[m] stand by you, walk through fire

POSTED: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:58 pm

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.


OPERATION DAMSEL IS GO! This is backdated, though the specific date is flexible. Time is sunset/night. Assumed that Lilia and co went to IF's southern border, since it'd be too unrealistic to cut through all of IF territory to get to the caverns from the other side.

----

There were fewer good sunsets as the cold winds began blowing in, and she couldn't decide if it was a waste that the sky was so beautiful then. The week had been overcast, and to witness a brilliant evening before their mission felt like an omen somehow. When she looked to Indra and saw the deep reds and purples of a fading day passing over places expression might have been, she felt her convictions quiver.

They waited in silence, but Lilia felt as if her nerves could be heard for miles around. She hugged her arms together and clutched the black material of her tunic. She found herself wishing far too late for the gentle cotton of her Onuban dresses, the warm sands of her home, and the power to spirit them all to some place free of strife. She had been convinced that the latter was the only feasible action, back when she first learned Neith had been taken captive. Even now, it seemed to her only partially real, like something caught in the half light of a sunset.

They had observed the patterns of the watch for a few days, camped in those southerly woods far closer to the Knights than their own home. Lilia tried not to gaze back into the morbid stare of the skulls, though their eyeless faces had wormed their way into her slumbering mind. Barbarians was what they called these sorts of people back home; she had dreamed of the hills in Aracena where her sisters had once tried to go. They never made it to the grotto there, and if not for their father, they may not have made it out at all. She had known a queer sensation then as she did now, a feeling that there were some actions that could not be undone.

Indra made a motion. With a look that lasted no more than a second for her but an eternity for Lilia, she and Ros vanished into the trees.

Alone, Lilia waited. The light had finally gone, and she could see only the silhouettes of the border where the moon decided to illuminate. Worries began to creep into her mind while she listened for the signal, and when it seemed like it would never come, suddenly it did. Adrenaline ignited her step, and before long any anxieties she felt were flushed from her body by her pounding heart. The trees of the Glade were imperceptibly different from one another and this might have disoriented her, but she knew her path was true and she did not stop. Lilia had memorized the map Stannis had drawn for her, and they had decided it was likely that captives would be held in the caverns. Helena's return had confirmed as much, but it would be up to her keen sense of smell to locate Neith and Ask.

The woods began to thin out, and soon the landscape turned smoother, as if mere proximity to the Bay had worn it down. The caverns rose against the night, big and blockish and absent of true cover, she realized with dismay. Her neck prickled with alarm, and she swiftly ducked behind a boulder that was half too small. It was dark, and her smells were of the woods - a scout might look for motion instead, she had been warned. The Infernian passed without a single glance however, focused as they were on nocking their bow, and she realized that the distraction had worked as they hoped it would. "Oh, thank you Indra, thank you Ros," she mouthed to the wind, and willed that it would carry her gratitude to them. When all was clear, she picked up her sword and plunged into the dark of the caves.
Code by Raze     Sig Pic by Nina     Avatar by San

POSTED: Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:30 pm

602 tl;dr Ros is chasing Indra toward IF on horseback.

It was strange, seeing Ros outfitted in Salsolan finery that – though tailored slightly by his own hands – did little to mask his somewhat effeminate build. She had washed, combed, and braided small pieces of his hair until he looked (at least to her mind) like a spoiled prince of the Thistle Kingdom.

His discontent with what they were about to do added to the effect, creating a tall, brooding man with a haughty look of self-importance about him. The sword at his shoulder was Indra’s own, even though he didn’t know the first thing about swordsmanship except that you were supposed to stab your opponent with the pointy end while trying to avoid the same.

The final touch was to mask his scent ever-so-slightly with a seemingly random collection of herbs and wood smoke.

In sharp contrast to his well-dressed state, Indra wore absolutely no clothing.

As uncomfortable a sensation this was, approaching enemy territory without even a hint of armor, she was sure enough of her strengths and limitations. A childhood spent wrestling with her siblings in the Blackwoods had been built upon with other, more skilled tutors, and her hand-to-hand combat skills served her well in the direst of times.

Ros rode astride Sahar, his face set in grim lines.

She had discussed only the important parts of their ruse and assured Lilia that this was necessary. Initially she had been downcast and perhaps a bit offended at the Salcedo’s insistence that she be the one to venture deep into the coyote clan’s territory, especially when the Winters’ woman lacked the social skills required to sell an elaborate lie.

This was where Ros became an integral aspect of the mission. Though he was little use in a fight if it came to it, he was a quick talker and accustomed to flattering even those he despised.

When the sun set enough that the green-eyed man would be a mere apparition in the gloaming, Indra made a discreet gesture and crept away into the darkness. Ros followed for a moment and then backtracked, but was evidently displeased by this if his facial expression was anything to judge by.

Timing was everything at this stage, and the most difficult aspect to gauge. Waiting in the darkness of the Bay, they had no way of knowing where Lilia was or even if she would reach her destination. They had studied the guards and which routes they were most likely to take for two reason: so that the girl with lilac eyes could sneak past them, and so that Indra could encounter them.

When they felt enough time had passed for their companion to have slipped past the guards, Indra looked to Ros, who was already looking at her, anger and frustration writ across his face.

She understood this, as she understood many things, but felt it was necessary all the same.

His mother's tumultuous relationship with her mate made this difficult on the Badb man; he considered anyone who abused a spouse to be the lowest of the low, and even pretending at such a thing made his stomach roll. The fact that those of the Macha Tribe considered her something like a god reborn made it even worse somehow.

Gripping the horse's reins too tightly, he waited until she had a running head start before wheeling the war horse around and giving chase.

Taise! He bellowed in the darkness, the stallion's hoofbeats thundering so loudly that he could scarcely be heard. Taise, you stupid hure, get back here!

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Luperci Milite The Stag is Reborn
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POSTED: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:02 am

When the sun went down, the darkness of the caverns became stifling. He sat in silence, awaiting nothing, famished and thirsty and at a crossroads. He was not mistreated, for the clan visited every so often and provided for him beyond the bare minimum, but life as a prisoner persisted. The time away from Salsola was in a way a small blessing, for his eyes were expanded to a culture of the outside world, and the brunt of a deadly war was not fought by his unseasoned rapier. Though, Neith wondered if Salsola would consider this a trial in its own way: if he could not escape captivity on his own, or if he could not make the right choice under fire, he was not worth their Kingdom. He wondered whether he awaited rescuers, awaited an end to the war and rightful release, or awaited death.

At the very least, Ask was safe. Both from Inferni, and from Salsola.

In captivity, he could not confirm with his own eyes that Dove had taken the boy and run as directed, but she had sworn it and had not visited since. While he stood guard, Salvador confirmed she was gone, but the black coywolf always spoke with a tone as if he knew too much and as if he could see through Neith and Dove themselves, and Neith did not trust him. He relied on faith that Dove would not betray him. Faith, as if he was truly Ondine’s brother, as if he was clad in robes and clasping hands like the Inferni girl who came to visit.

He relied purely on faith that if and when he returned to Salsola, word of his treachery would not follow with him.

Any light from the entrance disappeared among what might have been distancing voices or shuffling, and Neith sat up in the dark and listened to a silence more deafening than he was so accustomed. In the dark and quiet came running steps. Fearing the worst, the Heiwa rose to his feet and pressed his wrists and back against the cavern wall, braced. “Who’s there?”

tl;dr: just look at the last paragraph lol. San, feel free to PP.

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:42 pm

I'll believe in anything if you'll believe in anything
000 :3

Their discontent had not gone unnoticed by Lilia, but she had no comfort to offer either Indra or Ros. It was true that their mission did not utilize each of their strengths, and Lilia knew this when she brought the plan before Salvia and Stannis. Yet, how could she face them and tell them that she would like to send Indra, Princess of Salsola, granddaughter of the Queen, into the claws of the coyotes? The war might have been lost if the clan got a hold of someone so valuable to the Thistle Kingdom. But Lilia? She was an Associate, unrelated to any major house, and her capture or demise would simply be another tally to the Kingdom's losses.

More than that, and this remained unspoken to anyone, but Lilia couldn't bear the thought of losing Indra too.

As they had camped, prepared, and eventually gone their ways, her gratitude was all that she could give.

The caverns lapped up any light that came inside, which was perfect for secrecy but less ideal for finding someone. She let her nose guide her path through the musky halls, attuned to that extraordinarily faint scent of tea tree. It was something she had noticed initially about Neith, because the scent was reminiscent of the oils and perfumes they used in Onuba. Being around him had helped to ease the homesickness that had struck her in the first few months in Salsola.

There was a shuffling to her left, and Lilia paused mid-step. For a moment, all she could hear was the blood in her ears.

Then a voice came, and her breathing slowly resumed.

Neith? she whispered, Neith, it's me, Lilia.

She could sense him in the dark, and she reached out a hand without realizing how it shook. Her fingers came up against something soft, and she let them settle there until she knew its form. His wrist felt cold - everything felt cold in that damned dark place. Without thinking, she stepped forward to embrace him. You're alive, she breathed in relief, Thank the Light, you're alive.

The distant echo of running paws drew her back, and she looked around him.

Where's Ask? We have to hurry, there isn't much time.

Code by Raze     Sig Pic by Nina     Avatar by San

POSTED: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:30 pm

“Lilia?” He stood stunned until she touched at his arm and embraced him, and Salsolan scents rushed his senses with confirmation. Bound behind his back, the Confidant hissed in pain when she took him in her arms, his wounded shoulder shifted slight, but the man returned the embrace with a grateful tuck of his head against her head and neck. “Thank you, thank you for coming—wounded, yes, but alive. Are you here alone? Did they hurt you?”

He might have looked her over, were it not for the dark. But this was a rescue, and they hadn’t time for such informalities in conversation. Lilia asked of Ask, and in the blackness Neith froze up.

“Ask is... He’s gone.” Whether by force of lie or by a convincing performance, there was a crack in his voice. “He’s dead. I’m sorry, I... I tried.”

He hadn’t expected to lie to Lilia. To Salvia, to Stannis, even to Loki, he had run the scenario a dozens times in his mind. But to lie to Lilia was painful, and Neith took solace in the safety of darkness to fulfill his fabrications.

“I’ll tell you everything when we’re safe,” he bought time. “Let’s move. Could you cut my wrists free?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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