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A favor for a favor. [Scars]

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Paid in Blood

Postby Noven on January 24th, 2015, 11:04 am

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Winter, Day 84, 514AV

"I think someone wants to play tough."
"Oh, does he now?"

Whump.

Noven wheezed as all the air suddenly rushed out of his lungs and a fresh wave of pain erupted where fist met stomach. Gods above, that one had hurt. The goons were a thick pair, but what they lacked in brains they made up plenty in brawn. Still, Nov kept up the act, coughing once and letting himself hang from the chains around his wrists for a bit before lifting his head once more, expression entirely nonplussed.

"So I've got a serious question for you boy," the first thug sneered. His compatriot chuckled through several gold teeth, meaty hands draped over twin blades. "Is Wolf cunny really so good that it's worth all of this? Or were ya just born daft to begin with."

Beneath a short fall of damp, dark hair, the cook grinned. Oh, if only these two giant vagiks knew.

In the span of only half a day or so, Nov had learned more than he ever thought he would upon agreeing to Bitzer's plan. Turned out the Scars--and Wolf Girl most of all--were in far more danger than they'd anticipated. Repercussions for their bold actions had been expected, but this...this was a sort of determination and organization Noven rarely saw from the gangs of Sunberth. Instead of wasting their time and resources fighting one another, several, smaller gangs had somehow banded together in a sort of ham-handed but still dangerous counterattack against Scar efforts.

Judging from the brash comments Nov's interrogators had been tossing back and forth, their efforts centered largely around Bitzer herself. The disdain and eagerness to cause her maximum pain was palpable even from a distance. Usually, he took little stock in the way mobsters boasted. Everything from the number of pints they drank to the people they killed was a pissing contest. But these goons...they were too confident. And too successful at that in what they'd done thus far. Someone stronger and smarter was helping them. But who?

The cook heard about Bitzer's wolf secondhand. It seemed like his captors' cocksure gabbling knew no end and, under normal circumstances, this would have been considered a plus. But even so, he wished the news weren't true...that wolf may as well been human to his mistress. Nov couldn't imagine it was good for morale. And if they'd managed to capture the canine, then it could only mean their plan to infiltrate the Quay had partially succeeded. Were his fellow scars able to fend them off? Did they knew this was only the beginning, a poke and prod to see what they were made of? A small hoard of expendable thugs sent in to die under the guise of stealth and strategy.

Noven bit back an especially toxic curse and forced himself to remain calm. It chafed something nasty, knowing all of this and being unable to do anything about it. He was stuck here. Chained to a grimy wall with two goons who'd do better as fodder for pigs than company. And not to mention his symptoms...if they kept him here for more than a day....

"Best in the world, nothing else like it," was his flippant response. It earned him another blow to the abdomen, but it was worth seeing the momentary look of serious consideration on both of their faces.

The cook sincerely hoped they'd try and go petch some wolves. Not one, but two bleeding, cockless goons would have been beyond priceless.

Only a little more...He told himself, trying to remember where air went in and how it was supposed to come back out. Just have to hang in a little longer until they get here... Or, rather, if they got here. The building was decently manned and fortified from what he'd been able to tell whilst dragged feet first within. The Bear Claws, these particular sods had decided to call themselves. Big and stupid but not entirely without sense. Their two story lair was surrounded by a makeshift fence of heavy crates and both the entrance and exit were guarded by two men each. The cook had hoped these Claws would let slip some mention of Mr. Silver, but to his disappointment all they talked about was petching this and killing that. An apt enough name he gave them that much.

This wouldn't be able to go on much longer. He wouldn't be able to go on much longer. Either the Scars came in soon to bust him free or he was done for, if not from whatever these petchers had in mind then from the inevitable symptoms of his thrice damned curse. Should he live through the night, Nov swore to himself to milk Bitzer of every skill and resource she had left to find that Daggerhand boss for him.

C'mon, guys...he slurred in his own mind, staring at his interrogators through one and a half eyes. The right had swelled to the size of an egg after a well aimed punch. Any tick now...


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Paid in Blood

Postby Fallon on January 25th, 2015, 8:16 pm

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Shadow, that was what Fallon had become one with - metaphorically at least. Her world had become shaded, yet spiked with colour and light - the emotions turbulent and running rampant, lost in control and slipping from her grasp. But she could not shout, not truly at least - the urge to do so had been ripped from her, no strength to suck in the air and let out that trade mark war howl. A wolf that had lost its bark. She had forced her hand onto the hilt of the tulwar, keeping it there despite the trembling of the limb. That resistance to want to draw naturally, the stench of blood and ice upon her senses. Everything, as far as Fallon was concerned, had gone to Hai. There was death, there was pain and torment, there was the rough nights in the cold and forcing the body out of its comforted routine in the mad run for survival. And with it, everything seemed that bit harder, that bit darker. Long gone was the spark of opportunity, here the soul lay bare - and with it only darkness flowed and ebbed. All was not lost however, and it was on this night that she would claw back what small, minor victories she could gather. A blaze of blood and glory, the final flicker of redemption in the light of those she had failed.

Exhaling, Fallon peered from the alleyway, eyes tracing the low light and shapes. They had all stalked, and in response they were brought to the underbelly of the city - through the grime and into the darkness. She shrugged the black cloak around her, the flicker back and forth as she took it in - numbers, people. It was guarded, she could see that, the seemingly inconspicuous house front a bit too well protected for her liking. The thug forms, the tell tale masks providing that link to the events, and the few windows that did exist were boarded up - tight and secure. No one was getting in on their watch, and for that matter it seemed no one was getting out either.

Pulling back into the shadow of the alleyway she pace back, the self flagellation to what she had agreed to leading her to this. It was her own fault, her own stupidity that brought her here, but now she was going to attempt to correct it. But first, she had to get in there. The first thought would be to let instinct guide her - skittish as it was at present - charge blindly into the fire, blades drawn and demanding blood. The other was the subtle, magic, the ripping and strangulation - but what wrath would that bring?

Fallon pulled away, slipping back, her shoulders hunched in, her head low as she circled round the building, stopping and pulling back as the angered alley cat hissed and bounded away. Taking it from a different angle she looked, the worn. Worn wood of the building, the shutters closed up tight - the tell tale foot prints in the slush of snow. She froze then, halting in her peering as she faint glimmer of the lantern light caught her attention. Sharply, she pulled back into the alleyway, back against the wall, the faint swinging of the lantern and the clunk of metal as the pair of patrolling thugs passed, loudly talking to the other, "-So, gonna make him squeal and give tonight you reckon?"
"Nah, too stupid, doesn't seem to know a good offer when hits 'im."
"Stupid bastard."
"Got that right, gonna be more stupid with what's planned later."
"What you mea-"
They circled the other corner and dipped out of ear shot.

Breathing, Fallon pressed off once more. Steps quicker as she went round the back, eyes searching for a point to exploit. Another blocked entrance lead her back round to the front once more and hovering within the shadows from the first alleyway. It was, she realised as she stared, an awkward position - she could not exactly walk straight up and demand entrance, could she? She needed a plan. Back pressed against the wall, she watched the shapes shift in the gloom once more - the thugs at the front snapping to attention, "Oi! Who goes there?"
"Keep your voice down now lads,"
came the voice back, the shape peeling out from the street and making its approach.
"Ah, it's you," They seemed to calm at that, one of their hands knocking on the door loudly, "Gonna come with a change soon right? Petching freezing my balls off out here." The door slotted open, "Waiting inside. Go on."
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Fallon is a Master of Intimidation, "At this level, a Master intimidator often unconsciously intimidates their target unless the intimidator monitors their stance, tone, and actions to prevent this. Master intimidators will nearly always have a reputation that precedes them unless they have taken special care to prevent it."
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Paid in Blood

Postby Pulren Marsh on January 26th, 2015, 9:52 am

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There was no question whether Pulren would be assisting in the release of a brother in arms. While he and Noven had not fully bonded on Sahova, the time spent was enough for the Zeltivan to consider him a comrade in arms. When he knew that Fallon would be heading up a rescue, he put his tines in first. He did find relief in knowing that the spider would be accompanying them. She was lethal in darkness and would no doubt be an asset to his leader. Or former leader. Friend for sure, at least. Still being fresh from the battle at the Quay, he certainly held an advantage there as well, armed and armored as he was. The trio had set out and there would be no returning without their own.

While his own stealth was inferior to that of his compatriots, Pulren managed to avoid giving away the cover of the ladies as they found the place where Noven was being held. On approach, he had let Fallon know that he would be preparing a diversion so that they could enter without a frontal assault. The crew at the base was Sunberthian stock for sure. They were large, meaty and stupid. Deadly in many ways and marks aplenty. He would need something suitable to draw the fire toward him and away from them, but he also didn't need to resort to violence. Not so early in the evening anyway. He suspected there would be plenty of time for that eventually.

It had been a quick backtrack to the Disappearing Drunk for a purchase of two barrels of ale and the negotiation of a whore's long cloak. Pulren eyed it due to the extra ties it had in the front. It concealed her goods and it would conceal his as well, sliding it over his studded armor and kukri. He tried to merely rent a wheelbarrow from Red the Elder but the old bastard would have nothing of it, making Pulren buy it outright. Ten golden mizas and a dirty sneer later and Pulren found himself cloaked, his shield resting under the two barrels in the wheelbarrow. The trident was lying in the pushcart as well, its nondescript wooden handle making it appear as a rake or pitchfork, the handy farming item turned weapon that it was. He was soon turning the corner and glancing at the darkness briefly where his friends had been prior.

He had placed one barrel securely in the base of the cart to hide his weapons but the second barrel wobbled precariously at the front of the cart, making the whole thing shake at every bump. His presence brought the attention of those who were coming from the building, weapons handy. Seeing a nice bump in the cobble, Pulren pushed the wheelbarrow up when he hit it, causing the barrel to fall out with a thud and roll out before him. Placing the cart down and wiping his forehead, he started with the acting. He had been doing it for two seasons, so now would be the grand finale for Palaren Marshall.

"Well, that about tears it.Last time I buy Sunberth's finest from some daft old geezer!" Putting on his best snob face, he brushed his hands as the two meat beasts sauntered up to him, one placing a boot up on the fallen cask. "Ah, thank you friends. I appreciate your stopping the breakage there. No one likes a waste of ale, am I right?" He cackled loudly, hoping to draw more guards to his location. "Well, that one is petched. Want to help me drain it?" The beasts looked like they probably would try to bully him out of the barrel. He didn't see reinforcements yet, either. Frankly, he didn't care. If he could keep the attention on himself and save Noven from a few punches and his friends from open conflict, so be it.
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Paid in Blood

Postby Shai on January 27th, 2015, 7:25 pm

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Shai slid along the roof. Unencumbered by her cloak and also unshielded from the chill. She had been forced to sheathe all of her weaponry on her body instead of in pockets. It had restrictions, but the cloak hindered flexibility and she would need that for her plans tonight. Beside the restrictions put more pressure on her, made her think more critical, made her work harder.

Fallon was on the left, on the street. To the widow’s eyes, the woman had lost her hope and wanted to run. It was a feeling she knew well, it raised her respect for the ex-Scar leader. At first, there was space. A hundred leagues of space, intangible and suffocating. When the fear of that emotional void became less crippling, actions would guide her. Actions, busy work, anything. In this case, Fallon was running and Shai had taken the same path. Times changed.

She left a sooty dark trail in the late night frost. A trick had been employed to hide her alabaster skin, dead coals and soot had been rubbed along her flesh darkening her considerably. There was nothing to be done for the inhuman eyes, nor would she choose to.

The thief crept over the side of the building towards the nearest shuttered window. From above she settled her ear against the sealed threshold. Patience brought little, the few sounds she heard were muffled beyond recognition. More than shutters had ever provided in her experience. Gently she pulled at the slatted wood and found almost no leeway, but enough to spy the wood; they had been boarded from the inside.

Drawing back, the spider route of choice blocked she made for the fore of the building. Where some fool was walking down the road with a hand wagon of barrels. No one in Sunberth lacked such basic survival instincts to notice this alleyway was too dangerous no matter how much of a short cut. That meant the fool was theirs and the ignorance intentional. Ren was providing a distraction. As the men were drawn from their posts, the spider slunk down the wall.

Hopping the last few feet she landed in a crouch beside the door. The handle moved just fine but to the Spider’s dismay the door, like the windows, had no give. Through the cracks in the poorly fit frame she could see no boards, so her guess was a chair. Shai could still open the door, but it would be obvious to anyone who turned around and it would leave Ren with the thugs, alone. Neither of these things were particularly acceptable.

Letting Ren stay with the toughs would only create the same problem they were now remedying. Shai spun on her heels, her hands gripped the broken and rounded cobbles. There was really only one solution.

The spider pushed off, keeping her body low. Her hair, severely bound in a tight bun, made no noise. The night leather protecting her legs never met at her thighs. Her steps were cushioned by the balls of feet. All of these things could be learned early by a young sneak, what made her exceptional was her practice. Shai moved quickly in her silence. There was no maintaining the stealth, nor was that the goal. Her stance slowly straightened and she intentionally pressed her right heel down against a stone, triggering the blade release in the heel of her boot. The snick gave her away. The man she'd picked to take out first, was directly in front of her and the largest impediment between her and Pulren. Racking her claws along the thug’s calf, she forced him to turn and stumble. As she drew up, Shai pivoted on her left foot and used the momentum of her swing to plant the heel of her boot in the man’s face. Her momentum ended with thud like a shattering melon.

Jerking her body she drew back her foot and planted it in a wide stance. Surprise was done for.
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Paid in Blood

Postby Noven on February 1st, 2015, 8:02 am

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A loud thud resounded up above them. It bounced off alleyway walls and cobbled stone with a telltale smack, the racket taking a while to cease as whatever caused it continued to roll about the gruond.

Wood. And rounded. Something large and heavy, most likely a cask or barrel of some kind.

Swollen as his eye was, Nov's ears were still in excellent condition. His two interrogators snapped their heads toward the source of the sound before giving each other questioning looks. Neither had reason to suspect anything more than a accidental mishap. Poor sods, he almost felt bad for them.

Almost.

They were about to commence whatever new round of torture they had in mind when voices could be heard following the thud. Voices of their comrades, who Noven knew had just changed shifts and were probably already investigating the disturbance. His heart began beating madly against his ribs. It had to be them...no regular civilian would be mad or daft enough to draw attention on gang turf...

"Oy, what d'you think that was?"

The second goon shrugged. "Probably nothin'."

No sooner had he said that than a scrawny looking lad of no more than fourteen or so years storm down the stairs. He popped into view of the small, grated window on the basement door, his wide eyes filled to the brim with exciting news.

"You've got to come up and see this! Some wealthy prat has got a whole wagon full of Sunberth's finest." The boy had both hands clutched around the iron bars, craning his neck to deliver the information. For a moment, Nov felt a twinge of uncertainty. He wasn't particularly fond of hurting the very sort of people he worked everyday to help feed and house. But loyalties were a tricky and often sticky thing, and he wasn't keen on finding out just how loyal this lad was to his foster family of Claws.

His guards exchanged one last set of looks before striding to the door, greedy leers on both of their faces. Nov hoped they had forgotten about him. Maybe even, if Ovek could spare even just a shred of luck, leave the door open behind them. But once again fortune decided not to favor the cook. There was a sharp click of the lock and then all three Claws ascended out of view.

Cursing out loud, Nov renewed his desperate efforts to find someway out. There was no telling how long his captors would be. Which meant the time to figure out an escape route was now.

He'd already tried the obvious. The chains and manacles around his wrists were too strong to remove with brute strength. For some reason, they had decided against chaining down his legs, though Noven suspected in the long run it was less in his favor than one would initially assume. His interrogators had claimed they liked to be creative, and that they knew all of the best methods for preventing escapes. The cook then quipped that if they wanted to cut his legs off they should just get it over with, but beneath all of his bravado, he wasn't entirely sure if they weren't planning to do just that. The idea seemed ham handed enough for the likes of them.

Using the only advantage he had, Nov tried to move his feet about, swiping them left and right to sweep aside all of the damp, pungent straw littered across the ground. Nothing.

Biting back another curse of frustration, he looked up at where the chains connected to the wall. There was only one nail keeping each chain pinned to stone...perhaps if he could somehow work them loose, he might actually have a shot at making it out of here with both legs in tact. Noven pulled himself up to inspect one of the nails up close. What could he use to pry it loose? His hand came up at a funny angle and his fingers couldn't get a good grip. Furrowing his brow in consternation, he wracked his brains furiously for some kind of tool he could use. His Tamos were out of reach, stored in a locked chest across on the other side of the basement. They had let him keep his clothes, but nothing Nov wore contained any sort of adornments, none except for his---

He looked down at his belt. Heart beating ever faster, he lowered one hand to grab for the buckle. He could almost touch it, so close, just another inch or so...

Petching hell. The chain didn't reach far enough. Scowling in annoyance, the cook looked around and immediately began scooping straw towards him. Perhaps if he made a big enough pile, it might give him the tiny bit of extra leverage he needed. With increasing urgency, he swept his foot back and forth, herding all the nearby straw within his vicinity. He was so lost in the task that he almost didn't realize he'd swept something other than straw into his pungent little pile.

Nov took a closer look and grimaced. A severed hand...that explained the smell. He stared at it a tick longer before resolutely tucking it deeper into the pile. If it could withstand his weight for a short amount of time without falling apart, then it was of definite use.

With his makeshift cushion composed of things the cook would rather not think about, he pulled himself up as high as he could and reached for the buckle of his belt. It took several, painful chimes before Nov was able to undo the clasp and yank the accessory free. But there was no time to celebrate once he'd achieved that step, because the hard part had only just begun. He managed to get his fingers around the buckle end and raise it to his right manacle, using the small prong in the middle to fit into the groove of the crude nail and slowly, ever so slowly, begin turning it loose.

For a good while, Nov was afraid he'd been turning it the wrong way. It was hard enough to see out of one eye. Never mind the beatings he'd taken earlier and the intensity of the moment. But just when he considered trying the other direction the nail wobbled up and down in its hole. Muttering in relief, the cook yanked out this first nail and the whole section of chains came crashing to the ground.

A few slip ups and angry swears later, he was already bringing down the other side and slipping the belt back around his waist. There was no solution yet for the manacles and chains still attached to his wrists, nor was there any way to open the chest and retrieve his Tamos.

But he was ready nonetheless for his two captors to come back, a length of chain held between both hands.


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Paid in Blood

Postby Fallon on February 1st, 2015, 5:02 pm

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Fallon held back a curse when the cart appeared, the clanking and cluttering that came with it as Pulren pushed it along without a thought. She grimaced, gauntlet covered hand raising to her face, before she pressed it into her palm. If it did anything to draw attention to him, the eyes seemingly swivelling and their forms lumbering forward like bees to honey. She did not need this, she wanted this to be a quick, clean operation, as little attention falling onto them as possible - but that was quickly becoming more and more unlikely as time passed on. The symestra had already moved on and out of sight as she watched this all unveil, the low rumblings of annoyance resting upon her consciousness. Pulling back into the shadows, she held herself there and took on the observation route, eyes barely catching the shadows and shapes, ears straining as the bodies swarmed. There was noise, faint she could hear from inside, the faintest groaning from the roof tops as everyone moved into position.

The spider struck at them, taking down the first in a flash. Barely a glint of reveal, the fabrics masking the sounds. Her lips peeled back, teeth forming up into a snarl. Skin prickled, the gaze darkened as the second man gave a shout - alarm of what was to come echoing out as a bellow. How many where there? How many numbers? She did not want to know, but if there was enough to restrain Noven it caused her only to worry. And it was that worry that allowed her to pull out the stops to ensure the safety of her people.

Humming, she pushed back the cloak from her right arm, letting it sweep back over her shoulder and placed a hand upon the tulwar. The left arm hug loose, allowing it to relax below the elbow, muscles twitching as she focused. Strings, the weave, the ties that held it in place, the pulling and loosening of them as the djed throbbed and fed it. The astral gave a tremble, her gaze forward as the doors were swung open.

"Oy! Seems like trouble is 'ere!" Some thug shouted as they came onto the field. Fallon inhaled, feeling the layer slip, the ethereal dislodging from the physical. The right drew the tulwar, the pointed as the thugs approached, the element of surprise shattered for them - but not so much for Fallon, the opportunity was still there for her. She stepped out as the jeers sounded out, "Come on, get that finest amiright?"

Steps, she flexed the astral fingers flexed, drawing back, as she stepped out into the open. There was no warmth upon her face as she brought the tulwar round, but there was that look to the element of surprise as one of the thugs spotted her, turning to engage but falling short as the projected had shot forward - clenching, tightening and firmly pulling him down with a yelp in response and the tulwar point of the other coming round. She held him in place there, the ethereal limb tightening and constricting around his throat. The form gave a thrash, clawing at whatever invisible force was around his neck as it squeezed ever tighter. It was in the low, growling tones than she spoke, holding her ground and letting the edge drift before his eyes, "Evening gentlemen. I believe you have something of ours. Make this easy for us now will you?"
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Fallon is a Master of Intimidation, "At this level, a Master intimidator often unconsciously intimidates their target unless the intimidator monitors their stance, tone, and actions to prevent this. Master intimidators will nearly always have a reputation that precedes them unless they have taken special care to prevent it."
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Paid in Blood

Postby Pulren Marsh on February 9th, 2015, 6:19 am

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Bitzer and her plans. Pulren had plans too, but his came on all of a sudden, they didn't sit in fruition and rumination. No, they just sort of popped in and went down as they came up. That's how he had survived as long as he had, in his opinion, so why mess with something that worked? While he had temporarily captured the audience for a bit of swill and spit, his attention turned to the flash of shade which appeared behind the men he had before him. It seemed that perhaps Saris had her own plans too, which worked perfectly fine. It was all about going with the flow and adapting to a situation. That would win the day.

So when she pushed a blade in her boot along the legs of one of his temporary drinking patrons, it made perfect sense for him to drop the wheelbarrow and crouch in surprise. Cowering worked well for a drunkard who didn't want trouble, not to mention it caused the second cask to roll loose and reveal Pulren's tools of his trade. Quickly scooping up the shield and trident, he sorted them beneath the cloak. "Oh, Hai, why must this whole city despise ale and its drinkers?" He said it in a kind of cawing drone, keeping his profile low for tactics while also attempting to stay out of the scene. The shield was in place in his left hand beneath the cloak and the trident was in hand, its glistening tines hidden beneath the cart.

Enter Bitzer and her strange aura. She was rarely one for dramatics for their own sake. It was more that her actions were always stark and grim against the backdrop of the world.This brought them to life as dramatic in their being, so different from normal actions of drudgery or bravado. Pulren did wonder if he may have had a bit too steep a draught of ale, however, as he watched her attention focus on one man and the victim grabbing and clawing at his throat. He wasn't sure what she was doing, but he certainly was curious as to how.

"Mercyyy!"

Pulren shrieked it as he tried to cower from the position of cowering. Could he become even more of a simpering waif? He would certainly do his best to try. "You should listen to these fiendish whores of the dark arts, gentlemen. They surely mean business!"

It was easy to hide behind them. It was easier still to stand behind them once their egos were satisfied and their attention turned to Saris and Bitzer. The cloak unfurled over the shoulders, the telltale stance of the Guard rising like the waves of Mathews Bay behind them. A new voice came once they were turned, the firm and prickling points of the weapon pressed firmly at the base of the neck of the uninjured man before him. "We're all whores, in some fashion. Working for coin, skirting danger at every turn. Now let's give the lady a listen."
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Paid in Blood

Postby Shai on March 4th, 2015, 5:20 pm

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Shai danced back, the smart taps of her feet against broken cobbled no longer bothered with subtlety. From her thigh she drew the war fan. Out of all of her arsenal it was the least suited to open brawling. Fallon felled a thug, and another lunged at Shai. The spider’s frame coiled and she dodged to side of the lunge. With the hard metal of the closed warn fan she grabbed the man’s near wrist and pushed him to the side. Already committed to his attack, Shai was able to unbalance him. Balance and flexibility were the most fearsome tools at the little thief’s disposal unlike Pulren’s trident or Fallon’s magic, Shai moved.

As the thug fell to the ground, his back hitting hard against the rocks and trash, the seasons-weather woman wasted no time. She brought the heel of her boot down against his face repeatedly. Blood leaked unimpressively until her sole hit for the third time. Like a rotten melon splitting, the air echoed with the pulpy splatter; his nose gave way and pushed itself into head.

Stepping back again she looked at the pack once more, only to see Pulren rise behind them. She hadn’t spared a moment to notice his ruse though obviously their foolish enemies had bought it. Threatening amusement carried through her lyrical and accented prose, “I would listen to her. She is your best chance at survival. Sunberthers love nothing more than surviving.”

This wasn’t her show to orchestrate, it was Fallon’s man who had been taken and her terms to dictate. The spider’s eyes flickered back towards Pulren, for an instant there was a look of ire. Just as quickly it was gone and the lavender gaze landed upon the remaining adversaries. “On the other hand, it suits me best if you struggle.” Her lips parted and threatened with just the tiny hinted points of the fangs she had kept hidden from her human companions. Generally Shai didn’t attempt open intimidation, but since their surprise had been lost she had to consider their commotion had been noticed inside the shack. If so, Noven could very well be in mortal peril as they postured.

Her lip quirked in a mocking smile, and the widow turned her attention to Fallon. For all the world she played the leashed killer. It was simply an act, she was looking for direction. If Fallon felt secure here with Pulren, Shai could work on the door. In the back of her mind she could almost feel the sand tipping down into an ever-heavier basin.
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Shai
Alone in the dark.
 
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Paid in Blood

Postby Noven on March 7th, 2015, 5:25 am

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He was standing there, trying to keep his hands and arms steady, waiting for what felt like a veritable eternity, when the footsteps finally returned.

There were no rowdy voices accompanying it, though. Just the occasional grunt of exertion and scrape of worn boots against stone before the telltale click of a key turned against the iron latch.

The door swung open, narrowly swiping Nov's nose clear off his face. He retreated a step or two and watched with a predatory gaze as one of the Claws entered the cell. There was a moment of stunned silence as the empty wall was noticed. Then an explosive curse before the goon made to turn and run right back out of the door.

Noven took his chance then. He leaped onto the thug's back and wrapped the iron chains of his manacles around one flabby, scruffy neck. The struggled that ensued was as chaotic as it was brutal. Nov could feel meaty hands clawing at his arms and head, as well as the chains painfully squeezing his own hands as much as they were the thug's throat. All the while the Claw bucked and careened, forcing his former captive to flail his legs wildly about in an attempt not to get crushed or backed into a wall. At some point his legs swung and hit the open cell door, slamming it shut with a definitive click.

At some point, the cook's feet were no longer touching the ground at all, both planted firmly on the goon himself. In his constant, frantic attempts to find purchase and more leverage for his chokehold, Nov caught his boot against the man's build and something clattered to the ground.

Both Claw and Scar looked down for a tick in mutual, stunned silence.

The keys.

They exploded into action at the same time. The thug bucked twice as hard now before back peddling and ramming Noven back first into the nearest wall. Gasping from the shock of impact, Nov slipped a little in his hold, allowing the Claw to break free from the constrictive chains. There were livid bruises all across his fat neck and any attempts he made to talk came out as harsh rasps and wheezes. The cook, on the other hand, was mostly fine, save for the injuries he'd been given before this mad scramble had started.

The two men dove for the keys. The Claw was closer, but Nov lighter and faster. He got there first and gave the man's already purpled face a swift, well-aimed kick. It caught the man right in the jaw and sent him careening the other direction, clutching his face in pain.

Nov took this small reprieve in having to deal with the goon to fumble with the keys in his shaking hands. Now the trick was to find the right one. Which could it be? Wait, wait, don't rush this. Start from the beginning, otherwise--

The Claw was up again and barreling down on his former captive. Nov barely had the time to scamper out of the way before a two hundred pound mass of gangster flew right past him. While the man struggled to get back onto his feet, Nov returned to finding the right keys. Petch it. He started jamming ones at random, pelting out of the way if the Claw decided to charge again and taking what few ticks he had in between each attack to try more keys.

It seemed like he was never going to find the right one. Frustration drove him almost to the point of madness before one of the keys finally clicked into place. Almost not daring to believe his luck, Nov twisted it with desperate speed and shook off one manacle after the other with palpable relief.

"You...you're not...getting away...filthy petcher..." the Claw was croaking now, having regained some use of his throat.

Noven threw the chains to one side and threw the keys to the opposite side of the room where the chest of his locked belongings lay. "It's a good thing you can't scream right now."

He advanced on the thug with ruthless efficiency. If the other Scars were truly out there, he would need to aid them as soon as he could. There would be no time for slow, sweet revenge. Instead, the cook advanced on his opponent, who was just starting to catch his breath and finding steady balance on his own two feet. He let the Claw swing first, dodging the ham handed blow with a quick dip to the left, before clenching his fist and throwing it straight for the same spot he'd kicked earlier. It landed with moderate impact, causing the thug's face to wince in pain. But Nov hadn't planned to end it there. The fist he'd used had been his left one, and he'd taken off the glove that usually hid it from view long before he began his approach. He flared his mark with a single burst of will.

The veins burned crimson red across his hands as the Claw's world erupted in mind searing agony. Nov watched as the burly man fell to the ground, trying his best to howl in pain but unable due to his damaged throat. Then the cook grabbed a fistful of his victim's hair, drawing up the head as high as he could, before slamming it back down onto the cold, stone floor. The body stopped moving.

With a hiss of effort, Noven brought himself back onto his feet and shuffled over to the locked chest. Three chimes later he had his gear back on his person, meager as that gear had been to begin with, and walked back over to the claw.

The cook withdrew one of his Tamos and kneeled. He could afford no chances with a group like this against a group like theirs. This man would have to die. If not for the things he and his kind had done to Wolf Girl's dearest companion, then for Noven's own sake, the secret of his mark equally as dangerous as that of his affiliation with the Scars.

Mouth set in a grim line of determination, he raised the dagger and sank it deep in to the man's skull. Then he yanked it back out, doing his best to avoid the spray of blood, and swiped the blade on the fallen Claw's back before return it to its sheath.

Not bothering to look back, Nov took to the stairs two and a time to join the others.


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
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Paid in Blood

Postby Fallon on March 7th, 2015, 9:52 am

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"All whores indeed," Although it was dark, Fallon gave Pulren that look. Her current victim was still struggling, the thrashing beginning to grow obviously weaker as she continued her press. Eyes gave a pinch down, watching as the others seemed to pause, the point drifting away in the dark light and settling onto the remaining men. Stunned and torn between retaliation or doing as they were told. Her head gave an incline to the door, her words speaking to the Symestra, "Get the door open."

She continued to squeeze the throat, blade tip sliding back and forth between the two still standing thugs, the small steps working round the penned in, slow and steady. It was only when at last there was that gurgling snap that her imprisoned, was dropped to the floor and the invisible tendril released him. From there the digits gave a wiggle, the small, sliding movements back and forth as it caressed the air. She focused as she split it, dividing the ethereal into two separate tendril, fingers losing their shape to be instead simply focused on simply the power that existed there. Her lips gave a pull back into a line, the slither of white flashing to them both.

"M-m-m..." one of them stumbled over a word that Fallon knew too well. She hushed them, voice a hiss as she brought the tulwar tip that bit closer. Trembling, the thug shook for a moment, the other looking equally nervous as they seemed to try and work their way around the situation. They could have shouted out, yet it seemed Sunberthian cowardice had gotten the better of them in the end. By staying silent they ensure their survival, their lives, for just a moment longer. Fallon's innards gave a tremble, a flicker of her own self loathing wrestling with her and the scene, before she pushed it down once more.

"Good... good for behaving," her voice dipped down into a whisper once more, one of the projected limbs gently stroking their faces. One of them gave a flinch, haphazardly grasping for a weapon before the tendril begun its wrapping once more, a small reminding squeeze around the throat. He halted his movements after that. It was with a deep inhale that Fallon focused herself. She could begin to feel the trembling of reluctance from within - she had to keep going, she could not abandon him. The other eyeballed her suspiciously as she held her ground, "Don't move a muscle. How are we doing? And you," she gave a small jab of the tulwar tip at his chest, a warning prod of encouragement, "Where is he in here? Gonna answer me if you know what's good for you, where is he?" Her eyes burned then, "If he's injured or dead, I'm going to unleash all Hai upon you. Keep that in mind."

He released a tremble of noise then, "Downstairs! Downstairs with the Claws in the basement. Were beating him good, real good. Bet they all heard this, bet they did! You should probably run-"
"Fat chance of that,"
Fallon responded, "I don't abandon my family, nor think about my own skin. So, that basement, how we get in there?"
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Fallon is a Master of Intimidation, "At this level, a Master intimidator often unconsciously intimidates their target unless the intimidator monitors their stance, tone, and actions to prevent this. Master intimidators will nearly always have a reputation that precedes them unless they have taken special care to prevent it."
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