Closed Helping Hand

A boy in trouble draws two unlikely individuals together.

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

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Helping Hand

Postby Sinna on December 7th, 2018, 8:43 am

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1st, Winter 518av

Day one of Winter saw Sinna dragging his carcass-like self all across Sunberth in search of a certain boy in a shyke load of trouble.

It's an unquestionable fact that Sin loved his brother, adored him to the ends of Mizahar and back. Much like Syna and Leth revolve around one another, the hunter's life revolved around Zuko's. Still, he had long been well aware that he could not be around all hours of the day to watch over him. While he would much rather prefer that his brother were not always left alone, the mixed-blood trusted that Zuko was mature and quick-witted enough to watch out for himself. Most of the kids in Sunberth had a tendency to wander about, regardless, and Sin wasn't so dumb to think that his curious cat of a brother was any different. He knew the younger had a love for exploring and wandering about when Sin was out making a living, which was fine as long as he stayed within the boundaries Sin had set, and kept him aware of where he'd be going.

Which, by the way, was exactly what his dearest brother seemed to have decided to forgo. Sin had returned early and exhausted from a hunt to a quiet apartment, which hadn't raised any alarms until a few bells had passed and his brother had yet to set foot past the door. Past midday, Sin decided that he'd wait no more and unhappily took to the streets, first scouring his brother's favourite haunts nearby and subsequently hounding their neighbours and street lurkers on the whereabouts of a doe-eyed boy with wild chocolate curls.

There's a little runt like 'im running somewhere down tha' way, Bay-wards. Two bigger ones on hi' arse. Yuh'd best hurry - from the looks uh'v it, they ain't playin'.

Elsewhere along Baroque Bay, the missing cub was in a similar hurry, only, he was hurrying away from a pair of older youths. Slinking through the crowd and ducking past corners and stalls, breath burned in his lungs as his pursuers behind voiced the futility of all his running, sneering and promising a most painful retribution once they got him. He certainly did not doubt their ability to make him suffer, having already witnessed the aftermaths of past instances. Mangled corpses of creatures large and small, young and old. The pair after him was only in their teens, but were nonetheless notorius animal abusers that he'd crossed paths with a handful of times, and today he'd boldly acted against them. Proof of his defiance lay bundled up in his arms, patches of fur stained with grime and blood, tiny heart pattering loudly in tandem with the heavy pounding of Zuko's own.

Gods help me, send someone, anyone, he prayed in the silence of his mind. Ideally, said saviour would be in the form of his brother, who had had to pull his arse from a fire on more occasions than the young tailor would've liked to admit. Sin was awfully protective and a tad bit too overbearing, but at the very least reliable. Strong. Decisive. And at the end of the day, the boy had no doubt in his brother's love and concern for him. Except, he had been gone on a few days' hunt and was due to return the day after. This time, the younger was on his own, or so he thought.

Rounding a corner, he cast a fleeting glimpse behind, heart plummeting to the pits of his stomache as the blurred figures of his pursuers magnified, hoots and hollers increasingly loud as they drew closer, the sound of their heavy footfalls heralded Zuko's coming end. Time, they were running out of time. He, was running out of strength to maintain his current pace, and wouldn't be able to keep this up for much longer, not with the weight of two lives on only a single, scrawny pair of legs.

He had to think. Fast.
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Helping Hand

Postby Kelski on December 10th, 2018, 5:51 am

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Kelski cursed herself for her timing making a delivery to The Western Heights. When she’d passed from the Seaside Market, skirted the Gated Community, and headed into the Western Heights the tension in the air was almost palatable. Instinct told her it was a bad time to be where she was in Sunberth, but the package had been important and the delivery of a last minute birthing day gift needed to get there.

Kelski should have turned back, but instead, she made the delivery and decided to get out of the Western Heights as fast as she could. She was on foot, dressed casually, but armed to the teeth. She’d left Moth behind because she was just making a delivery and wanted to be out to stretch her legs, rather than pick up groceries at the market or supplies at the docks. Kelski truthfully hadn’t thought the trip would take long, but she’d walked right into the tension and before she knew it everything was chaos.

It was a unite of Dragoons from the Suns Birth.

The Dragoons had been ambushed and Kelski had walked right into it. She didn’t have a clue whom they were fighting. And she understood less why people would want to fight in masks that were obviously obscuring their view.

They were ambushed and the fighting was heavy between them and masked figures. Kelski couldn’t go around them after she’d made her delivery, and above was no option for there weren’t enough intact roofs to cross safely to and from. Truth be told, Kelski didn’t know who the masked people were. They fought hard, and cut down Dragoons right and left. It looked like a slaughter, and Kelski truthfully didn’t mind.

When she came upon them, there was no room to flee. Once moment the street was empty and eerily quiet, the next it was full of battling bodies. Kelski had no qualms about who’s side she was on once she was in the middle of the fringe fighting. Drawing her daggers, she cut high, engaged a Dragoon blocking her path to the freedom of an open street, and attacked. He defended with his blade, cutting high. But Kelski had the advantage of dual wielding and knew how to break inferior blades with both her daggers working in unison. She caught him in a downswing, locked her daggers around his length of steel and gave them an ugly twist.

Whether it was of inferior quality metal or whether it had been stressed too much from recent fighting, the steel gave up its secret flaw and snapped down the middle. As the tip fell, the Dragoon tried to step backwards, running straight into another pair fighting at his back. Kelski was able to slip a dagger into arm hole of his chain mail when he turned to see who he collided with.

The Dragoon went down hard, the masked man pressing his back fighting his own opponent tripping over him suddenly. And once the masked man tripped, it was over in a heartbeat for the Dragoon had his throat slit with his half blade before the man hit the ground. Kelski shrieked out, kicked the man in the side of the head, and leaned over sheathing one dagger and grabbing the fallen masked man. She dragged him out of the way, off to one side of the fighting, and fully dropped down beside him. His eyes were already lifeless though. His blood a slick streak leading back to the Dragoon who’s neck she’d snapped with her boot.

Who was this person? As the fighting raged, Kelski patted at the man’s body, looking for clues as to who he was. She checked both hands for tattoos or brands, finding nothing. And it wasn’t until the packet in his dark jacket caught her attention, that she ceased patting him down. Slipping her hand into his jacket, she extracted a leather pouch that had something large and round in it and the crinkle of parchment besides. Pocketing it, Kelski rose, knowing there was nothing else she could do for the fallen man and decided to extract herself from the fighting. She secured the packet, drew forth her spare dagger and walked into the fray dual wielding.

She cut and fought her way through until she could get to a side street and dart down an alley and free herself from the conflict. That didn’t mean she wasn’t covered with blood, and that didn’t mean she wasn’t winded. Kelski was, and she was satisfied to find the Dragoons cut down right and left. And she wasn’t truthfully any wiser who was doing the killing even after searching the man, nor could she tell who it was by how they fought.

So, she kept moving, the packet tucked under her shirt, darting between others that were fleeing the area. Soon she was in the market, weaving between vendors realizing she looked a mess. Kelski wasn’t alone. Others exiting the Western Heights looked just as rough and the market was all but swarming with people talking about the battle even though Kelski was certain it wasn’t over.

But the whole incident had put her on high alert. So when she noted the boy with something tucked under his shirt protectively fleeing from two obvious pursuers, Kelski switched direction and began following them. Her gut was kicking at her instinctively like it was trying to tell her of the danger involved, but she knew the odds and had seen trouble like this before. Teens were dangerous, but when they paired up against a third, the third often died.

Kelski took a chance, cut down an alley, got in front of the trio in a quick sprint through the shadows… and stepped back out on the street a bit ahead of them. When she saw the boy with some sort of burden, she smiled, waved brightly at him, and stepped closer to intercept. With an eye on what the boys were doing behind them, she opened her cloak a bit so they could see the throwing daggers decorating her chest in a weapons harness that held them securely, then slipped her arm around the fleeing boy. Loudly she said… “I’ve been looking for you everywhere! Glad I finally caught up with you.” She said squeezing the boy’s shoulders like she knew him, gave him a big kind relieved smile, and turned to glance at the pursuers with a sharp shrewd eagle’s glare.

Kelski would kill them in a heartbeat. Young male humans were dangerous in pairs, especially ones actively pursuing one that was openly fleeing.

She squeezed the boy again, pulled away, and drew a dagger which she tossed casually up and down in the air as she walked beside the boy. Nothing in her actions were threatening to the first boy with his burden. But everything about her was menacing towards the boys in pursuit. Kelski hoped to avoid a fight, but with as much blood as she already had on her from the Dragoon ambush, a bit more wouldn’t hurt.

“I see you found yourself a bit of trouble.” She said softly, trying to avoid the other boys from hearing her. “Do you need some help out of it?” She said, continuing to toss the dagger casually from hand to hand, as if she were bored and actually itching for a fight.
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Helping Hand

Postby Sinna on December 10th, 2018, 2:58 pm

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1st, Winter 518av

Zuko would've been in disbelief, had he been an outsider, that no one so much as lifted a finger in his direction. Alas, such was the reality of a Sunberthian's daily life. Every man or woman for themselves. Buildings dovetailing into a market scene, the boy's untimely end seeming to draw nearer with each step he took away from his pursuants.

From the corner of his eyes, a woman of strangely exotic colouring appeared right ahead in the street, grey eyes of a metallic vibrancy not unlike his brother's. Salt and pepper hair, with poison-kissed lips and an exceedingly pale complexion, comparable to the fair Kontis of Mura. Lips pulled into a generous, warm smile. Streaked in blood, some fresh, some dried or drying a and rust brown. Waving. When he followed her gaze, he saw that she was looking right at him. Was she here to help? He clutched the wounded stray closer to him, the fabric of his shirt blooming with red patches as she stepped towards him, torn between taking a new direction and staying until she wound her arm around him. Zuko hadn't missed the glint of sharp silvers from beneath her cloak, nor the fierce look in her steel, predatory gaze, but he played along either way. None of that had been aimed at him. He was almost certain she'd intervened to help, and was grateful enough regardless of possible underlying intentions. One blessing at a time, he told himself. Glancing briefly towards the pair after him, he was glad to find hesitation in their expressions and stances. They had stopped a few feet away, unsure of whether to approach or give up and turn around while they still could.

Panting from his exertion, he flashed a sweetish smile back at his mysterious saviour, tugging the collar of his old shirt lower for a small black snout to poke out of it, sniffing at market air. Brown eyes looked to her pleadingly as she offered her aid. 'Please,' he mouthed to the woman in common with a small nod. He patted the inner pocket of his jacket, the muffled clinking of coins following each tap, meaning to say that he could pay for her help if needed.

Behind the pair of teens, Sinna finally caught up and rounded the corner, braid loose and face framed with stray wisps of hair, lips pressed firmly against each other in a thin line. He recognized Zuko first, stalking forward silently and snatching an empty glass bottle off the ground as he scrutinised the other three for signs of hostility. Seeing a strange, sharp-featured woman covered in blood with an arm wound firmly around his brother had defnitely come as an unnerving surprise, worrying even, but the smile he'd witnessed them exchange immediately eased the tension that stiffened his broad shoulders. Zuko held onto the arm Kelski had on him to show her alliance, once he'd caught sight of Sinna.

As he closed the distance, the hunter immediately recognised the pair facing off with his young sibling and the armed woman, and his expression morphed into one of disdain, lips pulling downwards into a scowl. He'd seen them loitering near the apartments as of late, and the mangled creatures they left behind by random doorsteps and alleys. The quiet sorrow and despair that accompanied his naive, dewy-eyed brother whenever he found another dead stray mutilated beyond recognition. Looking to Zuko himself, his gaze narrowed at the puppy tucked against the boy's chest, weary sigh escaping him. He knew at once, who had provoked the chase, and it was unfortunately neither of the teens. Awkwardly, the culprit cast his gaze aside, choosing to admire his unknown benefactor's knife-tossing skill rather than face his brother's ire. "You brats," he started with subdued annoyance, smashing the empty bottle against the sides of a stall, much to the owner's dismay. "Looking to take a dust nap?" The pair eyed each other silently, sunlight glinting off their own rusted knives that paled in comparison to those of the woman. Kelski war armed to the teeth, with musculature and a confidence only an experienced fighter could have. Not to mention, she looked fresh out of the Bloodpits, covered in blood that clearly wasn't hers. Sinna was not only an experienced hunter, but he also towered over them by a great deal, and even with only a shank as his weapon, he was easily stronger than either of them.

And they knew the rumours.

Eventually, the standstill ceased when they begrudgingly pocketed their weapons, spitting crudely on the ground as they walked away and grumbled their profanities. "I ever catch you lot near him again, I'll shove a pike up your arses and flay you." He added quite manner-of-factly, and they hurried along just a little faster.

With the situation diffused, Zuko removed the puppy from within his shirt, shame dovetailing into guilt in his reluctance to meet the hunter's accusing blue gaze as the latter approached the remaining pair, specifically addressing the stranger first. "Name your price." The youngest at the scene cringed. Blunt as an iron pipe, the boy grimaced inwardly, kicking lightly at the man's shin. 'Be nice, Sin,' he seemed to convey.
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Helping Hand

Postby Kelski on December 13th, 2018, 4:34 am

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The confrontation wasn’t lost on Kelski. She could tell immediately that the two troublemakers were familiar to not only the human with the puppy – she thought he was young – and the angrier taller human. Glancing between the two of them, there were signs apparent. The two pursuers were not willing to press a fight unless the advantage wasn’t in their favor. That made them dangerous and lazy. The other more angry man that seemed to know the one with the puppy was also unwilling to engage them if his threats worked just as well. What did that make him?

Kelski glanced between the three, the only one she truly had any interest in was the smaller male with the puppy. She even ignored the bantering until the man with the anger turned and addressed her. Kelski raised a black eyebrow, glanced at the smaller human, and then back at the man that seemed to know him. She didn’t miss the fact that he had kicked the taller male.

“My price for what? I would have killed them for nothing if there was a good enough reason. This one here, this small male, isn’t talking though so I’m not exactly sure what happened and if they are worth going after.” Kelski said, not understanding what the angry man wanted. Humans were complex creatures and she’d long learned not to try and second guess them. They were all dangerous, young and old, tall and small. But some where just flat out cruel and useless. She suspected the pair were such thugs, but she wasn’t certain.

“Why did you chase them off instead of teach them a lesson?” She asked, thinking that’s what he did rather than confront him because it was easier. Kelski reached up, pulled at a blood-stained lock of hair and squeezed the drying redness out of it.

“The Western Heights aren’t safe today. I’d steer clear. Some masked group is slaughtering Dragoons. Death is stalking the city today.” She said softly, glancing between the pair she was speaking too. Then she took a good look at the puppy in the smaller male’s arms.

“That animal is wounded. What happened to it?” She asked carefully, wondering if there was a healer that would see it or if puppies were treated differently … less important than humans in the city that was no real city at all.

While she waited for the answer, noise drew her attention back the way the pair of bully’s had fled. She raised a dark eyebrow and counted… six… seven more were returning, the two the stranger had chased off between them. They had what looked like clubs and lengths of chain and murderious expressions in their eyes.

The lead one - one that the stranger had addressed before as if he knew, grinned. “Ain’t so bossy now aren’t you?” He said with a sneer. He spit towards Sinna and glanced at the boy. “I would have settled for the puppy. But now? I think your piece of crap freak brother might be more fun to skin alive.” The boy said.

Kelski took a step back, not to try and escape, but to get all the men in her sightline as she counted hands, heads, and weapons. Three against seven. She glanced at the little human with the puppy and decided it was two against seven. They weren’t great odds, especially if any of the boys had any sort of skill. In a heartbeat, she pulled at her back, freeing a crossbow and locking its arms in place even as she thrust a booted foot through its stirrup and cocked it. Bringing it up with a bolt locked and loaded, she aimed it at the leader.

“You were doing good the first time you retreated. You should have stayed gone.” Kelski said softly, not sure what this conflict was about. She was quickly hoping someone would explain, because she was probably going to have to fight and she wanted to make sure she was on the right side.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
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