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Blood Ravens - The Horde

After ominous portents, a group of adventurers patrol the Gray Forest on the borderlands of Stormwall.

[OOC: Part II of the Gray Forest arc of the Blood Ravens plot.]

Date

March 20, 2020, 11 p.m.

Hosted By

Rysen Anisha

GM'd By

Anisha

Participants

Ian Rukhnis Zoey Brianna Mikani Arcadia(RIP)

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Northlands near Stormwall - Northern Gray Forest

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Anisha has joined the line.

Rysen has joined the line.

Ian has joined the line.

Rukhnis has joined the line.

Zoey has joined the line.

Brianna has joined the line.

Mikani has joined the line.

When we last left our intrepid heroes, they had just triumphed over a small scouting band of Abandoned, the Shav'arvani clearly engaged in foul blood rites and human sacrifice. Arcadia and Colette had engaged in a somewhat unguided act of diplomacy, with conflicting goals. The result being that the Shaman leader of the Abandoned, a woman called the Speaker of the White Raven, now has a broken arm and a furious attitude. Two of her allies lie dead. All would be well with the world.

...All would be well with the world, if the caw-ing cries of the White Raven's brood had not been answered by a raucous call from the other side of the mountain, and the more distant members of the group did not see enough Shav'arvani, mounted and not, to kick up a massive dust cloud as they head towards the mountain pass.

It is unfortunate, that in this moment, the broken-armed Shaman picks a pinch of powder from her pouch, and blows it into Arcadia's face, causing the Marquessa to collapse like a sack of your favourite root vegetables. Colette lets out an angry yell and moves towards the woman - but experiences similar result, the two noble-women now in a pile as the Shaman begins moving away, towards her allies.

Oh, how quickly the tables can turn.

Turn in line: Anisha

Turn in line: Rysen

Rysen checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.

"Fuck," says Rysen, sheathing his swords. He races to Arcadia's side, and begins to lift her onto his shoulders, before the woman's eyes flutter and she regains consciousness. Rysen points to the large number of Shav'arvani making their way toward them along the mountain pass. He next springs to Colette, and lifts her across his shoulders, controlling his breathing, and running with her to Rukhnis, saying, in between heavy breathes, "Rukhnis... take her... taker her... and go!"

Turn in line: Ian

When last we left Our Heroes, Ian had secreted the less fight-y (and more pregnant) of the group in a reasonably safe place and placed himself between them and the conflict. This is where he is as the curtain rises, standing there looking at once unassuming and immutable. He watches Arcadia and Colette go down, the victims of some mysterious powder. He watches the army cresting the hill, electric blue eyes constantly moving, alert, but unafraid, as though he fully expects that he can hold all of that back, just him, alone. He'll let Rukhnis by him, but not Zoey or Mikani. (OOC: Ie, I'm requesting contested rolls should either of them try to run into any of this.)

Arcadia has joined the line.

Rukhnis has remained waiting in her well-chosen triage spot behind the protective curtain of young firs, gazing in smouldering anger and dismay through the gaps in the feathery branches at the happenings upon the battlefield. She doesn't seem to have any desire to press past Ian, thankfully -- not when Rysen is already doing the work of hauling both Arcadia and Colette over to her like the proverbial potato-sacks. She does glare at the Crovane lord in somewhat obstinate dismay for a moment, exclaiming, "Take them /where/?" Concerned as she may be for her new patients, she's clearly not thrilled at the idea of leaving Rysen to a howling horde either.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Turn in line: Zoey

Zoey still has her bow ready, an arrow nocked. She looks out at the approaching cloud of dust, seeking a target. "Where indeed?" she says under her breath. She will run once a destination is suggested, but for now she will lay down cover fire.

Turn in line: Brianna

Rukhnis checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.

Brianna pulls her axe from her belt. "What do you mean, take them where? Take them where the shavs aren't. Go!" The Halfshav lady grabs Colette from Rysen and deposits her by Rukhnis.

Turn in line: Mikani

Brianna checked perception + war at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.

Mikani is fighting her instincts. She wants to run down and help. Yet she doesn't. Instead she readies her axes for it they come closer. Her dark eyes flash to Ian.

Turn in line: Anisha

Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 45, rolling 1 higher.

Arcadia is unconscious but not dead or in anyway harmed. In fact, she's oddly well intact. Once shevs deposited on the ground like a sack of potatoes she starts to cough and begins to come too. She rolls onto her side and coughs, "The shaman..."

Arcadia checked perception + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 10 lower.

The Shaman and her last allies take up cover positions near the far end of the pass, while the thundering horde is coming closer - close enough that banners in black and red with a stylized, primite White Raven can be seen upon them. There must be literal hundreds of them - but as they approach the pass, they are slowing down - and that is perhaps the one saving grace. No more than a dozen or so can enter the pass at once. Ian does note that there's a side-passage in the pass - a sharp turn. Quick headmath says it would lead them out at a riverpath about a hundred yards to the north, which presumably feeds the creek he saw back when they were scouting more broadly. A second saving grace is that this is, from the way the Abandoned are behaving, the biggest, if not the only pass through these mountains for miles and miles.

Turn in line: Rysen

"There," shouts Rysen to Rukhnis, pointing to the narrow side passage in the pass. "Head east, towards Stormwall. We'll lose them if we can. Cady - if you're well, take the lead, and find a place where we might be able to shake pursuers. A river maybe." After Brianna takes Colette from him, his gaze passes wildly to Mikani, and then his fingers brush against the marking on his left forearm beneath his leather bracer.

A strange look of serenity and focus passes over Rysen's face, and he swings himself into Bandit's saddle. He draws his rubicund throwing axe from his bag, and tosses it into the air causing it to spin rapidly before catching it again. Bandit trots from side to side, and snorts in anticipation of battle. "I'll take rear guard," says Rysen watching the horde. Glancing over his shoulder, Rysen's stormy eyes meet the electric blue of Ian. Then to the Marquessa of Bonespire, Rysen calls, "Cady - go!" With a call to Bandit, Rysen rides as quickly as possible to take up a defensive position in the pass near the side passage, where he can get as much cover as possible from missle weapons, and provide a chance for the party to move down toward the creek.

Turn in line: Ian

Rysen gets Dirge Singer - Throwing Axe from a reinforced canvas shoulder bag with drawstring cords.

Rysen wields Dirge Singer - Throwing Axe.

Ian looks like he's about to say something, but whatever it is, Rysen anticipates him by pointing out the pass he spotted. There remains nothing for him to do, then, but to mount his horse (something that he does none too gracefully). "There's a bend in the pass that'll keep us safe from archer fire, but that also won't give you much to shoot at." He speaks with a startling lack of urgency, considering the situation, but the way his eyes are locked on his wife's is all that's needed to telegraph the seriousness of the situation. "You should go with them. We'll fall back behind you. Take care of Lady Mikani."

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia climbs to her feet and begins to nod at Rysen's words until she notice him touch his arm and she warns him before she moves away, "If I catch you touching it again, I will cut your arm off, Idiot." She then begins to jog down the path that was pointed out to her until she finds a narrowed spot and an advantageous spot and readies her bow.

Arcadia wields a diamondplate longbow with wilds and mammoth designs.

When Rysen's answering shout comes back to Rukhnis she simply gives him a small nod, her eyes having evidently marked out that same distant pass, though her mouth tightens just a moment afterward as she watches the Crovane lord. But then she slants a querying look over at Ian and, seeming to observe his agreement with the plan, gives a small nod towards Colette's limp form and only asks, "Can somebody put her over Grit's back? He can carry two well enough, and will get us there as safely as may be." Grit is, apparently, the name of her horse, which she seems to think everyone must know already.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Turn in line: Zoey

After that moment of eye contact with Ian, Zoey nods. When her husband says to get belowdecks, so goes belowdecks. "Come on, Mika," she says to Mikani before putting away her bow and spurring on her horse to where she was instructed to go.

Turn in line: Brianna

"Gods damn you, Rysen Crovane," Brianna swears, mounting her horse to follow him into the pass. She dismounts, spotting a narrow passageway that looks like it could connect to the escape route. She sends her horse on its way -- the well-trained animal will go back to the familiar people -- and prepares herself for battle.

Turn in line: Mikani

Mikani shakes her head as she watches Rysen touch his mark. "No ... no ... no ..." She shouts, though not in time. "You don't need it Rysen." She calls out as she gets moved along to Cookie, her own horse, and she mounts in the quickest way she is able to. "He's not safe." Mikani says more to herself as she rides off with Zoey.

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 15 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 50, rolling 26 lower.

3 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

15 inflicted and Brianna is unharmed.

Rysen and Brianna have taken up point positions, with Arcadia just behind, her bow at the ready, and the rest of the group choosing to slip into the narrow passage Ian found. So far, so good - There's a couple of calls from the Abandoned, and a scattering of arrows come from the horse-archers of the White Raven Warband. Their cawing still resounding, though a group of men and women on foot are forming a forward point - a line, two or three wide, armed with swords and axes, painted with white streaks and blood across their faces and bare bodies, howling as they move in what looks, in the shadows of the pass, slightly jittery and unnatural jerking patterns, like seeing them is impossible without blinking, and in the moment you take your eyes of them, they move just a little too far.

The good news is, they're now within range of arrows and throwing weapons.

The bad news are, there's a lot of them. And arrows are starting to whizz down, a couple coming dangerously close to Brianna and Rysen, though Arcadia is, for the moment, quite snug and safe.

Bandit is making a worried whicker, though, as he has to prance aside from an arrow landing squarely between his front hooves.

Turn in line: Rysen

If Rysen hears Arcadia's warning when he touches his arm, he doesn't acknowledge it. Riding swiftly, Rysen glances over to see Brianna, a grim smile touches his face, and he says something to her in Northlands Shav in response to her remark concerning his favor with the gods.

Rysen says in Northlands shav, "They already have. Stay with me, Bri. If we return to the Wheel today, let us show them the valor of Crovane and Halfshav."

When Rysen sees Brianna dismounting, he frowns, but as Mikani rides past him, and he sees Rukhnis, Colette and the steadfast Grit being covered by Zoey, he keeps close to them, covering their rear beside Ian, as they stay ahead of the approaching horde.

Turn in line: Ian

We should stay together," Ian suggests to Brianna; he has enough respect for her judgement that he's not going to insist. His horse clearly has the tactical sense to know that this pass is the best place for her, given her desire to not be shot at, but not enough tactical sense to realize that like it or not, she's about to be part of the rearguard, and she's going to have way less say about this fact than she thinks she is. As such, she takes him more swiftly than he's completely comfortable with to where he wants to go.

She is probably pretty surprised by the force with which he reins her in, stopping her from charging right on after the fleeing group; they're going to hang back and make sure their people get away safe. He's too focused on the matter at hand (and too bad at interpreting social cues) to know what's going on with Rysen, and thus no stern lectures about messing around with things you don't understand in the middle of an emergency situation ensue. Let's all be grateful for that.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Zoey checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Rukhnis checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.

Zoey checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.

Mikani checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

Arcadia is safe and snug for the moment. Her eyes roam over the group of incoming Shavs for any key figures, but they move too fast. Her gaze is narrowed and she waits until they hit her part of the pass.

Zoey and Mikani notice that there's a worn path here where people have been travelling. Like, routinely. It diverts and divots slightly from the path to the river though. Rukhnis spots a mostly-hidden cave-entrance, with more of the cryptic pictograms, carved into the stone.

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 27 higher.

Mikani checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 28 higher.

Rukhnis checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

Zoey checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Zoey checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.

Rukhnis hoists herself into the saddle a little more awkwardly than usual given the slightly inconvenient arrangement of a limply unconscious person draped across her horse's withers, but Grit himself doesn't appear perturbed at all, and at the light kick to his sides he breaks into a smooth motion that eats up the ground without being too careless of uneven footing. The physician herself spares only one last over-the-shoulder glance at Rysen and the rest of the remaining defenders before directing her gaze firmly forward again, the set of her mouth still taut.

As she and the others go along her dark eyes survey both the route ahead and her surroundings with acute attention, alert for threats as well as attempting to chart what might be the best route by which to escape their would-be pursuers. Cave and pictograms catch her eye, but at first glance they don't seem to mean much to her except for being a somewhat extraneous mystery in the midst of their other worries. But then something about them draws her gaze back again, and with faint frown she looks back to her companions for their probably more intelligent take. "Does that say something about.. a dead-end?" she asks dubiously.

Arcadia rapidly fires off five shoots without truly looking. Three make their mark and the Shavs tumble over and slows them down for a few moments.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Turn in line: Zoey

"Secure travel to the Compact," Zoey answers Rukhnis. "And there's a path that leads to it from near the river. Do you think they could be heading this way?"


**********************************************************************
The vines of wisteria that crown the path to the Velenosa Estate drop their leaves, golden-yellow, in the cool Autumn air. It is beneath the slow drift of those golden-yellow leaves that she is seen to walk, firelit. Servants pause in the gathering of leaves, pause and are caught off-guard, for there before them, walking serene through the grounds, is Esera Velenosa, the Archduchess of Flowers. The Archduchess Who Fell. The Archduchess Who Died. But here she is, just the same, and the story of it spreads like wildfire.
**********************************************************************


Turn in line: Brianna

"We should," Brianna agrees with Ian, "but I don't think we can." Her words have a grim finality to them. Rysen's words just get a snort and a salute with her axe.

Turn in line: Mikani

Mikani nods at Zoey's words. "Is there a way we can mark it for the others so when they catch up they can follow?" Mikani looks over at Zoey and Rukhnis. "Or do we wait here?" She asks softly wondering if they are going to be ushered along.

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 1 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 1 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 0 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 1 lower.

2 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

10 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

2 inflicted and Brianna is unharmed.

20 inflicted and Brianna is unharmed.

5 inflicted and Arcadia is unharmed.

020Brianna and Ian are finding themselves in a somewhat awkward position, though at least Ian has cover from the arrows - Brianna being mostly protected. While the forward advance has found a potential, second way out, Arcadia and Rysen find themselves somewhat exposed - especially Arcadia, as her raised spot creaks and crumbles, the stone giving way into a slide, leaving her stumbling and exposed. More archers take up positions to provide cover fire, and the first group of abandoned is coming closer, undeterred by the fall of their comrades.

The arrows are so far not finding their mark on Rysen and Brianna or Arcadia, but there are more of them, and Bandit is getting exceedingly nervous. Something is wrong.

Rysen checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 36 higher.

Turn in line: Rysen

Arcadia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 19 lower.

Rysen checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 35 higher.

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 35 higher.

With the horde now pressing on their heels, Rysen glances over his shoulder to see Rukhnis, Zoey and Mikani riding near some offshoot of the path. Turning to face the Shav'arvani, the Crovane knight stands in his stirrups, only to find Bandit panicking. Rysen slides off the saddle, and hurls his throwing axe at one of the archers closest to himself and Arcadia, splitting his head. Drawing his swords Rysen retreats towards cover, and the narrowest part of the pass, where he, Arcadia and Ian might be able to make a stand until Mikani, Zoey, Rukhnis and the unconscious Collete are out of sight.

Turn in line: Ian

Rysen puts Dirge Singer - Throwing Axe in a reinforced canvas shoulder bag with drawstring cords.

Rysen wields Moria - a rune-etched bastard sword.

After watching Rysen dismount, Ian "dismounts" as well. (He executes a controlled, sliding fall off the side of his horse, then picks himself back up.) He advances, but doesn't charge, giving Arcadia room to safely get to her feet. This puts him shoulder to shoulder with Rysen assuming he doesn't charge, and straggling behind him if he does. "We can take cover from the archers and slow their momentum if we move back."

Rysen nods to Ian.

Ian's horse is all for cover from archers and erring WAY on the side of caution goes looking for the other horses (and their riders) farther up the path.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia is firing off arrows but is rapidly running out of arrows. She mumbles "shit" and makes the foolish decision to run down and grab all the arrows she can, dodging around both Ian and Rysen, "One Sec. Cover me." As she is running and collecting she doesn't really pay attention to her feet. She springs and sees one arrow lodged in a Ahab's neck, she tries to leap over the body and her foot catches on his body and down she goes face first in the still warm blood. Oof.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

"They could well be," Rukhnis answers Zoey, turning her head to study the signs of regular passage along this route. She also fixes a suspicious gaze upon the cave, as if suspecting it of harbouring some hostile party that might leap out at in them in a moment of inattentiveness. "There have surely been many others who have come this way. Of course," she adds with a frown, "the shav'arvani will expect us to take this route. But it does not seem a good time get ourselves lost wandering less obvious paths, and they will likely be able to track us and tell which way we went in any case."

Shaking her slowly, she looks to Mikani and says, "Our own party too should be able to tell where we went. And we are still far too close." Pressing her lips together again briefly, she mutters, "And they will not break and follow us until they think we have made better progress towards escape than this." Thankfully she's still looking at Mikani as she says this, and not at Arcadia doing something incredibly reckless again.

Turn in line: Zoey

Ian -jumps, at Rysen's request. "Grab her shirt," he tells Rysen. "Drag her back. Give her a kick if she fights you. I'll cover you.

Ian -jumps, at Rysen's request. "Grab her shirt," he tells Rysen. "Drag her back. Give her a kick if she fights you. I'll cover you.

"I vote we continue where Ian said to go," says Zoey. "But wherever we go, we go together." She looks over her shoulder back the way they came, then again to Rukhnis and Mikani.

Turn in line: Brianna

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 8 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 4 higher.

24 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

66 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for moderate damage.

12 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 1 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 16 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 11 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 5 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 5 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 40, rolling 12 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 35, rolling 40 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 35, rolling 6 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(3) at difficulty 35, rolling 2 lower.

120 inflicted and Ian is harmed for serious damage.

Turn in line: Mikani

Mikani looks back at Rysen one last time before heading down the 'Compact Path'. "If Rysen gets himself killed by touching his arm ... I swear I will find a way to resurrect him to kill him again ..." She grumbles as she heads down the path with a press of her heels into Cookie's flanks.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

22 inflicted and Arcadia is unharmed.

37 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

18 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Brianna holds the line steadily, ducking her head low to avoid the arrows, and one good thing for Arcadia about being face-down is that she presents a very narrow profile to be hit. Rysen, though, is not so lucky, batting an arrow out of the air, but taking a second in the thigh. And Ian - Ian was doing just -fine-, until Bandit, that spooked horse, ran past him towards Mikani and Rukhnis and Zoey, which unbalanced him, and nearly made him fall over - and then there's that rather unfortunate arrow that managed to lodge itself just under his collarbone, slipping past armour.

And then the group are upon them! With a wordless cry, a woman with a an axe shaped like a crow's head seeks to take out Rysen's eye, but he parries at the last moment. Another, large man tries to stomp in Arcadia's skull, but she rolls away. And Ian - well. He's not going to be taken by surprise twice, deftly blocking a trio of strikes from the wild-eyed elder that's tossing axes at him.

Turn in line: Rysen

Having advanced out of his protected space to try and shield Arcadia, Ian is promptly almost trampled by a horse, and then shot by what's either a very lucky arrow, or the Robin Hood of the shav world. The arrow bites deep through his armor and into his thigh, definitely deep enough to have done some damage. "Grab her shirt," he tells Rysen. His voice is still level; for someone who just got shot, he seems oddly okay with it, although a shortness of breath does betray the pain that he's in. "Drag her back. Give her a kick if she fights you. I'll cover you." He shifts his grip on his cane and draws an alaricite blade from within it; the lambent metal sings as it comes free. He moves to do just as he promised, (hopefully) making himself too dangerous to allow any of the approaching shavs to take shots at Rysen or Arcadia while the three of them fall back together. He's not actually out to do damage so much as stop it from being done, at least right now. (Ie, I'm willing to sacrifice doing damage/killing bad guys if it lets me hold the shavs back well enough that Rysen and Arcadia get a clean getaway.)

Rysen checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.

Rysen checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 55, rolling 1 lower.

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 45, rolling 9 higher.

Mikani checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 45, rolling 8 higher.

Mikani checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher.

Zoey checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 45, rolling 15 higher.

Rukhnis checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.

Arcadia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 44, rolling 16 lower.

As arrows whiz past Rysen one finds a home in his thigh, causing the lord to grit his teeth. He nods to Ian a second time though a flash of concern touches his face when he notices the wound the Sword of Stormward's sustained.

Parrying the axe blade of the shav warrior, Rysen manages to spin and sweep her head from her shoulders with his black bastard sword. Rysen sprints towards Arcadia, his leg wobbling where the arrow's embedded. He kneels to take hold of Arcadia's shirt, and with a forceful twist of his body, and in spite of her struggling, throws her in the direction of cover and the path leading to safety.

Rukhnis checked command + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 46 higher.

Turn in line: Ian

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia grunts and struggles a moment before realizing it's Rysen saving her. She uses the force he pushes her with to propel her back up and away from the Shavs. Noting both Rysen and Ian stuck with arrows, she quickly takes aim once more to try and buy them more time in their retreats.

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 35 higher.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Rukhnis gives Zoey's words just as careful consideration as Mikani's, then nods. "Yes. I think we are going to be depending on speed rather than trying to cover our tracks, so as long as we are still heading for the pass we are still following the plan, whether we stay with the river or not." She herself doesn't seem to be thinking of a cave leading into the depths of a mountain as necessarily being the best escape route, however unpredictable it might be. Casting a glance in either direction along the track, she starts, "I only hope that--"

But whatever it is she hopes is cut off by the surprise of a panicky escaped warhorse suddenly galloping towards them, and not just any panicky escaped warhorse, but Rysen's. She hisses a curse through her teeth in Eurusi at the sight, but it turns into a sharp whistle at the end, and she fixes a keen dark gaze on the horse as it bolts their way. Making a sharp commanding gesture with one hand and then holding it out in an attempt to catch at Bandit's reins as he hopefully slows down, she nudges her own much calmer gelding in that direction while making low soothing noises.

All considerations of the best route to take are likely left to the others as she wrassles with a scared and snorty warhorse while trying not to tip the unconscious burden of Colette into the dirt.

Turn in line: Zoey

Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 29 higher.

It seems Mikani has made their decision. Zoey has just enough time to loose one arrow, dropping the man it hits, before turning to follow Mikani down her chosen path.

Turn in line: Brianna

Mikani says in Eurusi, "You know how to raise him from the dead to kill him again .... yes?"

Brianna's waraxe catches one of the charging Abandoned in the jaw, as she withdraws - then stunningly, presumably from the same archer that nearly dropped Ian - takes an arrow to the shoulder which spins her around, making her crash to the ground at Rysen's feet, unconscious.

Turn in line: Mikani

Mikani speaks to Rukhnis in Eurusi as they continue down the path. "It looks like we are going under the mountains. Should be good enough for their horses even if it did look unused the path still looked some what new. "This was made by a different group."

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 14 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 5 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 5 higher.

28 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

10 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + chain weapons(5) at difficulty 45, rolling 9 higher.

Rysen checked strength + athletics at difficulty 54, rolling 1 lower.

The situation is getting desperate, though thankfully, the group has withdrawn to the point where they've rounded the corner. Ian is adept with his blade, though, driving back and blocking an attack aimed for Arcadia, and certainly keeping the Abandoned away. Though they are falling, more are incoming, their howls echoing along the mountain walls. It was going so well, Rysen and Ian holding off, Arcadia managing to plunk down one - and then Brianna fell to their feet.

Which is, perhaps, when Rysen is distracted enough that a hooked chain sweeps around his waist, a talon-like end snagging on his leathers. And then...

And then the seven foot of Abandoned with bulging muscles and too much hair and armour that looks disturbingly like human skin cured and drawn with a White Raven, pulls on the chain - and Rysen tumbles towards him, falling atop Brianna, as more of the jerky-moving Abandoned rush towards Ian and Arcadia.

Turn in line: Rysen

Rysen checked strength + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 19 lower.

Rysen checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 12 higher.

As Brianna falls unconscious at Rysen's feet, the Crovane lord steps in front of her, sweeping his swords in a dance of thrusts and slashes at all opponents around her body - until the hooked chain wraps around his wrist. He is yanked off his feet by the giant Abandoned warrior, as he scratches at the ground trying to get back to Brianna.

As Rysen is lifted into the air by his wrist, his grey eyes lock for just a moment on Arcadia. "Run!" he roars, and whips his body around, slashing the massive warrior with his off hand arming sword. The Shav warrior lowers his head to avoid the worst of the damage, leaving a viscous bleeding wound on his face, as the Crovane lord dangles from the chain.

Turn in line: Ian

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 45, rolling 17 higher.

Brianna's on the ground at his feet, passed out. Rysen's on the ground at his feet, not passed out, but entangled. There's a giant shav with a chain, and more not-giant shavs with swords coming every minute. But even so, aside from the tension around his eyes that hints at the pain he's in putting weight on that wound, Ian seems serene as he stands over Rysen and Brianna; his sword flashes in the light in an economy of motion while he uses both the blade and the wooden 'cane' part of the cane sword to parry incoming hits. He seems to have somehow found synergy with the non-rhythm of the jerky-moving shavs, and is making himself very, very hard to get past. There's not much he can do to free Rysen, but he can buy him a few precious seconds to free himself.

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 167 higher. Arcadia rolled a critical!

Anisha GM Roll checked stamina and willpower(12) + survival(5) at difficulty 99, rolling 11 lower.

The big Abandoned bellows out an order, his words guttural. As he does, a reddish steam seems to be rising from him. Maybe it's a trick of the eye. The red of the blood? And then as he clasps that chain with both hands, Arcadia drops to a knee and fires an arrow.

An arrow that goes into the man's open mouth, up into the soft underside of his skull, through is brain, and then creates a spatter of blood and gore as it goes _entirely_ through his head. For a moment, the man looks shocked, dark crimson blood welling from the corners of his mouth, trickling...

Then he topples backwards, and rolls down the incline, is chain getting tangled in -his- body as well - and pulling Rysen into the massed crowd of Abandoned rushing towards the group.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Completely unaware of the usual sort of disastrous events proceeding on course somewhere back behind them, Rukhnis continues on towards the river with Zoey and Mikani and, now, Bandit as well, whom the Eurusi woman has somehow managed to calm against all odds and whose reins are now wound loosely through her fingers. Whatever Mikani said to her in Eurusi she only grunts quietly to in response as she continues to keep a wary eye on their surroundings now that she doesn't have to horse-wrangle any longer.

Turn in line: Zoey

Zoey likewise continues down the path to the river, though every few steps she glances back to see whom if anyone, might be following.

Turn in line: Brianna

Mikani doesn't say anything more and just continues down to the river. That's all she had to do. Get to the river. Everything would be okay when they got to the river. Or that's what she was telling herself as she continued on.

Turn in line: Mikani

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 13 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 15 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 1 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 8 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 45, rolling 4 higher.

30 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

16 inflicted and Arcadia is unharmed.

8 inflicted and Arcadia is unharmed.

Though Rysen has fallen into the nest of vipers - or, white crows, one supposes - he's still not down. But more of the fighters are swarming around the corner and quickly closing in - but for now, Ian is holding them at bay, and what stabs do make it past his double-whirlwind of steel and wood can hardly do more than poke ineffectually against them, easily slammed away. The death of their leader(?) seems to enrage the White Crow Warband, and more anguished and angry howls rise up, as another set joins the group. The good news is that they'll soon struggle to get more into the narrow gap. The bad news is that there seems to be an endless horde, and the distance between Ian and Brianna is slowly growing as he's pushed back, inch by bloody inch.

Turn in line: Rysen

Mikani checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 7 higher.

Mikani checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Rysen checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 14 higher.

Rysen checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 94 higher. Rysen rolled a critical!

With the blood of the giant Abandoned splattering on Rysen's face after Arcadia's arrow pierces through the soft tissues of his mouth, the knight falls amid the Abandoned horde. Flat on his back he quickly scrambles to his feet, smashing his black alaracite sword against the chain that held him fast. As it shatters, he rushes forward, slice open the abdomen of a warrior in front him, moving towards Ian and Arcadia.

As one of the horde closes to stab him with a spear, he cleaves it in two, along with the man's sternum. Stepping sideways, and fighting with explosive, well timed movements, Rysen manages to bring down three more warriors. Dropping his weight, the knight sinks in his stance and slashes through the leg of another abandoned, before weaving his blades to decapitate another two, leaving an ever increasing swath of bodies as he tries to cut his way to Ian and Arcadia.

Turn in line: Ian

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 4 higher.

Once Rysen's on his feet again, Ian abruptly, and with no warning, changes tactics -- and that's probably why he's as successful as he is when he proves that the only reason he wasn't hurting many people was because he didn't want to. Now he pivots on a dime from defense to offense, using the non-rhythm that he seems to have intuited against the shavs as he cuts his way to Brianna while he callously opens someone up at the midsection, reverses and bashes someone else in the face with the hilt of his sword, taking the people between himself and the Halfshav lady apart with callous ease -- he's fighting not to kill, but just to eliminate obstacles as fast as humanly possible. Obstacles that are people. His bright blue eyes remain calm while he grabs the back of Brianna's armor and tries to drag her back, fighting against his own weakness and injury.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 10 higher.

Arcadia gives a shout if surprise when Rysen is dragged into the fray. She shouts "I'm going to kick you in the nuts if you die Rysen Crovane!" She checks to make sure Ian isn't being stabbed first before she aims an arrow into a dirty old Shav who's aiming a sword for Rysen's face.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Turn in line: Zoey

Turn in line: Brianna

Turn in line: Mikani

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.

57 inflicted and Arcadia is harmed for serious damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 47 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 62 higher.

109 inflicted and Ian is harmed for serious damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 53 higher.

53 inflicted and Arcadia is harmed for moderate damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

39 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 40 higher.

40 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.

82 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for serious damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

68 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for serious damage.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

30 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

There's good news and bad news. The good news is that with Rysen acting as a whirlwind of carnage amongst the midst of the Abandoned, he's distracting a fair amount of them, even as blood soaks the ground and seeps into his boots. Only a couple more slip past him, attempting to drive back Arcadia and Ian, to claim Brianna for their own. But without Ian's expect bladework, the spears and axes and blades of the White Raven peck at them like a murder of ravens picking at a carcass.

Turn in line: Rysen

Rysen checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 18 higher.

As the horde swarms him, several weapons pierce Rysen's body. Arcadia's arrows slays an axeman that would have killed him. He head butts the closest warrior to him, creating enough space to slash through her arm. With a single minded focus, and dripping with gore, Rysen cleaves through three more of the Abandoned horde as he nearly reaches Brianna and Ian.

"Grab Lady Halfshav." Ian snaps the order out at Arcadia with enough intensity and pain in his normally detached voice to suggest how dire the situation is. He's really bleeding, now, from cuts to his midsection and legs. A cut on his face oozes blood in ghoulish fashion. He switches from offense back to defense, hopefully in such a way as to cover Rysen as well. Every motion of his left arm has got to be agony, but he keeps fighting.

Turn in line: Ian

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 17 higher.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia manages to bring one Shav with an axe down before she herself is caught with a sharp blade to her side. She gasps in pain and has yet another slash to her shoulder before she can move. A ranged weapon is no good here, so she has to retreat. She steps back but hears Ian, and begins to duck and dodge around Shavs to reach Brianna.

Arcadia checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 60, rolling 25 lower.

Turn in line: Rukhnis

Turn in line: Zoey

Turn in line: Brianna

Turn in line: Anisha

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 6 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 5 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 3 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 8 higher.

16 inflicted and Arcadia is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 35 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 16 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 18 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 0 higher.

51 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 22 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 3 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 2 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 31 higher.

55 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 6 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 8 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 1 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 45 higher.

76 inflicted and Rysen is unharmed.

Try as she might, Arcadia just can't get past the body-horde of Abandoned blocking the path, though she's at the very least still under Ian's protective aura. And, though he is battered, Rysen is slowly making his way through the horde towards the other side of Bianca's fallen body.

Turn in line: Rysen

Anisha GM Roll checked str(5) + athletics(4) at difficulty 1, rolling 31 higher.

Rysen checked strength + athletics at difficulty 32, rolling 100 higher. Rysen rolled a critical!

Rysen reaches Brianna and Ian. He's breathing heavily and he cannot easily lift his arms, but he grabs the nearest Shav'arvani warrior who dared to try and drag away Brianna, and snaps his neck. Kneeling, the Crovane swordsman, takes Brianna onto his shoulders, as Ian fights off the horde all around him. His eyes rise to Arcadia, and he grits his teeth and forces his body up, blood pouring from the arrow in his leg. With labored steps, he marches towards the path leading to the creek carrying the Halfshav warrior.

Ian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 16 higher.

Turn in line: Ian

Once Rysen gets Brianna and gets to him, Ian starts to withdraw in a fighting retreat, pace by pace while blood flows from the injury in his face, making his serene blue eyes look even less human. Still he makes himself, one man, very difficult to get past as they slowly withdraw.

Turn in line: Arcadia

Arcadia is beginning to panic. She's bleeding and there's no way she can get through to either men or aid with her bow. She is definitely panicking. She bangs her hands against her sides and mutters "Think stupid, think!" Her hand hits against the stone and she stops. Her eyes go wide with a sudden relief. Scrambling, she takes the stone from her pocket, looks at it and takes a deep breath. She holds it above her head and shouts. "Rysen! Ian! Follow me." Following some weird instinct she suddenly darts to the left and begins to run back down a path, ducking and dodging Shavs as she can praying they'll follow her and not think she's suddenly gone insane.

Turn in line: Zoey

Turn in line: Anisha

Turn in line: Rysen

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 6 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 27 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 1 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 1 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 7 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 2 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 15 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 4 lower.

52 inflicted and Ian is unharmed.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 40 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 16 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 19 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 17 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 1 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 4 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 7 lower.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 7 higher.

Anisha GM Roll checked dex(4) + melee(4) at difficulty 40, rolling 8 higher.

111 inflicted and Rysen is harmed for serious damage.

Rysen checked stamina, willpower + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 34 higher.

Rysen remains capable of fighting.

020Arcadia has it, really - running is the wise move. And in fairness, they are all, in their way, trying to run. It's just that there's a hideous amount of Shav'arvani with sharp implements in the way, and now they're focusing on just two people. Ian is doing his level best, Rysen is managing to push through the last of the Shav'arvani... And is free to, if not run, then hobble his way with Brianna on his back, bleeding from dozens of gashes, feeling his body aching as Ian, that champion, strives to keep him safe.

Rysen drags his bleeding body as quickly after Arcadia as he can manage. Brianna is over his shoulders, but the pursuing Shav'arvani are swarming all around him. He reaches into his sword belt and removes the black alaracite blade, and screams, "Cady! Get this Laric!" He tosses it in a low arc, hilt-first to Arcadia, before drawing his second blade, and turning to stand beside Ian, with his right hand, still clinging to Brianna, whose body he supports. Swaying on his feet with loss of blood, Rysen slashes at the swarming Abandoned with expert technique, but with failing strength and vigor.

Rysen wields a rubicund arming sword with a design of flickering flames.

As the blade is handed off, Ian looks at Rysen for a moment. He's barely on his feet. Rysen's barely on his feet. But it doesn't show on his expression, the writing that he's got to see on the wall. "Well," he says after a moment, in his uninflected voice. "Let's make our ancestors jealous." Then he wipes the blood from his eyes and brings his sword around, ready to fight.

Arcadia sheathes the sword in her belt for now. There's just enough distance to still send off some arrows. She shouts to the two men, "We're almost there. Through the cave and we'll be safe. Just hang in there a little longer." Her shoulder aches from the slash and her breathing is not so effortless and before, but still she sends arrows into the crowd of Shavs before the swords begin to clash.

Arcadia realises, with her heart sinking in the chest, what Ian and Rysen have realised as well. Cady can get away, but not with the limping Kennex, and not with Rysen dead on his feet and holding onto the unconscious Brianna. The two begin cutting down Shav'arvani, and Arcadia fires off arrows, taking down men and women, until her quiver is empty. She has her mission from Rysen. She has the black alaricite blade. And with the amount of corpses beginning to build up, the sunlight is beginning to get blotted out by the cave entrance. Cady can run. She has her mission. And while the trio at the entrance can't outrun the Shav'arvani, their lives will be purchased dearly. The way they're going, the river that the others slipped away to - which Cady has a gut feeling she'll find - might just run red.

Turn in line: Ian

Turn in line: Arcadia

Turn in line: Zoey

Turn in line: Anisha

Turn in line: Rysen



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