When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Kelski and Alexander meet and find thier hunting turns deadly.

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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Kelski on February 3rd, 2019, 9:14 pm

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Kelski had for a moment there regretted her outing with Alexander when he’d turned on her, his emotions an on-off switch of chaos. But, she cast that aside when he swung into action as they BOTH were threatened. She absolutely appreciated fighting beside him. She didn’t see the hesitation, the fantasy in his mind of his hero self and his real self. She just saw a young jaguar do what was necessary to survive. And he was magnificent in his fighting.

Kelski knew she was having a bad day when she took the arrow, and she truthfully thought she’d have a collar around her neck faster than she could draw a breath when the man broke her collar bone. But two down, and the fact that Alexander took his down too gave her momentary thought that they’d have a fighting chance.

Sunberth was unpredictable. No matter how good you were with weapons, numbers and circumstances and sometimes even Ovek’s luck could throw a battle and take down even a confident warrior. Kelski hadn’t enjoyed bad luck for quite a while and she truthfully thought it was her time. She thought it was Alexander’s time as well. But he battled out of it, avoiding being collared.

She was down though… down and hurting. The pain was almost blinding. But when Alexander loomed over her, protectively, his muzzle nudging her, another burst of energy filled her. She wasn’t going to go down and let this young Kelvic go with her.

Gritting her teeth in a rebellious snarl, Kelski flung out her hand even as she tapped her well of djed deep inside herself. Her good arm was flung out and from the palm of her hand a glittering purple and blue flare of power in the form of Res burst forth and transformed to Air. It was one coil, one loop of power she had to manipulate, which she could do easily even wounded. It dove down, gathering a force of sand with it, and wrapped around the man who stood bearing down on them.

In an instant he was encased in a whirling vortex of wind driven sand. The man-sized tornado fed itself with sand the man stood on and scoured the man’s flesh and clothing, using an incredible force to abrade his flesh from his bone. His skin started to peel away, and his clothing started to shred as Kelski channeled all her pain and fear into the djed she fed into the whirlwind.

The man screamed, grabbed for his eyes though he was blind already, and tried to run. Kelski only held the fury for mere chimes… a breath, another, and then the rage bled out of her sapped by the pain and shock that was starting to encroach. As her wind died and the man fell to his knees screaming, Kelski turned and met Alexander’s gaze.

“Kill him… no witnesses to magic in Sunberth… please… gods… kill him.” She collapsed forward, catching herself on her good hand, but only momentarily. Dragging in a deep breath, Kelski tried to rise. It took her a moment to do so, her whole left side hanging awkwardly without the support of an intact shoulder. But eventually she made it to her feet. It was obvious though there was not much fight left in her.

It was up to Alexander. The man was shredded, but he was still very much alive. Living men survived to tell tales. Dead men never spoke… at least if they remained dead.

In that moment she put all her faith and trust in the other younger Kelvic. Like her, he was a predator, and like her…. she hoped he tolerated no one trying to steal his freedom.

All Kelski wanted to do was get home to Ebon… to see if he could fix her or at least set her shoulder. She wanted to retrieve her knives from the bodies. She wanted to get the meat home. But instead, as the shock washed over her, she stood there dumbly trying to decide which of her needs she had to get met first. And dutifully, while Alexander was doing whatever he was going to do next, Kelski would start recollecting her weapons.
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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Slade on February 4th, 2019, 10:50 pm

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It appeared as though their- minor- disagreement was patched by this rather brutal battle. Alexander momentarily hoped that the pain she was going through would make her completely forget about the accusation, as selfish as the wish was. As of now, they still were in danger. Four of the men were dead or injured beyond fighting any longer... This just left the leader who had directed them. Alexander stood his ground next to Kelski, hackles raised. Rounded, steely grey eyes locked onto their last opponent, evaluating each breath they took. However... Were these people really it? Were there more hiding down the shore? If this was the case, the black jaguar had serious doubts whether or not he would be able to carry on any longer. He, unlike Kelski, was still standing but not for long. The cuts and contusions he wore needed to be patched soon or else he would grow weak from blood loss and exhausted from the pain and adrenaline spike. His poor kelvic companion needed medical help more, though. With the arrow-wound and whatever else she endured, the young, inexperienced jaguar couldn't protect them all day. Something had to give.

So, Alexander stood there, chest heaving. With his heart slowly falling back into a normal rhythm and the pounding of blood in his ears fading, he was left with- as he expected- pain and fatigue. His body desperately wanted to rest and heal but the fight was not yet over. However, he could hardly focus with the violent stinging underneath his eye and agony from his chin and ear. Out of all areas, his face was quite sensitive and unfortunately, this was the area his wounds claimed.

For the moment of silence he had to gather his thoughts, he led himself back to the imaginary hero of himself he had created. It was much easier said, or thought, than done. The fact that hero-Alex had gone through dozens and dozens of battles just like this was... Unbelievable. This was his first one and he never ever wanted to step outside of his tent again. The overall experience was mortifying, painful, and debilitating and even still, it wasn't quite finished yet. Mentally, Alexander was preparing himself for another battle, talking himself into the fact it was just one more person. Physically, he was trying to push past the distracting pain and summon more strength into his body, flexing his hook-like claws in and out. He was set on taking home the trophy... It was up to him-

That was when Kelski heaved. The jaguar nearly jumped from his pelt as a burst of light and energy left her being through the palm of her human hand. Alexander's pupils dilated further into skinny slits as his eyes reflected the bright, magnificent flare. Widened eyes watched as it dipped to fill itself up with sand, then engulfed the leader of the slavers. He hardly stood a chance as it twisted around him, tearing everything down to practically his cells apart. Alexander was absolutely awestruck by this action, taking a few fumbling steps back. Seeing as magic was forbidden here, he never expected to see anything like this as close up and personal. When the shriek rose from the man, Alexander's gut wrenched, painfully wondering what he was feeling. Though, it was what he deserved for trying to take living, breathing people captive to become slaves. No man this fowl should have a place on this land, Sunberth or not. The screams and wails of suffering didn't die from the slaver, not even after he was left on the ground as the small storm dissolved.

Alexander slowly turned his head to meet Kelski's eyes. She was strong, beyond stronger than he ever thought someone could be. His stomach churned with her words but he knew what had to be done. Head lowered, shoulder blades slipping up and down underneath his ruffled black pelt, the jaguar prowled forward. The man could no longer see, but the knowledge of his impending doom was almost written on his torn, lacerated face. With a soft growl of thunder rumbling in his throat, Alexander parted his great jaws, revealing two sets of deadly fangs. For a moment, he hesitated. This time, the killing wasn't out of adrenaline-induced, self-defense. It wasn't out of a split second decision, either. This was calculated, this was murder. With this in mind, Alexander's eyes flashed before his jaw snapped down onto the man's head and with a crushing blow, his screams were silenced.

Once the deed was completed, Alexander made his way back over to the girl. As he walked, his own fury of light landed him on two human feet. Within the fight, his clothes were torn and laying in scraps on the ground, half buried by sand. He approached Kelski, eyebrows pinched together as he studied the arrow a bit closer, "My Gods... You need to get medical help now, do you know of anyone?" His own face, neck, and chest was also covered in warm, fresh blood. Like thick war-paint, he was almost unrecognizable with all the blood he had spilled. By the second, he was growing paler, and with this- weaker. "I can carry anything... Your bag, your weapons..." He then let out a soft breath, "You."


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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Kelski on February 16th, 2019, 3:31 pm

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Kelski didn’t hold grudges. And in Sunberth, if someone was wrong and moved on from being wrong, that was good enough for her. Alexander had more than proven himself in a fight… even if the odds were more than stacked against them. As she took a moment to catch her breath, heaved herself to hear feet, and even as the menacing black jaguar went to dispatch the last witness to their fight, she took herself off to retrieve her backpack and weapons from the fallen bodies.

When she’d done so, she rummaged around in her backpack, pulled out a first aid kit that shouldn’t have had room to fit in there after she’d dumped all her weapons in, and took out a stone from the kit. She pressed the stone to her palm and it seemed to melt into the center of her palm.. its glowing light bluish green center remaining. She looked up at him, her face pale, but determined. “This is The Abase Stone.. its one of the Stones of Tuvrenan. You already know enough about me to get me killed in Sunberth, so I am going to trust you with more. I’m not a healer, but this stone will make anyone be able to heal competently for the length of time they use it. If I pass out… you need to get us to where the Mudway flows into the sea. There, the property on the hill above the beach is called The Midnight Gem. It’s my jewelry store and home. The clerk there… he’s a Night Lion Kelvic… named Ebon.. he’s a marked Healer of Rak’Keli. He can patch you up and see to you healing the rest of the way. But I can get you to where you can get back without bleeding out.” She said, waiting for the stone to finish merging with her hand.

“I only have one good hand though… it should be enough to get at least one of us patched up.” She said gently, and began to pull things from the kit. The pain in her arm was beyond measure. The arrow wound was nasty but Ebon had taught her a long time ago not to pull out anything stuck in without a true healer being around.

Regardless, Ebon had packed her kit well. There were small jars of ointment which she smeared liberally across the cuts on Alexander’s face, ear and neck. Then, asking for his help, she’d bandage what she could reach, asking him often to hold or pull the bandages and tie them once she had them in place. The kit also had generous rolls of linen and pads of cotton for such things. Kelski wasn’t even much of a healer, but recognized Rak’keli’s help in all things in her life, thankful for Ebon and his presence. She patched herself up as much as she could – unable to do anything about the arrow – then pulled out a large shirt and a pair of pants that she held up for Alexander then shook her head… they wouldn’t fit. She replaced them back in the backpack. “I carry spares.” She said, offering a sad smile to Alexander. “Not in your size though… nor shoes... I’m sorry.” She said softly, growing paler by the moment.

She replaced the kit into her pack and pulled out oil cloth and what looked like a huge boning and skinning knife. Then, working quickly, she cut up the seal carcass into chunks of meat big enough to fit into the opening of her backpack, wrapping the meat and shoving it in. Kelski kept moving, though she was exhausted. She had to bring back food. Her hunting instinct was strong. Her instinct to protect and feed those living at The Midnight Gem was perhaps even stronger than her instinct to protect herself. Kelski was weak and weakening fast, but she still drove herself to stash the meat – not leave it – before she’d let them leave.

Alexander, if astute, would be by now getting the idea that her backpack’s capacity was a lot larger than she let on. “If you are able, loot the bodies… take their coin, weapons… anything of value. Grab some of their clothing. You might need your arms to get me back. And…. If you are able… make it hard to recognize them if someone comes looking for them.” She said softly, knowing they’d have to walk along the waterline to cover their retreat… she didn’t want searchers looking for these lost slavers to find their way back to The Midnight Gem by following tracks.

Then she knelt down in the sand to rest a moment. She didn’t shoulder the backpack for obvious reasons, but hung it over her one good arm. Then she closed her eyes a moment and waited until Ebon was ready. Then, when he was done doing what she tasked him with - if he did it at all – she’d get to her feet and somehow walk… it was two to three miles if not more… back to The Mudway and safety. She regretted sending the horses home once more, but she’d make it… one foot at a time… slowly… if necessary.

When Ebon was ready Kelski would start walking north… close to the waterline where the lapping waves would cover their tracks.
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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Slade on February 23rd, 2019, 11:23 pm

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Alexander felt the deep, dense exhaustion settle in his bones. His eyelids felt heavy, and his movements were slow, but he knew their adventure was not over. He would do, carry, or help whatever else he had to until they got to a safe, stable environment. He counted on the home of Kelski. He watched as the female kelvic continued to work and gather, shaking his head slowly. He didn't know how she did it, not one bit but for some reason, he was thankful to have met her. The situation had been both exciting and... Terrifying but they seemed to have made it, somehow. The story wasn't over and not yet won, either... If they could just get patched up.

Alexander let out a soft breath of relief as she pulled a first aid kit free. He advanced towards her, practically dragging his feet. Was she a healer, though? With a puzzled glance, he watched the rock she also revealed. It dissolved into her palm and began to glow faintly. He decided not to dwell on it- he had seen plenty of things for the first time today and who knows when it would come to an end. The kelvic nodded as she explained what the rock did, hoping she would hold up until they arrived at their destination.

"It's no problem, take your time, and we should be okay," Alexander was beginning to perk up again, offering help as the healing process began. He didn't flinch or pull back as the ointment was plastered on his wounds, even though it stung and ache with the contact. He knew it was all for good measures; the last thing he wanted was a nasty infection. He was quick to help, grabbing hold of the bandages, making sure they weren't too tight or loose as he pulled and tied them, even if it took him a few tries. He was eager and quite interested. Healing was something he wanted to learn but never found the supplies nor situations to do it. Once everything was patched up, tied, and smeared with ointment he guessed that was is good as it would get. At least they were no longer bleeding so freely. Watching as she pulled out the spare clothes, he bit down on his lip, "It's okay, maybe I can find something on those guys," He nodded towards the slavers, their bodies were strewn all around the sand.

He attempted to help even with the process of packing her meat whether it be holding something for a few moments or taking a turn cutting something. He did, in fact, take note that her pack would be heavy, and if they were going to take anything from the slavers he would possibly be carrying two bags. Though, this shouldn't be a problem unless Kelski crumbled and he had to carry everything. Even then, he was sturdy and strong... But with all the blood loss...

"I got it," He mumbled and grimly turned back to the bodies once more. The sight of them caused something unsettling to coil in his stomach like an angry viper. Still, it needed to be done. He paused at one of the five men, kneeling beside the corpse. He examined the clothing and determined that their clothing would be around Alexander's size, perhaps a bit smaller. He stripped the clothing free and tried them on. Just as he thought, a bit tighter for his comfort but better than nothing. The man also had a bow-an-arrow which Alexander slipped over his head and began to loot the other bodies, scanning over their pockets and in their shoes.

What he ended up with was a decent sized bag. Inside, a few arrows, coin purses, a few daggers and a peculiar golden ring with a bright green gem embedded in the top. This had been retrieved from the leader slaver, from one of the only pockets left with minor damage due to the sand storm. Remembering to disfigure the face of the slavers, Alexander pulled out his dagger.

Bile crept up his throat as his blade sunk into the cold skin of the men. Due to their stopped hearts, there was little blood which spilled out but enough for him to further more disguise them as he dabbled them with the red liquid. With this, he took them one-by-one and dragged them underneath the ledge he had stored his belongings. They didn't all fit but they were at least out of plain sight. It was inevitable, someone was to surely come by and discover them but Alexander felt like he and Kelski had done everything in their power to prevent anymore drama out of this situation.

Alexander shouldered the bow and the bag, dragging himself over to Kelski. "I think we're ready, finally," he breathed, sending a gaze around the beach to make sure no one had been watching, "Yeah, let's get going." There, they departed the blood-splattered battleground, exhausted and pained. He walked, pressed into Kelski's side to keep her stabilized, matching her pace with however slow or fast she wanted to go. Often, he would send glances over at her and ask how she was holding up. The water, with irony, calmly lapped at their feet. The day was beautiful, causing a peace to settle in the kelvic's mind. They were on the road to recovery, on the road to a better place with people who would help.

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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Kelski on February 24th, 2019, 5:44 am

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Kelski was weakening fast. The loss of blood, the pain of the arrow still protruding from her shoulder, and all the energy she’d pulled from her well of power to use against the slavers had taken its toll. Without Alexander’s support, she wouldn’t have moved a step, but would have just laid down on the beach and let Dira lead her away. There was a despair that came with the blood loss and injuries. Being a fighter that was exceptional with daggers, a fledgling mage, and a body strongly trained… none of it seemed to be ever enough in Sunberth. None of it ever was. Regardless of how much she tried, how hard she fought, there was always a price to pay and a never-ending series of pain. There was no reward for survival. She wrapped an arm around Alexander’s middle and started moving, putting one foot in front of the other.

He wouldn’t know her bag only weighted a mere 15 lbs, nor that The Gem was probably further than she’d estimated. Kelski was better at distances in the air than she was at distances by foot. She rarely walked anywhere further than through the city, and certainly not down the coastline this far to hunt. She doubted she’d take such stupid risks again.

Her front was coated with blood from the arrow and every step jostled her injuries. She studied the sand, not looking at the distance because she wasn’t certain she wouldn’t just simply sit down and refuse to go further when she saw how truly far they were from her home. She simply put one foot in front of the other, moving as fast as she could and leaning on the lean muscular Kelvic. A mile passed, then another, the gentle water lapping at their feet as they passed agonizingly slow northward. With every step, more and more of Kelski’s weight fell on Alexander’s frame, until her head was tucked into the crook of his arm and she was only on her feet due to sheer will. An arm was wrapped around his waist and the other one clutched at his belt. At first she’d let her arm hang, but that had caused too much pain. It had jostled at each step and sent fire through her frame, tracing up and down her neck and across her back. Kelski had lived a life of pain, but this was different. She couldn’t help but think of how soft she’d grown since her freedom…

She didn’t offer to speak. There was no energy. She simply forced one foot in front of the other and occasionally looked up, catching Alexander’s gaze if for no other reason to break the monotony of the endless sand. As she walked, she slipped into a sort of meditative state. She concentrated on breathing in and out, taking one step at a time, and then breathing again. Her shoulder burned and the arrow still stuck out of her shoulder. The Kelvic Eagle considered herself strong, but it was as if every drop of blood she lost, the paler she grew and the less energy she had. As her mind drifted, she willed the drops of blood she was shedding to trace their pathways back up and into the wound. And she smiled a little at the thought, thinking how neat it could be if such things could be willed. Surely somewhere there was a sort of magic that could do such things.

Kelski didn’t quite register when they’d stopped. Why had they stopped? Slowly she lifted her eyes and saw the Mudway slashing through the sand, cutting off their progress north without wading it. She frowned a moment, confused and worried about how they’d get past the river. And then a thought occurred to her and she slowly swiveled her head and saw The Midnight Gem perched up on the bluff overlooking the river and sea.

Was Alexander still here? Kelski then forced her head to move back the other direction and caught his beautiful blue eyes. She parted her lips, licked them and then said so softly he might have not even heard. “Up there. That’s The Midnight Gem. I… don’t know if I can…..” With that she slowly crumpled. He saw the instant awareness fled her eyes since they were looking directly at each other. Later, Kelski herself would be hard pressed to explain if it was the relief at seeing her home or if she just felt so safe in the shadow of home… whatever it was, it allowed her to finally loose herself to the injuries.

If Alexander could do it, he’d have to carry her upwards, at least far enough into the range where The Midnight Gem would notice them coming up the building’s trail to the beach. Then suddenly, frantically, with a fierce fear, every windchime in the building would suddenly begin to shake. Kelski had put the chimes in for The Gem to have a voice, one for yes, one for no, and one undecided. They were on all levels of the building from the basement to the living floor on the third story. And it was just pure luck that when the entire building started making a fuss and ringing its chimes there wasn’t a single customer in the retail space. Ebon surged to his feet from behind his desk where he was working on the inventory list and darted to the front door, flipped the sign to ‘closed’ and locked the door and slid its bolts into place. Then he darted upstairs, looking for Ember. She met him in the middle of the living room, pointing out onto the balcony.

The pair darted towards the balcony, out onto it, and gazed towards the beach. They saw Alexander coming with his burden. “Wait here! No… go get my medical kit! Throw hot water on to boil, Ember… and bring bandages up… lots of them.” He said, true fear in his voice. He remembered another time, after Kelski had vanished for nearly four days, that she’d crawled home in a condition none of them had wanted to talk about. She’d almost died. They’d almost lost Kynier that same day too.

Fear gave Ebon’s feet wings. He ran out onto the balcony, down the stairs, and darted across the deck out into the yard. He took the path to the beach and met Alexander at the gate to the yard. He pulled up short, nostrils flaring, taking in the scent of another male big-cat kelvic. He met Alexander’s eyes briefly, and then held out his arms. “Give her to me. Gods Kelski… Gods…” He said, snatching the small frame of the Nightstalker from the other obviously injured and exhausted Kelvic. Kelski’s pack banged against Ebon’s side painfully as he turned, invitation in his eyes, and carefully but quickly carried the woman up into the yard, onto the deck, and up the stairs onto the balcony. Alexander would know he could follow, for there was no hostility in Ebon at all.

Kelski was carried into the main building into a lush main living area and placed not on a couch but on a big banquet table. Ebon’s eyes were on her as he scanned her injuries and laid his hand on her shoulder, assessing wounds with his gnosis mark. Concentrating fully, he said nothing to Alexander. He didn’t have too.

A teenage girl scrambled into the room, dumped a basket of bandages on the table besides Kelski’s head and half sobbed when she saw the arrow. But she swallowed hard and turned, studying the stranger. She too was Kelvic. Alexander could sense his own kind strongly… and while the male smelled of big cat… Night Lion to be sure, this child smelled like mouse. The girl, however, bore a striking resemblance to Kelski. And she had a sort of take-charge attitude as well.

“Sit down before you fall down.” The girl ordered gently and took Alexander’s hand and lead him to a couch. She fetched a bucket of water, set it on the stove to boil as Ebon had requested, then went to the pump and drew a fresh cold pitcher of water. She gave Ebon a big mug of the clear cold liquid and then wrapped him in a blanket. “Are you hurt anywhere deeply? Ebon will help you. I think hes working on Aunt Kelski’s arrow wound first though.” The Kelvic Mouse said firmly. “But he won’t forget you. What happened?” She demanded, then went to the hearth and moved a smaller pot to the side, using a ladle to dish up a big bowl of stew. She hacked off a piece of bread, slathered it generously with butter, and brought all of it over to Alexander with a tray. She served him expertly and then sat watching him cautiously while he ate… one eye on the stranger one on Ebon working at the table near them.

Ebon had carefully cut and stripped away Kelski’s clothing so he could see all of her. Then he’d removed the arrow carefully, and covered the wound with his hands… cleaning it. The he’d packed the puncture with a poultice he’d mixed up while he stood there and bandages the wound cleanly. Taking another blanket off the back of another couch near the hearth, he wrapped Kelski in it after treating some of her more superficial wounds. Then he took out a thick bandage and half propped Kelski up as he wrappedit around her ribs, shaking his head.

“She’s going to be okay.” He said suddenly, and then snagged a pillow from the couch and tucked it under Kelski’s head.

Then he turned to Alexander. “I second what Ember said… what happened? And what can I do to help? I can clean up those cuts and bruises… she looks like she covered getting you fed. Kick off your boots… stay a while. Relax. Is anyone coming after you?” He asked rapid fire… curious and helpful, but still wary of the stranger. It helped a great deal that Alexander was a Kelvic.

The Gem itself, just them, rumbled in a pleasant way… a small quake the inhabitants could actually feel. Ebon didn’t seem concerned, but glanced over at Kelski. Her wide silver eyes were open, hazed with pain, but open. “Gods…. we made it didn’t we? Thank you, Alexander….” She said softly, almost too soft to hear.
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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Slade on March 10th, 2019, 12:57 am

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Alexander was no longer worried about himself- no longer worried about the blood he spilled or the faces of those he had ended flashing through his mind. All he was focused on was to look for signs of Kelski beginning to slip. She was doing an excellent job of staying on her feet but the big cat knew any second she could collapse. Often eyeing the arrow peeking through her flesh brought a wave of anxiety down upon him. Though it was not the stomach or chest, how close was she to bleeding out? Because of this wonder, he wanted to quicken his pace. Having much more energy left in his body compared to the female, he still synced himself with her slow yet steady steps. As long as Alexander wasn't pushing her too hard and as long as she wasn't pushing herself, either.

They had to have been walking for.. What felt like a century. Alexander's feet were burning at the uneven sand he was walking on top of. The crashing of waves- once thought to be peaceful and calming- was now gnawing at the back of his mind. He wanted to escape this beach for the first time in forever. Taking note that Kelski was now buried within his torso, he threw paranoid glances over his shoulder to make sure no one else wanted to pick a fight with them. If so, he couldn't guarantee that he wouldn't just fall to his knees and surrender. He wanted to ask how much longer it would be but decided against it, putting his trust in the young, female kelvic. 'It shouldn't be too far now, just keep going,' Alexander thought to himself, allowing it to loop through his mind over and over. 

The black panther cursed himself for thinking that walking was bad because now, he had paused in his tracks. As noticed by Kelski, the Mudway traced itself through the sand. "No..." He growled in desperation, not knowing where Kelski's place was or how much further. There was no way they would be able to swim across or try to push their way through the rippling water. At this point, his grey eyes gazed down at the girl, waiting for her possible solution. Watching as she attempted to speak, Alexander caught mere fragments of her words before the fellow kelvic finally slipped. "Okay.. Okay, take it easy," He mumbled softly, lowering himself with her to make sure she didn't hit the ground. He took it upon himself to adjust her bag to keep it from falling and picked her up. Kelski's limp frame draped across his arms. Wincing, his alarmed grey eyes flickered around.

There, he spotted The Midnight Gem. At this time, he did not know anything about it but trusted his judgement. Something in his mind told him to bring the girl there. His muscles were burning viciously, screaming at him to release all of this weight put on his body. Though he was solid, he had lost too much blood beforehand and was straining himself too much. He grew lightheaded but pushed on until he was at least in the sight of the building, right at their gate. There, he paused. He was panting, knelt down with Kelski still clutched tightly. When the strange man came rushing out, Alexander's heart soared. He allowed the man to take Kelski, having a bit of hesitation but heard Ebon muttering her name. This was it, this was the place of refuge. Limbs shaking and weak, it took everything Alexander had to push himself back up on his feet. He followed close behind Ebon, eyelids growing heavier by the second. He could sense the man was a kelvic as well and this comforted him. 

Inside the house, Alexander leaned against the wall and let out a deep exhale. His eyes lazily shifted over to see the young girl, the scent of mouse quickly apparent. He suggested in his mind that she was kin to Kelski. He didn't protest as the child took his hand. Settling on the couch, he leaned back. He could have fell asleep right that chime. "I have some lacerations, mainly on my face... We were attacked, attacked by slavers." He released the bag he had collected of the slaver's goods, as well as the bow-an-arrows. He put them on the floor and eased his muscles. 

"Kelski and I met on the beach. Five slavers came out of no where and well... They are no longer a worry now but we paid the price..." Alexander explained in better detail, grabbing the piece of bread and scarfed it down. He thanked the man and the young girl, agreeing to have his injuries looked at. When the house rumbled, he studied the faces of the residences before marking it as not a concern but certainly a topic of interest later. That was when he heard the soft voice of Kelski and perked up, "Barely, we barely made it but... Here we are. It's been a long, long day for you and I."


I survive because the fire inside me burns brighter than the fire around me
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Alexander Slade
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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Kelski on March 18th, 2019, 2:37 am

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She was used to being moved around like a piece of meat when wounded. Ebon knew every inch of her because Gods knew she got hurt enough. The city was violent, though she’d never ran across violence on the beach. Kelski suspected it was just a matter of time though, and evidently that time ran out. The Kelvic Lion’s healing touch did wonders for her. And the poultice packed into her wound was more reassuring than naught. As Kelski lay in the comfort of her own home, wrapped in a warm blanket, and listening to Alexander’s explanations to Ebon’s questions, she wondered suddenly why she ever left the safety of what was here.

Here was family. Here was home. Here was a refuge for Kelvics like herself that could trust the outside world.

The Gem’s amusement rumbled in her mind, tickling her senses and the Kelvic laughed out loud glad suddenly to be alive, even with all the pain she felt in her bruised body and her pierced shoulder. “There’s nothing better than dead slavers.” She declared suddenly, almost with a madness tinged to her voice. “Nothing at all better….” Again, she affirmed, and suddenly sat up a little and grinned at Alexander.

“Ebon… there’s seal meat in my backpack. A whole carcass of it.” She said weakly, leaning back against the couch, boneless with her loss of blood. She was going to be fine, but fine didn’t mean strong… especially for a day or two. “Be sure and feed Alexander… all he can eat. He’s earned it and more.” She said softly, and drew a foot up, curling up on the couch and slipping sideways so she could face the stranger Kelvic who was truthfully a stranger no more.

“Barely counts, Alexander. In Sunberth, barely is more than good enough.” The Sea Eagle said softly. “But I get so tired of it. So incredibly tired of it. Don’t you long for something better? Something more stable? Something that doesn’t mean we all have to almost die on a daily basis because we wade through power struggles that never cease to exist?” The Jeweler sat back and shook her head. “There has to be a better way. I don’t know if there is a better way for Sunberth, but out there… there has to be something better.” She said again, almost to herself.

Then she gave Alexander a long hard look even as Ember was busy dishing him up a huge bowl of stew and getting him more bread. “You can stay here as long as you’d like. No where is safe in Sunberth, but here is safer than most. And if you’d like… when you’ve rested and eaten… we’d love to hear more about you. Ebon, Ember and I are all Kelvics. We live together here were its safer. Ember is a mouse, Ebon is a Night Lion, and you’ve seen my form. Others live here too… and a pair of dogs, several horses, and a mule.” Kelski said thoughtfully. “It seems like quite a few people, but everyone works and has various jobs that keeps them busy. Ember is my niece, and Ebon is my friend. He works downstairs in the Jewelry Store as a clerk and is a decent healer… a lifesaver even. I’m a jeweler myself. And there’s an Isur who lives here with his Kelvic bondmate who’s a snow leopard. The Isur – Duncan – acts as a guard here with us. We’ve been here three seasons… going on four now.” Kelski said softly, her words were weak and softly spoken, but she wanted Alexander to feel safe and know where he was.

Ebon frowned at Kelski and made to shush her because her words were trailing off, but in the end it was unnecessary. The Kelvic was drifting off even as she curled around her wounded shoulder and pulled her blanket tighter. Sleep claimed her almost immediately and Ebon fetched a blanket and laid it near Alexander for when he finished his food if he grew as sleepy as the big night lion figured he would be.

Ebon stepped forward.

“She’s right. It’s safe here… you should eat, rest, and heal before you head out again. And if you need a place to stay, she’ll give you a room without question… without charge. It’s how she is.” He said with a deep rumble. “She’s done that with the rest of us. And all we do in exchange is take care of the place, taking turns cleaning and cooking which she does a lot of too.” The Night Lion said, even as the Mouse Kelvic rested a bowl of stew on the coffee table before him with more bread and a large mug of cold water.

Then they sort of gave him space, let him soak it all in, and eat. Ember went to curl up with Kelski, snuggling into her aunt’s side without waking her… an arm protectively around her. Ebon watched them for a moment quietly, before he went to add wood to the fire and set things to rights after his impromptu triage.
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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Slade on March 23rd, 2019, 9:23 pm

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It seemed as though all of the instincts that worked together to get out alive finally washed away. He knew what had happened, what he had to do, and where he was now. He'd met these people and was offered food and healing. For now, he was in good hands. This allowed him to drift into a mind-numbing haze where his mind attempted to recover itself from the shock and fear. He was perfectly content with sitting back in his seat, grey eyes blank and fixed onto the back wall. The only thing which disturbed him was the voice of others, to which he would quickly snap back to reality and gaze over at the speaker. This time, it was Kelski, expressing that there was nothing better than dead slavers. He unconditionally agreed, without a doubt. "You can say that again," He mumbled, slowly shaking his head.

How could someone possibly come to that? To capturing innocent people and kelvics, stripping them of their freedom. Alexander wouldn't know what to expect if he was taken hostage but he did know it was no good. It took an especially evil, cruel person to not think twice about chaining up an individual and forcing labor upon them. It left the jaguar with a bitter taste in his mouth, facial expression reflecting this. He couldn't help but to seriously wonder what would be happening right this moment if they hadn't managed to fight off their attackers. How long would it take to arrive at... The enslavement camp? That was what he imagined it to be called or to look like. How long would it have taken Kelski to be treated? Would she be given anything at all for the pain or possible infection? So many questions boggled his mind.

Barely wasenough, barely was the fine line between being captured and escaping. Even though 'barely' was painful and exhausting, it still meant everything to him or else he wouldn't be settled in the comfortable sofa. Any altercation such as that wouldn't exactly be a breeze. He thought long and hard about what Kelski said next before parting his lips, "Anything is better than this... No one deserves to live in fear, not people like us, anyway. I always knew Sunberth was dangerous but never really took it seriously. After this, I'm going to be cautious about everywhere I go if slavers can just come out nowhere. I'd give anything to stay at a place I could trust..." He pondered if she knew of any possible place or if any of them did.

Alexander thankfully took the stew and bread. He began to devour it, humming his compliments. It didn't take long for him to fill his belly, though, he still managed to finish the meal up completely. It was delicious and surely well-deserved. It was good here... He had noticed this fairly quickly. A lot better than he'd ever known. He never thought he would really enjoy company but these folks were different. They did anything it took to make him feel welcomed and cared for. He hadn't known anything like that since he was at his birth home. When Kelski offered for him to stay at the house he gave a few hard blinks, "Really?" He breathed, "Thank you, it means a lot." He followed what she explained and nodded. Living with a bunch of other kelvics and people like this? What could be better than that? Not only that but ones that were kind and useful, even.

He beamed at Ebon, "Thank you, really. The only thing I have to go back to is a bleak tent surrounded by... Grimy people. I would really appreciate if I could stay here for the time being, I'll be sure to pull my weight. I could hunt for you all, bring back some decent freshkill. Anything to pay you all back for helping me."

Alexander was actually quite happy, for the first time in a long time. The cold water soothed his dry throat, washing down smoothly into his warm stomach. The last thing he noticed before closing his heavy eyelids was Ember cuddling up to Kelski before allowing sleep to claim him over. Something about feeling safe, well-fed, and cared for made resting so much easier, so much more enjoyable.

I survive because the fire inside me burns brighter than the fire around me
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Alexander Slade
All cats are black in the dark
 
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When The Hunters Become The Hunted (Alexander)

Postby Kelski on April 14th, 2019, 4:31 pm

G R A D E S
Kelski

Riding +1, Dagger +4, Dual Wield +3, Hunting +4, Acrobatics +4, Leadership +5, Strategy +5, Teaching +4, Planning +1, Tactics +5, Crossbow +1, Cooking +1, Rhetoric +1, Persuasion +1, Endurance +5, Reimancy +2, Medicine +2, Unarmed Combat+2

Daggers: Hitting A Moving Dodging Target From Horseback, Alexander: Appearance & Mannerism, Acrobatics: Safely Falling From A Horse, Alexander: Has Good Manners, Alexander: Impressive Hunter, Cooking: Dressing Down A Seal Carcass, Combat: Being Physically Sick From Pain, Medicine: Using The Abase Stone To Patch Up Alexander, Alexander: Great Fighter, Alexander: Trustworthy To Follow Instructions, Reimancy: Using Magic To Defend Oneself, Alexander: Didn’t Leave Her Wounded – Stayed By Her Side,

Wounds: Taking An Arrow To The Shoulder


Alexander

Observation +5, Socialization +5, Logic +3, Tactics +5, Hunting +5, Swimming +1, Logic +3, Strategy +4, Planning +1, Acrobatics +5, Rhetoric +2, Interrogation +2, Intimidation +2, Unarmed Combat +4, Dagger +2, Endurance +5, Disguise +1, Subterfuge +1, Storytelling +1

Kelski: Appearance & Mannerism, Hunting: Hunting For Food In The Tide, Seal: Full of Fat, Hunting: Hunt Seals From Waterline Up To The Beach, Strategy: Best Maneuvers to Kill A Seal, Strategy: Don’t Go For The Fatty Throat, Seals: Claws & Teeth Sharp, Kelski: Kind & Forthright, Hunting: Hunting One’s Hunting Partner For Theft, Slavery: Being Collared, Kelski: Has an Abase Stone Which Helps Her Heal, The Midnight Gem: It’s Location & The Fact It Has A Healer, Kelski: Has a Magic Backpack That Holds A Lot More Than It Should, Disguise: Concealing the identities of Bodies, Subterfuge: Hiding Bodies, Ebon: Appearance and Mannerism, Ebon: A Healer, The Midnight Gem: Appearance & Layout, Ember: Appearance & Mannerisms, Ember: Kelski’s Niece, Ebon & Ember: Kelvics (Night Lion & Mouse Respectfully), The Midnight Gem: Alive By Magic, Kelski: Jeweler, The Midnight Gem: Home and Jewelry Store, Duncan: Isur Guard For The Midnight Gem, The Midnight Gem: He’s Invited To Stay As Long As He Likes

Wounds: Slice Below Right Eye, Wound Beneath The Chin – All Healed At The Midnight Gem

Loot: 10 arrows, coin purses with 20 gold, four common daggers and a peculiar golden ring with a bright green gem embedded in the top (Vino Symbol).


This was an amazingly fun thread. We need to do this more often. I loved the hunt, the getting our asses kicked, killing slavers, and almost dying. That should be a daily occurrence in Sunberth!




PM me with questions or concerns.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
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