In the early morning light the stretch of woods seemed much like any other, a verdant canopy extending its vast patchwork umbrella over shrubs, saplings, and the occasional colorful bush or flower. With rays of sunlight streaming through it was a place both serenely beautiful and quietly solemn. Birds sang in the branches, deer grazed, and foxes hunted from the underbrush. From the road it looked just like any other stretch of woodland... at least, so long as one didn't look away from the trees and turn a gaze to the path.
There, a grim warning could be seen: a covered wagon, or the remains of one at any rate, knocked over and battered violently, with several bodies strewn about it and signs of looting. Crates and bags lay about, some ripped open and others smashed to get at their contents -- foodstuffs mostly, judging by the remnants of broken bread, smashed-apart apples, and bits of dried meat. It was clear that nature had begun to have her way with these leftovers as well as the bodies of the unfortunates, with signs of scavengers having set upon them on and off. Still, the wounds and damage to the wagon were reasonably clear still... enough, perhaps, for closer investigation. The scene of the attack looked to be mere days old.
Here, the best lead clear of the treeline, you find yourself. Choose to investigate the scene of the attack closer or proceed into the forest at your discretion...
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2015 22:12:09 GMT -7 by Nascent
It was clear on Metalica's mind that she had to get more away from the road that humans had been attacked on. It also didn't help that she had been in her werewolf form when she had came across the dead bodies and bits of food scattered her and there from whoever attacked theses poor creatures. Though she didn't want to stick around and find out what did it let alone be spotted by any human that would come seeking answers in finding out what happened here. Though she wasn't sure if it was something set loose to find her and bring her back to her so called masters or if it was a bigger threat in theses woods and to stay clear from. Whatever it was she wasn't sticking to close to the road regardless of being hungry or anything like that. Since she escaped she had put on a bit of weight and didn't look as sickly as she first looked when she had escaped. Though she was still sick looking with black bags under her eyes and she was still skinny. But she wasn't helpless in the matter either. She had found plenty of game in theses woods as well as other food she could find in the woods. Though the other stuff was harder to find then the meat.....,but even now that seemed harder to find. Whatever it was it was more hungry than her it seemed.
At the moment she had got a good distance from the road and had headed towards a water source in hopes to find water enough to fill up a bag that she had made out of the stomach of a wild animal in the woods.
Post by jasondemac on Sept 14, 2015 12:47:41 GMT -7
Stok's investigative skills weren't exactly sherlock holmes worthy, so after a minute of gazing at the decrepit scene he had gather all he could. Something killed someone and then ran away to somwhere. He stood out of his crouched position, his metal mask gleaming in the sun. Laughingstok's piercing blue eyes scanned the treeline. He adjusted his steel chestplate uncomfortably. Not knowing what he was up against was definitely a problem. He scanned the surrounding area for tracks, but really picked up nothing more than what seemed to be scavengers or wild beasts picking off the dead.
"That can't be the cause. I know what looting looks like. I've done it enough..." Stok strode into the woods, knew as much as to be looking for something sentient and dangerous.
His duel rapier jangled lightly against his metal shin and thigh guards, and it's dull gray metalic color glinted in the afternoon sun. Around his belt were many small leather pouches hanging from string just strong enough to snap when he pulled, but stay on during combat. Beneath his armor he wore a simple brown commoner shirt and pants. The day was unreasonably hot, so he relished in the shade the wilderness so kindly provided. His eyes stayed alert as he delved deeper into the forest.
|^|Perhaps he should have payed more attention to the tracks, eh?|^|
Post by Rosen Stele on Sept 16, 2015 14:09:55 GMT -7
The Sun made travelling less than enjoyable this day in particular. It was warmer up here, and the Captain of the Blue Rosette silently missed the breeze that drifted over the Fellwind Peninsula. The slow, melodically clip clop of his horse's hooves made him feel somehow sluggish, too, which didn't help. He looked back over his armored shoulder to the girl who rode behind him to his right. Isis, the young girl who was somehow a prospect for his unit. Insofar he hadn't really seen enough of her prowess to make the decision, but his Lord seemed to trust her skills, and she had survived the Ashmoor Ruins, so that was something.
"It looks like We are nearly to the site, Isis." Oleander called back to the girl, before urging his own horse forward. When they drew nearer, Oleander became aware of sounds of an armored neighbor. Someone else was here. He tied his horse to a tree not far from the site, and motioned for Isis to do the same, before approaching the spectacle. There had been no attempts by the Templar or other nearer authorities to alter the scene, but it was showing the wear of time. The faces of the fallen were sunken in, showing the effects of rigor mortise, and the bits of food that had been strewn about was returning to the earth.
And there was a figure standing amidst the destruction. Armored, much like Oleander himself, with his face concealed behind a mask. Oleander never trusted a mask. "You. I wasn't aware that the Templars had sent another to investigate. Or perhaps you have some other purpose. Let's start with a name. I am Oleander, of the Blue Rosette of Arigel. This is Isis." He motioned to the girl as she joined them. "And you are?"
Isis followed him mostly keeping to herself since the words of earlier had gotten to her a bit and she didn't want to offend him or anything with the way he had talked to her. She nodded her head and tied her horse up beside his and unmounted it as they came across the seine she was a bit surprised at what she saw and had seemed to have picked up on the other details some might miss. She watched as Oleander had approached the masked armored male and asked who he was after giving both Oleander and her name. She kept quiet for the mostly part,but had kneeled down by the footprints leading into the forest feeling the dirt around it and closing her eyes for a second. Before she looked back at the scene before she had stood up and went to Oleander's side. "This site is still being watched"She whispered to him before glancing back at the other man.
Post by jasondemac on Sept 18, 2015 13:50:37 GMT -7
Laughingstok's expression was a flurry of surprised at the arrival of a second party, quizzical at the man and his colleague, thoughtful at what he should do, and decisive as the Oleander spoke. Not that Oleander would be able to tell any of this. Stok's reply gave nothing away to his thoughts
"You are captain Oleander? I've heard of you of course!" He extended his hand and offered to shake Oleander's hand, and would do so vigorously if he accepted. "It's an honor, sir. Nice to meet your subordinate as well, miss Isis." Adressing his companion with a nod. Surely neither of them could tell that Stok was lying through his teeth. He had no idea who they were or what the heck Oleander was captain of. Nonetheless he continued with "As a boy I looked highly on the Blue Rosette."
Stok's eyes narrowed as Isis whispered to Oleander, but could not make out what she had said. He had no idea about the site still being watched. He did know, however, this pair was surely an asset. Gaining their trust was a must. Isis obviously knew something he didn't. "I didn't know the Templars had employed a second set of hands either, suppose we work together? This scene has all the makings of a bandit raid, strength in numbers and all that."
|^|Oh Captain My Captain, I'm Lying to Your Face|^|
Once Metalica had got to a water source she had filled up her bag,but not before the scent of others had lingered it's way to where she was. She stood up somewhat tense as she took in the scents of the two men and the female. The female smelt somewhat familiar,but she couldn't put her finger on it,but she wasn't sure if it was the people from before hunting her down or if it was someone else they payed to hunt her down. She narrowed her eyes slightly and decided to better get moving and put more ground between her and whoever theses people wore. Maybe they wore here to see what had happened to those people in the wagen. So much for going back for firewood for later. She thought she would just have to do it the hard way .She managed to follow the trail of what appeared to be a deer path and take it up a hill. It should provide enough visibility incase she was being followed before circling back to where she had laid traps for this very reason. To protect herself.
A faint shuffling, almost at the edge of hearing, was the first sign that the young werewolf would have that she wasn't alone as she ascended the path. It was the sort of sound that could be mistaken for wind blowing in the leaves overhead... were it not for the fact that it came at the wrong moment. From silent crouches on branches far overhead five pairs of eyes watched, keenly set on the black fur and fierce claws their quarry possessed. This one, they saw, was different from the humans in the wagon, from the hunter they'd found by the river further north and even the hulking ogre who had wandered through some weeks ago. This one was fierce, a dangerous opponent indeed. And so the five stayed hidden, moving silently from one branch to another as they watched and waited. This one was not for them, no.
But the werewolf was a problem.
In the distance was a sound -- a snap, a small screech like a rat or a mouse -- and the five observers stopped as one and turned in the direction of it. One of the werewolf's traps, it seemed... but the sound, the screech, was from one of their own. Looks and gestures passed between the small creatures, silently settling on their next move, and then they were leaping and gliding towards the sound. They could not afford to be discovered, not if it could be helped. The masters would be furious if they slipped up now.
One item of interest that Stok, Isis, and the captain would likely discover upon close inspection of the wagon's wreck was a scattering of long straight barbs, easy enough to mistake for crossbow bolts at first glance. A few punctured the wagon's side, buried point-first in the woodwork, but there were a few to be found in the victim's corpses as well. On closer inspection one would find these objects to have faint, faded color to them, mostly green but a few dark blue in shade; they were rigid but slightly brittle, able to be snapped apart by hand with enough force, and the seemingly smooth surface of each would prove scaly to the touch.
Metalica stopped dead in her tracks at the faint sound that had came near her that told her she wasn't alone at all. Though she would of thought she was being paranoid and just hearing things,but the sound came at the wrong time and then she heard a screech from one of her traps nearby. She jumped slightly at the second sound and shook her head slightly and growled. Someone was following her....something was following her...and whatever it was just got trapt. Was there more...what would she find when she reached her trap. The thoughts came racing in. Was it from whatever attacked those people.....was in hunters trying to find who attacked those people....whatever it was. She didn't like it at all. So without a second thought she turned and headed towards the trap where she snared something in.
What she would find awaiting her in the bushes and foliage was certainly a sight to see. Caught by its midriff and hanging upside-down was a small winged red creature struggling and gnawing at its bonds, its scorpion-like tail whipping about back and forth frantically. It tried desperately to flap its one free wing, to gain some kind of ground in getting loose, but the trap was better built than that and the imp well and truly snared. At first it failed to notice the werewolf's approach, concerned as it was with its own situation... the moment it did, however, it froze, unmoving, and seemed to fade out of existence. If not for the "empty" loop of the rope dangling from a tree branch one might well have thought the creature simply gone, yet a few seconds later it emerged to sight again, struggling with renewed intensity and hissing at Metalica.
Which is when the other imps descended in a shrieking fury. Small as rats they were also just as quick, four dive-bombing out of the leafy canopy to descend on Metalica in a flurry of shrieks, tiny claws, and barbed stingers. A fifth, bearing what appeared to be a small knife (though, for the creature, it was probably the measure of a broadsword) flew down to its trapped fellow and began hacking away at the rope, determined to break the other creature free as quickly as possible.
Once she had got to her trap she was a bit surprised at what she saw since she wasn't expecting to see such a creature trapped in one of her traps and had to admit she was glad it was small and not something bigger. But when it noticed her it seemed to disappear for a second before repairing and hissing out at her as it struggled to get out of the trap. She was about to try to lower the trap when all of a sudden the others had began to descend on her from the leafy canopy in a hoard of sheirks added with there claws and barbed stingers.She barely had time to react as she let herself stay in her wolf form before turning on the closet one to her lashing out at it with her own claws. She knew she couldn't stay here long dealing with theses creatures because if someone was close by they would hear all the noise and come running to check it out and she didn't want to be anywhere close to this area if some came a running.
Post by Rosen Stele on Oct 15, 2015 10:10:13 GMT -7
Oleander narrow his eyes at this stranger, accepting the explaination for now. He was of the opinion, however that you should never trust a masked man. "Very Well." He replied ascerbically, before bending near the scene. He plucked one of the spines from the wood and examined it carefully.
"This I did not expect." He scoffed. "Imp spikes." He explained. "I have seen them only once before, in my early days in the Rosette. To think they have ventured this far west..." he mused, handing the object to Isis. "Imps can fly, so they will be hard to track." He added remorsefully, returning to his full height.
Post by jasondemac on Oct 15, 2015 10:26:45 GMT -7
Imps. Yet another thing Laughingstok had never tangled with. If they had abilities anything like their name suggested this job should be extremely... annoying.
"Imps huh? Any way in particular they're killed? Tracking... why don't we start that way." Stok clapped the captain on the shoulder, and pointed toward a cluster in the trees, mangled and broken by what seemed to be something airborne. There were clawmarks in the higher bits of the trees. Laughingstok started in that direction, their best lead. He looked back over his shoulder at the female recruit. "You guys coming?"
Isis sighed slightly when Orlando handed her the object to her and she examined it first secretly taking in the scents of theses so called imps. Though she only heard of them in stories she never came fast to fast with any before,but they sounded nasty kind of like annoying brownies. She shuddered at the thought and looked up at the two as Stok went to move through the forest where a cluster of trees looks to be torn and stuff from a flying object or creature as well as claw marks on higher bites of the tree. She didn't like how this settled with her and she sure as hell wasn't enjoying all the smells that followed it. She nodded her head to Stok and looked at Orlando"Yeah we're coming"She said raising an eyebrow to the man. She didn't trust Stok at all,but she knew they had to work with someone to achieve the goal at hand.
(OOC: The spikes you're finding in the wagon are from a Spinagon, btw -- another type of aeliavim. Might help to review the different types of "demons", as you can expect to find at least a few varieties along the way. [Aeliavim]. Happy hunting!)
The imps were nimble creatures -- although the werewolf's claws found their mark it was a glancing blow, the imp veering hard aside at the last second. Even so, it would find itself with a bloody gash across its chest which the creature clutched at in pain before flitting to the cover of a nearby bush. Meanwhile the other three were on her, grabbing tufts of fur on her shoulders and back and lashing out with their stingers. The toughened hide of a werewolf would protect Metalica from the worst of it, but the stings carried venom; if she didn't dislodge her attackers quickly the effects would almost certainly start to slow her down.
The werewolf further into the forest wasn't the only one being watched. As Oleander, Isis, and Stok stepped into the cover of the trees three sets of eyes tracked them from the heights of the forest canopy, the green-hued Spinagons blending in well with the verdant leaves and deep green shadows. Their tiny red eyes glared coldly and their reptilian-looking snouts sniffed the air, tasting the scents of the new arrivals. Would these struggle? They looked like they would. Too tough to capture, certainly... no, they would wait until the right moment, and then the humans would die.
In the distance, the faint sounds of struggle could be heard, alarming the spiny aeliavim. It seemed the imps were making a mess of things, again. The lead Spinagon gestured to wait; they would deal with one problem at a time.