticed either.

Time was ticking.

She’d allowed herself a few hours of sleep, and had risen with the late-morning sun. After making her report to the Mafiosi and getting their approval, she’d set out to collect her a team. Given what she’d learned from the rumors and what she’d seen and heard, she needed individuals that were competent with fighting.

And she needed individuals that were willing to take a life.

Kamari had no interest in prisoners or more servants to owe a debt to the Kingdom, had no need for further intel to be gleaned from their targets, and letting the Outsiders live with the information they knew was a risk she was not willing to accept. It was one of the darker things she did, but, the world was not kind, and, so, she would not be kind back.

It was eat or be eaten, and she would ensure that Salsola would seldom feel the presence of another’s teeth around its throat.

Choosing members from the Shield had been a given. All of her Faction mates were highly skilled fighters, and all had seen conflict. They had all walked into enemy territory or snuck behind enemy lines; they knew how to work silently, as a team, and under pressure. Most of all though, they had all seen death, if not been the cause for it.

Director Brocade Valentine. Kamari had worked alongside him on countless of missions over the years. Despite his size, he knew how to be stealthy, and, during the Inferni-Salsolan War, he had proven to be level-headed even in the midst of chaos. He was strong and able-bodied, and would have been able to stand his ground against any one of their intended targets.

Striker Krios Revlis. The Kingdom’s top scout and best marksman. Another individual she had worked closely with on missions beyond the Kingdom, he would be able to help her ensure that their approach that night would go smoothly and without detection. With his sharp eyes and precise aim, too, he had a distinct advantage that catered well for a stealthy ambush mission.

Paladin Idrieus Eternity, unfortunately, had been excluded from the mission roster. While Kamari trusted and depended on her fighting prowess in close quarters, and knew Idrieus was fully capable of carrying out such a mission, she also knew Idrieus to not be fond of killing others if such drastic measures could be avoided. And, though Kamari had confidence in the group she’d chosen, on the off chance something happened to the rest of them, the Kingdom would need someone confident and experienced enough to continue leading the Shield, even if alone.

In her stead, Kamari had picked Servant Silas del Morte. He had been a bit trickier to recruit given his status within the Kingdom, but, he had been someone Kamari had wanted on her team. She had seen first hand of his fighting prowess, and knew that the wolf was more than capable of taking another’s life. He had protected her back and fought alongside her quite a few times now, and was someone Kamari trusted.

Confidant Casimir Soul had been the final member chosen for her assault mission. He had talents with a sword, from what she’d heard, and could hold his own in a fight according to Arbiter Argive. While she had never worked personally with the young man, he was the son of Veteran Rafael Salcedo, which had to account for something. He had also been involved in an Outsider attack recently, so, he had known fighting experience outside of his incident that Argive had been witness to. By taking him on the mission, the Shield—as well as the Mafiosi—would be able to see just where his talents laid.

She had sought and spoken to each one individually, and, after confirming their willingness to join her on her mission, had given them a time to meet her at the War Room by. She had spent the time in-between to check over her gear and weaponry, as well as seen to it that horses were prepared for both Casimir and Silas. The group could have easily traveled on foot, but, Kamari wanted them to conserve energy, and the horses would allow them to carry extra medical gear that—should something go wrong—could have meant the difference between making it back to Salsola’s healers in time or bleeding out. She had been sure to speak with Eden and Argive as well, ensuring that both were aware of the secret assault mission and the possibilities of tending to injuries upon the group’s return to the Kingdom.

The sun had been setting when they all convened in the War Room. Warden Velimir had been with her, and had helped her set up a sand table before the arrival of the other mission members. He lingered off to the side once everyone had gathered, as his part in the mission was decidedly minor.

Kamari stood in her leather vest, wearing a dark, long-sleeve shirt beneath it. Leather bracers protected both her forearms, and she wore a pair of equally dark pants. Her usual knife was worn in the small of her back, though, like most of the rest of her figure, was hidden because of her tattered-edged, hooded cloak that donned her shoulders.

Her sharp eyes swept to each Salsolan as she explained the mission in full. “Two days ago, we became aware of a group of Loners looking to perform a heist on Salsola. They are led by a dog-hybrid named Fish, who, up until yesterday night, had had a hawk reconning our movements by day. This same man also, apparently, tested our borders and found a way through our traps during our recent Last Supper four nights ago. He has been actively recruiting Loners from the area that know how to fight and are willing to kill to steal from our pack. Our mission tonight is to see to it that he is stopped before he can carry this out.

“He and his followers have made a campsite against a rocky outcrop in the forests of the Halcyon around here. It’s about twenty miles from the Kingdom, so, we’ll ride on horseback on the flatter trails to cover the distance.” She pointed and gestured to various points on her makeshift mini-map before them. Key points were marked by small, painted rocks, with sticks and pieces of fabric marking various other items of interest to help her team visualize the set up easier. Carved, vague, mini figures that had been commissioned from Velimir some time before were used to represent Luperci and horses. “We’ll stop the horses here and leave them with Velimir. From there, we’ll travel on foot with Krios and I taking point.

“Once we reach their camp, our goal is to surround and ambush them. The recon from yesterday revealed there to be five members in total. Four males, one female, most of them are dog hybrids. All of them looked armed, and, are all likely skilled to some degree in fighting. Do not let your guard down, and don’t go easy on them. They have no love for us, and we will have none for them.”

She tapped a horse figurine that was dragging a cart behind it that had been placed on the edge of the camp area. “They also have one horse and a small cart. Try to avoid harm or damage to either of these if you can.” The pack could make use of the cart, and, while they didn’t necessarily need another horse to feed, it would be easier to drag the cart back with an animal already familiar with it and pulling. After Grievous looked over the animal, if it wasn’t to his liking, the horse could easily be traded off afterward for a large sum of goods.

“This mission’s success means the neutralization of all five targets and whoever else might have joined their number since yesterday night. We will not be taking prisoners like we did with the White Knell and Underhill Camp raids. Any of our targets escaping alive will result in a mission failure.”

From there, she allowed for questions, and answered them with poised confidence. When the meeting came to a conclusion, she looked to each of the men she had gathered. “If there aren’t any further questions, mount up. Casimir, Silas, I have a horse prepared for each of you outside.”

As the sun slipped below the distant horizon, the six riders rode out.

Hours later, darkness had engulfed them, and they arrived at the dismount point under the dull glow of the waning moon. Leaving Velimir behind, the rest of the group traversed the remaining two miles towards the camp under swift and silent footfalls. The forest was dark around them, the full boughs of the evergreens allowing only a minimal amount of moon and starlight to penetrate the world below. Kamari had them avoid the main trails, and purposely made them fan wide to avoid any other obvious avenues of approach into the campsite. The closer they could get to the site undetected, the greater advantage they would have when they attacked.

The area, thankfully, looked largely unaltered from when Kamari had been there the previous night, and it wasn’t long before they spotted one of their targets. It was the stout, brawny, doggish male Kamari had met at La Estrella Roja, Bax. From the way he sniffed and looked about the area, he appeared to be patrolling.

Kamari had the group pause with a halting flash of her hand. Her eyes flicked from Bax to the distant glow of the camp’s firelight that could be seen through the trees. The Salsolans couldn’t risk the dog alerting the rest of the encampment of their presence. “Take care of the lookout,” she whispered to Krios. Turning her attention to the other members, she motioned for them to follow her onward. “I’ll head to the top of the outcropping. Each of you, choose a target and take up a position. Don’t engage them until I give the signal.”

With a fleeting glance over her shoulder after her husband, the Shadow led Brocade, Casimir, and Silas towards the campsite. She separated from them when they came close enough, carefully stalking her way up the rock face so that she could have a clear view down onto the camp below. Her cornflower blue eyes shifted about as she took in the placement of each of their targets in the area and their relationship to her teammates.

When it looked as if everyone had gotten into position, she took out her knife and let the firelight catch on the metal surface.


Kamari Kaiser
— The Shadow —
[Image: k4f73A1.png]
Player Wiki · Character Wiki

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
Krios is armed with bow and knives. His scent is disguised (pine and rosemary).

Their mission at the Estrella had been a success. It had been too good of a success at the end of the day, when they walked away with information more alarming than they had ever expected to find. Salsola had become a target of malintent, a glittering jewel with valuables that would set a small group nearly for life. Whoever had set their eyes on them had thought them to be a ripe fruit for the plucking after testing them for weakness.

Krios grit his teeth to the duty they found themselves facing. He knew that it would be a day ending in dead bodies and much blood, but that did not thrill him. He was the Scout, the Striker, and he found the need to end lives unfortunate. His allegiance to Salsola had not wavered, no, though he lamented that all their grandstanding and posturing had not been sufficient to scare them off. Surely, they didn't expect it to be easy? Surely, they didn't think them so incapable?

He had helped Kamari with the preparations and had double-checked his handiwork with her chest guard and his own. His protective guard had been finished after hers and was unblemished in its newness. His bracers were more worn and duller from use, faint marks where branches and knives had attempted to make unsuccessful cuts. Bow strung, arrows readied, and knives secured to his person, Krios had found nothing more to do than to attend the meeting and make sure that Seduction was ready.

The mare had been in battel before, but none of them were willing to put a single equine at risk needlessly. Seduction was not a horse he wanted to lose as his grandmother's mare before him and as a mother with a filly at home. The Striker would not rob a child of its mother, even if they were horses and not canines.

He was grim and focused at her briefing, staring deeply at the makeshift positions she gestured to. Five people who would not see the sun rise were represented by anonymous shapes, impersonal and emotionless. They had made a poor choice and they would suffer for it.

Poor fools.

Krios nodded at her conclusion, having already spoken plenty with her privately in the sanctity of their home. Whatever else happened, they had plenty of stakes in succeeding if only to protect one another.

He rode out with them in silence, eyes sharp and focused.

• • •

Velimir took their horses and they stalked forward in grim silence. The man would take care of their mounts should disaster strike. Somehow, that was mildly reassuring despite the morbid thought.

They paused downwind of the sentry, a sturdy-looking dog with the face and body of a fighting breed. He was stocky and bulky. A threat. He looked slow, though, and Krios figured that between the Salsolan fighters, nearly any of them would have been suitable. But it would be easier to try and lure him away to minimize his proximity to the others and his ability to change targets. His axe looked sharp and his bulk suggested a direct blow could do more than just hurt.

Krios volunteered to lead him away. He was the Striker for a reason and after so much practice with Kamari he felt more than up to the task. She led the rest of the strike team toward the high ground as he maneuvered into the shadows. Bax was between him and the camp's flickering fire, backlighting outlining him orange.

A sharp glint above the camp was the signal he waited for and he did the exact thing he was trained to avoid; make noise. He rustled bushes, snapped a twig here and there a few dozen feet away from the sentry. Krios stayed in the shadows and kept himself lower to the ground as he maneuvered. He chose when to make a noise to make the guard move and when he slipped gracefully around every obstacle in his way. The doggish man slowly, but surely, moved further and further from the campsite as he investigated the noises.

At first, they had been light enough to just be animals or wind, but every few feet that Bax moved away from the camp, the sounds became more and more suspicious to justify his abandoning his post. Krios knew it was a fine line to walk before the man turned back to warn the others. As the dog started to turn back, Krios aimed his bow at him and shot his first arrow, deliberately missing to pull his attention back. It thudded to the ground in a leafless thicket next to Bax and he swerved at the sound when Krios let his second arrow whistle forward, striking him in the thigh.

Regardless of what the others were doing, Krios had the sentry's undivided attention as the dog snapped the arrow and charged.

It was the thrill of the hunt that ran through them all. Kamari had brought word of the encampment and assured that their duties were understood, the table illustrating their attack. From the War Room they travelled together, their journey punctuated by short conversations. Most of them were in a focused silence, and Brocade found himself itching for the adrenaline that came with a good fight.

Family life had softened him.

The deep breaths of their horses and the creaking groans of the leather saddles echoed as they ran. It was reminiscent of his time in the Squadron, and Brocade spent a moment assessing each of those gathered before they melted into the shadows. The Director was outfitted in his leather armor, his trusty spear braced against his shoulder as he stalked his way through the wood. The others fanned out to encircle the encampment as instructed. As the horses and Vellimir faded from view the quiet descended upon them.

There was always quiet before violence.

The warm firelight flickered with invitation. It was like a subtle beacon that had brought the Salsolans to their doorstep, and Brocade settled carefully on his toes. Figures passed before the fire, crouching to poke at coals or to disappear further into the camp. When the man pricked his ears forward he thought he could hear mutters of conversation, or the long breaths that came with relaxation.

When the flicker of silver flashed from the rock face Brocade blew a short breath through his nostrils and made his way closer – carefully setting his feet to assure he made as little noise as possible. Krios would have taken out the sentry by now - and the others would have each found a vantage point as instructed by the Emissary.

Brocade took a deep breath and glanced again at the blade signal, awaiting the perfect moment to strike.

(///) | NPCs: n/a

Broc smells like pine and camp fire. He's outfitted in his usual fighting garb! Spear in hand, a dagger attached to his belt.
[html]<center><img src="http://image.ibb.co/n8ZJvR/borkade.png" style="width: 280px;"></center>[/html]
Silas was a little more than surprised when the Emissary approached him in the middle of work. He was just as aware of the time they worked together when it came to Outsiders, but to formally be invited to one of their missions, and working with other ranked members was somewhat new. He had done this once before, when assisting with the group that was believed to be the source of the curse on the Sanctum.

There he had been more of a volunteer, and now here she was wanting him to join. Of course, he bowed his head and agreed. Even when given a choice, he could not bring himself to decline any work. He was not useless. He was a tool, and would be used where he was needed.

He came to the War Room, daggers hanging from his hips as they always did. He cast his gaze at the others gathered, enough for them to see he had come, then immediately lowered his head. He was never on their level, and chose to sit rather than stand. He could still hear Kamari's briefing, but this was a good compromise in his own strangely wired brain.

Aidan told him to no longer walk around on all fours, so he was not. But even in the presence of these ranked members, he refused to let his tall height keep himself above them. This was a good way to stay below them without damaging his back more than it already was.

The Emissary spoke of the group they would be tracking down, their objective to eliminate the threat. The silent man certainly had no qualms about bringing death to others, blood already shed on his hands. It was, in a way, an order, and so it was his duty to follow it through. He followed the rest out, sticking close to the Confidant, as he was the other member of their party using a borrowed mount.


The servant stuck close to the group, golden eyes fixated on the camp. He only briefly took his gaze away, enough to heed the Emissary's commands. The Striker was going to take care of the lookout, while the rest of them were to choose a target. Once they had, they were to get into position. Simple enough.

The servant trailed his eyes over each member of the group, though his fixated on a dark figure. It was lean, a spear in his grasp. He was probably better suited for another member of their group, but some sick part of him told him he was better for taking on someone that could do more damage. What was his life compared to the others in this group?

Nothing. That's what.

Target chosen, the silent man waited in the darkness. One hand reached for a dagger, carefully placing the blade part between his fingers. Once the signal had been given, he released the dagger from his grasp, letting it fly towards the dark male.
(500) | NPCs: N/A
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Kiri · Sig art by Despi
"You?" Lyra had said, scoffing into her ledger. "The Emissary must need the extra meat."

Casimir stood just out of reach of her candle's light. It wouldn't have mattered even if she'd bothered to look up; she wouldn't have cared for the leather pauldrons, the sword tied to his belt. "I hope to redeem myself."

She took her quill and scrawled a letter so sharply he thought the paper might split. "To whom? Me? To Grievous?" She sighed. "And what will you do if you succeed at your mission, and yet it still isn't enough?"


It was his first time in the War Room, and the first time doing anything of note with the Shield faction. Casimir found himself intimidated by the experience of those around him, perhaps more than the mission itself. Given his lack of insight, he was grateful there was no need for him to speak; Kamari was thorough and efficient in describing their situation and strategy, and they wasted no time at all.

Part of him had hoped that there was a chance the loners would have answers. As Kamari went on, he came to realize his mysterious assailant was not associated with them. It was hard for him to understand what made such a target out of Salsola, although he knew the Kingdom was the envy of many. He could see how envy would drive a group to seek their riches, but the woman in the snow sought to take nothing but life. Justice, she'd said. The words echoed in his mind as they rode, transforming his expression into grim determination.

The horses were left with Velimir (to Casimir's relief), and they splintered apart when it came time. He sent one glance back to Krios as he disappeared after the lookout, observing how he left with certain confidence (would Casimir know this himself, one day?), and then followed the Emissary's lead. Disguised in the scents of their forest, it was easy to encroach upon the unsuspecting camp. The others found their positions one by one, and Casimir too slid behind the cover of a tree. Just beyond its branches sat a grey-furred wolf who kept no weapons on his person, as far as Casimir could tell.

It struck him that it would be an unfair match given the reach of his sword, but so was the tactic of ambush. He tried not to think of this as he drew the blade slowly from its sheath.
(---) | NPCs:
Wooo! Onto Round 2: -ding ding- FIGHT! For easy referencing, please refer to my first post if you need refreshers on the tNPC villains for this thread! :3

I will be aiming to start Round 3 next Friday/Saturday, March 19th/20th.
Four targets. Four assailants. One roaming lookout. One sneaking scout. They were evenly matched, however, Salsola had the element of surprise on their side. At her signal, the others engaged their chosen Outsider, and the once docile campsite came alive.

The one she had identified as the leader, Fish, was the bandit nearest to her location. He was a tri-colored, doggish male that was close to Krios in size, if not a bit thicker in build. His shoulders were broad, and looked larger with the leather-and-fur gorget with its attached shoulder armor that he wore. A pair of similar, leather-and-fur bracers protected each of his forearms, however, the rest of him looked typical of a traveler; a simple tunic and pair of pants. His back was to her, and, as Kamari dropped down from her vantage point with a cat-like grace, her cornflower blue eyes noted the sword he held across his lap.

Despite the chaos that had erupted in the camp, he must have heard her land. His head snapped back to look over his shoulder as she advanced forward. He made a hasty swing of his sword, one that Kamari easily parried with a quick flip of how she held her knife. She shoved his sword back and leapt away from him in the same movement. The man swiftly got onto his feet, making another swing in an attempt to catch her. “Who are you?” He demanded in a snarl.

Kamari didn’t answer. Instead, she sidestepped the overhead strike, moving within his guard before he could reset his swing. Her blade swung out, cutting through the cloth of his tunic, and the slight resistance she felt told her that she’d managed to strike heavy enough to reach his skin of his forearm beneath his clothing, just above the bracer. The dog hissed as he twisted his hips and quickly struck with the butt of his sword.

She raised her arm in time to protect her hooded head, however, even through her bracer, she felt the full strength of his strike against her arm. She gritted her teeth and ducked with the momentum of the movement. She twisted and pulled herself into a dodge roll, allowing her to safely escape the dog as he flicked his wrist and changed the direction of his sword. Too late to change direction, his blade met nothing but air.

His amber eyes followed her as she rose to her feet and rushed him. He sidestepped her knife thrust. “You obviously mean business if you went through all this trouble to attack us,” Fish growled as he reached out to snatch her by her hood. Kamari ducked and spun beneath his sword arm, lashing out with her blade at his exposed back at the end of her fast pivot.

With lightning speed, he twisted opposite of her though, and her knife met the flat side of his sword rather than the meat of his back. Metal screeched between them as he slid his sword upward until it caught against the guard of her knife. He pushed her away, and the metal sound only continued as his blade tried to follow her backward movement.

When she was at the tip of his blade, he adjusted his sword lower, thrusting into her chest. The point of his weapon failed to pierce her though, stopped by the thick leather of her armored vest. “Tch, I should have known.” He snarled at the realization, and Kamari twisted her hips and brought the back of her bracer up, smacking the flat edge of the sword away from her with it.

Within the same movement, she stepped forward and pivoted her upper body towards his deflected sword, striking out with her palm at his elbow. Luckily for Fish, he read her intentions quick enough to twist his outstretched limb in a way that prevented her from dislocating his sword arm. He went with the flow of her attack, again, grabbing at the excess fabrics of her cloak.

He was quick enough to grab a fistful this time, and he yanked her by it, throwing her away from him and into the ground. Her balance lost, Kamari grunted as she harshly met the ground, though, she instinctively pushed herself into a roll. Her hood came down with the movement. Fish followed after her, unwilling to lose the temporary advantage that he had. He struck the ground in her wake with three fast downward swings, missing her by inches each time.

On the fourth swing, Kamari launched herself out of the way and into a crouch. On the fifth, she propelled herself forward and into his guard. As she moved to stand, she kept her blade pointed towards Fish, slicing him up and across his stomach. It made him flinch and snarl as he struck out fast, the heel of his palm catching her on the chin and causing her to stumble backwards.

As he let his free hand grasp his stomach, he slashed out at her with his sword once more, catching her across the cheek before she could get away quick enough. She hissed at the stinging feeling, and the cut burned as her facial muscles flexed as she bared her teeth at the man.

“I suppose you’re the ‘owl’ that got ahold of my hawk yesterday night?” Fish sneered as he pulled his hand away from his stomach. It came back red, though, it was clear that Kamari had not struck him hard enough to give him anything more than maybe a scar to remember her by if he survived that night.

Feeling something crawl down her cheek, Kamari wiped at it with the back of her hand. Crimson colored her too. “And if I was?”

His lip curled into a half-smile-half-snarl at her finally speaking to him. “I told Bax to be more discrete with finding fighters.”

“You can thank him in the afterlife for why we’re here.”

“Who says I’m going to be the one dying tonight?” He challenged as he surged forward.

Kamari held up her knife, and their blades met once more. “I do.”

Kamari Kaiser
— The Shadow —
[Image: k4f73A1.png]
Player Wiki · Character Wiki

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi


The man snapped the arrow in his thigh with such ease that he must not have felt the sharp barb in his flesh. Or, he as likely too well trained to let it get to him while under attack. Behind him Krios could see the rest of the strike team rush into action. Shapes moved and danced with the firelight's erratic flames, darting around without sense;  he was too far away to see clearly what was happening between the trees, darkness, and movement. Whatever happened, he had to prevent the sentry from joining them and interfering with the rest of the group.

Krios had not realized just how large he was until he was coming toward him. They were likely of a similar height, but where Krios was lean Bax was bulky. It stood to reason that he would be slower and less nimble, but the striker had no intention of letting him get too close. He had to be very, very good to land a strong enough shot to down the doggish sentry. He had to have luck.

He didn't have luck.

Bax rushed through the bare branches of the foliage. In spring, it would have been more than enough cover for Krios to navigate while simultaneously burdening his opponent. As it was, Bax had an easy time moving around and through things that would have been obstacles otherwise. There was no scrambling up a tree anymore. Branches snapped as Krios put arrow to bow and aimed at the rushing axe-wielder. The shot went wide. Bax growled out a rough bark that would have been undeniably a warning if it weren't for the fact the fighting had started at the camp.

"Come here and fight like a man," he hollered. Krios ignored the jab; it was wrong on so many levels he could only scoff under his breath as he tried another shot. This one grazed the target, eliciting a sharp hiss as it managed to open a cut on his upper arm, above where the bracer would have blocked the strike. "Cheap shot, y'coward," he goaded as he roughly snapped a young branch with a swing of his axe.

Krios could feel the distance between them shrink and he knew he was running out of options. An axe against a couple of knives was decidedly not a fight in his favor; he had never been a swordsman and staves were acceptable weapons at best. He had neither and if he had to improvise with a branch, he would have. Perhaps, he ought to have tried to pepper the camp and let Brocade handle the sentry?

It was too late to change his mind. He was nearly cornered when he tried a last shot at Bax, pulling back as hard as he could and praying to the Goddess like never before. The string twanged and the thud of the arrow point connecting with something echoed back at him.

Bax didn't scream in pain or agony. There was no death gurgle. There was a mild grunt as the point of his arrow struck dead center on his pauldron. The force of the hit made the sentry recoil, though, and when he winced Krios knew that it had at least managed to superficially prod the flesh beneath. It was nothing more than an annoyance. Bax ripped the arrow out of his armor, snapping it one-handed. "Nice shot. Y'missed, though," he taunted.

Krios was out of running space. He made a note of where they were and forcibly threw his father's bow away. It was out of reach of them both, especially that nasty looking axe. As much as he would have used his bow to strike out, he couldn't let it be damaged. He had been given it by his mother and he had hoped to one day pass it along to his child. He couldn't let it go. He had his knives and his arrows, and a lot of nimble tricks.

"Giving up? Oh, wow, making it easy for me. I thought you lot were smarter," he mocked, needling at the Striker as though his endless tirades would wear him down and let Bax kill him quickly. Krios was not so weak as to fall for petty mockery and it was clear Bax realized it, too. Didn't seem to stop him talking, though.

Bax grinned as he came swinging with his axe in a wide arc. Krios dodged it rather easily, watching the bulkier man's movements. He dodged a kick that was meant to come after a target was distracted, but Krios noticed that, too. He may have been an archer to the core, but he had hardly neglected training with other Shield members. Kamari's tricks were always handy, too, though it was not so useful against an enemy of near equal size.

Krios was the weaker of the two if only by lacking the same sheer mass and build. It only meant that Bax was a heavier hitter than he - relying on quick piercing strikes kept him from most confrontations like this.

The axe lopped off a layer of branches from a nearby shrub, pelting them both with the shorn twigs. Krios grabbed the long knife at his leg and a second on his torso. There were a few others on his person, but he genuinely hoped not having to use them. Bax gave a snorting laugh at the sight of knives.

His body was armored better than Bax, who lacked protection on his midriff and back beyond the strap holding his sturdy pauldron in place. Unfortunately, an axe strike to the neck was going to do plenty of damage and Krios had quite an affinity for his head remaining on his shoulders.

He lunged forward, trying to sneak his knives in on the unprotected arm. Bax moved in time to keep the tendons connected but the knife scored a deep cut at an angle across his arm. The smell of blood was too thin to even register over the sensory shattering sound of the dog roaring at him.

The man's curved axe blade swung at Krios overhead and slammed into the cold ground, throwing up dirt and detritus with the cut. Krios failed to see Bax's movements and found himself tripped by a well-placed foot. He rolled on instinct to get out of the way but knew that something was going to happen, something bad.

Sharp, angry pain ripped through his back. While he had moved, Bax swung at him and failed to hit him dead on. Despite that, the curved head of that axe sliced through the leather armor at the angle and ripped right into the flesh of curve of his torso where his side ended and back began. The smell of blood was much, much stronger than the paltry cut on the doggish hybrid. Krios managed to swallow the scream of pain as he rolled out of the way, unable to hide the tightness of his jaw as he grit his teeth.

Well, it looked like there were no doubts that someone was dying. Bax knew it and he had been doing his damnedest to make sure Krios was the one dead. Krios had been hesitating, knowing he had to strike to kill but also remembering how much blood was already on his hands. How many more people would shed their lifeblood under his weapons? Faint chatter from behind him reminded him that he was not alone.

He was not alone and he could not just die, no matter how easy it was. Bax was good, but Krios was better. Bax did not have the luxury of pack life to hone and polish and sharpen skills. Bax did not have the luxury of a wife and a future with a family. Krios accepted that he would not let Bax have such a future.

One more soul to the pyre of Salsola's wrath.

Krios lunged from his crouch at Bax, dodging under the swinging axe and barreling into the sturdier man with cross arms. The doggish man flinched back, his sturdy grip on the weapon weakened by the momentary shock. Krios struck out with a knife, ramming it into his opponent's exposed underarm. Bax's yell dotted his face with spittle as Krios tried to get out of the way. Teeth suddenly tried to nip and bite at his shoulders, but was met with the unyielding leather of armor. A few inches to the left and the dog would have gotten at the meat of his shoulder instead.

Perhaps he was a little lucky after all.

Not waiting for another opportunity, Krios pulled his head back and rammed his skull right into the man's nose. Solid, sturdy as his skull was, it instantly broke the fragile cartilage of the doggish man's nose. Blood started pouring down his face and Bax instantly recoiled away, pushing Krios out of reach.

Krios felt blood running down his lower back and there was a noticeable line of it down Bax's arm. His limb was shaking from the injuries and his grip on the axe looked weak. Blood left lines down the sides of his muzzle as it trickled out of his nose.

"You're a tricky shit," cursed the man as he breathed, panting heavily. That flatter face meant weaker noses and it seemed he was far more easily winded for all his uncanny nimbleness. Coupled with a broken nose and he was going to have a much harder time breathing. 

"Sit down before you start wheezing," finally retorted the Striker. Bax growled rather nasally before rushing forward again.

All at once, they attacked.

The wolf was quick to his feet, turning at the sound of Casimir's footfalls and dodging what might have been a simple and painless end. The loner had a look around to the surrounding skirmishes, and then lowered his head with a slow, considered lick of his lips.

"An ambush?" the wolf mused. "I like the way you Salsolans think."

Keen on the tactics of distraction, Casimir held the sword between them and kept an ear to the ongoing fighting. He didn't get the sense he was being set up, but the wolf was strangely calm, eager even.

"Come on. Aren't you going to hit me with that pretty little stick?" 

"Um...yeah," Casimir replied. Bantering wasn't something he could manage even at a normal time.

He advanced with a flurry of strikes, drawing blood sometimes and missing entirely in other moments. The wolf was not an easy target—it was known that four-legged combat lent itself to speed, and they made for an even match despite the weaponry.

It was easy to get disoriented in a fight. He knew to keep an eye to the places they shifted, and it was this caution that helped him realize that the wolf was acting only defensively, baiting him closer and closer to the rocky outcrop. Thinking he had a sense of what the man might do, Casimir allowed it to appear as if he was playing into this hand.

When it seemed like he had nowhere to turn and Casimir might finally stab his throat and be done with it, the wolf lunged and grabbed the blade in his jaws.

Casimir tried to shake the sword free, but the wolf simply gave a wide red smile. He laughed, and bloody spittle flecked across the dark tunic the young soldier had borrowed from Mirte. Casimir couldn't help but wonder if she had given him that tunic for this very reason. He yanked again to no avail. Fed up, he jammed the sword forward.

The wolf released the sword as he did this and once more lunged forward, this time for his throat. Surprising thought it was, Casimir did not waste the beat; he turned and allowed the man crash teeth-first into his shoulder pauldron, although the force of it all knocked them both to the ground. The sword skittered away. Atop him, the wolf snarled and drooled as he snapped his jaws closer to Casimir's face.

Casimir sputtered as blood dribbled down into his eyes and across his muzzle. All that stood between them were his arms, which strained to keep the wolf's forelegs away from him and the ground. Claws raked at his forearms.

"What's the matter?" The wolf laughed. "Don't like the taste?" He licked his lips again, "More for me, then."

How dreadful it would be to die like that - he thought - consumed by a deranged loner. Not even his own depression could stand the idea. "That's...so...gross!" he cried, and with this momentum, kicked up his back legs into the man's lower quarters. The loner yelped and curled in pain, allowing him the moment to finally break free. Casimir scrambled towards his sword and snatched it up just as the wolf recovered.

"Give me a taste," he growled, shaking off the tremors of a pain known only to their inferior sex.

Casimir rooted himself against the side of the outcropping. His shoulders heaved with labored breaths, and his mind raced to think of some other way to end this fight. His free hand steadied itself on a rock, and he felt the soil loosen around it.

The wolf charged again, smiling deliriously as Casimir lifted his sword.
(---) | NPCs: Lobo
Fight summary: Casimir pursues Lobo up against the rocky outcropping. Lobo bites his sword to trick him, and then tackles him to the ground. Cas goes full bobby hill ('that's my purse, I don't know you,') and escapes. Lobo charges Cas while he's up against the rock wall.
Alrighty! Round 3 is here! Bring your cool fight scenes to an end (or wrap it all up in one go!)! For easy referencing, please refer to my first post if you need refreshers on the tNPC villains for this thread! :3

Fish is dead.

I will be aiming to make my last post to this thread next Friday/Saturday, March 26th/27th.
“Someone’s overconfident,” he sneered as his blade bounced against her own. Brining his sword back, he switched into a horizontal slice. Kamari leapt backwards, and he pivoted his wrist into another diagonal cut from above as he pursued after her retreating figure. “You may have had the element of surprise, but, here’s no way you or your men are getting out of here alive.”

He struck again, and she deflected him, striking out with the speed of a coiled viper. Her blade dug deeply into the leather of his bracer he managed to raise in time to stop her. “I beg to differ,” she replied with a grunt, kicking out at his knee.

It was a glancing blow, but, enough to make him buckle enough to let her get another strike in before she was forced to retreat out of range. Their weapons clashed sharply against each other twice more. Fish was tiring with each swing because of the knife injury to his stomach, and they both knew the clock was quickly ticking for him if he wished to claim a victory over her. His swings became slopier, but, heavier, and while Kamari was able to dodge many of them, the ones that she was forced to deflect left her bones rattling and arms buckling from the force at which their weapons met.

Twice, he broke through her guard, leaving a deep gouge in one of her bracers and a stinging cut across her thigh. A hastily thrown thrust with the pommel of his sword had left her stumbling backwards and wheezing as it collided with her stomach.

Kamari went on the defensive after that to lure him into tiring himself out. Stroke after stroke, he made until she finally had the pattern of his attacks memorized. When he moved for a forward-moving overhead strike, she went left instead of right. She pivoted into his guard, snatching his outstretched arm and bucking her hips into his own. She used his own forward momentum to toss him as she pulled his arm downward and with her. He grunted as he met the ground, and his wide-eyed look indicated that he hadn’t expected someone of her stature to be capable of flipping him.

In a world where she had always been smaller than her opponents, Scorpius’ and Velimir’s teachings in fighting larger adversaries had been to her benefit.

She dug her claws into the meat of his palm to maintain control of his hand that held his sword. She kept his captured arm firmly against her with her knife arm. She bent in the same motion, bringing her knee sharply down into the point where his arm met his chest. The action forced him to drop his sword, and it fell the ground in a loud clatter as he let out a loud, snarling yelp.

Switching the focus of her hold, she let her free hand hold his arm firmly in place as she pulled briefly away from him. She stabbed him quickly into the joint of his elbow, weakening his arm and its fight against her. Fish roared as he struggled beneath her, clawing fistfuls of her cloak in attempt to pull her off of him. Kamari quickly undid the clasp that held her cloak to her though, readjusting herself within the same movement while he was distracted with the pain in his elbow and the sudden uselessness of grabbing at her outer garment. She straddled his chest, digging her knees firmly into his armpits to keep him from bucking her off of him. She let go of his hand, grabbing firmly onto the fur of his armor instead for balance.

He snarled, his hands clawing desperately at her. One dug into her bicep while the other carved bruises into her hip and thigh as he saw the flash of her teeth and her metal.

She brought her blade down, and it slipped deeply into the exposed part of his throat that his gorget did not protect.

“Salsolan bastard!” He snapped wildly at her like a rabid Luperci as she pulled back her knife to make him bleed out. She struck downward again, digging her blade into his lower shoulder. He howled as he began to choke on his own blood. He squirmed, clawed, bucked, and fought against her, desperate to take her with him. “This isn’t…” His desperate hand on her leg finally felt the rip in her pants, and, with his thumb, he dug his claw into the cut made by his sword.

Kamari hissed at the sharp pain that shot out from the wound, but forced herself to endure it. Blood was quickly pooling from his throat wound. She just needed to outlast him.

“This isn’t…”

The grip of her knife in his shoulder tightened as he dug his claws into the back part of her leg. His other hand clawed its way up her arm, trying to reach for her throat.


He coughed, sputtering blood at her face as he glared at her through unfocused eyes. She felt him convulse unnaturally beneath her before his grip on her arm and leg eventually slackened and his head lolled limply to one side. She held her breath for a few beats, counting the seconds with a focused stare. When he didn’t move, didn’t twitch, didn’t breathe, she panted softly. She ripped his hand from her leg and pulled her knife out from his shoulder, wiping it on Fish’s tunic to clean it.

Stumbling to her feet, she let her cornflower blue eyes shift to the rest of the camp in search of her companions. Swallowing, she bent down to snatch her discarded cloak to wrap it back around her shoulders as she stepped away from the defeated Fish.

Kamari Kaiser
— The Shadow —
[Image: k4f73A1.png]
Player Wiki · Character Wiki

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi


Bax was breathing heavily as he moved, the sound of blood and mucus likely dripping to the back of his throat and into his lungs with every breath. Krios knew it would hurt. He knew that there would be no simple way to make him die quickly. Their sizes were similar but the man was no deer with an easy to reach weakness to end a life quickly. Bax would struggle and struggle and suffer in the process of dying. Krios didn't want him to suffer, even if he knew that the gaggle of bandits would have slit throats to get their prizes on Salsolan soil. He had to tell himself that one murder at his hands (and the others, too) would mean that innocent lives would be spared. He told himself that they hardly knew what other nasty things those people had done. Maybe it was justified. It had to be justified.

They were others. They were Outsiders. They were not blood and they were not of the Kingdom of Thorns. This made them less than nothing and so it was justifiable on the surface level. It would have to be enough.

Bax rushed at him and Krios moved away from the sloppy downward swing. Unfortunately, he was out of sorts as the pain in his back clouded his focus and distracted him enough to affect his fighting. Yet again a propped out foot caught him unawares and he managed to stumble rather than fall to the ground. Unfortunately for the hybrid, he, too, was feeling the effects of blood loss as trickles of it continued to stream down his face and arm.

Krios swept his knife across the back of his hand and the other rammed the hilt into his wrist from below, mostly to make sure something struck. The cut was deep and the blow clearly jostled the joint. Bax's fingers snapped open and the heavy axe fell to the ground with a thud, narrowly missing the Striker's toes. Krios didn't reach for the huge weapon, knowing he would have been more encumbered by it than helped if he took it up. He never learned to use it in combat; it would have been too much to gamble on.

Without waiting, he lunged at the sentry, barreling right into his chest. The two men fell and Krios felt his hold on a knife slip. It flew out of his grasp and out of reach, but he still had his other knife. Bax snapped up at his throat and he nearly had those teeth digging into his throat if not for a timely jerk of his head. It gave Bax a moment to bumble at his leg or side or wherever, pulling free a knife and swiping up with it, across Krios's face.

Pain, horrible pain, burned across his face and Krios yelled as blood dripped down his cheek. He shut his eye when blood began to cloud it red, even as he was throw from the man's torso and smacked his back into a tree. The cut on his back was agony, but his face radiated fire. He touched the long gash with his fingers, pulling away tacky blood.

Bax was awkwardly rolling over to his knees, rasping as he spat out a mouthful of blood and spit. "Fuckin' pussy-ass cheap shots," he cursed as he ran his bloody tongue over his lips. His voice was horribly nasally and it was obvious that he breathed out of his mouth as drool dotted with streaks of red colored the ground. Even as Bax tried to wipe it away, more came. "You don't fight clean," he said, as he got to his knees and then his feet.

He was clearly tired. They were hardly fighting for that long, but Krios felt it, too. Fighting never lasted long and yet it was as draining as running for three hours straight.

He had one knife in his hands but so did Bax. A knife fight was more in his favor in the end, especially since there was no axe to deal with. He was slow but he had lungs full of air where Bax had shallow breaths full of blood.

Krios used the tree as a brace while he stood, knife positioned at the ready in his hand. Bax had his in a fist; Krios noticed that it was not the hand that he had hit or cut. That arm looked a little limp and stiff, as though it pained the mutt greatly. Good, he had fucking cut his face, the least he could do was suffer a little.

The Revlis man licked at the corner of his mouth were the blood from cut down his face trickled. It was superficial and his eye was not harmed, but it would always be there on his face.

"You're the one pulling cheap shots on beautiful people," he snapped back, already angry that he had been marred. So long, so long he had kept himself free of marks. His back was brutally scarred, as were his hands peppered with cuts, but he had never been marked on his face or throat or — why was life so cruel?

Bax roared, bloody spittle flying from his maw. He rushed at Krios with the knife in his hand raised up as he stabbed down at the Striker. The poor grip told him that Bax was not great with knives or just too out of sorts to do better. But Krios underestimated how fast the dog man could move. Even as he moved out of the way, he was too slow and the knife ripped through enough of his neck to make him scream. He had obviously been going for the jugular, but he had been so slow, too slow, to get out of the way entirely. Heat flooded down his neck where the skin was cut. The meat of his neck was intact but the skin was gaping.

The man moved to strike again, but Krios jerked away. The knife in his hand grazed the armor that protected the bandit's shoulder, barely cutting at the arm. Even then, Bax seemed to know what was going to happen or still moved too fast to be believed. The Striker's face burned anew as the knife dragged across his face again, crossing the line that same blade had already cut moments prior, and running over the side of his face to the bridge of his nose.

Mother. Fucker.

Hot, hot, hot pain shot down his arm as nails dug into his bicep and Bax's mouth opened to bare teeth keen to snap at his expose throat. Krios swallowed hard and pulled his hand free of the dog's grasp, leaving scratches through his fur, as he rammed the knife upward just as Bax's foul, coppery breath wafted over him. The knife crunched through the man's throat, sliding too easily upward at an angle that severed his windpipe and left the already wheezing man permanently breathless.

Bax grew limp against him and Krios felt all the pain and aches threefold as the heavy weight dragged him down against the tree. His armor protected him from the abrasive tree, but it had also made him realize something; as he had stabbed Bax, Bax had stabbed him.

The dead man's hand fell from the knife's hilt, but it was stuck in his shoulder where the armor had ended and his shirt began. Krios breathed heavily as he sat against the tree with Bax's bulk across his lap and chest. He couldn't push him off of him entirely; one arm he didn't want to move with a knife stuck in it and the other wasn't enough.

"Shoulda practiced with the Paladin more," groaned the Striker as he managed to force his knee up enough to free the pressure on his lungs. More than that was beyond him as his back ached and bled, and everything just seemed wildly too much to handle. He turned his head slightly to listen for the sounds coming from the campsite, wondering if he had been the only idiot unlucky enough get hurt. 

Oh, Kamari. Was she alright? He would have turned to look but he was trapped with the man on his lap and it just hurt to bother. He couldn't even manage to whine or yell.


Brocade waited until the moment was right, and as the others made their move so did The Director of Salsola. He burst from the trees and slid into the open, carefully checking to assure that the others were focused on the other members of his team.

Gretta stood proudly, her nostrils flaring as the coyote-mix realized that their camp had been infiltrated. In any other situation Brocade would have considered her pretty; she was thin but muscular, her pelt stippled in blacks and browns that blended her in with the surrounding scenery. He saw her teeth flash as she bent to collect her weapon, and a moment later there was a snapping sound as she cracked the whip against the sky as if to see if the soldier would flinch.

Brocade stood emotionless, allowing the adrenaline to seep through every corner of his being. He prowled towards her, checking the way she set her feet and began their age-old dance. It was not the sort of fight that Brocade lived for – he was not a spy as Kamari was, nor a man who fought from a distance like Krios. Up close he was dangerous, but he knew that the bull-whip would keep him away until he could force it from her hands.

”Don’t be scared,” She curled her upper lip and began to circle, her tall ears like shark fins on some blood curdled sea, ”I promise I won’t hurt you… much.” She crouched as others paired off around them, and Brocade snarled at the sound of metal on metal as other battles began. "I love giving a man a good whipping." The leather snapped in her hands, and she smiled large enough that it showed all of her teeth.

The soldier bared his teeth at her, feigning a dart forward that saw her taking a step back towards the rest of her camp.

”Too bad that day's not today.” He growled out.

Brocade knew that the spear would prove futile against the strength of the whip from such a distance – and so he pressed onward, spear extended to catch at the whip should it lash out towards him.

There were other sheathes that stuck out against her hips – the blades hidden beneath the subtle fall of her clothing and armor. He would prepare himself for the likelihood that this would become a battle of blades - she would resort to the knives the moment the whip was pulled from her grip.

Gretta barked, and the wolf charged with no warning – his spear balanced against the crook of his shoulder. He aimed it for the hand which held her whip. When she flicked her wrist to unleash it upon him, he thrust the spear so that it wrapped itself around the shaft. It glanced off of her arm, but the Director did not pause to assess the damage he caused.

With a forceful tug he pulled it from her, ignoring the new weight of the tangled weapon upon his spear as he quickly closed the distance between them. His shoulder connected squarely with her and he attempted to bowl her over – and the pair of them stood for a moment as if locked against one another before toppling down into the mud.

They spun for what seemed like an eternity. In some moments the woman straddled him, and in others Brocade pinned her down. They wove around one another like snakes, lashing out when the other attempted to reach for their daggers. The spear was lost at such a close distance, and so it was tossed aside and forgotten the whip wound tightly around it. They each had knives to work with as well as teeth and claws that had not forgotten their place in the way of battle. When she spun him, his teeth punctured a section of her armor. She landed a solid set of punches that made the man see stars.

They grappled, hands and claws grabbing at anything in reach. She bit his armor and snapped at his face, reaching for the length of his hair that had come unbound in an effort to pull him to one side. Brocade felt a claw sink into his arm, and when she leaned too far forward in an effort to release one of her sheathed weapons, he wrapped his jaws across the upper part of her shoulder to bite down as hard as he could as they rolled. She reached further for her blades and he doubled down, closing his jaws with all of the power he could muster. He felt her teeth bite into his skin, but he bucked against her and felt one of her teeth break off against his armor.

Her bones crunched and an arm hung loosely when a moment before it had been bludgeoning the Director relentlessly. Blood seeped between his jaws, and when he rose, he spat vehemently – the red mist spattering them both. He could feel it sticky around his temples, his tunic plastered to his arm where she had wounded him. By now they were both panting, long lines of drool hanging from their overexerted mouths, bubbles of frothy blood gathered between their teeth. They spun again, each fighting for the control that came with being on top.

Neither could afford to reach for their weapons.

When the momentum finally found him perched atop her, he bore down even further. Even with her useless arm she proved strong – hissing and spitting as he finally reached for his own dagger. Steam rose off of their bodies, and Brocade panted as he pinned her good arm to one side – the other he leaned on until she was forced to gasp in pain, the bone groaning beneath his weight. She was scrambling to reach for her knife, her fingers creeping down her side.

"You're fucking messing with the wrong-"

Brocade leaned further and the bones snapped. The words were stolen from her as she screamed.

The Director slid his blade from his hip and pressed it firmly against where he could see her heart beating in her throat. He waited a beat before thrusting it straight through - his face unmoving as he watched her fight against him, a hand curling itself against his leather armor in an effort to scratch her way free. His lip twitched as he grunted, finally stumbling to his feet when he was certain that her life was over and that she would no longer pose a threat.

He wiped mud and blood from his face - the cuts on his lip stinging as he ran his tongue over them. He could feel his face beginning to purple, his field of vision marred as a black eye began to form.

He spat crudely and wiped his bloody nose. With a grimace he turned to find the others as the sounds of battle began to fade.

(///) | NPCs: n/a

-Broc and Greta circle one another
-Broc uses his spear to tangle up her whip
-From there Broc launches himself in an effort to get Gretta to the ground
-They grapple, battling to be on top - punching, kicking, scratching, being baddies - Gretta loses a tooth
-Gretta lands a bunch of punches to Brocs head and gauges Brocs arm with her claws
-Gretta manages to slash Brocs muzzle and also cut open a part of his shoulder
-Broc breaks / incapacitates Grettas arm/shoulder as they fight it out by using his bone breaking jaws
-Broc succeeds in pinning her - breaks her other arm whoops
-Broc uses his knife to take her life
[html]<center><img src="http://image.ibb.co/n8ZJvR/borkade.png" style="width: 280px;"></center>[/html]
Halcyon Mountains --> Salsola | cNPC: Velimir

Yaaay! Thanks for joining in on this fun with me, y’all<333 This will be my last post! Y’all are free to still reply to this thread, of course, but, this is the final posting round!
Panting, she counted them, the dead, the dying, the limp, and unmoving. Blood stained the dark and campfire-lit ground, dirt and leaflitter had been displaced, other various foliage and surrounding scenery had been broken or splintered in the midst of the fighting. Amongst the casualties though, not a Salsolan was among them, or, at least, not among the four that had accompanied her to the campsite. It worried her that the Striker had not returned from his fight with the lookout yet.

Catching her breath, she made eye contact with Brocade first. “<Can you go find Krios, please?>” she asked him in French. He had a few cuts and bruises, and his armor and clothing were dirtied from his fight, but, he was still able to stand, and didn’t look to be on the brink of passing out or bleeding out. As a fellow Shield member, she felt more comfortable with delegating him to the task. They were used to danger and conflict, and it was expected of them to deal with such things. If Krios were still fighting—though, she couldn’t hear any signs of such in the dark night—Brocade was large, strong, and experienced enough to aide his nephew with the lesser likelihood of the Salsolans suffering any deaths on their side.

She made her way to other two lower-ranking Salsolans, looking them over and asking of their injuries. Though she was responsible for everyone that had accompanied her on the mission, she felt a greater responsibility over Casimir and Silas as non-Shield members. Velimir was hailed for, and, once assessments had been made of the Confidant and Servant’s health, Kamari went off to locate the horse and cart that she’d found during the previous scouting mission.

With it being dark out, the horse was nervous when she first appeared from the shadows, but, eventually let her get close enough to touch it. Once it seemed comfortable enough with her presence, Kamari had the less injured members of the assault mission help her with stripping the deceased bandits of their possessions. Armor and weaponry were piled into the cart, along with a few other provisions that the bandit group had had that would have been useful to the Kingdom.

Despite seeing her husband’s injuries, Kamari maintained the mask she wore as the Kingdom’s Shadow. Even still though, her words were a bit sharper and there was a tenseness to her small shoulders as she helped perform field dressings to staunch the worst of his—and the others’—injuries once the old Warden arrived with their horses and medical items.

The bodies of the bandits were burned, and Velimir was left responsible in ensuring that the bodies were unrecognizable while also making sure the forest around them didn’t burn down with them. Those that were too injured to ride on their own were ordered into the horse-drawn cart with the mission’s spoils. The Emissary delegated duties to those that were still fit to carry out tasks.

Darkness covered their journey home, and the assault group returned to the Kingdom in the early hours of the morning. Though they’d suffered injuries, the mission had been a success.

Kamari Kaiser
— The Shadow —
[Image: k4f73A1.png]
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