[P] [m] The Riders of Salsola
Final battle 2. Salsolans: Silas & Spartacus. Caledonians: Fennore & Liam.

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: .


Tear in the Tapestry battle prompt 2: Go to battle against Éna Lanthir, Crunch Bonefury (Ghost tNPC), Alanis Longriver (Eyes tNPC), and Spark Coldmane (Ghost tNPC).

Dragoon prompt III: Put your hours of practice to use: ride into battle to defend the honor of the Realm!

The world was torn asunder.

New Caledonia's sun-and-moon realm, once a lush and tranquil home, was now aflame from the wrath of those that wanted their demise. A choking smokescreen, lit by their enemy no doubt, veiled much of the land from Liam's view. The tendrils of the fire clawed at the sky with blackened hands. It was difficult to tell if they wanted deliverance or vengeance. They were lit from behind by the dawn's starlight and sunlight in bloody reds and gold-spun oranges. They glowed with a threatening aurua. Concepta, a youth Liam was beginning to see as his daughter, had asked him if this was the apocalypse. Liam had assured her it was far from the end, yet it may well have been with how everything appeared. The sulfuric scent and sun-blotting smoke that blanketed all in darkness was the damnation's brimstone that they had all been imprisoned into. He had thought the burning of the chimetower was bad when it occurred on the third. This was worse by far. How would they ever recover?

As a dragoon for the realm, Liam fought with all he had for his packmates and family despite their bleak outlook. He had given all he had and more that he did not know he had in him. Allen, his raven companion, was often carrying messages to and fro and Lili, his warhorse, was growing weary from the war as well. Still, she endured. Liam had to as well. There was no choice but to carry on. He had to keep fighting. Too much was at stake to give up. His pack, his friends, his brother he hoped to one day find... and his mate.

He had married Kule a few days prior to this. They could not access a proper cherry tree for the ceremony, so Jonk had painted a tree on the wall inside of the Bastion with charcoal. It was as black as the gloom most of the Caledonians felt, but its twisting branches and roots held promise for a brighter future. Kule and Liam had bound themselves to each other with a cloth torn hastily from clothing. They could have elected to simply tie their hands together with it, but Liam chose to press his body completely against Kule's, the cloth wrapped tightly about the two mates. Their vows were desperate from the war's likely desolation. Despite this, the vows were promises that would hold true through all. They would be fulfilled even beyond Kule and Liam's dying days. There was no celebration after, for no one was in the mood to party in the middle of a siege. Liam had promised all present that should they survive and win, they would have the party of their lives.

Before the dawn broke, Liam was not sure if they would be able to. They were all trapped and the most afraid they had been in their lives. The burning kingdom may fall after all, he realized in horror. As much as he had denied this possibility the whole time, it was dawning on him that every second brought them closer to what Concepta had lamented could happen.

The Salsolans arrived, thistle saviors from the southwest. 

This was what would turn the battle in their favor. This was what would save them all. Despite having felt completely expended from fighting for so long, Liam's fighting spirit returned to him. With tears in his eyes and a joyful yip in his throat, he knew he could fight with the same loyal dedication his parents had for him. Even if he had to die on the battlefield like they had died for him, it would be for his friends and family. For the realm.

Lili's hooves carried him forth with thunderous beats. He charged straight forward, refusing to even flank outwards. He went right into the thick of it, pushing his enemies to pin them between his fellow Caledonians and their Salsolan allies. Things began to separate and the smoke revealed more of what was happening around him. Fennore was by his side, at which Liam smiled. He was honored to fight by their sub-leader, though he had to keep more of his distance. He had chosen the center, but he knew his arrows would be most useful from afar. He fired off volleys of them, having made more arrows than he ever had in his life in preparation. He had to keep the enemies off of his leader.

What he could first see were the closest enemy fighters. There was a woman brandishing a massive mace, armored in clothing and metal that was accented to match her ruby red eye. Caledonians and Salsolans alike knew to clear away when she swung her weapon. As she mowed through, Liam realized he had seen her before. She had been in Secui when Liam had first seen her, chasing him, Dorian and Vegard on all fours. They had ultimately escaped, but she had snapped off half his ear in the retreat. Eyes narrowed, he targeted Crunch with his bow. He landed only one of them in her non-dominant shoulder, much to his chagrin. It was a hit nonetheless, things were only beginning. She seemed very displeased by this and scrutinized the battlefield to find her assailant through the smoke, but she was quickly distracted by his allies.

Next, he could see someone else familiar: a wolf with pale eyes. He had attacked him and Vodeva the day after his ear was injured on that patrol. Spark had promised that he would end Liam's life upon the retreat, words that echoed in his mind amidst nightmares now. Liam could not bury an arrow in him, for he was making his way towards him. Liam managed to evade Spark for now thanks to Lili's swift hooves, but he knew he was dedicated to his pursuit thanks to the previous threat.

Liam howled for aid, praying someone would distract Spark from his chase and fulfilling his threat. Arrows rained down on Liam and nearby allies during his attempted evasion, hailing from a distance away. It was difficult to see with the movement and smoke, but he could vaguely make out a wolf wielding a longbow.
[Image: unknown.png]
Liam del Morte
So sprout your wings and fly away
For another sunny day
I've got a million of them waiting for you

Character WikiPlayer Wiki

[Image: unknown.png] [Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png] [Image: Ltbudl6.png]
(Art Credit)
The Salsolan army was up before light even broke into the sky, though the silent man himself had not gotten any sleep the previous night. How could he when two death occurred right under the kingdom's noses, but the threat of their enemies lingering close by was enough to keep him on watch. It did make him somewhat tired when the march had begun, but that didn't stop him from joining the others. He'd already been through hell and back under his former master... and had already endured the hardships of battle.

Regardless of whatever the outcome may be for him, so long as he could ensure the others survived, that would be enough for him.

As the rest of the kingdom drew closer into New Caledonia's lands, onto much more unfamiliar grounds, they began to break off into smaller groups, each one having an assignment for what direction they would be coming from. The silent man had been a bit surprised to be paired up with Sparticus. He was an unfamiliar members to the Serf, at least when it came to combat. The man could usually be seen around the kingdom with his father, or around some other members of his family. Even though their dynamic when it came to working together was yet to be seen, there wasn't a doubt in his mind the two of them held one common thought.

Watch one another's back.

Light was starting to flood the land, giving the two males a better idea on where they were going, even if they didn't know the territory as well as their allies... or probably even their enemies. So long as they were following the same direction as the rest of the parties, there should be no issue. Still, the silent man kept his nose and ears open, just in case anyone were around either of the two advancing men.

Then a howl rang out.

By the time they heard the call, the smell of fire and smoke was filling the silent man's nose. His head turned over to his 'partner', looking to exchange a glance with him, though not enough that eye contact would be made. He still new his place when in the presence of others. This was their moment to strike, though with the smoke filling the air, it was a bit hard to not only pin point their enemies, but their allies as well. Smell would be useless for this same reason. Now would be a good time for both of them to make their move though.

Silas reached at his side, making for the daggers that hung there. He began to make his advance... but stopped short the moment he saw something... or rather someone... in the distance... on the back of a horse...

It was almost as if he was transported in the past, staring at his family's home from a distance... seeing the same wolf cradled in the legs of their parents. It couldn't have been... but it was... For a brief moment, he wondered if it was even worth helping the other male, ally or not. He had been abandoned... forgotten about... but...

That wasn't really his brother's fault now was it? He was still just a pup... he couldn't have known... it wasn't his fault... and he shouldn't be for what was ultimately a decision made by their parents.

The silent man blinked, bringing himself back to the present. Golden eyes narrowed as he felt the grips of his daggers in hand. He managed to pick out a pelt among the smoke, one that had his eyes set on the brown wolf. Lips curled back, seeing the man engage the one on horseback. This was his chance, while the man was distracted by having his targeted eyes on another. The Serf advanced as quickly, and as quitely as he could. The smell of the smoke was getting a little overwhelming, but not enough to deter him from his path.

Once he grew close enough, Silas used his height and weight to throw himself at Spark. The other man seemed to be caught off guard being attacked from behind, so now he changed his target, wrestling with the silent man. Their weapons clanged against one another, blood drawn between the two of them.
(+700) | NPCs: Spark
Made some assumptions. Let me know if I need to change anything.
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
make your move, end it all

The longest night was finally behind them.

Though they were far from victory just yet — and indeed, it would be a hard-fought one, if they even succeeded at all — all it took was the smallest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel to bring many in the Bastion out of their sleep-like stupor.

There was a chance. There was hope.

This would be their last stand, bolstered by the riders from the west. Fennore had never been so glad to hear the name of Salsola in the air.

With renewed spirit, the Isiltári quickly bound up to her quarters, retrieving the bow and quiver, the stock having been switched from training arrows to ones with real points, ones made of flint and stone. Each time she returned the bow after practicing, this had become her ritual — in case the Bastion's walls finally succumbed to the siege and enemies poured in through the cracks and she was forced to fight for her life.

But they would not be cornered. Not with the Salsolans flanking the enemies at their rear, if the joyous shouts and cries were to be believed.

She exchanged a brief glance with the High King, her magenta eyes no longer heavy-lidded and glazed-over. Instead, they shone bright like two jewels as she joined in the triumphant chant:

"For the Realm!"

And with that, the entrance doors flew open, releasing the throng of Caledonians to exact their revenge.

Despite the early hour setting the world alight around them, the enemy had, once again, been one step ahead; they took to lighting fires in a measured fashion, covering the field in a debilitating smog. Behind her, Amon emerged — his trusted companion, the stained battle axe, resting comfortably in his hands as he gave her a steely look.

"If you're going to do this," he said, his voice heavy, "you will hang back. Promise me."

The Isiltári, though by no means a true fighter, shook her head once.

"None of us escape military service in times of war, Amon," she responded with a hint of mirth.

A year ago, when she was crowned Moon Queen, Fennore O'Hartigan could never picture herself amongst warriors, brandishing her own weapon. Sitting prettily at the top, she assumed her life would only become easier — making nice with their fellow packs, brokering trade, hosting immaculate parties. These were all well within her scope, and she was good at them. Combat had never even been so much as an afterthought, besides the brief attention given to archery in her younger days.

In the wake of the Tears' scorched-earth tactics, however, something new and raw had awakened within her. The wound of losing her son, her little Rohan, stretched the wound and bled her out. She could no longer afford to be an idle monarch, waiting for war to blow over. There was far too much at stake to do anything other than fight.

Amon must have sensed there was no point in arguing.

"Stay close to me," he compromised, and this she found agreeable. Together, they took off, driven by the sound of horse hooves and clashing metal.

She balanced the bow in her hands as they ran, and to her right she saw one of their Dragoons, Liam, clopping around the field with a similar weapon in hand. They shared a silent exchange, and he engaged with one of the many Ghosts, sinking an arrow into the dusty white of her fur.

At her side, Amon took off, his heavy steps leaving craters in the dirt. Fennore ran to keep pace, hanging back from the conflict so that she could pull the bowstring taut and loose an arrow trained for another one of the Ghosts, the one that had lit the strategic fires; the first whirred past his face with a hiss as he tussled with one of the Salsolans, a heavy-scarred man that briefly mistook as Liam's double.

Spark whipped his head around with a snarl, and Fennore steeled her nerves before firing another shot with her shaky hands, but this arrow embedded itself deep in his thigh, blood trickling through his agouti pelt.

In all of the chaos she fumbled with another arrow, breath quickening as she stayed moving as to not get pinned down. Lifting her eyes upon again, the sting of the smoke had her squinting — but in the yellowish, sickly haze, there was another silhouette, one that had her hackles raising and ice running through her veins.


"Éna Lanthir!" she bellowed, eyes aflame when the unassuming glacier-blue of the woman's gaze met her own.

She thought of Rohan, how precious Éna had found him — how sweet, so quaint. And how Éna sought to snuff out his life like a flickering candle, ridding him of all of his endless potential.

Ark had let that one secret slip in their negotiations, that it was she who had pulled Rohan from the shower of boulders that night. Whatever they had done with him in their camp, whatever terrible intentions they had before surely ending his life — it was far too much for the young mother to bear.

She would avenge her son.

Amon, pulled away from his previous engagement, sought to give her cover as she barreled straight towards the Tear with an awful shriek, throwing the bow across her back and retrieving a single arrow to hold in her hand, aimed straight for Éna's cold heart.


sig by Despi

OOC: --|| WC: --


The night had been long, and sleepless, and exhaustive – an onslaught waged against New Caledonia with all her faults, her defenses weakened and open to the seeping of the Tears.

How long had it taken for them to get here, driven and spurred forth by Ark’s own madness to set the course of corrections he so sought? And now it was nigh within reach, just a breadth from the skin of the man’s teeth. Throughout the evening, young Rohan had been inconsolable within camp, fraught with worry. The apostate had done what she could.

Things felt off. Regardless, as she always had, she fell to instruction, and readied herself for a duty she had resigned herself to sometime before – for Her Grace and Wisdom, and for him.

Éna took ill come morning in an all too familiar way – yet she blamed it on the nerves; queasy and anxious, she bid Rohan a farewell, and promised him once more his safety, his protection – Of all her choices, this had felt the most certain: This was the best chance the boy would ever fare. ‘I’ll be back,’ was the last thing she mentioned to him, and she threaded her fingers between his ears only to arm herself and set out for battle.

She had no former battle expertise, and splintered towards a group that had to best embrace her own chances of survival, her wilting hands quick – but, no sooner than she’d sought to entangle, did she hear her own name through the fog of war by the voice of a righteous Isiltári, and her pallid blue gaze found the vibrant hues of the woman barreling towards her, lips curled and arrow in hand. She twisted her body, and felt the tip carve a line against her collarbone just to bounce off her shoulder.

Fennore-“ came the sigh of an answer, sharpened through her gritted teeth as the adrenaline thrummed through her veins. Sharpened steel sang through the air, a blade come to greet her aggressor, pivoting through her side step. ”It doesn’t have to be this way – relent!”

I am not bound by where I'm from, I'm not awake I am not sleeping
as I walk along the in-between of everything come and gone
Quote:Spar, train, or engage another, more skilled canine in training. If your opponent is a foreigner, your character should not reveal their connection to Salsola. If during a time of conflict, engage in a fight with the enemy!

The mouth sewn prophets — Bleed from their lips — For the scriptures of serpent skin

Spartacus vomited.

The bile had lurched in his throat, for the male felt as if he could not stomach eating anything since the night before. The excitement had kept him up, along with the silent assailant, having taken Salsolan life underneath their noses. Spartacus had barely slept a wink since then, for the camp had been riled up, and even when things seemed to settle down, there still was no peace to be had. It had been pure luck that he and Evelyn had not been attacked, since they laid on the edge of camp.

After Sparta had vomited that morning, he prepared himself. He brushed off himself, adjusting his leather armor in its places, and fiddling with his clothing until it felt right for him to be done. The clothing and armor had been made for him, and brought back with his father, whom had only arrived back with his "brother" a few days prior to him being shipped out. Spartacus picked and prodded at this strange clothing and even had to get Evelyn to help him figure out what some of the pieces of clothing went where, for the male had never gone into battle, and his father had not been too clear on how to use his armor, nor had he been keen on wearing armor himself, it seemed. Spartacus had also never seen his father go to battle, but had heard stories of his service time before. He could only hope that he would be able to live up to surpass his father in such a regard.

Sparta had to make sure he kept his eye on the prize though, and not bring harm to his sister or her mother, for his father would likely murder him if he had. He had to remember that, and he needed to make sure that Evelyn herself did not fall to harm. Spartacus tried to ground himself by closing his eyes and then taking a few deep breaths before he felt a little bit light headed and he shook out his fur.

And hour before their ride, their Erilaz had come to them. His words echoed in his mind as he had slowed himself down, trying to focus, to not let his excited nerves get the better of him. He was calm, he was strong. His father would not send him if he had no faith in him.
"You are not going to die,"
"—we will cut each and every one of them down."
A wide smile came to the face of the one eyed ghoul, dressed in battle red and Ulrich black.

He mounted Jun, and the mustang's energy matched that of her rider. The warhorse was a proud being, and once she had been summoned to battle, she would thrive, as she always did. Jun had little fear, and she was not about to start now. Spartacus rode alongside his niece for some time, and as O'Riley had called them to arms, he found a swell of fear drop within his stomach as they would begin to ride into a smog of a battlefield, where there were screams and sounds of metal hitting metal. There was a bit of sensory overload for the young Ulrich, and he began to feel himself become anxious, but the small glance that he had at the tail of Evelyn's horse brought him a bit back to reality, knowing that he had to protect her, and he needed to make sure that nothing happened to the de le Ulrich.

He felt overwhelmed, and he urged Jun on, letting her trample over her enemies. She did just that as well. Her hooves connected with quite a few chests and jaws but then, Spartacus had found himself in quite a predicament when the sound of a brutal CRUNCH echoed loudly in his ears, and the scent of blood hit his nose.

[634//1200+] // ooc: Apologies on the wait on this. >.<' — note: I already subtracted O'riley's speech from WC
Art by Corganda@FA.

they can still run — Unanswered, inside — Empowered, in solace

Note: Spartacus is blinded in his right eye as of June 2020. His eye appears to be a cloudy silver-ish color.
In battle, events typically unfolded much too quickly for the mind to truly grasp and process it. This was different. Time did not just slow gracefully; it came to a screeching halt that filled Liam's ears with ringing tinnitus. If he knew what it was like to experience a car crash, he would most definitely have compared it to that. The glass car windows would have shattered and descended in a glittering rain of sharp pain and shock. It all would have embedded into his flesh agonizingly to be ignored in the face of this totally astonishing, stupefying, paralyzing moment.

Silas del Morte.

The older brother that Liam had taken from his family before he was born, the individual he had been in pursuit of for his entire life, the one thing that had kept him going at most turns of his life. He was here. It was by complete accident. Coincidence. At least it seemed to be, unless he had been searching for him too. How would he even know he existed? Lili carried Liam away from danger still, a faithful and well-trained warhorse, even in the midst of his freeze. For a moment, he worried that Silas was part of the enemy that had been doing this to his pack. Fortunately, this concern was swiftly dismissed. Silas was fighting for him. His eyes, bright with the golden rarity of the del Mortes, were focused on defending him from his assailant. He was a Salsolan. An ally.

Tears of joy and relief sprung to his eyes. If the two of them survived this battle, Liam needed to speak to him when they were safe.

"Silas - ALLEN!"

Liam had called out to his brother, his heart filled with absolute joy now that this lifelong search of his was finally over. The feeling did not last. They were in the middle of a war. To be distracted in such a way was a mistake that he paid for dearly...

Allen had swept in, wings a furious mass of black feathers, in order to act as his best friend's shield. A blue-eyed archer had set a course for an arrow to pierce right into Liam's heart. Instead, it pierced Allen's. The bird fell in an arc once the arrow found a home in his body. A fallen angel for the cause of protecting his companion.

To say Liam was heartbroken would be to say anything at all. There was nothing to be said, nothing to be thought. There was only everything to feel. Where there was joy, triumph or any other previous emotion, there was now sorrow. The grief wholly hollowed Liam out, the empty trunk of a dead tree. This made for an excellent container for his rage. Mouth agape with horror, he stared as his friend's corpse receded from view. Now he lifted his gaze to level a wrathful glare at Alanis, the bastard that just claimed Allen's life.

His life did not matter to her one bit. He was just a bird to him, one that had managed to dumbly intercept her arrow. She knocked another and searched to find her target. Liam had apparently decided to match this action. He rode Lili a considerable distance away and fixed his eyes on her. It was to be a duel, then.

The archers traded arrow for arrow, none quite meeting their targets yet. Liam's shots were not so impressive at first, at which Alanis scoffed. His hands were trembling from the loss. He needed to do something to calm his nerves.

Oddly enough, Liam began to sing.

He drew a lullaby that his and Silas' parents sang to them when they were young from his lips. It was a soothing ballad in its original context and was empowering in Liam's heart (though some may have heard it as something haunting while canines were dying). Alanis took this as an opportunity to strike again, figuring he was distracted with his little act. Finally she managed to land one in him. It was his leg, but a hit nevertheless. And though he flinched in pain, he sang through the grimace. His voice wavered off only one note before continuing with strain and strength. He was in the final verse now and something was telling him it was now or never. He knocked his final shot and let it fly.

To Alanis' horror, Liam's arrow struck her neck. The stone head of it disappeared into her flesh, buried up to some of the wooden shaft. Strangely, she couldn't feel it. Not at first. It was difficult to see where, but when she touched it and her hand came away, the pads and fur of it were soaked with blood.

She did not understand. She had taken charge of her life like she was supposed to. She was not meant to remain so lowly in her pack of origin her whole life, was she? The other kids, they had been so cruel. Life was so awful and bleak until the Eyes of Omni had brought color and excitement to her world. She did not want it to end like this, but it was. It was ending. Ending. Ended. Darkness overtook her vision, leaving her body cooling on the ground among the ash, blood and snow. There was nothing.

The final word of the lullaby slipped from Liam with a slow, drawn out note. He inhaled, caught his breath and dried sweat from his forehead with a hand. He had just taken her life. Yes, she was awful. Was that what he wanted to do, though? He did not allow himself to stare. Watching her body hit the ground was enough, he could not afford to think about it right now. He spurred Lili on to circle around and see what else he could do to protect others during this awful battle.
[Image: unknown.png]
Liam del Morte
So sprout your wings and fly away
For another sunny day
I've got a million of them waiting for you

Character WikiPlayer Wiki

[Image: unknown.png] [Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png] [Image: Ltbudl6.png]
(Art Credit)
Silas didn't dare take his attention off his opponent, even after the shocking revilation of his brother being the one fighting along with him across the battlefield. He didn't dare to turn his attention to anyone else fighting, for fear the distraction would give the man of the Ghosts even more of an advantage than he already had. The smoke, even at close range, was making it hard to see what was going on. Spark almost needed to be right on top of him for their battle to continue, so he had to keep the dark man in his sights. It's not like he would be able to call for help if he lost sight of him anyways.

Their daggers crossed paths with one another, a wise decision the man wasn't even bothering to speak or taunt the silent man while they were doing so. Blood spilled from both males, each of them working to make openings against the other. True to his nature, Silas gave no reaction to the pain he felt. He endured the pain through most of his life, and certainly had the scars to prove what he had already been through. What would be more to add now? The ones he already had were his time in service to his former master.

Now these would be the ones he earned while in service to the thistle kingdom.

The dark male had managed to get his strength, pushing against the larger male, causing him to step back a few paces. The smoke began to cloud his vision once again, his golden eyes scanning around to look for him. With the darkness of Spark's pelt, combined with the sight and smell of the smoke hiding him...

Then a call range out, one of his voice. The silent man wasted no time in taking one of his daggers, gripping it by the steal. Fine, if he wasn't going to be able to see or smell, he was going to have to use another one of his senses. His ears honed in on the sounds, pinpointing a spot within the smoke. His arm pulled back, ignore the strain from some of the dagger wounds across his arm, throwing it through the thick mist. Another cry had been enough confirmation to know his hit had landed. Now he was certain one of two things would happen: either Spark would turn his attention back on him, or Silas would have more time to find his original opponent.

He began his advance, but a stinging feeling in his back turned his attention away for a brief moment. His head turned over his shoulder, an arrow imbedded in his back. His eyes scanned across the field, seeing a familiar face. She had been one of the ones pelting him and Casimir with arrows when they first came across Daisy. His eyes narrowed, lips curling back as he gave a silent snarl. He couldn't let her take his attention.

He had to find Spark.

He turned his back on the archer, another managing to hit his back before even Silas disappeared into the thick of the smoke. Wounded and crippled, the dark male had turned around, seeing the serf standing there, one dagger held tightly in his hand. The other man had already pulled the thrown dagger out of him, now using it as one of his own. Their clash begun once again.

His own dagger dug into his body, causing him to take another step back. The serf stared at the Ghost, him making an advance. One leg came up, aiming for the wound in his thigh. That had been enough to stop him in his tracks, allowing the larger male the chance to overpower him. Jaws came down, latching onto the man's arm as it came up to defend himself. The force grew more intense, Spark making another attempt as the dagger sunk into the silent man's side.

His mistake.

Silas brought his own dagger, lodging it down into the man's neck. He didn't let up, twisting it in until he was certain the man had died...
From the smoke, he could hear the sound of singing in the distance... even though it had been so long... he knew that song. He pulled himself out from the smoke, peering over to his brother. Of course he was the one singing... His head lowered, turning his gaze away only for a moment to see how the others were fairing. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea taking the time he had now to break down the fires that were helping to spread the smoke.
(+700) | NPCs: Spark, Alanis
Viktor, let me know if I need to change anything.
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
make your move, end it all

On some level, they were an even match; both of them green when it came to formal combat, but equipped with emotions that made them dangerous and unpredictable, incensed with a fury far more powerful than any god.

In another life, Fennore thought she might could have understood Éna more clearly. She was not so different from their own devout followers of Nín, but her faith had been twisted, forged anew under a different master. At her core, she was merely a tool to them, one that slipped in seamlessly, the Valar never giving her presence a second thought until it was far too late.

That night, at the fire; she had been praying, Fennore remembered. At the time, she assumed it was to plead with the Lady for the Realm's safety in the face of uncertain times; but now, with newfound clarity, she understood that the Lorn woman had never wished them well. At first implicit, Éna sealed her fate as a threat the moment she stole her child from the Realm.

If she had never met Ark, if she had never met the Tears — she could have been so much more. But Éna's pitiable upbringing, nor how it shaped her, would never reach the Isiltári's ears.

She could ask for forgiveness from her Goddess all she wished. But Fennore would have no mercy to spare for her.

The arrowhead just kissed her skin, scoring it, but not delving deep. Éna moved fluidly, wraithlike, slipping in and out of the Isiltári's grasp as she reached forward with her own superficial, glancing blows. A dagger, in any fight, was much stronger a weapon, but it was only as good as the one wielding it.

Wincing, stifling what sounded like a dry sob, the wolfess sought to wring the blade out of her hands, and they fell to the ground in a tangle of limbs, each struggling to gain control. Éna clawed her way on top in a horrible gnashing of teeth and flash of claws, pinning Fennore's paws down beside her.

Perhaps she said something, demanding that she relent. A searing pain ran all the way up her arms, fresh crimson staining the snow and dirt red.


Something hard hit her jaw, filling her mouth with the taste of iron and copper.


This could not be how it ended. She could not let them win, for her lost son's sake.

In a last-ditch effort she wrung her arm free from Éna's grasp, desperately seeking purchase in the ground around her — and instead finding something else.

The opportunity presented itself as her vision, crossing and fuzzy at the corners, focused on one finite point.

An anguished cry willed her forward, and Fennore plunged the arrow deep in the woman's neck, adrenaline and hatred culminating into one final act of retribution against the Tears of Nín.

Éna Lanthir went rigid against her, an excruciating wail splitting the sky; whether it was hers or Fennore's, she did not know. But she rolled the woman over onto her back, off of her, and took the arrow in both of her hands, forcing it down, further, deeper still, threatening to rip through to the other side.

"Relent," she spat with a mouthful of blood, watching the color drain from the woman's serene blue eyes, clear like the waters of the Lady she so foolishly served.

Between her shallow breaths, she could have sworn she heard a distant song growing weaker, a mournful diminuendo as if to mark the end of their bloodied fight with the Realm's assailants — and Fennore wondered if she had truly gone mad.

@despi, lmk if there is anything i need to change! ♥

sig by Despi
All her life, she had been devoted to something greater. As the gardener handled the shears, so too was she trimmed – snip, snip, snip – trained down to size. When Rand had her, he took these steps further. The form she had taken, perfectly, carefully manicured, was no longer desirable. Away her branches fell to some new shape. When Ark had her, he had found her ugly and sparse. Clip, clip, away her greenery went, and some time ago, she had withered away.

Truly, she had very little to lose. The Moon Queen tangled with her, and they were a spectacle of righteous fury, lips curled back over gums and snapping teeth. They grappled, each green to conflict, for the knife. Fennore sought vengeance. Éna moved as she had always meant to – the shears were close, too close, and what was there that Fennore could take that she had not already sacrificed of herself to others and their causes?

She was raw. She was panic.

The illness she had felt in the waxy early morning had somehow sparked something new within her, yet she dared not to give herself the glimmer of hope, for each pregnancy she had felt in the past had always come to a bitter, fruitless, catastrophic failure. And yet -

And yet – And yet. How much longer could she stay tethered to that thread? What else could she throw to the fires? She was small, and she was frail, and she was weak. She was weak. She was weak -

She wanted to be weak no longer. The acolyte tangled with the wolfess and the two of them toppled to the earth where she fought, tooth, claw, blade, for dominance for the first time she ever had, a blistering rage ignited within her she had never felt before. There was red, and there was earth, and sickly yellow smoke, and red again – both hers, and her opponent’s – and when the Isiltári prized the blade from her hand and sent it flying, she kept up her barrage with her hands.

”You have failed!” Éna’s voice crackled out, electric and flickering with her wail. ”You could not protect him!”

The stones fell from the air, and where was the precious Moon Queen, savior for her Heartsong child? Éna was there. Éna had saved him. She did not stand by what they had wrought upon poor Rohan – the tears, she could forgive – all that was spilled, the anguish, the loss; but that damnable mark. Tainted. Horrid. His keening stained her hearing, bloomed through her fibers like the blood through the sleeves of her vestments, but certain struggles needed tolerance to come out on the other side to find salvation.

But oh, he had bled. And she had lead him there. ”You could not save him!”

It was difficult to say to what she directed this ire, ichorous and bubbling up in her throat. After all; Éna had brought Rohan to salvation. This was salvation. It had to be. Her voice dropped to a ragged, muttered whisper, oscillating wildly as it scratched on emphatic syllables: ”I have given everything to Her, to him, to this cause –“

Fennore wrenched a hand free, and Éna had been too blind by her fervor to see it. The pain was sharp, and the sound she had made even more so – no, no, no, no-

This could not be it. Nín had always had a plan for her. Nín had a plan for them all. Ark had assured her this: they would not be lead astray beneath his guidance, that things would look up. In her shock, Fennore had clambered upon her, and she started thrashing anew, legs kicking out for escape as that hand pushed whatever divine instrument she had summoned deeper.

Éna shrieked her defiance back into the face of the Isiltári, eyes wild and wet, as the last shred of all she had was stripped from her wanting, desperate hands. There was no plan. Nín was not waiting for them here on the battlefield, their crimson tide would seep back into the rivers, and be forgotten.

”Remember me, Isiltári-“ she choked out, angry, her hands gripping the wrists of the white wolfess. ”Remember this face – I will haunt you until the end of your days –“

There was a gasp that did not reach her lungs, the noise rattling and hollow at the drive of the arrow head, bedding itself ever deeper. Her neck was wet, and she convulsed in the throes of this anguish, of this violence, claws biting into pale fur. A muted sound rattled from her, her attempt at a shout, a scream, any last bidden anger as the acolyte grasped for whatever fleeting comfort she could, only to come up empty. Instead, she grappled with the wretched reality: this was for naught. Her life, her cause, her belief -

So this was it. Bitterness. Resentment. A wasted existence.

Éna suffocated through the last of her air, eyes pinned to violet gaze of the Moon Queen, her fingers holding her tight as long as she could.

I am not bound by where I'm from, I'm not awake I am not sleeping
as I walk along the in-between of everything come and gone
Quote:Spar, train, or engage another, more skilled canine in training. If your opponent is a foreigner, your character should not reveal their connection to Salsola. If during a time of conflict, engage in a fight with the enemy!

Signed a contract with the devil — Another name on it's list

Everything suddenly came tumbling down around him. The expert hit of the metal against metal had been enough to cave it in enough to break the skull of his mare, and the momentum of it crashing down had made her too, come tumbling down to the ground. Spartacus flew through the air before he found himself suddenly on the floor.

The air got knocked out of him and he found himself with his back on the ground, but he had little time to regain himself because of the conflict that would erupt around him. His good eye frantically looked around to see his mount on the ground, having a white wolf standing over her body with mace in hand, and making sure that the job was finished before she had turned her gaze over to him, as he had begun to move. While Spartacus might have been a bit more broken up about his horse, he saw the woman see him get up and start to regain himself and she knew that she had to move onto him. She had beelined towards him, and the Red Ghoul found himself back on his feet and his hand drew his single Kantana from his left sheath with his right hand, as this was his dominant hand. His head tilted to where he could see her the best through the thick fog that still billowed around their battlefield.

The ghost of the Red Ghoul had come at him with her mace in hand, lowered down to her side as she prepared to put her true weight behind the swing that she was preparing. Spartacus knew that he could not afford to get hit by that thing, not at full thrust at the very least, though the spikes that had protruded from the heavy mace were enough to also make him a bit nervous. He had little time to prepare for her though, but as she had gotten close, Spartacus had noticed the arrow that protruded from her non-dominant shoulder that he could use for his advantage. The moment came to where she was close enough to swing her mace at him, but he jumped back just in time, for the mace barely snagged and ripped at the cover of his breastplate. The shirt had been new, and he had been disappointed that he had ruined part of it now. She had been checking off every irritant box that he had within him, which made him rather angry, and instead of this being fun, it had become slightly stressful.

He didn't particularly think he would have had it easy, but he didn't think that he would ever have to fight a mace-master. He almost had no clue how he would go about getting around the mace, but the more he thought about it, the more he had come to the realization that he would likely be able to cut through her mace, if he had enough momentum and the right angle.  He continued to move around her and their battlefield as she had charged on with seemingly endless endurance. One of them was going to get tired before the other, and it was the more inexperienced Ulrichson, whom had to stop and go on the offensive to break this dance.

The Red Ghoul had figured out that the woman had been used to running in that armor, while Spartacus was not. It was unfortunate for the younger male, but he thought back again to that shoulder and the arrow. She was already favoring it, and probably was probably trying her best to keep him away. When he had finally come back on the offensive, he could see her mind shift just as his did, and as he came at her, he let the mace hit his shoulder's armor so that he could extend his reach with his kantana, which made contact with not only the shoulder she had begun to favor, but he also managed to cut one of the straps on her armor.

Neither of them noticed the loose strap because she had launched forward towards him with her teeth, and made contact with his hand, making him drop his kantana in the snow beneath them. Spartacus's own maw let out a roar of pain before he had grabbed her by her arm and his maw sank into the flesh of her neck. His head instinctively moved back and forth in a ripping motion, for he was intending on killing her then and there, but the collision of the mace against the top of his muzzle made him let got rather quickly. He was glad that the angle for the mace had not been good enough for her to get a good shot at him, but she had gotten the point across to him.

Spartacus took his sword as he retreated a bit and started to pant lightly. She, too, hung back for a moment to take a breather and probably assess her own damage, for they both had done a number within those quick moments. Sparta's lips turned up, showing bloodied teeth from the wound she had inflicted to his maw. "Oi, Ya' fuckin cunt. That really fuckin hurt!" the words came from his maw as he rubbed at his face, only to be greeted with more blood on his ivory paws. He laughed at this, and she, too chuckled from her distance. He looked at his fingers to make sure all were present and accounted for.

"And ya' say that I'm the bloody cunt!" she spoke as she had noticed that her armor had been loose and literally fell from her arm. "Fuck." she spoke as she had tried to tie the straps back together, but was greeted with the visage of the male up on him once more. She swung her mace in retaliation only for his sword to collide with it and slice through the wood, dropping the top of the mace to the ground. She still continued forward though and in his openness, she had come at him with a braced fist that hit his core, but did not effect him as she wished that it had for he had quickly grabbed her then by the neck, held her muzzle up from the bottom of it, and plunged his sword through her the side of her neck and into her body.

The scream and gurgle that came from her maw were satisfying for him though the echos of war around seemed to drown out the end of it, and as he plunged the blade down into her, he could feel the claws of the woman dig into him, and once he had gotten to the end of the blade to her shoulder, he would uproot the blade from her and push her away from him. She did not die right away, but the gurgling and the blood that stained her pretty white coat would soon match her blood red garments that were not all too different from the ones that Spartacus himself wore.

He laughed before he sliced at the body again and again, satisfying some sick urge within him, and once the body had been pretty mutilated, he finally would , and then he ran off into the battlefield, trying to find Evelyn and make sure that she would be okay.

"Sparts speech"

[834+1214//1200] // ooc: Oh man this dude is such a bad dog.
Art by Nandolicious.

Caught and lost inside the darkness — It won't let me go

Note: Spartacus is blinded in his right eye as of June 2020. His eye appears to be a cloudy silver-ish color.
Firelight glinted off the silvery blades of Liam's brother's and an enemy combatant's weapons as they crossed and sliced. It was untold who would prosper here yet. The two were silent where others had traded biting insults, personal or otherwise. Any pain that Silas endured was ultimately ignored. Liam was proud to have felled Alanis for the arrow she had buried in his flesh. He made after him to offer aid, but Silas quickly secured the enemy's fate. Liam witnessed how Spark's final breaths of life were full of blood. There was more inner conflict. He was upset to see another dying, but it had been someone that threatened Silas' life. He was happy his brother had survived. It was self defense. It was still life lost, but Liam reasoned with himself. Silas had stopped Spark from committing further murder. It had to be necessary, it had to be. He shook his head, coughing once more.

Right. He should help put some of the fires out too. That way, it would be easier to see who was still living and needed medical attention... Like he did. His wounds would only hurt more as more time passed. The adrenaline would not be there to numb the pain for long. Shit already hurt enough. He knew better than to pull the arrow out from his leg, having witnessed another bleed out after the removal of a similar weapon before. The memory once made him wince. With this war fully concluded, he could safely say he had seen much worse now.

At least he had Lili to carry him. That way he did not have to walk for now. Otherwise he was sure the arrow lodged in the flesh of his leg would be causing a lot more pain. He rode her as close as he could manage to some flames, a source of the smoke. He did not have much water on him, so another alternative had to be used. He dismounted, kneeled and used his hands to fling sooty snow and dirt onto the flame. It began to choke... Choke...

Like Alanis choked. Like Spark choked. Like Ena choked. Like they all had choked and like everyone else would choke after that.

He saw her. Heard her.

"Remember this face – I will haunt you until the end of your days –" she gasped desperately. She was choking on her own blood and shaking head to toe from that pure agony. Her long, dark hair, silkily flowing like a river, was a river that had hit a dead end. The river was dirtied with blood, with ash. He knew she would never return. She had turned on them, betrayed them, attacked Fennore. However, he could not help the sorrow that weighed heavy in his chest like the boulders that had wrought so much destruction.

Somehow, Liam knew that Ena's hollow and bloodied face would not be haunting only Fennore to the end of her days. Ena's dying, pained face was already burned permanently into Liam's mind. She had once been kind enough to him, having given him friendly advice as a pack mate. She had given him ease and reassurance. Now he knew how twisted that likely was at that one moment. Now he knew. But did he know that as a fact? Maybe it did not matter. And now she was dead. She was as cold and as still as a river stone, the edges she had shown in battle now smoothed away. Another enemy woman, Crunch, had died similarly as well. A Salsolan that Liam did not know, Spartacus, had also defended the realm just as he, Silas, Fennore and any other soul on this battlefield had. At a cost. So much cost.

Fennore stood over Ena still, bloodied and exhausted. Exhausted as they all were. There was so much blood spilt that it was difficult to tell at a glance who was still alive, dying or dead. Lost. Gone. Forever. Liam had been raised through his puphood with very little religious or spiritual belief, as he thought this was most logical and freed up more time to focus on what was real and there in the moment: work. Work was more important and productive than praying. He gave very little thought to what would come after death. It was too much to think about more than he had to. Now... He knew that it hurt his soul to believe there was no afterlife. It was awful to see people die like his parents had, like anyone else had even just this morning, and to just think that was it for them. When it would be his time, Liam knew it would be more difficult for him to accept death and die with integrity instead of denial. It all had to mean something. They all had to go somewhere.

The golden dawn further broke over his blue mind. It warmed his outlook and thought as flame was put out, which brought him back to his senses and optimism. This battle was for something important. The lives claimed were cut too short, far too short. Yet, Liam knew now that it was for good reason. It had to be. More notably, it was not a total end of existence for every one of their dead. They did not go to a meaningless and empty void. It was not the end.

It was only the beginning.

Liam pulled himself onto Lili's back once more with some effort. His body complained and it screamed for relief. The arrow in his leg glinted up at him with malice, more than a pain in the ass. Yet, he refused to give in and lay motionless on the earth. He would easily become a corpse that way. It was not his time yet. Lili seemed very relieved to see him safe, to see that he was alright. He patted her neck with a smile and a hoarse chuckle. His lungs burned, a cough bubbling up and spilling over. It took a moment or two to regain his breath, but he managed.

"Thank you, Lili," he mumbled, exhausted. "Let's go meet my brother."

Liam rode to meet Silas. At long last, they would be reunited.
[Image: unknown.png]
Liam del Morte
So sprout your wings and fly away
For another sunny day
I've got a million of them waiting for you

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