Open [The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

The Demesne has a new arrival, and it is one that was not anticipated.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

Postby Kelski on September 29th, 2019, 3:06 pm

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Timestamp: 10th of Fall, 519 A.V.



Kelski stood on the small balcony off the fourth-floor tower room and stared off across Mathew's Bay watching the breathtaking sunrise spill color across the dark waters. She was planning on going scouting this morning but was taking in the cool air to wake up slightly first. Kelski stretched, not wearing a stitch of clothing and content about that fact, shrugging off the mantel of sleep. She loved the feel of the winds aloft dragging the heat of her bed and Dessariran's body from her skin and raising goosebumps where feathers would soon spring.

The Sea Eagle Kelvic glanced back into her chamber meeting the eyes of her mate, unsurprised that he was also awake at this early hour. Dess was a hard worker and took it seriously that there were so many things to do before the snows of Winter set in. He was in charge of the security of the Demesne and there was so very much of it unsecured as they were building. "Good Morning." She mouthed at him, knowing she was too far away for a spoken greeting to be actually heard over the morning onshore breeze cooling the tower. He could see her lips though and feel her greeting through the bond.

She'd kept him up last night. In fact, she'd kept him up every night, sometimes well into the morning hours. Not that he had minded overly much. But talking and sex had become their normal when the sun set and everyone went to bed. Sometimes, when they were just tired, it was more talking than anything. And sometimes when they were lustier it was just sex. Both brought them closer. Both strengthened their bond.

Kelski glanced back out to sea. A ship she didn't recognize was out in the bay. That wasn't abnormal. Zeltiva had a great deal of sea traffic and most of it sailed by the Demesne on its way to the city. This one, however, was structured differently. It was low and lean to the water, small and fast, but big enough to hold a crew. It had a single black mast hung with black sails that would camouflage it at night but made it stand out starkly in the swirl of color in the morning sunrise.

Kelski turned back to Dessarian. "There's a small fast ship out there. Maybe a Sea Runner though I am not sure. It has unusual black sails, one cabin on the deck, looks to be a crew of half a dozen or less. It's making for our dock." She said, raising her voice though she hadn't planned on being so loud this early in the morning.

The Sea Eagle shifted then, exchanging her skin for feathers in a swirl of color. She perched on the rail a moment, then fell forward off the tower balcony to drop from the sky, snapping her wings open and catching the onshore flow to help launch her into the sky. She winged outward, careful for ballista, to get a better look.

With her full eagle sight, she looked, looked closer, and counted. Five... on a ship called The Dark Of Night. Dessarian and herself had no telepathy, but she could share images of her wants and needs easily enough with him. The small masthead was stained as dark as the rest of the ship and had a woman carved with hair curled all around her flowing back onto the wood of the bow both port and starboard. It was a beautiful ship, though small. It had ballista too, and the men aboard looked to be armed to the teeth.

It was slowing as it approached, trimming sail, and reducing wake. It was riding heavy in the water as if it were loaded down quite a bit. The Sea Eagle had no idea of how much freight it could haul or if that was even its payload. She knew next to nothing about ships and this one was mysterious in particular. It wasn't flying an identifying flag. That would have helped tremendously. Kelski was growing used to the svefra pod flags and the Zeltivan Military insignia, but there were no such markings on this ship.

Kelski winged around it in a healthy circle. None of the people aboard looked particularly menacing, but that didn't mean they weren't a threat. She didn't know if she should wake the Demesne or not. Though one thing was certain. The ship definitely was going to tie up on the dock. The Sea Eagle tapped her link with the dock, who had started calling himself Reach, for he reached out into the sea, and gave him a little heads up. Reach wasn't worried about visitors. He liked them. But if they were hostile, he'd definitely slow them down when they tied up to his form.
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[The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

Postby Dessarian on September 30th, 2019, 2:52 pm

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Dess stirred from sleep, awakened as much by the sudden vibrancy of Kelski's mind as he was by the shifting upon the bed and sudden loss of the warm press of her body. His eyes fluttered open, blinked a few times to focus before watching the kelvic stroll out onto the balcony. He breathed deeply, though the scents upon the air he detected came not from his senses but from Kelski's. He admired the easy way she leaned upon the rail, unashamed of her nudity or who may have seen her upon the tower balcony. Dess didn't care either. It was her nature, her kelvic nature, to sun herself so, just as Ember and Ebon were indifferent to clothing as well. Dess had become more and more acquainted with kelvic ways, and would not stifle any that lived at the Demesne.

He grinned and mouthed a greeting to his bondmate in return, stroking her consciousness with his. However, his eyes narrowed as Kelski turned and announced an unknown ship approaching. The kelvic's description sparked a memory, and rekindled a fleeting hope. There were certainly many small ships with black sails. But he had only been waiting for one person who owned such a vessel. Kelski would miss the sudden rush in his being, for she was already shifting. Dess paused to marvel at the myriad of pinpoint lights that marked Kelski's transformation. Then he watched the Sea Eagle drop from the railing and soar towards the Reach.

Dess quickly dressed, slipping on a pair of pants and boots with a green shirt. He strapped the belt around his waist, with a frog he jury-rigged to hold his father's wrist razor. He was far from adept with it, but it was his father's and he sought to become as familiar with it as he could, so that soon he would be able to wielding more lethally.

He quickly descended the stairs, rousing any who wished to meet the ship at the dock. While he had hopes, Dess was cautious, and admonished any who came that were not defenders to keep their distance until the intent of the crew was known. But he did intentionally seek for Ember before heading to the docks.

He found the girl on the first floor helping the old women. Dess alway felt a pang of sorrow when he saw Ember. The kelvic mouse had matured physically by leaps and bounds since he first met her in Sunbirth, now appearing as much a woman as Kelski, though her emotional and mental maturity was limited by sheer time. She was beautiful, but what made Dess sad was that she would not know the joy of bonding. Even more, she would probably not be with them longer than a year more, perhaps a bit longer, when she would appear like one of the crones she helped. Ember had been promised to him after Kelski disappeared, but when her short life span was revealed, the offer was withdrawn. It would be too painful to have someone and then lose them so soon.

"Ember, come on, there is something I want you to see." He coaxed the woman with a smile and a gesture. Mosa and Hattie scowled at the man who dared to take their able-bodied helper, but the look in Dess's eyes shone with a bright anticipation. He took Ember by the hand and lead her down the path to the docks with any other who were going.
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[The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on October 5th, 2019, 11:28 am


10 Fall 519


Crylon was one of the first to bed at night, often going to sleep soon after the sun set. While the moon was out at times, seeing by the sun was much easier and made his work much easier compared to trying to see with a combination of moonlight and his natural Isurian vision which worked better than humans in the dark. But still not as well as the sun.

And so due to his settling down to sleep early, he also tended to rise early. On that particular morning Crylon had already been up a half bell, had gone and done his morning ablutions and was puttering about with his things when he heard a commottion. Someone careening down and out of the tower, mentioning something about a boat.

A trader maybe? But then why was he, Crylon could not recall his name though he had seen him numerous times since arriving at the start of the season, in such a rush? He did seem agitated, even for a human. Though as he was comparing that to the usual coolness of mood of the Isur, perhaps he was simply always like that?

Having already donned a pair of pants and his boots in preparation of going outside, his chest bare, Crylon slung his pack on his back and headed along after the human.

The pack though was not simply a pack, but an odd magical item which was currently filled with an odd assortment of things. An axe for cutting wood. His simple builders kit dropped in piece by piece. Some writing supplies. Money. His toothed club which was slowly pulled out or fed back in through the mouth. And a few other small knickknacks of general less use than the other items.

As he headed out and got closer to the docks Crylon saw then the ship for the first time, and the crowd of people of the Demesne making their way along with the forgoten named human.

Not knowing much of ships, the boat still seemed odd. Boat? Ship? What was the difference? Regardless, it looked odd. Different from other ones he had seen.

Compared to other sailing vessels, this one seemed short and squat. Almost like seeing an Isur standing next to a human, clearly different.

It had a single sail mounted on a single mast, not unusual, though someone seemed to have died the sail black. Crylon was not sure why that would be needed or useful, something with the sun maybe?

If they were traders, perhaps they would have something useful? If not, well why else would someone come to this out of the way place?

“Izurdin give me strength, lets see what they are about.” Crylon muttered in Isurian to himself this as he walked along, heading along with the others to the docks if nothing happened before he got their.
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[The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

Postby Kelski on November 2nd, 2019, 6:01 pm

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Kelski winged around the ship for another pass, trying to look more like a hunting eagle than a nosey Kelvic. It wasn’t easy to do. She screamed a challenge like an eagle would with another thing invading its territory and stayed well out of bow shot. She did a head count and started to turn away when the ship itself nudged at her mind. She almost fell out of the sky, she paused so hard and back-winged, diving right to correct her near halt in the sky.

Mage.

The ship’s voice was deep, male, and very angry. Its rage rolled over her. She pushed her wings out, dove down along the waves and caught air again correcting her fall and making it look like an attempt at a fish near the ship rather than a startled mage falling out of the sky. Kelski pumped, gained altitude and circled again.

Mage. These men are not my men. They hold my mage. If I can feel you, you can feel me. Help my mage. You and he are kin in your magics.

What? The men from this ship were holding the ships mage? What did that mean? Prisoner? Hostage? Kelski circled and screamed a warning to Reach, hoping he’d contact The Gem who could somehow ring all her bells and warn everyone. Dess was mute to her voice, and suddenly Kelski realized how dangerous that was to all of them when the one mage that could hear and understand The Gem and Reach was in the sky and out of communication.

Kelski couldn’t answer the ship back. There was no way she could vocalize in her eagle form. But she sent reassurance through the ties she had with the magical thing and it in turn gave her an idea for how to warn Dess.

He’s gravely wounded. Hurry. These men intend to kill him.

The Kelvic and her bondmate were still within the range of their bond. And Kelski, though she wasn’t truly terrified just concerned and afraid, sent all the caution and fear she could down her link to Dess trying to warn him. How many of them would be on the beach unarmed? The Svefra were always happy to tie up, so too were a lot of trade ships. They never offered danger. But this was a new scenario… this was a dangerous scenario. Kelski pumped her wings harder, knowing she’d beat the boat to Reach, but wouldn’t be in time to get everyone armed before the boat tied up.

The Sea Eagle poured on her strength, heading for the shore. But she didn’t want to go straight to the people there. It would be obvious that she was theirs and thus they were perhaps getting some sort of warning. But then again, how would they know a Sea Eagle was also an Architectrix Mage? Did they know the ship was sentient? There were so many unknown factors that magnified Kelski’s concern. She swooped over the figures on the shore and ducked behind Ember and her skirts to land on the ground at a crouch in her human form. She was slightly breathless from the reckless flying, but she was right next to Dess and several of the other Meraki. Using Ember as cover, she shifted hissed her warning, and shifted back, heading up to The Gem to get her weapons, crossbow, and armor.

“The ship is called Dark of Night, and its an Architectrix. It is angry, very angry, and says the men on board have its mage hostage and he’s very hurt. They mean nothing good!” Kelski hissed, then glanced up at The Gem. “I need my weapons. Reach will stall them. Ember, get to safety but don’t be obvious about it. As you leave, make sure you warn everyone.” She said hastily, before she shifted, took two hops away from Ember and Dess to give her wings clearance, and took off again.

Ember turned to Dess, the color draining out of her face. “That’s Father’s ship! That’s Night!” She said whirling and staring out to sea. There was no way she was going to run from what equated to her father potentially being here. “Night has never let anyone sail him but father! That has to be him. They have him, Dess. You have to do something!” She hissed, unhappy and suddenly very very afraid.

Kelski landed on her balcony, shifted and hit her fourth-floor sanctuary at a run. She dressed quickly, armed herself to the teeth, and bolted back down the stairs with her crossbow in hand. She managed to catch up to Crylon where she gave pause, breathless. “It’s not friendly.” She said softly. “The ship is an Architectrix and it says the men aboard have its mage held and hes in a bad way. I think its doing what they want it too because they are threatening it’s mage.” Kelski warned the Izurdin. She had no idea if he could fight or not. They had limited skirmishes together, reserved to squatters and vagrants, but still he had held his own on that front.

The Sea Eagle broke into a run again, just as the ship nudged up against Reach and the sailors were tying him off. Kelski watched as the dock buckled and bumped, shifting seemingly at waves the ship created, but the sailors – used to such antics – had no trouble balancing on the unsteady dock and getting the job done. Four of the five approached, leaving one on the ship. They were smiling and friendly, walking towards Dessarian and Ember – who had refused to leave – though they were armed and looked dangerous despite their smiles. Kelski didn’t see any warmth in their eyes, and indeed didn’t see how this would end well.

The Leader approached, offering a smile. “Greetings! I’m Kalistan K’etir and this is my crew. We heard rumors that my sister Kelskanisha K'etir might be out here some direction. We’ve just come from Sunberth where we found out she’d been a jeweler there. Her business was empty though. We were told she left Sunberth for Zeltiva. Then we followed the Svefra’s rumors of a jeweler here. Have we found her at last?” He man said, still smiling, looking between Dess and Ember with no recognition in his gaze. Though he seemed to be studying Ember with interest, as if he wondered if she was. “You aren’t her, are you my dear?” The stranger asked.

He was, in fact, not Kalistan K’etir, or else he would have recognized his best friend and his now-grown daughter standing on the dock. They, in turn, most certainly didn’t recognize them. It was either fortune on Dess’ part or bad luck on the part of the imposters that they didn’t seem to know who Dess was or the approach would definitely be something

Kelski was still on her way down the pony cart path to the dock, and hadn’t heard the exchange. All she saw was Ember shake her head and her face in profile twist with rage. “You are not my father! Why are you using his name?” It was a classic mistake. Had she held her tongue, they would have had more time. As it was, the man claiming to be Kalistan immediately drew his sword and lunged for Dess – picking him as the biggest threat around him. His men did the same, all drawing their weapons, the four of them advancing.

The Sea Eagle halted immediately, loaded her crossbow and cocked it, then ran forward at top speed, leveling its barrel and sighting down it. She didn’t have a clear shot at the leader, because Dess and Ember were in the way. But the men flanking outward around him she definitely could get in her sights. She paused, took her shot, and watched as the bolt sailed true and lodged just below the eye of what appeared to be the man’s first mate. The guy dropped like a fly as Kelski paused in her flight forward to reload the bow again.

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[The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

Postby Dessarian on November 5th, 2019, 5:50 pm

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Dess waited with subdued anticipation. He was sure the black ship was his friend's, for whom he, Ember and Kelski had been awaiting since Spring. The Damazar's smile veiled a deep relief, as it seemed Kelski's brother had survived the Drust massacre. The Sea Eagle could be seen overhead, circling the ship as it drew closer to the Reach. His hand reached around Ember affectionately. She hadn't recognized the ship, and Dess wanted to keep it a secret until her father stepped off the ship.

But then azure eyes darted hard up at the soaring raptor. He felt it distinctly as the cord that bound Dess to Kelski resonated with crisp emotion. Worrisome fear and wariness. Something was wrong. Kelski's strong concern triggered his own. He didn't know why his bondmate felt so strongly, but he trusted the bond and Kelski implicitly. Instinct told him to remain calm and composed. He said nothing to Ember, but suddenly wished he had not invited her down to the beach. From a corner of his eye, Dess saw Kelski speeding towards the shore, but didn't look up. She was not heading directly for them, and he sensed her attempt to deceive the crew of the ship.

Dess stood steady as Kelski swooped behind them. His own features remaining fixed on the familiar ship, a small, feigned smile painted on his lips. He listened to the brief, desperate information Kelski breathed behind them. She confirmed that the ship was indeed the Dark of Night, his best-friend's Architectrix vessel. Kelski's news caused his heart to sink, then ignite with anger. Before he could tell her to whom the ship belonged, Kelski was gone to arm herself.

Ember figured it out. Dess's arm around her tightened as she began to panic. "Ember, please. I will take care of it, I promise. But you need to go, casually. You need to help warn the others." Dess spoke without breaking his deceptively unconcerned visage, idly turning to press an unhurried kiss to the woman's head and releasing her. Then his eyes fixed on the ship pulling up to the Reach's dock.

But Ember didn't move. Dess sighed inwardly. He was worried for her safety, but didn't want to tip off the strangers, who were disembarking the ship. Instead, Dess began to analyze their predicament. Five men, one remaining on deck. The Damazar identified each man's weapon and the side of their body it was carried. By estimating the length of arm and type of weapon, he could guess the combat reach of each. Dess also speculated at the hierarchy, picking the one in charge as the lead man. The one following next would be his right hand man. Finally Dess noted the distance between each crewman.

He remained aware of Ember standing defiantly at his side. She was in danger, and now he would have to split his focus between an opponent and keeping her safe. She had that damn K'etir stubbornness, just like her father and aunt.

"Stay calm." Dess warned Ember without breaking his small grin or his gaze at the approaching party. He had only his father's wrist razor, with which he had little practice. It still hung from his belt. Putting it on would tip off the strangers anyway. But Dess was first and foremost a warrior trained to use his body, not weapons, to fight. He was experienced with fighting that way, even against armed opponents.

He took slow deep breaths, focusing on gathering djed to his upper back. Dess was not practiced enough with Flux to direct his djed to precise areas, such as his fist, but was able to spread it out over a less defined area, typically his upper back and arms. The tactic added power to most strikes and holds he would use in battle, though not as much to each individual blow as he could if he were able to focus his djed tighter. It would still give the Meraki warrior a distinct strength advantage.

As the lead man approached, Dess casually reached behind his neck, as if to scratch under his hair. His fingers brushed over the blue flame of Wysar's mark hidden there, activating gnosis magic. Instantly his awareness broadened, like additional candles brought further illumination to a room. Another layer of perception overlaid what he saw. While the Evantia spread wide enough to encompass all four men, Dess focused on the leader directly in front of him, because he was also close to Ember.

It took all Dess had not to destroy the man when he claimed to be Kalistan. Dess's face remained unfazed, even faking slight confusion, as if he had no idea of the people the man mentioned. Dess prayed Kelski was on her way with some of the Meraki's trained fighters. The ruse was holding, buying time. That was until the fake Kalistan turned to address Ember. The fiery Kelvic mouse's tongue was unleashed, and all pretenses were gone.

Petch.

At the first twitch of the leader's fingers, his divine magic goaded Dess, indicating the man was going for his sword. Dess' muscles exploded into action. "Run!!" He yelled at Ember, as Dess took two quick steps toward the leader. The sword had just cleared the scabbard but was not lifted to strike. Dess moved well inside the weapon's reach, his leg slamming against the man's groin. One arm laced under the forearm of the attacker's sword arm, trapping it Dess's armpit. A sharp, firm jerk up at the elbow hyperextended and then dislocated the joint. Dess heard the sword thud onto the sand. Instantly following, Dess's fist slammed into the man's jaw, eliciting the cracking sound of bone. A swift forward kick sent the man stumbling backwards and onto his back. Only then did Dess see the second man on the ground with Kelski's crossbow bolt jutting from his face.
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[The Empyreal Demesne] Black Sails

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on November 7th, 2019, 12:14 am


While Crylon was not the fastest of the denizens of the Demesne, he was consistent. Sensing the urgency of the situation, he sped up somewhat, going to a fast walk, and then to an almost jog. But he did not want to go so fast that he was out of breath and tired before he arrived at... Whatever was happening.

So he kept on at a good clip, less than a trot but more than a walk by far, making his way outward.

It did not help that compared to the other denizens he was small, most sporting a foot or more of height on him. He was also, as a member of the Pitrius clan, on the smaller weight range for an Isur. While still much heavier than a comparable human of the same size, he was not overly large and bulky. His fit five foot frame packed in but a bit over two hundred pounds. Two ten perhaps. For an Isur with their stone bones, thick and strong as leather skin, and overall sturdiness, this was quite slim.

But then his clan was not well known for direct confrontation, not that they could not handle such things.

Considering such things on his way out, Crylon was overtaken by someone of the Demesne he was quite familiar with, Kelski.

Armed, clothed, and holding a crossbow, she rushed along on the same path as Crylon. But unlike him she was in a full on rush, and while out of breath from rushing seemed ready to keep rushing till she got there. Crylon could feel the stitch forming in his side just thinking of trying to rush that far and that fast. He needed to run more....

He listened though as she spoke, making it clear that the approaching ship was threatening. Or not the ship itself it seemed, rather what it help. No, the ship was an Arch... Something... Something he had heard perhaps before, and he thought had been applied to the Gem, but at the moment could not recall. But he did know of the powers of the Gem, what the Gem could do, just as anyone who had dwelled within such a structure would know.

And this ship apparently was like the Gem in that regard... Questions upon questions, and quite clearly no time to ask any of them. No, only time to hurry along after Kelski at a somewhat reduced pace he could sustain.

And then Kelski was off, racing away again. The Kelvic, Crylon surmised, was quite serious at the moment and at the events going on. And Crylon as usual was quite serious as he considered his options and what he could do. What he could offer. What he could provide.

The weapon in his pack was not an option, he did not trust his use of it enough to risk it in a fight. No, better he use the tool that was his own body, something he was better skilled at using, than some other weapon he did not know as well.

He was not far behind Kelski on his way down to the docks, when action suddenly broke out.

Weapons were drawn. People moved into action. People were hurt. His people were in danger, the Demesne was in danger.

He had to do something.

Something needed doing.

Her had no hope with drawing his weapon from his pack, nor in using it should he. No, he was the weapon he was best suited to using.

He flexed a knee, and with a sudden burst of speed pushed off from the spot he had been walking speedily on. He went from a fast walk to a full on sprint, careening the short remaining distance to the docks and the fight as hard as he could.

Almost instantly he felt an ache in his side, slowly growing to a stitch poking him there. But he kept running, doing what he could to get there and get involved as fast as he could.

He noticed as he ran things going on. People moving, weapons coming out. Kelski ahead of him firing her crossbow which struck one of the men. He had not even noticed she had stopped until she let flight her shot of the crossbow. He had been running since the action broke out, and did not stop even then in his run. But a small side bit of his mind respected her accuracy and skill at a time such as this.

Crylon passed her as the Kelvic moved to reload, annd kept running.

And running. And then he was almost there. And then he was almost into the fray. And then... And then he was unsure. What was he to do? He had no weapon. No bolt in a crossbow. For a half moment he considered this.

A half moment later, charging in and almost to the combatants, he pushed this though aside and firmly made a decision. He did not need a weapon. He was the weapon. And what greater projectile could there be than a full grown Isur rushing with all speed at a target? What greater impact than the one his body could make?

Another half moment was spent at the last picking his target, one of the men off to the side. He was far enough away that there was little danger of him colliding with anyone on the way to his target, such as the other people of the Demesne. No one was between him and the man.

Just before he struck Crylon yelled out in the Isurian tongue
“Izurdin!” Then he lowered his shoulder and struck with his left side and indestructible left arm at the forefront. And in the simplest, dirtiest, and most unexpected move from the eyes of a trained fighter... Crylon tackled one of the men.

It was not complicated. There was no finesse. But neither was there anything for him to mess up with his lack of skill.

A moment before he struck the man he hit turned and gave a half muttered "Wha..." before Crylon hit him. Another factor in his favor, which had helped, was that the men had been focusing on Des and the other combatants, not some random Isur rushing in from the side.

With the force of his body running at full speed, his five foot two hundred and ten pound frame smashed into the man. Such was the momentum that he for a moment lifted the man clean off his feet and carried him a good number of feet before both crashed into a heap on the ground with Crylon on top of the man.

As they both fell in a heap Crylon heard something snap, or break. If it was the man he had tackled himself, or something he was carrying, Crylon could not have then said. He was rather preoccupied trying to rise from the heap he found himself on the group on top of the man.

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